A plague on both your houses (1/3)

Several of the peculiarities had already a quarter-mile radius in a stinking, slithering gloop that couldn’t be removed even by praying really, really hard. Spontaneous Bucket poked at the pus filled mound with a stick, ‘It’s amazing, they look exactly like a scaled up version of the ones that grow on people.’

‘Personally, I underestimated the level of grossness,’ his companion called from behind a tree.

Sensible people had been avoiding the footpaths since the first of the Great Inundations, but Spontaneous was a man of opportunity. He had taken to charging for a quick blessing rinse on the ducking stool and according to the waiting list, the price of holy head covering rags was just about to hit an all-time high. If he could only work out how to provoke a splattering, then he was pretty much made for life.

He poked at the disgusting mound again. It teased him with an alluring quiver but the probability of explosion remained undetermined.

‘Any ideas?’ he threw the question over his shoulder, not wanting to miss a tell-tale sign that something was about to go down. And up. And obviously sideways.

‘Poke it with a stick?’

‘Any more ideas?’

‘A bigger stick?’ Lucian Scabby was a great believer in poking at things with a stick, ‘Two sticks joined together?’

‘I don’t think that even three sticks would work here.’ Spontaneous crouched down and put his ear as close to the mound as his nose could bear, ‘Besides, I think there’s something moving around inside.’

Lucian wasn’t going to risk a glance, ‘Sounds like witchcraft. We should call a Witch Finder.’

‘They’re a bit of a one trick pony,’ Spontaneous tilted his head and tried to ignore the rising nausea that was threatening to turn up the volume on the repugnant party, ‘plus we ran out of women on Tuesday.’

‘What about Collateral Colin?’

Spontaneous leaned in closer, it was certain now, the abomination was definitely concealing more than an unexpected showering of pus, ‘You should never use your emergency back-up woman, not unless the chickens lay double yolks and the sun turns four times purple on a Sunday.’ He said the words mechanically, all his focus was on the mound.

‘We could always burn the priest?’

‘Father Constantinople died six weeks ago, we’ve just been propping him up by the cess pit until his replacement arrives. He’s getting pretty runny; several people have actually used him to put fires out.’

Lucian frowned, ‘Can I poke him with a stick?’

‘Sure…’ Spontaneous clicked a thought out over his tongue, ‘I wonder what would happen if I cut it open?’

‘According to the secret soothsayer of Nosoothsayershere town: 10,000 frogs with pitchforks will burst forth from the open wound, all cows will walk backwards and birds will instantaneously grow beards.’ Lucian shook his head sadly, ‘Then Lucifer himself will dance naked in every market square for 35 days without any garments on. And then, as the moon splits open, all of hell will join together to form one huge, hairy and assumedly squawking, questing beast. The beast will then vomit up a gargantuan, yellow custard skin and proceed to cover the whole earth in it. And then it will eat our hands and feet and put our eyes round back to front so we have to look at our own brains. For all eternity.’

‘So pretty bad things then?’

‘Did I mention the custard skin?’

Spontaneous cricked his neck, ‘Pass me the stick with a knife on it.’


to be continued……

Yu can read part 2 here

©2017 Jac Forsyth