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Authors: Colin Thompson

Floods 10

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All rights reserved. No part of this book may be reproduced or transmitted by any person or entity, including internet search engines or retailers, in any form or by any means, electronic or mechanical, including printing, photocopying (except under the statutory exceptions provisions of the Australian
Copyright Act 1968
), recording, scanning or by any information storage and retrieval system without the prior written permission of Random House Australia. Any unauthorised distribution or use of this text may be a direct infringement of the author's and publisher's rights and those responsible may be liable in law accordingly.

The Floods 10: Lost

ePub ISBN 9781742743127
Kindle ISBN 9781742743134

This work is fictitious. Any resemblance to anyone living or dead is purely coincidental, though if you pay me $5000 I am prepared to put your name in
The Floods 11.

A Random House book
Published by Random House Australia Pty Ltd
Level 3, 100 Pacific Highway, North Sydney NSW 2060
www.randomhouse.com.au

First published by Random House Australia in 2011

Copyright © Colin Thompson 2011
www.colinthompson.com

The moral right of the author has been asserted.

All rights reserved. No part of this book may be reproduced or transmitted by any person or entity, including internet search engines or retailers, in any form or by any means, electronic or mechanical, including photocopying (except under the statutory exceptions provisions of the Australian
Copyright Act 1968
), recording, scanning or by any information storage and retrieval system without the prior written permission of Random House Australia.

Addresses for companies within the Random House Group can be found at
www.randomhouse.com.au/offices
.

National Library of Australia
Cataloguing-in-Publication Entry

Author: Thompson, Colin (Colin Edward)
Title: Lost / Colin Thompson
ISBN: 978 1 86471 946 8 (pbk.)
Series: Thompson, Colin (Colin Edward). Floods; 10
Target audience: For primary school age
Subjects: Wizards – Juvenile fiction
Witches – Juvenile fiction
Supernatural – Juvenile fiction
Dewey number: A823.3

Illustration by Colin Thompson

Nigel Davenport, thirty-seven and three-quarters, has spent the last fifteen months and four hours deep in Paraguay as a secret agent for the British Government. He suspects that his seemingly devoted whippet, Olympia, may be a secret-secret agent sent by a foreign government to spy on him.

His suspicions are confirmed when three of his socks go missing.

Meanwhile, back in Surreyshire-On-Sea, Nigel's sweet innocent fiancée, Grizelda, has been kidnapped by secret-secret-secret agents from a completely different country and is being held hostage at table fifteen in the tea shop at Harrods, where she is being forced to eat an enormous number of chocolate eclairs.

The future is looking bleak for Jolyon Whipsnade-Throgmorton, who still has one payment to make on his Vespa and is being blackmailed by his own mother, who knows he was the brains behind
the Great Custard Forgery that almost forced Shepton-Hammer and three surrounding villages to their knees. It was only the quick thinking of Bambi ‘The Killer' Goodboy that saved the day. That, and the fact that everyone was already on their knees.

Meanwhile the fearless, some say gormless, Nigel is hacking his way through the dense sand of the Paraguayan Outback on his way to the Lost City of the Navigators, where he hopes to discover something, or not.

  • WILL Nigel find the secret of life or at least recover his missing socks before they are decoded?
  • WILL Grizelda manage to escape the clutches of the cake bandits before she breaks out in terrible spots?
  • WILL Jolyon find the £4.79 to save his Vespa?
    .
  • WILL Bambi ever live down such a stupid name?

No, of course they won't so you might as well read this instead …

Just after the Floods had returned to Transylvania Waters, Winchflat had met and married the lovely and only-slightly-decaying Maldegard Ankle at the Being Transylvania Waters Beauty Pageant
1
and they were now the proud parents of the wonderful and not-decaying-at-all Princess Transistor.

Like all baby wizards, the Princess was a precocious child. She could speak as soon as she was born, not just gooey words like ‘mama' and ‘dada', but all the words there were in the whole world including
‘gallimaufry' and ‘taxonomy'.
2
At one week old she could do everything a full-grown adult could do except reach the door handle and flush the lavatory, though being a wizard she could make the door open by itself and the toilet flush itself in a colourful and exciting way that included goldfish.

Maldegard Ankle-Flood was not actually a witch, but Winchflat's genes were powerful enough to make his children total wizards. Maldegard had imagined she would have several years being a normal human mum, changing nappies, covering her children in sticking plasters and sending them to the naughty corner while developing a deep and lasting bond with them, but because young wizards are so advanced, she didn't need to do any of this and soon became pretty bored.

She had been a fortune teller, but now that she was a Royal Princess, she was not allowed to hold mere mortals' hands and read their palms. She could only tell the fortunes of other princes and princesses, and that was always very simple and quick.

Their fortunes were always:

Maldegard was bored.

So her loving husband, Prince Winchflat, had
found her a job. It was a new and exciting job that no one in the whole country had done before. Maldegard Ankle-Flood was employed to make the first ever detailed map of Transylvania Waters. Map-making in normal human countries was generally fairly boring because everything had been made into maps dozens of times before. Sure, there were big mountains, big lakes and exciting caves with stalagmites and stalagrownups, but there were also great big endless flat bits covered in dead grass or sand. But the most exciting thing about human map-making was sharpening your pencils every morning before driving around in a cheap, lifeless car ticking off things on a clipboard. Because all the world, except Transylvania Waters, has been made into maps hundreds and hundreds of times before. This is a typical modern map-maker's conversation:

‘Yes, that tree/fence/mountain/pond is still there.'

Though there were moments of excitement:

‘Hello, that tree has fallen over and flattened that fence and that pond is now a carpark full of cars made of steel from that mountain they chopped down.'

Luckily, map-makers usually work alone, so there isn't anyone to drive mad with these endless, endless dreary conversations.
3

Transylvania Waters map-making was nothing like this. Every day was a new and exciting journey of discovery.

‘Have you got any old maps I could work from?' said Maldegard.

‘We have indeed,' said Nerlin, who was the King now and owned all that sort of stuff. ‘Here it is.'

He handed his daughter-in-law a small sheet of crumpled paper. On it was a single wobbly circle. Inside the circle it said ‘Transylvania Waters' and outside the circle it said ‘Everywhere Else'. There was a smaller shape in the middle of the paper that had been filled in with blue crayon and was labelled ‘Wet Bit'.

‘That's the beautiful Lake Tarnish,' said Nerlin proudly.

There was also a red
.

‘And that is here, the beautiful Castle Twilight,' Nerlin explained.

Maldegard Ankle-Flood realised she would be pretty busy for quite a long time.

‘You can also have the honour of naming all the different villages and hills and rivers and stuff like that,' said Nerlin. ‘In fact, you will be Transylvania Waters's Official Namer of Things.'

‘But don't all these things have names already?'

‘One or two do, like the beautiful Lake Tarnish and the beautiful Castle Twilight,' said Nerlin, ‘but places aren't as important to wizards as they are to humans. Basically, we only need two place names, “here” and “over there”.'

‘But now we are opening Transylvania Waters to the world, and our population is growing as more and more wizards hear we have deposed my horrible father and come back here to live,' Mordonna explained. ‘We need to give all these places names, otherwise no one will know where on earth they are.'

‘Of course, most of us will still use “here” and “over there”,' said Nerlin.

‘So I can use whatever names I want?' said Maldegard.

‘Yes, apart from Belgium, of course,' said Nerlin, ‘or any of those strange Welsh names without vowels that sound like someone clearing their throat.'

‘Well, obviously,' said Maldegard.

‘And while you're out visiting all these wonderful places,' said Mordonna, ‘you can carry out a census.'

‘I wouldn't have thought she could lift one,' said Nerlin.

‘What?'

‘Well, they're pretty heavy, and I wouldn't think they'd want to be carried anywhere,' Nerlin explained.

Then Mordonna explained what a census was.

‘Oh,' said Nerlin. ‘So it isn't a great big heavy horse with the top half of a man?'

‘No, that's a centaur.'

‘Or what?'

Mordonna had a cup of the special tea that calmed her down and stopped her wanting to hit her husband over the head with a big roll of census forms. She seldom went anywhere without a flask of her calming tea just in case her husband tried to think about the meaning of life and ended up driving everyone scatty.

‘How many census forms are there exactly in that roll?' Nerlin asked.

‘About a hundred, why?'

‘So is that what you call a censuspede?' Nerlin, who knew exactly what a census was, grinned.

It was agreed that Maldegard would need an
assistant to help her in her work, someone who could write and knew how to sharpen pencils. Ffiona Hulbert was very keen to be that assistant, but she was still at school. Her mother, Edna, who had been teaching Pilates since the family had come to live in Transylvania Waters, was only too happy to give it up and work with Maldegard. Witches and wizards are far too intelligent to waste their time exercising, especially as they perform a quick spell that allows them to get fit and toned in their sleep. The few people who had gone to Edna's classes had only gone to meet the novelty human who had come to live amongst them. And of course, both Maldegard and Edna were outsiders from the world of humans. Everyone agreed that because they had both grown up with maps they would be well equipped to put Transylvania Waters on paper.

‘I mean, even this town which is the capital of the whole country hasn't got a name,' said Maldegard.

‘Probably the first thing we should do,' Edna suggested, ‘is write down all the places that have got names.'

It didn't take long and it was written on a very small piece of paper.

‘Also,' said Maldegard, ‘we need to get King Nerlin and everyone else to agree that, whatever names we choose, they won't talk about them and discuss them and change them and then present them to everyone in a referendum. Otherwise, we'll be lucky to give a name to a side street before Christmas.'

‘We could ask everyone to send in any names they'd like us to use, though,' said Edna.

‘Good idea, especially if we don't let anyone see the list or bother to read it ourselves,' said Maldegard. ‘But if anyone complains about a name, we can say it was on the official list.'

‘Supposing they want to see the list?'

‘Well, we'll just add the name we've chosen and swear blind it was there all the time.'

‘Fair enough,' said Edna Hulbert, who was basically a very honest person but saw how a bit of creative lying could make life a lot easier for everyone.

Their discussion was completely unnecessary. Notices were posted everywhere inviting the public to suggest names for the roads, rivers, towns, villages, tall places, deep places and so on.

This was the final list:

4
5

BOOK: Floods 10
12.93Mb size Format: txt, pdf, ePub
ads

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