NEVER TOO OLD TO CREATE A STINK
Sebastian ushered the children from the dancefloor towards a long hallway. Tingle’s mind was churning. There was so much to figure out!
‘Mister Sebastian I have some questions…’ Tingle said glancing along the corridor.
‘Go ahead, however, you only have question time until you reach your room at the end of the corridor.’ Sebastian pointed with his magical staff to the guest rooms.
‘How old are you?’ Tingle asked following along beside him.
‘I lost count for a while but we figured out that I will be two hundred tomorrow,’ he replied and flattened his hair.
‘Why don’t you have any wrinkles? You should be really small now too… with white hair,’ Tingle studied him. He didn’t look older than her parents.
‘Ah that was part of the reason for my wish for eternal life…’ he replied. ‘By living forever I figured that I would never get old. Clever eh?’
Josh stopped and yawned. He was really tired.
‘Come on Josh, you are nearly there,’ said Sebastian gesturing for Josh to keep going.
‘So your birthday present to yourself is to make a really bad smell?’ Tingle couldn’t help but giggle as she said it.
‘Now that you mention it. Yes – it seems so…’ Sebastian chuckled at what the small girl had said. He hadn’t thought of it like that.
‘You are making a birthday bad smell for everyone to smell though. It isn’t just a personal bad smell,’ Scraping her hair behind her ear, Tingle tilted her head to the side. It was a very strange birthday present to give to a person, especially yourself.
Sebastian found himself smiling at Tingle’s questions. He hadn’t thought about such things until she pointed them out.
‘Stinky! Stinky! Birthday Stinky!’ said Josh in a tired tone.
‘So you release the stink and then what?’ Tingle asked.
‘Well it stinks. I then prove myself to be the Supreme Stench and the Ultimate Stink Creator using pong power,’ Sebastian paused and looked at Tingle. He hadn’t thought beyond the rancid release.
‘Yes and then what? Are you going to make demands or are you just going to leave a bad smell and go?’ The more Tingle thought about it, the ruder it seemed.
‘I don’t know what you mean. I have only planned as far as creating a Supreme Stench – nothing after that. A stink and go approach,’ he replied as he stroked his chin.
Tingle was thoughtful, Sebastian didn’t make sense. He was going to make an almighty pong and then just leave it. ‘Well most baddies make demands.’ she said thoughtfully. ‘When mum and dad read to me at bedtime the baddy always want something. Most want money. So you make a bad smell and then demand something to make it better.’
‘What would I demand? I have everything I could ever want, other than revenge,’ he replied.
‘Well a lot of baddies want money,’ Tingle gazed into Sebastian’s eyes.
‘I don’t care about money… This is about revenge. Years and years of planning to deliver the ultimate stink. What more can a man want? To see the delivery of your life’s work to the world has to be the ultimate satisfaction – surely?’ Sebastian noticed Josh’s eyes were closing and he kept jerking himself awake.
‘But what do you really want? You must want something…’ It didn’t make sense.
‘I don’t know…’ Sebastian sounded upset.
Josh tugged on Sebastian’s cape and studied him. ‘I like to play.’ He waved Dino and made a roar. He then handed Sebastian Dino to play with. Sebastian bent down and smiled gratefully at the small child sharing his favourite toy.
‘That is very nice. I like to play too,’ Sebastian replied. ‘I like to play in the garden and by the sea…’
Sebastian looked emotional and appeared as though he was going to sob.
‘I want my garden back with all of my beautiful wild flowers so I can make beautiful smells fit for my Faerie Queen,’ he said with a sigh. He then jerked and looked around guiltily. ‘Don’t tell anyone that.’
‘Mister Sebastian you want a garden?’ Now that interested Tingle because she knew he wanted something.
Sebastian nodded, stood up and handed Josh the dinosaur. ‘I am going to show you something and this is a secret… Then you go to bed. You hear?’
Tingle and Josh nodded and Josh unintentionally yawned again.
Sebastian escorted the pair down a turquoise corridor decorated with flowers and butterflies. ‘I painted that mural to remind me of nature.’ He waved his staff at the pretty picture.
Tingle glanced up at Sebastian, ‘I think Mister Sebastian you want to be free and create a nice garden.’
Sebastian nodded and his lip trembled – it was simple. ‘Now this is what I wanted to show you. He led the pair into a beautiful room decorated like a meadow. Blue sky and fluffy white clouds decorated the ceiling. The walls were decorated with meadows filled with wild flowers. The room was filled with large coloured glass flowers with perfume pressers at the top. The perfume pressers looked like small round balls. Each perfume presser was attached to the flower and looked like the stigma that carried pollen.
‘Ohhh pretty,’ said Josh.
‘Pick a flower each,’ said Sebastian.
Tingle saw a tropical looking flower with pink and purple petals and stood beside it.
Josh wandered across the room to a large daisy.
‘Now carefully press the perfume poofer. Go one at a time. Josh you go first,’ Sebastian suggested.
Tingle sighed and watched Josh press the squidgy perfume presser. ‘Whooosh!’ A superb scent rose into the air and wafted around the room. The aroma was fruity and floral, it made Tingle feel so happy and lovely that she just couldn’t help but smile. ‘Mister Sebastian that is the most beautiful smell I have ever smelled.’
Sebastian shuffled in a shy and awkward way. ‘Children that is my passion. I love to create beautiful smells. I have an infatuation for fragrances that make people feel special, feel love and joy. I never wanted to make stinks… The stinks came to me.’
‘Can I press mine?’ asked Tingle.
‘Before you do, it is better that you sniff the coffee beans that are beside each flower. You need to clear your nose of one exquisite aroma so that your brain is ready for the next.’
Both Tingle and Josh sniffed the coffee beans and wrinkled their noses. The beans smelled bitter.
‘Now take three deep breaths before you press the next perfume dispenser…’ Sebastian suggested.
Tingle and Josh did as they were told…
‘Now take your time Tingle and enjoy the scent,’ Sebastian lent against the wall and watched the children’s reaction.
Tingle pressed the perfume presser and a gentle fragrant mist filled the air. Tingle closed her eyes and sniffed. ‘Oh my, Mister Sebastian that is soooooo sooooo soooo lovely.’
‘How does it make you feel Tingle?’ he asked
‘It makes me feel happy, calm and so nice,’ she said feeling very relaxed and sleepy.
Josh sniffed the air too and smiled. ‘Nice. Very Nice.’
‘What does it smell like Tingle?’ he asked.
‘Cherry and… roses…’ she replied sniffing some more.
‘Yes well done… Oh there is a hint of lavender too. Now that smell will help you to sleep. Let me take you to the guest room,’ he gestured for Tingle and Josh to follow.
‘Can’t we smell some more?’ Tingle asked.
‘It is past your bed time and we have a big day tomorrow,’ Sebastian said. ‘We don’t want you to be tired during the greatest stench rises.’
‘Mister Sebastian, please don’t release the stink. You aren’t a proper baddy. We could talk to the Queen. You could give her a nice smell and she will set you free,’ Tingle said hopefully.
Sebastian shook his head. ‘The world needs to smell a horrible smell to appreciate the nice ones. That is how life works. I have spent a lot of years thinking about it. I will take my revenge and then let it all go. I will start anew.’
With that Sebastian escorted Tingle and Josh to a nice clean room decorated in silver, pale blue and white. Everything was crisp and clean. There was a bathroom with towels, a toothbrush each and some nice shampoos.
‘Mister Sebastian, I don’t think we are allowed to use the hot taps,’ said Tingle.
‘Don’t worry. I will send some of the Hippobottymous down to help you. There are pyjamas there for both of you… They might be slightly too large, but they will do for now,’ Sebastian said and pulled a lever that rang a bell.
A couple of the Hippobottymous wobbled along the corridor with their friendly smiles.
‘Bedtime story?’ asked Josh sucking his thumb.
Sebastian frowned. He had not read a story for a long time. With a sigh, he studied the small hopeful looking child. ‘Okay once you are in bed I will come up with a story. I am sorry but I don’t have any children’s books.’
‘Okay Mister Sebastian,’ said Tingle glancing about the room.
‘I will read you the story from the chair in the corner. Agreed?’ he said.
Tingle and Josh nodded as they watched the Hippobottymous prepare the bath with lots of bubbles.
‘The Hippobottymous love to bathe. They will make you the perfect baths, so you are in good hands there. They will ring the bell and let me know when you are in bed.’ He gestured at the bell, bowed and then left the room.
PUZZLES AND DOORS TO FALL THROUGH THE FLOOR
Up in the Victorian Bathroom Boudoir, Dianne, Auntie Joanna and John felt as though they were being watched. That was because they were. Mildred peered through a peephole behind the sign on the door. ‘I am here to collect your trays. Can you push them towards the door and I will collect them. No funny moves!’ she said.
‘How long do you intend to keep us here?’ asked John.
‘Until the stink has been successfully dispatched worldwide,’ Mildred replied still peering at them from the other side of the door.
‘I really need the toilet,’ said Dianne.
‘Well there are eight to choose from,’ Mildred replied in an amused tone. ‘Seven are in plain sight.’
Dianne frowned, ‘I am not using the ornamental toilets,’ she replied.
‘Well then use the other one,’ Mildred said.
‘What other one?’ John asked glancing around the room.
‘I will show you – it is an illusion. Now if there are any false moves you will be in TROUBLE. I will bring the Wafters in with me and they can stink you out if you do anything out of line. You hear?’
The group of adults nodded, they didn’t need to be stinked again. One stink-out was enough to put anyone off.
Mildred opened the door so it was just a crack, ten Wafters drifted through the small space and floated up to the ceiling. Dianne, Auntie Joanna and John all watched them rise up above them. Mildred, clutching her nose guard, trudged across the room to an area of curtain. She drew it back to reveal a painting on the wall. She then traced her hand down the frame, tapped it and a door handle emerged. She turned the door handle and opened the door to reveal a hidden water closet and shower room.
‘Oh I like that!’ said Dianne with surprise.
John frowned, how come his tapping hadn’t revealed that?
Auntie Joanna glanced around the room, as she thought – the room was not what it seemed. She knew it!
‘Well I suggest that you take your turns now because it is time for you to turn in. I will arrange the sofas into beds for you. I recommend that each of you sleep in your own bed on this occasion. There are pyjamas for you all. Sorry they are all blue and white stripes but that is all we have. The Wafters will sort out your bedding,’ Mildred gestured for the remaining Wafters to bring in the soft duvets, sheets and pillows and turn the sofas into beds.
‘Mildred, where is Bertie?’ Dianne asked watching the Wafters drift about.
‘He is finalising the food for the celebration and making some pong-punch,’ she said making her way back towards the door.
‘Nice…’ said John imagining what such a concoction must taste like.
‘Oh it’s not a joke punch. We will make sure it tastes nice. We just want to play with the pong theme because we want all of Sebastian’s efforts to be celebrated,’ she said with a grin. The Wafters re-arranged the sofas, put on the fresh sheets and laid out the pillows and duvets.
Auntie Joanna studied Mildred, something still did not add up. The Waftness Pump House was filled with illusions. Sebastian had been imprisoned yet could walk out at any time. What made the situation bizarre was that he wasn’t aware that he could just leave. Then there was the fact that Mildred and Bertie were involved in celebrating the Great Stink. Something about the whole situation smelled wrong. What had she missed?
A moment later Dianne and Auntie Joanna noticed Mildred had her nose mask on and the Whiley Wafters blew a series of huge raspberries. John was the first to smell the monstrosity and fell to the ground, quickly followed by Dianne. Auntie Joanna covered her nose with her scarf. It was not enough. The room spun and she stumbled over to her bed and fell onto it. The last thing she remembered was a loud ‘Thwaaaaaaaaaaarrrrrrrrrrrrrpppp!’ sound, a series of giggles and Mildred saying, ‘Not too much now – tomorrow is a big birthday celebration. They need to be ready for the big stink release and… the day that Sebastian finally takes his revenge. We need to make sure Waftness is fully prepared so we can only release the smells and no-one can get in. This will be the ultimate fortress and protection from the stink.’ Mildred almost hugged herself. ‘I just can’t wait!’
Mildred appeared pleased with herself, the adults were passed out and everything was set up according to plan. She felt a twinge of excitement. The world had no idea what was due.