Chapter 6; In Which We Encounter Stephanie, Who Is Not a Demon but Is Still Not Terribly Nice
Stephanie is Samuel’s babysitter, and she isn’t very good at it. In fact, she sounds like the kind of person who shouldn’t be left in charge of any children, at any time, especially as she has no temper for little boys at all. She has lots of time for older boys as she gets her boyfriend to threaten little Samuel whenever the boy displeases her. Sure Samuel plays pranks but every young boy does that and she should either accept that fact or move on to other employment. Like a milk round. Still if she was any good at babysitting she wouldn’t be suitable for this book and the author does a rather splendid job of making me dislike her and her bully of a boyfriend (named as Garth). She sends him to bed for breaking his curfew and then snitches on him to his mom, like the lovely girl she is.
I’ve mentioned the notes at the back of the book before; well, they’re still a very good read and rather amusing, if, like me, you can appreciate the boyish humour.
The chapter closes rather ominously with the not-Mrs. Abernathy (I think) outside the Johnsons house.
…standing at the garden gate, staring intently at his bedroom window, her eyes burning with a cold blue fire.
Chapter 7; In Which the Scientists Wonder What the Bit Was, and Where It Might Have Gone
A really love the chapter titles in this book, kinda reminds me of the later Avengers TV episodes – the colour ones with Mrs. Emma Peel (played by the smashing Diana Rigg), they’re really rather quirky, light.
Professor Hilbert, a very scientific man who likes scientific things and spent most of his formative years doing the kinds of things you would expect a young megalomaniac mad-scientist-in-the-making to do. Like fixing the toaster. I’ve witnessed and been involved in such incidents. I’ve taken apart a few things, when I was younger, and never got them to work again or had screws & things left over, so I can relate to & like Professor Hilbert immediately.
Now here the battleship players of chapter 3 (Ed and Victor) explain to Professor Hilbert the odd thing that happened in that chapter and being a somewhat progressive and open-minded fellow, Hilbert is not surprised in the slightest. Wonder if the real scientists at the LHC are like Hilbert, a kinda hope so. I saw the scientists who helped build the LHC on a documentary recently and they were fun to watch. Excitable but sturdy, creative people.
I also find out what the Professor’s special interest is in the LHC, something I’m quite interested in too, a subject of some of my favourite comic books. Dimensions. Specifically parallel universes and even multi-verses. My favourite storyline being a DC series – Crisis on Infinite Earths.
Professor Hilbert has unravelled the clues left behind from the “Event” and found something that could be a clue to his interest in dimensions, which could be rather exciting for him, even if the reader knows differently. The author even thoughtfully provides a picture of Albert Einstein and does a very decent job of explaining to his younger audience what this man did, how he did not take himself too seriously and what the Einstein-Rosen theory is doing in John Connelly’s story of hellish Gates.
Professor Hilbert himself asks some very interesting questions. It’s just a pity he doesn’t have the answers as he might decide to be a little more worried for the planets safety.
Meanwhile..back in the basement; it seems that the not-Renfields and not-Mr. Abernathy are suffering from some decaying issues that not-Mrs. Abernathy is apparently immune from. Is it because she/it is more powerful or because she had a quick visit to the Johnson’s house. The question on my mind however, is, how did the demons know what the collider was? Do demons have a better understanding of the cosmos than us mere mortals or are they just that bored that they’ll watch our every move like some weird soap opera. What’s most impressive though, is that apparently the Great One has the ability to open the a portal using the LHC whenever he chooses. Makes me wonder now, if the Great One didn’t plant the idea of colliders in the minds of our scientists which is why humans have more than one collider. The others proved to be too small or too weak to create a portal between Hell and Earth.
Ah..I was right about not-Mrs. Abernathy. She/it is more powerful (and wiser & older) than her companions, a tad more cunning too. Wouldn’t want to cross her in any way really, so I kinda feel bad for poor Samuel & Boswell. Looks like they’ve got quite the adventure before the.
But, whose side will Nurd be on?
Chapter 8; In Which Samuel Learns That Someone Trying to Open the Gates of Hell Is Not of Particular Concern to His Mum
Samuel wondered if he would ever be allowed to complete a sentence again. First Stephanie, and now his mother. If this continued, he’d be forced to communicate entirely through sign language, or notes scribbled on pieces of paper, like someone in solitary confinement.
I’m quoting this passage for a serious reason. It’s bloody hilarious! AND I’ve been there.
Why do the adults never listen to their kids, especially when said child is trying to inform the aforementioned parent that the world is going to end and some really bad/evil moNsters are going to be lurking about pretty soonish. It’s no different in this book, even though for some reason I thought Mrs. Johnson might at least have believed him for more than just a split second that something was seriously wrong. I sometimes wonder what my reaction might be if a child told me something along these lines. I’d like to think I’d at least investigate, a)for the sake of the poor child who is convinced they’re right and b)because there’s just an outside chance that they, unfortunately, might be right.
Suffice to say, I find Samuel’s run-down of his mom’s list – “Things that are bad” – relatively accurate.
I adore the author’s take on the situation afterwards; the hug & kiss, the serious talk about the missing Dad and most of all, Samuel’s reaction to this unexpected but simply classic Motherly reaction.
His eyes felt hot. They always did when his mum talked about his dad.
Makes me feel slightly squishy, unusual for me.
I wonder who the author based this situation on, an event from his own childhood or an amalgamate of various children’s experiences. I came to the conclusion, years ago, that many authors are simply more observant to human nature than the rest of us mere mortals and they have a better understanding of why people behave they way they do. Certainly more than I do, a situation I’m constantly trying to rectify, this is why I find I understand Samuel’s view on understanding adults.
The not-Mrs. Abernathy seems to have taken to her/it’s human wrapping like a fish to water. I’m sure that the postman won’t be ringing twice at number 666. Nor will the poor idiot be knocking on any other doors. Ever.
And what’s with the appearance of a tentacle from the not-Mrs. Abernathy? Is she/it (still can’t make up my mind which to call her/it) a demon of Lovecraftian origins? I had originally thought the demons were more of a Christian ideal rather than some otherworldly beings, but the tentacle has given me a puase for thought on the matter. As has the huge mouth and big teeth. Hmm, difficult to say but I suppose it works in the book to add a more demonic and evil side to the human-shaped demon. Certainly I wouldn’t have thought that the demons of this book liked eating humans, tortured them yes, goaded them and stuck hot pins in them maybe, but eating? Maybe I presumed too much as to their origins (and the faith related to them) on the presence of the Gates of Hell. Serves me right, after all, they’ve already proven to suck the life force of other creatures, like an energy vampire, so I really should have known better. Sorry Mr. Connelly, I’ll try better from now on.
Mrs. Abernathy was of the highest order of demons, only a level below the Great Malevolence himself.
Really, and not only that but she (says the author, not “it”, so I’ll comply with that quite happily) has more knowledge of humans and human activities than her lesser, decomposing companions. “The Great Malevolence” has also provided information on humans in order for his lieutenant to pave the way for his plans of vengeance. At this point I’m really rather worried for Samuel, and Boswell of course, as he could well be in terrible danger of getting eaten. I just hope the his mom realises soon that Samuel isn’t fibbing or telling tales and that the end of the world really is nigh.