The mouse was still as a cold, white Christmass passed it by with a dribble from the left nostril.
The latest work of Coleen Innf. of The Hut, Browbeaton on the Wold, Silver Hampton Jr., Ghent
was in the hand of a cat.
Dangerous at least: but more so because this cat was....Roger!
Yes. It was he who was him, come back.
Roger, having fought his way back from the Planet Gooshdiggfreel
with only a small unripe tomato and tight fitting patent leather shoes,
killed most of Bradford West with a morphing feline flu strain,
battered a Chinaman with a green banana, stole his Wolsley 1800
and drove to Somerset, syphoning petrol in the dark hours along the way.
Arriving at 6.30am on a frosty Tuesday morning 6 years later at the Pickled Mongoose Bar and Bistro,
he forced his way into the closed pub through the throng of all night turtle fondlers.
He enjoyed a good lap dance while inhaling a few gin and tourniquets,
When Roger woke up, he went outside and got his bearings back
from the sod who was stealing the wheels from his stolen car that was stolen in Huddersfield anyway in 1961
for the MIlls and Boon dawn raid bank job heist theft stealing business, one million britisher punds, worth
4 euros and a warm beer in Benidorm.
It was getting late.
Roger took his pre- first printing book post edit sample out of its iron hat,
and in a corner next to the drunken mongoose, made the mistake of opening the cover page...
It was the brail edition.
Again, another failure for the The BOSS in Monoccoco.
He looked around and studied his options.
Seeing nothing of interest except the group of blind Liverpulians who had taped themsleves
to the door of the beer cellar, he had an idea.
Wriggling up between them, he would keep warm until tomorrow, when he was supposed to
deliver the tome to The BOSS in Moronoccoco.
He could catch the 2.16 football special train from Harpnashe to Sooth Hoompton,
and swim the 4,681 miles to France.
All would be very well.
He still had his bus pass in the name of Senior Edwardo Pabtiste, DOB 1892/09/23, height 7 foot 9 inches.
It would work if he used his special powers of post-menapasual distraction and used tissues.
One of the group of blind Liverpudlians whom he was now stuck well in the middle of, accidentally touched the front cover of the written work.
AH! he yelled out, frightening the hell out of everyone and making the landlord get his shotgun down and lock his shorts in the pantry,
while the local slightly bent of vertical police sergent, Lewellyn Penrith Myuinithian,
watched out the back door for his straight constable to start his early morning shift.
You got a book there. I can read braile you know.
Sheeet. It was over. He was a had man.
Sergent Lewellyn turned round and glared into the tight small crowd.
what book is that, he asked.
It says... the man said, feeling the title on the front cover a second time to be sure....
It says ...and let forth a huge sneeze as the sergent had left the back door open and the draft coming in was as cold as a freezer with an attitude
to keep the dead fresh without electricity.
Tissue? offered Roger...
ah. thanks. the Liverpudlian said, religiously, not noticing that is was second hand.
The sound of a bicycle bell in the car park made everyone freeze.
They all knew it was Constable Jones, cousin of Corporal Jones from Dad's Army, but really;
and the most vindictive bastard in a uniform this side of Nottingham.
Probably, the Sergent once mused, because he came from Strood, and had a chip on or in his shoulder,
which he took out and polished in public places, and thus frightened the children
but interested some old ladies.
It was OK.
Roger used the distraction to get out and away, and got his train on time.
Without further incident, the volume was delivered after only 21 years to The BOSS in Moonoccocoon.
Roger was paid the handsome sum of shite all, half a packet of Minto's,
a salty version of Vogue Magazine Decemeber 1946 edition, featuring Catherine De Villnerve's mother, Thrush,
in a full length ball gown grown from crimson Turkish party onions,
and had his bus pass extended another 3 years.
All was well, and Roger took a minute as he planned his next sinister adventure,
having evilly copied the entire master work into Icelandic, and found out the title in Yiddish
The Serious Autistic Flannel Linving in a Leather Briefcase, Cloverleaf Cover,
with real fake yellow silk lining.

Fantastic. But pointless with bonemeal added for flavour.

Nice. Very Nice.



It was November, 1978. The clan had gathered in the frozen hills of Damned Its Freeking Culd Doon Hear Mun, for the Men's Troon annual bare bottom speckled nut roast. There was much joy and feasting on neighbour's pinched poultry.
Roger, not competing this year due to stated excuses of utter boredom and destitution, watched, paws crossed, from a bench in a smaller snow drift, next to a recently frozen yak.
Delilah, the marmoset with the longest known tail in existence except for a lot of others North of Bexley , sat by his side laughing as she had mistakenly drunk too much of the hot toddies that were all alcoholic even though the big bowl was marked 'VEGANS GO HOME' in Aramaic.

She was his best catch to date, swapped in Edinburgh Market before dawn one hatting day the year before for a resprayed blue Cauliflower ( fresh), green budgie in canary yellow (live), pound of lard, promissory coupon for two bars of soap from M&S (fake), and a signed full colour polaroid of Ted, the armadillo who famously won the 1967 badger fretting contest in Surrey against the Russian favourite, Serge, the fin back dolphin.
She was doing her best to judge arse hairiness before it all singed off with the heat from the open fires.
That one, she yelled, pointing and nudging Roger painfully in the whiskers with her elbow. Violently.
No- that one. Yea that one. Definitely the hairiest, she corrected with some level of gleeful finality.

Roger's whiskers could take no more. He stood up, was blasted by the icy Southerly gale over the glen straight onto his nose, which took offence and frosted over. He sat down quickly and reconsidered his options, while stuffing his nose into Delilah's armpit.

OI, she shouted, swatting his ear with her tail. That's bloody cold that is.
Yes it was, he said, taking his nose away, steaming, and feeling his sore pinged ear with his left paw.

Tell me, said Roger, gathering his wits about him as best he could for a Monday; is it right that the prize for the winner is that-, he added, pointing.

Yeah, said Delilah, Yeah. The Goose's golden ear muff on the stand under glass on the podium, next to the two oxen with Uzi 9mm's.

Ah. Right, said Roger, thinking mistakenly that they were Glocks.
Suddenly, Roger stood up and started to run up and down in front of Delilah, laughing and taunting her. He picked up some snow, made a ball and shoved it in her face, turned and legged it down the glen in the direction of the podium.
You shitter, yelled Delilah, dropping her empty cup and scooping a snowball and throwing it after Roger in one smooth action a baseball coach would have been proud of seeing, which landed very well square on the back of his neck with a heavy thunk.
Ah, he felt, yelling, you wont catch me, as he rolled, made another ball of snow and blatted Delilah in her left eye with it, standing and continuing his course.
She went after him and slipped a bit on the crystal snow with her second missile, which hit the end nut roaster neatly between his cheeks, on which he let out a roar and cried, FOUL.
One child pointed to Delilah and told him, She did it.

That was all that was needed to erupt the whole glen into a free for all snow balling contest, which was exactly what Roger had planned...
He stopped below the podium and the two oxen, and threw several snow balls at various folk in quick succession. They all retaliated; some of them hitting the oxen.
You don't snowball oxen. Elks maybe; but not oxen. There is no living record of anyone surviving such an event.
It was like starting the engines on a pair of idling tanks, putting them into gear and moving them with the same degree of accelerating inevitability of colliding asteroids.
The oxen charged into the throng, horning folks left and right, later saying ( in their defense of security issues) it was to restore order to the panicked crowd. Roger seized the moment and the golden ear muffs, waved a quick eye to eye understanding to a mouth dropped Delilah, climbed out the opposite side of the glen, up the slippery goat path and out through the frosted bracken.
He was clean away.
He met up with Delilah the very same night at home; a new burrow in Glenn Godalmightythisisshite, and they celebrated his devilish antics with a shared glass of warm water in a bubble gum bath.
12 years later in Sluff, (Slough, sorry), he exchanged the melted golden ear muffs for a years' subscription of Happy Thrombosis Monthly, a gallon of smelly mead and a pair of used sneakers from the collection of Wayne Dexter, minus original laces.
It was a good day/month/year/decade etc.

More from Roger next time, in


When Roger flies, Delilah meditates, and both read the Washington Post funnies section.


Roger the cat woke early one cold January morning in 2024, and rose to the mist of floating plastic particles on the morning breeze. It was creeping up to dawn as he peeked through the dusty curtains on the side of his cardboard box. The sight of Basingstoke fighting to wake up was a call to make a really hot Nescafe with one extra sugar. His left ear twitched and realigned its furry hairs as he studied his snarl in the small flake of mirror where there would be a bathroom one day.
He arched his back and flicked his winsome tail while sinking his front claws into some spare flesh that was lying about as if put there with planned deliberation.
He was peeking out when Delilah stuck the sharp end of her tail in his right eye.
You remember what today is, she monotoned, still in her sleep.
ahh. of course I do, replied Roger gurgling through his morning flem, wondering if it was still a Monday or not.
then he caught up, and his slow mind gently drifted into the thought that maybe this was some hint.
bugger. now he would have to switch on and not only think of breakfast.
oh the effort. the effort...was it worth it to succeed or suffer the outcome of failure...?
Failure was Roger's surname. Yes, it would work. He would fail quickly with huge success, renown even; and then get back to breakfast.
Much more important.
ahh...ohh...ahh, he said carefully as if he meant it.
not a whisper from muddled figure came in return.
oh bloody hell, knew Roger. This was a silence of the beef's.
whatever it was, it was really really really.
he sat down. Basingstoke wind farms were NOT helping his problem. This was an issue of just being alive.
an existential conundrum of core being that could not be replaced with a hot meal in any vocabulary.
it meant something...
ok, so. Roger went through some permutations.
The ear piercing was not until next Thursday.
The authorities were leaving him be as they were confused by his last karaoke rendition of I Love Lucy in 4 rainbow rubber kaleidoscope boots and were in process of finding their brains, which were currently on holiday in Portugal.
The lottery ticket was coming along nicely and he was already at the two pennies mark for the purchase price; no problem there then...
oh holy of unholies. it couldnt be...could it? a WOMANS DAY THING?
oh the mental anguish and torture..let me see, Roger said to himself.
Birthdays. Anniversaries. Breast job loan repayments...come on cat, think; think.
Then Roger's whole being paled into a pointy wedge hatchet sort of realization.
Today was 3 promise day.
He had agreed to sand corridors for Marmalade and was actually looking forwards to the fun of it, while stating to an unbelieving Delilah, that yes, he would definitely do it, she would see he did and eat her words too.
He recalled how she had tickled him under the chin and given a little dubious laugh, in just the right way to goad his promises at the time.
Mental note; marmosets are highly manipulative creatures and never to be trusted with your measliest peanut.
It was too early to run away to Sicily for the linguine season
and the pleasures of Basingstoke could not so easily be sacrificed.
He opened the flap of the cardboard box with a junior whisker and sat on the concrete paving slab, watching the dawn greet him with the same hope and vim of a 90 year old 40 a day-er.
The slab was strangely 8 degrees off flat in 2 different directions; a revolution in training for sea sickness and real estate bravado.
The flap was kicked in a jerk action by sleeping Delilah that caught Roger right on his main whisker, and woke him up- as intended.
It was ALSO the evening of Delilah's Uncle's Dog's Mother's Cousin-Rachel's youngest daughter's wedding cake leftovers cutting.
A huge event with free food and drinks not to be missed.
Yes; Roger could do it, he smiled, finally feeling release from having to think.
No stopping off for a swifty on the way home today then.
No checking the tallow levels in the drains after dinner time then.
No; this was a composite lard event with meat slices at 20 paces.
It HAD to be done, Delilah was right. If only Roger could remember to remember.
He stapled a postit note to his left breast pocket next to the others and finishing his coffee, completely forgot about breakfast and sidled off down the street lifting bin lids and feeling black bags for interesting contents, while sort of heading off to work...


Roger was driving at dangerous speed through the streets of Swansea.
It was icy as a chill wind played about his puce cardigan
billowing out his wool scarf with the friction of the Golden Hind tacking in a Tempest.
So fast he was going, he was catching up on the milkman
in his delivery float as it skidded past the new EU grant-paid=for bull strutting factory.
These were well dodgy times.
How fast can an intelligent cat go
on a 23 year old mini-bicycle with wood stick handlebars, no brakes and sold rubber tyres?
It was heaven when he stopped in Father Cutherbert O'reilly's front hedge, half way up, with his
whiskers centimeters away from the spider's nest tucked well inside.
The good Father came out waving his fist and shouting.
He was good at shouting. No one understood what about.
Probably because his breakfast was disturbed; he was wearing an egg stained grey neck cover
with "I am up for it" clearly visible in a bright blue smile.

Avoiding the spiders nest with some success, Roger extricated his head from the hedge
and felt he could still get to the milk float despite the delay,
if only he could walk fast enough without slipping over several times
on the taxes-paid pavement between the mole holes.

That bottle of milk would he his; HIS.
ahaha. hahaha uhaha ha ha ha.
Roger put his claws out. It was time to get serious.
he lolloped along the pavement leaving the good Father slipping over in his driveway
in the early morning streetlight and sunlight mix
all taxes paid for.

Passing the Reliant Robin (parked-with wheels) at speed he spun to the left
and caught Mrs Robinson a good accidental uppercut in balance
that upset her concentration to the point she completely forgot The Student
and went to buy dog food and sliced white bread from the corner instead.

Suddenly, as his paw was almost in gripping reach of a pinta,
a most disturbing portal opened over the right tail light of the milk float
engineered by Ferarrri Buses of Reading,
cost 2 million euros each with free milk for 6 months and one strawberry yogurt.
Damn these cheap foreign milk floats, thought Roger,
as he was sucked into another dimension at shoulder height.

The scene dissolved into a brown paper bag of jelly babes from Woolworths.
Then it changed into a really angry King Edward potato. A big one.
Then it was Tuesday again in Herzegovina.
bloody foreign milk float, yelled Roger, which came back in an immediate echo as
bollocks to you too.
Morphing on;

Passing in and out of the dairy aisle in Tesco's and srangely then sliding through Asda as well
in a nanosecond
Roger landed on the West Bromwench roundabout outside Castleford in 2011.
He checked his Swiss paint-on watch.
It was two freckles slow against the town hall clock.
Blast. He would have to wait for the 4.16 bus
which was always slow because it was the weekly old ladies baggy day
at the legionnaires over 90's fork pea stabbing owners association.
You had to know these things, said Roger to the brick wall
as he picked up the dog license renewal application from the library entrance.
Moving on,

Turning into Goode St., he fell down a pothole reserved for sailors,
and landed back at his kitchen table
just as Delilah was serving the buttered toast and black tea,
wheres the milk then, she scowled as he sat heavily in the chair.
The frost still melting from his eyebrows,
he put a pint of milk on the table, still half full
courtesy of Asda, Roger said, fresh 2 days ago.

Delilah smiled.
These portals are getting better. The last one put you through Alaska not Asda.

Yes, said Roger, wondering if it was safe to aquaplane in public.



There was a time, Roger thought, snipping the tail off a mouse he was crunching as cats often do, that surprises came at birthdays and Christmas.
Two mice in one day; a windfall. Good luck. Timing. The new recycling plant up the street...?
Roger hung the tail next to his collection on the wall of his cardboard box, and noted its length was a little beyond medium compared to the rest.
Delilah was chewing happily on a limp head of celery and was only able to go MMM,
wide eyed in Roger's direction when a raindrop fell through the hole in the roof onto the floor. Again, she pointed, MMM.
They studied each other for a moment, flicked tails, and then looked at where the drop had fallen.
Roger eached out the window and took in a yogurt carton with a little rain in the bottom, which he set on top of the wet patch on the floor.
I'll get a fresh one later for collecting drinking water dont worry, he told Delilah, polishing his whiskers.
MMM, she said.
Looking out of the door, he noticed the darkening skies boding the arrival of heavier rain, and decided to go out now before the day was done.
MMM, he turned and said to Delilah, who, having finished her celery, said, what are you on about - MMM?
Oh. I thought it was the word of the day..., said Roger.
Delilah picked up an old carrot and continued her meal...MMM, she said.
MMM, MMM, Delilah said, waving Roger to go out and do his stuff before the weather got too bad to go out and do anything, and indicating she was seriously busy for the time being.
MMM, said Roger.
Glad to be outside and ambling towards the new recycling centre, Roger proficiently maintained his stealth tactics as he went by this and that, checking his marks for any changes in scent or moved objects...
Eventually, he flipped into the place where he knew the sideways people stored bags and bags for plastic, queued up for the machines to be recycled.
He wondered if bicycles ever rebicycled.

Was cycling recycling if you did it more than once? What happens a third time? Was recycling an up or down in other dimensions?
Ah; the endless echos of recriminations outside contextual relevence, he mused...
Why shouldnt electrons all come from one spot if they were tail chasing circles in a cold void? What was the problem with slow energy making time happen anyway, if frequency was not parallel, but consequential? Frequency has no mass; unlike a mouse, which has mass, but is not a mouse after its in my tummy. Or is it...
MMM he found himself saying. People were dense, it was true. The outside was inside too, so thats how it was connected, where time is irrelevant, and its impossible to get a good cup of tea, unless Mozart is playing near a black hole, and this bloody rain lets up.
Getting back to business in hand:-

Slicing a bag open with a claw, he selected a washed clean container and was about to leave when he noticed that the sideways people were gathered around in a circle by the corner of the building. The circle moved outwards of a sudden, and it became clear that there was a fist fight going on in the middle.
He jumped up onto the top of the stacks of bags, sat down, and took in the spectacle. One man was beating the crud out of another. Slowly and deliberately.
Spock would have lifted an eyebrow.
Gravitating in his direction slowly with each punch, Roger mentally put money on the one pushing the throng with each connecting fist.
Then, with one final uppercut, the loser ended it going through the rowdy yelling bunch of spectators and ending in the lower stacks of bags.
It was over.
The winner, blood dripping from the cuts to his forehead, took the wallet of his opponent, empited the cash and slurred the words, thats for getting me to invest in Bitcoin, and I want the rest by next week.
Bitcoin, mulled Roger, glad he did not know about that, sounded like a bird brained name if ever he heard one; and a bird in the mouth is worth two in the trees.
Roger paused at the gate and looked back. The sideways people were talking about quantum mechanics and zero point energy, he overheard them arguing.
Glory be, he froze. There was a movement out of the corner of his eye by the wall. While he was watching what was obviously the tip of a cautious mouses nose checking if the way was clear, the conversation in the background went on loudly about digital compliance and AI. Something about micro softing the clouds, which would be a good idea with this weather.
Roger pounced at the startled mouse who had stuck his head out between two bricks to look round, and caught his prey by the neck. Fine day, he thought, dealing with it, and putting it in his backback next to the carton.
Picking up a half pound of date expired broccoli from a bag or garbage in another queue for the recycling he sliced open without anyone seeing, he headed home as it was starting to pelt it down.
Shortly, he was back in his luxury cardboard box, cozy with his old candle lit and skies outside angry. Delilah was happy with the gift of her extended meal.
MMM, she said, meaning fully, as she munched, and Roger crunched some larger bones.
Do you know what a Bitcoin is, he asked Delilah, when he finished?
MMM MMM, she said.
It makes sideways people fight, anyway. Interesting.
MMM, she responded, not giving a toss, and wrapping her tail around the warm candle.



Sometimes a cat has to draw a line in the snow and balance on one leg while yowling "Oh come all ye faithfull" backwards in a dress borrowed from Gloria Estefan without her knowing, and make a good job of it.
Mainly when told to by the BOSS from Moonococoon. With a 00.38 revolver aiming at his nethers. And drunk.
Seasonally speaking as one elk to a another reindeer,, a bit of pillage was usually welcomed deep in the sub arctic Winters just to break the intense boredom and smell something other than horse glue and dripping sandwiches, even if they stole that book on Hegelian philosophy that you were saving for a bright future just before Spring thaw, written by McTaggert, who keeps telling me there has been a murder at Stirling Green, when I know for a fact that Rosencranz rightly had nettleship Gildenstern for lunch and voted Vegan.
So in walks Lamborgini in a cream tuxedo stuffed with lemons he vaporized from his sister's trolley during a nocturnal damask into Waitrose, and rouge bow tie, white shirt, black leggings that would stand better on a goose, and shoes designed by the Aunt of Colonel Lethbridge Stewart from episode 216 of Dr Went; the one with roughly designed feet and a slight limp off camera.
MM-MM-MM, said the BOSS, meaning something else entirely, knowing it and not caring in the way that bosses dont.

Roger took the hint just in case it meant stop, and stopped as he fell down dizzy and not at all happy about anything.

Mr Lamborgini dropped an envelope into the BOSSes free hand he was holding up to look his best as Marmalade Major in Apocalypse Every Day, and exited stage left hooting after a rare iguana he thought he saw tailing it round a corner, that owed him three dollars and 56 cents since last Sunday at the quarterly owl refeatherment union meeting of munsters and long racing gibbons.

You know, thought Roger, the sky with all its grey packed snow cloud looks quite nice now I get to see it from here after all., looking up at it from the hole in the drift he had spun for himself.

MM, said the BOSS. Ah, thought Roger, a second time, wondering if 2 thoughts were better than one or even heading towards dangerous overload. He noticed the BOSS was looking at the writing on the page of the note that was in the envelope he had torn open with his teeth, and there are some as would call such reading, and some as would call it looking intensely at the pretty patterns on display on the page, and thinking they were reading, when in fact, they had the intellectual capacity of a zebra tail and continued to look until someone asked what they were doing.
What's it say? Asked Roger after some time and as he knew the need to end the moment and get on.
MM, said the BOSS meaningfully. MM, again, and sighed, putting the paper down on the table next to the 00.38 as well, sitting on the chair and cupping his knees with small lumps of mercuric phosphorous he had been playing with to burn little welts of skin off a local councilor for an hour just before Roger had walked in and distracted him.
Oh, I see what you mean, nodded Roger knowingly and managed a few steps towards the doorway where Mr Lamborgini had made his grand exit.
Has this got anything to do with the roof not being on your house at the moment? Roger offered what he considered was potentially a reasonable explanation, with the levels of snow inside, Norway having a justifiable reputation for cold and snow these days, which was very far from being correct, and only ended in the BOSS shooting at his feet until he ran out of bullets, and muttering, MM.
He removed the dress he had been wearing and hung it back with the rest next to the door.
Yes as I was saying, the best offer i could get for the dress was a swap for 26 sets of stage traffic lights that only changed in tune with JETS from West Side Story, in Russian, and the amber is broken. In all of them, plus a Chinese rice fettler used sometime on the Great Wall of Bejing, and a DVD of Clyde the orangutan from that movie with Clit Eastwooden, My Truck Driving Program for Beginners.

MM, said the BOSS, and showed Roger that the letter had words all over the page, written in blue ball pen by hand by stuffing it in his face.

Upside down and askew, Roger read the first word - DEAR- it said, and then, rather awkwardly, they were sat in deck chairs on a hot beach in the Galapagos Islands at around 2pm under a palm tree next to a small table with some very attractive iced drinks on it and an angry turtle paddling its back legs over a hillock of sand that it was busy making with its back legs/flippers.

Bloody astral vortexes, thought Roger, taking as much of the pina colada in front of him as he could in one gulp before they traveled again, and brushing some snow off his shoes.



It was a personal message from Bunty. To the BOSS. I mean, it must have been. He was reading it and it had been delivered ipso facto by Mr Lamborgini in full fine regalia. Who else would organise such a thing, and who else was Bunty anyway?

Still, mystery solved, as Roger finished his drink and swapped it for the BOSS's long island iced tea while he was in a dull fudge and didnt notice.

MM, said the BOSS, who dropped the note into the sandy hillock the turtle was engineering and did notice the drink swap but was too deeply removed to deal with at the time. Who was this Winstion Churchill? Was that the boy he had seen once plucking his eyebrows with a hedge trimmer?

This was the end. And it was.


Deep in the land of the Dusty and Miserable some have referred to as Mea Ricka, You Pay Now
where all girls are named Isabella but called Fufu,
and all boys are named but not known,
Roger was standing with his back to the afternoon sun
wearing a plastic yellow poncho and old wooden stetson with grill marks.

About 300 feet away was his mortal enemy, Dipshot Diarriha, the most dangerous dog this side of
Sluff, with more than 10 teeth, all his own and real; and a borrowed very nasty unripe banana from Hula Hula Englesias.
Or was it 3 feet...anyway,
He glared at Roger angrily, and made sounds that might have been growls or just difficult breathing- hard to say which.
They faced each other in the centre of the empty street, the wind making dust swirls that got in their hair, eyes and up their noses;
and made Roger want to sneeze more than once- but no.
Roger knew if he lost his focus on his enemy,
that would be it.
He was tougher than that.
Oh yes, far, far stronger than needing to sneeze when nasally challenged,
Roger ground his mind
how he was a tough guy
one of the few
a survivor
a real hard nut
and then sneezed,
just as Dipshot Diarriha did the same.

Huh? This was his chance.
This was what Roger had been waiting for- a momentary drop in concentration
by his opponent and - FOOOSH- in with his own very sharp and dangerous green banana, without mercy.

His hand curled round and in a flash so fast you couldn't see it,
he pulled out his lethal tool, and shoved it into Dipshot Diarriha's nose, right up it inside.
cursed Dipshot, losing his grip on his lifting green banana that got thrown to the side.
Curse you Roger you alien space craft turkey thief
he shouted as he fell backwards into a muddy puddle with a thumping splash
that almost got Roger's tufty bipolar trainers from 1998, Baklava season harvesters,
forty six best Moldovan shillings for 2 left ones and a promise to deliver a right one before next week.
Damn you and your cunning ideas to bypass my BOSS with your under ground candle wax coated bars of chocolate,
he said
as he lay back splashing like he was drowning in the muddy puddle.

Well that was new and quite a good idea, thought Roger, wondering who Dipshot was taking about.
Putting the idea to one side for the moment as it seemed out of place,
Roger leaned over Dipshot with his fat hard green banana fearlessly plugged up his left nostril.
AAArgh, yowled Dipshot, in savage pain.

You, shouted Roger, who did not frequently shout, except when being refused a really fresh hand puppet
for practical juggling purposes to avoid traffic and appear smooth in public;
You, he repeated for effect, in case the first one was left isolated and surprised,
are in for it now.
Oh, he liked the Grrr.
That was really good; and shoved the banana all the harder, making his arm hurt
and think about what might be for dinner.

Dipshot thrashed about in the horrid filthy puddle, flailing his arms around wildly and yowling some more.
Unluckily, one of his more springy arm thrashes flicked his disposed banana high into the air
where it flew at least oh, this far or more, and landed squarely
on the ear
of a resting ox
who had been watching the free show Roger was performing with such gusto
but then fell asleep when he felt it was time
to fall asleep regardless of how many bananas
were going up noses or into puddles or whatever.
Oxen are independent, apart from being the most dangerous animals ever made
from syrup and thin bits of cardboard box,
hence the name- ox.
Follows logically, right?

One thing you never do
is flick the ear
of a sleeping ox---
specially with a banana.
A hard, green one.
Specially with one of those.
Oh no.

By the time the eyelid of the ox's left eye was fully open,
his eye was in perfect line with Roger's whiskers.
He was already a third of the distance closer to Roger by then too,
which was oh- at least - this far. Or more.
Roger recognised the need to make a speedy retreat and disappear,
so withdrawing his deadly implement from Dipshot's left nostril- much to his relief-
Roger legged it before the ox could arrive and bunt his lithe, healthy, well appointed physique
with one of those radishing 2000 kilo horns
into the back end of next week;
even if that meant he could pick up is right trainer then.

Grabbing onto a parked horse with no tail lights, Roger launched himself onto the roof of
the Gobby Grizzler Breakfast and All day Egg Yolker, up, over and down the far side
while the ox stepped on Dipshot's head, which turned out to end with some improvement to his looks,
moved the horse 3 light years to the side,
and entered the Gobby Grizzler through the wall, as most ox's do due to their lack of good upbringing
and learning how to use doors properly in respectable society.

Leaving through the back wall, the ox was wearing a fashionable elder sheep with full dyed blue and purple fleece
with fleas and a crimped stamps for taxes paid to 2019, free parking in Wallmart/ Asda after 6pm, on one horn,
and a familiar and well respected portrait of Randolph Scott in summer camping gear with pipe on Stardust, on the other horn.

By then Roger was away, in Rotherham,
wetting jaffy cakes for the over 50's at the mid life crisies' donkey befriending knockout contest,
seven dollars and a clean spoon to enter; half price after 4pm.
He had used his new folding Fierey Travel portal, good for those urgent moments,
but heavy to carry in the pocket, twists and folds into a paper cup
that weighs in the same as Mike Tysonmon's ego.
More- he had in his poncho, the Golden Nose Stud of Dipshot,
that he had wrenched free during one of his worse yowels.

That would be the last he would be seeing of Dipshot for a while.
Without his golden nose stud,
he would be banished
to polluting sandcastles in Sudbury On Thames
until the next summer season international arthritis upstaging which the Germans always win
as they learned how to complain without ever getting to the verbs.
It was a good day all told.



One Winter morning that was a bit more unpleasant than the rest,
Delilah and Roger were in the beer garden of the Pumice Stone Thrower’s
Counting atoms in a blade of grass with an electron microscope borrowed from a distant mountain top observatory in Chile.
As microscopes go, it was a bit on the big side, and fellow imbibers were complaining to the landlord who couldn’t hear anything as he was listening to ZZ Top through earplugs and charging for ten beers at every two sold as that price was all he had written on his shirt cuff that morning. The best part about this strategy in general, is that it allows the seller not to care at all, be entirely unaffected by the most severe complaints, and the head banging gives a 50-50 chance of missing connecting fists to the face.
On the whole over the years, it worked very well; and the place was popular with the under 12’s and high court judges.

Complaints about electron microscopes, when the offending item was pointed out as his head rotated by burly pairs of firm hands in that direction by those more serious complainants, and then had his gaze shifted to the overheated plugs in the power sockets steaming gently
with that vague smell of simmering plastic popular in modern cars, was another agenda altogether
not scheduled for his menu that year, which was after all, well known as not the best in living memory until next week.
So, his attention having been grasped, and his attitude in response being one of less than contrite understanding and approval,
he pulled the plugs with one hand, and picked up his reproduction Viking axe with the other.

Roger was not happy at that moment the little screens went blank,
and he was left with Delilah telling him she thought it might be a good idea if they left now.
Really, now as in now now NOW.
She said, doubling in loudness with every now.

He had got up to quite a high number that he had narrowed down very well, and was somewhere between several atoms and a very lot indeed.
A bit like the tax accountant making his annual returns for Goggles while playing pin the tail on the donkey.
Another four hours of counting atoms or so and several beers later would have got him sorted out nicely.
But now, that was not likely to end well, and did end with Delilah curling her tail around his neck and yanking him over the wall
into the back gardens of the row of houses next to the pub, in one smooth and well executed action
that deserved the attention of the Olympic Contenders Applications Committee for a sport not quite considered but definitely worthy for inclusion over and above renal acupuncture.
He landed on the roof of a cheap shed in the next door back garden,
with a bouncy thin roof, next to Delilah and a surprised squirrel with a mouthful of bird peanuts
and an immediate defensive frown working its way down from his eyebrows slowly over coming his shocked eyes
and ending at his quite sharp looking front paw claws, with a paw gesture that spelled

Stuff you, pal

In most unspoken languages universally.

I would have won the bet. I nearly had it, and you were way off the real count at your best guess for the number of atoms to the nearest billion,

said Roger as Delilah’s tail uncurled from around his neck, the moment of danger she judged to have passed.


chuffed Delilah in response with some certainty as she slapped the squirrel on his back and caught the ejected nuts neatly in her mouth and swallowed,
adding ( as marmosets can add very well),

Your maths is as good as a wet bag of used sandpaper on a recently submerged atoll.


replied Roger, standing up, grabbing the squirrel by the tail and swinging him round so his front claws grabbed onto the bird feeder full of nuts,
then flicking it so it came up from its hook and crossed the small gap to land, squirrel and nut feast into each of his front paws.
He finished the drama with a small bow and light single eyebrow lift to Delilah,
who blew her cheeks and flatted her eyebrows to this challenge she considered,
in direct replacement to the abandoned bet on atomic quantity in that blade of grass.

So it’s a philosophical conclusion now is it that’s going to slap this on the table then?

She yelled as she jumped into a dead looking apple tree near the shed roof, throwing an icicle at Roger’s head,
which he ducked, and so went on past him,
over the fence, and to splash innocently into a warm beer being shared by a pair of Laplanders with a straw each
visiting the pub garden from Norway for the pre-ice fare in Fleet Street ( the one where people are only allowed to communicate
using text over mobile phones and never actually speak for any reason including live volcanic activity, tsunami, being run over by a bus,
or the value of Bitcon as decided twice a day by any random taxi driver).
Roger threw the squirrel, who by now was as angry as a squirrel gets in Winter just having had his stolen nuts stolen
and being used as an average implement in a moderate nut heist, at Delilah, which managed to land four square on her head facing the front.

Oh, said Roger, you look just like Wild Bill Hiccup with his fur hat on. Very seasonal and warm for this time of year, too.

Neither Delilah or the squirrel, who was decently parented a good name but no one had as yet the simple good breeding to inquire of it,
were in the least amused by Roger’s sarcastic charm, both deciding instead to opt for the more robust action
of throwing as many plucked icicles at Roger as they could break off the apple tree branches and aim with any degree of scope at his head.

Ah, said Roger, munching on nuts and
Oh, he said and
Well I…, adding further as he jinked, dodged and ducked and was doing Ok
until he slipped and fell down the other side of the shed roof and through the glass skylight inside, still holding and munching on nuts.

The Laplanders in the pub, having been barraged by more flying ice that turned their warm beer cold,
furiously demanded their money back of the landlord on the very legal basis that their order consisted of warm beer only.
The smiling landlord, who as all landlords do, are always smiling even when not smiling,
as their faces grew that way when they firstly discovered they were to become landlords of pubs with free beer for life,
smiled and nodded at the Laplanders, catching a passing icicle in one hand,
and placing into their warm beer with the other in what he considered
was a gracious act of international beverage association fourteenth page newsworthiness,
and in their shock and outrage distraction, stole their Trezors and emptied their ewallets
through the usb port he had hardwired and replaced where his naval used to be before the Age of Snowflakes.

Roger could hear Delilah cursing at him along with the squeaking squirrel through the broken glass rooflight,
as he made sense of his intimate surroundings.
MM-MMM-MM, said the BOSS from a wing back Chesterfield red leather armchair by the blazing open fire which seemed to take up most of the internal space.

Hello, proclaimed Roger, rather surprised to meet his BOSS in a back garden shed in Hackney.

Yes, I will pay for the damages to the roof, obviously it was an accident, you know,
Roger said to the BOSS in reply.

An icicle came in through the rooflight, bounced off the wooden wall and landed in the steaming fresh espresso of the BOSS,
much to his annoyance, so that his ears began to steam and his eyes bulged and glazed over reddish yellow.

MM-MMM-MM-MM-M, shouted the BOSS at Roger and lifted a Fiery Travel portal up,
so the next instant everyone for 50 yards around was delivered to the inside of a huge ice castle in Norway
with a centre piece beautiful nude ice carving of Ursula Andress
holding two conch shells and the keys to a perfect vanilla speedboat once owned by Chubby Broccoli-Asparagus she happened to be standing in.

Yes, I see what you mean, said Roger, looking around trying to gather his thoughts and not seeing what the BOSS meant.
Would you like a peanut? He offered the BOSS between munches.

Delilah, still wearing her squirrel who was by now so confused he had given up and was simply going with the flow,
leapt across the cavern to get her icicles back from the pair of now mighty angry Laplanders,
who did not have their own handy travel portals, and had queued for days to get good seats
next to thin mute nuns in economy class flights to get their tourist warm beers,
only to find themselves in the recognized famous ice castle carved by the current boyfriends of both their ex wives.

It may seem incongruous, but ice castles are mostly at 20 degrees below freezing,
and so have long past the ability to develop any icicles; this one being also starkly devoid of any handy throwing devices,
although waited upon by a friendly dolphin running about on a hoverboard taking drinks orders for aperitifs
and providing small ice cups with a blob of ambergris in the bottoms.
Then, just as Roger was hiding from Delilah behind the dolphin and giving his drinks order,
the BOSS flipped him again to the drawing room of Sherlock Holmes in Madam Tussauds.
He shoved an avocado into Roger’s ear, and explained that all fruit from Bavaria must now pay 10% tax to certain carrots from Sicily;
and Roger was to ensure collection under EU directive 477-12 un-elected commissioner’s family and in-laws expenses allowances,
until further notice, and stuck the ice cupped ambergris he was holding into Sherlock Holmes’s nearby pipe.

OK now I understand you, said Roger, flicking a peanut shell onto Dr. Watson’s moustache.

This has to be done every Thursday at Noon, Sydney Opera house time? Roger asked.

MM-MM, said the BOSS, and flipped the Fiery Travel portal so it skipped through the ice palace,
collected Delilah and sent Roger and her to their homely cardboard box in Matlby,
depositing the BOSS in Monococoon outside the casino on the steps of the Royal Hotel just before dinner time.

A fine day I thought, all round,

said Roger,
paws crossed behind his head while he lay on the floor looking up and out through the hole in the roof
while suffering the endowment of a rusty tin pot of toilet waste tipped onto his head,
courtesy of Delilah.


On March 21st every year in Fulton, Arizona, an elected group of carol singers from the 3rd Pentecostal Church of St Romney on the Marsh, formed in 1751 and a full 12 months before modern freemasonry, celebrate the Coming of the Beige Rectangle with carol practice, hot milk, and a picture of what an onion was thought to have looked like before they were known as onions and simply used as an accessory to torture wild ponies to obey their riders by various indelicate means.

This year, it was for Roger a bit on the early side, as he had the day and month right, but was 300 million years too early, which left him standing on a huge fallen tree in a wetland tropical forest smelling a bit like Florida but reminding him of Devon for some reason. He checked his Fiery Travel Portal, and noticed this one the BOSS had lent to him had MADE IN GERMANY proudly written underneath, which meant it would only work between certain hours in certain ways on certain days, in certain conditions. This particular model had quickly become known as the Bolshie, which understated its sanctimony emissions by about 30% to pass the universal theory relativity tests by the National Bonsai Flaming Whittlers Association and Carbonated Water Inaugurators Good Gorilla Parenting Club, US of A, and was in comparison, the most harmfully emissive travel portal yet made, with the finely honed interpersonal skills of a crypto currency community manager.

Arse, shouted Roger to draw a line under the situation.

Now I will have to wait until next Friday at 4pm. That’s 3 days and some hours from here in Santiago, he confirmed reading the Fiery Travel gooey interface.

Oh, great, he added to finish off, considering the complications.

All around were the wild calls and intermittent screams of jungle tree animals and their assortment of prey in yells of pre-digestion.
Roger sat down on a large branch in the mid afternoon sun and noticed that the moon was nearly full and seemed to be a lot closer as it came across the horizon than it had been in Harlow last Tuesday, as he remembered. Typical in these circumstances, the large branch was in fact, an earlier version of a huge resting anaconda who decided it was snack time, and moved with Roger on it, to place its jaws where they would do their best work.

Roger’s cat sense kicked in and he leapt up about 6 feet, catching a low overhanging tree with one set of paw claws, and swinging up in a series of flips into the upper tree branches, out of the way of immediate harm and the attentions of predators. He was hungry and found himself inspecting a type of ripening mango that looked slightly suspicious and tasted of lemon scented cardboard some good distance above the wetlands below. The trees were tall here, Roger noticed, even for a tropical jungle.

There was a wind that picked up from the East, in response to which the entire jungle fauna started to move West through the foliage with wails, calls and screeches with the concentrated intensity of a response to every famous living person being noticed while they arrived at Los Angeles Airport at the same time.
Biting off a long length of vine that he carefully checked was not a snake, Roger made his way back down the tree and lured what was probably an anaconda of some size enough to build a boat with, so he could carry out his next daring plan.
He jumped onto the back of its large head as it lifted it to strike him, and lassoed it with the vine, making a very useful standing saddle, and was securing himself when there came the rising sound of a roar, which seemed to be everywhere.

Just in time, he thought.

The anaconda responded to his pulls left and right, as all anaconda’s do for an average cat, and climbed up the huge tree about 50 feet that Roger had just come down, in less than a minute. Roger looked down, and saw that the water had all but vanishe from the floor of the everglade, and there on the muddy bottom were thousands of trilobites doing their best to stay immersed in pools and puddles.

Ah, said Roger out loud; So this is Devon then. I can program the Fiery now...maybe.

Before he could program another breath, the roar turned into more of a roar and then an even bigger roar, like putting your head into the mouth of a lion while tickling its nether parts with some barbed wire, and very much a similar smell.
Tied safely in a cat knot to the back of the anaconda’s head, he stood it off the tree with its head level facing West, and waited some few moments.

Then the tsunami came, and Roger tugged and pulled the vine to control the snake, so it lent out and caught the arriving flow.
Its not often you get to surf anaconda, thought Roger as he made a selfie video, which as it happened turned out to show little more than extreme terror in his face, and unheard screams under the body movement of water. He was doing rather well as the tumult brought a wave at least 50 feet high.

The huge moon was now at around 11 o’clock in the sky above, so Roger had his dates confirmed and also that he was still on Planet Earth, which was useful, as the German Fiery’s are not well known for travelling to their return address off-planet, tending to stop at Koln – the planet Koln, some light years from Earth. Roger had been there more than once, and while the planet was well run, neat and tidy with some lovely scenery and not many anaconda style snakes, it had the air of being engineered so that everything worked to perfection, but no native had ever bothered to ask what for. The result being that when tourists asked, they were given data instead of explanations, which lack of verbs and use of genders visitors find confusing in the same way that the Vatican runs a religion and doesn’t mind who the Pope is today, as long as there is one.

It must be the larger moon doing this as a tidal thing, thought Roger, as he jinked left and right through the trees on his snakeboard, making his way to a fast approaching mountainside.
Roger edged along the wave surfing very well, he thought, under the circumstances, at good speed and control. As a boulder appeared to his left, he aimed and stepped off onto it, releasing the anaconda which continued on, seeming to enjoy its new found sport. He removed the two trilobites that had attached themselves to his best quality gagging bag and had a free ride, and threw them into the passing tidal wave that was starting to subside. Getting out his Fiery, he manually programmed in the E8 coordinates and pressed the orange VERBOTEN button at the bottom that reset it.

Bliss, he felt, seeing some pterodactyls circling overheard like vultures doing a bit of their own style of surfing on the tidal thermal updraft. He sat down, and the Fiery went into factory default set up.

BITTE PROGRAMMIEREN MIT SPRECHEN, the voice asked gutturally.

Y’all say Alabamy USA, buddy, drawled Roger, looking for a change.

Sure thing there, good buddy, was the instant response,

and went through a list of program choices that anyone could understand who didn’t have a scalpel ready in hand for a sense of humour; the outcome being that, Roger had a good look round taking in the scene from his position as he was twiddling with his Fiery whilst also looking forwards to enjoying a good dinner of and extinct salmon-looking fish that he had kept under one paw after it landed next to him from the passing moon driven rush on the boulder.

He would tuck into that as soon as he got through this and home, which happened sooner than he had allowed for; in fact, oh- right about… now.



One day in August, the 12th actually, 1947 the year, and it was not on Planet Earth anyway and uses a dodecahedral counting system with blotches of goo and scrapings of wall moss, Roger was cycling up the road towards Fatty Boom-Booms house to borrow his Chimucheka amphibious biplane that he kept on wheels in his back yard and only used for very serious games of poker with royalty and dancing frogs in leotards.

It was hot. Cats are not best made to cycle bikes, specially this one that was a hand me down from his sister, Wobblebottom the 3rd, was on the big side and had no cross bar to hold onto in case of sonic attacks and rice cake purchases.

Why, you may well ask, should a superior cat like Roger, with the intelligence of at least pair of mating ducks in Spain, who could add and subtract to the end of the universe and back in time for dinner, want to use a plane at all? Good question. One that deserves an answer, later.

At first, it was clear that going uphill was harder than going along the flat or downhill. Then it was downhill, and with no brakes to make any stopping use with, much harder to steer. Then it was time to go on the pavement and do some very wobbly off roading up the grass verge, between the trees and back across the road to the other side, and then in the middle, until he was at the bottom and going back up the next hilly part.

Roger stopped and got off and considered his situation while letting vehicles pass and people look at him in funny ways. Was it, he wondered, his miniature T34 tank parked on his head, just between his ears? Or his George Lazenby lookalike T-shirt, with syncopated mandrills and a passage from Copernicus? Or his new look brown leather avocado flavoured trousers with flannel pocket handles and glued- on Yorkshire Brass Band?

For Roger, it was as close to a normal day as any other might be, given that normal was not a word he held ready to use at the notice of a moment, in the same way that Beethoven only went to the toilet when it was raining (or on family birthdays) in Wittenberg, which was cause for municipal concern in the long snowy winters, and Mozart only played the piano if that unknown man – the one with a smiling copy line drawing portrait of Hogarth in finest green wax crayon - from Florence tap danced on his roof and sang

I’m forever blowing bubbles

In Latvian.

So, he left the bike leaning against a faded wooden fence, and jogged the rest of the way, gagging bag to the fore. Arriving at his destination in time to see Fatty Boom-Boom wax sideways through an intra- dimensional vortex and come out 4 feet away at the same time, holding a huge bunch of ripe bananas and 10 bags of sugar, he said…


Then Fatty said…


Opening statements having been satisfactorily completed an minuted to a similar standard of the House of Representatives and the Senate, and very importantly done and well performed to distant rounds of applause you couldn’t quite hear but knew they were going on anyway; they went into his house together with many unanswered questions and many questions they didn’t even think about yet as it started raining and Beethoven’s bathroom probably had a back queue.

It was dark inside and smelled of a forest in Southern France in 1664, when beer was first invented, but not really.

Do you have any of those anchovy tasting car bumper stickers with RIDERS OF THE LOST OAK on them, that you had last time I was here,

asked Roger?
Fatty handed a few to Roger from a shelf by the door that probably led to the kitchen, but not in this dimension, except on the second Thursday of every other March at noon for 10 minutes – there was a sign that said as much taped to the handle.

Ah- laws of probability again. Great,

Said Roger, pointing and hoping that would do.


Said Fatty, who was very thin indeed, and used the epithet as his name to confuse people deliberately when he made boom-boom noises as he often got hungry and was ruled by his stomach then, who had its own separate agenda, and was well known to be able to eat 4 gallons of chocolate ice cream in 22 Ionian seconds with just a plastic fork and a single melon.


Fatty continued,

About your fuel bill for the last time you borrowed the plane… it needs paying now, please.

Oh, right. That. Yes. Ah. I did leave a promissory note for gold ear muffs, used, one set, in the pilot’s seat pocket. Did that not cover it?


said Fatty.

It was in Greek and written in green ink on a dandelion. Not exactly bankable hereabouts.

How much was the bill then,

Roger most bravely ventured to ask Fatty?


He replied.

Very reasonable, yes, Thursday,

said Roger, texting a message off to the President of Estonia that he would now be owned by Fatty and would he mind at all until he got his delivery of military inflatable infantry delivered next week.

I’m sure that will be just fine, and I’ll throw in a very good bicycle as well,

finished Roger looking up and smiling (hopefully) in the way that smiles often end discussions.


said Fatty, handing Roger a key with a small paper label that said SEND THIS TO FATTY printed on it.

Don’t worry, I’ll be back before dinner,

Roger stated factually although he had no reason to say so.


said Fatty again, nodding,

in 20 minutes then,

towards a large tub of melting chocolate ice cream and medium sized green and red melon.

Thursday I meant,

Roger added, not moved at all by the inference.


Said Fatty.

Yes, it does doesn’t it. In Penguin,

replied Roger, backing towards the door and keeping his gaze on Fatty.

Faced with a twin engine seaplane on a trailer with wheels and nothing to hand to tow it with, Roger removed the chocks and pushed it onto the street, taking off in fine style for a cat, down the hill road leaving the trailer where it ended up, in a field of cucumbers.
As he gathered height, he put on his best pair of flying goggles with steam operated wipers that he got from his gagging bag, and settled in to keep to about 1,000 feet and follow the A27 via Redditch to Grimsby and Darlington, Virginia.
These old planes are marvelous, he thought, as he looked down and saw that he was over taken by a train on the ground below.

Landing some time later and well off course, near Darlington but not quite in Virginia as he ran out of fuel but luckily noticed how a lake the size of a carp pond near a country road made the best brake of all, Roger stopped outside a lone shop that sold trolleys in the middle of nothing but tobacco fields in every direction as far as he could see. The staff inside were so surprised when he entered that one ate lunch, two fainted and the manager locked himself in his office and urgently scanned through the Bible for guidance on dealing with customers. The glass door refused to close behind him, and broke when he turned to look at it.

Any…trolleys for sale today then,

he announced to anyone.
One lady eating a pickled cauliflower and wet kangaroo sandwich pointed and nodded while making an OK sign with her hand.

Oh yes I see. Very nice, very nice,

Said Roger, giving her the handle from the broken door and looking around trying to appear interested in trolleys. There were thousands of them, all different shapes and sizes and styles, with legs and wheels and casters and frames and hydraulics and electrics. Every type Roger could imagine was there, and plenty he had never thought of as trolleys too.
The manager was looking at him through the glass window of his office at the back.
He held up a hand written sign. BUY 1 GET 10 FREE, it said.
He smiled at Roger, and made a wide open sweeping gesture with his hand, to indicate that all was available to choose from.

I only need two really. Robust ones. With big wheels, Roger shouted at him politely.
The manager held up another sign.

TWO, it said, and he put it down.

TWO, he held it up and put it down again.

TWO he repeated a third time, most likely in astonishment.

Yes, T-W-O, confirmed Roger.

All of a sudden, he was surrounded by fawning women, one of whom shoved a slice of Battenberg cake in his mouth while he was tying to speak, to which he went on to say

Hwewea. Werrwewye.

One was stoking his back. Another was stroking his head.


Said Roger, before he could think and as soon as he had swallowed, kneading the carpet with his claws.

the women were repeating in tones so mellow that meant yes and then some.

Purrr-rrr-rrr, said Roger a lot more.

Before he knew it, Roger was outside the store and replacing his BOSS’s gold Pancreas card into its lead lined vault in his padlocked pants, pushing a pair of large trollies in the direction of his plane with stars in his eyes and his head full of something he couldn’t quite remember that was very, very important.
He made it to the carp pond without spending any more of the BOSS’s money, and in some confusion as to his feelings.

I think I must be drunk,

he said to a fence post.

Yes, I think you must be, the way you are staggering all over the place and getting in a right muddle.

Said the fence post back to him, rather stuck up.
By then, he was standing knee deep in icy cold water, and his head cleared up enough for him to say,

Oh no. I got… petted by strangers! Filthy rotten trolls. And they thought I would enjoy it! Oh the shame! The indignity! It was very nice though, and the cake too…

he went on as he levered the plane onto the lined-up trolleys on the lake edge.
Taking the drum of fuel the shop had charged him double for from one trolley and filling the plane with a length of hose from under the pilot’s seat, Roger revved the engines up and ran the trolleys, plane attached, down the road back past the shop, waving a wave of large waviness to the four staff who stood tearfully, hands clasped, in the busted doorway while the manager held a sign that read


as he roared by and took off, wondering what was happening on Thursday.
Landing in the place where he wanted to be and having had a full day of it until now, Roger was expecting to see the Holy Michael, Son of Woad Inn the Blue, Husband of Pea Souper the Green Laminated, father of Ignis the Deplorable and Wooley the Unwearable, Keeper of the High Corn Cobb; and standing next to a decent hole in the ground, which he was, as Roger taxied around and alongside, putting out the fire with the prop wash in the x-ray machine that had been keeping the airport staff warm for the last 3 days and nights.
He cut the fuel and went happily out to meet his business colleague, who had his arms folded.

Only 3 days late this time,

Said Holy Michael.

Yes well, I had a bit of trouble with trolleys here and there.

You are a bit of a trolley,

replied Holy Michael, and handed him a fat pink envelope marked NO. THURSDAY.

Opening it, Roger found a 46 page folded promissory note embroidered on vellum with gold brocade embossed in gold and stamped with the print of Cardinal Bearbane’s Golden Trumpet Horn, for the sum of ten shillings and 26 cents in Greenlandish dollars, a free ticket to the annual international cod walloping contest in Sydney, Australia and a year’s supply of horse manure coupons claimable at any way station West of Missouri, before the 26th April, any Thursday.

This will do nicely,

Said Roger, and seeing there was nothing else to discuss, shook hands,


As it seemed to be the word of the day, and flipped through his Fiery travel portal to land at the table in his carboard box South of Michigan, where it was raining and proudly, didn’t make a shred of sense for any purpose except Delilah was just doling out some hot green banana soup and said

I’m doling out some green hot banana soup,

with a smile,

you want?

Eh…yes that will be nice…I’ll just dip this mouse I found en-route. Nesting in the port engine of the plane, would you believe.


Said Delilah, shaking her head and smiling, as marmosets often do.


laughed Roger back at her, nipping off the tail of the mouse and dipping it.



One very cold night, about 3am local Earth time, far away from any place that you might think of as being nice, Roger was struggling along a road and passed a sign at a T-junction with a blue arrow on it that had written on it:

Ah great,
Said Roger
Now I know exactly where I am.

He stopped and took out his Fiery Travel Portal from under his left armpit. Not that he usually kept it there with the discomfort it caused; and rather had the effect that he was pointing towards to opposite roadside.

he said, trying to turn it on and seeing the battery was still dead. He had hoped that the heat from his armpit might just have given some life to the battery so he could at least get the West Edge of Nowhere. But no. The Middle of Nowhere it had to be, where he knew there was a public hole in the ground that had wifi and gospel choir services.

He wondered if it was broken, or if the battery really had run out all together and he would have to continue along on his space bouncer as best he could for another 3 miles before finding out which was which, or even why space bouncers worked at these very low temperatures if you put a metal bucket over your head and sang Moon River over and over until in his case, his voice sounded like the logic from a loony leftist feminista; crackling, failing and altogether forgetful.

Then, Roger had an idea. Now in temperate zones, Roger's ideas were generally considered to be on the cusp of extremely dangerous, and at least really terrible, leading to all sorts of other problems that never existed until he tried them out. But this was not like that, and anyway, he was so cold this dark night and him being in the Middle of Nowhere or at least, 3 miles or so from there, that his regular standards dropped, and he entered into the arena of utter desperation with chocolate chips on top, sprinkling down in particular likeness to snow on a barefoot Gaelic reel in a grave yard.

Exclaimed Roger.

He was very glad of the couple of nesting ferrets that had taken up residence in his underwear some distance and time ago, for nearly the same reason that these two, having abandoned their last hole in the ground home in preference to this modestly better ambiance that kept them slightly warmer whilst in addition enjoying Roger's chauffeuring skills, despite the quixotic smelliness clinging to polyester and crimplene.
Only when they flexed their toes and dug their claws in to his fetlocks when he got tired and slowed down - or paused as he just did- was Roger not so happy about the arrangement. They could have at least once showed some appreciation for his singing, he thought to himself as he adjusted his metal bucket.

In a wind that was so freezing it would have cut a samuri into 1 inch cubes and sent them to places no one had ever heard of unless they were looking at a tourist brochure for Bournemouth and The Surrounding Area, Roger eventually made it with scratched and bleeding legs, no voice left to speak of, and a pair of bored ferrets to the Hole in the Ground in the Middle of Nowhere, which still had its door light on although he never did know why at this hour and in this weather, and fell through the carved granite entrance onto the the stone floor with a groan.
It was actually a goran which is worse than a groan, but groan will do, and he was too cold to be anything close to attentive.

Which is a shame because he might have noticed the giant slug uncurling itself by the fire, and ran out instead of closing the door with a ready paw.


the slug said

do you want? Its the middle of the night.

Its the Middle of Nowhere...?
Roger sort of asked and answered at the same time, feeling the heat from the small open fire in the stone wall that was making his paws start to get some feeling back.


said the slug

I was fast asleep.

Yes sorry about that. Its pretty cold tonight and I was wondering...

Offered Roger, bravely launching into an explanation that he hoped might lead to something useful.

Better not to go wondering on nights like this, eh?

said the giant slug, now completely and very dangerously awake and moving in Roger's direction with the speed of ...a slug.

You have car problems?

The slug asked.

Battery dead,
answered Roger, moving to the left nearer to the fire and enjoying the heat with his entourage who were squeeking, so the slug would take 5 minutes longer to change direction before it...err...pounced.

said the slug, in a way, Roger suspected, that was final for all conversation, and filled with the sole intent of making him the next sluggish meal.

He moved more to the left, keeping his distance from the slug, and into range of a wireless power source that made a red light appear on the Fiery, followed by a soft 'bing'.

Roger said.

said the slug.

said Roger.

said the slug.

Said Roger, moving right next to fire now.

replied the slug, revving its engines and making a sluggish dash for Roger at the speed of a determined and fully focused peckish slug.

Can we perhaps talk about this?
Suggested Roger, as the ferrets at that exact moment Roger said 'this', leapt out from his underpants straight onto a high shelf over the fireplace, and set about shredding whatever was shredable there into shreds, which also included finding and digging out a loose stone from the chimney wall in the centre of the shelf, that one of them disposed of with its back legs at force so it shamelessly bounced off the head of the slug between its eyes with enough damage to make the slug cry and repond with;

FFFF... I didnt deserve that. Who do you think you are? Coming to my home at this time of night and throwing rocks at me. I have never been so insulted in all my born days. Let me tell you something you horrid vermin...(complain, complain, complain; etc etc etc),
with the result that the slug stopped in its track, and was distracted. No more Roger for dinner.

Giant slugs are notorious complainants. Their second favourite deed after eating cats, is to complain bitterly about anything and everyone possible, for as long as possible, without letting anyone else get a word in sideways, until everyone either leaves if the door or windows are available; or falls asleep under the spell of the monotonous verbal disparity of random and disconnected thoughts, leading to very likely getting slowly devoured. A powerful weapon against the untrained sluggist prey, which is the main dual reason that slugs grow to this extreme size and moronic bitchiness.

Some good time later when Roger had eaten all there was to eat that he could find in the Miidle of Nowhere that was even remotely edible bar the ferrets, and long got bored listening to the slug drone on and on; which he overcame by stuffing a sleeping ferret into each ear, he picked up his partly charged Fiery, travelled on to the West Edge of Nowhere and collected the half dozen coelacanth eggs that were tied in a small box to a rock with a note that said DONT OPEN UNTIL CHRISTMAS: SLIMEY on it that he would have got a day or three ago had all been well.

Then, he dropped the eggs of at the house of the BOSS, collected his muppet sheep cleansing discount stamps, and went home to enjoy a good breakfast,

Just in time for breakfast
said Delilah,
as Roger appeared from thin air at the table.

Good stuff,
said Roger, clapping his paws and feeling how good it was to be home in his own cardboard box again, watching the rain drip through the hole in the roof and sit at his table feeling happy that he had a partner who cared enough for him to cook a hearty breakfast; and even moreso after the last 3 day epic mess he had come through.

I'm going to make sure that the Fiery is fully charged before I go out from now on, every single time,
established Roger to Delilah by public announcement.

That thing? I was using the battery on it to roast a cauliflower just before you went out, as its compatible with the microwave cooker; but you left too fast for me to tell you,
said Delilah, serving out some steaming eggs onto a plate.

Oh really,
said Roger,
Really, really,
he added with strong conviction and dropped eyebrows.

Very really,
said Delilah, peeling her lips back and showing her teeth; the pointy, bitey ones.

Then he said,
Whats this?

Boiled fish eggs on burnt toast,
smiled Delilah, swaying her head very slightly from side to side in a gesture which means 'this is right and you cant question me';
very healthy too. Cleansing and healing,
she added.

Roger sighed. In a big decision, he silently put down his knife and fork to listen to his tummy rumble and watch the rain drip through the roof.

I wonder what happened to those ferrets?
He pondered out loud, feeling supremely confident that he would never know the answer.

They've just eaten your breakfast on the floor under the table,
said Delilah, breaking Roger's thoughts with a small unpleasant hammer.


It was a lovely spring day sometime in the future on the planet Xeos 304. Roger was relaxing on the lawn under a boabag tree in the gentle breeze and pleasant afternoon sunshine from the twin stars Gennia 3 in the Hesperadies, eyes half closed listening to the plants buzzing around pollinating the fauna all the way down to the brook at the bottom of the valley.
Xeos 304, he pondered its relevance as he thanked his good luck for being there. It was a funny planet. Why would anyone with any sentience design and build a planet that evolves into something like this, Roger questioned his thoughts while he smelled the fine musky scents wafting around. This place was at the top of his ‘return’ list in his Fiery 700 travel portal.
A planet that only exists if you want it to, and then, only when you look at it; or are there on it, or seeing it, or sensing it…Roger went into a definition gently advising his grey cells not to try too hard and break his reverie back into a bad thing like having to deal with reality.

The thought approached him that Xeos was too nice; too perfect; too idyllic to exist really…a place that if you went there, you would never want to leave at all, and miss terribly if you did. Well, he was there today, and it was a just so place that he visited as often as he could, he decided, not quite up to facing the consequences of failure of duty to the BOSS, who could appear at any moment anywhere and make problems no one needed just because his bath water was not quite the right temperature, the day of the year was not what he wanted, or you did something he didn’t want you to do, like allowing him to change his mind about something he ordered you to get sorted and not telling you, which was an event repeated often and regularly.

Roger was very happily waiting for a meeting that had been arranged with one of the Octaryan bosses that runs things on Xeos on behalf of the BOSS. They were amongst the least prompt race in the elevated universe. Never on time, not in the right place, busy doing something else to keep you waiting for an undefined period that could range between a pretty hour and 37 Earth years (so far). The idea of being there when they said they would, was alien to them; and it was no good leaving a message that you would come back next Tuesday at 3pm, as they would see your leaving as an excuse to call you rude and connive to renegotiate prices all the way back to the beginning, which was far too many billions of Earth years to get involved with. So people just put up with their ways on the understanding that it was probably easier to wait there and get the deal they promised beforehand, rather than furnish negotiations with an exit and re-entry left of field.

There was one thing about the Octaryans, and its not these, to explain: Octaryans are, were, will be space/time traders. They fold the universe and split it up into bits in boxes that are traded on the MEX Data quantum borse in fractional frequencies. Which is why their planet of residence is so nice. Nature is left to its own devices… to be gently encouraged to evolve and develop into the best, most expensive and contrived habitat Roger knew about; although, he was aware of rumours about planets in the Rexonian dimension that were so perfect, that if you went there, you could never leave, and just broadcast messages in your weekly ecstatic break on a Sunday afternoon ( as it were), to everyone you knew to come and enjoy and you would be stupid not to; which is why it was full of old beings who retired and felt good about themselves, and no one who had a life worth anything went there as it was not worth the negative feedback on social media for selfish indulgence in the face of all the universal problems that were so needy to those who had the chance but resisted to help those less fortunate, which could wipe a huge following down to the level of a railway crossing in Omsk in 1927, and mean that you had to pay all your own your web bills again. Yes, utter torture.

Octaryans are stuck with the same existing obligations as their planet. They don’t have heads. They have disjointed bodies with an energy orb of about the same size, where a cat’s head would be. Their collective bodies are assembled with joints that are not there, and they prefer to live off low frequency radiation from cattle prods. And they use telepathic comms which is great for speed but useless for privacy and very expensive for the connectivity, the outcome being that its impossible to hide anything; so they long gave up personal sentience during their evolution and decided to use a hive intelligence with a vacation twice a year and Wednesday afternoons to do some shopping, which involves them sticking their head orbs into a heavy lead box to sing mentally ( their version of) country and western music to themselves to blot out any comms; and give their detached bodies a list of menial tasks to perform, like washing the antique spaceship, having a shower, choosing a new pair of shoes, or leaping into the beyond; some such mundane need a perfect species would do out of the utter boredom of being perfect and never making a error margin trading throughout their entire lifetimes.

Ah. It was so good here.

Roger changed position and gently drifted off into a sleep that was so utterly wonderful that just as he crossed the threshold into dreaming, his subconscious rebelled and attacked his schizophrenia cortex with the concept of a huge biting dog the shear horror of which would wake a Nun from a coma she was in as a result of the most extreme guilt that closed her mind because she had driven a minibus full from the convent off a cliff on their way to a once in a life time Simon and Garfunkel theme karaoke, snap marathon and afternoon tea with the Pope wearing a dinosaur costume that had I LOVE LUCY hand sewn across the tummy from unpicked thread attributed in writing by Mickey Rooney to come from one of Batman’s earlier TV series capes; the end result of which was that Roger stood bolt upright and awake in an instant, leapt twenty feet up the tree trunk and was yelling in abject terror until a neighbor sprayed him with a cold water hose until he shut up and came down.

Yes, it was a perfect planet,

thought Roger as he sat dizzy, wet and miserable at the base of the tree after thanking the neighbor; sometimes too perfect for existence to bear.
As he was about halfway through the return to his former delightful composure, an Octarayan approached him hovering in the air on a small disc, and he saw the thought appear in his mind that their name was Grant; that Merryl was ready to see him now to conclude the business, and he should go with Grant on this hoverdisc that was by his left rear paw, thanks very much and isn’t it so nice here today; was he hungry? Oh, yes he was, it is seen, and so, a medium roast mouse in liver sauce appeared on a plate in paw’s reach, and as Roger said,

Oh. Very Nice. Thank you,

The mouse flew at speed into his mouth and lay evoking eye watering good flavor nuances on his tongue. Roger felt his stomach curl in expectation and he crunched and swallowed.


He said – thought - to Grant, who smiled and bowed a little in his mind in much the same way as a restaurant waiter might if he knew he was in for a big tip shortly.

Only been here 2 weeks so far, relatively speaking. Not bad at all. In fact, sheer bliss all told,

Roger thought to Grant jovially as he stepped onto the hover disc which instantly sped up and away with Grant at his side.


Thought Grant, smiling again while they flew towards a shining spikey city on the horizon.
Roger looked around him and enjoyed the view. Nature at its most sublime.

I’m so glad you like it here,

thought Grant, and went on to finish with

we do our best to please.

They landed on a platform balcony of a huge chamber with several Octaryans sitting cross legged and still in a large circle. Roger got the thought that they were all trading space/time elementally between themselves and with beings from near and far.

Trading floor Lidosect 36,

Thought Grant to Roger, was was feeling all the trades going on at confusing speeds of mega thought.


Thought Roger,

This is a new one. I’ve not seen this group before.

Just so,

thought Grant, and continued

In their free time they do play a very good rendition of Agatha Christie’s Five Little Pigs in Gaelic with universal harmonics at rejustified frequencies in full spectral analyses at a volume loud enough to drown out the process of telepathy; consequently they are rather popular with the loony lefties.

Loony lefties? Here? That’s hard to put together given the state of your planet and all…

Roger questioned.

Yes, true,

agreed Grant as they set down, alighting at a polite distance from the trading circle,

but we are deluged with those of the hive who want to change things because they have nothing better to think about, in the hope that they make an acceptable mistake, that they can then spend lots of space/time attending to correct. Its far more entertaining than living in bliss all the time. Gives them something to do rather than just accept their abilities and enjoy them. A bit of a crisis to fix. You see?

Smiled Grant in thought again, finished with a gesture to Roger to sit at a small table on a small chair in front of a small handle grip at the edge of the trading circle.

Yes I appreciate how a crisis concentrates the mind very well,

Thought Roger loudly, touching on a few recent memories that were embarrassing to Grant in their intensity.

Roger put his paw on the handle as a thought asked him to. As he did so, he was met with a place in his mind of a series of computations in a field in Albuquerque in June 1883.
He felt the being of Merryl appear in his mind and discuss the details for a trade for seventy two star systems in the Panaflax Delta 00Uy6r4.13 in exchange for the 4 mature land crabs Roger had wrapped in his gagging bag by his side, 2 bars of Pear’s soap made in 1904, and box of 14 original Trump Impeachment Celebration nickel plated spanners, imperial sizes. The barter range was offered and discussed with relative compliance that ended with an agreement for 460.65 local galactic star years of sole ownership with taxes payable in green ink and ham hocks. Hedged including centrum interest and usury declination. Registered at Prime 71, Torking dept universal dimension 1076.03 toilet chain office; and the documents arrived in Roger’s gagging bag just before they were sent, with a 2% discount for personal appearance at the deal.

Vey nice. Thanks,

Thought Roger, noticing the crabs not to be in his bag anymore.

Don’t mention it,

Thought Grant and Merryl together as the rest of the hive smiled at him mentally.

With the deeds of ownership registered and copied on a mote of dust safely embedded behind his left ear, which did tickle a bit, Roger got up and bowing gracefully while leaving a trail of fine white flour on the floor, as was the custom in those parts, he backed off and hit the return button on his Fiery, while waving a friendly mental ‘goodbye and thanks again- hope to see you soon’, before appearing that the office of the BOSS on Monococoonoco.


Said the BOSS, not at all happy to see Roger.


Yes. Sorry about the lateness of the hour and your delay for the stuffed Pidgeon shoot in Belgium due to my being…late. By about a week or so.


Said the BOSS

Yes, its here, said Roger offering the mote of dust in a plastic drinking cup with a lid on it.


Answered the BOSS, MM MMM MMM M MMM M MM, and turned over to go back to sleep.

Ok I see.

Roger sighed, went to see the standing ox blocking the doorway, and collected the one ounce bar of chocolate, three pounds of green potatoes and desert Monk outfit, WW2 Italia edition plain brown itching wool with accompanying open sandals and tie rope, as his just reward for his work. He travelled home to his cardboard box in a storm drain somewhere near Peterborough.


smiled Delilah, polishing her cornices with Dettol as she turned to look at Roger and spoke in a dialect of Swahili.

Roger was pleasantly surprised with the freshness of hearing welcome cognitive speech; enough to respond with a mutual


That came out rather well, if a little over enunciated by concentration, in Balsamic vinegar.

I have a live, fine land crab for dinner here. And some green potatoes.

Offered Roger, reaching into his gagging bag and pulling the crab out from a very distant galaxy via the Fiery.

I managed to get the Plank time just right for once, to be the same instant in the transfer. Not easy to do in real time I can tell you for nothing; and it was. I did try for 4. Still, not too bad, eh?

Was what what?

Said Delilah, biting into a green potato while she took the crab and dropped it into a sizzling vat of hot rain water dripped in through the hole in the roof; a move to which the crab objected to by default, but rather enjoyed for the first part of a second until it started cooking.


Replied Roger, who put another small line mark on the wall under the proud statement of ‘mice devoured to date’, and decided that nothing was probably a very good thing to end the day on after all.



It was a sultry summer 1986 day in Georgia, Roger noted as he stepped through the Fiery portal onto a wooden pier on the lake. The kind of day where everyone who can sits fanning themselves on shaded porches or hides in their air conditioned homes and businesses while waiting for the cooler night to arrive before being busy.
There were several mixed groups of young people (locals) around the lakeshore enjoying their day with picnics, repeatedly jumping into the lake and swimming out again amidst loud exchanges, whoops and hoots.
This was the district of Rallinnuit, semi tropical by Earth standards, in the island nation of Zurziburs on the planet Maximus Minor 2 in the Gauletierre galaxy, where the indigenous folks spoke through a trumpet in limited vocabulary so communicated complex thoughts through a concept similar to baccarat. A fine place, full of law abiding peaceful creatures reasonably close to humans except slightly green in hue that tanned well into fawn in the long summers under the twin suns- one red dwarf, one bright yellow. The eclipses to see there were often and spectacular; with 20 to 30 degrees of temperature shift.

Roger was there to close a deal for the BOSS in his usual way of being the vassal of those instructions. This time, he was to gather a ton of placebo moss that only grew on the North sides of the lattachio trees that only grew on this island for millions of years; due, it was supposed, to the soil quality and prevailing winds bringing just the right extent of seasonal warmth and humidity unique to this island.
How this would work out, he had no idea when he left home that morning. He was only given the name and destination and price to negotiate to. He hoped he would be home in time for dinner and the coordinates of the Fiery travel portal proved accurate. Price? A small lump of rosewood and twenty red bananas from brazil. Oh- and a small bag of cat litter in case they ‘went funny and pushed it’, as the BOSS had pointed out.
Apparently, cat litter was an edible delicacy hereabouts of some empirical value. Not to be sneezed at. More highly prized than Beluga caviar is on Earth. Roger had his background details in hand as he had read up on it all while he stopped off at an Earthbox on Rigel 97 for a decent cup of coffee and Petula Clark song on their excellent music system. ( Earthbox is similar to Starbucks except ethically run, much better, they grow their own coffee-like beans and pay regular taxes).

Time was pressing.
Roger sent a red flair into the atmosphere. Then a yellow one. Then a blue one. He sat down on a tree stump and waited for his appointment to arrive. Ah; these local customs and rituals… quite colourful and all entirely different. He was preening his shoulder where his pirate costume was chaffing when the return flairs popped over head. A yellow, then red, then blue one. He sent up a green one in response.

Seconds later three locals appeared in front of him dressed in white paper doilies sewn together with ripcord through their own travel portal and bowed while honking their horns, shaking their left legs and breaking an egg on the ground.

Looking good,

he thought as he responded by clapping two sticks together seven times, tap dancing “When the saints go marching in” in double time, and making an armpit fart 3 times. They responded well by leaping up and down more times than Roger bothered to count;, and made the MMM noise so popular as a galactic form of communication. So, ritual to one side, they sat on the ground cross pawed facing outwards and tapped their claws with a tuned lump of iron in musical harmonic patterns, which started and ended with a honk. Also several small honks to indicate punctuation as it went along. Roger recorded the chat and played it back through the Fierty travel portal console. The display translated it as saying:

Nice to meet you. What’s the deal, slimeball?

How rude, Roger thought, replying by scratching a stone with his claws, which had the same sound as running chalk down a blackboard, in a series of staccato motions that produced an ear splitting version something similar to Morse code with extreme audible agony, interspersed with armpit farts for punctuation instead of honking.
The response translated as:

Yeah, well, maybe. Here’s a sample fatboy. Test it and honk until the suns go down.

Which Roger interpreted as good.
He took the sample of placebo moss and put it into the small floppy box on Minetaur bone he took out from his gagging bag, and shook it. To the surprise of no one at all, nothing happened. He opened the box. It looked exactly the same.
Roger made the

I am happy with this

dance and honk, and they went on to close a price and delivery in a Gidion dimension box the size of a pea, which was quite heavy for its size if you understood that it contained the squashed sum of one ton of placebo moss held in a cross-dimensional pressure vacuum . There was prolonged discussion over the cat litter, which the locals tested one grain of each, were VERY happy with, and made a deal. Roger noticed that when they imbibed the cat litter, it made their faces turn bright green and ears unfurl like narrow sails with red ends while a short series of nut sized pustules sprouted on their over arms one by one, grew and burst with some dry spores becoming airborne.

Tish, tish,

Thought Roger, watching as the spores gently wafted away on the breeze to meet other spore of opposite sex, fertilize and conceive.

Tish, tish,

He said again, moving well back out of the relish of alien excretion so none would become stuck in his ears or nose.

Selenium based life forms,

thought Roger, stuffing the side deal win of a delicious fresh rattlefish into his gagging bag along with everything else, and going into the completion of a deal ritual which was more epic and involved more honking and armpit farts than even Roger felt was either appropriate or capable of after a period; but he got though it anyway, and they left.

He had but a short time before the Gidion box would run out of battery, and its light was already on the edge of green turning to orange, when it would turn into a worthless golf ball of charcoal with an extra electron that made it vibrate like mad whenever the tune of the Colonel Bogey March was played loudly on an antique gramophone with full orchestration and fever pitch screaming lyrics that would end with its contents vaporizing into a fifth dimension where parking tickets, every type of religion and small flags of the nations were all edible currencies.

Stepping through the Fiery, he dropped off the rattlefish at home so Delilah could begin the delicate job of cooking it for dinner ( and it smelt a bit ripe too), and went on to see the BOSS at his premises in Moronocococoonoco.


Said the BOSS when Roger appeared and presented his wares on the kitchen table next to the local mayor who he had nailed to chair as they were playing blackjack ( the version where your fingers get burnt off one by one as you lose).

Oh yes, all good. Here,

He said as he put the Gidion box on the table next to huge pile of casino chips and small pile of ash of burnt fingers.


Concluded the BOSS, burning off another of the mayor’s fingers.


He told Roger, who held down onto the table various body parts of the mayor, then went into the Corbrette wardrobe and changed his skin from an oversize camel back to his usual cat size well-formed and furred skin as instructed.

For business appearance’s sake, what a grown cat will do,

Roger thought to himself.
Appearing with two pounds of Irish butter, 2 front row tickets to the Cavendish Menstruators Buck Pony Glee Appreciation Society of East Hampton and Carnarvon Outback Rock Banging Regional Finals Competition to be held in 3 days time in Southampton, and an IOU for a used fiddle to be collected from Glasgow, 1946 as his due reward for his labours, Delilah was serving the steaming hot rattlefish on a large plate on the table, with a diced raw onion, seaweed flavoured jelly, and chopped newspaper left in the rain and sat on to heat up.

How is the book coming along,

asked Roger?

Its getting there. I really need to begin to write it really. I think the research period needs to come to a close soon,

Answered Delilah as she sat down with a green banana suspiciously hanging half out from a corner of her mouth.

Well, it’s a big topic. Maybe you could start with the bibliography and then work to writing it,

he suggested?

Oh, well, we’ll see. I don’t need to copy it from the interweb until next week or there is an earthquake, or the Pope finds out he is human after all. Plenty of time,

she finished with a smile and helped herself to a plateful of steaming shredded newspaper.
One thing about the rattlefish. Its not called a rattlefish because it rattles. Its called a rattlefish because it makes the eater rattle for hours. Roger supposed it was a genetic condition designed by natural selection for the warding off of being eaten in the wild. He thought about it as he tasted its succulent, juicy, fishy flesh and started to rattle like a mad football fan from Essex.

Delilah tutted a friendly tut, adding some more tuts to be going on with and tutting along with the rattling in tune, while stopping the table rattle with one hand, and stuffing shredded newspaper into her ears with the other as she was entertained by Roger’s eyes watering and glazing over in response to the glorious taste melting on his tongue of the roasted rattlefish.


garbled Roger in between mouthfuls,

its been a good day all told,

He thought to himself Just as a drip of water from the hole in the roof of their cardboard box landed on the end of his nose.



In 1934 on the beach in Longberry; that was the beach with a house in the sea then, next to the falling cliffs, when it was really cold with the winter gales scrubbing every facial pore, there stood a lone cat dressed in a well tailored pirate costume including heavy boots and a big sign on his belt that read 'sword' inside a silver sword shape on finest quality card from a box. Why this cat alone braved the horrid weather then, when all other cats being clever were hid under chairs, in corners or sat on laps by fires, was a mystery about to explain itself.
Mr Fairclough, the local mussel and cockle welker was making his mussling way along the shore towards the cat, stabbing the wet sands here and there, and bobbing up and down in what otherwise would be a very odd fashion between the washed rocks of exposed tidal pools. He was, the cat- who was sitting now- noticed, apparently immune to the local climate, continuing in a single minded task of collecting local edibles freely delivered by nature, pried off rocks and dropped in his crusty open sack tied to his rope belt.
The lone cat sat in the middle of the blowing beach could have been a lazy elephant for all Mr Fairclough cared. He didn't even register that there was a cat on whose personal territory he was encroaching little by little; until his front paws came into his lowered vision and he looked up to refocus his gaze on the face of the cat, whose tail was moving slowly from side to side regardless of the volumes of air moving at speed past his piracy emblazoned fur.


said the cat standing up on hind legs as any cat does, for it was of course, none other than Roger himself, and the most clever of cats that there was, who even played a game of ludo with a Tibetan monk one bank holiday afternoon and won a pair of tooth picks in good but slightly used condition.


replied Mr Fairclough as his mind geared to the reality as it presented itself in the form of domestic cat standing talking to him dressed as a pirate...on his a freezing gale...that morning... preventing his passage to continue his daily work routine that put bread on his table. So, he did what most people do when presented with a polite verbal greeting from a talking cat in those times, and temporarily suspended his disbelief to see what would happen.

Chilly this morning,

Roger offered a comment on the weather to hold Mr Fairclough's attention.

Chilly? Oh...ah..yes...chilly here today,

answered Mr Fairclough, whose mind had run through the country of Chile, anyone he knew from there, chili powder, chilies in general, a chili, several chilies, different varieties of chilies and strengths of heat; and every time he had ever been near one or tasted one or had the subject come up in sight or conversation through out his life, before deciding that the best bet was that it was probably a question or comment about the weather where he was standing holding a fishprod, and he should not- out of polite interaction- respond in more than the length of time it takes anyone to stuff a finger in their ear while bending both knees; possibly sticking out their tongue for dramatic effect.
But this was not the best weather in which tongues should be stuck out as it was dangerously uncomfortable, leading to most people and cats speaking from deep in their cheeks with pursed lips and watery smiles about as bright as the clouded sky, let alone be having a conversation with a standing pirate cat.

The problem,

thought Roger, as he smiled through lips fluttering in the raging wind coming on with an icy torrent and sat down in some degree of resignation to nature,

the problem is that I can barely hear anything above this NOISE,

and waved a friendly hello that was moved West in a gust as he stood up again as sitting was worse than standing.

On your own then I see, Well...

bravely offered Mr Fairclough thinking in semaphore, moving through morse code and ending verbally in some form of spoken English dialect, in an effort to move on and get back to his work in three comments before the coming storm made his morning a short and unpleasant experience. He looked past Roger to the rocks he knew well as good spot to continue his work, and put a step forwards to leave, deciding that a talking pirate cat was for someone else to deal with, and nothing to do with him.

Aah aha aah ah ah,

yelled Roger in response to the quick foot maneuver, and waved his paws around in an up and down motion as if to warn of impending danger, which was true, for sure.

Mr Fairclough stepped back in surprise, two steps in all. Then, Roger pressed a button on his left cuff, and the man disappeared with a large hiss you might be concerned by from a bus stopping next to you while absorbed in an awkward text message exchange booking the seats you wanted and not those the online booking agent gave you behind a pillar in the theatre where you could barely hear the stage act let alone see it.

Roger turned around and pressed the button on his cuff again, and was instantly transported through his Fiery travel portal to a planet as far away from Earth and the horrible winter weather as its possible to imagine for a climate with similar air to breathe and bugs to stear clear of.

It was sunny and hot amongst the swaying palm trees on this tropical seashore where Roger was standing before the beachbar of a very exclusive hotel, slightly in front of a stunned Mr Fairclough in his rough winter clothes on the bleached white sand. A Caladonian telepathic waiter was holding a tray of drinks to his left, and coughed with the correct degree of polite intervention just enough to attract attention away from the stun and move on to the choice of available drinks at wrist's length.

Mr Fairclough selected the cognac, followed by the scotch and chased them down with the pint of cool, dense black stout- all in quick succession. There was. he noticed, nothing impeding his sense of smell and why, he questioned himself, should his brain get in the way of a good drink being offered just in case it was a freebie before anyone posed the question.

Roger was on his second tequila when he heard the man slam the empty beer pot back on the tray, and turned to see him finish wiping his mouth as his eyes watered from the tremendous exertion of speedy, yet free beverage consumption.

OK now are we?

as the waiter gestured to a table for them both to sit at in the shade, Roger offered his solace while holding out a paper with writing on it to Mr Fairclough.

Eh...yes. Good,

the bemused man wondered as he sat down and had the fishprod removed from his right hand and a pen shoved in its place and pushed down onto the paper.

Oh- look at that mermaid. really. How rude,

Roger said looking over Mr Fairclough's shoulder while he forced a scrawl onto the document under the pen as the man's head was turned to look behind.


Yes. They get everywhere these days. Like flies. Oh dear...

went on Roger, flicking up the signed paper document into the air and swatting it around at something unseen.

A nuisance really, but local here so...

he shrugged his shoulders, put the paper in his bag as he got up, and finsihed his drink.

Well, I must get on. Do have a great day here. I'll be back at sunset tomorrow to send you back to you came from. And try not to talk about herbs and spices. The client is alergic to human speech about those. Bye,

He waved and walked off as Mr Fairclough fought through his thoughts and said,



said Roger as he grabbed a champagne from another close by telepathic waiter and walked off to look at some interesting fish he had spied playing in the surf...

The client you are contracted to perform with until tomorrow. Mrs WaLaKaBaNaBa Bee Mitzu. Enjoy,

he ended over his shoulder as he was walking towards the calm, clear ocean massaging the entire visible coastline.

So it was the next sunset, Roger appeared near the paying tables of the hotel casino in a tuxedo a little too big for him. He looked around for Mr Fairclough among the early gamblers and staff as a telepathic waiter placed a pineapple fruit cocktail drink under his paw that no one knew the name of but everyone understood what it was anyway. Roger was tasting it when he got a tap on the shoulder and turned to be faced with a highly charming well presented James Bond lookalike also in a tuxedo a ittle too big for him.


declared Roger outloud in abject surprise.

I- its YOU. Mr Fairclough!

He walked around the happy man, remembering his name from the contract he had signed.


he said, never too surprised to finish a free drink, which he did.

I have a bone to pick with you. Three in fact,

demanded Mr Fairclough.

Ah. Well. You see, its more that. I mean, its a sure thing that. OK as I was saying...

Roger tailed off his words to be replaced by those of Mr Fairclough.

You got me to sign a contract, didnt you cat?

Me? oh, well, I dont know. Is that the time already? Better hurry now. Lots to do. Lots to do.

Yes, you did,

Mr Fairclough stated squarely.

1/. I'm not angry,

he went on to say as surprised as Roger was in response.

2/. I got married. To an evolved eel. A rich, socialite evolved eel. Your client. My... client. 3/. And I am having the best time of my life. Thanks.

Finished Mr Faiclough as he picked up a scotch on the rocks from the telepathic waiter at his elbow and downed it with what ended in an


Oh right. Good. So you're staying here then? Nice too. Very nice. And your homburg is so stylish , too.

Roger shook the hand of the man with his paw and backed away. He knew how these things ended, but what the heck. It was a good deal if that's what you wanted.

Lunch, dinner, dancing, romance, hanky panky, and then breakfast, lunch and you are the last main course dinner. Still, that's the way of the universe sometimes. One day of abject 12 star bliss for a life of cockle fishing. Sounds like a decent enough trade, Roger considered, it being the first time anyone had made the choice and not taken the contracted payment and ran, which he kept in his tuxedo pocket out of paw's way.

Bye then. Enjoy your...ah..meal.

He took a last look around and a vodka martini from a passing telepathic waiter, and pressed the button on his left cuff. Then he fell through the roof of his cardboard box where Delilah was standing at the table serving a plate of steamed fish and boiled seaweed left over from Roger's catch at the hotel beach yesterday, while talking on the phone to her mother in the Farm galaxy about the best garnish to add while cooking finest really fresh seaweed compared to day old seaweed.

Portal playing up again?

she asked Roger as she finished her call.


Said Roger rubbing his back as he got up from the sofa made from hard piles of old newspapers and magazines where he had ended his fall, noticing that the major crime of having spilled his last drink had been fairly committed of which he was surely guilty.

I think it needs a charge. Lights on orange again. Perhaps an new battery,

he said bitterly as he was looking up at the cat size hole in the roof and wondering where he put the sticky tape. Just for a second, he ponderd if he or Mr Fairclough had got the better deal. Looking at the empty glass in his hand, fish on the plate in front of him, Delilah slurping the seaweed down like spaghetti, and feeling the days' wage still in his pocket, Roger decided that this was, on balance, probably the life after all.



Sitting in the entrance to his carboard box, Roger was keeping an eye open for possibilities. As a very clever cat who could skin a mouse in moments with two claws, climb tall buildings in a single day and sell used bus tickets to anyone who objected to anything, Roger was known to be at the front of the Argyles in Glasgow, usually in 1998. In March. In places that existed in the past, present and future, and in any dimension, in the universe or outside; which is odd really as he chose to reside where he did, living in a cardboard box with his beloved of the day- Delilah.
I suppose clever cats have to live somewhere as well as anyone; and who needs all the dealing with cultural differences when travelling all the time. Nice to relax and take it slowly for a while. Better to have a home. (sounds like a bleach). Perhaps the real reason was though, that Roger’s Fiery travel portal was offline being…upgraded in the shop. Gulp.

Yes. The BOSS had called from Monococonut and told him it was needed as the software was sometimes being hacked by universal slave traders who redirected portal travelers to their slave planets and stole their Fiery’s before they could hit the recall button. Always some issue with technology, Roger had passed a thought at the time.
So, here he was today. Sitting. A local cat. Alone at home. With determination, very sharp claws, and a winning disposition that was remarkably close to being of an Olympic standard. Except, of course, cats don’t go in for competition. They wait until such things are over, then step in, squash the winner and take their prize.
Delilah had gone to visit some friends nearby who were baking various flavours of vegetarian cakes to sell in the local market square the next day. Roger checked the dimension around him. It was devoid of interference. Cats can do that. They have a seventh sense. If you ask them, they wont tell you what the sixth one is, either. Until you have been eaten.
He got up and strolled off at cat mark three speed. There was something possibly interesting he felt, panning around and out with his vibrations… about two miles away… and everyone knows that cats have a notorious curiosity.

Arriving in the back garden of The Broken Cart Wheel Mega Bar and Bistro, happy hour from 6pm until 8pm weekdays and closed on weekends and holidays as the staff didn’t work unhappy hours, Roger sat comfortably on one of the tables and watched a lone drinker revolve his life around information in a mobile phone.

Ah. Good,

Said the young man outloud as his free offer of a budding crypto currency was delivered to his ewallet with all speed and sure uselessness. He looked up and saw Roger move both his ears to attend his voice.

It’s the new Blobbycoin. I have 50,000 airdropped tokens now. Fantastic. Worth oh… three farthings and a groat from Ilchester Infirmary at today’s rates. Now I just have to cross reference these with all my others...speed the wallets with spoofing ware and check them every 3 seconds until the price rockets to oh…a shilling per, and I am out! Done!

He said with a beaming face directly at Roger, who was sensibly unmoved by the entire verbal fiasco and returned his ears to the sideways position as a gesture of disgust.


said Roger, standing up and joining the man at his table.

Good news indeed,

He added, smiling a cat smile.

We should toast your victory. Let me get you a drink. Beer?

Offered Roger with the mild, casual calculation of a used car salesman opening to a deal.
The man thanked him, and Roger got a beer and a whiskey for himself, saying


to the man as he sat down again.

It’s a funny world these days,

Continued Roger as he watched the man checking his phone with zeal.

Yes, it sure is, Cheers.

Said the man as he took a drink of beer.

Don’t you ever wonder where it will all end? All this digital business of electronics and technology? It phases me…

Roger hooked his tail under the table and picked up the man’s bag that was on the bench next to him and lifted it across to his bench.

Look- look- its already gone up by a centimeter on the Blobby scale. Fantastic,

said the young man, showing his phone to Roger to see.

Wow. Well, that’s great. A good decision to invest indeed,

Replied Roger.

Yes, said the man, If it goes on like this, I will be able to buy my own paper bag to live in by the end of the day today!!!


Roger announced, putting his paws out by his side in apparent awe. But mainly to show they were empty.

Well, I have some pressing matters to attend to myself. Its been interesting talking. Good luck with your Blobbycoins,

And got up, waved a small wave of goodbye, slung the man’s bag over his shoulder and jumped over the garden wall as the man said

Yeah. Thanks for the beer,

absorbed in his phone.

Having taken a moment to check the contents of the stolen bag, Roger called the Fiery shop and in an instant, was standing in their plush store amongst the various hard wares on offer that were beautifully displayed and lit, but also bolted down to their concrete pedestals.
The leopard behind the counter asked Roger,

What you got there then?

Its an old Fiery. The one they called the Farty,

Said Roger handing it over.

Oh, said the leopard, worthless now. Best I can do is reprogram it and you could use it as a backup I suppose. Ten oranges and a buckskin cowboy suit. Ready in five minutes.

Do you accept Blobbycoins,

Asked Roger?

No, answered the leopard firmly, only real items have value. Digital things are just a fantasy. Mad, And I can't smell them, either,

Roger thought at that moment that both of them knew very well; and considering the fact that the leopard ( name= Phillip Retooshmeyer The 4th) had made a bundle from previous fantasy coins, the proceeds of which he had used to open his store and begin his business.

How about ...a 1974 issue of Dark Modesty Leopard Spot Magazine?

Bargained Roger, pulling out the copy from his gagging bag and showing its cover page.

Huh. The Summer edition. OK.

Phillip handed back the old Fiery to Roger,

Its done,

he said, putting Roger’s paw on the panel to unlock it and taking the magazine.

Just don’t press this red button here, that says

Don’t press this at all, ever,

said Phillip, showing Roger.

Why put it there then, asked Roger logically?

In case of passing comets and oxen attacks,

Replied Phillip.

It’s the default emergency portal. It goes nowhere.

Ah. I see,

Said Roger knowingly without understanding anything at all, and pressed the button.
Passing through various locations in the universe, some better than others, and having his identity changed several times before coming back to Roger, he found himself sitting in bluish daylight on a hill of red grass over looking a village of green buildings under a yellow sky full of pink tinged clouds.

Ah. I see,

He repeated.


an Ox said behind him.

I think its about 10am,

Replied Roger, hoping this would be a distraction from the swear word of


The ox picked up Roger with one tusk/horn/ big pointy thing on his head, and told him,

Smartarses get to see Doctor Velcron,

and sauntered off in the direction of the village.

Oh, tax,

Said Roger wafting along in midair.

I though you were asking for the time. Sorry.

Yeah, sure,

replied the ox, utterly disinterested.

Roger noticed that the ox was wearing a metal collar with a gemstone in it that was glowing bright green between his ears.

Interesting idea,

he thought to himself…

In the big room of the second house in the village of only a few houses, there rose from a lab desk a man in a white lab coat wearing big lab glasses and small legs as they entered, Roger still dangling from the ox.
The ox deposited Roger in between them on the floor.

I am theth theth theth, Doctor Velcron.

Doctor Velcron,

Roger smiled putting out his paw to shake hands; finishing with

What an honour…


Replied the doctor, not taking his paw and leaving his hands stuffed in his lab coat pockets.

What can I do for you,

Asked Roger, non plussed by the lack of returned protocol.

Oh…its not what you can do for me,

Replied the Doctor,

Its what I can do for you. Maybe. With you.

Oh. Really,

Wondered Roger, his hackles rising from the tip of his tail all the way along his back any up his neck while waiting for the punchline.

Yes. I see you like to go nowhere. Yes. Theth theth theth. Now, normally, travelers who end up here are just idiots. But you, being an evolved cat, just might be…theth theth theth, different.

The doctor turned to a wall of electronic instruments and flicked a tiny switch, turning them all on with many lights flashing many colours, beeping sounds, and an occasional burp. The ox took what looked like an old motorcycle crash helmet from the desk connected with wires and strapped it around Roger’s head.

You do realize that I am a high functioning automatic,

Said Roger in defensive trepidation of events to come as yet unknown,

I could throw a fit any minute. In fact I feel a bit funny right now,

He noted as his legs wobbled in front of the wall of an ox on one side and the wall of electronics on the other.

You mean a high functioning autistic? Theth theth theth…do not concern yourself. Such issues have no meaning here in nowhere, Theth theth theth,

The Doctor said as he held a finger on a tiny control panel touch screen that started something as all the lights and sounds changed on the electronical wall.
Roger felt his head warm up as if beginning to cook in a microwave oven before he passed out.

He came to. Noticing that he was hanging on a hook up on a stone wall, but alive, he felt a bit better at his prospects.

Ah. Awake. Good. In time to leave before my luncheon, theth theth theth. Good,

Said the doctor from a hologram in front of Roger as he also walked into the small cell- like room.

We have copied your memories. You have paid therefore, your tax. Just. Theth theth theth. Now you can go,

He said as he pressed a small tablet in his hand.

Roger saw the doctor, the ox behind him and the room dissolve in a grey mist as he arrived back in the garden of The Frozen Mullet ( the bar and bistro had changed its name as things often do) sitting opposite the same Blobby man as before, but Roger looked down in response to holding a tiny screen in his paw that was different.

Ah. Got there safely. Very good. Sometimes travelers just vaporize. HA HA HA HA HA,

Laughed the doctor from the screen, which suddenly vaporized.

My round I think,

Said the Blobby man barely looking up with what was obviously a happy face.

Err. Yes. Scotch. Thanks,

Replied Roger as he looked towards an exit.

But the Blobby man got up with his bag. The same one Roger had …borrowed before, and went to the bar to buy the drinks. Roger relaxed in some confusion.
They sat together on the garden bench. The man engrossed in his phone. Roger drinking his scotch slowly and doing his best to make sense of the morning.
The BOSS left a message for you while you were nowhere,

Said the man to his phone but really to Roger.


Surprised Roger.

Yes. He called me.

Continued the man, making the huge decision to look up directly at Roger,

He said oh…what was it…ah yes. You needed a break, so he arranged that you went…nowhere for a bit, as you have a big travelling job to do this afternoon and he wants you freshly minded for that- Roger. He is sending you the info.


Said Roger, wondering about the universe.

I see,

Which he didn’t at all, and took out the green gemstone he had taken off the ox's neck from his gagging bag to do a deal with Mr Blobbycoin.



With Roger, the idea of small potatoes was uncommon. He liked the plan of one very large potato, with a side order of Chinese pickles and manly entertainment he could brag about to his friends afterwards.
Sadly, in these troubled times, it was more usual for life to deliver ampules of cod liver oil, bits of torn up bread, and signs printed in mud showing the way to nearest vacuum.
He had noticed that he was alive and it was another day. Deciding to go out, he went back in, deciding that the decision was decidely a bad one and needed more work before being decided upon.
Not a good start to the morning. He thought about mornings and how they flew by in a moment with a hat on and looked at him in a funny way with the intensity of standing next to a passing express train as it exited a tunnel at great speed with the deafening whistle in full blow.
He sighed.
He looked down at his paws and counted his claws. No. No more had grown overnight. Still the same number there then.
He looked up at the hole in the roof of his delightful carboard box home, and for a while, counted the drips of water landing in the plastic tub on the floor. 14 every minute. An improvement over the 12 so from yesterday.
He looked over at the sleeping Delilah, snoring away gently as she twitched her nose hair at him, under the fuddle of old newspapers.
Yes, life was worth living, he thought, listening to a coming loud snore of hers. If only they had a better one...
Oh no.
He thought...
Where did that idea suddenly spring in from?
Surely, the symmetry of their relationship would shatter as a dropped wine glass if he...made improvements?
It had happened before. Several times.
Dont make changes, he had said to himself, losing his best girlie several times when his life went from pastoral to monumental.
Turning the pages over in his mind in time with Delilah's snores, he arrived at the one that it is written there,
The law of relationships.
where you have to change partners if your life changes.
Its like finding a nest mate for the Winter, and playing the field of a Summer, as girls often are wont to do, and men respond with frequent visits to the gym and new trousers.
Roger opened the flap of the box and the wind howled through wetly, waking Roger up with the second chance chilling attack to make a decision that morning.
It was time, he thought.
He would decide. It was right to make a decision, and yes; he would do it.
Roger stood up and closed the box flap.
He would do it.
Roger had made a decision.
He would now decide that he would decide to decide, even if it meant deciding something now; right now, and here and now. Even.
The reach of his focus sent him dizzy, and he sat down. Then he stood up, about to say something, but sat down again.
Making decisions was a tiring experience so early of a day. People paid fortunes for such life changing management.
What he needed was a moustache so brilliant, you build cement factories in Lithuania with it.
A lip slug so poiniant, it stole the centrepiece of any cricket 11 photo.
Roger polished his whiskers and thought hard.
Cats, as a rule, dont do well in the moustache area as such. Even evolved ones as was he.

He considered the options, set his Fiery travel portal and pressed the green button.
The next moment, having cascaded through various places, one of which was the local corner shop where he grabbed a bar of chocolate,
(you had to be very quick and have your claws in just the right places)
he landed in a lovely circle of trees on the planet Ventular Bixtrio 2 in the Megdula constellation of the Delta H24 galaxy, and took a bite of the bar to cheer himself up a little.
It was as sweet as the location, and just as chewy, melty, delightful.

There, on a fossilized wooden stone in the centre of the circle, was an evolved pickle.
There was a sign undeneath written in catfish lamp glue.
it said, scrawled in an unsteady hand.

Greetings to you, famous onion of the Bright Cause,

said Roger to the pickle.


responded the onion.

I don't have to talk to you, you know. I'm far too evolved to bother with things like that. I come from a line so ancient, we measure our time in multiples of cubic quantum dimensions.

Announced the onion. are talking to me,

responded Roger, with flawless logic.

I am not talking to you. I am talking AT you,

Differed the onion.

And you smell of a cat trying to hide its smell plus a hint of damp marmoset and cardboard. Disturbing me, too.

ended the comment of the onion.

Ignoring his ridicule, Roger asked,

I hear this place is famous for its larger potatoes, if I am correctly informed?

as a statement to be debated.

In the field over that hill,

pointed the onion with a bit of onion that points, and continued ignoring him brilliantly after the valiant physical interjection.


Thanked Roger, thankfully.

I'll wear some toffee next time I come here,

he offered as an intention to the onion, who gave back the air of one who was so intelligent, it was impossible to lower themselves to the position of geostationary or nearby potatoes.

Good. Do that. Do something at least. Better than just asking stupid questions. Make a life changing decision. Or something.

Yes. True, I will.

agreed Roger, as he headed to wards the supposed field of potatoes.

And there it was. He took a large one freshly dug up, and traveled home, collecting a jar of piccalilli as he flew through a Waitrose along the way.

Delilah was up and took the potato from Roger as he arrived with an


putting it in the oven at gas mark 400 and a lot.

30 seconds later it was piping hot, on a plate on the table made from broken farm impliments that no one knew what they were at all.

Onions are depressing creatures on the whole,

Said Roger to Delilah as he tucked into their breakfast with some fine pickle. He noticed the label on the glass pickle jar had a slogan over it that said: TOFFEE FREE as Delilah said,


with her mouth full in a not too caring way just to make conversation.

That could be the right answer, really,

replied Roger, thinking that nothing did matter all that much after all. Except maybe, a really good breakfast.
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