Welcome to the first in a series of adventures for 6-8 year olds!
Objects that glow and hum with the power of nature, perhaps earthly, perhaps not! They have been lying around for centuries, waiting to be found. Each imparts its discoverer with powers that are short lived but addictive. The source of their potency is a mystery that is waiting to be revealed.
When Tamsin finds an old marble at the bottom of a sand-pit she senses at once that it is special…an impression confirmed by the fact that when her neighbour’s cat licks it, he begins to talk!
This is just the beginning, and soon Tamsin must decide whether to sacrifice the marvellous powers that the marble gives her to help a school friend in need.
Chapter 11: Four foxes and a flock of pigeons
That night Coco visited again. He wanted to talk. Tamsin opened her bedroom window as far as it would go (which wasn’t very far because there were bolts in place to stop babies falling out) and held the marble so that Coco could lick it. After a couple of licks from that darting tongue his eyes glowed pink in the dark, and he spoke.
“You have to go tonight.”
“My Mummy and Daddy won’t take me, I tried.”
“Then you must go on your own.”
“How? That’s impossible!”
“Nothing is impossible young lady. Put your clothes on.”
Tamsin did as she was told. Coco slid through the gap in between window pane and window sill, jumped onto her floor, slunk out of the bedroom and returned thirty seconds later with something between his teeth. Tamsin took it, and recognised it as the key to the window.
Without waiting for to be asked she undid the two bolts in the window frame and slid the window open further. The air was warm outside.
“I can’t climb down there.” she complained.
“Yes you can. It’s safe, I have tried it out, pretending to be human.”
Coco went first, stepping cautiously from window sill to drainpipe, and Tamsin saw that it was actually quite easy. She didn’t look down, and in four or five moves she was only a couple of feet above the ground. She jumped onto the backyard and waited.
They walked up the road towards a bus stop.
“I haven’t got any money. And anyway, they won’t let me on without a grown up.” she said.
“Wait here. Hide behind this sign.”
A few minutes later the night bus arrived. A passenger got off. Tamsin could not just walk through the door, could she? Just as she began to consider walking home again – and by now she was very nervous about what her parents would say – there was a great kerfuffle. Four urban foxes ran along the pavement and jumped into the bus! The driver shouted,
“Oi! Get out!” but two foxes scurried up the stairs and the other two bounded onto the back seat on the ground level. The driver left his compartment, hesitated (not knowing which foxes to chase first) and ran up the stairs. Tamsin heard a passenger scream, then saw the two upstairs foxes run down again, the driver right behind them clapping, gesticulating and shouting.
The two foxes did not leave the bus however; they just went to join their friends on the back seat. Now the driver stormed up the aisle between the seats and tried to chase them off, and as he moved along the bus Coco told Tamsin to get on board and run up the stairs.
“Crouch low when you get up there, or he’ll see you in his camera.”
So Tamsin followed Coco’s orders and scurried upstairs, while the driver succeeded in getting rid of his four unwanted visitors.
On the top floor Tamsin ducked down low. The other passenger did not notice her (it was a woman listening to music, with her eyes closed). The bus started up the road, and Coco, who had curled up next to Tamsin, popped his head up now again to see where they were.
For some reason Tamsin did not feel scared. She rolled the marble in her hands, and felt it buzz as they approached the centre of the huge city of London.
— Coming soon, Volume 2 – The Diamond Rivet —