It’s Internet Busking & Fiction Week at mizkit.com. Over the next five days, I’ll be posting short stories I’ve written recently.
Now, as it is (with apologies to Jane Austen) a truth universally acknowledged that a mid-list author in possession of good reviews must be in want of an income, if you enjoy the stories and have it to spare, I would be delighted if you wanted to send a few quid (as they say here) my way. You can use firstname.lastname@example.org as a Paypal address. There is, though, no obligation at all, and mostly I hope you enjoy the stories.
This first story was written for my nephew, and is latest in the Tales from Gryphon Beach.
“The Day the Pirate Attacked”
“How Breic Saved Gryphon Beach”
Once upon a time, on the shores of Gryphon Beach, lived a red-haired boy named Breic Hugh. He had many friends, from the smallest giant to the greatest panther, and they all played in the golden sand. High up above, stone creatures of all sorts–gryphons and unicorns and dragons–watched the blue ocean to see if anyone was coming to visit.
Now, as you know, Gryphon Beach is a peaceful place. All of its wonderful creatures are friends, and none of them fight with each other. So when a ship with a white skull on its big black sail came to visit, all the butterflies and soccer angels and everyone came to stand on the beach and wave hello.
But oh! A fierce man in an eyepatch and a big bushy beard jumped off the ship and came onto the beach, waving his sword in the air! “Give me your gold!” he shouted. “Give me your gold, or I will send you away from this beautiful place and keep it for myself!”
“Oh no!” squeaked the glitter fairy. “We have no gold!”
“Oh no!” cried the pouncing butterfly. “This is where we live!”
“Oh no!” said the beautiful black panther. “How can you be so mean?”
Breic Hugh, who was a very clever boy, looked hard at the man. “Oh-ho,” he said to his friends. “Look! He wears a striped shirt!”
All the creatures of Gryphon Beach looked, and saw that the man did wear a red and white striped shirt. “And he has a peg leg!” Breic said, “and a parrot on his shoulder! This man is a pirate!”
“A pirate!” everyone shouted in amazement.
Then there was silence. Finally Kirby, the small friendly demon of Gryphon Beach, whispered, “What’s a pirate?”
“I am a pirate!” the pirate shouted.
Breic Hugh put his fists on his hips. “A pirate is a wicked person who likes to take what isn’t his! We must protect Gryphon Beach from this bad man!”
Well! You have never seen such a sight as panthers and butterflies and glitter fairies rushing around, trying to decide how to protect their beach! Para-chan the panther got so excited she chased her own tail until she was dizzy. Melody the glitter fairy waved her glitter wand so hard it sprayed glitter up her nose and she sneezed and sneezed. Flitterbee, the dread pouncing butterfly, pounced left and right, but only on the golden sand, and so it did not frighten the pirate at all.
“No, no!” Breic called. “This is no good at all! We have to work together!”
“Arrr!” said the pirate. “I am too frightening! You cannot work together, for I shall wave my sword and thump my peg leg and scare you all away!”
And he did.
All the creatures of Gryphon Beach ran away. They climbed and flew and scrambled up the mighty cliffs that surrounded the beach, and from the tops, which were very high, they looked down at their home.
The pirate took out a red and white checked picnic blanket. He put a big wicker basket on top of it, and from the basket he took cheese and crackers and grapes. He took out a bottle of lemonade and a chocolate cake, and he put his sword into the beach and said, “This is my home now! I have chased away all the things that lived here, and now I will feast on my picnic lunch!”
“Oh no,” whispered all the Gryphon Beachers. “Whatever shall we do?”
“Listen to me,” said Breic Hugh, and they all gathered around to hear what he whispered in their ears.
“Oh!” said Melody the glitter fairy. “I understand!”
“Rawr!” said Para-chan, for that is how panthers talk when they get excited. Everyone knew that it meant she understood, too.
Flap! Flap! Flap! went Flitterbee the butterfly’s wings.
Breic pointed his finger at the beach and shouted, “CHARGE!”
And they did! Butterflies and fairies and panthers and all manner of magical things charged down to their beach!
“Oh no you don’t!” said the pirate. He jumped to his feet and drew his sword. “This beach is mine!”
“This beach is ours!” said Breic. “Para-chan the panther, now!”
Para-chan began to run circles around the pirate. The pirate spun around, trying to catch her. His sword glittered in the sunshine, but he was not fast enough to catch a panther with it.
“Flitterbee the butterfly, now!” cried Breic Hugh.
Flitterbee POUNCED! and pounced again! and again! And each time she pounced, she caught a little of the pirate’s hair in her butterfly feet, and pulled it!
“Ow!” said the pirate. “Ow! I am dizzy! My hair hurts!”
And Breic Hugh said, “Now, Melody! Now!”
Melody the glitter fairy flew in as fast as she could, and whacked the pirate’s nose with her glitter wand. It went ZOT! and ZOT! and ZOT! again, spraying glitter in great big puffs.
Glitter went up the pirate’s nose and he sneezed and sneezed. He was so dizzy from chasing Para-chan the panther, and so sore from having his hair pulled, that he fell right over.
“Hah-hah!” said Breic Hugh, and tied the pirate up.
They put the pirate on his ship and made him sail away, and then they all sat down to enjoy cheese and grapes and chocolate cake.
“It’s a good thing you were here,” Melody the glitter fairy said to Breic.
“Yes,” said Para-chan the panther. She was calmer now, and could remember her words. “We needed a clever boy to show us how to save Gryphon Beach!”
“We might have lost our home forever!” said Flitterbee the butterfly.
“Well,” said Breic. “Thank you. But I needed your help too. I could not have chased him off without Para-chan’s quickness, or Flitterbee’s pouncing, or Melody’s glitter. We do best when we work together!”
And everyone smiled and hugged and ate up all the chocolate cake!
(x-posted from the essential kit)