Saturday, 7 August 2010

Saturday Wordzzle 121

Wordzzle-day comes but once a week - which is probably just as well, really, since I don't think I could do this more than once.

Head on over to Raven's Nest, for rules, guidance, and other players.

Want to play next week?:

Pick a challenge or two (or do all of them if you like) and write a piece which uses the words below.

10-word challenge: summer time blues, glasses, google, pregnant pause, integrated, suit and tie, parallel parking, shimmering, post card, slam dunk

Mini-challenge: gradual, eagle's nest, martyrdom, pizza, pugelist

Mega-challenge: Combine all 15

Now on to my efforts:

The Mini (pepper, island, quintuplets, organic, treaty)

I am the last of the Peppers on Pepper Island, the youngest by fifteen whole minutes of quintuplets – the last fertile hurrah of a family already dying out. My older siblings have all either moved away or died long since. The island was granted to my ancestors by some obscure, half-forgotten treaty a couple of hundred years ago and there have been Peppers here ever since. But, as I say, I am the last, and I think I will not likely see out the winter. I won't starve: between my stores of dried and tinned goods, plus the few crops in the garden – organic by necessity since I can't get hold of any chemical fertilisers – I'll have enough to eat for as long as I need. The well provides fresh water and my faithful little wind turbine turns out enough power for my meagre needs. No boats come here any more and I doubt anyone will miss me when I'm gone. No, I'll just slip away and leave Pepper Island to the birds, the rabbits and the busy insects, and to the wide, wide, restless sea.

The 10-worder (swiss cheese, operation, frantic, quizzical, control, shallow, wedding, paranoid, orange, marginal)

New to Harold? The story so far is here.

The UPS truck rattled to a halt and the driver turned off the ignition. After the racket of the truck's diesel engine, the quiet was sudden, and Harold was surprised to hear birdsong coming from somewhere nearby. They were here, then – wherever 'here' was.

The back doors of the truck were opened and the occupants got out. Wherever here was, it was certainly nice. A long curving gravel drive wound its way up from the main road through a grove of scented orange trees. In front of a large house, fountains played noisily up and down in a large shallow pool the size of a small lake. The house itself looked like one of those experimental projects that architects like to feature in their portfolios to impress rich clients – it was a bold statement in wedding-cake pink stucco. Here and there, circular windows had been dotted, seemingly at random, giving the whole thing a curious Swiss cheese look. As he was marched up the gleaming white marble steps leading to the house's huge front doors, Harold could not help but think that there were worse places to end one's days – if it came to that..


Teatime worked on the delicate operation of freeing the stupid human OGS leader with as much speed and as little blood-loss as possible. Once or twice, he had to control a sudden desire to bite the man's hand – the old un-reconstructed monkey in him coming out, no doubt. He hated being this close to humans, they smelled horrid and had big, frightening hands that could grab and hold onto a little monkey like him and do whatever horrible pointless experiments they wanted - and had done just that in the past.

Finally the last bit of plastic parted and the job was done. Mercury briefly rubbed his wrists where the cable-tie had dug into his skin, thanked Teatime, and went into the kitchen to find some scissors or a knife to free the others.

Teatime looked up to see the other agents looking at him with a quizzical expression.

"What's the matter?" he asked. "Have I got something in my teeth?"

"Oh, nothing, "said Prada, "We just didn't realise monkeys could growl, that's all."


The interior of the house was cool, pale and fashionably minimalist in decor. The tasteful monotony of cream walls and blond wood floor was relieved here and there by vividly–coloured abstract paintings. To Harold's untrained eye they looked more like the frantic daubings of a chimpanzee than the subtle expression of some deep artistic truth, but then Harold would be the first to admit that his knowledge of painting was marginal at best.

'Jeff' the fake UPS worker, knocked politely on one of the pale wooden doors leading off the hallway, then opened it to allow Harold and the other UPS guy to enter.

Whatever Harold, in his current, rather paranoid state had been expecting, it certainly wasn't the sight of an african-american man-mountain sitting behind a desk, a pair of steel-rimmed spectacles perched with incongruous delicacy on his nose, fingers tapping away on a computer keyboard.

Mr Teeth removed his glasses and used them to point to a chair.

"Siddown," he growled, "You got some explainin' to do."


  1. I feel sad for the last of the Peppers - but I guess it's not a bad way to go, if you don't mind being alone. I, of course, would have to have an internet connection of some sort :)

    I don't know why I didn't expect Mr. Teeth - but it was a surprise to me. BTW - did his name come from having to use the word "teeth" one week? LOL. Loved the unreconstructed monkey bit.

  2. Internet connection. Me too! I would definitely need one.

    Heh, wasn't sure how well - or otherwise - I'd telegraphed that it would be Mr Teeth (the UPS guys being Mr Peck's 'associates'). I don't think Teeth was one of the words, it just seemed like the right name for him for some reason.

  3. Your mini made me sad (well sad-ish). Well done, though. And of course I repeat myself every week about how I love Harold. Curious to know what the mysterious Mr. Teeth wants and who he is.

  4. What was it about this weeks wordzzle were Islands and weddings feature!
    The mini is very reflecive, it is sad, but I liked the ending the feeling that the Island would go back to being just an island.

    Harold as ever brillinat and I certainly was expecting Mr Teeth. The discription of the house was nspired wedding-cake pink stucco. Wonderful

  5. Yeah - the first was sad, but profound. I enjoyed the scene with Teatime the most in the Harold story: "the old un-reconstructed monkey in him coming out, no doubt." - that made me smile

  6. Raven - Mr Teeth is Baron Samedi's right-hand man and believes that Harold had something to do with the fire and the Baron's subsequent disappearance. He first appeared in the second episode.

    Gwei - I really enjoy doing the minis each week becuase I can go wherever I want with them. This week, my brain took me to a widnswept, rather desolate little island... Wedding-cake pink was a gamble for me. I have no colour perception so don't actually know if wedding cakes are ever pink. Mine was white - I tihnk.

    DFTP - I like writing for Teatime and thought it was about time we found out some more about him and how he thinks.

    Thanks for reading and commenting everyone. Feel free to criticise as well, if there's something you don't think is working, please let me know.

  7. Friko - Thanks! Fancy a go? The words are in my post this week :-)


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