Giveaway ! The Runaway Schoolhouse

Technically a giveaway in return for reviews could be questioned as not being a giveaway, but that is the deal.  I will post, to three readers, a copy of my book in return for their review. I will leave the giveaway open for two weeks.

I considered many complicated ways of holding this competition but decided simple is best.

Posted below is the first chapter of my book. The names of everyone who answer the following question will be put in a hat, (beanie) and three pulled out.

runaway_schoolhouse_cover_Latest_151031

 

Chapter 1

 

John and Sara Buggy were twins who didn’t look alike. They didn’t think or act alike either. In fact, they were complete opposites. Sara was a quiet, studious type while John was a messer who hated school and spent his days there playing practical jokes.

One blustery, grey Monday morning, they trudged their way to school, all set for another run-of-the-mill day in the tiny two-classroom building.

“Why are we walking so fast?” Sara asked John.

“I have something to do,” he replied, with the beginning of a smile tugging at his mouth.

She knew that look but instead of pressing him further, concentrated on stretching her short legs to keep up with his longer stride. There was a six-inch height difference between them and while John had a head of smooth, dark brown hair, Sara was stuck with a headful of tangled red curls. This didn’t sit well with her.

“School is the oddest place because most of what we learn is pretty useless in the real world,” John was saying, as they walked through the main door.

Sara considered her answer for a moment.

“You may think you’re right but I like learning new things and it’s always so cosy in here.”

***

Once they were seated,  Sara started to worry about what trick John was about to play on their teacher. Mrs Brown, she noticed, kept sniffing and clutching a hanky to her nose. Sara wondered if she were ill. She glanced at John who winked at her.

“Not long now,” he whispered.

“What have you done?” she hissed back.

Suddenly, Mrs Brown sneezed. John giggled. Sara turned her attention back to their teacher who sat in her chair with her nose twitching like a rabbit. She sneezed six times in succession, sending her glasses bouncing onto her desk. Eventually, she managed to stop long enough to hold her nose and shove her glasses back in place. Getting up from her desk she walked to the door and said very quickly, “Carry on with your maths.” This short statement was followed by more sneezing as she left the room.

John was given many high fives and claps on the back as his mates asked how he did it.

“A master never reveals his secrets,” he grinned.

Sara was not impressed.

“Someday Mrs Brown will get really mad at you and…”

“And what?” John demanded. “Writing a hundred lines is nothing I haven’t done before. Now, come on, it’s break time.”

Suddenly a shadow fell across his desk and Mrs Brown said, in a sharp tone, “Let’s try five hundred lines on the whiteboard today John, not on your tablet where you are a master at copy and paste. The line, I should not play pranks on the teacher, is to be written at lunchtime.”

Mrs Brown then turned to Sara adding, “And John is to do it on his own.”

“Yes, Mrs Brown,” Sara said.

***

At lunchtime Sara slipped back into the classroom to help her brother but found him staring at the whiteboard.

“You haven’t written many lines,” she said. Sara noticed a message written across the board – and it wasn’t in John’s handwriting.

School is a useful tool for life, John and Sara.

Sara read the words aloud and looked at John.

“I didn’t do it.The board was clean when I began and then it just appeared. It’s wrong anyway, school is stupid.”

He wiped the message away.

“Perhaps it is magic?” Sara said in a wistful tone.

“Huh, there is no such thing,” John sneered. “If there was I would click my fingers and the board would be full of lines, just like this.”

Turning to face Sara he clicked his fingers but noticed her smile fade as she pointed back to the board.

There before them, more lines of the same sentence appeared. They watched as they scrawled, with no sign of a marker, in neat, tidy rows.

Sara counted the lines.

“There are twenty rows of twenty-five lines.” She looked at John. “Did you do this? Do something else!”

“Two packets of crisps,” John shouted, then clicked his fingers and waited. Nothing happened.

Sara was busy staring at the board again. She read the message aloud.

You have enough lunch to eat in your schoolbag.

“I don’t like this. Is it a ghost? ” Sara whispered and jumped further away from the board.

John was curious and moved closer. “Rubbish! Ghosts don’t exist.”

“I wonder why it happened today?” And no sooner had she said it but the words changed and she read aloud, Today is my birthday, I am one hundred years old.

Gathering all of her courage Sara said,  “Happy Birthday to you but who are you?”

I am the schoolhouse you are standing in and my name is Clearie.

“Clearie, what an awesome name!” John said.

The words on the bottom changed once more and they both read the message.

Clearie means minstrel and scholar in Irish.

Suddenly, the ringing of the bell announced the end of break and the arrival of the other children back into the room, prevented Sara and John from finding out more.

Sara did notice the last message was wiped clean before Mrs Brown arrived back to her desk but she instinctively knew it wouldn’t be the last of them.

In the meantime, there was John’s lack of lines to worry about…

 

******

The question is: What was the first message to appear on the board not written by John or Sara?

 

 

 

 

Halloween: Sticky Toffee Surprise

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Lovisma was planning a big surprise for Halloween night.

Last year Breeze spoiled her surprise, this year she was being very careful.

He won’t ruin my Halloween night.” She muttered watching her cauldron carefully. She sat on a fat mushroom watching her spoon do laps of the pot.  “Hmm vanilla toffee apples who can resist them?” She giggled. On hearing a twig snap she looked up, then relaxed as one of the Muppet Bunnies dashed past her.

“Nothing will spoil this surprise. That stupid Ogre is helping Elegant and the Fairies make bobbing marshmallows.” She said.

Breeze was standing a short distance away disguised as a giant pumpkin.  He got the idea from Bob (click here to see him as a pumpkin.)  Hamish had helped Breeze get ready.  Everyone knew Lovisma hates pumpkins.

While  the children were dressing up as witches and ghosts, Lovisma placed buckets of her special toffee apples around the party tables. Her apples sparkled and glowed. “What child or ogre could resist these?” she muttered.

Meanwhile Breeze was holding a meeting with the other adults. “I am not sure what will happen when you take a bite so I took one from her basket.” He stared around at the Fairies and Elves.

Tulip said, “Well we won’t know until you take a bite from it.”

Breeze  didn’t want everyone to think he was afraid. He closed his eyes and took a bite. It did taste lovely but the toffee ran off the apple like a river and lay around his feet. He could not move his feet. “I am stuck.” He groaned.

Elegant said, “I bet she plans on taking all of the children’s treats while they are stuck to the ground. I am sure it will wear off soon Breeze.”

Breeze hoped it would because he didn’t want to miss the party. The fairies and elves worked on a spell to undo Lovisma’s spell. Then they created a spell for her.

The party was great. The children loved the bobbing marshmallows that looked like giant spiders. They laughed when Matt tried to eat a real spider thinking it would taste of marshmallow. The spider was  not happy as he scuttled awayinto the dark night.

The children noticed the toffee apples. Lovisma held her breath and waited.

Matt grabbed an apple. It  fizzled and sparkled sending shooting stars into the night.

Lisbeth, Lillian and Daisy-Lyah’s apples played a musical tune  the minute they held them.  Children were dancing and laughing.  Lovisma was angry.

“Give me one!” She grabbed an apple and instantly the ground beneath her feet began to shake. Everyone ran for cover as two tall scarecrows appeared carrying pumpkins. They placed the pumpkins on the ground and rolled them at Lovisma.

She was knocked off her feet and landed on a huge pumkin. Her feet and arms, and head was visible. Lovisma screamed. She was trapped in a pumpkin. She waddled off into the wood crying, “I bet you did this Breeze.  I will get out and then you had better watch out.”

Lisbeth was sitting beside Breeze shivering. “You don’t look worried Mr. Breeze.”

He smiled and said, “I am not, because Elegant added her forgetful potion to the spell so Lovisma will escape from the pumpkin but she will have forgotten everything and we will have a great party.”

Daisy-lyah and Lillian were kind Fairies and they filled a basket full of treats for the naughty witch.

 

 

Elegant to the rescue.

The yearly event  for witches is the “Broomstick Dive and Duck Ball”. It is a night of feasting, music, competitions and games.

Lovisma loves the competition called, “Whackiest disguise for a broomstick.” Last year she disguised her broom stick as a sausage roll. A giant warlock tried to eat it and broke a tooth. Lovisma didn’t hang around to collect her prize.

Elegant loves the “Design a witches hat” competition. Last year her hat looked like a giant board game complete with rolling dice and moving figures.

ElegantThis year the two witches began their preparations early. On the night of the ball, they took great care with their appearance. Elegant ‘s gown  was midnight blue sprinkled with tiny glittering stars, her shoes and hat matched.

Lovisma spent ages planning her outfit. When she appeared beside Elegant, she looked like a giant swirling lollypop.  They called their broomsticks and got ready to leave for Warlock Twittchets house. lovisma 3

Suddenly a loud scream was heard followed by a dog howling in pain. “What is that?” Elegant asked.

“I don’t know. Lets go.” Lovisma sped off into thenight sky.

Elegant looked towards the wood. The howling was dreadful. “Oh, dear.” She mumbled and flew after Lovisma. When she caught up with her sister she said, “I need to help it.”

“But you will miss the fun. Remember last years popping cheesecake. It was fantastic.” Lovisma said.

“I will catch up later.” Elegant said and went into the wood.

She found Tulip and Hamish trying to get close to a huge dog.  He was standing on three legs, the third one was bent and blood poured from it.

“My magic isn’t strong enough. He is in great pain.” Tulip whispered to Elegant.

“We will work together and fix this.” Elegant said.

Even with magic it took them a long time.  When his paw was mended and bandaged. Hamish  said, “We have to get him home.”

Tulip agreed, “yes he can’t stay here he will frighten everyone but where is his home?”

Elegant thought about the problem and declared, “there is only one way to do this.  We need a potion from the bubbling cauldron. Hamish, we will be back in a jiffy.”

The bubbling cauldron was asleep. It didn’t like being wakened and asked to work. Eventually Elegant persuaded it to allow her to make one potion.

When they returned they added the potion to water. When the husky drank it he told them his story.

Elegant was happy to return the animal to his home but she felt a little sad she had missed the fun at the ball. The next day when everyone in Mudpile Wood  heard of Elegants kind act, they decided to hold a party in her honor to thank her.

 

Breeze shows us a picture of the nicest witch in the world.

Many people believe witches are nasty and love to be nasty.  Well….here in Mudpile Wood we have one of the nicest witches on any planet.

Why do I think this?

Because… nope I think I will simply show you a picture of Elegant and let you see for yourself. I will leave a story about Elegant Witch for another day.

Elegant