Tag Archives: 1970s

How To Get Rid Of A Stinking Shadow!

Today, we wash ourselves constantly but can you imagine how a 14th century teenage boy could smell?

Will Blyton - The Alternative Detective

“If you are staying Thadeus, you have to go through a rigorous bathroom etiquette as laid down by the law of The Thunderous Mother.”

Thadeus sits up excitedly.

“What is that master Will?”

“Oh you will enjoy it.”  I have my fingers crossed behind my back.  “Every modern day boy is absolutely mad for the rigorous bathroom etiquette.”  I suck my cheeks in to control myself.

“Wait here a minute.”

Thadeus smiles gladly.

“You are the best master ever.”

A glimmer of shame starts to creep up on me but then I think of the wind and the spit.  Being with Thadeus is like being thrown into gross weather conditions whilst indoors.

I nip into the bathroom, put the plug in the bath and turn the taps on.  Whilst the water runs, I peruse the torture chamber which is called the bathroom cabinet.   I look for a weapon, spy something…

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Will Blyton – The Alternative Detective Part Four

Mr Hyde, from the Boris Death room, gets a shock when he sees himself in the mirror. Find out what Will Blyton decides when he develops the photographs from Boris Death’s old house.


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Will Blyton and The Stinking Shadow – Chapter 1


 Chapter One

This morning I dream of Groaningsea again.  The desolate railway station has a train once more – a large, black monster with a leering face hurtling down the track.   I am invincible.  A pop eyed toad wearing a railway cap hangs out of the window.  It flicks its long tongue to catch the flies that cluster around its head.  It lifts its cap respectfully at me.  The station is full of human sized, black cat puppets dressed in stripy jackets and straw hats.  They tootle by, walking on hind legs encased in long boots.   They stop their promenade to let me pass.  A shrieking voice catches my attention as Mr Punch hits Judy with a policeman’s truncheon.  Silence reigns as they become aware of my presence.  A seated, weasel faced ferret with razor sharp teeth spots me.  He stands quickly and points to his seat with a walking stick made of liquorice.  I grab the stick, break a piece off and put it in my mouth.  As I taste soggy eiderdown, I wake up.

I throw back the blankets and rush to the window.  Nothing has changed.  The sky is vast with heavy, black clouds almost meeting the roaring, grey sea in the distance.  Groaningsea is still here; even if the railway station has gone and taken the ghost train to bigger seaside towns which are easier to get to.

The front door shuts heavily behind me as I pull on it.   I run across the empty road to the deserted beach.  I try to remember my dream full of stripy clothes, liquorice walking sticks and being treated like a king but a sharp nip stings my cheek and my specs are ripped off my face.  A head resembling a dead bat moves towards me.  It has to be The Toad.  You can always tell him from the fake, leather jacket he wears.

Always watch your back.  It saves you frantically sticking your hands out when you’ve been shoved.

“Bet you didn’t see me.”   It is the voice of Snot, The Toad’s sidekick.  A dried crust of mucous always covers his face, hence the name.

“Give me my glasses,” I bleat pathetically.  You know how your voice quakes when you feel like an ant before a shoe takes away the daylight.

“Let’s see what you look like with these on,” shouts The Toad.  My glasses hurtle over my head and I get a short, sharp pain in my back.  The Ferret cackles.

“I thought you were a football,” he shouts.  He is the other sidekick of The Toad.  He is small with pointed teeth and omits a malodorous odour when excited.  I suspect he is very excited.  I swallow deeply to rid my throat of the lump in it.  I dream of being Robert the Bruce – the freedom fighter who beat his oppressors.  The sea rages in the background and I wish it was me with all that power and fury. I try to get up but Snot pulls my legs from beneath me and I hit the sand again.

Elvis!  Elvis!  Where’ve you been with my crumpets?” shouts a croaky female voice.

“Coming mam,” replies The Toad.  The Ferret sniggers as he drops my specs in the sand.  My breath comes quickly and heavily through my lips as I watch their outlines saunter away.  You know how it is when your belly is determined to shoot your Weetabix out through your mouth and your legs want to give way beneath you.  I gulp down a sob and get on with the job of finding my specs.

I kneel down thinking I am automatically going to set hands on them but all I grab are millions of tiny grains, an empty Dandelion and Burdock bottle and a piece of soggy seaweed.   The Thunderous Mother will go bonkers if I go home without my specs.  If I tell her about The Toad, she will march around to his house and complain to his mum.   She thinks being nice is slamming the door in someone’s face.  I’d better keep digging.

“Thine intestines wilt be mine!” a small, shrill voice shouts.  I glance around.  I am alone.  The sky is almost black and the furious rush of the sea is urgent.   A shiver runs down my back as I edge my blue scarf further up my neck.  The sound of the wind often gets distorted on Groaningsea shores, although it has never sounded like a threatening voice before.  I shrug at no-one in particular as my fingers grasp something smooth like glass.

“Thou wilt regret this warty nose.”  I rub my ears with my free hand.  A voice without a body is not possible.

“Leave me be, thou fetid, old skanky breath,” says the same threatening voice.  I freeze as I hear the clucking of a tongue.

“Thou art nought but a worm eating corpse,” orders the voice.  Without a word of a lie, the threat appears to be coming from my hand.  I slowly look down at my fingers wrapped around the stone.   I spring them open as if on a mechanism.  The stone is clear like glass.  My eyes widen at the shock of being able to see the stone clearly without my specs.

A boy, the size of my palm, is in the stone and scowling up at me.  He is in a prison cell.  It has bars on it and there is a small bed at the far end, a desk and a chair.  There is a writing quill sitting on the desk.

“Who art thou?  I thought thou wert that devil Ravensmite,” says the boy.   I open my mouth to reply but nothing will come out.  The boy has long, dark hair with black, piercing eyes.  He is dressed in a green knickerbocker suit with a frilly ruff around his neck.  Huge, shiny buckles sit on the front of his shoes.   I stare at him like a goldfish.

“Mule’s manure, that is what thou art,” says the boy.  I finally manage a few words.

“What… What are you?” I ask.  Okay, you don’t need to snort and look superior.  You try thinking of something clever to say to a tiny, insulting boy in a stone.

“Marry, I am a grand warlock,” says the boy.  He struts up and down within the stone prison cell, like a male pheasant.  I clear my throat.  I am sure that I should be saying something important or clever or well anything really.  It’s not easy when faced with someone who is dressed so oddly.  I decide to act as if this type of thing happens to me everyday.

“You’re a minute boy in a stone,” I say and wrinkle my nose to throw doubt on his personal hygiene.

“I can slay thou withal one breath, thou bent nosed fool,” says the boy and puts his fists up.   I scratch my head.  I’ve never been in a situation like this before.

“Why do you want to fight me?”  I ask.  The boy drops his fists.

“So thou art not an agent of Corpsehound?” queries the boy in the stone.  I peer at him intently.  If only I had help.

Corpse what?” I ask.   A light is switched on in the boy’s eyes.  His posture becomes less rigid.

“Does thou hast a dwelling, thou springy haired oik?”  My hand shoots to my hair and I pat it down frantically.  The boy’s voice is suddenly soft and sweet, it makes me want to eat marshmallow.

“A dwelling?”  We don’t seem to be speaking the same language.  Some people have started flying to Spain for their summer holidays.  I wonder if he has come from abroad.  For some strange reason he starts to sob.  A tear shaped bit of rock, like a piece of dried snot, falls into my hand.  At this point, I feel like running away but I need to know more.

“Hast thou got a dwelling young ruffian?  What name do they give thee?  It must be Turnip Head,” says the boy.

“Will Blyton.  I live at that house over there.” I point to my home across the road.  I thought that the boy was strange from the beginning but when he gets down on his hands and knees and starts to pray – I am sure he has come from somewhere far away.

“Take me to thine abode Blyton, thou jug eared clown.  I am a powerful magician who can grant thee any wish,” boasts the boy.  I don’t believe him, of course.  His face leers up at me, I stand back in shock.  He is handsome until he smiles.  His teeth wear a thick, yellow coating as if they are covered in custard.

“I don’t know,” I say doubtfully.  “Do you have a name?” I ask.  The boy sticks his small chest out.

“I am Hamnet.”  I eye Hamnet carefully and wonder how he can be of use to me.  Would it be possible…  I wonder…

“I will take you home if you can send me back to the fourteenth century,” I say eagerly.   “I need to ask Robert the Bruce how to decimate The Toad.”  Hamnet stands up quickly.

“Will he helpeth me?” asks Hamnet.

“Who?”  I ask.  Hamnet pushes the palms of his hands out quickly and nods eagerly.

“Robert the Bruce – the great magician who can turn evil creatures into a thousand pieces,” says Hamnet.  For a moment, I can’t work out what is going on.  l look up at the darkening sky.  I then realise what the boy is getting at.

“No, he is not a magician.  He is a freedom fighter.  Oh never mind.  Make me time travel,” I say impatiently.   Hamnet blinks quickly and closes his eyes for a moment.  He slowly opens one.  I peer at him hopefully.   Hamnet opens the other eye and tries to smile.

“I wilt make thou travel through the mists of time if thou takest me to thine abode,” says Hamnet.

I clutch at the stone and think about the forthcoming journey back in time.   If I take the strange boy home, he will call me names and I get enough of that from The Toad.   I don’t fancy it.  I glance down at the boy again.  It would be worth it if he could take me to Robert the Bruce though.  I decide to give it a go.  After all, I am never going to get another opportunity like this and I can always take the stone back to the beach.  I will take a chance but first I need my specs.  I fall to my knees and rummage through the sand at ninety miles an hour with my free hand.   Sand flies everywhere but there are no specs to be had.

“Get off thy knees thou feeble minded dog,” shouts Hamnet.  “I do not care to hang around this dreaded place too long.”  I stand up and hold my palm out so that I am looking at the boy.

“I have lost my specs and I can not see very well without them,” I explain.   Hamnet scratches his nose and his eyes start to gleam.

“Marry, the seeing instrument is there.  I see it! I see it!” he shouts excitedly and points to where my specs are sitting.

I sink to my knees again and grasp at my specs.  I wipe them on the bottom of my jumper and quickly put them on.  Hamnet is jumping up and down and waving his hands about.

“Hurry Blyton, we have no time to waste,” he shouts.  The boy is bossy; anyone would think he has someone after him.  I cross the road to go home.   The fury of the sea lashes behind me.  I will be glad to reach the warmth.

Once inside the house, I tiptoe up the stairs, missing the third one altogether as it has a wailing creak.  Scurrying quickly across the landing before anyone sees me, I rush into my inner sanctum and close the bedroom door shut.   I lean against it and listen.  All is quiet, it is safe to pull the stone out of my pocket.

“Right, I have brought you home,” I say.  Hamnet peers through the stone at my bedroom.

“Are thee a servant Blyton?” he asks.  I shake my head vehemently.  Hamnet looks around the room again.

“I thought not, thou hast many objects but thine chambers are a pitiful size,” he says.  My bedroom holds a bed, a wardrobe, a set of drawers and a bookcase full of my adventure stories and annuals.   All of these have been painted blue to cover up the scuffs and scratches which they have gained over the years.  There is also my special curiosities cabinet which holds my old coins, bones and fossils.   On top of it is a pea shooter, water pistol and catapult.   Hamnet obviously hasn’t seen the precious treasures like my cassette recorder and my camera.   I had to wash up, empty the bins and dust forever to get that camera.   It seems he is not that well up on the latest technology.  I wonder if I should show him my dark room down in the cellar.  I know for certain that room will impress anybody;  he doesn’t deserve to go there.  I will ignore Hamnet’s comments.  He never says anything nice.

“Just make me time travel,” I say.  Hamnet sits down at his desk.  He rummages around in the drawer and then takes some parchments out and places them on the desk.  He runs his index finger along the parchment and tuts.  He then mutters to himself.  I am impressed.  Suddenly Hamnet springs up and reads aloud from the parchment.

To the fourteenth century, send this young skunk

To behold a squire, a knight, or a monk,”  says Hamnet and waves his hands about grandly.   My stomach churns but nothing happens.  Hamnet scratches his nose thoughtfully.

“It wilt happen later, septic earache.  Hamnet will keep thee safest when thou goest to the fourteenth century,” says the boy.   I open my mouth to protest but Hamnet walks to the back of the cell and the stone becomes a dull pebble.  I rub it and knock on it but nothing happens.

I look through the bedroom window.  The rain pours down like a river and the wind sounds like a giant cow mooing.   I sigh.  Nothing has happened.  I hold the stone and stare at it.  No matter how hard I stare, I am in the twentieth century.  Even when I screw my eyes up and grunt hard, I am still in my own 1970s bedroom.   As you can imagine, I do not know what to do.  One moment, I am on the brink of a time travelling adventure with an insulting boy in a stone – the next moment – nothing.  Life just isn’t fair.

I grab a book called Medieval England off the bookshelf.  I hurriedly flick through the pages to find what I want and then leave it open on the bed.  Perhaps I am not concentrating enough.  I hold the stone in my hand and place it over the book to give Hamnet a flavour of what I want.  There is a picture of Robert the Bruce fighting his oppressors, the English, on one page and monks outside a monastery on the other page.   I sigh; the Doctor Who posters still hang on my bedroom walls.  The stone lies flat and grey.

“I wish I could travel back in time,” I say out loud.   I can’t give up.  I would never have a flashy camera if I wasn’t a determined type of person.  I squeeze the stone.  It changes to glass and the boy appears.

“Does thee never restest that flubbering tongue Blyton?” asks Hamnet.  I take my glasses off and rub my eyes.

“You promised to send me back to the fourteenth century.  I don’t believe that you are a magician,” I say.   Hamnet shakes his head and wags his finger at me.

“Thou! Thou! Thou leaking guts.  Goest to the fourteenth century and fall in a dung heap,” shouts Hamnet.  I pull the stone up close to my mouth and whisper.

“I am going to take you back to the beach tomorrow.  You told me lies about time travelling and you keep calling me names,” I hiss.  Hamnet clasps his hands together and falls to his knees.

“I wilt take thee back in time Blyton.  Marry, I need to work on it,” gasps Hamnet.   I put my glasses back on.

“What about the name calling?” I ask.

“I promise thee, thou mangy rat’s bum, that I will give thee only names of nobility,” says Hamnet.  I am about to point out that I have just been compared to the worst part of a rat when I hear a distant rumbling again.  I count three strides across the floor to look for the storm through the bedroom window.

The wind tosses the waves about across the road.  If I stand to one side of the window, I can see the Floating Wreck Lighthouse which The Thunderous Mother runs as a museum in the summer months.  A force of electricity flashes behind the lighthouse in the shape of a fork.  It eerily lights the white building up.  The huge waves slap angrily against the sea wall and the rain lashes down non stop onto the pavements.

I give my specs another quick clean on the bottom of my jumper and put them back on.  Standing under the yellow street light is a monk with his hood up.  He goes down onto his knees and starts to pray.  The rain falls heavier as if whipping the ground.  The monk does not seem to notice it.

I open the window and stick my head out as far as it will go.  The window creaks open and the monk stops praying.  He looks up at me.  The rain hits his face.  His lips are cracked and thin under the street light.  He stares at me.  My stomach churns; I can only imagine the rest of his face.  I back away.

In the safety of the room, I hold my hand out, my fingers tremble as I hold onto Hamnet.  A shiver travels down my back; I have never seen anyone like the monk before.

“There is a monk outside like the one in this book,” I say as I grab the book from the bed and hold it in front of the stone.   Hamnet takes a deep breath.

“Thine seeing instruments are bewitched and playing tricks on thee Blyton,” says the boy.  I stare at the monks and gulp.   I glare at Hamnet.

“I saw him, he was just like the one in this book,” I say.  Hamnet leers at me with a yeasty smile.

“Hark, clothead, it was not really my fault,” a fixed grin is stuck on his face.

“What do you mean?  What is not your fault?” A prickling sensation covers the back of my head.  Surely, it can not be.

“It’s you!  You have made the monk from the book time travel instead of me,” I shout.  Hamnet clutches his hands together and smiles widely.

“Thou dost not need to give me thanks, it was nothing, old flatulent one,” he says.  My head is going to burst.

“You could have brought me a knight instead of a rotten old monk,” I say.

“Dinner is ready,” shouts The Thunderous Mother.   I turn my head to reply.

“Hold on a minute.”  I look back through the window but the monk has gone.  I put Hamnet in my pocket and wonder where the monk has gone to.

I go downstairs and sit at the dinner table.

“Putrid bums!” shouts Hamnet.


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Will Blyton Investigates 2

"I have never seen anything like this before."

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R.A.T. is formed.

An exclusive interview


Ambrose Pimple.

          Sales of the Groaningsea Gazette have almost doubled since Groaningsea’s premier crime correspondent, Ambrose Pimple, uncovered the  mob in our mist!  Residents were so shocked at the threat to their beloved seaside town that they have joined forces against crime with the Groaningsea Gazette.  The local people have banded together to form R.A.T. – residents against terror.  The chairlady is Mrs Croak.  In an exclusive interview by Ambrose Pimple, Mrs Croak warns criminals:

          “The residents of Groaningsea are respectable folks.  We will not put up with the underworld trying to spoil our beautiful town.  My teenage son, Elvis, known to his mates as The Toad, will be on watch during the early evening.  Anyone caught doing anything, anything whatsoever, will be done.  Us Croaks don’t take to criminals, especially ones as we don’t know.”

          Further action has been taken by the local librarians who also represent R.A.T.  They are closeting the latest telescopic umbrellas under the returns desk.  Anyone stepping out of line will feel the force of Mrs Chalk’s umbrella, be stamped on the forehead and get a fine.

          We want local residents to rest assured that they can count upon the Groaningsea Gazette to join forces with R.A.T. in the fight against crime.  Top crime correspondent, Ambrose Pimple, will be available anytime and anywhere – that is Monday –Friday (9a.m. to 5p.m. within the Groaningsea area.

Anyone with any information or in danger please ring:

Ambrose on Groaningsea 666.

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Gangsters Go For  Gobber.


Ambrose Pimple.

Gobber’s Joke Shop has graced Groaningsea’s back streets since anyone can remember.  Gobber is Groaningsea and Groaningsea is Gobber.  We have to ask ourselves why is Groaningsea, and now Gobber, being targeted by the mob?   

To understand the intensity of this crime we must realise that it is not one single crime which Gobber has been victim of but a catalogue of them.  Regular readers will remember Ambrose Pimple, head crime consultant of the Groaningsea Gazette, dutifully reporting how Gobber suffered crime in the past.  For new readers of the Groaningsea Gazette, who we hope will become regular readers, let me explain. 

Being the principle joke shop owner of Groaningsea, well actually, he’s the only joke shop owner of Groaningsea, Gobber feels it is his duty to be a role model to his young customers.  As fresh air and exercise is the order of the day for a healthy mind and body, Gobber does a daily jaunt on the promenade.  Gobber’s celebrity status in this small town means that during the school holidays he is accompanied by his fans spurring him on. 

On the unfortunate day of the first crime, some hard nosed criminal attached a sign onto the back of Gobber’s anorak.  The sign read : 

Gobber smells. Yell if, you agree. 

Consequently,  a shouting mob stampeded the promenade with Gobber in front believing his own personal charisma was causing the racket.  Not that Gobber doesn’t have personal charisma, you understand.  Top crime correspondent, Ambrose Pimple charged through the crowd, whipped his windcheater off, flung it over Gobber’s head and made for the Drowning Fish Café.  Peace soon ensued but there was more to follow.

The next attack on the unfortunate Gobber was the advertisement in the Groaningsea Gazette.  A ruthless criminal masqueraded as Gobber and placed an advert in this very newspaper.  We have to be dealing with the professional underworld, otherwise how would the fake advert have gotten past Doris the cleaning lady who sells advertising space on her day off?  The advert, which looked very impressive with our new style headings read


Derek Frisk, the local St John’s Ambulance man resuscitated Gobber as his shelves emptied. 

Gobber wishes to warn the underworld that he has now taken arms and his mother Mavis is hiding in the back of the shop with her rolling pin and length of elastic, ready for action.

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Will Blyton’s Diary 3

January 1974


I’m in Bongo’s secret shed stamping my feet to keep them warm.  He is banging away on the drums.  I blow on my hands, gently folding the image of the strange creature I saw over and over in my mind.  It is the only ghoul I have ever seen, apart from The Toad, Ferret and Snot and they don’t count because they are alive.  If only I could have gotten a photograph of the phantom.  I would be splashed all over the Gazette as The Groaningsea Ghosthunter.   Mum would be shocked, Dad would not notice and I would be proud.  I sigh heavily into my hands.

How can I be The Alternative Detective when I saw a ghost and didn’t get a photograph of it?  The faces of The Toad, Ferret and Snot appear in my mind singing “cowardy, cowardy, Blyton custard.”   I must be brave.  I must prove myself.  Another problem flings itself at me – maybe ghosts would not appear on photographs.  At least if I had been brave enough to click the camera, I would know that for sure.  I slap my palm onto my forehead – nothing is stopping me from trying to take a photo of the ghoul, except my fear.  I offer Bongo a Bull’s Eye to lure him into doing what I want.

It is getting dark and Bongo keeps looking behind him as we place our bikes against the oak tree.  I slap my inside jacket pocket heavily.  His eyes dart to it and his eyes light up at the thought of his beloveds. – that’s what he calls Bull’s Eyes.  Chocolate Limes are dearly beloveds – that is a secret between Bongo and myself – I had to swear on the cracking of my camera lens not to tell a soul.

I hand Bongo a tin of black shoe polish  – he takes the top off and smears it all over his face – his icy blue eyes look as if they are popping out of his head.  I take my specs off, colour my face in and then replace both specs and shoe polish to their rightful places.  I take my camera from my bag and remove the lens.

“You won’t be able to take any photos if that thing we saw flies at you,” says Bongo.  I wave a finger at him.

“It won’t see us, perhaps it can’t see us.  It might be from another dimension.  We could simply be wafts of wind to it.”  I sprout out so much rubbish, it even surprises me at times.

We bend down and creep across the wild overgrown garden onto the weedy terrace.  Suddenly, we see a light in one of the downstairs windows.  We crawl on hands and knees along the terrace and appear at the window which has the light in it.  It is faint, we can hardly see anything.

“It’s a candle,” whispers Bongo.

“I didn’t know that ghosts needed candlelight to see, did you?” I ask.

At that moment, a white, soulless face appears behind the candle and stares with large, luminous eyes through the window.  My legs want to run but my hands try to point the camera.  It will not go where I want it to.  After a shaking battle, I point and click.

“Come on Bongo, let’s go,” I say.  I turn to look for him but all I can see is his piglet wiggle moving with speed as far away from the house as he can go.

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Will Blyton’s Diary 2


January 1974

Sunday morning.  It’s pitch black.  I route around for my torch.  I can’t put the lights on, I might wake Mum and Dad and my cover will be blown.  I am having an early start with my pal Bongo.  The job is finding out what is going on at Boris Death’s old house.   Recently things seem to be happening there.  It has been empty for years.  No-one dares to go near it, in case the ghost of Boris as a werewolf jumps out at them.  It’s said that at midnight, he walks the grounds.  The Toad said that he once saw Boris as Frankenstein but he didn’t  flinch.  In fact, the Toad reckons that he pulled a face at Frankenboris who duly ran off.  I can’t say I blame him as The Toad is the ugliest person I have ever seen, apart from his mates Snot and Ferret.

I get dressed and  am ready to go.  I quietly open the bedroom door and sneak down the stairs.  Hopefully, I will be back before The Thunderous Mother wakes from her Sunday morning lie in.  I listen, I can hear Dad.  He sounds like a foghorn calling out to other ships in the mist.  No wonder Mum has to stuff her ears with dried up chewing gum.

Dad’s foghorn could have been a warning sound.  I stand in the street ready to mount my Chopper bike and look at the mist.  The sea fret dances around the street lights as if to music.  Bongo had better be up and waiting.  I’m starting to think this creeping around Boris Death’s old house at 6.30 on a Sunday morning is not such a great idea.  I must go.  I have to prove to myself that I’m not a total coward.  I see myself when I am cornered by The Toad, Ferret and Snot – cowardy, cowardy, Blyton custard.

I make myself peddle down the street.  Bongo sits on the wall with his chubby knees pulled up to his chest.  I’m a bit flummoxed as to why he’s wearing shorts on a cruel January morning.  I decide not to mention it but I can’t stop my eyes from staring at his muffin knees.

“Mum’s washed all my trousers except those bright orange ones Gran bought me for Christmas.  You can see me a mile off in those,” he mutters glumly.  It is hard not to laugh but I have to agree that we could hardly go undercover with Bongo resembling a giant tangerine.

The wind cuts into my cheeks as I pedal furiously against it.  We stop when we reach the woods which surround Boris’s old house.  The question is whether to leave our bikes at the edge of the wood and chance them being stolen or to wheel them with us to the house.   It is 6.30 on a Sunday morning, the idea that our bikes might be spotted or stolen is mad compared to the thought of having to wheel them through the woods.  We leave them propped up against an Oak tree.

I decide to go first.  I am proving myself.  I click my torch on and shine it in the clearing ahead.  The white tail of a rabbit scuttling away bobs up and down before my eyes.  The sea fret hangs around the trees like giant spiders’ webs.  I feel a strong pulling on my jacket sleeve.  Bongo has seen something.  I turn quickly, shivers run down my spine.  Who would have thought early morning could be as spooky as late nights?

“Have you got any Bull’s Eyes?” he hisses.  I might have known.  Bongo has two things on his mind – eating and playing the drums.   I rustle around in my pocket and pull the bag out.  Bongo’s crane like hand has a good rummage around and he grabs as many Bull’s Eyes as he can.  We have been friends for years so I have learned a way of holding the bag so that he can get no more than four of my delicious offerings at one time.  He crams them into his mouth so that his cheeks bulge.

We set off again.  When we reach the clearing for the house I stop sharp and Bongo knocks into me.

“What did you stop for?” he asks.  I put my finger to my lips and point towards the house.  We both strain to look.  The thinnest woman I have ever seen is standing on the weed covered terrace looking around.  She has long, black hair, a white face and very red lips.   We gulp.

“Is she a ghost?” whispers Bongo?

“No human dresses like that at 6.30a.m. on a Sunday morning,” I reply.  We run.

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Will Blyton’s Diary 1

January 1974

Today will be a perfect day –  unless they find me again.  At that point I will no longer want to be Will Blyton – The Alternative Detective.  I’m an optimist though and I’m sure I can get through the day without …

It’s a usual winter Saturday in Groaningsea.  The clouds are so black they could have been up Gran’s chimney.  Dad’s gone off, as usual, to open his second hand book shop and Mum’s roped me in to help with the weekly dusting down of the Floating Wreck Lighthouse Museum.  I get paid for  it.

Once inside, the wind whistles around the lighthouse as if it is a ghost who’s frightened itself with its hollow eyes and black tongue.  I don’t care.  I’ve got a tatty copy of a Sherlock Holmes mystery and a nice, full bag of Bull’s Eyes.  The problem is how to get from under The Thunderous Mother’s steely eye.   Being the detective that I am, I know that she isn’t fond of The Boris Death commemorative room.   So I offer to dust in there.

I suppose I’d better explain about the Boris room; for when I become a famous detective and my diaries are read world wide after my demise.  Boris Death is a famous, horror movie star who was born in Groaningsea.  In fact, he is the only notable person, except yours truly, of course, ever to come out of this small seaside town.  The commemorative room tells the story of Boris’s ghoulish career.  There is Frankenstein  Boris in a glass case which lights up and makes the noise of a thunderstorm.  A Dracula Boris, bites the neck of a woman in a white nightdress.  Whilst a figure of Boris as a werewolf eats live sheep.  The best is a wax figure of Boris dressed as Dr Jekyll looking through a mirror.  It is not his own reflection which peers back but that of the gruesome, distorted Hyde!

Anyway, you get the picture – yours truly is sitting there with his feet up on a Boris coffin with a mouth full of Bull’s Eye’s, a duster in one hand and my tatty Sherlock in the other.  Every time I turn a page, I flick the duster.   I have a sneaky read and get paid 50p for my dusting efforts at the end of it.  I silently congratulate myself on being the master of The Good Life and then…

Mum comes in and tells me to go back home to let Dad know that she is finishing off the museum paperwork.  The Sherlock goes in my bag and the Bull’s Eyes in the inside jacket pocket.  I am ready for home to put my feet up and watch Doctor Who on the telly.

It’s dark outside; the cutting wind attacks my cheeks when I get on my pride and joy, my red Chopper bike.  As I lift my foot onto the pedals, my bag is ripped over my shoulder nearly knocking my head off.  A dark, greasy head that looks like a flattened bat looms in front of me.  Warty, heavily ringed hands empty my bag onto the floor and then throw it down in disgust.  The Toad and his cronies have found me again.

“Empty your pockets kid,” he growls and then spits through the slit in his teeth onto my bag.  I hand over my 50p.  He snatches it, kicks my Chopper and struts off with his sidekicks Ferret and Snot at his platform booted heels.

I pick up my tatty Sherlock and wipe my bag clean.  I wish as hard as I can that one day, I will be able to stand up to The Toad – is there anybody or anything, anywhere in the universe listening to me?

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