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Master Dobbs (Teaser Forgotten Road)

Updated on September 6, 2015


It is summer, 1940. Maisy Robbins, an evacuee from London's East End, has struck up a friendship with local girl Joy Whitfield. Maisy is spending midsummer's night at Joy's home: A cottage called 'The Owlery' in the very heart of the Wyrde Woods.

“Joy!” Maisy whispered urgently but her friend remained deep in sleep. Maisy lit a candle and then began to gently shake Joy. “Wake up, Joy. Nommus! Wake up.”

Joy opened her eyes and grunted. “Maisy, I was dreaming. A nice dream twere too.”

A brief smile of recollection was followed by a frown as Joy peered at Maisy questioningly.

“There is an intruder, innit?” Maisy hissed. “A bloody Tea Leaf.”

“What?” Joy rose to prop herself on her elbows. “Tea Leaf?”

“I can hear him, a burglar! Downstairs he is. We should go whack him on the head, innit?”

“Maisy,” Joy shook her head. “The owls…”

“Not the owls,” Maisy shook her head. “Listen!”

Joy inclined her head and started hearing the sounds Maisy was referring to. Something was prowling about downstairs; bumping into furniture and muttering when it did.

“Oh, that’s just Master Dobbs,” Joy shrugged. “If it were bad the owls would have made a gurt big stir, Maisy. You can count on that.”

“Master who?” Maisy frowned. She had not realised the Owlery had another occupant. “A man?”

The intruder burped loudly.

Joy giggled. “Not quite a man.”

They both tilted their heads when Maisy’s intruder started singing boisterously.

Morning and evening
Maids heard the goblins cry:
Come buy our orchard fruits.
Come buy, come buy:
All ripe together
In summer weather,
Morns that pass by,
Fair elves that fly;
Come buy, come buy!

“Oak’s Acorn! We left the mead out, didnt we?” Joy grinned.

“He’s lush?” Maisy smirked.

“Only needs the one sip,” Joy explained. “Master Dobbs aint used to much.”

“Who the heck is Master Dobbs?”

“Master Dobbs is Farisee,” Joy said. “He does chores for us at night.”

Farisee?” Maisy shook her head in confusion.

“A Pook. Faere Folk,” Joy said patiently. “The Fae.”

“You mean a faery?” Maisy was incredulous.

“They don’t like that name,” Joy shook her head. “You maun use it, Maisy.”

“Are you telling me there’s a blooming faery in your living room?” Maisy sounded outraged.

“You maun use that middling name,” Joy insisted. “You don’t want to upset them, surelye. I told you the woods were filled with critters of all sorts.”

Maisy did remember but was not expecting a faer…a Farisee to be rummaging around in the Owlery. Something Joy was casual and matter-of-fact about.

“Back to sleep, Maisy,” Joy smiled reassuringly and settled back down. “Mayhap I can still catch that dream.”

Still speechless Maisy saw her friend close her eyes in total unconcern. Maisy pinched out the candle and settled on her back. She stared at the darkness above her listening to Master Dobbs continue to potter through the living room below.

Come buy, come buy:
Our grapes fresh from the vine,
Pomegranates full and fine,
Taste them and try:
Currants and gooseberries,
Bright-fire-like barberries,
Figs to fill your mouth,
Citrons from the South,
Sweet to tongue and sound to eye;
Come buy, come buy.

“Just a Pook,” Maisy whispered to no one in particular and rolled her eyes.


Secrets of the Wyrde Woods: FORGOTTEN ROAD will be published on 10 October 2015. The Kindle can be pre-ordered from Amazon with a 50% discount until the 30th of September.

By the same author, in Paperback or Kindle


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