A Conversation for Camelost

18. (18 November)

Post 1

Dmitri Gheorgheni - Post Editor

18.

Whilst Merlin performed card tricks, and pulled handkerchiefs from his ears, the small audience were distracted enough to allow Tom Mallory to sneak away from his post.

Tom made his way through the rabbit run of corridors, to the staff only, maintenance and machinery, side of the building.

He checked his Service diver's watch, the hands glowing green in the generator room. 7 minutes to sort this and get back to the Common Room. It'd be tight, but doable. Just!

Mallory felt a pang of guilt at what he was about to do, went against everything he'd struggled to build here, breached his personal code (and probably several actual Laws too), but Tom was a man of honour. And he owed a debt.

Actually he owed his life to him!

The whole thing had started with gazpacho soup. On a Wednesday (not that the actual day mattered, but Mallory was nothing, if not a man of detail).

Anyway, the soup, the lads didn't like it cold. He'd been on SAS duties in the canteen, counting sporks in and out, and looking for any mischief.

He ticked off another spork on the Safety And Security sheet. Six left to be accounted for. Four with patients, two being used by staff. Perfect count. As always.

The four were last in for a reason, always having those who were struggling in last, an agitated morning, or a bad night, and some lads needed a little extra looking after, extra staff to reassure them, and keep everyone safe. Less distraction to the other patients if they ate a little later.

Then the soup was set down. Trouble quickly followed. Tempers flared, suspicion rocketed, anger climbed.

The Queen was trying to poison them with cold, tangy foreign soup!

A scuffle broke out, tables were overturned, the canteen was cleared as staff attempted to calm the situation.

Mallory made the mistake of running over, only twenty or so feet, but run he did.

Some say it was pure bad luck, some say it was fate or divine justice (especially those who didn't like following rules).

The three patients leaving the canteen turned and watched Tom's slow motion slip on the gazpacho covered floor. Watched him tumble through the air, arms stretched out like Superman.
Followed his trajectory as he landed, what were the odds? Perfect angle, perfect velocity, short sleeved, crisply ironed shirt, perfectly pulled up by his flight.

What were the chances? Amongst the plastic plates, and tangy Andalusia soup, stuck betwixt an overturned chair and a bread roll, there protruded a spork.

Flimsy, and a bit blunt, perfect for situations such as children's parties, picnics, mental hospital canteens, these utensils couldn't harm a fly.

Normally.

What were the chances that, as poor Tom landed, he felt a searing pain in his perfectly positioned armpit, then agony in his perfectly positioned shoulder, as the perfectly positioned spork, (what were the chances), failed utterly to snap, proved it was just sharp enough, and decided to embed itself in Tom's shoulder socket.

He howled in agony, feeling pain and seeing his white, beautifully ironed shirt, rapidly turning red (luckily most of this was cold tomato soup as it turned out).

As the nearest Support Worker bent to offer help, another shout from the doorway as Arthur approached.

'Do not! Stay thy hand, good fellow. I have seen many such wounds on the battlefield. To pluck out this weapon hastily would cause damage beyond repair. This man must be stretched, despite his agonising pain, the weapon needs to be extracted perfectly in line with the entry wound, then, and only then may we save his arm!'

Admittedly, Arthur was talking of sword or axe wounds piercing combatants, (he'd never encountered a spork-related situation, but presumed the same principles of battleground surgery still counted) either way, probably due to his commanding tone (and the fact that spork injuries aren't covered in the yearly First Aid refresher courses) Tom's arm was stretched out from his shoulder (yes, there were screams) and Arthur gave a quick prayer that the Lord would steady his hand and spare this man's life!

Tom shut his eyes, biting his lip as he felt plastic move against bone, then, with a rather awful plopping noise, the utensil was free!

Arthur held it out to Mallory,

'A keepsake for thee, to mark thy first battle scar?'

Mallory accepted, turning the utensil over in wonder, there on the reverse side of the handle, in tiny letters (instead of Made in China)

was etched:

''Whoso pulleth out this Spork of this Bone, is rightwise King born of all England'

Thomas Mallory bowed his head that day and swore fealty to his true King.

When, years later, he was approached by a pot-smoking magician in a local pub, he didn't even flinch when he was asked to do the unthinkable!


18. (18 November)

Post 2

Caiman raptor elk - Escaping the Array


Very nice!smiley - ok

That's how friends are made...


18. (18 November)

Post 3

Tavaron da Quirm - Arts Editor

smiley - roflsmiley - applause That was great!


18. (18 November)

Post 4

paulh, the apocalypse is coming, it's just late

Sword in stone // spork in bone smiley - rofl.


18. (18 November)

Post 5

Caiman raptor elk - Escaping the Array


So now we know how it was done...


18. (18 November)

Post 6

paulh, the apocalypse is coming, it's just late

The troubadours will not be happy that their secrets are out.


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