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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The Siege of Pugglemunt Pt 2 (turning into more of a novel but whatever)

Right, now draw five little stars in a row to show that time has passed. Five– yes, stars. Stars. No that’s too big! What?! Are you out of your mind? When have you ever seen a piece of writing with five gargantuan stars all over it, you buffoon. I said little stars. You have to do them very small in the middle of the– oh for goodness sake give me the quill, I’ll do it.

* * * * * *

Bugger I did six. Alright alright, it’s harder than it looks. Take the damn quill.

Now in our narrative we find ourselves in the War Chamber. After my hair cut (which I really liked, actually – Lorian, the Royal Scissorman, really knows how to give my hair an extra bounce. He uses this oil which you can’t find anywhere outside his shop; he makes it himself out of tea tree oil and venom wrung out of frogs from the Hell-Bogs just outside Goom. It gives my hair just the loveliest shine, but – crucially – it doesn’t make it greasy, and you know what it’s like trying to find a decent conditioner these days) – erm? Ah yes. I went into the War Chamber to find my ten best knights assembled and waiting.

They were standing around a big map. I may as well describe the War Chamber for a bit now because it’s not like any of you – gentle readers, pungent Pugglemuntians – are ever going to see it. So you can at least have a little imaginary wander around.

Let’s see. So when you go into the War Chamber you have to open a big heavy door with two guards standing outside it. Their names are Wayne and Richard and I hired them a few years ago because dogs kept getting into the War Chamber and defecating on everything. They stand there all day with their spears crossed (the guards, not the dogs), not letting anyone in unless they’re Very Important and say a special password (I am extraordinarily important so I don’t need to say a password, I just say ‘good morning chaps’ or sometimes if I’m in a bad mood I say ‘get out of my way or I’ll clatter you together’, or something along those lines).

If you tried to get into the War Chamber, Richard and Wayne would uncross their spears and stab you. I’ve told them they have special permission to do this: I wrote it on a piece of paper which they have framed and nailed to the wall beside them – Wayne likes to tap this sign ominously when anybody gets too close. They’ve only had to perform two stabbings in their careers as door-guards so far: the first time was when a palace tourist, a guest from the Kingdom of Shugg, got lost on his way to the bathroom during one of my infamous palace soirees in which I invariably get drunker than anyone and end up nude and howling (I am allowed to do this, I am the King). The second time was later that same evening when I also got lost on the way to the bathroom. I was stark naked, wearing nothing but one of those sexy masquerade masks, and I sprinted towards them in the dark, a-hooting and a-hollering. They gave me a warning shank, just the once, in my torso, but when my mask fell off as I doubled over wheezing, they realised what they’d done and said sorry. It wasn’t really their fault of course. I had them pelted with tomatoes the following Monday and we called it even.

Now – let’s step inside the War Chamber. Close your eyes and imagine. Except don’t actually close your eyes because then you won’t be able to read what I’m saying. Close them but keep them open. Maybe just close one. Or squint.

The map table is my favourite bit of the War Chamber: it’s really big, like a full-size billiards table (so glad we invented those last summer), and it has six sturdy legs, like one of the Spook Lizards that live in the cliff-caves on the outskirts of Slit. Now, because war mongering is all about Clever Ideas and you can’t have Clever Ideas without inspiration, the walls of my War Chamber are decorated with lots of tapestries showing people getting absolutely battered. I commissioned them to be knitted last year because I was running dry on creative war ideas. They’re quite beautiful: my favourite among them is the one that details the legendary Battle of Bustard Meadow, in which everybody was riding ostriches during that brief but memorable period in the last century when all the horses in the realm were sick with Swell-snout.

There are some suits of armour too, of course. The best one (in my opinion, which is the only correct opinion because I am The King) is the Golden Suit. It’s very ornate: it has a lot of spindly bits and little curly details. My great-uncle Aesteron actually died in it while riding at the head of his army at the Skirmish of Tosser Hill eighty-six years ago. You can still see the dent where the club of the mighty ogress warlord ‘Sarah’ thwacked him into the distance like a golf ball (thrilled we invented that, too).

There are a couple of weapon racks too. I collect weapons: it’s one of my many hobbies. You can have a lot of hobbies as King, you see, because nobody ever tells you not to do anything in case their gall sends you into a frenzy. I usually collect my weapons from people I and/or my army have slain, but every now and then I just find one by the roadside and pick it up. So far my collection includes:

The War Club of Sarah (she got arrowed to bits shortly after she gave my great-uncle his Final Clubbing)

The Jewelled Axe of Hampton Climax (a legendary warrior who sent me a letter challenging me to a duel. I accepted and immediately shot him with a cannon from a distance of eighteen miles because he was better than me at fighting and I’m not an idiot)

The Flail of Irony (a cursed weapon that I haven’t figured out how to use yet, every time I try I just end up whipping my own legs)

Seven ninja stars (an assassin flung them at me last year)

The Eldritch Apple (bought it off a witch. If you eat it you go mental. I know I shouldn’t eat it but Gods it’s tempting on those boring afternoons.)

Godfrey’s Fist (a fist that I hacked off my old nemesis Godfrey because he wouldn’t shut up while I was trying to make a toast at a palace banquet. Not really a weapon but I don’t know where else to put it)

The Spear of Pestering (exceedingly very long, not very sharp)

Burton Ginger’s Trident (Burton Ginger is a Merman who lives in Monk Lake. I have a long-standing rivalry with him which started when he shoved me out of my rowboat one afternoon when I was out fishing and carousing with my knights. He still denies it was him – says it was a rogue wave that sent me skimming across the water’s surface like a stone – but I saw that glorified haddock swimming off laughing. And believe me, I had a lot of time to look as I sank to the bottom in my armour. Anyway I stole his Trident last autumn to enrage him.)

St Ethel’s Minge (just a sword I found in a barrel. The name’s etched into the hilt. I’ve no idea who decided to call it that)

There are plenty more besides, but those are my favourites. In pride of place, however, is my own sword: the Sword of Bellows. It was my father’s sword, and his mother’s before him. It was just a normal sword originally – albeit a very pretty one, naturally – but it got hit with a stray hex during an engagement with a warlock pirate ship just off the Gulf of Chagrin and now every time I swing it it does a little scream that sounds a bit like the noise somebody makes when they do a karate chop. It’s a shrill sort of ‘hi-YA’ sound and once you get used to it, it really lends your swings some extra welly.

Anyway, that’s my War Chamber. Now let’s get to the good stuff. Air quotes. AIR QUOTES. PAY ATTENTION. We’re back to the dialogue now.

“Now let’s get to the good stuff,” I said, standing before my sparkly knights with my hands on my hips. “Thou all knowest for why we are here. Peril is afoot and fell deeds await. I want all your ideas for how we can defend Pugglemunt from old Bloodfoot or whatever the hell his name is.”

My Book: An Excerpt from 90 Pages In!


Hello again, you lovely thing.

Excellent news! I’m at 21,000 words in my book at the moment, which is just shy of 90 pages. By the time I’m finished I predict it’ll be near the 30,000 mark. It wasn’t supposed to be that long, but I’m simply having too much fun to cut the story short.

Below are 1,500 words or so that I wrote over the last day. As a quick recap: the king and his trio of companions are en route to rescue the kidnapped queen, Astra. The characters have overcome many obstacles, but are not without a few scars: the king is missing a hand, and Edgar has been turned into a panda. Yes, yes, it’s very silly, because silly is wonderful. Best if you temporarily switch off that grouchy part of your brain labelled ‘depressing adult cynicism’.

We join our bold quartet as they approach the last great danger of their journey: crossing the Sea of Pìss (pronounced peace). Enjoy. Or don’t. I don’t care. I love this shit! Continue reading

My Book: The Opening Pages!


Oi, you. Yeah you. You with the nose. Stop what you’re doing right now. Stop it. Put down whatever you’re holding and back away from it, unless all you are holding is your mobile phone or laptop, in which case absolutely do not put it down and back away; instead widen your eyes and press your nose up against the screen, because I have something truly wonderful to show you, you lucky sod.

I’ve written some 6,000 words of my novella, which should be near enough 20,000 when I finish it in around six weeks. That’s right – I am almost a third of the way through. You know why? Because I am just bloody marvellous. No, it’s no use arguing. Hush. I am a marvel.

Because I have not posted anything on here for a little while, and I hate seeing my beloved blog sit empty, I’ve decided to publish the first 1000 words or so. It’s a work in progress, ‘aiight?  So if you read it and think it’s about as witty and interesting as a steaming keg of ox vomit, I’d like to offer you a preemptive ‘fuck off’.

Enjoy! Continue reading