Hello, my name is Pete Peru. I am the co-author of “The Reeking Hegs”. I wrote it in collaboration with my writing partner and friend, Lord Tupelo. The story of the writing of TRH is a story in itself. It all began way back in 1987! Tupelo and I shared a cottage in Cubbington, a village on the outskirts of Leamington Spa in the U.K. We often got together in the evenings in Tupelo’s kitchen where we’d generally watch a bit of something on his tiny TV, drink a few beers and chew the cud. Up there he also had an old portable typewriter and one night, I don’t recall who initiated the fun, one of us started to tap out some sentences on the typewriter in a totally impropmtu manner. That done, the machine was passed across the table and the other carried on either responding to the prompt or going off at a maybe completely unrelated tangent. In this way we completed the first page or two of what was to evolve in The Reeking Hegs. Although sections of TRH were written in many different locations and more often than not upon anything that came to hand; scraps of paper, the inside of a cereals box…whatever, we stuck to that original method of writing a piece and then handing it over to the other to continue throughout. We both enjoyed the strange twists and turns this method produced in the narrative. We both enjoyed feeding of the other’s imagination. We were both awed at how, seemingly out of absolutely nothing, by some weird magic, the entire story grew, developed, mutated and took over our lives! That process was deemed “finished” in 1992, by which time I had moved to Spain. I lost contact with Tupelo and my copy of the manuscript sat in a box that somehow survived the turmoils and upheavals in my life over the next 25 years. In 2017 I decided to, once and for all, transcribe the manuscript version onto my word processor – I’d started doing this twice before but had never got it completed. This time I stuck to it and got it done. Having done that I thought I might as well present it for publication and was overjoyed when Montag Press of San Francisco came through with an offer to publish. However, I then faced the task of finding Lord Tupelo who I’d not heard of since 1992! Knowing the man I knew he would not be found on “social media” but as luck would have it I turned up another friend from Cubbington days, got in touch and was told that he and Tupelo met every Thursday for a game of table-tennis! Thus was the Peru-Tupelo axis re-established and in July 2020 The Reeking Hegs appeared in print.
Featuring, From the cast of The Reeking Hegs: The one and only Ray and his Nephew!
Ray and his Nephew were trappers by trade, their office located on the outskirts of Ugzcyk, capital city of Solid King Solid Fume III. Having nothing much more than time to kill they agreed to take part in the search for The Reeking Hegs – or, more specifically, to locate and trap Mr.Yick; reputedly the only person alive or dead thereabouts who knew how to get them there.
Trappers were Ray and his nephew. It was with their assistance I resolved to ensnare Yick back into the plot so that he would lead me to the Hegs unwittingly. Yick? Yes, the rumour was he was back in the rooting, living out in the tundra, cryo-static in a grotto.The Reeking Hegs, Canto 5
Their quest takes them deep into the frozen hinterlands of Fume’s kingdom. A place fit only for hardy folk. Foolhardy, perhaps, if your complement of legs was limited to but two. Ray and his nephew – well, probably just Ray – considered the accomplishment of this task would forever raise their names above and beyond the hoi-polloi of everyday trappers. His nephew was mostly engaged in naked combats with canines and/or cephalopods over his discarded furs.
Out in those there parts habitation was scarce. The ice ridges penetrated the dwarf pines and sedges. Among frozen creeks and ravines progress was slow. They eventually came upon a remote scarred landscape brimming rimy desolation and hardy mosquitos.The Reeking Hegs, Canto 5
Their big lead comes after a chance encounter with a local yokel and Towser his pet husky. Initially productive of nothing more more noteworthy than a severe beating for Ray, the yokel mistaking him for a spook out for a bit of soul-stealing, things look up as Ray passes out. Having resolved the spook issue, the yokel leads the trappers to a remote graveyard. There , in the corner, they find Yick’s tombstone and immediately begin to assemble their trapping apparatus, observed by the yokel, Towser, The Reverend Fullalov, a flock of nuns and Yick’s ma.
What happens in the graveyard is one of the top-hoorific passages of The Reeking Hegs.
Ray fought off a surge of leeches from his trench. He didn’t recall having anything like so much trouble on his last great trapping adventure, snaring a mighty grizzly five igloos high by the name of Ho Nazareth. The nuns cackled again, lightning flashed, and once more a ponderous tolling rang out from the bell tower at the centre of the Bog forsaken graveyard. Towser howled and the earth and leeches in Yick’s grave shuddered.Whether they failed or not is a moot point, easily enough resolved. Let no more be said than their subsequent appearance in the narrative takes place on the studio floor of ‘Bucks Full House’, a highly by lovers of mayhem and gore rated TV quiz-show. Sadly, they distinguished themselves for causing much confusion around the fishing-hole and for the unexpected revelation of the nephew’s noble lineage!: The Reeking Hegs, canto 5
FUME: And Ray’s nephew is herewith knighted Duke of Disko Bay. Fetch me my trusted cleaver…The Reeking Hegs, Canto 9
So folks, there in brief be the part taken by Ray and his nephew in the deepest mystery of all times. THE REEKING HEGS. Published by Montag Press, S.F.Ca, in 2020. Avail yourself of a copy – paperback, ebook and/or audiobook – from any Amazone outlet.
The year: 1990. I had been living in Catalonia (Spain to the ignorant) for 8 months. Easter had arisen. Lord Tupelo, expecting a searing heat situation, arrived for his first visit to my humble dwelling sporting his boar-hide shorts and fancy parasol. This visit had been carefully timed to coincide with my holiday from work days. Our plan was to write as much new material as we could for The Reeking Hegs and also to revise pages previously written. It was during this stay that quite a large part of what was to become Canto 9 (The Full House) materialised out of the ether and was set in stone, as they say. In truth, even as I write this it comes to me that His Lordship had actually arrived a few days before my Easter break began. I recall returning home one evening to find him in the most excellent spirits. It transpired that earlier during the day he had ventured out into the village and discovered the local “Body Gas” shop : Spanish Bodegas (Bo-DAY-gaz). He described to me in terms of great wonderment and delight how he had ventured inside and been gratified to find the place crammed to the rafters with barrel upon barrel of fvarihued wines. To make the discovery even more perfect, said wines were on sale at ridiculously low prices. Needless to say, Tupelo had seen fit to take advantage of such tremendous good fortune and had bought several litres of tinto (red). The tinto provided all the body gas we needed to focus our minds on the proceedings in and around Bucks Full House.
I now must needs backtrack in time a little.
Arriving, as I had, alone and friendless in the capital city of Catalonia the previous Autumn, I had felt the need of making some acquaintances to enliven what might otherwise be long days and longer nights. Some call it chance, others – A Mr.D.Vader comes to mind, prefer to see it as destiny. What happened was one day I saw a message glued to a streetlight. In short, it read, in english; “Do you speak english? Do you want to make money? Call this number…” I ticked all the requirements boxes and duly telephoned the number given (Streetside callbox. No mobiles at that time) I was invited to interview the following day. At the appointed time, all excitement, I went along to the address I’d been given. To say I was surprised at what I found there would be an understatement. There were a lot of people milling around in a large hall at one end of which was a raised dais. On asking around I discovered that all of them had been invited to this “interview” but nobody knew anything more than that. I sat and waited. As it happened, a young lady sat down in the seat next to mine and we struck up a conversation. During this conversation I revealed to her that I was very new in town, was currently lodging in a pensión in the not so salubrious Plaça Reial and was keen to move on and out. As chance or destiny would have it, she exclaimed that she was renting a big apartment in a swank area and needed somebody to share the space and the rent. Was I interested? (The job was a diet product pyramid sales type scam. We were scandalised and left early.)
A day or two later I moved into the apartment on the Paseig Sant Joan with Elisa. She was a New Yorker, had been in Barcelona for a while and had quite a circle of friends to whom I was duly introduced as “Pete Pru”.
One of these friends was a Kanuck, name of Nick. A funny guy, very much the earnest student of fine literature of oriental provenance. He and I became buddies. Anyway, my stay at Elisa’s turned out to be a very short one. Maybe a week after I’d moved in I got a phone call from a man offering me a job with accommodation included, an offer I accepted and so, because of that, the existence of the Abbey of Sant Ponç, an 11th century abbey located near the village I now resided in, entered my awareness. The threads of this story tie together now, because it was through Nick that I was made aware of the existence of Wild Turkey and thus I have drawn together all the parts of this jigsaw and am ready to get to the ick of the gristle.
The job I’d been offered was in a village about 15 miles from Barcelona. Nick came to my place with a friend, Adam, also Canadian, who styled himself a “smell artist”. That was fine with me and Tupelo. Fine too, if not finer, Adam had with him two nice ladies. They were all agog with excitement as the plan was to head out to Sant Ponç ( A couple of miles away up in the hills that surrounded the village), light a fire, eat chorizo and cheese, pass the Wild Turkey around and see what happened. And that is what we did. My personal memories of the evening are limited to the initial proceedings; the gathering wood, the getting the fire going, the sitting around taking shots from the bottle.
I woke up feeling extremely rot-gutted and ill. To my surprise I was in my bed in my apartment. I had no idea how I’d got there. Tupelo, sprawled across the sofa, had gone a ghastly verdigris around the gills. The last thing I remembered from the Turkey shooting was encouraging one of the girls in her artistic jump the fire activity.
To enjoy the unique work of dedicated authors Pete Peru and Lord Tupelo get yourself a one-click ride to ANY Amazone outlet where you can regale yourself of a copy of The Reeking Hegs – paperback, ebook and audiobook available.
From Rooters on the hot-spot co-respondent Lawd Tulepo. Message reads:
CHURCH OF BONGO PLANS “BIG BANG” FOR HS2: The first high-speed train to run the new HS2 line from London to Birmingham will be met by a giant drum, a Church of Bongo press release claimed today. As the train speeds at 250mph through the remnants of Cubbyhole Woods, bulldozed earlier this year, passengers will find themselves participating in what Church of Bongo are calling “The Big Bang.”
RUINS OF THE TEMPLE The sturdy giant drum constructed mainly with reinforced, upcycled bamboo will be positioned on the track directly over spot marking the site of the hallowed ruins of the Temple of Bongo. The emplacement mountings will require expert calculations to allow the train, effectively acting as a drumstick, to rebound away safely. A dedicated team of quantum percussionists are working round the clock and are 100% confident of a resounding result. Grandstands, pews and viewing platforms will be constructed nearby. Ticketing and VIP packages will be announced when the HS2 timetable is known.
MONSTER DRUM: Although the first train is not due until 2028, a well-known Belfast shipyard has already been contracted to build the monster drum, which is expected to measure at least five metres in diameter and weigh several tonnes. It is planned to sail the completed drum from Belfast to Bristol on a fleet of specially commissioned coracles. From there it will be hauled up the rivers Avon and Leam as far as Offchurch, where the HS2 line passes overhead. It is expected that a simple trolley-mounted hoisting device based on wheels and levers will help complete the drum’s journey to its emplacement, less than a mile away.
WHOOPJAMBOREEHOO: Many Church of Bongo followers have been saddened to see the destruction of Cubbyhole Woods and the desecration of the Temple. But with today’s announcement the Church offers a ray of hope, and a special day of entertainment and whoopjamboreehoo to look forward to. As CofB regulars say: Be there or be somewhere else! Bring a drum!
This news brought to you courtesy of The Reeking Hegs and Syndicated Highlights International Tabloids (S.H.I.T)Inc.
Pete Peru and Lord Tupelo, The Reeking Hegs co-authors and co-founding membranes of the Church of Bongo take the salute.
The Reeking Hegs is a profoundly wonderful text of the provoko-fictitious kind, published by Montag Press of San Fran Ca. no less fame and available in paperback, ebook and audiobook form from any Amazone franchise or outlet.
Devotees and fans of The Reeking Hegs will, I am sure, have a good idea of the answer to the above question.
Step forward another of our shimmering constellation of characters in the strong female characters category – Mammadamn Spuloperov! Famed throughout Ugzcyk for her therapeutic healing and Carnomancing prowess, the Mammadamn features in settings so varied as to include her appearances as TV Hostess and Star witness in the trial of the Century. Passage introducing the Mammadamn herself in Canto 1 follows:
‘The next day we set sail ‘neath a blackly sky on Yick’s sloop, the Blood Soaked Noose. It was to be a cruise of mind-bending horror. Fortunately, I spent most of the time in Mammadamn Spuloperov’s sea chest undergoing psycho cream bliss therapy, you understand.’
This is possibly the first but sure isn’t the last encounter between the plucky narrator and herself. As he becomes progressively ever more and more deeply sucked into the quagmire of the mystery and horror of The Reeking Hegs, Private Investigator Seighton once again feels the need to consult with the Mammadamn in Canto 5:
‘I decided to consult with Mammadamn Spuloperov.
“Mammadamn Spuloperov invites you in.”
“No, thank you. I couldn’t. Really. What a lovely kiosk you have here!”
“I call it…my tea-chest.”
“Tea! Super. Love a cup!”
“I do not serve tea, you piss fly!”
“What! What do you serve then?”
Other members of The Reeking Heg’s notable collection of notables are also drawn irresistibly to her. Here be an account of Little Knowing What’s experience:
“Once he went on a Bank Holiday weekend excursion with Mammadamn Spuloperov. He returned confused and breathless, stumbling across the tundra until he eventually fell in with a company of block haulers engaged on the contract of a lifetime.”
The Mammadamn’s final show-stopping appearance in The Reeking Hegs takes place in Canto 12: The Trial. Before the excerpt bear with me as I attempt to summarise the scene. In Courtroom 5 Seighton is on trial for treason, or, put another way, for his life. The prosecutor, Mrs.Bayak, has called forth a new witness to the stand – Professor Enid Subótika. To his astoundment, Seighton watches as, instead of the venerable professor, the Mammadamn makes a spectacular entrance to the courtroom. It seems everyone present save himself is delighted.
” She sopranoed extravagantly, bursting forth from the box. Everyone drew in a breath at the sight of her galvanized tutu and the Black Feg Mamba that hissed at her tongue-forking reply. Mrs.Bayak capsized, half the jury fainted and Judge Whynot, unable to stop himself, ejaculated. The sweating gnomes sweated even more and the team of chests began to warp.”
- Will the defendant survive her damnatory testimony?
- Is the Mammadamn to be exposed as an imposter?
- Just exactly how much can a gnome sweat?
- Friends, you can discover the answers to these and many other questions by simply availing yourself of a copy of The Reeking Hegs. Obtainable in paperback, ebook and audiobook form from each and every Amazone outlet. Here are just 2 examples
- Etc &tc
Thank you for reading this far. Please share the blog with your friends and foes. Feel free if the need takes you to also comment. This place needs more COMMENTARY!! Have a pity for my faith in this project.
My friends, in the year 17P.H.(Pre-Hegs publication) I began to share the text of The Reeking Hegs as it then was on a Forum called Flowing Quills. The forum was dedicated mostly to poetry, but also included a place for short stories. fancying myself as a budding laureate I used to frequent the forum and post stuff old and new there. As the earth wobbled along on another 365 1/4 day spin around our local star I began to branch out in my contributions, delighting my fellow travellers with drawings, photos and, eventually, short stories. As The Reeking Hegs is most certainly not a short stroy, I decided to present it in serialised form.
Sadly, like most of those late 20th-early 21stC forums, the flow has dried up at the Quills. Nobody posts there any more, but if you interested you can still check out the website and the various forums and contributors : https://www.tapatalk.com/groups/thegoldenquill/celebrated-community-members-f91/
I am among the celebrated members, listed under my name: Pete Peru.
I posted the serial episodes under the title “Death in Ugzcyk”, and here’s #1
Jun 06, 2003#1
My name is Seighton. Nicky Seighton. An altogether uncommon name in Ugzcyk. My trade an altogether uncommon occupation. I had uncovered some vile misdeeds in my time, but none that held a tusk to what was about to unfold as the chase unlaced and I plunged into a below zero inferno of false intestine readings, unlicenced fishing-hole drilling and assassination.
It was a cold June, the dead month, day. Ugzcyk lay grey and smoky, silent and dull within the texture of a frozen velveteen undergarment. The phone split the silence. Gina Lorrabitchiner, my secretary, called to me. It was Dogsson, the District Commisioner. I lodged an icicle in my throat. Cool was the watchword where Dogsson was concerned.
“Zatiu”? He bawled.
“Seighton speaking”, I replied calmly.
“Srongwidja? Sounslikeyagorriceinyermowf, harharhhar! Now, shurrupanlissenup!Theresumfinsickbrewinintownanitaintsluice,
“Just give me the details”, I butted in rigidly.
I already knew I had no other choice than to accept the case.
In the case of appetite whetted, here’s a direct link to my archive!
Having got this far I’d say it’s time to Go with the Flow, like a speeding meatball to Amazone where you can avail yourself of a copy of The Reeking Hegs in Pback, Ebook and/or Audiobook form
LORD TUPELO’S OLYMPIC DIARY
Urgent from our A.P./Rooters correspondent:
In May 2021 Lord Tupelo was unexpectedly hospitalised, with his skin. He emerged three days later on prescribed steroids, and straight away started making appropriate plans.
Diary entries follow:
3rd June. I suppose I’ve done quite well to reach the age of 64 before having to spend a night or 3 in hospital. Back home now and on steroids, getting ready to compete in the Tokyo Olympics next month.
5th June. Training in The New Inn, Doom Bar. A good internal workout.
8th June. The Reeking Hegs is getting some great reviews, but I don’t Know about sales. I suppose in the unlikely event that the Hegs does not become a huge global success, with the accompanying much-needed revenue, my secondary concern is to get the physical paperback distributed as far and wide as possible, so that in 100 years a copy may still exist somewhere, to be found by a climate ravaged survivor who might be amazed and delighted all over again. (Probably not that delighted unless he’s short of loo roll. Which he will be of course, as we found out last year.)
14th June. Steroids now finished, antibodies too, I await bated to see if my new improved bod can sustain. Fingers still aren’t good, a life of crime beckons (no fingerprints.)
16th June. Pete Peru is trying to book us onto Danny La Rupaul’s show as “hot new drag authors.”
17th June. Training in The White Hart, Ufton. Great views of the HS2 folly cleaving through the landscape.
20th June. A hail of skin flakes brush off my hands continually as a second set of steroids kick in, hopefully avoiding another hospital stay. I suffered a relapse without them. Tokyo 2020 is still on!
22nd June. I’m getting reports from the Yorkshire moors of an ancient village once named Hege-Hoton, later becoming Hoton under Heg, apparently meaning “the burial ground near the hollow.” Leaving me unclear whether Heg means hollow or burial ground. Either way I think we can make it work.
23rd June. I was once asked if Hegs meant “hollow eggs”, which suits the evolutionary stasis theme very well. (“Nothing has changed in 100,000 years!” – Little Knowing What, p23.)
25th June. Steroids are eliminating my body hair. This can only be an advantage in the upcoming Olympic events where aerodynamics are important. Unable to compete in nimble finger contests, tiddlywinks is out, card games too. Olympic needlework would be impossible, Subbuteo also. But I’ll be entering in everything else.
26th June. Pete Peru emails: With my new aerodynamic bod I should enter the Greek wrestling, or the ski jump.
27th June. As part of my training regime last night I enjoyed the full 32 mins “Power Of Lard.” Tonight I’ve lined up the Tooth’s “Ceremony”, good strong stuff for a few lunges.
1st July. My fingers are bad again and strange leg pains out of nowhere mean I’ll probably have to strike more events from my Olympic schedule. Sprinting is definitely out. Hobbling more like. Feeling a bit frail for the Greek wrestling but ski-jumping, yes! I assume they’ll run it straight down the side of Mt Fuji?
14th July. Pete Peru phones with “Happy Anniversary!” The Hegs was published a year ago, on Bastille Day. We should try to get Les Hegs Fumisant into France, with their strong literary history of Dada delirium and the absurd.
19th July. Boris’s “Freedom Day” is upon us but there is great uncertainty across the land, as Covid cases rise again.
20th July. Training in The Red Lion, Hunningham, scene of a previous sporting triumph some years ago when I beat the entire pool team one after another, as they assembled for a match.
21st July. Getting ready now for my flight to Tokyo for the Opening Ceremony. Watch out for me hobbling the Olympic Torch up to the Olympic Brazier, shedding skin flakes at every step, which ignite in the flames and float away to burn down all their paper houses. O the carnage…
28th July. I have a date tonight in the Olympic village pub with Simone Biles. Because of Covid we have to drink at parallel bars, at least I think that’s what she said.
2nd Aug. Here in Tokyo it’s been mostly swimming races and BMX so far. As a non-swimmer I never had a chance, and in BMX my 1960’s Triumph Traffic-Master was at a disadvantage from the very first jump. Following our date in the Parallel Bars, Simone Biles has been inspired to copy my tactic of withdrawing from most events. But there’s still time for a big finish.
3rd Aug. Pete Peru suggests I might win the gold medal for Most Withdrawals. I could swear I saw him at the skateboarding arena yesterday, under a big hat, posing as a 46 year old South African, the oldest contestant in the event.
9th Aug. Following the disaster at yesterday’s Olympics Closing Ceremony, the following note was released to the press this morning, having been recovered from one of the bodies.
A.P./Rooters Newsflash update direct from Parallel Bars:
It is believed that the writer of the note was an imposter at the Games, identified as an ageing worst-selling author from Warwickshire, England, on steroids. His Majesty The Emperor is reported to be out of danger and in a stable condition.
It is unclear whom the note is addressed to. A mighty portent. It reads:
“Here at the summit the snow is crisp and the air is bitterly cold, but the views are spectacular. And so my part in this grand finale of the closing ceremony is about to begin. I decided to keep my trusty Traffic-Master and I’m joined by Simone Biles on the horse and the Latvian Beach Volleyball team in a canoe, shivering in their beachwear.
At a signal, we set off together. Mt Fuji’s slopes are very steep at this point, more than 45 degrees, but I’m told they level out a bit after a mile or so. Through the cloud cover we accelerate at phenomenal speed, eventually hitting the giant artificial ramp supported by thousands of derelict Nissan Bluebirds. This should send us on a trajectory of nearly five miles over the city centre directly into the Olympic Stadium to land in the VIP box right next to the Emperor.
At least that’s the idea. I’m feeling calm, but itchy.
OK Biles, vamonos!”
Here you will be able to read select moments lifted from the pages of The Reeking Hegs. Prepare yourself! https://www.amazon.com/Reeking-Hegs-Pete-Peru-ebook/dp/B08CZLKN97/ref=sr_1_1?dchild=1&keywords=The+Reeking+Hegs&qid=1628689102&sr=8-1
Seighton’s the name – but just what is his game?
Seighton is perhaps the only character to figure in almost every Canto of The Reeking Hegs (no sign of him in Canto 9), and is credited with being the narrator most of the time. Billed from the start as a private investigator, his negligible investigative powers are put to the test early on and then put to bed for the most part. Here, from the “Prequel” I offer exhibit#77 providing evidence for that extravagant, some might consider slanderous, claim:
I knelt over the stiffly sprawled corpse and picked up the tusk with some bar tongs. I sniffed the dregs…it had been poison, alright. The shrivelling odour of raw plate weed made me rush suspiciously out into the street. I offered several innocent bystanders a sip from the tusk, but all refused with vile imprecations on getting a whiff of the poison. That death-soaked stink was unmistakable…so, why had she taken the mortal swig? I couldn’t rule suicide out but suspected foul play.
As the story progresses we learn that detection is, at best, a sideline for Seighton. In reality he is driven by ambitions of an entirely different nature. For one, he fancies himself as a to be renowned poet. For another, he has his eagle eye fixed on the fortune of Aspidisteria, the daughter of the fabulously wealthy Kiosk Magnate. No spoilers permitted, so I will hold back from revealing if he manages to attain both the laureateship and the hand of the fair Aspid, gets one but not the other, or fails entirely and ends up as nothing more than the patsy.
Be all that as it may, Seighton devotes much time and energy to his main appointed task: to discover the whereabouts of The Reeking Hegs. It is his attempts to fulfil this purpose that lead him into one and another life-threatening situation variously situated on the Rictus Scale between levels 8. Instances of his teeth-skinning scrapes with the grim reaper are numerous – Mr.Yick, The Polar Bear, The King’s Thing all at one point or another show up in his vicinity with evil in tent. Not to mention the fact that he is put on trial for his very life (Canto 12).
Friends, there is a brain-twisting secret that Seighton has kept to himself through all this. A secret he guards until the very end is nigh and yay heaving over the horizon. I am not going to be the person forever maligned as he who spilled the beans, however. For the stinking mists to be lifted all you need is your very own copy of the 21st century’s most unparalleled literary roller-coaster: The Reeking Hegs – easily obtained from any Amazon; Amazon.com, Amazon UK, Amazon es…the list goes on but I feel sure you follow my drift. Just in case you have no clue as to that to which I refer, here’s an example of a link.
An arctic hare with frozen whiskers hides between snow drifts. Is this a metaphor?
Until next time!
Friends, the subject of today’s HEGBITE is rambling archivist and curator of arctic curios, Dr. J. Sidney Góngolphin. Let’s hear it for the good doctor, folks.
Góngolphin is the nearest thing to a Hegs enthusiast that you will find among the heroes, villains and plain ordinary when not ornery customers that make up the mittitur characterum of the world’s first arctic gothic horror – known to you and I as The Reeking Hegs. Góngolphin first shows up in Canto 8.
Having survived the great train disaster ( Canto 7) and a long and perilous journey as he follows the iron road alone across the ice desert our narrator finds himself on the banks of a sluggish stream. Across the way he espies a group of workers. In deed, they are the work gang detailed to bridge the river and so complete the railway. Seighton, for it is he, spends the night with them and next day continues his journey on a river ferry-boat bound, eventually, for Ugzcyk. On board he meets none other than Dr.J.Sidney Góngolphin.
” Dr. Góngolphin turned out to be a most amusing travelling companion. His erudition on all aspects of The Hegs was a joy to listen to. And with his unshakeable conviction that we were all living victims of an eternal rooting conspiracy, he proved a veritable mine of disinformation and falsehood. Everything I know today I owe to him.”
The doctor lengthily appraises Seighton of the matchless wealth of his Heg-related collection of archives and artifacts, but then events take a more sinister turn.
At Góngolphin’s behest the ferry makes a detour and then stops at what he calls an “ice-grotto”. But this is not any old ice grotto. This one contains and conceals something awe-inducingly diablongi!
“The day starts normally, full of hope. All of a sudden the world is broken into a multitude of pieces impossible to reassemble. Stepping into the cavern we were afflicted by a horrendous sight…a huge iceblock with a raging man frozen inside. Straight away I saw that it was Yick. It was too uncanny, too unreal, but might it just might…be true? It was. I went up close to study the face, closer than I had ever dared…The doctor took various measurements and paced about the ice chamber, scribbling in his notebook.”
Seemingly only a minor part of the jigsaw plot, the Doctor stuns one and all by reappearing in Canto 12, The Trial, as a witness for the prosecution. Here regard with full solemnity an extract from the trial mimeograph.
“And this was the real reason for the peoples’ excitement…?”
“No, no. The real reason was that Fume had invited Atiqtalik to be his Best Mammy Moose, and she was to ride in the King’s very own sled to the Lodge. All of Ugzcyk was agog with the news.”
“Agog and covered in something, I believe, Doctor.”
“Bunting. Yes bunting. I clearly recall that some of the heraldic devices on the Royal penantry were incorrect.”
“And that was the day Aspidisteria disappeared?” enquired the head.
“No, that was the night before!”
Want to know more? Wetted has been the whistle of curiosity? Fear not, friends, for thanks to the untiring dedication to literary excellence of Jeff B. and his cohort of fanatical librarians you can get yourself a copy of The Reeking Hegs in paperback, Ebook and/or audiobook from ANY Amazon in this here world. Here’s a sample link:
Subtitle: 208:The creative crucible
208 was the house number. The house in question was a building, some called it a cottage, that had seen better days located on the outskirts of a village which lay just beyond the outskirts of Leamington Spa in Warwickshire, England.
208 had probably been home to the owners of the woodyard next door at one time. The woodyard was still in operation at that time and the not unpleasant smell of sawdust and wood chips filled the air – but the owners didn’t live at 208 anymore. Instead they rented the house out and my part on the story of the how of The Hegs begins when I moved in downstairs. My accommodations consisted of a front room, a bedroom, a bathroom/W.C. and a kitchen which gave onto a backyard with a disused outhouse and the enormous greenly painted corrugated iron wall of the woodyard’s wood-storage shed. It all had a certain piquant, old-worldly charm but was definitely run-down if not seedy. I wasn’t bothered about any of that. In fact, it suited me down to the ground.
Upstairs at 208 he who I came to know to be Lord Tupelo was in residence. It was mostly from his kitchen, directly above mine, that the affairs of his Brewing and Banking operations were conducted if not controlled. The other tenant upstairs was Mr.Zloti, an artist of the musical kind. Gifted guitarist and drummer, he played in three bands at that time though not at the same time. One of them, Jackdaw with Crowbar, were top of the local pile of groups, had been on John Peel’s radio programme twice and released several albums on Ron Johnson Records. Mr.Zloti, in fact, rarely slept at 208 having converted one of his rooms into a rehearsal space for bands and the other into a recording studio.
That upstairs at 208 was the creative crucible. The inspiration of a lot of incredible music, birthplace of The Church of Bongo, the newly invented sport of Bastardball and The Reeking Hegs.
Mr.Zloti, a sort of amiable piskyish chap with a goatee beard and a ready smile loved nothing better after a workday of drudgery recording a run-of-the-mill Heavy Metal outfit from Solihull than to get together with us in Lord Tupelo’s kitchen and sample the brewery’s latest batch of fine, hand-crafted beverages. Often these get togethers would turn into impromptu recording sessions in which experimentation with sound, word and rhythm was the norm rather than the exception. Lord Tupelo was also in a band, The Tupelo Bogmen. He was their vocalist and supplied the lyrics for their songs. Not long after moving in I joined up with the drummer from the Bogmen and a new friend, Yvelin, to form Live Evil, in which I mostly played bass.
By day I worked driving a taxi. By night experiment was the name of the game. At first musical experimentation was at the fore, but within a short space of time literary experimentation also became part of the recipe and it was those initial attempts at automatic writing which led Tupelo and I down into the garden of many forking paths that was to become our over-riding obsession and metamorphosed eventually into The Reeking Hegs.
Sadly the careers of The Tupelo Bogmen and Live Evil were transitory and little trace of them has survived the long journey through time. Similarly nothing remains now of 208 or our Bastardball court. The Church of Bongo dissolved, though its brief manifestations left an indelible mark on the spirits of all its devotees. Mr.Zloti and Jackdaw with Crowbar on the other hand continue to delight audiences with their brand of indie rock.
To that short but happy list of survivors I proudly add The Reeking Hegs and admonish all who have not already done so to avail themselves of a copy. At once and without delay while stocks last. In its own way it is a testament to 208.
If you feel the urge to go beyond your usual literary confines and explore a completely different world of words conjured from beyond Babel, try The Reeking Hegs: The world’s first arctic gothic horror. Apparently a private investigator is contracted to go forth and unravel the mystery of The Hegs – but dark forces are astir and in the world of The Hegs little is as it seems. Simultaneously a high celebration of linguistic morphology, a pun-lovers paradise, a wizened commentary on the human condition and a remarkable, uniquely sustained imaginative tour-de-force, The Reeking Hegs is unlike anything that you are likely to have read before.
You are now but a clik on the link away from becoming the proud owner of this one-of-a-kind literary event. (The link is to Amazon.com, but you can obtain a copy from any Amazon in the world)