Bonus story opening…


There was going to be a great and exciting post about a free giveaway for the holidays, but it’s taking a while to process, so in the meantime, here’s the opening few pages from a new Twist Stiffly adventure, celebrating an upcoming performance of “Waiting for Twist Stiffly” in the USA.

Twist Stiffly and the Senopod Manifold

“This is goodbye, Stiffly! Ghenghis, take them to the Maturation vats! Aha ha ha ha ha! Well, go on, what are you waiting for?”

“The maturation Vats were last month guv. This time we’re sticking them in the Senopod Manifold. As if that’ll make any difference.”

Spleen Ventor stared at his henchman, his yellow eyes glinting with suppressed rage.

“What exactly do you mean by that, Ghengis?”

The dwarf shuffled his feet and shrugged, a feat made quite impressive by the use of all five of his arms. Ventor raised his gaze to the two struggling figures chained to the wall.

“I ask you Stiffly, is this gratitude? You take a nobody from a backwater planet, give him extra limbs and career opportunities he’d never dreamed of before, and what thanks do you get?” He speared the dimnutive creature with another penetrating stare and imitated Ghengis’s fluty tones.

“It’s the Senopod Manifold this time, guv. Guv!” Abruptly his voice snapped back to his usual snarl. “I’ll tell you this one more time, you snivelling worm, it’s Evil One, Majesty or Lord, not Guv! Got it?”

While Ventor raged at his poor excuse for a sidekick, Twist Stiffly, Agent for Good and Truth craned his neck around to whisper to his beautiful fellow captive.

“I’m sorry Pert, it looks like it’s all up for us this time. I don’t know what this Senopod Manifold is, but it doesn’t sound good. I wish I hadn’t got you into this one.”

His steel-grey eyes flicked back to the tableau in front of him, Ventor pressing home his point to Ghenghis with the toe of his boot. It occurred to Twist that Pert had said nothing, when surely a “Don’t worry honey, I know we’ll get out of this somehow” was in order? He craned his neck around again, blowing a lock of corn-gold hair out of his eyes and strained against his chains to see what Pert was doing. Good Girl! She had managed to slip one slim foot from her manacles and was raising it towards her desperately reaching hand. What was concealed in that boot, Twist didn’t know, but obviously good old Pert had a plan in mind. While mentally cheering her on, Twist was slightly disturbed to note a smidgen of chagrin that Pert hadn’t told him what she was doing. Or even that he hadn’t thought of it first. Whatever it was.

Now her purple tinted fingernails, chipped and cracked from their confinement in the cyber-cell, were dipping into the top of her boot, and Twist thought he had caught a glimpse of metal. Was it a probe, a skeleton key of some sort? Had she had the presence of mind to hide a pencil laser in her boot in case they got the chance to use it?

With a gasp of relief, Pert tugged the metal file from her boot, flipped it and caught it in her teeth. She just had enough slack to bring her mangled nails to bear on the file and began repairing the damage wrought on them.

“You’re doing your nails?” Twist asked, in a surprisingly calm voice.

“Did you work that out by yourself?” Her voice was muffled as she spoke around the file.

“Now? Is that a good time, do you think?”

Her raven curls turned towards him and he caught the azure blue of her eyes as she craned her neck to see him. Her full lips caressed the serrated steel that still wasn’t as abrasive as her sarcasm.

“We may not have time later. Unless this Senopod Manifold is a manicure joint.”

“Unlikely” Twist conceded. By an amazing effort of will he kept his voice light as he asked the next question. “Hey, do you think I could borrow that after you?”

Another withering blast from her cobalt stare collection.

“You? Honey, your cuticles are shot to bits. You need surgery, not a nailfile.”

“Oh, I might just have another use for it. What do you say?” He grinned at her, the lopsided grin that had melted hearts around the galaxy. It cut no ice with Pert Buzoom.

“I say ‘Hey Buster, you still owe me twenty five Kirby grips, two dozen pairs of tights and a can of hairspray’. Sometimes I think you drag me along on these adventures because I carry more useful kit than you do. And don’t think I don’t know that you didn’t use that hairspray for any escape bid. Was it co-incidence you released a new vid-book that afternoon? I think not.”





Image created with the Pulp-o-miser !

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