TAPPING, CLAPPING AND A NICE BIT OF FLAPPING
Up in the Victorian Bathroom Boudoir, Dianne, John and Auntie Joanna sat with frowns on their faces. John had tapped every wall and cupboard area to determine whether it was hollow or solid. Now the group were making their way around the walls and studying the pictures for clues. Dianne flushed one of the toilets again and it made a sound. She then flushed another one which made a different note. ‘My intuition is saying that the flush has something to do with this.’
Auntie Joanna sighed, ‘I agree.’ She studied one of the pictures which had a picture of the sea. Underneath there was a sign which read: ‘I do like to be beside the seaside.’
‘What are you looking at?’ asked John.
‘The Victorians visited a pier by the sea. It was Boscombe, near Bournemouth,’ she replied.
‘Well you can imagine they would be very pleased to visit the seaside after being caught in such a disgusting stink,’ he replied thoughtfully.
Auntie Joanna nodded and scrutinised the picture.
‘Also if you think the pumping station pumped the water to the sea…’ John tapped on the wall beside the picture. ‘It is solid.’
Auntie Joanna nodded, something about the picture bothered her, there was a large metal xylophone suspended on the pier with notes on it… The Victorians appeared to be preparing to play the xylophone in the picture. She glanced up at the illusion painting, which looked as though there was a sea under the floor of the building. She then looked at the toilets – there were seven of them. Something was beginning to add up.
‘I can hear footsteps,’ said Dianne. ‘We can’t pretend we are asleep again. What do we do?’
‘I think we sit down and see what Mildred has to say…’ John said and made one final wall tap.
Back at Sebastian’s dining room, the folding doors that led to the Little Stinkers’ dining room were opened up to allow full view of the huge room. The Little Stinkers moved their tables and chairs so there was a clear floor. A number of balls with mirrors were arranged with lights shining onto them. Colourful glass lanterns began to glow. Tingle glanced at Josh, something exciting was going to happen.
‘Yey disco?’ cried Josh waving Dino.
‘What is a disco?’ Sebastian asked.
‘It is a dance music…’ Tingle answered.
‘Oh…’ Sebastian replied. He was more caught up in the show that was about to take place.
‘I have just realised you haven’t seen the world outside change have you? You must only remember what it was like when you came here…’ Tingle couldn’t imagine how different it must have been then.
Sebastian swished his cape, ‘I have viewed it occasionally but was more focused on creating a stupendous stink. It can’t be that different – people, cities and nature… Also when you are imprisoned it is better to focus on what you have access to rather than what you don’t. Looking outside too much would make me feel very sad.’
Tingle glanced at Josh, Sebastian had no idea how different it was did he?
‘Right I think we are ready… It is time for some entertainment and education…’ Sebastian arranged his seat so that he could take charge.
Tingle wriggled with excitement.
‘Right let’s get the Symphony of Stink together and the Smellopera or… Odourous Opera singers in place. Chop! Chop!’ he said clapping. ‘I can’t decide which has more pong punch – Odourous Opera or Smellopera…’
‘I like Odourous Opera,’ replied Tingle thoughtfully. ‘I like words beginning with o because there aren’t many of them.’
‘Me too,’ said Josh.
‘Okay Odourous Opera it is then. Now we need some proper theatrical chairs for you to view this. I want you to feel like you are special guests at a private opera…’ He stroked his chin with his hand and glanced around.
With that, two ornate velvet chairs were placed at the edge of the dancefloor. Numerous Little Stinkers trundled in carrying musical instruments.
‘Mister Sebastian. It seems as though you have been preparing this presentation for a while…’ Tingle said.
Sebastian appeared bashful… ‘You’re right. I have been here for such a long time and like to keep myself occupied. You see all of those books, I have read them all. So I thought I would give myself other little projects while I was preparing for the grand release. I can now speak most languages and I wanted to learn music. As I learned music I thought I would make symphonies of stink for my own entertainment. Also, setting such a stinkathon to music helped me gain clarity. I could have my ideas played back to me with characters and tunes. It worked so well. So to make things easier, I will narrate over the songs so that you can understand the plan… Usually Mildred or Bertie would have been involved, although they seem to be caught up in other things… Ready?’
Tingle and Josh nodded, they had no idea what was coming but it did look fun. Sebastian stood up, bowed at the pair and made his way to the dancefloor.
‘One wronged man with a skill for scent was cast away with the Queen’s consent…’ With a whip of his golden cape Sebastian strode to the centre of the floor and crouched down. With that, there were slow, deep sounds. A number of the Dancey Doom Dunkers took to the floor and began to spin. A harmony from the Whiff Warblers began a wealth of warbling.
‘That poor man had done nothing wrong so he decided to create a pong…’ cried Sebastian launching himself into the air. At the same time the Pump-kins lit up inside and propelled themselves in a circle from the ceiling and spun towards the floor. Sebastian balanced on one leg and rotated very gradually and theatrically. ‘That sad man had harnessed the power of pong and took his revenge using a stinky song…’
Tingle suddenly realised what he was doing. After he had been ridiculed he was going to make a song that took its revenge with a horrid smell. Tingle glanced at Josh who was smiling because the Tangy Twerpers were rolling around the floor. The music picked up pace and Sebastian began to dance… The Stink Stonkers arrived and took to the floor and made a wonderful stamping beat. Josh and Tingle clapped their hands.
‘Now the chorus…’ Sebastian cried raising his hands in the air. With that, all of the Little Stinkers joined in…
‘Ohhh it stinks… it smells so bad… the rancid stench makes us sad… We are sorry for what we’ve done because nasty niffs really aren’t fun!’
Tingle and Josh began to giggle… It was then that the Smog Sprouters waddled in with their penguin-like bodies and their husky heads and began to do a kind of tap dance with their webbed feet. At the same time the Stink Stonkers stomped backwards towards the edge of the floor while maintaining the beat, and a perfectly formed line.
‘Now for the education children…’ Sebastian kicked his lifted leg forwards and stamped in time with the Stink Stonkers.
‘First of all he made some smells and then he hid them in different wells.
He soon realised that the world could be… His perfect stinking opportunity…’ Sebastian turned and wiggled his bottom. In doing so twenty wobbly-bottomed Hippobottymous took to the floor and wiggled their wobbly bottoms in time with the music.
By that point Tingle and Josh were crying with laughter. They couldn’t believe how shaky bottomed the Hippobottymous were.
‘Come on Gross Grunters – get the strain on those faces and dance! You are always so reluctant yet your grunts are some of the most necessary stinks the world will ever experience. They have been placed along all of the city’s rivers worldwide and at midday tomorrow… those grunts will become extremely guffy! You need to be proud! You need to shake that gross grunty face and celebrate all you have done… Millions of stinking grunts worldwide – well done!’
The Gross Grunters took to the floor and began to sway like reluctant teenagers who had been forced to dance.
Tingle glanced at Josh, ‘Millions of gross grunts along all of the rivers?’ That was a lot of bad smells.
‘Time for the chorus,’ Sebastian waved his hands in the air as if conducting an orchestra. All the Little Stinkers united in song. ‘Ohhh it stinks… it smells so bad… the rancid stench makes us sad…
We are sorry for what we’ve done because nasty niffs really aren’t fun!’
Sebastian pointed to the corner of the room. ‘Right time for the Tangy Twerpers to twerp-it up and show us their full formation…’
The armadillo type creatures rolled in formation. When they arrived in their dance position they unfurled to a rhythm and delivered their song. ‘We took the stench to every city because those smells weren’t so pretty…’
‘Brilliant!’ cried Sebastian who was now jiggling around like an excited toddler. ‘Now I introduce the duck-billed-splatter-pus!’
A line of the little creatures waddled in together. Stink bubbles floated in all directions. Each illuminated by disco lights. Together they slapped their tails on the floor. ‘We quickly learned that a rising stink would really make most people think…’
Sebastian side-stepped and skipped across the dancefloor, ‘So these little beauties have transported underwater stink bubbles to all of the rivers worldwide. Imagine clusters of stink bubbles all lining the water-covered banks like rows of frog spawn. What makes it so exciting is when the time is right all of the bubbles are going to rise and stink at once.’
‘Oh,’ said Tingle realising there were a lot of bubbles brewing.
‘I have created international aromas too. For example the French will have a more garlic based variety and the Americans will have a more sulphur based stink based on Yosemite National Park and the sulphur pools there. The Japanese with have more raw fish and the English will definitely have an underlying rotten sprout smell. Imagine a stink tailored for the country. That is quite a consideration and did make foul fragrance creation more fun.’
‘Are those just river smells?’ Tingle asked.
‘Oh no Tingle and Josh. There are far more stink opportunities. We created stink holes. I once heard of a hole opening up in the ground and it was named a sink hole because a cart sunk into. That got me thinking. I wanted the ground to open up to reveal a huge stink. So I named them STINK HOLES. We have had Little Stinkers creating those all over the world by doing a decent bit of tunnelling. So when the time is right a STINK HOLE will open up and a national stink will rise.’
‘Stink hole – STINKY!’ cried Josh with a giggle.
‘How did you get the smells to the places Mister Stinkworthy?’ Tingle asked. His plan was amazing and so well thought through.
‘Well there was rush – a good revenge is perfectly planned and delivered with quality not quantity. Now, notice the Whiley Wafters can appear like clouds… so they just floated across the sky carrying their special stinky scents and arranged them in plain sight… Those Whiley Wafters can also drop through drains to fill the stink holes with awful smells. As you may have noticed the Hideous Hummers look like bats which means they can hide in trees and fly in groups by night. We then have the Pump-kins who move like jellyfish. They can travel through the sea and up the rivers, or propel themselves through the air. Each creature was specifically designed for world-bottomy-domination. Also the Spoon-billed-pong-gator made its way along all the rivers in the U.S and could blend in with alligators and crocodiles. It was funny because the crocodile and alligators wouldn’t dare go near them based on their dastardly doom-smelling defence. Can you imagine what a Spoon-billed-pongator must taste like? Disss-gustttt-ing!’ Sebastian paused and took a breath. He seemed very proud of himself.
‘You are very clever Mister Sebastian,’ Tingle said. She had never known such a detailed pong plan.
‘Oh don’t flatter me!’ Sebastian replied as he readied himself for more dance.
‘Clever! Clever! Clever…’ Josh cried.
‘Right back to the song… CHORUS!’ Sebastian cried flapping his arms with excitement.
‘Ohhh it stinks… it smells so bad… the rancid stench makes us sad…
We are sorry for what we’ve done because nasty niffs really aren’t fun!’ The Little Stinkers sang in unison.
The dance became more intense and Tingle, as much as the dance was funny, was a bit confused.
‘Sooooo Mister Stinkworthy?’ Tingle asked in a questioning tone.
‘Yes…’ he replied.
‘How will you know this has happened if you can’t go outside?’ Tingle remained thoughtful.
‘Magic Miss Tingle…’ Sebastian said with a tap of his staff. A large cloud of light filled the dancefloor. The music continued and the dancing was funny… The magical map unfolded in the middle of the air. Glowing images from the cities of the world flashed up and showed all of the stink locations…
Josh and Tingle’s mouths opened. ‘So you have seen the whole world outside?’
‘Yes I used magic to see it but I haven’t been outside. I have watched it change and have asked the Waftness keepers lots of questions about how the world moved forwards.’
Tingle and Josh didn’t know what to say so they just shook their heads in amazement.
‘Right let’s work up to the finale and then you can ask your final questions…’ Sebastian said. He took a deep breath, clicked his neck and then announced, ‘The biggest stench the world has known will soon be cleverly shown… And all of those who have done me wrong will experience the ultimate pong-a-long.’
With that, all of the different creatures took to the dancefloor and spun around like they were barn dancing… A short while later there was definitely a Doh-si-doh, where all the creatures placed their arms, claws or wings in front of them, shuffled forwards, side-stepped and then reversed backwards in time with each other.
Sebastian did a few twirls and then did his own Doh-si-doh. ‘Oh and for the final Stinkathon finale that will be when we will detonate the sprouts, release the stink juice from skunks and the stink holes will open up – the ground will fall away and stinks will rise. Don’t you worry, no one will be hurt, each stink hole has been placed perfectly where people will not stand. Instead, take for example fountains… the base will fall away. That will be when the ultimate stench will rise… or some of the fountains will have some rather foul fragrance floating in them…’
The music came to an end, Sebastian spun and dropped to his knees. The large magical apparition folded back into the glowing ball on the top of his staff.
Everything came to a standstill and there was silence… Tingle and Josh began to clap and so did all of the Little Stinkers. The Stink Show had been quite a performance and now Tingle understood the genius behind the Stench. It was going to be bigger than any stink ever created and the world had no clue what was about to descend upon them.
Sebastian glanced over at Tingle and Josh to gauge their reaction. The pair appeared impressed but Josh tried to cover a yawn.
‘All of this excitement and it is past your bed time.’ Sebastian said realising the children must have experienced a lot of excitement in one day.
‘Let’s get you both to bed and then tomorrow you can watch it all unfold…’ Sebastian said kindly.
‘I don’t want to go to bed,’ said Josh. ‘Twelve yawns and then bed?’
Sebastian shook his head, the children had a big stinking day ahead of them. They needed to rest and so did he.