Preface 'Gump'

Gump was doomed. He didn't know it yet. He was too busy watching his sheep, his wonderful sheep. Gump liked sheep. They looked like clouds but with legs. 'I like clouds' though Gump. He scratched his long, matted beard as he wondered what his wife was making for his dinner. Vegetable Soup. It was always Vegetable Soup.

As he glanced around he failed to hear the rustling of the bushes and didn't notice the red eyes staring at him through the trees. As he started to think about how much he liked sheep and clouds, he failed to notice that one of his sheep had gone missing.

Suddenly he heard a noise. He turned and saw it. The Creature. And The Creature saw him. The Creature sat, perched in a nearby tree, its blood red eyes locked onto Gump. As The Creature started to descend from the tree, Gump noticed how shiny its claws were.

Gump only realised what had happened when The Creature reared its head and charged.

Chapter 1 The Story Begins

Hugo was having a bad day. As he made his way back to his home, he mused over what had made today awful.

To begin, he had been woken at the crack of dawn by the Cockerel outside his window. The stupid bird had only stopped shrieking when Hugo had leapt out of bed, ran outside the house and had stood for 10 minutes, flapping and waving his arms at it. As he made his way back inside, he had stepped in something brown and nasty. Hugo sighed. It was going to be a long day.

And it was.

The first job of the day made Hugo's stomach turn. The washing up. After a large feast the night before, most of the servants had become drunk and, as a result, had completely abandoned the dishes which now stood, looming over Hugo. Hugo sighed and plunged his arms into the murky sludge and began.

An hour and a half later and things went from bad to worse as Hugo had been given the task of mucking out the kings horses. This was easier said than done. Despite his best efforts, Hugo still managed to get bitten in places that hurt when he sat down. Oh and one of the horses escaped, one of the fast ones.

As he had made his way back to the castle, battered, bruised and filthy, he had been cornered by the Princess Pricilla and was forced to listen to her ramble on about how great Caspian. Pricilla was the daughter of Brian and Lillian. Despite being a well-developed girl of 16, she had a foul temper and could bring the castle walls crashing down with her bellows if she didn't get what she wanted. Hugo hated her. What he hated most was Pricilla's weakness, Caspian. But more on him later. 'oh Cathpian' she had lisped 'why can't you thee how much I love you, can't you thee how my heart beaths for you?' After what seemed like an age, Hugo managed to escape, Pricilla screeching behind him.

And finally, to ruin his day completely, he had been forced to endure a training session. He hated them, partly because he was usually meant to be doing something else and mostly because Caspian took great pleasure in using him as target practice, and basically ridiculing him in as many ways as possible. Even as he thought about it, Hugo absentmindedly rubbed the potato shaped bruise that was forming in the middle of his chest.

As Hugo made his way up the path towards his home, he noticed the familiar shape of his brother, Phillip, shuffling towards him. Hugo had always had a soft spot for Phillip. As a baby he had been dropped on his head and as a result, he needed constant care and attention from Adeline and Hugo. Tall and lanky, with a mop of fluffy brown hair, big rolling eyes and even bigger hands, Phillip was a baby trapped in a man's body. But Hugo loved him anyway.

'Hello Phillip' smiled Hugo. His brother grinned a lopsided, toothy grin. He held out his hand in which was firmly gripped a twig. 'Umph' grunted Phillip. 'Twig' said Hugo. 'Umph' grunted Phillip again. Then Phillip reached out and grabbed Hugo's sleeve 'Umph' grunted Phillip. 'Hungry?' asked Hugo. 'Umph' agreed Phillip. 'Me too, let's go inside'. Then, gently but firmly Hugo took one of Phillips huge hands in his and began to lead him back to the house.

As he entered the house with Phillip behind him, Hugo caught the familiar smell of soup cooking on the stove. Beside the stove stood a small red faced woman, her blonde hair scraped back into a bun. Adeline was Hugo's sister. Since their parents death she had lived with her two brothers. She was the oldest of the three and despite being the smallest, made up for it in spirit and pure bossiness. She looked up as Hugo and Phillip entered and a grin spread across her face. 'And what time do you call this?' she asked, playfully. 'Sorry' said Hugo, moving over to give his sister a hug. This was rather difficult as he still had Phillip attached to his arm. Adeline smiled 'I wondered where you had got to' Phillip grinned again 'Umph' he said pointing to the stove. 'Soup' said Adeline. 'Umph' said Phillip again. Adeline sighed.

As they sat and ate, Hugo told Adeline about his day and Adeline sat, her spoon in one hand and Phillips in the other, and listened to what he had to say. After he had finished, he helped Adeline clear up and then retreated to his room and lay on his mattress for a while staring at the ceiling. After a while a shadow appeared in the doorway. 'Umph' grunted Phillip. Hugo sat up and watched as Phillip wandered in and plonked himself on the bed. 'Umph' said Phillip again, holding out the stick. 'Stick' said Hugo as he wiped a splodge of soup from Phillips face. 'Umph' said Phillip. The he lay down and, sticking his thumb in his mouth, proceeded to fall asleep.

Hugo lay down next to his brother, closed his eyes and proceeded to fall into a deep sleep.