The Adventures of Earwin Earwax

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The rain pattered ominously on the rooftops. In fact, it didn't so much patter as stomp around like a ten ton dormouse. It was serious rain and it wasn't going to mess about, it was going to get its message across loud and clear. It was rain that intimated the end of the worls, this was it.

A dark figure hurried through the atmosphere of impending doom. It came to a door and knocked tentatively. A shaft of light spread cautiously out on to the street.

"Oh, it's you. You're late."
"Sorry. It's not the end of the world is it?"
"No, I suppose not. Come in."

The door creaked shut and... the world ended. It wasn't particularly spectacular, no blinding flashes of light or anything. One second the world was there, the next second it wasn't. It simply blinked out of existence. The universe opened a weary eye, adjusted a few orbits to compensate for the sudden change in the gravitational field in that area, and went back to sleep.

Good job this has nothing to do with the rest of the story, really.

In another part of the universe a spaceship shot through the inky blackness as if it were running from the bats of hell. It was closely followed by several dark, bat shaped things which weren't, in fact, from hell, but somewhere much worse. Evil from the depths of time, offspring of unholy unions or, to give them their official title, Tax Collectors for His Highness the Galactic Emperor, call them what you will they at least had a purpose in life. Currently that purpose involved capturing their fleeing prey and sticking some very hot, very pointed things in some very sensitive areas.

Earwin Earwax had entirely different ideas about what he'd like poked in his sensitive areas. He calmly pressed a button on his control panel and a dirty great hole was ripped in the fabric of space and time. Erwin's spacecraft shot through the rip moments before total reality reasserted itself and the Tax Collectors were left chasing thin air, or, more accurately, partial vacuum.

Erwin Earwax, space pirate extroadinaire, had overcome the great handicap of a rather silly name to become renowned and feared throughout the galaxy. His name was indelibly printed on the history books of many worlds, he just wished it wasn't such a silly name. But, he couldn't change it now, after all, he'd promised his Mother. "Make people respect the name of Earwax," she'd said.

© Robert Crowther