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Mud-larking

It is a new day, just like any other. And at the Bingo Hall, mischief wakes, and goes in search of Calliaphone. . .

In the Girl's Dorms

Midshipman calliaphone tugs all the beds so that they're lined up alongside each other without gaps. And then climbs up and starts bouncing.

Midshipman calliaphone practises a few somersaults and backflips while she bounces. All goes well until two of the beds part company. She disappears between them with a yell, leaving Teh suspended in mid-air for a moment.

Midshipman calliaphone struggles out from between the beds just as Teh goes into free-fall. He lands on her head and slips forward over her eyes. Callia flails. "Gahh! Can't see can't see!"

Midshipman calliaphone manages to tip Teh backwards again, and decides that's enough bouncing for one day. She creeps out of the dorm, tripping over her dress-sword.

Some hours later, in the jungle (map-square 12,21)

Calliaphone discovers a sturdy dock, stretching out into the lake. Its wooden posts jut skyward, sawn off at various heights. At the end of the dock, a ladder extends into the water. A few cleats are affixed to the dock, but there are no permanently moored boats yet.

Midshipman calliaphone scrambles onto the dock and jumps up and down for a bit, to check it's solid. fortunately for her, it is.

Midshipman calliaphone turns a few cartwheels along the dock, just because she can. it's obviously her lucky day, since she manages to stop before cartwheeling over the edge.

Midshipman calliaphone drops down onto her stomach and watches the water below the dock. "heeeeere, fishyfishyfishies!"she trails a hand along the surface, making ripples.

Midshipman calliaphone tires of tormenting the fish, and anyway, something else has caught her eye. over there to the south . . . looks like . . . mud. oh yes indeed.

Midshipman calliaphone grins, and goes to investigate.

By the lakeside (map-square 12,20)

Midshipman calliaphone has found a mud-bank. oh man, sometimes life's just tooo good. she makes for it at speed, and wades right in.

Midshipman calliaphone slows down almost immediately. eurrrk, this mud is sticky! she tugs at her legs, and takes each step as if in slow-motion, accompanied by the necessary glurrrp-plopp noises.

Midshipman calliaphone flails about, looking for . . . mud-things. she has some success! a little green frog hops onto her hand and ribbits at her. she tries to imitate, but her accent's not that great.

Midshipman calliaphone spies something wiggly over there. she flail-wallow-glurrrp-plopps towards it, with the frog sitting on her shoulder. whatissit oh please let it be YES IT IS A GRASS-SNAKE!

Midshipman calliaphone goes after that snake like her life depends on it. unfortuantely, the mud has other ideas. with a glurrp and a plopp and a "waaauuuughhh" she loses her balance.

Midshipman calliaphone inspects the mud from a new, and closer, perspective. she's pretty much coated from head to foot now, on account of being sprawled full-length on its surface.

Midshipman calliaphone flails unsuccessfully for some time, before eventually managing to flip over onto her back. the little frog hops around her, ribbiting unhelpfully.

Midshipman calliaphone sits up, with a great slrrrup-glruuuking-plopppp!. And sighs. She's come rather further than she intended, from terra firma. and there's no quick way to get back.

Midshipman calliaphone half-wades, half-crawls, back across the mud. somewhere along the line, the little frog gives a sudden ribbit of alarm, and hops off her shoulder and away.

Midshipman calliaphone frowns. "hey, what's that all about, come back, pleeease?" but the frog's not having any of it. Callia frowns. "what's his problem?" she shivers suddenly. best keep moving.

Midshipman calliaphone finds the ground here not solid enough to take the most direct route back. shivering quite a bit more by now, she's forced to go round to the north, towards the dock.

Midshipman calliaphone edges towards the dock, on a thin band of more solid ground. to the west is soft, sinky mud. and to the east, what looks like deep water. she's not so great with either. she keeps moving dockward

Back on the dock

Midshipman calliaphone returns, crawling carefully across a narrow bridge of more solid mud, trying to avoid the softer stuff to her left and the deep water to her right.

Midshipman calliaphone makes it to the dock at last, and grabs hold of a wooden pillar. she clings to it, shivering. possibly on account of the fact that she's plastered from head to foot in mud, and has been for some time

Midshipman calliaphone drags herself back up onto the dock, and collapses on the boards. the wood is warm by comparison to the mud, and she tries to absorb the warmth through her skin. but she doesn't stop shivering.

Midshipman calliaphone sits up. and suddenly sneezes.

Midshipman calliaphone waits for her head to stop ringing from the sneeze. and is about to get up to leave. she really should get warm and dry before too long. but then she yelps, and starts to wriggle and writhe.

Midshipman calliaphone rolls about on the dock, yelping some more, until at last she manages to loosen her cuff, and out of her sleeve slithers a little green grass-snake.

Midshipman calliaphone 's yelps turn from dismay to delight. she tries to recapture the snake, but it wriggles out of her grasp and back over the edge of the dock, into the mud.

Midshipman calliaphone almost follows the snake over the edge. but for once, common sense prevails. she stops, sniffs, and says"aaa-aahhhh-tshoooo00!" and sits down abruptly with the force of the sneeze.

Midshipman calliaphone frowns, and drags a mud-caked sleeve across a mud-caked face. the corners of her mouth pull down a little, and she shivers again as she gets to her feet.

Midshipman calliaphone trudges home. sneezing at intervals, sniffing a lot, and muttering about snakes and frogs that wouldn't be caught.

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