As much fun as I have in the world of the BBN, sometimes there’s a dragon or a vampire kitten or a small, diet-sabotaging house spirit that doesn’t quite fit into it. Here, then, are those stories – a little magic, a little humour, and a whole lot of what-ifs. Enjoy!
Or, if you’re interested in the world of the BBN, and in meeting some of the characters that populate it, try Big Bad Novel Stories.
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“Come out, ghost,” she called. “I’m a trained Ghost Hunter. You have nothing to fear.”
“I’m not a ghost,” the voice grumbled. “And I’m not coming out.”
“It might be pixies,” she said. “Not dangerous, just a bit unruly.”
“Unruly? You call this unruly?”
Gertrude looked at the remnants of a particularly nice treacle tart, now wearing a crown of broken serving plate. “Troublesome, maybe?”
“Is he up to date on his vaccinations?” Pest asked, rubbing his ankle.
“He’s not going to give you rabies,” Glenda snapped.
“Oh, I’ve already got that,” Pest said comfortably. “I’m more worried about what I might give him.”
“If you’d like to text in, the number is on the screen. Calls cost 50p a minute. Please make sure you have the permission of the bill payer. Only one wish per person. All wishes are granted. No responsibility is taken if you make an unsuitable wish or change your mind.”
“The dog already checked my bags,” he said. “I’m not sure what you think you’re going to find.”
“Please put your cases on the bench, sir,” the larger of the two officers said, “And remove your clothes.”
Charles heaved an entirely genuine sigh, and complied.
The ghost looked puzzled. “Lizards?”
“It’s okay, you don’t have to understand. I’m a professional Ghost Hunter.”
“Lizards.” He sounded suitably impressed.
Amy, any luck with the behavioural glitch on that CyberKitty 2.0? Does it look like a one-off, or might we have a problem?
“Funds will be made available if you wish to rent, for example, a storage unit or small crypt.”
“I’m 99% certain you can’t rent a crypt on a monthly basis, and I don’t think a storage unit is a great place for hungry ghoulets, do you, Secretary Reaper?”
“Stop it, you little git, or I’ll shove you in the freezer,” she told him. He stopped wriggling and stared at her in round-eyed fright. Although, he usually looked like that.
“Monsters don’t exist,” I told the monster sitting on the bedroom floor, and she rolled her eyes like she’d been spending a lot of time in teenagers’ bedrooms.
But it was ridiculous, of course. Nothing laid eggs in watery holes on country house lawns. And even if they did, it wasn’t like there was anything that could hurt you, not in this country.
The man in the expensive coat opened his mouth, trying to find words to put him back in charge of the situation, but he couldn’t find any. He had a horrible feeling that there weren’t any.
The four kittens stood staring at her, barely a pace away. Staring at her finger, more precisely. The drops of blood on the floor were gone. And Apple stood between her and them, his ears back, lips drawn away from his worn teeth, rumbling a steady warning.
Scientists were studying them. Schools were teaching about them. Writers were writing about them. No one was talking about the value of the pound, or refugees, or the NHS. Bright-eyed people on city streets sang the praises of the rubber ducks.
She was reaching for the quinoa salad she’d made the night before when a small, furry hand pushed it behind the olives. She yelped, snatching her own hand away as if something had bitten it. “What the hell-?”
“I’m not shopping there again.”
“You say that every time,” George replied, passing her the jam.
“It keeps happening, though! I don’t know where they get their stock from. Weevils in the flour, a slug in the lettuce – I’m going to start going to Sainsbury’s.”
He flinched at a sudden scream of tortured metal, and raised his hand to shield his eyes from the bright sun that pounced on them as Emilia opened the door. She stepped out into the light, her sundress rendered translucent, then was gone.
He took a couple of awkward hops closer, resting a paw on the wall so he could sniff the prickly scent of it. It didn’t smell exactly man-like. It smelled – savage. His ears twitched in alarm and he dropped back to all fours, backing away.
Around a curve, and there’s the door, the rusted reality of it forcing me to a stop. I don’t know where it leads. I’ve lived here a year, more, but I don’t know where, in this little secretive town, that door goes.