Monday, 14 July 2014

The book...

"A great story about overcoming your fears" Coldplay's Chris Martin.

Out July 28th on fierce panda books...


Friday, 27 June 2014

Princess Ninja (Full story)



Created by Amanda Moscou & Antonio Papaleo


The king was having a really lousy day. 


It was, quite possibly, the Worst Day Ever.

First the Royal Dog chewed holes in his favourite slippers. 
Then the Royal Cook burned the king's breakfast porridge (the king hated burnt porridge).


And now, to top it all off, the Crown Prince had gone missing. The king called for his servants and they searched the castle high and low, but to no avail. The prince was nowhere to be found. 

Things were looking pretty bleak. Just then the princess came running in, carrying the royal post.



Dad! Dad!” she cried, waving a letter frantically in front of him, “You have to read this!”

“Daughter, can't you see I'm busy? Your older brother's disappeared, my feet are cold, and the whole palace smells like porridge. Can't it wait!?”

It couldn't.

What the king saw when he finally read the letter was this:


Nooooo!” cried the king, “Not the Kitten of Nightmares! Anyone but the Kitten of Nightmares! That dastardly fiend has been haunting my dreams and thwarting my plans for far too long. And now she's planning to eat the prince! This will NOT be allowed!”

Um, Dad?” asked the princess, “Do you want me to go rescue my brother?”

But the king wasn't listening. “Guards!,” he cried, “Seize the kitten and rescue the prince!”



Using her smartphone, the Chief Guard looked up directions to the Lair of the Kitten. “Right, people, looks like we need to go through the Forest of Terror, across the Swamp of Indescribable Sliminess, and up the Excessively Deadly Mountain Range. Let's get to it!”

Leave it to us!” shouted the king's guards, “We're more than a match for any kitten!”


They returned three hours later, trembling with fear and covered in tiny welts. Too shaken up to answer any of the king's questions, they had to be put to bed with anti-itch cream and cups of hot cocoa.



Knights!” bellowed the king. “Bring me my knights!”

Dad?” asked the princess, “Don't you think I'd better go along this time to help out?”

Don't be silly,” said the king. “My knights can handle this.”



“Leave it to us, your majesty,” yelled the knights, “We'll have your son back home in a jiffy.”



The knights, unfortunately, didn't fare any better than the guards. They returned two hours later, covered in tiny bite marks and babbling incoherently. 

“Incessant squeaking!” “The constant nibbling!” “Thethethethe WHEEL OF DEATH!”

The king was livid.

Seriously, Dad,” the princess said, “I mean, don't you think that I--”

I NEED A HERO!” shouted the king, “BRING ME A HERO AND BRING THEM NOW!”

Unfortunately all of the heroes were out doing heroic things and weren't answering their mobile phones.


Right,” muttered the princess. “I can see that if I want something done right, I'm just going to have to do it myself...”




-

Deep in the Forest of Terror, it was rumored, lurked an evil so terrifyingly terrible, that only the bravest of the brave dared set foot inside.  Those less brave (or less compelled by the King), dithered at the edge of the forest, then reluctantly went half a day out of their way to avoid the unnamed terror.


Princess Ninja didn’t even hesitate.

Leaping effortlessly from tree to tree, she made good time until, with an earsplitting crash, a giant redwood fell across her path.


An enormous, hairy, bearded beast stood barring her way, baring his teeth.

“Bigfoot,” whispered Princess Ninja.  “I might have known.”


The monster opened his mouth to roar, but Princess Ninja was too quick for him.


Capitalizing on Bigfoot's weakness for photography, Princess Ninja made short work of the beast.



Just beyond the Forest of Terror lay the Swamp of Indescribable Sliminess.  
It was so slimy that…
so terrifically slimy that…
so terrifically, horrifically, disgustingly, appallingly slimy that….
well, it was indescribable.  Indescribable and slimy.

People tended to avoid the area like the plague, in part because many suspected the plague had actually originated in that very swamp.  Those who had no other choice but to cross the swamp did so reluctantly, shaking with fear, knowing that all too often people who entered the swamp were never seen again.


Princess Ninja entered the swamp without the slightest shiver.

She hadn’t gone far, however, when with a resounding SQUELCH! a massive pile of muck and mud rose in front of her and took the shape of the dreadful Swamp Thing. Then with a soft PUCKPUCKPUCK the Swamp Thing’s army of deadly mudskippers popped up from the mud in all directions.  Princess Ninja was surrounded.


The Swamp Thing leered.

The Swamp Thing lunged.


The Swamp Thing, unexpectedly washed clean of his protective sludge, beat a hasty retreat.

At the far edge of the indescribable swamp lay the foothills of the Excessively Deadly Mountain Range.  IF a person was brave enough (or foolish enough) to attempt to climb the mountains and IF that person somehow managed to avoid the Goats of Doom that lived in the mountain caves, they would find themselves at the entrance to the Lair of the Kitten of Nightmares.


Princess Ninja was brave enough.



And it wasn’t long before Princess Ninja found herself standing at the entrance to the Lair of the Kitten of Nightmares.


-

Meanwhile, outside the gates of the lair...




The Crown Prince was bored. It had been ages since anyone from the castle had been round for a rescue attempt, and those that had (the knights and guards) hadn't fared very well...



The Prince had despaired of ever being rescued, and was resigning himself to a lifetime of catering to the Kitten of Nightmare's every whim, when a scraping noise overhead made him look up. He was just in time to see the glass in the skylight shatter.  The prince wisely ducked his head to avoid the shards of falling glass. A masked figure hurtled down, landing nimbly in front of him.


The Prince let out an exclamation of surprise.  Princess Ninja shushed him, but it was too late.

“Ahhh,” a voice called out from the shadows.  “A guest! How lovely. You’re just in time for dinner, although I think I’ll save you for dessert.”


“Kitten of Nightmares!” cried Princess Ninja, “Your reign of terror is over.  Release the crown Prince at once!”

“Make me,” hissed the kitten. Then raising her voice, she shrieked, “Flies! Attack! Bitebitebitebitebite! Have no mercy! Take no prisoners!”


An ominous buzzing noise filled the room as a swarm of insects rose into the air and made a beeline for Princess Ninja and her brother.


"That the best you can do?" asked Princess Ninja.

“Flies, pff,” muttered the Kitten. “Anyone can swat a few flies. But how will you fare against my Hamster Army and their Incredible Wheel of Death?! Hamsters!  ATTACK!”


All around the edges of the room, tiny flaps swung open on the walls to reveal the army of deadly rodents, firmly encased in hamster balls of various sizes.  A shrill squeaking rose from all sides as they worked themselves into a killing frenzy.  But just when the squeaking had reached a crescendo, a sudden silence fell.


An ominous creaking noise echoed throughout the room. The Crown Prince sucked in his breath, “Here it comes,” he whispered fearfully, “Not again. I can’t look!”

A larger flap opened in the wall, revealing the infamously deadly Incredible Wheel of Death.  


The Wheel of Death began to roll forward, quickly gaining momentum.  As it moved, the hamster balls began rolling, too…

Princess Ninja didn’t hesitate.  Taking a running leap, she charged directly at the Incredible Wheel of Death, kicking hamster balls right and left.  In one swift jump she was on top of the wheel.


"Hamsters, what hamsters?" said Princess Ninja. "Well, it's been fun, but..."

“FINE,” spat the Kitten, now visibly upset, her fur standing on end.  “If that’s the way it’s going to be… DRAGON! DINNER TIME!”

With a loud whoosh, a giant green winged lizard swooped in through the broken skylight.



Princess Ninja calmly pulled out... a water pistol.

The dragon never stood a chance.



Then, before the Kitten of Nightmares could react to her dragon’s defeat, Princess Ninja spun on her heel, did a triple backflip, and landed directly in front of the Kitten.  Pressing a secret button on her Ninja Star Wands, the walls of the room suddenly glowed with laser dots that danced crazily while Princess Ninja performed her fancy tricks.


The Kitten gasped, “What what what… WHAT IS THIS SORCERY?! I can’t, I don’t even, take him! Take the prince and begone with you! My eyes are dazzled and I am powerless against this wicked magic!”


“Thanks,” said Princess Ninja.  She gave the Kitten a quick scratch under its chin.  The Kitten, forgetting herself for a moment, purred.


 Princess Ninja and her brother hopped onto the dragon’s back and whizzed back to the castle.  


While the kingdom rejoiced at the unexpected but delightful return of the Crown Prince, she quietly slipped away and returned, a moment later, an ordinary princess once more.



All was well in the Kingdom.

For now…







Epilogue:


As the celebrations continued late into the afternoon, everyone was too busy with their revelry to notice the hairy, smelly creature lurking in the shadows of the ballroom. The small animal snickered to itself and rubbed its paws together. "Kitten of Nightmares, eh? Small potatoes, compared to ME! Ahahahaha!"






The End... or is it?

Sunday, 26 January 2014