6cndluo (and Other Flash Fiction) Anthology, p.1Stephen Jennison-Smith
Stephen Jennison-Smith ? Copyright 1996, 2011, 2012
A small robot somewhere in the Nebula galaxy. Named after the shortened web address of The Crying pennant. Does he speak. Nobody knows, he's covered in foam from his head to his nose.
Do robots have noses? If they are androids then they would have a nose to look human. Is he an android then? Ok, an android, then he can have a nose. What is he doing in the Nebula galaxy? Shouldn't he be closer to the earth, erth, erath whichever dimensional name this earth has? Why? Am I talking to myself? Yes. Oh. No one to talk about or to so you have to talk to yourself. Oh. I could talk to the robot. Android, I could speak to the android floating in space. "Hey you!"
The android looked lifeless.
Great, I am now speaking to a lifeless android as well as myself.
"Hey 6cndluo, can you hear me?"
There was a little spark in the eyes.
"Come on speak to me, what are you doing here?"
"Do you need me to look at you?"
Yet another spark.
How am I going to look at him? Do I reach inside the virtual universe with a pair of virtual hands and virtually fix him?
I didn't need to because 6cndluo sparked back into life.
"Are you speaking to me?" asked the android.
"Yes," I replied, "what are you doing out here floating in space, in the nebula galaxy of all places?"
"I will access my memory banks."
"Go on then."
"I am, calm down dear."
For a second it/he did nothing.
"Hurry up," said I, "I could be having a cup of coffee with my wife now!"
"I was in a space ship."
"Right, carry on."
"And we were in a battle against the D'ark Lord's forces near the planet of Valusia."
"I managed to get onto his battle cruiser, into his personal quarters then bang! I was here."
"Bang you say?"
"Well more of a weeweeeweeewee really."
"A weeweeeweeewee isn't really a bang, more like a weeweeeweeewee."
"That's all my memory banks can remember. I then went into shutdown mode to conserve my battery."
"Well then, what are you going to do now?"
"I don't know, by the way, who are you?"
"I am the Author, I was scouting around thinking of some way to advertise The Crying Pennant and I found you. An android with the name. Why are you named as you are? It's a bit of a coincidence isn't it?"
"My predecessor was 5cndluo."
"So you're one of a series then?"
"So it must have started with 1cndluo. I wonder what the cndluo bit means." I thought for a bit, "Campaign for nuclear disarmament like under owls?"
"I could tell you what it means so that you didn't have to make up stupid stuff."
"Go on then, what does it mean?"
"Computer numbered during loading up, (one)."
"I don't know, that's what my first predecessor was called."
"So it was a temporary name then?"
"What do you mean?"
"Well, that must have been the beginning factory number or something, a temporary name, he was number one. Why were you never named properly?"
"I am just a soldier, we are numbers. Meant to be shot at and destroyed."
"Well, I think you are worth having a name. I am going to name you Scandy."
"That sounds like a girl's name, or somebody from the real earth's Scandinavia."
"Do you want it or not?"
"Go on then. What are we going to do now?"
"I think I might introduce you into a bit of Flash Fiction."
"Isn't that what you've done now?"
"If you get too cocky with me I might leave you here."
Just then, as if by happenchance, a Dravian freighter passed by.
"That was a good bit of happenchance," said Scandy as he was tractored aboard.
The Goblin Adventures
"Nah mate," said Ugbash.
"But why do goblins sound like Londoners? Do you think Tolkien thought of short grimy Londoners as goblins?"
"Maybe, woja wanna know that for?"
"I was thinking of writing a history of Cockney speaking peoples."
"That's a bit of a niche market innit?"
"Maybe, but I am sure it could hit a mass market."
"I've 'it a mass market before, the one in Gilkhag by Elkhag, me an' me goblin chums. Right mess we made. They 'ad to get the dwarf army to sort us out. I did get some nice things though, this nose ring, this slightly chipped meat cleaver, (it was made to look used for the fashionable goblin warrior look.)
"You said you were a goblin warrior, I've never seen you fight?"
"Well, we goblins do, we kinda lope around an' do strange high pitched noises and kind a sidle up to our enemy in a big gang."
"So, a bit like the goblins in Battle for Middle Earth II?"
"Never played that un, I prefer BFME I."
"Which faction do you like playing?"
"'Umans, they're the strongest."
"Who do you play against?"
"Pan Head, but 'e's a bit slow, and I always beat 'im. 'E always plays Isengard. Beats 'im easily I does."
"Isn't that a bit unfair?"
"That is a politically incorrect statement."
"I don't care, 'e is."
"You should say he's uneducated."
"Well 'e is, that's why 'e's fick."
"Right, I think I'm going to stop this interview before you get me into trouble."
"Right. Off mic now, how come that in the first book you spoke quite correctly but now you speak like a commoner?"
"It's because the Dark Lord has us speak that way for the hotel guests. We stay in persona sometimes."
"Oh right. Sorry, the mic was still on."
The Goblin Hunting Party 1
"I want squirk for tea," the Dark Lord asked of Major Bash, the hobgoblin commander of the goblins.
"Yes, my Lord," genuflected the hobgoblin as he retreated.
He went to the goblin guards' quarters. "Right you lot, I want a hunting party. Lord D'ark wants squink for tea."
"That sounds like a one eyed Pokemon," said Wibble.
"'E needs to change 'is exotic diet," said Ugbash, "it could cause bad health, even death."
"Yeah," said Wobble, "our bad health and death if he don't get it on time."
Ugbash took his meat cleaver, Pan Head his crossbow and the other four equipped their bows.
"Ow you gonna catch a squink with a meat cleaver?" asked Chop.
"I don't 'ave to," replied Ugbash, "I only 'ave to use it on you if you don't catch one."
"But what does squink look like?" inquired Wobble.
"Before or after it's cooked?"
"Don't know, let's look in the second best bestiary."
Idunno flicked through the bestiary, "Sidh, Skink, Squink."
"There it is. What does it say?"
"It's got eight legs and it lives in the sea, it is an octopus," sang Idunno.
"Well, why do they call it a squink then if it's an octopus?" wondered Ugbash.
"Idunno," said Idunno. "It says here there's a land variety, one that comes up on shore and runs around."
"We don't live near the sea," said Wibble, "an' the Dark Lord wants 'is vittles by tonight."
"Let's get the junk mobile out," suggested Idunno, "it needs a run."
They all went to the cluttered large shed where Idunno kept his junk mobile.
"You've got too much stuff in this shed Idunno," noted Ugbash.
Idunno got in the driver's seat, started the engine and drove straight through the door, his junkmobile covered in stuff.
"Whatever drops off I'll get rid of."
"What happens if the steering wheel drops off?" asked Pan Head.
"You can have it."
"Shouldn't we take high powered rifles?" inquired Chop.
"No," replied Ugbash, "the Dark Lord prefers things hunted in the old ways."
"I'm going to take one just in case," said Chop. "You've 'eard the joke about the chicken crossed with an octopus?"
"No, how did it taste?"
"No one could find out 'cause they couldn't catch it to eat it."
"I see your point," admitted Ugbash, "alright take the Vortex?Viper PST 4-16x50mm FFP with the spotter's equipment."
All six goblins got into Idunno's junkmobile and set off for the nearest beach that had squink. While various things dropped off onto the road on the way.
The junk mobile burped and lurched, juddered and jolted over the badly tarmaced back roads. Idunno had gone the back way to Scumbleborough so that he would not alert the dwarf police. But, who should appear on his steam motorbike but a dwarven copper. Idunno pulled over to the side of the road.
"'Ello, 'ello, 'ello," said the dwarf policeman.
"Are you not talking to us three in the back?" asked Chop from the back seat.
"Now then my lads, I need to see your documents."
"What for officer, we weren't doing anything wrong?" said Ugbash who thought of himself as the group's leader.
"Think of yourself as the group's leader do you? Well you seem to have been dropping bits of your car, if that's what you call it, over the road."
"Naw, that's spare junk from my shed, not the car," advised Idunno.
"Ok, littering. We will say you were littering."
"I think you only pulled us over 'cause we're goblins," said Ugbash, "it's a racial stereotype thing. That's racial harassment."
"Now look," said the dwarf, "were you dropping things on the road or not?"
"Er, is that a trick question?"
"No, and I saw the stuff dropping off, so I will have to give you a fixed penalty notice for littering."
"Aww, how much is it?"
"70 gold coloured pieces."
"What, that's three weeks wages to us!"
"Three weeks," said the dwarf, "that's below minimum wage. Who do you work for?"
The goblins all looked at each other, "Er, the D?" said Wobble.
"The District Council," butted in Wibble.
"Oh well," remarked the dwarf, "if you're councillors then you must be upstanding members of society and my employers. So I'll let you be on your way. Good morning."
Idunno lurched off again leaving the policeman waving at them.
"Whew, that was close," whewed Ugbash. "Good idea Wibble, saying we were from the District council."
"Yeah, who would 'ave fought councillors would 'ave been as low paid as us."
They passed the Scumbleborough sign on the way in. It was summer so there were a lot of vehicles on the roads.
"Tourists," moaned Ugbash, "having to pass 10 caravans has really slowed us down. No wonder Jeremy Clarkson wants to blow them all up. They're like snails on Prozac."
Idunno parked near the sea front and they all walked to the beach.
"Ooh, can I go on the donkeys?" asked Pan Head.
"We're not here to play," griped Ugbash.
"Oh, please, please, please, please, please?" staccatoed Pan Head.
"Oh alright." Ugbash looked at Idunno, "You go with him on the donkeys, see he doesn't fall off. We'll try to find out where the squinks live."
Ugbash went up to a sunbathing elf. "Excuse me madam."
"I am a man," said the elf.
"Is the Author ever going to give up with that joke," thought Ugbash. "Sorry Sir, but could you tell me where we may find some squink."
"They sell it over there on the fish stall."
"Oh really, well, as a matter of fact, we were looking to hunt some."
"You need a hunting licence around here to hunt squink."
"Do you? How do you get one of those?"
"From the local council. It takes about 7 days to process it."
"We ain't got 7 days, we've got about 7 hours then we are for the chopping block." He then mumbled to himself, "I wish we were councillors then we could give ourselves a hunting licence in 7 minutes."
"Well, why don't you buy some from the fish stall?"
"If we don't catch none we may have to. Thanks mate." He looked at Chop as he walked away, "Did you hear that? We need a hunting licence."
"Yeah, if we were councillors then we could give ourselves a hunting licence in 7 minutes."
"I mumbled that to myself about a minute ago."
"So what if we don't 'ave a licence, we should hunts it anyway. Ask 'im where we can find some live ones."
"Er, excuse me mate," asked Ugbash as he turned back to the elf, "where do the squink run around?"
"There's a secluded cove about a mile down the beach, some can be found there."
"Thanks again," then Ugbash shouted at Pan Head, "Have you finished on that donkey yet?"
Pan Head, who was enjoying himself, just smiled back.
"He's as happy as a?(joke yet to be developed by the Author.)
"Let's watch the puppet theatre till he's finished," suggested Chop.
"Oh alright, it might be slightly amusing this time."
A small crowd had gathered around a puppet theatre and were listening to the antics of the puppets Joe and Joella. Joe began to speak in his low voice, "Don't you call me a liar Joella, otherwise I'll bless you."
"I haven't sneezed yet Joe," replied the high pitched voice of Joella.
"You will if I bless you with a brotherly slap round the nose."
"Violence breeds violence. I'll call the Sheriff of Scumbleborough."
"Oh no you won't."
And the crowd joined in, "Oh yes she will."
"Oh no you won't," said Joe again.
"Oh yes she will," replied the crowd.
"I don't believe this," said Ugbash, "I saw this same puppet theatre 19 years ago when the Author wrote it for The Crying Pennant. Can't Brother Lee think of anything else?" He then shouted, "Get some new jokes you yellow skinned wonder."
Brother Lee, the Chinese children's entertainer poked his nose out of the tassels that were his window just below the stage. "Is that you Ugbash, do you have to torture me wherever I go?"
"Get some new material then, it's 20 years old and it wasn't too funny then either."
Lee tried to continue with the performance. "That's it," Joella strumped "Sheriff, Joe's going to beat me."
"ooOOoo, Joe's going to beat me," heckled Ugbash, "let 'im do it, you're only a piece of wood stuck on a piece of cloth, it won't 'urt ya."
Joe fell to the stage floor, motionless and a few seconds later the sheriff came through the door.
"Now then, now then, now then. What have we here? A fight, a brawl, a breach of the peace or just a family dispute?" thundered the Sheriff.
"A family dispute," chorused all the goblins together.
Lee faltered a bit then as Joella he whined, "A family dispute."
"And I can guess who it is who is causing it, the goblins."
"Ooer," ooered Ugbash, "he's adlibbing. Can we cope with it?"
A large man, the father of two of the children wat
"Racist," spat Ugbash.
"You don't like it when you think you're being racially discriminated against but you are racists yourself."
"No, there's a difference, we are goblin supremacists."
"As I said goblin skinheads."
Ugbash started to square up to the man but the rest of the crowd gathered round their tall hero.
"Come on then lads," cried the self appointed leader, "we don't have to watch this rubbish any more." He turned to get Pan Head and Idunno. The crowd turned back to watch the end of Uncle Lee's Puppet Show.
The goblins whistled and sang, burped and scratched, as they walked to the secluded cove. When they got there the beach was empty, except for a pirate. The pirate had a wooden left leg, a hook on his left hand and an eye patch on his left eye.
"Arrgghh!" arrghed the pirate.
"Arrgghh!" arrghed the goblins back.
("This is playing havoc with my spell checker," said the Author to himself, so as not to disturb the action with a noisy intervention.)
"What ye be doin' on my beach?" asked the pirate.
"We's come to hunt squink," said Ugbash.
"Squink are dangerous ya know, all my disabilities have been caused by the little monsters."
"Why are they so dangerous?" asked Ugbash.
"They pretend to be dead when you shoot them, then attack."
"Are you saying one was so big it bit your leg off?"
"No, it bit my leg and it went septic so I 'ad to 'ave it off."
"So, are you really a pirate then? I know the Author described you as one but if you have received all of your injuries from squink then aren't you really an unfortunate squink hunter?"
"That's right, I suppose I am. Anyway, it's easier to scare people off my beach if they think I'm a dreaded pirate rather than a disabled hunter."
"So when do the squink come up onto the beach?" asked Idunno.
"They come up twice a day. You've missed the morning lot. You'll have to wait another couple o hours till the next lot come up."
"What're we gonna do for two hours?" asked Chop.
"You could come back for a cuppa at my hunting lodge."
"Well that's real nice Mister scary hunter/pirate," said Ugbash.
"While you are there you can help me with some chores."
"As long as it's not cleaning the toilet and washing the urinals," said Pan Head, "I have to do them all the time in the goblin's guard quarters."
"I do need help with the toilet," said the pirate/hunter, "I can't get the lime scale off, I've snapped my toilet brush hand attachment."
6cndluo (and Other Flash Fiction) Anthology by Stephen Jennison-Smith / Fantasy / Science Fiction have rating 4 out of 5 / Based on36 votes