Jonny Plumb and the Battle for Earth
Short extract from the fouth book in the six book series of Jonny Plumbs brilliant adventures..
Dances with Death...origional drawing by Julia Fioravanti
Legend and Legion nuzzled up to Jonny just to reassure him that he wasn’t alone as they all looked up at the attic door. Jonny picked up the six foot metal rod with a T shaped hook on the end and carefully slotted it into the T shaped slot and gently pulled. Nothing happened, it would not budge. Jonny tugged a little harder and then a little harder until he was pulling with all his might. Still the hatch wouldn’t budge. Then Jonny tried once more and pulled so hard the metal tee-shaped hook snapped clean off, propelling Jonny across the landing floor.
Suddenly the loft door slowly began to open, creaking as it did and the old battered wooden staircase began to descend all on its own. Legend and Legion lifted their noses into the air and began to sniff, their hackles jutting up from their backs like a row of spears. The old battered stairs continued to fall as if in slow motion and then gently hit the landing rug. Then a cold wind blew out of the attic making the goose pimples stand up on Jonny’s arms and skinny little legs, but this cold wind had an evil stench about it. Legend and Legion stood stone still staring into the dark void of the attic, both growling a growl so low it made the walls and floor vibrate.
‘Help me, Jonny, help me,’ whispered Isobel and Jonny froze in fear as Legend and Legion edged towards the bottom of the rickety old stairs.
‘Help me, Jonny, help me. There is something up here with me Jonny,’ Isobel’s faint and feeble voice repeated.
‘I don’t like this,’ Legion whispered as he turned his head to face an ashen faced Jonny.
‘No, nor do I,’ added Legend.
‘No, no, nor me,’ Jonny stuttered, his little skinny knees knocking together in fear.
‘Yearrrghh, what is that awful smell,’ Legend asked while lifting his massive head, sniffing at the putrid smell from the attic.
‘Jonny, please help me, help me, oh Jonny, please help me, I am so alone and so scared, help me, Jonny.’ Isobel’s voice sounded tired and weak.
‘I have to go,’ Jonny said bravely but before he could put his scruffy plimsolls onto the first step, Legion and Legend ran past him at full pelt, growling ferociously as they managed the thirteen steps in three bounds and into the dark void of the attic. Jonny ran up the steps and stood motionless, staring into the darkness.
‘About time you turned up Jonny Plumb, as you are just in time to DIE,’ screeched this vile voice from the depths of the freezing attic.
‘Where’s Isobel?’ Jonny demanded, trying to ignore the foul stench and the hideous creature that slowly floated out of the green mist towards him.
Jonny instantly recognised the hideous, green faced, bloated, gut wrenching, pus filled boils, hook nose and deranged staring eyed hag, which floated effortlessly towards him, as Dances with Death.
‘Where’s Isobel? Tell me or my dogs will eat you,’ Jonny shouted.
Legend looked at Legion and Legion looked back at Legend and both silently mouthed,
‘Eat her! I would rather suck on a nappy.’
‘Your silly dogs cannot harm me Jonny Plumb, because I am already dead and even you, Jonny Plumb cannot kill the dead, but you can make me stronger by eating your soul’, Dances with Death cackled as green pus splashed everywhere.
Legend and Legion started to growl, louder and louder as Dances with Death floated backwards and forwards like she was attached to a swing, while dancing the dance macabre.
Suddenly and very slowly she began to turn her head as her neck bones went click, click, click and there hidden under her grey cobweb hair was another hideous face. She slowly turned her head again to reveal yet another repulsive face which was even uglier than the one before. Jonny stood opened mouthed as Dances with Death turned her neck full circle, as the gut wrenching noise of her neck breaking almost made Jonny faint.
‘That’s the most revolting sight I have ever seen,’ Legend said feeling like he was about to be sick.
‘Looks like she put her make up on with a brick,’ Legion added.
‘Machete, more like,’ Jonny quipped trembling and then added, ‘so you are three and not one? One plug ugly, stinking, rotten diseased corpse.
‘Yes we are, we are the dead and we will devour your very soul,’ Dances with Death replied, her voice changed to encompass her two achingly revolting twins of evil.
‘WHERE IS ISOBEL?’ Jonny shouted.
‘IN HERE,’ Dances with Death replied while rubbing her bloated stomach, ‘IN HERE.’
‘I have to end this and I have to end this now,’ Jonny whispered to Legion and Legend who were standing a few inches away from the still swaying, cackling, revolting Dances with Death.
‘I agree, but how? We cannot kill her as she is already way past dead,’ Legend replied.
Jonny thought for a moment trying to remember all the tricks he learnt while he was on Bodha, the planet of learning and then said, ‘Bingo, gut buckets’ and then whispered into Legend and Legion’s ears.
‘Run downstairs and ask Nanny Noo if she has these five ingredients, eggs, cornflower, milk, vanilla and caster sugar.’
‘Have you lost your marbles?’ Legend and Legion replied in unison and then started to laugh.
‘What are those two poodles laughing at and why would you want eggs, cornflower, milk, vanilla and sugar?’ Dances with Death shouted back spitting green vomit from her revolting mouth.
‘CUSTARD,’ Jonny, Legend and Legion all replied as one.
‘C, Cu, Cus Custard, did you just say that word CUSTARD?’ Dances with Death stammered.
‘Oh yes, we certainly did say, CUSTARD, because you like custard don’t you, you evil, parping, grotty-granny?’ Jonny replied smirking and in an instant Legend and Legion ran downstairs to the kitchen.
‘I hope the odious devil child Deadsheda is more intelligent than you three sad acts because,’ Jonny said and then paused for a moment to give the second part of his sly and cunning plan time to work.
‘Because what?’ the impatient, visibly annoyed and frightened Dances with Death replied.
‘You don’t like it when people ignore you, do you, or when they are not frightened of your hideous face. I also know that you do not like the word C.U.S.T.A.R.D. You are also trapped but you were so busy being revolting and hurting Isobel that you forgot one tiny thing. Well apart from the fact that I know you hate custard.’
‘We can leave whenever we want,’ Dances with Death cackled.
‘Oh, ok then, off you go then,’ Jonny said nonchalantly while looking at his finger nails. Dances with Death scanned the dark attic looking for a way to fly out.
‘You still here?’ Jonny said smiling.
Dances with Death suddenly realised the reason she couldn’t leave. She was so intent on trying to scare Jonny and worse still, stupid enough to fly into Jonny’s attic to hide that she didn’t reckon on the immense power of the Silver Shard of Pure Light. She was trapped because no one can leave but especially the cackling, vomit faced, evil called Dances with Death.
Dances with Death tried to move; she screamed out all her evil rage and ordered her broom to obey. It didn’t.
‘Listen you vile, ugly, cabbage smelling, spotty, parping bint, you are trapped as the Silver Shard of Pure Light is far more powerful than you could ever imagine.’ Jonny said grinning.
Suddenly and silently a steady stream of hot custard arrived, quickly carried up the four flights of stairs by a steady stream of happy volunteers.
‘Custard, custard let’s kill the evil witch with custard. Custard, custard, let’s kill the evil witch with custard.’ They all chanted, ‘Custard, custard let’s kill the evil witch with custard.’
Carefully the large bowls of piping hot custard were placed all around the warty, gnarled, stinky feet of Dances with Death.
‘C, C, CU, CUS, CUST, CUSTARD,’ Dances with Death stammered.
‘Yes c, c, cu, cus, cust, custard you anvil headed monkey butt,’ Jonny replied.
Jonny picked up two bowls of freshly made piping hot custard and aimed them straight for Dances with Death’s hideous faces. Then he picked up two more and soon everyone was throwing piping hot bowls of yellow custard.
‘Good shot,’ Sir Ranulf said as Lady Kathleen hit Dances with Death right in the face with a bowl of hot custard.
‘Oh this is such fun Philomena Parpy Fudge–Bucket said throwing bowl after bowl at lightning speed.
‘Didn’t you have sprouts for dinner last night, my little puff adder?’ Professor Ziad asked his diminutive wife who was so busy enjoying herself she could hardly reply for giggling.
‘Yes, yes in fact I ate about a week’s worth,’ she replied still giggling and still chucking bowl after bowl at the now custard-soaked Dances with Death.
‘Well then my little sugar dumpling, parp for England,’ Professor Ziad said while quickly putting a tea towel around his face.
‘Just brewing up a real humdinger of a stinker,’ Philomena added.
‘NO, NOT THE CUSTARD, NO, NO, NOT THE CUSTARD PARPS,’ Dances with Death screamed, as Jonny and everyone else continued to throw bowl after bowl of hot custard into Dances with Death’s grot ridden, pus filled, scabby, old faces.
Then right on queue Philomena lived up to her name and let rip.
‘Oh my God, that has to be the vilest, smelliest, tongue curling, head shaking, knee knocking, vomit inducing, belly aching, head spinning, toilet burp I have ever had the misfortune to hear and smell,’ Jonny said rolling around the floor in absolute hysterics.
Suddenly as the custard parp took its effect she began to change, her grey hair started to fall out in huge clumps. Her vile skin started to sag.
‘My Hair, My Teeth, My Eyes, I’m not beautiful anymore,’ she whined as bit by bit, lump by lump, eyeball by eyeball her revolting face began to fall onto the dusty attic floor making a hissing noise as it dropped.
‘Help me, Dead Sheda,’ were Dances with Deaths last words before the only thing remaining of Dances with Death was her broom and a ring made from bone. Sadly there was no sign of Isobel and Jonny’s heart sank.
‘Quickly, open the skylight and get rid of this awful smell before I pass out,’ Jonny shouted.
Legend and Legion checked every corner of the attic looking for any signs of Isobel while Jonny looked at the odd ring made from bone. It had an inscription on it but due to the poor light, Jonny couldn’t work out what it was but it looked like initials.
‘What do we do with that?’ Legend asked while pointing at the heap of old custard drenched clothes and what was once Dances with Death. Before Jonny could reply it simply vanished into thin air cleansed by the power of the Silver Shard of Pure Light.
Pleased with their handiwork everyone meandered back to the kitchen to work on plan B which was to seek and destroy DEADSHEDA.
Jonny silently closed the attic door and took in his first breath of fresh air.
Jonny wakes floating towards the ceiling, origional drawing by Julia Fioravanti