left Sigworth's Dust: The sneezes!

Wednesday, 13 August 2008

The sneezes!

Umpwiffle had been sneezing consecutively for twenty minutes

‘And make sure you do it properly!’ Tolita demanded, before slamming the door shut and locking it from the outside.

The bemused and tearful Trungler was imprisoned in a tiny, claustrophobic room. By his side were a nasty selection of bottled spells. These spells were some of Tolita’s strongest and most destructive. The reason that he had been given this task and locked in this small space is because once the containers were opened they were known to put up one heck of a fight.

He was being punished...the hard way. He would be solely responsible for making these abominations which destroyed lives and he knew why. Tolita did blame him for letting the girl get away, which was partly true, it was not in his nature to condemn someone to eternal misery, like himself. Yet now Tolita had got it into her head to entice the girl back into her grasp and she thought the best way to do this was to make her friends suffer.

As he reached for the jars, he only hoped that the girl had made it safely back to where she had come from. As for the Boffwunglers...he hung his head in shame of what he was about to do.

George could not sleep. There was too much hovering in her mind to make room for feelings of tiredness. The Mumtwips had eventually brought her some edible food and juice of some kind - by now she no longer cared what she was eating or drinking - and after complaining for several hours they had thrown her down a couple of blankets. ‘What more could a girl possibly want?’ she had shouted up sarcastically.

She thought back to the drawing of Ponkle and Sigworth’s cave. She had got the distinct impression that by tomorrow, the cave would have ceased to exist. Not that it would really matter seeing as both its occupants had also ceased to exist, if yesterdays disappearing act was anything to go by. She was also confused as to what the rest of the drawing signified. She thought back to Ponkle’s brief explanation of Sigworth’s experiments. Perhaps it was his antidote that these animals were after, this thing they called the ‘OB’. If it was, what on earth did they want with it? George struggled with her thoughts but still ended up none the wiser and now had an awful headache. As if things weren’t bad enough already.

‘Why are you keeping me here?’ she shouted up to one of the guards.

‘Ilg!’ he replied angrily.

‘Oh, thank you! That explains it perfectly!’ retorted George, pacing up and down the small space.

Enough was enough. These ignorant creatures were not to be trusted. For all George knew, she could be tomorrow’s lunch. Of course, unbeknown to her, that was not the case. She would be saved for a special occasion, such treats didn’t come along so often.

‘I must get out of here,’ whispered George to herself, at the same time giving the guards a sweet yet calculating smile.

Hours passed and the light from outside gradually faded to blackness. George was beginning to discover that the most annoying thing about Mumtwips is that they never sleep. However, they are very fond of a game of Pobbles (similar to draughts - the big difference being that there is far more scope for cheating) and could spend hours contemplating their opponent’s next move. I mention this as it is the exact pursuit which the four guards had chosen to while the night away.

George had been watching the guards and had noticed that whilst their game progressed, their concentration intensified. She had to plan her escape meticulously. Or so she thought, until,

‘Ip Fhg!’ said one of the guards, triumphantly.

‘Spt Prnt!’ said another, with rising frustration.

‘Nont Urg Pt!’ yelled the third angrily.

The fourth simply pulled a face.

Then it started. The first guard reached for the winnings (only, in fact, a mound of broken twigs yet it was the principle of the thing which was in question), the second punched the first on the nose, the third delivered a blow to the second’s stomach and the fourth really didn’t feel in the mood for a fight and went home.

The remaining Mumtwip guards were now involved in a full-scale brawl. Nobody appeared to notice as a young girl clambered up the slope, slipped past them and scampered into the open, disappearing amongst the shadows (well, apart from one guard who stopped fighting temporarily to check that their captive was still sleeping and was about to raise the alarm when he ran straight into an opponent’s foot and that was that).