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       Amy Pleb, p.1

           Dixon Burns
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Amy Pleb







  Copyright 2012 Dixon Burns

  Amy Pleb and The Secret Tree


  And I use the term loosely.

  A note to the reader. Amy Pleb is loosely based on my daughter. But the stories are purely from my vivid imagination.

  The Big storm comes from a dream I once had when I was a child. I dreamt that my house had blown away in a storm. I was the boy who sat with his head under a blanket the all storm long. My daughter has harboured a similar fear in the past.

  The Tall Tower is completely made up. Shambles and Uncle Lawless are not based on anyone in particular and neither are any of the other characters. The Tower itself is based on a local land mark near to where I live. But is a typical example of other such follies dotted about the country.

  The Week of disasters is my take on what a young girl might experience in a week in their life.

  Most girls will have a bad hair day, or have a zit they cannot get shut of.

  Or have a ruck with their best mate and have a bad day at school.

  I do not think however that your average girl will get a visit from a scruffy man, a fussy dog or a flatulent Ferret.

  But again this story just came from my florid imagination. And to put the record straight Albert is not based on anyone I know or am related to either.

  The Model Daughter is based purely on my daughter and how she could deface many a beautiful residence in seconds flat.

  The lost kitten is based on a real kitten my Daughter had and his name was Charlie. And on the day we brought him home my daughter did not notice him sat in his cat box, which was placed on the kitchen table. And he did get lost but sadly for us all, we never found him.

  Arthur is based on me to some small degree. But I have never cleaned a window in my life and as a result I have not fallen off a ladder and broken my leg.

  Calamity Pleb is lovely and she is based on guess who. And you can read about her, Amy, Arthur and a host of new characters in my other creations, at a later date.

  Watch out for Amy Pleb and the Secret Tree and Amy Pleb and all the Ghosts, which of course are about a tree and some ghosts.

  Now I am ready to end my ranting’s. But before I do I want to inform you, the reader that these stories are written in what I call Amy Pleb speak and the punctuation, spelling and grammar may be completely off the wall. So please stick with it.





























  The Big storm of 1976

  Storm clouds gather overhead. The sky turns smoky grey, then blackens and becomes dark like charcoal. Thunder claps and lightning lights up the stormy sky.

  The house shakes in the storms wake. The windows buckle, eves rattle and the rafters creek. The doors bang so much that occupants think, the doors will fall from their hinges.

  The young boy of the house is terrified. Shaking in his slippers. He is six years old. And throughout the storm he quakes and shivers.

  He spends the whole storm long with his head under a blanket next to the kitchen fire.

  His hands fastened tight around his mother’s waist. His eyes banged shut in his frightened little head. The boy is terrified out of his wits.

  His dog Lass pants in the kitchen corner. She too is terrified by the raging storm, acting so violently over her head.

  Storms have been many this year and the little AP (Arthur Paul as he is called by his family) has been petrified throughout every one of them.

  With his little heart racing and head pounding. Whilst he waits for the storm to bait. The lightning to stop and the thunder to subside.

  The storm becomes so load and furious that it blows objects around the garden. It sends plant pots and trellises flying.

  Fork lighting strikes a nearby tree and it falls onto the house, knocking tiles from the roof, shattering the chimney pot and loosening its stone work.

  Suddenly the storm begins to decrease in its rage. The lightening stops and the wind dies down and the rain pours for a while then stops. The clouds disperse and birds begin to sing again. The lad throws the blanket from his head.

  But what the little AP does not know is that the fear he now feels, will be carried with him throughout his life and into adulthood. The fear that haunts him will be passed on to his child and she will have that same fear.



  Amy Pleb was to anybody who met her, a normal 9 year old girl. She was smart and pretty with shoulder length brown hair and a pale complexion. She was popular with her friends and peers and all the grownups in the neighbourhood loved her. Her father often referred to her as everybody's favourite child. And to him, Arthur Pleb she was the best daughter anybody could wish to have.

  Amy lived in a cute little three bedroom cottage which had gardens to three sides all boarded with beautiful coloured flowers, there was a big lawned area to the back which enjoyed all day sunshine. There was a big tree in the corner that Amy loved to sit under in the shade to read her favourite books.

  From sitting here she would look up to the cottage and see her mother Calamity at the window doing the washing up, her mother would wave and smile at her, these were special moments for Amy.

  Her mother was a lot stricter than her father but she knew that she adored her and their relationship was very strong.

  Amy's cottage was set at the edge of the village she lived in called Cogan on the Fogan, (the Fogan River to be exact). She had lots of friends that lived nearby and in the light summer evenings as the children played out together the sound of laughter would echo around the village.

  There were a couple of little shops in the village, a Post Office and a General Store as well as the local pub called the Tin Whistle, which was where Arthur would go to catch up with his friends or so he told Calamity. But the fact that he couldn't walk in a straight line on the way home made her think that he probably went to have a pint or two (or six).

  At the edge of the village square was the Primary school that Amy attended, it was a small and very old building but Amy found it to be a friendly place. She enjoyed school especially the Art classes. Amy liked to draw or paint, she would do sketches, abstract or landscape. She found it relaxed her and she could let her imagination run wild. Amy's other love in life was her pet cat Tilly, she'd had her since she was a kitten and she would spend hours playing with her.


  Amy was a bright girl. She was very well adjusted and had a good healthy attitude towards life. But there was one thing that stopped her from enjoying life to the full. This was to do with her fear of storms and bad weather. She had harboured these
feelings for a long time, she couldn't remember exactly when this irrational fear began but she felt it must have come from the time when her father Arthur told her about the Big Storm of 1976, he was only a small boy of six years old. She can remember sitting on Arthur's knee and him telling her of how the storm had flared up one July night.

  The skies had darkened and the thunder and lightning began. Arthur had spent three hours hidden under a blanket shaking with fear as the thunder clanged and clattered around his head and the lightning seemed to light up every room in his house. Eventually the rain came and the thunder and lightning stopped but not before one huge bolt of lightning had struck a tree in Arthur’s garden which came tumbling, down crashing into the roof of Arthur’s house, causing a lot of damage.

  It must have been this story that caused Amy to become fearful of storms, she couldn't think of any other explanation.

  As Amy grew older she began to have dreams about storms sometimes even nightmares.

  One particular night Amy dreamt that her house had been blown away leaving her and her family homeless. Amy began to dread going to sleep in fear of her dreams, so she decided to learn as much as she could about storms. She read books, searched the internet and watched as many television programs and movies that she could to find out more about storms but it seemed the more she found out the more frightened she became. What Amy didn't know was that two days before her birthday her worst fears were about to come true.


  It was a Friday evening. Amy came home from school with a spring in her step, it had been a good week. She had done well in her spelling test that morning and her mum Calamity would be making her favourite Cheese and tomato Pizza, followed by yoghurt. Amy dutifully ate all her tea and then decided to do her homework so she could enjoy the weekend. After finishing her homework she decided to go out into the garden and read quietly, she sat under the tree reading with Tilly laid at the side of her. When it was time she went back into the house to watch the weather report, this was a habit that Amy had got in to. But tonight as she watched she wasn't at all happy with what the weatherman was saying.

  “Tonight we are giving out a severe weather warning we have been watching this all day and it appears that there is a possibility of a tornado.”

  At this point Amy was quaking in her boots.

  Amy turned to her mum who was sat with her on the sofa and said “this is it mum we're all going to die.”

  Calamity put her arm around her daughter, kissed her gently and told her that everything would be fine.

  Amy was aghast, she pulled away from her mum, her voice shaking with fear.

  “But mum you know what happened to dad!”

  “Yes Amy I do” replied Calamity in a calm voice, “and it must have been terrible but nobody was hurt!”

  “But mum” Amy protested what about all the bad storms where people have died?”

  “Oh Amy it doesn't mean it's going to happen here does it?”

  Amy could take no more, she scooped Tilly in her arms and ran up to her bedroom.

  Calamity sat on the edge of the sofa, she was upset that Amy was so scared but in her head she was also cursing Arthur for filling his daughters head with the story of the big storm.


  Calamity thought that it was no use going after her daughter as she knew that when Amy did go off in a huff she needed a little time to cool off, she just got herself a cold drink from the fridge and waited for Arthur to come home.

  As she sat Calamity thought that Amy had never experienced a really bad storm, not like Arthur's big storm. Amy was so afraid of a loud wind or a single clap of thunder, even one flash of lightning sent shivers down her spine, whenever these events occurred Amy would grab hold of whatever was nearest to her shivering and shaking literally in fear.

  Sometimes she would hide under the bed or pull a blanket over her head. One night when the wind was howling around the house she had run from her bedroom and hid under her parent’s bed. She had asked Arthur and Calamity to join her to the revolt of both of them.

  After about ten minutes Arthur walked through the front door of the cottage, Calamity switched the Kettle on and went in to greet him.

  Arthur loved a cup of tea after a hard day at work.

  Calamity was a loyal and loving wife and would always greet her husband with an affectionate smile even when she wasn't happy with him as she was right now. Arthur admired this in her and it was one of the reasons that he loved her so much.

  Arthur smiled back at his wife and asked “how ya doing?”

  Calamity just sighed and said “not very well, there's a storm on the way, Amy's seen it on the news and she's rushed upstairs in a strop.”

  “Oh” Arthur said.

  “You might well say Oh, it's your fault filling her head with stories of storms in the first place. I bet she's up there now clicking away on the internet reading as much information she can about storms.”

  Arthur apologised to his wife but he had only told Amy the story about the big storm because he thought she should know.

  Calamity only half agreed and explained that Amy was so scared of storms now that even a strong breeze freaks her out. Calamity brought up the occasion when they were on Weldon beach and the wind picked up a bit.

  She was in the beach tent quicker than you could say Storm.

  “I know, I know” replied Arthur “I'll go up and talk to her.”

  Calamity agreed with Arthur, Amy always seemed to listen to her dad, although this was the reason they were in this mess.

  Arthur left the kitchen making his way to Amy's bedroom and sure enough from outside her bedroom he could hear the clicking of the computer keyboard, he knocked gently on her door and called out her name. “Amy.”

  Arthur pushed the half open door so he could look inside.

  Amy was sat at the computer just has Calamity had supposed.

  “You ok Amy?” Arthur asked.

  Amy seemed distracted and just replied “yeah.”

  Arthur entered Amy’s room hopping on one leg and hopped over to where she was sitting. He often did this, when he thought Amy may be upset. He did this to try and cheer her up.

  Amy was aware of what her dad was doing by hopping on one leg and normally this kind of tactic would work with her, but not today. Amy never took her eyes of the computer but replied to her dad by saying “you’re not helping dad.”

  “Ok Amy” Arthur replied realising that it was a daft idea to try to play the fool at a time like this.

  “You ok?” Arthur asked again.

  “No” came back the reply.

  “What's up Amy?”

  “There's a storm coming and there's nothing we can do about it.”

  “Amy darling don't you think you're taking this too far?”

  “Dad it was you who told me about the big storm and the tree getting struck by lightning and hitting the house.” Amy's voice was starting to get a little hysterical and her eyes were beginning to sting as the tears welled up in them.

  “Yes darling,” he replied “but as I explained no one was hurt and we were all perfectly safe in the house.”

  “But dad we may not be so lucky you see it on the news all the time people being killed by tornadoes.”

  “Yes darling but that's in America and other places in the world not here, reading all these stories and watching the movie Tornado over and over only makes your imagination run away with you. It's not reality Amy, it’s just make believe.”

  “But it’s based on real facts dad.”

  “I know darling but you can't let it rule your life this way, listen what can you hear now?”

  “Nothing dad.”

  “Yes Amy look out of the window it's all quiet and still.”

  “You're right dad” Amy said as she looked out of her window, not even the branches on the tree were moving.

  “There you have it girl” Arthur replied feeling pleased with himself, nothing
had happened, according to the weather report it should have been really stormy about now but there was no sign of it.

  Arthur gently put his arm around Amy and they cuddled, as much as she was afraid Amy felt safe in her father’s arms and she knew that he would always protect her.

  Arthur suggested that Amy had a wash and get herself ready for bed and then she could come downstairs and he would make her some supper.

  Amy felt a lot better now, she agreed to do what her father had asked and Arthur left her bedroom and made his way downstairs to talk to Calamity.


  Arthur went into the kitchen where Calamity was preparing their evening meal. She turned to Arthur expecting a full report on the condition of their daughter.

  Arthur smiled at his wife and explained that Amy had now calmed down, they had a good chat and that she would be down for supper as soon as she had washed and got ready for bed. About five minutes later Amy came bounding down the stairs as if nothing had happened.

  Calamity smiled at her daughter, she really was a beautiful girl and asked her what she would like for supper.

  “Just some toast please mum” and Arthur duly went to get two slices of bread from the bread bin and placed them in the toaster for her.

  Shortly after Amy was in the lounge watching Television munching on her toast whilst her parents sat in the kitchen eating their evening meal, chatting about life in general.

  Calamity smiled at her husband and all seemed to be well in the Pleb household for now.

  Amy seemed to be engrossed in her TV program and Arthur and Calamity were both now sat relaxing after a good meal and wondering about the washing up.


  Calamity was just about to get up and clear the dishes when there was a massive clap of thunder, the storm seemed to be coming after all, and then another huge clap of thunder followed by a bright flash of lightning through the kitchen window.

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