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Beard now meticulously trimmed, remaining follicles on his chilly scalp brought to some kind of order, tie perfectly complementing both handkerchief and socks (exposed a devilish half-inch), “Yes,” said mirror “you still cut a dashing figure, Rupert.”
Rupert sniffed, his eyebrows rippling a little as he did so. “Today,” he announced to his lamp… or maybe his wardrobe… perhaps even his comb, who knows? “Today, (Monday the seventeenth of May, two-thousand and three) is a milestone, in the life of Rupert J. Falt. Today he steps out of his front door for the first time as an executive member of Zest Incorporated! And what is more,” he added with an ITV grin “he’s rather proud of it.”
Rupert J. Falt shooed a fictitious speck of dust from his trousers and trotted down the stairs. As he approached his front door… he faltered. In front of it was a walrus – a large, grey, blubbery walrus with whiskers and tusks and all of the usual walrustic trimmings one would expect from a typical walrus. In its left fin it held a Jaffa Cake, which it was nibbling on demurely.
Rupert stood on the penultimate step of his staircase and opened and closed his mouth a great deal. Had anyone other than the walrus been present to witness Rupert’s expression, they may well have giggled. He looked rather like a haddock that had discovered its best friend in bed with its mother. The walrus shot him a quizzical glance and said “Can I help you, Sir?”
After a great deal of mental processing, a flabbergasted Rupert found speech: “…Possibly. I was wondering… I-I was wondering… why are you here?”
“Oh I shouldn’t worry yourself about that too much, old man. I’m probably just a hallucination. Fret not.”
“Ah. Right you are then.” Rupert took a timid step closer to the beast. “A hallucination, eh?” he muttered, hesitantly extending a finger towards its flabby form. He made contact. The beast’s bulk shimmered briefly. Slowly, drowsily, the walrus turned it’s head towards Rupert and stared dully into his eyes. Then it bent its neck a little and bit his finger off.
Rupert yelped and bled and blinked tears a lot, before rushing up to the bathroom and groping for a bandage. His mind hadn’t time to linger on the absurdity of the situation he found himself abandoned in – time was very much against him. He was expected to stroll into the Zest offices at nine for a… Christ! he thought with a sudden surge of panic: The meeting!
Whilst haphazardly winding the bandage round his depleted hand, he began to plan his next move frantically. What options had he?

- Move walrus by peaceful means.
- Move walrus by force.
- Fail to turn up for meeting.

Was that really it? Surely there was another way? But of course… there was! Quick as a pogo-stick he began to hurtle down the stairs, stumbling near the bottom steps and soaring straight into the fleshy mass of walrus that was still blocking his passage to the driveway, and furthermore still eating a Jaffa Cake. As he lay on the carpet in a momentary daze, the walrus made its lethargic retaliation by shifting a little weight so as to achieve better aim and idly biting Rupert in the calf of his right leg. Rupert screamed in pain and clawed frantically at the carpet, dragging himself away from the violent, arctic behemoth.
He scrambled to his feet and limped through the kitchen, into the living room, and stumbled towards the back door: his goal. From there he could leap over the fence (using the gate was out of the question – it had been barricaded with clutter for years) and trot round to his car. Problem solved! he assured himself.
Of course, he had not anticipated the presence of a penguin standing in front of it. Easily fixed, reasoned Rupert. He picked up the little chap and placed him to one side then made to unlock the door. The penguin waddled round in front of the door again. Rupert picked him up and placed him to one side then returned to his keys. The penguin waddled round in front of the door again. Rupert picked him up once more. This time, he did not put him down. Instead, he held the penguin up to his face and growled. “Look, I’m coming to the end of my tether. I don’t know if you can talk, but I’m beyond the point of worrying about it if you can. I want an explanation, and I want it quickly. Time is very much of the essence… I haven’t a moment to lose. Indeed yes…” He paused for a moment and passed his tongue over his bottom teeth. Something was beginning to irk him. “So… if you could furnish me with a… an explanation… I’d very much… appreciate… it…”
It was at this point Rupert concluded that he must be a) still asleep or b) clinically insane. Neither of these conclusions required him to engage a penguin in conversation. He ruminated on this briefly, sniffing back an itchy spot of mucus and coughing a little. He put the penguin down, then turned to face the prettily papered wall and began to beat his fists in a directionless drum-roll and screech like cat on the rack. It took a full seven minutes of this particular pursuit for him to decide that it achieved very little indeed, other than to delay him further. He checked his watch – 8:48. He could be in the board room by quarter past if he got things sorted quickly. Slowly, he turned his head towards the penguin. It blinked at him.
“You can’t go through there.”
Rupert stood up straight and stared wildly at his tuxedoed company, his hands facing the heavens like desperate claws. “What?” he said in an unvarnished whisper.
“You can’t go through there.”
“…Why not?”
“You can’t go through there.”
“Why not?”
“You can’t go through there.”
“Why not?”
“You can’t go through there.”
“Why not?”
“You can’t go through there.”
“Why not?”
“You can’t go through there.”
“WHY NOT?”
“You can’t go-“
“Listen to me, penguin…”
“Name’s Percival.” The penguin extended a cordial flipper. “Call me Percy.” Rupert had never seen a penguin grin before. He hopes never to see it again. Apparently it is a wholly nauseous and terrifying experience.
“Look, Percy, why can’t I go through that door? My door.”
“S’for your own safety.”
“Elucidate.”
“What?”
“Explain.”
“Oh. I can’t. It’s -”
“EXPLAIN!” Rupert dug his fingernails into his face and blinked away a couple of tears.
“I’m sorry guv’nor, but I just can’t, but believe you m-”
It was at this juncture that Rupert drop-kicked the penguin across the living room. The poor creature struck the corner of a picture frame and fell to the carpet with a muted thump.
Rupert ran his perspiring un-mutilated hand through his hair (unwittingly treating it with a fishy, salty odour, courtesy of the penguin) and grunted as he removed the key in the lock of the back door. He turned the handle. He opened the door. 2.28952 seconds later, he closed the door. With his back flat against the wall he slowly slid to the ground muttering “ohgodohgodohgod”. His garden had disappeared. In its place was a sort of dark, sinister vacuum. A black hole. He abandoned the back door for the time being.
The pain in his calf had worsened, his depleted hand was throbbing sarcastically, and a severe headache was coming on. Any normal man would have resigned in such circumstances. Any normal man would have shrugged his shoulders, sat down on the sofa and prepared for a day of recuperation and daytime television. Rupert J. Falt, however, was not a normal man. Rupert had no wife, no family, no friends to speak of, no interests, and the few shreds of sanity that forty-five years of relentless Human Society had spared him were beginning to peel away. All Rupert really had now was ambition. Right now, the only thing he wanted to do was get to his car, and he was damned well going to do it.
He crawled on all fours back to his front door. The walrus appeared to have finished his Jaffa Cake. After a few minutes of heavy breathing and even heavier thinking, Rupert suddenly had what could only be described as a revelation. It was as if some divine being had trickled down from the heavens and pointed to the box on the sideboard.
“You know,” said Rupert, gaining the walrus’ blood-eyed attention, “there’s plenty more Jaffa Cakes in the kitchen. Do help yourself.”
The walrus beamed. Unlike the leering penguin of earlier, Rupert felt a rippling warmth inside him as he gazed upon that smile. The walrus slapped and farted towards the kitchen at an excruciatingly slow pace, but eventually he got there. Rupert got to his feet.
There it was: The front door – walrus absent.
He bolted through it and was overjoyed to discover that he still had a driveway and a car, as opposed to an astronomical phenomenon or a polar bear. He flung himself into his car and looked at the clock. 9:02. He’d only be about 20 minutes late for the meeting, traffic permitting. He let out a giggling sigh, and started the engine.

* * *

“…That’s my point exactly, Mr Lump. We need much more emphasis on the when and the-“ Mr Stick of Accounting stopped mid-balls and stared. All other members of the boardroom did likewise. The door had catapulted open, and now, framed within its frame was Mr Falt; twenty-three minutes late for the meeting.
“Glad you could make it, Mr Falt! We were all most concerned about your absence. Most concerned…” mumbled Mr Scab, Chief Executive of Zest Incorporated. “Had a bit of traffic trouble did you? Or was it those damned trains? …My goodness! Mr Falt! What happened to your hand?”
The Mr Stick of Accounting and Mr Lump of Human Resources nodded and murmured, along with all the other executives – they had been thinking very much along the same lines as Mr Scab. Rupert staggered towards his Chief Executive, his face twisted in obvious agony. He slurred something that everyone thought they must have misheard. It sounded a little like “walrus n’ a penguin”. He stood for a good thirty seconds, swaying slightly as if in a mild wintry breeze, then collapsed with his head in Mr Gong of Marketing’s lap. His contract was torn up almost as soon as he regained consciousness.
An old story, but a good'un, methinks. I wrote this some time ago... perhaps as much as three years, yet I still like it! This is rare for me as I normally detest whatever I spew a matter of minutes after I complete it.
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Daily Deviation

Given 2005-09-07
I'm inclined to believe that ~Trouserpress is the best thing since sliced cheese in little plastic packets. His gallery is full of great prose that's funny and well-observed, and phut is no exception. Except that it's exceptional, of course. And there's a walrus eating a Jaffa Cake in it, which is rarely a bad thing in a story. ( Suggested by fyoot and Featured by MinorKey )
:icontehmutt:
TehMutt Featured By Owner Jun 9, 2010  Professional Digital Artist
Even after years, this still makes me chuckle something fierce.
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:icontrouserpress:
Trouserpress Featured By Owner Jun 17, 2010   Artist
Fanks. Might be putting some new stories n' shit in my gallery at some point in the not-too-distant.
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:icontheapplepoisoner:
TheApplePoisoner Featured By Owner Nov 22, 2007
Your vocabulary is wonderful. Wonderously wonderful.
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:iconunwanted-reason:
unwanted-reason Featured By Owner Jan 30, 2006   Writer
"Rupert had never seen a penguin grin before. He hopes never to see it again. Apparently it is a wholly nauseous and terrifying experience."

This line did it for me.

I found this through =moyan’s picture which made me very curious about what kind of story could provoke that image. I'm glad I came to read it as I tend to enjoy a little absurdity in the morning. Keep it up.
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:iconsunnybrook1:
Sunnybrook1 Featured By Owner Jan 12, 2006  Hobbyist Artisan Crafter
My goodness, what an interesting story! :nod:

The imagery if very solid, the story's easy to follow, and there's never a dull moment. It's as though you built this charactor Rupurt J. Falt bit by bit, looked at him for a minute, then found the strangest and most chaotic way to utterly destroy him, unraveled and strewn across the page.

Gave me a chuckle, to say the least. :giggle:
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:icontrouserpress:
Trouserpress Featured By Owner Jan 16, 2006   Artist
Glad you enjoyed it! There's nothing quite as satisfying as witnessing someone else's destruction, is there?
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:iconsunnybrook1:
Sunnybrook1 Featured By Owner Jan 16, 2006  Hobbyist Artisan Crafter
Alas, indeed - especially if you're the one doing the destroying. :D
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:iconminorkey:
MinorKey Featured By Owner Dec 18, 2005  Professional Writer
I keep coming back to this. I've been meaning to +fav it for a while. I love the penguin.
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:iconnoemis:
Noemis Featured By Owner Sep 9, 2005
nice use of a pictire of a serpent! it caught my eye
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:iconlonelyxangel:
lonelyxangel Featured By Owner Sep 7, 2005   Writer
holy frick this story is so brilliant! Great use of words going on here, and the storyline is insane! Genious! I love it!
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:iconnatyismyhero:
natyismyhero Featured By Owner Sep 7, 2005
His contract was torn up almost as soon as he regained consciousness.

What a perfect last line *happy sigh*...I am glad that you like this one! I like it too!
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:iconstar-gazer35:
Star-gazer35 Featured By Owner Sep 7, 2005
"He bolted through it and was overjoyed to discover that he still had a driveway and a car, as opposed to an astronomical phenomenon or a polar bear. "

:rofl:

You are a god.
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:iconkreoche:
Kreoche Featured By Owner Sep 7, 2005
Heh, this piece is great.
I enjoyed the read.
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:iconmikisori:
MikiSori Featured By Owner Sep 7, 2005
Wow, that was an amazing story! Very imaginative and funny. 'Walrustic', genius!!! ^^ Splendid work :D :+favlove:
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:iconjelequiem:
Jelequiem Featured By Owner Sep 7, 2005
"Rupert sniffed, his eyebrows rippling a little as he did so." :rofl: I loved that line for the simple reason that I don't think I've ever heard of anyone's eyebrows rippling. Although, I think I'd love to see it. =D

I'd love to see this as a short cartoon of clay animation in sort of the same style as "Chicken Run" was done in. That'd be just wonderful. (*Visualizes penguin flying WEEEEEEEEEEEEEeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee!!!)

Too cool, too cool!!!
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:iconblitztactics:
BlitzTactics Featured By Owner Sep 7, 2005
...oh my...

That was brilliant. Absolutely brilliantly funny.

You had me laughing quite a bit there.

Yes, I was thinking Douglas Adams too, but I see someone else's already said that.

...Walrustic... *snort*
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:iconlunaneko:
LunaNeko Featured By Owner Sep 7, 2005
-snicker- Right up there with Hitchhiker's Guide!
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:iconsacchi:
Sacchi Featured By Owner Sep 7, 2005
Haha, that was awesome! I loved how the use of longer words added to the silliness of the tone, rather than making it more serious. And yes. I liked walrustic. That was great. XD

Keep up the good work!
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:icontrouserpress:
Trouserpress Featured By Owner Sep 7, 2005   Artist
Long words rock.

Sorry, I'll try that again. *coughs*

Recondite phraseology is quite quite brilliant.
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:iconnaiadgirl1012:
naiadgirl1012 Featured By Owner Sep 7, 2005   Photographer
This piece couldn't help but remind me of Kafka's work (The Metamorphosis in particular) the way it describes highly unusual events in such a straightforward manner. I also love "walrustic," hehehe. ^^

As I see your punctuation has already been commented on, I'll refrain from that.

Tremendous job on this; I thoroughly enjoyed it! ^___^
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:iconlotuskunk:
lotuskunk Featured By Owner Sep 7, 2005
'I normally detest whatever I spew' neeeeat hehe. its such a fun piece
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:icondrunkchicken:
DrUnKChIcKeN Featured By Owner Sep 7, 2005  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
nice piece, totally original and really odd, i love it.
sorry, not a writer/reader so i cant really give any useful critiques, hehe.
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:iconknighttym:
KnightTym Featured By Owner Sep 7, 2005
Reading in such and such as this case is as devouring some literary equivalent to a most delectable snack whose curious composure accentuates its flavor.
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:iconvogonjeltz:
vogonjeltz Featured By Owner Sep 7, 2005
You, my friend, are a genius. this short story is incredible. most stories on DA are either too long, or don't HAVE a story to speak of, but you managed to make a brilliant rendition, striking the ballance perfectly. i hope you won't take offence at me comparing this work to that of douglas adams, as some of his style has obviously rubbed off on you, and whatever you did to write this, i would suggest you do it again.

sorry for the long comment. :+fave: in order.
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:iconpinstriperat:
PinstripeRat Featured By Owner Sep 7, 2005
I sincerely hope you go on to write a great many books. I will buy them all.
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:iconpoliteyetpeculiar:
PoliteYetPeculiar Featured By Owner Sep 7, 2005  Professional Digital Artist
Kinda feel sorry for the poor guy. XD At least it's an amusing means of feeling sorry for him. I love the way you describe things. It's very entertaining indeed. ^_^

I have to say, my favorite part was when he drop-kicked the penguin. That made me laugh. *snickers* Good stuff.
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:iconthegreatkid:
thegreatkid Featured By Owner Sep 7, 2005   Photographer
That has got to be the most bizarre (in a good way) story about a man desperate to get to work I have ever read.
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:iconamadrierith:
Amadrierith Featured By Owner Sep 7, 2005
I laughed so hard at "Rupert drop-kicked the penguin across the living room"

Poor penguin :XD: This really made me laugh, I love it :D
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:iconstrider57:
Strider57 Featured By Owner Sep 7, 2005
Ahahaahaha! I have a new word on my best words list! Walrustic! :rofl: But wow, what a predicament! A walrus, a penguin, and a black hole! Ingenius! :D
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:iconanahressa:
AnahRessa Featured By Owner Sep 7, 2005  Hobbyist Artisan Crafter
omg :XD: this was great! :heart:
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:iconblackzer0:
blackzer0 Featured By Owner Sep 7, 2005
I will refrain from making the inevitable remark on the stylistic similarity to the work of Douglas Adams, and will only point out that I thoroughly enjoyed this piece. a +watch is in order.
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:icondrworm:
drworm Featured By Owner Sep 7, 2005
that is indeed a work of art.
a damn fine work of art
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:iconmurkereedime:
Murkereedime Featured By Owner Sep 7, 2005
further expoundation

Damn good peice of literary love!
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:iconmurkereedime:
Murkereedime Featured By Owner Sep 7, 2005
Superb writing.!:bravo: Apparently it is a wholly nauseous and terrifying experience. polar dentistry is hard to come by I guess

Overall I love the story has a kind of Leslie Nelson lack of seriousness to it!

Again great work I love it
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:iconblackzer0:
blackzer0 Featured By Owner Sep 7, 2005
Nielsen. Leslie Nielsen.
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:iconmurkereedime:
Murkereedime Featured By Owner Sep 7, 2005
ok now I feel like an idiot but the sentiment was there
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:iconruledbysecrecy:
ruledbysecrecy Featured By Owner Sep 7, 2005   Writer
Try 'salt'
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:iconromav:
RomaV Featured By Owner Aug 13, 2005
As he approached his front door… he faltered. --> Why not a simple comma? Three dots add too much suspense.

walrustic --> For this word, you are god. All hil god.

The walrus shot him a quizzical glance and said “Can I help you, Sir?” --> Thou needest a comma afore that opening of ye quotes, oh one.

:P


lowly, drowsily, the walrus turned it’s head --> That apostrophe should not be there. "It's" translates as "It is", not "belonging to it".

He hopes never to see it again. Apparently it is a wholly nauseous and terrifying experience. --> Sudden present tense, nice touch.

I feel very sorry for poor Mister Falt. (Is that pronounced 'fault', by the way?) And I do think that while it's okay to write for yourself, it is essential to format for your readers, who are, one and all, retards. All readers are retards. They slow down when they lack paragraph indents. :P

Oh my god this was funny... Have you read the online comic "Animals have problems too"? Here's the link to the first: [link] -- the effect is cumulative, though. :)
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:iconjeesumcrowe:
JeesumCrowe Featured By Owner Sep 7, 2005
I like the ellipse in the 'he faltered' part. It's like the writer is faltering, it echoes the story. I think it's cool.
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:iconjeesumcrowe:
JeesumCrowe Featured By Owner Sep 7, 2005
Plus it's like "Everything is normal, everything is normal everything is normal... wait, nope. It's not normal."
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:iconromav:
RomaV Featured By Owner Sep 8, 2005
<nod> I disagree, but yeah, ok, you can go that way if you want to. It's finally the writer's choice.
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:icontrouserpress:
Trouserpress Featured By Owner Aug 14, 2005   Artist
Thanks very very much for this! As you may have noticed, punctuation isn't really my forte. I proof read my work as best I can but now and again something's bound to slip under the radar. Oh, and I'm glad someone else enjoyed "Walrustic" as much as I did. :D

And by the way - it's pronounced Falt, to rhyme with... actually, nothing sounds like "alt". How odd! I never noticed that before! :P
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:iconromav:
RomaV Featured By Owner Aug 15, 2005
Hmm... as long as it doesn't rhyme with "fault".

Surely something rhymes with 'alt'. We must research!

<becomes Research Girl, sad childhood and everything>
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:iconambulentz:
ambulentz Featured By Owner Sep 7, 2005
'shalt' as in the sentence, 'thou shalt not steal.'

Very biblical and (therefore) irrelevant these days though, I think.
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:iconrocketo:
Rocketo Featured By Owner Sep 7, 2005
gestalt :D
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:iconyoggington:
Yoggington Featured By Owner Sep 13, 2005
Alt-it-tude? +tip of the hat to walrustic.
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