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Short Stories

Beyond Death by Robert A Ferguson A short piece on a love reaching through war and beyond death. [275 words]
The Man by Mike McWade The Man takes a break from the stiffs at work only to run into more. [1,243 words]
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Why Must You by Lucy Midnight - [1,593 words]
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The Friends by Lucy Midnight ... [1,416 words]
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The Adventuresof Archie 5b - The Army Surplus Salesman's Tale
The Adventures Of Archie 7 - The Puzzleman's Tale by Xoggoth Archie finds he is not alone in the valley. He shares it with... [2,988 words]
The Adventures Of Archie 6 - A Peaceful Solution by Xoggoth Following a Little Boy explosion Archie find himself on a deso... [1,271 words]
The Adventures Of Archie 5a - The Army Surplus Salesman by Xoggoth Archie learns the truth they try and keep from us, that... [913 words]
The Adventures Of Archie 4b - The Great Regurgitato's Tale by Xoggoth Continued. [823 words]
The Adventures Of Archie 4a - The Great Regurgitato by Xoggoth Achie learns of the greats of bodily functions and meets th... [781 words]
The Adventures Of Archie 3 - The Spider Catcher's Tale. by Xoggoth Archie escapes from the paralysing purple and find hims... [1,313 words]
The Adventures Of Archie 2 - The Little Demon's Tale by Xoggoth A hell spawned satanic creature identifies too much with m... [901 words]
The Adventures Of Archie 1 - The Great Escape by Xoggoth A sort of Alice in Wonderland meets Canterbury Tales sort of thin... [473 words]
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It Happens by Lucy Midnight - [1,634 words]
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In Capable Hands by Erasmus Flynt Or are we? [212 words]
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Hook by Amanda Connison Written for the PA Govenor's School. [1,855 words]
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Girl In The Rain by Rowan Davies We always think of ourselves as individuals, until we notice that there are other individuals ... [505 words]
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At A Wto Rally by E Rocco Caldwell - [853 words]
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The Adventuresof Archie 5b - The Army Surplus Salesman's Tale
[1,116 words]
[March 2004]
A Capital Fart (Short Stories) The redundant London underground is pressed into service to win a world farting contest. [736 words] [Humor]
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The Adventures Of Archie 1 - The Great Escape (Short Stories) A sort of Alice in Wonderland meets Canterbury Tales sort of thing but sillier than the former and even more boring than the latter. In episode 1 our elderly rabbit hero escapes his hutch and disappe... [473 words] [Humor]
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The Adventures Of Archie 4a - The Great Regurgitato (Short Stories) Achie learns of the greats of bodily functions and meets the greatest of them all. [781 words] [Humor]
The Adventures Of Archie 4b - The Great Regurgitato's Tale (Short Stories) Continued. [823 words] [Humor]
The Adventures Of Archie 5a - The Army Surplus Salesman (Short Stories) Archie learns the truth they try and keep from us, that being disembowelled is fun, meets a descendant of the Piltdown man and travels to the army surplus fair to find Little Boy is no bargain. [913 words]
The Adventures Of Archie 6 - A Peaceful Solution (Short Stories) Following a Little Boy explosion Archie find himself on a desolate plain and meets two tribes who are too stupid to realise that war and bloodshed are by far the most efficient means of resolving disp... [1,271 words] [Humor]
The Adventures Of Archie 7 - The Puzzleman's Tale (Short Stories) Archie finds he is not alone in the valley. He shares it with a man in a very strange prison. You have to endure a little homily on man's inhumanity to decorating materials first. [2,988 words] [Humor]
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The Adventuresof Archie 5b - The Army Surplus Salesman's Tale

The Itinerant Army Surplus Salesman's tale

I used to have a little village shop you know, inherited it from my father. Usual small stuff that small people in small villages need. Cornflakes, elastic bands, light bulbs, elastic bands, sticking plasters, dog food, elastic bands, newspapers, that sort of thing. Did I mention elastic bands? But I wanted to travel, see a bit of the world. So I sold up and invested the cash in a business based on the real passion in my life. Military history, especially defensive military history. Nuclear warheads and sieges and Blitzkriegs all seem very uncivilised to me, but I love earthworks, trenches, fortifications, trench warfare, battlements, trenching tools, trench foot. Anything with a defensive military flavour especially if it's trench related or contains the word trench. There's something about being dug in, stuck in a muddy hole in the ground for years that encapsulates everything that's fine and noble and decent about humanity. Here I am and here I stay it says. I've never been happier. Only thing I can honestly say I miss about the old life is the elastic bands, but that's hardly surprising as they played a very big part in trench warfare as you probably know.

Anyhow, been on a trip round Europe this winter, Mons, Flanders, Ypres, all the really good places, looking for stuff to sell this summer. You can still see the trenches in some places you know, preserved, and there's the little signs everywhere for those of us who know and love trenches. Just think what it was like for those chaps. The pointless slaughter, gangrene, shells, mud, trench foot, cold, gangrene, damp, bad food, gangrene, stench of dead bodies, gas, being wounded, gangrene, seeing your comrades being killed. It must have been just... WONDERFUL. Bulbo's eyes misted over at the thought of such bliss and trench foot and gangrene and the big red lorry veered across the central reservation barging a minibus full of Jehovah's Witnesses off a cliff. The tachograph did not record such accidents so it was a real bonus.

When they got to the Northern Forces Surplus show, Archie did his very modest best (he was a Rabbit) to help unload. Thanks to his heritage, Bulbo had enormous strength and they very soon had their stall all set up. It was fairly unexciting stuff, gas masks, locker boxes, lots of trenching tools, some rather mouldy boots with very mouldy feet still in them (Bulbo had labelled them "Genuine trench feet from Ypres") and a few rusty munitions. He wondered how Bulbo managed to make the sort of living his big house in Sussex suggested. "I expect you're wondering how I make a living out of this stuff" said Bulbo. "It fetches about enough to pay for my trips and the lorry usually, but the real profit is in the special stuff. He tapped on the nearest of three boxes behind the stall. "We don't get these out until the serious collectors turn up for the auction after the public show". Came closing time and Bulbo was very pleased. Black and green was fashionable that year and his mouldy trench feet had sold briskly to ladies wanting them as fashion accessories. He had very soon sussed the market and doubled his prices. He rubbed his hands, a good day so far but now for the real profit!

He hauled out the top box. It seemed very old and had German writing on it. He opened it, turned it upside down and shook it. The world went dark and eerily grey. There was an immense thundering noise and Archie had an impression of huge things falling all around him. Then the darkness cleared abruptly. To reveal an immense concrete pillbox. By shear good fortune it had placed itself neatly on top of the Red Cross tent crushing everyone inside. There was a long earthen embankment stretching away from the pillbox in both directions. 200 yards away another pillbox had landed on the WI tent squashing all the worthy ladies within. Never mind. Just think of all the jam they'll have to sell next year. The line of embankments and the pillboxes went in both directions and as far as Archie could see. "Magnificent isn't it?" said Bulbo, "got it under the counter, if you know what I mean, from a chap in a little village on the German border. The Siegfried Line, genuine, almost complete, only one user, full service record and I've still got the original box. Should fetch a packet from a real collector"

A small dapper man wandered over. It was obvious that he and Bulbo disliked each other intensely. "Look out, Fred Fannyflaps. The chap's a scumbag" said Bulbo, with little effort to lower his voice. "Makes a so called living selling remote warfare devices, bombs, missiles and so on. Obscene. Real war is sticking a bayonet in at close quarters and seeing guts come out. That's proper war that is, something noble and fine and decent about it, not all this technology stuff where you never see the enemy, inhuman and cold. Even watching remote TV images of guts come out isn't the same". "Pretty impressive, Bulbo" said the dapper man "but I think I've got something better". He pointed to two cardboard boxes with "BB" and "LB" chalked on them. "We'll see" growled Bulbo.

There were a lot of serious buyers, and a great deal of interest in the Siegfried Line. Bulbo was confident of getting a high bid. Just before the action began, Bulbo and Archie were having a rest and a well deserved coffee. Something fluttering on the nearest Pillbox. Bulbo walked over and pulled it off. A string vest and a pair of not quite white underpants marked FF. Bulbo exploded. He strode over to the other stall. "What is the meaning of this? He demanded, waving the garments. "Steady on old chap, I just rinsed my smalls and needed somewhere to dry them" said the dapper little man. "YOU BASTARD" screamed Bulbo, "YOU'VE BEEN HANGING OUT YOUR WASHING ON MY SIEGFRIED LINE".

The little man ended up head down in an empty tea chest. It took him several minutes to extract himself and wipe the coffee off his face. A face like thunder. He was not going to let this pass, that was clear. He walked to the box marked LB, picked it up and shook it in their direction. Something fell out and bounced towards them, rapidly swelling in size. It did not seem very dangerous to Archie, just something that looked like a big camping gas cylinder painted silver with fins on the end. It had "Little Boy" written on the side.



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March 2004

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