Please stay inside! Save lives by not going out! #covid19 #stayhome #stayathome

Whilst this is not a book related entry, I feel that it is a really important one. This will be short and sweet:

Please stay at home. There is no need for anyone to go out unless it is essential. Make sure that we keep all of our society healthy by not infecting others. The NHS have asked us to stay at home and my goodness surely we can manage that. We don’t want to overwhelm our health system and cost more lives that could be saved.

So please, stay safe and stay at home!

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Rod and Tod part 5 out now for free here! #books #scifi #fantasy #cloud #novel

The latest release is out! Rod and Tod is being serialised here on Nocterna Books. See what the two mischievous clouds are up to as they put other worlds in peril by creating and mutating new creatures.

Download the fifth part right here: Chapter 1 Part V Rod and Tod

The first, and all the other parts are available by clicking here.

 

Alternatively you can read it below:

Rod

Rod and Tod Chapter 1 – Crude Creations (Part IV)

Howard was the first to speak, flapping his pizza box mouth, “What now then guys, where shall we go?”

Eggo Maniac immediately showed Bruce the palm of his murky hand, indicating to the book to wait until he had spoken before interrupting. He was unsure as to whether Bruce had something to say, but he was not going to be interrupted this time. Bruce was not impressed by this gesture.

“Chaps, I think we have a slight conundrum on our hands. We have no home, save for this alley and I for one do not find it to my taste. Yet worry not, London is a thriving metropolis, home to much wonder and vast experiences. Surely we will find something to do if we just roam.”

“No way mate, think about the state of us. We don’t look like your normal, everyday humans do we? We need to hide away otherwise we’re gonna get locked up,” said Bruce.

Howard was the next who wished to intervene, but was rudely cut off by Eggo Maniac, who quickly raised his hand once more as a sign that he would speak and all others must listen, “Chaps, we are over-thinking things at present. We are fortunate that we are in Soho, a very colourful area, where nothing is out of place. We will fit in. Trust me.”

Before Howard could say anything, Eggo Maniac had marched out of the alley and onto Wardour Street. The general public had returned and the road was bustling with people wandering up and down, entering and exiting shops, whilst others packed the restaurants and coffee houses, all chatting the day away.

Eggo Maniac glanced left then right and as he did a number of people nonchalantly trotted past him, not batting an eyelid. He smirked.

“Come out Bruce, Howard. It’s perfectly fine.”

Bruce exited the alleyway. He did this quickly, possibly because he was keen to test out how nimble his new legs were.

Howard was far more reluctant. Creeping up to the edge he stuck his head around the wall. On the last occasion he had spoken, a horde of people had run away from him in horror. Perhaps he should test the water.

“Eggo Manaic I’m still unsure of this. Last time I spoke, everyone…”

“Are you speaking now Howard?”

“Well yes Eggo Maniac.” He stopped and reflected on this. He moved himself onto the pavement and his impressive physique was now in full view of the general public. He laughed, not just a tiny giggle though, but a roaring scream of amusement at the situation. He had known, although he did not fully understand why, that humans were peculiar creatures. This was serious confirmation of that fact. Why were they frightened of a talking pizza box, yet a hulking great Goliath of a body, made out of apple crumble, complete with a pizza box head and green eyes that popped out of the top was absolutely fine.

“People are strange,” said Howard.

“Indeed they are Howard, indeed they are. It’s just like the song that bears the same name,” said Eggo Maniac, “Well shall we do the off then chaps?”

Both waved at the walking egg and almost skipped down the road in delight. The trouble was, none of them knew their destination.

 

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Rod and Tod part 4 out now for free here! #books #scifi #fantasy #cloud

The latest release is out! Rod and Tod is being serialised here on Nocterna Books. See what the two mischievous clouds are up to as they put other worlds in peril by creating and mutating new creatures.

Download the fourth part right here: Chapter 1 Part IV Rod and Tod

The first, and all the other parts are available by clicking here.

 

Alternatively you can read it below:

Rod

Rod and Tod Chapter 1 – Crude Creations (Part IV)

Eggo Maniac leaned forward to study the space where it had been. He glanced at the floor and could hear a tearing sound coming from within. He darted back, clearly alarmed by this. The volume of the tearing increased, as did the speed of it.

Silence finally ensued and out of nothing the book fell to the ground. The expansion commenced. The book grew to at least the size of a sixty-inch plasma television screen, but far thicker to accommodate the numerous pages within. It shivered briefly and moved on to stutter.

As it shook, it became clear what the tearing of pages was all about. On either side of the hardback blue cover there were two perfectly round holes. They were opposite each other and were positioned with such precision that if one was to look through a hole, then it would have been like looking straight through to the other side, with not even a jagged edge or miniscule torn bit of paper obstructing the view.

It gave the impression that these two holes had been professionally cut using some sort of expensive milling machine.

Quickly, the holes began to fill with some white liquid. There was far too much of it for the book to retain, so it leaked out of the sides. It did not drip onto the floor however. No, this was a controlled movement and it merely extended outwards, stretching like an arm on either side and this is what it became. The liquid at the end of the arms moulded itself into hands and, underneath the now constructed arms, two more perfectly aligned holes appeared. The same process started again, with white liquid oozing out from the sides.

This time it did drip onto the floor and moments later this encyclopaedia had a set of arms, hands, legs and feet, all in the same matching white colour.

“What about your face? Surely you require a face to see and eat amongst other things,” said Eggo Maniac.

The now limbed book laughed. “Ha ha, that’s coming mate, don’t you worry.”

Within moments a green eye sprouted on each cover above the arms and a red lipped mouth that stretched oddly across the fore-edge of the book materialised.

Eggo Maniac nodded politely in response and was about to ask one more question regarding why the book had suddenly taken on an accent, one that sounded Australian in fact, when he was rudely interrupted by the pizza box talking to the book. “What’s your name then?”

“Bruce, mate. I mean just Bruce. Bruce, but I was calling you mate.”

Eggo Maniac rolled his eyes in acceptance. The two then turned to inspect the only remaining member. Eggo Maniac examined the pizza box curiously. “Well I suppose we have had some strange transformations and we are due another. The floor is yours my friend.”

The lid of the box flapped and the pair who were watching could not decide whether it was the wind or not.

They did not have to wait long for their answer. Out of the now open box slid the remains of the apple crumble. The green of the apples had liquefied as it oozed onto the floor. Intermittent bits of streusel crust moved underneath the box and lifted it from the floor.

The apples and crumble merged together and continued to push the pizza box into the air. It was now at least six feet in height. The apple crumble acted as a pillar beneath it.

“He won’t move about very well like that,” said Bruce, who had opened himself up and was casually perusing his own pages, as he leant up against the walls of the alleyway.

“I don’t think he’s finished yet, chap,” said Eggo Maniac.

The pillar of crumble rumbled and shook. Gradually it formed arms and legs and a physique of which an athlete would have been proud. The pizza box was now sitting on top of the body of an Adonis, made out of apple crumble. It was green with bits of strudel mixed in. A pair of green eyes then sprang into life on the top part of the box. It flexed its new muscles briefly, showing off the odd bicep and pectoral before stopping and taking in a deep breath.

“My name is… Howard.”

“Needs work, mate, I reckon,” said Bruce.

“Now, now dear Bruce, if that is what he desires to be called then that is what we shall call him. Good to meet you Howard.”

“Thank you Eggo Maniac.”

The three then shook hands, which was initially difficult for Bruce due to the fact that he had firstly to close himself before performing the act. Then there was a pause, an extremely long pause. Indeed this pause seemed to last for an eternity. The quick realisation set in that, whilst they were now sentient life forms, they had no idea what to do?

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Rod and Tod part 3 out now for free here! #books #scifi #fantasy #cloud

The latest release is out! Rod and Tod is being serialised here on Nocterna Books. See what the two mischievous clouds are up to as they put other worlds in peril by creating and mutating new creatures.

Download the third part right here: Chapter 1 Part III Rod and Tod

The first, and all the other parts are available by clicking here.

 

Alternatively you can read it below:

Rod

Rod and Tod Chapter 1 – Crude Creations (Part III)

The sludge answered instantly, “I’ve been here for ages. I mean I don’t have any evidence to support this statement, but if one looks at my complexion and colour, it would suggest that I have been here for quite some time. To counter your question, pizza box, why is it that we can suddenly talk and why is it that we have no recollection of our past and that we have only been sentient beings for about ten minutes. Either that or we are incredibly shy because we were not speaking to one another earlier, or perhaps we are very rude for the same reason I just gave.”

“Well I haven’t been rude. I started talking as soon as I could,” said the encyclopaedia.

“I don’t doubt that for a second,” said the sludge.

The three entities were silent once more, although only fleetingly, as they were mulling over the sensation of being alive.

The pizza box lid flapped once more, “Shall we go then? I assume we will have to stick together, as the humans who occupy this world will not take kindly to our existence. I am of course basing this on the fact that my first meaningful memory is of a pair of people sprinting away from me in terror whilst I uttered my first words.”

“How do we even know what humans and this language are? It is like all this information has been shoved into our…” The encyclopaedia ceased momentarily before continuing, “Brains I suppose.”

The three chuckled at the prospect of having brains, but all considered the danger of some trickery at play here. Finally the sludge broke the laughter, “I propose we see what else we can do. If we can talk and think, some humans are incapable of that, then we attempt to move. Besides, I’m not keen on all this rain that keeps hammering down on us.”

The pizza box and encyclopaedia shook around indicating that they were nodding in as best a fashion as they could muster.

“I’d better go first then, as I suggested it. I don’t want to be seen as a wimp – how I even know about that term is a mystery.”

The pizza box and encyclopaedia grumbled at the sludge.

Slowly the goo began to lift off the ground and take shape. At first it resembled a dog, then an oversized ant, a giraffe and lastly the sludge settled for a humanoid form. It now resembled a plasticine figure that had been made in a primary school classroom. It had no features whatsoever, that was until the sludge used its hand to carve in some eyes, a straight nose and a line for a mouth.

“No. You look like something out of a cartoon show, make yourself cooler than that,” said the pizza box.

The sludge saluted and within seconds had grown a series of spikes on his back.

“Now you’re a walking hedgehog!”

“I haven’t finished yet, book. Take a gander at this.”

The body shuddered until the head popped back inside it. Eventually the entire figure transformed into the shape of an egg. Arms and legs popped out of each side, and strangely enough, some blue eyes appeared on the front of the egg, followed by some red lips.

“I had just enough colour to produce my eyes and lips. What do you think?”

“You’re a walking egg. What happened to the spikes, I thought they were cool?” said the pizza box.

“Oh I still have them. I shall merely use them when necessary. I happen to like my form. I’m an egg because I’m just so intellectual and clever and the spikes are my secret weapon that I may unleash in the blink of an eye.” With that the egg shot out the spikes from behind and then popped them back in. The egg/sludge was grinning wildly now, “From this moment forth I shall be referred to as ‘Eggo Maniac’. A name that will strike fear into the hearts of thousands.”

“Why do you want to strike fear into the hearts of thousands?” said the encyclopaedia.

“I don’t know, it just sounded good. Anyway you’re detracting from the point. Perhaps it is your turn to rise up and take your true form, old book.”

The pages of the encyclopaedia flicked back and forth as it decided what it would be. The book now hovered over the saturated paving stones and the pages continued to sway from side to side.

Eggo Maniac watched keenly, as did the pizza box. Eventually the pages stopped.

“What country are we in Eggo Maniac?”

“England, part of the United Kingdom.”

The encyclopaedia bent in half and then folded itself once more, then again and again until it was too tiny to be visible to the naked eye. It spoke briefly, which was mildly disturbing, as it was not currently visible.

“I’m afraid that’s not my homeland mates.”

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Rod and Part II available here now for free #books #scifi #fantasy #amreading

The latest release is out! Rod and Tod is being serialised here on Nocterna Books. See what the two mischievous clouds are up to as they put other worlds in peril by creating and mutating new creatures.

Download the second part right here: Chapter 1 Part II Rod and Tod

The first, and all the other parts are available by clicking here.

 

Alternatively you can read it below:

Rod

Rod and Tod Chapter 1 – Crude Creations (Part II)

Rod was now beaming with delight. Obscure but regular would be fine – a breeze even, but he must not get complacent with it.

Rod closed his eyes and Tod drifted back away from the golden rock to allow his friend the space to carry out the activity. The expression on Rod’s face did not alter and the same broad smile remained.

The rock jiggled a bit, then shot through the white shade of colour beneath them. Silence enveloped the area the two clouds occupied. Rod looked longingly at Tod, desperately seeking approval.

Tod gave him a menacing stare at first, which made Rod feel uneasy.

“Just kidding, you did great. I believe that is an earthling expression. Now let’s enjoy the ride.”

Rod laughed aloud and both clouds began to circle each other in what resembled some form of ritual dance. Both hollered, screamed, cackled and generally made as much noise as they possibly could. Undeniably the operation had already been deemed a solid success.

The rain continued to pour down over Central London. It was of course a typical summer’s day in the capital and whilst the temperature was not low, the rain was doing its best to saturate everything it could. It seemed to possess a mind of its own and was purposely harassing those who were dry. People scrambled with waterproofs, coats and hats, desperately seeking cover.

Oxford Street itself was still well populated and business was thriving. Stretching further into Soho left a little more to be desired. It had become a proverbial ghost town. There was not a soul in sight.

Tucked away down a small alley off Wardour Street lay a toppled-over wheelie bin, with its contents strewn around the confined area. A trail of ants was attempting to brave the hurricane like weather and to make its way inside a white pizza box searching for the treasure within.

Just beside this lay an encyclopaedia. The page was open on a definition of the mainland of the United Kingdom. Adjacent to the encyclopaedia and resting against it, was a pile of what could only be described as green sludge. It was not a clear or bright green, but rather a mishmash of various colours that had all been mixed together. It was not unlike the appearance of plasticine after everyone has had a turn and all the colours have gone and merged into one dark, murky-green colour.

One ant moved towards a small gap in the pizza box but was quickly blown away by a voice. “These ants are ruining my rest. I don’t have any slices left. Go away.”

“Sssshhhhh. The last lot of people who heard you sprinted away from us. You need to be quiet,” said the encyclopaedia.

The sludge was fast to comment on this, “Calm down. It’s not as if those people didn’t have a choice. They could have carried on about their business as normal. What’s with the ants? They are attracted to you, or to your interior I should say.”

The pizza box sighed and blew away a couple of ants that had become far too intrusive. “It’s not me they want, it’s what’s inside me.”

“Old pizza I assume?” said the encyclopaedia.

“No it is not pizza scraps. It’s some old apple crumble. My guess is that the people who ordered me could not finish their dessert and simply dumped it on me.”

The group was fine with this perfectly logical explanation, but only momentarily. The sludge was the first to speak and one could easily sense the scepticism in his voice.

“Wait a minute, what do you mean by guess? Why don’t you know?”

The pizza box pondered on this and if he possessed a hand he would surely have clutched his chin to portray his train of thought. He did not have a clue of course, which naturally led to the next line of enquiry, this time coming from the encyclopaedia.

“You don’t know do you? Come to think of it, I’m not entirely sure how I got here either?”

“You’re out of date,” said the sludge, “It says so on the cover that is flapping at me. You’re a 2014 encyclopaedia, hence your now former owner probably purchased a new one and threw you away. It’s a simple deduction really.”

Both the pizza box and downtrodden book now focussed on the murky sludge.

“Okay then, that would make sense regarding our knowledgeable friend over here, so I suppose there is only one important question left. How did you get here?”

 

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Rod and Tod Chapter 1 Part I available for free download now! #books #scifi #fantasy #free

Nocterna Books

Yes you read it correctly. Rod and Tod is being serialised here on Nocterna Books. See what the two mischievous clouds are up to as they put other worlds in peril by creating and mutating new creatures.

Download the first part right here: Chapter 1 Part I Rod and Tod

Alternatively you can read it below:

RodRod and Tod Chapter 1 – Crude Creations (Part I)

“What do you make of it, Rod?”

“Very little if I’m being totally honest, Tod.” Tod grimaced slightly before he continued, “It’s a weird looking planet, isn’t it Rod?”

“Yes Tod and I suppose it is a perfect place to relieve our boredom for the moment.”

Tod’s facial expression slowly morphed into a grin. He had a massive face, you see, being a purple cloud; no legs, just a perfectly bouncy, soft as a cushion, cloud. Actually he resented the last part. If anyone…

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