The Siege of Pugglemunt Pt 12 (stables)

Chapter Eight: In Which I Loathe Regional Dialects

My old auntie, Princess Aedabog, loved horses like a nutter. Some people just do: they love horses so much it becomes the cornerstone of their whole personality. I like horses, of course, very much so, but in what I like to think is quite a relaxed way. I have the same relationship with horses as I have with, I don’t know, my own legs: I’m glad they exist, I like it when they go fast, I don’t think about them much when I’m not using them, and I curse them when they don’t work properly.

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The Siege of Pugglemunt Pt 11 (frog)

Chapter Seven: In Which I Once Again Do Not Choose My Words Carefully Enough

You understand, of course, that in an ideal world not one Pugglemuntian life would have ended in the siege. Would that I could protect every single one of my country folk! Would that I might spread my arms around them like great protective wings, sitting atop them like a mother goose on a golden egg and hissing at passersby. But it’s not an ideal world, as demonstrated by the fact that Mr Wiggle was devoured by poltergeists and I got jettisoned out of a backed-up shit-tube. Still, I told myself that I would do my damnedest to minimise the bloodshed. Precisely how though, I hadn’t quite figured out yet.

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The Siege of Pugglemunt Pt 10 (junior)

Chapter Six: In Which I Announce My House Party

Well.

It’d certainly been a rough morning, but you can’t fanny about when you’re a King. After a quick bath to get rid of all the slime and blood, off to the battlements I went. Against all odds, I found myself in a good mood as I strolled through the city with Captain Plug at my side (I decided to keep her around in case I needed to be punted anywhere else).

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The Siege of Pugglemunt Pt 9 (shark)

Chapter Five: In Which I Fist A Shark Right In Its Snout

The sludge was around our waists and everybody was panicking and somebody was letting out an absolutely ear-piercing scream that went on for ages and I went to tell them to knock it off but when I said “Oh pack it in would you” the screaming stopped too and I realised it had been me doing it. I raised my eyebrows at myself. I really don’t know what goes on in my head sometimes.

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The Siege of Pugglemunt Pt 8 (sludge)

Chapter Four: In Which I Descend Into The Sewers

Sewers get a lot of stick. There are no positive metaphors containing sewers. Slip a sewer into your verbal imagery and people assume the worst. ‘Lord Bramble had a mouth like a sewer’. See? You don’t know exactly what it means – perhaps Lord Bramble swore a lot, perhaps he drooled, perhaps he was just a bit gormless – but you know for certain it’s nothing good. Poor sewers. Nobody likes sewers.

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The Siege of Pugglemunt Pt 7 (iambic pentameter)

Lady Blanket is very tall and she has purple eyes and she’s very serious and she doesn’t laugh at a lot of things except for when I fall over and injure myself. She joined my knights four years ago, when she won the annual jousting tournament at the Harvest Festival (the event of the year, as you well know). It was a joust to remember. Sir Percy’s horse (who is called Ernie) refused to joust because he was tired and grumpy, enabling Lady Blanket to surge full-bonkers down the length of the lists and ping Sir Percy twenty feet through the air. He landed right next to my throne, bless him. I’d have helped him upright but he was already unconscious so I thought it best to let him rest.

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The Siege of Pugglemunt Pt 5 (dungeons!)

Chapter Two

My great great grandmother, Queen Ethelstar, built the Pugglemunt dungeons. They weren’t built to be dungeons, however — she just wanted somewhere to run around on an evening free from prying eyes, and, much like a woodlouse, dormouse or snail, she was fond of dank, windswept spaces. Don’t ask me why, I never met her — all I have of hers is a little bronze trudgeon she used to whack people with and a tapestry depicting her swinging from the chandelier in her nightie at a banquet (she was a good egg but mad as a hatful of butterflies).

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The Siege of Pugglemunt Pt 4 (musical number)

Chapter One

What? Don’t look at me like that. I’m the King, if I want to suddenly introduce chapters, that’s my prerogative and if you disagree then you can just – well, you’re not allowed to disagree so DON’T EVEN BOTHER THINKING ABOUT IT OR I’LL PACK YOU INTO A TREBUCHET AND SLING YOU INTO THE MOUNTAINS. It just makes sense to segment things a bit. Builds a sense of momentum, but at the same time, gives the readers a bit of a rest – a chance to go shuck a turnip or whatever the foisty masses like to do with their spare time. You know my peasants have the attention span of a gnat. Hang on did— did you write that down? No? Promise? Okay, good.

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