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Ah, absolutely corking to have you on board for this literary masterpiece
by the Bugarup Univsersity Students Guild. If you don't want to have to stay
read this pearl of prose then download "story-inna-zip".
It contains all pages of the story in HTML format for your viewing pleasure.
scroll down and read the balley thing...
NB: Due to lazyness on our part Carpe Cervisa hasn't been updated in a while. Stay tuned for more story soon.
Death slouched bonelessly* on the great chair in his study. He was sulking.
"Yes, Master," replied the old man who had been dusting in that inefficient way which doesn't so much remove the dust, as just relocate it to approximately an inch from its original position. Butlers all over the multiverse are found to use this technique on occasions when the act of housekeeping come second-rate to the act of interfering in their master's personal problems.
ALBERT. I DON'T UNDERSTAND
His loyal servant put down the duster and gave his master a Look which can be seen anywhere a parent is trying to explain the ways of the world to a child.
"Apples, Master," he replied patiently. "It's made of apples. Well...mainly apples..."
Silence followed. Confusion hopped a ride.
"Listen, Master. It's a drink. It has apples. People like it," he explained for the four hundred and eleventh time. A minor problem with working for an immortal anthropomorphic personification is that they have all eternity to ponder things - and unfortunately presume everyone else does too. Death had been staring intently at a misty coloured globe on his desk now for two days, well, as much as you can measure time in Death's great home. Deep inside the mist his fiery blue eyes were focused on a scene high up in the Ramtops.
Let the mind's eye focus on it now...
Three witches. Well, at least two witches and one young...woman...who could politely be called 'well intentioned.' They stood huddled around a huge washing tub in the middle of a cluttered laundry room, each wearing different expressions. One of the eldest of the three was currently using a troll-size ladle to stir and taste-test the concoction currently being made.
"Esme," she said finally. "Whatyathink? Bit more apples? I just dropped a dob on my boot and it took a good two seconds to eat through," she noted disappointedly. "Don't think it's strong enough yet."
Her companion gave her a look which was meant to convey disapproval, but to her closest friend, it revealed interest which would take drugs to be admitted.
"Not my specialty, Gytha," Granny replied stubbornly. "You're the one who...experimented...with scumble as a young gal. Gave the men a bad impression 'bout you, you know. Not that they wouldn't bin wrong or anything," she mumbled loud enough for Nanny Ogg to hear.
Unfortunately, the response she was baiting for never came, as Nanny feigned deafness and took another sip of the homemade scumble. Another drop hit the floor as the ladle returned to the mixture. The floor by Nanny's foot sizzled and turned a sickly green colour before disappearing into non-existence.
"Oooooooo! D'ya see that!" screeched Nanny. "Half a second to eat the floor! That's the strongest pine I use for these floorboards too! I think it's ready." Granny Weatherwax snorted stubbornly. "I think we need a song," continued on Nanny. "We always song a song after making scumble. It's tradition."
"Oh, no, Nanny..." The two older witches turned to the recently forgotten third member of their group.
"Something the matter, Magrat," inquired Nanny innocently. Magrat opened her mouth to speak but was cut off by Granny.
"Yes, Magrat, what's wrong?" she asked pointedly, suddenly deciding that while she didn't like siding with Nanny, she even less wanted to be known for siding with Magrat. "It's tradition. Got to sing if it's tradition."
"But...," stuttered Magrat. "People might hear."
The two witches stared. Granny's stare was renowned throughout the Ramtops as being the only thing that could make being skinned alive, then burnt, then picked, preferable. Nanny just had a way of staring down her nose in a cross-eyed fashion that could make the toughest warrior's eyes water. Needless to say, Magrat gave in,
"I don't think the songs you sing are very...appropriate," she replied as diplomatically as possible. "Can't we sing a nice innocent song about bluebirds or something?"
The witches continued to stare in a way which suggested the answer was no. A grin developed on Nanny's mouth at the same time as Granny sent a telepathic warning to the nearby animals in the woods to run for their lives.
Nanny opened her mouth, took a deep breath, and sung.
"They calls it scumble,
The outlying regions of Nanny were in full swing as Magrat did a good impression of one of those clowns at the circus with their mouths wide open. Granny just stood there with her arms crossed. Nanny was about to launch into a second verse before Granny wisely intervened.
"I know," cooed Nanny "I just made it up. I must be the stuff." Granny looked at her the same way she looked at that man over Bad Ass way when he tried to sell her pretty stars for her cloak and hat but Nanny was in a world of her own. Must be the Scumble though Granny.
"Yes, well, there's tradition and then there's 'tradition'. I think we'll just hold off on the rest of the song for now." Granny took a tentative sip of the brew and was glad she hung her hat by the door because if she still had her hat on she was pretty sure that the pins in it would have shot out at about the speed of sound and do some real damage.
"You think we'll win?" said Nanny still rocking from side to side and occasionally mouthing words that would make even barbarians blush.
"Bound to," said Granny with confidence. "You just make sure your scumble is the first to be tasted by the judges and they'll be singin' verses to your new song and completely forget to judge the rest."
"I heard that because the competition is being held in Ankh-Morpork that almost everyone is going to enter into it." said Magrat.
"You callin' me a liar gel." Granny looked at Magrat.
"No Granny, it's just that...with so many...people...that is...it might be a tough competition. I heard even wizards are entering."
"Can't hold with wizards." Granny said sternly. "All puffed up like a bag of wind."
"Hoo hoo, I don't think it's wind they're filled with." Nanny laughed.
"Anyway, Magrat's right, if wizards is entering the competition then there's going to be trouble, mark my words young Magrat, Gytha. There's gonna be trouble..."
A bit of trouble is something Commander Vimes could do with right now. Yeah, a nice chunky slab of trouble, seared on both sides and simmered in some tasty crime. This was the first time in a long while that he felt this way. A long while. Long, long, long. Why do these darn dinners have to take so long? Speaking of long, Lady Smothers has been talking for a long time. Long, long, long. Don't even know what she's talking about. But this is her house, this is her dinner,she is a friend of Lady Sybil, and a man does have certain obligations to his wife. But the food wasn't even any good when it finally came. All small, round things that you would gain more pleasure from by trying to work out what it is, rather than by eating it.
Heck, you can get that from CMOT Dibbler for half the price of the spices on this stuff. Better eat it, just so you look interested. And since you're eating, hopefully they won't ask you anything. Nice door they have here.*
Wish someone would come charging through that door right now. Someone needing the services of the Commander of the Watch. Someone to take me away to deal with some trouble.
Even Corporal Carrot bowling in, in great concern that the Watch should make a greater presence at tonight's Beerfes.
"It's like a beerfest," he remembered Carrot explaining earlier today, "but it's Dwarves only, so its ... shorter. But dwarves can get a little... feisty when they've had a bit to drink, sir. I remember one time at a Beerfes back home when uncle Hans, may his soul rest in peace, started talking in a slurred voice about the worthlessness of gold...."
"And..?" Vimes asked.
"And may his soul rest in peace, sir."
"Oh. Well then, take Colon with you. I'm sure you'll be able to keep them in line Carrot."
Vimes would even be happy if Nobby came charging through that door. And when you find yourself wishing for Nobby's presence, you know you have to do something. Fortunately, someone did come through that door. Unfortunately, it was only one of the Lady Ramkin's interchangeable Emmas. She'll surely want to talk only with Sybil only about some dear little dragon emergency. Of course, this is what happened, but it was all for the best. Tonight's fine host "understands the... fickleness of keeping dragons" and Vimes was able to escape with his wife.
An hour later, Vimes was leaving the house. Sybil would be tied up at the dragon sanctuary for the rest of the night. Might as well stroll down to check on the Pseudopolis Yard boys. And girls. The Watch can be a very confusing organisation, especially with dwarfs on the payroll. On the way, he met up with Colon and Carrot.
"So, boys, how was the Beerfes?"
"It was quite enjoyable as a matter of fact sir." said Carrot.
"Enjoyable?!?" screamed Colon,"one of them buggers headbutted my knee!"
"Well, you were resting your beer on his daughter's head."
Colon mumbled something. Then, in a clearer voice, he said "But I don't know about that Scumble competition next week,uh, Commander."
"What do you mean, Colon?" asked Vimes. "I haven't seen a decent scumble for many comets^. I'm quite looking forward to it."
"Yeah, everyone's saying how bloody brilliant its going to be, but I've just got this...feeling about it. A bad feeling. You know, in my gut."
"Yeah, dwarf beer will do that to you."
"No," continued Colon, "I mean, those type of things just attract the wrong type of people, don't they? I mean, country folk."
Carrot hid a frown.
"And where there's country folk, there's witches. And I can't be doing with witches."
"Oh, come on. They can't be any worse than wizards."
"And those boys've taken a role in this scumble comp too. I hear witches and wizards are infinitely worse when put together. Witches, wizards,...other things. I just feel there's gonna be trouble..."
Havelock Vetinari looked over the twin cites of Ankh Morpork. "Are you
both the Wizards and the Witches will be entering this competition?" His
his mouth full nodded. Vetinari turned and walked back and forth. "That is
combination. Remember last time. Skirp squeaked at length. 'Of course, that was
and your people were changed. It was a few years ago now through wasn't it? Find
more about this scumble thing will you?"
Death stared at this. And got good and worried.ALBERT
Albert looked up from his frying pan. He hated it when The Master walked into the kitchen to look for him. It was like a cat wandering into a mouse hole to look for lunch. Cats belonged on one side of the mouse hole and mice on the other. It wasn't fair for the mice to have nowhere to go if it didn't want to play anymore.
ALBERT. I SHALL MAKE SCUMBLE.
dropped the pan and whirled around. I WISH TO SEE WHAT ALL THE FUSS
"All right, you chaps! Stand back I say!" Mustrum Ridcully, Arch-Chancellor of Unseen University when the wizards managed to remember, marched into the Great Hall, where Ponder Stibbons had attached HEX to a still.
It bubbled ominously.
The Librarian stayed near the ant's box. It wouldn't do to let them too close to the Scumble in the still.
Who knew what that might lead to?
There was the sound of dice rolling.
If you drink my scumble,
Death was still feeling disc - um -fitted...
Death of Rats irded up his scythe and faded through a small hole in the corner of the kitchen wall.
He re-appeared in a side-street outside a noisy hostelry, the walls bulged with noise, it leaked around the doors and windows and crescendoed sporadically. DOR saw a movement in the shadows of a wall "Squeak?"
"Woof, Woofamarrer wiv you?" DOR moved closer and saw a small, mangy creature caricaturing a dog. It was bow-legged, it had fleas on it, off it and in a small cloud around it. It scratched, dislodging another small cloud of vermin. "Squeak?"
"Well, you can hear me, so I must be a talking dog, call me Gas". A strangled yowwwlll from behind a dustbin interrupted them. "Don't worry about that, it's only Greebo" Gaspode reassured, "but I must admit there is something weird going on, I mean, me and the cat are mortal enemies usually, but he seems alright, and hasn't even tried to have a piece of me".
A one eyed ball of oncefur snarled out to eyeball the new arrival. Greebo was purrturbed - he seemed to have lost his ability to change to man-shape, always a good ace in the hole (as long as it happened when he wanted it to). Worse, he felt no animalosity toward either Gaspode or this mobile xylophone that looked like an overly diet-conscious rat. Rather, whatever magic was misbehaving here (and it had to be magic) drew this ill assorted trio together like a Klatchian Triad. There seemed to be an underlying "If we work together we can beat this" feeling.
"What's Scumball?" Gaspode asked the others, "I heard Nanny
about it at the top of her voice, but she was miles away and I couldn't make it
"I know a lot of scumballs but what is she on about?"
DOR pulled his cloak about him, drew himself up to his full six inches and whistled......a small rodent appeared from behind him, whiskers trembling. In place of a tail was a candle. DOR skimmed his scythe past the candle and a small flame appeared.
The rodent stood quietly, sniffed, rubbed his eyes and sat down.
"Squeak! Yes we
can do it with affirmative action" DOR announced.
"If magic is doing this then we need help, how about we get the
librarian to loan
us a book of spells?" suggested Gaspode.
The globe on Death's desk glowed briefly with the image of a skeletal form with the scythe in his mouth.
The Patrician had a feeling about something.
The Librarian peeled a pensive banana. He had a skinfull. The books stirred restlessly in their shelves and those that were spell bound rattled their chains.
Granny Weatherwax was almost satisfied as she looked at the reaction in the latest brew.
Ponder Stibbons carefully typed the last equation into HEX and pressed enter.
hourglass dropped down and the ants started running around in circles. The pen
*which is quite impressive for a skeleton - Go
back to the text.
And so the mighty hunter returns from the perilous Inbox, slung over his shoulder the elusive second part of the story...I'll just let you all have a nice read of it and go have some of the Bursar's dried frog pills.
BU Guide to XXXX
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