Friday, 14 November 2008

The Magic Wishing Wog - Part I

I know there's 5 weeks to go yet, but all the Christmas ads are making my Yule-gland itch. So....

Here's part one of my thrilling festive tribute to Enid Blyton and all that; a Dickensian pot-boiler set in the politically incorrect days of Empire (as in Queen Victoria, as opposed to the magazine. Obviously).

[insert drum roll and sleigh bells]

It was a dreary afternoon and throughout the house a dismal winter gloom sapped happiness and spontaneity from its inhabitants, slowly and surely reducing them, one by one, to nothing but an iron grey cinder of ennui.
"It doesn't feel like Christmas," said Pippa, gawping at rain through the leaded bay-window. "I'm so bored."
"Me too," sighed her brother, Chalky.
"I think my chakras need cleansing."
There was a pause as the children's melancholy pressed down even further. Things really were dreadful. Chalky put his hands in his pockets and rattled some change, then suddenly threw himself on the floor. Pippa looked down and saw her brother gently head-butting the herringbone parquetry.
“We need a plan, Chalky. Before we go mad.”
Miss. Quosp the maid came by. “Pippa,” she nudged, “What’s wrong with Chalky?”
“He’s ever so bloody bored, Miss. Quosp.” And with that, Pippa softly wept.
“Oh dear, oh dear. Whatever are we to do? You children really are bored. Come on. I’ve got an idea!” said the maid, optimistically. Pippa pointed at her brother.
“Look Miss. Quosp. He’s catatonic.”
“No, not yet he aint. Now come on. Help me get him off the floor.”
Chalky was a fat but frail child, often taken by fits and giddy spells. Hence, it was thought that the open country of his grandfather’s house would do him some good. Now, steadied on Miss. Quosp’s harsh but solid bosom, he tut-tutted himself for having scuffed his breeches.
“Now then you two,” barked Miss. Quosp, “how about I give you a little job to do?”
The children’s eyes exploded with delight. “Oh, yes please!” squeaked Pippa, who loved doing jobs even more than her fat and servile brother did.
“Very well. I shall give you a job to do. But there is one proviso,” she said pretentiously.
“Ohwhatyesanythingmiss,” oozed Chalky with a trot and a simper.
“The job I shall give you is only a small one. A very small one, in fact. Nevertheless, it is one that needs doing.” Pippa wretched and almost vomited she was so excited, whilst swallowing the sick made her belch. “As you will both know,” continued Miss. Quosp, “your grandfather is a very fastidious man. This afternoon he has an important falconry demonstration to attend. Do you understand?”
“Wmm,” whimpered Chalky.
“I want you both to go upstairs and fetch me your grandfather’s falconry glove so that I may press and air it in preparation for this afternoon.”
A look of hesitation crossed Chalky’s hideous face. “But… but where is it kept, Miss. Quosp – grandpa-papa’s falconing glove?”
“Why, Chalky. Amongst his personal affects, of course,” she sneered. “Now, come on. Run along and fetch what I asked for.”

It was a long way up the stairs to their Colonel Grandfather’s rooms. And it seemed even further for all the wonderful sights along the way. Up and down the staircases and halls, their Colonel Grandfather (as that was what they were told to address him as) had displayed all of the strange, unusual, odd, different and curious things he’d collected from his travels; things from all over the world and the globe.
“Look,” pointed Chalky. “A one-legged Chinaman.”
“Yes,” gasped his sister. “And there see – the world’s loudest trumpet…! And over there, look….”
The list of things seemed endless. Every corner and cranny was filled with wonder. They saw an electric horse and a rare type of grape; a beautiful spider and an old leather penis.
“How could we ever have been so bored?” said Pippa, gazing intently at a strange looking object. Underneath it was a brass plaque that read Hitler’s Breast, 1934. “To think all of this was just upstairs.”
“It… its magical,” quaked Chalky.
“Come on,” said Pippa, remembering their job. “Lets get that glove and then we can spend the rest of the day here.”
Chalky promptly agreed and the children toddled off down the hall, their eyes bulging like ripe puppies.
A flight of stairs and approximately 60 yards later, the children stopped dead in their tracks. A huge oak - or possibly teak – door lay before them. Flanked by two enormous Christmas trees, their Colonel Grandfather’s family crest glowered down from above the door. Chalky blinked his pig eyes, and mentally sketched the coat of arms. Later, he thought, he would consult his book of heraldry and, unbeknownst to him, spark off a lifelong interest in the genealogy of the English aristocracy. But for now, his puny child-mind trembled before the door, which stood tall and resolute before them. Leaning in closer, Pippa reached out and gasped. It seemed the door was covered in strange markings.
“It seems the door is covered in strange markings,” she said, violently.
“Those aren’t markings!” bellowed Chalky, and slapped his sister across the face with the back of his hand. She crumpled before the wainscoting. “Look!” he seethed. Seizing her hair and chin, he thrust her face against the door, making a knocking sound, a bit like a potato hitting some floorboards. “Carvings!”
Pippa winced, and rolled her eye towards the surface of the door. Sure enough, it was covered in carvings, albeit ones that were a bit more like engravings. Chalky let go of her and she stumbled backwards, putting the door into perspective. She could see a sleigh being driven by a fat, anthropomorphic robin and above it a turkey holding a candle. The entire door seemed to be covered in depictions of Christmas; an angel on a rocking horse waved at a snowman giving a tangerine to a nun, whilst elsewhere a boy in pyjamas poured a goose a drink.
“I wonder what’s on the other side of it?” croaked Pippa. “I’d climb the highest metaphor to find out!”
“Why, Christmas of course!” gushed Chalky. “Don’t you see! This is the door to Christmas. This is why we’ve been so bored, because Christmas is locked up, behind there!” he said, raving and consumed. “We’ve got to open it!”
“I bet its locked,” sniffed Pippa.
“Well, let’s find out.”
Arrogantly striding forth, Chalky gripped both the holly-shaped handle and his sister’s hand. Flicking her a final glance, he snapped the handle down and pushed the door away from him. To their morbid astonishment, the door swung unremarkably open and bounced slightly off an inside wall. “Wha…” went Pippa, slack-jawed and oafish. “….” But her words wouldn’t come. She was amazed. As was her brother.

To be continued...

1 comment:

pisspoorenglish said...

Most excellent. I especially liked the catatonic part.

(My mobile is back in action)