Fourth stand-alone story in the series ‘The Adventures of Jimmy Crikey’ the orphan who decided to make his home on Earth. Among his friends are the four witch guardians of Earth’s realms and Lord Oron, The Weatherman.
The Emerald Lake, home of the Aquamites, is invaded by flesh-eating, fire-breathing serpents. Chief Witch Matilda asks for Jimmy’s assistance. He accompanies Elwinn, witch guardian of everything associated with water, and visits the Emerald Lake. They arrive at a plan to catch the serpents in a spider’s web net
The serpents are lured into a volcano’s lake where Jimmy traps the reptiles in a Golden Orb spiders’web net, to drag the creatures into the cold depths of space.
Jimmy’s new friend, Annison, is fatally injured when one serpent takes a bite from her tail. She is dying from the loss of blood. The witches cannot help and there is no time to get her to Attalia for advanced surgery.
All appears lost until Lord Oron reveals that he is one of the Lords who serve the Master. He could save Annison, but he will not bring a subject back to life from the dead. Lord Oron persuades the Master to save the life of Jimmy’s first love.
Targeted Age Group:: MG to YA
What Inspired You to Write Your Book?
Jimmy Crikey was born during a beachside summer holiday in Great Yarmouth on the English East coast. My then four-year-old son and his newfound friends sought shelter in our beach tent during a shower of rain. Pat implored me to entertain (keep quiet) the exuberant boys, so the story of Jimmy, the red-headed bullied boy was created on the hoof. Over the following afternoons of brief showers, Jimmy's adventures expanded to meet their demands. It would be many years later before they appeared in print.
One reviewer wrote: A wonderfully feisty mystical adventure, reminiscent of a traditional fairy tale but with a scientific twist, … offers a wonderful mix of reverie, extending and bending realism with fantastical ideas. A great introduction to the fantasy genre, 'The Emerald Lake' is magnificent in its ideas and imaginative in its execution, building an exciting multi-dimensional story of magic and mayhem. Absorbing and totally entrancing,
Jimmy was growing up fast. He was now in his first teenage year. His big feet had been the butt of the bullies’ jokes from being a small boy. Very few people knew that his feet stayed the same size as Jimmy grew in height. All children from Attalia were born with oversized feet. And all boys had their own somewhat unique, red boots, which would last a lifetime. These boots allowed Jimmy to outrun anyone or anything on Earth. Jimmy had a few more unusual abilities because he was an alien from Attalia. But Jimmy was not a superman. He was just a lot stronger than the average human.
Witch Matilda greeted her friend. “How nice to see you, Jimmy. Up and about early this morning. Jade isn’t up yet, but I don’t think she’ll be long when she knows you’re here.
“Jade,” she called up the stairs. “Jimmy’s arrived. Are you up yet?”
There was no reply. “Make yourself at home, Jimmy,” she said. “Say hello to Beatrix while I check on Jade,”
Jimmy always felt at home at Matilda’s house on the hill and her cat, Beatrix, was always pleased to see Jimmy. He had the knack of scratching behind her ears at just the exact position to ease the itch. Her heavy purring was deafening. Matilda’s footsteps returned down the stairs, and she stood in front of Jimmy. Her green-coloured skin had disappeared as it always did whenever there was no magic about “She’s not there, Jimmy, and it doesn’t look as though she’s slept in her bed. Jade never leaves the house without telling me where she’s going.”
It was a mystery that defeated Matilda’s skills at divination. Unusually her senses picked up no trace of her mini apprentice. Jade was the niece of Gemma, the little lady Diamite. The Diamites were small people who lived in the cave world of Lithnia, and Jade was blessed with a smidgeon of witchcraft in her veins. Chief of the witches, Matilda, detected her hidden ability and offered to train her in the ancient arts.
Jade’s education in the mysterious world of witchcraft was proceeding quickly, and Matilda was pleased with her progress. A few minor problems arose, teaching such a young pupil the intricacies of magic. Jade was prone to making slight errors, and it was not unusual to find strange beasts and tropical animals running around Matilda’s home. The animals came for wherever Jade happened to be when the magic mistakes crept in.
Jimmy offered his opinion, “This smells of a Jade spell gone wrong. I am now certain that it was Jade who was beating on Mr McDonald’s door early this morning.”
“Something’s not quite right here,” Matilda said. “Yesterday, she was practising using the cloak of invisibility, but usually, being invisible leaves you with power to communicate, especially with one of her sisters.
“There were no sounds from her this morning and no words floating in my head. But if she was banging on Mr McDonald’s front door, why is she not trying to knock on my door to let us know she’s here?”
At that point, it dawned on Matilda. “She’s not just invisible. Somehow, she has managed to dematerialise
“So, she can’t move objects when she is in the same place as when she cast the spell. If she cast the spell here, inside this house, she can’t communicate or move anything while she’s here?”
“That’s what it looks like. Let’s walk down the hill a little way and hope that Jade will be able to let us know that she’s with us. If I know exactly where she is, I may be able to reverse the spell.”
Jimmy and Matilda walked halfway down the hill, and Matilda spoke into the empty air and asked, “If you are close by, can you move something to let us know you’re here?”
The long branches of a nearby shrub began violently shaking. ”I suppose that means you’re with us?” Matilda asked. And the shrub shook again. “Right!” Matilda said. “Stay in touch with that bush, Jade. It may take me a moment or two to recall the exact structure of this spell. You appear to have called up a spell I haven’t used in many a year. And somehow, you’ve mixed up invisibility with dematerialisation. Even I may not get it right the first time.”
Matilda closed her eyes and lifted her head high. The spell she uttered was in a language that Jimmy had never heard before. It was more like a continuous wailing, the pitch of which rose and fell lin waves like the swell of the sea. Her wand appeared in her hand, and she moved it like a conductor’s baton, up and down as the tuneless notes circled the bush, with musical notes visibly falling from its tip. Matilda’s voice was an octave above the notes from the wand's tip. The result was not harmonical. Discordance filled the air, and out of the disturbed air appeared a faint trace of a little girl.
Jade was wide-eyed and tearful but not quite all there. Only her upper body was visible. The rest of her was invisible. Her cries were silent. She still could not be heard. Her eyes were tightly focussed on Matilda, filled with pleading for the magic to succeed.
Matilda crumbled to the ground in a heap and Jade disappeared. “Matilda!” Jimmy attempted to pick up the witch. But there was nothing there. His hands passed right on through what appeared to be Matilda’s crumpled form.
“Don’t worry, Jimmy. I’m still here. It’s just a glitch in the spell. I haven’t used it for many years, and I’m not as strong as I used to be. Give a glass of my nectar, and I’ll try again.”
Jimmy ran back into Matilda’s home and reached up into the ever-present smokey fug that hung above the kitchen table and brought down a clean glass beaker. The next item he grasped was a carafe of a golden liquid. Jimmy poured half a glass full into the tumbler and hurried back down the hill. He passed the glass to Matilda, who had managed to move into a sitting position. The nectar disappeared, almost in a single gulp.
Within seconds Matilda had pulled herself to her feet using Jimmy’s leg as a crutch and recovered to standing unaided. “This is no good, Jade. We need to get back into the house. I need to recover my strength and check the spell before trying again. Come, let me lean on your arm, Jimmy. I’ll be fine in a few moments, and then we’ll try again. Don’t worry, Jade. We’ll soon have you back. Let’s get back inside, out of the morning’s cold air.”
And all three walked back up the hill to the witch’s house. It looked as if there were only two people, but Jade was with them every step, wondering what she had done wrong, this time.
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Wallace Briggs (1943 – present). happily married to Pat for over 50 years, who he first met when they were both aged eleven walking a common route home from different schools.
His formative years were experienced in and around Durham, never living more than 5ml distance from the Cathedral. Married in 1964, Pat and he spent many happy years in the North East of England before employment almost took them off to emigrate to Jo'berg, South Africa. But plans were changed in the final weeks, and instead, the company moved the family, which by then included two sons, to Sussex.
After more than twenty years in Sussex, then Hampshire, employment was again responsible for moving to beautiful rural Lancashire, where they still reside. Now retired from a long career in sales and marketing of technical products in the UK and international markets Wallace spends his time caring for his disabled wife, decorating and firing scenes onto china plates, playing a Hammond electronic organ and writing, whenever possible.
After many years of seeking a publisher for my first children's story, "The Magical Adventures of Jimmy Crikey", it was self-published on Amazon.