Exhausted, Evil Editor stomped through the swamp. He had a stitch in his side, he was covered in slime, and he’d lost a shoe—but at least he was escaping. He could make it to safety before the moles baying in the distance could overtake him.
The little bastards may be smart, but at least I have longer legs, he thought. He had been a fool to ignore the warnings of the locals, but how was he to know that Talpianna lived in the brooding castle atop the cliff? He had been bending to sniff a meadow violet when the star-nosed snout had exploded from the ground and its tendrils had grasped his nostrils. He’d had to beat the creature into insensibility with his shillelagh before he could wrench free.
But the shillelagh had not served him against the horde of moles which had emerged while he struggled with his attacker. He needed something more powerful: a bullwhip, or a fire hose, or a tactical nuclear weapon. At last good sense had overcome his desire to be heroic (ever feeble) and he had taken to his heels. Unfortunately, the quickest route to his rented holiday chalet led directly through the swamp which the locals called the Mouldiwarp Marsh; they actually thought of it as the Slough of Despond, but they had never been able to figure out how to pronounce “slough.”)
At last, he reached the chalet, the moles faint but pursuing. He slammed the door and triple-locked it. By the glimmer of candlelight, he located the longest of the fireplace logs and used it to brace the door.
Candlelight? He hadn't left any candles lit!
Then the chittering began, and he turned to see that what he’d mistaken for candle flames were the burning foxfire eyes of zombie meerkats….
--who but tal?