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Old 04-04-2004, 12:19 PM   #164
The Saucepan Man
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Join Date: Jan 2003
Location: A green and pleasant land
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The Saucepan Man has been trapped in the Barrow!
The Eye Ziggy Soregum and the Guitar from Marrow-Bones

Soregum was used to hardship. He had spent nearly fifty years in Moredough, working his way up from Minor Goblin Boot Scraper to the esteemed position of M˘gul’s personal dogsbody. But never, in all his years of service in the Land of Shadowy Deals, had he felt such utter mental exhaustion as he felt at that moment. It was not the quality of the performances, which he had rather enjoyed. Rather it was the combined effect of the various intoxicants, enchantments, threats and bribes which had been bestowed upon him, not to mention the high blood pressure generated by Pimpi’s performance.

But a person of such small stature and humble origins does not survive for long in Moredough without developing formidable reserves of fortitude and resourcefulness. So Soregum had been just about able to cope with all that had been thrown at him (including, eventually, Leninia’s magic tea, thanks to his body’s tolerance to toxic substances) and his head had cleared sufficiently during the show for him to be able to formulate a plan. His primary concern was ensure that his soul remained firmly within his body, and he had been sufficiently wary of Leninia’s dark glances to ensure that the Sing-Along-A-Quest-ship scored low throughout the show. But he also had in mind his Master’s orders, to join their company, ideally with that talking guitar. Of minor concern were the individual souls of the various contestants, Pimpi excepted of course.

There had been a moment of near disaster when it had seemed that Pimpiowyn might not appear on stage. Had he scored the Search-For-A-Star-ship too low? How could he avoid scoring Leninia full marks to ensure that his soul remained intact? Happily, however, he had caught a glimpse of Pimpi’s determined (and heart-stoppingly pretty) face backstage, just as Leninia was stepping up to do her piece, and so had felt confident enough to award the Wight Lady double points.

He had recognised Pimpi’s song immediately, of course. It was a traditional “courting” song of the Mire. But having it sung to him by such an exquisite creature, and in such a beguiling voice, had nearly broken him. When she had cast off her shoes, he had nearly had a coronary there and then. Soregum had always had a thing for Redfoots. Indeed, he had only managed to retain his composure by sitting back and running through the matches from last season’s Inter-Arda Football Championship in his mind.

When Pimpi had finished, Soregum took a few moments to compose himself. Then, as all eyes turned to him, he slowly stood up and cast off his cloak and cowl. He wore a red satin jacket, matching breeches and a bright yellow waistcoat, which covered a prominent pot belly. His face, though pale and drawn, was animated by wide intelligent eyes of the deepest blue. A mop of curly grey hair matched the colour of the hair which grew on his bare feet (his ill-fitting boots too having been discarded). He smiled nervously at the assembled company (and Pimpi in particular), revealing quite the most alarming case of dental dilapidation that any present had ever seen. He was largely bereft of teeth, and those which remained were decayed and stained brown with tobacco, prompting Orogarn Two to recall with sadness the ruins of his native city.

“Well,” said Leninia, smiling sweetly at Soregum, while simultaneously fixing him with an icy stare. “How much does the Quarterling score?”

“Er, fif …,” Soregum began to say, then paused as he noticed Pimpi fluttering her extraordinarily long eyelashes at him. Steeling himself, he continued.

“Fifteen points,” he declared.

A gasp went up from the Pipped-At-The-Post-Ship.

“Fifteen?” questioned Merisuwyniel, barely concealing her disappointment.

“Fifteen measly points! Is that all I get?” exclaimed Pimpi, making no effort to hide hers.

“But what of the superb metre, the beautiful lyrics, the sheer excellence of MY Pimpi’s performance?” said VogonwŰ. He had become rather flustered by the style of her performance and was not reassured by the manner in which Soregum kept looking at her, so he felt it necessary to emphasise the word “my” to ensure that there was no misunderstanding.

“Never trust a Hobbit,” muttered Kuruharan, only to receive a sharp glare from Pimpi.

“So, did we win?” chipped in Lord Etceteron, helpfully.

Leninia stood in momentary shock and confusion, having fully expected to find herself runner-up. Then, recovering her customary poise, she laughed in a manner which would have been delightful, were in not for the cold menace which lay below its surface.

“Then, I win!” she declared, jumping up and down and clapping her hands. “I get to collect your souls!”

“But the contest isn’t over,” said Soregum, gaining in confidence. “I have not sung yet.”

“But you’re the judge. You don’t get to sing.” replied Leninia, her merriment at the thought of adding further souls to her collection temporarily put aside.

“There’s nothing in the rules that says I can’t.”

Leninia peered thoughtfully at him through dark narrow eyes. Smoke billowed from Soregum’s pipe as he puffed on it and stared back at her in defiance. All was silent as Leninia pondered the meaning of this latest development. A pin dropped loudly towards the back of the auditorium.

“Very well,” she finally said. “But it will only delay the inevitable.”

With a wink to the Hearts-In-Their-Mouths-Ship (directed mainly to Pimpi, VogonwŰ noted in annoyance), Soregum ambled to the centre of the stage. Then, just as he opened his dentally challenged mouth to begin, he realised that, in all his planning, he had given no thought to what he would actually sing.

But as he stood there, his mouth agape and fear once more starting to course through his veins, the auditorium was illuminated by a sudden flash of lightning which struck Soregum squarely on the top of his head. When the smoke had cleared, it became apparent that he had undergone some sort of strange transformation. His hair, now a shocking red in colour, was standing on end, and emblazoned on his face was a mark in the shape of a lightning-bolt, silver in colour and edged in scarlet. The life had drained from his eyes, and he shuffled forward to the front of the stage like one of the zombies languishing in Leninia’s dungeons.

Suddenly, the Entish Guitar struck up a series of powerful, rhythmic chords.

Wow-wow… Diddle-iddle-ee-dee .... Wow-wow-wow ...
Wow-wow… Diddle-iddle-ee-dee .... Wow-wow-wow ...


As if under a spell Soregum began to sing, while the opening chords echoed around the auditorium. Not a soul (whether embodied or not) moved, as if all present too had been placed under the enchantment which seemed to bind him.

Ooh yeah …

Wow-wow… Diddle-iddle-ee-dee .... Wow-wow-wow ...
Wow-wow… Diddle-iddle-ee-dee .... Wow-wow-wow ...

Melvin played guitar, jammin' good with Manuel Santana,
and his Valleyum pals, to stupefy Elves,
But Melvin proved false,
And when he found himself banned, he hit Dairyland.

Melvin claimed that land, building malls and luxury dwellings
Over Elvish farms. His Loyers were hard.
And Dairyland marred.
The Sindiar and the Noodlar, named him M˘gul Bildűr.

So where were the Velour, while M˘gul’s forces tried to break the Elves?
At last they were roused up.
So their forces were deployed and threw him into the void.

Wow-wow… Diddle-iddle-ee-dee .... Wow-wow-wow ...
Wow-wow… Diddle-iddle-ee-dee .... Wow-wow-wow ...

M˘gul spent an age, brooding darkly on his misfortune.
So Mantoes’ curse went, that one day an Ent
Would find itself rent.
But once reunified, M˘gul would be fried.

Taking shape as a beetle, M˘gul freed himself out from the void.
Now his home is in Moredough.
For the Entish parts he hopes and when he finds them they’re toast.

Wow-wow… Diddle-iddle-ee-dee .... Wow-wow-wow ...
Wow-wow… Diddle-iddle-ee-dee .... Wow-wow-wow ...


The Entish Guitar continued playing the hypnotic chords until they came to their natural conclusion, as Soregum sang the final refrain.

M˘gul seeks the Guitar …

There was a final cacophony of noise and then, as the final chords died away, he collapsed in a heap on the floor of the stage.

Last edited by The Saucepan Man; 04-07-2004 at 05:51 PM.
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