Friday, April 9, 2010


Before you get overly concerned that you've stumbled onto a frank admission about my rhinestone cowboy alter ego — some guy in a bright orange stetson who serenades old and young alike with wild west tunes strummed on his banjo — don't panic. You haven't. I just like the word, that's all.

According to my Encyclopaedia of Potentially Useless Boomerangs, chunks of this visually appealing mineral score as highly on the Throw & Return chart as trussed budgerigars, microwave ovens and the Titanic — which kind of makes me wonder whether I have the starting point for a story here.

Yeah, yeah — a group of kids stumble upon a lump of Rhodocrosite while happy slapping some luckless pensioner. One of them tries to skim it across the canal. Because they're on a barge, the pensioner's barge, rifling through the drawers and stuff. Only instead of sinking, the Rhodocrosite comes back. That's how they know it's magical. And they find out it's a Narnia/Jumanji kind of portal openy thing, and that if you throw it just right, it reveals the secret entrance to another world. Crescent-shaped. Like the smile on a smiley badge. So they get to go on adventures, all three of them. Two boys and a girl. They're both twelve and she's fourteen. A tomboy. Ugly. And maybe there's a dog — no, ditch the dog. Too Enid Blyton. Anyway, something happens to make the boys turn evil. Maybe that's where the dog comes into it. There's no dog at the start but when they return home, they have one with them. The faithful mutt, Jimmy, who they think has been their friend for as long as they can remember. Jimmy, the family pet — or better still, Jimmy the dog that ran away from the circus. But it's an evil spirit in disguise. It corrupts the boys, and when they next skim the Rhodocrosite and open the portal, the smiley badge crescent is the wrong way up and there are dark black eyes now, one for each of the boys. And the faerie kingdom they've been exploring is consumed by flames and smoke. It's down to the girl to save them. And since there are armoured demons and dragons afoot, maybe even the whole world is at risk. Plus, she's got problem skin. Can't make it too easy for her.

Yeah, this has got potential. A sort of Bridge to Terabithia meets Enter The Dragon kind of thing. Because the boys are both mad about karate, and when they turn evil, it's really bad news for the planet. I see Drew Barrymore as the girl. In the eventual movie. I know she's technically too old for the part, but they can do anything with make-up these days. Or maybe the whole thing will be CGI like Avatar, and they can simply use Barrymore as a template. Add bits on and take bits away. Her legs, for instance. Too thin. Either way, she'll still get to do the voice. Unless she gets run over before then or trampled by a horse. If anything like that happens, they'll have to use a voice double. Or maybe I could read it myself and have the audio equivalents of the CGI wizardry geeks enhance the sound? Waitaminute, I don't need the actual Drew Barrymore at all, do I? That would leave more of the budget for the fight scenes. The morphing undead pumpkins and the evil gladiator horses. Plus, I'd get to dress up as a girl for the premiere. In an armoured bra!

Bloody hell, why didn't I think of this five years ago? I could be famous now, with a swimming pool — and more hats than I want or need. As it is, it's just this stetson and the wooly balaclava my mum knitted when I was seven.

"Two Hats" Whirl.

I'm a joke.


Old Kitty said...


Ooooh fatal error there: Asbo yoofs happy slapping a pensioner become the main characters in a Rhodocrosite based adventure?!?!?!

It should be the pensioner happy slapping the asbo yoofs... I'd go watch that!!


Take care

maybe genius said...

Morphing undead pumpkins? I'm on board.

Mother (Re)produces. said...

"Something happens to make the boys turn evil"?

Not to nitpick, but if they are happy slapping a pensioner, don't they already qualify as evil? I vote yes on the ninja dog, but it should bite them whenever they do something evil and never stray from their side. They'd return from their adventures looking like Emmental cheese. Hurrah!

(ps- you do realise that 'bra' actually stands for 'battle ready armour,' right? just checking...)

Whirlochre said...

Old Kitty
Yes — the pensioner emerges from the door of her bungalow, intent on staying young by happy slapping a bunch of asbo youths. She marches towards them, waves her fist menacingly — till the taut trimphone flex yanks her back indoors...

Maybe Genius
Beats travelling by bus, I suppose — especially if said undead pumpkins have just morphed from stagecoaches.

Whirlochre said...

Maybe it's the poor standard of my moral upbringing, but I place happy slapping a pensioner in the same category of evil as inflating a frog with a bike pump — ie a thoroughly reprehensible act, but not one punishable by death.

As for the cheesy dog curse, there's no way of telling whether or not Jimmy is actually a morphing undead pumpkin.

No problem with the bra. I read it on the label. Just wondering about the matching K.N.I.C.K.E.R.S...

DJ Kirkby said...

I think other than the horrid kids becoming the heros of the story, the idea is good and I know N3S would enjoy reading it. Well? What are you waiting for? Get writing!

fairyhedgehog said...

An orange stetson? Don't tell Natalie or she'll have it off you. You know how much she loves orange.

A Narnia/Jumanji rip-off has potential. I'd love to hear you do the voices for it.

Whirlochre said...

N3S? How charmingly Chan.

She Who Doth Hog, Hog, Hog
I'm tempted to say I'll keep it under my hat, but that would be silly.

Bernita said...

Am distracted by the photo. Him haz a dimple in his chin. ( sure to be driven by devils from within.)

Whirlochre said...

Oddly enough, this is a wound I picked up from my days as a glamorous assistant to the Great Majesticusto. Most of the time, I just got to feed the rabbits before the show, and only occasionally made an appearance clad in full glittery regalia. There was, however, one time when I ended up being involved in the now famous Camel Balance Illusion. A classic of the genre, it involves the magician (in this case, Majesticusto) sitting astride a camel balanced on a pole which is itself balanced on the chin of the assistant (in this case, me). We'd taken the precaution of wiring Majesticusto and the camel to the ceiling, and everything ought to have gone according to plan, but during the part where Majesticusto was supposed to do his handstand, the camel threw up a half-digested cactus and panicked. It's wire snapped in two, and for the perilous few seconds before the fire brigade intervened with their safety ladder, I was stood with my head pulled back, holding up half a ton of man/camel performance combo on a ten foot pole balanced on my chin. A lucky escape given the circumstances, I think you'll find.

Chris Eldin said...

Whirly's pic is up! And he has more body parts than just an eye!!
You're turning to kid lit? You'll never go back. It's so rewarding to be able to let loose with your creativity. You can't do that writing adult lit. Now that you're in the club, you're sworn to secrecy unless you see someone else convert.

I'm always there as a beta reader, if you need/like.

Robin S. said...

Two Hats Whirl. Sounds nice! But the pool would be nice, too - yeahwe'd - come to see you lollygagging in the pool, and you'd have a pool bar, of course, so we'd all hang out with ya, and drink, and you could tell us stories!

Robin S. said...

Whirl, honey, where are you? Are you all right?

Whirlochre said...

Funeral interlude, I'm afraid. Took me all my time to put my tie on.

Thanks for the offer, but I think you have yet to appreciate the full extent of my spuriosity. :)
I am, however, involved in something kiddy, more of which later...

Kiersten White said...

From now on whenever I see Drew Barrymore in anything, I'll picture you.

It'll be an improvement.

Whirlochre said...

Only you could have found a way of dissing Drew without upsetting me.