My Childhood Sequel: The Basher Returns!

It’s nice to see that so many people enjoyed reading my first novel, ‘The Bag Basher’, from my last post. Apart from the fact that it was littered with shameful clichés and dreadful descriptions – it sort of stood out.

A few years after writing the first book I re-visited the idea. I wanted to take the character, Mrs Brambleberry, on another adventure. This was my story – aged 13.

I have to warn you all now that this sequel contains a mature and hard-hitting drug theme. I know, I know – you’d never have believed it. Violence and drugs. Oh – and there’s plenty of mystery. I think there are a few unanswered questions to be discussed.

Read on and enjoy the sequel – ‘The Basher Returns’.

Chapter 1

It had been two months since the great robbery and all the troubles of court cases were out-of-the-way. The two men were given sixteen years and Mrs Brambleberry was quite pleased.

Jeremy, her nephew, was also going to be moving house this week and their new house was next door to Mrs Brambleberry. ‘Ski Hovel’ was the name of his new house and it overlooked the valley, Grey Stone Nag.

On the day of the move Mrs Brambleberry was going shopping at Goldmanor’s Shopping Centre for (Can you guess?… Yes – bags!).

At 3 o’clock the removal vans arrived and Mr Stimple, Jeremy’s dad sat in the van outside admiring their new house.

“Oh look”, said Mrs Stimple.

“I know, Mum. It’s fantastic”, replied Jeremy.

Mr Stimple stepped out of the large van and on to the muddy strip of grass. It made a disgusting squelching noise, like a sloppy kiss that mothers give their children.

“Frank, dear. Hurry up. I’m just so excited and I can’t wait to get in”.

They all kept rushing in and out, carrying more and more furniture. It seemed like an endless van full of everything!

At 6 o’clock Mrs Brambleberry arrived home in a superb taxi. It was gleaming and looked a sharp jet-black colour. When she got out of the car you could see four or five carrier bags – possibly more. It was hard to tell, considering it was the evening.

In the morning the postman came, but he was not in a very good mood….because he knew that in less than five minutes Mrs Brambleberry would barge out of her front door and – well, I can’t say!

He walked up to the door and counted to ten. 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10 – go. He pushed the paper through the door and turned for the gate. There he saw……Mrs Brambleberry. It all went very quickly and he saw his life flash before him.

“No Miss. Have mercy!” cried the posty.

“You dare to post large letters and then fold them in half. You must be punished!” screamed Mrs Brambleberry.

Jeremy had heard all this noise from his bedroom and was now watching.

“Aaaargh, get off…..Help!” wailed the postman.

“Never! You’ll have to learn!” she shouted.

She took one swipe and SMASH, BIFF, BOP – she hit him.

Jeremy had to think quickly. He ran for the phone and dialled 999. A Mr Wilberforce answered.

“Hello. Which department please?”

“Police and ambulance, at High Road,” he replied. “Quick though, hurry!”

The postman was hurried to the nearest hospital where he was taken into intensive care. There they wired him up to a life support machine.

That night, Mrs Brambleberry spent the night in the police station answering questions and outside you could hear the media. Through the window flashes came from cameras and though the letterbox a man shouted.

“We’d like to speak to the crazy one, haha!”

Jeremy and his parents couldn’t believe that a member of their own family could do such a thing and that was when Mr Stimple said “She’s my sister and I’m going to get to the bottom of this mystery.”

“Could be pills, eh Dad?” joked Jeremy.

“That’s right son, great. Let’s see if she’s on any medication,” replied Geoff.

So, Mrs Brambleberry’s house was searched from top to bottom, when Mrs Stimple found a tub which read:

TIGETS MILES – FOR EXTRA STRENGTH!

“Hey, look! I’ve found it. These must be making her – wild, I think,” yelled Gloria.

They took the pills to the police station was PC Clopper examined them. They were eventually found out to be drugs.

“Who gave you these pills, Miss?” asked the constable.

“Dr. Blaketon from Coatbridge Surgery,” said Mrs Brambleberry. “I’m sure of it”.

“Oh no!  This so-called Dr. Blaketon was arrested six months ago for drug dealing,” explained the constable.

“I didn’t know. I always wondered why he mysteriously disappeared. He had two helpers as well, didn’t he?” Mrs Brambleberry replied, “Have you caught them?”

She was now getting hot and very worked up!

“Yes, we did! They robbed your house and while they did that you didn’t notice them go upstairs did you?” said Mr Wilberforce walking in from the other room.

“They swapped over the tubs in your medical cupboard and from then on you’ve been taking drugs”.

Mrs Brambleberry couldn’t believe what they were telling her. Neither could the Stimples. They just stood in shock and listened.

“Mrs Brambleberry. I’m letting you go a free woman and I promise you that your name will be cleared!”

Mr Stimple got everyone into the car and drove them home.

When they reached home, Mrs Brambleberry went into her house, just as the phone was ringing.

“Hello, Mrs Brambleberry speaking”.

“Darling, it’s me, Alf. I’m getting the train from London now. I’ll be home by 8.30 and you can tell me what’s been happening”.

Mrs Brambleberry couldn’t believe it. She hadn’t seen her husband for two months because he went to America just after the robbery.

At 8:30 the whole family went to Mrs Brambleberry’s house to welcome him home. Two months was a long time to her and a lot had happened.

THE END

 

A few worrying points which I have thought about on re-reading, some 19 years later.

  • Why did I bother with chapters? There was clearly only one chapter.
  • What happened to the postman? Did he live?
  • How did she manage to escape the law? Lucky woman, I say.
  • Why was drugs the first thing that sprang to the mind of young Jeremy?
  • Just what had her husband been doing since the burglary. Why did he leave? Was he involved?
  • How could my maths be so poor that I claimed the husband had been away for two months (since just after the robbery) when the robbery was six months ago? Hmmmm.
  • Where did I think up the names PC Clopper and Mr Wilberforce. Crazy names!
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My childhood novel: The Bag Basher

When I was younger I loved writing stories.

I was always writing short stories and poems. I’m sure that if I was to go back to my mum’s house and look in wardrobes and under my old bed that I would find lots more. 

A while back, I was looking through some old stuff in my apartment and I found a book that I’d written. The Bag Basher, my first novel (hmmmm) was written when I was eleven years old.  

It’s really taken me back in time. The story is rather tragic. I’m sure a psycologist would have a field-day interpreting what it means. Basically, the story is ‘violence meets a touch-of-campness’. Read on and make of it what you will. Happy Reading.

Chapter 1:

Mrs Brambleberry was the worst type of woman who you would like to be with because she was always bashing people. This had gone on for about one year now and the postman was considering leaving. He looked so bad with all his bruises, all over his body. Each time he’s tried to post big letters he had to fold them in half. SHE DIDN’T LIKE IT. She would just stomp out of the house and hit him.

In her back garden people said she must grow handbags because she had so many. One day she would carry a green one, the next day it would be blue.

Anyway, let’s get to the point. She had a nephew called Jeremy Stimple and it was the summer holidays, so he was coming to stay with her.

When he came, she was nowhere to be seen. He looked all over but she was not there. This started his mind going. “Where are you Aunty?” he shouted, but there was no answer.

As soon as he went round into her back garden, there she was with her handbag tree.

Stick with it… It gets very exciting! Who’d have believed in handbag trees.

Chapter 2

By now he had started to wonder what she was doing because when he came she didn’t even say hello to him. Next to Mrs Brambleberry was a little chemistry set.

She dropped a little bit of solution onto a branch of the tree and a little bag grew.

“Aunt”, Jeremy shouted, “It’s me”. But she didn’t look.

That night they were both very tired and went straight to their beds.

It was about 12 o’clock at night when two evil-looking men smashed the back window and crept into the house. The both had brown bags and started to pick things up.

Mrs Brambleberry started to cough in bed. She got up and went downstairs. On the way to the kitchen she thought to herself “Where’s my picture? Oh well, I must have moved it and then forgotten.”

The burglars both said “Cor, we were lucky, but we had better get down again before she comes back”.

When she went back to bed they started stealing things again. In one corner of the room there was a big golden bag. Mrs Brambleberry probably used it when she went to dinner. They quickly put it into their sack. By now it was 1 o’clock and so they left.

In the morning Jeremy came down into the front room to watch TV. The only problem was….there was no television set nor any of his aunt’s things. He quickly looked out of the back window and saw footprints in the sandpit and a piece of black and white material. This was when he knew what had happened. They had been Robbed! (Notice my use of a capital letter – I was really emphasing the event!)

Could this story be more stereotypical if it tried? Okay, so it all seems rather predictable, but black and white robber material? What!? What was I thinking? Tragic – hope you’re enjoying it so far.

Chapter 3

Jeremy just couldn’t believe his eyes. He ran upstairs and into his Aunt’s room shouting “Aunt you’ve been robbed!”

When she woke up she said “Calm down now, you must have had a bad dream”.

“No, no, I’ve just been downstairs to watch TV but there’s nothing there”.

They both went downstairs to find an empty room. “Aaaargh” she screamed. “Phone the police!”

They phoned the police and then went on a burgulars trail. It was quite easy because they found a trail on Aunt’s beads on the floor. “They must have fallen out of my jewellery box when they ran away”, she said. Everything they found they put into a carrier bag so that they could take them home. Eventually they got to the very last bead and thought that they’d lost the trail, but they were wrong. The trail had stopped by a thorn bush and there were tiny bits of black and white material caught – so they followed it.

Mrs Brambleberry went right through the bush and sat down in dismay. There she found a secret map.

Seriously!?? Black and white material. I can’t believe that the 11 year old me really thought that people wore black and white when breaking into houses… Oh oh. So – How will it end? What do you think is going to happen in the fourth and final chapter?

Chapter 4

Mrs Brambleberry clearly understood the map and she went into the tree-house (which was in the map). She found the secret rope and got inside. Once inside, she was struck dumb.

Where are the thieves? she thought.

Jeremy came running in and said “Look around. There must be a trapdoor somewhere. We’re upstairs. It’s only upstairs”.

They searched for ages bu they couldn’t find the trapdoor until Jeremy spotted a piece of carpet out of place – and underneath they found the trapdoor.

It was hard to open but eventually they opened it and caught the thieves. Mrs Brambleberry got all her things back.

THE END

P.S. Before the thieves were put into prison, Mrs Brambleberry poshly smashed them in the face 100 times with her handbags.

Oh – A happy ending. Well, for some. It was all too easy. The shortest chapter seems to indicate that I’d lost a certain level of interest in the story.

As for ‘poshly smashing them in the face with handbags…’ All I can say it  – Don ‘t get on the wrong side of Mrs B.

I hope you enjoyed it. I hope it made you giggle. It was a long time ago when I wrote it. Such innocence.

And –

Just in case you wondered… I wrote a sequel three years later.

I might share it with you all one day.

Peering into Terri’s Little Corner

One thing that I have noticed in my first year of blogging on WordPress…

 Some bloggers come and go. Others stay around and make an impact on the way you look at things.

This post is all about someone who I have never met.

Yet.

(Possibly some day).

Terri, from Terri’s Little Corner is the main feature of my blog, today. Yes, that’s right – she’s the lipstick lesbian, pin-up girl WordPress wonderess, right now… In a literary way… Big her up – Big her up!

Terri - giving the look to all you lucky readers.

I wanted to shout from the rooftops blog about Terri for a few reasons – and here they are:

  • Terri was my first blog friend
  • She paid me to write nice things about her Just kiddin’
  • She is simply terrific
  • She is possibly one of the nicest American’s that I have ever known (I mean it in the nicest of ways)
  • Tantalising Terri has supported me more than anyone (online and offline included) – thanks Terri. You have ‘officially’ commented on and responded to more posts that anyone else.
  • Her blog ‘Terri’s Little Corner’ is a corner of delight, sarcasm, hilarity and unexpected entertainment – It’s on my blogroll, so take a look and bookmark it.

Terri and I are quite similar in many ways… I’m scratching my head and thinking of how…

  • Both gorgeous – clearly you didn’t that pointing out…
  • We both love WordPress  – what’s not to love.
  • I think I can safely say that we both spend too much time on WordPress
  • We both have a love of writing – and that’s what I really enjoy. Terri recently started writing fiction for NaNoWriMo. Sounds like a mouthful, I know – but it’s short for National Novel Writing Month.

On Terri’s blog, you can read about her novel-writing. It started with her saying this at the beginning of November –

“Basically, I have 30 days to write a 50,000 word novel.  I pulled my calculator out and did some complex math computations.  Let’s see, 50,000 words divided by 30 days.  OMG, that is 1666 words per day, IF I write every single day”.

So, I wonder how she’ll get on. It got me thinking.

I used to LOVE writing stories. When I was 9, 10, 11 years old I was always scribbling away – writing stories, poems and anything else that I could think of. I wrote a couple of novels – I use that term very loosely.

I called my first book ‘The Bag Basher’ – I cringe just thinking about it. I found it the other day in one of my many ‘hoarding boxes’… I have decided to share it with you all on my blog.

Watch out! The Bag Basher is coming to ‘One Life’ soon (you’ll love it)…

In the meantime, get yourselves into Terri’s Little Corner!

Over and out.

6 months of blogging. 6 things I love about it.

It’s been 6 months. How can it already be 6 months since I sat behind my laptop and created ‘One Life’, my WordPress blog?

It’s been a rollercoaster of a ride but I’m sticking with it. I love the surprises. Here’s my list of 6 wonderful things that I love about my first 6 months of blogging.

  1. I love sitting at my laptop and reliving an experience. Whether I’m writing about a recent trip away or about something funny that I have seen – It’s great to write about it. Somehow I feel it captures the memory and makes it more permanent. I do have a bad short-term memory and so it’s not such a bad thing. Plus, it’s always funny to hear what others think about what’s been going on.
  2. Making friends via WordPress and Twitter. The people I have connected with via WP and T make me smile. They comment on my posts and give great feedback for making it better. (Special hi to Terri, Terri, Jamie, Ashley, Melissa and thesinglecell).  I’ve added great blogs that I enjoy reading to the Blogroll on my sidebar. They really are worth checking out. Some of the people who I have connected with have become borderline stalkers. Online stalkers though……and I love it. If you too want to follow my blog then you can subscribe. Equally you can click to stalk follow me on Twitter on the sidebar.
  3. Condoms are more popular than I ever though possible. It’s quite unbelievable, but it’s true. ‘Condom’ is the most popular keyword used to bring people to ‘One Life’. Ah, yes………I did blog about them a while back. Here’s my most popular post about condoms.

    "Oh, that's just made everything in the world seem better".

  4. I follow the locations of people reading ‘One Life’. I don’t have secret tracking devices out watching you all 24-7, but I can see on the world map where the readers are from. My biggest audience by far is the United States (howdy)….. Oh sigh, that’s poor, but I thought it would be better than mentioning ‘tea’ (coming from a Brit that is)…… Talking of tea though, I posted about tea and it’s very popular. Tea and its magical properties. If you haven’t read it then take a quick peek.
  5. Lists! I love the lists. I created a list of things to achieve/do/experience in 2011. Lots of other blog friends have created a 101/1001 list. It will take them ages to achieve – but what a thing to do. Look, this post is just another list.
  6. The best bit about WordPress and blogging is find out that I’m not the only one…… I’m not the only one who does stupid things, has a bad memory, forgets things, loses things, says the wrong thing……. It’s a relief. Let’s all give each other a big blog hug.
    There, didn’t that feel better?

My friend Alison, the published author. This blog includes mysteries, adventures and family secrets.

My blog ‘One Life’ is the closest I get to having something/anything published. OK, each and every blog I add is ‘published’ here on WordPress, but it’s not the same as popping into a book shop or looking on Amazon.com and seeing my very own book. How I envy my friend.

Alison with her book.

The friend I am thinking and writing about in this post is Alison Zeitler. Alison and I met a couple of years ago in The Netherlands when she started working with my class at school (the joys of working in an international community as a teacher). Alison was, and still is, a superb teaching assistant. (It’s just a shame she’s not my teaching assistant anymore).

I was really impressed when Alison told me that she had written a book and even more so when I discovered that her book was complete and published. Alison was officially the first person I’d ever really known to write a book* – and I couldn’t wait to read it.

[*I mean a published book that people can buy and not the kind of book that I wrote when I was younger. I have stacks of stories and books that I made myself. Now, that is another story.]

Alison’s book ‘The Legend of Dragonmoon’ is a story about a girl who discovers that there is more to her family than she knew. She goes to Norway to stay with her aunt and there unfolds a series of events that turn her world upside down. A book with mystery, adventure and family secrets….. (“I’m going to like this”, I thought).

Inspiration for the house in the book.

I searched for reviews and information about Alison’s book online and arrived at the Amazon site. Their description of the book was as follows:

The Legend of Dragonmoon – The Big Green House follows the adventures of three cousins who are sent to Norway to stay with their great-aunt at Villa Skasen. They discover that their great-aunt can no longer afford the upkeep of the Villa which may have to be sold. It is left to the cousins to find the buried treasure on Skasen Island. Their task is complicated by superstition and myths of witches and lake dragons. A series of strange events place the three girls in danger. Their failure to find the treasure leaves only one option – they must rely on the old legend of Dragonmoon to save them.

 

While putting the finishing touches to this post, I spoke with Alison and explained that I wanted to talk about her book. This is Alison’s story and how she came up with the idea for ‘The Legend of Dragonmoon’:

“I have literally been trying to write THE book for my whole life.  At age 15, I promised myself that one day I would write and publish a book.  Over the years I began many stories and books, but none grabbed me and I always lost interest in them.  Then in the summer of 2004, we went on holiday to Finnskogen, Norway, and spent 2 weeks in a 100 year old green and white house standing on the edge of a beautiful lake. In the middle of the lake is an island.  Very Famous Five! We did a lot of the things that you can read about in the book, eg. Rowing over to the island and sitting on the porch roof.  Of course, my imagination just took off and soon a story began to form in my mind which originated from these three things – the big old green and white house, the 3 old ladies who used to live there and the word Dragonmoon which is actually the name of a woodland track in the forest.  I began to research the area and found out that it is full of old myths and strange legends.  I invented the legend of Dragonmoon which I weave thru the other myths and legends of the area.  I added a lake dragon to Lake Skasen and came up with a history for the 3 old ladies and finally, I had a story that I really liked”. 

 It all sounds simple when it’s put like that. More exciting news followed when Alison told me that the sequel was also in its final stages. I cannot wait to get my hands on a copy. 

 

 

A place of mystery and magic.

 

 

A place of inspiration.

 

Alison explains that “the sequel carries the story on with the introduction of new characters/villains, the death of one character, and more about  the legend of Dragonmoon as the danger and excitement escalate to new heights. What I write is considered “low fantasy” because magical things happen in a real and natural setting.  My goal is to eventually write “high fantasy” (a la Tolkien) where the setting and characters etc are all based in a world that doesn’t really exist.  I already have a basis for a “high fantasy” story also connected to the legend of Dragonmoon so watch this space…”

With the first book published and the sequel on its way, what could be next?

“I would also love to write Scandinavian fairytales about witches, trolls, moose, shamans, etc. And I already have the outlines of 2 stories for my fairytale book which has the working title of ‘The Witches of Storberget’.  And in between all the magic and mystery, I write poems too, 122 to date and still counting…”

Now I am left thinking “Alison……Where do you find the time?”

If you are interested in finding out more about the book, the items or indeed the author and my friend, Alison Zeitler, you can check out more on her website here. There are some great photographs that reflect the essence of the story. You can find the location of the green house by the real Lake Skasen here.

Thanks for reading!

If you enjoyed reading this post you may enjoy sharing it with friends and family via facebook, Twitter or other means. Click share below. You could also email the hyperlink (URL) to anyone you like.

Perhaps you’d like to comment. I will pass comments to Alison too.