The mouse was still as a cold, white Christmas 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 braille 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.


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 braille 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.


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 Living in a Leather Briefcase, Cloverleaf Cover,
with real fake yellow silk lining.

Fantastic. But pointless with bonemeal added for flavour.

Nice. Very Nice.

Roger said quietly to himself, as he put the book back into his gagging bag and looked about him.






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 fell, 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.


he said carefully as if he meant it.
not a whisper from the 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 the work, 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's tail 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...

First, he would banish all daffodils to Samarkand. Then, he would publish his finest vintage brass rubbings of the seven modern arts; rimkey, tinkey, TVey, whiney, grewwish, basting, maltbin and fadirash. Eight modern farts, Eight - on Yangsee for 68 abignails a Flemish copy . Finally, he would scoot the misanthropes with an Edward. A neat and concise agenda for any rural parish council meeting, to be stated and promised, with vigour; and delivered sometime, somewhere, somehow - with essence of vigour- along with an issue of Ball Wax Weekly magazine, the one with both of Nicola Sturgeon's brain cells glued on it presented in the empty peanut shell half. A classic edition. Nice.

What was all this for? Roger finished thinking, always a danger, as he wafted into Marmalade's back yard with a thawing out of date half chicken from the local market garbage gently and purposefully held with one canine. He would do it. Yes-
He would do it to prove his manly ( feline) worthiness to Delilah.


welcomed Marmalade, putting the plug for the sanding machine in Roger's paw along with a fuse and screwdriver.

shuddered Roger in response...

Thinking seems so much more attractive to me right now,

he finished ( thinking), nodded to Marmalade who ignored his remarks, swiped his evolved alligator tail out of the way for Roger to pass into the building and begin his labours for the ripe promise held reward of a red duck embroidered handkerchief (still soiled) once belonging to a rap artist famous in his own spare bedroom ( also still soiled), a handful of dried garlic, and a bowl of lentils; Stale and soiled.


More from Roger next time when

Roger eats a biscuit,
Delilah finds jam on her nose,
and Marmalade gives way at Hermes.




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 and said,

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


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

More from Roger next time,
when Delilah discovers lactose intolerance is a modern name,
Roger swaps a water fall for a roast chaffinch,
and the BOSS unravels a yarn.




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 backpack 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 cubby 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, munching on and not giving a toss as she wrapped 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 his 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 reproduction 128th scale Yorkshire Brass Band? Maybe it was the extended Adidosser running legs with real plastic uppers and fake wood soles, in bright metallic orange welted with munchkin glue? Who nose? Who cares? Roger had more pressing chores to attend than a discussion about Downtown Abbess fashion chronicles of Nonia; plus they smelt fetid anyway... maybe that carried on the wind whilst undergoing bicycling excertionments.

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, which 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 back in the office of the BOSS on Monococoonoco he had started out from some weeks past.


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, then corrected his mistake and went instead to Basinstoke.


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.




In the cold, damp and squealing Punkladies of Ort N F231, amongst the juggle jangle jungles so dense and forgotten, undiscovered and lost, there lived a chestnut of infrequent donkey proportions. Today, being of a lunchtime, it was the sure job of Roger the cat to visit, and bring home a case of good almanac. Sorry- Armagnac. Along with a small maniac, some chilled risotto, and a punctilious gerbil or two, named Nick, Lazy Eye or Stinky. (Thats the cumulative chestnut).

I'm not going,

stated Roger, loudly and evenly to Delilah.

Its a hole in a hole in a hole,

he continued by way of explanation. He turned to face Delilah so as to add weight to his statement.

I've been there twice and I refuse to go again.


said Delilah, turning to check the cabbage she was boiling for lunch, and add a touch of black pepper.

MMMM. What is so MMMM about it, eh? Dont speak to me in MM now just because the BOSS alwasy speaks to me in MM.


replied Delilah, going down the tones.


finished Roger defiantly.

Delilah sat down on the stack of used magazines (next to the cooker) that passed for a chair in their cardboard box,

You'll be in and out in 30 minutes and back in time for dinner. Rat today you know...roasted. Your favourite.

Rat? Roasted? How big...

Roger asked, interestedly.

Look. It's not the planet thats so bad. It... it's that SMELL of ox warts that permeates the jungle messes up my nose for weeks. WEEKS.

Explained Roger, throwing out his paws by way of the 80% of body language that most of the Middle East seemed to have forgotten forms the greater part of face to face communication.

Delilah opened the kitchen drawer and pulled out a plastic thingy.


she said, putting the clothes peg on Roger's nose.


Roger exclaimed.

So...what time will the rat be ready then?

as he programmed his Fiery travel protal to the precise location he intended on Ort. Give or take a mile or two. Time of day. Depth in the jungle. Sort of as near as he could get it...


went on Delilah,

Will be ready when you get back,

as she cupped his face in her hands and gave him a gentle womanly kiss of approval and promise on his clothes peg.

Ah. Well. Seeing as you put it like that then...

Roger squeezed out the words through his pegged nose as best he could, smiled weakly, and pressed the green button.

As one traveler of the Astral plane to another, I prefer Eurobus to Boeing. But then, what do i know? Thought Roger to himself as he whirled through severeal vortices and landed on his back on a fat tree branch some distance above the ground he could not even see, it was so dark. With flecks of light coming through the tree tops far above.

His aim was good. In front of him was a curious gerbil looking him over, the size of a stout water melon. Small for an evolved gerbil, he thought. Must be a young one.


Roger said in Umunchna.


replied the gerbil, meaning hello in response, and swizzing his whiskers very fast.

Roger took a peanut from his gagging bag and put it on the branch in front of the gerbil, who sniffed it and swallowed it whole.

Oit Al Ha,

It said, meaning thanks really on the whole. But not too much, just sort of good in passing.

I'm Roger. You are...who?


Ah. Thats nice. It must be the revolving blue light on your head. Catch anything else other than a peanut today?

Roger smiled as he programmed the Fiery...

Mell Ant Fo Pa Ta. Ne Ras. Pe Ras. Sil Ras...

Juicy fresh leaves then. Good for you, Any family hereabout?

Oih ah Lat Ba Ha Ne Po. Mewa, Hewa, Tewa.

Replied Nick.

Oh thats great. Good to keep things in the family. Have a good nest in this safe tree. Good plan.

Said Roger, pressing the button on the Fiery and transporting Nick to the mining planet of ElliottNess 1 FU, in a holding pattern as yet unrocognized to modern man, with a pre-programmed on-portal code. ( In the peanut).

About 10 minutes later, having got his 2 more gerbils whom he named Stinky and Knob Head as they were and had one, Roger decided to move further down the tree and search out the other items demanded of him. There were traces on the Fiery screen for their molecular structure, distance, gene sequencing and proportions. Specially the case of brandy., that appeared to be set in a huge warehouse of sorts about 20 miles away. 20 miles...he thought... oh well...he hopped the jump through the Fiery and landed on a flat floor in a room the size of an aircraft hanger, behind a patroling ox that had an ID tag stapled to its tail.

Peanuts are so important, thought Roger as he rounded a corner away from the ox and walked down an avenue of crates stacked almost to the roof. The trick is, to make them look and smeel very tempting. Then when they get eaten, they actually have zero calorific value, and end a humdrum life on a stinky planet full or horrible creatures that fester and use stench wafts as a form of evolved body language communication. Maybe that is why most evolved sreatures who spoke here, had 23 different stomachsand 14 scent glands under heir tails- in order to regulate their scent to accomodate the differnt stinks for each parse and tense of spoken meaning...who knows? who cares? Thank goodness for the nose clip, is all Roger thought as he climbed the stack of crates of cognac, and put a peanut in the top one to go, which it did. To the holding pattern. Lucky Gerbils, he imagined.

He sent two more crates just to be sure. Then, he left as he came.

3 is always better than 2,

he considered as he landed in a village somewhere in the tree tops, hunting for a bored and unemployed maniac...

Of a sudden, and from behind, a huge hand caught Roger round the neck and chest, and lifted him high above the woven floor of tree branches that did for the street.

Oh no, he thought, A Grillard. All I need right now...

Roger recognized the hand grip from some time back. Not one to forget easily.

Wappy 2 wappy 2 wappy 2,

said the Grillard loudly, peeling back its lips and clacking its teeth as it wafted some odours over their heads.

Roger leaned round as best he could and said,

Is everything in 3's here today then?

Moook Li ping jamo basstit.tit. tit.

replied the Grillard conversationally and squeezed Roger in a playfull way several times to see how springy he was.

yes I can quite see that its all good clean fun to you. Your playtime now is it?

Roger asked, doing his best to turn himself as he was being squezzed repeatedly and face his captor.


Roger held one out and blew on it so the scent wafted over to the Grillard's noses.

Waleeee ee ee.

You can probably imagine the shape of its mouth as he said that...

Ghibli Ding Ba ba do poost ta. Nap.

The Grillard dropped Roger and took the peanut, swallowing it wearing a well happy face, as Roger pressed a button, and the Grillard vanished. Somewhere. Not too nice.

Grillard. I think that will have to pass for a maniac today. Probably the best option; be he or it, a bit on the big side...never mind.He can always be resized in a shoe box with some raw gene splicing from Uxtempular 42.3 OZ9.

Definitely a peanutter anyway,

Roger said smiling to himself at his limp joke.

Oh dear. Oh dear oh dear. He was caught in a local version of a spider trap. up to his pawkles. Oh dear. What to do now?
Ah. Another Grillard yonder.

Peanuts free today only here, Roger yelled, and was quickly pulled out from the trap.

Usual price, two hairs of a donkey tail,

he yelled again, and threw some more peanuts on the woven tree branch street.
Well. It was unusual.
The mayor of the village came out to see what the yelling was all about, and engaged in a flatulant conversation about waterfalls and pug faced dog people arriving as tourists all too often these days, and wetting the foliage against regulations. After a good long chat, during which Roger did 3 deals and swapped 3 model Bismarks 68th scale with working turrets and no engines for a MINT classic board game of Cluedo 1972 edition, and 26 used cricket hats made from spun celery, massaged an electron back to life, and topped the trees with snow in mid Summer in barter for 96 diamente bracelets, a silver framed picture of a robust smurking badgereating goop, and a cluster of Ai aardvarks made mainly from remagnetized chille concarne and parrot droppings by association.

Then, it was about the same time as the clothes peg on Roger's nose died when the spring broke, that Roger held his breath and decided to leave rudely without farting goodbye in a mega methane dance.


he said, breathing out as he landed back in his cardboard box from where he had left earleir, and seeing Delilah present a big plate of roasted rat on the excuse of a table made from thin strips of twisted metal he was sure used to be part of some farming machinery, but no one ever guessed what. He pressed the homing button, and his collection of goodies was automatically deliverd to the warehouse of the BOSS in Monococoono.

What a day...what a DAY,

Said Roger, breathing, and dropping his full gagging bag on the sofa made from old newspapers.

Yes, so,

said Delilah laughing, and sticking an artichoke in her mouth.




It was a day of mist and drizzle as any other. The populous of Basingstoke that were seen on the streets walked in a miserable trance that would frighten any garibaldi biscuit to become religious. Even the bakers were wearing clothes; talking about walking about and talking while walking awake when talking about talking, who was talking and who was walking and why; where, and what for. All to encourage the prospective purchases of small garish sugary treats made mostly by marzipan with buried old womans underwear, some sponge and cinnamon topped blue icing specially for Basingstoke Best Fiend Day.

Men who were dangerous wore their brown paper bags on their heads and though they were cautious and asked directions from Pokomon, they still bumped into things as the drizzle made them just a bit too soggy for comfort. The few cool dudes were the ones who strode around as if they owned the place, which they did, the electric heated brown paper bags working overtime to keep maximum baggy dryness and underarm proximity checks to the most substantial social graces as designed by Cardinal Wolverhampton the Yeasty and never with a choir boy.

Roger was sitting under the entrance to the Town Hall reading the fur on the back of a wombat as cats often do to pass a dull day. There was a random shout from across the road, and Roger lost his place as the wombat jerked unsympathetically in response and a flea dropping fell- yes fell- down from his fur, changing the meaning of the sentance Roger was reading from COMPASSIONATE COUNTRY STYLE to LEPROSY HAS HIGH REGARD in simplified modern Fleasnoot. The original meaning was lost forever, and the work would never again be understood by anyone in Greenitch space time.

The miserable mist descended and upon reaching over Roger, it enveloped his evolved felinity so that he became as all those others there; retrenched into a post flatulant wafting depression. It was becoming a fog of fumigative pollution and sour nose with a pug toothpick. Time to leave and be somewhere else, he reasoned, before the cast of the Adams Family turn up for dinner on the back of a mechanical elephant running on media headline belches and Best Fiend Cake gas.

It was 2.16pm. Time for 2.17pm to arrive quickly and pass the baton on to 2.18pm before it became desolate and stuck there unable to move. A gust of Easterly cold wind arrived to shove a used pointy pug toothpick up Rogers left nostril to tune it to the nearest replica Steinway piano by default and action by lack of will.

Oh, it was all too bad. Roger fiddled with his Fiery Travel Portal, thinking the ethics committee of the French Aggrandisement Fjordic appreciation society of Rotherham meeting due at 2.30pm would have to wait until next year to have its guest attend. He pressed the green button and flipped through the vortex to arrive on a lovely, warm crystal white sandy beach in what looked like Acapulco, but the sea was pink and the sky was green. He looked around approvingly as he noticed all the people were in fact evolved reclining crocodiles who were biting the heads off frozen rats and scooping out the brains with the kind of tongues any snake would be proud of, all there to get a tan from the nearby red dwarf star that made them look just the right 51 shades of grey.

This was more like it! He went about waving and shouting FABULOUS to everyone he passed who took him to be a mad manic depressive with a misty sheen to his fur that was highly suspected to be a first class shield of misery; not too surprising as this was the one and only in the universe ( this one) HAPPY BEACH, where, if not properly prepared and Canonized a monk with pubic pretensions 3 days beforehand, those not ready for all the happiness would shrivel into a plastic cup and be manipulated to the gathering Dark Matters who scoured the beaches there for innocent victims to implode. If you ever see a cat smile, dont be alarmed by the sharp teeth that makes it look like he is about to take a big bite. He's only having a ment.

Working his way to the nearest bar off the hot sand, he sat on a stool next to a recalcitrant dolphin that was picking its blowhole with a spanner.


he said in greeting dryly as he ordered a wet martini with ducktails.


the dolphin turned to him and said.

Sorry to ask, but could you...would you mind terribly if... can you just...

said the dolphin to Roger, jiggling the spanner about over his hole.

Oh. I see. OK,

said Roger, taking the spanner off the dolphin in his paw and smashing it down on the hole very hard indeed.


said the dolphin as if it was crying in agony.

Yeah. Fabulous. Again?

Offered Roger, ready for a second hit.

The dolphin fell off his barstool onto the floor passed out.

maybe later then,

said Roger over its prone form. could better try this pug toothpick. Only slightly stained...

Offered Roger in restitution, holding the toothpick to the hole and fiddling about.

The barman, who was a Tarrentiknot with a wont look on his faces and 17 hands, each with a small brain and GPS connected to the race course at Sudbury, said

Second time this afternoon that's happened to him,

of the dolphin to Roger.

Oh good,

beamed Roger, ordering another drink as he had swilled the first in one gulp, feathers and all.

He wanted his breather adjusting- actually,

the barman stated to Roger in a way that said only and idiot would not undertsand what the dolphin wanted,

the air's a bit too sulphurous for those types hereabout.


agreed Roger, nodding as he knew it was the right gesture.

He went on to practice some more nodding as the barman became absorbed by serving 14 drinks at the same time to a waitress at one bar corner.

This nodding is really working for me,

said Roger to the back of the barman, holding the toothpick steady in front of his nodding eyes to see how it related to the speed of light.

Fabulous. Really,

and took a swill of his second drink.

Just then, he noticed a tentacle had wrapped itself around his stomach and was attaching suction cups to his body...

Oi !

He yelled politely.

Sorry...Force of habit. So sorry,

said a nearby octadog, untangling its tentacle and reverting to its drink alone.

I should think so,

replied Roger, disgruntled.

Just then, a drip of mucus from where the stain on the pug toothpick had been inappropriately deposited flopped from Roger's nose onto the bartop with a PLUP. It was the timing more than the PLUP, in the conversation. The octadog looked at Roger in horror. To his breed, it was the most terrible insult imaginable before dinnertime.


bellowed the octadog. Everyone in the bar turned and looked at Roger as if he had just farted the opening of the Houses of Parliament, with the Queen dressed in a cast iron bath hand coated in speckled swallow's beaks alongside a naked Prince Phillip driving a small open sports car with Megan equally naked straddling his lap, yowling I GOO-GOO UP A YURT. A delicate situation best romanced with a large truck of brightly turned small stones exploding in every direction at once. Never one to lose his place, Roger boldy stated,

Friday evening would be good.

He smiled as he finsihed his drink, measuring the timing of the octadog's tentacles coming towards him at speed, and pressed the OUTAHERE emergency button on his Fiery as he put his empty glass down, dissappearing through a vortex that landed him at the dining table in his cardboard box mansion in plush, downtown Basingstoke.

He must have looked odd.

You alright? You look a bit ... a bit too green if you ask me,

said Delilah as she was picking her teeth. With a toothpick. Cooking a mouse souffle. Hanging from the roof by one handy paw foot. And reading the 1982 magazine final printing of Biker's Wet Suit Weekly, commuter train compressed volume.

Red dwarf star again,

offered Roger meekly by way of potential explanation he thought was best, feeling instantly miserable again but worse.


he finished.

You've been to Happy Beach, eh? Oh, you crazy cat. You know that's not good for you, silly,

she answered.

She took a reasonably sized gob of souffle on a spoon and shoved it in Roger's mouth. It tasted OK. No. It was good. Wait. It was very good. Super. Great. Brilliant. Wondeful with bells and whistles all over. Roger swallowed.


he said. Then, he came down and became miserable again in about 5 seconds.

I feel like shi-

he said, as Delilah shoved another spoonful in his mouth.

I can do this all day,

she said as she watched Roger's face light up again, and his fur stand at right angles to his skin for an instant, then flop back to normal, but sort of...flat. She touched a book on the table and opened it to the marked page 316.

But this book I've been reading is SO interesting. Its about the pre-origin of Pilates. Did you know it evolved from a lump of butter cream in Taglebrooty 96B? A roaming lemur named Pixy Boo? Well,

Delilah paused as she shoved another gob of souffle into Roger.

Pixy Boo was the mother of CaLci the Re Trant, who developed muscle spasms when she dipped her tonsils in germiline by accident...

In no time at all, Roger was through the vortex and sitting on the town hall steps not far from a dozing wombat.

I feel terrible...terrible...

he said to the wombat.


the wombat replied in a daze so softly that Roger wondered if he had heard just how terrible he was feeling.

Anyway, he pulled out a lump of bubblegum from his gagging bag in response to the theorised suggestion of the wombat, that he had been saving for a VERY miserable day and chewed down on it until he blew some bubbles and was full of saccharin. Then he went over to the wombat and blew one bubble that stuck over its nose and left, feeling more miserable than ever as the evening darkness fell in close agreement to the misery with the day they had buttoned up and braced with freezing iron filings shoved down their shirt backs.

It's all just emotion and food, itn't it? Thats's all we have to fuddle through. I must ... must look into that,

He was speaking to a large corner stone as he rounded the town hall and was distracted from his reverie when noticing a pile of potentially interesting rubbish outside a restaurant that he found himself strolling towards...

More next time as Roger decides its Tuesday everywhere,
Makes friends with a snooty glass of milk,
and recovers from holding a slice of Portmeirion.



One fine afternoon in Nantwich next to the mid Marches of Jehovahill the Incumbent, when the paragraphs were all spun together with cat words and horse glue, and the ceilings were well waxed and fawning with liquid trepidation, Roger stood alone in the doorway of the Runted Bush Wellsbody and Gown Whistler, free drinks for those who arrive when its closed (open mouth and look up to accept rain).
It had been raining and the drinks, while having been well accepted, were no replacement for what was available when the doors opened and service was begun, as it now was about to be. Roger moved to the bar, his spurs digging into the genuine Chinese plastic floor cladding made with real walrus warts and thought crumbs as he stomped his way in his 20 pound Western style Eastern made snot skin and lama dung hand stitched recycling boots.
He sat on a bar stool and moved his left eye 4 degrees to the left, then the right. The right eye followed soon after, and in no time they danced to a tune of mindful turning left and right respectively under Roger’ s damp and dripping cardboard cowpre-pubescenthumanmale hat. The barman, named Fidelio Comparse Mentus as it said on his I.D. lapel, watched the sole customer’s eye movement, with some- oh- about 7 degrees of interest; but better than standing looking at the wall, waiting for something to happen; in a narrow expectation of a hard drinks order becoming imminent, for which- as was his posted duty- he intended to provide with no joy, some fulfillment of salary, and complete quality of a single slice of toilet paper in entertainment by substitution.
There followed an exchange between the two in MM-MM language, the result of which was the deposition of a large whiskey in a tall, cheap glass on the bar, with a bucket of ice and long handled spoon, and a payment in exchange of 12 sugar frosted male lemmings gonads in a sealed recycled jam jar.
Fidelio, the sub-human with the average brain power of the self-righteous snowflake, equal to an evolved snail and as useful as a pomegranate in a tornado, deposited the jar next to a mixture of others on the bar back, and stuck a note on it with a price displayed in universally accepted standard iguana teeth.
Slow day today,
Mentioned Roger to the barman in old English.
Yep. Slow and looking to stay that way.
Fidelio responded in older English.
There was a pause filled with several breaths, the noise of sheep herding along the street outside, and the smell of toxic pollution leading to several myotatic cancers well known, some of which were prized and collectable for their artistic refinement. It may have been pregnant or not: There was no time to find out, as the pause finished along with Roger’s drink, and he said,
Going next door now.
To the philanthropy museum?
Asked the barman.
Yep. Need to check some things out there.
But its closed until next week for the local heat’s Regional Uneventful Bear Tug contest and Cod Boasting Algorithms.
Not to me,
Replied Roger, as he turned to leave, trying to keep his heavy boots on without falling over.
Good luck with that then,
Fidelio answered, not giving any kind of hoot at all, and watching the wall for more well rounded entertainment.
He continued.
You’ll need this I think,
He ended.
Roger stopped and wondered if he had a gun drawn on his left buttock. Quickly, he got out a pocket mirror from his gagging bag without moving his feet, and checked both cheeks. No gun was there printed or drawn on either. A relief of a smiling Great Uncle Findus waving wildly, tattooed in red ink; but that was old and made upon him by that uncle as a joke when he was young and in a drunken sleep. He felt relieved as he turned back to face Fidelio, who was showing signs of coveting Roger’s handy cheek checking mirror.
Fidelio had in his hand by the tail a single smoked anchovy that he was holding out and up for inspection; lifted from one of the various jars of items on the bar back. His reasoning explained, and a deal concluded, Roger booted out of the bar and turned right towards the museum next door, wading through the sheep that filled the street aided by his heavy boots, with the anchovy in a small bag.
Roger leapt the grills minus his heavy boots and dropped easily the 20 feet to the basement floor at the back of the museum. He tapped on the staff entrance door, thankfully dipping the anchovy into the guard piranha’s mouth in satiation.
He said remembering the codes and forgetting how an evolved guard piranha can live out of water, he tapped 3-9-9 on the door with a pause in between the phrases.
There was a return tap of 4-1-1-1 from inside.
You have the beauty, breath and brains of a donkey from the stone ages,
He said, giving the password.
The door opened, and Marmalade the evolved crocodile let him in, saying,
And you are less than a chug of maple syrup yourself.
A warning horn sounded similar to a ship in a fog from the security system that marmalade switched to 'manual over ride'.
Roger went in as Marmalade closed the door behind him and reset the gridlocks to nothing plus something.
I’ll show you the way,
Marmalade said, putting his tail on a trolley and proceeding along the dark empty corridor in an orderly fashion, M16 assault rifle slung playfully on his back.
Thanks for sanding my floors by the way. My arms are too short to handle the machinery and who uses robotics when a friend will do it for you, eh?
Marmalade winked. Roger smiled and nodded a welcome in response. They went up a lift four floors.

Passing a room marked LAB, Roger enquired why a museum would need a lab anyway, from which the odor of roasting flesh could be smelt.
It’s the kitchen. We um… need to eat during these long shifts at security, you know,
Said Marmalade.
Ah. So your specimen deliveries of failed lives get the royal treatment when they get canned here…very good,
Said Roger in approval.
Yes. Before they get stuffed. And put on display. We get some very fine frozen carcasses delivered here in the museum…shame to waste all that lovely interdimensional flesh,
Continued Marmalade, salivating slightly.
We get most from the authorities. Personnel who overstepped or failed their duties mainly. They disappear here. To be inspected by the public as fine, robust specimens of their species. All sorts. But with small brains. Very tasty, too. Ah… I mean, the public are interested in the biodiversity; the differences of scale and extremes of ecology. We reproduce local environments here that are realistic and well, stunning. So the public get quite an eyeful, without travelling to climates beyond their comfort zones and entering a Dangerfield. No good for the kiddies, you now. Used to be too many accidents before,
Finished a crocodilian smiling Marmalade as he took a rat from his pocket, opened the wrapper and biting its head off, sucked out its brains with his hollow snake tongue.
Oh, very nice. All makes sense to me. And you get biodiverse dinners without the hassle of travel AND a salary for security. That’s pretty much the tip of the top in any man’s err... crocodile's book for me,
Roger said as he kept up alongside Marmalade enjoying the nature of the place in all its meaning.
So what’s this then?
Asked Roger of a particular display case scene they were passing by.
That’s The Realm of Closet Philanthropy. You know- where there are a donor’s who say they give but just use that as a ploy in some negotiation, and then don’t follow through. There’s a whole floor of those. Different environments, all the way from ethereal to ephemeral. Some at zero Kelvin, and others in the eighth dimension. And pretty much all in between. Crime punishable by energy removal everywhere.
What- even in the eighth dimension? You cant even have a decent conversation there I mean- come on. I can understand a snowflake getting angry about the colour of Marmite but in the eighth dimension, I don’t know. Is it even calculable?
Said Marmalade, continuing
They use obscurity ergonomics to relate judgement. Relative cause and effect. The dogma of preventative logic over the need for a good dinner. Like that.
Is that the version of truth with Tintin?
Asked Roger.
No. The one with Ugandan cultural affairs and rusty nails.
Answered Marmalade.

After a cascade of different staged scenes and varied environments, they finally arrived at the one Roger wanted to get at.
This is Professor Epilogue,
Marmalade introduced Roger to the Prof.
Hello Prof. Nice to meet you,
Said Roger.
…And that’s how it began to bring you to this ending then. You are Roger, the evolved cat, yes?
Answered the Prof. in introduction, who was wearing brown brogues that were extended to his armpits, and huge curling tongs on heated rubber arm covers, giving the effect of a man under pressure and inconvenience but serious never the less, which is why no one was inclined to shake his hand in greeting.
Here. Hold this in your hand. Like that, yes. Now, you come with me, yes?
Continued the Prof.
Answered Roger. Holding a Fielder that activated on contact, they flipped through a vortex and arrived in a space within a space within a space within a space. A dimension far removed from their point in space time of travel. Roger looked around. It was all an amorphous mist of slightly green tint, without a floor. They were floating.
This is Iliminitisol 8-47D. It’s a 5th dimension environment. With walls just like you have in yours but totally different,
Explained the Prof.
Been here before?
No. No I haven’t and can’t see any reason to want to. Is there something here or is this for show?
Answered Roger.
Said the Prof, pressing a button on his large vortex tablet about the same size as a laptop computer.
Roger had used automatic Fielders before. They were useful for making a safety field around a person that kept them all well in any environment, such as politics or dimensions at any pressure, temperature, or mix of elements. And fed the wearer with fashionable quantities of breathable air in an impregnable energy field of cross referenced amorphic instantaneous frequencies just right to prevent any harm coming to the wearer, while giving the sense of seeing and hearing whatever there was to hear by antimatter to matter looped translation. They enclosed the person just above their molecular presence, which was useful except if you wanted to use a sense of touch. Gravity could also be adjusted manually although advised to be left on automatic. On the whole, a useful aid to travel. The down side was that it made the wearer thirsty quickly, so it was always a good idea to carry a few bottles with you as liquid alone would get rejected by a Fielder. It had to have sold matter contact with your self to work.

Roger put away his bottle as the Prof said something was coming he would like. The mist slowly coalesced to form three beings from all around them. What could only be described as Light Spirits, in a roughly human form.
Inside his head, Roger felt them enter and present themselves.
Ah, good. Roger the cat and the Prof. Been expecting you. And you want something don’t you, Roger?
Ah…yes please…
Said Roger inside his head slowly finding his way.
At The Canyon of Darkness on Latviation 2, in the Gobadah Galaxy of your universe, you will find what you seek. In a small glass bottle marked LAMB TODAY. Here are the coordinates. Anything else?
Asked a voice in his head, and Roger answered
Oh no. In that match, it was a foul for sure,
The apparent deity answered.
Ah. Really. Well that solves that one then. Thanks very much.
Then the mist dissolved and it became a bar in a pub of the Tenuous Thistle and Wet Engineer, in Ealing in 2017. They were stood rather strangely at the bar with a tinge of lilac sheen from the Fielder clinging to them. The barman said,
There we are, gentlemen. Two Murphy’s served to perfection. On the house.
And he placed the dinks as he was talking with a big smile, carefully on the bar in front of them.
The Prof and Roger drank quickly from the open flower pot mugs, the best stout any man ever tasted across all time.
Yes it is, isn’t it?
Said the voice in Rogers head, and he and the Prof answered together,
The best.
I think you’ll be needing this, Roger,
said the barman, whose name Roger knew to be Bill Somehow, and he put a bottle of salad dressing in Roger’s one empty paw.
From the restaurant here. Our gift.... Ah ok,
Said Bill,
A spare as well too. Welcome,
Putting another bottle in Roger’s hand he could just about hold; so he put them both in his gagging bag, all just as Roger thought about taking a second bottle.
Then they were back in the mist. And the Light Spirits wished them well and a fond goodbye with a return opener for the next Wednesday afternoon at 4pm, New York time, as they were a bit busy these days.

Then, they were standing back in the museum with Marmalade who had been waiting and chewing rats heads quietly.
Marmalade asked.
Yes. Brilliant. Perfect,
Replied Roger, turning to the Prof, and asking,
Can I get one of those machines you just used?
Yes. But not in your lifetime. The next one,
answered the Prof, recalibrating his machine with the end of a curling tong and making excuses that he had specially come directly from his lab there and the upset of travel was great and so on, making a case for some compensation to Roger for his services.
Why did we have to do all that here then, just as a matter of interest?
Asked Roger.
Look around. It’s a vortex enhanced stabilizer field that we are standing in. Embedded in the displays so carefully arranged on this floor. One of three on this planet and I am late for my tea now, yes please,
Replied the Prof.
Of course,
Roger said, getting a copy of Movel number one, Iron Boy Takes Chunks out of the Honk for a Vegetarian Lunch and Sails to Poland, June 1968 edition in mint condition with only some peanut butter on page 14, and handing it to the Prof in its cellophane wrapper.
Excellent. I haven’t read this one yet. It will be a treat with tea, yes,
And laughed a laugh that would move anyone hearing it at least three steps back towards the nearest exit.
With that, he left by his special Extra Strength Super Pro Enchilada (ESSPE or S.P.) travel portal, and Marmalade and Roger were alone in a vast hall of displays reaching into the distance.

Roger looked at Marmalade who shrugged his shoulders.
Yes thanks. Very good. Mad news about that foul though. Highly contested…
Said Roger.
Yes I suppose so. This place…
Added Marmalade, ignoring Roger's comment about the foul and gesticulating with half a rat held in a claw,
Its in its own in-between vortex permanently. Goes on for three miles along. From the stairs by the lift, automated travel in and out. All the public floors are like that. that's why we have to walk back to the lift. Field dampening. Your Fiery is no where near powereful enough unless I disable a window from... here,
He added by way of explanation as they stopped at a sort of electric panel on the wall near a lift.
Ah. Good,
Answered Roger, thinking it might be better to bite the head off a rat just now.

Well, thanks very much. I will be in touch about the game of pool contest on Friday evening at the over 80’s seasonal fox hoaxing and hornet stabbing society annual dinner dance for the still alive. Can you open an exit portal for me please?
Roger asked Marmalade, who answered,
One minute… I will be at that contest anyway. Lots of old crocs there. Ok. Its open. Now you can bypass the security and exit. See you Friday night then.
Yes, bye,
Said Roger, flipping and appearing at the table in his personal highly prized and top quality first class carboard box with the hole in the roof slightly South of Basingstoke city centre. Getting a bottle of alien salad dressing from his gagging bag, he handed it to Delilah.
Oh. What you got there then?
She enquired as he put it in her hand.
I think you’ll like this. A lot,
Stated Roger with confidence.
Roger. You are a good boy. I’ve heard of this brand but never tasted it. Just in time for dinner too. Toasted cauliflower, with diced fresh limes, peas, lettuce, carrots and chutney. And a half a roasted rat for you. Other half tomorrow…if you are good,
Delilah smirked, holding Roger’s chin in her hand and giving him a peck.

Wow. I see what the Light People meant now. its been a great day all told,
He said as he pushed his other bottle of salad dressing and a note with the match result definitely confirmed as a foul and address of the item sought provided by the Light People to the BOSS in Moronococoa through the Fiery travel portal, and sat down to eat.
We must get this table sorted out,
he said to Delilah, who answered,
Well, someday I suppose you might. In the meantime, its nice to have a mystery in our very own cardboard box. More than most have that’s for sure,
She finished with a lump of cauliflower head between her teeth. and went on to say,
Wow. This dressing is utterly fantastic. It tastes of…all things good. Its unbelievably good! No recipe on the bottle though, I see.
replied Roger biting down on a well roasted half a rat, with his eyes going bright.



Far away in Tibet, where air is rationed and breathing is a national sport ending in the annual finals at a tall mountain named U.R. Jokingmatey, you can, if you stand silently between bites of your chocolate bar, still today hear Sibelius droning on and on about how much better he is than Mozart ever will be and does a much better and faster job of gutting fish with a lemon squeezer.
Or not.
Anyway, as far as far away can be to a man standing on a wooden box plucking a rebellious chicken and singing the old songs of the garish tadpole, is where Che Guevara made the ultimate decision of his life one day that would change the fortunes and destiny of the entire livery of the International Union of Feral Lemon Peelers and Squeezers, reformed 1965.
Yes. It was true then and its true-ish now. In a flat-packed underarm and bouncy sort of way, like ordering a newspaper in the corner shop shouting Greek in Morse code backwards through male frog and salmon flavoured car windows.

No one seemed to notice as Che drove through Nicaragua with a futon tied to his head alongside Evans the EverUn-Ready, Thomson the Curtain Tai Uni-Lacer and the famous Russian weasel wriggler, Sailos Uni-Bovski, who took a wrong turn as the map was inside out that day so they ended up stuck for a year at the source of the Yangtze river high in the mountains with their vehicle being towed by a friendly but slightly lost vacationing mountain lion named Whizz My Jamaican who did not appreciate jokes about his serious name, the outcome being that it was good judgment to wear a used sock in the mouth while in near conversation or you would get your head bitten off if you smiled out of order, but otherwise very helpful and friendly in much the same way as the Americans bombed the crud out of Italy one time, whilst making themselves popular on the streets.

And there it was while they waited for return carrier pigeon order of spare car parts from mighty Amazomygoditscrape by the vulture delivery program; and there is was that Che discovered during the varlet fettling season that he was a natural talented lemonier, by peeling his first ever lemon in 2.3 rabbit seconds; faster than the fasted monk in orange, as the fruity police all wore out there in those days while setting raspberry, satsuma and shrub curd in gelatine.

At that point, Roger put down the Tibetan tourist brochure he was reading from about all the above, and took a long drink of drink he was drinking, which was good as drinks go by and by; and he felt good, too, reclined on his velvet sun lounger at the hotel pool just within twerking distance of the barmaid who could deliver refreshers with one tentacle in about the same time it took to order one with just one askance noddy wink or telepathic thought.
All very far South of Ashby De La Zooish.

He rolled up the brochure and stuck it in his left ear to see if it would fit through. Nope. He tried from the right ear. He tried tooting through it. Then he put the paper down and looked at Delilah lying on a lounger next to him fanning her brow slowly with her tail holding a straw boater.
Nice here innit.
He said in a way meant to be a statement of fact pretty much the same as any could be.
She replied in equal tone, not bothering to open her eyes and trouble her marmoset relaxation technique.
Your tail’s got a bit of colour already,
Noticed Roger of Delilah
Said Delilah flatly.
And I suppose you’ll have a great tan by the time we leave in 3 days.
He surmised.
Said Delilah flatly.
I think we’ve got the best spot here. The sun is just right, facing South, no close Germoid or Italic loud families who won’t stop trying to engage a conversation; or kids screaming or comparing homes. Perfect. It’s going to be…
Delilah cut into Roger’s reverie,
If you are bored, go and have a stroll about. Ease your natural curiosity.
…the best vacation we ever had. Oh ok then I will that’s a good idea. Can I get you anything?
He replied happy to be doing something more than lying down to bake in the sun for days and days.
No I’m fine thanks. I’ll be here toasting my toes. Be back in time for lunch,

She gave the way for the morning to go all up until mealtime. So off he went for a moochy, thinking about how women always seem to organise life around meals, which would mean that when they did things it would always be in between meals, which would mean they never got a good run at things, which is probably why women don’t enjoy a good mooch about so much as men do. Unless they are the kind who prefer to run their own cardboard boxes. Or something. Like chefs.

Leaving the pool area and walking along the beach by the clear, calm sea, Roger was looking for any scent he could muster of interest. He looked out to sea. He looked in the other hotel beach fronts. He looked into rock pools in the mild surf. It was getting to be a bit too hot after an hour or two, when he saw an old wooden fishing boat surrounded by nets drying in the breeze, waiting to have their holes repaired. He went and sat down in the shading boat. He got up and sat down again. It stank of fish. There was a sign hung on the mast flapping loosely, that had some words in faded blue paint, he could just make them out if he looked quite hard….GET UT OF Mi OAT.

Leaving the oat by its ut, he went further along until he came across the Rembrandt and Virtual Harpsicord Hotel, and went in, mainly to take a rest from the strong sunshine and cool off. Sitting down in the airconditioned lobby amongst a few guests, he called for a long island iced tea which arrived at his elbow before he had finished speaking his order with a side of nuts, small bottle of water and tourist brochure of the hotel. This was a Tropicana class boutique hotel then…He took stock of his surroundings.
The couple of elephants playing cards looked interesting; but Roger decided to settle on the python and octadog who were playing wallah chess in a timed match, clicking the timer with each move. A money game. He willed his lounge chair and table over to theirs, so it glided silently across the floor guided by Roger’s telepathic commands, and greeted the chessers with a silent nodding smile so as not to interrupt their game. Watching the play and eating nuts in earnest, it turned out to be a best of 13 contest.

Three drinks later, Roger was seeing double and wondering how long all this was going to take as he was onto the bottled water by then and wanting to do something a lot more than spectate.
He had lost count of the number of games and had to check the list on the table that he failed to focus on superbly.
He asked, offering the players the complimentary bowl which met with a solid scary refusal from both.

Just then, the octadog’s king was mated to the opposing queen and the game ended in a marriage for the python, who flicked the chair of the octadog in the air with its huge tail, making the animal fall so its head went straight into its double jointed open python jaws, and was swallowed whole. The python asked Roger if he cared to have a game as the flying chair clattered back down into its original position, but empty.

What’s the bet then?
Asked Roger, amazed at the python’s technical lawful murder and lunch skill and very curious about what the bets were.
Make an offer,
Responded the python, almost smiling, adding,
A serious offer for a serious game. You can choose your side.
That sounds civilized. Let me see now…
Roger said as he picked up a black and white pawn and juggled them in his paw.
Better to get lady luck to choose the colour, eh?
Roger said to the python, who answered,
As you like.
And watched Roger’s paw movement with high concentration.

His timing was still good despite the drinks. The security ox by the main door held it long open for a family of Giraffe to enter, and Roger took his cue with the incoming blown dust to sneeze with violence, so that the pawns flew from his paw and hit the ox – one in the eye.
Oh do excuse me. Sensitive nose. Oh dear. Its running now….

Roger held his nose and sniffed as he excused himself to the Python, who was transfixed by the security ox with rising terror.
The one thing you must never do is flick and ox in the eye with anything, including chess pieces made of heavy silver. There is no living record of any person surviving such an ox eye flicking event. The python was off and gone, moving away across the ornate marble floor before the ox could home in, as Roger accidentally pointed to the python, shrugged his shoulders and asked …
So…what happens when you lose?
To the retreating python but in the direction of the ox, who took it.

Well, it was a mess to be sure. The ox was certain that the python was angry with him for opening the door in a game-losing distraction that made him responsible, which would be a sensible assumption, but was simply doing his job. Angry? You have no idea…

Blood and bits of python, goop and partly digested octadog over the whole lobby. Roger picked up the python’s bag, acceptably explained that his bar tab was on the octadog, and left the hotel by the beach entrance, showering while passing the hotel pool. He could hear the elephants in full trumpet to the management. Elephants are the worst moaners and can go on for weeks. Months over the smallest thing. It was a childhood taught vocation for them. Roger imagined they would get a free two extra weeks off this, minimum; hotel’s compliments, while it took them a free two weeks more to finish the negotiations.

About an hour spent kicking the surf along the beach and keeping an eye open for catchable fish, Roger had walked his way back to Delilah at his hotel, The Intradimensional Flabby Pumpkin and Truffle Goiter; seven stars with telepathic service whose specialty was their garlic/onion nettle-sting breakfast tureen that Delilah had been so excited to go there for, but then only tried it that one time.

Had a good moochy?
She asked, half interested from her tummy-down lounge bed poolside position.
Not too bad. Not too bad at all as it happens,
Roger said as he put the python’s bag on the side table next to Delilah,
Not so good a day for others and I am having a bit of trouble with opening this triple penguin locked ditty bag. Any chance of a little tail assistance?
Delilah’s tail turned to face him and put down the gently wafting straw sun boater. Moving snake like to the ditty bag with the air of a predator approaching its prey, it felt around it, over it, and back again. It picked up the bag, threw it up so it spun 3 times, caught it and whacked in down on the table by a corner, making the triple penguin lock spring open with a sort of sigh.
They said together for different reasons.

Inside were assorted goodies, mostly pythonesque is meaning, a Vitnoil Cheater cordless chess computer with every possible variation of moves to program a triumph every game, and some winnings by all accounts, of the python’s morning of play. Upon inspecting the articles carefully, Delilah looked square at Roger and said,
I think we should stay here the full week and buy a bigger cardboard box when we get home. What about Swansea?
Swansea? Oh that’s pricey there, Swansea. Are you sure you’ve done the maths?
Asked Roger.
Oh I think we can sort something out,
Delilah said smiling and sitting up on the side of the lounger with her tail curling to her left side, ending with,
Lunch time then, Mr Moochy. You can tell me the whole story while we eat.
And a happy smile at Roger.

I must finish reading what happened to Che Guevara as leading lemonier…
Said Roger quietly as he accompanied Delilah towards the hotel’s best restaurant.
Next time in Adventure on the Astra Plan,
Roger finds the cummerbund he forgot in their hotel room,
Delilah reconfigures pre-Slavic scriptures using sailcloth and bunions,
And a blowfish finds a way to fire blue light retrospectively.



Late one evening somewhere in the lazy suburbs of up market Swansea where dish water sells at a premium in place of beer, soup is on the menu but not today, and the last meteor to fall there was 16 million years ago this next Thursday morning, Roger and Delilah were sat in their new cardboard box on their old piles of newspapers and magazines that they enjoyed as chairs (bit on the hard side but fashionable nevertheless), talking about Raymond, the megalithic heliotrope. Or sun hat, as you prefer, depending on your point of view.
It was a crisp, clear afternoon with clouds forming from the West, with rain as usual on the way. Roger was not distracted by the weather as he would normally be, but instead toying with a Lithuanian principle in Algebra. When I say toying, I mean passing the paper it was written on over claw to claw with his right fore paw, as cats do when they show that they are thinking hard about things they are trying to work out that are just evading their understanding.

How much again?
He said to Delilah.
Look. I’ve worked it all out carefully. Raymond is moving into the extension and the rent will pay for the overheads. The rest was done already,
She said by way of explanation.
How much was that exactly?
Asked Roger, perfectly not understanding at all as he was basically in a state of financial denial.
Raymond works for the authorities. He has a salary, pension and health benefits. Two paid holidays a year and a boating allowance for the Lake District. And expenses too, which he bumped up last year for Orlando with some hooky conference. DON’T WORRY. It’ll be fine. Relax,
Delilah soothed.

Relaxing was not a thing Roger did well. Now he was an evolved cat with responsibilities, all the fun was lost from day to day life, and what he enjoyed before was about to become a chore that needed daily attention. He picked up the rusted iron bucket they kept for roof leaks and stuck it on his head.

I am a martyr to the cause of cardboard boxes. I am an extension of an extension. I am an off world turnip with potential to become fabric softener,
He wailed in a hollow bucket voice, feeling sorry for himself. Delilah tapped on the bucket.
Hello? Hello-o? Is there a Roger there I can speak to please?
Asked Delilah,
If all else fails, we can rent to AirBo-Bo. They pay well for rented air and clean up the mess and redecorate completely after each…each…we could close the doorway off and cut a new door from outside, so that the extension was separated completely.
She continued.

I am a cusp of flaked missile range. I am a Belgian pork farmer’s intended breakfast. I am an electroplated integer used for traffic convection and sinusitis,
Answered Roger with a bucket echo.

Hello there,
Their conversation was interrupted by Raymond holding two bags in the doorway,
Nice head gear there, Roger. Stylish. I’m Raymond, your new lodger. Everything OK Delilah?
Announced Raymond.

Hello. Welcome. Come in. Yes we’re fine thanks. Roger was just licking the rust off this bucket and using echo testing to see how it was going. Is that all your stuff there with you?
Asked Delilah.
Yes. I don’t have much. And what I do have is mainly portable, pocket sized or inflatable. No bad things. I stopped playing with explosives when I was at college. Ha ha ha ha. Joke,
Raymond tailed off lamely.
Cup of warm water then?
Asked Delilah to Raymond.
Oh yes. Thanks. Looks like rain again in a bit.
He confirmed.

I am a semi-Presbyterian wooden leg with French polished cavities. I gave my soul to Satan and he sent it back saying it was no good. I used to be a Welsh Venusian with almond drapes and cyclic protrusions, and now I am a bird-pecked furrow in a cabbage field,
Continued Roger wailing with an echo.
Roger takes his work seriously. He’ll be finished soon I expect,
Explained Delilah to Raymond, who looked slightly amused and took the cup of warm water with a nod in thanks from her, saying,
Nice big cardboard box you have here. Your friend Turtlebreath said it would do me fine when she arranged it for me as their box was to be demolished and replaced with a new authority hat pin.
Oh yes that’s right, I’m sure,
Said Delilah,
Its all modernizing down her way now. Hat pins and trans dimensional spaces with river views going up like there’s no tomorrow.
Well, there isn’t is there,
Raymond put forwards,

Not if you think about it. I mean, who knows what today really means, and we only have memories of the past to rely on. Not very strong as evidence is it?
Delilah put her cup of warm water down on the kitchen table and said,
You work for the Thought Prevention Authority,
In a way that realizes the traffic lights have just changed to red as you are half way in a bad junction in rush hour.
Oh yes, the TPA. For 11 years now all told. Boring job but it pays nicely and has its benefits. They even give you time off to move home, which is why I have the day off today. I got promoted 4 years ago. Yes. Very good move too.
Stated Raymond.

Roger had been quiet for some time, and decided it was time to say something pertinent,
The TPA are a complete bunch of loony whacko crud eaters with less sense that a lost horse race.
Oh yes of course. Its part of the attraction for a virtual weasel like me. The long hours. The boredom. The senseless provocation of the public for no reason. The waiting. The paperwork. The lack of self fulfilment. The undercover work laying around for weeks in women’s underwear drawers listening to snoring and sneezing. The fixation that anyone is guilty until proven innocent at the cost of their lives, careers and families. Oh yes. Fantastic job. Suits me just fine.
Explained Raymond, adding as if by compensation,
Here is the rent for the year,
Giving to Delilah a small brown envelope with LANCASHIRE IS NOVEL typed on it,
Its all there plus an extra 10% for the pets.

Pets? What pets?
Roger and Delilah said together as Delilah was counting the dinosaur warts and Iguana teeth.
There’s Angus the French prairie lizard, Lily the Caputian mirco tiger and Bumbum the hairy lardfly. Oh don’t worry, You wont even know they are here. They stay in their glass safe environments with the poisonous snakes. Take up no more space than a sofa.

Roger took the bucket off his head and pressed his Fiery travel portal emergency button to ANYSAFEWHERES.
He flipped through the vortex and landed at somewhere the whole place was shades of green. The sky, the land, the little cottage in front of him. All green. No one about. Safe. Calm. Warm. With a pink sun shining gently. He checked his bearings. It said he was at allocation #2617.6 on Gamma Delta Afro 96-B12a.
One of the chain of 6 Frog worlds. Not a place to visit but safe unless you came across a frog, which was rare as they liked to be in the wet and most folks preferred the dry. So then, whose was the cottage on this Frog world? Roger whistled a good old fashioned loud and long cat whistle. The cottage door opened after a moment, and a little old Hesperus Minky stood there with a Bulger shotgun.
The Minky asked.
Hello. Just flipping by. Would you perhaps be interested in a trade? I have some interesting rare things in my bag here. No bother if your not. Just passing the time of day. Out of curiosity.
Offered Roger, never the one to pass up a chance to make a deal.
OK. Come in,
Answered the Minky after a moment’s thought.
I am Roger. Pleased to meet with you,
Roger said holding out his paw to the old Minky who had lowered his gun to point at the floor and returned the shake of hand to paw as Roger went inside.
Captain Emerald McPhereson Von Jugularbrat, the fourth. Sailor of the seven million seas. Retired,
The Minky announced.
Very nice too.
Roger complimented as they sat down at a table made from otters tails. Roger asked what he was interested in as he got out a 1974 Desmond Chandler novel that had only had a publication run of 500 copies, saying
This is a real story book about life on the oceans. Or in them. Very interesting,
As he was looking around for something in the cottage worth bargaining for, going on,
The main character is a young, ambitious evolved squid who wants to travel so then joins the Caputian Astral Core Navy and becomes Iram Jets. A tale of life, loves and high jinx on the Astral seas, 4022 pages with a forward from the Author,
Roger read off the back cover, noticing a strange bird in a cage by the window.
Its written in Thorax, so it easily translates to any language of a long Winter evening,
Roger finished.
The Minky looked unimpressed, so Roger handed him the book, which he sniffed at suspiciously and took a cautious nibble from a corner. The Minky’s ears stood bolt upright and he said,
A good sign in any language, with open wide eyes and a straight back,
He exclaimed.
Yes. Normally so. It’s a paperback book, no- no more eating until we’ve done a deal. Please. Have some patience!
Confirmed Roger, stating the obvious in case it wasn’t., and holding the book away from the Captain’s mouth parts with some force.
What do you have to trade with?
Roger asked.
Paper. Paper’s a rare treat round these parts. I haven’t tasted real paper in years. Well, only this really is all that’s left now apart from what I need every day.
The Minky said and rose to bring a wooden box from the highest shelf and put it on the table, opening it.
Whats that?
Asked Roger. The Captain got out a gold chain with 2 cross flags and an emerald in it the size and colour of which Roger knew to be of great value.
Its my retirement present from the crew and company,
The Captain said.
Not much use to me here now…

After some debate and wrangling, a deal was done for 3 more books, the Fiery instruction manual, a packet of strawberry seeds, dill seeds, some Bestianipol ivory eating knives and a febrile bristle pod that Roger had got for his new cardboard box and forgotten in his gagging bag. It was a fair trade, and Roger left with a shake and well wish.
We don’t see too many safer flippers through here. Just sometimes. Come back and see me if you have some more paper, he he he,
Said the old Captain in parting.
Sure thing, waved Roger, and flipped home from outside the cottage, hoping the situation would be changed when he got there.
In his cardboard box, Delilah stood cooking as was somewhat usual. Raymond was gone, Roger was pleased to see.

Everything OK?
He asked.
Fine. Raymond left when I told him you were a Westphalian owl baiter. Against his job description to lodge with those. Don’t know what we are going to do for income now though…
Ah. Well. It just so happens that may not now be a such a problem after all,
Smiled Roger as Delilah put a small bowl of mouse soup and plate of diced spruce leaves on the table.
Next Time In A Venture on The Aspro Plain
Roger defies gravity using only insect flatulance
Delilah pickles a live moongoose with the spray from a skuttlefish
and Raymond decides its only safe to work on alternate Tuesdays in Beckenham Winter soltice times.




One time Roger was in the Petulancy Nebula on Buttonlob 23Ua, near the top of Mount Carefully Aftermeals, taking his time between lunch and dinner to do a job for the BOSS in Moronacoconut.
It was very windy and cold. His whiskers were flying all over the place and the greenish snow was embedding itself into his fur. Why did he forget to bring his Fielder? Why did he always get the rubbish jobs? Why not just go home? Cold and windy and high up….and rocky.
Views were something to behold though. He took some selfies with the grey ranges against the rose skies peppered with turquoise clouds. It was a twin red dwarf star system run by AI engineered nanites who all religiously worshiped Michael Aspel, or if he was unavailable for a live performance ( they paid very well but life is not a fiction), then Cliff Richard’s housemaid if she felt like singing the opening of the movie Ghostbusters or writing parking tickets for Kensington and Chelsea Council in uniform but 8 sizes too big.
Just then, walking around the only narrow path towards the entrance rock of the nearby village that should have contained the Edificio de La Goosebumpery Mucus by sober careful planning and thumb swipe, two things happened. First, he walked into the teeth of such howling wind he thought his ears would fly off. Secondly, Roger’s Fiery travel Portal jumped up and smacked him in his disarrayed whiskers while glowing bright orange and screaming ANSWER THE BLOODY PHONE ITS DRIVING ME NUTS in the Murmansk Russian dialect, over and over, which prompted Roger to try and catch it while it was jinking about before it smacked his whiskers any more, which he managed to do with both front paws as he held onto the rocks with his back claws.

It was Marmalade.
Said Roger, meaning NO.
Hi Rogey boy. Coming to the guy’s poker game tonight at my place?
Said Roger, meaning NO.
Oh good. Can you bring some fresh salted rats? We’re running a bit low, please.
Asked Marmalade.
Said Roger, meaning NO, listening, thinking, and speaking while trying to hold on very hard to the rocks with his claws in the tearing icy wind without falling over the edge into the 40,000 mile precipice.
Oh great. See you about 8 oclock then,
Ended Marmalade.
Said Roger, meaning NO, rang off and put the thing back in his gagging bag, resuming his tenuous holding on with some relief by all 4 sets of claws and dragging himself along the side of the mountain path paw by paw.

It was all Roger could do in the rising gale wind to move forwards one limb at a time and cling on with the other three. Not his best day. He was down to a crawl and inching forwards. The village rock entrance was yards away now. He would make it. He would be OK.
The Fiery coordinates had not been very precise, and the built in safety zoner had set him down some distance from the village. They did these things by themselves for several reasons, mainly if the Fiery thought it was to dangerous for its user, they found the safest nearby location. Dangerous today it was for sure, and Roger knew why all too well, as was often the case in his many adventures.

Looking a bit like a studio Spiderman walking up the side of a really horizontal building, after some time and fair but of cursing, Roger found himself behind an outcrop before the village rock entrance that gave him some shelter, and the last few yards were easier, until he could stand upright again as he walked through the arch cut out of the single huge rock that showed sunshine and the village beyond. His claws had suffered, and he made a mental note to sharpen them when he got home.

Having problems?
The gatekeeper asked from inside his nice warm heated security booth, as he saw Roger completely disheveled. It was his way to entertain his dull days to ask such questions and guess what the answer might be from a list of cross referenced weighted and noted historical replies, to each and every infrequent visitor.

Me? Have problems getting here? Now? With this wind at gale force 9999? Tish. Why should that be?
Roger answered, falling over and relaxing a bit on the wind-free stone floor as he got his strength back. The view of the roof inside the rock arch showed that it was covered with interesting and ancient graffiti, with a lot of people falling off things painted in red ochre, he noticed.

11,602. Complaints and sarcasm. A common answer given by evolved cats. Value there; 23 ostler berries. Oh. That’s not too good.
Said the gatekeeper, reading from his visitor value list then looking Roger over as Roger looked him over, adding
I think you might have done better and ventured into anger by whiplash. Cats do get angry. That would have been 34 ostler berries. Still, statistics are statistics. I’ll put you down here just the same. Name?

Said Roger.
You are here for what?
Asked the gatekeeper.
To see the Euclidian spider web. Not the evangelical version. The Hegelian one,
answered Roger.

Oh. How unique. Intending to visit the restaurant and gift shop then?
The gatekeeper added with a slight edge as if not doing so would at best be impolite and at worst could lead to…problems.
Roger, regaining some composure from his floored position did his best to smile sweetly and said,
You mean- oh good- they are both open today? What a treat I will be in for then.

The gatekeeper said as his booth lit up with multi coloured strobe lights and music started to play announcing,
The gift shop and restaurant are both open right now for you to visit and enjoy the well stocked good assortment of rare and collectable curios and fine hot meals at reasonable prices. Try the range of bat lung soups and baked goat cheeses with a glass of tepid Elderberry beer. MMM. Lovely,
The gatekeeper finished as the music jingle ended, showing his bad teeth well in a grin, as he added
40 Widmarks, please.
40 Widmarks?
Answered Roger, getting up off the floor and standing in shock as a finely presented feline mess.
Underlined the gatekeeper reaching for the ticket machine.

No one uses Widmarks. For years, for decades. I haven’t ever seen one to hold. Only pictures of what old people used to carry around with them in case of earthquakes and the English arriving.
Asked Roger, in some confusion, realising that this was not the most popular place in the universe.
After a few hours spent working out a very sarcastic and stand-offish negotiation, the gatekeeper gave Roger a tri-ticket for a 3 hour stay, one spiced cheese dip with a bag of air dried bat wings, and a small warmish glass of unsynchronized goat’s milk, if he drew it himself and the goat liked him, in exchange for two frozen armadillo’s, a signed portrait of Joe Frasier’s uncle Sirus astride the winner of the Grand National flea racing polezilla cup derby in April 2546 on Backhoe, who had a second career as a small club comedian and walrus table dancer, and an original analogue recording of Illia Kuryacant complaining how his coffee had been served cold so could he have another free packet of biscuits, from June 1964, made on a 45 speed single, cut one day when they visited Stratford Times Avon.
Roger entered the fabled Tiverton Village of the Holy Plastic Pencilcase, rather late towards dusk.
We’re closing in an hour, sorry. I forgot the time.
The gatekeeper shouted after him.
Oh great,
thought Roger as he lifted his paw in understanding without turning around.

He went the way of the signs that pointed to every little thing along the granite cobbled roads, including the window that displayed a small black rock along side its story of how it came to be there and found the village. The Black Rock of Dildo, that was only a strangely shaped fallen meteor, but who cared anyway, amongst the less than 50 stone houses in the sort of hidden valley surrounded by mountainous crags. All the doors were closed and locked. The place felt utterly deserted. In the centre, was a cave. Roger was in sight of his final goal.

Going in?
The evolved spider in a red uniform asked at the cave entrance,
Be quick. I’m closing in 30 minutes,
taking Roger’s ticket and putting a hole in it with a fang.
Here. Take this ball of string with you. In case you get lost in there. Cant have you staying overnight without paying first, can we?
Yes. Fine. OK,
Said Roger thinking would anyone want to, as he tied the string end to a large representation of a uranium molecule in the wall next to the spider below a sign that said LEAVE WELL ALONE, FRISKY.
He didn’t ask. He just went in. Roger decided that this place was not one for asking questions and getting straight answers. It was dark and smelly. The floor was uneven and followed the contours of the cave walls, round and as it went deeper inside.
Eventually, as he rolled the string out behind him and passed and turned through 4 forks in the path that were all marked GO THIS WAY NOW so he didnt, he came on the Vetrospenian spider’s web of Ganoot the Frictionless, who was sat behind the very large web knitting arachnid silk jumpers made from several pairs of Lord Kitchener’s unraveled underpants.

Said Roger to the spider.
One for me maybe? Or two for a ripe red banana and a packet of toad’s good intentions?
Ah. A bloody comedian at this late hour,
The spider replied looking at the timer on the wall.
Serious as they come. Really,
Exclaimed Roger with gusto.
The spider continued her knitting, saying,
I’ve got a big family you know. Cant stop to chat without a very good reason. The kids need these in this horrid weather here. All 4,000 of them.

I understand. Still, if the price is right, maybe you could buy a few hundred and take a shortcut more quickly?
Roger offered.
I could do... You’ll have to do much better than that, though. For 4 jumpers and a rood of Aventian brain leeches,
The spider parried.
And so it went, until a deal was struck, quite quickly, for a hand made duck, 3 slims of unrealized rabbit puzzles, a poncho of finest make-believe crotch spray, origami scented, and a box of whipped cream Iflinger butter scones chiefly dripped from many spun Morkal Jickson yardieloos and distilled essence of several rubberized Tolkienyfans.
Once agreed, Roger made the exchange and returned along his string ball to the entrance spider.

The spider shouted at Roger, cross as it could be.
Yes. No one else in there that I noticed. Why?
You tied your string on the GO AWAY NOW lever. I have to go to the bottom of the mountain now and press the PERMISSION TO GO UP button now before the cave can re-open,
The spider stated angrily.
Ah. Sorry about that. It just seemed handy being right there then to tie the string onto. Tell you what. I’ll try and go down for you shall I, and press the button there instead? Would that be OK?
Thought the spider.
Yes. It would be the right thing to do.
Right. Here’s your ball of string then,
I’ll go right now,
Finished Roger, leaving and making his way back to the village entrance rock.

Explaining to the gatekeeper as he punched a hole in Roger’s return ticket that the food packet of bats wings was wonderful and that he had to, (pause) Go now and see someone urgently before it was completely night time, he pressed the location seeker and returned home via his Fiery travel portal. No more going round the mountain where he came.
Arriving at the BOSS’s inconvenience store in Vas Lagos, the BOSS took his time checking each of the collected spider children’s garments for size, colour, weight, weave, thread, and style. The eight leg holes were perfect he said ( MM-MMM-M), but the three head holes may need filling with self inflating leap years. Roger guessed that they were all pre-sold to order for huge prices to ultra rich clients who were too lazy to relieve themselves and emptied their innards through a vortex operated by a slave rather than go through the tedium of actually moving a finger more than necessary. Roger left with a box of upset carrots who had their intradimensional money chess game rudely interrupted by the event, a pack of 12 original copies of Margaret Rutherford’s version of Enid Blyton Spring Cleans with Modern Rainbow de-greasers and Vacuum Chamber Unctions; the handy condensed milk version, Spring 1953; and a sprig of willow bark mig welded into the shape of a hot cross bun, signed and dated by Torvil and Dean’s great grandmothers during their lathe apprenticeships when they were only 106 and 94, respectively.

When Roger got home, Delilah was busy organising things as was her choice that late time of that day.
She had closed off the internal door to the extension and cut a new external door to their new cardboard box, with a nice flap to close it with, and made a small window the diameter of a long snout, just big enough to stick it through and sniff any visitor before opening the door, as a safety feature. She was sweeping the floor with her tail, as marmosets are wont to do in place of brooms as fur grows back and brooms cost money.
They both sat at the table together, with their hands and paws turned down in front of them, and said BOTTOMS several times to each other, for a good many minutes. Starting slowly, then getting louder and quicker, then together, then slowing up – sequentially again- and stopping. If it wasn’t so sad, it would have been quite musical to watch. They sat in silence for a while.

Offered Roger, breaking the rum mood about progressive infanticide in remote Canadian logging camps.
Oh. Yes. That would be nice. Thanks. I haven’t eaten all day,
Said Delilah munching away with some small and orange increase in happiness.
Complained the carrot.
Started Roger, both ignoring the carrot;
Now the extension is classified as a separate dwelling cardboard box, Raymond can move in then?
No more paperwork issues?
Right. Right,
Answered Delilah, continuing her serious munching.
He’s coming over tomorrow with …with his pets,
She added with a concave feeling about her forehead between bites of the carrot, who was surely dead by then being half munched, and had somewhat stopped complaining about its being busy repairing tears in space time that would implode the universe in twenty minutes.
So we’ll be OK from now on then. At least for a year. He’s paying when he comes – yes?
Stated Roger.

Yes. I wont have to give him it back this time. Thank goodness,
Said a munching Delilah, who finished the carrot just as the entire universe turned various shades of pink for a second, then went back to how it was.

Ah. So that what he was on about. Not pink universal tinting. Maybe that carrot had a former life as a hairdresser. They all like orange AND pink and tinting.
Roger suggested.

They both laughed for no reason that either of then could justify. Then Roger pulled out a dried rat from is gagging bag, and bit its head off.
Oh. Popped in to see Marmalade on the way home then?
Asked Delilah.
Yes. He’s a good friend. Lots of dried rat always round there, so it seems. Big fan of Enid Blyton. He just likes saying the name as it sharpens his teeth when he does that. Another carrot?
Offered Roger, warmly.
What happened with your leopard then?
asked Delilah.
Oh. just forgot all about that. Isn't that just like me.
said Roger, wondering who had even mentioned a leopard.
Next time in Overtures of a Strada Pliny
Roger seeks an atom of Malvolio made from piquant ostracism
Delilah juggles ear wax with nautical inferences
And Raymond moves in with a huge surprise reflecting Lindo.




In the Guitarlunging region of Higgson’s Bakeout Front End on Spratmingle 62, Roger was usurping some torrents of a sort of skrill living in liquid hydrogen for the BOSS in Moronococoa, who had a list of goodies to procure for the very highly esteemed society gathering of the annual Leaf and Bow Shredding Gut-Bucketeers Eel Wriggling Society Chairanimals Dinner Dance Victory Fondling Somnambulation. An event of similar status to the Oscar’s perhaps, but with none of the award giving, and strictly a completely fatuous, indolent celebration of the most exorbitant galactic extremity, with awards delivered by mail afterwards along with card that read simply, WELL DONE FUNG BREATH. Very well reported upon by all the dimensional media though, who all attended and got to splash in with some not making it to the exits due to their over indulgences, which sometimes ended for them in a disappearance as their corpses became part of the um…celebration.

This was a place far from the touristic destinations lately frequented by anyone who could afford to use the now ubiquitous Fiery Travel Portal, version 2.6; the one with the Fielder built in and attached chilled lunch box. The lunch box was very popular, as it worked by keeping whatever you wanted to hand available in perfect condition at just the right temperature, at the simple press of one button, which was usually lunch of any size and shape, in a safe nearby dimension with just the right storage qualities. It also had ethereal wifi- temporal telepathic sound- that worked in any dimension, and the screen was slightly bigger with a doubled battery life over the 2.5 and auto-personal aroma, which was not popular as it mostly decided that every user really liked the smell of truffles today.

Roger didn’t have one of those. The BOSS gave him the old and basically long out of date 2.4 to use, the only redeeming feature of which was the OUTAHERENOW emergency safety button in case of ox attacks and other lesser dangers. Still, today he had remembered to bring his Fielder and use it properly, so he was encased in a nice warm breathable safety field. Also, he had his paddlenearme gun which was good for taking down any intradimensional threat by sending it through a pre- arranged portal to the eight dimension simply by aiming and pressing the trigger. Folks in the 8th dim were getting upset by this old fashioned safety solution as crime rates there had soared recently with all the uninvited arrivals, and it was no longer safe for their children to play in the parks or walk the streets un-guarded.

There was now talk about creating a dimension 8.1 that could handle the awful deposits but have the increased advantage of feeling like being in the fur on the back of a very large rabbit on a sunny day just after a fabulously good lunch in Miami; the plan being that if arrivals were comfortable and well attended to, they might involve themselves in less crime, like irradiating thousands of psychotic giant chickens holding chain saws, without an authorised license from the Vladivostok Snot Burgling and Crimping Tri-Dimensional Federated Spent Oats Authority, Shipping and Drainage Department, valid for 12 months with a free single ear, nose or waffle piercing.

Anyways up.

So, Roger was collecting this skrill and sending it all through a loopie to a holding tank somewhere he didn’t care where it was, so the BOSS could get them delivered just now and fresh. 650 million tonnes of the stuff. He was there leaning forwards holding on to the portal entry net, with its mouth in the stream of liquid hydrogen as he stood on what looked like rock but was probably frozen oxygen.

The net counter was tinging round and up with some speed but not fast enough for Roger. He got out a second net, and duplicated its status, sticking it in the flow with his other front paw while leaning forwards and balancing with his tail out and up.

How long do I have to stand here like this,
Roger said to the liquid hydrogen which refused to answer without an advance payment, so Roger watched the net counters move up through the numbers at doubled speed. Even then, more slowly than he would have liked.

You do look funny standing like that.

Roger turned to his left to see a Teradeductallasuar, or accountants as they are known in some dimensions, stood nearby having landed on another oxygen rock, and quite at home enough to throw a snicky comment at Roger’s ballerina-like stance. These huge ugly vulture-like creatures are known for their patience when attacking prey, and prefer to eat some days after they have expired, in order to get the balance of fresh to fetid about good for them. Roger had some time, as an attack would have been rare; some accountants having been known to fossilize first rather than complete their dutiful predatory engagements.

300 million tons and counting, the running dial went on and on.

I can stay here all day if you like and taunt you mercilessly at will,

The Teradeductallasuar said, preening itself languidly. After a pause adding,
My family will arrive soon and then…well. Who knows if one or two of them will be a bit …picky,
The ugly animal was ramping up the insults.

Bog off,

Said Roger,

I’m busy as you see and not a meal for you today. I don’t have time to involve myself in your silly games of predator and prey. Cant you see the Fielder zone move tinge to my outline? You have zero chance of getting anything short of a burn mark on your beak, matey.

350 million tons…

Fielders are great unless…

The bird let his comment drift off.

Unless what?

Roger asked,

Unless you have a Fielder blocker that as far as I am aware, is not available for local use by predators here abouts?

What. You mean one of these that doesn’t work for us?

The bird said, holding out a cubic device about the size of an orange.

Yes. One of those,

Said Roger looking hard at it and explaining,

You cant use them anyway as you are a banned species so they wont work for you. Your DNA imprint puts you off limits. Along with most other species, evolved or not. You can hold it for as long as you like. Makes no difference to me.

400 million tons….

That may be true. Unless…unless its held by a worker ant from Alverton 6, which is an allowed species. For example.

The bird argued.

True, but where are you going to find one of those round here? They don’t grow on trees do they?

Roger replied, his arms becoming gradually more tired.

Its amazing what happens when the batteries run out on someone’s Fiery,

The bird said flatly.

Yes, all kinds of new experiences can just…fall at their feet. Like one of us from an offworld sanctuary using a Fiery to travel to here with an ant from the same sanctuary. For example,

It added.

450 million tons….

Roger had had enough of this taunting.

He stuck his left hind claws out and embedded them into the oxygen rock, and shoved his tail tip in a crevice. He swapped one of the nets from his front to free hind paw and continued skrilling. With his free front paw, he programmed up another net and put it in the hydrogen fall. The dial counter went up quite a bit faster.

500 million tons…

I must say,

Roger said,

you certainly seem to have all the corners covered. I can tell you are clever to be just patient enough and wait until your prey gets angst and makes a mistake, then- wham! In with the talons and long, pointy beak, ripping and tearing like the best. You’re probably very good at the ripping and tearing too, yes?

Yes, I would say that I have developed a high ability for that. Yes. Never had any complaints,

The bird considered, with a degree of introspective self satisfaction.

560 million tons….

There was a squawk from above, and two more birds landed by the side of the first one, cawing and preening, as they checked out the potential situation to their advantage and possible dinner.

This is Algernon and Priestly, my cousins. Say hello guys.

Hello, what we got here then, Fred?

They both said together. Fred didn’t answer, but looked with all his concentration at Roger.

Really, now that we are three, there is no hope for your escape, cat animal thing. You may as well sit down now and give up. We will shred you quickly don’t worry. We get quite a enough practice for that to make a neat, fast job of it. Any parts you would like us to sympathetically snip first? The neck maybe?

Algernon offered to Roger.

A matter for delicate and prolonged debate, I am sure,

Answered Roger, noticing the counter was up to 610 million tons.

The birds spread themselves out step by step in an arc facing the hydrogen fall, with Roger in the centre. It was a classic pre-attack ploy.

I am going to press the de-Fielder now,

Fred said, holding the small cube in one of his talons out to show Roger said.

Better if you give up. Its so much less trouble and will make it quicker for you. I speak from long experience. You see how mature and well informed we are? We didn’t become like this from dieting and eating vegetables.

I can tell. You are surely amongst the best of the best of your clan, it seems obvious. But, I think Algernon is better than you Fred.

Roger postulated.

What? Algernon better than me?

Fred was taken aback,

This younger bird- better than me?

I am pretty good, I can say for sure,

Butted in Algernon with some confidence.

653 million tons…

Roger said in ending,

As he gathered back his nets and sat down in some complacency to look square on his ambushers, took a 360 selfie and saying as he smiled with the in intention of giving the air of a prey just giving up,

It’s all very nice, but,

And pressed the OUTAHERENOW button on his Fiery, flipping through a vortex and landing at the cottage of the Green Minky Captain as he had done once before.

Swapping a book of Charles Dickhead’s Brexit Strategies for Kindergardeners, emulsified compilation with added vertigo and a side of green garbage salad, for a huge live female frog in a basket, he flipped home to arrive at his cardboard box just a Delilah was planting a final row of cabbages in the small ground they had there.

Very nice too. Good work when you can get it,

Said Roger as he greeted Delilah with a peck on the cheek and exchange of tail touches.


Answered a reddish faced Delilah leaning on her old hoe,

Cabbages here, then parsnips and carrots down the back side. Its all there is room for. That’s it.

Delilah said, comforted that her day’s labour was looking good.

I brought you a frog in season. Fresh tofu flavoured eggs for dinner today.

Roger said, putting the basket at her feet.

Ah. Nice. Well done that cat,

She said, picking up the basket to eye level and looking in.

Its heavier than it looks. Quite a large frog. What does it eat?

Asked Delilah.

Oh… poisonous snakes and insects probably. Things like that. Lardflies. Hopefully.

Time for a cup of warm water then,

Delilah offered, guiding Roger into the kitchen to sit down at the table.

Oh yes. That would be very good,

He said, following her lead obligingly as he messaged the BOSS with the coordinates and relay address for his skrill order delivery.

Isn’t it funny how things are what they say sometimes, and then when you re-read them, they mean something entirely different. Like the contents of your breakfast cereal two days later,

Roger thought out loud as he sat down relaxing opposite Delilah at the table, warm water in hand.
Next Time in Add Dentures To The Acid Rain,
Roger seduces an aging pumpkin with free vulgarity tickets
Delilah emotes from an indoctrinated armchair
And Raymond renounces appendages as a kitten is publicly glued to one of his foot stumps.




Over the mean and unregulated grasslands of Vinderoot Section Rasned/129.B, Roger was standing on a lonesome tree branch watching the majestic herds of vilderbeans grazing in their millions. It was warm and dusty under a cool but huge sun that takes 23 years to orbit, at a slight wobble, so the seasons are little different. He was there to make a special show for the Wild Cat Ornithological Congress of Grassmat and Bovine Benevolent Society bi-annual Tintagel Bustling Swap Meet and Gungadin Battle of Braiseworthy Re-Enactment, with a live video feed and script written compositively by 1,000 intra dimensional commuters' committee of the Bright-my-boohahah competition winners. It was to be a 20 minute segment including 3 interviews, 4 action shots and 2 expert opinions invited as special guests, who no one knew anyway, but would live up to the hype and naked blind piano playing.

Roger was bored. He was waiting in the countdown for the show to begin and had 20 minutes left to stand around for what he considered to be nothing much of anything.
But, he was wrong.

There were holographic cameras set up with programmed drones acting from a remote studio on Calgone 19F, the coms hub moon of Galaxy 0391F/20.G1 in the Frosty Gherkin nebula, but they had a limited battery time and the show was dangerously close to their red lights, so they were set up near Roger to keep an eye on while on standby in readiness to make their work only when needed.

Roger saw the herds move slowly and continuously away in the direction of the fresh grass. The cast were sitting around chatting and relaxing and the battle re-enactment players eating sandwishes and drinking beer. Nice, cold beer... He decided to take a chance, and flipped to a hotel on the vacation planet of Alfreton Backs 17D.

Arriving at the superb and only slightly busy beach bar in mid afternoon, he ordered a large cool beer and sat on the self adjusting barstool, enjoying a few handfuls of complimentary nuts, which he naturally saved for later in his gagging bag. The beer arrived just as he finished ordering it, in perfect condition, proven by its taste that quickly followed to be judged as perfectly spot on. Taking a good long pull, Roger looked around him at the several seated evolved beings. The wonderful beach. The great climate.

I could stay here forever,

He thought to himself until he remembered Delilah and lowered his ambition just a bit.

Well, at least another 15 minutes or so...just time for one more. Shall I?

He thought as he nearly finished the beer, and seeing as another arrived by what was taken to be his telepathic request to replace it, he decided to enjoy a follow up. Or 3.

15 minutes later, Roger reappeared back at the position he was before. Nothing had changed much, he noticed, apart from the fact that he was standing on the same tree branch a litttle worse for wear, overcome in the middle of a huge herd of vilderbeans and he couldn't see anyone for miles on the ground. Where was everyone then?

Roger called the studio, and the director answered raging loudly about where had he been, his phone had been off, and to move 6 miles immediately, which he did by flipping through another vortex to the coordinates given. There all the dishevelled remains of the cast and crew were, holding the drone cameras and gear in hand on a rise next to a meagre rock outcrop, and looking as if they had had a very good sprint just recently. The director formed a hologram and told everyone what to do, and fast. It was 20 seconds to going live. The battle re-enactment combatants lined up as best they could, the experts unfolded their little portable stools in a veiwable gathered arc, and Roger stepped up to the top of the biggest rock to open, apologising to the other for having missed something while feeling it was a better decision that he made not to be there.

Straightening his whiskers with care, the drones suddenly flew from the hands they were being held in, and took up positions to get their camera angles right.

The director was on openvoice. From the Fiery, he started his call,

All right everyone,

he shouted loudly,

you know your scripts. Lets get this right for the viewers, please and forget the herds behind you, thanks very much...

and...3...2...1...Your Live!

Welcome today to the great Battle of Braiseworthy viewers. A great historical event to be re-enacted with....with

Roger paused as he couldn't help but notice that a herd was moving in his direction with steady determination. He continued...

With total accuracy and reality, all for your entertainement. You can see the throng of the two opposing factions massed facing each other across the open ground, ready to begin battle to the death, and we'll be going into that shortly. In the meantime, allow me to introduce our panel of experts; His Royal Higness, Dr Wilber Smidt of Oldsworthy,

The shot changed to the being and he said HELLO.

Great you can here today, Sir. Then also,....Professor Darren Branbud of Muller Compton,

again, the man said HELLO,

and our in-house commentator known to all, Eddie Strobelitarse from Gowery In Kidder Minster 4.


the being said in shot.

We'll be talking to them in detail on their opinions and summary of today's action in just a few moments as battle commences. And now, a word from our sponsers....

Roger finished as they went to commercial.

Excellent. Great. The best,

The Director said.

Just one small thing, Roger. Why is there a huge crocodile bashing the crud out of the battle re-enactors, huh? Tell me please.

Oh. That. Yes I see what you mean. Its not in keeping is it. Wait a bit,

Roger said screwing up his eyes...

I think that's... I think that's Mar...M...MM...Markedly not in the scipt actually. I wonder who it is?

Roger answered, putting the Director on hold and calling up Marmalade on the other line and giving him an ear bashing as Marmalade's Fiery jumped up in his face as it rang and stopped him stoving in someone's tin helmet with both fists.

yelled Marmalade down the phone at Roger.

Marmalade. Stop that. Your not in the script matey. Stop that now. This is Roger.

Yelled back Roger down the phone.

Marmalade pulled back instantly and said

Oh, hi Rog. Bit busy right now. Cant miss this battle. Really serious you know. This is real. I thought it was a show thing you invited me to watch, but these guys are going for it. ITS GREAT FUN MATE. You should come and join in. Where are you?

On the rock to your left, in charge of this show that you are messing up for me thanks buddy.

Oh. You want me to stop?

Yes please, Marmalade, thanks if you wouldnt mind matey.

But I am having the most fun Rog. ...

Yes, but your not in the script and this is live dimension vision. What you are doing is tanking my career before its started. That's what.
So stop now please, and we can have a beer in 10 minutes. On me. OK?

Ah. Beer. Free. On you... Any chance of a decent crispy rat or two as well?

Sure thing. Now, if you wouldnt mind, just BOG OFF behind that herd please, and wait until I call you. OK?

Ah, this herd coming towards me now? OK, no problem. Are they in the script?

YES. THANKS, Marmalade. Really. And dont eat any either. Now, if you dont mind, matey, or no free beer.

OK, OK, I'm gone. Look...walking...

RUNNING, please, Marmalade, thanks. RUNNING.

Ah. Urgent is it. OK,. Speak later. thanks. It was great fun. I got tw-

Roger rang off as the commercial finished and they were back on. No time to think any more. He went on, on air live:-

Welcome back, and now while the battle is raging in the background as you can see in 3D holography, my esteemed guests will answer some questions.

Doctor. How much did you put away from this one then?

Hello again. Well, only 100 thousand or so as a good bet on the Antipodeans. I think the leader, His Holiness Barnabus the Snotbag, has the upper hand in terms of determination to make a huge mess of everybody. Greatly weighted in my opinion. Poonskuttle the Wertrified- really. No comparison, with the high ground and all...

Great thoughts indeed, Doctor, thanks. Prof...How about you...

Handled Roger well, he thought,

Hello.... Thanks for having me. So, actually...

The Prof opened, and so it went on.

It was ok. They got through the rest of it. Sort of. Not the best thing, and only a few animals killed and seriously injured. Well, 41 all told. Quite a lot really, but who'se counting, eh?
Roger was talking to Marmalade in the bar he had been in before the show started, everything done and dusted. over some good cold beers...

I thought the ballet dancing was excellent,

Marmalade said, downing his pinta.

Ballet? You mean the re-enactors jumping up and screaming between the stampeding herd in a supreme effort to save themselves from being trodden, torn or stomped to death in the stampede started by some lone crocodile who scared the willy nillies out of them and was chasing after them with a whip?

Challenged Roger dryly.

Whip? Oh. You mean the snake I found working its way up a lone tree. Yes I thought it would enjoy the action, you know, see a bit of the universe. Must be dull crawling around all day.

Said Marmalade.

Yes. Dull it certainly wasn't. Anyway, i suppose the Director will be calling me any minute now to cancel any further work for me. End of career for me now. Still, worth three turnips and a perriwinkle of rock moss.

Never you mind, Rog, You can always sand a few more floors for me. No worries. Its not all the tinsle its made out to be. You should have some more fun. Be in conrol. Do your own thing. Help me install the 6 new freezers I need to store all the vilderbean carcases I uh...saved by accident, when we get back.

Marmalade told Roger who was staring into his beer dregs.

They're a protected species, Only a few left in this universe,

Said Roger, his mind elsewhere entirely.

Yes. Only a few hunderd million or so... minus about 10. I hope no one saw anything...

added Marmalade.

The phone rang, lept up and smacked Roger in the whiskers, demanding it be answered.

OH hell,

They both said together in fear of any adverse reactions to their afternoon.

Its the Director...

Roger caught Marmalade's eye and took the call.

Hi, how are you? all good then?
Asked Roger...

Roger. I want to talk to you seriously mate. This show you just ...did.

The Director said.

Yes. very nice, Marvelous stuff. Really went well.

Answered Roger, hopefully.

No. Roger. Not very Nice. Pretty far from.

The Director said.

Oh.... some problem then, eh? I did my best to redirect the cameras from the worst of the gushes of blood. Really....It's...hardly anyone's fault when a herd stampedes like that and beings get killed etc. Hazzard of live tv, eh, eh?

The Direcor cut in on Roger,

Yeah that was a tragedy. We just got the stats back. Biggest audience since the last Galactic President - Impetigo- got shot in the arse when he was bending over to kiss that baby. Its a hit, Rog. Even the insurance companies were laughing as they doubled the network's premiums. The show committee will want you to make a contract, and probably include that crocodile as well. ..


Roger's eyes glazed over. You mean... real work like humans do and mess up?

Oh yes. Just like that, Roger,

The Director finished with,

Come and see me in the morning. Not too early. Celebration tonight. Hahaha.. Bye.

What happened?

Said Marmalade.

He rang off. I dont know,

Answered Roger, being telepathically served another beer that he drank from, with a large whiskey put by the side.

Oh. Sorry mate. Thought you had it there. Never mind. You can pop in tomorrow and start with the sanding then, if you want, before I go to work.

Said Marmalade in consolation.

No, No, its not that, They want me to sign a contract. And include you as well.

Marmalade spilt his refreshed beer as it wobbled in his claw.

YOU? Me too?

Yeah. Yeah.

Said Roger, a bit taken aback.

I'm not one for usually being lost for words, mate, but now, I think I need this,

and downed the whiskey in one gulp, putting his paws flat on the bar side to steady himself with the empty glass.


Said Marmalade, not getting it very well.

I voted for that President, you know. Impetigo. In the last election. What a tosser.

Said Roger.

Oh yes, everyone says the same Rog. Its why he was shot in the arse, most people think.

said Marmalade.

Yeah. Yeah,

Ended Roger, his eyes full of something that felt good but was also terrifying...
Next time in Andy's Tenure Over The Blasted Rain,

Roger spends Raymond's kitten with wisdom and a soft avocardo,
Delilah equates Quantum ethics with a moral super nova,
and Marmalade buys a double strength tarpaulin to wobble his collection of antique jerry cans.




In the distant wilds of the most woebegotton ends of the Nefelim HR193.2 Galaxy, where old stars dim due to boredom, go nova for something to do, and become black holes only to look what's on the other side, Roger is standing in a field grown from only virtue and the national high school syllabus, which extended from horizon to horizon on the dwarf planet of Baxtrumpta 5. His Fiery travel portal having suddenly and unexpectedly dumped there as a safety escape from the mission he was on for The BOSS in Moronicocoa, he sat down and wondered about things. Evolved cats do, occasionally wonder about things between hunting and not hunting and chasing crumbo. Cats make the most excellent hunters, with better insight and instincts than other hungry predatory carnivores. The clumps of yellowy pink reed like growth billowed gently amongst the satin bluish sands in a breeze mixed with various gasses even a nasty ox would be unable to breath, so he was safely encased in his Fielder, for which he was grateful and -oddly enough- strangely thankful that he was, by its use, able to experience the planet. Unknown species of bird like creatures were circling overhead high up in the clear sky, against the back drop of a large and failing sun that had been there longer than memory could understand. Gravitic tremours distantly thundered and slightly shook the ground for some seconds from minute to minute. He scratched his left ear with his hind leg paw, and preened his whiskers carefully.

Soon, it would be time to go home and have dinner; but for now, he closed his eyes and relaxed just as a shadow blocked out the warm sun that filled the sky.
Then a drop of wet landed on his main whiskers, a terrible odour filled his nose and he opened his eyes to focus on the head of a huge ox standing over him.

Dr Velcron wants to see you. Now,

The ox said flatly, lifting Roger by the strap of his gagging bag by one horn.

Fielder dimmer,
It went on to say by way of explanation of how he had pierced the Fielder.

UH? What?

said Roger, trying to get a grip.

Am I Nowhere again?


replied the ox, not caring at all while he moved them towards a distant village, then thought better of it and travelled there instead using his own Feiry with Roger hanging on, asking

Oh yes, It's such a lovely place. I thought it - nowhere- was in another galaxy far from here though. How come?

We moved,

The ox said.

Oh I see. Very nice. Very, very nice. A great decision.

Roger paused and added,

So. How is business these days then?

as they entered the village that looked the same as before, except the doors were sealed like submarine doors and there were no windows.

Ah. I dont know. Could be better. I had to continue my contract for another 5 seasons as I lost something precious. Still, life goes on. Can't grumble,

the ox said, grumbling.

Life is life,

agreed Roger, entering a larger of the buildings and being set down by the ox in the middle of the room, similar to the one last time. The entrance sealed itself shut with a hiss and clang, and then they were through to the internal rooms that were breathable.

Hey there,

Roger greeted the Doc who was sitting with his back to them doing something only he knew what it was.

Ah, Roger. Again.

The Doc said, turning around and rising.

Oh. You look different from before,

stated Roger.

Yes, this is me number 1,362. The clones are getting better. Its the science, you see. Improving all the time. Now...

Oh yes. vast improvement. You look like Marylin Munroe. No. I mean James Dean. Really very good. You know Doc, I paid my taxes last time. All paid and done with. Sorted. So, whats the to do today then?

said Roger glibly as glibly was a good word not used often enough.

Not quite,

The Doc said, getting a sort of diving suit out and turning off Roger's Fielder with no one knows what device.

You see,

The Doc said, pausing as he prepared the suit.

See what?

asked Roger with some curiousity, looking around.

The Doc busied himself putting on the suit.

I want you to get me something from inside an electrostatic field of asteroids. We cant use current tech, its not strong enough. So you will have to do it in about 30 seconds or so. Tell me, how long can you hold your breath for?

The Doc asked. Before Roger could answer, the ox grabbed Roger's snout and covered his nose so he couldn't breath.

About a minute later, the ox let go as Roger decided the best option was to pass out in style. The doc looked up from the timer he had been watching, and shot a glance towards the ox, who got an apparatus out from a cupboard under a sink.

You will have to use this breather. It's good for about 5 minutes. When full, The ox shoved it in Roger's paw while putting a glass bowl each over his and Roger's head.

Roger took the kit from the ox and checked it over.

Oh. Really? Listen, sorry, but I need to be home in a bit. I dont think I w-

They passed through a vortex as the Doc hit the go button and landed on an asteroid about the size of a ship that was spinning at some speed, in what appeared to be the middle of an asteroid field.

Roger, who was good at freeking out when necessary, put on a really first class show of it. That done with, he stuck the breather in his mouth and switched on the air from inside the saftey of his Fielder, which was barely working although it was on automatic maximum, he noticed. It was cold enough to instantly dice an orange into party drink cubes you could leave in any equatorial desert thereafter for several years without any chance of decay. Not the most comfortable location to build a popular vacation hotel.

Can you hear me OK?

asked the Doc through some connection to Roger, who answered,

Yes I think so. Why?

In a few moments, another asteroid will pass by. With your particular talents, I want you to grab the small white box from amongst all the grey and dark dust and rocks, and give it to me here.

Roger, always a fast thinker, considered his options, and then triumphantly finding a solution to this situation, he said,


Back in the Doc's lab, Roger was munching happily on a dried rat watching the ox working out goring the side of a mountain, in and out of a vortex.

Happy now? Can I go, Doc?

Ah, Oh. Yes, yes,

replied the Doc, who had given Roger the dried rat when they got back as a gesture of goodwill, not to be sneezed at, so Roger thanked him instead. The Doc was at that moment opening the box inside a sealed vaccum chamber wearing those built-in heavy rubberized gloves up to his armpits. Roger wondered why scientists always wore them. Maybe, he considered, they were designed to go with the white lab coats and bad breath. There was no Gucci tag or gold embossing, he noted.
The Doc looked up from his work.

Thank you Roger. Well done. You may go now.

Oh. Good. Glad to help, although, I can say I very seldom get these parts, if at all, or will again. What's in the box?

Its an old long lost stored embryo of mine, Roger,

The Doc answered almost in a whisper with reference,

I just found it last week with some new GBH location software we were testing. It gives the spot to the nearest atom or so of anyone holding a suspcious blade. That's what it was designed to do, plus so much more. With this unique and near original copy of me, I will be able to use it to evolve just the same as any other species. I am very happy. I never liked James Dean anyway. I always had a hankering to be a Viking or a Visigoth. Even James Garner would be better. Now your curiousity has been sated, indulge mine. What is that knotted handkechief for round your paw?

Roger looked down at it.

That? its a memory thing. The Fiery jumps up and bats me in my whiskers if I ask it to remind me of something when the time comes. And now I come to think, with all this unpaid work you made me do in deep space with radiation that would cook an egg in a nanosecond short of vaporization, I cant remember what it was for.

Allow me,

said the Doc, his mood having moved from his usual deathly to sanguine, pulled up a page on his holographic computer screen with his left big toe.

One minute.....oh....oh... I see you had some fun earlier today. Yes, really, very good. I haven't seen a cat split the head of a rhino open like that before. I bet he was quite angry.

Are those my memories then? In here?


said the Doc,

past, present and future. We made a quantum link when you were here before. Its good reading. Except for the sticky bits, which we edit out as they are a bit... too sordid for intergalactic readers' tastes. Actually intimately repugnant...

Does it say when I will win the lottery by any chance?

Roger asked, square.

Oh. Let me see.....

The Doc responded, typing into the computer an instruction to search.

Yes. It does.

Said the Doc.

Oh good. When is that then?

asked Roger.

Quite soon. In two lifetimes from now, about.

Oh hell. Hah. Never mind. Today its wonderful to be alive and undamaged,

Roger said, crossing his paws and rocking himself at the hips a few times.

Dont do that please,

Said the Doc, putting his hand over his mouth and convulsing as the ox was violently sick so it spewed and bounced of the wall,

Its disgusting,

The Doc mumbled through his fingers.

What? This?

replied Roger, swivelling at the hips a few times for a second go.

Both the Doc and the ox left the room, in differing states of convulsion and extreme projectile vomit.

Roger checked himslef over for any small imperfection...patting himeslf down from head to claw.

I dont know what you're on about. Can I go now please?

he said to an empty room and a muffled MMM came to his ear, and then he was through a vortex and in his cardboard box in lovely downtown Basingstoke.

Delilah smiled at him as she looked round from her vegetarian cooking special fangchewy thingy broth, as they both greeted each other. Delilah threw him a dried rat, which he caught with an,

Oh. Thanks.

and sat down on the pile of newspapers sofa. Picking one random magazine up, he noted it was the Aberdeen Fluvial Fudge Spring Equinox Delight, 1972 edition, with a very interesting entire section about how to train your dung beetle to lop trees while singing opera just the same as Pavarotti, minus the floppyness. Most of its coupons for offers were still intact on the pages.

Delilah looked over at him from the candle lit stove made from two bricks and a drain grate, and he looked back at her...

I'm so happy we are back here. I really missed the place. Lucky it was still vacant, eh, Rog?

She smiled, happy.

Yes. Yes. Had enough of that, those high ups West End Swansea types. Too stuck up over there for the lowly likes of us, eh, Dee?

repelied Delilah.

Still. our money problems are over. We have enough now to fix the hole in the roof, straighten the terrace out, and brighten the place up, Roger said, biting the head off the rat with a consolidated munch.

Pause. Roger went on,

I wonder what happened to Raymond then?

Oh. Let me tell you. I heard he married a 5th dimensional sea urchin who looks a bit like Bing Crosby. Or was that Bob Hope. I get mixed up. Oh no wait. Stanley Laurel. That was it. She, it, looks like him,

said Delilah.

OOF, Rather he than me. Apparently I am somewhat of a dirty so and so in the 6th dim. They had to um...edit us out in our night times i was told today, chuckle berry.

Replied Roger to Delilah about the use of his memories for paid for entertainemnt, while wondering if the discount coupons in the magazine were still redeemable.

Ah, well. That's clones for you. They cant handle nature as intended, Eh, big boy- eh?

They laughed together, and then sat down to eat a full meal of shredded roast Chinese-style mouse and braised broccoli with stuffed riddled Welsh cauliflowers, washed down with a cup of real warm rain water each that Delilah had been sat on all afternoon.
Next time in Adder Henge Sure Does Tee A Minstrel Playing
Roger swaps a soap slipped selfie for 4 faulty floral vitrified flaming foot dumplings
Delilah gads about topless in a full keg of beer waving to her fans in curry,
And we almost hear Raymond building a model of HMS Devolution from kangaroo jelly and salted estuaries.




High in the atmos surrounding the Itmoss Centreperk Hallucion B/16, in Sector 2 ( not 3) of the Alfreakus1stein Gaulaxy, Roger was standing next to Mon Capitano Ribaldrool, having been invited along with a party of Cavendish swan tailed newts from Saltzberger JyFK4now to visit with him and view from the bridge that morning on the Intradimensional Cruise Ship San Blustynip Quadratic IV, have tea and listen to him go on about the merits of that type of travel and why they should book now for a repeat quickly. He looked sharpe in his pressed company uniform stapled to his back with kevlar and self vacuuming armlets; but he did go on a bit much until the one of the newt's kids fell over in a coma.

Roger quite liked the place. It was the nerve centre of a flying city ship with all the self indulgent trimmings that could handle any location at a moment's notice for up to 25,000 mixed beings in opulant 7 star luxury for any length of time and quilted lavender toilet paper, in pressures up to 1500 Earth atmospheres or take any sum of asteroid impacts in deep space, in any dimension up to the 5th, without so much as a polite sniff. A pretty safe place to be, all told; and Mon Capitano had been there for more than 10 seasons, taking the time to launch his own intergalactic brand of embossed quilted toilet paper which was doing rather well. Old, but well estabished, with a good reputation for users not getting sick or dying whilst in flight, it was being replaced by the newer class of quantum liners that held more than 250 million beings across 6 dimensions and a kiddie's play farm slightly East of Kettering.

The tech was so advanced, and the pre-bookings so over- subscribed, that users were forced to travel back in time and get their grand parents to book for them in order to secure a place. They were that popular. Still, all things at their own pace, as Roger's left armpit would often remind him with a religious algothym played in a madrigal of body parts. This here, today, he considered, was at the edge of magically wonderous. Moreso, as the BOSS in Moronycoocoo was paying for it, and he was there to perform his art; it was all an adventure without any downside. He was enjoying every living moment, and was sad that Delilah was not there with him as well. Such was the tedium of work, he surmized.

...And that concludes the tour of the Bridge instrument light flashing show. The signup forms for rebookings are in your complimentary ship's ditty bags now, and you get a 2% discount when you book today. Be quick, places are limited for this season' s remaining trips.

The evolved captain was finishing his speech, belched courtiously to every one, and then the two radiantly smiling crew girl ushers in stenciled leotards of full body painted uniforms, including this year's fashion of full body multi coloured cellular flashing afterglow lights and pair of Glock 19's, started to collect the adequately awed group and herd them out to the adjacent post sale presentation buffet, youngsters sufficiently enthralled by the attendant's appearances.

Roger asked the Captain,

Any chance of a quick drive?

with a winning smile.


The Captain answered.

Even I dont get to do that. Its all done by the computers. We just tell it where to go and how to get there, and what to do when we arrive. Quite dull really.

The Captain looked Roger over, adding

Whiskey? It's the cruise line special 50 year old brand. Very nice. Opossum Gonads '73.

Giving him a cut glass half full with very old and delicious fine malted blend.

Thanks. Don't mind if I do. So... all this is A.I. controlled then? like the air conditioning and menu's?

Roger asked.

Yes. All the thought scanners are telepathically linked to each passenger. They provide a sensational delivery of JWUW. Just what you want. All the time you are on board. Which is why I knew you would want a whiskey right now, It was sent in an A.I. message for me to offer to you. Common sense really,

the Captain said, belching politely as was his custom.

I wonder,

went on Roger,

If I can find any passenger at all just by thinking of them then? Is it good enough to do that?

Oh yes. If you know their name and they are on board now. No problem at all. Who is it you have in mind?

Answered the Captain with a question.

Persius Willowby Mankovitch. The 14th,

said Roger in a slightly challenging way.


Said the Captain, chinking whiskey glasses and asking,

The gentleman's cabin number is in your mind now. You know him?

Oh yes. Old friends. A coincidence. I found out he was here after we were onboard. But his Fiery is off.

said Roger, taking a final draining swig of delicious Opossum juice, which made his eyes cross slightly in a way that straightened his tail out.

Well. Have a great voyage and do rebook. I must press on now. 14 more groups to see before lunch...

The Captain sighed and belched in one victorious mellow outpouring that edged on the musical.

Very Nice. Thanks. I will. Bye,

Said Roger leaving by the door to the buffet where all the newts were busy stuffing themselves, although the young males couldnt take their eyes off the smiling attending crew girls, which was the predetermined response decided by the successful marketing department inside the A.I. Not for all the groups; some were accompanied by quite different things altogether, from brash evolved turnips to floating spheres the sizes of tennis balls.

In a few moments, Roger was outside the sealed door of Persius' cabin, having bypassed the buffet feast with inclusive nanobot marketing cooked in. The door bell said he was not there right now, and Roger could leave a message or go to see Persius in casino number 6, where he was right now.


said Roger focusing on the wall infront of him.

As he arrived at the Casino number six by the internal travel portal system, still repeating the word


and looking unfocused straight ahead,

he found himslef standing next to Persius.

Excuse me,

said Roger in a way that meant to break the mystical hold of gambling loss that was in progress.

Persius, having lost another roll of the roulette ball, turned angily and said,


To Roger.

Glass of Mancurian Frothed Goat's milk?

Offered Roger, as it telepathically arrived at a point between their opposing elbows.

Oh. Thanks, yes I will,

replied Persius, taking the heated flaming porcelain embossed cup of dubiously elitist brew and downing it, flames and all. in a single gulp and squashing the remaining empty cup in his evolved bear paw into something about pea sized.


Said Roger

I'm Roger. You have something for me?

Oh. Yes. And you have something for me too I hope - yes?

Gallery 4, Nebula view. Both of us,

Said Persius, pocketing his remaining chips.

The ship's portal system deposited them both at a discrete table overlooking a fabulous view of a nebula outside in Gallery 4, with drinks and snacks already there as their minds thought of them, to perfection.

Roger muched off the head of a dried rat,

Pretty good here on the whole.

Yes. And totally safe. All done with the locked onboard A.I. Impossible to have any thoughts without being noticed and responded to in the appropriate way. I'm still suprised that more business is not done on these ships. All in interdimensional tax free space. No galactic laws here.

Replied Persius.

So. Whats the plan then?

Asked Roger.

Here. 26 gold pressed Imolian Juju beads, as promised. First quality. Here are the papers, too,

Said Persius, taking a small bag frm his side pocket and placing it on the table.

Ah. Good. And here... is the single item for you...

Replied Roger, retrieving and placing the only surving copy of Central Porcine Aviation Monthly Edition Number 1, with the attached Garamond Lardy Fashion insert, in pristine condition still within its original clear wrapper on the table.


Persius said, then downed the milk in front of him followed by a handful of cured beetle larve while Roger finished the rat off chased by another whiskey. They exchanged items.

Pleasure doing business. Same time next month?

he added.

Maybe. The BOSS sorts out all such issues, as you know.

Yes. Yes. Well, OK then. Enjoy your stay. I'm going back to the casino.

said Persuis, rising and shaking paws/hands as Roger responded likewise.


echoed Roger with that glazed look again, as it reminded him of why he had to work for the BOSS anyway.

I do have something else you might like. just before you run off,

he added, getting hold of his thoughts as another whiskey arrived by his elbow.

OH? Like what?

asked Persius, his attention grabbed.

Its a pre-publication copy of Float My Boat Water Tennis Weekly, Dolphin Extreme edition, number 50. The anniversary issue. In good condition. Minus the self flagulation whale discount coupon. Here. Look.

I see.

Said Persius, sitting down again and looking the magazine over in its plastic sheath, adding,

I'm not sure I have a client for this right now. Its not worth much unless someone really wants it. I wouldn't sit on it, as it were. What were you thinking?

he added.

Oh. just some temperal displacement device or two maybe. Like a Fiery 2.6. Plus some fine carrots.

Roger offered, knowing it was a bargain.

Really. Well. I think we might be able to do something at that,

Persius said, picking up the magazine and looking it over carefully.

Yes. Yes. OK then. I'll get them delivered to your cabin. How many tons of carrots did you want? 30 OK?

30? well...

Roger thought outloud, as 30 tons of carrots arrived beside the table.

OK 60 then. My final offer. Shake.

Roger shook, then shook his hand.

His cabin,

Persius said outloud, and the carrots disappeared instantly.

The Fiery will be there as well. I've thought it.

Persius said, taking the second magazine.

OK. Great. Thanks very much. I hope we meet again soon.

replied Roger, still shaking Persuis' hand.


said Persius nodding, and flipped out back to the casino.

Roger had two more whiskies and another rat, and decided not to spend the night as was open pre-arranged for the business negotiations. The call of the tables was too strong. Better he was home. The cost saving might impress the BOSS, too. He thought his situation, and the travel lock lifted on his Fiery, allowing him to flip out.

He arrived at his cardboard box in upbeat downtown rising Basingstoke a little time before lunch might be due. His baggage and sailing suit were there, along with 60 tons of carrots and a new Fiery 2.6.

Blimey. I wish every day was so smooth like this one. So far.

He said outloud, checking the Fiery over for quality.

So do I,

came a response from Delilah who shoved a warm cup of water in his hand as she came outside to greet him, followed by,

I think I've just gone off carrots, Rog. These are all for us?

Delilah said, taking a carrot and nibbling a taste.

Yes. If you want. Or the new goat family who moved in last week on the corner might like some. I'm sure I could find a home for them.

Roger offered.

You might better do that. These have time traveled. They're full of next month. Not fresh at all yet until last week.

Delilah gave her opinion.


Roger said, looking down at his Fiery and turning it on. It didnt turn on. He checked the back. No battery.

UH. No wonder.

Running around like crazy all afternoon, Roger just remembered to send in the traded items to the BOSS in Moronocononon as he managed to procure a new Fiery battery and get rid of the carrots in a fair trade, that included 3 turnips, a handful of Gazelle parsley, an ounce of Radiated turmeric and a three boxes of A4 paper in yellow, only slightly flood damaged. He exchanged the ship's whiskey glass for a bottle of reproduction malted juniper berry wine-opened; and a flat cap from the famous movie Pomeroy Jumps His Wenslidale, as worn by Yench Blomquist for the beloved TOMORROW, TOMORROW, I'LL COOK YOU TOMORROW song. It was a busy afternoon full of unknown ends, plus it was Sunday and most folks were offline. At least, the Fiery worked now all OK as it should, testing it to go to Asda and back. He stuck it in his warm armpit to charge the battery up, and went inside his home well after dusk.

I thought it was all going too well,

he said to Delilah who responded with,

Yeah. Some times things are inside out. Bowl of mouse soup?

Oh yes that would be nice. Thanks.

Roger smiled as he spoke to Delilah, sitting down joining her at the table to eat dinner.

Sorry we dont have any water until it rains again,

She said.

It looks as if it might anytime now though,

Roger answered her as he checked the sky through the window. He put a sealed vial on the table.

Dont ask. Its a molecule of the ship's captain. I thought we might be able to get it cloned...

Phwaaw. That's going to be a long shot. Why bother with something so off the end?

Delilah scoffed.

He- it- is a giant evolved lemming. Not too many of those left about now. I thought it might appeal to the right buyer. You know. And this,

Roger put another vial on the table,

Is the worm that was eating his hand. He should thank me for taking that.

That's a Devolving space sickness worm. Yeaaaah. I've seen those before. Roger, take it out. I dont like it. Take it out now.

OK. OK. Don't worry. Its sealed inside. Here,

Roger answered Delilah, putting it in under an upturned tea mug outside the window. He had an idea, and sent a message to Marmalade.
About an hour later, and a ping pong of messages, he had traded the worm for 3 smoked rats, a liter of Sienfeld water and a magazine with coupons.

You learn something new every day,

Roger said to Delilah who was sitting in a bath of cold mud, trying to warm it up.

Like what?

She asked, taking a cup of water from Roger, who said,

Something of value to someone, at least. Its gone now, Dee. The worm.

Good riddance. Horrid things, space worms. You cant get rid of them if you get them you know.

Yes, I heard that,

said Roger, chewing on a smoked rat, drinking armpit warmed water and thinking musically in nebuloid quantum harmonics.
Next time in Added Tension to a Vestal Wane

Roger goads a philosopher into reciting Jung in tea leaves
Delilah braids elvers into a lifesize Remoaning artichoke
and Marmalade positions a tarantula to rebuke marsh draining




It was late August, 1443, In Rochester where Roger was standing as he often stood, on his hind paws, tail out, with his left paw holding the port mast rope on the deck of the schooner FnukLint De Moofly as it lay to in the estuary, maiking ship before the coming evening high tide.

Hid by his Fielder that was composed to make him appear to all as Mad Dick McFloaty of Leeds Presbytery of James By The Wasted Holy Septic Tank, the Jesuit Priest who could swim the Nile while raging on about The Book of Thomas, and popular in Caerphilly by the Saint Austel's Pond blackbury bushes.

Roger cut a fine figure, wearing finest Chinese frilled silk shirt and leggings, and canvas pomery knee pants with garters and britched shoulder straps, under a driving coat of rouged velvet with embroidered black stiching in a paisley pattern he stole from some years after, and heavy iron woosted boots.

Turning the page,

It was time the ship left, the tide was high enough to break wind, and the Capitano Senior Richaulette Von Hoogstrootton III, a mixed marriage young man of 106 years, called for service from his crew, who immediately responded with them all downing a good glug of rum before heaving to and making hoe.
Then they unfurled the sails, tied their stirrups and got the ship going to make way. Beside them the Portugeuse frigate Leprosy Migrates was doing the same, with two of the crew heaving ho sitting on the starboard rail and chatting in Norwegian hand signals, Roger noticed. Yes, it was a fine, strong day with a Southerly strong breeze and spearmint flavoured intentions.

Roger was on board to meet their only other passenger, Monk Henry of Roodfinger, the infamous eel slurry merchant who once cornered the fish head market in Salisbury on the last pea day in 1397, so it was rumoured in Belgium, and ruined the Town Mayor's piece of resistance. This was the only place Roger could get to see the man without his entourage fanning about wasting days of preambles, he knew from previous experience.

At last, as the schooner headed out to sea, the Monk came aloft and took in the fresh sea air, naked except for a tatoo of what looked like the Bismark around his navel, as was his fashion at sea.

Hey ho,

Greeted Roger to the man.

Good day,

the man complained in unregulated churlish.

They doffed accordingly and the man came to walk along deck next to Roger up to the prow.

Six years all told its been,

The man added.

Yes, just so too many by and by,

said Roger, watching the hands of the man in case he threw him suddenly overboard.

Do you still have the pair of ferrets?

The man asked lifting his nose slightly.

Oh, lang gan a wheel,

Replied Roger, taking a step back.

Pity. Still, lest discuss your business then,

the Monk offered an open snuff box to Roger, whose nose would have exploded as cats are hypo alegenic to such things, and took a pinch with a smile and made to look as if he inhaled it.

Good stuff,

he said.


the Monk replied,

From Canton. Rare and unkown here aboot.

Roger dropped the pinch into his pocket.

Talking of boots, have ye the ancient arifacts about ye noo?

Asked Roger.

Aye, I do. All well and fine.

The Monk stated, smelling slightly of seaweed.

I received the note your BOSS sent to me by Obnoxious Pidgeon Service in Canterbury, and responded so to meet you here. The same.

He went on to explain.


They turned, and walked to the cabin aft, and went inside. They sat down at a small table, and wine was brought by the servant of the Monk, and drizzled over his bald head before being poured from the clay into plain goblets, and they toasted a while as they drank the brew of dubious content.

The Monk was brought a wooden box which was set upon the table. The box was opened with a key from the leg bone of the servant, and and Roger was invited to inspect the contents.

This is the true skull of John the Baptist,

Stated the Monk.

Of Vladivostok.

ahhh. Very good. Very good.


...And his ring also?

Yes. This is the true John The Baptist tongue ring. The one he used to open the widow's doors with.

The Monk said.

Ahhh. Very good. Very good,

Replied Roger.

This is his finger nail,

the Monk said.

Yes I see that,

said Roger, going on with,

So it all looks well to me. Here. I have a rarity for you that will cause you much concern. Much,

spoke Roger, getting out from his gagging bag a 1956 copy of the Radio Times, with The Goon Show listed.

What is this wonder?

The Monk said, taking the magazine and going through its pages carefully.

Ah. I see they have the shipping forecast notated to be at eleven of the clock. Excellent. Excellent.

He went on to reveal.

What is this at the eighth hour of the clock? An Interview With Elvis Presley?


said Roger.

That is the name of a ship of the line. A famous...minstral, who won the Toby Jug prize for necromancy in vocals at the Slazinger 46th Fido Deburring Contest in Ipswich with his prize rendition of DONT SHUG MY PONY in alcehmic ponderations and harmonic 5th's. A most rigorous presentation. The Duke of Fitzrovia was there, as I recall.

He went on.

These stories you exculpate are highly entertaining. Highly,

smiled the Monk, reaching for a hanging salmon while he talked.

Thank you and well,

said Roger, going on,

So we may have a deal then?

Aye, just so. Just so,

The Monk replied.


The Monk paused.

I dont have any butts to include,

replied Roger.

You owe me fifty barrels of dried kelp. From our last bargain.

The Monk said, looking Roger straight in the eye.

Oh. Yes maybe I do. I forgot about those.

Roger responded, slightly apologetically.

Right now today, I have something I can trade that is of much better value.

Oh you do, do you?

The Monk said, gripping the table with both hands to make as if he was angry.

It had better be a piece of some such great passing that a king may prize!

He shouted.

Roger got out a fist sized rock from his gagging bag.

Piece of the moon perhaps?

He offered to the Monk.

The moon? The moon?

The Monk said, taken well aback.

Yes truly so. That moon, just peeking up its head yonder. And this is a document signed by the Archbishop of Axminster, proving its authenticity to be.

Said Roger.


The Monk said, taking the small wax stamped scroll and reading it by a candle. He read slowly, outloud.

Blah Blah Blah...That this be so a true rock from the Moon, as collected by me when Roger took me there, and a bargain from the gift shop it was too. Signed, the Archbishop of Axminster. Clydeside Retired Wool Vanquishers Enablement Convention, June, 2014. Well. Well. Well...

Tailed off the Monk.

Yes very well,

said Roger.

Anyways up,

The deal having been done and all well as many wells there were between them, Roger went out on deck with his purchase safely in his gagging bag and making his excuses, which were several, jumped overboard while pressing his Fiery.

Why The BOSS would want such things, I have no idea, really. Sometimes the oddities he wants are SO bizzare an intrepid river dancing liason for the Mongolian Mafia wouldn't understand.

Said Delilah to Roger back at their luxury cardboard box slightly North of Dunnyfirmlyn.

Yes it seems so. I dont bother to question these things anymore. Just get on with the job,

Replied Roger.

Pinch of snuff?

He offered to Delilah.

Oh. Yes. that will go well with the lemon zest in the cabbage soup. Thanks.

She answered, taking it and putting it in the broth.

And, Roger....

Delilah went on...

Why did we have to come all they way to here to do this? I was happy just South of Basingstoke. Had a meeting of the Licensed Victualers Vegan Bothy Romping Monthly Eco-Knee Pad Embossing lined up for today. It was all too sudden for me to be here.

Delilah said.

Its not to do with work. Its all to do with Marmalade.

Replied Roger, taking a cup of warm water out from under Delilah's armpit and sitting at the table, continuing,

He's...on form. (pause.) Engorged. In his gentleman's season. And you know what happens if he comes across me then. I get munched. Remember last time?

Roger explained.

Oh yes. He bit the corner off the concrete tile outside our box door where you had been standing, as you jumped onto the roof. This happens every year with Marmalade?

Said Delilah, stirring the soup with a spoon made from a cookery book.

Fraid so. This box is a rental. Just for a week or so.

Roger said.

How much was it?

Asked Delilah.

A whole Oxo cube...

Roger said with a gulp.

What? A whole one? Are you sure? Why so much, Rog? Was it fresh or stale?

Delilah said, almost crying.

Does it matter?

Roger replied, looking into the bottom of his cup, now cold and empty.

Its done now. It was all there was at arm's length at that moment. I blocked his calls as well while he....until he gets...better. We had to be somewhere he doesnt know. Out of harm's way. Or we could end up as his lunch. And dinner.

Roger finished.

The poor evolved crocodile. It must be horrid to go through that evey year.

Delilah thought outloud.

Yes. Probably so.

Said Roger.

Still - a whole Oxo cube... for how long?

Delilah asked.

About a week or so more should do it. To be on the safe side.

Roger stated.

Delilah put two bowls of candle warmed soup on the table. One, her broth, and the other, a thin soup she had decanted and strained the juice of a mouse of through a spider's web, and sat down opposite Roger.
Roger thanked her, and sent the box from his earlier bargain of the day to the BOSS in Moronicocoon, all in good order.

At least,

he said, taking up his spoon made from nibbled polystyrene, and going on with,

This fingernail may mean something to someone. It wasn't part of the order. So I kept it.

He flipped out and flipped back with a bottle of goldtop milk.


He said.

Roger. This fingernail. Its painted black,

said Delilah.

Yes. Why. Does that mean something?

Roger replied to Delilah.

She picked it up daintily, and inspected it. Then her tail looked it over as well, then looked at her, then back at the fingernail, then they both looked at it, and Roger joined in to make it an ensemble. Everyone was looking at a fingernail, and a small, black one at that.

Delilah dipped it into Roger's soup and wiped it clean.


Gasped Roger-

Thats my dinner!

I's only dirty.

said Delilah, cleaning the fingernail with her tail with some degree of vigour best understood by ladies.

In my soup?

Exclaimed Roger.

Delilah dipped it back into Roger's soup and cleaned it some more. Something was happening...

Roger. I think this is made of gold. Yes, look. Its coming clean now. It must be ages of muck on this. probably from the grave.

Delilah said, cleaning with her tail as she spoke.

Oh thats just great. My dinner mixed with grave dirt that's probably 1,000 years old. Just dandy. Did you say gold?

Roger changed his mood.

Yes. Look. You can see clearly now. It is. Solid gold. All around a real fingernail. Like Evalutinian nail edge dressing. Where did you get this Roger? This isn't human I think. Not the workmanship anyway. This was made offworld. Yes...yes...see, how this is just so small? its coming out now. I'm sure this was made by the Bubbylumptians. Theyr'e only 6 inches tall. They have the finest crafted metalsmithing in the galaxy. Roger if I'm right, this could be worth a lot. A LOT.

Roger forgot about his grave dinner.

Worth alot? Like how much a lot?

He asked of Delilah, who replied,


and cleaned it some more, conferring with her tail, who then nodded in agreement, saying,

It could be worth about two Oxo cubes. Or more. Maybe even a small jar of Vegemite. Or Bovril.

Bovril? A jar of Bovril? Wow. really. Could we get it to Marmite? Could it be Marmite? Do you think?

He asked.

As much as that. Maybe. Maybe,

Delilah confirmed.

Roger got out an old broken pair of half glasses that he kept in his gagging bag, and let Delilah inspect the finger nail some more in detail with them. Holding it by the arm, she said,

Oh. Look at the detail on this Roger. Its fantastic. The workmanship is so minute and beautifully crafted.
You know, I think this may be from a Perry Mason Epilogue. It's the right style and size. And the level of the detail. Look- there-see? There's even a tiny loo roll holder.

Delilah rounded up her ideas to Roger.

Roger took it from her and dunked it in his soup, swishing it about and cleaning it with his tail at the same time. After a bit, it came out nearly all clean.

They both looked at it using the half glasses.

Roger plopped it into a vial and then into his gagging bag, smiled at Delilah and flipped out.

Ten minutes later he returned with a box of groceries and a whole cabbage under his arm. He got out two Oxo cubes and put them on the table.

Sold it to the Bagsnot Myturneh, the leopard,

He said to Delilah, sitting down on the high fashion sofa made from piles of old newspapers, and bit the head off a smoked rat, happy as Delilah smiled at him while she bit into the cabbage in a way Roger understood to mean that all was very well with the world today.

Roger enforces meditation on a vexed piano,
Delilah hops in circles around a cuddly pixilated memory,
And Marmalade chomps Raymond without salt and pepper.




Up in the wild safari treacle mists of Epsilonica Gandiddyfloo 27F.B2, (no-the green one), Roger was practising his paw lunge technique that he thought needed it. Every second passing meteor, which was just a few grains of dust and ice, he was trying to catch between two claws. He tried using a paw matt. Then he ate a whole mouse for nourishment to add some boost to his pickle, and tried again. Not that he was any more successful, but he did feel sated at least. Then he thought well, maybe that was the problem: He recalled to when Dr Velcron had made him catch a small white box from a passing asteroid. It was a split second hut; and he just managed to do it by a feline flick and catch. Not the easiest movement in the cocomos; even for an evolved cat with an intellect as sharp as a quantum particle knife made from dark matter with a dark energy edge, and fabricated at Cern Industries of Jerusalem at their Yosarion 22 factory in Area 57.4; a trans dimensional region of sub space artificially constructed sort of inside the outside of a singularity of a black hole that you entered by tickling the nose of a Grillard on Alchestertonus 9, at very specific coordinates and times and dates, and then leaping into a vortex that would appear for a second in its navel. Ah; the queues and bananas were an endless stream of comings and goings.

In time, it was decided by the management committee that decides these things, that although the Grillard security precautions were just fine, in order to steamline access, the Grillard was to be fed medicated bananas that made him sleep for specific periods, in order so the staff could more easily enter work, pull their shifts and be home in time to play Happy Seasons Stinky Swamp Capers with sufficient ridicule and exploding underwear with their offspring, have dinner, fight with their partners for something to keep themselves occupied, and sleep regular with new, improved Halceon Butter Courage Night Tabs; the unapproved fish flavours being popular, and of those, the tufted crabwart was the first out.

Anyways up:

After 2 hours of dramatic and fully attended to attention, Roger lost interest and was sitting in a comfy corner of a mostrum cloud reading Slover's Archetypal Caspian Sea Rock Repurposing; the 100 Best Ideas for That Popular Wedding Gift, drinking a small New Improved Demon's Milk- Give Yourself The Void Edge You Deserve, as it was written on the outside, when he got a call on his Fiery, which jumped up and down, smacking him in his whiskers while shouting RAVE ME A BICADDY OF MUTTON JESTS, DUNKLARDY in a voice that sounded like grilled porkupine quills firing in your brain. Not the finest ringtone on offer: but it was a preset that Roger was working on getting upgraded when he sold his two prime Oxo cubes to some gaining eating establishment.

It was Marmalade.

Hey, buddy. You around later today?

Hi. Probably, why?

Answered Roger to Marmalade, who went on with,

We got us a bunch of class rejects from some American University. Prime meat and veggies. One of them is the donk that opened that front for Mussard, Fakelook. Prime brains coopmeat. Come over.

Oh. Wow. That sounds great. I will. How this happened?

Said Roger, straightening his whiskers back to their pristine telemetry.

Its the Prestatitian Council Members By-Election of Fizzing Monks and Nuns Recreational Time Out For Good Behavior Day Let-Off. They get to choose by galactic mandate who gets it, based on worsts smells and intradimensional SET spirit scores. So, the worst 200 get dumped off by tender every Earth year. The container just happened to be won by my cousin, Jedeggug3, and we cut a deal as he cant handle them all. Thats it really. You coming for sure? Its going to be great. Boiling and sucking out live brains...oh..oh...

Marmalade went into a passion of potential food frenzy that Roger could almost feel made the Croc's eyes water as he tailed off his speech.

I'll be over later, dont worry. How long?

Roger asked.

About 6 hours from now. Dusk here at the ranch in Wesestuxatas. WOO HAH.

Enthused Marmalade.

Ok. See you then. Thanks.

Roger answered and hung up.

As he was on his call, a message had been delivered to him from the BOSS in Moroncoconono. Roger read it.


He translated it from MM-MM to English...


How charming as usual, Roger thought. He messaged back that he was on his way and sorry for the delay.

Gooblies...he thought to himself. There are none left on the planet, (he meant where he was). Hence, his distraction into practicing his falling star catching and book reading in repose...He looked up the locater tab in his Fiery. As he had checked before; the only other location with any quantity as was listed, was Nowhere. Oh Nowhere... another visit to the luxury condo operated by the evolved clone of Dr Velcron.... just what he needed and hoped to avoid.

The current existence of Nowhere at that time was on a remaining fragment of ancient Dyson Sphere orbiting a rogue Red Dwarf star in Bootes Void, 5 flips away from where he was. Very far and very dangerous. That's a down side of using a Fiery travel portal. They dont let you go just anywhere that you think. You only get to travel where its safe to go and not be destroyed- a built in safety factor for the Fiery manufacturer so they dont get sued under the warranty.

Ah, well...

When the ox dumped Roger in a cell of Dr Velcron's lab, he left the room. The Doc's hologram boomed at Roger,

Roger. We meet again. This time, you are sealed in a saferoom snowflake space with only speech activated comms. So WE are safe - and immune to your ...ridiculous natural intertouchyfeely tactics. HA. Now, you have your taxes to pay of course, and we will consider intradimensional currencies as it seems from your records that you have nothing left of value in this universe. Let me see now...

A large metal arm swung out from the wall with a dish on the end that was vibrating with a sound that Roger felt was not good. It made his whiskers, ears and tail shake. His life started to feel like it was being sucked out of him...

Roger opened his gagging bag and pulled out a mind frog from the green planet of the retired Minky Capitano that Delilah had been using to catch house flies and other local insects. Mind frogs are interesting creatures as they project morbid clinical depression into the thoughts of any passing being that borders just enough on suicidal so the insect gives up all hope, rolls over or falls from the air, and meets the waiting tongue of the mind frog in good range. On some planets, They are employed by the authorities to control their police staff and stop their rampant abuse, rape and corruption. On more enlightened ones, civilizations prefer instead to use them for making practicing perpetrators give up and await their fates before they can do any damage; a good and natural replacement for that was seen to be much more ecological than the previously used wifi tech that fried the brains of beings and changed their body chemistry permanently.

Telling the mind frog in Hazelian by telepathy that, if it wanted a good dinner, it had better get to work as agreed before. Roger put a rusty steel bucket on his head as he was not wanting to feel suicidal just right then. The vibrating machine stopped. Dr Velcron and his ox came into the room, tap danced a reel in a devolved South American Samba, each chewed off their left foot and rear hoof, sang the lyrics to Quadraphenia at quadruple time, went through a post apocalyptic description of Life On The Plain Of Pain Time Thing, by Putrick D. Slimebizzo II, formerly known as Eric Floppydisc Yardylard, a distopian shoot of zootpuke a full Ferris wheel would happily fall down for rather than read; the precis of which went on for some time until the Doc and the ox passed out from blood loss.

Having waited for the appropriate moment, Roger superglued their cut appendages to their foreheads, seared their wounds shut and put the mind frog back in its lead box. He left the room and after looking around, flipped 12 parsecs South and collected 1,019 mature mixed and transgender Gooblies from the Quagmire of Squalid Flatulence, which he flipped to the BOSS's warehouse in Moroncococonoco, with a message, NO MORE GOOBLIES. THAT'S ALL THERE ARE, written in MM-MM, and flipped home.

At his luxury cardboard box near downtown uptown well lit low life upper crust Basingstoke, Roger appeared at the door and went inside. Removing the rather stylish bucket from his head, he was surprised to see sitting with Delilah at the table, Raymond - or what was left of him - sewn together with apron strings sealed with hoofglue. It was basically Raymond with three massive bites from the left side of his torso removed, and body parts reconstructed from used bits of brass canon shells, trematodes and seaweed. Delilah looked at Roger with some frosty hurt feeling he caught from her eyes that all was far from well.


Said Roger, seeming to ignore Delilah and continuing,

How nice to see you. I thought you were... elsewhere these days?

Roger. Nice to see you too. I was just explaining some news to Delilah that I thought she might need to know.

Said Raymond.

Oh that's nice of you. The personal touch a message or call just wouldn't make,

Said Roger, sitting on the newspaper pile sofa and crossing his paws. He went on,

Thats very kind of you. Specially in your current condition. Are you in pain?

Yes. No. Well I take medication and I have to get on as technically I am recorded as deceased, so I have to work double shifts to get my alive status back.

Raymond replied, holding up a thin file in one unbandaged claw.

I see. Some problem we should know about so it can be fixed perhaps?

Proposed Roger.

Well maybe. Maybe so.

Raymond said, entering into a pause in the conversation put there by Roger to see what was coming next. He then went on,

It's Delilah's papers. It seems there may be a question as to her...integrity of application status. There may be an infraction and penalty.
She may have to re-register with the mind police authorities or have her brain scooped out and replaced with a Vietnamese mechanical alarm clock. I think the current model is one that plays the tune of I'M A YANKEE DOODLE DANDY on the hour and breaks down after three months. Better than the previous one, so I am told.

Oh dear oh dear oh dear. Is that the file? Please, let me see.

Roger said, and was handed the file from Raymond. He read the notes. He smiled at Raymond.

I have two whole fresh Oxo cubes here that... well... I dont seem to have a use for these days. Do you think you might be able to help me and find a good use for them?

asked Roger to Raymond.

Only two? I mean- two Oxo cubes? Well, I suppose I could help you with that. I'm feeling very helpful today. Very.

Raymond said.

Yes. They were paid for by Marmalade, who should be here anytime now to collect them.


Yelled Raymond.

Yes. The evolved crocodile. You know him? Good friend of ours, Delilah and mine. Works in security. First class fellow.

Raymond's eyes were as large as eyes can get without falling out of their sockets and rolling away at speed. He sat frozen in fright. It was Marmalade who had munched Raymond while he was going through his annual crocodillian engorgement.

Excuse me. I have to go now,

Raymond said in a tiny voice and flipped out before anyone could say another word.

There emoted an immediate relaxation of tension in the cardboard box possibly equal in significance to a liquid sewage train just having left the station.


Offered Roger to Delilah from his gagging bag, courtesy of Dr Velcon's vegetable greenhouse.

Oh. Well yes thanks, Rog. He-

She broke down in tears and could barely eat the asparagus as Roger went to her and held her in his paws.

There, there. I know. I know. Just some scum he is that Raymond. No wonder he has a reputation longer than a London sewer.

He soothed her, catching the corner of the file in the candle flame of the cooker.

Don't you worry any more. I'll get Marmalade to send the scum a message that he's looking for him. That will be the end of it.

Said Roger.

He wanted to- he-

She blubbered out in Roger's face.

Yes I see that. Typical of those kind. They cant find their own partners so they have to abuse their positions and steal from- steal innocent people. Disgusting filth. There, there. It's over now. Over. I'll prep the mind frog just in case anyway, and get you your own rusty bucket to wear. Any paticular shade of rust you prefer, Dee?

Roger's question was unanswered as just then, Marmalade popped his car sized head in the door.

Hello, crowd!,

He smiled a happy smile to Roger and Delilah.

Hi! Hi!,

Delilah said over Roger's shoulder with a hiccup of a choked laugh that meant she felt much better to see him, as she wiped her nose with her tail.

Mr King Crock. How nice of you to flip by,

Said a happy faced Roger.

Yes, well. I got your message a few moments back Roger, and just popped in to see what was what. All ok here then, hmm?

Asked Marmalade.

Fine. Fine,

Roger and Delilah said almost together.

Good. Coming to the feast, both of you? I think there are some overripe lettuce and in the garden that might need you attentions, Delilah, that I keep putting off seeing to, if you wouldn't mind. Maybe some kiwi fruit as well.

Oh great. Thank you so much, Marmalade. A perfect ending to a heavy day. Let's go,

Said Roger, taking Delilah who stood up, by her hand in his paw, and nodding to Marmalade as they all flipped out to his house.
Next Time In Add Censures In Declaim
Roger uses old third world magic to stirfry noodles with;
Delilah discovers Walt Disnnney getting angry at a kilted avocado;
Marmalade gets shocked by a clone of Dr Velcron in angst holding his pants to ransom.




One very cold night on a planet far away from his home, where water is like liquid hydrogen and the rivers run fearfully, Roger was making some business for himself. The sky was full of stars in patterns he would have preferred to appreciate except it was too cold and his labour too strenuous.
His Fiery travel portal was low on battery power, it was so cold. He had it tucked into his way-fairing jeans to try and get its power back up; or at least, not drain it too much as his protective Fielder was running on max.

He was half way up the Whybecauseif Mountain, trailing a bundle of frozen second hand leeched cranberries, and cursing his idea of a good endeavour. He stopped by a crag of sheer ice, checked the battery level on the Fiery. 56%. Not enough to flip up to his goal, complete his mission and get home safely. He cut the cranberries off on the sharp ice crag to lighten his way and trudged on, thinking about how nice it would be right now to see Delilah sitting at their table in his home with her tail playing like a swaying snake from one side of her head to the other and back.

If only he had not stopped off to pick up the cranberries, a bunch of predicated Smersh zombies, some Ipsillion giant beeswax, a blob of slightly used chewing gum, a fermented swordfish brain shrunk in a cup and a rare untaxed pictographic recording of Titian playing bridge with Machiavelli against the Duke of Milan and an allegorical Anna Karenina hologram (who cheated and won by using quantum physics) that was worn with time travel and the attentions of President Bizwaznot, the infamous yak judge of South Westside who wasn't born until 2316 somewhere North of Piltdown, Roger would have enough battery charge to do what he chose.

He stopped again, having deduced to use Calculus to find out how long it would take to reach his destination- the mysterious, legendary and unknown yet famous and quite well respected Arc of the Covertint. He recalled the Deities or beings of the 6th dimension had given the BOSS the coordinates one time, and no one wanted the job, so the BOSS forget about it. Now Roger knew why everyone else had been too busy to do the work, including him. After several minutes of profligate tail wafting, Roger decided to stop using Calculus and slog it on regardless as his hind paws were beginning to turn blue with the mental torture and distance from street smarts (everyone knows evolved cats have their real brains in their hind paws and the head is just for looks and to distract predators).
Daring is a cat’s middle name, Roger surmised to himself as he struggled on, then added in consolation the extra thought, specially when a cat is pushed out of the 9th floor window. Then, he stood straight up as it began to snow methane, and remembered that he didn’t have a middle name.

On and up, some good long hours later made from exertion and a total lack of any kind of entertainment to speak of, Roger’s progress was prevailing in utter desolation the mind frog would have been proud to impose, unless those circling Terrahawks that had been high over Roger’s head from shortly after he started this… this master plan, might suddenly dive down on him and fall into the category alongside entertainment, as one was doing right at this moment. What category was that, Roger tried to think in his weary way? Ah yes. Predation. He couldn’t use his Fiery safety out. The battery was so low, he wouldn’t have enough to flip home after. Not a risk he wanted to take right now as a first choice.

He rummaged around in his gagging bag. Butting aside the items he had just gone so far out of his way to pick up, there was a pinewood toothpick(used). An emergency roll of soft toilet paper ( half). Sunglasses (Copies). A roll of probability string, in theory. A Byzantine wine sample in a plastic vail. A jar of Ozemandian sun block ( nearly empty). The mind frog in his lead box. A miniature orange wood statue of noble Caesar giving the finger with an inscription on the plinth that said UP YOUR ARIOVISTUS in Latin and a date based on a presumption by Herodotus’ 9th great grandson, Pendulus Wobblichopsalotitous.

Not so much as a Tango party foam gun was there, and he was sure he had put that in a few days ago. Wait. Roger was Roger. He would think of something more quickly that the huge and lunging bird now on a single dive course to pick him up and away to some unthinkable nest of offspring for a slow death from either the battery of his Fiery running out entirely and thus, the protective Fielder also, or he flipped out (and never made it home) to some unknown safe spot like a 7 star hotel called Nefertiti, 19, so lonely, likes cats and card games. Nah. He would never have such luck. Roger ducked down behind a nearby crag of ice and stuck his head on it to see if that would shock his brain onto some pawish sharpness of claw.

Roger got out the statue of Caesar and stuck it in his left ear. He could call someone but by the time they got here it would be too late and he would be reduced one way or the other to a smell of wood pulp. He got out the ball of theoretical probability string and stuck it in his right ear. He sucked on the end of it. It tasted of burnt fried onions. Not his first choice for weddings and parties.
Roger threw the string up into the atmos keeping the end in his mouth, which unfurled at whipping speed just as the bird was about oh…this far away from him. Yes like that.

He flailed the string as he dragged it back down between one paw then the other, in lightening succession to make a cat’s cradle. Then, the bird was on him- caught up in the string; nasty sharp beaky thing and pointy talons all over the place- right in his face. Roger sat down (something he was practised at and very good at accomplishing at a moment’s notice anytime, anywhere), and used a hind paw to get his Fiery and plug in the wet end of the string he had been sucking on between his teeth. He only had a moment, he could well see, before the bird would wriggle free enough of the cradle and make the havoc it intended.

There are those who might speculate that string theory is a load of hypothetical hog’s hooha’s, and state that the laws of probability are probably improbable by the best ability to be at all probable in the first place. There are also those who might disagree and always play the lottery in case their future selves send a written complaint to the galactic gambling council department of time traveling salesmen, whose union is well represented and can afford the best lawyers, at any time.

Anyways up,

The very nasty bird that looked a bit like a blue pterodactyl on steroids, suddenly became a flock of racing pigeons, probably intent on being the first to get home; which had the after effect of taking up the entire predatory attention of the rest of the circling Terrahawks, who immediately gave chase before the pigeons had time to react to the temperature being minus a lot more than Alaska and that the rain and atmos were actually not too friendly either.

Making his escape partly by using the discarded lower jaw of the Terrahawk, some time later and heading into a second dawn, or sunset, depending which direction you were looking in, and not caring too much for the view either, Roger arrive at a flat area that had a metal hut in the centre behind a sign which was rude, telling its readers to vacate quickly, written in Antimattered.

Checking for fields, as one does before entering any airport, Roger noticed that what fields there may have once been in force, were all drained and gone, so it was safe to go inside the hut. An exhausted Roger kicked down the frozen-up door and went inside, slamming it shut as a light came on automatically, which was nice. It was all done out tastefully in brown and cream with a stone fireplace, comfy leather sofa and well stocked shelves of sealed products some could call edible. The view from the back window was incredible, down the mountain and across to both sides of the vast canyon. Then an A.I. voice spoke to him and told him that his Fiery was being charged and would be full in a short time, and a roast mouse was in the built-in cooker ready for him; and yes, the tin he was looking for was the 3rd left one along on the 4th shelf down. The fire burst into life so the small hut was warming up fast as Roger thought,

Well. If only all A.I. was as helpful as this!

Taking the tin he saw was the right one, and putting it in his gagging bag, along with a few more he thought might be useful, the A.I. spoke again,

Anything else I can help you with?

A whisky appeared in a glass by his elbow. Roger sat on the sofa in front of the fire with it in his paw.


he said, downing it in one so his eyes watered and tail went straight up.

This was the way to end a very hard day, Roger was thinking as he relaxed back into the sofa in front of the roaring blaze, when the A.I. said,

You don’t usually drink whisky, Gillian. I can prepare you the coffee just the way you like it if you wish. Ok, I will then,

It finished as Roger thought he might like a hot coffee as well right then too.

Putting the coffee down on the floor where it belonged as it tasted of old wet Neanderthal’s feet, the A.I. told him his Fiery was recharged, so he checked it, and the light was green. In answer to Roger’s thought question, the A.I. said,

I’ve been here yes, like this, for 283,066 cycles, which is 176,311 Earth years, since you ask. You should know. You put me here Gillian. You have been here a total of 4 times during that period. The last time was 141,206 cycles ago, when you used the toilet.

Was it that long? I should come more often,

Responded Roger out loud, tapping the coordinates into his Fiery as a primary emergency location and favourite while biting the head of a tinned freshly roasted mouse with some pleasure.


Said the A.I.,

I do not require service for another 717,934 cycles. The safety protocols have been set to minimum to conserve power. You have been the only user since operations began, Gillian.

Oh good. Its quite nice here after a hard day…do you have a name?,

Roger asked the A.I., as it stuck topup whisky into his waiting paw.

You named me F.U.U.Bito S. Don’t you remember that?,

It said.

Ah yes. Well, it’s been some time. I’ve been rather busy,

Said Roger, gulping the drink before he drifted off to sleep on the sofa by the fire, the A.I. noticing and automatically dimming the lights in respect. He was roughly awakened by the Fiery leaping into his whiskers. He took the call.

Roger, where are you?

It was Delilah.

It’s 3am here….are you OK? Where ARE you?

Ah. Oh. Ah. Really? Oh.

He replied to Delilah as the lights came back up in the hut.

Where am I? I’m here. Where are you?

Not his most intelligent response but not bad for an evolved cat suddenly awoken.

Delilah was not impressed…

Are you coming home Rog? Its late. Its 3am, Rog.

Yes. Yes. I fell asleep. It was a long day. Sorry, Dee. I’ll come now I’m awake. See you shortly,

And he rang off, stood up and stretched. He checked his Fiery, which was showing green.

Flipping out to pick up his cranberries, Roger flipped home playing the Buzzcocks while he travelled, stopping once along the way.

Delilah was concerned as well as pleased when he arrived.


He offered to Delilah.

Thanks, Rog. I was really worried. I nearly called Marmalade. You look exhausted. What are those cranberries for? No- you can tell me in the morning. Let’s get some sleep,

She said, taking and munching the veg and looking at Roger with her big round eyes.

Best idea I’ve heard all day. Night,

Replied Roger, falling onto the pile of damp newspapers and dozing off.
Next Time In Advent Sure Is Gone East, Roald Aim;
Roger Cedric’s a mushy pea named Eric Sunnyboo Hits A. Homer
Delilah cotton fluffs a cubic zirconia with a true pie,
And Raymond finds his birth certificate hidden in his Granny’s wig.



In the recent cold war between the civilizations of two neighbouring worlds so distant from planet Earth as makes no difference, there were many sentient casualties. You may have seen reports of the S*notty*fireT&dank //.ah commune and Gleeclubbittus types in recent Galactic visceral news reports. Or not.

Anyway, escapees from both factions rather than facing death from the acid rain of encroaching digitization by mandrake root, being resourced with the abilities to procure the methods of departure with the right connections, large sums having been exchanged and moving in severely reduced comfort for those running in desperate circumstances, were eventually glad to get to the relative safety of Earth (and other such backwashed corners of existence) by secret routes, at different times, and many different ways.

Two such refugees that arrived on the back of a soda bottle half full of stale salted blown popcorn took the trouble to change their appearances and act in some similar ways to Earth types, mimicking a daily routine, being rude, making sharp comments, farting biliously as a normal life public communication like trombones being played at brash jazz parties, lying and stealing, in order to best blend in with the majority of haphazard locals biding their waking hours in festive torpor and rancour.

They took the names of locals they attired themselves with; Mr and Mrs Solomon and Mattie Glomch of The Espadrilles, Roehampton in Molluscandham County, where they went about incognito as best they could prevail in the business carnation of online kitten-whizz scented children’s book publishers, using the apt but rationally obscure handles of Upyar Dunk and Slidit Sideways.

Which is where Roger arrives, on the back of an evolved taxidermed horse, Bullcodger the 9th from Bennfleet, at lunchtime on a Sunday afternoon while it was raining, as a well-dressed cowgirl in drag.

Descending from his huge mount nearby the door with a bag full of munchies, a copy of Ava Gardener’s right arm and a new Old Eatoneon platinum business card in the name of Philias D. Fenchurchstreet, of Munchit, Havvon and Gobbert, Lawyers by appointment to the Crowd, Roger left his applecart in the hands of a Bertburry street urchin he had never seen before, paid him a thimble of bezel warts, and rang the door bell, splendid in his appropriate spangled costume draped with leather enshallots.

Mr Glomch answered the door holding a modest small blue towel about his nethers.

Go away,

He said, in so many words to Roger.

I am here about the plumbing problems,

Responded Roger.

Are you now?

Said Mr Glomch, removing the towel and flicking off Roger’s brogue Stetson while also damaging his sense of smell.
Roger caught the hat mid fall, tapped his Fiery and arrived to sit comfortably midway on the stairs behind Mr Glomch, in the position of The Thinker, rubbing a sore nose.

Some problem perhaps, you have here?

Roger said, addressing Mr Glomch’s rear cheeks.

Mr Glomch turned and made to flick Roger a second time with the towel, when Roger flipped to the sofa in the sitting room, and helped himself to a taste of sweet tea from the cup on the coffee table, saying,

Would you like me to assist you to fix your problem today, Mr Glomch? Or should I say… BlarneyWoo Kri, the well known nut and bolt fetishist?

With a look eye to eye that stopped Mr Glomch’s determined stride in his direction.

What do you want?

Said Mr Glomch, as he was joined at his side in a clothed Mrs Glomch holding a set matching tea towel.

Who’s this, Sol?

She said, not seeming to care about the unclothed condition of her partner.

Yes, who are you?

Said Sol.

I’m Captain Rosebude the Undeniable. From Glossop. In Havering. By Silverbuttons. Armster Extraordinaire of the Fleetgrope Nuts and Boltit Droolers Enunciation Union. Here to unpickle your libations and regulate your efulgances, which to date seem to be less than acceptably registered.

Announced Roger, giving Mattie his business card.

Any more tea? This is Earl Grey. Very nice. And some biscuits would be good, too. Mouse flavoured,

Roger added.

Mouse flavoured?

The couple said together.

Efulgances? This is a card for some law firm. Look, Sol.

Said Mattie, handing the card to Sol.

Yes it is. I represent the said party in their legal interests,

Said Roger as he flipped to the kitchen to help himself to more tea and look for biscuits as the pair seemed well rooted to their confusion.

And I am also as said. Both,

He added from the kitchen.

Do you see that sample catalogue on the table? The Nuts and Bolts Febrile International Quarterly?

Asked an echoing Roger.


Said Mattie with some derision.

It’s the 2004 Autumn edition, with the sprung bolts and cantilevers of scented garlic flavours that ‘melt on the tongue’. There’s a good offer in there for magnetic hors d'oeuvre nut trays.

Roger went on, flipping back to the sofa with a topup of tea and some cheese crackers on a plate that he put on the coffee table and helped himself to.

It comes with a free arm of Ava Gardener. Here,

He said, getting it out from his gagging bag and putting it on the table next to the catalogue, while he sipped some hot tea.

The couple looked at each other. Some facet of private knowledge was exchanged. Sol put his towel on and sat down opposite Roger.

Allow me to explain this to you…

Roger said, finishing his tea and flipping all of them to a 7 star hotel in the Huh? galaxy so they could have a private chat.

They arrived comfortably sat on a beach under large umbrellas by a table, where telepathic waiters immediately deposited drinks and snacks according to their thoughts, by a sea of clear blue water under a small but hot sun in a very blue sky. Sol’s lack of clothes seemed more appropriate. Roger said,

I am afraid your home has been compromised. Its bugged. The authorities know all about your long term interests and are keeping a complete tag on you. Soon, you will be vacated and replaced with battery operated anecdotes. You came without papers, you see. They like everything to be under their control. It gives them something to do. A sense of purpose they enjoy imposing on the finagled. Then they take all your money and redistribute it to those who have the right papers, and call that justice. Some of us prefer to call it spineless meddling with intent to steal. I suspect you would, too. Moral restriction of universal sentient choice to profit the few in the disfavour of the many. Or slavery, in fact.

Mr and Mrs Glomch remained silent, in a telepathic conversation as they enjoyed their respective beverages. Sol eventually looked up
to catch Roger’s eye, asking,

So this nut and bolt thing was a front then?

For me- yes, simply put,

Answered Roger, continuing between glugs of juniper tasting gin and tonic,

I do have a solution to your galactic way fairing problem, though, which is real. In exchange for the contents of the box you buried in
the back yard under the sweetgum tree.

Roger paused and went on,

How did we know? Its your vibrations at the quantum level, matey. Not of this planet. The Fiery can pick them up anywhere within a global axis, even though you have them… dampened by your camouflage human costumes.
Look. This is the new Fiery 2.6E. It’s got this self-fermenting option that turns anything basic into alcohol and recharges the battery plus all the other stuff too. And also its pink and silver.

Roger said getting two out from his gagging bag and showing them to the attentive couple.

You can go anywhere with these and have a great time. They have unlimited capability in some respects. Fielder mark 5 included. You could stay here. Or on Earth. Be yourselves to a greater degree. These are so good in fact, that you could go home- to your home planet- and not be noticed. This model refracts vibrations back to the observer, so anyone who looks for you with any device simply sees a diluted version of themselves that appears mildly unattractive in all respects. Quite clever really. Allow me to demonstrate,

Roger ended, getting up with a final slurp of G&T and turning one device on with a paw print, fiddling about and then changing his appearance to mimic that of the calmly watching cynical Mattie Glomch.

Tea towels are so useful for towelling tea with,

Roger noted out loud in a voice like Mattie's while waving his copy tea towel about in front of their faces of the original Mattie was holding in white knuckles. He went on,

Here- check the vibes- look at the Fiery screen. You can see they are iridescent in the scanning tab. I mean incandescent. And see the visual? You look a bit like Patsy Kensit. Or Charleze Theron. Or Jude Francis. Or Fabrisha Iklpenisttus. Oh wait- she isn’t born yet. I mean he. Well; it’s a complicated history of bolts and many nuts. Some other time...

Roger stood both Fiery’s on the table and turned on the second one, so the bamboozled pair could see better. Sol finished swilling his fourth mix of Absinth, avocado, vodka and brillio pads, saying mildly cross eyed as a fifth arrived at his forearm, which he toyed with using the copy arm of Ava Gardener quite well despite being caked, in the general direction of Roger,

I speak for both of us when I say, whoever you are; we have a deal. How long can we stay here, by the way, all expenses paid?

Oh. I think today will be fine, if you like. Or two weeks. As you wish. Personally, I would leave before midnight. Before the tsunami. Or not. Depends what you like to breath. Air. Water. Much the same really.

Said Roger, sitting back down and managing to swill back another G&T that he noticed made his tail curl fully into a corkscrew.
Well, I have to go. I have a meeting in Nova Scotia in 1846 to get to urgently before the flamboyant toad there gets had by another. Oh. The N&B magazine is 160 zebra festiuls extra. In cash… thanks.

Roger took the small change from Mattie, handed them the new Fiery’s, and turned round to view the ocean shore before flipping out, when he noticed a large black thing on the beach that wasn’t there before, with a Raymond exiting towards him through the lower portal.

Sol. Mattie. Say nothing. You see that big red button in the corner of the screen? The one that says DON’T PRESS? When I next say LUMPY BACON, press it,

Said Roger.

What about the box under the tree?

Said Mattie.

Oh, I took that, the tree and ten cubic yards of soil while I was in your kitchen. All safe and sound. You two can meet back there and sort yourselves out after this. The cords are listed in the file history. Last entry before this one.


Roger questioned, turning his attention to the approaching evolved armadillo.


Said the striding armadillo as it came into speaking proximity.

My name is No Glandular Pucebucket. You will refer to me as Occifer Glan. Or Madame Pucebucket of the Thought Police, depending on how I happen to be standing.

Ah. No.

Said Roger, looking for words to engage a conversation with as another G&T arrived in his left paw.


Said the armadillo.


Said Roger.


Said Mr and Mrs Glomch together in a bold and loud fashion, getting to their feet unsteadily as Sol’s towel dropped to the sand.

I’ve been tracking your globules. You three have committed several offences to answer to. Breathing being amongst the most heinous of those hereby listed, for which I am now arresting you; and some other felonies that you shortly intend to commit, if not already thought of, duly to be considered as markedly imminent,

Said Occifer Gland, reading from a handy but quivering pair of ice skates.

Are you sure? Just three old friends sharing a fine afternoon’s quixotic reverie on a beach together?

Questioned Roger, playing it out.

No. I’m not sure of anything. Which is why uncertainty is rigorously enforced by galactic law.

Squared up Occifer Glan as it rested its front claws on where its hips would have been if it were human.

Just time for an improbable G&T then,

Roger said as a tray of the stuff arrived next to Occifer Glan, who took it and started drinking one glass down after the other without even a thank you at a fine glug of pace.

MM. I don’t know about this,

Said Occifer Glan between downs.

Oh very good,

Replied Roger, going on with,

I think we were all going to go and eat a bit of LUMPY BACON after…and noted that the couple flipped out instantly.

That’s improbable…

Said Occifer Glan, between getting on with his drinking.

Yes. Isn’t it.

Said Roger, continuing with,

And I think this may be as well…

And Roger pressed the Fiery that sent Occifer Glan and his retro traveling tube to a stasis dimension, thereby dropping his ice skates on the sand as he did so just as he started to reply something.

Hmm… nice pair all said,

Noted Roger as he picked them up and flipped them into a super nova some distance from sanity.

Ah. Work, work, work…

finished his umptieth G&T and flipped the tree and nearby surrounds to the BOSS in Moronicoconut before flipping home.

Delilah was laughing as Roger staggered into their lux carboard box in downtown uptown downtown Basingstoke main roundabout, third exit on the left. Next to the festering wheelbarrow of lard, hemerophyte oil and dimple bones.

You are cut and ten,

Delilah said with a large grin at Roger.

No. Yes. No. Probably.

Answered Roger, smiling without any attempt to focus while falling onto the sofa and giving Delilah a pocket full of change.

OO. Goody. Just enough for some really fresh asparagus…mmm,

Said Delilah as she flipped out via Roger’s Fiery to get some and flipped back a few moments later with two stalks of the green stuff sticking out from between her chops, to see Roger fizzing asleep on his back with his hind paws in the air.
Roger quickens a pretzel toward vegetables by the cubic yard in Vilnius,
Delilah samples oxidized bilateral quota’s of replicant’s smelly parts.
And Marmalade is mistaken for a Treacle and Foot Pudding during a Brexit contrived flea dunging.




Time flies by like time flying by. Or other things that fly by in due course, noticed as such; or your car parked outside your house that isn't there in the morning. You get a nice helpful woman speaking to you and saying how awful it is, that theft never happens to anyone she has heard of, apart from everyone, they will definately look into it by studying Flakelook carefully for everyone they have a name to, that ends with her sending you a brochure on victim recovery techniques for the unprepared. Complete assistance for the working class heroes who really do need that steady job bowling politician's heads at land mines.

Roger was flicking stones into a pond as the dawn was coming up on a planet not unlike Earth, except in most chemical ways. He got a message on his Feiry from Delilah.


it said.

Well, it had to happen sometime. He flicked another pebble and watched it bounce off the head of a stoned frog. It spun sideways and sank straight away.

That's exactly what I am talking about,

He shouted accusingly at the nonchalont tree on his left.

Roger sighed. He flipped home to find Delilah, who had her own Fiery in hand, relishing a cup of warm water against the abject drizzle of what passed its days as weather in uptown Basingstoke, downtown from the uptown, and near the downtown bits, specially on Thursdays when there is a Q in the month for petrol and autographed by Minger the Mercilesser. She was looking through old videos of her family doing a bit of tree leaping and banana eating.

She barely looked up to glance at Roger's appearance.


He said.


She replied.


puffed Roger, slapping his paws on his thighs and looking intently at the hole in the roof.

He sat down on the sofa and stuck a hotel bar of soap in his left ear. Usually a good move; this time, nothing. He looked at the slivver of mirror on the wall next to his ample growing collection of mouse tails.

He looked at Delilah's feet, and then compared them to his hind paws, and noticed as he did so that Delilah's tail was watching him with the attention of a Doberman just before it rips your face off.
He scratched the number in the top newspaper of the sofa. Then he noticed that 2 was all over the pages of all the papers the sofa was made of that he could see.

An omen...

He got a message from the BOSS in Moronicocoa written in MM-MM.

He translated it through Vietnamese into Cantonese via Japanese using his specially tainted chopticks. Reading it in Thai, it meant nothing to him. He tried Algebra, Sibelius, Sumerian, Whalesong, Dolphin, Catatonic and finally, Coptic written backwards as by Leonardo in a mirror, in case the Velspays were watching in a dialect of Chilterns.

Finally bored with getting to that place where he did not want to go, he hit the translate button, and the phrase,


appeared with friendly relish and a happy meme.

Which is what he thought it said in the first place, but decided to remain stoutly in denial.


Roger said after a think,

What happened to that evolved elephant we met in Killcody last summer?

2...2 elephants,

She said flatly, still dourly watching her videos...

The big male...what happened to him?

Loads shelves in Sainsbury's in Gloucester. Or did a few weeks back. And runs the better half of the galaxy from a 200 year old matchbook he got at Daisy's Tea Shop in Abingdon, 1822,

She continued.

Why all the 2's?

Roger was exasperated. He got up and wandered around their magnificent small cardboard box, in some show of confusion.

2' s on the roof. 2' s on the floor. 2' s on the sofa. 2' s in messages. Everywhere there are 2's.

Yeah. Its too strange,

Delilah answered...


I'm going to see the BOSS. Find out what he wants. Bye.

Roger said, flipping out as he ended.

The BOSS was sat at his office desk made from large bits of an aircraft carrier with some of the fireworks still there. In his office, the size of Liechtenstein, visitors would flip from one end to his desk at the other to save the three hour walk. Roger arrived at his desk mid afternoon, having been kept waiting supported by a friendly ox who held him quietly on the end on one of his less sharp horns by his gagging bag straps while it stood still and snorted gently, slightly akin to a tank idling its engine to keep it warm in winter.

Pleasantries to one side, a conversation ensued that put Roger in a bit of a pickle; or anyway, the ox did, to make a point that the BOSS would very much like the tin that he sent him to get before, but that Roger had decided to go out alone and get; and then hidden it somewhere on Alphasuvius Prrr7^[email protected] Please. After he emptied his revolver at Roger's hind paws.

The one interesting fact about the MM-MM language is that its possible to move from using 417 symbols to say NO; or simply flex the left cheek jowl and inhale through the teeth, plus a mixed myopia of condescending possibilities in between. A language preferred by beings who mostly have their witnesses dangling over pits of boiling oil or their finger just over the button of a Fiery to flip them into a super nova- or worse.

Having explained that the tin in question was moved while flipping about, and was now actually nowhere to speak of, Roger was given the approved two hours to come up with the goods, or be chased down by a bundle of Fiery imbued oxen who had just suffered cuts to their salaries, with the specific instructions to have his composite electrons microwoven across the universe at the Radishers Annual Prink and Spue Festive Sentient Decant Awards, due to happen the next day; in whose honour this year, Leonard Nimoy's clone was to be the host.

Having been released, and showering in a tropical storm somewhere South of Havana to remove the sticky lemon and cheese pickle, Roger flipped out to see his favorite person in all the known dimensions, Dr Velcron, at his plush luxury toilet condo on Nowhere.

Hello. How are you these days?

Roger asked Dr Velcron as the ox put him on the lab floor and exited stage left at speed. The Doc turned round to see who it was, and ran out of the room as well, shouting,

No. No more of your wierdy physical movey thingy non-cloning dirty filth...noooooo,

and disappeared down a corridor.

Roger was left alone in the lab. He looked around in the quiet. It appeared that the Doc was into an experiment on some being with lufas for limbs and sponges for a head and body, on the lab table with many connections to the apparatus. Roger put the gearbox into PARK, turned off the machinery and pulled off the wires from the afflicted.

You OK?

Roger asked the thing.

Not really,

It replied in a dialect of mangling cheesepuffs.

But I suppose I will be soon. When I get my brain back.

Ah. Brain. Don't concern yourself too much about that. Mine never did me much good,

Roger sympathized.

I know you,

The creature said, looking directly at Roger, who felt it might have been better to come in a disguise of a large flamingo that was covering up being a zealous spider looking for a mate to eat its cake and have too.


Roger said as he smiled the smile of a used car salesman that couldn't remember every customer he had stiffed, explaining

I've been on Galactic Dimension Vision a bit here and there, it's true...

No, not that. You're... Roger the evolved cat from Planet Earth. In the Sheetty constellation. I'm very happy to meet you. You're famous down our way. Ho yes, famous.

It said as it sat on the edge of the table, and put out one of its two starfish to shake Roger's paw.

After Roger had his paw shaken vigorously in a happy meeting, Roger asked

And you are...?

Oh. Yes. I'm BuxinTwestFinealkimbutt. The 2nd. The 3rd of me got slimed by a quadriplegic muffoiler on Radiclon 2. In the 2-clone invasion. Last midmuth. Very pleased to meet you Roger. By the way, do you happen to have any asparagus about your persona non grata at all?

Not today....sorry. Were you getting mind drained by Dr Velcron?

Yes, it just started as you came. Fortunate. In fact, I owe you a favour. Is there something I could do for you?

Just a minute,

Roger answered.

He smacked the floor under the table with his tail, and a small door popped open. Roger reached in and got a bag of tinnies out, and put them in his gagging bag. Just then, he heard a noise that sounded like a heavily shielded Dr Velcron and oxen by the side coming his way to do damage. He programmed the Fiery, and flipped them both out to a hotel on a cliff somewhere he didn't know, which turned out to be 2 star, and no bar.

This is no good,

Roger said, and flipped out a second time. They arrived at a superb hotel with a lot of warm water and sloping luxurious sides, on the best beach on Mammononia 2. Roger nodded to his new friend as they seated themselves in the plush scented bushes by the bar, and the telepathic waiters instantly delivered two large whisky's, two G&T's, two Cognac's and two bowls of cheese and chutney diced mouse noses.

This is very nice. Who pays for all this then?

The creature asked, taking in the ambiance.

It comes off my Pukepal account. Telepathically linked to my underwear,

Roger replied, and went on,

So, tell me then, Buxombutt, what's your story, eh?

Well. Let me see...

he replied, taking some serious swigs as he tried to remember...

Oh yes. I recall now, I was somewhere going to somewhere, and then I was Nowhere, paying taxes. Ah. I remember a python...and a chess game...or something. No. there were two things. A small angry heliotrope and a miffed lizard named Biggles. Oh no. It was a big miffed heliotrope and a small lizard named Angus. Yes that was it. What was I talking about now?

About getting your brain back, I think,

Roger replied, slurping his G&T.

Tell me about yourself. You mentioned doing me a favour, if you recall that much,

Roger stated, looking Buxombutt in the eye.

Oh yes. No problem. I will. I do recall, I mean. It's like this,

it said, quaffing a cognac and munching some nibbles,

I come from Hellvettica 2, The Enunciation. Its more of an event than a place. In the upper Dim's. This is just my physical presence here, dressed as I am. Usually, I dont bother to dress and wear space suits.

Buxombutts said.

You mean, you wear a suit IN space? Like a Fielder old-style?

Roger asked.

Not quite. I WEAR space. It suits me. Or so, my followers tell me. I think, although I will probably remember for sure, its all a haze right now; that I was someone important. With large...things.

It said, indicating fullness affront with its starfish.

And a huge....thingy,

It added, indicating its behind area.

Anyway, I got into some... difficulties somewhere, due to...something...that was really improbable, all told. And then I ended up flipped out to Nowhere, and that Dr Velcron had his ideas up and running, as you found me.

It concluded.

I see,

Roger said, not really caring too much, and ordering some more drinks which arrived as he did so.

Wait a bit. You said you WEAR space? As it suits you? That's a new one twice times,

added Roger, getting a grip.

Oh yes. You see, as I said, I'm not really FROM anywhere, or a being in the literal sense. More of a sentient EVENT that gets focused on from time to time. In any dimension you care to look into. Dr Velcron wet himself when he found out it was me, so to speak...

It said.

What d'you mean? He was scared? Angry?

Roger asked.

Oh no. He was ecstatic. I remember everything that ever was, you see. I am spacetime. In a fixed point. A bit the only real clock that ever was. No. The only video of everything that there ever will be. Or something. Like that. Maybe. If you see what... if you see what I mean...

It said.

I'm sure you'll remember soon enough. In fact, wait here a bit, and I'll be back...

Roger stated, then flipped out and was back before Buxombutt was epsiloned.


Roger said, giving Buxombutt a small fingernail sized cube of puss smelling goop, adding,

I got this from Dr Velcron's lab just now. Its your... file I think.

Oh. This is fantastic. Thanks so much,

it said, sliding the small cube into where a left ear would otherwise humanly be.

Oh bloody hell. I mean Ah yes, really. Thats a Frobisher in the Whoopsies...oh.

It said, reeling in the addition to the life event.

I think its like having a 1956 Chrysler Stationeer shoved up the jacksie.

It said some more, wavering in a way that Roger could not quite tell if it was the drinks or the injection of raw data.

Relax a bit. Relax, slow down. Listen to my voice...just my voice,

said Roger easing into his best hypnotist act.

Naw. Don't bother. Entertaining as you are, It has no effect on me. But; tell me if I can get YOU something good, as a mark of respect.
How about some endless existence? Or running a galaxy or two for fun on Mondays when you are in the shittiest of moods? Or anything your heart desires....?

It asked to Roger.

Ah. Now. Let me explain something to YOU,

Roger said, feeling a little dizzy for no reason he could comprehend as he downed another hefty double, and went on,

Two things. Yes, two things I need to know and how now. Now. How.

OK, what are they then,

It asked, slurping another large G&T like there was never going to be anymore ever.


Roger asked, and fell off his chair with some grace and style.


Roger said from the floor, which he felt was the safest and most comfortable floor he had ever laid on with his front paws in the air.


He ended exasperated as a waiter delivered two bowls of fresh fruit, two daiquiri's and a double belled inflating cushion.

I can see that would cause you anxiety in any respects, for anyone with this issue. Delilah included,

It said thoughtfully, ruminating on Roger's circumstance.

I think its so improbable that its an utter certainty. Like your universe. When things get so far off course, and because the universe is totally bent- in fact, disc shaped on the whole- they end up where you want them to be; or at least, that's where beings usually stop in case they find out they are made of wax from the ear of a stegosaurus roach...

You stop blathering right there,

Roger riposted as he got up, still holding a drink,

You stop there because I know you know what. Don't you? Are you going to tell me or not?

Roger squared up across the table full of empty glasses just as an alarm buzzer sounded and his Fiery leapt up and slapped his whiskers left and right and left again, shouting TIME TIME your TIME TIME is NOW NOW, whereupon the other bar guests paid their bills by snapping their fingers, toes or other stuff that would snap, and started to make their ways to the exits in sullen groups. Buxombutt took a last gulp of G&T,put the glass on the table and rather dramatically said,

Yes I will.

And then paused as he wrung his sponge mouth parts out before going on with,

I only exist as an event, right? And every event is always happening everywhere, no matter what the gravity of it is. So, its always now for me. So, I can see things you cant, across all space time. In this universe. And a few more you dont even want to dream about, too. Now; your issue is two, and that's all, yes?

How do you- is that how you know about Delilah? You see her as well? Through me as a connection?

Roger was zonking along at good speed today...


it said, nodding as a full tray of cognac arrived with fruit cutlery designed for starfish to hold.

So pi is not pizza in bits; its a lasagna then?

Roger asked.

It's all curved.

It answered.

And two is about what then exactly, huh?

Roger asked.

Yes. It is about what then exactly. Here.

It gave Roger a twisted arm lock that removed his fur above his left paw in the shape of a group of tidily seared numbers,

That'll start to hurt when the tranquilizer wears off....sometime now, I think.

it said.


replied Roger, his arm starting to sting as if it had been injected with Lillabijot bee juice.

It chinked glasses as Roger's arm went forwards with the reaction to the pain, and said,

Cheers then. Remember what I say. Its all right here now. Not then. Now. And you will get to meet both of you very soon, I think, too.

Are you talking about this circular universe then? I mean now? Is that it?

Roger said through clenched teeth as he forced down a large scotch to reduce the arm pain.


it said cryptically.

Don't concern yourself about the BOSS. He has much bigger problems these days than you. Or was that tomorrow? Hmmm...anyway, can you hit the send button now please on your Fiery? There look, by you claw. Yes, that's it. There.

It said, pointing to Roger's Fiery.


Roger got out.

Don't worry. You programmed it for me tomorrow before we met today. Its just that I needed to have this me-me time with you so you understand, Gillian. I mean Roger, sorry. Sorry. You look the spit of someone I know well. Sorrrry.

Well, I have to get on. Places to go, beings be around with the 1st of me. Its been nice. See you soon yesterday. Midmush.

It ended leaning forwards across the table with a whisper to Roger,

I suggest you get the eff out of here now and take Dee with you,

it smiled and waved a starfish digit down to press Roger's claw onto the GO button of the Fiery. Then it was flipped out.

The alarm sounded again on the Fiery as it slapped his whiskers with such rabid abandon that Roger was knocked back to the comfort of the floor once more, just as an earthquake happened.

That's unusual...he thought to himself. He saw the sky suddenly darken down and move a bit to the he got up, pressed the emergency button on the Fiery and just caught a glimpse around to see the empty crushed bar was surrounded by about 2,222 tons of oxen; presumably there for a special party. Landing on the green planet at the cabin of Capitano frog wrangler extraordinaire, he messaged Dee to meet him, like Now, as in now now now. He exchanged a few words with the retired Monkmink, and flipped out.

It was at Gillian's cabin he met Dee, and had a bad coffee and good whisky thrust into his paws as Dee had a tinned asparagus shoved in her agog gob, by the fire that lit up for them.

Hello, Gillian...

The A.I. said.

And friend. Your pajamas are pre-warmed and freshly pressed on the bed next to the equipment, Gillian. Anything else I can get you?

Put the force fields on max. Now.

said Roger.


said the A.I.

You are now safely encased between existence and life, beyond the beyond, and near the pub. Drink anyone? Some revolting music perhaps? Holographic nude sticky jam dancing?

The A.I. went on expectantly, being as it had never seen more than a solo living thing there, to cater for the party spirit.

No. Thanks. We're just fine all the same. And cut the music too,

Roger told the A.I. The music stopped.


said Dee.


replied Roger.


said Dee.


replied Roger.

How's your orange juice then?

He asked


Dee said after taking a test sip followed by a gulp, and

Is this-

No. Yes. No. Probably. I think I am in the box, Dee...

Replied Roger, taking a large drink, saluting Dee and passing out as if he was walking down stairs backwards, in front of the fire.
More next time in Have Tench Sure Gone Asked to Abstain;
Roger meets a windup toy of the BOSS that lapdances while juggling tapioca,
Delilah learns how to cook using only concentration and a single flip flop,
And who the eff is Gillian anyway and what is her name-stitched underwear doing in Roger's gagging bag?




On TemperaSettivel%@cozEtwill&1/2, a planet everyone knows well for its bad food, limp wristed service standards, long queues and over sold tourism, Roger was sitting in a horrid hotel eating badly fried stale mice and wishing it were Sunday on Earth and in constant cold drizzle, anywhere boring where nothing happened except being able to watch everyone else watching nothing happening and speculating afterwards on and if and what may have been going on while all the watching was happening; with odds on favourites and long shots.

He was reading the news as he ate his filthy food alone without ketchup, to catchup. In local news, the 2 opposing factions who vied to run the global democracy were slugging it out in their monster wrestling bouts on their senior and lower ranked houses of mixed good governance and raw violence. It seemed the topical creature called Herr Snottygran Von Terrymay was getting it up the hooter for its appalling vascilation and inability to do anything without first asking her octadog's opinions, the opinions of every other octadog- alive and dead, plus those yet to be- and then using those stats to further ask the houses to make decisions by mashing it in repeated bouts of gastric projectile vomiting and head smushings, in which, Roger read, 2 referees were out of order as they took bribes from both sides to do what each side told them to do, so had to be instantly retired for severe programming brain maintenance and anti-communistic redoctrination, to be given the allocated new careers of street sweeping and standard lamp holders, where the most harm they could do was get quickly run down by an ill itarated tourist and/or switched off.

The current state of thought of the houses, as it seemed, was to abandon all who travel there, by edict, and go back and actually do what was supposed to be done in the first place- whatever that was, everyone had long forgotten or died; and sort out all the repugnant details afterwards, in a bi-annual swamp regurgitation that would limit costs, keep the status quo running until each bit was redefined, protect normal swamp life, and make taxation a thing creatures enjoyed with a happy smile and hey, Nonny; NO. And to show the planetary flag of posture truss on each dwelling and post-menopausal underwear as a sign of global unity, in the right colouring, size and way up. Next Crone's day, there was to be a staged vote with premeditated multi media leaks, frenzied self publicity and a limited supply of congressional honour melee small slime biscuits with cherry flavoured bogie topping. Roger went down the pages to see that all doctoring was now available on prescription in ampules of bittenmax; Fires were banned from fires with provisions for fires now in existing fires, fires within fires that might be fires, and fires that arrived from fires with the intention to continue firing. Temperature was regulated to be only the feeling of green at all times or turned off as a penalty. Crime was now legal in 222 states of the 2 divisions, as people didn't care anymore as it was cheaper than divorce, and if crimm'd, they would just flipp out anyway before losing the popular vote and their headball season tickets to any petty larconists or Ruskish envelope hunters.

Suddenly, Marmalade burst into the restaurant and bit his way through the thralling queues of low specification DNA sequenced families in a complete mess, as was his regular and permitted style of gadding about for his evolved species of crocodile, to arrive at Roger's table holding a surfboard with MCALPINE IS GREAT STUFF in blue ink written big on it in Euclidean fractose, with a disclaimer underneath in small letters in Samoan acrylic that the above statement was for entertainment purposes only, and had no legal binding on, in or to any situation above the first dimension. Signed by Elvis Presleytarian of Cardiff Arms Park, near Rancour and Pullet, which read as BLUH.


Shouted Marmalade in a slightly breathless way, spitting out bits of assorted torn clothing and adrenaline covered lumps of body parts.


Shouted back Roger, looking up and spitting out a half mouthful of dodgy fried mouse, which tasted of rat and was green, in a fair and balanced response showing respect and determinism to peer group conformity.

Now I've found you- your Fiery is switched off by the way. Is the battery dead again? Anyway, there's a wave due in which is coming oh- about... 12 minutes from now. So we can catch it if you want, if you hurry, and it's tube life for us BiiiiG time, buddy!

Announced Marmalade excitedly, adding,

The next big one isn't coming until tomorrow, and that's way too long to sit by for.

I'm in,

nodded Roger and left the foul food and the restaurant in quick course behind Marmalade's crowd-clearing swishing tail, as the croc ran in a wide way best for smearing accessibility in chaos and forests (for short sprints).

The pair cut through the myriad of thronging holiday makers as densely packed as a sheep sheering party to make their way to the nearby beach not too far away and meet their intended wave of tubular destiny. They arrived in good time, with Marmalade looking like it was time for bed, sprinting being far away from his comfort zones of biting (with and without digestion), crowd clearance, aggression and ox goading; and lying about in readiness for any one, some mix or all of the above.

They stood side by side at the edge of the dry sand, Marmalade, shielding his eyes from the double red dwarf suns overhead and staring for a sign of the coming event. Roger took the moment to distract a bystander who he quickly interested in time shared apartments and readily swapped the use of his surfboard in exchange for a trial ticket for the afternoon period, while stroking the foreleg of his sweetly tanned creature opposite sexual orientation partnership thinglet, or girlfriend as is more usefully understood minus all the self opined politically correct crud that some call fair and others refer to as utter wallow-garbage. Roger noted with a smile that the board read, NO- REALLY in bold, friendly red letters; a useful signal epithet of recall in case a mind went blank whilst in the process of manufacturing a particularly stretched and difficult lie, plus of course, it was pre-written so as to witness any passing event the holder might refer to, and could be displayed in evidence to support such statements.

How long do you think the tube will roll?

Roger asked Marmalade who had the s.p. on the incoming.

Oh. Well, I think it was two hundred and twenty two. Something like that,

the Croc answered, still focused peering into the distance.

Oh that's a good long one for sure. Well worth the effort,

Stated Roger, looking out for the wave again next to Marmalade. After a short pause, Marmalade said,

We should paddle out now. Now... NOW.... ITS---COMING...!

They both splashed in and swam out on their boards away from the crowded beach of multifluous sentient's, and kept on going until they reached where they best thought to meet their fast encroaching wave.

Then, there was a roar growing louder that rose in all the sense levels above the squash of white noise.

Marmalade turned his gaze from out to Roger and asked,

You ready for this one, pal?

Oh yes. All in, so,

Roger replied, and they both took from a paddling to a kneeling position on their boards.

It became deafeningly loud as the one in 2,222 huge wave coursed in on them heading to the beach, ready to do damage to all in its path. Then, It caught them both, and they paddled like crazy to catch its cusp, which they did.


They both yelled out as it took them and they rode it down into its humongous tube, tailing it wide from side to side as they flew along. They were inside the tube and it was fantastic. Travelling without moving. Moving without being. Being without traveling. Its was way too noisy for any exchange, so they rode it through. Marmalade nearly fell off. Twice, but just held it. Roger held it as the kitten climbing a curtain that he was. They rode the tube's entire length, came out the other end, and it was over, landing them as gently as a prayer for supper on what might pass for a beach.

Where are we then?

Roger asked Marmalade.

Huh? oh...Dons o' de watch says its Ficklemass, 22,222 in East Brextit, Yullyfoot. What a time wave that one was. Deeeelicious. Did you get the taste of it changing from antiquarian bookseller to vanilla marshmallow? Fabulous.

Yeah, I got that alright,

Answered Roger, going on with,

That was something. Did you go through that old human and an ox? And the mountain- going through all those stones and stuff like we were made of rocks. WOW. I got some aluminium taste in the face though, from the foam.

Yeah. Aluminium. That was sour. But the rest was a rush. I did the old woman, but the ox? No, I got a forest of algae and stones flying through my head in wax and pins, flavours minty and chocolate.

Answered Marmalade enthusiastically.

Where is now and here then? I mean, no- really?

Roger asked, looking about and seeing what was to be seen.

They were what they both concluded in quick consultation and with Marmalade's watch, to be in the underside pressure dome of a frozen methane glacier, lit by luminous swathes of bacteria all over the place, in which resided the entire local population of beings, somewhere on the other side of the same galaxy, and some time later.

Wild, dude. Wild.

Said Marmalade, getting out a smoked rat from his bag and biting its head off to suck its brains out with a straw.

Yeah. Wild,

Roger said, deciding to lie down on his surfboard and study the drip coming down from the roof that half reminded him of somewhere familiar. He took a strand of liquorice out from his gagging bag and weaved it into his mouth, up, into his nasal cavity and out through the business end.


He repeated, tasting the post-travel stabilizing liquorice flavoured chewy, and going quiet while he ran the entire experience back through his memory again, going on,

It's not the same as flipping through a Fiery at all. That's almost instantaneous. This way, its a whole another train journey in a heartbeat of scenery and stops included.

Mmmm. Right,

Said Marmalade who was pretty much doing the same reverie. Then he asked Roger,

So Rog, what is all this about the number 2 then? Why's this been hacking your goat pole for the last 2 weeks, buddy?

Ah. Good question, too. It had me completely fumigated for sure. I mean, effing done and gone South of regular confusion. I only just now see the result arrive as an outsider. I mean, this temporal wave, as in now, right now - now. It came to me as I was in the tube.

Said Roger.

A local spider looking creature passed them by, hammered a BEWARE OF STRANGERS sign into the ground next to KEEP OFF THE LAWN a little to the left of Roger's head and pasted a parking ticket on Roger's left ear. It looked over at Marmalade (who glared back), as if to move on to him; but decided that it was probably a better idea to clock off sick right now and get an early. It scuttled off and they were alone on the bluish and flecked blonde lawn with little obsidian flowers here and there. Roger ended with,

Let me tell you what I worked out- with a little help from all concerned-
Next time in Adventures on the Astral Plane,
Roger squares a vampire with billiards beside a soda fountain,
Marmalade discovers beetroot tastes of Greek classics mottled with tarragon,
And Delilah greets Lenin in a sea snail coping with winning a lottery.




Let me say that Roger, a traveller in everywhereness and visitor often to nowhere and all the places no one knows and eveyone thinks about in between, has the best of the evolved feline predatory qualities of daring, curiousity and playfulness plus 9 lives cubed. Which is useful if you are leaping from tree to tree chasing flying rats, and you miss. As Roger is wont to do frequently, during holy days and week days, vacations, breaks and well... pretty much at any moment's notice. The flying and the missing. Rather annoying if he disappears mid conversation and reappears yesterday continuing the same conversation with you and you dont have a clue what he is on about, until tomorrow. His fashion to win many a serious argument, spangling his banner.

In the domain of 5D relevence calculations period block 2.173, or just next door as its known locally, The Golden Fleece Wot Was Nicked, Roger sat at a table imbibing a cool and refreshing small glass of frothy Belgique beer from somewhere South of Brussels, in 1959 and a half.

Outside, Roger witnessed it was sunny and prosperous; there was a slow passing bus, people, sky and land- no one was drowning in tsunamis today. The lama salesmen were raking in the weeks takings from the sheep farmers washing line cadmium battery futures with options to incremental lithium prospects. Humans were wearing traditional localized clothing, smiling and making smalltalk to each other, which is about the best thing they can do that has the least destructive qualities and passes the time harmlessly for rodents, volcanoes and misspent youth who for no reason, suddenly wake one morning and decide to go into politics before they reach the age of 16 and know well how to spell antidepressant.

A human man of passing years entered the hostelry in a rain coat, wet and fierce with French trousers and a rolled up newspaper. He sat down, Roger noticed, on a stool at the bar, and ordered red wine. This was the signal he was waiting for. This was to be the moment. It was now or some other time maybe but who cares? Roger flicked a matchbook advertising The Red Rose Restuarant written in camomile into the man's freshly deposited glass of wine before he had a chance to lift it to his waiting lips. It was a good shot at 146 to 1, but probably a lot more improbable at the quantum level.

So- that's what all the stone and pebble skimming practice had been leading up to, in the recent past, Roger understood as the cooling amber liquid graced the sides of his throat and were welcomed by his tummy to the final drop as a preamble to standing up.

The man turned to look for the source of the surprise potential ignition arrival. It was such an oddity that he had fallen into the well of utter confusion, and was looking at the ceiling as well as at Roger, and then questioning the barman, who lathered in a mixture of vile scents Roger could smell twenty six miles away, and had long ago driven Polar bears to the end of the Earth, but right then made it plain that miniature book skudding was not amongst his successful repetoire; spitting, vomiting, rudeness, eating potatoes, weeing on the floor around the toilet in artistic patterns, and complaining- yes: top marks in all. 237 in fact to date, as displayed in the Ghent Pillagers and Fretful Apprentice Eel Angler's Annual Slimline Belch, Bile & Fart Reunion, 1956 (June Soltice), photo on the back wall of the bar. Two pairs of eyes went back towards Roger.

Something was about to happen....

The newspaper the man had put on the bar had to some degree unfurled itself. A small group of beings crawled out of the end, dusting themselves off and straightening their baroque costumery, as any catapillar- close realtive to a cat with a lot of extra legs in case of limb extingencies- would do in civil public company. There commenced a lot of miniscule shouting and fist waving at the man, who was by now far and away lost in the uptake of instant disbelief, just passing through the idea he was a labrador named Fingus in Howth Head, Dublin in 1911, chasing giullemots during a rainy Spring weekend. The bartender was doing a good impression of not moving at all in case he was awake. Roger went to the bar and engaged the cats in conversation while the two human witnesses watched in stunned silence.

Uh... hello. Roger- how do you do. Yes. It seems you picked up these catapillars without their consent, and removed them from their regular habitat, and they would like to go back immediately. Please. Thank you. As far as I can tell.

Said Roger to the man, whose glazed eyes rested on him and then went back to the catapillars, and then back to Roger.


He replied with splendid frontal lobe abscence.

So, what I suggest, seeing as you mistakenly removed them and they wish to return, is that I will oblige them for you and end this saga. Cheers.

Roger drank the glass of red wine, programmed his Fiery and the invited flipped out, newspaper included.

On the planet Freemantle Prenuptial Fantasy Contract 2, they arrived in a field of herbacious borders and well kept sporting lawns surrounded by various trees busy exchanging CO2 for O2 with some neat chemistry probably natural in arrangement. In extended chats, the thankful catapillars told that they had been removed against their free will and sent to Earth without their giving permission or having any appropriate paperwork, as part of a larger flip earlier in the day involving a hippo, 2 oxen and a horse which they caught the name as being Zebediah Chundergush. They were in fact, late for a family party. Roger flipped them back to a litttle before their prior point of removal, at a safe distance and spectated the events leading up to their unapproved flip.

It was exactly what Roger had been looking for and had been working towards by detection, predatory reason and careful manipulation of multi-dimensional events over a period of 2 millenia, at selected moments. This was it. Or something probably like it. Maybe.

There were the two oxen and two others, and also...the two 6th dimension beings in the light sky floating shapes of serving cut wedges of a chocolate gateaux and a sponge harlequin cake with sprinkles. Roger noted all their sentience signatures to the Fiery memory. It was the cakes that had organised the event, and were still doing so far into the future. These things made slaves of everything, and he was furious about that. Denial of sentience. The worst crime imaginable in all of free spacetime. Even the Thought Police grudgingly agreed it might probably be wrong on any given day and all the way to be in extremis while they were busy raping your loved one, stealing your credits and raiding your drinks stash.

Roger was conflicted until this moment. How could sentience have any meaning if not left to its own choices? With any form of guidance or control beyond the idea that life has independant reason and therefore purpose, and those Earthbound understanding such merely have to believe that planetery precession came to a pre-Egyptian in a dream on a white horse dropped from some cloud above, namely Zeb the stallion... one working day night shortly before the Winter solstice, the entire universe's existence falls into a blob of spicey toothpaste.

With this new information in hand, he had the proof he needed to act with certainty and a kettled spray of violets. He flipped the cats' back to their now time and left.

There was much to process now. Much to arrange.

At a very nice hotel bar on a planet MMM-MM in MM-MMM-M, near to MM-M-MM, he quaffed a varied mix of drinks. He called to Dee. She didn't answer. He sent her a message which was noted as being undelivered. Something was wrong. The fur on his back flew up with his tail, and he sprang 22 feet into the air as any well-fairing feline does in a reflex action to incoming danger. Thunging off a drooping light fitting hanging down from the roof, he held its cord in the zenith of trajectory's cusping arc and looked around.

There were oxen coming along the beach...
Next time in Ad Hoc Lent Sure Is Astride Danes, when

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