The Kallerbay Stories 4-6
By Frances Fahy
Kallerbay was conceived as a short story project for 6 – 11 year olds, written in a first-person child-related style and the “storytellers” are a class of 25 children in this age bracket. In an uncomplicated environment, we follow the adventures of 25 schoolboys and girls in the fictional sea-side town of Kallerbay where life is adventurous and often exciting. Under the guidance of their teacher, Miss Emerson, each pupil tells a story about family, friends, neighbours, joys and fears. The country location is not mentioned. It’s an anglophile Fantasy Land. It’s where the child wants it to be!
This page contains the second SET OF three Kallerbay stories. New stories will be posted as time goes on and linked from the preceding stories. Depending when you read this, you may find those links already there or not. To go back to the first Kallerybay stories, and follow along in sequence, click here.
Mr Hanson’s Window
by Danni Rossi
I’m Danni Rossi. I’m nine and I play football and I have a place on the under-12 team. I have the number 10 jersey. Mr Bill, who’s our janitor, says I’m really good because I was born in Italy. Maybe he’s right. I dunno. There are a few houses near the Kallerbay football field and our trainer, Mr Lee, always tells us that we must be careful in case we break a window. And the other day a really weird accident happened. I was kicking the ball around on the green with Jack and Pete and a few others and then this perfect ball arrived off Pete’s boot and I kicked it really hard and it went straight through a window. Luckily it was open!
“That’s Mr Hanson’s house,” shouted Jack.
We looked at the window hoping someone would throw the ball back but nothing happened. We got kind of worried. We knew that this Mr Hanson, an old, unfriendly man, lived there alone. Not many people speak to him and some people have said terrible things about him. But the ball was a real leather one. It belonged to the club and we wanted it back. I said I’d go in.
“We’ll come too,” said Jack.
I knocked on the door. No answer. I tried again. Then we heard the key turning slowly in the lock. Pete ran off and Jack and I looked at each other. He winked at me and I felt better.
“What do you want?” a voice asked from the other side of the door.
“Sorry Mr Hanson but our ball went in through your upstairs window,” I said. My voice sounded very squeaky.
“Go away. There’s no ball in here.”
“Maybe we could look for it sir if you let us in.” I was beginning to get annoyed.
“Go away, I said.”
I decided it was time for a bit of drama.
“Please Mr Hanson, we have to get the ball or we’ll have to buy a new one for the club and we’ve no money.”
“Be off with you or I’ll call the police.”
“But we didn’t do it on purpose,” I said in my best weepy voice. Then I sat down on the ground and really turned on the tears.
“Mr Hanson,” Jack shouted. “My friend is really upset. He might get a convulsion if he doesn’t stop crying. He gets them really bad.” He grinned at me and I cried even louder.
The door opened just a crack. A cat squeezed through and rushed out. I must have scared him!
“Oh! Damn. You’ve let the cat out. He never goes out.”
I picked myself up and ran after the cat. I could hear Mr Hanson shouting “Come back Flicker.”
I chased the cat as far as Hunter’s supermarket and there he was purring up to another cat. Billy Hunter was at the door and I said: “Billy, get me a sausage or something for the cat. I have to catch him.”
Billy was back in a flash with some bacon rind and the two cats nabbed it straight away. An old lady called Miss Rostier came out of the supermarket and she saw the cats.
“ I see you’ve made friends Fleur,” she said in her funny accent.
“It’s Mr Hanson’s cat,” I said. “He ran away and I have to bring him back.”
“I’ll come with you if that’s alright,” she said. “He mightn’t be such a bully if I’m around.”
“Thank you, Miss Rostier,” I said and we both took up the cats in case they decided to run off again.
When we got back, Jack was sitting outside. He didn’t look happy.
“Let me handle this,” Miss Rostier said. I was very glad to do just that.
I knocked again.
“I told you to go away,”
I was about to speak but Miss Rostier put her fingers to her lips.
“Now, now, Mr Hanson, Danni has brought your cat back.” Her voice was really sweet. A few seconds and then the door opened a crack.
“Let him in.”
“But you have something for Danni, too, if I’m not mistaken.”
He pushed the ball through the opening and I let in the cat. The door banged shut.
As we walked out, I looked back and saw Mr Hanson at the window and I waved. He moved away.
“Thank you, Miss Rostier,” I said.
“You’re welcome, young man. I think I might send a ball though his window one of these days so that I can call on him!”
I ran back to my friends but we didn’t feel like playing anymore and we decided to get our bikes and go for a ride in the woods.
A few weeks after that, I saw Mr Hanson in the aisle of the supermarket one day and he stopped me and said: “Have you had any convulsions lately, lad?”
I didn’t know what he meant for a second and then I remembered and blushed.
“No Mr Hanson.” I sounded like Quinn Taylor when he starts stammering.
“You need to improve your leg coordination if you want to be a better player.”
I was amazed. He must have been watching us play.
“Did you play football when you were young?” I couldn’t believe I was having a conversation with Mr Hanson.
“I did indeed. I have about 50 number 10 jerseys.” I stared in disbelief.
“Come round with your friends some day and I’ll show you some of them and maybe you’d like to see some of my trophies too.”
“Really! Cool!” I couldn’t wait to tell them all about the invitation.
I’m sure Miss Emerson will say I told the story too fast, but that’s me!
Oh! Before I forget. The next story is by Iris Winters. She’s only six so I don’t think she can really tell a story. She just babbles a lot! Bye now!
by Iris Winters
My name is Iris Winters. I’m six and I like ghosts. I have a friend who is a girl ghost and her name is Siri and she’s my buddy and she and I are going to tell this story together because she tells it better than me.
I have to do Siri’s voice too because ghosts speak in a special way and only people who are the same as them can hear them. I’m the only person in the whole, whole world who can hear Siri so I’m the only one who can speak for her. The story has no name yet so we’ll just call it Siri’s story. Here goes! This is how Siri speaks.
(Deep voice) My name is Siri, and I’m a ghost. I’m a real ghost but nobody believes Iris when she tells them that I’m beside her. They think she’s making it up. Well, she’s not. Sometimes they say; “Well, what does this ghost look like?” and Iris says “She looks like a princess.”
I’m a very special ghost because I have super magic powers. I’m always six years old and I’ve always been six years old and I’ll never get old. And I always live with girls who’re called Iris. There have been so many Iris friends but I never forget one of them. I find them everywhere and I find them by magic. When a baby girl is born and her Mummy calls her Iris I get a message like a star that shoots down and lands in my aura. My aura is a bright glow that ghosts have and only special people can see it. Then I keep my star message in the secret cave where I sometimes go to rest and to meet all the other ghosts. I don’t live in a haunted house or a castle but I know there are some ghosts in Raven Castle and I think there are ghosts in lots of old castles and places. So when I need to find a new companion, I take my star and it guides me to its owner. All the other Iris stars come along with me just for fun. We all float together and sometimes it takes ages to find her. We don’t float up in the sky or we’d never find who we’re looking for. We float really low near the grass and we always look for a spider’s web because that’s a sign that our buddy is near us. Then when we find her, the other stars float off again on another mission and I wait until my new buddy is sleeping and then I put my star on her head and she dreams about me and I tell her my name and it’s the happiest dream she’s ever had. Then when she wakes up and sees me, she knows who I am.
All the girls love to have me as their special buddy, but they know that I can only stay for a year. If a girl doesn’t like me, that’s ok but it makes me sad because I get all shaky and I have to go back to my cave and find another magic star message and then we all go off again on our search. Iris Winters is the best buddy I’ve ever had. She talks a lot though I must say. At the start, I had to tell her that people might get bored listening to her talking all the time about Siri but she just won’t stop. She has a sister called Rosemary but she’s never had a ghost buddy and she doesn’t believe that I’m around. I don’t know any ghosts called Rosemary who are looking for their buddies. But her friend Flo loves to hear Iris talking about her ghost buddy. Flo is looking for her ghost too.
I only got annoyed with Iris once. One day she and Flo were watching a cartoon, and I got bored and I told Iris to put off the tv and she didn’t move and I told her again and she still pretended she didn’t hear me so I waited and I waited and then I decided I’d had enough and I called up a flash of lightening and it blew up the television. Iris and Flo screamed and her dad was a bit scared too because he uses crutches to walk. I was sorry I did that but she wouldn’t listen to me.
I’m not really a scary ghost, but sometimes I have fun whishing past people and making them feel all strange and tingly. They even get pale and weak and one day Iris even said to a man who was wobbling on the street “You look like you’ve seen a ghost Mr Gilford,” and he said: “Maybe I have, young lady. Maybe I have!”
Now, it’s time for me to go. I have to go back to my cave for a few days so Iris will have to manage alone. Bye Iris!
(Normal voice) Bye Siri, that was a lovely story. Come back soon.
Isn’t she a marvellous ghost? I really love her. Oh Yes! I almost forgot Miss Emerson said to say that the next story is by Christine Kedderman. Bye!
When Granny Mulkin was on TV
by Christine Kedderman
Hi! My name is Christine. I’m eight. My story for the project is about Granny Mulkin. She’s not my granny, but she’s very old now so her name is Granny. When she was young, she had another name, Melissa. I don’t know when she was young but now she’s all wrinkled and she can’t walk very well and she uses a stick. She’s older than the other grannies that I know and she’s really funny.
One Saturday it was very cold and Megan, she’s my best friend, and I decided we’d go to visit Granny Mulkin. Then we met Hilda, she’s my friend too, and she said she’d come along. Granny Mulkin loves when we go to see her and especially Hilda because she’s a good dancer and Granny Mulkin puts on music and we all dance. She can’t dance at all, but she directs with her stick and makes us all laugh.
We went round to the kitchen door because Granny has a conservatory that has a sun roof and it’s really warm. She was having a cup of tea and offered us some with her lovely apple pie. After a while, I asked her to tell us the story of when she was on TV. I love that story and she likes telling it and Hilda had never heard it because it happened before she arrived.
This is what happened. You see, even though she has a stick, Granny Mulkin often goes for a stroll on the beach. One day she was toddling along, and she saw something shiny on the sand. She managed to pick it up and she was really surprised when she saw that it was a chain and a gold pendant with three stones in the centre. There were grains of sand stuck in the crevices and she blew off as much as she could. Granny knows a lot about jewellery and she saw straight away that it was worth a lot of money and that it must have been there for some time. There weren’t many people out that day and nobody saw her pick it up but still, she was a little bit scared that someone would ask her what she’d found or even attack her to steal it.
She put the chain into her glove and closed her fist around it and went home. Her heart was pounding so much she thought she was going to die. When she got inside, she put the chain in a cup of hot water and a little squirt of detergent and she got a real soft brush and got all the bits of sand out. Then she rinsed it and left it to dry. That was when she saw the numbers on the pendant: 18.11.18. It must surely be a date, she thought. An important date. All the while she was thinking about what to do.
Then she had an idea. She would go on tv and see if anyone knew who it might belong to. She had the numbers as an identification and only someone who knew these numbers could claim the chain. She was really excited. Nothing like this had ever happened to her before.
Straight away she phoned the local tv station and made her proposal. She said she would like to be on the morning chat show as she wanted to solve a mystery. The lady who answered was very interested and asked if she could meet her and arrange the tv appearance.
Granny Mulkin got all prettied up first at Valery, the hairdresser’s and then at Monica, the beautician’s. She wasn’t a bit nervous. During the show, the presenter said she had a very interesting guest and then introduced Melissa Mulkin who just said “Hello! I found something quite beautiful on the beach and if the owner is still around I’d like them to have it. It’s a gold chain with a date on it. Nobody except me knows the date, not even this nice lady, so if you think you’re the owner or know the owner you can contact me through this program. Thank you.”
The phones started ringing and people were asking all sorts of questions. But nobody had a clue until near the end of the show a phone-call arrived from a man who said his name was Johnny Bobs.
They put him on live and he said: “Hello Melissa, I think I know who owned this chain.”
The presenter was very excited and said: “Hello Mr Bobs. Thank you for calling. What can you tell us?”
He sounded very excited. “Well… I…”
“Just relax,” said the presenter.
“I have a cutting from a newspaper from 1918 where it says that everyone in Kallerbay spent two days combing the beach looking for a chain that a famous Australian singer called Nellie Melba had said she’d lost while walking on Kallerbay beach. She’d promised the finder a large sum of money but it was never found and it was soon forgotten.”
Johnny Bobs said that he remembered reading about it in an old scrap-book in his attic and when he saw Granny Mulkin on TV he went up and found it.
The presenter was really excited. This was great for her show.
“Melissa, can we ask Mr Bobs the date?”
“I think we should,” she answered.
The presenter paused a moment.
“Mr Bobs, can you tell us the date on this chain that Melissa Mulkin found on the beach two days ago?”
“I can,” he said, “but the chain now belongs to Mrs Mulkin. It’s finders keepers as far as I’m concerned. The date is 18.11.18. The article says that this famous singer was on tour and stopped in Kallerbay to meet someone special and lost her chain while they were walking on the beach.”
“Thank you Mr Bobs. What an interesting story! I wonder who that special person was? And what are you going to do with this chain Mrs Mulkin?”
“I’m not sure yet. I’ll have to get it valued and see what it’s worth and then Mr Bobs and I will have a chat about what’s the best thing to do. We might put it towards repairing the roof of the Workshop.”
Then the presenter had another idea. “Could we film your meeting with Mr Bobs? I’m sure our viewers would love to know what you decide.”
Granny Mulkin laughed out loud and said: “I’m sure your viewers wouldn’t be in the least bit interested in hearing two old fuddy-duddies chatting over a cup of tea. And by the way, just in case anyone comes round to my house hoping to find the chain. It’s in a very reliable safe in a good bank so don’t waste your time.”
“Good advice there Melissa. So we’ll leave it at that,” said the presenter. “I’d just like to inform our viewers that we’ve already had a very interesting offer for the chain from a private dealer so it looks as if this isn’t the end of the story.”
Just as Granny Mulkin was finishing her story, Megan said: “But the last time you said it was a famous museum that bought the chain. Are you cheating Granny?”
“I’m not cheating, my dear, but even I don’t know how many times that chain changed hands and how many times I’ve told my story. Now that your new friend knows it, we’ll have to find new stories to tell for your next visits.”
It was late and we rushed home. Megan said: “Christine, I don’t understand Granny Mulkin very well so I hope the next story she tells isn’t as long as that one.”
I hope it’s longer! I must go over to see Granny Mulkin next week and maybe we can watch a film together.
The next story is by George Hill. It’ll probably be a sad story because he hasn’t got his mum anymore and that’s horrible.
We will continue next time with stories 7,8,9 of the Kallerbay Stories.
Dave to the rescue. George Hill tells about identical twins who trick a petrol thief.
My new life. Hilda Prasnov tells about her life since moving to Kallerbay
Skipper Rogers is number one. Jack Johnson learns that the sea must always be respected