Posted tagged ‘Subterraean saga (fin)’

Subterraneons: Chapter 1- Stampede

August 14, 2010

The packed, feathery, skeletal birds cushioned Porter’s fall. In darkness he rubbed his eyes and a vague kind of light gave him sight of his surroundings. With revulsion he eyed the bed of birds. They were picked to the bone and he wondered what fangs had torn and devoured these poor creatures of flight. Standing up, wiping the loose feathers from his trousers and folding his newspaper he saw the source of the light.

Two bright luminous yellow lines lined a path into the horizon. Using the glow from the painted lines Porter opened to the sports section and read the latest Lancashire scorecard and was pleased to see that Tom Smith was having a good knock. He rustled the paper and thought, if this is Hell it’s not as bad as the press make out. Relatively pleased with his lot at this time, from behind him a faint running noise was heard and he feared to turn round. The scurrying and clatter of paws echoed monstrously.

Porter thought it better to leave the birds behind and he headed away from the menace that was not seen. Only the menace was getting louder and approaching. Was this the pigeon predator and now in search of bigger pickings? Porter had no bags but he was a packer in a hurry. Try as he might while dashing along the yellow lined road the scattering footprints were gaining on him. And then he fell.

Suddenly, he was engulfed with a sea of rats. The rodents clamoured over his body burying him in a shroud of brown. Their squeaking and squeals were an orchestra tuning up. One rat faced him eyeball to eyeball and Porter could smell the breath of this Pied Piper plague-carrier.
“Get away from me, you dirty rat.”

Then they got away. They rode over the top of his body with the speed of a chariot of fire. Is this some kind of rat race, thought Porter, as the final rat tripped over his nose. Rising to his feet with his paper in his hand, from the yellow distance where the rats had fled, a zipping noise was heard and Porter was struck by an arrow in the elbow. In not so quick succession another arrow lodged in his heel and he felt an ill at ease. Not helped by the arrival of a man with a bow and arrow set who said.

“Sorry pal, I thought you were a rat. I’m Hawkeye.”

“You could have fooled me.”

“The Ancient One will be glad to meet you. We are always looking for the Others.”

Porter’s immediate reaction was to think of the 1960’s rock band that had a young Brian May in their line-up. To find a copy of their only released single Oh Yeah! would be vinyl heaven. Was Hawkeye searching in this damned underworld for a buried single? Hawkeye brought Porter back to reality.

“There are more of us. We are called The Underdowners.”

* * *

The Subterranean saga has been discontinued. This idea for a long underground series (maybe ten chapters or so) came to me before the Chilean mining incident. Out of respect for the miners I have cancelled the storyline. Porter and his versatile paper were to have been a continuing theme and Porter will be back. On land, next time.

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Subterraneons: Prologue- Dead Martyrs

August 1, 2010

He was taking the high road as he’d done many times before. As middle age had crept in he was straining with every step and wished someone would give him a push. He rounded the twist in the road and saw the pothole. For months on his daily climbs he’d observe this pothole grow wider. Luckily, it was placed a few feet from the kerb and the wheels of cars missed the aperture. As no damage was sustained to the automobiles the crack went unreported.

At last he reached his destination at the brow of the hill. He remembered his grandfather’s disparaging description of sex: all that sweat for a little tingle. Now sweaty and out of breath, he smiled to himself. Hey Pops, I didn’t even get the tingle.

“Good morning, Mister Porter, you’ll be here for your Sunday Times, will you?”

Same old, same old sayings, old George will be talking about the weather next. He agreed with old George there was a nice breeze in the air and bought his newspaper and some gum. The only newsagent for miles and he damn near kills himself every morning because the paperboys are so unreliable in these parts. One of them even made it into The Times when he disappeared while on his bike. Vigilantes staked out the house of a creepy magician and he was forced to do a disappearing act.

The descent is a dangerous undertaking. With all the weight on his heels Porter slowly waddles like a penguin down the slope. He comes to the twisty part of the road. A small girl has wandered out of her garden onto the road and is heading for the pothole as a screeching car chugs up the hill. It is almost upon her. Porter, in haste, drops a section of his newspaper as he scurries for the girl. The car turns the curve as Porter pushes the girl onto the other side of the road. And Porter falls, falls into the black pothole. Falling, falling, lightly, lightly, until he lands on a bed of dead pigeons.