DOUBLE BUBBLE TROUBLE
After one final round of the water park, the group asked the Splishy Sploshies to deposit them gently on the patio. A slow moving wave carried them all and set them down where they all just sat for a moment taking in the view of the unexpected garden water park. Tingle glanced at her mum and dad. ‘Can’t we just keep it in the garden? We can have our friends come around to play. It won’t be much trouble. Plus the Splishy Sploshies would like it.’
‘Darling, I don’t think it will be terribly easy to explain to your friends’ parents that we have an infestation of Splishy Sploshies who have transformed our garden into a water park for their own entertainment. The reason they have done this is because somewhere and somehow we have over-used the water. The Splishy Sploshies will keep making a huge watery drama of it. The garden filled with water is fun but unfortunately all our plants and vegetables will be ruined.’
Josh made a loud huff. ‘It’s so much fun though mummy…’
‘Darling it is fun when it’s a novelty but having this here every day would become normal and stop being fun.’
‘Auntie Joanna,’ said Tingle in a questioning tone. ‘Sooooo you said we have to go and meet the Splishy Sploshies and go to the source or the root cause…’
‘Good memory there Tingle. Well we have to go and talk to the Great Splisher and Great Splosher. We will need to ask for their kindness and forgiveness because what happens is that once the Splishy Sploshies have flooded everything they will take the water back to Splashdom.’
‘Splashdom?’ Josh asked. He liked the sound of such a very splashy place.
‘That is where they live. When we waste water they take it back to their domain until there is an apology and change of behaviour. I have known great rivers to dry up overnight. One of the main dry rivers I visited was in a country called Namibia. There was a place called Deadvlei, which means dead valley. The Splishy Sploshies cut off the river using the sand and took all the water back to Splashdom. There were even dead trees on the cracked riverbed where the water rustling happened. So I wouldn’t underestimate a Splishy Sploshy.’
‘Can’t we just ask them nicely – they seem very friendly and lovely. They giggle a lot too.’ Tingle watched the Splishy Sploshy duck riders do another duck-bobbing dance.
‘Everything is friendly and lovely when they have fun but like the moon there is always a shadow.’ Auntie Joanna was serious. ‘If you annoy or try and hurt a Splishy Sploshy then they can pull you into the water or the sea. That is when people drown. Today they made you magical life jackets because you were playing. Now, if you hurt one or were cruel, that life jacket would disappear.’ Auntie Joanna’s face changed to reveal an expression of unease. ‘They can also turn calm seas into giant waves very quickly. They are magic…. and have special magic for water.’
Tingle glanced at the calm water covering the garden. The waves had stopped and the garden now looked like a tranquil lake with a deep blue sky and fluffy white clouds reflected within it. A group of Splishy Sploshies performed a synchronised swim while another group formation rubber ducky danced in circles. There was giggling, singing and splashing and a lot of rubber ducks dancing in a row.
‘They just don’t look like they get angry or nasty,’ said Tingle in a tone of confusion.
‘Darling their nature is calm and sweet but if they are threatened then they protect themselves, like most creatures. That means they remove the source of the threat and they use their water magic to make that happen,’ Dianne said.
Tingle’s dad sat listening. It was all new to him too.
Josh watched one particular Splishy Sploshy making a water spout. The Splishy Sploshies used it to spin and spin into the air and… boom the water burst and the Splishy Sploshies dived back into the puddle with a thrilled cry of delight.
A few other Splishy Sploshies created some rather interesting bubbles. They had managed to make different colours and funny shapes. They all rose into the air together and some of the bubbles joined together to create bubble sausages that looked like bubbly caterpillars. The carp, from the fish pond, had been on quite a bubbly adventure too. Even a few frogs had been on an unexpected expedition of bubble discovery. Frogs could jump but now they could fly, float and drift through the air with the help of a Splishy Sploshy bubble. They experienced a completely different view of the world and seemed very relaxed about it. Ribbit! What made it increasingly exciting is that when they were tadpoles they emerged from frog spawn and now, they were grown up and drifting through the air in bubbles.
All the while, the Splishy Sploshies were growing increasingly inventive and created bubble patterns when they rose into the air. When the bubbles burst they all dived back into the water together. It was such a lovely sight that it made no sense that the Splishy Sploshies could transform the water into a storm.
‘Right,’ said Tingle and Josh’s dad. ‘As lovely as this is… I think it’s time to stop talking and sort this flood out. I have a prize pumpkin and some swedes being ruined by the water. So Auntie Joanna, can you do what you need to do to return the garden back to its original state?’ He requested.
‘How many times have you used the rhyme Dianne?’ Asked Auntie Joanna.
‘Twice, I had to use it this morning after we had the chat on the phone. The washing machine spat a pair of wet knickers in my face,’ she said.
‘Well at least they had been washed,’ John covered his smirk and glanced at Tingle and Josh who giggled.
‘The washing machine splattered washing everywhere,’ said Josh making splopping noises and waving his dinosaur.
‘Hmmm,’ said Auntie Joanna with a tone of suspicion. ‘Well this is the last time we can use it then. If we don’t talk to the Great Splisher and Splosher then we could end up with a water situation far worse than anything we have seen yet!’
‘Well then we have to get to the Great Splisher and Splosher and have that conversation,’ Tingle and Josh’s dad said.
Auntie Joanna nodded and glanced at her brother-in-law. ‘I hear you. However, the Great Splisher and Splosher aren’t quite what you would imagine.’
Tingle and Josh’s dad frowned. ‘Of course… It couldn’t be anything normal could it? Surely they are just bigger versions of the Splishy Sploshies?’
‘Erm… we could say he is larger and we could say his wife The Great Splishy is giant in watery form. Where one rules the sea, the other rules the rivers, lakes and the sky. The pair are somewhat powerful and they do not suffer fools gladly. They will be aware we are on our way and no doubt will find some rather interesting ways to stop us. They won’t just let anyone into their kingdom.’
Tingle’s dad sighed, ‘Oh not again! Why do we always end up in situations like this?’
‘Someone flushed the toilet too many times,’ said Josh pointing at his dad.
‘So all of this splashyness is my fault?’ asked John looking guilty.
‘Your bottom made this happen!’ said Tingle with a giggle.
Josh chuckled too.
‘It might not have been your bottom John. It could be any manner of things,’ Auntie Joanna replied glancing at the children who found themselves hilarious.
‘So what’s the plan?’ Dianne asked glancing at her watch.
‘We go to the Great Splisher and Great Splosher in the calmest way. I suggest we go up the river on the paddleboards to the Willowy Splashdom Gate.’ Auntie Joanna was thoughtful. Was the willow still there? Would she be able to find it?
‘Paddleboards?’ said Josh looking excited.
‘Yes the long surfboards that you paddle while standing up,’ said Auntie Joanna noticing Josh’s face had lit up.
‘Can we come too?’ asked Tingle.
‘You will have to come because we can’t leave you alone in a house that could be filled with water in a second. It is far better that we all stick together until this watery dilemma is resolved.’ Auntie Joanna sighed, she had heard of houses washed away with people still in them.
‘Yey!’ Cried Josh
Tingle’s mum and dad glanced at each other. It seemed the family were going on another exciting escapade, one they hadn’t anticipated.
‘Shall we sort the garden out first?’ asked Tingle’s dad?
Auntie Joanna nodded and smiled, ‘I wouldn’t want your prize pumpkin to end up all slushy!’
Auntie Joanna stood up and gazed out at the garden. Everything suddenly became still. The Splishy Sploshies knew what was coming and stopped their playful shenanigans.
Auntie Joanna cleared her throat. ‘Errrr hrrrmm…’
‘With a splish splosh splash
You will depart in a flash
All that watery mess
Will disappear no less
Our home will be dry
As you say goodbye
And even though you had fun
You will clear any damage done
Our home will return to how it should be
And my darlings we shall see
That you return to your Splishy place
With your happy Sploshy face
A moment later all the water in the garden began to swirl like a huge water spout. The carp descended from bubbles back to their pond. The flying frogs were returned to their lily pads and the formation duck dancers returned to the patio. Tingle and Josh had expected the Splishy Sploshies to scream or be annoyed but instead they circled up in the spout singing ‘Weeeeeeeeeeeeeeee!’ The water spout rose up into the sky, lifted and drifted towards the nearby river.
‘Notice the direction the water spout went in?’ Auntie Joanna said. ‘Now watch what happens.’
A moment later a rainbow filled the air. It was not the usual arched rainbow, instead it was a straight-line rainbow that went from the sky into the river. It looked like it formed a giant water slide and all of the Splishy Sploshies whooshed down it into Splashdom.
‘That is a strange looking rainbow,’ said Tingle tilting her head to the side.
‘Yes darling and that rainbow has just revealed where we can go and meet the Great Splisher and Great Splosher.’ Auntie Joanna said noting the location; it was closer than expected.
‘Yey!’ cried Josh. ‘Is there gold at the end of the rainbow?’ he asked.
‘There is something better than gold,’ Auntie Joanna replied.
‘What’s that?’ A thoughtful frown filled Tingle’s brow. What was better than gold?
‘There is magic and there is adventure,’ Auntie Joanna said with a smile and a wink. ‘Splashdom will show you a realm of possibility that is greater than your imagination.’
Tingle gazed at her auntie.
‘Remember when we went there with granny when we were little Dianne?’ said Auntie Joanna
‘So you have been before?’ Tingle asked studying her mum and auntie.
‘We have been a few times,’ said Auntie Joanna. ‘As soon as water is wasted we have to go and apologise. We then have to find ways to stop it happening again!’