Phil Phorce: Oops

Almost two months from the end of the last Phil Phorce episode, I feel as though no time has passed.  Nevertheless, I think it’s high time that I gave you this, the first scene of what is probably the best Phil Phorce episode yet: episode three.  Enjoy, but be critical about the writing style.  I need help in that area desperately.

The jaws clamped shut with an unsatisfying click.  The dragon opened and shut them a few more times just to get the sound right.  The Head Phil was shaken back and forth within, his eyes kept from adjusting to the near darkness until the dragon had at last let his mouth close for good, this time with a thick smack.

Immediately, saliva started seeping from around the Head Phil.  It was sticky and rather slimy, and if his theory was correct, it was fireproof.

The floor sloped suddenly, and the Head Phil slid across the rough tongue toward the front teeth.  The tongue lifted and flicked him back.  The throat convulsed, and the Head Phil slid down the extremely smooth esophagus.

Perhaps, if the air hadn’t already tasted stale—and if the Head Phil hadn’t previously made a bet with Steve to the contrary—the Head Phil might have cursed.  He did not, however, and took a last breath before he was surrounded by the fires of the dragon’s belly.

He saw Percival’s face in the flames.  He saw Quirk’s face in the digested fluids making their way sickeningly through a membrane-covered organ near him.  He momentarily mistook a burning sphere in the dragon’s belly for either Steve or Sam—without listening for curse words, he couldn’t be exactly sure.

Phume’s eyebrows seemed to be dancing near him.  Sebase’s hat that he never wore was hanging on a peg near the door that had an impolite sign hanging on it.  He got the impression of Klaxon ringing and wind rushing and crowds roaring, and an orange brighter than the flames around him.

Then he awoke to the sound of bad music playing from bad speakers.

“Thank you for waiting,” said an automated voice.  “The next available representative will be with you in… five years.”  The music resumed, and just as a sustained chord was about to resolve, a voice broke in.

Liam almost screamed in anger.  Even if the music is horrible, how dare they leave a chord unresolved!

“Thank you for holding,” said the voice, which sounded oddly high, warbling and slow.

“Thank you for allowing me to speak with you,” replied a clear, unaltered voice nearby.

“You’re so much politer than your predecessor,” said the voice from the speaker.  “Do you have her?”

“I have them,” said the second voice, laying emphasis on the last word.

“Them?  Who is the second one?”

“A boy about the same age as the girl.”

“So that is where the Head Phil went,” said the slow voice.  “You have kept both of them alive?”

“I’m looking at them now.  They haven’t woken yet, so we haven’t fed or watered them—and we won’t when they do wake.  You told us about one, not two.”

“Are you prepared to feed the one?”

“For the time specified, yes.”

The voice on the other end of the line paused.  Liam noticed that there was no breathing sound—either the voice was too far away from the microphone, or the voice didn’t have to breathe.  It sounded freaky to a listener.

“If either one threatens you, you may kill the one who did so, but keep one alive.  If one starves off anyway, that is no concern of mine.  Just keep one alive until it’s time to transport.”  There were a few strange clicking noises, then a louder click as the phone was hung up.

A loud dial tone filled the air, terminating in a beep as speakerphone was turned off.  The clear voice sighed, and the owner of the voice got to his feet with a few scuffles and squeaks.  Liam couldn’t help but feel sympathy for whoever had to polish those floors as the footsteps squeaked into the distance.

When the noises had faded, he opened his eyes.  He was lying in a linoleum display room; every flat surface was covered in tiles of a different style.  It was rather awkward when a diagonal tile met a checkered or—he cringed—radioactive green tiles of abstract art.

He sat up.  Finding flat surfaces for strange tiles to go on wasn’t difficult; the room was completely devoid of anything remotely three-dimensional, barring corners.  The room was bare of anything, really, except tiles.

Liam sighed.  If there had been furniture anywhere, he might have been able to complain to the management about the quality of the bed, but in this empty environment all he could complain about was the lack of anything.

There was another person who might have signed his petition, had he seen the need for one; Phoenix was lying near the wall on the other side of the room, her red shirt dark with moisture.

As Liam picked himself up, he realized that he too was completely wet.  His clothes were sticky and slimy, just like the dream he had been in…  He was covered in dragon saliva.

One wall of the room was blissfully free of linoleum; the door.  It was actually a giant metal grille, going from wall to wall and floor to ceiling.  It seemed to be made of stainless steel, and on closer inspection Liam found the words “Made in Taiwan”.

Did stainless steel melt?  He had a feeling that it did, and he looked back at Phoenix.

She was covered in dragon spit, which may or may not be inflammable.  If she was completely covered, she wouldn’t be able to make any sort of fire.  Liam crossed his fingers and hoped that some of Phoenix had stayed outside the dragon’s mouth during their brief trip.

He sat back against the wall and sighed.  Perhaps going after Phoenix himself hadn’t been a good idea.

Leave a comment


  1. A few grammatical errors with commas here and there, I noticed, but over all, there wasn’t much mistakes in that department. Nice job.

    Now, I’m not going to give you a nice high five and tell you that it was the best ever. No offense, Liam, but this wasn’t quite…shall we say, death-defying breath-taking action. I got a squick bored during the descriptions of the room (tiles here and there and whatnot). You sometimes got a tad TOO descriptive as well during some parts, particularly during the dragon’s mouth opening and closing. Several times. I can’t say that the humor was all that…humorous either. I was also confused from Liam going from the dragon’s stomach to some kind of room, and for a while I was convinced that the speakers were inside the dragon. The transition wasn’t clear to me until you started describing the room..and then I got bored. Some of the sentences felt awkward to me. I’m trying to scan through and find the exact one that stood out to me, but my eyeballs aren’t cooperating. I’m sad to say that I also didn’t FEEL for the character. Liam’s sitting in a strange room! I don’t feel worried, I’m not feeling that sense of anticipation that usually comes with cliffhangers. I just feel…like my eyes are about to fall out of my head. (That could be partially because I just ate a taco with hot sauce…)

    So, there. That’s my picky little comment. Sorry if I was too harsh, but I thought I’d lay my thoughts out for you. Happy writing!

  2. Charley R

     /  October 2, 2012

    Not bad. It doesn’t quite have your usual humour and vivacity in the writing, and you’ve got a few superfluous adverbs roaming about, and occasionally you use a couple of extra descriptive words where you don’t need to (e.g. sticky and slimy).

    As Seana said, transition from dragon stomach to linoleum room is also a tad . . . anticlimatic. I have theories on how it happened, but it still seems a bit of an unresolved non-event.

    All in all, though, not bad. And I’m hoping it’s a good start that’ll lead up to better things to come.

  3. Robyn Hoode

     /  March 5, 2013

    I thought it was good. I understood how you got from dragon stomach to linoleum… that is a wierd thing to say…
    Anyway, good job hallucinating. (RH’s wierd things she has typed 2.0…) I thought the descrpitions of this chapter were well done.
    Do we find out later how you got out of said dragon?
    One last question– does Liam really feel that way about unresolved chords or was he still hallucinating?

  1. Phil Phorce: Crisis Averted « This Page Intentionally Left Blank

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