The Grudge of leap year - Mint Watersblade - ebook

The Grudge of leap year ebook

Mint Watersblade

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Opis

“Emergency services, how can I help?” Rosa calls the emergency services, but the help she receives isn’t quite what she expected. An unexpected guest arrives to wish them a happy Valentine’s day. A faulty shot interrupts a football match. The water nymph wants something, but what? The Grudge of leap year contains 91 frightening, cryptic or weird short stories. It starts off the Leap Year –series, which will have 366 stories - one for every day of the year.

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Liczba stron: 147

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TABLE OF CONTENTS

JAN 1: YOU DIDN’T KEEP YOUR PROMISE

JAN 2: THE SHADOWS OF THE MOONS

JAN 3: THE MAGIC RING

JAN 4: A STRANGE WEATHER FORECAST

JAN 5: THE ONLY SPELL

JAN 6: THREE WISE MEN

JAN 7: FROM DINNER TO HELL

JAN 8: BLACK HOLE

JAN 9: OUT OF THE MOUTH OF A CANNON

JAN 10: A WOMAN’S TEETH

JAN 11: THE SANDMAN

JAN 12: NOT ONE OF THEM WAS SAVED

JAN 13: AFTER CHRISTMAS

JAN 14: WINDOW PRINCESS

JAN 15: SNOWFLAKE

JAN 16: ONLY HUMAN

JAN 17: SPINACH – ONLY WHEN NEEDED

JAN 18: A WOLFISH TALE

JAN 19: A COMPUTER NAMED LISA

JAN 20: WEAK ICE

JAN 21: BEWARE OF THE PLAYING CHILDREN

JAN 22: THE ONLY WAY

JAN 23: SOFT THINGS

JAN 24: REVENGE OF THE SNOWMEN

JAN 25: I KEPT YOUR SECRET

JAN 26: RETURN CALL

JAN 27: UNDERWATER TUNNEL

JAN 28: ICE LAKE

JAN 29: UNNECESSARY PEOPLE

JAN 30: THE LAST GIG

JAN 31: STUFFED FRIENDS

FEB 1: MAN’S BEST FRIEND

FEB 2: ONTO NEW TRAILS

FEB 3: THE MUSICIAN’S FINGERS

FEB 4: THE HEIGHT OF FEELING FED UP

FEB 5: THE REAL DEAL

FEB 6: PRESIDENT

FEB 7: A LOCAL PRODUCTION

FEB 8: FACE PULLERS

FEB 9: THE ESCAPED HORSE

FEB 10: THE LAST NAIL

FEB 11: EMERGENCY SERVICES, HOW CAN I HELP?

FEB 12: EVIL’S CHILDREN

FEB 13: HEIRLOOM JEWELLERY

FEB 14: HAPPY VALENTINE’S DAY

FEB 15: FROM MONSTER TO MAN

FEB 16: SO MANY ANTS

FEB 17: TELEVISION WARNING

FEB 18: WHY BOTHER

FEB 19: MY DOG ROI

FEB 20: A FAULTY SHOT

FEB 21: A NEW HOBBY

FEB 22: GRANDDAD TOLD A JOKE

FEB 24: YOU DO BELIEVE ME?

FEB 24: I GIVE UP

FEB 25: I CAN’T GET OUT

FEB 26: WHOLE LIFE

FEB 27: DON’T GO

FEB 28: MAKING A DEAL

FEB 29: WILL YOU?

MAR 1: THERE IT IS

MAR 2: THE ZOO’S NEW DRAW

MAR 3: NEW FRIENDS

MAR 4: THE SAVIOR

MAR 5: MANY STEPS

MAR 6: MEDICINE FOR EVERY AILMENT

MAR 7: WHO IS CALLING?

MAR 8: INTO THAT KIND OF WORLD

MAR 9: THE WRONG COLOUR

MAR 10: THE RIGHT RAFFLE TICKET

MAR 11: JUST A COLD

MAR 12: TOO MANY?

MAR 13: BAD LUCK BIRD

MAR 14: BRING YOUR OWN FOOD

MAR 15: THE CENSOR STRIKES (AGAIN)

MAR 16: THE WINNER

MAR 17: BLESSING

MAR 18: A KNOCK ON THE DOOR

MAR 19: THE LAST BUS SERVICE

MAR 20: THE WORLD HAS BECOME STRANGE

MAR 21: SPA HOLIDAY

MAR 22: THE CURRENT PRICE

MAR 23: MIRROR, MIRROR ON THE WALL

MAR 24: ONLY HOPE

MAR 25: THE WITCH OF THE TOYSHOP

MAR 26: WEAK ICE

MAR 27: PLAY CRASH

MAR 28: FAR TOO REALISTIC LOOKING

MAR 29: A LONG WORK DAY

MAR 30: WISH FOR ANYTHING

MAR 31: I WAS JUST ACTING

JAN 1

YOU DIDN’T KEEP YOUR PROMISE

Thousands of fireworks in numerous colours were going off in the sky. A woman staring at them, shut her eyes tight and swore a new year’s resolution to herself. “This year I will be a better person”.

The year started badly. The woman drove over a hare on a dark forest road. The following night the hare appeared in the woman’s dream saying:

- You didn’t keep your promise. You didn’t keep your promise.

Soon the woman found out that things at work have not been going well for longer than she had realised. She was able to keep her job, but she did have to lay a lot of people off. The following night her former colleagues appeared in her dream. They kept on repeating:

- You didn’t keep your promise. You didn’t keep your promise.

The year carried on. Several incidents occurred which appeared in the woman’s dreams. One day she had promised to watch her daughter’s ballet recital, but had to stay late at work. That night the woman dreamt of the hare, her colleagues, her daughter. They kept on repeating:

- You didn’t keep your promise. You didn’t keep your promise.

Her daughter stepped in front of everyone else and screamed:

- And now we are going to kill you!

New Year’s Day.

JAN 2

THE SHADOWS OF THE MOONS

Luna was standing in a field, staring up at the sky, trying to recognise constellations. It would’ve been very dark, but for the moon, which was full and bright, that gave off enough light to see by. Grandma had once said that during a full moon a person can melt into the moon’s shadows and be trapped there forever. Luna thought of that as a funny fairy tale.

Returning home in the small hours, Luna unexpectedly met her neighbour, Johnny. They quickly said hello. Luna was afraid to say more even though she had fancied Johnny for quite a while.

In the morning, Luna sat down at the kitchen table while her mother was still calling her to come to breakfast.

- Here I am, Luna said, but her mother kept on calling.

- Luna! You have to get up now. You are going to be late for school.

A moment later, in the hallway, Luna made a horrific discovery. She couldn’t see her reflection in the mirror. No matter how hard she looked, all she could see of herself was a small shadow on the floor. In horror, Luna ran out into the garden. Luna stared at Johnny’s front door for a long time and waited. Finally the door opened but nobody could be seen. A small shadow moved across the sunlit grass.

Well, at least Luna wasn’t alone.

The first lunar probe, Luna 1, was launched in 1959.

JAN 3

THE MAGIC RING

Paul had a magic ring. He had inherited it from his grandfather, who had inherited it from his grandfather. No-one knew where great-great-great-grandfather had got it from. Paul’s grandfather had said once that the ring wasn’t quite from this world. That some strange creature had handed it over to great-greatgreat-grandfather. Paul had often wondered whether the creature had voluntarily handed the magic ring over.

What was so special about the ring then? When you slip the ring onto your finger, it turns the wearer invisible. Paul had used it in several difficult situations where it would be better to vanish into thin air. He carried the ring everywhere with him.

Today was one of those days when the ring was needed. Paul was working on his garden when he noticed his old great-uncle Gunnar approaching the house. Paul prayed to himself that Gunnar hadn’t noticed him as he slipped the ring onto his finger. Gunnar came, knocked on the front door for a while, and then left. Paul sighed with relief.

Paul’s joy didn’t last for long as he realised that the ring was stuck on his finger. No matter how hard he pulled, it wouldn’t come off. All afternoon, Paul tried everything he could think of to get the ring off, but it wouldn’t budge off of his finger. And no matter how loud Paul cried and shouted, no-one could hear an invisible man. And he definitely didn’t want to stay invisible for the rest of his life.

Finally, as a last resort, Paul grabbed a meat cleaver and chopped his forefinger off. He became visible again, but his invisible finger with the ring on couldn’t be found. One day they might just appear somewhere else.

J.R.R. Tolkien was born in 1892.

JAN 4

A STRANGE WEATHER FORECAST

Isaac was sitting on the sofa reading a biology book. The news was on the TV, but Isaac wasn’t paying any attention to it. The news changed to the weather forecast, which didn’t interest Isaac any more than the news did.

- At this point it seems that on Thursday the wind will bring a rain of rocks with it. All over the country, the wind may be so strong that it carries loose sand from the ground for kilometres.

Isaac started and wondered if he had heard correctly.

- Mum. Mum! He shouted - The TV said it will rain rocks on Thursday.

Mum stared at Isaac and wondered what to say.

- You must’ve heard wrong. You were so focused on your reading.

- No. I heard it right. That’s what they said on the TV.

- OK. I promise to check it out online, mum answered, but she forgot.

Thursday came. Isaac stepped carefully out the front door, looked up at the sky, but no clouds could be seen. He didn’t want to go to school, but of course he had to. Isaac didn’t plan on going all the way to school, though. He hung out in a park a couple of blocks away and waited for his mother to leave for work.

Once his mother had left, Isaac sneaked back home. He sat by the window and stared intently at the garden. There were no clouds and the day was beautiful, but Isaac wouldn’t give up. He stared and stared. Waited. Eventually, it was so late that Dad’s car drove up. Mum’s car followed. Dad stepped out of the car and waited for mum, who stepped out of her car and hugged dad. Right then the sky opened and fist sized rocks started raining down.

The Finnish Meteorological Institute gave its first 5-day weather forecast in 1965.

JAN 5

THE ONLY SPELL

- I’m a witch. Really, Erica said quietly whispering to her new friend behind their school.

- Don’t lie. There are no such things as witches, answered Lea and stared at Erica with her big green eyes.

- There are. And I am, Erica answered.

- Well show me what you can do.

Erica explained that she was only a witch trainee. She was still practising.

- I can only do one spell. I can turn a person into a frog, but I don’t know how to undo the spell yet. You probably don’t want to be turned into a frog? Erica said to Lea and grinned.

- No, but I do know someone that you could change into a frog, said Lea and told her about the boy who lived near her, who teased Lea whenever he possibly could. Erica liked the idea. She could finally try out her skills outside of home and the boy was practically begging for it.

- Wait here. Be ready. I’ll lure him here, Lea said and left Erica to wait around the corner. Soon Erica heard steps. They were coming. Erica was bustling with excitement and enthusiasm. A figure appeared around the corner. Erica shouted the spell and saw Lea change into a frog right before her eyes. The frog had extremely large green eyes.

In 1941 Hayao Miyazaki was born. One of his films, Kiki’s Delivery Service, is about a witch who can only manage one witch task – flying on a broom – and starts up a delivery service.

JAN 6

THREE WISE MEN

Tony had always been the black sheep of the family. His sisters had become a doctor and a CEO and his brothers, Scott and Henry, worked as lawyers. Tony had bought a small cabin in the middle of the forest and secluded himself there. Some people believed that Tony had some sort of seer abilities. They would come and ask for advice and help regarding different life choices and would leave him a reward. Tony never asked for any reward for his advice, but these small gifts enabled his lifestyle through the collection and handicrafts.

The day was one of those days that Tony hated. They were celebrating dad’s 70th birthday and he had to go back to civilization. And there they now sat, at the same table. Tony, Scott and Henry. Scott and Henry were dressed in new dark suits whilst Tony was wearing a faded shirt and grey trousers. Scott and Henry had also started some sort of competition about who knew the most obscure detail about the law. Dad came to the table at one point, listened to the brothers’ banter and laughed. Eventually he left saying:

- There we have two wise men. You know a lot.

Scott and Henry glanced at Tony, and Tony couldn’t hide that he was offended.

- You must understand him. He is already old, Henry said. They all knew, though, that that wasn’t true. Dad had always thought this way.

- Believe it or not, but I am the wisest of us all, Tony blurted boastfully, which wasn’t like him at all. Right then dad fell to the floor, foaming at the mouth and eyes rolling. Tony looked at his brothers, grinned and said:

- You see, I am the only one who didn’t eat the cake.

Epiphany is celebrated on the 6th of January in western religions to commemorate the visit of the magi,i.e. the three wise men, to Bethleham.

JAN 7

FROM DINNER TO HELL

It was January 1847 when a group of gold miners left on their expedition. They were advised to move the expedition until next spring, which they should’ve listened to as they got lost in the snowy mountains. They persevered for days whilst their food supplies diminished quickly. Finally, one of the group, Alfred, lost his mind, killed all his friends and survived by feasting on them.

Alfred survived, but was tried for murder and cannibalism. In court, the judge glowed with anger while he held his closing statement. The people who were there told afterwards, how the air in the courthouse kept getting hotter throughout the proceedings.

- Stand up you greedy cannibal bastard and accept your punishment. I send you to hell!

Once the judge said those words the courthouse flashed red for a moment before it burst into high flames around Alfred. The judge was also said to have burst into flames.

Panicked people rushed from the courthouse before it burnt to the ground. Everyone else made it out apart from Alfred and the judge whose bodies were found in the rubble burnt to a crisp.

In 1901, Alfred Packer was released on bail after serving an 18 year sentence for cannibalism. Some sources give the day as 8.2.

JAN 8

BLACK HOLE

- I don’t believe black holes exist! Tia shouted at Joey in the school yard.

- Don’t believe then, but their existence have been scientifically proven, Joey said.

He has been interested in astronomy since preschool. For his last birthday he got a telescope. He loved talking about space and all its phenomena.

- Shall we run to the kiosk? Mum gave me a fiver, Tia asked. Joey nodded. - Let’s race!

Tia quickly got a good lead. She had always been sportier than Joey. Afterwards Joey thought that he had seen it before Tia, but still too late. Something fell from the sky. A black hole appeared on the ground and Tia ran straight into it. Joey could only watch as his sister was sucked into the swirling hole and disappeared screaming.

In 1942 Stephen Hawking was born. He has done a lot of research into black holes.

JAN 9

OUT OF THE MOUTH OF A CANNON

The man had always dreamt of a career in the circus. He remembers, when as a child, he sat on the circus bench holding his breath, how the clowns made him laugh and the tightrope walkers amazed him. Finally the man’s dream came true. He got work at the circus, but only as a handyman. He cleaned, built the stands, took down the big top, sold popcorn and tickets. He did whatever was asked of him, but every now and again he would go to the circus ringmaster and beg to be allowed to perform.

- I’ll do anything as long as I get to perform, the man said one night. The ringmaster shook his head, but then mumbled:

- Well, there could be one thing. In storage is an old human cannonball –cannon. That is a trick you could perform if you can fix it up and if you want to.

The man got excited. This was his chance. The man had fixed things his whole life so fixing the cannon wouldn’t be hard for him. He tuned the cannon, shot heavy sacks out of it, and finally he thought he was ready for the real test shot. The man called the ringmaster over, pulled on his helmet and climbed into the cannon. He slid down the pipe deeper and deeper until his feet touched the bottom. The man heard his assistant start the countdown: “Four, three, two…”

At that very moment, just before the cannon fired, the man felt strong hands grab him by the ankles. With a big bang, the only thing that flew out of the cannon was an empty helmet, and they never heard anything of the man again.

Philip Astley held the first modern circus performance in London in 1768.

JAN 10

A WOMAN’S TEETH