Moon-a-mucks are not real, but I wish they were and so does everyone who ever read about them.
I created them a long time ago, I think when I was studying a course on moons; our own Moon of course played a prominent part, geology thereof, vulcanism, impact crater formation, the Tycho rays stretching across the surface, glittering vitrified beads making the moon glow.
As interesting as it all was, I wanted there to be something alive up there, something making the moon more than just lava and dust. So I conceived the idea of the moon-a-muck, a creature that hoovered up crystals of quartz and assorted spars, and in return for this lunar nourishment it was able to sing, through a vacuum at that, to the moonflowers that deposited them as a sort of seed, and thus make them grow through a sort of quantum resonance process.
Then there was Lord Moth, who was the lord of all moon-a-mucks. He sent them across warps in space time to earth, and there the moon-a-mucks sang in dreams to people, for the gain of I know not what.
The joy of it, perhaps.
Then I realised this was all rather remote, and decided to team up a single moon-a-muck with Aristophanes Brown, my late Victorian sort of detective, inventor and theatre critic bon viveur and his companions Lady Alexia Laplace, and Carina, walker of moon-a-mucks. And in my London of then, they work together solving improbable crimes and doing improbable things.
Copyright Mulbery Lightning 05.01.16
Ever since the strange animal with the musical nose trumpet had first mysteriously appeared, padding down the steps of the Poincare Machine in the warehouse lab of Lady Alexia Laplace and Aristophanes Brown, they had wondered about some of the creature’s odder quirks.
One of the oddest of these was its obvious great interest in any passing moth or butterfly that fluttered past is Cleopatra eyes. On its muzzle disguised walks, the sight of a red admiral would always cause it to emit a “hoo-heee-hoooooo” of joy. But now it was autumn, and butterflies were less numerous on the Embankment.
However, in the equinoctal nights, moths would flail in through open windows, and the moon-a-muck would behave very differentlly. It wouldn’t be excited, it would be as calm as a manatee in a warm ocean having its tummy tickled by a mermaid.
The cause of this was the night-time moths of autumn, the yellow underwings, the drinkers, the vapourers. They would swarm around the moon-a-muck, gently landing on its silvery-grey fur, and everytime one did so, the creature would gently croon “woooooo” until it fell asleep, more satisfied even then when it hooted up a whole bowl of crystals.
The moon-a-muck’s love of moths must mean something. But what?
Copyright Bloody Mulberry 09.09.15
Spring poured in through the windows, yet no-one wanted to play with the moon-a-muck, all Cleopatra eyed and sad as sad can be on its purple velvet bed – stolen by Carina from a dog owning worthy in Mayfair after they left their door open to clear the room of the legacy of a “gift” left by their four legged delight. The same Carina was now running the flower stall on the Embankment today, while the Lady Alexia Laplace was making welding based repairs to the Poincare machine. Beyond the locked door, magnesium sparks illuminated the gaps round the frame in erratic crackling bursts.
Aristophanes was out, who knew where.
Bored, the moon-a-muck trundled across to a small box of crystals Alexia was making jewellery with. They were’t Alum, so they creature had little or no use for them. Instead, it rummaged with its nose trumpet into the box until it found a lump of liquid green peridot, the size of a golf ball. which it held in place with a constant inhalation.
It dropped it to the floor, before seeking out another crystal, this one of smokey yellow citrine which found a home next to the peridot. Finally, another snuffling sort out unearthed a huge amethyst nearly the size of a tennis ball.
With all these gems in a line, the moon-a-muck pondered momentarily, as yellow flashes lit up its dark dark eyes. Then, it snaffled up the peridot, and with a sharp “Hooo-eeee PHUT!” puffed it up into the air before catching it again with a sound like a cork being pulled from a bottle. The satisfaction evident in the extra-terrestrial’s eyes was evident. “Hooomp!” it said to itself. It then repeated the act with the crystal of citrine, caramel yellow comet lighting the sky from trumpet back to trumpet.
Finally the moon-a-muck eyed up the larger amethyst, glowing with the colour of empire, and chuckled to itself. “hoo-heee-hoo-eee-hooooooo”. Then it moved in…
….an hour or so later Lady Alexia Laplace of the auburn hair suddenly remembered her act of neglect, and shutting off her welding torch and pulling of her micah coated facemask, grabbed a handful of alum crystals and opened the door from the Poincare chamber into the large kitchen. And there, her elegant mouth dropped open in a most unladylike fashion, surprising for a lady who made her boiler suit look like the height of Ascot style.
For the moon-a-muck, perched upright on its stocky little hind legs, was spitting the three crystals into the air in turn before catching them back in its nose trumpet. And as it did so, the crystals actually flashed with inner light and left glowing paths in the air.
All the while, the moon-a-muck sang. “Hooo! Heeee! Haaaa! Hooo! Heee! Haaa!” as the crystals drew colours on the sky and even hummed in resonance with the creature’s song.
Catching a glimpse of Alexia, it didn’t stop, merely blew the three crystals higher above its head, and cheekily snorted an alum crystal out of her pretty hand before she could move.
Copyright Mulberry Lightning 13.05.15
When I’m short of inspiration, I can always imagine the moon-a-muck doing something.
Aristophanes Brown certainly hadn’t set off for a walk that evening with the intent of apprehending a major criminal, and in a sense, he didn’t.
Carina had the evening off, Lady Alexia was welding, and it seemed that yet again they had engineered Aristophanes into taking the moon-a-muck for a walk. He didn’t mind this task particularly, but he had been hoping to take in a small show near Charing Cross that evening as his main review show hadn’t even made it to opening night before the backing collapsed.
But the ladies insisted, and thus he found himself walking along the Embankment and then into the affluent townhouses of the South West corner of the city, the moon-a-muck backcomed and muzzled and padding along energetically impervious to the cold pavements.
It took a lot of walking.
As the moon-a-muck pulled him along the gas-lit streets, it occurred to Aristophanes that they had strayed into the territory of “The Ant Man”. The Ant Man was a criminal who had been terrorising the well to do streets of Central London by somehow climbing up high walls to break into flats, and subduing the occupants with some kind of noxious gas emitted from somewhere on his black costume. Little else was known about him, his victims were usually too stupified to notice much. But certainly there was a substantial reward on his capture; many society ladies had been done out of the jewellery and savings.
Right on cue, the moon-a-muck stiffened, looked up through its saucy lashes, and emitted some exciteable, yet quiet little hoots. “Hooo-heee! Hooo hooo!”
“What do you sense, my moon-a-muck? What’s up there?”
But the moon-a-muck was struggling with its front paws, trying to remove the muzzle from its face. Aristophanes helped him to do so, then held on as the moon-a-muck tore off across the road.
Above, on the side of a four storey town house, a blackshape could be seen making its way down the walls. Some kind of suction device could be seen attached to its knees and elbows, and jewels were glittering in the smog hazed street lights. As it got lower, and Aristophanes and the moon-a-muck got closer, a black insectoid mask could be seen covering its face.
It reached ground level just as Aristophanes Brown and the creature arrived, having not seen them approach. Aristophanes planned to punch it in the side of its head, but the ant-man turned and saw him before he was able to do so. He thus dropped his heavy brown jacket, and adopted a John L. Sullivan classical boxing stance. But, hedging his bets, he decided to shout “it would certainly be jolly helpful if there were any police around this time of night!”
Just as well. His classical punch was easily blocked, and the Ant Man unleashed an oriental move that caught him right on the side of the neck, and he went over like a skittle. No police were yet in sight, although a whistle could be heard in the distance.
It was the moon-a-muck that saved the day! Despite having no jaws, it somehow attached its trumpet snout to the ant-man’s leg, and sucking hard, somehow managed to hold on. Its powerful badger claws dug into the pavement, literally piercing the tarmmcadam. The ant-man hit out, revealing a distinctly non-ant-ish voice.
“Oi you bleeding dog thing. Get orrffff!”
But the creature held firm. “Hoooeeeeooowwww” it flutedly growled, and its claws left deep grooves in the pavement as it was dragged behind the escaping burglar. The whistles grew louder, the ant-man more frantic.
“Ah no! Lemme go, you bloody hell-haarrnd”.
But it was to no avail. The peelers were upon them, and it took one well placed blow with a truncheon to render the ant-man flat on his back, dislodging its mask to reveal the scarred face of your typical East-End villain rather than perhaps the gentleman burglar you might have expected.
Across the way, Aristophanes began to stir, and the moon-a-muck ambled across to nuzzle at his face, hooting sympathetically.
One of the policemen came over too, and looked down.
“That’s one mighty dog you have there, sonny jim!”
“I know” said Aristophanes Brown with a moan, rubbing the side of his jaw.
Copyright Mulberry Lightning 15.12.14