The Puddle Street Chronicles

Imagine! You are flung back in time to the year 1610, and find the London you know has disappeared. In an instant you have nowhere to live: no friends, no phones, no tv and no pizza. This is exactly what happens to Toby Sprocket and his pal Sally Bunn. Suddenly they have to learn to fend for themselves: find food, find somewhere to sleep – essentially, learn to stay alive. And I know what you’re thinking… how could two 12-year-old London kids possibly survive such a calamity? Well, luckily for them, they had re-appeared in the exact same spot they vanished from: a tiny attic laboratory in a rambling old Elizabethan house on Puddle Street. It’s where Toby’s uncle, professor Arthur C Sprocket, believes he has invented an Anti-Gravity machine. Toby and Sally are massively impressed when they first see the machine – even more so when the professor asks them to be his test pilots. Turns out though, it’s not an Anti-Gravity machine. It is in fact a fully-operational time machine – a terrifying situation Toby and Sally discover when it disappears from No. 2 Puddle Street in a shrieking spluff of blue smoke. EXTRACTSJust as they reached the far side of the market a freakishly heavy shower collapsed across the city. For Toby and Sally it was the worst possible thing that could happen. It felt like the rain was attacking them, holding them back. Freezing and drenched they persisted with their search through fast-emptying streets. It wasn’t long until a completely exhausted Sally had had enough. ‘Toby, stop…’ she ordered between gasps of chilly air. ‘This is getting dangerous and ridiculous.”We don’t have time for stopping, Sally. In case you haven’t noticed, it’s getting dark, and we still need to find Puddle Street. Once we get there, Unc will make us supper and then—‘ ‘….oh, for heaven’s sake, Toby.’ Sally snapped in frustration. ‘Don’t you get it? Your uncle won’t be making us supper or tea or anything else. Surely you know what’s going on here.”What are you talking about going on here? There’s nothing going on here. We’re lost, that’s all. Lost. Or maybe it’s a huge film set or some kind of theme park? O-Or maybe—‘ Grabbing Toby by the arm, Sally stared into his face. ‘…really, Toby? Maybe this-maybe that! What about maybe we’ve travelled back in time. What about that maybe?’Even though the petrifying truth had been emerging street-by-street and brick-by-brick, Toby’s mind refused to accept what was happening. ‘No-no-no, there has to be a more logical explanation,’ he said shakily. ‘Time travel is baloney. We’re just lost, that’s all, lost and–‘Sally stamped her foot. ‘…goddammit, Toby. We are not just lost, and pretending otherwise is stupid,’ she railed. ‘Open your eyes won’t you. We are in the past. The PAST. I haven’t the foggiest idea how it happened. But somehow we have fallen back through time. And right now, instead of ignoring that fact, we need to know when and where we are?”I know, but… ”—but nothing, Toby.’ Sally cut-in again. ‘We have to ask the first person who doesn’t look like an axe murderer – where we are. We don’t have a choice.’Toby was in a daze. Surely Sally was wrong – surely this was some sort of illusion? A trick of the mind? The cold rain continued falling. His head dropped. ‘Oh my god, you’re right, Sal. I know you are. And it’s all my fault. Messing around in that machine had something to with bringing us here… to the past. I caused this whole horrible thing to happen.’Sally sighed heavily. ‘Toby…you are not to blame, neither of us are. It’s just some mad friggingly weird accident.’