Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Chapter 21

Chapter Twenty One
This Chapter Is Brought To You By The Letter H

“Friends,” said Bleeekxpritzle to the earthlings. “I give you Gladys Turnkey, Quasi-Glorious Personal Assistant to His Gloriousness The Bean Pheasant. The woman on the floating carpet smiled and nodded. “This is Lady Mimosa; Carrier of the Blessed Fire.” Lady Mimosa nodded solemnly. “Lady Peejchelly; Carrier of The Olde Cheerio And Some Pocket Lint.” Lady Peejchelly had placed the giant lint ball on her head and wreathed it in place with the Olde Cheerio. She bowed deeply upon introduction, holding the Cheerio-lint hat in place with one hand. “Miss Zhadow; Director of Ambient Lighting.” Miss Zhadow smiled and waved. “And of course, Lord Pheltphondle, Director of Very Minor Things Beginning With H.” Lord Pheltphondle who currently wore a ham sandwich on top of his hat, was a firm believer in handshakes (obviously) but the pedestal’s distance could not be bridged by the man’s perfectly ordinary arm, a problem currently at the forefront of everyone’s mind.

“Can you summon a bridge?” Lady Mimosa proposed.

“What kind of bridge begins with H?” said Pheltphondle. None could offer an answer. The director pondered the problem. “Give me some space,” he urged, and all backed away a few paces. “Hedgerow!” he commanded and a great wall of bush suddenly spanned the gap. “Can you crawl across it?”

Pamela chewed a nail. Philbert and Bleeekxpritzle looked concernedly at old Bill Blake with his rollie walker. And then, with a great rustling noise the shrubbery sagged at the middle and then folded, falling into the pit.

“Ack!” cried Pheltphondle. “Helium balloon!” The shrub then returned to the surface in the form of a balloon with dangling string which the lord grabbed hold of. He then contemplated: What could he turn the balloon into that would effectively bridge the gap?

“I mean not to pressure you, my lord,” said Lady Mimosa, “But the sleeping agents will begin wearing off any moment now and the entire crew of this ship will descend upon us.”

“Thank you,” said Pheltphondle. That helps me think more clearly now.”

“I’ve got it!” he said finally. “But it will be very big. So everyone must step far away.” The bepedestalled moved to its far edge. “Now listen,” said Lord Pheltphondle, “The larger the object, the shorter length of time I can keep it incorporated. So the moment it appears, you must run through it to this side just as immediately as ever possible! Do you understand this with perfect clarity?” They all nodded and the Admiral drew old Bill Blake aside to confer with him.

“Ready?” Pheltphondle warned. He then cried his command. The prisoners could scarce believe their ears, nor their eyes.

It was big indeed, easily spanning the gap. The ponderous thing lay mostly on the main floor of Detex One with a minority of square footage resting on the pedestal. The earthlings gawked up at it, stunned. It’s exterior was a patchwork of rotting boards; A semitransparent face glowed ominously from a third-floor window. Flying bats encircled the leaning chimney. The front doors lay tilted open, barely clinging to their hinges. Eerie howls and cackles emanated from somewhere within.

“Are you fucking kidding me!” squealed Mickey.

“Run!” cried Pheltphondle. “RUN!”

 Bleeekxpritzle led the way with Bill Blake Senior riding his shoulders. They crashed through the side door, knocking it off its hinges and onto the floor, taking a myriad of spider webs with it. The interior was dark and dusty.

“Blaccherrschmawzzle!” shouted Bleeekxpritzle. For he was confronted with two sets of stairs; one leading up and one down, and no other options.

“I see this is going to be complicated,” said Blake. The admiral thumped down the lower set of stairs while the others all followed.

“Whoa!” cried Bleeekxpritzle, halting suddenly and throwing wide his arms.

“Oopsy daisy,” said Blake. The others piled into them. Below them yawned the void of the pit.

“Upstairs!” said the admiral. “Hurry now!” They turned about and raced up the canted rotting staircase to the second floor, the piggy-backing alien now in the rear. They fled down a second floor hallway where the doors to black bedrooms lay open, half-demolished or just laying on the floor. A white-sheeted figure leapt from one of the doorways hooting maniacally at them. Pamela and Bunny halted and screamed and were just about trampled from behind. Philbert punched the faceless thing in what might have otherwise been its face, though there is no way we’ll ever know, and the thing fell to the floor and was trampled by the group who were now dragging Bunny and Pamela along.

“Find another staircase!” hollered Bleeekxpritzle.

“Ask and you shall receive!” shouted Philbert. They’d come to what might have been a grand lobby if not for the great sheets of spider webs and for the giant spiders themselves creeping around the walls and ceilings chittering excitedly. Looking over a battered railing they spied the front door leaning open. Dual staircases led down to it. They descended the nearest. At the rear the tubby alien barely kept his feet as half the steps he trod on snapped beneath him.

A terrible cackle filled the dusty air and a woman in black came soaring out of the gloom at the party, riding a broom through the air. Her skin was green, her hat tall and pointed. “I’ll get you, my pretties!” She shrieked. “Aaaaauughh! Curses!” The admiral had flung a tentacle around her broomstick and she lost control, careening face-first into a wall.

They hit the ground floor and raced for the main doors. “I believe we’re still over the pit,” stated old Bill Blake. “Though metaphorically we’re perhaps more so at the bottom of it.” They spilled onto the rickety front porch which hung over the great nothingness, and there they performed the whole pile-up, squeal and reverse deal again.

“This way,” the admiral blurted as he found himself in the lead again. They turned down a hallway to find a giant white mouse in tiny top hat squatting there. He had red eyes and he sniffed the visitors as they slowed before him.

“One of you smells delicious,” said the mouse, and then, “Oh my gourd! You’re Mickey Mouse! May I have your autograph!”

“Next time, home boy!” squeaked Mickey. “Out of the way now!” The white mouse stepped aside and the party barrelled through.

“Follow me!” cried the admiral as he charged through a doorway at the end of the hall. There appeared no way out of this room.  Bleeekxpritzle kept running.

“Excuse me, admiral,” said Mr. Blake. “I say, excuse-” The Admiral hit the wall.

For the most part, as a result, the wall was demolished. The alien stumbled onto the floor of Detex One with Old Bill on his back and Old Bill’s bowler hat lost somewhere behind in the debris, leaving the old guy looking very much like Albert Einstein without it. The others came pouring out after them and with scarce seconds to spare. Before the gang had caught their breath, the giant crumbling structure behind them suddenly vanished, replaced by a wiener in a bun. These, along with the bowler hat, promptly plummeted into the void.

Mickey mouse marched up to Lord Pheltphondle, glaring at him. “A haunted house…! Really!”

“It’s all I could think of on short notice,” stated Lord Pheltphondle.

“How do you go about thinking up haunted house without thinking of simply house! Don’t you think that all might have been significantly less risky without all the ghosts and shit!”

The lord tugged at his collar and cleared his throat. “I was under pressure.”

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