[align=center]The Wallops â Stories from long ago A novel by JRRR Waltkien[/align] [align=center]Chapter One[/align] In days of old, way beyond the memories of our grandfathers who had Alzheimerâs anyway, there lived in the Wallops, a people called the Bobbits. The Bobbits were small folk, not human and in no way linked to any infantry regiments. The average Bobbit was only three feet tall and they lived in a shire called the Wallops. The Wallops was a wonderful land, fields of corn waved in the wind, babbling brooks sort of babbled and the birds sang from dawn to dusk in the woods and forests, which did make them unpopular so they were regularly trapped and killed. Bobbits lived in holes in the ground but with windows and doors and furniture. The Bobbits were extremely civilized and they lived a commune type existence where everybody helped everybody else unless they couldnât be arrsed or it was the wrong time of the month. The Wallops was part of just left of centre earth and was nestled south of a great kingdom, The Keynes. They were ruled by a great king called Milton. Milton of the Keynes was a wise ruler and all his people were happy except about the extraordinary number of imitation cows in the kingdom. In Keynes they seemed to do everything in a roundabout way but basically they were a peace loving kingdom and all in all, very happy and contented. They were men folk or humans but they got on well with the Bobbits and traded with them on a regular basis. Bobbits loved pornography and the kingdom of Keynes was all too happy to oblige. The Bobbits provided the kingdom of Keynes with corn, wheat and timber though they did a mean sideline in wooden phallic symbols. They also couldnât get enough of the Bobbit flat pack furniture that gave the Bobbits almost full employment, something to be proud of in just left of centre earth. To the south lay the kingdom of the Old Forest and eventually the sea. The main town in the Old Forest was Sowfampton, a trading port and the streets of Sowfampton echoed to the voices of a hundred languages as people from all over the earth congregated to trade, get drunk and just generally have a good time especially in Derby Road, the street of a hundred red lanterns. It was a boisterous place, an evil place but brilliant for electrical goods. The Old Forest did actually have a forest and it was coincidentally called the Old Forest. Rumours abounded about the Old Forest and some said that in its misty depths, man-eating ponies lived. It was all the stuff of myth and legend and actually, it had started when a sailor fed up with dried meat and ships biscuits had trapped, killed and ate a pony. He had been caught, the sheriff of the forest had caught him red-handed but the local newspaper had got wind of the story and the headline âMan eating ponyâ had been published. The newspaper had been called âThe Moonâ as it was printed at night but after a takeover by a newspaper magnate, a Mr Myrrh Dock, the printing had switched to daytime and the newspaper was thereafter known as âThe Sunâ. Between the Wallops and the Old Forest lay the town of Winchaster and while a happy and prosperous town; it was the home of one of the few armies in just left of centre earth. A barracks was in the centre of the town and the soldiers practiced and practiced. There hadnât been a war for as long as anybody wanted to remember but the kingdom of the Old Forest retained the right to maintain an army as a deterrent. The soldiers were dressed in beautiful green jackets to blend into the forest so they were called the light infantry as the old forest was very dark and somebody had to carry a torch. Winchaster was a trading town and goods from Sowfampton would come up the road to be distributed from there as it had a massive trading estate. The flat pack furniture that the kingdom of Keynes didnât take was sent from the Wallops to Winchaster and then on to Sowfampton as they had an Akea market there and Akea specialized in selling flat pack. To the west of the Wallops was a vast plain. It stretched for as far as the eye could see but as Bobbits had such bad eyesight that wasnât that far at all. It actually stretched for many kilometres as Bobbits had gone metric many years ago. Well not totally, as a Bobbit was still considered to be three feet tall and the biggest seller in timber was 50mm x 25mm but it came in nine-foot lengths. Mythical creatures lived on the plain and while nobody had ever seen one, their footprints were left for all to see. They werenât actually footprints at all but like two tracks and everything in the way of this mysterious creature seemed to be crushed in its path. On the edge of the plain were more humans who lived in a town called St. Windon. It was a new town but the people were bored as it all looked the same and everybody or almost everybody worked in the same place. A huge factory produced carts and the Honder carts were the dogs bollox as their advert used to say. The people were bored but they were civic, did things of their own accord and didnât mind the acclaim. At the southwestern tip of the plain lived a strange people called Hippies in the Kingdom of Peace and Love. The capital was Glassonberry and it was a magnet for those that needed spiritual enlightenment or those that thought they could sell some. Courses in crop circles or how to run a pop festival in the mud were offered along with the entire stock of beads of just left of centre earth but you had to buy those, in fact you had to pay for the courses as well. Nothing was free here, everything had a catch and even free love was taxed by the kingdom. The Hippies or those that werenât selling things used to climb hills and smoke a strange plant that they said helped them get in touch with reality. Getting in touch with reality is fine but falling to your death from a cliff brings you back to earth with a bump. Most of the Hippiesâ lives revolved around hills, they either climbed them, made silly rude pictures on them or quarried them, hence coming down to earth with a bump. It wasnât the Hippies that did the work in the quarries. Since the expansion of the common market, migrant workers from new member kingdoms had moved there to fill the vacancies that the Hippies were too lazy or too stoned to fill. They just smoked that strange plant, even during the interviews. The only scary part of just left of centre earth or the only bit that will feature in this epic lay in the east. You could travel to Handover, just half a dayâs ride from the Wallops but Handover was too dull to be scary and it was just an insignificant market town on the border of civilization, as we know it. A bridge over the River Test was the gateway and it was locked at night. The last time they didnât lock it, somebody stole the padlock, so it was always locked after that. In the east lay the real danger to just left of centre earth and all who lived in it, the kingdom formerly known as Mordor but now known as Crawley. Close by was the town of East Grinstead but evil work had been done one day long ago as the neighbouring town of West Grinstead had disappeared overnight. Bobbits used to scare their offspring to sleep telling stories of the horrors of the East, the large lump of wood that marked the border just by the bridge, the Eastern Block. Bobbits werenât really that nice sometimes and they got a real kick out of scaring children but the worst, the most horrible story was about the rulers of the east, The Witches of Gatwick. The Witches of Gatwick were three sisters who getting the push from a theatrical production of âthat playâ moved to the east and through much spilling of blood found favour with the then ruler and had risen quickly through the ranks. They were high flyers and from their humble beginnings, they had become advisors to the ruler of Crawley, David of Beckham. Originally, there had been four Witches of Gatwick, Emma, Scary, Sporty and Posh but Posh and David had fallen in love and after the marriage had just left the running of the country to the three remaining witches. Crawley and Gatwick didnât have orcs or trolls but what they did have and in abundance were Chavs. They didnât have cave trolls either but then there were the Disco Chavs. These strange creatures lived in a dark world of their own, usually only coming out at night but they were vicious creatures especially if plied with Alco-pops. Armies of Chavs and Disco Chavs were readying themselves for a fight and since the football wasnât for another three years, they were ready, willing and able to cause a problem anywhere they were sent to. The bridge at Handover had kept the Chavs at bay but there were whispers of a full invasion of the Wallops and the other kingdoms. The Witches of Gatwick were not content with their own lands, it was the familiar theme of world domination. The Bobbits werenât really capable of fighting, they were only three feet tall and did have a few swords, some bows and arrows and they could knock up a smart looking trebuchet in minutes few but nothing really significant. The Bobbits had paid a few mercenary humans known as Knight Riders and they patrolled the lands near Handover but even these highly trained human soldiers would be no match for an army of Chavs. But Bobbits did as they have done for centuries, got drunk, looked at pornography and hoped it would never happen as it usually never does and hadnât so far. The Knight Riders were not happy as you can only have so many flat pack wardrobes and rumours abounded that even The Knight Riders would desert in the Bobbitâs hour of need, whenever that was going to be. It was at this dangerous time that Billy Cabbageleaf was due to celebrate his two hundredth birthday. Bobbits lived to a ripe old age, well into their three hundreds and Billy was just a youngster really and the worst possible age if you needed insurance for your cart. âRobbing fcukersâ said Billy reading the quote he was got from the Gnawich Insurance Group. âQuote me happy, my arrseâ he complained throwing the quote into the fire. The fire roared up and spat sending a red-hot ember onto the hearth, fortunately not burning his hearthrug. âThatâs luckyâ he exclaimed picking up the ember with the tongs and throwing it back into the fire. A dog barked in the distance and Billy repeated himself âThatâs Luckyâ. Lucky was the dog of his bestest friend in the whole of the Wallops, Fergal Raddishnose. They had grown up together, they had played football together, gone to school together and Billy remembered the first time he ever saw a porn book, it was with Fergal. âHappy daysâ he said to himself and rubbed his groin. âThatâs luckyâ he said to himself and walked along the corridor to the bathroom. âFcuk off, Iâm busy!â shouted Billy still in the bathroom and determined to be like on Mastermind. âIâve started so Iâll finish,â he thought to himself trying to get back in the mood. âOpen the door you tosser!â Billy jumped as somebody knocked the bathroom window and the booming voice put him off totally. He zipped up his trousers and screamed. âGet it off!â he screamed. The bathroom door opened and there stood Paul or to give him his full name Paul âthe Greyâ Daniels. âYou dirty little fcuker Billyâ said Paul eyeing up the situation. âYou do know it has to go down before it goes up? Asked Paul and Billy nodded still in agony. âRight here goesâ and Paul whipped the zipper down and Billy collapsed on the floor holding his groin. âThatâll teach you, you dirty little shiteâ said Paul, not exactly brimming over with sympathy. Billy lay on the floor, his eyes full of tears and with one hand, he attempted to examine the damage. It appeared that nothing was missing so carefully and very slowly, he pulled up the zipper and rose gingerly to his feet. âPaul, howâd you like the journey?â asked Billy trying to regain some composure. âNot a lotâ was the very, very predictable answer. Paul the Grey was a giant compared to the normal Bobbit. He was at least five foot tall and towered over Billy. That was really why he spent time with the Bobbits, he was a smug, vain sod who just liked looking down his nose at people but people were too tall so hence the Bobbits. Paul lifted off his wig, scratched his head and put the wig back on. He settled himself in a Bobbit size chair that broke so he threw it on the fire. âThereâs evil about, Billy,â he said sitting on the table that fortunately took his weight. âYes, itâs you, that was my favourite chair you sod,â replied Billy and not lying, he had knocked it off and knocked it up many years ago and even built it without the instructions and the little Allen key thing that had been missing anyway. âI mean in the East,â replied Paul looking serious. âWhat, East Wallop? Asked Billy as current affairs and geography had never been his strongpoint. âNo fcuking miles further!â shouted Paul impatiently. âIs that the same as fcuking kilometres further?â asked Billy who did prefer the metric system to the Imperial one. âI fcuking mean in the fcuking East as in fcuking Gatwick or fcuking Crawley fcuking East!â exploded Paul in a rage and showing his skills at swearing. âRightâ replied Billy trying to sound as though he had finally grasped the situation but his face was the perfect picture of a blank expression. âMagicâ said Paul, again all to predictably. Paul âthe Greyâ Daniels was a wizard and he fought for the side of good. He always paid his speeding fines and never told lies. He did swear far too much but everybody swore in the Wallops and there was every chance a baby Bobbitâs first words would involve sex and travel. Paul âthe Greyâ Daniels had originally been Paul âthe Blackâ Daniels but he had washed his cloak in the wrong washing powder and at the wrong temperature and the colour had faded. He didnât mind and have you seen the price of cloaks nowadays? Paul told Billy all about the Chavs in the east and Billyâs blood ran cold when Paul mentioned the Witches of Gatwick. âI think you are destined for a long and dangerous journey, my son,â said Paul rather sanctimoniously. âAm I fcuk!â replied Billy not mincing his words. âThe future of all of just left centre earth will ride on your shoulders Billy,â continued Paul trying to install some sort of thought process in Billyâs slightly inadequate brain. âWill it fcuk!â replied Billy still not daunted. âIt does matter what happens and it will affect you, your children and your childrenâs children and the whole of the Wallops will just be a passing memory if you donât heed what I say Billyâ continued Paul in the most serious voice he could muster. God, he wished Debbie was with him now in his hour of need. âPardon?â said Billy who had been staring into the fire and trying not to listen. âIt does possibly involve looking at pornography as wellâ Paul was playing his master card now and Billy pricked up which is allowed as long as its well after the watershed and he replied âWhen do we fcuking start mate?â âIâll explainâ said Paul and they talked long into the night. Hope you didn't mind but I thought I'd try my hand at something else. I would welcome any feedback. If it is shite, please tell me, at least then I won't have to write any more.