A/N: For my first venture into Discworld territory, I'd like to explore a place very near and dear to my own personal experience: the mind of the deranged. Terry Prachett owns the Disc and all related characters; this is simply a non-profit Nuzgul. If you like what you see, please review. If you don't, flames are welcome, too. Enjoy!
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Prawns. You couldn't trust those buggers. Ten legs, crunchy shell, and they ate things that were on the ocean bottom. They lived on ocean bottoms. Given Ron's limited experiences with bodies of water, which included the Ankh (which was truly not so much a liquid as a very malleable material) and Cut-Me-Own-Throat Dibbler's "bottled water" (which generally tended to be the same thing, only prepackaged in cheap, unwashed containers); this was the epitome of bad taste. He imagined that there was some great prawn in Cori Celesti or the dungeon dimensions or summat watching his every move and planning further horrors for his life.
Not that Foul Ole Ron considered his life particularly bad. He got an old boiled boot every Hogswatch, and it was filled with the best mud in Ankh-Morpork. For a beggar, he did pretty well, with Gaspode and Duck Man to lead his group. Between them, those two had a pretty good head on their shoulders. Or at least a nice duck.
Ron was even was in decent standing with the Watch and the Patrician, amazingly enough. Given the beggar's stench, which his group almost treated as a separate entity, given how far ahead of Foul Ole Ron his smell tended to range, this was somewhat surprising. Or perhaps not, considering that this selfsame City Watch also employed bookkeeping orangutans as deputies.
Ron had worked good and hard to retain that stench, buggerit. He hadn't bathed in anything but Ankh water since… well… as long as he'd known. Not that there was anything else to wash in besides the good, wholesome sewage sludge that made up the river. No prawns in that, at any rate.
What had caused this mania with prawns, one of Altogether Andrews' personalities had once asked. Ron paused, considering the question between Coffin Henry's rounds of hacking. They were shrimp. Big shrimp. Millennium hand and…
Foul Ole Ron did not really want to remember that.
Nobs' parties – not Nobby Nobs's, those certainly wouldn't be worth the trouble, but those of real upper-class folk who pretended people like Foul Ole Ron didn't exist – those usually had a lot of real good eats, and not many touched them. Little things on sticks, called "horse devourers" or summat. Of course, if one had spent any time around Dibber, one wouldn't trust anything on a stick, no matter what they called them. But these devourers were actually pretty good eating, for teeny little bites on sticks. If one could beg them off the cook and bolt them down (minus the stick, of course) before one got a good look at them, those things could last one a good week, if they didn't melt in one's hat or pocket or spare boot first, depending on what one used to carry them.
It was while scarfing down a collection of these that Ron had stumbled upon his first prawn. As Foul Ole Ron preferred his greens to food that was still wriggly, he showed it to the Duck Man, wondering if the critter was safe to eat. Gaspode, of course, had already offered his opinion that it was unfit for human consumption, but there was a nice little doggy right over here that might like it. And a biscuit.
Duck Man had subsequently launched into a description of crustaceans, their relative élans, and their habitats. Figuring this basically meant that it was safe enough, Ron had popped the live prawn into his mouth, choking on it hard enough that even Coffin Henry came over and gave him a few good slaps on the back. He swore he could still feel the thing crawling about inside his stomach.
"Too bad, Ron," Gaspode had said. "You know those things just keep growing, as long as they're in a liquid. On the eve of the next millennium it'll come ripping out of your stomach, if not sooner. And you do know the Century of the Fruitbat's almost over. Should've fed it to me."
Foul Ole Ron kicked him. The dog was right. Buggerit.