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Misty Comics

Misty Comics and Annuals

Misty Annual 1985

Cover of 1985 Misty Annual

Forget about Eva Green or Megan Fox, if there ever was a woman that I wanted to look like the honours would have to go to the cover girl for Misty comics.  Drawn to perfection, she stared out from the covers with her otherworldly look. With flowing long black hair which was in dark contrast to her pallid complexion, she was more than beautiful. She was exquisite. Animals of the night such as bats, cats and owls always accompanied her. The mysterious and enigmatic enchantress didn’t belong to our world but the world of the supernatural.

Misty "The Sin Eater"

“The Sin Eater” from Misty Annual

First published in 1978 by Fleetway London, the weekly comic only lasted about two years. The comic’s stories dealt with horror and the supernatural.  Spooky tales of psychic schoolgirls, cursed dolls, cat cults, revenge and evil djinns to name but a few.

I adored the comic but what really tickled me pink were the holiday annuals. I think there was eight in total. The annuals had the usual stories about strange things happening to poor schoolgirls but what I really loved best were the features. Over the weekend, I reread some of my old annuals and the features are still fantastic. You could discover whether you had any extra sensory perception skills by using Zener cards. Other articles included information about star signs, lucky numbers and different personality types.  I especially loved the article entitled Curious Meanings. It told you about the real meanings behind some of the most common sayings and customs we use today.  My favourite custom now is clinking glasses together to wish someone well.  I was surprised to find out that a long time ago people believed that the Devil resided in alcoholic beverages.  They would clink glasses to frighten him away.

Childhood memories of my mum, my sister and I going to jumble sales and mum buying up all the girl’s comics for us is one that I still cherish today.  Comics played a huge part of my childhood such as old favourites Jinty and Tammy but Misty was by far the coolest. Over the years, I have kept all of them for my daughter to read. And now Misty is her favourite as well. This morning, I was thrilled to read online an article by David Barnett in The Guardian that a new version of Misty is to be relaunched by Rebellion the owners of 2000 AD Comics. My ten year old daughter and I are really looking forward to see how these spine-tingling stories will go down with the modern generation of school girls.

As we say in Ireland, “Slainte”.

Alfred Hitchcock and The Three Investigators Series by Robert Arthur



Alfred Hitchcock


As a kid, I was a huge fan of Alfred Hitchcock. It started with his T.V. series Alfred Hitchcock Presents. As I recall, it was on during a school night. To stay up and watch my favourite programme with a glass of lemonade in one hand and a bourbon cream in the other was a big deal. The series covered nearly all genres such as crime, horror, drama, thrillers and my favourite mysteries. Then, one rainy day I discovered my brother’s stash of books underneath his bed.  I eyeballed Hitch’s name on the covers of this series and I was hooked. To my amazement, he even made a guest star appearance in the books as a mentor to the three investigators.

The three detectives consisted of Jupiter Jones (what a fantastic name!), Pete Crenshaw and Bob Andrews. First detective Jupiter led the gang, second detective Pete excelled at sports and Bob loved records and research. Of course, I had a secret crush on Pete. The books were set in Rocky Beach in sunny California in the sixties. Jupiter or ‘Jupe’ lived with his Aunt Mathilda and Uncle Titus (another cool name!). They owned a junk yard where the three investigators set up their secret headquarters in an old mobile home, which had four hidden entrances. The mobile home even had a phone, which they paid for with money they earned working in the junk yard and from fees they collected for solving cases.  Even cooler, the boys enjoyed access to a chauffeur driven gold-plated Rolls-Royce for thirty days. Jupiter won the use of the car as a prize in a contest sponsored by the Rent-‘n-Ride Auto Rental Company. Worthington, the chauffeur always took a huge interest in the boy’s cases.  Looking back, I see now that the troop’s business card summed up the boys investigating business the best with their motto “We Investigate Anything” printed in the centre and underneath three black question marks stood out. The question marks symbolized the unknown and each question mark represented each investigator. The mysteries the boys investigated involved all manner of supernatural events from haunted houses to screaming clocks.

The books are pre-internet so the three investigators do a lot of digging around in libraries and books plus having a phone (attached to a line) was a big deal in those days. Oh, how simple life used to be! In this technological age, I don’t know how these books would go down with my kids but I am going to find out. What I loved most about these stories was that Mister Hitchcock took the boys seriously and as a kid that’s all I dreamed about!


Oscar Wilde’s The Happy Prince & Other Tales

Oscar Wilde

Oscar Wilde

My kids always ask me what my favourite books were when I was a child.  It’s so long ago it was really hard to remember. So, I stopped and began to think. One by one they came back to me. Of course some books have been with me all of my life while others returned like old reacquainted friends bringing a smile to my face. I made a long list. I began to think what did I like the most about these books and what made them stand out? Did they make me laugh or cry? Did they make me think about things differently or ultimately change me as a person? And finally, would my kids like them too?

My first favourite childhood book was The Happy Prince & Other Tales by Oscar Wilde.

There are five short stories in this book entitled The Happy Prince, The Nightingale and the Rose, The Selfish Giant, The Devoted Friend and The Remarkable Rocket.  Each one of them is incredible in their own way.  The Selfish Giant has a special place in my heart but The Happy Prince is my all-time favourite short story. The Happy Prince is a statue made from gold and precious stones. From where the Happy Prince stands he sees nothing but misery in the city. A swallow comes to visit him. The swallow agrees to strip him of his gold and jewels in order to give them to the people in need.  It’s so beautifully written and so sad. Over the years, I have read this story many times to my kids and it still makes one of us cry – usually me! Then,  I remembered  the cartoon of The Happy Prince probably watched on some rainy Saturday afternoon.  As I recall, Christopher Plummer voiced the Happy Prince.  I am going to root it out and show it to my kids the next rainy day that comes which I’m sure we won’t have to wait long for. We live in Ireland after all.

Oscar Wilde is still one of my favourite authors and is there not one of us that have not marvelled at his wit. So I will leave you with my favourite Oscar Wilde quote from Lady Windermere’s Fan,

“We are all in the gutter, but some of us are looking at the stars.”



Interview with Mister Snickering of McSorely’s Tea


Interview with Mister Snickering of McSorely’s Tea

With a stroke of luck I was able to snag an interview with the famous Mister Snickering of the prestigious tea house McSorely’s Tea. They have been blending tea for hundreds of years and maybe he will let us in on some of their tea secrets, especially how they get their tea to taste sooo good.

Helen Ryan: Hello, Mister Snickering of the renowned McSorely’s Tea. I am very glad to meet you at last. Welcome! Welcome! Please sit down. I am thrilled you are here.

Mister Snickering [licks his moustache]: How do you do, do you do Madam Ryan?

HR: Fine, thanks. Now Mister Snickering you work for McSorely’s Tea.

Mister Snickering [licks his moustache]: Verily, I am their top agent. Teehehehehe! Only drink McSorely’s Tea. [licks his moustache again]

HR: Would you like to tell us a little bit about your job?

Mister Snickering: Ah yes, that is a fine question. Well it involves a lot of recruitment of the right chil… people you see, tea making and a lot more donkey work than you would think.

HR: What’s does the donkey work involve?

Mister Snickering: Well, sometimes we keep donkeys in the factory, forsooth.

HR: For what exactly?

Mister Snickering: We blend the donkey poo in with special tea blends. It gives the tea a lovely aroma.

HR: Yuck!

Mister Snickering: Verily, it’s not for everyone.

HR: Do you like your job?

Mister Snickering: Sometimes, I do get to meet a variety of interesting people. After all they say variety is the spice of life. Mine gets spicy now and then.

HR: You mean your life gets more exciting?

Mister Snickering: No, we sometimes add spice to the tea. It gets spicy, forsooth.

HR: Oh right!

Mister Snickering: As you know McSorely’s Tea is verily the finest tea in the world. [licks his moustache]

HR: Yes indeed. [nods her head]

Mister Snickering: Verily, I have a lovely present for you. [He hands Helen Ryan a black box with McSorely’s Tea written in gold letters where the y turns into a gold leaf]

HR: Why thank you Mister Snickering. [opens the box]

Mister Snickering: Verily the finest tea bag made just this morning especially for you.

HR: Hmmm … How thoughtful. [quickly puts box under the chair]

Mister Snickering: Ahh! I can smell the aroma of spicy donkey poo from here. It’s breathtaking. Don’t you agree?

HR: If you say so. Now Mister Snickering, what job would you like to try if you weren’t working at McSorely’s Tea?

Mister Snickering: Mmmm … Excellent question. I have thought long and hard about this over the years. I think I would like to be a mattress tester.

HR: What would that entail?

Mister Snickering: Sleeping!

HR: That sounds lovely. Why would you like that?

Mister Snickering: Uh! I am so very tired all the time. At McSorely’s Tea they have me working all hours. I am forever dreaming of the Land of Nod. [licks his moustache]

HR [yawning]: Now Mister Snickering. I feel a bit tired myself.

Mister Snickering: How about a lovely cup of McSorely’s to freshen you up? [licks his lips]

HR: Ah, not right now I’m ahem… not thirsty.

Mister Snickering: Suit yourself. You don’t know what you are missing.

HR: Mister Snickering if you were an animal what type of animal would you be?

Mister Snickering: Slow and steady wins the race so definitely a tortoise.

HR: A tortoise?

Mister Snickering: Yes, they hibernate for a long time. So a lot of sleep is involved, verily a noble pursuit. And well, a group of tortoises are called a creep! They are just the type of guys I’d like to hang out with! There is much to be admired when discussing tortoises. They are also great tea drinkers, forsooth.

HR: Surely tortoises do not drink tea?

Mister Snickering: McSorely’s Tea it’s so sweet, man nor beast cannot resist it. [licks his moustache]

HR: Readers I don’t recommend you let your tortoises drink tea.

Mister Snickering: Quite correct not any tea, only McSorely’s Tea will do! Teehehehehe! [licks his moustache and picks up the box from under HR’s chair, he bangs his head on the chair] Ohhhh! I have very sensitive skin. [placing hand up to his forehead] Here let’s have a nice cup of freshly brewed McSorely’s Tea. It’s good for what ails you. [licks moustache]

HR: No really I’m quite full thanks, maybe later.

Mister Snickering: Let the interview proceed on Madam Ryan.

HR: Good idea. Who are your heroes?

Mister Snickering: Genghis Khan. [grinning]

HR: That’s an unusual hero. He conquered most of Central Asia and China destroying everything in his path.

Mister Snickering: Verily, he was a great tea drinker, a man to be inspired by. Rip Van Wrinkle is another fellow I quite admire.

HR: Didn’t he sleep for twenty years? But he is a fictional character in a story.

Mister Snickering: What’s wrong with that? So am I. [pushing the black box at her] Here time for tea!

HR: I think we’ll wrap it up now.

Mister Snickering: If you say so. It has been the utmost pleasure talking to you, forsooth. I will take that box back if you are not going to make use of it.

HR: Oh yes! Here take it. [hands over the box]

Mister Snickering: Good-day Madam. [holds out hand to shake]

HR [stands up and shakes his hand]: The pleasure is all mine.

Mister Snickering leaves the room.

HR [falls back on the chair]: Phew! Donkey poo tea!

McSorely’s Evil Tea Read Free Chapters Here

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McSorely's Evil TeaDid you ever think tea could be evil? Check out free chapters below to find out 🙂

McSorely’s Evil Tea

Chapter 1

Sky Swift

It all started with an evil tea bag used to make an evil cup of tea. As you know tea is generally not evil in fact it’s considered one of the most wholesome drinks there is. This is true; most of the time.

The evil tea bag was dropped into the rubbish bin. If you listened hard enough you could hear it moaning, ‘Mmmmmmmurggggghhhhhhhhh.’ And if you narrowed your eyes and looked closely, you would see a faint black cloud of steam rising from the bin. It was pure out and out foul nastiness.

The evil cup of tea waited patiently. It sat upon a matching china saucer with a sugary shortbread biscuit resting beside it.

‘Tea’s up Sky,’ said Sky’s mum.

Sky sat down and looked at the evil cup of tea. It didn’t look particularly evil. The tea actually looked quite nice in the white china cup.

She studied the shortbread biscuit intently. Sky bent her head down to sniff the tea.

Hmmmmm … something different, she thought. She pursed her lips.

‘Drink up before it gets cold,’ said her mum. She was busy arranging flowers in a glass vase at the kitchen sink.

Sky picked up the biscuit. ‘Sniff, sniff, I hate shortbread.’

‘Sky,’ said her mum firmly, ‘you love shortbread.’

‘Not today,’ she said. ‘It’s too sunny.’ She sniffed the biscuit again.

‘I wish you would stop sniffing stuff. For goodness sake!’ said her mother, sighing. ‘Go to the press and see what you can find.’

The evil tea slowly swirled around in the cup. If it was herbal tea it would be calm chamomile but with evil stirred in.

The evil tea bag seethed with anger and malice in the bin. What’s the hold up? Drink the tea! Just guzzle it all down!

Sky dragged a wooden stool over. She climbed on top of the stool and opened the press full of goodies.

‘Yes chocolate chip cookies!’ she yelled. ‘Mum, can I have one instead?’

‘Yes Sky,’ she answered, ‘but just the one.’

‘Thanks,’ said Sky.

‘I’m going upstairs to make the beds,’ said her mum, putting the vase of flowers on the kitchen table. ‘Be back in a minute.’

Brrrrrr! thought the evil tea bag. I’m getting really cold here.

Sky dragged back the stool and sat down at the table. She opened the packet of biscuits and took out five. Sky carefully placed one on top of the other making a tall brown biscuit tower.

‘Mum!’ she shouted upstairs. ‘I took just one!’

‘That’s fine pet!’ her mum shouted back. ‘Be careful on the stool.’

The evil tea bag was nearly ready to burst with impatience. ‘Drink the tea, drink the tea!’

She ate the first crumbly biscuit in one go.

Nice, she thought. Hmmm … I wonder would it taste better if I eat two together. ‘Sniff, sniff.’ I better stop sniffing stuff Mum hates it.

Sky nibbled and crunched away, forgetting about her tea.

What is she doing? thought the evil tea bag. What is taking so long? The evil tea bag wished it could be in the cup again. I love the feel of the spoon twirling me around and the sugar tastes so sweet and so baaaaddd!

Sky’s mum came thundering down the stairs.

‘Jeepers!’ said Sky. She stuffed the last of the biscuits quickly into her mouth.

‘Sky, what are you at?’ scolded her mum. ‘That’s too many biscuits!’

‘Honnnnnmmmmmmm, yum, yum, yum,’ she munched as quickly as she could.

‘Look, your tea is gone cold now,’ said her mum. She picked up the evil cup of tea and poured it down the sink.

‘Nooooooooooooooooo!’ shouted the evil tea bag. But because he was a tea bag it was a very weak cry.

‘What was that?’ said Sky’s mum, looking around.

‘Maybe it was the doorbell,’ said Sky.

Sky’s mother went to the front door and opened it.

To her surprise a peculiar looking man was standing there in a black suit; it looked far too small for him. He wore a shiny gold shirt with a matching gold bow tie. The shirt’s buttons were under enormous pressure to stay in place. He had an oily black moustache and his head was completely bald. His eyebrows made one straight black line across his face. The black eyebrow didn’t move; not ever.

‘Good morrow,’ he said, in a loud lofty voice, ‘dear lady!’

‘Er … hello?’ replied Sky’s mum.

‘My name is Mister Snickering,’ he said. ‘How do you do, do you do?’

‘My name is River Swift,’ said Sky’s mum. ‘Ms Swift.’

She held out her hand, he grabbed it and shook it.

Yuck, she thought. His hand is so wet and icky.

‘Verily,’ he chimed, ‘I am here on a mission of the utmost importance.’

She could smell his breath. Ugh! It smells of oniony rotten eggs. River instinctively pulled away her hand but he grabbed hold of her pinkie finger.

‘I believe you have my finger,’ she said.

She tried to pull her little finger away. He didn’t let go.

‘I represent McSorely’s Tea,’ he told her, ‘verily the finest tea in the world.’ He licked his moustache.

‘Mister Snickering my finger,’ she insisted.

‘Just a minute of your time, that’s all I ask Madam Swift,’ he said. ‘Tehehehehe! Only drink McSorely’s Tea.’ He licked his moustache again.

‘I have never heard of McSorely’s Tea,’ said River.

He smiled and let go of her finger. She fell back, he immediately caught her by the arm. He scratched her with one of his long dirty nails. Blood was drawn.

‘Ouch!’ shouted River. ‘My arm!’

‘O! I’m terribly sorry,’ he said. ‘Let me see you inside and we will fix you up mam.’

He pushed his way in.

Sky was sitting at the wooden table eating more biscuits. ‘Honnnnnmmmmmmm, yum, yum, yum.’

Blood trickled down from River’s arm. She ran to the sink and turned on the tap. The water splashed out everywhere. She quickly turned the tap off.

Sky ran to get the mop. ‘What happened?’

‘He scratched me!’ she said shocked. She watched the blood oozing out of her arm into the sink. River turned on the tap gently this time. She put her arm under the cool water and looked wide-eyed as the bloody water drained down the silver plughole.

Sky got busy mopping the floor. ‘Oh Mum!’

‘Sniff, sniff, yes, yes,’ said Mister Snickering.

He’s a sniffer too! thought Sky. That’s interesting.

Mister Snickering had a good look around. While no one was looking he fished out the evil tea bag from the bin and put it in his jacket pocket.

‘My arm is very sore,’ said River.

‘I can only apologise Madam Swift,’ he said.

‘That’s alright,’ said River. She had calmed down a little. ‘I’m sure you couldn’t have meant it.’

‘I came to give you a free sample of McSorely’s Tea compliments of McSorelys,’ he said. ‘Tehehehehe! Only drink McSorely’s Tea.’ He licked his moustache. ‘Verily, I am their top agent.’

He handed Sky a black wooden box which had McSorely’s Tea printed in gold lettering on the front of it. The end of the letter y curled into a gold leaf. Sky put the box on a shelf.

‘You are so kind,’ said River.

‘Kindness is next to craziness,’ he said.

‘Is that not kindness is next to godliness?’ said River.

‘Whatever you say,’ he mumbled.

‘Sorry,’ said River, ‘what was that?’

‘I must be on my way,’ said Mister Snickering.

‘Let me see you to the door,’ said River, wrapping a tea towel around her arm.

‘It has been of the utmost pleasure, forsooth,’ he said. ‘Remember McSorely’s Tea purveyors of the finest and the most refreshing tea.’ He licked his moustache as he looked back at Sky.

River closed the door as quick as she could.

‘Who was that?’ asked Sky. ‘He was strange.’

‘You know what,’ she said. ‘I really don’t know.’

Chapter 2

McSorely’s Evil Tea

Mister Snickering stepped into a single seater black car which was parked further down the road. His belly rolled out under the steering wheel. A button on his gold shirt popped under the pressure, bounced off the window screen and hit him in the eye. He ignored it.

Mister Snickering pulled a black lever and the car started. He stretched his arms out. ‘Owwwww!’ he yawned. The car drove off by itself. Mister Snickering fell asleep on the steering wheel. ‘Zzzzzzzzzzzzz! … Snort! … Snort! … Zzzzzzzz … Zzzzzzz … zzzzzzz.’

The car stopped at traffic lights and a little boy looked in at Mister Snickering fast asleep. His mouth dropped open in surprise. The car started on its steady way again.

The black car stopped outside a dark and sinister looking building. It was surrounded by red brick Victorian houses. McSorely’s Tea was printed in elegant gold lettering above a black door where the letter y curled into a gold leaf. There were no windows for the curious to peer inside. The building was covered by a gold roof with a large chimney stack. Black smoke bellowed out of the chimney day and night.

Mister Snickering slowly woke up. Dribble ran down the corners of his mouth. He took out a dirty black handkerchief and dabbed his face. He dragged himself out of the black vehicle. His eyes drifted up to the gold lettering above the door. He licked his moustache.

Home sour home, Mister Snickering thought.

He squeezed out a small black key from his tight trouser pocket. Mister Snickering carefully guided it into the gold keyhole. Click! The black door opened a little. He sucked in his stomach and squeezed himself inside.

He let out his stomach again. ‘Ahhhhh!’ He was dreading the next few minutes because he knew what lay at the end of the long dimly lit hall.

Mister Snickering hung up his coat on the single gold hook fixed to the wall. His name Mister Snickering was written in tiny gold lettering above the hook where the letter g curled into a gold leaf.

He looked down the hall and sighed.

Mister Snickering took off his small black shoes. He slowly sneaked down the hall in his smelly stocking feet.

Be as quite as you can, he told himself. Don’t even breathe. Suck it all in.

The worn wooden floorboards were a creaking minefield. The creaks moved all the time to try and catch him out. He gingerly put one foot in front of the other.


‘Blast! I knew it,’ he said. ‘Oh-oh! What will happen to me now. I have woken it.’



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The Holeys in the Wall

Excerpt of the first chapter of The Holeys in the Wall.

Chapter 1

The Holeys

There stood a great big wall full of Holey people and nothing else. Yes, that’s what you just read. Read it again if you don’t believe me. Go on give it another go!

No busy schools, no libraries to learn in, no noisy playgrounds, no humming computers, no open doors or closed windows, no rotten rubbish, no happy houses or sweet shops, just a wall and Holey people.

The Wall was made out of gigantic ancient stone. Smooth and clean, free from any plant life, it was coloured white. It was so bright there was no need for lamp posts, torches or even candlelight.

As for the Holeys well, they were very different to you and me. They called themselves Holeys because they had four large holes in their bodies. I am not talking about ear holes, nose holes or mouth holes here. I am talking about enormous gaping holes.

Hole No. 1 was very important. It was on top of a Holey’s head. This hole housed little people. These people had families just like you and me.

Hole No. 2 was in a Holey’s chest. It held acres upon acres of lush crops and orchards full of colourful fruit to feed everyone.

Hole No. 3 had all sorts of animals roaming around in it, from sharp toothed sharks swimming in deep blue seas to scratching monkeys in dark jungles. They all lived in a Holey’s hairy belly button.

Hole No. 4 was a weird one, it was in the back. This was where the weather was kept. Lightening, thunder, sun, hail, rain and snow all played happily side by side.

The Holeys were great big giants and their job was to hold up the Wall.



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Sneak Peek of Bly Bickersmith

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…

Bly Bickersmith

Bly Bickersmith

Chapter 1



‘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.

Please have a read of some of my other books below.

McSorely’s Evil Tea Read Extract Here

The Holeys in the Wall

McSorely’s Evil Tea on Amazon Kindle