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Book Extract. Gloop by Douglas Pearce

I am never sure whether I should write some sort of accompanying explanation with the extracts I post, here and on my friend, Arkenaten’s blog, who for what ever reason, still allows me to submit stuff. He doesn’t always post what I send but when he does I am grateful.

Much of my  humorous work has familiar themes running through it.  This extract is no exception.

So, without an explanation, I hope you enjoy it.

From the halfway finished third novel in the Mining of Lif series, Gloop

Chapter Six

Because of King Himod’s capricious nature it took the better part of the day to draft the letter. By the time it was handed to the messenger night had fallen and so too the first snow of the season.

Before the messenger had reached his destination it had become a full-blown storm…

It was a foul night, full of foul people, foul deeds, foul weather and a frozen chicken, which was now an ex-fowl.

Moving crab-like against the driving wind and snow, whilst trying to take advantage of the meagre shelter offered by the shop fronts, Anatolius Augurswell made his way along the treacherous, narrow street towards the wan light a hundred yards ahead.

During brief moments when the maelstrom abated, Anatolius was able to scurry from one doorway to the next.

But this respite did little to ease his predicament. As the snow resumed falling like wet, lumpy flour, it hid the black ice underfoot. One wrong step and he was a goner. The blizzard would swallow him as easily as the whale had swallowed (and later voided) the Prophet, Posterior Jobbings.

He had to be very careful. There would be no help should he slip.

Even if the storm had not forced people indoors the streets would have been devoid of normal traffic as today was a religious holiday in Turkeystan. The most holy day of the year, in fact. And tonight was Pas-Ova, the culmination of a week of festivities, where everyone exchanged brightly painted eggs; sometimes the eggs were actually handed over in person.

The festival was symbolic of the years spent wandering in the wilderness….. 

   Legend has it the first tribe to settle Turkeystan had once been slaves, fleeing from some tyrannical Sunniclimes ruler the gods knew how many years ago. They called themselves the Bolt ’n Wanderers.

   Instead of making directly for greener pastures after escaping bondage, they headed out into the desert in an effort to thwart their pursuers.

   They needn’t have worried as no one from Sunniclimes bothered to go after them. It was a case of good riddance to bad rubbish as far as the then King of Sunniclimes was concerned.

   Anyway, from the moment they entered the desert (forever after known as Bad-Judgement Day) their staple diet consisted mostly of quail eggs.

Occasionally, there were a few careless folk who got caught outside during the annual snowstorms. Sometimes they did not make it back inside. Their frozen bodies would fuse to the street like abominable speed-bumps and could only be removed days later, once the big thaw had begun.

He paused to catch his breath, stubbing his foot on an unseen traffic -calming measure.

After a few moments he set off once more.

Eventually, Anatolius reached his destination, a seedy strip-joint known as Gaza’s.

Wrenching open the door he flung himself inside, landing in a heap next to a pile of rapidly thawing…? Oh, crap!

Grimacing, Anatolius immediately shut down the rest of that thought.

He heard a vague wheezing, which sounded almost like a snigger.

Turning his head to his left he came nose to nose with one of several donkeys, tethered inside against the weather.

Still grimacing at the sight and smell of what was less than a foot from his face, he hauled himself upright. Behind him, the door was viciously whipped open by a mini tornado.

‘Hey!’ someone yelled. ‘You might not ‘ave bin born inna bar, but if that door ain’t bleedin closed in two seconds you’re gonna die in one!’

©DSP

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