"Mummy, Daddy, Mummy, Daddy, look what I got!"
Tina and Andrew looked down at the shiny pound coin resting in Tommy's cupped palm and smiled. Tommy beamed back at them, proudly displaying the gap in his top row of teeth.
"Now I can buy something!" Tommy turned and ran back up stairs to get dressed.
"I'm so glad you remembered to do the whole tooth fairy thing," Tina said to her husband with a relieved sigh.
Andrew paused for a second then replied.
"Funny you should say that because that's exactly what I was just going to say to you."
The light aircraft was falling slowly from the sky, but the pilot remained calm and joined his terrified passengers. One was well dressed, while the other was obviously a backpacker.
"I've got bad news," said the pilot, "there are only two parachutes."
"Well I'm a captain of industry and I make quick decisions, so I'm having one and you two can fight over the other," said the man in the suit as he grabbed a chute and jumped.
"I'm sorry," said the pilot.
"We'll be alright," said the backpacker, "the captain of industry has just jumped out with my rucksack."
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He'd been a bad boy; a very bad boy. They needed to sort out his behaviour before it got out of hand.
First, they'd tried giving him a good telling off, but he'd just ignored them. Then they'd tried fining him. They'd even tried locking him in a small room for ever-increasing lengths of time. Nothing had worked, in fact his behaviour seemed to have got worse as each day passed. There was only one thing left to do. He had to go on the naughty seat.
The naughty seat always worked. Two thousand volts always sorted out their nonsense.
"Mummy! I want to go wee."
"Not now, Johnny. You should have gone before we got on."
Mother looked down at her six year-old in irritation. Already the car was beginning to move, gathering speed for the incline ahead.
The rollercoaster reached its peak, plummeting down amid delighted squeals and childish laughter, slamming around the corners, tossing them from side to side, before rising again.
The car slowed, the bars retracted.
"Can I go wee now?"
"Yes all right. Don't be long."
Johnny grinned. Arms raised, he ran towards the next ride. "Wheee!" he said.
âMirror, mirror, on the wall, whoâs the fairest of them all?â
âAllowing for all variant perceptions of fairness, itâs a toss-up between Tongar, a rainforest pygmy, and a gerbil in Gateshead called Ralph.â
âI meant, fairest human Caucasian female by prevailing Western standards.â
âApart from her, obviously.â
âNarrow the parameters further. Whoâs the fairest person in this palace?â
âIf you cleaned her up a bit, that scullery maid Gretchenââ
âIn this bloody room!â
âThat would be me.â
âAnd if I heave this bedpad through you?â
CRASH! Tinkle, tinkle.
âSo itâs me. Thought as much.â
I responded to the lawyer's beady look with blue-eyed innocence.
"So you were instructed to deliver the envelope to a mysteriously unknown identity? Please explain how."
"I had to enter the library at midday and place the envelope between pages 23 and 24 of the fifth book on the bottom shelf of the last aisle. The book was called, Sheridan's Close," I added confidently. I'd been to the library that day to make sure there was no flaw in my plan.
"Curious," said the lawyer to the jury, "since pages 23 and 24 of all books occupy a single leaf."
Leo and Charlie had been watching a film about Doctor Frankenstein. They were convinced that a corpse could be revived by applying electricity to the nerve endings. After all, Charlie had some recollection of seeing a dead frog's legs begin to twitch again when electrified.
They found an unfortunate cat lying by the roadside. It had been hit by a car but apart from being dead, it seemed undamaged.
They took it to Leo's shed and wired it up to the mains. Electricity couldn't revive a corpse, but as Leo slumped to the ground, they found it could create one.
About an aeon ago, Alex and Amy arrived at an aged auntâs abode and argued all afternoon. âArdvaaks are anteaters, Amy. And aardwolves are also anteaters.â
âAardwolves arenât anteaters,â Amy asserted.âAll adults accept an aardwolf as another animal altogether, Alex.â
Alex advanced, animatedly against accepting Amyâs answer as absolute.âAsk Alan. Alan agrees. Alan!â
Alan â another adolescent â answered Alex and agreed.
Amy angered. âAlan also affirms alligators are alive around Antarctica. Absolutely anything Alan announces amounts as artificial. Alan and actual accuracy are always antipodes.â
Alex abhorred Amy. âAbsurd! Antipodes? Alan ainât Australian!â
Aunt Allison approached.âArguing? Again? Behave!â
Becky loved her social networking. If she were put in detention, Facebook would know before her parents. If she saw a new piece of eye candy, a tweet announcing love at first sight would immediately be flying out of her phone to her followers. Becky lived through social media.
When the fire alarm went off at school one day, she updated her status online before she followed the others out. âFire drill lol. Yay got out of history! YAWN!â
While everyone was coughing and spluttering in the playground, their eyes streaming, Becky hit âpostâ on her last ever Facebook update.
The second book in The Fishing Detectives...