Bly Bickersmith is a series I have been working on for the last few years. The first book in the series came about as an experiment to make my son laugh. What makes kids laugh? I had to think far (far) back to what made me laugh when I was his age. So I tried to do that and tried to shake off the years of societal conditioning which subtly informs us what is “proper” and what is not. After many sleepless nights I can now reveal the answer to making kids laugh is phttttttttt! Well one of them anyway 🙂
The day came, I gave my son the completed manuscript to read and waited anxiously for the review. I didn’t have to wait long I could hear laughing from his bedroom. So job done. I’m a happy camper!
What children find funny may or may not be what grown-ups would find funny or enjoy. So if you are a kid then great read on, if not transport yourself back all those years ago when you loved candy more than anything else and farts were funny 🙂 Drums roll and cymbals crash ladies and gentlemen presenting…
‘Grrrrr!’ growled Bly. ‘I look like a big shiny red baboon’s bum.’
He was dressed in shiny red wellies with a matching shiny red raincoat.
‘My little man,’ said Bly’s mum. ‘You look adorable.’
It was one of those Irish wet weekends where poor Bly wanted to be wrapped up in a warm blanket in front of the telly eating a big bowl of chocolate ice-cream.
This was not to be the case for this little blonde boy. He didn’t want to be outside in the park with his mum, but she had insisted they go for a lovely walk. In the rain! Yes, in the pouring cold wet rain.
Bly had spent most of his time in the park hiding behind a giant tree. He was terrified he would be spotted by some of his schoolmates, but on a positive note every time he moved, his squelching red plastic wellies would make the most glorious farting noises. Splish! Phhhtttt! Splash! Phhhhttttt! Splosh! Phhhtttttt! He thought this was hilarious.
Then Bly saw the biggest puddle imaginable. He knew he had to jump in quick before his mother saw it. Bly soared into the air without a care. This time there was no big splash. Bly disappeared. And the last sound Bly’s mum heard her only son make was phtttttt! At least he hadn’t left a bad smell!
He had disappeared, vanished, evaporated, departed, dissolved, vamoosed and gone bye-bye in an instant. If you were watching this on telly big loud drums would bang and cymbals would crash, but this isn’t television; it’s a book. You’ll have to make those noises yourself. So go ahead if you like nobody is watching do something silly we don’t charge extra for special effects.
Bly found himself rising upwards. He was passing through big white wet clouds and then only darkness. On and on he drifted. This new experience was lasting a long time, apart from wondering what in the blazes was going on, Bly was getting bored.
I am going to have a little nap, he thought, his mouth stretched open in a huge circle, ‘yeeeeeeee-awwwwwww-uuh!’ Bly fell asleep.
His dreams were full of four faces smiling and whispering to him. The four images told him their names: Annie Snow, Hailey Raine, Crystal Ball and Sonny Wither. They chanted softly,
‘We Four Forecasters of truth,
Will guide you little youth,
Always remember the Golden Rule,
And follow The Fool.’
His snoring could be heard all over the world. In China some people thought it was the start of an earthquake. He eventually woke himself up with all the noise he was making.
Bly had landed.
‘Where’s my mammy?’ he cried, clinching his fists. ‘Where is she?’
Bly felt big drops of water streaming out of his eyes and down his face. It was joined by hot snot busy jogging out of his nose. It all made a big glorious green glutinous mess smeared all over his face. He wiped it off. It was a big relief to get that stuff away. Bly proudly looked at it shining on his sleeve.
He liked to keep clean, even for a small boy he was always well turned out. Bly would wipe his dirty hands on other people’s clothes if there wasn’t a towel about, a curtain or carpet would do at a pinch. This is not always advisable for cleaning your nose as cheap carpets can burn the old schnozzle.
It slowly dawned on him through each of his little sobs that his mum wasn’t with him.
She’ll be here soon, thought Bly. Any minute now.
But she wasn’t coming soon and she wasn’t going to sort it all out for him because she wasn’t there.
I am sorry to say but real life doesn’t always work out the way you would like. It can be a little bit disappointing at times. All adults keep this a big secret as few people get to be astronauts, fly jets or become beautiful princesses and don’t get me started on the whole Prince Charming rubbish.
To tell you the truth when you get to be a grown-up it usually involves a lot of standing around looking interested in what people are saying and doing when you’d rather be picking your nose, eating or looking out the window.
But here in this book and sometimes in the real world anything is possible. Yes really, you could be the lucky one, win some talent show and become a big star. Then again, you could make a right eejit of yourself and take it all a bit seriously. Remember life is meant for fun where there is dancing, prancing and no romancing, not yet you’re too young.
Bly realized he was on his own for the first time in his life. He decided he actually felt happy about it, that nap had done him the world of good.
He started thinking about the time his mum confiscated his favourite toy: his most magnificent, shiny, roasting red with fiery flames skateboard. All he did was take the keys off her laptop, hide each one in different places around the house and that was only yesterday.
‘I don’t need her,’ he said defiantly. ‘She can go stick an old crow up her nose every day until she snots feathers.’
He looked around at this new place. It was pretty dim but everywhere was lit up in sepia tones like an old photograph. You know the type of photograph I am talking about: Great Aunt Hilda sitting on a chair and Great Uncle Jack standing behind her all done up in their Sunday best looking like they have a banana stuck up their bum.
There was a road with old lamps lighting up the way. This road was not like any roads we are used to, but more of a well worn stony dirt track. There wasn’t any wildlife or flowers to be seen just piles of stones and books scattered everywhere.
Bly picked up one of the books and looked at it closely. It was beautifully bound in a kind of brown soft leather. The title of the book was handwritten in thin black ink, The Fifty Fearless Firemen Who Were Called Out to Rescue a Tinned Salmon.
What an awful name for a book, thought Bly.
He tossed the book on the muddy ground and took another look around.
‘Humph! This place doesn’t look very magical. You would think after coming all this way it would be a bit more exciting,’ he said, crinkling his nose. ‘This sucks! It’s worse than sitting through Miss Bertie Bumpkin’s class all day, having to look at her and her big hairy nose droning on about her cats Tinkle and Piddle. Hardship!’
Hope you enjoyed.
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