Chapter 1 - Battle for Yorintown





Tommy Turner's Battle for Yorintown

Chapter 1 - The Last Day of Term

The last day of term began with a mountain of snow landing—plop—all over Parsons Court. When Tommy opened his bedroom curtains, he could hardly believe his eyes. Everything was covered in a crisp white shell that looked remarkably like icing sugar. Everything, that was, except for Mr Brown and his Doberman, who were going for their usual “do your business before work” walk: Mr Brown’s short stubby legs slipping around on the pavement—skid, shuffle, shuffle—as if he was doing an intricate tap dance.

Tommy slid back under the warmth of his duvet and lay still for a moment, head resting on his hands, a smile playing round his lips. This time tomorrow, he would be waking up to the Christmas holidays. What could be better than that? The twirl of excitement bouncing about in his tummy gave him the answer. Uncle Harry.

Tomorrow afternoon, Tommy would take the train up, on his own, to stay with Harry—his adventurer uncle—for a week. Wicked! But something even better was happening. Five minutes after his train arrived, another would coming whistling up on the other platform and out would step his best friend, Digby, whom Tommy had barely had contact with for the last five months, ever since Tommy’s parents had made him leave his childhood town and move to Parsons Court.

‘Breakfast, Tommy! Now!’ A shout from downstairs broke into Tommy’s thoughts, making him groan with frustration. His mum. Why could she not give him a break? It was, after all, almost nearly the holidays. He screwed up his eyes and blocked his ears in the hope she would go away.

It’s going to be cool seeing Digby, he contemplated, his tummy squiggling at the thought. He was not sure why he felt nervous. Probably because so many things had happened since they were last together and he was bursting to tell his best friend everything. Time travel, aliens, rescuing Mr Petrovsky… He imagined Digby listening with awe to his tales. Perhaps he could find a way to take Digby on an adventure. Now that would be seriously cool!

BANG! His door flew open. ‘Are you deaf? Mum’s calling for breakfast.’ Sally! His brat of a sister who, now she was seven, thought she could tell him what to do. Seriously! Even though he would be thirteen in three months’ time.

‘Shut it!’ he growled, pulling an imaginary zip across his mouth. ‘And shut the door on your way out!’

‘Don’t blame me if there’s nothing left,’ she huffed, making the door rattle as she slammed it shut.

Tommy sighed and lay back against his pillow. Would he ever get on with Sally while she was still so spoiled? He had tried, honestly he had. He had even taken her biking as he said he would. But still she told on him every chance she had.

He swung a leg off the bed just as his mum’s voice rang out again, this time with a warning of “consequences”. It was time to get up and start the day.

‘Coming!’ he called, yanking the door open so he did not have to shout. He turned back to retrieve his school uniform from the bedroom floor. Stacked up on his chair were the clothes he would pack for his visit to his uncle’s, ready to throw into his duffle-bag when he got home from school.

On top of the pile lay his T-shirt. Murky grey, plain and not at all the sort of thing you would look twice at, and yet it had transported Tommy to worlds unimaginable to most people in this world. Especially grownups: who try their best to not imagine anything beyond a hot summer holiday and one or two less bills to pay.

The only thing he had not yet put in the pile was his box. This was the box his most trusted friend Mr Petrovsky had given him the second time they had met, just after Tommy had returned from Yorintown, where he had met Peeves-Withers and the strange three-headed aliens, the Anjulongs. The box was very old and had belonged to Mr Petrovsky since he himself was a boy. He had given it to Tommy, saying it was for his treasures and that Tommy should keep it locked at all times.

Well, Tommy had done just that, knowing Sally had a way of poking around his room when she thought everyone was downstairs. He did not want her to ever find it, so he kept it hidden behind his desk in a plastic shopping bag, and so far, it had remained undiscovered, much to his relief. The flask of liquid Peeves-Withers had given him up in Yorintown—which he had used a number of times already—lay amongst the other treasures he had accumulated during his adventures: the snake hair from the Gorgon, Medusa, whom he had helped Perseus to slay; some now-dried clumps of grass from his World Cup football win; and his most precious treasure of all—the magnificent sapphire Mr Petrovsky’s father had given him when Tommy had helped them escape from Russia. The box and its contents would most definitely be coming with him to Uncle Harry’s.

Russia! thought Tommy as he made his way downstairs for breakfast. What an adventure that was, travelling back in time to when Mr Petrovsky was a boy and rescuing his father and him from the village fire.

After returning from that escapade, Tommy had decided to take a break from adventuring and concentrate on High Brooms, his new school. So, he had put the T-shirt in a safe place and gotten on with being a normal boy again. Which was fine until that moment yesterday when he had placed his T-shirt on top of his pile. Now, his fingers were itching for adventure, and his brain was buzzing with thoughts. Where will I go? What will I do? When will it be?

‘Stop daydreaming and sit down.’ Tommy’s mum plonked him down at the kitchen table and placed a bowl of porridge in front of him. Sally was already pouring vast quantities of syrup onto her second helping.

‘Leave some for me,’ he said. Sally handed him the bottle with a mere scraping of syrup inside. A flash of anger shot inside Tommy, but he let it pass. No point in retaliating when he would soon be gone up to Uncle Harry’s. Anyway, why should he let Sally spoil his good mood?

He let his mind drift back to where he had left off. Adventures! What about the first time he had put on his T-shirt before going to bed, not knowing he would wake up a few minutes later in charge of a spaceship one thousand years in the future? He remembered landing in Yorintown and meeting the Anjulongs for the first time, those strange blue aliens with their three funny heads—one for their ears, one for their eyes, and the third for their mouth. The memories were as vivid as if it had been yesterday. Dancing at the gala, drinking Wungalat blood juice until his head spun. How happy he had felt in the presence of these creatures.

Tommy scraped the last spoonful of porridge out of his bowl and pushed it aside. He could not wait to get up to Uncle Harry’s and tell him and Digby everything. But right now, he had better get going. He did not want detention on the last day of term.

Illustrations by Patrick Hawkins

Tommy Turner's Battle for Yorintown

Publishing 1 July 2019

ISBN (print) 978-99959-965-5-0

ISBN (ePub) 978-99959-965-4-3

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Tommy Turner

Ali Seegar

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