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Alex and The Gruff: Dawn of the Bully Hunter

Alex and The Gruff: Dawn of the Bully Hunter

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Alex and The Gruff: Dawn of the Bully Hunter

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322 Seiten
3 Stunden
Aug 3, 2018


With the help of a foul mouthed doll, a shy seven-year-old boy will overcome his greatest fears as he confronts a multiverse rife with bullies and monsters in a battle to find his inner voice.

Like any well-mannered boy, Alex is weak, timid, and unable to say no. At school he is picked on and teased, while outside of school, he is being hunted by child stealing monsters and deranged scientists, intent on reversing the irreversible arrow of time.

In a fable that unravels the threads of the multiverse, young Alex, along with his new best friend forever (a muscle flexing, foul mouthed bully hunter called The Gruff), will discover that the dearest and most impossible enemy is oneself; and in a final showdown, he will either save the existence or he wiil save himself.

Aug 3, 2018

Über den Autor

Born in Dublin, Ireland, raised in Perth, Australia, and living in Araraquara, a quaint city in the countryside of São Paulo, Brasil. When he is not raising his two favourite monsters, C. Sean McGee writes weird books, teaches weird classes, runs a lot, kicks people in the face, paints, and lives a loud reclusive life.Instagram - @c.seanmcgeeBlog - http://cseanmcgee.blogspot.comGoodreads - - - free eBooks fromiTunes / Kobo / Smashwords / Barnes & NobelPaperbacks (paperweights, kindling, and doorstoppers) from AmazonTake Risk and Take Care,C. Sean McGee

Ähnlich wie Alex and The Gruff


Alex and The Gruff - C. Sean McGee



A Fable by

C. Sean McGee

Alex and The Gruff: Dawn of the Bully Hunter

Copyright © C. Sean McGee

CSM Publishing

Published at Smashwords

Araraquara, Sao Paulo, Brazil 2018

First Edition

All rights reserved. No sneaky business.

ISBN: 978-1724666290

Painting: Tithi Luadthong

Interior: C. Sean McGee


Of Wolf and Man

The Insidious Ms. Tremblebottom’s Institute of Bullies

The Seventh Dimension Particle Displacement Machine

Intermission I

Deus Ex-Machina

Contrary to Popular Belief, Curiosity Did Not Kill the Cat

The Semantics of Being Friends

The Peculiar After-Taste of Sweet Revenge

How Exactly Does an Elephant Even Get in a Room?

….the Abyss also looks long into you

Dark Matters I – On how the coward becomes courageous

Pride Goes before the Fall

Intermission II

Dark Matters II – On How the Courageous Learn Control

Counting Backwards from Zero

Black Hole Son

The Sound in Silence

Schrodinger’s Cat is Out of the Bag

Of Blood and Stone

The Physics of Harmony

The Land of Poop and Honey

The Bend in the Dimensional River

Past the point of null infinity


Warring Fractions

The Promethean Constant

A Menina Cega e o Menino Chamado Luz

The God Particle

Unpicking the Pocket of Scientific Ignorance

The End and The Revelations

Of Wolf and Man

Of course monsters are real. Who said otherwise? Was it a grown-up? I bet it was; you can’t believe anything they say; grown-ups conspire against kids - and that’s the truth!

Alex knew monsters were real; he saw them all the time. The first monster he ever saw had to bend in half just to fit inside his bedroom; it had razor blades for finger nails and teeth that were so strong they could gnaw through the side of a mountain. It had spiders for eyes, a scorpion’s tail, and when it smiled, you could see the thousands children that it had already eaten, stuck in its teeth.

Alex was barely a day old when he saw that monster. It came as soon as the lights were out; sneaking into his room beneath the howling wind and lashing rain. Monsters always came at night; mainly because that was when mums and dads preferred to leave their babies alone.

Mums and dads were funny like that.

This particular monster’s name was Pazuzu, and he introduced himself as a harvest king. He said his father was a God, and that his brother had a much worse temper than he did. Alex didn’t have a brother, but he did have a big sister. Her name was Alexis and she was seven years older than him. She was always seven years older, no matter how hard he tried or how big he got; and she had a temper too.

Not all monsters are bad, said the monster, Pazuzu.

It was hard to imagine anything worse than the winged beast that stood above his crib, but the monster, Pazuzu was right. You see, out in the garden ‘neath a canopy of strangling vines, there stood a viscous looking beast with hell in its eyes that was the size of a hundred men. Its name was The Roggenwolf, and its favourite food was brand new babies.

But some monsters, said the monster, Pazuzu pointing to the salivating beast in the garden. Some of them are the worst of all.

His voice sounded like a mix between a hissing snake and a popping balloon; two things Alex would learn to fear and loathe.

Don’t cry, little baby, said the monster, Pazuzu, reaching into the crib. Don’t you dare cry.

But as the monster, Pazuzu flapped its wings, Alex wailed as loud as he could. He kicked and screamed and made such a racket that before the monster could steal him, Alex’s mother came rushing up the hallway; her stampeding feet louder than the thunder that clapped outside.

And just like that, as if it was magic, when the light switched on, the monsters disappeared. Gone was the winged beast and its long sharp fingers; gone too was the salivating and snarling wolf out under the tree.

In their place was The Mother- her big eyes like spotlights of love and affection; her soft hands like a giant net, always ready to catch him should he fall; and her voice – as quiet as a whisper, but oh it could soothe the most ferocious storm.

Alex loved his mother. From the first time he heard her heart beat until the first time he looked in her eyes he knew that as long as she was near, nothing in this world could hurt him.

You have to get to sleep, my love, she said, looking as if her patience had already worn so terribly thin. Mummy is exhausted.

The Mother picked Alex up from his crib and held him tight, rocking back and forth as she kissed the top of his head; this was easily Alex’s favourite thing in the whole world. It was a shame The Mother only did it as a last resort.

If I sing you a song, she said, will you go to sleep?

What child in their right mind would say no?

And so The Mother sang:

"There’s a cat on the windowsill,

With a rat in its stomach,

That had eaten the cheese,

That my love had left behind,

The day he went away."

Her voice was like a kiss from a cloud made of opiates, and in seconds little Alex had forgotten his woes, and lightly drifted off to sleep. Then The Mother put him back in the crib, tucked him tight into his blankets, kissed her favourite cheek, and then once again, she turned out the lights.

Good night, she said in a faint whisper. Sweet dreams.

And as the door shut and a blanket of darkness swept over the room, all the scary things that only children could see came out from where they were hiding, and crept upon the boy’s crib once more. And it was all their creeping about with woke Alex up – the creaking walls and drawers, and all the pitter pattering beneath his bed.

Darkness was the worst; it had its own set of rules. But there were things that made the darkness even more horrible; and one of them was the thunder and lightning - like ghosts they burst out of cracks in the heavens; as if God and all his angels had nothing better to do than scare little children.

And with each crack of thunder, The Roggenwolf howled; and with each flash of lightening, it inched slowly through the garden until eventually, its savage face was pressed against the bedroom window.

The Roggenwolf let out a harrowing howl neath the pouring rain; its stinky breath fogging up the windows so that, in the dark, only its hellish red eyes could be seen.

Aghast, it screamed, and it woke poor Alex into a terrible state.

Alex screamed and then he burst out in tears, but this time, nobody came. The Roggenwolf was a patient beast, but it had a wild and dismissive hunger. And as the boy desperately looked and listened for the sound of his mother’s feet or her soft congealing voice, The Roggenwolf bided its time under the lashing rain, pacing back and forth, dragging its teeth against the bedroom window.

Alex screamed louder and louder until his face turned bright red and his voice crackled under the sheer force of his plight. The sound was terrifying. Surely someone would come running at any moment; if not his mother than a concerned citizen, a neighbour, or a super hero. But nobody did. No matter loud he cried, nobody came to save him.

The Roggenwolf howled.

And Alex howled.

And then finally, The Mother howled too.

For the love of GOD, go to sleep, she shouted.

Her voice carried like thunder, and it had just as much warmth and care about it. She told herself that it was tough love, that any good mother would do the same; that there was nothing to feel guilty about.

He’ll learn to soothe himself, she said as she turned up the television and poured herself a glass of her favourite wine. All babies do. It’s for his own good.

Grown-ups sure had strange ideas about what was good for kids.

And once the silence had again settled in, it was just Alex alone in the dark.

He screamed as loud as he could; the kind of racket that would wake the dead. As much noise as he made, still, nobody came; more so, it seemed as if nobody cared. Nobody cared about the darkness; that which swept over Alex like a giant sea of nothingness; and nobody cared about the diabolical creatures which swam beneath with their fangs and tentacles and webbed feet and dragon’s wings too.

Maybe I should just check in on him, said The Mother to herself.

But the pamphlet in her hand said something else.

‘An attended cry makes for a weak and necessitous child, it read. A boy cannot rely on his mother forever. Better he learn that now’.

And that was that. The Mother’s doubts and indecisions were put to rest. Instead of consoling her son’s tears, she worked on consoling herself; and she did so with a glass of wine and her favourite romance novel.

Meanwhile, The Roggenwolf had already climbed in through the bedroom window and was now at the end of Alex’s crib. Its filthy paws had dragged blood and dirt all over the carpet, and there were a dozen skulls piled up by the orange tree like some kind shrine. The beast stared at Alex as he lay on his back, kicking his chubby little feet. And as it stared, The Roggenwolf licked its horrible lips.

Aghast, it said again.

And then Alex screamed like never before.

For God’s sake, go to sleep, Alex, shouted The Mother, almost spilling her wine. You have to learn to soothe yourself.

The Roggenwolf, now, had its snout against Alex’s tiny body. Its razor-like teeth snapped at the loose threads from the boy’s pyjamas. It was clear that at any second the great beast would swallow him whole.

Sensing the end, Alex bid one last, desperate cry. It was primal and it was urgent.

Shut up and go to sleep, shouted The Mother.

The Roggenwolf smiled. It knew what Alex did not; babies were always left alone. And all it had to do was wait until nobody would come to its defence – for that was the sad fate of all children.

Alex stared the horrible beast in the eyes. He tried to cry but he could not. He had already cried so much that his voice had worn through to its very soul. If the fight was to be heard and being heard made being saved, then not only had he given up the fight, but he had given up on himself.

From the other end of the house, it sounded as if the child had finally given up his struggle and fallen asleep. Good boy, said The Mother as The Roggenwolf opened its gigantic mouth. See you in the morning, she said, as blood and saliva dripped on the boy’s pyjamas. Love you.

It was at that second, with a snarling monster about to eat him in his own bed, that Alex realised a sad and terrible truth. Alone, as he was, abandoned in his crib, it did not matter the volume of his despondence or the force of his tears; for when he was alone and frightened, nobody, especially his mother, would ever come to his rescue.

This would be something that he would never forget.

And so, as The Roggenwolf licked its horrible lips, Alex didn’t soothe himself to sleep as his mother believed, instead, he merely surrendered. And at this very second, while caged in his crib, Alex learned an unfortunate truth; in the face of demons, he should remain silent and submitting like a good little boy.

And so Alex lay there - quiet, still, and barely putting up a fight.

The Roggenwolf belched and bellowed as it opened its mouth wide enough to fit the boy’s tiny head. Alex closed his little eyes and held his breath – he hoped it wouldn’t hurt too much. And just as The Roggenwolf was about to snap its jaws shut, the monster, Pazuzu appeared, whipping the great beast with his massive scorpion tail.

Be gone, fetid beast, shouted the ancient one. Leave the child alone.

The Roggenwolf howled, stamping its bloodied paws onto the floor.

This would be no easy fight.

Both monsters circled the bedroom, snarling their teeth and scratching their claws. All the while, Alex lay completely still in his crib; desperate and hopeful that someone would save him. He could hear the television in the background and his mother’s snorting laugh.

Nobody was coming, though; nobody ever would.

Find yourself another child, said the monster, Pazuzu. This one is mine.

What claim do you have to this child? said The Roggenwolf, its body pressed low to the ground, ready to pounce and strike. I was here first.

The monster, Pazuzu stood staunch and noble.

This child is of the seed in which I have sewn. It is mine to reap.

The Roggenwolf howled; if only to save face. As hungry as it was, there was nothing it could do; the monster, Pazuzu was far too strong. The Roggenwolf was vile and vicious, yes, and it was the most savage beast to have crawled out of the pits of hell – but it was not a king.

I’ll have my revenge, it said, backing away. I’ll savage this boy, even if I have to wait for him to become a man. I shall get drunk on his blood.

The monster, Pazuzu smiled.

There shall be blood, yes; I promise you that.

Before The Roggenwolf could respond, the monster, Pazuzu clicked its fingers, and just like that, the wild and savage beast disappeared – seemingly into thin air.

And then everything went quiet and dark again in Alex’s room. In the background, the television blared, as did The Mother’s burping and laughing. Alex lay still on his back, staring up at the winged beast that hovered above him.

Go to sleep, Alex said the monster, Pazuzu. Your time has yet to come.

The Insidious Ms. Tremblebottom’s Institute of Bullies

It was a long time before Alex ever saw the monster, Pazuzu again, but that’s not to say that he stopped seeing monsters altogether. No, on the contrary, Alex saw monsters everywhere.

He heard them creeping about beneath his bed, and he saw them crawling out of his half-opened sock drawer. There were ghosts in the living room, werewolves in the garden, and man-eating sharks in the toilet and kitchen sink. There wasn’t a place on Earth that wasn’t hiding some kind of creature.

At night, to prove that he was strong and shouldn’t be messed with, Alex would crawl between his mother’s legs while she was at the front door, and he would shout as loud as he could - out to the darkness and the night: I don’t believe in ghosts!

He’d shout it once and twice, and then tenfold more, hoping that every ghost in the world heard his message and that they believed it too.

Insects were another thing that scared poor Alex to death – and they weren’t even myths. When he was three, his sister, Alexis told him that when he slept, spiders crawled in and out of his mouth looking for smaller bugs to eat.

Alex didn’t sleep for the whole month of May.

Worse than spiders, bats, and leviathans, though, were the monsters that looked like people. There were the drivers of buses and taxis and trains; and the man who cursed at pigeons in the rain. There were doctors and dentists, and the postman too; and the old ladies with their pinching, just like monsters would do.

Mums and dads could never tell the difference. To them, people were people and monsters were just a figment of a child’s imagination. But almost every kid knew that grown-ups could be monsters too.

One of the scariest things of all, paradoxically, was also the best – going to the mall. Alex loved seeing all the shops and toys, and all the different people walking about. Everything was so big, loud, and extraordinary. But if any of those things were to turn and look at him, it was the scariest thing in the world.

Sometimes, when a stranger approached, Alex would cling to his mother’s leg; and sometimes he would even crawl between them and hide. Strangers were monsters; there was no doubt about that!

In the wild, animals protected their babies from strangers. They hid them under their bellies and sometimes, like when polar bears or lions were close, they made a circle around the babies so that the stranger couldn’t touch them or steal them away.

Alex’s mum probably never knew that because she always did the opposite. She’d tell him, Don’t be rude, and she’d make excuses for his behaviour saying, He’s not normally this shy. Then she’d unclasp Alex’s little fingers and push him forwards so that the stranger could squeeze his cheeks or mess up his hair.

Alex used to wonder if mummy seals ever told their cubs to stop being rude and whether they held them out so that a polar bear could mess up their fur or squeeze their pudgy cheeks. He wondered if they made their babies sleep by themselves too; if they left them alone in a crevice at night so that the mummy and daddy seal could still watch their favourite television shows.

By the time he was old enough to start school; Alex was already a polite and well-mannered boy. He didn’t cry at night anymore, he respected his elders, he ate with his mouth shut, and he didn’t complain when strangers messed up his hair. He was a good boy, and he made him mum proud – most of the time anyway.

You see, it wasn’t until he started school that Alex realized that there was something worse than even the attic monster, and that was the school bully.

Every school had one; sometimes every class too.

Now, Alex wasn’t a bully, not at all. He was like any boy his age. He loved dinosaurs and Transformers, and he preferred pulling toys apart more than he did, putting them back together.

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