No Good Deed

By Ewan Lawrie

Moffat the Magniloquent along the Mississippi

Monday, 8 March 2021

7 Weeks Since Publication.

Well, a lockdown launch proved to be as far from ideal as expected. Sales trickle in, although books do not trickle out, there being no open bookshops for them to trickle out of, after all.

Anyway, (Spoiler Alert) Moffat III is about 50,000 words in - roughly about half way. Don't know if it will be an Unbound Book. On the plus side, that would mean Mark Ecob would do the cover and the whole trilogy would have a uniform look and identity, on the minus side - well, crowd-funding, or Tubthumping - if you prefer. Also, there is of course, the time it takes to tubthump as well as the stress involved.

Anyway, here is an excerpt from Moffat III wherein Moffat takes a dump.

[Image was of a Victorian thunder-box from an auctioneer's website]


Logic dictated that although feeling was absent from a point just above my sternum, I was still breathing and therefore at least some parts of my body were functioning as they should. However I was still unable to lift so much as a finger, no matter how I flexed the muscles of my upper arm. Had I suffered some catastrophic apoplexy? If I had, no memory of it remained. Perhaps that was unsurprising, for I had encountered no-one who had survived such an attack for long. Yet, I still breathed three weeks thereafter, was able to speak, and save the paralysis itself, suffered only from hallucinatory episodes, easily explicable as mere dreams. Had my condition improved during the three weeks of coma vigil? I could not know, but I felt that I had more feeling that when I had first regained consciousness. I heartily wished someone might return to my cell that I might inquire of them whether I had improved or no.

Aesop’s fable is quite clear that the old man who summoned death was foolish. I too, should have been careful what I wished for. The woman, whom I had previously seen taking what comfort the commode in my cell offered for the purpose of a little respite in her vigilance over my own living relict, returned to torment me. A woman of some heft, her moustache filled my vision as she bent over my body, threw off the pitiful bedcover and positioned one meaty arm under my knees and placed the other behind my neck in an effort to support it. I was stationed with no great delicacy over the now open close stool, night shirt gathered to allow any necessary defæcation to take place. My ignominy was assuaged by the realisation that I had not performed that function already, whilst abed.

‘What is it you expect to happen?’ I croaked. ‘I can feel nothing.’

‘Perhah-ps the grevvity will help ye!’ was my attendant’s reply. As she held me upright whilst supporting my neck.

‘Surely one must eat for nature to take its course,’ I said.

‘Aye, and wha d’ye think has fed ye pablum for the last three weeks. No thon maskit strumpet, Sir!’

Pablum I may have eaten, but whatever my digestive system had done to it, I heartily wished that my olfactory organ had not remained in such fine working order. My Bilhah’s ministrations in matters lavatorial I felt no more than I had the recent activity in my fundament. It was plain that her treatment of me was rough from the rapid and forceful movements she made, before laying me once more upon the cot. I asked the attendant her name.

‘Florence.’ she answered, giving a gutteral laugh.

I would have laughed too, had I felt stronger, but contented myself with the reflection that nomen est omen, indeed.

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