HOME, AND ABOUT by Anna Evans-Wylie
A trilogy of three stories:
1. To Kiss a Frog
2. Monkey Business
3. To Tie the Loose Ants
A toy is not just for Christmas – a toy is for life. Toys have feelings, dreams and faults – some more than others. Toys have adventures. When no-one is looking, they leap out of the woodwork and get on with their mischief. And on dark and cold winter nights, toys flock together from all corners of the wardrobe to tell a story.This is a faithful record of three such stories: all true and there are photographs to prove it!
The first story “To Kiss a Frog” is about Zaba: a racy, crossed-eye frog with a short temper and bad manners, who embarks on the mission of finding a prince she has dreamt up. In her quest, she is confronted with a multitude of obstacles. She sails the Seven Seas as a stowaway aboard the Titanic. She follows her heart to Venice where she resorts to begging, is arrested for vagabonding and meets the Two Hundred and Eighty Eighth Doge of Venice. Will she find her prince, or will she come to a sticky end?
Book Two, “Monkey Business” is about Big Monkey: an affectionate if hopelessly incompetent creature. His greatest handicap is that he does not know his left from his right, nor does he know his north from his south. These shortcomings spell disaster when Big Monkey decides to run away to Africa and finds himself stranded in Scotland where he stumbles upon the Loch-mess Monster. Will he find his way back home or will he forever forage in the mysterious lands of neither here nor there?
The third story, “Tying the Loose Ants” is about Theodore, a purple anteater of noble lineage and high principles. He is wise but very pompous. His mission is to become a hermit – or druid (depending on his mood) – and to preach the Apocalypse to the world. Like St George of the Dragon fame before him, Theodore battles deadly enemies and bumbles across England, carrying his message like a banner. Will the world listen to our brave hero, or will he be judged a harmless lunatic?The three “Home and About” stories can now be bought separately, in paperback from Lulu:
“TO KISS A FROG” at £13.58 Buy
“MONKEY BUSINESS” at £13.13 Buy Monkey Business
“TO TIE THE LOOSE ANTS” at £11.12 Buy To Tie the Loose Ants
Meet my heroes and anti-heroes. You may get to like them.
CHARACTERS GALLERY FROM “HOME AND ABOUT”
Zaba, the frog
Theodore, the anteater
THE QUITE CONTRARY COLIN PLUCK
by Anna Evans-Wylie
Important matters of State rudely interrupted, one stroppy Pegasus and a game riddled with danger.
The High Council’s weekly meetings on Cumbersome Matters of Everyday Life were held on Wednesdays. Taxes and milk prices were normally discussed – and raised – at such meetings. As the population of Hellfernezia was shrinking at an alarming rate due to the extinction of many species and rapid fading of others, the Council had to demand more money from those citizens who were still alive. Of course, wherever you looked there were grunts of discontent, but no one had the guts to stand up to the Government. After all, if the existing government was to be toppled, there would be no one to step into their shoes – there just weren’t any scapegoats left to run a world that was ending. Soon there would be nothing to run.
Whichever way you viewed the usefulness of this government, there was little point to it because nobody took any notice of its laws and orders. Hellfernetians had more important matters to worry about – such as their own survival. Chaos reigned supreme right across the land. Gangs of trolls romped the cities, looting and pillaging, striking fear into the hearts of good citizens. Yet there was no one out there to stop them. The policing cavalry of centurions was decimated as the half-man-half-horse creatures were on the brink of extinction. Farming was in decline as the Cyclopes turned away from their flocks and to religion, seeking forgiveness for their sins before they died. Theatres were closed and no one wrote books anymore. Fairies had lost their love for ballet, and Phoenix quills would fade in writers’ hands as they put them to paper. Anyway, no one had anything to say or to write as soon there would be no one to hear or read it. Even the sun was losing its brightness and night went on for 20 hours out of 24 in a day. The stampede of the Riders of the Apocalypse could be heard approaching closer and closer. Windows would rattle, walls would shake and the sparks from their hooves flew across the sky as numerous as the stars.
“There is no other choice,” Plumpolina shrieked. “The roof on the government building needs patching up and the roads everywhere have to be cleared of weeds-“
“Even if no one uses the roads anymore?” queried Hauftythorp. “We might make some savings if we give up on the roads.”
“Even if no one uses them!” screamed Plumpolina. “It is our duty to keep everything going and in good repair. Even after we’re all gone, the roads will stay behind as our… legacy!” She sniffled, took out a handkerchief and blew her nose loudly.
“Hear, hear!” agreed Rumpolethud. “The taxes must go up! To ninety-nine percent, they must!”
“So they must,” Hauftythorp shrugged. “Mummbleramble, put it in the minutes: Forced by circumstances beyond its control, the Council orders that citizens pay ninety-nine percent of their earnings in taxation. The money will be used for Government building repairs and for the reclamation of public highways from the wild.”
“Don’t forget the Debt,” Rumpolethud said gloomily.
“… and for repaying our eternal debt of gratitude to the Right Honourable Lord Zeuseelbub,” Hauftythorp finished the dictation with a reverent nod. He did not like talking about Zeuseelbub – the mere mention of his name gave him the shivers. Yet, Hellfernezia owed him everything. It was a debt that would never be repaid. Things would, however, be very different if this debt did not exist. If three-quarters of all the taxes raised did not go to the Elfin Lord, Hellfernezia would be bathing in riches. As it were, it was drowning in debt. Still, without Zeuseelbub and his brave ancestors Hellfernetians would be rotting in the shackles of slavery… though sometimes, when he was feeling particularly rebellious, Hauftythorp had his doubts about that. There was that niggling mistrust at the back of his mind. The goblin knew Zeuseelbub too well to believe in the goodness of his heart (if he had any!).
Plumpolina rustled through a stack of papers she had brought with her to the meeting. “Ahem!” she said. “I’ve received a letter from my secret sources about a new cult of God that apparently had taken root in a small village of Awayland, and is spreading over The Jutting Mountains like wildfire. It may soon reach our cities if we do nothing about it.”
“God is banned by law,” Hauftythorp said. “Anyone who believes in him can be arrested and sentenced without a trial to death or at best to life imprisonment. It is common knowledge, is it not? We don’t need to pass any new laws on the matter – we only need to send the bailiffs to arrest the cult members-“
“The bailiffs have been sent – and disappeared without a trace. They have either joined the cult, or been killed.”
“We must send the army then,” Rumpolethud thundered.
THE BUCCANEERS OF BACKWATER
by Anna Evans-Wylie
It has been raining for weeks. The school is flooded and the children are sent home. Three of them, plus a dog, decide to convert their tree house into Noah’s Ark. Strong currents snatch their vessel and carry it into the Atlantic Ocean. They are presumed dead, but they aren’t ready to die yet. They have a much bigger fish to fry because that’s where the adventure begins…
Life can be much more interesting – and petrifying – that the reality. In this story child’s innocent daydream of swashbuckling pirates and adentures came to a brutal awakening when confronted with the reality of the modern day piracy and child slavery.
The creature reared its ugly head again. Kiera watched its every move. It had risen slowly to the surface, going round in circles as if to hypnotise her. Its forked tongue quivered between two fangs oozing deadly venom. One droplet could paralyse an elephant. The water rippled as the serpent’s fist-shaped head punched through. Kiera shot up into the air and came down like a missile. Water sprayed from under her wellington boots. The creature drew back. Kiera jumped again. And again. And again.
“Die!” she shrilled. “Die!”
She was covered in mud from head to toe, but that wouldn’t stop her. She stomped over the monster’s head. It recoiled. Hissed. She kicked at it – it slithered away. Kiera triumphed. She was standing in the puddle ankle deep, grinning. The victory was hers!
Only then did she realise she had an audience: Ella and Arleta, the two most popular girls in school.
Arleta looked at Ella. Ella looked at Arleta. They didn’t have to say a word. Their faces said it all: BONKERS!
With their clean, pink cheeks, slinky hair and glittering raincoats, they cut a sharp contrast with Kiera. She was filthy. She had no use for a raincoat – she didn’t even know where she had last seen it. Her hair was far from slinky. It never stayed where it was supposed to be. Her hair had a life of its own. It defied gravity. It frizzed over her head like blades of straw. Suffice to say, Kiera wasn’t the material for popularity. She didn’t look the part. And she didn’t act it, either.
She had to think quickly. Fighting imaginary serpents simply wouldn’t do.
“A worm,” she said. “There was a worm in the puddle. I…. I killed it.”
Arleta squinted at her, “You killed a worm?”
“What has the worm done to you?”