I started writing as a way to show my children how easy it was to take an idea and turn it into a story. We used to play a game where they would give me two or three items and I would work them into a story. It was a great way to prove to kids that you can turn a blank page into something amazing.
Since it’s World Book Day, I am going to share one of these stories with you. On this occasion, my kids gave me Brussels sprout and volcanic ash cloud as prompts. This is what I did with it. If you have smelly boys, please feel free to read it to them!
Martin, the boy who couldn’t stop farting
Most children would look at a plate of Brussels and burst into tears, but not Martin. He would eat them for breakfast, lunch and dinner if he could, he might also have them as a snack if he was hungry enough.
His mum thought this was wonderful, none of her friends had children who ate so many vegetables, not even the goodie-two-shoes ones.
Not everyone was so pleased about Martin’s love of sprouts, in fact, most people positively hated it, the side effects were horrid. Everybody Martin knew carried an emergency gas mask because he did the loudest, longest, smelliest most disgusting trumps in the world… ever! They were so bad that he had his own world record. The certificate to prove it was in a posh frame on his bedroom wall, it even had its own spotlight to make sure nobody could miss it.
Martin’s trumps had become a national treasure, eating that many Brussels sprouts produced quite a lot of wind. A fast, powerful, useful sort of wind. He loved to amuse his friends by sitting on the ground, cross legged and blasting off like a rocket before drifting gracefully back down to Earth. They would laugh for hours, especially when the grass under his bum died. His wind was not only useful for entertaining friends, his dad realised that Martin could help him around the house and would give him chores to do like leaf blowing, path sweeping and blasting cobwebs from high ceilings. His mum asked him to dry the washing once on a non-blowy day, but that made so everything smelly so she just uses the dryer now.
His trumps had become famous in his neighbourhood and people always stopped him in the street for selfies and demonstrations. This caught the attention of the local newspaper who loved to run stories about the windy young boy who helped his elderly neighbours with their garden clearance jobs. After this, the regional news came to interview him on TV because local farmers said he was the best crow-scarer they’d ever had. The interview was in the open air of course, just in case.
When the story was picked up by the national news, Martin’s life really began to change. Lorry loads of free Brussels sprouts started arriving (which his mum was very pleased about), and he started to get requests from big companies to do jobs for them. One time he went to a power station to supply them with extra gas to make electricity, there was expected to be a surge of people switching their kettles on at half-time of the World Cup final and they needed all the help they could get (he had eaten a lot of sprouts that day). Another time he was asked to hide on a sailing boat and provide gusts of wind to help the crew win a race, he was sure this was cheating but Martin was only too happy to help.
These things had made Martin’s life interesting, and also paid quite well, but the thing that really changed his life was when the Prime Minister himself called to ask for help. There had been lots of worried faces on the news when a volcano erupted and sent a massive cloud of ash and debris into the sky. Martin thought the pictures on TV were spectacular. He’d been watching the bubbling and boiling cloud react angrily to being outside of the volcano with wonder. Apparently, the Prime Minister did not share his enthusiasm for the beauty of the ash cloud, he just wanted it gone. The air traffic of the world was grounded and nobody could get to or from their holidays. Angry businessmen were pacing the airports in their stripy suits, looking at their watches and blaming the Prime Minister for not sorting the cloud out quickly enough. Martin didn’t see why they should blame the Prime Minister, it seemed a bit absurd since he didn’t control nature, so he agreed to help. It was his biggest job ever, he ate Brussels sprouts for every meal and snack and even blended them into drinks to get an extra boost. For three whole days, Martin acted like a giant fan to blow away the ash cloud until finally, it was gone. The prime minister was especially pleased with the result, the businessmen of the world had stopped complaining, all stranded holidaymakers could now get to where they were going and more importantly, his mother-in-law could finally get on a plane go home.
The world was astonished by Martin, the boy who couldn’t stop farting (as the papers had dubbed him). Biologists were working frantically to try and understand how a young boy could produce such powerful and abundant wind, the environmentalists were tutting about the effect the huge amount of methane gas he produced must be having on the ozone layer and the army were rubbing their hands together at the thought of this possible new weapon. Martin thought this was all very fun, but he just wanted to get back to his normal life. He loved to help out where he could, but he really preferred to play rockets in the garden with his mates, so he thought he would stick to doing that for a while until the next national emergency came about.