Whale Goo

The Lord of the Rings has a huge appendix.

This is a problem for some, but no-one has a problem with it greater than the Lord himself.

His appendicitis started one day when he was crafting one of his minor pieces in a nondescript cave deep in the Mendips. Many authors here might try to offer a description of the cave, but the author from whom you're reading has already mentioned it was nondescript. However, in order to keep his readers engaged, he's willing to concede that it was dark.

Darkness was one of the key attributes of a cave that the Lord liked when working in a cave, and by calculated correlation, this is why the Lord was in this one. The caves in Wookey Hole or in any other kind of hole that attracted tourists with coloured spotlighting and souvenir shops placed at the exit drove the Lord crazy.

So too did tourists with their oohs and aahs over a few stalactites, stalagmites and other calcium carbonate deposits constructed over eons by Mother Nature and snapped off in an instant by one of her ill-made offspring with a clumsy elbow or backpack, or by someone holding a clipboard declaring something along the lines of "This thing looks like it can have someone's eye out; we should remove it."

Better to be away from all that. Better to sit here alone, in the dark with my pork pie and an ipod shuffle, having a good think about what this character of mine is going to do.

The Lord rubbed his stomach, and pushed it back into his waistband. "Porky, I think I'll call him. That's a good name for a minor character."

He fumbled in his pocket for his notepad. The one he carried everywhere with him so he could jot down his ideas and never lose them. He'd lost count of the number of ideas that never came back to him when he didn't write them down. And pencils. He lost a lot of pencils. He kept them in his trouser pocket and they either splintered or kebabbed him every time he sat. He removed them from his thigh with the precision of a well-read surgeon, but not a surgeon who writes with pencils kept in his trousers.

It was painful, and his leg had more lead in it than any of his pencils. A few more upper thigh stabs and he'd be able to pull his leg off along the perforated line, and write with it. The number of times he cursed and turned the rocks around him blue was the e...

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Paul Sterlini
Oct 25 2021

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