Smoke in the Air
Chapter information

Literature of the Duchy of Skibbington

Written by

Duke of Skibbington

Release date


Smoke in the Air is a one-shot fanon written by the Duke of Skibbington for the Fanonbenders' Fanontastic Fanon Contest, Round 12. The prompt of the competition was to introduce an original character. It also serves as to introduce people to the plot of the Polybender Saga.


A student sat at a deep wooden desk. Having dipped his fountain pen in a pot of ink, he scribbled profusely in a language barely recognisable today. Finally, dipping his pen once more, he drew a series of three, wavy, horizontal lines, each one joining together and forming into the shape of a flame. He cleaned his pen with a damp cloth and fastened the lid on his pot. He pulled his double-breasted tweed jacket from his chair and slipped into over his red jumper in but one movement. He opened a door and walked into his bathroom, where he pulled his collar over his lapels and flattened them. He examined his face in the mirror and squeezed a white spot. He squeezed with incredible might, only relenting after hearing the satisfying crack! He entered his office, which was also his bedroom and left via the main door. Sighing, he turned around, walked back in, took the book off his desk and walked back out the door.

The student walked into an office occupied by a printing press. He handed a lady a foolscap manila envelope and handed her a cheque. He then walked through the corridor until he reached a deep wooden door. He knocked it and entered when beckoned by the occupant. The student walked in, adjusting his glasses.

"Ah, Philip," the professor said, placing his steel pen in his ink pot. "What brings you here?"

"Professor, I don't believe you wanted to do that... for you see... that was a ball-point," Philip said.

The professor quickly removed his pen and cleaned it with a damp cloth. "Right, so, what brings you here?"

Philip gave the professor the book. "My thesis, sir."

The professor took a closer look at it, "Ah yes, Elemental Conversion. Well, let's hope this is as good as your master's thesis." He flicked through the pages and said, "Looks promising. I'll let you know when we get the peer reviews."

"Would that be all, sir?" Philip asked.

"Yes, Philip. That's all for the year. You may go home now."

"Yes, sir. Very good, sir!" Philip said as he departed.

He walked down the corridor until he found a wall-mounted telephone. "Hello, operator, could you please put me through to the Hellene residence?" He waited a few moments then said, "Hello, Mummy! I've written my thesis! It's over for the year. Can you pick me up today? Love you, Mummy, bye!"

Philip exited the sandstone temple of knowledge and made his way to the quadrangle. He took a deep breath, inhaling the fresh, cool air of Autumn. It was mid-afternoon and the sun's soft, orange glow illuminated the surrounding country side, as if the grass were made of gold. He looked to a window and recognised it as his Professor's office. He made sure to receive his attention. He assumed a sturdy, fighting stance, legs slightly spread and arms together. He moved his arms in a clock-wise manner, creating cyclonic spirals of air around himself. He moved them around at his leisure. He took a deep breath and closed his eyes. The spirals of air combusted into large tendrils of fire and he began to move them around. Finally, they dissipated and were extinguished. Taking another deep breath, Philip leapt in the air and shouted triumphantly. He looked around, making sure he wasn't noticed. He departed from the gates of the University.

Six months later, Philip dined with his family. He had shed his tweed jacket and jumper and instead wore buttoned pyjamas with a robe, worn in a similar manner to his casual tweed. A man knocked on the door. "Must be the postman," Philip's dad, Dicaeopolis, said. Dicaeopolis walked to the door and came back. "Philip, the package is for you."

Philip began unwrapping the package, "For me?" Philip finally unwrapped it, revealing a deep blue tie with diagonal, brown stripes.

Dicaeopolis said, "Yes, Doctor Hellene!"

Philip rushed to his room and when he came back to the kitchen, he was clad in his jumper and tweed, this time, sporting the tie in a big, symmetrical knot around his neck. With a big grin, he proudly proclaimed "I am a man now!"

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