I hope you enjoy my latest book called THE JINNI OF DREAMS. You probably call him a “genie” – it is the same thing and he is good at granting wishes! You can download the story free from Smashwords. Here is the beginning:
There is a flash and boom of a brass gong. The sky turns black. A wind whirls from the west.
Lissie and Brin are at the end of the garden, feeding Randy the rabbit. Lissie drops the plate of bran and lettuce leaves and, with Brin, clings, terrified, to the rabbit hutch.
By the potato patch a cloud swirls, rising in a misty spiral and slowly turning into a huge head with thick black curls, a hairy nose, green eyes and two red horns. Gold earrings swing from his ugly ears. His body is yellow and round his neck hang four rows of shining beads; red, blue, purple and green. He has huge hands with long nails like birds’ claws.
You called me?” His voice seems full of desert dust.
“N-no! Who are you?” stutters Brin.
“Oh dear, I’m hearing voices again!” the creature rumbles, wavering in the fading light. “I’m a jinni from Arabia. I was born of fire and I come when people call to help make their dreams come true. But if you don’t want me…”
“Wait a minute. How can you make our dreams come true?” asks Brin. He thinks, I could buy a pedigree rabbit and win a prize in a show.
Download the story to find out what happens!
HERE IS A STORY about a monkey who has an unusual flight home. I found this toy in the road, made her some clothes and now you can read what happened to her when she gets stuck in a tree!
MISKY THE MONKEY FLIES HOME
Misky the monkey looks in the mirror. “ooo – you’re beautiful!” she cooes. She strokes her bracelet of purple and pink beads and swings her round red earrings. A lilac ribbon is tied in a bow through her little hat.
But she IS a monkey and must climb a tree. One waves to her outside the window. She opens it and steps straight onto a waiting branch. Through the leaves she can see the distant sea with a blue boat bobbing on the white waves.
Up she climbs, branch by branch, until she is near the top. But dark clouds are drifting across the face of the sun. And a small wind rises, pushing cold fingers through the leaves, snatching at Misky’s beads and whistling through her earrings.
She takes one hand from the branch to grab her slipping beads and in a moment is dropping like a stone through the leaves. “HELP!” she cries as the leaves slap her eyes and twigs scratch her arms and legs. Suddenly she stops dropping and is wedged tight between two sharp branches. “HELP!” she cries again.
There is a loud rustle of leaves and a flurry of feathers and a big bird lands in a heap beside her.
“Trouble?” he asks.
“I’m stuck!” moans Misky “and my beautiful things are spoilt.” She shakes her bracelets and swings her earrings angrily.
“They look fine to me,” retorts the bird. ” Don’t worry, I’ll take you home. By the way, my name’s Bling. He shimmers and spreads his colourful feathers like a magnificent fan.
Misky wriggles and squirms, until she is hanging halfway out of the branches.
“Im still stuck!” she cries and a big tear rolls down her cheek. Bling’s sharp beak descends and closes carefully round her head. Very gently he pulls her free and she scrambles up among his feathers.
People on the ground gaze up to see fluttering feathers and the pale limbs of Misky wrapped round them as Bling flaps from the tree towards the white house with blue windows where Misky lives.
He lands among the marigolds and Misky slides off into the flowers. Her bracelet shines in the sun which has reappeared, her earrings still swing, even her lilac ribbon is still tied in a bow. Two green leaves are caught in her coloured scarf. She leaves them there to remind her of her adventure and waves, as Bling rises like a coloured cloud to flutter off towards the sea.
And here is the opening of Fifi and the Swiftifoots, if you have not already read it! You can download the book free from Smashwords-go to the home page on this blog.
On the dark side of the sun there is a world which is wild, wet and whispering with trees. And the forests are full of Swiftifoots.
We do not live on the dark side of the sun, but on a dismal day, you may mistake a mushroom in a damp ditch for a Swiftifoot. For if you were borne before the wind on a rain cloud to the land where they live, you would see that their squashed faces are the colour of mushroom tops, while from bodies with ridges like the underside of the mushroom, long arms hang and their legs grow like stalks on which they bound at great speed through the grass. If you touched one your would find him very damp and if you followed him through the grass, you would see him slither in alarm down a deep, dark hole.
Under the trees are other holes, linked by twisting tunnels that drip all day. So the Swiftifoots are very bad tempered and when they quarrel their voices bounce back and forth as fiercely as the rain. They long for the warmth of the sun; to swing at the tops of the trees where they sky is sometimes blue and to run through the grass that rustles dryly. But the sun would shrivel them up.
And don’t miss CLUMSILLA’S FLIGHT THROUGH TIME and TAMING OF THE TOKHASHI – two stories in one book published with Smashwords. Clumsilla is unhappy at school – she is not good at anything – but then she meets Zigana, a gipsy from space, who can help people travel through time. So off goes Clumsilla, on an old hearthrug, to arrive in a land where she meets Shirin and Laila, two Persian princesses, Brawn and Scrawn – giants who are always fighting, Beldina, a witch with Bast her black cat and Huff, a dragon who is trying to breathe fire.They all end up in the future – in a land inhabited by Wolgs – fiery creatures, from whom they have trouble escaping…
TAMING OF THE TOKHASHI is about Topsy and Turvy, conjured by Zazhak, who is evil and wants them to bring him the Tokhashi – an even worse monster from the Mountains of Mishap and Gloom. Luckily, there is Viana – a spirit who lives in the land and who protects Topsy and Turvy as they travel and meet a beautiful phoenix bird, and a prince and princess from the past and Rama, an Indian elephant who has got lost. Everyone sets out to find the Tokhashi, who is luckily destroyed by magic before he can do any damage.
And there is THE BAMBOOZLING OF BAZALOB and THE FLYING SHOES – again two stories in one book. Enjoy the adventures of Derry and Jude who go to rescue Katie their cousin. She has been captured by Bazalob – a nasty mixture of beast, bird and fish! They travel in a giant pot, helped by Mikono, its spirit. Will they find the meal that will finish off Bazalob, before he dines on Katie?
In THE FLYING SHOES Sissy and Sam fly in a pair of giant shoes they find in a field. They end up in the horrible home of Slobsky, a giant who likes children for supper. Can they rescue his daughters and prisoner Wendy, before supper time?
If you like monsters, you might also like to check out ALL THE DEAD THINGS – a scary tale by Simon Paul Woodward, available in paperback and as an e-book from Amazon. Get to know Stan, who is the only one able to see the monsters who are searching for people’s souls. And enjoy being scared out of your wits! You can read a sample of the story by visiting Simon’s blog at: simonpaulwoodward.com
I hope you are enjoying the WISHING WORLD CLUB which I named after a story I wrote and which is published below. Download any of my children’s books on the Home Page from Smashwords and do let me know what you think of them?! They include the two books listed below.
GRANNY PEGG’S GREAT CHASE and GRANNY GRINALOT’S DAY IN THE DESERT – are two stories in one book, which has had a five star review! And, if you are aged say between six and ten, you should enjoy THE STARFLASH OPAL.
Here is the first part of the story, THE WISHING WORLD
Dolly and Dicon feed the fat pink pigs and gaze across the field of waving corn to the black cones of the sleeping volcanoes.
“Do you remember when they blew up?” asks Dicon.
“And the circus came?” says Dolly.
“Yes, what a strange time that was – what was it, five years ago?” asks Dicon.
“Must be. Now everything’s growing again. I wonder where the circus went?” asks Dolly.
This is the story of the Land of Lost Volcanoes, the circus and the extraordinary Wishing World.
The Land of Lost Volcanoes heaves and sputters. Small flames dart and dance on the blackened ground and the molten cores of the brooding cones simmer, sigh and, with a roar, erupt in a River of Fire.
It flows into the green valley where Dolly and her brother Dicon live on a farm by an apple orchard and a crystal stream. In seconds, the grass is burning, the River of Fire flows like a hot tempered beast through the fallen apples, past the terrified pigs and wide-eyed cows. It tumbles into the stream and slides on, spreading over fields of potatoes and young blades of corn.
Dolly and Dicon leap from their beds and run to the window. They see Lettice and Fred, their parents, rush towards the pigsty. Their parents watch as the pigs are swept away and then run back to the house as the River of Fire spreads to the garden gate. But they are not fast enough. The fire flicks at their feet, then sweeps them off, after the pigs. The flames flicker round the black and white cows and they too are borne – mooing – away.
Dolly and Dicon watch, open-mouthed, from the window. Then, from the billowing smoke, they see the burning shape of a woman stepping towards them. The flames do not harm her. She glows like a candle, then slowly smiles, her hair strung with leaping flame flowers. She looks at the children with fiery eyes.
“Come!” Her voice is as hot as the smouldering rocks. She steps into the garden and the molten river shrinks. The children run downstairs and out of the blistered front door. “Mum and dad have been swept away with the pigs and cows!” exclaims Dicon.
“I know children. But don’t despair. I am Felice. I’m made of fire and I can help you. But don’t look now – here come the Fire Fiends. They are the cause of all the trouble. Don’t be deceived by their dance and loud laughter. They are wicked. They turn green trees black, they eat houses, they fill rivers with fire. But they can’t burn for ever. Sooner or later they will get tired and die. But your parents and the animals will need help to get back from wherever they have gone.”
Felice (left) and the Fire Fiends (right)
Here is the second part of the story, THE WISHING WORLD:
The Fire Fiends leap beside the river. They are red and yellow with strange patterns like tatooes and dip strange pointed hats. They twist and twirl and screech with laughter. At last they dance out of sight. Felice sighs and continues,”So when the volcanoes fall asleep you must go through the black lands to where a shining Wishing World hangs in the sky.There, if you say the right words, your wishes will come true. Incidentally, did you know the circus had come to town just before the volcanoes blew up?”
“Yes, we were going to see it tonight,” says Dolly.
“Well, like your parents and the animals, it was swept away. Some of the circus folk were sucked into a crater, bewitched by the Fire Fiends and then tossed out. So now they are lost and wonder who they are. You will meet them. They will want your help and offer to show you the Wishing World, but they won’t. Keep going beside the River of Fire until you find it yourselves.”
“What does it look like?” asks Dolly.
“It’s a silver globe and looks like the brightest star in the night sky. With the magic words, it will burst and beautiful bubbles will float out into the night. You must make a wish for each bubble before it bursts.”
“What are the magic words?” asks Dicon.
Felice smiles and whispers just loud enough for the children to hear.
“World of wonder spinning fast
don’t let our wishes whiz on past.
From the bursting of the bubbles
help us out of all our troubles.”
“Now GO!” Felice flickers and spins like a top. She laughs and lifts from the ground to messily dissolve in the smoke.
Dolly and Dicon shiver despite the heat and look helplessly after her.
“Which way?” asks Dolly at last, looking at the glinting volcanoes and the River of Fire, flowing slowly now towards the farm’s furthest field of clover.
“That way!” declares Dicon, pointing to the volcanoes. The children set off over the fiery ground. The volcanoes still rumble but now the River of Fire barely moves.
HERE IS THE THIRD PART OF THE STORY “THE WISHING WORLD”
Suddenly prancing figures appear like unruly ghosts from the drifting smoke. They wail and fling their skinny limbs like windmills out of control. Some have thin black legs and dazzling bodies, others black bodies and legs that might have been spilt with bright paint. They wear red and yellow masks.
They slow and weave round the children; long arms moving in place of speech, and their legs winding around each other as though unable to disentangle. Dicon and Dolly clutch each other as they wail louder and and their strange dance slows. From beneath their masks they mutter:
“Who are we? Who are we?
We come from the fires
and the melting core.
We think we might have been here before.
Were we swept away by the River of Fire?
Who are we? Who are we?
We can’t be sure.”
The children watch them twist and turn again and try to peel off their masks which seem to be melting.
“Here, let us help. If we do, will you tell us how to find the wonderful Wishing World?” says Dicon.
“Of course, of course – anything you say!” says one.
Dolly and Dicon reach hesitant fingers to the floating masks. They feel as though they have scorched their hands and are about to withdraw, when the masks fall away, to reveal four white, featureless faces.
Dolly screams. Dicon gasps. The figures sway and scrape their faces with long nails. They wail, still not knowing who they are and stagger away across the River of Fire.
SEE THE HOME PAGE FOR THEIR PICTURE!
PART FOUR OF “THE WISHING WORLD”
The children are shaken and take deep breaths before walking on, gingerly picking their way between the glimmering rocks and looking warily around. But the land is empty. Silence falls.
Then across the rubble, comes another weird being. He is four times taller than the children with long legs moving carefully round the rocks. He wears a colourful top with a patchwork pattern and white trousers covered with coloured discs. The children blink, as three more figures, who look much the same, slip through the rocks beyond the River of Fire. They teeter on their long legs, then begin a slow dance, lifting their legs with difficulty and bumping into each other. Two get their legs entangled and almost fall over.
The figures, with mournful faces and very red lips, halt in surprise before Dolly and Dicon.
“Who are you?” ventures Dicon.
The first figure says, “I’m Bartle. But that’s only a name. Who indeed ARE we? I remember walking on a high wire and juggling with balls. What we do know is that our legs are too long and they won’t stop growing. At this rate our heads will soon reach the moon. Please help us shrink!”
Dicon wonders how he can. Then, “Oh look!” He has seen a carpenter’s saw lying by a rock. He picks it up and starts to saw through Bartle’s legs as if he is cutting down a tree. Bartle feels nothing, but he crumples. One by one, Dicon saws through the others’ legs and they collapse in a heap.
“Are you all right?” asks Dicon.
“Yes!” Bartle assures him. He wriggles away with the others.
“Which way to the Wishing World?” Dicon calls. There is no reply.
PART FIVE OF “THE WISHING WORLD”
A nasty wind pokes cold fingers at the children.
“I want to go home!” moans Dolly.
“We can’t. We must wish back our parents – and the pigs and cows, or there’ll be nothing and no one to go back TO,” says Dicon firmly.
Dolly starts to cry but as she lifts her wet face, she sees a fat clown waddling towards them.
“Look!” she points. He has colourful legs, a bright blue sash, and a yellow waistcoat with black dots. Round his neck is a gold bow tie. He drags behind him an enormous cake with a big bite missing from its pink sponge filled with strawberries. It has icing shaped like rose petals and on it totter four green candles.
“Is it your birthday?” asks Dolly, shaking hishand.
“Yes, but there should be more candles.”
“How old are you?” Dicon asks.
“About a hundred and five!” replies the clown. “My name’s Lollo, by the way. And yours?”
“Just a minute – you can’t be a hundred and five. No one lives that long!” objects Dolly.
“How would you know? It looks as if you come from the new world left by the volcanoes. I think I came from there too. I know I was thin and did tricks. But I landed in the old world where almost ANYTHING can happen. But not usually what one wants. The Fire Fiends are to blame. You have no doubt met the mimes who don’t know WHO they are, and the acrobats who can’t stop growing.
“Now I’VE a problem. I CANNOT get through this cake. No matter how much I eat, it gets no smaller. Will you help me eat it?”
Dicon sighs and thinks Lollo is already too fat.
“All right. We’ll try. But if we do, will you show us the way to the wonderful Wishing World?”
“Of course, of course!” promises Lollo. Dicon and Dolly are starving, so eagerly pull at a piece of cake, Meanwhile Lollo tries some tricks, but finds even somersaults impossible and flops onto the ground.
HERE IS THE FINAL PART OF “THE WISHING WORLD”.
“Mmm. It’s very good!” confirms Dicon. Dolly munches and grins, her face covered in icing and crumbs. But the cake gets no smaller.
“It’s no good – it’s as big as ever!” says Dicon, stepping back to look at it.
“Oh dear, I’ll have another go!” Lollo struggles up and sinks his teeth into the sponge. After three big mouthfuls, he clutches his huge stomach, groans, and in a flurry of cake crumbs, explodes.
The children leap backwards. Lollo lies motionless. The cake seems even bigger. Dolly and Dicon hurry past into the dusk.
“How far do you think we’ve come?” asks Dolly.
“Not far. Too many interruptions!” says Dicon. “Walk faster.”
The scattered fires look brighter as night falls but the volcanoes have stopped rumbling. The wind moans, the children shiver. The land seems to tilt beneath their feet but soon there are fewer fiery rocks and they pass the last volcano. They look at the stars. The smoke has cleared and they shimmer in cold, distant dance.
Dolly and Dicon enter a grove of thick-leaved trees whose branches stir as though in welcome. Birds, their feathers fluttering with every colour of the countryside in spring, start to sing. And above the trees hangs a motionless silver globe.
“Is that IT?” whispers Dolly.
“Could be,” answers Dicon.
As they move towards the globe, it slowly begins to turn, then spins faster.
“The wonderful Wishing World,” sighs Dolly. Dicon, say the magic words!”
“World of wonder spinning fast
don’t let our wishes whiz on past.
From the bursting of the bubbles
help us out of all our troubles.”
The globe stops turning. It flashes, then hums, sighs and with a loud crack, bursts. Out float the beautiful bubbles; lilac, pink, gold, silver, drifting through the trees.
“Quick – the wish!” urges Dolly.
“Please bring back mum, dad, the pigs and the cows!” says Dicon.
The first bubble bursts, full of the children’s wish.
“And bring back the circus as it was before the volcanoes erupted!” cries Dolly.
A second bubble bursts. Then the others burst too and the birds stop singing. The wind rises, clouds pass over the moon. The children turn and begin picking their way back.
They pass the silent volcanoes; sulky cones in a blackened land where now only a low wind wanders, unable to rest. The Fire Fiends have shrivelled, their charred remains heaped at the base of the craters. At last Dolly and Dicon see their farm beside the River of Fire; a bright ribbon frozen in the dark.
And there, by the garden gate, stand Lettice and Fred. They look bewildered as if they have just arrived and cannot remember from where.
Behind them five pigs snuffle in the rocks and five black and white cows moo and blink their eyes. Dicon and Dolly run to their parents.
“Where have you been?” everyone says together. The children tell Lettice and Fred about the Wishing World. They look doubtful, believing it to have been a dream, but smile anyway.
“I remember now – we were swept by the fire into a deep hole we couldn’t climb out of,” says Lettice. “The some strange people peered down at us. Some were frightening because they had no faces and others kept going on about how their legs were too long. Then a clown with a fat face and sad eyes stared down at us, repeating, “I can’t eat it. I can’t eat it!”
“That must have been before he exploded!” says Dicon.
Lettice and Fred look puzzled and hope Dicon and Dolly will soon recover.
“At least the land will be richer now because of the lava,” muses Fred, changing the subject.
Two days later with the pigs back in their sty and the cows being milked in the shed, Dicon and Dolly hear the sound of a brass band. They run to the gate and see the circus stretched like a ragged rainbow across the black land.
They see Lollo, restored and thinner, turning somersaults. The mimes prance, still moving their arms like windmills but every feature in place on their rubbery faces. And behind them come the acrobats, their normal legs restored as they turn endless cartwheels.
After them come horses, with coloured plumes and silver bridles, elephants ridden by exotic women perched behind their ears,eals balancing balls on their noses and more clowns, leaping and throwing buckets of water over each other.At the back steps Felice, her head high and her flames still dancing. The circus halts before the farmhouse and one by one, as the brass band plays, the performers show the family their skills.
Felice steps up to Dicon, Dolly and their parents.
“Wecome home .Now the volcanoes will be quiet. The Fire Fiends have burnt out and soon your fields will grow again.” Ar last Lettice and Fred begin to believe something magical did happen to Dolly and Dicon.
The circus draws to a close. The Performers bow. The Audience claps. “Now we must leave for the next town,” says Lollo.
“What happened to your cake?” asks Dolly.
“The elephants ate it and this time it disappeared,” says Lollo, “But I shall never have another birthday.”
“I should think not – you’ve already had too many!” laughs Dolly.