Emerging Writer Member Profile
My name is Robert Mclysaght, I live in County Meath with my wife and two wonderful daughters,
I am a profesional horticulturist and run my own plant nursery(any budding or even seasoned gardeners take note)
I've been writing seriously for about two years but I've been telling tall tales and making up adventure stories as long as I can remember.
I started to write the stories down after a visit to one of my friends, who's children were captivated by the whimsical tale I spun for them at bedtime(any excuse not to got to bed)
A week of chaos ensued as the children insisted on the funny made up story not the one from the book, so best as I could I wrote the story down and it felt very satisfying to see my imagination on paper, from that point on I was hooked.
I hope that anyone who reads my efforts gets as much enjoyment out of them as I get from creating them, I like to make a reader think whilst giving them a giggle.
chapter 1 Visiting Grandpa
“I don’t want to go, Grandpa’s house is probably boring—no internet—Netflix—games consoles,” Or inside toilet, I bet.
“Albert Finch,” Mum said, “get into the car— you are going to your grandfather’s house—you are going to stay with him for the weekend and that is final, I don’t have time to argue—get in.”
“I don’t see why grandpa can’t come here,”
“Bertie, you know that your Grandpa can’t drive anymore, so you have to go to him.”
Yeah he probably has a wonky eye, or an arm or leg or something has fallen off because he is so old, well that’s what happens to old people right? I've seen it on the telly.
The drive to Grandpa’s house took forever.
“Mum, Have I got older since we left home?”I asked,
“The drive took soooo long I feel like I’ve got older.”I said,
“Nobody likes a Smart ass Bertie,” said Mum.
That was that, I was at my Grandpa’s house for a weekend of whatever old boring people do.
I bet he has a stamp(zzz) collection or spends his whole day polishing medals and watching home improvement shows, or that one where that oompa-loompa tells you that some piece of clap trap you bought for a fiver is worth millions—either way it’s going to be a snorefest.
I climbed out of the car purposely slow, and shuffled and scuffed my feet on the gravel drive, I walked in a skulky—swaying half slide, with my head facing towards the ground, when I looked up boy did I get a shock.
“Grandpa lives here!” I said, as I stared wide eyed and slack jawed at the sprawling mansion of a house.
“Yes, Bertie, don’t you remember visiting here before?” asked Mum.
“Well duh, of course not, otherwise I wouldn’t be surprised.”
What Am I supposed to do here for an entire weekend? #dieofboredom.
The great door of the great big house swung open and derailed my train of thought, standing in the doorway was my Grandpa,
Reginald John Nolan, tall and thin with a set of mutton chop whiskers like the pirate in that cool film, he was also wearing a long dressing gown, it was bright red and the fabric twinkled in the sunlight, when he turned around there was a giant Chinese blue dragon on the back.
“Thanks Dad,” said Mum,
“No problem, my little robin,” said Grandpa. “Any news on Trevor?”
“Still the same Dad, no better no worse.”
“Ok so let me know if there is anything else I can do,”
“I will thanks Dad, love you,”
“Love you too, little robin.”
“Bye Bertie, Be good for your Grandpa, I love you.”said mum,
“Bye then,” I said.
Not fair! I want to go and see Dad, I mean I'm eleven for gods sake, I’m old enough, I know what an institution is— it’s the Nut house, My friend Travis Bickle-Byrne got sent there because he was cutting himself, since he has come back he’s not himself, he’s even quieter than before and just sits and stares at the teacher in absolute silence.
I followed my Grandpa inside, the house was huge it had a giant staircase and loads of rooms, I stared around in half wonder.
Stay cool, just look around, snorefest, remember…but—woah, so not the antiques roadshow, suits of armour—swords—guns on the wall and oh here we go stuffy paintings running up the stairs…but there is something different here.
“This place is cool,”
“I know,” said Grandpa “lets go upstairs before the ‘Grim Reaper’ returns.”
I knew it, my Grandpa’s so old that death’s his room-mate.
“The Grim Reaper—you live with death!”I cried,
“No Bertie, my housekeeper Ms Grimm, she is a bit of a stick in the mud, always telling me off, not much fun that one,”
“Oh, ok then lets go.”
As we climbed the staircase my Grandpa shouted,
“Onward brave mountaineers.”
I looked at my Grandpa with a kind of sideward glance, he looked like he was in a snowstorm, he had a hand over his eyes and his other hand was like he was pulling a rope, and his whole body was swaying like it was being blown by a great wind, he looked daft, it’s just a staircase after all isn't it?
When we got to the top, Grandpa looked exhausted.
“Phew, thought we were goners when that blizzard started up,” he said,
“Grandpa, Are you ok, you know that’s just a staircase not a mountain?”
“Of course,” he said, “just a bit of fun, Come on lets go.”
What was all that about, does he think I’m still a kid?
In a couple of years I’ll be a teenager and then I’ll have to dress in black and be depressed all the time, so I need to practice, well thats what my friend Arron’s older brother is like, I wonder if you get a book on how to be a depressing pain in the ass when you go to secondary school.#paintthewholeworldblack.
We climbed up the old ladder into the attic, it was full of all kinds of stuff from all over the world.
Wow that oompa-loompa bloke off the telly would have a field day up here.
“Now,” said Grandpa “I need to check something,”
He took an old dusty cardboard box from one of the shelves and waved it up and down in front of me, his brow drew in tight and he had a slightly worried look on his face,
“Yes, just as I feared,” he said
“What?” I asked,
“Your readings on the Imaginometer are very low—seriously low!”
He showed me the box with a dial and buttons drawn in crayon on it
“Look the reading is at almost zero,” he said.
“Grandpa, Don’t Be ridiculous that’s just a cardboard box with scribbles on it,”
“Here,” he said “wave it at me,”
So to humour him I waved it up and down,
“Look Grandpa, nothing! It’s just a stupid cardboard box with scribbles on it just like I said it was, I’m not a baby
My current project is a dark fantasy called The Imagisaurus Wrecks, it is about a boy named Bertie who has to go and stay with his grandpa, a prospect he does not relish but soon after arriving he discovers the power of imagination and that not everything in the old large house is as it seems, add in the horrendous housekeeper Ms Grimm and her beau the sinister Dr Kramp and you have an adventure that tests the boundary of imagination.
The inspiration for this story came from a question from my youngest daughter.
"What happens if you let your imagination run wild?"
Well this story is my answer.
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