The Rumble Rally
Episode 10 - "What Ever Happened
To Count Backwards?"

Abandoned alone in the dark, Count Backwards remains tied to a churchyard fence having long since gone beyond his ultimate rage level of 11 (that’s one more than 10, you know) and fell deep into despair. With a heavy sigh, he closed his eyes, started counting backwards and made a wish. Out of force of habit he clicked his boot heels together three times. In a little while his personality reverted back to his old self: Aubrey, Lord Ruthven—likeable rogue.

“Where did I go wrong? How did I get here?” pondered Aubrey with a heavy sigh.
“ Has my life really been a series of evil deeds and nasty wrong-doings loosely strung together with birthdays, Christmas and Snuff Binges?”

As much as Aubrey would have liked to continue with his private little pity-party, a thought occurred to him. “If only Boris were here. He’d sort me out and ensure I was tucked up in bed with nightcap of laudanum and lime. Best manservant a Lord could wish for.” Aubrey heaved yet another sigh. “Who’s going to get me out of this now and ensure my boots are polished?”

Who indeed? Aubrey’s more confident alter-ego had taken several steps backward and was lurking somewhere in the gloomy darkness that even now threatened to overstep the dim pool of light cast over him by a single street lamp. Poor Aubrey, perpetually on the edge of madness, looked around to see if he was alone or not.

The village of Leafy Swallow wasn’t a bad place to be at this time of year, but it certainly wasn’t the best when you’re tied to a fence. On the bright side, at least he wasn’t far from home. Aubrey’s secret hideout was only yards away in the churchyard crypt. So close, yet so far.

Aubrey toyed with the idea of just hanging around until a passerby could untie him, but he hated the prospect of having to explain his predicament. He dreaded wasting time stuttering his way through an explanation, only to end up silencing the unfortunate passerby with a minor act of violence, resulting in the occupation of a hastily prepared shallow grave. To avoid such an inevitably messy situation, he would just have to save himself.

“What would Boris have done?” Aubrey thought. “Apart from put the kettle on, iron his morning paper, lay out his clothes and clean the household weaponry. Wait a minute, that’s it! Boris would have laid out my clothes and with that my accessories. Bespoke accessories with a hidden difference, ha ha! Now let’s see, what have I got on today?”

“Oh yes, I dressed myself today; did I put on underwear? These boots were a mistake, for starters—far too formal for a kidnapping plot. Ah ha! My belt buckle! Not your ordinary belt buckle, no indeedy; it’s a genuine ACME Gentleman’s Utility Buckle— part of a belt, braces and hose garter set Boris gave me for Christmas one year. Such a thoughtful servant.” Aubrey sniffled at the sentimental memory.

Aubrey, in an excitable state, tried to remember what the instructions had said on the box and if batteries were required to operate the buckle’s hidden mechanism. He’d just have to chance it and attempt to spring the mechanism with a clumsy hip-thrust movement. Nothing happened. Again he tried, his movement limited by the position in which he had been tied to the fence.

“Ouch!” yelped Aubrey as he sent his sacroiliac out of whack. The buckle began to make a whirring noise and tremble from within. What happened next will be left to your imagination, but suffice to it say that the results included singed hair, scorched flesh, zipper rash and freedom. And that’s what you get for not putting on clean underwear every day, kids.

“I picked a fine day to give up wearing unmentionables,” winced Count Backwards with eyes watering profusely.

Free at last and back up to rage level 11 (that’s still one more than 10), Count Backwards high-tailed it to his secret hideout in the crypt of the local parish of St. Ethelred the Unready. He raided the bathroom cabinet for a suitable ointment, the bedside cabinet for some loose change and the key cupboard for the keys to his gyrocopter.

With a cushion from the sofa as a comfort barrier between the seat and his delicate condition, Count Backwards was back in business and making a course for the coast and continental Europe.

The girls were well on their way into Europe, armed with their starters’ orders and sun block.


Character Profiles

© Pandora Pitstop •Site maintained by Mark (Thunzie) Paton