Last Call For Flash Fiction Entries!

This is a final reminder for my flash fiction competition. You have until Monday to get your entries in so there’s still time to create a masterpiece over the weekend. Here are the details for you:


1st: £20 plus a copy of my book of short stories, The Siege

Two runners-up: A copy of my book of short stories

All three stories will be published on my blog

Entry fee: FREE

Entries are accepted from all corners of the globe

Writing prompt: Entries of up to 500 words, excluding the title, are required on the following theme: The discovery

Please post your entries below in the comments box, or e-mail them to:

Closing date: 31st October 2016

Good luck!



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Markets For Writers

My market this week is targeted at the poets among you. The Cinnamon Press Debut Poetry Collection Competition is open for poets who haven’t ever had a full collection published.


1st: £300 plus a publishing contract

25 runners-up will be published in a poetry anthology

Entry fee: £12 per collection (10 poems up to 40 lines) – up to four collections can be entered

Closing date: 30th November

For more information, visit the competition page



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Funny Of The Week/Nutty Newspaper Corrections Part Twelve

Now, that would have been a sight to see…


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Flash Fiction Competition

Here’s my latest short story competition for you. Why not have a go? It’s free! Prizes: 1st: £20 plus a copy of my book of short stories, The Siege Two runners-up: A copy of my book of …

Source: Flash Fiction Competition

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Monday Motivations

This week’s Monday challenge is to write a story/poem of any length, with the following words in it somewhere:

Dreams, stuck and van

Last week’s writing prompt was to write a poem or story with the words glasses, blaze and madness in it somewhere. Here are your wonderful creations:

A poignant poem from EDC Writing:

His glasses on the table
The blaze yet to consume
Though madness had its hold
He lay as she foretold.

Now for the continuation of Rajiv Chopra‘s amazing Mary Jane series:

Let’s leave Batman and Poison Ivy to figure out their new partnership, and assumed amorous liaison. Let’s also leave The Joker, as he attempts to manipulate his new found friends to aid him in his mission. If you like, assume that they have been frozen in time, though this, of course is impossible. Let’s leave them far behind, and we shall then be able to turn our attention to the two women who started this whole saga – Mary Jane Parker and Harley Quinn.

They were an odd couple indeed. One – Harley Quinn had been straitlaced until she met The Joker. Her affair with The Bat had made her more cunning and dangerous than before. Mary Jane, as we discover now, had been straitlaced until she came in touch with Harley Quinn. They money that they had from Harley’s adventures with The Bat gave them an unexpected freedom.

Both women, free of the constraints of their lovers now explored each other – mind, body and heart – with a hunger that was startling, fresh, deep and strong. Indeed, they completed each other in ways that their Maker did not anticipate.

It was one night, after an evening on the beach, while dining at a fine restaurant, that the madness truly began. What they did at the beach was their business, they reasoned; and, there was no reason for any boring, uppity and uptight woman to cast a judgmental eye in their direction, as they lay naked on the beach after making love.

Would that bitch and her wooden, hen-pecked husband leave them to enjoy a meal in peace? Oh no. No, no, no, no, no –no. She had to go and complain to the management in a loud, rude and self-congratulatory tone? Was she the keeper of the world’s morals?

God was on her side, she seemed to proclaim. Oh yes? Well, the Devil was on their side. Better yet, they also had Loki, that wonderful old trickster to stand with them in their corner.

Smiling sweetly, Mary Jane asked the woman if she would like to sit and talk it through calmly. She asked again, and again – and, again. The last time around, she asked a little more forcefully; and, then suddenly springing up, she caught the woman in her arms, and flung her across the room. A peal of silvery laughter broke out, and Harley Quinn got up and kissed Mary, her tongue exploring the deep recesses of her throat.

Stiff faces looked around in shock as the woman, still calling to God, crashed into the tables sending the plates and glasses flying. Goodness gracious, they seemed to think. This was not respectable at all.

‘Call the police,’ a voice seemed to scream from the bar, and Harley twisted around, a smile curling around her lips. Her tongue seemed to flicker in and out of her mouth, in anticipation.

‘Catch, darling,’ she purred as she tossed a strawberry that she had been licking in the direction of the bar.

A strawberry, was it?

‘Call the…’ the voice died away in a strangulated gurgle, as smoke filled the area, as the strawberry landed with a loud bang.

The restaurant was converted into a medley of plates, glasses, blaze and madness.

The only other sound that was heard was the tinkling, slightly insane laughter of the two women as, arm in arm, they traipsed out of the restaurant.

Turning back, they suddenly curtsied.

‘The craziness has begun,’ giggled Harley.

‘Enjoy your meal, darlings,’ cooed Mary Jane.

Holding each other by the waist, the two seemed to dance their way out of the restaurant, leaving shock, blinded minds and mayhem behind them.

Geoff Le Pard‘s story is brilliant, as always:

Phillipa knew it was madness to go with Rodney but he smiled in a way that warmed her whole being. Mother had warned her about ‘feelings’ and men and the dangers, albeit with scant reference to any detail. But Dad said ‘boys don’t make passes at girls that wear glasses’ and Rodney had proved that to be a lie so maybe Mother didn’t know any more than Dad.

The field behind their street was sun drenched and the air amongst the tall grass stiffling. Rodney led her to the middle and dropped his jacket onto the ground. He kissed her, sending a fiery glow coursing through her chest. Before she knew it they were lying on the coat, his lips eagerly seeking hers. His nose clashed with her specs and she sniggered. He smiled and eased them off her face, dropping them to one side.

The intensity of his passion began to seem overwhelming; Phillipa thought she might burst into flames, so hot did his embrace make her. It was only the smell of burning cloth that alerted them to the fact her dress was on fire, the blaze caused by her discarded glasses and the powerful sun.

Phillipa stared at the scorched hole; this was going to take some explaining to Mother.

Please visit Simon Farnell‘s blog to read his atmospheric story:

Jenny Coe sent in a stunning story:

She’d thought she’d known what she was getting into, just another routine appointment to pay the rent. It had helped that he hadn’t seemed like one of the creepy ones; rather he’d met her the first time in a well-fitting black suit, silver hair slicked back neatly and shoes shined to complete the image of a client who wasn’t worried about paying. The glasses had been the icing on the cake, a thick frame with sharp angles that made it difficult to see his eyes.

Now she knew better, knew what the glasses had been hiding. Those awful crimson eyes dared her to run, to breach her contract, and they lit up with mirth when she saw the deal through. Of course that wasn’t the end of it. A thick wad of notes was carefully placed into her palm, her fingers forced to close around the crisp paper, and then she was slowly guided towards the door.

She opened the door to find a fire so bright that it was impossible to see around, not that she was capable of tearing her gaze away from the sight. Seconds passed, others along the corridor screamed as they encountered the blaze, but she herself only stared.

The panic all around her grew in intensity, in tandem with the flames. The noise reached her ears, but didn’t penetrate the fog of incomprehension that had manifested in her brain. Clarity did not make itself known, in its place madness took root.

She grinned as she hadn’t in years, and stepped into a warm embrace that she hadn’t bargained for.





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Guest Writer Spot

It’s Friday and I’m pleased to say my Guest Writer Spot is back. If you’d like to see your work here,  I accept stories, poems, articles – in fact, anything and everything. All you have to do is make sure your prose is no longer than 2000 words and your poems no more than 40 lines. If you would like some of your writing to be featured on my blog, please contact me here or by e-mail:

This week,  Donny Marchand is my guest writer. He’s featured a number of times in my Friday slot but if you haven’t come across his work before, here’s a little bit about him, in his own words:

‘I have only started writing for publication a short time ago, and been fortunate to have had some modest success, in the placement of my work.

‘I have had four short stories published in a magazine entitled ‘Dimdima’ whose main office is in Mumbai, India. Two articles  published in a newspaper, ‘UK Column’ who are based in Plymouth,UK, and one short story in a magazine ‘Stories for Children’ out of the U.S.A.’

His story is a longer one than I usually accept, but I love his work, so I’m publishing it in two parts (part two next week). Here’s part one:

The Like Lee Story


Donny Merchand


Ma and Pa Lee were as proud as a puffed up rooster crowing on bout his latest battle conquest, defending his harem against a sly old fox. Pa better known as Helpful, being that was his Christian name, spent the day to’in and fro’in to the tabaki emporium, pickin up more ceegars for all and sundry. Forgiveness ma’s handle, was doing her womanly thing; nursing the newborn.  

 It was traditional for the Lee clan to name their offspring by the child’s most distinguishing trait. And as this pragmatic practice normally took some waiting on, the progeny usually had to twiddle their thumbs awhile before their birth certificates could be finalised. Nevertheless, nobody seemed too concerned about the delay.

The boy was a happy baby, always smiling and never ever shedding a tear. As the months passed by, his popularity grew by leaps and bounds, and everybody seemed to adore him. Sharp as a tack he learned very quickly that a cute gurgle, chaperoned by a beaming grin, rewarded him with his heart’s desires. And if he did misbehave a little it didn’t degrade his mass appeal one iota, because Forgiveness immediately forgave him, and nobody ever knew.

As year one started its conclusion, Helpful and Forgiveness decided it was time to name the tot. After a short discussion they both agreed on the boy’s moniker. As he was so admired by everyone, they decided to christen him Like. “Yes, sir!” bellowed a bragging Helpful, “a Mr.Like… Lee has been born to this here planet, and he’s more than likely to change the world.”

Helpful wasn’t far off the mark. For example, when as a young lad selling lemonade outside the front of his house, the innocent looking little snipe convinced everybody that his ware would give them good health, and a long life. He was moving his product at such a fast pace that Forgiveness could hardly keep up with the supply. Most people had nothing but admiration for the adolescent entrepreneur, but a few saw only a budding snake oil salesman.

                                              * * *

Strolling through his teenage years, he took it for granted that the earth was his oyster. Nothing was out of his reach, and everything was there for the taking. Mister valedictorian, and star football jock all tied up into one package, he was the darling of the female population. But soon he began to notice that life wasn’t always a bowl of cherries. His rose garden didn’t blossom on command, and sometimes he had to take a back seat, just to stay on top. Now and then he ran into an adversary who didn’t fall for his chicanery, which forced him to avoid confrontation lest his posturing be exposed.

This awakening of the real world forced Like to realise that to achieve his ambitions, he must consider tactics of a more ruthless nature. From now on when the scent of someone   unmasking him arose, he would extinguish the threat before it had the chance to denounce him. Then with the adversity quelled, he would proceed to lead the remaining easy marks down the garden path into oblivion.  Perfidy was his new secret slogan, and although kindness, charity, and thoughtfulness, were his daily persona, deep down he was a parasitic scoundrel.

                                              * * *

University beckoned, and not surprisingly Like started to give more thought to his future. Although he was looking forward to enjoying the college fun and games lifestyle, especially with the opposite sex, the thought of what to be when he grew up, was annoyingly paramount in his brain. Bonus Banker, Hedge Fund Manipulator, Real Estate Gazumper, Stock Fiddler, they all had a certain lure, but they just couldn’t get their noses up to the starting gate in time to hit the front when the gun sounded. 

Money was great, but on its own it could never be the head honcho. Sitting on top of the mountain, that’s where the real power lies. And without a doubt, the absolute ultimate in power rested in the hands of those who perched their big fat bottoms on the summit of politics. Acquiring lots of dough didn’t present a problem to them either, as their position brought with it enormous hidden-wealth beyond your wildest imagination. So with the power came the money, two for the price of one. Besides that, what other job can you think of that doesn’t call on you to do any work?  Talking a lot of prattle, posturing, making promises you don’t intend to keep. Yes, these are the jobs description, but it isn’t work is it?  

It was decided then, politics it would be. And no messing around either. He would shoot for the stars, and ride the Milky Way on his journey to the top. The only direction he needed to climb was up!

Although Like had absolutely no hankering whatsoever to be an advocate, he was aware that at least 60 per cent of politicians began their careers as practicing lawyers. So, to fit in and be accepted into this bureaucratic sphere of desperados, he determined that he must enrol in a school renowned for its law studies. The University of Philadelphia fit the bill to a T, and as  an added plus, it also offered outstanding courses in the political sciences. Finally, to put the icing on the cake it was only 150 miles southeast of his hometown, Hermitage.

                                           * * *

“Which party should I lend my talents to,” murmured Like as he sauntered through the main portal of the great learning institution. “What’s the difference,” shrugging as he answered himself. “They’re all six of one and half a dozen of the other. What matter party policy, ideology, pledges, and manifestos? In the end they all spouted the same claptrap, they just aimed it at different customers.”

“The only consideration needed to choose which party to join,”  Like mumbled to himself, “ was to pick the one who won the most. A little research would give you the answer to that one pretty pronto,” expatiated Like with a nod.  “Hands down the winner is the Caring Party!” Like believed that the best way to get his foot in that door was to join the Young Carers. They were the student partisan group affiliated with the Caring Party, which based itself on the university campus. So he conjured up a plan to accidentally on purpose cross paths with Elroy Rheingold-Smythe, the president of the Young Carers. and become an acquaintance of his. Two days later he got the chance to set his scheme in motion.

Conveniently, Like had booked a table for five at “Conquistadors”, a Spanish/ Mexican restaurant of great popularity at the university. It was the place to be seen with those who want to be seen. Tête-à-tête gossip around the campus was that the girls that went there were hotter than the food, and females know that boys’ taste buds crave fiery cuisine. Like chose Friday to make the reservation, because he knew Rheingold-Smythe’s routine always brought him and his entourage to the brasserie on the evening of the last day of the school week. Like, had certainly done his homework. 

It was just past nine and the bistro was filled to the rafters with crowds of people waiting to be seated. Like’s plan was coming together sweetly. The maitre d’ had already approached him twice, asking him when his party was arriving. His tone wasn’t too friendly, but Like just pawned him off saying, “They’ll be here any second.” Then the moment arrived that Like was waiting for. There at the podium of the maitre‘d, Rheingold-Smythe and his crony companions lingered first in line behind the rope, waiting for a table. Like beckoned to the maitre’d, and he in turn sauntered over to Like’s table scowling away.

“I don’t think my friends are coming,” said Like.

“Well then I’m afraid you’ll have to vacate the premises,” replied the bossy headwaiter. 

“I have a better idea,” retorted an authoritative Like , “ask those people at the head of the line if they’d care to join me, okay.”

 “That’s very irregular, sir,” was the waiter’s snooty response.

 “Who cares!” barked Like, “I’m sure they’ll be delighted, so just do it alright!”

Taken down a peg or two the chief garcon decided to acquiesce.

As Rheingold-Smythe and his party approached the table, Like gestured for them to sit down.

“Thanks for the invite, it’s very kind of you.” said Rheingold-Smthe, as they all parked their backsides into the chairs. “I’m Elroy, this clown here is Parker, and the romance kids holding hands there are Marianne and Doogie.”

“You’re all very welcome, it’s nice to have some company.”

“And you are?” asked Elroy.

“Me, I’m Like Lee.”

“To do what,” questioned Parker.

“That’s his name, you idiot, Like Lee is his name!” rejoined Elroy, then turning to Like continued, “pay no attention to him, he’s missing some of his marbles.”

A chuckling Like replied, “No problem, I have one of those back home.”

Parker sat there scratching his head, looking mystified.

“I haven’t seen you around the campus area before,” said Doogie, “are you new to the school?”

“Yes,” replied Like, “I’m a freshman.”

“Were all sophomores,” Parker snooted childishly.    

Elroy quickly jumped into the conversation with, “What are you studying?”

Law, and politics,” Like answered, “they are my main subjects.”

Suddenly, Marianne spoke up, which surprised Like because she had previously been so quiet. “Those are great syllabuses to be reading,” retorted Marianne.

“She should know,” interjected silly Parker.

“And why’s that?” queried Like.   

“Because she’s a law student that’s why,” Parker continued in an uppity tone.  

“And you think that makes her an expert, you fool,” quipped Elroy

“Well she’s a damn good one,” added Doogie, “she’s top of her class.”

“I’m sure she is,” said Like in a very authoritative voice. He was making sure the conversation didn’t stray in the wrong direction.

“If you get stuck on anything in your studies on law, just ask Marianne for some advice. I’m sure she’d be glad to help you,” Doogie recommended.

“Of course I would,” answered Marianne, “anytime Mr.Lee, don’t be shy.”

“You mentioned you were also taking political science,” asked Elroy. “Are you into politics as well?” asked Elroy.

“Very much so. Are you?” rejoined Like. Answering a question with a question is a shrewd political trick to try to establish control of a conversation.

“We all belong to the Young Carers,” replied a puffed up Elroy. “Do you know about the group?”

“I think it’s a branch of the Caring party, is that right?” Like  questioned with reservation.

“We’re actually an affiliate of them,” responded Elroy with a bit of one-upmanship in his delivery.

“That sounds exciting, you must be very happy with your status,” a tactical Like responded. “I’m sure it makes you all feel very proud.”

“You seem like you’d fit in very nicely,” said Elroy. “Why don’t you come to one of our meetings, and see how you’d feel about getting involved.”

“I’d like to very much, can’t think of doing anything better,” answered Like.

“We meet every Tuesday night at 7:30,” Elroy informed him. “The gathering is held at the Eisenhower Hall, do you know where that is?”

“No, but don’t worry I’ll find it,” was Like’s assuring reply.

Just then their waiter arrived, gave them all a menu, took their order, and the night rolled on. Later on as he exited, Like said to himself, “Conquistadors. Stage one complete.”

                                         * * *

The Young Carers rank and file was much larger than Like had expected. The hall was so packed that it felt as if the whole university alumni were in attendance. All these students will be good for party business, once I gain control, and take command of the whole kit and caboodle, thought Like. “Yes, Elroy,” Like smirked as he muttered under his breath. “Keep an eye on your back, otherwise you’ll be in for the chop very soon.”

“Like, Like Lee!” screamed Parker standing in a circle of people across the room. As Like ambled his way towards the group,  Parker kept waving his arms frantically, and beckoning for like to join them.

As Like arrived at Parker’s coterie, the fool went ballistic, “Hey, Like,” said an exuberant Parker, jumping up and down, with his arms flapping, “meet some of my bestest friends. This is George and Belinda, Hector, Paul, Naomi, Fernando, Solly, Ivan, and my favourite Rebecca.”

“Hi, everybody,” greeted Like, “ I’m sorry, but I’ll have to get to remember your names as our conversation unfolds.” Chuckles of accordance rang out from the crowd.

“People,” said Parker, “ let me introduce you to my latest compatriot Mr. Like Lee.” Then proceeded to draw attention to the odd concept of Like’s name. “ Yes, here I give you Mr.Like Lee, get it, Like Lee; likely, get it anybody?

Nothing but a wall of silence greeted Parker’s exposure. Not even one person thought it polite to make fun of someone’s name. Parker would be excused, because Parker was well, Parker. However, no one else would join in his impertinent foolishness. That would be unforgivable.

Out of the blue, Elroy came barging into the thick of things. He had heard Parker’s dumb remarks, and wanted to stop him from doing any further damage.

“Mr.Lee, you made it,” observed Elroy, “I’m so happy you came.

“I wouldn’t have missed it for the world,” replied Like. “You’ve sure got a large membership in your party Elroy. Anymore recruits and you’ll need a bigger hall.”

“At the moment, we’ve still got room for one more body,” retorted a grinning Elroy.

“Get ready to fill up the hall then, cause I’m joining up!” Like continued the banter, but was deadly serious in his heart.

“That’s great news,” a happy Elroy responded. “We have a little office in the back. If you meet me there tomorrow after classes, say around 4:30pm. We can take care of the paper work, and make it official.”

“What’s does the paper work entail?” questioned Like.

“Nothing too much. Just sign your distinguished calling to the registrar, I will sign it as a witness, and we’re done. And at that moment you’ll immediately become a fully-fledged member of the young Carers.”

I’ll be there with bells on!” an excited Like exclaimed.

                                           * * *   

Easter was just around the corner, and that meant only one thing, Spring Break, hallelujah!  Fort Lauderdale here we come. Every red-blooded American male knew what that meant. Year after year around the beginning of March, zillions of the female gender would head on down to Florida for a week. Then hook up with some total stranger whom they never intended to see again for the rest of their whole life. Another stipulation of the exercise is that this unfamiliar person must live on a planet in another universe, far away from the female student’s hometown. 

Helpful and Forgiveness were looking forward to their  Sunny-Boy coming home to stay with them during his school break, but they were soon to be disappointed. He called them just before the holiday and told them, that he had a very important test coming up, and he had to stay at school and put his nose to the grindstone. They were unhappy, but felt proud that their precious son was so conscientious. Of course he didn’t mention to them that the test was taking place in Fort Lauderdale. Oh well, he mused, what they didn’t know… 

Tillie was a very nice and intelligent young lady. But pretty was not an adjective that was ever used when describing her looks. In fact, to hear the word attractive attached to her was in itself a rarity. However, when Like learned that her father was a very powerful Ohio State Senator in the Caring Party, she immediately became a ravaging beauty to him. He realised that at the end of the week they were both supposed to head in opposite directions, but he believed that his persuasive powers and charm could easily lure her into his parlour afterwards. Kind of reminds one of a certain spider, doesn’t it?

Docks, one of the most jumping joints overlooking the Atlantic shoreline, was a favourite haunt of the college procession when it invaded the town every year. Through his usual stealth pipeline and devious cunning, Like discovered that Tillie and her friends frequented the bar every night, male hunting. So early that evening Like set off to Docks on a quest of his own, and with only one target in mind.

Hitchin’ his horse to her wagon, and taking Tillie for a ride was going to be easy for Like. Mister smoothie knew all the tricks, and poor Miss Tillie was about as naive as they get. Desperate for a man, she would believe any cock and bull story that reptilian Like might impart to her, no matter how implausible. Her friends Margo, and Penelope tried to warn her about the sleazy snake in the grass, but as they say “love is blind.”

End of part one





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Flash Fiction Competition

An enormous thank you to everyone who’s already entered my flash fiction competition. I’ve received entries from all around the world, including India, Canada, the US and Europe. All of them offer very different takes on the writing prompt of ‘The Discovery’. You’ll find a reminder of the details of the competition below, as well as a children’s story I’ve written on the theme of ‘The Discovery’.


1st: £20 plus a copy of my book of short stories, The Siege

Two runners-up: A copy of my book of short stories

All three stories will be published on my blog

Entry fee: FREE

Entries are accepted from all corners of the globe

Writing prompt: Entries of up to 500 words, excluding the title, are required on the following theme: The discovery

Please post your entries below in the comments box, or e-mail them to:

Closing date: 31st October 2016


Graham the Gremlin

 In the deepest, darkest, dullest corner of Freddie’s room, there lurked a gremlin.

It wasn’t a hideous, hairy gremlin.

It wasn’t a ferocious, fanged gremlin, either.

Neither was it a yucky yellow-eyed gremlin.

Or a wicked, warty gremlin.

In fact, it was a very nice gremlin indeed. A gremlin with an equally nice name, which was Graham and an equally nice nature.

And that was why Graham lurked in that deepest, darkest, dullest corner, because nobody likes a gremlin who isn’t the teeniest, tiniest bit terrible.

It wasn’t as if Graham hadn’t tried. He had tried to be hideous – pulling fearful faces and making menacing noises. He had tried to be hairy, too – sticking clumps of Freddie’s furry cushion all over his body.

Then Graham had crept over to Freddie’s dead-scary dinosaur and tapped him on the shoulder.

Dinosaur drew himself up very, very tall, turned round and opened his mighty mouth.

“Aaaaah,” Graham yelled, running away with fur flying everywhere and no longer looking the slightest bit hideous at all.

So he had tried to be ferocious – practicing bloodcurdling wails until he was so good he almost scared himself. He wanted fangs too, so sharpened his teeth until they were sharper than sharp.

Then Graham had marched over to Freddie’s mighty monster and chomped his fangs up and down.

Monster span his head round and round and pop! – off monster’s head flew.

“Aaaaah!” Graham screamed, diving into his safe, snug corner, his fangs feeling flat and his wails now ones of woe.

He decided to be yucky instead – not washing for a week. He painted two bouncy balls yellow and put them over his eyes so he was definitely yucky and yellow-eyed. 

Graham tiptoed over to Freddie’s disgusting dragon and looked from two yellow eyes into another two yellow eyes.

Dragon sniffed and snuffled, then he blew his nose and out came two smoking hot trails of steam.

“Aaaaah!” Graham whimpered, moving out of the way, yellow eye balls bouncing to the floor and falling into the fish bowl, so he was soon spick and span and smelling sweet again.

He thought he would try one last thing – he was sure he could be wicked and say horrible things. He was sure he could be warty, too and painted the lumpy, sticky-up bits of an egg box green and stuck them all over himself, here, there and everywhere.

Graham stomped up to Freddie’s were-wolf and went over and over in his mind how he was going to call him wimpy and wishy-washy. Were-wolf clenched his claws and wailed as only were-wolves can. 

“Aaaaah,” Graham screeched, leaping away, all wicked thoughts gone and warts, too.

“I’m not hideous or hairy. I’m not ferocious or fanged, either. Neither am I yucky or yellow-eyed or wicked or warty. And nobody loves me,” Graham cried.

“I do,” Freddie said.

Graham stopped crying. He hadn’t noticed Freddie watching him. Freddie picked him up and hugged him tight.

“None of my friends have got a gremlin who isn’t the teeniest, tiniest bit terrible. You’re special. The most specialist, special gremlin ever.”



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