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Excerpt from 'Daisy Weal and the Grelflin'

Chapter One



Legend has it that the world used to be teeming with Grelflins. You couldn’t go around a corner without bumping into one or stepping on another, but suddenly, in modern times, they disappeared. If you were one of the few people who could see them, and have ever wondered, which I am sure you must have at one time or another, why it is that you don’t see any around anymore; then listen up and I’ll tell you what happened.


It all came to a head one night when…


…Daisy was woken up by the sound of a bump. Even with the largely untapped superpowers that she had, at three and a half, bumps in the night still concerned her. Marjorie, her mum, had told her that Goblins, Elves, Trolls and Bogey men were just stories, but she was still very young, so how could she be sure? Her mother had read many stories to her, so she was quite familiar with the way that the book characters reacted to things that go bump in the night. Usually they screamed and cowered in a corner somewhere, but Daisy was curious, and for the moment at least, all her fears were forgotten.


She quietly slipped her legs out of bed and stood up listening intently, and yes there it was again, a distinct and definite bump. Despite the power that she knew she had, a ghostly shiver ran up her spine. For a moment, she was actually scared, but then she took a deep breath, pulled herself together, and started to look around to find the source of the bump.


She suppressed a giggle as she saw the large backside poking out of a cupboard in the corner of the room. It was a temptation too far for a three and a half year old, and she held up two fingers and concentrated. She found the place she was looking for in her mind, and an arc of electricity crackled between her fingers. She let it dance across her fingers, building to an intensity that satisfied her belief that while not fatal, it would do the trick.


She flicked her hand, and the room lit up as a bolt of lightning flashed from her fingers and impacted upon the backside. A truly horrendous yell resulted, followed by the crack of a head hitting the underside of the cupboard’s top.


Daisy was startled from her delight at the success of the flash, when the door to the room burst open, and Marjorie almost flew in,


“What’s happening? What’s going on Daisy?” her mother gasped, “I heard a yell and a crash.”


“Not a lot Mum,” she replied, grinning and turning towards the cupboard, “It was just this back…”


Her voice trailed off as she realised that the cupboard door was neatly closed and the backside was missing. For a second or so, she wondered what was happening, but then not wanting too many questions for which she had no answers, she quickly changed her story.


“I must have been dreaming,” she lied hastily, “and fell out of bed.”


“Well that’s a first, but as long as you’re OK.” said Marjorie, not convinced, but unwilling to make an issue of it at this time of night, “Don’t make a habit of it though, or we might have to put your mattress on the floor.”


She came over, helped Daisy back into bed, and kissed her on the forehead.


“Goodnight, and try not to scare me to death again,” she said, crossed to the bedroom door, and softly closed it behind her as she left.


As soon as Daisy was sure that her mother was gone, she threw back the covers, got out of bed again, and re-focussed her attention on the cupboard.


“Well that wasn’t very friendly,” said the very strange looking figure that was sitting on the floor next to it.


It had a small wizened face, with long pointed ears, and an even longer pointed nose. Its teeth were large, uneven, but very sharp looking. The upper part of its body was quite thin, with long arms that ended in extraordinarily long hands and fingers, which seemed to have four joints instead of two. This contrasted however, with the huge bottom that it was sitting on. It was altogether a very strange sight indeed. She did wonder where he had disappeared to when her mother had come into the bedroom, but then she realised that normal humans did not see the same way that she did. The influence that her mother had on her, had temporarily overwhelmed her special senses, and she had not been able to see him either. It was certainly food for thought, and something that she would have to make an effort to overcome.


“What do you expect?” said Daisy, not in the least bit impressed, “What would you do, if a truly massive backside was poking out of your cupboard?”


“Well I wouldn’t go around chucking lightning bolts at it for a start,” he said indignantly, “you wouldn’t believe how much that smarts.”


“What apart from the fact that you couldn’t even if you wanted to, what were you doing in my cupboard anyway?” asked Daisy, feeling that it was an appropriate and reasonable thing to ask.


“Not only that,” he said, completely ignoring her question, “but you burnt a hole in my pants.”


“I will singe the end of your nose,” declared Daisy, experimentally letting some sparks flash between her fingers, “if you don’t answer my question.”


“OK, OK let’s not be hasty,” he said hurriedly, “I was trying to find my way home.”


“A likely story,” said Daisy, “how could you possibly expect to find it in my cupboard?”


“Well that was the way I came in, so it seemed reasonable that it would be the way out. Really odd, it was easy coming in but the cupboard seemed much smaller when I tried to go back.”


To Daisy’s way of thinking, it would have been a perfectly acceptable explanation if it had not been for the obvious impossibility of negotiating that truly enormous bottom through the cupboard door. She let the sparks crackle louder.


“It’s true,” he said, starting to look worried and just a little frightened, “my bottom just suddenly got like this. It’s much smaller normally.”


“People’s bottoms do not, suddenly, change in size. Perhaps you had better tell me where you come from and what your name is?”


“Alright. But only if you promise to keep those sparks to yourself.”


He sounded sincere, so Daisy stopped the sparks and curled her fingers into a fist.


“Ok let’s hear it.”


“My name is Gedber Muckleberry. I am a Grelflin, and I come from Grelf.”


“That’s silly. My mum has read me stories about Elves, Goblins and Gremlins, but I have never heard of a Grelflin or anywhere called Grelf.”


“And you think I had heard of this place before today, or seen anyone like you before?” he asked indignantly, “You are really weird. You are just a little kid, but you talk like a grownup, and throw lightning around. Can all little kids do that here? This place hasn’t even got a skin, well not one I can find anyway.”


“You are starting to babble Gedber. Now calm down and tell me what happened.”

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