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*Six inches tall and trapped in a pickle jar is not how Alastair imagined he would be spending Christmas. From the moment the cloth plunges him into shadow, he feels his anger turn into a sick feeling of dread in the pit of his stomach. He hurls himself against the glass and screams abuse as loud as he can, but Peter doesn't seem to pay any attention. After a while, the light goes out altogether and Alastair is left alone in the kitchen for the night.

He tries his phone, now a miniature toy replica of itself. No amount of button-pressing will convince it to work. So he reaches up for the lid of the jar, but it's just out of his reach. Even standing on tip-toe on a pile of his own folded-up clothes doesn't help much; it's hard to get purchase in the little air-holes, and anyway, he thinks it might be one of those ones you have to squeeze from the outside.

Alastair gets dressed again and looks about in the darkness, despairing. He wonders if he could use his own momentum to shift the jar off the edge of the sideboard, or even knock it onto its side so it could roll off, letting it smash open on the kitchen floor. He has a go, running at the side and crashing into it as hard as he can, but the base is far too wide to unbalance and if it shifts, it's hardly more than a few millimetres. After another three or four collisions he starts to feel dizzy, but he's just about to strengthen his resolve for another try when a low growling from somewhere far below makes him freeze.*

Hi, Jack...

*Jack gives a short bark and growls again. Alastair retreats to the middle of the jar and sighs. He'd have worn himself out before making it to the edge, anyway. He sinks down against the side and curls up into a ball between the cold glass and the humid air. It sucks to admit defeat. Tired and distressed, he calms himself and eventually drifts off to sleep by imagining all the things he'll do to Mandelson by way of revenge.

The next thing Alastair knows, it's daytime again. He's slipped down onto the floor of the jar and bright light is filtering through the cloth, leaving him dazed and blinking and not a little sore. He struggles upright and glares around, ready to give Peter a piece of his mind.*

Date: 2012-12-18 11:00 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] therealpm.livejournal.com
*Phone call completed, Peter heads downstairs for tea and muesli. He takes the cloth off the jar and bids Alastair a cheery 'Good morning!'.*

Date: 2012-12-18 03:55 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] bigalcampbell.livejournal.com
*Alastair blinks, curses, and glares up at Peter.*

No it fucking well is not! Kidnapper! Let me out, I'll eviscerate you an inch at a time if I have to!

*He's not sure Peter can hear his tiny voice from out there, but he keeps shouting nonetheless.*

Date: 2012-12-18 04:15 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] therealpm.livejournal.com
Oh do pipe down.

*Peter makes himself a cup of tea and a bowl of muesli, pondering whether he should send Alastair as is, or try and find a better container.

He wanders through to the garden and digs through the shed. A very old hamster cage (part of a gift intended for one of the godchildren which was then vetoed by said child's parents) is uncovered and dusted off. Even the wheel still works.

After a good shake to get rid of any webs, he takes it back inside, fills the bottom with shredded newspaper and places the cage on its side, next to the pickle jar containing a very angry Alastair who seems to have worked out Peter's intentions pretty quickly and has decided to voice his objections as best he can.

Peter ignores the high pitched obscentities, choosing instead to unscrew the lid, close the mouth of the jar with the magazine again, then tip the jar until it's upside down, with the mouth directly over the cage's door.*

Ready?

*Peter whisks away the magazine, dropping Alastair into the cage. It's quite a way to fall for the 6 inch spin doctor, but there's sufficient pading from the newspaper that Peter thinks the man won't have broken anything. He swings the cage door shut and locks it, then gently tilts it back to being upright, causing a small avalanche of shredded paper to cover Campbell.*

Nothing broken?

Date: 2012-12-18 04:28 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] bigalcampbell.livejournal.com
*Alastair plummets into the cage, and has barely managed to find his balance before it's tilted back onto its side. Spluttering, he pushes his way free from the tidal wave of shredded newspaper and staggers to his feet.*

Nothing, except my will to live... you'd better resize me again sharpish, or there'll be hell to pay, you hear? This is a human rights violation! I'll get Amnesty on your case, you fucking see if I don't.

Date: 2012-12-18 04:31 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] therealpm.livejournal.com
You'd be dissected as a scientific curiosity before you ever got to court.

*Peter washes out the water bottle thoroughly, then fills it and fits it to the cage wall. He pokes a few dried berries through the bars, then returns to his muesli.*

Date: 2012-12-18 04:38 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] bigalcampbell.livejournal.com
*Alastair watches apprehensively as Peter secures the water bottle - more like a tank, from where he's standing now - and dispenses his breakfast. He prods the berries and scowls.*

Haven't you got any proper food?

Date: 2012-12-18 04:47 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] therealpm.livejournal.com
If you'd prefer hamster pellets, do let me know.

*The doorbell rings.*

Ah, that'll be the courier.

*Peter picks up the cloth and wraps it around the cage. One of the cardboard boxes, used when packing up his possessions from the cell, is repurposed. The cage is placed inside, the box taped closed and airholes poked through the top.*

Coming!

*Peter hands the box to the courier carefully, remembering to point out that it needs to be kept a certain way up and to get a signature, rather than just leaving it on the doorstep. He pays the man, then almost skips back to his living room, smirking with vengeant glee.*

Date: 2012-12-18 05:03 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] bigalcampbell.livejournal.com
Courier..? Where are you sending me?

*Alastair clings to the bars of the cage door and shakes them desperately as it's wrapped up and placed in a box. Darkness returns, punctuated only by dusty beams of light from the air holes. Alastair's stomach lurches as he's handed over, and the berries scatter.*

Crap.

*Maybe, if he shouts loud enough, the courier will set him free? Or maybe he'll freak out at the sight of a miniature human and run away in terror. Or, as Peter says, keep him as a scientific marvel. It's got to be worth a try. Once he hears Peter's front door slam, Alastair yells for help as much as he can, but with no luck. Muffled by the cloth and the cardboard, his voice probably doesn't sound much different to a guinea pig squealing. Now all he can do is cling on, try not to puke, and hope that he's not being taken to somewhere even worse than Peter's kitchen. Home would be a nice start. Fiona might at least slice up some decent sausages for him.*

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December 2012

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