Participate in the 3rd Season of STORYMIRROR SCHOOLS WRITING COMPETITION - the BIGGEST Writing Competition in India for School Students & Teachers and win a 2N/3D holiday trip from Club Mahindra
Participate in the 3rd Season of STORYMIRROR SCHOOLS WRITING COMPETITION - the BIGGEST Writing Competition in India for School Students & Teachers and win a 2N/3D holiday trip from Club Mahindra

Donald Roberts

Comedy Action Fantasy


3  

Donald Roberts

Comedy Action Fantasy


Buddy Bingle’s Nightmarish Meander or Buddy Bingle Down The Rubbish Chute

Buddy Bingle’s Nightmarish Meander or Buddy Bingle Down The Rubbish Chute

36 mins 180 36 mins 180

Buddy Bingle’s Nightmarish Meanderings

Or

Buddy Bingle Down The Rubbish Chute

Here are some character types that may appear and disappear throughout the story

Cabits, Snakaroos, Prayjays, Chipeasles, Squrricoon, Wolverlions

Porcudogs, Laffing Lorry(joking truck) Mocking Monkey, Skunkaroo

Prebabbloner

This is a story that doesn’t have any chapters because one calamity, disaster, dumb-thing, catastrophe and the occasional gooderthingy all run into each other and sometimes cross paths or even collide, so there is nothing really, to separate one from another or the next though the occasional *** might show up if a collision or something sends the story really, fast around a tight corner. And, to make things even more interesting it is kindofa really long short and a shorty kind of long story that can’t be called either and it can’t be called a novel, though novelette might work but it could also be a novella. (There are also bits and pieces called Parts). Here is Part One

Please note: The use of was/is stems from the fact that this story takes place in both the present and the past at the same time and somewhere in between sometimes.


Part One

Once, well, Now upon a time there was and is a boy named Buddy Bingle. His real first name was Rupert, but he told everyone his name was Buddy and that he was Buddy because he wanted be everybody’s Buddy and calling himself Buddy worked out just fine for that purpose.

Now it’s a fact that Buddy Bingle was/is a very smart fellow, like, he could do really hard math questions in his head and come up with the right answer. He was also really good at spelling the hardest words without half trying like, Pneumonoultramicroscopicsilicovolcanoconiosis.

He loved playing marbles but could do angles and judge distances so well he always won so now one would play with him anymore. In fact no one wanted to play with him most of the time because he was to smart and didn’t know how to be not so smart.

So you might guess, Buddy spent most of his days alone, even at school and he stopped most sports because every time he played he’d end up with cauliflower ear because some one would scuff his ear or it would get hit or something else nasty. Besides, he wasn’t very good at most sports, though he was very good at chess and a chess master at 13, which is the age he was/is when the evens of this story took place.

Next on the list of abouts, about Buddy was/is, he lived with his mother in an apartment on the 11th floor of a twenty floor apartment building, and his sister, Thelma who was completely different, pretty, not so smart but really good at sporty things, even hockey and she had lots of friends so she was always off somewhere being friends with someone or playing some game. Her favorite was lacrosse. She was a super star and played in the boys leagues. Buddy and Thelly, as everyone called her, hardly ever talked and when they did it was always smart allecky stuff they yelled at each other.

Their mother was a stay at home mom who sold things she made, on the internet and did ok. That means they never wanted for anything but there was never lots of money left over. But I suppose that is just about like everyone these days.

Buddy wore an iron ring on the middle finger of his working hand. It was supposed to be worn on the little finger but it was too big for that. It was a gift, sort of, from his grand father who was an engineer. Buddy called it grandpa’s last gift which grandpa had given him two days before he died, not long before this story takes place.

One of Buddy’s chores was to take the rubbish out every morning and drop it down the rubbish chute and this my goodly friends is about where the story really starts because on the morning the story begins Buddy dropped the rubbish down the rubbish chute like always but this time the iron ring he got from Grandpa went with it.

You should have heard Buddy cry out, “Ahhhhhh. My Ring, My ring and for some reason he did a very stupid thing, made even stupider because he was such a smart kid.

He stuck his head in the rubbish chute but he couldn’t see down the shaft because the lid was in the way. So he pushed a little and got his shoulders through and that almost did it but not quite. He couldn’t see all the way down the chute so he gave another push and his tummy went through. Then, with more weight up front than behind his bum and legs and feet followed and the next thing you know, there went Buddy Bingle down the rubbish chute screaming like a banshee but no one could hear him because, chutes are almost sound proof in this day in age and where someone might have heard him, which was at the bottom, there was no one there to hear.

Did you get all that” Buddy Bingle Down the rubbish chute, just like the title says?

It could have been a lot more painful and maybe even deadly if Buddy had crashed head first into the rubbish can at the bottom but as he fell he went faster and faster, and here is where you have to know a little bit about gravity. You see the thing is, things, well most things, especially humans can only fall as fast as gravity will let them, which is around, 118 miles an hour, maybe 120. Buddy broke the rules of gravitation and if his speed could have been clocked it probably would have reach 200 miles an hour, maybe the first person in the world to break the free fall gravity barrier. But just maybe. I’d have to research that, but later…maybe.

My point here is, Buddy broke the gravity barrier and instead of a deadly crash at the bottom he went through something he later called, “really sticky stuff like candy floss,” but, when he landed in pool of water it all got washed off. The stick stuff had slowed him down so that he hit the water a lot less hard than he might have if he hadn’t gone through the sticky stuff.

I hope you got all that because I ain’t sayin it again.

But after all that, even after diving under water and looking really hard around the pool Buddy could not find his iron ring.

Maybe its time for ***

Buddy climbed out of the pool and much to his horror and disgust he was covered in squiggly, squirmy things that might have been leeches, like he had seen in pictures but these weren’t like the picture, exactly. These thingys had eight legs and were spinning webs around Buddy’s body parts. “Leechiders.” He cried and started ripping them off his skin as fast as he could, but he couldn’t get at all his parts so he got out of the pool and started rolling frantically in the dirt and that worked a lot better. And finally they were all gone and crawling back into the pool.

 Buddy finally pulled himself together enough to look around and what he saw appalled him. He saw rubbish everywhere, like, rotting veggy skins that seemed to move all but themselves, and putrid apple cores, soggy cardboard, and paper with runny ink, and that was only a small part of what he saw. 

He said, almost choking, “I have fallen into a rubbish swamp,” when he saw that there was a forest of something that looked like green, slimy trees.

He really was about to upchuck when he saw the most amazing thing. A worm, sort of, but was most amazing was, it was wearing his iron ring.

“Hey worm.” He cried out. That’s my rind and he ran toward it. But before Buddy could catch the thingy it stood up on a hundred legs and ran so fast Buddy couldn’t keep up and eventually it vanished into the rubbish swamp, or under it. And then a minute later Buddy saw it on a dry path that went out of the swamp.

“I will have to follow the worm with my ring if I am ever going to get it back. And from that day on Buddy always called it the Ringworm.

You can stop rolling your eyes now. It’s a story. I can write anything I want.

So off went Buddy as fast as he could run along what turned out to be a windy, twisty path that led him every which way and sometimes the same way twice, through forest, up hills down hills across fields and over bridges and…well…you get it…everywhere a path can go, but it wasn’t always made of dirt.

again.


As soon as Buddy ran out of the rubbish swamp he ran into a thicket of hawthorn and burbushes but not the normal kind. These ones had thin arms with three finger like digits at the end of them and they twisted and curled like snakes. But as long as Buddy kept right in the middle of the path they couldn’t reach him and if he hadn’t seen the Ringworm through the bushes where the path switchback he might have gotten through without getting tangled up. Instead of staying on the path he tried to cut the Ringworm off but all he managed to do was get caught up in the burbushes and some tangle weed where the hawthorn with its sharp, needle like fingers could poke him all they wanted until his skin was lousy with little specks of red that looked like measles and by the time he untangles himself he felt sick because everyone knows hawthorn needles can be toxic, especially if the tinny sharp ends break off and stay just under the skin. Which was exactly what happened and after a fierce fight to escape and he was laying face down in the dirt half unconscious. And maybe he would have even died, but sometimes good luck follows bad, which is also exactly what happened, but Buddy didn’t know it until later because he finally feinted into the oblivion of deep, deep unconsciousness. So deep that he did not realized someone had come along and picked him up and took him home and put him in a bed and nursed him back to health.

I hope you got all that cause I ain’t going to say it again. But if you didn’t get it I’ll tell you, Buddy got rescued.

Buddy opened his eyes. He was laid out in a comfy bed, all wrapped up in blankets bed and smelling a little like camphor oil, iodine, and lemon juice. It was so strong his eyes began to tear. Then, when he pushed back the blankets and got to his feet, a little shakily, he smelled garlic and something else he couldn’t name.

“Man I stink.” He said out loud.

“You do, but it is helping you heal quickly. You sure took a beating in Critter Bush. Most people never get out. You were just lucky I was passing by. Those beasts will beat you silly then leave you to magottroids and that my young friend would have been the end of your story.”

 Startled, Buddy Bingle turned abruptly toward the voice. Then he gasped because the nice sweet girlish little voice that had spoken to belonged to something that looked like it was born out of the stuff in rubbish swamp and grew into something else that looked like a tree, a small tree with lots of branches, purple buds, and pink leaves. But it wasn’t ugly in a way most people distinguish between pretty and ugly.

“Who are you?” Buddy asked a little on the awestricken side.

“What am I would be a better question and the answer would be, Hamadryad, or I would be if I had been born in a forest. Instead I was born in a swamp so I am a Swampadryad.”

Buddy asked, “But what is your name?”

“Oh, well, that is a tough question to answer because there is no English translation from Swampish. But if you really want a name to call me you can call me, Phyllomina,”

“Hmmm. How about just Phylly?” Buddy suggested.

The Swampadryad shrugged her shoulders but didn’t say anything. At least she did not object.

“Did you see a ringworm?” Buddy inquired hopefully.

:Well yes I did. Never seen such a thingy anywhere in Chuteland before and I have travelled far and wide, almost to the end and certainly to all its corners, if twelve is how many corners it has, but some say it has thirty or forty so I must say I have not been everywhere.” Phylly replied.

“Which way did the ringworm go?’ Buddy demanded.

“Well, I saw it on the path feet and tail following its nose and running as fast as it could go, which is fast given that it had a hundred legs and feet to run on.” Phylly explained. “Now boy. You could do me the courtesy of telling me your name.”

“Oh yah. It’s really Rupert Bingle, but I go by Buddy because I absolutely hate Rupert.”

“Then I will call you Bud if we should ever meet again. But for now I must be off and I won’t be back before you leave because it is time for me to go back to the swamp and sleep. I sleep for years at a time. You were very luck I was awake when you were in need.”

Phylly didn’t wait for a reply. She just shuffled off on her root feet quick as a wink leaving Buddy there alone to try and figure out what to do next but that didn’t take long because when he went outside, far down the path he spied the Ringworm, scurrying along as fast as a foot long worm with a hundred legs can scurry, which is pretty fast. Faster than Buddy could run anyway. It was gone out of sight by the time he reached where he thought he saw the Ringworm. And I am afraid he said something a little more colourful than a thirteen year old should say. But I won’t repeat it because, well, just because.

When Buddy got over his grump he set off again along the path and this time he promised to stay on the path, no matter what, but it wasn’t a promise anyone can keep in Chuteland.

The path went on and on but didn’t go far because of the twists and turns and switch backs and back tracks but eventually, though it seemed like he had walked a hundred miles Buddy came to a village and when he got there he smelled cooking food, all sorts and too many to list but the one he noticed most was good old fashion corn on the cob. So he followed his nose until he came to a hot table wagon and saw piles of corn still steaming and on the cob. But there were other kinds as well. Corn in a bowl with butter and salt, creamed corn, popcorn, caramel corn, and hotdogs with corn relish. By the time Buddy reached the wagon he was nearly starving for corn.

He got in the line up but after a minute he noticed people, if you can call them people (I’ll get to that in a minute), were paying for their servings of corn.

Buddy reached in his pant pockets and all he came up with was three quarters, two dimes and a nickel.

It was a long line and Buddy spent most of the wait time trying not to stare at the other people in the line, mostly because they were not people like human people. I will tell you all about them as soon as Buddy gets to the front of the line and part of it while he talks to the vendor of the kiosk wagon.

By the time Buddy was finally first in line he anxiously held out the coins in the palm of his hand. The vendor took a good look and finally took the dime and said, “Welcome to Cornfield Village stranger.” The vendor’s voice sounded like it was coming out of a pot of gently boiling water. You looked absolutely famished.”

“I am.” Buddy replied. “I haven’t had a bite to eat since breakfast and it must be lunch time by now.”

“Hmmm. I do not know what breakfast or lunch time is but it is always time to eat.” The vendor replied then quickly found a corntray and filled it with a cob of steaming corn coated in butter and salt, a bowl of creamed corn and one of buttered and salted skimmed corn, a cornbag of popcorn and another of caramel corn and finally a cornspoon.

“All this for a dime.” Buddy said excitedly. “Actually its free but your dime, as you called it really caught my eye so I accepted the gift. We Cornhuskers trade gifts a lot, especially little shiny ones.”

Now I will describe a Cornhusker.

There are two types, the Silkies and The Corncrows. They both look a little like humans but are considerable different too. I mean they have two arms, two legs, a body, and a head. They have ordinary hands but I can’t tell you about the feet because they wear corn husk shoes. They have two eyes and two ears, but their faces look like skimmed corn husks and their nose is just two holes about three inches below their eyes. They have very beautiful amber coloured eyes but no pupils. Their cloths are green and made out of fresh corn husks.

The Corncrows are built the same but they wear big, pointed hats with a whirligig on top that spins in the slightest breeze and whistles. They wear a tux jacket with tails that flap in the breeze, and they have loops on the collar of the jacket so they can hang themselves on the Watchcrow poles in the corn fields.

Upon Buddy’s visit to Chuteland it was harvest time and that meant festival and vacation for the Corncrows since there was nothing for the Crows to steal.

“This is much more than I can eat.” Said Buddy.

“Well eat what you can and save the rest for after Naptime. I am sure you will be hungry again by then.” Said the vendor, who by the way, is a Silky.

“Well, I don’t think I’ll be here long enough for Naptime, but I can save what I don’t eat for later.”

“Suit yourself. Suit yourself. Next please. Who’s comes next?” The Silky more or less dismissed Buddy.

Buddy went to find a place to sit and eat. Most of the tables and chair, stools, and benches were all taken up but he finally found a little table all by itself with a stool all by itself and no one seemed to want to sit there. So he decided he would but before he could everyone stopped eating and stared at him.

“What?” He bellowed. Then in chorus all the Cornhuskers answered. “That table is reserved for her Majesty the Queen, Peaches and Cream and she will be arriving soon.”

Buddy refrained from laughing but couldn’t resist saying. “And where does the King sit?”

In chorus the Cornhuskers replied, “The King never leaves the palace. He is served by Cornpages.”

“Oh. Well. What is his name?” Buddy asked a little amusedly.

“King Cowcorn of course. What else would the king of the Cornhuskers be called.

“Of course. What ever was I thinking?” Buddy replied working hard at not laughing.

“But where do I sit to eat?” he asked.

“There.” The Cornhuskers choused and pointed to log laying on the ground. It was of course a corn stalk log made out of several stalks. Over it was a sign, “For guests only.”

“Sorry. I didn’t see it.” Buddy said to a silent crowd who then went back to eating.

When he finished his corn meal Buddy went about asking everyone. “Has you seen a worm with a hundred legs that is wearing a ring around its middle?”

To his alarm the crowd of Cornhuskers who heard him cried out, “Worm, Worm, the intruder said worm. Banish him before he causes anymore trouble. Banish the intruder.” And before Buddy could explain or beg his pardon four husky Corncrows rush upon him, lifted him high in the air then ran as fast as they could to the outskirts of the village and tossed him up and over a gate made out of corn stalk, bound with cornsilk, and hinged to a corn stalk post.

“Be gone intruder. Be gone and never come back.” The entire village of Cornhuskers chorused angrily.

“Worm. Worm. Worm.” Buddy retaliated defiantly and the Cornhuskers cringed in fear and looked everywhere expecting a whole herd, or swarm of worms to invade Cornfield Village. If the worms came, Buddy never knew, nor did he care. He was sore from head to foot after being tossed over the gate and landing very hard on the ground, which was actually a blue and green cobblestone road.

“Well now. Where have I fallen into this time.” Buddy muttered. He looked back and saw that the Cornhuskers had settled down and gone back to their festival eating. Then he looked in all the other directions, ahead then left then right.

To the left and right was a meadow, but not your normal kind of meadow was covered in something brown and everywhere he looked there were mushrooms as big as dwarf trees, meaning, about the same height as Buddy.

Some of the mushrooms had umbrella tops and others were like landlubber sea urchins and others yet looked like tree fungus. Of course there was a field of Puffballs.

Buddy leaned down and touched the brown stuff the mushrooms grew out of. It was a little moist and felt like moss.

Now I bet I have you thinking, “Oh no, here he goes with the Gnome thing.” But you couldn’t be any more wrong.

When Buddy looked ahead, away in the distance he saw a town and if I should describe it I would say it looked an awful lot like a very old, even medieval market town which included a manor set upon a hill in the very middle of the town that over looked everything including the Mushroom field.

I have to tell you that even Buddy was thinking Gnome, but like I said, ‘Wrong.’

Buddy set off down the cobblestone road, which was about as wide as any suburban street here would be. It was a long hike but finally, just as the sun was twelve minutes off the horizon he came to the village gate and stood there staring in awe at the gatekeeper.

“Who and what are you?” demanded the gatekeeper.

“My name is Buddy Bingle and I fell down the rubbish Chute trying to find my ring that was stolen by a worm that wears it around its middle.” Buddy replied, almost regretting using the word worm.

“Well that is so strange an explanation that it cannot be anything but the truth.” Replied the gatekeeper.

Of course Buddy was still staring in awe at the gatekeeper who looked very much like a mushroom, but a very special kind of mushroom. It looked like a mature shaggy mane with legs and arms and a face with two eyes, a big nose, and a mouth under the bell shaped head piece.

“Well stranger, you don’t look like a Cornhusker and you don’t look like a Fungusian. So what are you?”

“I am a boy. A human boy.” Buddy answered.

“Never heard of that, but you may enter and present yourself to Lord Shaggy and Lady Mane. They would be very interested in your story but keep it truthful like you have with me or they will put you out with the Muckmakers.”

You don’t want to know what a muck maker is because they are used to grow mushrooms here and you may never eat another mushroom if you know what a Muckmaker is and how mushrooms are grown on mushroom farms.

“I will tell the truth because it is the only story I have to tell.” Buddy replied.

At that the gatekeeper opened the gate and admitted the stranger. Then, two other Fungusians came up. “These fellas will take you to the Greathouse to meet the lord and lady if they wish to give an audience just before suppertime.” The gate keeper advised. Then the two escorts herded Buddy straight through the town and up the hill to the Greathouse.

Buddy was then taken over by two new Fungusian escorts dressed up, if you can imaging, like the Beefeater Guardians of the Tower of London, England of course.

You might want to look up what a beefeater looks like then apply the uniform to a Fungusian that looks a lot like a shaggy mane mushroom. Just sayin you know.

The two guardians escorted Buddy into an ornately furnished room which in olden times would have been a Victorian drawing room. They deposited him exactly in the middle and ordered him to, “Stay put. Do not move from this spot.”

Buddy for once obeyed his orders though he did experience a rush of defiance and thought about moving to another spot just to serve his thought. But by the time he decided what to do the Lord and Lady, all decked out in the finest Victorian garb of lords and ladies, came into the room and one behind the other started circling Buddy. This they continued for several minutes until Buddy began to fidget and said, “Well, what ever you are up to get on with it.”

Suddenly the Lord Shaggy laughed out loud and said, “Can we imagine this. A fairy Tale creature coming to life right here in Fungusaria.”

“We will be the talk of Chuteland.” Replied Lady Mane. Then she called for the Criers and Heralds. “Go out all of you and tell everyone that Lord Shaggy and Lady Mane have a human straight out of a fairy tale at Fungus Manor.”

“Wait Lady Mane. You might not want to do that. I am afraid I am not well liked in Cornfield, though I did not realize I was committing a crime.” Buddy warned.

“What was your crime human?” Lord Shaggy demanded gravely.

“Well. All I did was say, Worm.” Buddy answered, frankly.

The Lord and Lady gawked at him for a minute then burst out laughing, and Lady Mane ordered the Criers and Herald to take out her announcement and that there would be an extravaganza to celebrate their guest. “Though we may not have any Corn huskers attend.” She said with a grin.

You may be interested to know that Fungusians and Cornhuskers do not get along well because when the wind blows that way it carries the aroma of a mushroom farm with it and if you have ever visited a mushroom farm, especially the closed in one, you will know why the Cornhuskers did not appreciate the Fungusian Wind.

“Wait My Lady.” Buddy demanded again, before the Criers and Heralds could get away. “I am not here for your entertainment. I am here because this is where the road brought me and there seems to be no other road to follow. If there had been I would not have disturbed you. I would have gone around.”

“If you are not here to entertain us then why are you here?” Lady Mane interrogated suspiciously then added, “Have you come to cause trouble like you did in Cornfield?”

“I have not come to Chuteland to cause trouble for anyone. I came here quite by accident when I dropped my Grandpas ring down the rubbish chute and fell in after it. But then I saw a Worm with a hundred legs with my ring around its middle running away across the rubbish swamp. I have been trying to catch it ever since but so far all I have managed to catch is trouble. I wish only to keep up my chase and as soon as you let me loose I will be on my way.”

“Oh Pishaw then. Call off the Criers and Heralds. Our fairy tale guest will not cooperate and entertain us and our guests that will not be coming anyway. Take him and put him out and escort him to the back gate. Let him continue his chase.” Lady Mane ordered miserably.

“I am sorry Lady Mane, and Lord Shaggy. At another time things would be different and I would be glad to entertain a beautiful Lady and handsome Lord, but first I must catch the Ringworm. I must get my Grandpa’s ring back because, well, mother would be too upset if she learned I have lost it.” Buddy explained with a silky voice.

“Well, I suppose mothers need to be preferred over Lords and Ladies, but you must return to Fungusia before you leave and show me this magical ring and you must bring the Ringworm with it.”

Buddy bowed politely and said, “If the road will allow me to return I will be back.”

“Not a better promise could you make. Now off you go, but you may want to lodge for the night. Chuteland can be dangerous at night if you don’t know what to do.” Replied the Lady.

“I must be off. The more I tarry the farther ahead of me the Ringworm gets.” Buddy declined then made his departure and quickly found his way to the back gate, unescorted since he move much to quickly for his guards to keep up.

He came to the gate as the moon began waxing across the night sky and by quirky chance it was a full moon and as blue as blue as a blue moon can be.

The Back Gatekeeper nodded when Buddy approached but he would not open the gate. No one ever opened the Gate at night. So, Buddy, who wasn’t ready for bed and felt a huge urgency to keep going, climbed over the gate, and made off into the night.


It was not so dark as you might think of night being because of a very bright full moon. In fact, if you don’t mind looking at the world that at night is mostly shades of gray with very dark shadows, it was rather like daytime. Buddy could see as far as the can see and what he saw was this.

Rocks, some mountainous, some like monoliths as tall as the tallest skyscraper and other that looked like giant turtles. There were cacti big, huge, and small everywhere and some bushes that rolled about in wide circles. Everything moved, very slowly, not much quicker than a snail, but as fast as a snail in a hurry. If you can imagine a snail in a hurry except the cacti which moved along about at the same pace as Buddy walked.

But there was something else out there that made a great deal of noise and was much quicker. At first Buddy could only catch glimpses of it as it raced from rock to rock, keeping among the smaller ones.

At first Buddy thought it might be the Ringworm but he was soon to discover it was not and I am sorry to say he found himself fighting for his very life. If there had been two he would have probably been eaten.

There is only one way to describe the creature and that is to give it a name that describes it best. A name like, Scorpiguana, which is an Iguana with scorpion claws and tail with the body of an iguana. The claws are attached just behind the head and the tail, well, it is attached where a tail is usually attached. But the most alarming aspect of the creature was it was about the size of a large iguana, about five feet long, tail to nose, which is almost as long as Buddy was/is tall.

Buddy could see its tongue flicking in and out and the tail twitching. He couldn’t know what it was hunting since it was still quite far off, but it was certainly stalking something.

Then, as Buddy came around a monolith rock he saw what the Scorpiguana was after. “No. Not the Ringworm.” He shouted and charged ahead mindless of the danger he was putting himself in.

Before he could think rationally he stood between the hunter and the hunted.

I am sure you are aware that Buddy had nothing in his possession that could have been used as a weapon. As he stood there staring down the Scorpiguana who was eyeing him, sizing him up, Buddy’s mind was racing through everything he could imagine that he use to defend himself. He was also trying to keep an eye on the Ringworm and for a second, being fairly close, there was something about the worm that caught his eye but he could not decide what.

Now as you can imagine the Ringworm was not very big around, just big enough to slip the ring on, but it was quite long, a yard at least and its hundred legs were more lizard like than insect and it head was spiderish. You might note that it had gotten longer since last we saw it and a little thicker so that the ring seemed embedded int the body.

Suddenly Buddy heard a clicking sound and when he turned to face the Scorpiguana it was moving toward him clicking its claws and hissing. The beast’s tongue was flicking in an out frantically.

Buddy panicked for a second then he looked down and there on the ground was a cluster of dark blue stones.

Buddy bent down and picked two of them up, one in each hand. They were just the right size for his fingers to get a good grip on.

“Go away monster. The Ringworm is mine, at least until I get my ring back.” Buddy ordered, but of course it was unlikely and true that the monster did not understand human speech let alone English. But it made an angry hissing sound and attacked.

As soon as it started forward Buddy threw the first stone and it beaned the monster right on the end of the nose.

The Scorpiguana stopped dead in its tracks and shook its head but in the end its hiss became even angrier.

Buddy through the second stone and this time he hit the beast right between the eyes. And this time the monster reared up and twisted, screechhissing madly and wreathing about wildly, raising dirt and dust high into the air. But in the end it just kept coming slashing the air with its click claws and hissing madly.

Buddy had one last chance. He leaned down and picked up another stone and this time when he threw it the thing went straight down the monsters gullet.

The beast reared up again but this time its tail swung in the wrong direction and it stabbed itself with its own stinger in the back, just below the head.

If it killed itself, Buddy never knew because the monster ran off madly into the night and out of sight.

With the beast gone Buddy turned to try and catch the Ringworm but as you can probably guess the worm was long gone. The only good thing was it left a trail in the sand of the rock barren that was easy to follow.

Then, just as Buddy was starting to feel the relief of beating the monster, the cacti began closing in on him. Buddy didn’t wait to find out if they were friendly or dangerous. As quickly as his legs could run over the sandy ground he set out, following the Ringworms trail.

And he ran on through the night amazed that the worm could keep so far ahead of him, even in sand.


The sun rose, suddenly it seemed and the rock barren grew very hot, very fast, and nowhere in sight could Buddy see any shelter except in the shadows of the monoliths. And he was getting very weary now. He couldn’t go on much longer, but just as he was about to give up and find a place to rest he looked up, just in time to find himself being gripped in the talons of a huge bird, but half human as well.

“What now?” he groaned just as he passed out from exhaustion.

Buddy woke up to find himself in a nice bed, in a nice room that was almost like being back home and he might have thought he was home except for the fact that the room was not his bedroom or any other room he recognized.

He got out of bed and walked to the door. It was not locked and opened silently into another normal looking room that was a living room. There was a door looking outside on the other side of the room so he walked to it, opened it, and stepped outside only to discover it was a balcony, but not just any old balcony. This one looked out over a deep valley from high up upon a mountain slope on a mountain terrace, much like an eagles eerie.

He was standing there for only a minute when a winged creature landed beside him. It was human except it had clawed feet, wings, and a large, hooked beak instead of a mouth and nose. Its eyes were human shaped but like an eagles eyes as well.

Buddy felt like he should have been surprised, but he wasn’t. Maybe it was because he had seen the creature before he passed out, or maybe it was because he had become acclimatized to this strange world called Chuteland.

“Well are you going to talk or screech?” Buddy asked firmly.

“I can do both. Which would you prefer?” The Eagleman answered.

“Talking is good. Now, am I a prisoner, or food?”

“Neither yet. I will decide what you are when I know what you are and where you came from.”

“Well. My name is Buddle Bingle. I am human and I came down the rubbish chute into a swamp and I have been following a road ever since until you picked me up out of the rock barren.”

Buddy then went on to describe his adventures so far in Chuteland and why he was there which, as you must recall is to retrieve his iron ring that the worm is wearing around its middle.

When he finished he said, “So now what?”

The Eagle did not answer the question. He said, My name is Longfeather. I am Lord of The Eaglemen. Please explain why you saved the worms life when you could have retrieved you ring if the Scorpiguana had killed it.”

“I was afraid the monster would eat the worm and that would make getting my ring back even more difficult. The worm doesn’t look dangerous. Just clever and very quick on its feet.”

“That was sensible but now your worm has run off.” Longfeather replied.

Buddy said in return, “Maybe you could put me back on its trail. I don’t want to harm it. I just want my ring back. Or better yet, maybe you can catch it for me.”

“No. I cannot catch it for you, but I can put you on its trail. I saw which direction it went but have not seen it since though I did look for it. It may have gone under ground where most worms live.” Longfeather replied.

“Why did you pick me up?” Buddy asked finally.

“The Scorpiguana ran off but had recovered from your rock throwing and was on its way back. You would not have survived its wrath.”

“Ah. Well thank you then for rescuing me. How soon can you put me back on the ground?” Buddy said.

“Now. I will take you to where I last saw your Ringworm, but not too close to the Scorpiguana. It has a long memory.”

Not long after Longfeather set Buddy back on the ground at the edge of the rock barren where it met a forest, but this forest was unlike anything we have here.

“The Eagleman pointed down a forest road paved in rainbow colored pine needles, broad and cedar leaves and said, “Your Ringworm went that way.”

Buddy sighed, started to say something then shrugged his shoulders listlessly and set off. The Eagleman called after him, “Take heart Buddy. In the end things always work out.”

Buddy turned back and said, “Grampa?!” But the Eagleman was already soaring high in the sky.

Buddy shook himself a little and marched on. I’ll find the ringworm and take my ring back if it’s the last thing I ever do.


Forests are strange places in any world. Everything moves. The underbrush, the leaves, woodland creatures, the trees and even the shadows and some of those seem to jump from tree to tree or bush to bush and even dance among themselves. And I won’t even mention the myriad of noises, some of which sound like hollow voices and singing fairies, growls, and hisses not to mention the wind which can sing or roar, depending on its mood. Then of course things change dramatically when a storm rides in on dark rolling clouds filled with lightning and thunder.

But the worst thing that happen in the forest is silence, the kind of silence that can make you feel like you have suddenly gone deaf. So deaf you can’t hear your own footfalls, or your hands no matter how hard you clap.

Aside from the colour differences when Buddy set off the forest was just a forest, but the deeper in he went , the closer the trees stood together and the thicker the canopy of leaves grew. Before long the hue of the shadows deepened and in case you are not aware of it, even in Chuteland, shadows are inherently blue in hue. Meaning that blue is the general color for most shadows. Most of us think of shadows as being black, however black is a neutral color. The hue of shadow is in fact blue. And with each step the shadows grew longer and darker until they were the deepest blue that blue can be.

Then came a terrible silence that at first made Buddy want to stomp his feet and clap his hands or yell and scream, and maybe he would have, if it had not been for the whispering voices that replaced the silence. Voices that were not at all pleasant in tone though he could not understand the words with in them.

Buddy tried shaking them out of his head, then his ears, shaking his head like a dog with itchy ears, but that only made things worse. Then he demanded that who ever was doing the whispering show themselves and talk out loud, but that didn’t work either.

Buddy searched the ground for something he use like a club. The idea of fighting appalled him but the idea of get attacked again, unarmed wise equally distasteful. There was nothing like a club in sight but he did find a branch that could serve as a walking stick, four feet long and just thick enough to fit his hand comfortably. It was not exactly a weapon but something to ward off an attacker and get away.

Then on into the woods he went and before long the light dimmed and the shadows deepen. The whispers waved between the spell of silence and everything seemed to watch him.

He had been walking for about an hour when one of the whispers rose above the other in a long rumbling groan, like trees rubbing together in the wind, but as he listened for another something much nicer and cheerful drifted toward him, so he concentrated on that and moved along.

I suppose you must have once upon your life heard a babbling brook.

The brook was not wide. A good hop skip and jump would put him easily on the other side but still he wondered why there was no bridge. Not everyone would be able to jump over it.

Buddy was looing for another way to cross the brook when he spied the Ringworm, who was standing high on his hundred legs watching Buddy and its spidery face seemed to have a grinning smile.

“Why you squiggly thing. You are playing with me.” Buddy snarled but it was laced with humour because it seemed funny and ridiculous that a worm of any kind could play and tease and smile-grin. “I wonder if it can talk too.” Buddy asked aloud.

Suddenly the worm came to the brook. Of course I can talk. Most things can talk in Chuteland though not everything can talk to humans, only things that have stumbled across humans before and had enough conversation to figure out the silly language. Most here prefer Chuteland lingo.”

Chuteland lingo might be described as sounding a little like a garburator with some clunks and grinds in it. I don’t believe any human has ever mastered it.

“Look. Mr. Worm. All I want is my ring back and by the looks of it you are growing and it is getting to tight for you to wear. I will take it off if you like.”

“Oh yes. It is getting painful.” The worm replied and dashed across the brook.

Buddy studied the problem for a minute then he looked around to find anything that looked and felt and acted like a lubricant. After a minute he spied a dandelion, about five feet tall.

“That will work. Buddy cried out and went quickly to tap off some dandelion sap, but when he nick it the dandelion yelped and swayed on its stem to avoid a worse cut.

“Oh dear. I am sorry dandelion. I, I didn’t realized you were, well, alive and conscious.” Buddy cried out.

“Of course I am alive. I wouldn’t be standing here if I wasn’t alive and if you stick me again you might not be alive after.” Replied the dandelion.

“I won’t stick you again. Not because you threatened me but because I wouldn’t want to hurt you. But I am trying to get something slippery so I can help the worm get my ring off his body before it gets too tight or cuts him in half.”

“The human speaks the truth.” Said the worm.

“Very well. I shall bleed a little blood to help you both, but I will cut myself if you please.” Said the Dandelion then quickly made Buddy’s little nick bigger and its white sap flowed out.

Buddy took just enough to do the job then he quickly covered the wound with mud. “That should work like a bandage until the wound heals.” He said then rushed to the worm and bathed its body in the lubricating liquid.

Now it took some wiggling on the worm’s part and some squeezing and on Buddy’s part but after a few minutes the ring slipped of and Buddy put it back on his finger believing as he did that he would immediately return home.

But that did not happen. What did happen was, the worm vanished and the dandelion’s yellow head turned white and fluffy and the large para-chute seeds fluttered in the wind and the brightly coloured leaves all turn green and fell like rain until the forest look like it was falling asleep. Which it was and very shortly after it began to snow.


“Well now. Isn’t that a fine how do you do. The brook is freezing over, the air is ice the snow is falling fast and me with no coat or boots, not even a scarf. I’ll certain freeze to death before long.” Buddy groaned and did the only thin he could do which was walk, and walk fast to try and keep from freezing too quickly.

But as it turned out he got really cold but he didn’t freeze and for the record the brook froze enough so that he could walk over it instead of jumping.

And why did Buddy not freeze solid in a freezing situation. Well…here is what happened.

To Be Continued.


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