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       Sid and Arthur's Christmas Stories, p.1

           Stephen Jennison-Smith
 
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Sid and Arthur's Christmas Stories
Copyright © Stephen Jennison-Smith 2014

  Thank you for downloading this ebook. This book remains the copyrighted property of the author, and may not be redistributed to others for commercial or non-commercial purposes. If you enjoyed this book, please encourage your friends to download their own copy from their favourite authorised retailer. Thank you for your support.

  These are the short stories I wrote for my blog over Christmas 2013 (https://www.stephenjennisonsmith.blogspot.co.uk). Enjoy!

  Sid and Arthur’s Holiday Stories.

  Somewhere in the Time Backwater, where Fayebaloo and Splob have now (if you can have a now in the Time Backwater) made their home. They wanted to be quite close to the pneuma lifts so that they could listen to the music. They no longer had to steal from the acquisition machines and life was pretty decent, they even had proper jobs. Fayebaloo fixed broken droids and she had the head of one in her hands, “Alas poor Yorick...” she began to quote. ‘

  “Began to quote,” said Sid, “that sounds a bit like an estate agent who just goes to give a quote and something happens to him or her.”

  Fayebaloo dropped the head, “Yikes!” she yiked, “I thought you were Splob. What are you doing in our home?”

  “I came to see you.”

  “Don’t you knock?”

  “Only my knees sometimes, in desperate situations, but I don’t like to confess that too often in case they think I’m a coward.”

  “Noel Coward?”

  “No El, that sounds either like Superman’s cousin or someone who is related to Santa Claus.”

  She picked the head up again and then asked him, “So is this visit for any other reason than the Author wanted to write a short funny story to give away free over Christmas?”

  Sid thought for a bit then he pondered, “No.”

  “I think you’ll have to make it a bit funnier than that.”

  “No blurple?”

  “What’s blurple got to do with it?”

  “It’s a funny word so that makes it funnier.”

  “Sillier if you ask me.”

  “I didn’t.”

  “What?”

  “Ask you.”

  “Well maybe you should have, or at least knocked before you turned up.”

  “Shall I do the knocking thing again Author?” he asked me.

  “You didn’t knock the first time,” said I, “that’s why she’s complaining.”

  “But you had me appear here, so it’s your fault.”

  “Your fault,” mused I, “that sounds like something my mother-in-law would say to me, especially over Christmas.”

  Sid and Fayebaloo looked at each other and did that hand sign that lets people know that ‘he’s a bit mad’ before I made him vanish again until the next short story.

  The Real Sid

  Sid ran over to the hologram creation hub. He tapped some parameters into it, “Parameters shamameters,” he moaned, “come on, hurry up.” Another Sid the dwarf appeared in front of him.

  “Two Sid the dwarves,” said I, “why is that Sid?”

  “I am hoping that two Sid’s is funnier than one.”

  “Are.”

  “Are what? Or are you trying to be a pirate ‘Arrrr!’”

  “Sid, it’s getting close to Christmas, talking like a pirate day was months ago.”

  “So instead of saying yo ho ho, I should be saying ho ho ho?”

  “That sounds about right.”

  “So what about me?” asked the second Sid.

  “So so so,” so’d I.

  “Sounds like a slave driver in a sweatshop,” joked the real Sid.

  Today’s Story

  Today’s story is...

  “Is what?” asked Sid.

  “Is still to be written?” thought I.

  “Are you thinking again Author? You know that’s a dangerous thing for you to do.”

  “Are you being funny again Sid? You know that’s a dangerous thing for you to do.”

  “Using italics to denote emphasis again are you, you know if you do it too much it looks like you’re thinking.”

  “So this looks like I’m thinking?”

  “Well it would’ve done if you hadn’t surrounded it in brackets. Mmm...” he thought, “surrounded in brackets, that sounds a little like stock falling on you in the bracket section of a hardware store.”

  The Time Sid and Arthur Appeared.

  Sid and Arthur appear.

  “Very descriptive Author,” moaned Sid, “it’s a wonder that you don’t blow everyone’s minds with your great descriptions.”

  “Now steady on Sid,” intoned Arthur, “we mustn’t insult him too much, or he might make us stop existing.”

  “And kill the cash cow?”

  “Cash cow!”

  “Well, cash beef burger maybe.”

  I thought I would describe their situation a little better…

  “Situation,” fretted Arthur, “I didn’t know we were going to be in a situation. I shall have to complain to the funny character’s union, I wasn’t expecting so much overtime at Christmas, I wanted to spend it with my family.”

  “Arianne you mean,” commented I.

  “Well…yes.”

  “So you don’t want to be in this story then?”

  “How much money will I be getting?”

  “I thought you did these things for love not money.”

  Sid piped up, but not with pipes, “He’s just being lazy, he doesn’t want to do any work really, for love nor money.”

  Arthur blustered.

  “Stop blustering Arthur, you sound like a storm coming in from the east.”

  “Well!” welled Arthur as he fell down a well.

  “Take him out of the well Author then you will un-well him.”

  Arthur grimaced as he was un-welled.

  “Grimacing now eh?” queried Sid, “next you’ll be chuntering and moaning.”

  The king of the Britons tried to stop chuntering and moaning but he found it very hard with two of us ganging up on him. “That’s it, I am going for a rest break, I’m sick of this.” He stormed off the set while chuntering and moaning.

  “Right now let’s get on with this situation,” ordered Sid as he looked about him.

  So, I again attempted to describe their, his, situation. I had not actually thought of anything, seeing as this was only supposed to be a simple short story.

  “Do you need some help with where I am Author?” Sid asked me.

  “Oh, go on then.”

  “We could be in those droplet things that you have just incarcerated Lizzie McBean in, in Attack on Thera?”

  “How did Arthur just walk through them and off the set then?”

  “They are supposed to be props.”

  “And what’s that well doing in the prison?”

  “They need to get water from somewhere.”

  “I just use a tap. A well isn’t very sci-fi is it.”

  “Where do you want us to be then?”

  “Somewhere in the Time Backwater, somewhere you haven’t been yet.”

  “Good, so where is it then, seeing as I haven’t been there yet?”

  “The swimming pool.”

  And as I said that Sid fell into the swimming pool of precinct 12.

  “Glub,” he glubbed being totally unprepared for such an event. “I’ll drown, I’m still in me chain armour.”

  I changed his clothes into a one-piece swimming costume, he floated up from the bottom.

  As he bobbed around in the water he asked, “What was that situation again?”

  A shark appeared from a gate at the end of the pool.

  “A SHARK!!!” exclaimed Sid as he frantically
swam towards the side to try to get out before he was eaten. His little legs did not appear to be working too well and he looked like he might get eaten.

  At that juncture Arthur popped his head around the pool doors, “Did you want me to get you a cup of coffee Sid,” he asked, then spotted Sid.

  “You fool,” shouted Sid as giant spots appeared on his bathing costume, “don’t spot me, shoot the shark with your electric pistol.

  “But er…” butted Arthur.

  “DO IT!”

  Arthur shot the shark, missed, and a giant arc of electricity hit the water shocking both Sid and the shark. The jolt to the little dwarf’s system meant he shot to the side of the pool and jumped out. His hair was frizzy. He was very angry with Arthur, “Nincompoop.”

  “Now, now,” smirked Arthur as he waved his electric pistol, “I did save you.”

  “You may have done, but now I have frizzy hair!” As he grabbed his hair a clump of it fell out.

  “Well you know what they say, hair today gone tomorrow.”

  Sid chased after him as he ran back towards the canteen.

  Holiday Pun Battle

  “So what shall we pun about?” asked Arthur.

  “Happy holidays,” replied Sid.

  “Christmas?”

  “Just holidays, so people can read this short story all year.”

  “So you expect people to read this short story all year?”

  “If you can be funny enough.”

  “Why....” Arthur picked up something to hit Sid with.

  “May day,”

  “Who are you asking to rescue you?” asked Arthur as he refrained from hitting Sid on the head with a wet fish.”

  “That’s the holiday pun, your turn.”

  “Oh,” thought Arthur as he dropped the fish. “I think I had better punch you instead.”

  “Why?”

  “Boxing day?”

  “Wait until the day before Saturday, the weather is supposed to be excellent.”

  “?”

  “Good Friday?”

  “I think I need a vacation from this story.”

  “Leave then.”

  “What?”

  “Annual leave?”

  “Oh. Er, I like that heavy rock group that sang ‘Paranoid’.”

  “Who was that then?”

  “Black Sabbatical?”

  “I know why you like that song, it’s because you are paranoid. Let’s go and get some money for a slap up fish dinner.”

  “We can’t.”

  “Why?”

  “The banks are closed. It’s a bank holiday.”

  Just then this short story ended quite abruptly.

  Work In Progress

  “WIP,” began Arthur as he sat upon the park bench in the middle of precinct 12 sipping a puggleberry shake.

  “What do you want to whip?” asked Sid the dwarf who sat by him eating a reflection bar.

  “I meant Work in Progress.”

  “I couldn’t tell the difference between you saying whip and WIP. Can’t you put a bit of a huh in the whip?”

  “A bit like wuh-hip.”

  “Yeah, that’ll do.”

  “I sound like somebody trying to be hip or cool.”

  “It is unusual for you, but wonders will never cease to amaze me.” Sid looked at Arthur’s shake, “Do you mean his shaking hands or his drink Author?” he asked me.

  “His drink, I never noticed his hands shaking,” replied I.

  “Are his hands shaking?”

  Arthur’s hands were shaking.

  “Why are your hands shaking?” Sid asked Arthur.

  “Cold?”

  “Don’t you know?”

  “Well this shake is extremely cold.”

  “What is a puggleberry anyway?”

  “I don’t know, it tastes a bit like a cross between a plum and a strawberry.”

  “It should really be called a plumberry then.”

  “A plumberry,” mused Arthur, “that sounds a bit like a rich toff wearing a beret.”

  Sid shook his head and took another bite of his reflection bar, “Roll on tomorrow’s story,” he sighed.

  MacGuffin

  “What is a MacGuffin?” asked Sid.

  “Anything you want,” answered Arthur. “The definition of a MacGuffin is, ‘a plot device in the form of some goal, desired object, or other motivator that the protagonist pursues, often with little or no narrative explanation as to why it is considered so important.’”

  “So something that is non important like you?”

  “I didn’t say it was non important. Only that you don’t know why it’s so important.”

  “MacGuffin.”

  “It sounds a bit like a substitute swear word doesn’t it?”

  “It also sounds like a McDonut’s meal of some kind.” Sid looked around, “So where is this MacGuffin that the story is about?”

  “Maybe the MacGuffin is the MacGuffin?”

  “I think you’re a chuffin MacGuffin.”

  Just then a stuffed puffin fell from the ceiling of precinct 12, “Lookie that,” lookied Sid, “A chuffin puffin MacGuffin!”

  (Do you think I could work a toasted muffin in there somewhere? I wondered, but nobody took me up on it.)

  The End of Time Present

  Vending machines within precinct 12 automatically transported chocolate, crisps and soft drinks from the robot confectionery factory housed on precinct 7 straight into the machines for sale. When I say for sale I mean each new visitor to the Time Backwater was given a ration coupon card to be used while there. They were allowed a certain amount of chocolate, soft drinks and snacks per day. If they wanted anything else they had to pay for it in credits. This could be quite difficult for time travellers from the past who had no credits. They would trade personal items for food etc the longer they had to stay. In the past the gnomes stole food from the food transfer machines, now they had maintenance jobs and spare credits to spend so they bought it instead.

  Sprocket had even set up a sort of trading shop where he swapped credits for personal items.

  A man who had travelled to the precinct in a blue box had traded him a watch for 1,000 credits. Now this may make you think that it was Doctor Who, but it wasn’t. The blue box was about the size of a coffin and the traveller had to lay down in it to travel.

  The next customer to enter the shop was Sid the dwarf.

  Looking at the dwarf Sprocket recognised him, “The Author writing some short stories for the holiday period?” he guessed.

  Sid nodded as he looked over Sprocket’s stock, (try saying that 5 times while standing on your head and drinking a cup of water!) “Got anything new?”

  “This old watch,” said the gnome as he offered it to Sid to have a look.

  “That’s an old watch, I want something from the future.”

  “How far into the future?”

  “Oh, I don’t know, from the end of time?”

  This confused Sprocket, “Why do you want something like that?”

  “I don’t really, it’s part of the story.”

  “Not another MacGuffin?”

  “No, that was yesterday’s story.”

  “Soooo...can you tell me why you want it?”

  Sid looked at his portable reading device, “Er, it says on my script that I need to ad lib this bit.”

  “Well go on then.”

  “What?”

  “Ad lib.”

  “Iiiiii.... need it for my anniversary.”

  “OK...”

  “I said to my wife, you know, Gwinda, that our love would last until the end of time.”

  “And you want something from the end of time to prove that?”

  “Yes, I think.”

  “The only thing I can think of that may match your requirements is a puttlewhack.”

  “What’s a puttlewhack?”

  “This,” said Sprocket as he showed Sid the puttlewhack.

  Now the Author didn’t know w
hat a puttlewhack looked like to describe it so he needed to think for a bit

  After three lines, and a bit of thought, the Author sort of came up with an idea.

  “Oh,” ohed Sid, “I’ll take it. Can you wrap it please, so I can give it to her when I get back yesterday.”

  I still did not really know what a puttlewhack was but whatever it was Sprocket wrapped it in a smallish box and handed it to Sid. “1,000 credits please.”

  “For a puttlewhack!” exasperated Sid.

  “That’s cheap for something that the Author still has to make up.”

  Sid wasn’t really bothered about the price seeing as he had a Tribelium Plated card, and the Author had topped it up especially for this little story.

  Taking the card the gnome scanned it and then returned it to the dwarf. “Thank you for your custom.”

  “And thank you for the puttlewhack,” thanked Sid as he exited the shop and went into the precinct proper. He used his IWT to transport back to the Fantasy Dimension.

  “Nick nack puttlewhack igga dogga bone,” sang Sid. Which gave me an idea.

  “A puttlewhack can be a nick nack,” smiled I as Sid walked through the shimmering portal into his garden.

  “So you still didn’t know what one was until just then?” he peoned the door just like he did in The Crying Pennant.

  “I have had a chance to think about it since last night. A puttlewhack is an ornament that is sent to the end of time, then retrieved just before everything collapses so that it can be sold as a love memento.”

  “I know, that’s why I bought it.”

  Gwindolene came up to give him a kiss on the cheek, “Hello dad, did you get the puttlewhack?”

  “How did you know I was getting a puttlewhack?”

  “I read the Author’s blog last night.”

  This shocked Sid, “Let’s hope your mother didn’t.” Then he spoke to me, “I thought IWT travel was supposed to be instantaneous?”

  “It is instantaneous,” replied I, “it’s just that I haven’t had the time to complete the story in one day.”

  Sid shook his head.

  Then Gwinda came in, “What are you doing here?” she said quite grumpily.

  “Hah, and you call me the grumpy one,” he countered her remark, well not countered...

  She slapped her woman’s magazine on the chair-side table.

  Sid looked a little bothered, “Can’t you use another synonym for little? And not small!” he said to me in a height conscious way.

  Sid looked slightly bothered.

 
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