Hugh McPearson and the Vanishing School Bell Added£0.99
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(A short story of 4651 words)

Hugh McPearson and the Vanishing School Bell


by Steve Way

In his fourth inconsequential adventure Hugh McPearson teams up with his side-kick Gary, apparently to solve the problem of the stolen school bell, which means that neither the teachers and children can go home. Their adventure involves a skating rink, a snoring headteacher and several chapters from a book explaining how to cope with the old cars teachers drive. (Book 4 in the Hugh McPearson series).

Hello reader. I guess you've never heard of a Ten of Spades Detective before. You've probably only heard of Ace Detectives. I call myself a Ten of Spades Detective because I take on the jobs the Ace Detectives leave behind... or can't be bothered with. I can understand why. The jobs I've had have led me into a few unusual situations. Let me tell you about one of them.

Wednesday 10.41 a.m.

I was sitting by my phone wondering why beetroot is purple and not yellow and whether the world would be drastically different if it were when the phone rang.

“Hello” said the telephone when I answered the call.

“Hello” I replied still distracted by my beetroot quandary wondering if a detective ostrich in a parallel universe containing yellow beetroot was answering a similar call.

“It’s me” said the telephone. That didn’t help me in the least. I was always being called by hundreds of “It’s me’s” and they all had different voices. I decided to be awkward as it seemed unlikely that my caller would have any opinion about parallel universes and yellow beetroot.

“No, I’m me” I said.

“Pardon?” said the telephone.

“I’m me” I replied. “You must be someone else who isn’t me.”

“Noo… I’m the me I am… and you’re the me you are… We’re both “me’s” but not to each other… only ourselves” said the phone.

That was such a clever reply I decided to stop being awkward. The beetroot question could wait.

“That was a very clever reply” I said. “I’m the “me” called Hugh McPearson Ten of Spades Detective. Which “me” are you?”

“I’m the “me” called Gary, apparently” said Gary Apparently.

“Not the very same Gary Apparently who helped me solve the gobstopper mystery?” I asked.

“Well the now-slightly-older-than-before-so-not-quite-exactly-the-same-but-very-nearly Gary Apparently yes” replied Gary with impressive accuracy.

“How can I help?” I asked.

“It’s like this” said Gary. “I’m calling from school because none of us have been home since Monday and it’s Wednesday now. While we were having assembly on Monday morning a witch flew down and made the school bell vanish with a spell. It reappeared on her broom and she flew off with it. Everyone here is exhausted. The teachers have been doing their best to teach us and we’ve been doing our best to learn. But because we haven’t got a school bell none of us can go home. We’re all going crazy. I’ve sneaked out of yet another art lesson to call you from the Headmaster’s office.”

“I wondered about that snoring I could hear in the background.”

“Yes the Headmaster’s asleep as usual. He fell asleep before Monday’s assembly like he normally does and he hasn’t woken up since. He still doesn’t know that the school bell’s been stolen.”...

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