Friday, 8 January 2010

Saturday Wordzzle 94

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 the words

These were TOUGH words this week - I've had to create some decidedly contrived bits of dialogue in order to incorporate them, apologies in advance!

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

The Mini (broken bones, slide rule, garbage, Chinese, sanguine)

This is part of of an ongoing story. A blind seer has had a vision about a young man coming to some as yet unspecified harm from an old man living in a tower. To try to avert this fate, she has anonymously paid for him to take a holiday somewhere far away. The young man has arrived at the holiday town and has noticed an interesting tower, which he plans to investigate the next day

The seer speaks...

I was dozing this afternoon and have just awakened from a very strange dream about a Chinese dragon. It was sitting on top of a huge pile of broken bones and garbage, opening and closing a slide rule over and over again, and laughing. I have no idea what it can mean but it was accompanied by a feeling of such dread that I can only assume it’s connected in some way to the fate of that young man. He will have got there by now so he should be safe from the old man with the salt-and-pepper beard in his wretched tower. If that’s the case, though, why am I not more sanguine about his prospects? I'm going to have to go after him.

The 10-worder (space cadet, silver lining, wood, turtle soup, minaret, ice, grease, sales, mandala, mug)

New to Harold's story? The summary is here.

“Well that’s rather put the kibosh* on my pet theory,” murmured Teatime into the silence. “Still, a few less angels about the place? Bit of a silver lining, I’d say.”

Baruthiel seemed to notice the little monkey for the first time and the flaming tip of his sword moved to point at him.

“Begone, abomination,” the angel’s voice was melodious ice. “My business is not with you.”

Teatime bared his teeth in a brief show of defiance but, not wishing to be turned into monkey-chips, he quickly leapt down from Harold’s shoulder and scuttled away into the darkness.

“That wasn’t very kind, Baruthiel,” said Harold, “Teatime can’t help what he is,”

“Yes he can.” replied Baruthiel, “He made a choice – he entered into the Contract.”

“Some choice!” retorted Harold, “It was either that or die in some nameless human laboratory somewhere. No-one from the Penthouse was prepared to help him, were they? My Father offered him the deal and he took it – who wouldn’t under the circumstances?”

I wouldn’t!” declared the angel.

“How do you know?” cried Harold, becoming angry with Baruthiel’s relentless self-righteousness, “You’ve never been put in that position, have you? How can you possibly-”

“Enough!” roared Baruthiel, “I did not come here to debate morality with a Fallen One – especially you!”

“So why are you here?” demanded Harold.

“It has been decided” the angel replied, calming himself with an effort, “That you will assist us in finding out what is behind the disappearances.”

It took a moment for it to sink in then Harold burst out laughing."

You have got to be kidding me! The Penthouse and the Basement do not work together! Never have, never will, you know that!”

“True,” agreed Baruthiel, “so you will be assisting some of our human agents – that much is permitted.” A cellphone appeared in the hand not holding the sword, and he began to thumb its buttons.

"Oh, no." said Harold firmly, "I've met some of your agents and we didn't exactly get along. There's no way we'll be able to work together. There'll be what the humans call 'trust issues'. Anyway, why do you need my help when you can investigate perfectly well yourself?"

Baruthiel's thumb paused and he regarded Harold contemptuously..

"That's just like you, isn't it?" he sneered, "You're given the opportunity to do something that would really make a difference and you choose to walk away – again! I told them this was a bad idea, that you wouldn't have changed, and I was right."

"Now, wait a minute!" cried Harold, "I haven't decided either way yet, I just want to know what's going on. The Penthouse has never asked a Fallen for any kind of assistance before, so you can see why I might have questions."

Baruthiel considered this for a moment, then said.

"I can not tell you anything at this time. Just work with Joshua squad, that's all." He held up the phone, his thumb hovering over the green DIAL button. "Well?"

"Fine," sighed Harold, "I'll do it, but I suspect I'm not the only one who'll need convincing." His hand tightened its grip on the wood of the club’s fire door: It would have to be Joshua squad, wouldn't it?

Baruthiel dialled.


“Darn it,” muttered Agent Prada, dabbing at her blouse with a paper towel, “This doughnut grease gets everywhere!”

“Try dabbing it with some perfume – the alcohol will act as a detergent,” suggested Othello.

“Really?” Prada rummaged in her bag and drew out a bottle of Mandala.**

“You’re such a space cadet, sometimes, Othello,” remarked Mercury, “Fancy knowing a thing like that. What’s next? A recipe for Turtle Soup, perhaps, or a lecture on the Architecture of the Minaret?”

“Maybe he’ll tell us about  ceramic mug sales in prehistoric Mexico,” laughed Prada, joining in.

“Well, excuse me for having an education, I’m sure.” Othello replied with mock indignation. “At least I can spell spaghetti.”

Mercury’s phone rang, interrupting the laughter that followed. After he had finished the call, Mercury turned a grinning face to the rest of them. “That was our Penthouse contact. He wants us to meet him in the alley behind the club.”

“But isn’t that where…?” asked India.

“Yep!” replied Mercury, “Let’s roll, people. This should be interesting!”

Author's Note:

*"To put the kibosh on" is a british expression meaning to scupper something or put an end to it.

**Mandala is a real beauty product, made here in England (ain't Google great?). I received no payment for this lousy bit of product placement – it was just a rather rubbish way to get rid of a tricky word. Also, Othello’s idea of using perfume to get rid of grease stains is entirely untested and I will not be held responsible for any loss or damage arising from folks trying it. Always read the label.


  1. I'm laughing at your perfume disclaimer - I was getting ready to try it - ha!

    I think I'm going to enjoy watching Harold & Agent India work together. Might we see some romance? That would be interesting...

  2. oh my freaken soul, this is great. I should really start reading harold. oh. is it Teatime as in between lunch and breakfast. or TE-A-TI-ME as in the guy who had the contract on the hogfather? anyway, I had trouble with turtle soup.

  3. What next? A demon helping the angels? The plot thickens and I LOVE IT!

  4. @Bug - yes, I've finally managed to get them together, as to how that develops, who knows? Seriously, who does? No me, I'm just making this up as I go along pretty much :-)

    @Smoke - My other blog has the collected Harold and, in one of the episodes you will find the answer to Teatime vs Tay -a -teem -ay.

    @Human - Glad you're enjoying, we can finally get to the main part of the story.

  5. you cheeky monkey. haha, you actually went and did a 180% on the pratchett caracter. brilliant, I wonder if he is as great an influence on your writing as on mine? oh and I may have a suprise for you, if you dont mind, I sure would feel hounored if it was for me, but I will need your assistance.

  6. Great story and great use of words.

  7. Oh Argent, I've missed your stories! I don't know how you keep Harold and Prada going week and after week with it not seeming as if you're contriving anything! My hat is off to you!

  8. @Smoke - yes, Mr Pratchett is one of my very favorite authors and yes I did have him firmly in mind when I wrote that scene. Delighted to offer any assistance you require my friend. If you want to talk about it privately just email me at Alternatively, just leave me a comment here.

    @Connie Thanks.

    @RestonFiends - Thanks and welcome back. I have to say that sometimes it is a real struggle to get the words in and they do tend to distort the story: we'd be a lot further on by now I think if I were just writing it as a normal story, but the Wordzzle part of it is fun and give a most stimulating challenge.

  9. I have missed Harold and company and glad to see they are on to what promises to be an interesting adventure. I too am hoping for a little demon/demon hunter romance.

    Looking forward to seeing how the tower adventure goes.

    I loved the disclaimer. Had to laugh at the Kibosh thing because that's pretty common here in the states but "scupper," isn't (as far as I know).

    Wonderful offerings as always.

  10. I wanted to create a wiki page for harold, but sadly, you must be famous enough to have had citations published in the printed media, which is bovine excrament, if you ask me. so, if you maybe have any such references, I would be glad, otherwise, I will have to make another plan.

  11. @Raven - You're not the first to posit the idea of a romance. Only time will tell.... The tower story is almost finished now and I hope it won't isoppoint.

    @Smoke - You do me tooo much honour, my friend. I have never been published in paper anywhere (I have tried a few times but always been rejected). I've submitted a short story to a competition recently, but whether anything will come of it, we'll have to see). Feel free to write a wiki about Harold and Co. To be honest, the minute details of the story have not yet been worked out, but I have a broad idea of where's it's going. Thanks for your interest - and keep up the Bobby Danger stories, I love them.

  12. I am beginning to warm up to your first story but my prime love is still Harold.You have such a great imagination and always find some way to work the words seamlessly into the story. Well done.

  13. @DrJohn - Thank you, your words are very encouraging to me.

  14. You know we dragons still want to eat that monkey. We do like Harold. We must be bad because we didn't much like the angel. You do create characters so very well.

  15. @Fandango - You're not bad. I think most of us would find someone like that utterly tedious after a while. And he does have good reason to dislike Harold.

  16. Am loving Harolds story today - but your disclaimer nearly got me thrown out the library for laughing so loud!

  17. what a twist!.. it can only go badly can't it?.. or perhaps a love story will ensue?... oooohhh the possibilities :-)
    More fabulous writing, and like the disclaimer touch. though it sounds like it might be feasable.. have a good-un..
    oh, and we got a bit of snow, but it's peeing down now!

  18. @DFTP - Thanks. I didn't realise the disclaimer would attract so much attention. Perhaps I should just write diclaimers in the future.

    @Watercats - I think romance is the last thing on anyone's mind at the moment, but these things have a way of sneaking up.... I don't know if using perfume to remove grease is feasible or not - it does sound plausible though. Our snow is fast disappearing but they're threatening us with more tomorrow.

  19. That was a week with particularly tricky words as I recall it. Well done. (I'm catching up...)

  20. Still quite "optimistic" sounds. Especially the recommendations. Although, in general, agrees.


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