The Siege of Pugglemunt Pt 1 (A Short-ish Story)

Let it be noted that this is dictation: I am not writing it. I say this to you in case my scribe – he is new – turns out be shit and gets something rong. It is not my fault: I am not at fault. Do you hear me! I am talking aloud as I walk and swerve and walk and swerve around the throne room.

My name – hmm. Should I say my name? Do you think it would be unbecoming of me to tell them my name? They should damn well know it, I’m their King. Yes, yes I know it’s a standard  literary device – oh, look at you! Literary device? Big words for a quill-pusher, hmm? What are you implying, ey? That I don’t know about literary devices? Don’t EVER imply I don’t know about literary devices or I’ll have you flogged, you swine. I’m well read! I’m incredibly well read, by the Gods! Have you even seen my library? It’s massive! It takes up a whole wing of my tower, you pig! Pig! Do you have a tower? No you don’t, you sleep in a hessian sack, and you’re lucky I don’t relegate you to, I don’t know, a nest of some description. A pig nest. Where do pigs sleep? No don’t– don’t you dare open your mouth. Don’t you do it or I’ll peel you like an egg, I swear on Astra. A sty. A sty. That’s where they sleep. I told you I need not aid of thine, thou crumpled strip of bacon. I need a glass of water. Water boy! Get me a vessel of water, thine king is hungry for water, and I would Guzzle. Pffft. Okay. What were we talking about again? Ah yes – I’m called Athelstan.

No wait that sounds shit. Let me start again. I’m going to shout this next bit for extra oomph so be sure you write it nice and big alright? Or I’ll flog you etc.


Right, good. 

As you will be aware, I am the King of you. Pugglemunt is the name of my fair city, and you live in it. I know you know you live in it, but listen: after last week, when we got briefly invaded and everything went mental, many of you have expressed (not to me directly of course, because – well, imagine that. Imagine you talking to me! Ah aha haha ha aha ha ha haha – whew – ahaha ahaha haha ha hahah aha HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAH oh, ah. My word. Look at that – actual tears. Whew. BRING ME MORE WATER).

I digress. Many of you have expressed that you are unsure of exactly how last week’s siege played out. Of course, you will likely have noticed that a good swathe of you are now injured, burned and whatnot, but of course because we lack any means of mass communication beyond Paper and Pen, and most of you were barricaded, cowering, inside your hovels for the duration of the fighting, I have decided to publish this leaflet explaining the situation to all of you. Sieges can be confusing for peasants. It’s only fair that I fill you properly in. Gods, I wish I could fill someone in, hahahah DONT WRITE THAT DOWN.

Let us begin at the start. Outset? Start. Let us begin at the start of what happened. Some of this you may already know. Other bits of it you may not know. You must be patient — do not skip even a word of what I am saying. I will know if you do. I have eyes and ears and noses everywhere. Skim readers will be pulled apart by — I don’t know — otters.


Two weeks ago I got a letter from that barbarian horde that roams the Sheva Plains. You know, the one with the earrings. I have the letter in my hand now. I will read it to you (and then my scribe will write it and you will read it).

King Athelstan,

You prick.

You owe us a lot of money and you have –

Actually maybe we’ll just – we don’t need to read all of this. Probably can just cut to the main bit.

And for the afore-mentioned twelve points, we will be invading you next week and killing everyone in your city, especially you.

Yours fearsomely,

Chief Bloodpunch

Well, let me tell you, fair Pugglemuntians – your King is not one to take a threat lying down. I was lying down when I read it, of course – why wouldn’t I be – but then I stood up right away and went into the Great Hall. Write something about the way I entered the hall, would you? I can’t say it myself because it will sound like bragging, but you could maybe hop into third person for a paragraph to talk about the way I threw open the double doors with thunderous energy and charisma and – oh I don’t know, think of something good.

I burst into the hall like a fucking bomb – oh I give up – and yelled at my knights to assemble. My ten best knights – that is Sir Bashful, Sir Pip, Lady Pip, Sir Pip Junior, Sir Pip Senior (note to self: employ fewer members of the Pip family. If I accidentally piss them off I’m in for a hell of a time), Lady Blanket, Mr Wiggle, Sir Sleeves, Madame Shadows, Quincy the Wizard – got out of their seats and came sprinting full-legs towards me. They lined up horizontally (is there a better way of saying that? Well it’s just a bit subjective. Horizontal to me, maybe?) They lined up in a straight line that went from the right of me to the left of me, several metres in front of where I was standing, facing me.

My good knights I said! No – hang on. What are you doing? This is dialogue, write it as dialogue. What? No look – you can’t write ‘dialogue’ after everything anyone says. Idiot. Well, I don’t know – figure it out. It should be clear when I’m saying dialogue. Listen to the tone man, the tone. Alright, look – when I’m saying dialogue I’ll make air quotes with my fingers, like this. Okay? Right.

“My good knights!” I said.

My knights looked at me (they were standing in a line) and said hail King Athelstan!

I was making air quotes! LOOK AT ME WHEN I’M TALKING TO YOU. Yes you can look at me and write at the same time. My old scribe could do it! LEARN!

“Hail King Athelstan!” said my knights, except for Madame Shadow who of course doesn’t ever speak because her voice got cursed right out of her. But she saluted, which is good of her.

“Is has come to my attention that – are you looking? Air quotes? Right, good. Just checking – it has come to my attention that we will soon be INVADED by BARBARIANS!”

“Which ones?” asked Mr Wiggle.

“The ones with the earrings. Sheva Plains. Bloodpunch.” I said.

Mr Wiggle did a little whistle as if to say ‘crikey’.

“They will be here in a week. We have that time to prepare our defenses and make the castle really, really hard to beat. I’m talking catapults, I’m talking guards, I’m talking lava that comes out of the top of that hole above the portcullis.”

“It’s in for repairs,” said Quincy the Wizard.

“What is?”

“The portcullis.”

“What? Why?”

“I don’t know. I just know it’s in for repairs.”

“Well TAKE IT OUT OF REPAIRS. We’ve got a horde coming! And not just any horde – a barbarian one! From the Sheva Plains! What – they’re just going to walk up and come inside the castle, are they? How’re you going to stop them? Hold hands across the entrance? Someone throw a glass of water at him would you. And then give him a towel because I don’t want him to be mad at me and cast a spell.”

I erected myself to my full height before my knights and I had my Sword Woman bring me my sword and strap it right onto me.

“Meet me in the War Chamber in forty five minutes,” I said to my captains. “I’m going to get my hair cut. After that, let us PLAN.”

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *