Authors: Lonely Walker and Cap’n Marina
It was a normal day in Vacuumland.
Christina Nakedladyonahorse-Beethoven and her trusty stead Mikey stood around at the entrance to the portal to the other world (a cupboard containing a vacuum cleaner which was connected by way of a time distortion field and a paperclip to all other vacuum cleaners in all the dimensions). Nothing much was happening. No mortals had made bad puns around cleaning equipment for a very long time. In fact, not since a group of people from a marketing department had appeared as a result of making heinous advertisements which disgraced the name of the vacuum. They were now, of course, serving out their time in the peanut-butter factory.
Or they would have been, if the peanut-butter factory hadn’t been suffering from the latest recession to hit Vacuumland. Workers had been laid off by the dozen, and so once valiant knights of the realm and dastardly criminals and Rufus Gruff, who
was both, had to sit about and eat the candyfloss which was still lying about from Vacuumland’s first encounter with the evil pink bunnies.
Inside the famed castle, Ludwig van Beethoven played ‘Mary had a little lamb’ over and over again on the grand piano while King Thurm II bounced halfheartedly on his trampoline. Robin the Karma Chameleon and Bob the Lightbulb put on some Culture Club CDs, but nothing could stop the fact that everything in Vacuumland was resoundingly normal. No one had tried to kidnap the Queen for ages!
Even outwith the borders, the normality continued. Carter the Cool Cucumber paddled in the blissful waters off the shores of Logarithmland with Off, the jar of mayonnaise. Rudolf Gruphov and Vern the steeering wheel oversaw the operations of
Computerland. In the kingdom of Bunnyland, the Lord High Pink Bunny, Great Jon, Manny (the Man Eating Red Cabbage), the Dabei and Marvin were sitting down to watch their cable feed of baseball.
And in outer space, on the planet Metter 4, where all meanings in the universe collide, Wacky Zack the Sheep looked contentedly down on all existence and thought about playing Twister.
Something had to be done.
“I’m bored.” Captain HM Murdock said, yawning.
The other inhabitants of the room stared at him from where they were collapsed around an otherwise abandoned aircraft hangar.
“You’re bored?” Richie Bancroft, otherwise known as Face, said in disbelief. “Murdock, we just finished stopping international terrorists and drug dealers killing your kids, who by the way have the number one record in America!”
“Not to mention having to tidy up after the party!” Frankie Santana added.
Face turned to him. “I don’t think we needed to mention that, Frankie.”
“I second that.” Amy held up a hand. “Cleaning vomit out of sinks isn’t something I’m going to forget easily!”
“Yeah, man. It was all black and horrible!” BA Baracus added.
“Thanks BA!” The men chorused.
“So.” Face turned to Murdock again. “How come you’re bored?”
Murdock shrugged. “I don’t know. Maybe I’ll feel better in the morning!”
“Ughhhh!!!” Was the first noise that eminated from room W1 in a hall of residence at Stirling University. Theresa Marina’s alarm had gone off. It was the last day of her visit to Scotland on some bizarre computing course her company had told her to
go on and she was now heading home. Or so she thought.
“Hi Theresa!” A guy in a suit greeted her as she wandered, still half asleep, into the office she had been told to go to. At least, she thought she had been told to go there. Everything was a bit blurry. “There’s been a bit of a change of plan. We hope you
won’t mind – we told your company in the States and they said it was fine by them if you *never* came back! Ha ha! What jokers! Anyway, say hello to Fiona Walker.”
Theresa turned and discovered there was someone else in the room. “Hi.” She said without much commitment.
“Right, you two are off to Los Angeles. Have a nice trip!” The guy pushed the two women out of the door and slammed it behind him. Theresa toppled over and fell fast asleep on the floor. Fiona sighed and set about dragging her to the airport.
Jonathan Jackson, international terrorist extraordinaire, drummed his fingers his knee and looked at his watch repeatedly. He had left the party at Murdock’s airfield early to come and pick up some special cargo – apparently Murdock had received a fax very late about it. Jack had volunteered to go, despite having been stabbed, shot at and generally beat up for the last few weeks. And his cargo seemed to be missing.
Suddenly, he heard steps on the stairs outside and went to see who it was. He hadn’t really expected to see a teenage girl dragging an unconscious person along with her, but it probably wasn’t the strangest thing he’s ever seen.
“Uh, do you need some help?” He hazarded.
“Oh, hi.” Fiona threw Theresa into the plane. “You’re our pilot, right? We’re going to Los Angeles.”
“Really.” Jack frowned. “Why?”
“To perform the ancient ritual of the…” Fiona stopped abruptly and corrected herself. “To make a film.” She frowned. “Do I know you?”
“Hmmm.” Fiona said. “Well, chocks away!”
Up in the heavens of Vacuumland, a voice screamed.
“They’ve gone!!!!” Down below, Beethoven felt a suden compulsion to play the notes dum-dum-DUMMMMM!!!!!