View Full Version : An Encounter Down a Badger Sett (one-shot)

Weasel Overlord
4th February 2007, 08:55 AM
Well. Yet another of my Creative Writing submissions. You may wonder why I'm putting them up here... simple answer would be that I'm thinking and wondering and mulling over what to put in my portfolio. (8000 words, EEK!)

This one, well. We had to make up a character, in this case, mine was Theo de Veren, the narrator. And then we had to make up another one, and write down a location, then we passed the second character and the location on to the person next to us. I got a shittily described character who I hated, and a bloody badger sett as my location for the two characters to meet. Not best please, BUT I think I managed alright with it. I'd just read The Call of Cthulhu, which is why the cult is mentioned, in case anyone is wondering. ^_^ Enjoy!

An Encounter Down a Badger Sett


A Delightful Meeting of the Invited Variety

Looking around myself as well as I could in this dreadful gloom dark as pitch and room short as the shortest gnomes, I could discern almost nothing from my surroundings. Nothing except, that is, the fact that I appeared to be in some sort of earthen hole.

While it had evidently been widened out to accommodate a man such as myself, it left plenty to be desired in the whole roominess factor, and upon meeting the author of the mysterious letter I had received that very morning, I had plans to have words with him or her about the unsuitability of such a venue for a meeting of two people for a friendly discussion.

Indeed, the place was barely habitable, except, I suspected, by one Melinae Mustilidae or indeed, the common badger. The amount of droppings and tiny, crunching bones littering the floor was enough to inform me of the holes former inhabitants; though, where the creature now made its residence I did not know. I only hoped that I was not to meet said Brock round a corner, snarling at me and ready to fight.

Tilting my hat backwards to avoid it falling into the dirt below foot, I bowed my head even further so that my movements would not bring the whole place down about my ears. Exactly why the anonymous letter-writer had chosen this particular spot for our meeting, I would never know.

Gathering my shirt tails about my body, I shivered in the slight, subterranean breeze which was coming from further down my path. Pressing onwards, ever onwards, I could not help but wonder exactly how deep down this sett went, and whether I should ever again see the light of day. Trying my hardest to shake such morbid thoughts, I conjured up a memory of the splendid day which I had left behind me and above ground, as I journeyed further into the dampening earth.

As I went deeper, the top of the tunnel began to grow somewhat lower, leading me to finally remove my hat and clutch it to my bosom protectively, as a tremulous voice rose from the darkness.

“Don’t you worry, young man, I’ve got all the time in the world to sit down here in the damp. I’m sure you might be enjoying yourself up there, but some of us wish to get this meeting over and done with…” The voice trailed off to a peevish grumble, inaudible to my usually sensitive ears, and I pressed on eagerly anticipating the ending of whatever it was that this man wished to speak with me about.

It took a number of paces before my eyes were hit by a comparatively blinding light glow coming from an offshoot of the burrow to my left. I blinked and took in the candle, the shaped, earthen table, and the small, portly man sitting cross-legged in front of it, clutching what appeared to be a decrepit teapot, clothéd in a checked tea-cosy, with a little knitted bobble on top.

“This tea, young man, is getting colder, so you’d better step in here right smartish and get your arse sat down!” I blinked, surprised, at the man, before shuffling into the rounded “room” as meekly as a chastised schoolboy.

Already bowed down, it was a small effort to get my rear to reach the ground upon which I sat down as quickly and with as much dignity as I could muster in such an unprecedented situation. Placing my hat carefully close-by, I regarded the fellow sat opposite me as he peevishly poured tea into a pair of chipped but antiquated china cups, sat upon a similar pair of fussy saucers which I was sure would be perfectly at home in the cabinet of a darling old woman.

He finished his pouring delicately, and with all the grace of a portly old man, shoved my own saucer-and-cup over to my side of the table, spilling a few drops on its way. Placing the teapot, and its cosy, to one side, he picked up his own china cup and sipped, delicately, at the liquid within, a single digit sticking out to the side as he wrinkled his nose in concentration.

I was full of curiosity about this strange man, clad as he was in a hunting weskit, a jersey decorated with those diamond patterns so often found in old uncles, and a single, quivering monocle, which sat precariously balanced in his right eye socket, but I felt reluctant to express my desire for knowledge until he had drank his fill of the tea.

And anyway, he seemed a little formidable, and certainly not a man to cross; so I picked up my own delicate china cup and tasted, albeit warily, the amber liquid inside.

Wrinkling my nose at the lack of milk, for I had always been one to “ruin” a good tea with far too much milk, in my mother’s eyes, I was mildly surprised to find that it didn’t taste as bad as I predicted. Indeed, it was almost palatable, and I finished off the rest of the brew with as much gusto as I could muster, knowing that the man’s eye lay upon me, regarding my reactions carefully.

“I’m sure you’re wondering why I summoned you down here, right lad?” He put down his cup, and took the monocle from his eye, removing a small cleaning rag from the topmost left pocket of his weskit and proceeding to polish the glass with the utmost care, all the while keeping an eye on me.

I found these simple actions to be quite disconcerting, to say the least, but I attempted to ignore my feelings and formulate some sort of conversationary answer.

“Aye, sirrah, ‘tis true, I was indeed wondering why I was summoned in such a way to this…” I paused, searching for a suitable description for the hole which I found myself in. “This delightfully characterful setting…” I trailed off, unsure of where he wished the conversation to go.

“Well boy,” He replied, shortly. “You’re a writer, aye?” I nodded my assent as he placed the well-polished monocle back in his eye socket, blinked once then sighed.
“To be truthful, we, and when I say we, I mean the members of the Eternal Cult of the Great Old Ones and Cthulhu, and myself, their, ah, go-between in the world of the public… Well, we dislike the area of study which you have taken upon yourself to, well, study, lad. You’re meddlin’ in deep hoodoo here, boy. It’s dangerous for sure. And so, I,” At this, he paused, smiled and tipped his violet bowler hat at me, “am the chosen acolyte through whom the news shall be relayed to yourself…” he straightened up, and cleared his throat pompously, no doubt readying himself for the final words he knew he must utter.

“If you don’t cease, desist and otherwise stop all research into the Great Old Ones, you’ll be killed.” A grim smile settled on his face at this, and my own eyes widened in shock.

“So I am to be blackmailed, sirrah?” I enquired, my anger righteous, but my tone of voice trembling somewhat.

“Of course you are, lad. Don’t poke your nose into places it don’t belong, eh? It’s as good a philosophy as any, I’d say. You want to ignore those dreams of yourn, carry on with whatever life you had before the twenty-eighth of February, and just forget that this meeting ever happened. In fact, it might be best if you forget those dreams too, eh?” He smiled in what I presumed he thought was the manner of a kindly old uncle, before standing up, tilting his bowler once more and shuffling off through a rounded doorway which I was sure wasn’t there before; leaving me sat alone and bewildered in the middle of a big hole in the ground.


I scratched my head and picked up my hat, wondering exactly why I was sat in the middle of a big hole in the ground, and why there was a little candle burning in the middle of what appeared to be a raised-up lump of earth, and also why my tongue felt like it had been pummelled by a cactus-wielding gnome.

Groggily, I stood upright, or at least, as upright as I could manage in the current situation. My head throbbed painfully as I staggered back out into the glaring sunshine, squinting in confusion at my watch, which appeared to now say that it was thirteen-hundred hours past two on the second of April.

Shaking my head in bewilderment, I jammed my hat back onto my somewhat dirt-coated head, and meandered my way back home, wondering exactly why I had vague memories of drinking tea in the house of a badger…


9th February 2007, 05:14 AM
Okay, my conclusion: the person who was next to you is weird. A badger sett??? I guess he/she was trying to be challenging... Anyway, given the very interesting material, you did a good job. I really liked the description of the badger sett, and it felt very realistic (not that I know what a badger sett looks like). I liked how you mixed description of the setting with actions, so although we get a good picture, it's not just a huge slab of detail. The situation is... interesting, but it still bugs me why they had to meet in a badger sett, lol. There's no real reason other than the guy's weird (and of course, the person next to you made you do it). I'm mixed regarding the ending, because although I like the last line, the ending seems so unsatisfying. But then again, there's not much you could have done about it without expanding it to a full-length fic.

Oh, and I like the two titles.

Weasel Overlord
9th February 2007, 06:41 AM
Yeaah, I was mixed about the ending too. I sat and redid it over and over again and even the one you see here I'm not satisfied with still. *glares at it menacingly*

I did enjoy the challenge of making the setting seem realistic, which I do think I managed to do at least a little bit, and yes, the guy who sat next to me in that particular class is VERY weird. He does this strange brand of ultra-confusing metaphysically writing that doesn't make sense, and jumps all over the place. It'd odd. BUT anyway. I reckon it worked particularly well in first person as well. That was one of the tasks, cos I people tend to stick with one p.o.v our tutor gave us all a different one for this story. So I prefer third, she made me write in first, although I think it works better for Theo's voice...I dunno.

But yay! A review! Thanks! ^_^

Lady Vulpix
17th February 2007, 08:46 AM
Nice descriptions. A bit excessive, maybe, but each of them on its own was good. It left me with the feeling of having waited a long time for nothing to happen, but it was an interesting wait nonetheless, and that may have been the effect you wanted to cause.