left Sigworth's Dust: Umpwiffle

Wednesday, 23 July 2008


Whilst the heated discussion continued, George desperately tried to understand what was being said. She should have spent her time more constructively by, for example, figuring out how to get out of this mess.

That morning Umpwiffle was slouched on the stool by his work bench, his face painted with an expression of pure boredom. He was sick of this job. He looked around the large stone room in which all experiments took place. To his right, against the wall, was a cabinet, its shelves full of pots and jars all labelled with their individual function. Ungry was there now, carefully pulling out jar number 23, the spell about hedgehogs, he remembered that one as he had used it himself only yesterday afternoon. He watched Ungry meander back to his bench at the other end of the room with it.
Quibley wandered past him carrying one of the latest inventions stolen from the Moloks. He, along with one or two others, had been given the task of checking them for defaults. Umpwiffle wished it was his turn. That job was much more fun than his own at the moment. Last time he had been allocated the job, he had been overwhelmed by the Molok’s inventiveness. His favourite item was a pop-up recipe book where the pages actually popped out of the book and made your dinner for you. However, when he had been testing it, he accidentally turned a page half way through and ended up with a Broccoli flavoured Cheesecake infront of him.
Umpwiffle looked at his own work-surface. Jar number 49, simply labelled ‘knockout!’ This was a new mare and from the looks of it, Umpwiffle did not think it would be too nice. He had no urge to even open it yet he knew he must get on with it or else it would be Fogflops for a month.

Umpwiffle was aware that he was fortunate to even be here. After the shenanigans with the girl and his secret encounter with Dorus, he was lucky that jar 49 wasn’t destined for himself. Tolita was beyond furious about the girl’s disappearance yesterday. Once the spell which had transported the Boffwunglers had left her, she had opened her eyes and let out an almighty scream. Umpwiffle could still hear it ringing in his ears. Of course, she had blamed him for letting her prisoner get away and he would have been Mumtwip food if he hadn’t have said that the girl had put a spell on him, momentarily sealing his lips together - actually jar number 13 but Umpwiffle hoped that Tolita would not remember it was one of her own.
This had made Tolita even madder and she had returned back here alone. On arrival, she had whisked herself off to her private chambers and upon his own somewhat delayed return, Umpwiffle had sneaked back down to the workshop in the hope that he had escaped her wrath.
As he continued packing the sacks, he wondered what the Moloks were going to do to put a stop to the Judgess’ determination to ruin them. He couldn’t understand what Tolita had against them. Admittedly, he had only met one of them but he had come away from the unexpected meeting rather liking the tiny Wizard like character. He himself had not been to Dantor last night as he had been on wandering guard duty but obviously nothing had come of his little chat with the friendly Molok.
‘Aarrghhh!!!’ Quibley’s voice zoomed down the room as if travelling on a high speed train.
Umpwiffle jumped up, his knees nearly knocking his entire bench over and bounded in his friend’s direction, knocking over numerous things on his way. Then he was distracted by another cry, then another, all seeming to come from the workers in the Invention Testing section of the workshop.
‘Wha?...’ shouted Umpwiffle nervously, to anyone at all that was listening.
The whole room was now in a state of chaos. As the rumour drifted through the room, Trunglers began running for cover in every direction, falling over one another and sending benches and stools all over the place.
‘Quibley?’ Umpwiffle yelled as he was pushed and pulled like a post-office door.
His friend’s grief stricken face appeared right next to him.
‘Moloks!’ he said fearfully, grabbing one of Umpwiffle’s arms. ‘Joke’s on us this time!’

‘What do ya mean?’ said Umpwiffle, shaking him.
‘A trick....these things..’ Quibley picked a broken stick up off the floor and thrust it towards Umpwiffle’s face, ‘...This is supposed to be a Singin’ Walkin’ stick.....designed to keep ya’s company whilst ya’s out!’
‘Well? What’s up wi’ it?’ said Umpwiffle, somewhat slow on the uptake.
‘What’s up wi’ it! Listen to it!’ Quibley tapped the stick on the floor.
‘Ha! Ha! Had you fooled? Dantor you will never rule. This Judgess who has Wizard’s blood. Twists the rules for her own good. What lies in store we are debating. Warning! Next time we’ll be waiting!’ the stick crooned.
Umpwiffle threw himself straight into his impression of a surprised Trungler (he’d been practising all night in preparation for this, deep down he was really quite pleased that the Moloks had managed to call Tolita’s bluff ). He struggled to find something useful to say.
‘They knew we was comin’!’ Quibley beat him to it. ‘Blasted creatures must’ve had a tip off!’
There was a noise outside the door and one hefty kick was all that was needed to fling it wide open. Quibley made a dive for it.
‘WHAT IS GOING ON?’ Tolita boomed, scarlet with rage.
Umpwiffle looked around and gulped. Where was everybody?