left Sigworth's Dust: George's hotel

Wednesday, 2 July 2008

George's hotel

The vast company of animals were tightly huddled around a centre-piece. From the cluster there came an odd collection of unearthly noises. These droning sounds were what George had the immense pleasure of waking up to. She searched high and low for her senses until she finally found them cowering in a corner of her mind. She soon discovered that she was lying in a crumpled heap at the bottom of a damp slope. She swallowed. Her mouth was so dry. How long had she been here? She bravely stretched out her trembling hand and touched what she thought was a wall.

‘Urghh!’ she squealed and recoiled her hand, now covered in a sticky, slimy substance, which she immediately wiped on her pyjama bottoms. She didn’t even want to think what that was.

George wondered if where she was now could be any worse than where she had been earlier. A picture of Tolita exterminating the Boffwunglers in broad daylight flashed through her mind. No, surely not, she concluded. There was something terrifying about the Judgess. She did indeed have a certain look about her that resembled the human species but George didn’t question what the Boffwunglers had told her. She had experienced, first-hand, the feeling that Tolita could appear as human or as inhuman she liked, depending on what mood she was in. She could see into your mind and control it, even turn it off at the flick of a switch, like she did to the Boffwunglers. She was exceedingly dangerous and George never wanted to lay eyes on her ever again.





A selection of sounds slid down the slope on an invisible toboggan.

The Mumtwips could actually speak as well as anyone else yet most of the time they couldn’t be bothered and simply substituted short and abrupt sounds. What was even more amazing was that they could understand one another. Translated, the above went as follows,

‘What shall we do with her?’

‘Eating her would be my suggestion.’

‘Are you sat on my knapsack?’

‘Oh yes, sorry old chap.’

George anxiously studied the group of animals. She could not make them out too well as it was dark at her end of the hole, yet she could see several silhouetted shapes perched on a ledge, against the bright light pouring in from a small opening right at the top of the slope. A new day, thought George worriedly, she must have been here all night. The last memory she could recall was of losing her way in a forest of some kind. It had been night time and she had no longer been able to pick out the right way. She knew she hadn’t been far from Otherin because she had not long before crossed the old bridge over the River at Thorny Point. From then on it all went blank and now she found herself here, wherever here was.

There were a large number of these animals as far as George could tell. Her imagination decided, at this point in time, that it would be fun to form colourful and detailed pictures of all the evil-looking, flesh-eating beasts that it possibly could, before she snapped out of it and concentrated on decoding the animal’s motives. She would worry about the flesh-eating bit later. Much later, she hoped. They all appeared to be looking down at something in the centre of the group. They were discussing something, she was sure of it, she just hoped it wasn’t her.

The narrow opening at the top of the slime-ridden slope was the only visible exit. She closed her eyes in despair, boy was she in trouble.