Will Blyton’s Diary 4

January 1974


My most exciting moment has arrived.  I’m down in the cellar where I have my very own dark room.  I can see you’re wondering what a kid like me is doing with a room for developing photos in a cellar.  I’d better explain.  Dad is a serial hobby killer.  Every few months, he finds a book in his second hand bookshop which introduces him to something new to become obsessed by.  A gleam of madness shines in his eyes and he tells Mum he has to buy a camera or join Pig Fancier’s Anonymous immediately.

A couple of years ago, it was photography and he had to have a dark room in the cellar.  His argument was that his photographs were going to be so unique, there was no way he could wait a full week for them at Plopson’s the Chemist on the High Street.  Mum eventually agreed to the dark room if Dad would teach me how to develop photographs.  Dad came up with the argument that I could not be responsible enough to use the chemicals required.  Mum said that if I wasn’t responsible enough to be let loose in a dark room, then there was no way that Dad was anywhere near responsible enough.  Dad and I choose the equipment for the dark room together.

After three weeks, Dad found a book on Astrology in his shop. He dumped photography and the dark room  and started looking out for fellow Pisceans to enjoy water colours with, whatever they are.

Anyway, backstory over with.  My moments of glory have finally arrived.  I look fondly at my washing line of developed photos which are pegged up to dry.  Two photos stand out for me.  They are virtually the same but I am not one to be troubled by minor details.  I can see a candle flame and behind it is the face of the ghost from Boris Death’s old house.  She has to be dead; nobody living could look remotely like that.  I collapse down onto the high stool as I realise what I have done.  The creature might know I have taken an image of it and jump on me whilst I’m in bed.  My stomach turns somersaults and I gulp loudly.  I can not allow fear to take me over.  I must think how I can benefit from the spooky image staring at me.

My mind is blurred, I cannot think logically.  I will have to resort to putting my deerstalker on.  I have a notion it warms my brain and sends it springing into action.  I pace the room, I stop, I stare at the photos.  I need to make them work to the very best of my advantage.  What I want is publicity.  Ambrose Pimple of the Groaningsea Gazette is the most obvious choice.  If I allow him to publish the photograph and run a story on my escapades, I will become The Groaningsea Ghosthunter.   The public will be finally fighting for The Alternative Detective’s services.  I can’t go wrong.

My mind is like a hare speeding through the open fields, I see the faces of The Toad, Ferret and Snot.  The fools will think again before whopping someone as brave as me.

The question is… do I telephone Pimple or just arrive with the bait?


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