'A Mole at Work'

Melvin Molesworthy sighed contentedly, sat back in his tattered old armchair, and buttered another crumpet.

Although it was a baking summer's afternoon outside, within Melvin's small neat home, with its shuttered and curtained single window, it might have been a cold winter's evening.

In the open hearth, a log was burning merrily away. A toasting fork with a fresh crumpet attached rested above the embers, while a kettle simmered on the little stove in the corner, ready to replenish the large brown teapot on the table.

All was well with the world in Melvin's eyes, for all was well with Melvin.

These were the times that Melvin loved best. Being in a dim, firelit warm room with the world safely shut out. Away from the hustle and bustle of daily village life. Most important of all was the luxury of being away from the sun.

Melvin hated daylight of any sort, being a mole with very weak eyes and skin that tended to burn very easily. He wore a pair of NHS coke-bottle-end type thick wire framed glasses to read with, and he covered himself up well when he was forced by necessity into the light.

These forays into the real world were, unfortunately for Melvin,
unavoidable. They were warranted by his job as the sole news reporter for the Hollowbridge Weekly Gazette.

This post, albeit not the ideal one for such a shy, nocturnal
soul as Melvin, was the only one which let the little mole fulfil
his passion for writing. He was particularly obsessed with poetry.
For under his alias as 'A. Bard', the editor occasionally allowed
the inclusion of his peculiar dabblings.

To have one of his works printed in the Gazette was a great source of joy for Melvin. He hoped one day to be given a wider audience. A small regular column perhaps, or even a book.

He finished his third crumpet, took a slurp of hot sweet tea, and settled back to check his afternoon's work.

Settling his spectacles on his nose more comfortably, and putting his slippered feet on a stool, Melvin returned to his final draft.

He held it very closely to his pointed face as he began to read:

Melvin sat back and rubbed his watering eyes. He promised himself for the third time that day to see about getting some new spectacles. He put down the paper, buttered his fourth crumpet, and sighed deeply as he chewed, wondering how long it would be before his major poetic genius would be discovered. An occasional contribution in the ‘Gazette’ would not be enough to launch the mole to fame and fortune.

Suddenly Melvin heard a terrible commotion outside his window. He peered out from between the curtains and undid the shutters a notch. He was just in time to see Henrietta, Hamish, Sergeant Stoat and PC Simmonds hurry down the main street in a westerly direction. Hamish and Simmonds were to the rear, both being incapacitated in one way or the other.

A Problem presented itself to Melvin. To become involved or not to become involved? “That is the question”, thought Melvin pompously. He decided that he owed it to his readers to interfere. He hastily grabbed his prescription sunglasses, a pad of paper and a quill, and fervently hoped that he would find inspiration for a new poem in the sunlit world beyond.

The myopic little mole donned his cape and hurried out of his dingy but cosy house down the main street, and towards the rapidly disappearing group in the distance.

© The Hollowbridge Heroes 2009