[Hreidmarr is a character I play in a Role Playing game called Space Wolves. This story started to form at about 2300 on a Monday night, and was meant to be for a children's story book. There is currently a celebratory going on, and all the wolves are expected to contribute. The character of Sweyen is played by a friend.]
Hreidmarr waited for silence, before beginning. "I have a sad tale to tell you, brothers, and sister, nodding in Lady Bekka's direction."
Not so long ago, in a galaxy far, far away …
Hreidmarr Tiefson the Space Wolf, arrived home from a long day on the training field.
He carefully hung his bolter and sniper rifle on a hook on the wall.
He removed his dented blue ceramite armour, and hung it beside his weapons.
He sat down on the edge of his bunk, and tried to remove his boots.
Try as he might, they just wouldn't come off.
He pulled at them …
He pushed at them …
He waved his foot in the air, trying to fling them off.
Then, he had an idea.
He pressed the [open] sigil for the door, stuck his boot against the door frame, and pressed the [close] sigil. With a gentle `woosh', the door stopped against his boot.
Hreidmarr pushed with all his might against the doorframe, pulling back against the stuck boot.
Suddenly, with a loud squelching sound, he found himself sitting with his back against the bunk, his backside on the floor, and the boot still firmly held by the door. "By Russ's Black Beard, that worked well!" he said to himself. He repeated the procedure, and then placed both liberated boots neatly beneath his armour.
It was at this point that he noticed an incredible odour filling the room. Looking down, he saw what he generously called his socks. Long, thin stalks were raising their mushroom-like heads out of the weave. Colours fluoresced – violet, blue, green, magenta.
Hreidmarr took a deep breath in. "Hmmmm, like a fine Fenrisian cheese, well aged. With just a touch of ……….." He grunted his appreciation.
Sitting down on the edge of his bunk, he decided he might as well remove said socks, and give them a wash. However, just as his boots had been stuck to his socks, so his socks were stuck to his feet.
The series of holes was kept together by a web of strands of coarse wolf hair, which added their own unique odour to the brew. Like a fine seine net, the socks restrained their contents, preventing escape.
At this sight, even a man with as strong a stomach as Hreidmarr was reluctant to peel these delicate creations from his hairy great feet. Taking the top of his right sock gingerly in both huge hands, he tried, to no avail, to pull them off. The door trick might not be as effective a removal device on a leg protected only by his trousers, and the somewhat sparse fabric that covered his feet.
He looked around his room, stroking his beard, fingering the little bones, bells and ribbons that decorated the plaits, trying to find a solution.
"Basin … water …" he said, slowly and thoughtfully.
He filled the basin, adding some cleaning agent to the flowing hot water, creating a tower of bubbles. "Now we're getting somewhere." He gave a somewhat wolfish smile.
Standing beside the basin on one leg, he tried to lift the other leg high enough to put his socked foot into the water. While he was a tall, well-built man, his sheer size would not allow him to stand like some waiting bird of prey. He felt himself toppling over, and turned the fall into a controlled roll, coming up again into a standing position.
"Hmmm. Plan B." He looked around the room again. "B is for … BUNK!" he said loudly, a sound of simple delight in his voice.
He dragged the bunk over to the basin. There was still a height discrepancy, but not nearly as extreme. He climbed onto the bunk, and carefully lowered himself to a seated position, wriggling his butt around till he could stick his feet in the basin of hot water. "Darn it all!" he growled. His heels could fit in, but it left the rest of his feet and toes sticking straight up in the air. What was worse was that the water was wicking up the fabric of the socks, into the trousers, and running down his calves to his knees, and points south.
A moment after the, by now quite cool, water reached its southern-most destination, he leapt up and off the bed, spraying water in all directions, again having to turn a fall into a recovery roll. "Hells bells, and Russ's buckles," he growled loudly.
"C … shouldn't have to go to a plan C, but there you go …" By now, there was a note of irritation in his voice.
Scanning the room again, he could see a couple of brackets in the wall above the basin – perhaps to hold a shelf or rail for an earlier occupant? Judging the distance from the brackets to the basin, he decided the height was sufficient that he could hold onto the brackets while his stockinged feet soaked in the basin.
He added more hot water and cleaning agent to the now rather empty basin, shifted the bunk back against the basin, and carefully folded up the bottom hem of his trouser legs, grimacing in distaste as the wet fabric brushed against his skin. He climbed onto the bunk, reached up and grabbed the brackets, which turned out to be more than a little rusted; took up his weight, lifted his legs and placed both feet into the basin.
A sigh of pleasure escaped his mustachioed lips. "Aaaaah, that feels good."
He hung there for a moment, thinking this was a pretty much perfect solution, when a number of events occurred in quick succession.
The brackets began to shift, as the ancient mortar that held them began to give way under the weight of the mighty space wolf. While Hreidmarr's weight was still being held by his arms, his height above ground, and therefore height above basin, had lowered considerably. There was a knock on the door. The struts holding the basin to the wall began to creak, echoed ominously by the wall brackets. As the basin pulled away, the plumbing also started to part company. Water began to spray out of the wall, as the knock on the door was repeated. "NO!" snarled Hreidmarr, whether to the knocker or the impending flood he wasn't quite sure.
In quick succession, events came to a swift and wet conclusion. The brackets and basin parted company with the wall. Water jetted out from the severed pipes, spraying Hreidmarr from head to toe as he descended in a soggy heap on the bunk, on which a pool of water was already forming. The door slid open, and standing there was his best friend, Sweyen.
"What on earth are you doing?" asks Sweyen. He looked dramatically at his watch, and then back at Hreidmarr. "Is it bath day already? Are you coming to the feast or not?"
Hreidmarr lay on his back, a beached leviathan, laughing his head off.