“I’m so jolly glad it’s the holidays! What shall we do tomorrow?” Foolian stretched out his legs in the chair under the tree.
“Well, Forge is supposed to be here soon,” said Fick, munching on an apple. “Perhaps we could go to Challenge Island.”
Fanne jumped up. “Oh, yes please! It’s such jolly fun on the island!”
Suddenly the children heard barking from around the corner of the house.
“Oh!” cried Fanne. “That must be Forge and Fimmy!”
The two boys stared at her. “Why did you call him that?” asked Foolian.
“What?” said Fanne.
“You called him Fimmy. His name is Roger.”
“Oh.” Fanne started to cry. “I don’t know. It just came out.”
The boys put their arms around their sister. “Don’t worry, old girl,” said Fick. “Everybody makes mistakes. Last week I called the headmaster Mr Dumdum.”
Fanne laughed. “Oh, Fick! You didn’t!”
Fick laughed and rubbed his bottom. “Yes, I did.”
The question came from a girl with short curly hair dressed in a shirt and boys shorts. She was standing next to a large brown dog.
“Forge!!” the three children cried in unison and fell on their friend, patting her on the back and shaking her hand. “It’s jolly good to see you!” “How was your term?” “Isn’t it just smashing to be together again?”
Forge was really Forgina but she had always wanted to be a boy so she wore boys’ clothes and would only answer to Forge. Recently she had developed a lot but the friends didn’t have the heart to tell her that nobody was going to think she was a boy with a bust like that.
“So, what were you talking about?” asked Forge as she sat down on the grass under the tree. Roger flopped down next to her.
“We were talking about going to your island, Forge,” explained Foolian.
Forge had been given Challenge Island as a prize for being Freshly Pressed when she was only 7 years old. Lots of others visited the island but they knew it would always belong to Forge.
“Mmmm,” said Forge. “I don’t know. It’s been kind of busy lately and whenever I go there, there’s so many other people already there.”
“Oh!” said Fanne. “Not these holidays! Forge, didn’t you hear? No one is allowed on the island for five whole days!! We’ll have the whole place to ourselves!”
Foolian looked concerned. “But if no one is allowed on the island for five days,” he said severely. “Then we shouldn’t be there either.”
Fanne, Fick and Forge looked at each other and shook their heads. Foolian always wanted to follow the rules. Forge laughed. “Oh, Foolian, you silly,” she said. “It’s my island. We can go whenever we want!”
Fanne and Fick nodded. Foolian thought for a moment. Then he smiled and said, “Let’s do it!”
“But after lunch,” said Fick who was always hungry. The four friends laughed and Roger jumped around them happily. Just then, they heard a voice calling them into the house for lunch.
“Coming, Mother!” called Fanne and hurried the others into the house.
As they walked past the parlour on their way to the dining room, Forge suddenly stopped and stared.
“What is that??” she exclaimed.
The three friends stopped and stared into the parlour. “What?” said Foolian.
“The tuba,” said Forge. “Who on earth plays the tuba?”
“I do,” said Fick, suddenly embarrassed. Forge stared at him. “I…, I…,” Fick stammered. “I…, well, they were looking for people to join the orchestra at school last term and, well, I thought, why jolly well not?”
“But why a tuba??” asked Forge.
“It was the only instrument they had left,” said Fick.
Forge laughed. “Well, go on then,” she said. “Give us a tune!”
Fick glanced at his brother and sister who shrugged and nodded their heads.
“Right-o,” said Fick. He picked up the tuba and sat on the sofa. As he placed his fingers on the valves, he said, “I’ve only been learning for a bit so I’m not very good.”
Forge sat down next to him. “Go on, Fick,” she said enthusiastically. “Give it a good old blow!”
Fick took a deep breath and then played a few deep notes on the tuba. When he was finished, the friends all clapped and cheered. “Oh, jolly good, Fick!” “That was marvellous!” “Brilliant!”
Just then the children’s mother came to the door. “What are you doing?” she asked.
“Oh,” said Fick. “Forge just wanted to hear my tuba.”
“Well, isn’t that lovely,” said Mother. “Now put away that tuba and have your lunch.”
Fick put the tuba back in its case and the four friends and Roger went to have lunch.
“So how was your term, Forge?” Foolian asked as he took a bite of his ham sandwich.
Forge swallowed her mouthful of ginger beer. “Oh, it was jolly good, you know. They took us to an orphanage one day and we got to play with the orphans.”
“Oh, yes! Fanne told us about that,” said Fick. “She loved it, didn’t you Fanne?”
“I thought they were sweet,” said Fanne. “I wanted to take them all home with me!”
The friends laughed. “Oh yes, Fanne,” said Foolian. “I could see you as a jolly matron of some orphanage somewhere. You’d be fat and cuddly and feed the children too much cake!”
Fanne laughed and reached for another boiled egg. “I would love it!” she cried and the friends all laughed.
When they had finished their lunch, they returned to their spot under the tree. “So,” said Foolian. “When shall we go to the island?”
“Today!” cried Fanne, Fick and Forge all together.
“Hm. Are you sure it’s all right for us to go there early, Forge?”
“Of course. It’s my island, isn’t it?” she scoffed.
“Well, if we’re going to go today, we’ll have to get supplies.” Foolian stood up. “Come on, everyone. We’re going to Challenge Island!”
The others all cheered and clapped their hands and then the friends went off to get ready.
“How was I supposed to know the shop wouldn’t be open today?” grumbled Forge. The friends would not be going anywhere today. Mr Godwin, the shopkeeper, had taken his cat to the vet and closed the shop early.
“Nevermind, Forge,” said Fanne. “We can go tomorrow. It will give us more time to pack our things.”
Forge sighed. “You’re right, Fanne. But it’s still jolly disappointing.”
The next day the four friends walked down to the boat landing laden with rucksacks bulging with tinned tongue, boiled eggs, sardines, bread, sausages, tinned peaches and lashings of ginger beer. They carried them down to the edge of the water and loaded them into Forge’s sturdy little rowing boat.
“Come on, Roger!” Forge called out. Roger, who was saying hello to the Pekingese that belonged to old Mrs Foster, looked up, barked at the Pekingese and ran down to the boat. “In you go, Roger,” said Forge.
Roger clambered into the boat. “Here, watch out!” said Fick. “You nearly knocked over my Brainies you silly old dog!”
Forge stared at Fick. “Your what?”
“Brainies,” said Fick. “We made them at school in our Home Economics class. They’re a brownie that looks like a piece of brain.”
“Why would you make those?” Forge asked.
“It’s in case of an attack of zombies,” Foolian explained. “You can throw them a Brainie and while they’re eating it – thinking it’s a bit of brain – you can escape.”
Forge stared at both Foolian and Fick. Then she shook her head and climbed into the boat. “You know,” she said. “I’m glad I don’t go to a boys’ boarding school. How peculiar.”
Soon they were on their way across the water to Challenge Island.
The little rowing boat with the four friends and a dog was about halfway across the bay to the island when suddenly the wind picked up. Fanne shivered. “Oooh,” she said. “Do you feel that? It’s like a winter wind blowing! Mackintoshes everyone!” They all pulled their mackintoshes out of the rucksacks and put them on. Roger was hiding in the bottom of the boat.
“It’s all right, Roger,” said Forge. “It doesn’t look like it’s going to turn into a storm. We’ll be on the island soon and we’ll get a jolly warm fire going.”
“Do you think there will be anyone there, Forge?” asked Foolian.
“It’s hard to say,” she said. “They’ve been told before not to go to the island but they still do it. I’m sure it won’t be as many, though,” she added as she saw her friends’ disappointed faces.
With Forge and Foolian on the oars, the boat sped across the choppy waves. “Here, hold on a bit!” cried Fick. “We’re getting near the landing.” The two rowers held their oars and the boat bobbed into the wooden landing on the island shore. As it bumped against the timber, Fick jumped out and tied the painter around one of the posts. Fanne was out next with Foolian close behind her.
Forge passed up the rucksacks, tents and other supplies and they piled them on the landing. “Come on, Roger. Out you get,” said Forge. With a giant leap and a bark, Roger was on the landing and sniffing at the pile of belongings.
Forge laughed. “All right, old boy. Let’s get a fire going first and then I’ll give you that big juicy bone you can smell.”
The friends picked up their supplies and hurried up to the campsite at the top of the island.
The four friends and their dog went on to have a very exciting adventure that involved bad people, not-so-bad people and a policeman who said “‘Ere! I fought I tol’ you kids to clear orf! Are you fick?” to which Fick replied “Yes, I am. Who are you?” and got into a lot of trouble.
This was a response to the Daily Post Weekly Writing Challenge. The challenge was to write a post over five days and incorporate the following:
- Day One: start your post.
- Day Two: add a quote from a conversation you had with someone today (an email, instant message, or text conversation is fine, too).
- Day Three: add something related to what your childhood self wanted to be when you grew up, or a dream you have for your future.
- Day Four: add a reference to something currently in your refrigerator.
- Day Five: add something inspired by a song you heard today. If you didn’t hear any music, use something you read (and turn on the radio!).
I’ll leave it to you to work out what was what but you can find a recipe for Brainies here.
(Book cover image sourced from exhibitions.sevenstories.org.uk. Defacement by me.)