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Excerpts from the Staggering Stories Blog:


Staggering Stories Podcast #293: Copping the High Frontier
by Staggering Stories Podcast
Sun, 15 Jul 2018 09:47

Summary: Adam J Purcell, Andy Simpkins, and the Real Keith Dunn discuss a Big Finish’s Doctor Who: The Evil One and the 1987 BBC TV Series Star Cops, play a game, find some general news, and a variety of other stuff, specifically: 00:00 – Intro and theme tune. 01:16 — Welcome! 02:20 – News: 02:24 […]


Staggering Stories Podcast #292: Lost in Netflix
by Staggering Stories Podcast
Sun, 01 Jul 2018 09:00

Summary: Adam J Purcell, Andy Simpkins, Fake Keith, and the Real Keith Dunn discuss a Big Finish’s Doctor Who: Energy of the Daleks and Netflix’s Lost in Space Season 1, talk about media we’ve been consuming, find some general news, and a variety of other stuff, specifically: 00:00 – Intro and theme tune. 01:21 — […]


Staggering Stories Podcast #291: Goodbye, our Victorian Friends
by Staggering Stories Podcast
Sun, 17 Jun 2018 09:00

Summary: Adam J Purcell, Fake Keith, Jean Riddler and the Real Keith Dunn discuss a swan song in Jago and Litefoot Forever and Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom, find some general news, and a variety of other stuff, specifically: 00:00 – Intro and theme tune. 01:39 — Welcome! 03:12 – News: 03:15 — Doctor Who: Big […]


Staggering Stories Podcast #290: The Meddling Nerf Herder
by Staggering Stories Podcast
Sun, 03 Jun 2018 09:00

Summary: Adam J Purcell, Fake Keith, Jean Riddler and the Real Keith Dunn discuss Doctor Who: The Time Meddler and Solo: A Star Wars Story, find some general news, and a variety of other stuff, specifically: 00:00 – Intro and theme tune. 01:05 — Welcome! 02:08 – News: 02:23 — Doctor Who: Classic series coming […]


Staggering Stories Podcast #289: Ready Podcast 289
by Staggering Stories Podcast
Sun, 20 May 2018 09:00

Summary: Adam J Purcell, Andy Simpkins, Fake Keith, Jean Riddler and the Real Keith Dunn discuss Doctor Who: The Ultimate Foe and Ready Player One, find some general news, and a variety of other stuff, specifically: 00:00 – Intro and theme tune. 01:27 — Welcome! 03:00 – News: 03:14 — Doctor Who: Eric Roberts to […]


Staggering Stories Podcast #288: When Heroes Assemble
by Staggering Stories Podcast
Sun, 06 May 2018 09:00

Summary: Adam J Purcell, Andy Simpkins, Fake Keith, the Real Keith Dunn and Steven Clare discuss Doctor Who: The Three Doctors and Avengers: Infinity War, recall our time at The Capitol 3 Doctor Who convention, find some general news, and a variety of other stuff, specifically: 00:00 – Intro and theme tune. 01:23 — Welcome! […]

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Buccaneer Chronicles

The Buccaneer Chronicles:
Ghostwalker

Written by Karen Dunn and Tony Gallichan


Chapter Two - Tiger...who?

 

August in the Channel Islands is beautiful - when there's a month that could pass for August and not some poor imitation of April. If you stand at the edge of Noirmont Point on the southern most tip of Jersey you can watch the sunlight dance on the water, glinting off the waves and, if it is very clear, imagine that you can see the shores of France. Then, if you run really fast and really hard, across the breadth of the island, you will eventually come to the old ruins of Jardin D'Olivier, wreathed in their cocoon of bushes and trees. Go as far as you can, get to the cliff face and you should be able to see France, green and welcoming in the distance. Then, maybe, just maybe, you'll recall the stories told you by your grandparents of how, once in a millennia, the sea will give up its bed and all the lost and stranded souls will uproot and walk to Normandy.

And that is Jersey, surrounded by deep blue sea. Well, there is more but this will suffice for the moment. On three sides is France and on the fourth is the Atlantic. Go out to sea that way, turn right a bit and keep going and you should find England...eventually.

Which is exactly why a certain Time Lord and his dubious companions chose the island for a well-earned break.

Macfadyan lay on his front in the sandy grass.

He was a tall man with a long, wayward mop of blond hair constantly falling over his slightly chubby face. Piercingly blue eyes twinkled above the long nose and full lips. His clothes would not have looked out of place on a New Romantic or a pirate. More than once had people referred to him as "the Buccaneer" or "Ed Tudor-Pole" because of them. They consisted of knee high boots over the top of his baggy black velvet trousers, long brocade waistcoat over baggy, big-sleeved white shirt. His long black velvet coat was dropped in a pile just out of his reach, his black velvet hat atop them. He was in shirtsleeves as a gesture of surrender to the blazing August sun that beat relentlessly down, causing a sheen of sweat on his forehead.

The task had been set. His goal was clearly in sight. Assessing the difficulty of the situation, he ran through wind speed theories and angle of attack formulae in his head then got to his feet and selected his weapon from the choice on show.

"Time for battle," he thought.

Arms straight and executing a perfect arc, he struck the small, blue ball, watching with satisfaction as it whizzed through the air, bounced off the ramp and launched itself through the hole in the netting and then plopped straight into the hole.

"Aha! A hole in one I believe, Macfadyan," he praised himself.

"Naturally!" he added with an air of smugness. The self-satisfied grin that had been plastered across his face vanished when he caught sight of the next hole on the Crazy Golf course. Deciding to ignore the hole in the hope that it would quietly go away, he nervously glanced around, noting that Crea't had got so bored that he had deactivated himself, the metal head silent and still on the causeway of the eight hole looking for all the world like just another golfing obstacle.

Macfadyan took his handkerchief from the pocket of his trousers and mopped his brow. This was the way to relax, he thought. No emergencies, no catastrophes, just sun, sea, sand and a Sunday morning's game of golf. And no sign of any beans. Life just couldn't get better.

Selecting a new club and not caring that they were all three irons and it made no difference which one he used, he teed up for his next shot. Legs slightly bent, arms nice and straight, swing back, swing forward...a wet towel caught him sharply across the back of the neck. It tingled.

The ball flew at the wrong angle, bounced off the castle on the sixth hole, ricocheted off Crea't and hit a holidaying policeman on the forehead, who had the decency to collapse without a fuss.

"Blanche!" Macfadyan glared at the young woman striding towards him. Her hair was sopping and water was dripping onto her tee shirt and down her back. She had a pleasantly attractive if somewhat boyish face although the rosiness of her cheeks and the chlorine-red eyes did spoil the effect somewhat. She retrieved the towel and grinned at him while he glowered.

"Wotcha, Mac. How's it going?"

"Blanche, I am engaged in a highly scientific experiment. It is designed to determine the airflow pertinent to...to..." His voice tailed off as he tried to recall just what it was he was trying to do. Then he saw Blanche looking at him sternly. One of the ground rules that she had established for their holiday was "no blustering, lecturing, ranting or soap-boxing" of any kind. He grinned slightly.

"Can't a Time Lord enjoy himself once in a while, hmm, child?"

She wrapped her sodden towel around her shoulders and tugged him on the arm.

"Course you can - but only if you do it on the beach."

"I don't think that Crea't would like all that sand." He replied.

* I AM FULLY PROOFED AGAINST DUST OF ALL KINDS. PROCEED TO THE GLASS DEPOSIT SITE *

Macfadyan sniffed.

"Very well. You win. It is a holiday after all. Hmm. I wonder what's happening over there?"

A small group of people had gathered around the prone form of the victim of macfadyan's rogue golf ball.

"Ignore it, Mac. Beach time remember?"

He sighed. Then, gathering his coat and hat he led the way to the pay desk, smiling at the young lad as he handed back the fifteen clubs and two dozen balls he had hired.

"The angle of the heads is off by half a degree." Then he smiled and walked off. With an apologetic smile to the lad, Blanche ran to catch up with him.

* WOULD YOU LIKE A VEGETABLE PRODUCT * said Crea't to the lad, who promptly fainted at the sight of a floating, metal head.

 

The funfair was in full swing. Umpteen different speakers blared out umpteen different songs from umpteen different rides. Dodgems, roundabouts, huge whirly things with lots of screaming adolescents clinging onto them for dear life - Macfadyan, to Blanche's amusement, was studying them all. His face was unreadable except for the child's light in his eyes. Blanche could understand that. She had never been to such a wondrous place; life in Victorian London just didn't allow it. Looking at Macfadyan again, she realised that he was itching to have a go on all the rides but wasn't sure if his dignity or his stomach could stand it. They came to the big wheel, huge and bedecked with hundreds of lights, all prepared for a spectacular display that evening. Blanche began bouncing impatiently from foot to foot.

"Come on, Mac, I've never been on anything like this!" He was looking at her.

"You honestly expect me to ride on that?" She had a grip on his arm again.

"Yes! Oh come on Macfadyan, you only live once." He stared at her.

"Strictly speaking, child, that is not exactly accurate. For either of us." He smiled at her a little desperately, his mind casting around for an escape. Darting eyes finally came to rest on the huge glass dome of the Piazza - a crowded complex also known for some reason as the Rotunda - a crowded complex designed especially for rest, entertainment and sport. There was the possible chance of a cup of tea suddenly floating in front of his eyes.

"Just the place."

Blanche glared at him. "Your scared."

He looked down at her. "No, just thirsty. Anyway, I'm a Time Lord. I do not do 'fun'. If you want to risk life and limb on this oversized water wheel, then go ahead. I shall be sitting at ground level," he pointed, "over there, having a cup of tea."

"Tea?"

"I'm on holiday. Come along, Crea't."

She watched as the Time Lord started towards the inner fort, becoming embroiled in an animated conversation with the Sot'm, both having to break off as the crowd flowed around them. Thinking about it, she was a bit hungry. A few egg and bacon sarnies would go down a treat. Shouldering her bag and swallowing her pride, she hared after them.

They continued down the East Ditch, music blaring out at them, weaving their way through the crowd. A few people cast curious glances at Crea't, but most just accepted the floating head as a part of the entertainment. Then, after a couple of minutes, Macfadyan stopped, looking in one particular direction.

The one thing... no, make that one of the things that niggled Blanche was Macfadyan's ability to lecture. Now, when his chosen subject was one of interest to her - which wasn't often - these lectures, often accompanied by a general dismissive attitude, could be fascinating. The trouble, thought Blanche, was that Macfadyan didn't know the difference between interesting and downright dull. He was simply enthusiastic. Or rather, as she suspected, he just liked the sound of his own voice. Here was a man who could show the same level of enthusiasm about a major scientific discovery as he could about a roofing tile. Take now for example. Here they were in Fort regent, Jersey's main tourist attraction, surrounded by all the fun of the fair and the complete histories of battles, heroic rescues and dashing deeds, and what does he decide on for today's lecture?

Candy floss!

Or, to be precise, the candy floss area, with its crowds of shrieking children and its large red and white booth. And they had agreed. No lecturing.

"I'm going to get you for this, you giant fop!" she thought. She transferred her attention to what was going on around the kiosk.

A giggling rabble of youngsters clustered around it, admiring the skills of the young man behind the counter. He was demonstrating his slightly dubious magical talent with a ten pence piece and the ear of a six-year-old girl.

"Et voila." He produced the coin, seemingly from the depths of her hair, and with a flourish, handed it to the child. "Your change, mademoiselle!"

She ran off to her waiting parents, her face plastered with a delighted smile and not a little of the candy cloud waving precariously in front of her. The young man returned to his work, curling stick after stick of the sugary fluff for the admiring crowd. Macfadyan sniffed disdainfully, then, suddenly he stiffened.

"What's wrong?" Blanche asked him.

He snapped out of himself and looked at her. " I don't know. Just a feeling. A premonition perhaps? Or it could have been the fact that the young man there with pink fluffy confection has a problem with his timing. It was badly off."

She stared at him, her heart sinking at the thought that the holiday could be about to be over and was about to protest but he was off again, babbling about coins, clubs, balls, eggs and the Magic Circle in that pompous manner of his. Then it hit her. Whether or not he was teasing her, unlikely but she could hope, this was his way of enjoying himself. She ran to catch up again. He opened the door of the Piazza.

"I'm hungry, Macfadyan."

He looked at her.

"Food. Yes. This way I think."

He pointed her towards the green neon beacon that announced that they had found the Café Regent. She started towards it, Crea't beside her.

Before he joined them, Macfadyan looked back towards the candyfloss booth. Then his gaze flickered on towards the Ghost Train.

He frowned.

Something was going to happen.

He could feel it.

 

Ghostwalker: Chapter Three