Fr. Oblate Spheroid, head prior of Buckminster Abbey leaned back in his chair and closed his eyes in exasperation. Until 30 seconds ago, he had been working on a theological document with the working title, “Meditations On The Very Real Possibility that God Has Gone Off For The Celestial Equivalent Of Two Weeks in Majorca And Left The Cat In Charge.” The majority of the last three hours had been spent debating with himself whether to change the word “Celestial” in the title to “Divine.” This debate would in-turn lead to the larger philosophical question of whether he should just scrap the whole thing and instead begin work on “Meditations On The Divine Nature Of Writers’ Block”.
He took a drag from the dog-end dangling from the corner of his downturned mouth and listened. By this stage in his career, if you could call it that, he had developed an uncanny awareness for impending disaster and could sense the footsteps, even before they were audible. Of course, as the only currently living monk in the abbey to display basic common sense on a regular basis, the responsibility for sorting these things out always fell on him. For a brief moment, Fr. Spheroid allowed himself the fantasy that whoever was rapidly approaching his lodgings, was bearing the “unfortunate” news that, whilst adjusting a television aerial atop his tower roof, the Abbot had “tragically” fallen to his death, presumably in emulation of the martyrdom of St. Rod Hull of Emu.
Not that he had any ill will towards the Abbot, but promotion in The Holy Order of St. Bactine was by dead man’s boots and Father Spheroid really wanted to start delegating the tedious day-to-day work to somebody else. As Abbot, he would be expected to concentrate on more spiritual matters, such as the Times crossword, and seeing how many chocolate Hobnobs™ he could fit in his mouth at once.
Of course, there was the problem of who would replace him in his current role. On one hand you could promote somebody competent and career focused but these tended to be the type of monk to start getting notions about strychnine in the communion wine when they feel ready to climb the org chart. On the other hand you didn’t want to give the job to somebody so gormless that they immediately burn the abbey down. Granted, concrete, and rebar are not particularly flammable but Father Spheroid knew only too well that incompetence finds a way. Only this past month he’d interrupted a get rich quick scheme by the Heirodeacons’ that involved elemental fluorine, and big, fat bars of magnesium…
Without knocking, Brother Gobshite burst through door, just as Father Spheroid was stubbing out the last of his cigarette.
“It’s… It’s Sister Winchester!” panted the novice, “She’s off her tits on bath salts!”
“Oh… Bloody fuck.” Mouthed Fr. Spheroid.
Fifteen seconds later, he’d pulled the lockdown alarm, changed his trousers and was headed out the door in the direction of the quartermaster’s at full pace, with Brother Gobsite following close behind.
This wasn’t good. Even when she wasn’t in a state of chemical enhancement, Sister Winchester was a deeply terrifying presence.
“What in the name of The Devil’s unicycle is that, for want of a better taxonomical description, ‘woman’ doing over here and who let her go for a ride on Bertie Basset’s Sherbet Spaceship?”
“It was Brother Ramquad. According to the few witnesses with the sense to run away in time, he had been dealing the usual assortment of phostrogens, frog-knobbers, whizz-bangs, uptown-jugglers, magic sand, round-abouters, upside-downers, Benadryl and children’s meth to a delegation from the Naughty Order of St. Chlamydia,”
“Sounds like a typical Friday night.” Interrupted the Prior.
“Indeed. Most of the survivors agree that at at about 9:30, Sister Winchester came out of nowhere, bellowed something about ‘Sweeties,’ and then hoovered Ramquad’s entire stash of industrial grade monkey dust.”
Father Spheroid was sceptical, “Nobody saw her approach? She’s built like a grizzly with a hormone imbalance!”
“It’s possible that she was hiding in a bush. To be honest, reports get a bit… confused at that point. Most of the survivors are still being treated for shock.”
“Any word on Brother Ramquad?”
“Unaccounted for. He was last seen slung over Sister Winchester’s shoulder, as she disappeared into the undergrowth.”
“Poor bastard…” Lamented Fr. Spheroid as both monks caught their breath at the door to the armoury.
Inside, the traditional emergency crisis mass was already in progress.
The Quartermaster, Fr. Adenoid was stood at the pulpit, rattling off the mass as quickly as possible whilst visibly trying to stifle a yawn. It was clearly long past his bedtime.
“Now a reading from St. Ovaltine’s Letters to Reader’s Wives:
reserved carefully under beds,
thrown out windows in the hopes,
Of more bitter turpentine,
fermented deadly over time,
underneath a mongoose trap,
where once there was a small mishap,
With a golden Heebeegee,
suspended loosely at the knee,
in a chum of pedigree,
tempting many sniper bees,
from their hive by the Vaseline™ tree…”
A stoic looking Father Pangolin hurried into the armoury, followed closely by Brother Naval Adjective.
“Good God man, I thought we’d done away with these blasted masses!”
Fr. Spheroid shrugged, “I’ve been working at getting them removed but you know how it is with internal politics. Best I’ve been able to do is get the time down to forty-five minutes and you’ll observe Fr. Adenoid doing his best to expedite the proceedings.”
In rapid succession the congregation stood up, knelt, stood back up and then sat down again.
Fr. Pangolin sucked his teeth. “Any word back from the advanced project division’s attempt to weaponise that Enya tape? A nun rampage would be a perfect deployment scenario…”
Suddenly, the lockdown siren shut off, only to be immediately replaced with an alarm bell.
“The Abbot’s safe room has been breached!”
Far away, in the part of the Abbey featured on all the brochures, with the highest maintenance budget and which didn’t resemble a shopping centre built in the early 1970s, the Abbot sat back in his armchair and greeted the figure standing in the remains of his antechamber door. She was naked, hairy from head to toe and panting like a Sasquatch in heat.
“Ah… Mother Superior! To what do I owe the pleasure?”
With wild eyes, Sister Winchester looked at the Abbot’s face, and the warm smile emanating from beneath his formidable beard. His friendly and welcoming demeanour stood in contrast to the 12 gauge ecclesiastic shotgun that he had just levelled at her head….
Meanwhile, under the Cleanroom Floor, Loki awakes with his face resting in a pool of de-ionised water. He is muttering something to himself:
“Was the glass half full, was it half empty, or was it twice the volume it needed to be? Of course, any decent engineer over specifies to account for manufacturing tolerances…”
As he comes to, he becomes aware of the taste of silicone grease in his mouth, pulls himself upright and tries to work out what time it is. As he does so, he recalls that his Casio database watch had been stolen by Groofer, the goblin who lives in the walls of his cube, between the power strip and network port. Even though he has no idea what time it is, Loki is sure that Groofer has probably had long enough to pawn the watch in support of his antistatic screen-wipe habit.
He can’t recall exactly how he wound up under the Cleanroom but periodically Loki has flashbacks of a midget with Ken Russel’s face, dressed in IBM blue, beckoning to him from under a raised floor tile. Some deep, primordial instinct warned Loki not to trust the midget but his siren song was too alluring to ignore. One day he thought to himself, “I’ll just listen for a minute,” and the next thing he knew, he was no longer where he used to be.
It’s at this point that the packet of Polo mints in Loki’s back pocket begins to sing…
“Loki in his clean-suit, white,
with the boots he can’t draw tight,
in the darkness of the night,
is about to get a fright.
In our foil, nice and shiny,
yes we may be fairly tiny,
and though mostly sucrose based,
we still do have a minty taste.
Even now the Kerder stirs,
finding things he will perturb,
listen and he may be heard,
acting out a scary verb.
In our foil, nice and shiny,
yes we may be fairly tiny,
and though mostly sucrose based,
we still do have a minty taste.”
“Fuck me!” shouted Loki, “Singing mints!”
Most bits © Loki 2000. Extra bits © BO’C 2000. Director’s Cut © Loki 2018.
Feel free to pass the saga on as long as it is not altered in any way. You are not allowed to sell the saga in any shape or form. You have been warned. I will release the High Price Lawyers.
loki, Mints, Buckminster