IF YOU CAN’T BEAT THEM – SURF THEM
Tingle’s mum came off the phone and looked very grumpy. Tingle watched her mum make a big sigh as she glanced out into the garden.
‘What is it mum?’ Tingle asked not knowing whether she should just keep quiet and leave her alone.
‘Darling Auntie Joanna has appointments this morning which means that she won’t be able to come over until later this afternoon.’ Tingle’s mum sighed, she was clearly worried.
‘That is good isn’t it?’ Tingle asked.
‘Well I wanted to get the Splishy Sploshies sorted as soon as possible. All the time we don’t go and talk to them then that is time they can be destructive.’ Tingle’s mum doodled a picture of a Splishy Sploshy floating in a bubble on a note pad.
‘Oh,’ said Tingle thoughtfully. ‘What time is Auntie Joanna coming over?’
‘Around four o’clock.’ Tingle’s mum replied with a huff.
‘That isn’t long… It’s ten o’clock now.’ Tingle said glancing at the kitchen clock.
‘Yes you are right… The thing is the Splishy Sploshies have six hours to really go for it with their mischief and their drenching destruction.’ Tingle’s mum sounded nervous.
Josh stood by the door, ‘So what are we going to do then?’
‘Well Auntie Joanna will come over at around four and then we will go to where the Splishy Sploshies live…’ Dianne replied.
‘Can dad come?’ asked Josh.
‘We will see if he wants to come. He might be very tired from working late. If we keep quiet while he sleeps, and the water situation doesn’t affect him, then he might want to come too but we must let him rest,’ she said in a half-whisper.
‘I bet he will want to come,’ said Josh. ‘He liked the treasure tree and giants with their soup.’
Their mother smiled wearily, her face revealed anxiety.
‘Don’t worry…’ said Josh going over, reaching up and giving her a cuddle.
Their mum crouched down and sighed, ‘I have seen the Splishy Sploshies before when I was little. There is a lot of damage that can be done with water. They are very clever… Also once they start their watery games then they can get overexcited and very creative. Splishy Sploshies can create rain, they can create rainbows and they can also create floods. So we have to be careful not to offend them or do anything that might turn into a huge rain storm.’
‘But it’s the middle of summer,’ said Tingle.
‘Yes and they have their magical power over water. I will let Auntie Joanna tell you more. She is the storyteller and she will give you some more history when we go to see the Splishy Sploshies and where they live.’
‘Mum, Auntie Joanna said we can only use the rhyme three times…’ She paused thoughtfully. ‘What happens after three times?’
‘The magic will be used up and any damage the Splishy Sploshies create can’t be reversed. That is why we need to get out to Splashdom as fast as possible,’ she replied.
‘Splashdom?’ Josh said with a grin. He liked that name.
‘It’s where they live… You will see that later, in the meantime we have to hope they are tired or getting bored of messing up the house.’ Dianne stood up. ‘Right, I have to get some things done before we go.’
Josh made a big sigh and went to go to the back door so he could play in the garden.
‘Ermmm muuuuuuuum!’ he cried.
‘Josh your father is asleep!’ Dianne said turning and making a shhh! sign.
Josh ran back to his mum.
‘They are in the garden…’ he whispered. ‘The pond has disappeared. The carp are blowing around the garden inside bubbles and… there are big waves!’
‘They aren’t going to stop are they?’ asked Tingle noticing her mother’s frown.
‘No darling, no matter what we do they will find a way to be destructive using water, and think how much water is around the house… They intend to teach us a lesson and if they destroy the house doing so then they don’t mind!’
‘Erm mum,’ said Josh pointing. ‘The inflatable flamingo just floated past the window and they are riding the inflatable unicorn.’ Dianne looked in the direction of where Josh pointed. Huge watery waves, that looked like they had been created by a wave machine, flowed up and down the garden. Numerous Splishy Sploshies delightfully squealed as they rode the inflatables like surfboards.
‘Mum I don’t understand,’ said Tingle. ‘We now have a magical wave machine in the garden? How did they do it?’
Tingle’s mum shrugged, ‘I don’t know darling. The creatures are magic and can create anything. Whatever someone did to waste water has certainly triggered their watery creativity.’
Tingle’s mum glanced around. Josh was gone. She ran towards the back door just as there was a gleeful giggle. A huge watery hand formed, picked Josh up and placed him in the inflatable flamingo. A magical life jacket wove around him, next to him Splishy Sploshies screamed with delight. A moment later Josh launched on the wave and was flung down the garden.
Tingle ran to the doorway as Josh bumpily rode along the waves. The Splishy Sploshies transformed into small water spouts that spun and sniggered beside him.
‘Mum it looks fun… but they won’t hurt Josh will they?’ Tingle asked uneasily.
‘No they won’t hurt him. They will play with him in the water and then when he is tired they will return him to dry land.’ She paused, ‘they are playful but sometimes their play gets out of hand and damages things. People’s belongings are often ruined and they make sure people aren’t hurt unless… well unless the people hurt or threaten the Splishy Sploshies.’
Josh chuckled as the wave tossed him to the end of the garden, rebounded off the fence and hurled him backwards. Tingle couldn’t help herself and ran onto the patio. A second later she was picked up by a giant water hand, a magical life jacket wove around her too and she was placed in the inflatable unicorn next to Josh. With a nice loud sucky sloooooooshing sound, the water transformed into a wave and the pair surfed in the inflatables. Tingle and Josh’s mum stood in the doorway not knowing what to do with herself. She could be angry but what was the point? There was nothing she could do to change the situation. Also… how often did a person’s garden get transformed into a wave machine? She stood on the edge of the house threshold and sighed. There was nothing she could do, until later anyway, was there? With a look of mischief, she grabbed some snacks and some drinks, stepped onto the patio. A moment later a giant watery hand placed Dianne gently in the inflatable doughnut – a magical life jacket wove around her too. When the wave carrying Tingle and Josh returned to the patio, there was a pause. The Splishy Sploshies all turned their attention to Dianne.
‘Mum are you going to play too?’ asked Josh excitedly. ‘Darling it isn’t often magic comes to the garden and turns your home into a water play park. We may as well make the most of it until your dad wakes up and Auntie Joanna arrives.’
Three carp floated past in bubbles, a whole flock of rubber ducks with Splishy Sploshies riding them formed and bobbed around them. A moment later the Splishy Sploshies burst into song and synchronised a rubber duck dance to the music. Tingle glanced at her mum who shook her head in amazement. She certainly couldn’t call a plumber and explain the events unfolding. It was bizarre, it was magic and yes it was fun! That was the problem; the Splishy Sploshies were incredibly fun and ridiculously inventive.
‘Mum we are really wet!’ said Tingle.
‘It’s a sunny day and we have a change of clothes inside. Let’s just go with it and play!’ She replied.
With that the Splishy Sploshies danced around the water, waved their arms in the air and sang.
‘Water water everywhere
We have water and do not care
It’s time to play in the sun
And make the most of watery fun
With that, a new wave formed and lifted the inflatables into the air. At great speed they washed along the garden. The huge wave kept the group aloft, rebounded and washed them back to the patio. Eventually the water calmed into a flat pool and the Splishy Sploshies rose around the group and danced around singing…
‘I like the Splishy Sploshies,’ said Tingle.
‘I do too,’ cried Josh.
‘I do too. Although, I would rather play with them without the house and garden getting damaged,’ Dianne replied.
‘Oh,’ said Tingle with a confused look on her face. ‘I thought you didn’t like them because they were being bad.’
‘Oh no… they are not actually being bad or nasty… What happens is when people use too much water they get overly excited and take all that over-used water and destroy places through playing too much. Once they have destroyed a place then they move on to the next house or person that has also over-used water… They play until their home has been destroyed and then move to the next location for more watery play time,’ she said wriggling in her inflatable doughnut.
‘I don’t understand,’ said Josh watching a whole host of Splishy Sploshies ride rubber ducks in formation around them while singing.
‘They simply come to teach us a lesson and they have a huge amount of fun teaching us until we learn. That is when the mischief spirals out of control. They often over-fun themselves!’
That made more sense, the Splishy Sploshies seemed nice and fun and not intentionally nasty. The thing was their watery creations were getting larger and more destructive. It was just a matter of time before the waves could hit their home.