Bucky Flea Burger is a London street cat who craves adventure.
After being summoned to a mysterious cat gathering, events lead him on a journey beyond his wildest dreams. With friends in tow, they enter a world of ancient powerful societies, covert government agencies and a race against time to prevent the rise of a new world order.
Detective Sarah Robinson of London’s Metropolitan Police Service investigates a break-in at the famous Natural History Museum. Not everything is as it seems; her life begins to spiral out of control. She uncovers a secret that will rewrite human history and redefine our place in the animal kingdom.
The darkness is spreading. Time is running out. The fate of the world now rests in the paws and hands of our heroes.
Targeted Age Group:: 12+
What Inspired You to Write Your Book?
I was pondering about what my pet cats got up to in their spare time, the adventures they have and the secret lives they lead behind our backs. What if they could secretly talk and are as intelligent as us? One thing led to another and before I knew it, I was writing a story about good versus evil and the grey area in-between. Plus, rewriting our history of our human and cat relationship. It was such a joy.
How Did You Come up With Your Characters?
I wanted to tell the story through the eyes of both cat and human. This led to two protagonists and how their journeys become intertwined. Bucky the cat is based on an individual who perhaps struggles for identity but craves adventure to fill in that void. Sarah Robinson (human detective) chose her career over settling down and raising a family. Her life and outlook are very grounded, the adventure she will embark on will open her eyes and show that dependability of friends is important.
Assault on the Museum
It was midnight when Andrew Carter arrived at Sloane Square tube station. The tube was quiet for a Monday, just the regular flow of Londoners travelling to wherever it was they were going. Making an effort not to catch anyone’s gaze, he exited the station into the cold October night. Pulling the vibrating phone from his pocket, he glanced at the screen. This is a first; it’s not like him to be early, he thought.
Turning up his jacket collar, he pressed on. Even at this hour people continued to leave the jungle of bars and restaurants. The hum of a London city night was intoxicating, but not ideal. Barry stood on the corner of South Kensington tube station with a balaclava already pulled over his face.
“God damn it, Bazza, you don’t have to do that yet,” shouted Andrew.
Barry jumped and turned to face him. “Sorry, Andy, thought I’d be extra careful.”
“Extra careful? You look like you’re about to mug someone. Take it off, you plonker.” He removed it to reveal his chubby, rosy face and usual silly grin. “How long have you been working for me?” asked Andrew.
“About six months.”
“Correct, so why do you continually grind my gears?”
Barry looked at his feet. “I’m sorry, Andy. I know you’re still upset with me for tripping that alarm.”
“And getting locked in the vault.”
A grin appeared on Barry’s face. “It was funny, though.”
“I suppose it was. Now come on, let’s get this done.” He gave him a slap on the back. “What would I do without you?”
“You’re like my big brother, Andy, and it’s my eighteenth birthday next week.”
“Now, are you ready, kid? Can you remember the plan?”
Squinting his pig-like eyes, he began to recite, “Erm, yeah, approach the museum from the east, jump the fence, reach the main entrance, smash a lower ground window, make our way across the ground-floor level through the main hall, head towards the Arwin Centre—”
“Darwin,” interrupted Andrew.
“Oh yeah, Darwin Centre, return to the lower ground level, access the door to the basement, then leave the building through the nearby fire exit.”
Barry looked puzzled. “Why don’t we just break in from the west side? It’s closer to where we’ve gotta go.”
“Good point. We would’ve done, but it’s too close to the security office. It’s far safer to go through the museum from the east.”
“Fair enough,” he replied. “But you ain’t told me what we gotta do when we get to the basement.”
“You’ll find out soon enough; this is where I’ll need your strength. Did you remember the item I wanted?”
Barry opened his satchel and reached inside. “Yep, I stole one from a DIY store near my apartment.” He pulled out a large sledgehammer and waved it around.
“Well done, kid.” Andrew chuckled. “One day you might actually pay for something.”
“Will I get to see some of the animals? I like the big cats, especially lions.”
“It’s not a tour, but I’m sure you’ll see some big cats. I don’t want any mistakes tonight – in and out like clockwork.”
“You can count on me, Andy, no problem.”
Andrew rolled his eyes.
The Natural History Museum was doused in an eerie purple glow. Rows of lights exposed the intricate Victorian architecture, causing long shadows to dance across the surface. For Andrew, the grandeur never got tiring, having a similar appearance to a palace or large cathedral. Barry was too busy on his phone. They stood on the corner of Exhibition and Cromwell Road. Apart from a young couple crossing the junction, the streets were becoming silent. As soon as they had passed, Andrew scaled the small perimeter fence followed by Barry. The pale glimmer of an ice rink awaited them in the front garden.
“Can you skate?” asked Barry.
“No, not really my thing.”
“When do ya think you’ll do your normal stuff again?”
“Erm, I’m assuming you’re talking about work?”
“Well,” said Andrew, “once the Feds get of my case I’ll consider it – hell, they even asked me to work for them. Until then, kid, I’ll be staying away from anything electrical and sticking to old-school break-ins. Anyway, look, we’re here.”
Twin pillars towered above the stone archway of the main entrance. Barry approached a row of small stained-glass windows and covered a small segment in tape. One push, two kicks and they were in.
They walked up an old set of stairs to the ground floor, entering the gift shop.
“Follow my steps closely, kid, and we won’t be seen.”
Barry nodded, lifting his short, stubby legs. The gift shop CCTV was inactive at night, so they strolled through to the main hall of the museum. The surprise on Barry’s face was priceless at the 105-foot-long diplodocus dinosaur replica skeleton, known as Dippy, standing before them.
“Wow,” he said with a gasp. “It looks like a giant turkey.”
Andrew smirked as they continued around the edge of the entrance hall avoiding the CCTV cameras. The area was cavernous with a large stone stairwell in the centre. Further above, the first-floor balconies were constructed from intricate marble columns which faced the menacing-looking dinosaur relic below. Reaching the opposite side, they arrived at the mammal area. Taxidermy animals of numerous species lined the corridor. They ranged from swinging monkeys to extinct mammoths and, of course, the meat-eating cats.
“Come on, kid, I’ll give you a proper tour someday.”
Reaching the Darwin Centre, they descended the stairs and found the basement door. Andrew picked the lock and they entered. A labyrinth of dimly lit corridors awaited. Using the map Andrew had sourced, they navigated a path into the darkness. Shelving and racking had been mounted against the walls containing rows of dusty old boxes. More taxidermy creatures littered the floor, staring up at them.
“I don’t like it down here, Andy,” whimpered Barry.
“Stay close and follow me, there’s nothing to be afraid of, everything is either dead or stuffed.”
They passed through corridor after corridor until they reached a dead end, their destination. Barry moved the racking from the wall with his strong arms, smashing a few glass vials in the process.
“Hmm… This has to be it. Get the sledgehammer ready,” said Andrew while wrapping his knuckles against the stone.
Barry opened his backpack and rummaged inside. His piggy face began to go red. “Erm…it’s not here.”
Spinning around, Andrew slapped his hand against his own forehead. “What the hell do ya mean it’s not here?”
Barry shrugged. “I took it out when I was looking for the tape to break the window. I must’ve forgotten to put it back.”
Taking deep breaths, Andrew counted to ten. “Right, let’s get it.”
They returned to the ground-floor level, mistakenly taking a wrong turn into another large hall. From the ceiling hung a twenty-five-metre-long blue whale model with parallel skeleton. Just like the previous corridor, this area was littered with taxidermy animals.
“The shop must be that way. Come on, follow me, we haven’t much time,” said Andrew.
Barry stopped at a large cat sitting next to a hippopotamus and reindeer. “What’s that?”
“What do you think it is? A goddamn cat, you plonker.”
Upon looking at it, it wasn’t like any other large cat Andrew had previously seen. Apart from being the size of a baby elephant, its similarities to a regular house cat were uncanny. Two large demonic orange eyes stared at them. Razor-sharp teeth lined its open mouth. Andrew was certain he could smell its breath. The sandy-coloured hairs on its back were standing on end, and its long black pointy ears were drawn back. The creature was frozen in attack position.
Barry continued to gaze. “Wow, that could rip a person in half.”
“Come on, Bazza, leave it alone.” Unfazed, Andrew turned and returned to the mammal corridor.
“OK, it just looks so real and frightening.”
“Look, I’ll buy you one for your birthday if you like it so much.” There was no response. “Did you hear what I said, kid? I’ll buy you one for your birthday.” He turned but his friend wasn’t there. Stepping closer, he noticed Barry’s rucksack in shreds on the floor. “What the hell’s happening?” He walked back to the spot where Barry had stood. A single trainer hung from the stuffed reindeer’s antler, the other was wedged in the hippopotamus’s mouth and one of the plinths was empty. Where the hell has that cat gone? Andrew heard the creak of wood behind him. Spinning around, he noticed the missing cat now wedged on the upper balcony. It was still; its mouth open with a silent roar. The orange eyes glared down at him. His heart beat faster.
Close your eyes and count to three, just close your eyes and count to three. When he opened them, it was gone. He wiped the beads of sweat from his forehead, Maybe it’s time for a holiday. Continuing forward, his hair whipped to the side. The crunching of metal echoed overhead as the hanging whales began to sway back and forth. The cat now stood on the opposite balcony. How’d it get to the other side so fast? he thought.
“Bazza. Hey, kid, is that you playing games? I haven’t got time for this.”
To Andrew’s horror, the giant cat inched forward and leapt onto the blue whale hanging above. He screamed and ran as fast as he could. Entering the main hall, he tripped over his own feet. The lights went out around him and he crashed to the floor. Thin beams of moonlight shone through the stained-glass windows while the darkness engulfed him. He got up, stumbling towards the gift shop door. The terrible presence was behind. He turned around but nothing was there. Then the hairs on the back of his neck stood on end. Two piercing orange eyes burst from the darkness. Andrew froze as the outline of the creature appeared in the moonlight. The giant body fell upon him. Razor-sharp teeth filled his vision; thick slobber fell. The smell of its breath was unbearable. Feeling a sharp pain in his side, a sickness feeling bubbled in his stomach. He fell in and out of consciousness and time seemed to drift away. When he heard the sound of footsteps approaching, he had no idea if the creature was still close. He was unable to turn his head and now felt a stranger’s presence standing over his body.
“Jonny, can you hear me, you’d better call the police, we’ve had a break-in,” said the unfamiliar voice of the night guard.
“Roger that,” crackled a radio in response.
There was a loud knock on the outside of the main entrance. Andrew heard the guard begin to unlock the side door.
“You called about a break-in, sir,” said a female voice.
“Yes, well my colleague did,” answered the guard.
“OK, well I’m Detective Robinson, and this is my partner Detective Barker.”
“Greetings,” said a deeper voice.
“You mentioned the perpetrators are still here, are you OK?”
“Well yeah, that’s the thing, come take a look.”
Andrew remained motionless on the floor as they approached.
“Andrew Carter, I believe,” said the female detective. “What on earth are you doing here all tied up like that? And why is your friend hanging upside down from the ceiling?”
Her voice was the last thing he heard as his world faded to black.
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