2 October 2013


Further adventures after Report on Sample 717, following on from here...

'I think I know what this is,' said Edrig as consciousness returned and he opened his eyes and found that his opened eyes revealed exactly the same scene as his closed eyes, which was largely just blackness, but blackness lit up by occasional crazy flashes from the nervous signals deep within his eyes or brain - he wasn't sure which, but he was fairly sure about where he was.

He could feel Adrig's side resting rather heavily against his own, and he gave it a nudge with his shoulder to check if Adrig was awake, or to prompt him back into awareness if he was not.

Adrig grunted.

There was a pause, while Edrig absorbed the blackness all around him and took note of the gentle hum and the somewhat sickly sensation of spinning.

Adrig said, 'Oh...', and rather despairingly, it seemed to Edrig.

'I think I know what this is,' Edrig said again, while his stomach filled with a nervous queasiness and his mind attempted to calm a rising panic.

'So do I,' offered Adrig, wearily.

'It's a prison pod, isn't it? A prison pod taking us home.'

'I fear so my lad. I do fear so.'

Edrig pondered this agreement about their predicament for a while.

'This is worse than a pickle,' he continued.

'Yes. Worse than a pickle. More like a... Well... worse than a pickle, that's for sure.'

'I've still got my can in my hand too,' said Edrig, rather surprised.

'Hah... Me too! Not even spilled by the feel of it.'

The prison pod spun on. So sinisterly dark. No flashing lights. No flickering screen.

'Might as well drink it,' Adrig suggested after a while. 'We may need it.'

Edrig managed a weak smile to himself in the darkness before he felt and heard the chink of Adrig's beer can against his own.

'Cheers my boy. And good luck.'

They drank deeply from their cans.

'You know all those sayings,' Edrig began, 'about what really matters is not the situation that you find yourself in but the attitude you take to the situation?'

'Ah yes... Those ones.'

'Well I think they may be needed now.'

'And put to the test, eh?'


'And remember everything we are saying will be being recorded now, including this.'

'Oh... Well then... But... We've done nothing wrong, have we?'

'Eh... Nothing at all,' said Adrig, unconvincingly.

They sat in silence some more, while the pod's gentle hum was joined by the sound of a few more gulps of beer in the darkness.

'We never saw that coming did we?

'They just land on you like nets, I've heard, and suck you in. Or like flies caught in a cup.'

'Or in the web of a big bloody spider. Oh...'

'Bless the Lady Lord,' Adrig finally declared. 'The new Lady Lord.'

'Oh...', muttered Edrig, thinking deeply, before adding lamely, 'We were in shock my man, in shock. Such a dreadful thing, the death of a Lady Lord. We reacted in shock.'

'Yes. Such a dreadful thing. Such a shocking accident.'

'The Lady Lord is dead... Bless the new Lady Lord.'

'Yes indeed... Bless...'

And after another silence there came the sound of further gulping, followed by the crinkly metallic crushing of empty beer cans in nervous hands.

And the prison pod spun on.


CherryPie said...

Better the Devil you know ;-)

Elephant's Child said...

Ooooh. More please.

Andrew MacLaren-Scott said...

Hmm... depends on which Devil you know, I suppose

Andrew MacLaren-Scott said...

It is written... (as the saying goes), but arriving by drip-feed.

Claude said...

That's the way people read Dickens and Hugo in the olden days. A few words every week, in a newspaper, to learn what happened to Fantine (Les Misérables) and David Copperfield.

The writers were paid by the words. And they were very extravagant with them. At least, with Andrew, we'll get a nicely told and fascinating story in 133 pages. Probably 8 weeks instead of 2 years. I hope so!

Andrew MacLaren-Scott said...

Thanks Claude. I sold twice as many copies of the first book in September as I did in August and so am thinking about that doubling of rice grains on squares of a chessboard calculation and feeling guilty that if the current rate of sales growth continues all of the wood pulp on the planet will need to be in the form of copies of Report on Sample 717 before too many more months have passed. Oh dear. What have I done?

Claude said...

Plant a tree on your land for every two books you sell. Easy way to assuage guilt!