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As I sat uneasily atop my hound-horse, a large and fast animal as much greyhound as horse, I slipped my left hand into my jacket pocket and felt the cold steel of my trusty old lighter. Grasping tightly securing it in my sweating palm I carefully removed it from my suit pocket exposing the shiny metal to the bright rays of sunlight. My eyes, looking down onto my now open hand, squinted as the reflected rays tore away in several distinct directions, and my fingers clutched its familiar presence ever tighter. It was only a common and ever so ordinary cigarette lighter, but I felt an affinity with it; like that of an old friend. I ran my fingers along it, like petting an dog, then suddenly an almighty crack of thunder exploding directly overhead, in a tempestuous fury, brought my attention back to the task in hand the outcome of which promised life or death to each and everyone of us. So, without further ado, I cleared my mind and began speaking. I began reciting words, words which had only seconds earlier entered my tired brain, I said…”
“I hold this item in this my hand
To act as a bridge in these our plans
We need a distraction, a disturbance right now
To help Kakuri and the HU BA HOU.”
“No sooner had I finished speaking, and the last word left my lips, the sky began to darken. The dark clouds, appearing from nowhere, grew larger and larger and blacker and blacker until they had joined together in one congealed mass of undiluted anger. In a few short minutes the sky had changed from a deep summer blue to a black so dark day had turned into night.
Some of the assembled hound-horses sidestepped nervously, their handlers struggling to calm them. The wind began to blow, soft at first, but increasingly stronger. Then the heavens, opening in a deluge of rain, spewed thunder and lightning the likes of which I had never before seen; a storm, a full-blown storm was upon us.”
“And a storm was exactly what Kakuri needed. Through the driving rain, speaking directly to the HU BA HOU, she said, ‘Now my friend, it’s up to you – do your best.’ And with those words still lingering in its cavernous ears the huge animal took off at full-gallop heading straight for the Timeless Gates guarding the walled city of Onisha. The animal, sensing this was the final offensive, kept its large heavyset and armour-plated head well down. The storm now so intense Kakuri had, after only a few seconds, lost all sense of direction. She had no way of knowing if she was still on course, all she could do was trust the HU BA HOU, and hold on for dear life.”
“As if that were not enough for me to be worried about Kiliki had, meanwhile, given the order to the impatient, assembled Onishians to attack. And who could blame their impatience? It was their land, and they wanted revenge! The entire rag-tag collection of Onishians and their assorted animals plus the Orlu (a separate race of small ever obliging speedy people) were now hot on Kakuri’s heels with no intention of being left behind in the middle of nowhere, and in such a terrible storm. Soaked to the skin they all rushed headlong into the unknown. Some shouted, others roared and still others screamed with the delight they felt rising up against the man who had promised so much, who had given so little and who taken everything.”
“I could see the huge beast’s armour-plated defences, which had, only hours earlier, been carefully crafted by the ingenious Orlu, sparkling brilliantly in the reflected lightning flashes. The plates, of every conceivable shape and size, colliding with one another clanged loudly in a surreal musical tempo, and if there was anybody, within the walled city, still capable of seeing through the blinding, driving rain they would have been filled with the fear of God.
Suddenly, just short of the still-defiant gates, the HU BA HOU stopped. We all stopped dead in our tracks, wondering just what could be the problem. Then the tank, the ugly humpy-tank of an animal, clawing at the ground (like a bull), rising on its hind legs (like a horse) while roaring its own unique ear-shattering cry lifted its large, ugly head one last time before hurling itself forward with the gates set firmly in its sights, nothing could stop it now…”
“Watching, from the relative safety of a short distance behind, my mind wandered trying to remember how this had all come about. Why, only a few days earlier I had been all set for Christmas. I remembered sitting comfortably in front on the TV, looking forward to a well-earned rest. And now, here I was in an alien land about to follow a fair maiden atop an abomination of a creature called a HU BA HOU in an assault on a walled city, searching for a man called Miafra – for a man who would be a god. Searching for a man who had stopped time, stolen the chi (the free will) of the people and drained the powers of the most revered Mystic in the entire land. My thoughts, racing, drifted back to Christmas Eve those few short days ago…”
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Wot and Nott’s Race Against Time
This is the story of two old friends
Who are brought to a world that’s facing its end
A fair land of magic and splendour about
A place ruled by reason and rhyme without doubt
These two allies, called Wot and Nott
Are in a Race Against Time, and trying to stop
Miafra ‘The Evil’ who is stealing the land
Removing the seasons, free will and all time
Which they must restore to their original place
And save the land of Onisha in this life and death race
A quest and a mission ensues from thereon
As they battle the forces of darkness anon
It’s not always plain sailing for this unusual duo
And accidents do happen as they rush to and fro
Sadness and laughter follows them closely behind
As they are helped by the stunning Kakuri, so kind
The Orlu, a race so small and so fast
Help them at times with glorious repasts
Speeding so fast at a furious rate
Along with strange creatures created with haste
Join in with these most unlikely heroes
As they fight their way through and battle their foes
Using rhymes that are mystic and carefully thought out
Trying to succeed in their quest, leaving no doubts
Can they achieve it and return back to Earth once again
Contented and happy with the job that’s been done?
Follow them on in this tale of intrigue
To see if their exploits fail or succeed…
We were not boy wizards, vampire’s assistants or even living skeletons, we were normal everyday people living normal everyday lives, with no inkling of the tremendous events that were about to unfold. Our adventure began with the arrival of a peculiarly small Christmas card, which sent us hurtling to the mystical land of Onisha, where Umahia, the Grand Mystic, asked for our help. He told us that he needed our help to fight, stop and ultimately defeat ‘Miafra, the evil,’ the mystic who had stolen his powers, the seasons, free will and all time. Umahia told us that we had powers, powers that up until then we had no inkling we possessed, which might, just might help us to defeat the evil man… We had no idea, no inkling whatsoever, that we were going to be attacked by Protectors atop Hound-Horses, fight a statue hell-bent on killing us, be betrayed in our sleep, and be forced to fight a dangerous beast called a Dragonsaur.
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♫ Come, sing a song of joy
For freedom from the EU
Sing, sing a song of joy
For discharge from its madness
The day will dawn for us all
Standing firm and tall
We will break free
All men will stand along
Each other in their glory
Reach out, rejoice and be glad
For freedom that endures
Then sing a song of joy
For freedom from the EU
Come, sing a song of joy
Of freedom, tell the story
Sing, sing a song of joy
For people in their glory
One mighty voice that will bring
A sound that will ring
Then sing a song of joy
For freedom from the EU. ♫
We are all in the gutter, but some of us are looking at the stars (Oscar Wilde)
Free eBooks for all
If you are looking for free eBooks
then this is the place for you,
because all of my eBooks are free. ENJOY.
I am a mad writer; this is quite true,
Writing stories for each one of you,
Tales to intrigue, entertain and mystify,
That’s me, the mad writer; I’ll do it ’til I die.
If you were to ask me, why do I bother at all?
Competing against Rowling, Shan and Roald Dahl,
I would say that I love it, writing each day,
And if I happen to get famous would appreciate the pay!
Alice in Wonderland Christmas,
HARRY, oh she is a Rotter!
Mad Mr Viscous,
The Three Faerie Sisters,
Bertie the beetle,
The Circus of Grotesques,
Cracks in the Pavement,
Danger is my Middle Name,
The School Fete,
Everything You Ever Wanted to Know About the E.U. But Were Afraid to Ask,
I Fell Down a Waterfall,
Christmas: A Carol Betwixt,
Aliens Landed in Ballykilduff,
A Beer in a Burger Bar,
And a whole lot MORE!!!
And, remember, my eBooks are, and will always be, FREE, FREE, FREE.
I am a poor writer; this is quite true,
Writing stories for each one of you,
Tales to intrigue, entertain and mystify,
That’s me, The Crazymad Writer, and I’ll do it until I die.
If you were to ask me, why do I bother at all?
Competing against Rowling, Darren Shan and Roald Dahl,
I would tell you that I LOVE it, writing my stories each day,
And if I ever get famous I would appreciate the pay!
Jimmy Wilson, a small child with jet-black hair, was incredibly strong, a little battler by all accounts who let nothing stand in the way of him doing anything he chose to do. That was a good trait to for him to have, considering his family were so poor. You see, his father had died when Jimmy was only four years of age, leaving his wife, their poor bedraggled mother, to rear him, his brothers (Bill and Jack) and sisters (Doreen and Kathleen) all on her own. In those days, in the nineteen twenties, life was incredibly hard, especially so in the impoverished northeast of England, There was social welfare system to fall back on, to help you out in the hard times. It was survival of the fittest, nothing more nothing less. However, she tried, their poor mother tried so valiantly to eke out an existence, a decent life for herself and her five children, to give them some semblance of the carefree, happy childhood all children truly deserve.
Although his father had died when he was young, Jimmy insisted that he remembered him, and nothing gave him more pleasure than listening to his mother recounting stories about his father. Each evening, when she had tucked Jimmy in bed, he listened to them. “Mum, tell me the story about the time dad found that piece of coal, you know, the one that was a big as a house.” This was Jimmy’s favourite story, he must have heard it a hundred times, but he never tired of it.
Smiling, she said, “Okay, but only if you promise to fall fast asleep as soon as I have finished it.”
“Yes, yes, I promise,” Jimmy answered, settling into his pillow, ready for his all-time favourite story.
Staring down at her son, the mother saw her beloved husband’s eyes staring back at her. Wiping away a tear, she began the story…
When the story was finished, his mother bent over and kissed her sleeping son on the forehead. Glancing across two her other sons, she saw that they too were asleep.
After blowing each of them a kiss, she made her way out of the room, pulling the door closed behind her. Looking into the adjacent room, where he daughters shared the same bed, she saw that they too were sleeping peacefully. Shuffling down the stairs, to the front door, she pushed the bolt into its night-time position. Returning upstairs, she climbed into her bed – alone. Missing her husband so much, she cried herself to sleep.
Next morning, Jimmy, as per usual, was first to awaken. It was five-thirty. After donning his clothes, then having a quick wash in the basin on the tallboy, he made his way downstairs, to the kitchen. Pantry would better describe it, because it was TINY. Jimmy, however, had no idea that it was so small. Why would he? Where they lived, everyone’s kitchen was of the same diminutive size. It was normal as far as he was concerned, perfectly normal.
After pouring some oat flakes into his bowl, a cracked and chipped affair, Jimmy poured in a smidgeon of skimmed milk. Picking up his spoon, mixing the milk and raw flakes together, he scoffed the lot back with such gusto anyone watching might have thought he had not eaten for a week.
The breakfast over, Jimmy hurriedly donned his duffle coat and gloves. Picking up the coal bucket and shovel, he made his way across the cold tiles of the hallway to the front door, where he carefully slid back the bolt to its daytime position. Opening the door, he stepped out, into the darkness of the early morning.
It was cold and bleak outside; a weak, waning moon hung low in the sky. A coating of frost covered everything in sight. Shivering, pulling up the hood of his coat, Jimmy made his way down the lonely cobbled street…
Although Jimmy tried to be quite, not to awaken anyone in the small terraced houses bordering the street, his galvanised bucket would every now and again let out a bang and a clatter loud enough to awaken the dead, as its handle caught on the mountings supporting it. Like everything his family owned, the bucket was well past its best.
Stilling the bucket with his gloved hand, after it made a particularly loud clatter,
Jimmy felt the cold of its metal leech through his thick woolen gloves. He shivered.
“Hello, Jim,” a cheery voice called out from the darkness, opposite.
Scanning the street, squinting, trying to see through the weak, watery moonlight,
Jimmy made out the shape, the outline of another child. It was Eric, his best friend Eric. “Oh, it’s you,” he said gloomily.
“What’s up, Jim?” Eric asked, sensing his mood.
“Oh, it’s nothing, really…”
Placing his bucket onto the timeworn old cobbles (it banged and clattered so loudly, Jimmy feared everyone in the entire street might be awoken), then folding his arms,
Eric said, “Come on, out with it, Jim.”
Pointing to his bucket, Jimmy said, “Pick it up, I’ll explain along the way.”
As the two friends made their way down the desolate street (taking special care that their buckets remained silent), Jimmy began speaking, he said, “Eric, you know, I won’t always be poor… We – all of us – won’t always be poor…”
Smiling, Eric replied, “I know that, Jim. There’s a rainbow out there, somewhere, with a pot of gold at the end of it, with our names inscribed indelibly upon it.”
“I mean it, Eric, I really do!” Jimmy insisted, thinking his best friend was not taking him at all seriously.
“I know you do, Jim,” he replied, “I really do.”
Stopping alongside a fence bordering the street they had just entered, Eric leant down and tugged at its base. It lifted. “Go on,” he said, “You, first. I’ll pass the buckets in through to you.”
Being so small, Jimmy passed easily under the fence. Eric, however, was another matter. “Here you are,” he said, passing the buckets to Jimmy. Crouching down, on all fours, Eric began crawling under the fence. However, he became stuck. “Are you holding it up all the way?” he called out from his undignified position below.
“Yes, I am.”
Then why am I stuck?”
“Because you’re too big,” Jimmy explained. “I told you only last week this would soon happen. “You are growing too fast. This hole is now too small for you.”
Huffing and puffing, Eric would hear none of it, and he tried even harder to pass through the small space. RIP. Accompanied by a loud ripping sound, he suddenly shot through the gap under the fence.
“There, I told you I could do it,” Eric said triumphantly, trying to forget the sound he had just heard. “Come on,” he said, “we have a good way to go, yet.” With that, he began sliding his way down the steep incline ahead of them.
From behind, Jimmy’s eyes were drawn to the consequence of the ripping sound, a sound they had both heard whether Eric admitted it or not – a tear in the seat of his pants. “Eric, wait!” he called out. Eric, being Eric, would hear none of it, and he barrelled on, slipping and sliding his way down the slope.
By the time Jimmy had caught up with him, at the bottom of the slope, his best friend had come to realise the errors of his ways. Feeling rather embarrassed, he asked,
“You wouldn’t happen to have a pin handy, would you?”
Laughing, Jimmy rummaged through his duffle coat pockets, to see if he had anything resembling a pin. Withdrawing a gloved hand, he sorted through the various items upon it. There was a pencil, a rubber, two blackjack sweets, a half-eaten sherbet fountain, a three-quarters licked gobstopper covered in fluff – and a pin. Eric was in luck. “Ah, here you are,” he said, separating the pin from a sticky bit of something that might have once been a piece of licorice shoelace.
With the problem of the torn trousers thus sorted, the two friends began the task they were there for – to collect coal, the coal their families desperately needed to keep warm. You see, from the moment they had passed under the fence, they had been within the grounds of the local coalmine. Now, well within it, at the base of the largest of its many slagheaps, where the best bits of coal tended to fall and collect, silence and subterfuge were paramount. The only problem, however, was that the owners of the coalmine also knew this, and men, guards, patrolled it day and night, to stop the likes of them taking even one small piece of coal.
This was a bone of contention for Jimmy, because the owners of the coalmine ignored the slagheaps, allowing them to grow bigger and bigger. In his young mind, he could see no problem, nothing at all wrong with collecting the pieces of coal that gathered there.
“Hurry up, Eric,” said Jimmy, who had already half filled his battered old bucket.
“I’m going as fast as I can,” Eric replied. Stopping, cocking his head to one side, he asked, “Did you hear something?”
Holding a lump of shiny black coal in his hand, Jimmy froze with fright. However, he heard nothing, not a thing. Finally, picking up enough courage to speak, he said, “It must have been a piece of coal falling down the slagheap.” Relieved, the two boys resumed their coal collecting duties…
When their buckets were full, Jimmy and Eric began the long, torturous return journey back up the slippery slagheap. It would have been a hard enough task for an adult to try, but for two small children encumbered by buckets filled to the top with heavy coal it was a slow, painful, torturous process that took them a full thirty minutes to do. Their fingers ached from the frost and their toes were numb. It was going to be a very slow climb indeed.
After climbing for thirty minutes, the two boys were barely thirty feet higher from where they had started. It was beginning to get bright; the weak watery moon gone, replaced by a golden globe rising slowly above the eastern horizon. Although its rays were weak, they were warm enough to begin melting the frost. It was a double-edged sword. As their fingers and toes began to defrost, so too did the slagheap, making it all the more slippery underfoot.
Again thinking he heard something, Eric looked down over his shoulder. At the base of the slagheap, he saw a man, a guard staring up at them. “Oi! You two!” the man hollered. “What do you think you’re doing?”
Hearing this, the boys stopped dead in their tracks, hoping they might blend into the slagheap and thus disappear from sight.
Shouting up at them, the guard said, “You’re trespassing! You do know that, don’t you?” Receiving no reply, he said angrily, “Trespassers get shot!”
Well, that certainly did it, on hearing those words Jimmy and Eric dropped their buckets, coal and all, and scorched their way up the remainder of the slagheap so fast the guard was left speechless. He was also left hurt, as the two buckets came tumbling down the slagheap, smashing into him, knocking him for six.
Eric had no problem passing under the fence, this time. He shot through the gap as if he had lost several pounds in weight, and he kept on running, way ahead of Jimmy, all the way home. It was only when he entered the safety of their own street did he slow down, allowing his friend to catch up.
Puffing and panting, the two boys struggled to catch their breath. People were beginning to stir, people with questioning faces, wondering why Jimmy and Eric had coal dust all over them, but no coal in evidence to see. Embarrassed to have returned empty-handed, Eric suggested, “Same time tomorrow?”
Smiling, Jimmy replied, “You bet!”
“But we have no buckets!” Eric bemoaned.
With a mischievous grin, Jimmy replied, “That guard has another thing coming if he thinks he’s keeping my bucket! Don’t worry, Eric. We will retrieve our buckets, and he will get his comeuppance! See you tomorrow, bye.”
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An elf with an unfortunate name
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