Saturday, 21 November 2009

Saturday Wordzzle 90

Each week, Raven gives us a set of 15 words - 5 for the mini, 10 for the 10-worder or all 15 for the mega challenge. The idea is to create a passage which includes all the words

The words weren't too bad this week – worst ones were organic and identical

You can go to Raven's Nest for the original rules of the game and some excellent advice.

The Mini (the nature of the beast, identical, charcoal, braggart, vacation)

That old braggart Time is taunting me again, daring me to try to change the fate he's prepared for that young man, but such is the nature of the beast, I suppose, or maybe it's just my own self-doubt. Either way, it's all in the man's own hands now. Maybe he'll make the effort to decipher my message, maybe it's already turning to charcoal on the back of the fire. It has not been given me to see this part. Even if he reads the message, will he take up the offer of a free vacation? If I were in the identical situation, I'm not sure I'd be taking up offers by anonymous Braille-writing strangers. I can but hope.

The 10-worder (love is a many splendoured thing, trucks, inspector, symbols, rising, organic, liberation, costly, smug, naughty)

New to Harold's story? The summary is here

"I look like a streetwalker!" gasped Agent India in dismay, as she surveyed her image in the mirror.

"Oh, nonsense!" soothed Agent Prada, brushing the last few wisps of India's platinum blonde wig into place. She stepped back, a smug look on her own immaculately made-up face. "You look classy, but slightly naughty, which is the effect I was going for. Now, try these shoes on."

India tried to quell her rising feeling of acute embarrassment. She had never worn make-up in her life and Prada had applied plenty of it – at least that's what it felt like – and a blonde wig, for goodness' sake! Now, to India, things like make-up, high-heels, overly-fashionable clothes (her bright red T-Shirt had Liberation!!!! blazoned across it, complete with exclamation marks) were all symbols of a very secular and worldly existence - of which she usually wanted absolutely no part. She had to admit, though, under Prada's skilful hands she had been transformed – even her own mother wouldn't recognise her now, let alone a none-too-bright demon who had only met her a couple of times.

The none-too-bright demon in question, along with his talking monkey, was speeding along the highway in the back of Ray's car once more. The sound of Andy Williams's honeyed tones singing Love is a Many Splendoured Thing floated out of the costly Bose sound system. Harold would have preferred some nice Louis Armstrong, but he had to admit Mr Williams could certainly carry a tune pretty well for a human.

Thinking this, Harold felt a familiar pang of sadness. His own music had been warmly appreciated once upon a time, long ago. His talents had been much in demand back then. That was over for good now though and he'd never get to play for that audience ever again. To think he'd had it all: a purpose to his music and an eternity to play it in. and now it was lost to him forever - and it had been his own stupid fault.

"Take it easy, Ray!" Harold's maudlin reverie was broken by Nicole's sharp voice from the front passenger seat as Ray accelerated past a couple of big semi trucks, "We don't want to get pulled over for speeding like last time."

"Aw relax, woman," Ray grumbled, "It's not like we can't afford the odd speeding ticket now and then, sheesh!"

He did slow the car a little though.

"So how are we going to get into Baron Samedi's?" asked Harold, "Oh wait, I know, we could make out I'm some sort of sanitation inspector or something. How to explain you, though?"

"My dear fellow," replied Teatime somewhat acidly, "in your relatively brief time here, you seem to have managed to fill your head with an alarming amount of television nonsense. We'll go and see how the land lies first, then decide what to do. Sanitation inspector, indeed!"

"Well it works in the movies," shrugged Harold

"But this is real life, old sock." Teatime reminded him.

"Is it?" mused Harold, "Sometimes it feels like a badly-written novel, I mean, where's it all going anyway? Supposing we do find out why demons are disappearing, what then?"

"That, old button, is a very good question." replied Teatime, "And one to which I'm afraid I have no answer. Now, hand me one of those bananas, will you? I need some thinking fuel"

Harold did so. Teatime looked at the little label stuck to the yellow skin and made a face.

"You'd have though Nicole would have bought organic," he grumbled, "These pesticide-ridden things have no flavour whatsoever."

Agent Othello popped his head round the door.

"Target's on the move," he announced, "We have to go now."

India and Prada picked up their bags and trotted (or in India's case, tottered) after him. Those high heels would have to go. Honestly, the things you had to do in the eternal battle against evil!


  1. I continue to enjoy Harold's story... and now you keep teasing me with the braille message too. Well done. I love your humor and your gift for planting clues that give nothing away. I have to admit that I so enjoy Harold's story that I forget all about whether you have used the words... which means you use them seamlessly.

  2. Thanks again for next week's words. I meant to say thank you last week but I kept forgetting. Sigh.

  3. It seems an age has past since I visited here! Have just spend a good few quality moments catching up on everything, yummy sweet shop of words and images :-)
    Poor old Harold though... sent as bait by his own dad! cheers for contributing some escapism for my sinus acheing head :o)

  4. I love hapless Harold. I find myself cheering for a very undemonic demon. And like Raven, I find that you do it so well I don't even notice the words that have been inserted! Good job Argent!

    Enjoy the week off next week!

  5. You are certainly one of the best at using the words so they just fit in the story. I just love the Harold story and now I have to wait two weeks for the next installment.

  6. Yes you just keep getting better and better...!

  7. "Sometimes it feels like a badly-written novel" - Heh - this is no badly-written novel! It's great fun - thanks for another riveting installment.

  8. We dragons would still very much like to eat that monkey. We think its okay to eat demons too but they give such heartburn.
    We just love the Harold story.

  9. I love the names you come up with... and great stories. India reminds me a bit of the main character of In Plain Sight - have you seen it? It's a great show.


  10. I always forget to look for the words because your stories are so interesting! You do such a great job every week. :)

  11. A broadcast thank you to all who have stopped, read and commented. It really cheers up the weekend.

    @Raven - The Braille message is basically the offer of a free vacation. What comes of it though is something else. Glad Harold is keeping you amused and entertained. I hope people don't find my words to be stinkers like the last ones I did.

    @Waterkits - Harold's Dad is not a nice guy, not nice at all. Glad my scribblage has taken your mind of the dreaded lurgi.

    @Reston Friends - Yes, Harold is distinctly un-demonic and a bit rubbish, frankly, as far as his colleagues are concerned. He's a bit wussy though and I want him to be a bit less spineless as the story unfolds.

    @DrJohn - Thanks for the kind words and I hope the two-week wait will be worth it.

    @DawnTreader - Thank you. I find this episodic way of writing a story is growing on me.

    @Bug - Thank you too and I'll keep writing it while people think it's fun.

    @Fandango - Praise from the dragons is praise indeed! You fellows are not responsible for the disappearing demons, are you - only it could save everybody a lot of time if you just 'fessed up now.

    @MommyWizdom - Haven't seen Plain Sight (don't think it's got to dear old Blighty yet), but I Googled it and it looks like an interesting show. I'll have to watch it when it comes.

    @Akelamalu - You're very kind. I do love the challenge of fitting in the words each week, keeps the old brain box working (I hope!).

  12. Words... what words? Forget about the words (lol) and just tell the story. Can't wait for the next episode.

  13. I am sorry I am late but I was ill this weekend.
    I like your characters. I have enjoyed Harold, and everyone is correct the wordsjust melt in.


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