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Quizzical

Ted and Crofty are worried when they see the practice questions. 'Some of these are pretty hard', says Ted nervously.

'Rubbish', I say confidently.  'Ask me anything.  I bet I'll know the answer'.

'How about this?' says Crofty.  'Name the nine planets of the solar system'.  He gives me a sly grin.  'In order, that is'. He thinks he has stumped me!  Not likely!

'Maths Very Easy Monday Just Say Underpants Now Please', I say.

Crofty shakes his head.  Ted looks at me as if I'm mad.

'That's how I remember the planets in order', I tell them.  'Mercury, Venus, Earth, Mars, Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus, Neptune and Pluto'.

Neither of them says a word.  They are dumbfounded.  I have that effect on people sometimes.

 

Money Bags

“So what’s the deal with your face?”

Ted sighs. “The doctor said it could be nerves, or an allergic reaction to something. I think it’s nerves myself. In fact, I’m sure of it”.

“And since when have you become the self-diagnosis expert?”
“Since I got this”, and he pulls a crumpled piece of paper out of his pocket.

I shine my torch on it.

It is a message. A coded message.

“It’s something bad”, says Ted worriedly. “I just know it”.

“How do you know? You haven’t even worked out the code yet”.

“I don’t need to”, says Ted. “The bike is proof enough”.

“You’re not making any sense. What does any of this have to do with a bike?”

“Well, that’s where I found the message”, explains Ted. “Next to my bike. Except that my bike no longer has tyres. They’ve been completely slashed to bits”.

 

Puzzle Palace

‘Um, shouldn’t we be there by now?’ I ask a few minutes later.

But the driver doesn’t answer me. That’s because he’s fiddling with things on the console, which has just started beeping.

Suddenly a voice comes through, interspersed with static.

‘Hey? You there?’

The driver flicks a switch, then puts a single earphone in his ear.

‘I’m here,’ he says. ‘What’s up?’

After that, it’s, ‘Uh huh. I see. Sounds good. Yeah, I’ve got it.’

Which is about as informative as a dictionary with the pages torn out.

I sigh. I’m starting to feel sick. But I’m not sure if that’s from worry, or the mixture of fizzy drinks partying in my stomach.

‘If you don’t tell me what’s going on, I’m going to … I’m going to jump out!’ I splutter.

But jumping out of the car doesn’t seem like a particularly smart option at the speed we’re travelling. Well, not if I want to keep my body parts connected, anyway.

 

 

Alby and the Cat

"At last, the shop loomed, just up ahead.The Cat could see it. He could also see Alby.  

And something else, too, that made him almost stop dead in his tracks. 

A human.

The Cat watched, as the human crouched down, fiddling with various things on the ground.

What was it doing?

What was it up to?

Suddenly the Cat gasped in horror. The human had picked up something big.

And it was heading straight for Alby".

 

 

Alby and the Cat - Show Business

The cat was cold, wet and miserable. His fur stuck to his skin, and his teeth chattered. At this rate he would catch pneumonia. There was nothing surer.

He tried mewing. And scratching at the door. But nothing worked.

The rain was falling steadily now. The cat would have to seek shelter somewhere, but where?  There were only a few shrubs scattered about the garden. They would hardly offer any protection. And Alice’s prized rose bushes? Too prickly.

Then he had an idea.

He bounded across the wet lawn and jumped up onto the fence, almost losing his balance in the process. Then he leapt into the backyard of number twenty-six, where the Williams family lived.

The door to their sunroom was still open. The cat could see Alby curled up in the corner, snoring.

‘Well, what do you know?’ thought the cat, ‘Looks like I’ve found the perfect place to keep nice and dry.’

 

 

Alby and the Cat - All Holed Up

Alby comes face to face with the dreadful small human from his past. 

But this time Alby holds all the cards. 

Faced with a terrible dilemma, he must listen to either his fear or his training. 

Will he make the right choice?  Or will the cat talk him into something he will regret forever?

 

 
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