If you were looking for more – then you’ll like chapter 4. A little scarier in the dark, so wrap up warm and settle down, it’s time to find out where Flapjack and CC are headed.
You can listen to the audio as you read along – no cheating though, if you skip to the bottom, you’ll only leave the characters behind!
If you have any questions for the characters – let me know in the comments and I’ll see what I can do.
Cannibal Corpse leads Flapjack down the tunnels, shining the dim light of the torch on his map and occasionally up ahead of them. Damp bricks glisten in the gloom and a constant drip-drip accompanies their damp footsteps in the dark.
Flapjack wonders about the time. He can’t tell the time yet, so a watch would be no good. He’s hungry though so it must be long after he had his last rusk. He taps Cannibal Corpse on the shoulder who spins around and shines the torch in his face, momentarily blinding him. “Stop that! Move the torch CC!” exclaims Flapjack, throwing his hand up in front of his face.
“I can’t hear you if I can’t see you,” grumbles Cannibal Corpse moving the torch around.
“I’m hungry,” says Flapjack. “Let’s stop to eat.”
“I don’t eat, I’m stuffed with fluff,” says CC.
“Well I do eat and I need to eat now. So let’s stop a minute while I get a rusk out. We can sit on that shelf,” he points to a pair of bricks that jut out of the sewer wall and they wander over to rest. Flapjack pulls a rusk out of his bag and munches on it. He’s thinking about his Mummy and Daddy and a lump forms in his throat. He clears a mouthful of rusk and moves Cannibal Corpse’s mitten hand so that the torch points at his face. “Do you think we can get them back from the Wheatmen and Spiderladies?” he asks, squinting through the torchlight at his friend. Suddenly he’s not so sure if a baby and his doll can negotiate with a city of creatures determined to keep his parents hostage.
Cannibal Corpse points the torch at himself, illuminating his expression of grim determination. “Course we can,” he states. “We’ve managed to get this far, we’ll work it out along the way, there’s always a solution.” The torch in his mitten hand flickers, the light fading and disappearing altogether. “That’s torn it,” mutters Cannibal Corpse. “Whatever,” he continues as he takes Flapjack’s hand in the dark, “we’re not that far away from where we need to climb out again. It might be daylight outside.”
It’s a good job that they are close to their exit from the sewers. From behind them in the pitch black, voices travel through the tunnels. “Hello Dolllleeeeeee. Heheheheheh. No more light to see the say? That means no more light to see us coming to catch you!” Victor and Hugo are somewhere close. When it comes to the sewers, the rats have a habit of knowing every way into them.
Flapjack drops the half chewed end of his rusk and snatches up Cannibal Corpse’s hand. He gives the doll an urgent nudge, hoping that this would make him understand the imminent danger. CC seems to take the hint. Hand in hand they splash quickly through the darkness. Cannibal Corpse runs his free hand along the damp wall, feeling for something as they run.
The voices in the dark are getting closer. “Oh ho! Sport Victor! I likes a trot in the sewers! Nowhere to go round here you know…”
Flapjack is starting to become short of breath. Just when he thinks he might not be able to run any more, CC caught hold of something that nearly threw them down into the sewer stream. “Up!” gasps cannibal Corpse, guiding Flapjack’s hand to what feels like the rung of a metal ladder. Flapjack starts to climb, hand over hand. It’s hard work as he is still out of breath from the run. Cannibal Corpse gives him a shove from beneath, urging him on. He can hear skittering under the ladder now, Victor and Hugo have arrived and are calling up to them.
“Think you can escape up a ladder little boyyyy? Hard work in the dark for a little un…” The rats are giggling and choking with excitement, Flapjack tries to climb faster, soon enough he can see a dim light from above and fresh air wafts down to greet him.
Not a moment too soon he crawls out of a hole and into some grass. The sewer cover has been dragged aside and there’s just enough room for him to get through. Once he is outside in the sunshine, he turns to grab Cannibal Corpse’s mitten hands and drag him out too. But something is pulling hard the other way. The rats have a hold on Cannibal Corpse’s feet, hoping to drag him back down into the darkness. Cannibal Corpse is being terribly brave, he looks into his best friends eyes, “Pull harder!” he urges.
With a final huge tug Flapjack pulls Cannibal Corpse up and into the air, flinging him into the grass nearby. Thinking fast he heaves and pushes the sewer cover across so that only a crack is left. The rats dirty paws scratch and scramble desperately at the gap. “Very clever little boyyyyy…” says Hugo. “But we’ve had our taste of the Dollleeeeee. We’ll be keeping a look out for you, especially as we can see in the dark. Better keep a look out for usssss if you want to keep that Dollllyyyy whole….” The paws disappear and Flapjack catches his breath. He looks around for Cannibal Corpse, there’s no point calling out to him. Finally he spots him caught in a briar patch and untangles him carefully.
Cannibal Corpse has seen better days. The stitching on both feet has unravelled and there are tiny bite marks on his fabric. Some of his stuffing is missing already. Flapjack looks up into the doll’s face, “You’ll be alright”, he says. “We’ll find someone to fix you.” But the doll lies still, it can see him but it does not speak. Whatever magic occurred in the library has changed and Cannibal Corpse can no longer walk and talk. Though he still wears the same look of determination, Flapjack can see a glimpse of pain in his friend’s stitched on eyes. He draws the doll to him in a hug and looks to the horizon. A windmill is turning not far from where they stand, so putting on his bag and carrying his silent friend, he heads off to see if there’s someone in the windmill to help them.
To be continued….