Chapter two

Every morning before the Grimniens go to work in Twitterland they attend a meeting in the Great wizard’s castle. Of course Grimnien is our creator and so we begin the meeting with a prayer:

Our Father
Who art in Devon
Hallowed be thy Voice Box
Thy characters come
and have some fun
In Twitterland
as it is in Devon
Give us this day our daily head mess
and forgive us our trespasses
As we sometimes – but not very often
forgive those who trespass against us
Lead us not into temptation
(especially that tart, Meadow)
But deliver us from evil wizards
For thine is Voice Box, the power and the glory
Forever and ever

(From ‘Life Lines’ by Gongleshanks – with slight adaptations)

Grimnien stands to attention whilst his subjects pay homage to him. Generally, once the prayer is said the meetings quickly deteriorate into chaos. He does try to keep order – bless him! But his characters have taken on lives of their own and he usually ends up disappearing into his kitchen from where he emerges later, bearing bacon butties and mugs of tea. Grimnien does not like to see his slaves…….erm, I mean workforce going to work on empty stomachs.

He rambles on….erm I mean briefs us on how we are doing and how many followers we have gained, stuff like that which, quite frankly, none of us are the least bit interested in – especially Gongleshanks –who spends the entire meeting ogling Kara Jarina and telling pathetic jokes in order to attract her attention. Wendel Sparsett rarely attends because he’s a fruit cake and forgets who he is, never mind that he is due at a meeting. Wendel is – or was – the Mayor of Dingletown which is a suburb of Grimney I believe he is over two thousand years old so he can be forgiven for having little lapses of memory!

The human members of the team don’t attend because they live in such far reaching places as Lanzarote, Miami and weather forecaster land Morton generally slithers in just in time for breakfast and Garli arrives late quite often if she’s had a struggle getting the sunbeams going. In fact if I’m honest it’s not so much a meeting as a ‘wander in when you feel like it and grab some breakfast’ club. Kara always arrives looking pristine and very business like. Gongle is intrigued by the brief case she carries in with her, she never opens it and whilst Grimnien is rambling……erm, briefing us, the imp’s imagination is delving into that little case. One day, he imagines, Kara will open the case to reveal a thick pile of love letters which she has written to him but never plucked up the courage to give him. In truth, the beautiful lady hardly notices that Gongle exists but, hey! Imps can dream!

Although Grimnien is an idiot everyone treats him with respect because he has quite a reputation for turning people into frogs and whilst this may be a step up in the world for Morton the rest of the group prefer to stick with what Mother Nature……….Mother Grimnien gave them.

Once al the bacon’s been scoffed the wizard sends us off to work with his little joke:

‘Hi Ho Hi Ho it’s off to tweet we go’

Of course everyone laughs…….just in case!

Work was a bit of a culture shock to Gongleshanks  As far as he was concerned it involved wandering around in forests and shooting down a bird or two to take home for tea. Of course it was quite a task for him, holding the bow and arrow between his toes. That was why he generally ate fruit, especially grimnati fruit. It is the main form of nutrition in Grimney and is believed to contain enough nutrients for Grimniens to survive for thousands of years.

He doesn’t need to work, of course but Grimnien insists that no creature should be idle. Grimniens work solely for the pleasure of bringing happiness to humans. Many humans find this concept difficult to deal with of course and think we have some ‘ulterior motive’. Humans may be much more technologically advanced than the inhabitants of Grimney but for them everything revolves around money. They are so totally brainwashed into believing than money is the be all and end all that they focus all their energy on gathering as much as they can. This is one area where the aliens have the advantage over humans. When we stopped worrying about money and started to concentrate on each other we found that we were much happier and strangely we discovered that we had more than enough ‘tobran’ which is the currency on our planet.

Gongle’s first day at work was extremely stressful. Kara had to teach him how to use a computer and of course he was so busy gazing at her beauty that he learnt very little. He is not much better now, almost two years later but he has learned to ‘wing it’ as you humans say.

Once she had taught him the basics she put him into an office by himself – much to his disappointment – and told him to get tweeting!

Now Gongle would never admit this but on his first day he sat trembling at his desk. He finally plucked up the courage to send out a couple of tweets and was devastated when nobody replied. He spent the rest of the day dreaming about his beloved Grimney and decided to ask Grimnien to take him back. Alas the great wizard didn’t appear that day so he presented himself for work the next day, his only consoling thought, that he would see the beautiful Kara again.

On his second day however, something happened that would change his life forever…………….

Kara Jarina walked into his office bearing a hot mug of tea and a plate of chocolate biscuits……….NO! THAT wasn’t it! She smiled sweetly at the imp whose elbows turned to jelly.

‘How are you enjoying your new job Gongle?’ she asked as she sat on the edge of his desk swinging her long, long, long legs.

Gongle thought he had died and gone to Zoriat. He summoned all his strength and replied,

‘Yes it’s great fun Kara, I love chatting to all the twits out there.’

Gongle had a huge ego and he would never ever dream of showing any weakness, let alone to the woman he hoped, one day to marry.

‘Good’ replied Kara, ‘I knew you’d be good at it.’

With that she stood up to leave. Gongle’s whole being was crying out for her to stay longer and chat. It was the only part of ‘work’ that he enjoyed.

Kara swept out of the office leaving behind a delightful trail of perfume which intoxicated the imp. He sat motionless for several minutes just torturing himself with her scent. Then it hit him, what she had said……..’I knew you’d be good at it.’ Her words kept repeating in his love struck head and he resolved to excel at the job so that Kara would be so impressed with him she would fall in love with him.

Still a little shaky but with a new enthusiasm inspired by Kara, Gongle turned on his computer and logged in to Twitter…………..

At first his tweets went unheeded then he noticed a tweet. It was something about a piece of music and the friendly face was urging people to ‘get dancing’

Shyly, Gongle replied,

‘It’s difficult to dance when you’re upside down’

To his delight he got a tweet back saying something like,

‘Dancing is great whether you’re on your feet or upside down.’ Gongle smiled. This lady didn’t care that he was upside down. For the next few days the imp logged on to the lady’s page hoping she would be there and when she was his heart leapt,  just as it did when Kara entered the room.

The tweet had come from Gongleshanks’s future wife, An Marie. Now he had someone to talk to, he didn’t feel so alone in this strange place!

An Marie lives in Miami and it wasn’t long before Gongle flew out in his private jet to spend some time with her. They soon started dating and have plans to marry in October. Whether the wedding will actually happen is anybody’s guess because they fight like cat and dog! Ann, as Gongle calls her is very independent and strong minded. This is one of the things the imp is attracted to. That and her fiery red hair! He is a terrible flirt too but she turns a blind eye to it, which is another thing he likes about her!

As well as being engaged to her ‘Yummykins’ as she calls Gongle, she also likes what the Grimniens are doing on Twitter so it wasn’t long before she was invited to join the team.

It was during one of Gongle’s frequent trips to Miami that Hall arrived on the scene. She had been watching the Grimnians for some time and when she heard the imp was planning another trip to see Ann with   other members of the team she hid on his jet. Nobody realised we had an extra passenger until we landed. Ann dutifully carried the cartoon lady around in her pocket for the duration of the trip and they all became firm friends. Although Hall is not officially a member of the team she does help out a lot and Ann chose her to be her chief bridesmaid.

Sian Lloyd the weather girl knows the late Princess Diana’s wedding dress designer and Gongleshanks was delighted when she offered to ask him to make Ann’s dress but in true An Marie style she refused saying that she had already chosen her dress. There are not too many ladies who would turn down such an offer but An Marie is single-minded and determined If the two do marry it’s a marriage guaranteed to be punctuated by many explosive firework displays!

Sian interacts regularly with the Grimniens and agreed to be their sponsor which delighted them. She is a lovely lady with a keen sense of humour and of course Gongleshanks has her on his list of ‘possible conquests’ He wrote her a ‘love’ poem for Valentine’s day in true Gongle style! What lady could fail to be impressed by this little ditty?

The Megastar and the Weather Girl:

I’d love to take her out with me

But I doubt the lady will agree

You see I’m Gongle the Megastar

She’ll think it is a dream too far


Everyone wants a piece of me

Doubt she’ll cope with publicity

She’ll be too afraid to take my hand

Be seen with someone quite so grand


Of course her fears are quite unfounded

For a Megastar I’m quite well grounded

I’ll mix with anyone – even lowly folk

I’m out of her league but I’m a lovely bloke


She’d love to parade me round the town

See her friends with envious frowns

Yes I must admit I’m quite a catch

Look out men you’ve met your match!


So Sian Pluck up your courage dear

I’ll show you a good time, have no fear

Whisk you away in my private plane

To my island where it never rains


Most ladies would die for a chance like this

Put nerves aside for a taste of bliss

My culinary skills are famed world wide

Like my egg and chips with beans on the side


When you’ve dined in style fit for a queen

I’ll regale you with tales of the places I’ve been

Then I’ll show you all the awards I’ve won

I might even let you have a hold of one


I’ll introduce you to my staff

But pay no heed if they should laugh

For they’re used to meeting model types

Ignore their comments and their snipes


I’ll end the evening with a surprise

Sweet Sian you won’t believe your eyes

Not roses, they’re for men who’re meek

I will shower you with leeks         (see what I did there? Shower………weather girl)

Don’t think that you’re not good enough

I’m used to ladies who are rough

Who drink like fish and smoke like Chimneys

You should see what passes for lady in Grimney!


The only downside, after we’ve dated

When you get home you’ll feel deflated

Back to the grind of ‘spits and spots’

And men who pretend to think you’re hot

Mmmmmm that’s our Gongle, the hopeless romantic!



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