Breaking News

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Hi everyone

Here is the next thrilling installment from Falcon Boy and Bewilder Bird versus Dr Don’t Know in a Battle for all the Life of all the Planet

Please take a look and let me know what you think. All feedback is gratefully received. Click the link to find out more …

2. Dr Don’t Know meets Juniper Jarvis

Like almost all of some parts of the rest of the world, Panic Town had the choice of nearly twenty-seven television channels. Yet for most people, 123 Celebrity News was the only channel of choice.

123 Celebrity News was beamed, bounced, screened, recorded, streamed, downloaded, torrented, zipped, compressed, shared, copied, replayed, burnt, backed-up, archived, data-managed and saved for later all day every day so that Panic Town could gorge itself on celebrity news until it falls into an audiovisual stupor.

The breaking news this morning was coming live from the steps of the Town Hall and was a celebrity feast like no other has ever been witnessed. It was guaranteed to revitalise even the most constipated of viewers.

‘Hi everyone, my name is Juniper Jarvis and I’m reporting live for 123 Celebrity News. I’m with that well-known bad guy and all-round celebrity supervillain, the legendary Dr Don’t Know.’

For most people in Panic Town, the concept of twenty-four hour news meant exactly what it said. They imagined that presenters like Juniper had to present the news for twenty-four hours at a time.

As a result, these same people were permanently perplexed when they bumped into Juniper while they were walking down the street. Or shopping at a supermarket she had been invited to open. Entered a talent contest she was judging. Or looking in through the front window of her ground floor apartment as they just happened to be walking past.

‘Why aren’t you reporting the news?’ people asked when they saw her.

‘Shouldn’t you be on the television instead of standing in this queue?’ people would say, as Juniper patiently queued to pay her television license at the Panic Town National Bank.

‘Who’s going to give me the latest celebrity gossip while you’re busy treating yourself to a week’s groceries?’ inquired the cashier in Food and Things, Panic Town’s most successful supermarket superstore.

Some of the same people also thought that whenever they met Juniper out and about, that she was reporting live for some reason or other, and so they were somehow part of the story. Even the obvious absence of cameras and other news-reporting equipment didn’t stop people believing this.

‘They can build a camera so small nowadays that it is only visible to house flies, microscopes and scientists.’

‘Juniper’s left eye is a camera lens and whenever she talks to anyone, she is simultaneously transmitting live footage to the watching world.’

‘Juniper has a microphone embedded in her index finger and this gives her the real edge when it comes to news reporting.’

‘Juniper’s feet are actually the metal feet of a tripod that were grafted onto her body whilst she was on a so-called ‘holiday’.

‘Juniper has gills inserted into her neck so that she can do interviews in monsoons, waterfalls or underwater.’

As you can imagine, it was hard work being Juniper Jarvis but she would never let this get in the way of doing her job.

‘The breaking news this morning is that Dr Don’t Know has kidnapped Falcon Boy and Bewilder Bird, and is holding them both prisoner in an undisclosed location.’

Juniper paused briefly to let the impact of her news sink in.

‘Even despite the cataclysmic severity of the situation, and bearing in mind any possible calamity now facing the entire Solar System, Dr Don’t Know has kindly agreed to take time out of his busy schedule to be interviewed.’

Whether working with international master criminals, small children underachieving in some delightful way, celebrity ponies and other quirky mammals in the public eye, film stars – the obviously famous and their not so obviously-famous counterparts – even the occasional over-achieving citizen, they all got the same balanced approach from Juniper.

‘So, Dr Don’t Know, perhaps you could tell our viewers why you have decided to commit such an act?’

In case you hadn’t heard, are new to this type of thing, or are simply flicking through the channels looking for something to watch while the adverts are on, Dr Don’t Know is an internationally-known career criminal, reportedly responsible for more than three-quarters of all the crimes that have taken in and around Panic Town over the last fifteen years.

Dr Don’t Know is also the world’s leading authority on being nondescript. The trick to being such a successful international criminal mastermind is to be absolutely and completely one hundred and fifty-six percent nondescript.

In fact, Dr Don’t Know is so completely nondescript that my description of him will run out of words right about now.

‘Don’t know,’ says Dr Don’t Know.

These are the only words that anyone has ever heard Dr Don’t Know use and so, unsurprisingly, this is the name he has been given by the press. Why are these the only words that anyone has ever heard Dr Don’t Know use? I don’t know. You would have to ask him, but you don’t have to be a genius to guess what the answer would be.

Dr Don’t Know’s name will be of the utmost importance to all of us a little bit later on. However, for now, all you need to know is how frustrating it is when the only answer that someone gives to a question is ‘Don’t know.’ Try it now with someone you know and see how it feels. When you have finished come back to the story. We’ll be waiting.

‘Ok. Thank you for that,’ continued Juniper. ‘Perhaps you could tell our audience why what you are planning to do is so criminally important, that you have to keep our two favourite heroes prisoner somewhere secret.’

‘Don’t know,’ said Dr Don’t Know.

I imagine you are starting to feel as frustrated as everyone else is with the interview so far. Dr Don’t Know hasn’t told us anything we want to know. And isn’t likely to. We are no nearer to knowing anything. Or knowing anything more than nothing. Or simply knowing nothing.

Juniper held the microphone even closer to the Doctor.

‘Is all this necessary because you are close to committing some wickedly evil crime and need the world’s most intrepid twosome out of the way in case they try to deflect your diabolic aim?’

‘Don’t know,’ said the inscrutable supervillain once again, and even though I know you are probably extremely upset by now with the whole lack-of-information thing, I can only give you my word that you will know more of what you need to know a little later on.

‘So there you have it, folks. You heard it first on 123 Celebrity News. My name is Juniper Jarvis and I will see you all the next time you see me.’

Ladies and Gentlemen, the Infamous Moon Rope

Here is the latest exciting installment from Falcon Boy and Bewilder Bird versus Dr Don’t Know in a Battle for all the Life of all the Planets. As you know, Dr Don’t Know has kidnapped Falcon Boy and Bewilder Bird and is holding them hostage somewhere secret. In the absence of any real information the forces of law and order have gathered to speculate on Dr Don’t Know’s next step. As always happens in these situations, imaginations run wild and any available intelligence is usually anything but intelligent.

This is just a taster of Falcon Boy and Bewilder Bird versus Dr Don’t Know in a Battle for all the Life of all the Planets and if your appetite has been whetted sufficiently then please feel free to download the full e-book.

You never know; you might even feel moved enough to want to review it. I’m just saying.

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Captain Lori Lorimer of the Panic Town Police Force briefed a panel of Panic Town’s finest notables including, most notably, Councillor Denver Footswerve, the current Mayor. As she nervously scrolled through the slides of her presentation, Captain Lorimer told the noted notables that she had her best minds working on the case.
‘I have my best people working on this one,’ she tried to reassure those gathered. ‘A crack unit, comprised of the finest minds mined from the department.’ She paused, hoping that the pause sounded reassuring.
‘I don’t mind telling you,’ Captain Lorimer continued, ‘that to my mind these minds are some of the finest minds that anyone has ever been minded to assemble.’
She changed the slide of her presentation and aimed her laser pointer at the screen.
‘Our early intelligence is very sketchy but from what we can gather it is only a matter of days before Dr Don’t Know is ready to launch his Moon Rope.’ Captain Lorimer paused again.
On the screen was an artist’s impression of what the mythical Moon Rope might look like. The audience saw two circles representing the Earth and the Moon with a line joining them. Captain Lorimer traced the line with her laser pointer.
‘From what my best minds can so far deduce, the Moon Rope will allow Dr Don’t Know to create an elaborate pulley system connecting the Earth to the Moon.’
‘Why would anyone do anything like this?’ asked Mayor Footswerve anxiously.
Captain Lorimer shuffled her notes nervously.
‘We are not sure why, your Honour,’ she told the Mayor, ‘but all our agents are telling us that their best intelligence is telling them that this is not going to be a good thing.’
Gasps echoed around the room as Captain Lorimer concluded her presentation by predicting that the Moon Rope would likely cause untold electrical disruption. It would also prevent anyone on the entire planet from ever knowing the right time ever again.
‘I’m afraid it doesn’t look good at the moment,’ she told her gasping audience. ‘This Moon Rope could well mean the end of the world for all of us.’
Mayor Denver Footswerve cleared his throat before he spoke. He thought this made him sound more mayoral.
‘I think I speak for all of us here when I say how pleased we are to have your best minds working on our behalf, Captain Lorimer.’ The Mayor paused and I am beginning to wonder whether pausing is as contagious a social habit as yawning.
‘Ladies and gentlemen, I am aware that we are all aware of just precarious the situation sounds but I can’t help wondering, from a Public Relations perspective, whether it will in any way be possible to temper bad news of this magnitude with some good news, no matter how small that good news might be?’
The Mayor looked at Captain Lorimer and she could see panic in his eyes. Being mayor was the only thing he had ever wanted and now it looked like someone was going to go and spoil it before he had the chance to enjoy it.
There was no good news.

World Savers Wanted™

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Here is the next in the series of brief excerpts from Falcon Boy and Bewilder Bird versus Dr Don’t Know in a Battle for all the Life of all the Planets. If you would like to read the full adventure then please follow the link.

World Savers Wanted™ can be found at http://www.worldsaverswanted.hero and is a listed company created by a twelve-year-old boy called Mulvey Cavell, who saw a gap in the market for matching superheroes looking for things to do with things that needed doing by superheroes.

Mulvey realised that for every superhero being summoned by an enormous searchlight whenever they were needed, there would be many other equally deserving superheroes that didn’t have such a high-profile and therefore probably needed a helping hand when it came to finding suitable things to do.

Mulvey also understood that not all superheroes wanted to try and save the world. Some were just happy doing things like opening supermarkets, posing for photographs or putting on action displays at garden fetes.

Working from his bedroom, Mulvey built the website and devised the marketing campaign. Things were slow to begin with but once the mass exodus from HeroVerse™ started, World Savers Wanted™ began to get very busy – so busy, in fact, that Mulvey Cavell became a multi-millionaire at thirteen and retired from public life.

World Savers Wanted™ works on the same principles as any other online agency. You complete an online questionnaire, upload a current image of yourself and pay an annual membership fee.

Once your application is processed, World Savers Wanted™ will seek to match your profile with the most appropriate tasks contained in its vast and ever-increasing database.

A similar principle applies if you have some work for a superhero to do. Once the registration process is complete, you are free to upload your superhero task request. Your task request is offered to the most appropriate superheroes and they then choose to accept the task or not.

Feedback is given on the completion of each task, whether successful or otherwise, and as you gain more and more positive feedback, so you become eligible to receive more and more difficult task requests. In this way the system always hopes to match the right hero to the right task.

World Savers Wanted™ allows you to define your choice of tasks by selecting from a drop-down menu. Falcon Boy had ambitiously registered himself and Bewilder Bird in the ‘Heroic Duo Seeking to Save the World’ section but as you can imagine, they hadn’t yet accumulated enough positive feedback to be eligible for that category. Not that Falcon Boy was in any way perturbed.

‘Ambition is one of the many things that I wish to be known for,’ said Falcon Boy ambitiously to his friend. ‘Without ambition, you have no real desire to do things,’ he concluded grandly.

The Brothers Revoltable Travelling Circus

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When circuses some to town they often come with all kinds of hoo-hah and opportunities for adventure. I hope that the arrival of this particular circus will keep up this tradition. As you will have seen from reading the poster this circus is not necessarily like any circus you might have ever seen before. This was a deliberate decision on my part as I wanted to offer you all something slightly different from the circus-adventure norm.

In fact, to give you a real sense of what is coming to Panic Town and to allow you to decide whether or not you want to continue reading, here is a list of the things that will not be coming to town with the Brothers Revoltable Travelling Circus:

Intelligent primates that wear cute clothes but are actually capable of taking part in any investigations initiated by children who are forced by circumstances beyond their control to spend the Summer with a mysterious relative who actually is a circus ringmaster;

Lonely elephants cruelly separated by hunters from their family and longing to return;

Troubled clowns who harbor deep, tragic secrets and paint on their smiles with greasepaint as they die a little more inside with each performance;

Strongmen conspiring with trapeze artists to defraud vulnerable but highly talented performers out of small fortunes;

Teenage runaways who have fallen out with their parents or guardians and who have now been adopted by a new ‘family’ as they perform odd jobs for board and lodging;

Tragic, tempestuous and tangled love stories between the beautiful young contortionist who has never known true love before and the shy boy who sells the tickets and then sweeps up after each performance. Each thinking that the other is out of their league.

Nor will there be any murders, hidden treasure, troublesome reptiles, stampeding horses, seals clapping, tornadoes destroying enormous tents, or groups campaigning about any alleged cruelty to animals, performing or otherwise.

If you want to read more about Panic Town and the things that go on there then click here.

The Blanket of Space and Time

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One of the pressures of publishing and then blogging about publishing and then sharing the blogging about publishing is the never-ending need for new things to publish and to blog about and to share.

I boldly proclaimed the other day that I am currently working on Volume II in the Falcon Boy series, The Brothers Revoltable Travelling Circus and Other Crazy Fun with Special Guests. Progress has slowed slightly in the last week but I still hope to have a working draft finished by the end of the Summer.

I also have a working draft of Volume III which is tentatively entitled The Blanket of Space and Time. Following the adventures in the second volume, Falcon Boy and Bewilder Bird yet again find themselves needing to redefine their roles in relation to a world that doesn’t really truly need them as much as they think that it ought to.

The story isn’t fully developed yet but so far Falcon Boy has started offering his services as a magician in a bid to remain in the public eye. However, during his first (and probably last) performance a newly learned and barely rehearsed trick goes very badly wrong and Falcon Boy manages to transport Panic Town into an alternate reality by accidentally ripping a small tear in the Blanket of Space and Time.

In this new reality Panic Town has been colonised by a flock of filthy Garbage Birds and once again it is down to the ever-resourceful Ellis to save the day from these foul fowls. In case you were wondering:

Garbage Birds are a species unique to weird worlds and bizarre situations. They are madly made from of all kinds of different pieces of garbage and tend to stand about as high as a small horse. Each and every Garbage Bird is freakily unique; one might have a carrot for a nose and another might have the end of a mop. Some Garbage Birds have plastic bags for wings and others have dirty blankets or wee-stained sheets. Some walk on claws made from coat-hangers and others have the legs of chairs as legs. It has been reported but not yet confirmed that one of these creatures was once seen with a metal bucket for a head, two wings torn from a ripped anorak, with a bamboo cane for one leg, a big doll’s leg for the other and a beak made from a whisk and a serving spoon. Whatever they look like, and as you can imagine, the combinations are endless, Garbage Birds are the baddest of the baddest of the baddest of the baddest news.

The plan is for plenty more alternate-reality action including alternate versions of our two superheroes and Panic Town’s favourite pop band Doodah becoming a gloomy, whiny guitar band called The Woebetides. This is all for the future. Until then you can gain a better understanding of Falcon Boy and his world here. You can also follow him on Twitter here.