House Proud #prompt #speculativefiction

Mus Souris had a problem. The tornado had been inaptly timed and having his house blown up into an acacia, while normally a mere inconvenience, was a potential disaster. First his soon to be mother in law was coming to stay and second his wife’s fourteen nephews were on a sleepover and needed to get to school without the distraction of the front door now being fourteen foot off the ground.

Mus scrolled through the google responses to his ‘who can help me move my house?’ question toAlexa. The first ten, irritatingly, focused on the contents rather than on the house itself, though Mus chided himself for failing to focus the question more accurately.

Entry eleven, however, suggested a more hopeful response. He dialled the number.

A cheery, if rather menacing voice answered after one ring. ‘Proboscis Plant and Animal Hire. All your lifting needs dealt with, with a grunt and a grin!’

‘Oh hello. Do you move houses?’

The responder sounded unsure. ‘We can, er, Sir?’

‘It’s Souris. Mus Souris. My house is stuck up a tree and I wondered…’

‘Oh! Are you an, erm, you know, thingy?’

Mus sighed. Weren’t they beyond this causal mousism? ‘Yes, I’m a mouse. So?’

‘No, really it’s not…’

‘Ok, we squeak but all that stuff about messing our own homes is exaggerated, I for one haven’t been inside a wheel in a decade and personally I hate cheese. Anyway most of the rubbish you hear was spread by those bloody rats to deflect from their own problems…’

‘No really, it’s only…’

‘What?’

‘Well, our lifting operatives are all elephants.’

‘Ah…’

‘So, you’ll understand there might be some health and safety considerations.’

‘Crushing?’

‘Inadvertent dimensional reconfiguration has been known, Mr Souris, but as caring employers we have to ensure the mental wellbeing of all our staff and, well, most of our Hefalump Hydraulic Operatives are inclined to bouts of RAIN…’

‘What? They dribble?’

‘No, not rain. R.A.I.N – rodent anxiety incapacity neuralgism. Basically if they see a mouse…’

‘Excuse me? You’re slipping into institutional mousism again.’

‘I’m sorry. Of course I meant a mammal with rodentian characteristics. They freeze. Which, of course, depending when they become aware of a mo… when they first notice the, erm… it can cause problems. Only last week one of our best operatives was draining a lake prior to removing some boulders and came upon a party of water voles over from Helsinki for the grain festival and he let go of several hundred gallons of water in his panic.’

‘Did he kill the water voles?’

‘No, they loved it – they’d been on the grain for a couple of days and basically surfed the ensuing tsunami. But a flock of passing sheep thought differently. Their coats were just about to be harvested – they were at maximum bouffancy – but after the dousing both the wool and their profits shrank by seventy four percent.’

‘You can’t help then?’

‘I fear not. But you could try Derrick.’

‘Derrick?’

‘He’s a crane. Now I know you’re going to say one bird isn’t likely to be of assistance but he manages an avian assistance association. They’ve become pretty adept at difficult lifting jobs like yours.’

‘Thanks. It’s kind of you to recommend a competitor.’

‘Oh they aren’t really competitors. Most of their work is small scale. It’s only where we can’t take on the job that they might be the answer. I mean, there are the side effects…’

‘How so?’

‘Well for starters, you would have to expect your house to be redecorated.’

‘Sorry?’

‘To lift a house you’ll probably need at least 200 different species of birds… that’s a lot of straining and a lot of…’

‘Oh shit…’

‘Precisely. Would you like their number anyway?’

This piece was written in response to Diane Wallace Peach’s February Speculative Prompt

About TanGental

My name is Geoff Le Pard. Once I was a lawyer; now I am a writer. I've published four books - Dead Flies and Sherry Trifle, My Father and Other Liars, Salisbury Square and Buster & Moo. In addition I have published two anthologies of short stories, Life, in a Grain of Sand and Life in a Flash. More will appear soon, including a memoir of my mother's last years. I will try and continue to blog regularly at geofflepard.com about whatever takes my fancy. I hope it does yours too. These are my thoughts and no one else is to blame. If you want to nab anything I post, please acknowledge where it came from.
This entry was posted in creative writing, miscellany, prompt, short story and tagged , . Bookmark the permalink.

42 Responses to House Proud #prompt #speculativefiction

  1. Sue Vincent says:

    Inadvertent dimensional reconfiguration… nice 😀

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Excellent as usual.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. I love this Geoff.
    ‘Hefalump Hydraulics Operatives ‘and ‘Maximum bouffancy’ still has me chuckling.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Lol, this is cute!

    Like

  5. Oh my gosh, Geoff, this is hysterical. ‘No, not rain. R.A.I.N – rodent anxiety incapacity neuralgism.” What a hoot. I couldn’t stop laughing. I can’t wait to share this. Thanks so much for the story!

    Liked by 1 person

  6. A totally different take on this challenge – love it!! (Very You)

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Ritu says:

    Nonsensically brilliant as always!

    Liked by 1 person

  8. JT Twissel says:

    “with a grant and a grin” – that’s some tagline! Poor crane.

    Liked by 1 person

  9. Mick Canning says:

    Excellent, Geoff.

    Liked by 1 person

  10. Reblogged this on Myths of the Mirror and commented:
    Geoff adds a touch of humor as always. I hope you get a laugh from his story. 🙂 Enjoy!

    Liked by 1 person

  11. joylennick says:

    Clever and very funny doesn’t always gel! An excellent combination – lots of giggles…Well done!

    Liked by 1 person

  12. Almost Iowa says:

    I’ve Googled “Proboscis Plant and Animal Hire” several times without success. I even tried DuckDuckGo. Do you happen to have their number?

    The job I have in mind does not involve mice, but is there a problem with cats? We have lots of cats. Too many really. Not my idea at all.

    Liked by 1 person

    • TanGental says:

      Ah yes that can be an issue if you don’t make a trunk call. As for a mountain of moggies, I’m sure they can be put to good use; ideal for testing the softness of beds and the friability of soil though in these days of humane dispatch we prefer to to find mice alternative careers in the IT industry. Several thousand mouses have been placed in as part of the hand-hard drive interfaces that have been in development.

      Like

  13. This is a clever and fun twist on Diana’s prompt. Kudos Geoff!

    Liked by 1 person

  14. Sadje says:

    I have lots of posts on this prompt but your’s is so amazing. Fun and unusual.

    Like

  15. Jina Bazzar says:

    haha, loved it! Inadvertent dimensional reconfiguration ? RAIN? LOL!!

    Like

  16. Ah, this is so you, Geoff. A great take on this prompt.

    Liked by 1 person

    • TanGental says:

      I remember, back in the late sixties this amazing programme about Canadians literally moving their houses. I so wanted to see this in action so this was the perfect excuse…

      Like

  17. Jackie says:

    My first time here Geoffe. Well done! Expect me back.

    Like

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