Little Mike was my first ever pet. My parents had always said I was too careless for one, but I looked after my stag beetle like he was the most important thing in the world. Once a week, Big Mike came round to visit Little Mike.
‘I think he’s growing bigger,’ he would say. ‘Soon he’ll be as big as you.’
I had always been good at hiding. In a crowd, a corner, or even just against the walls: I was always difficult to find. It caused my parents all kinds of trouble. When I was a baby and my cries filled the house, they ran from room to room, unable to find me. When I didn’t cry, it was even worse. The first few years of my life were awful for them. They spent half the time thinking they must be terrible parents. And they were boring for me, because I had to wait so long to be fed.
One day, Steady was talking to Crush the lion and Gentle the mouse. The lion and the mouse were great friends now.
‘We must do something about Speedy,’ said Gentle. ‘He thinks he is the best in all the forest. He is unkind to you, and all the other animals.’
‘Yes,’ said Crush. ‘He always calls me slow and stupid!’
Steady thought for a while, and then spoke. ‘I have an idea. I will challenge Speedy to a race.’
There was one lion who lived in the Great Forest. The lion was called Crush. Everyone was scared of Crush the lion.
Gentle looked up. Of all animals to meet, he saw Crush was in front of him. He was lying a few metres ahead. But the lion was sleeping.
The North Wind moved down to the man. She blew very, very hard. The blowing of the wind made a loud sound, whoosh whoosh. The trees began to move. They moved very, very quickly. The birds that were on the trees began to fall off.
‘I guess it could’ve been a coven of v-vampires. But do you think this place is really…?’
‘Poorly looked after? It appears to be. Suppose we go to the kitchen and try to find some food?’
He began hopping towards the door, but then there was a strong gust of wind and it slammed loudly, putting out two lights with it. Pelha screamed.
‘Oh well, I suppose a vampire’s kitchen would be empty.’
Behind the letters, there were pictures of people laughing. They looked young and happy. Their faces were soft. They didn’t have any grey hairs. Their teeth were perfectly white.
Silna hated them. She felt sick from hating them so much. As she walked to work, she kept thinking about those laughing faces. She carried the hate on her back, and it got bigger and bigger.
Once upon a time, in old Japan, there was a Buddhist monk named Zenchi. Zenchi was well-known at the temple where he lived because of his nose. It was about five or six inches long, and it hung down his face, from his upper lip to the bottom of his chin. It was fat at the top and fat at the bottom, and looked like a long sausage, which hung off his face and swung from side to side.