War – Only a Game?

As the salt water engulfed them once more, Private John Heisenberg of the 4th Platoon, US Marine Corp, was already angry….

‘What the hell is with this nonsense. Must be 100 times we’ve hit this beach. Always the same result. They win, we lose. Madness!’

‘Och, come oan man. This time, this time for America and Scotland’

‘Your a madman. How they ever let a Scot into the Marine corps, I’ll never know’

Hitting the Beach
Hitting the Beach

Another explosion to the left of the landing craft sent another wave lashing on top of them. Suddenly, they stopped and the landing craft door slowly lowered itself. This was the time they were at their most vulnerable. A sitting target. Explosions could be heard all around them, along with the sound of gunfire.

‘Ok Guys, Let’s Hit It!’

No matter how hard you tried, wading through water waist deep, was a slow and frustrating process. No matter how great the desire was to go faster, the grey sea was out to stop you. Bullets whistled past Heisenberg ears. He’d never been hit at this point before, but you never knew the moment. He closed his eyes, lungs bursting, he stretched every sinew to hit the beach and hopefully, temporary safety.
He’d been through this before. He knew there was a sand dune to the right large enough for at least half a dozen men. From there, it was possible to get to a point where they could at least see the pillbox and take a shot at it. He knew, even to reach that point, casualties were inevitable.

‘Get oot o’ ma road man, yer like an elephant wi gumboots oan!’

Private Heisenburg clattered into McQuade and found himself on his knees, in the water.

‘C’mon man, wiv nae time fir swimming aboot in this pond, the piraña will get you’

As McQuade helped him up, and, despite bullets, smoke and fire all around them, Heisenburg laughed. He and McQuade had been on so many missions together, they were like brothers. It always seemed to be Heisenburg who fell, with McQuade coming to the rescue every time. The Scot always seemed to be in the same place, ready to help him, without fail.

The sea released its grip on the them both and they found themselves pounding towards the right. Ahead, 18yr old James Hoolahan fell to the ground like a stone.

‘Christ, he took a hit the last time. Unluckiest son of a bitch so he is’ shouted McQuade.

‘We can’t leave him. We’re not far from that dune, let’s grab him’

150 yards might not be a great distance but, when you’re carrying 12 stones of marine, it can seem like 150 miles. They dragged Hoolahan by the lapels and, after a few close bullet whishes, they made the dune.

‘Sheesh, he’s been hit in exactly the same place as last time. Took 6 months before he was back on duty. Looks like he’ll be on his holidays once again’

‘Aye, that’s if we get him out of this hellhole’

A large shell landed nearby sending a shower of debris and sand on top of them.

‘Ok, we patch this boy up, he’ll be fine here. A medic will find him. We’ll go again through Hell Valley, only this time, we’re gonna kick some ass’

‘Aye, right son, kick some bonnie arse we will’

landing craft
landing craft

Having patched up young Hoolahan, McQuade and John looked at each other, shook hands, and ran. They ran like Olympic sprinters across the sand. They knew they’d be spotted and soon a rain of fire would descend upon them. They both knew the chances of making it were slim, but, they both knew, the only way to win this was to take the giant pillbox out, something, no platoon had managed thus far.
John could here McQuade humming some Scottish lament in between lung bursting gasps for breath. At any moment they could both be hit and die on a lonely French beach, and the mad Scot was singing.
Then it started. The sand danced in front of them like tiny whirlwinds, as bullets scattered the shore. Soon, they could hardly see for sand. As usual, Heisenburg started to fall behind. Although he was fast, he was no match for the flying Scotsman. His lungs were now officially on fire. He heard something hit him. Oh god, this was it. He was annoyed, he’d nearly made it. The next dunes and safety were so close. He ran and ran, waiting for the pain to hit him. Through the smoke he caught a dark object ahead. It was McQuade.

‘Here son, yiv made it. Well done that man!’

Heisenburg landed in a crumpled heap.

‘I’ve been hit!’ He gasped.

‘Hit! Where son, where have ye been hit?’

‘Right here in my chest. Nearly knocked me off my feet’

‘Ah cannae see anythin’ son. Where do you feel the pain?’

‘I don’t know….oh GOD it hurts….’

Then………. McQuade spotted it. There was a bullet hole in the top left pocket of Heisenburgs jacket.

‘Ok, son sit still’

He quickly opened his jacket. That was weird. No blood. He looked inside. There was no hole on the inside of his pocket.

‘Is it still sore son?’

‘Yes, what is it, am i dying, something definitely hit me’

McQuade looked inside the lads pocket.

‘Whats this?’

‘Its my fathers war medal. He gave it to me when I signed up’

‘Well son, yer Dad just saved your bloody life. The bullet’s skimmed awf it and away! Yer a lucky boy’

The battle raged on around them………

‘Richt. Let’s give those jerries a taste of their own medicine’

McQuade picked up his rifle and took aim at the German pillbox.


‘This is bloody hopeless. We’re trapped on this stupid beach and we’ll never shoot anyone in that pillbox from here’

Two feet away Fran thumped the keyboard……

‘What’s wrong?’

‘Well, you got me sucked in to playing this and, after two hours, they’ve been killed 73 times and we’re still stuck on the bloody beach’

‘It can’t be that hard. Some people finish the whole thing in five hours…………..try again…..what’s that guy on the beach saying?’

‘What guy?\

‘I can hear someone saying something’

‘Over here private, over here!’

‘What’s he saying?’

‘Okay Okay…..he’s telling me to go over there’

McQuade and Heisenburg heard the voice………

‘Over here Private. Over here……..’

‘Look, there’s a hole in the wire…….Let’s go’

As bullets continued to spray all around them, the Scot and the American ran like the wind towards the voice. Suddenly they were through the wire and on their way to the tops of the grassy dunes. The Pillbox was now to their left.

‘We’ve got cover now. If we sprint to that dune over their, I think we can get behind them……let’s go’

Within 60 seconds McQuade, Heisenburg and four other members of the platoon crouched behind a wall to the right of the pillbox.

‘Okay….two grenades…..then we rush………on my mark’

They all knew this was it. One shot, one chance, and inserted into every second, a chance they would die. Heisenburg touched his fathers medal, closed his eyes……….


‘Within seconds they heard the explosion. There was no time to thin about their opponents and what might have happened. They had killed hundreds of their mates and kin. As they entered the concrete box the smoke hindered their view. They sprayed the room from top to bottom. Within seconds the place lay silent. As the smoke cleared six German bodies emerged from the smoke, lifeless.

‘Well done guys……good job…….we’ve secured the bridgehead. We’re okay now’

McQuade put his arm around his new found friend.

‘Thank god, Thank our lucky stars and most of all thank your Dad…..’

Two feet away.

‘Well done Fran…..you’re an XBox expert now, ready for Level 2?’

‘Only A Game’ was brought to you by David Linden. Follow me on Twitter via @qosfc1919 © Dodo Productions 2015


The PseudoAvengers and Mr Whippy

‘Dougal. There’s a report coming in of trouble in the Windy City’

‘Michty Me! Again…. mair trouble. Was there no trouble there aboot 5 years ago wi a bairn who’s balloon got stuck up a tree?’

‘I think this is a bit mair serious Dougal’

‘Mair serious???? Ooh. Isn’t this jist magic. Ever since we joined the maist secretist secretist government agency in the world, it’s jist been great. I mean, t’was so secret I didn’t even realise Ah was in it until you telt me Donald’

‘Well, Donald, the FB Aye needs to stick to it’s motto ‘Secretus Nae Kenna’ – If Na’body kens yer their, Naebody kens’

‘Aye….it makes ye swallow yer pride when ye hear it’

‘Aye Dougal Aye…..it does’ *raises eyebrow and frowns* 🙂

‘So, Donald, is it a weans balloon that’s stuck this time or don’t tell me, it’s thae #TeamTartan yins again. They’re a bunch of troublemakers richt enough’

‘Neither, Dougal. Have ye ever heard of the PseudoAvengers?’

‘You mean like thoan Marvel comics wi spiderman, Thor and thoan yin that looks like a rock?’

‘Aye, sort of. They’re like them but they don’t quite have what you would call ‘super powers’.

‘Whit dae they have Donald?’

‘Well, Spiderman produces spider silk stronger than steel which he can jet onto things, enabling him to leap tall buildings and get to the supermarket a lot quicker than you on your moped. Whereas the PseudoAvengers have the likes of PhotoCopierMan for example’

‘Whit can he dae – use a photocopier? Wi can aw dae that – hee hee’

‘No, PhotoCopierMan can take a picture with his eyes and produce good photocopies and bad photocopies’

‘Good and Bad. Whit dae ye mean?’

‘Well Dougal, the good photocopies come out of his mouth…..’

‘….Och……ye don’t mean that bad photocopies come out of………’

‘Exactly Dougal, we also have MoonMan who lights up when it gets dark. Another useless talent which only comes in handy when a torch isn’t available or KnitterWoman who can knit a jumper in 0.8 of a second or MarmaladeMan who’s bright orange, sticky and got bits’

‘Jeezo Donald, whit a useless bunch!! So, how could they be causing trouble?’

‘well Dougal, there are loads of them for a start, we don’t know where they all are, what useless things they can do. Even worse, they think they are just like the Avengers and are starting to try to fight crime, save children’s balloons from trees and other things that the police and the FB Aye are here for’

‘So, what trouble is there down in Edinburgh then……?’

‘Well, there are reports from FB AYe agents that, MoonMan, MarmaladeMan and ScrabbleMan have been seen together in the Meadows. There are reports that people have been fleeing the scene, reports of sticky stuff being dolloped on people and buildings alike. Perhaps these PseudoAvengers are not only useless but they’re troublemakers as well. We need to go down there and find out……’

100 miles down the A9 and a bit beyond, ScrabbleMan, who could not only make words from seven scrambled up letters, but could tile a whole bathroom in five minutes, was hiding behind a bush in Edinburgh’s Meadows……..

‘WOAH! – I WISH you wouldn’t do that MoonMan, always scares the crap out of me, lighting up like that just when you least expect it!’

‘I can’t help it…..it gets dark – I light up…..I wish I could stop it happening but it’s the burden I pay for being ‘special’. ‘

‘Well, it’s not much bloody use when we’re trying to hide is it? You’d have been better staying in the van! It’s all gone quite anyway, we might as well head towards the Castle and see what’s been going on’

They hadn’t gone far when they found a large dollop of white stuff hanging from a beech tree.

‘Well, what is that my friends? Either the seagulls around here are getting scaredly ginormous or that mad Putin has unleashed some mighty weird chemical warfare on Edinburgh……… DON’T TOUCH IT MOONMA…….’

Too late, MoonMan, shining more brightly by the second, gave it a sniff, stuck a moonbeam enhanced finger into the mix, licked it and turned…….’

‘It’s Mr Whippy Ice Cream…….delicious……’

‘Mr Whippy Ice Cream, twelve feet of it, hanging from a tree in the Meadows……..what’s going on’

‘Yep. He’s right. It’s creamy dreamy Mr Whippy ice cream – marmalade flavour I would guess’ said MarmaladeMan, who’d forgotten, most things he licked with his finger, tasted of marmalade’ 🙂

Suddenly their newly found communal desire to find a large spoon and get tucked in, was shattered by a noise over to the right. The three PseudoAvengers walked over to the path. the sight that met them made the large blob of ice cream hanging from a tree seem as mundane as finding an odd sock in your laundry. There, lying on the path was, what looked like, a large glace cherry with a pair of womans wriggling legs sticking out the bottom.

Mr Whippy
Mr Whippy

‘Well, I’ve seen it all now. Ok I think I’ve worked it out’

‘What do you think’s happened ScrabbleMan?’

‘Ok, I think our lady friend here has been advertising Mr Whippy Ice Cream in a very badly designed costume. Lost her bearings whilst dressed in a large glace cherry, banged into a tree, losing her ice cream and toppling over onto said path for us to discover’

‘That would be a great theory but for several reasons…..’

‘What’s that old moonbeam me son?’

‘Those, that and that over there….and that’

As MoonMans light became brighter, the sight that unfolded in front of them in the dim Edinburgh light was baffling. There were two more giant glace cherries, one with legs and the other without. Further over to the left, near some park benches were what looked like giant smarties and a 99 flake.

‘Right, so let’s go through that theory of the woman advertising ice cream again……..’

‘Well, it was just a postulation’

It took them nearly ten minutes to free the petrified woman and a twenty something male rollerblader from their sweet prisons. They looked slightly sticky. Well, a LOT sticky, but otherwise, unharmed by their ordeal. Now they’d get to the nitty gritty of WhippyGate……..

‘So, one minute you’re heading towards the Grassmarket, the next a giant glace cherry lands on top of you and that’s the last thing you remember?’

‘Yes. it wouldn’t have been so bad but I’m a type 2 diabetic…..’

‘What about you son…do you remember anything before you…..ahem, were abducted by a cherry?’

‘Well, I remember three giant frisbees coming towards me through the air. I skated to the right, then to the left, then to the right again. I was just about to spin and take off along the path when I spotted it……’

‘Spotted what?’

‘A giant Mr Whippy’

‘A giant Mr Whippy???’

‘Must have been thirty foot tall. firing giant smarties and glace cherries in all directions. I tried to turn back, but it spotted me, next thing all i can see is red all around me and that godawful smell of glacier cherries. I’ll never eat one again’

The PseudoAvengers looked at each other. As the saying goes ‘this was pure mental!’

‘Okay, I know you’re dazed and traumatised. How many fingers am i holding up’


‘Where are we standing?’

‘In the Meadows, Edinburgh’

‘Okay son, get yerself home……’

‘Thanks for getting me out of the cherry’

‘Aye, nae bother son.

As the dazed woman and rollerblader headed home the PseudoAvengers gathered their thoughts.

‘I’m glad normal humans can’t see what we really look like, as getting trapped in a giant glace cherry only to be rescued by a torch and a bright orange sticky mess, might have been enough to send the poor souls over the edge. Anyway, bizarre though we are, they were a pair of loons …..a giant Mr Whippy giving out free, but bizarrely dangerous, free sweeties…….mair like some marketing campaign that’s gone squeegy…….’

It was about that point that the hundreds and thousands started falling on top of MoonMan’s head…….

‘Sheesh, that’s sore…..and that’s sore as well…..run for cover boys’

They’d just made it under the trees when they saw it. At the far end of the meadows, there was indeed a thirty foot tall Mr Whippy shooting hundreds and thousands into the air like there was no tomorrow.

‘THAT, is either the best manually operated object since Warhorse, OR, it’s a feckin giant Ice Cream monster set on carnage…. I think we might need to call on some help…….’

The next morning Dougal and Donald, the secretist secret agents of Scotland’s most secret Government Agency, the FB Aye, arrived in Edinburgh. There had been reports of several incidents across the city overnight, including a Japanese tourist who’d felt sick and been taken to hospital after trying to eat her way out of a giant glace cherry, four american tourists who’d rolled down the Royal mile on a sea of hundreds and thousands and a Venezuelan woman who’d become pinned against the Scott’s monument by a giant smartie.

‘I’m telling you Dougal, I knew these PoundShop Avengers would be trouble. Contact Agents Mellor and Taylor. Tell them to meet us at the coordinates as planned. Let’s show them what Highlanders can do when they’ve been starved of haggis for a day!’

It was just about then that their car was hit by a large wodge of raspberry ripple sauce………

At the PseudoAvengers Headquarters, deep underneath the centre of Edinburgh, FiloFaxMan was trying to organise some sort of plan…….

‘Hold on a second. My FiloFax is a bit over endowed at the moment. It’s here somewhere’

‘Why don’t you ditch that thing and use a computer like everyone else?’

‘Ok GadgetWoman….smartypantses…..one things for sure….you can’t hack a FiloFax’


‘Here it is. here it is. According to the information from ScrabbleMan, which is a bit disjointed, as, as per usual, he hasn’t used any words greater than seven in length, we have pinpointed some potential weaknesses in our Whippy friend.
First of all, assuming it’s a normal 99 cone, it’s not going to be very strong. We all know when cones get soggy, they tend to leak and drip all over the your hand. If it’s also filled with whippy ice cream, it’s going to be susceptible to rain, heat and being licked.’

‘So, we could arrange a flashmob session and lick it to death?…’


‘Donald, can you open your door?’
‘I’m trying Dougal. I’m trying…….oops…….yeeuucchh…..maybe that wasn’t a good idea’


As their blacked out DB9 filled with raspberry ripple sauce, Donald and Dougal panicked and jumped out of the car. Now covered in very sweet raspberry ripple sauce, they found themselves out in Princes St. moving very sweetly, but slowly….wading through a sticky mess. As a giant wodge of chocolate sauce hit them, Dougal and Donald realised this was not going to be a childs balloon stuck up a tree sort of day.


BREAKING NEWS – Edinburgh – the Capital of Scotland is in chaos tonight after a giant Mr Whippy caused mayhem across the city. Reports are coming in of giant sweets enveloping tourists and city dwellers alike. Rumour has it that events are so dangerous, even the secret FB Aye may have been called in to rescue the city.


‘Okay, GardenHoseMan, HairnetGirl, ChewingGumMan and MarmaladeMan. We ALL know what we’re doing yes?’


‘Okay let’s go dae this’


As Mr Whippy reached Edinburgh Castle, tourists scattered faster than a politician after a general election. Having clambered the wall, it continued it’s sweet but chilling mayhem within the castle walls. As he reached the esplanade a giant hairnet landed on top of him. This not only stopped him in his tracks, but caused large chunks of Mr Whippy Ice Cream to flop on to members of the public and soldiers of the 3rd Highland Regiment.

‘Ok GardenHoseMan – GO!’

GardenHoseMan got his sprinkler out and aimed it at the cone. At the same time ChewingGumMan ran at speed round the feet of Mr Whippy, dropping well chewed chewing gum on the ground. something he wasn’t proud of, but which came with the territory.
MarmaladeMan now stood in front of the now very attractively hairnetted MrWhippy.

‘Chase Me…..Chase Me’

As MrWhippy lurched forward his feet got stuck in some well masticated spearmint. His now soggy cone, gave way and he lurched on to the castle embankment.

As tourists clapped, minutes later GardenHoseMan was using his hose to clear up the last of the mess. The PseudoAvengers had averted a sweet disaster for the city of Edinburgh.

‘Dougal, whit are you doin?’

‘Ma Dad never let me have sauce on my ice cream’

‘Jesus…that’s not right Dougal…..we need to talk’

Back at the PseudoAvengers headquarters………

‘Well done everyone. We may not silver surf, spin webs, get green and muscly when we’re angry throw giant hammers, lift trucks or leap giant buildings in one go, but…….what we have proved is we ‘useless’ avengers can save people and make a difference. We should not feel powerless or ashamed of our ‘powers’. Onwards and Upwards………’

‘PseudoAvengers and Mr Whippy’ was brought to you by David Linden, qosfc1919 on Twitter and Dodo Productions © 2015

Pell of the Selgovae Episode 3 The Romans Strike Back

Roman Fort Lugulovia just off the M6 nr Carlisle……..

‘So, you, Tirious Fearsus, a trained Roman centurion were on a scouting mission, fully armed and ready to die for the glory of the Roman Empire, when, and i quote, ‘a howling noise came from within the forest, something large and scary knocked me off my horse into some mud. At which point, i was covered in manure and chased out of the forest running for my life on foot, by giant monsters with scary teeth’?

‘Yes, more or less. There were some other noises and wailing like i’ve never heard before………and….an….and…..I’m SURE I SAW A DEVIL!’

‘A Devil?’

‘YES, it had glowing eyes of fire, 60 feet in the air’

You could sense a slight *feariness arising in the other fully trained and armed Roman centurions in the room.

*feariness – to be feart and then some…. 🙂

The Roman Empire minus Alba
The Roman Empire minus Alba

‘There are no such thing as devils and ghouls. It sounds like something fell off a tree causing you to fall into a stinking bog, you scared some animals and ran like a small boy who’d seen a scary thing at the bottom of his bed’

*chortling from around the room*


‘Well, next time you’ll have some company to help you’

‘Next time!……what ‘next time’ ?……I’m not going back there…..never ever ever……over my dead body…….

2 Days later…….

The others continued to scowl at Tirious Fearsus. Thanks to him they found themselves riding north in the pouring rain, potentially towards 60 feet devils with burning eyes and god knows what other scaredy maredy items. Even worse than that was the fact Claudius Nimbus had prevented them from taking any wine with them, for fear it was that which had caused Tirious to ‘see things’.

‘Look, it’s not my fault. I DID see those things but no one believes me. All we need to do is pretend to go up there, have a few days camping in a nice spot, go back, say we saw nothing, and let the foggy General decide plan B’

‘There’s six of us this time, not one inappropriately named wimpy centurion. If we return without engaging what, if anything, is up there, we’ll only get sent out again and again until we find something. We’re armed to the teeth, armour plated, golden helmeted, CENTURIONS OF THE ROMAN EMPIRE! LET US CONQUER THIS COUNTRY AND BE NAMED AS HEROES!’

Tirious groaned, there was always one prat in a group and Lactos Tolrant was he. Tirious was sure he’d be the first to run when he saw those burning eyes staring at him. Plonker!

Meanwhile, up the road a bit and to the left in a forest……

‘Esh, you have to put this on. If they see you, it’ll give the game away. Then they’ll know there are humans here, more golden helmets will come and we will be……..well……you know’

‘But I’m going to look silly in it. Like a cross between a scary bear and a bush’

‘You’re supposed to be a scary fire sprite’

‘Fire sprite? ….but where’s the fire bit?’

‘Ah yes…..well, just before you run across the trail, we set fire to the back of your costume, you scream a lot and jump into the hidden burn’

‘Set fire to me!!’

Well, you did want to be a warrior…… anyway, the *dreachan we’ll put on burns brightly,but you won’t, we’ve tried it loads of times. I wouldn’t put you in danger little brother. I love you too much to do that.

*dreachan – an oily substance which burns brightly but does not burn peeps and has been wholly made up by me for the purposes of this story 🙂 if you have any oily substances at
home and have some Romans you want scaring, i would recommend just phoning 999 (or if u live in America 911 🙂 )

”Ok. Arla, Esh…..get the others….we’ll rehearse the whole thing. We must be prepared. The Golden Ones will return soon and there will be more of them’

‘What about Dad and the Elders? We have to tell them we’ve seen one of them’

‘I agree Esh, we will tell them at some point. However, if we can scare them off for a while, rather than fight them, they might just leave this area alone and we can live in peace. In the meantime, Lyan and Raich are keeping look out at Arnochan. They will give us a days notice of the Golden Ones return. They also have some surprises for our friends. It’s only 50 miles from the fort, riding fast they can be here in 2 days. We must be vigilant.’

As Tirious and Lactos’s group continued in the pouring rain, riding fast wasn’t high on their agenda.
The thought of taking an age to pitch their tents on some sodden patch of ghoul laden foreign land, versus a night in a warm bed in a safe Roman fort was looking a sorrier option by the minute.

‘It’s getting dark. We should stop here. There is running water and some nice grass’

Tirious thought it looked boggy, wasn’t high enough compared to their surroundings, but, he was too tired to argue, so, he nodded in a tired non argumentative way and dismounted.

Lyan and Raich watched the arrival of the Romans from the tree house. The strange glass Pell had given them allowed them to watch from quite far away. They immediately let off the carrier pigeon warning Pell of their arrival. Now the fun could start……….

As usual Tirious was left on first guard duty. All the others could snuggle down, while he sat outside, damp dreary and dismal. An owl hooted and, in the distance, he thought he heard something growling. He shook himself. After his nightmare in the forest he was completely paranoid about any noise, creak or scary burning eyes 60 foot in the air. As that little thought process went through his brain, he saw them. He blinked……..he blinked again……..he blinked so much, he was almost about to invent a new national sport, when he realised what it was. Two burning eyes, 60 feet in the air. As blinking wasn’t working, this time he rubbed his eyes. The burning eyes had disappeared. He was tired and obviously starting to hallucinate. He was just about to sit down and ‘guard’ when he saw them again. This time they were much closer and 100 yards over to the tight. As another pair of burning eyes lit up, this time to the left, the fearless Tirious was up and running towards his tent. He was just about there when he heard the noise. He stopped in his tracks. He looked behind him. There were burning eyes popping up everywhere, he turned back towards his tent which promptly disappeared under the thing that had made the sound,. He watched in firelight, as a huge ball of fiery rock not only took his tent out but was heading for Lactos Tolrants tent. Although he couldn’t stand him, he didn’t want to be left alone. He also didn’t want to picture himself explaining why the others got squashed flat.


Then the wailing started……. ‘waaaaaiiiilllllllll……..waaaillllll……..oooooohhhhhhh…….waaaaiiiiiiilllll’

That was it. Tirious Fearsus ran. He ran faster than he’d ever ran. Unfortunately, he’d been right earlier when he thought the ground looked boggy. As he began to sink, he tried to turn to warn the now scareder than scared Lactos and the others. Too late. The whole squad of Roman Legionnaires were now stuck in a bog, surrounded by 60 foot high in the sky fiery eyes, two tents flattened by a huge fireball and……a bear……. (ooh have i not mentioned the bear – that’s because Tirious hadn’t seen it yet)

‘Oh Caesar’s Aunt!’


‘We are sooooooo dead’

The bear stood up and roared. The only thing stopping it from eating the now petrified Romans was the fact it wasn’t stupid enough to get stuck in a bog. If that wasn’t enough fireballs rained from the sky landing yards away from them. Lactos screamed. As his scream faded it was replaced by the screams of the five others.


‘What a great time to quit. Stuck in mud up to our bottoms…..trapped by a bear, fireballs and 60 foot demons….great call’


Lyan and Raich watched the whole farce from the treehouse. The fiery eyes had been genius, as had the fiery boulders and the fiery fireballs. The bear……well, that had just been pure luck. Where that had come from they had no idea.

‘Job done i think Lyan…….Let’s go home……’

As dawn arrived, the six legionnaires stared at the bear and the bear stared at the Legionnaires, it was going to be a long day……. 🙂

‘Pell Of The Selgovae – The Romans Strike Back’ was brought to you by David Linden. Follow me on Twitter @qosfc1919 © Dodo Productions 2015

Pell Of The Selgovae Part 2

Once again I would like to, up front, print a disclaimer, stating, I
dropped History as soon as I possibly could in secondary school, in order
to steep my soul in the mysterious world of Science. So, I ditched the
History of Scotland 1332AD to 1877AD for ‘watch what happens to Sodium when
you throw it in some water……..ooh…..look at the pretty colours!
This allowed me to step into the future, and not lurk in a past full
of wars, sea battles, plagues, witches………and bad Austrians…… once again I
apologise reservedly for not sticking in any way possible to real
historical facts. There may be the odd sentence that’s close to what
actually happened in Southern Scotland during the early AD’s, but, if it
happens, this will be more luck than actual knowledge. HISTORIANS look away

So, here we are, Episode 2 of Pell of the Selgovae. You can go and delve
into my archive to remind yourself of the brilliantly exciting and funny
Episode 1…. but, just in case you don’t have time, here’s a reminder of
where we got to…….

1. The Selgovae – a tribe who lived in Southern Alba when the
Romans invaded

2. Pell – young highly intelligent, soon to become warrior, 14 yrs of age, lives with his family in
a small village near what would become the town of Dumfries.

3. Pell’s father is Tarlo, his Mother is Seni, he has a younger
brother, Esh, who Pell keeps getting into trouble for shooting
arrows at apples on his head as target practice.

4. Pell’s best friend is a girl called Arla. Pell’s face always goes
redder than a hawthorn berry when his father asks him if she is
his girlfriend.

5. Claudius Nimbus is the Roman General sent from Rome to finish off
the Tribes of Alba and ‘be home by Two Winters forward’ ably
assisted by his PA Titus Grabbius

If you want to read the first episode here’s the link…. Pell Of The Selgovae Part One

Roman Empire around the time of the Selgovae
Roman Empire around the time of the Selgovae

………a mile away from the Roman fort at Luguvalio………… (basically Carlisle
just off the M6 at Junction 44)

‘Well Titus, 3 weeks of sitting on horses, boats, more horses, and,here
we are, in a soggy, wet, but very green I might add, end of the world as we
know it. I didn’t realise there was no sun in these parts’

‘I wouldn’t know Sir, I can’t see anything for the rain’
‘Well, Titus, the weather may be grim, we may both be tired and sodden, but, soon, we will be in the warm embrace of a Roman Fort, with roaring fires, warm furs, and copious amounts of Roman wine to ensure we forget why we are actually here. I would like to remind you at this point, having been turfed out of Rome humiliatingly by the Emperor, I did, did I not, give you the chance to find a post with another military officer, with slightly less bad luck’

‘Beginning to wish I’d taken it…….’

‘Sorry, what was that you said….?’

‘I said, after all we’ve been through, I couldn’t leave you General’

‘Ah, yes, we’ve been through much together haven’t we Titus Grabbius. Things, as they say, can only get better’

It wasn’t long before Fort Luguvalio appeared before them……

‘Halt, bare your presence…..’

(Note: ‘who goes there’ wasn’t invented until 1914 just in case you’re wondering ☺️)

‘I am Claudius Nimbus, General of the 19th Roman Legion, and this is my assistant Titus Grabbius, a former waif from Perugia’

‘Not thee General Claudius Nimbus’

‘……..listen, Titus, even here, on the edge of the world they have heard of me…..’

‘Not, Claudius Nimbus, who led his fog bound legion against his own army by mistake, that Claudius Nimbus?’

*chortling from behind the fort walls*

‘ Oh dear Titus…..news travels fast these days… 😥 ‘

‘Look, let us in, I am to take charge of this garrison and move North to conquer…….well, whatever’s up there’

‘That would be demons, monsters, ghouls and ghosts…….’

‘Monsters and Demons…..what is this madness you talk of?’

‘You forgot the ghouls and ghosts…….oh and headless horsemen, minotaurs, dragons and evil spirits….’

‘You are an officer of the Roman Army…….have you been drinking?’

‘Might have…….hic!’

‘Right that’s it! Let me in this minutae. You’ll be the first soldier to be put on a charge!’

‘I can’t let you in until you give me the password….’

‘Password…..password……..i’ve never heard of such a thing’
‘Well, that’s a shame. Can’t put me on a charge if you can’t get in’

‘Oh, alright……Caeser’

‘Good try……but not right’



………While Claudius Nimbus continued vainly to guess his way into his own fort, Pell of the Selgovae was practicing……

‘Dad told you not to shoot apples off my head…….’

‘Look….stop moving……you know i never miss…..but we don’t want you with a funny haircut now do we?

Pells little brothe Esh stood rigid, although the apple on his head was visibly rocking a little.

‘Ok, Esh, it’s probably best if you close your eyesat this point….’

Esh had already closed them tighter than any 9yr old could close them……and then some…. 🙂


Esh’s 9 year old life flashed before him…….which had mainly consisted of avoiding the mad plans of his older brother and catching fish. He waited for the thud of the arrow but nothing came. He slowly opened one eye…….then JUMPED! Pell was standing right in front of him, calmly eating the now head removed from apple.

‘you didn’t shoot!’

‘Of course not little brother. I have now confirmed you’re the bravest warrior in the village, perhaps the whole Selgovae tribe. You have earned the right to help Arla and the others in our fight against the Gold Warriors…….but don’t tell Dad….ok?’

“You mean……..you mean…….I can come to the forest with you????’

‘Yes, you may only be 9 years old little brother…..but you are wise and clever…you must learn fast and do what I tell you…………here’

‘My own bow!!’

‘You are sharp today little one……. :-)’

‘Let’s go. We have much to do’


‘Nope….guess again’

‘Look………….another measure of rain has fallen while we’ve been sitting here trying to guess your stupid password…….Let us in and we’ll call it quits on the charges….’

Claudius Nimbus sat on his now rather damp horse in disbelief as the doors of the fort creaked open.

Up on the walls of the fort…….

‘Remus……what is the password?’

‘There isn’t one, Gramus……there isnt one :-)’

…….just as the weary Claudius Nimbus and Titus Grabbius were about to trot slowly into the now functionally open fort, a loud wail came from behind…..

A horse and what looked like a brown steaming bear came thundering towards them….

‘Let me in Let me IN!’

‘Gramus, it’s Titan…..he’s back from his sorte north…..’

‘They have MAGIC, the forest is full of DEMONS and MONSTERS………LET ME IN!

He thundered past Claudius and Titus, leaving a rather obnoxious foul smeeling odour in his wake.

‘Did you see his eyes Sire, they were the wide eyes of a madman’

‘Yes, Titus,, they were, perhaps we won’t be back in Rome by two winters forward after all….Let’s go in…..’

‘Pell Of The Selgovae Part 2’ was brought to you by David Linden and Dodo Productions © 2015 follow me on Twitter via @qosfc1919