For 12 year old Arthur King. TV celebrity chef Miss Le Fay is a recipe for disaster – not least because each night for tea, he’s forced to endure her food whilst watching with his parents, her twice-nightly show ‘Cooking Magic!’ But there is worse (if that were possible), for unbeknown to him and Miss Le Fay’s adoring fans right across the globe (including Arthur’s half-crazed parents), she is in fact the witch Morgan Le Fay – erstwhile enemy of the legendary King Arthur – who, disguising her spells as recipes, is cooking up a plot to take over the world.
Under her evil spell, thousands of men and women – among them, Arthur’s dad – have suddenly taken to growing giant fruit and veg, which, at fetes across the country, will hatch an army of dragons. All that will come to stand in Morgan’s way is Arthur, and all that will stand in his – although he means to help – is the hapless wizard of equally mythical yore, Merlin, whose own magic powers, on account of having been a pig for 1500 years, are a little rusty.
With Morgana’s killer spells – like ‘cheese and chutney melts’ – to contend with, Arthur and Merlin stumble through time in a bid to thwart the witch’s wicked scheme; forward to the court of King Frank I in his over extended, stone-clad semi-detached palace, and back to the time of Camelot and the knights of the Round table. Here, in Merlin’s kitchen, in an ancient tome of three thousand pages, they discover the spell to reverse Morgan’s powers, the most powerful spell known to man; Bubble and Squeak. With three of the four sacred ingredients already in their possession – cabbage, butter and onions – Arthur dispatches the knights on a quest to find the fourth, hitherto unknown in this part of the world – potatoes.
Will the knights succeed? Will Arthur and Merlin make Bubble and Squeak and thwart Morgan Le Fay at the local village fete? Or will the taste of her spells prove too good and an army of dragons hatch to help her take over the world!
The Abominable Doughman
Being bullied was new to Iris, but then, everything was new: new town, new house, new school, not to mention her dad’s new job and the reason for the move from London to the coast. Never could she have imagined that his dream of owning a bakery would lead her, her family and the country into a nightmare.
Amongst other things, the bully, Natasha, makes Iris steal from her dad’s new shop and sensing his daughter’s growing unhappiness, Gordon gets Iris to make a ‘worry loaf’ – a dough which she can pummel and knead and thereby release some of her anger. Almost at once the pounded dough begins to rise unnaturally, growing to become a living creature – an Abominable Doughman. Every night it comes to the house to feed on flour and water and every day it grows, before taking revenge on Natasha; first covering her with dough at school and then her entire house.
When Natasha disappears along with the creature, fingers point at Gordon – who else around there makes sourdough of the kind with which she was covered? His customers leave and, like Natasha, his dream vanishes. Under mounting pressure, he too makes a ‘worry loaf’ which like his daughter’s, grows to become another creature.
After huge drifts of dough are discovered around the county, heading in the direction of London, videos of the enormous Doughman are shown across the world. Now this second creature is hot on his trail and nothing it seems can stop them.
Gordon is arrested, but Iris thinks she knows where Natasha is hiding. Will the police find her? Can the creatures be stopped? Or will the family’s new beginning lead to a sticky end?
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Eliot Press has been set up by author Nicholas Hedges as a platform on which to publish his work, including novels, YA novels and children's stories.