The Cadet And The Angel

Puny, neurasthenic Cadet Vig was on sentry duty outside Fort Hoity (4 points) when an angel of the Lord appeared unto him (12 points). Cadet Vig trembled in terror (2 points).

The angel of the Lord appeared to be perplexed. It opened its ring-binder, and looked carefully at the weedy cadet, and then at its paperwork, and then at Cadet Vig again, and then back to its paperwork, and its brow furrowed. For the purposes of its earthly visitation, the angel had made use of a hole-punch and inserted all its papers into the ring-binder. Normally, when shimmering in its celestial halls, the angel had each individual sheet affixed to a wall with drawing-pins, the mass of papers spread out for visual oomph, as is the practice with serial killers in television dramas (6 points).

“You are puny, neurasthenic, and outside a fort,” said the angel, “It says here you should be stately, plump, and inside a martello tower.”

Cadet Vig did not know what to say in response, so he merely quaked (2 points).

“Well, never mind.” said the angel, slamming shut the ring-binder, “What fort is this?”

“Fort Hoity,” said Cadet Vig, truthfully.

The angel reopened its ring-binder (1 point), rummaged through the papers, found the entry for Cadet Vig, and said, “According to my records you are meant on this day at this hour to be on sentry duty at Fort Toity” (8 points).

Cadet Vig was on the point of swooning. His legs turned to jelly as he realised that, yet again, he had misread the duty roster. Captain Nitty would be furious (10 points)! The milksop cadet had an awful vision of months stretching ahead doing potato-peeling punishment. How long, he wondered, would it take him to cross the eerie marshes to Fort Toity? Could he get there before Captain Nitty discovered his mistake? He had a sudden bright idea.

“Is it in your power,” he asked the angel of the Lord, “To transport me instantaneously to the sentry post outside Fort Toity, far away across the eerie marshes, so I will not get into one of my pickles with Captain Nitty?”

The angel once again consulted the contents of its ring-binder (6 points).

“Yes,” it said, eventually, “That is well within my power. But I am minded, instead, on this starry starry night, to shower you, Cadet Vig, with teeming thousands, nay millions, of points, more points than any cadet under Captain Nitty’s command has ever been awarded.”

Now Cadet Vig did swoon, He crumpled to the ground, next to the sentry box outside Fort Hoity. As he lay there, robbed of consciousness, innumerable golden shining points rained down upon him. And when he woke, the angel of the Lord had vanished, and stars glittered across the boundless firmament, and here, clanking towards him in full armour, came Captain Nitty, his face purple with rage, his eyes like burning coals (2 points), and Cadet Vig, for the first time in his puny life, was not afraid. He cocked his blunderbuss and took aim at Captain Nitty. He had millions of points!

This story has accumulated a total of 53 points, if I have tallied them correctly.

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