Wishhobbler

by FRANCIS O'DOWD

Abandoned by her mother at an early age, ten year old Spin has been adopted by Sir Fistache mal Arthreign. The knight's habit of collecting waifs and strays has thrown together a family of rowdy headbangers; expelled from countless towns and villages, they hope to make a fresh start in the Songwynd slums – but the decision to bring along their pet wishhobbler wrecks any chance of this. 

From now on, Spin's days begin with a headlong flight into horsemuck, followed by encounters with: breakfast-thieving rats; vicious, swooping blankets; thugs, bullies and mathematically-gifted infants; vanishing televisions; jam jars; pickled snouts; collapsing shelves; a bizarre illness; falls from great heights; a would-be piano teacher; dawn raids; a haunted stomach; two slightly distorted violins; a new addition to the family; tea that glows in the dark; a hypnotised Labrador; the Viking, the Polar Bear, the Walrus, the Snapjazzer Cake and the Bathtub Racer; an astounding revelation; and the resolution of a centuries-old confrontation.

An outsider wherever she goes, Spin longs for something to be a part of. Forced into work to feed and clothe her adoptive family, she finds a way of using her new job to enter the carefully-guarded world of the Television Racers. Not the first mistake she's ever made – but it could well be the last...

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