The good news, first. To my utter amazement and glee and delight The Black Tattoo has been shortlisted for another prize here in the UK, namely the North East Teenage Book Award. As you’ll see if you hit the link, the other titles in the running are:

BROKEN SOUP, by Jenny Valentine

ANGEL, by Cliff McNish

THE FALCONER’S KNOT, by Mary Hoffman

SLAM, by Nick Hornby

-and my personal favourite-


This award is such a big deal that the monsters have grudgingly granted both Tommy AND myself permission to leave the cave to attend Friday’s presentation ceremony. However, any faint hope that we might use this as an opportunity to escape was quickly crushed by our captors.

To stop us working out exactly where we’re being held, Tommy and I will be blindfolded before being stuffed into the spare tyre compartments of two separate unmarked vans and whisked to our destination, Newcastle.

Worse yet, today we were both injected with a slow-acting poison of the monsters’ own fiendish devising. We will receive the antidote only when we return to the secret pick-up point after the party, exactly as we’ve been instructed. If we do not, and the potion is allowed to run its course, sensitive parts of our anatomies (very sensitive parts, let’s just say) will begin to turn black, swell up painfully, then explode.

Finally, as if all of that wasn’t enough, the monsters have been making dire threats about what might happen to our loved ones at home should Tommy and I even try to ask anyone for help. For the last few days we’ve been forced to wear identical t-shirts with the following simple, chilling message:


‘Nice,’ I said weakly, when I first saw them. ‘Where did you get those?’

Here,’ grunted the nearest monster, before noisily blowing his nose on my last clean pair of boxer shorts.

It’s going to be a long couple of days.


Comments? Suggestions? Questions? Me and THE WEBSPHINX would love to hear from you! Drop us a line at the Tim, Defender of the Earth Guestbook for current or Tim stuff, or The Black Tattoo Guestbook for Black Tat stuff. First (or demon-!) names only, please. 😉