I *know* I'm supposed to be figuring out what the gang in the power
plant/castle are going to do next. I *tries* to think about that but, instead,
I've come up with this. Sorry.
THIS TIME ROUND/LOOK WHO'S TALKING
STORY TIME! JACK AND THE BEANSTALK
The Supervisor woke from a deep doze and stared at the wreckage. "Oh, come
*on*!" he said. "How long was I asleep?"
"Half an hour." replied Izzy, without breaking stride with the broom.
"I thought you were supposed to be keeping an eye on them? How could even
*they* do *this* much damage in half an hour?"
"X-Babies crossover. Don't ask." She picked up what had once been a chair, and
stuffed it into one of a number of black plastic bags she had with her.
"Anyway, I've got it under control."
Just then, Baby Seventh appeared. "Terrrrible fings arre afoot!" he declaimed.
"What is it?" asked Izzy. "No, let me guess. The X-Babies are back and they've
brought the Teeny Titans and the *Really* Young Hercules cast with them."
"Worse!" insisted Baby Seventh, waving his question-mark-shaped soother in
consternation. "It's six-forty-five, and we haven't had a story!"
"Oh. Oh, right. But I've still got to clean this up, before your parents get
The Supervisor took the broom from her. "You give that to me and tell the kids
"...I'll look after it until you get back."
And, picking up the book which, under all the warning labels, had the just
visible title "The Big Story Time Book" (there were rumours that, if you peeled
off the labels, the full title would be revealed as "The Big Story Time Book Of
Rassilon"), Izzy began.
* * * *
[Story Space. Yer bog-standard (almost literally) fairy tale Hovel of Humble
Folk. In this bijou one-roon maisonette ROZ and CHRIS are wondering what the
hell happened. CHRIS is wearing tunic and hose in shades of brown, ROZ is
wearing the peasant's dress from the Red Riding Hood story and a silly mob
Story time. Again. Terrific. So what is it *now*?
NARRATOR (IZZY) (VO):
Once upon a time there was a young man named Jack, who lived in a house with
his mother, and their cow, Daisy.
[Enter A COW. Actually an obviously fake cow costume, with two people inside
Ah, the great Spaceport Five tradition of Panto. Shouldn't we be saving this
As long as I'm nothing like a dame this time, I don't care.
Is that Adric?
Jack and his mother had been very poor, ever since the death of Jack's father
in a freak hedgehog-poaching accident.
[ROZ and CHRIS resolutely avoid looking at the mantlepeice. The picture of the
Fourth Doctor is there anyway.]
Finally, they decided they had to sell Daisy.
[It performs some odd movements that might be an amusing dance, or might be the
front half trying desperately trying to escape from the back half]
Y'know, I think you're right. That *is* Adric, isn't it? Anyway, Jack, you must
sell the cow at market. See you get a good price for her, now.
[He ties a rope round the COW's neck and leads it out of the hovel and along
the road to market]
And so, Jack took the cow to market. But on the way he was stopped by a strange
[Enter SABALOM GLITZ]
Oi, less of the old, thanks. Blimmin' cheek. [To CHRIS] Well, hello, young sir,
and might I enquire where you're off to with such a fine beast?
I'm taking the cow to market, so I can sell her and buy some food.
Riiiight. Do I need to point out the obvious here? I mean, if you're a vegan,
fair enough, but then why would you *'ave* a cow in the first place? Anyway, I
wouldn't think you'd get many grotzits for her at the market, but *I'm*
prepared to offer you... some magic beans! Oh, come on, *nobody* would fall for
Jack does. It's in the story.
Yeah, but I've got me reputation to think of! I could come up with a better
scam than this! I'm a *professional*.
Yes, and in reality, I'm a cop, so do you really want to pursue this line of
thought? Just give me the beans, and we can get this over with.
[He gives CHRIS the beans, and takes the rope. As CHRIS leaves, the COW's odd
dance becomes more pronnounced. Eventually it splits in half, and ADRIC emerges
from the front half, running at full speed. NYSSA , still wearing the back
half, exits without a word.]
Not gonna do my reputation any good at *all*...
[Cut to: Back at the hovel. CHRIS is showing ROZ the beans.]
Jack returned home, where his mother was not happy that he had exchanged their
cow for a handfull of beans. She took them and...
Izzy lowered the book. "Yes, what *is* it, Fitz?"
"Are these the same kind of beans that you and the Supervisor get all newvous
about us eating?"
"Um. No. No, I don't think so. I think these are green beans."
"Fitz never eats his greens." said Baby Anji.
"Neever do you." retorted Fitz.
"Yes, I do. Sometimes."
"I *alwayth* eat mine." said Baby Mel. "Ow! Ithy! Fitth threw a beanbag at me!"
"Fitz," Izzy said, sternly, "apologise to Mel."
"Sorry, Mel." said Baby Fitz sullenly.
"Now, everyone settle down and we can get on with the story..."
Yes, Mum. Sorry, Mum.
You will be, my boy. [pause] Hang on, am I the only one who sees the two of us,
in these roles, as being a bit disturbing?
I think it's based on the earlier characterisation. You know, Ajudicator and
Squire, when there was nothing between us except friendship, professional
respect and driving each other up the wall. Certainly no hint of any romantic
or sexual feelings.
Did that really last for more than one book?
And I really had professional respect for you?
Um, sort of.
Okay, then. [Back in character] Well, my lad, this is what I think of your
beans! [She throws them out the window] And you can go to bed without supper.
Not as a punishment, but because there isn't any! [She storms out and slams the
[CHRIS sighs and settles down to sleep. It gets dark, then light again. But not
very light, because something is now obscuring the window.]
And so Jack went to sleep. In the morning he woke early and, to his
CHRIS (leaving the hovel):
Yep, it's a beanstalk. Suppose I'd better climb it.
Have you *ever* heard of dramatic build-up?
Look, I just want to get this over with. Climb the beanstalk, befriend the
giant's wife, grab the harp and the goose (which I realise is theft, but since
it's not real I don't care), cut down the beanstalk, end of story, get on with
my life. Okay?
Okay. I suppose.
[He climbs the beanstalk, eventually disapearing into the clouds. Cut to: The
top of the beanstalk. The cloud, for no adequately explained meterological
reason, is now solid, and there is a castle built on it. A very big castle.
CHRIS enters, cautiously, finding himself in a huge kitchen. We see an
indistinct figure, apparently consisting mostly of shawls, sitting in front of
He climbed to the top of the beanstalk and entered the Giant's Castle. In the
castle an old woman was knitting in a rocking-chair. Her name was Fitztiana and
in her youth she had been...
FITZ (for it is he):
Yeah, yeah, it's the same character from Cinderella, only older. Let's not go
on about it, and just get this over with.
My sentiments exactly.
At least you're getting to wear trousers this time. [Gets into character]
Hello, there, young man. And what are you doing in the Castle of the Giant?
The Castle of the Giant?
That's right... dear. I am the giant's wife.
Um, you're normal sized.
So, if you don't mind my asking... how do you... um...
Oh, for God's sake, Chris! It's a *fairy story*! Do you really think they've
thought *that* through? And even if they had, I personally have absolutely no
interest in finding out, for obvious reasons! Anyway, this is my goose. Puns on
the word "goose" have been forbidden by order of the management. [He points
vaguely to a goose. It's a real goose. A pantomime goose was considered, but
decided to be too silly, even for this story.]
And the harp?
That comes later, after... [Booming footsteps] After that. That will be my
husband arriving, young man. You had best hide. [He shoves Fitz in a cupboard,
as the footsteps get closer.]
And so Jack sat, trembling, in the cupboard, as the door was flung open by
Fitztiana's husband... Bob.
[The door is flung open. A deep booming voice echoes:]
DEEP BOOMING VOICE:
Bob *the Giant*.
Sorry. Fitztiana's husband Bob *the Giant*.
[And BOB THE MUSE enters the kitchen. Looking exactly the same as he always
looks, save for the minor detail of being twenty feet tall (and almost as
I heard that!
[No you didn't. It was a stage direction. You can't hear the stage directions.]
Daibhid, I'm your Muse. *You* figure out what I can and can't hear.
Meta-meta-meta-fiction. Well, that's *just* what the world needs. Could you two
give it a rest and let us get on with the story?
[Sure, Izzy. Sorry.]
Whatever. Where were we? Ah...
Fee Fi Fo Fader,
I smell the blood of an Ajudicator.
Be he beppled or be he unchanged,
His features I will rearrange.
[not quite sotto voice] *That* was the best you could come up with, Dave? I
dunno, I take five minutes off to be a character and it all goes to pot...
*Ahem*. Fitztiana reassured him that he was imagining things.
Eh? Oh, we're back in the world of plot, are we? Er, there's no Ajudicators
here, Bob. Why don't you check to see if the goose has laid another golden egg?
And then you can listen to your magical harp. That always relaxes you.
You're right, dear. [He takes an egg from beneath the goose. Contrary to
expectations, it's not a lump of pure gold, but elegantly decorated with
jeweled designs.] Another masterpeice, Faberge. [He places it on a high shelf,
with others. Faberge the goose quacks contentedly.]
And now I will listen to my magic harp. [He reaches into the cupboard above the
one CHRIS is hiding in and produces a golden harp, about the size of a person.
In fact, it *is* a person, the tall end being carved into the shape of MEL.]
Harp, I command you to play some music to sooth me.
As you command, Bob. [She clears her throat, and reaches for the strings.]
MUNgojerry and RRRUMpleteaser, we're a notorious couple of cats...
[Behind her, some of the Faberge eggs shatter. FITZ buries his head in his
shawl. CHRIS trembles in the cupboard. Finally, she finishes.]
...*AAAAAND* there's nothing at all to be done about that!
Thank you, harp. Life always seems better once you've stopped. [He falls
asleep. After a bit, so does FITZ]
Once Bob the Giant and his wife were asleep, Jack slipped out of his hiding
place, and moved towards the harp.
Harp, do you like it here?
Not *really*. I mean, it's not much of a life. I've always dreamed of being
owned by a real musician.
Now, although it hasn't been mentioned previously, which is sloppy writing,
Jack *was* a real musician, an accomplished harpist, before he sold the family
harp for two-thirds of a magic Brussels sprout (and that one actually *had*
been a con). He offered to fulfill the harp's dream, and be her musician.
I suppose a pluck's out of the question?
Never mind the Sid James double entendres, just get me out of here!
Can do. [He lifts her up, and carries her to the door. Actually she's walking,
but with him making a show of carrying her. I mean, he's a big lad, and she's a
very light woman, but there are limits!]
Oh, and I'll take the goose as well.
[CHRIS reaches for the goose which immediately starts cackling. The Giant
Fi Fi Fo Feggerty, I... Oh, sod it! Just put it back, or I'll step on you.
[CHRIS, with MEL and the goose, goes racing for the door. He tucks them both
under his arms, and slides down the beanstalk, fireman's pole fashion.]
[Cut to: Outside the hovel. ROZ is waiting at the bottom of the beanstalk as
CHRIS et al arrive]
Oh, Jack, you were right! It was a magic beanstalk after all. And you've made
Yeah, and I've got a giant after me!
Then, quick, chop down the beanstalk! [She throws an axe towards him, which he
catches one handed.]
Chop down the beanstalk? Now *that's* a good idea [He turns to the camera,
holding the axe dramatically] You see, I never wanted to be an Ajudicator
turned involuntary fairy tale character...
ROZ (soft moan):
...I always wanted to be...
Goddess, please, *no*!
[The assembled forces of WANKER, dressed in the uniform of the Royal Canadian
Mounted Police, suddenly appear from behind a bush. MEL begins to play a
THE ASSEMBLED FORCES OF WANKER:
Oh, he's a lumberjack and he's okay,
He sleeps all night and he...
[The song is sadly cut off, as BOB, having made it to the bottom of the
beanstalk, steps on WANKER. The effects budget having been shot to hell by his
previous appearance, however, he is represented by a crudely animated painting
of a huge bare foot. Appropriate, no?]
Thank you, Bob.
And they all lived happily ever after. The End.
Izzy shut the book, to be met by baffled stares from the kids.
"You call THAT an ENDING???" bellowed Doc Six.
"That wasn't a story, that was just things happening, one after the other."
"What the hell was the stuff with the giant arguing with the stage directions
about?" demanded Fitz.
The other babies had similar problems. Their voices rose in complaint.
"Guys! Guys!" Izzy protested, "Don't blame me, I didn't write it."
"Yeah, you can't blame *her*." said a voice. They all turned to see Bob the
Muse, normal size, leaning against the door frame. "You want to know who you
Three hours later, Inverness, Scotland. A rather geeky young man with a
pony-tail and thick glasses, was putting the finishing touches to his crossover
masterwork "Lots Of Discworld Characters On The Enterprise (working title)",
when there came a knock at the door. Squinting out of the kitchen window, he
saw a gaggle of very young children outside the house. "I wonder what they
want." he thought as he opened the door...
Disclaimers: This Time Round created by Tyler Dion. LWT is the dread
responsibility of Imran. Story Time was thought up by BKWillis. All Doctor Who
characters are the property of the BBC as, to the best of my knowledge, is the
Lumberjack Song. Mungojerry and Rumpleteaser come from TS Eliot, via Andrew
Lloyd-Webber. The X-Babies are the property of Marvel Comics, and one day the
full story of their appearance at LWT will be told (possibly). The Teeny Titans
are DC Comics'. *Really* Young Hercules is my own idea, but based on Young
Hercules and Hercules:The Legendary Journeys, by Rennaissance Pictures. Bob the
Muse would like to make it clear that, apart from his role as the giant, he had
*nothing* to do with this.
Synopsis: For the entertainment of the kiddies, Chris does Jack and the
Beanstalk. Sort of.
Now Official Absentee of EU Skiffeysoc for FOUR years
"We have no listing for the Cult of Fish in Edinburgh."
The Number 118-118, asked for the number of the Court of Session.