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Excerpt for Morris Magenta Creeper Inventor: Book 4 - College Professor by , available in its entirety at Smashwords


Morris Magenta Creeper Inventor: Book 4 - College Professor

Copyright 2017 Mark Mulle

Published by Mark Mulle at Smashwords





Smashwords Edition License Notes

This ebook is licensed for your personal enjoyment only. This ebook may not be re-sold or given away to other people. If you would like to share this book with another person, please purchase an additional copy for each recipient. If you’re reading this book and did not purchase it, or it was not purchased for your enjoyment only, then please return to Smashwords.com or your favorite retailer and purchase your own copy. Thank you for respecting the hard work of this author.




Author’s Note

This short story is for your reading pleasure. The characters in this "Minecraft Adventure Series" such as Steve, Endermen or Herobrine...etc are based on the Minecraft Game coming from Minecraft ®/TM & © 2009-2013 Mojang / Notch 



This unofficial Minecraft book is not authorized, endorsed or sponsored by Microsoft Corp., Mojang AB, Notch Development AB or any other person or entity owning or controlling the rights of the Minecraft name, trademark or copyrights. All characters, names, places and other aspects of the game described herein are trademarked and owned by their respective owners. Minecraft®/ /TM & ©2009-2016 Mojang/Notch.






Table of Contents

Day One

Day Two - Morning

Day Two - Afternoon

Day Three - Morning

Day Three - Evening

Day Four

Day Four - Evening

Day Five

Day Six

Day Seven

Day Eight

Day Eleven




Day One

First order of business. I’ve bought Fred a pocket notebook. This means, firstly, that he might stop leaving my diaries lying around and forgetting where he placed them, and second, he can now note down my heroic exploits on the go. From now on, no details of my adventures will go unwritten. Fred can record every single detail, as and when it happens.

[Mr Magenta dances around excitedly from foot to foot. Now he looks at me. He looks irritated]

Alright Fred. Not every detail. Just make sure you get the finer points, down yes? The important bits? Good zombie, good zombie.

So. Introductions, once again. For those who don’t know, allow me to illustrate. My name is Morris Magenta. I am the world’s first and only creeper inventor. I used to be a human, but I ended up trapped in the body of a creeper in a fascinating adventure that I’ll tell you all about some other time. But, since I can’t write my own diary (creepers have no hands, you see) I have Fred. Fred here is a zombie I’ve trained to be my butler, manservant and general dogs body. Isn’t that right, Fred? You can’t see it, reader, but he’s nodding.

Now swiftly on to my latest adventure. It’s…well, it’s not actually much of an adventure, I must admit. I’ve taken up a temporary position as the Redstone and Mechanics Professor at Schumpville University. They’re understaffed, apparently. It’s not the sort of job I’d usually take, what with being a daring adventurer and all. But they’re paying me many diamonds, and they’ll let me use all their fancy labs and workshops. Perfect for working on my latest invention – the Magenta Twangtastic Vine-Thrower. Marvelous thing…if I can actually get it to work.

Unlike many of my previous adventures, Schumpville is not a particularly dangerous place, and it’s not very far away. Fred and I have already packed, and we’ll be riding the ten o’clock minecart up to the town. I’ve never visited, but I’ve heard it’s rather lovely.

That’s good. After all the derring-do I’ve done over the last few weeks at the Pebbleton Mines, the haunted Abernathy Manor, and out in the frontier town of Jonah Creek, I could use a little time to relax.



Day Two - Morning

Fred and I had a very pleasant journey to Schumpville. The sun was shining, and the minecart ride was smooth, and it took us right through the grasslands and gardens. I should point out that, though most zombies would find the sunshine rather inconvenient, Fred is fine. I recently designed him a sun-proof outfit, the Magenta Head-Mounted Sun-Shade and the Magenta Wool-Woven Shade-Poncho. He’s just pleased as piglets in the sun now, so long as the wind doesn’t blow his hat off.

We arrived at Schumpville in the late afternoon. A charming old town full of markets, clock towers and big log houses. There’s even a castle, where most of the University students live. I’d have been quite lost, I must admit, if we hadn’t found a familiar face waiting at the minecart station.

“Mr Magenta,” said Duffy Redherring, “Good to catch you again, dude.”

“And you, Miss Redherring,” I said. It was mostly true. Duffy Redherring was a good sort. An ordinary teenager who had the unusual hobby of dishing out destruction on mobs and supernatural nasties by night. I’d first met her at Abernathy Manor, when we’d both been called in to solve the mystery of Dingle Abernathy’s ghost (which turned out, funnily enough, to be a butler covered in bonemeal). Yes, Duffy was a kind young girl. But, like all teenagers, I understood only a third of what she says.

“Freddie boy!” said Duffy, nodding to Fred, “How’s it keeping, slick? See you’ve got some new duds. Totally turbo.”

Duffy gave Fred a friendly punch on the arm. He groaned. She was stronger than she looked.

“Thank you for meeting us here,” I said.

“No problemo,” said Duffy, “Professor Gotobed sent me to come snatch you. I gotta take you up to his office, pronto like.”

Professor Gotobed is the principal of Schumpville University. He was the one who originally offered me the job, on Duffy’s recommendation. A nice-enough fellow.

“C’mon Mr Mag,” said Duffy, grabbing one of our bags from the minecart, “Ready to roll?”

“Uh…yes indeed,” I said, fairly sure I understood what Duffy meant, “To Professor Gotobed.”

Get this down Fred. I hope the rest of the students don’t speak as strangely as Duffy does, or I’m going to have some serious problems teaching them. Perhaps some sort of translation invention is in order? The Magenta Teenage-Speech Unscrambler?



Day Two - Afternoon

Professor Gotobed is a very busy man. So busy, in fact, that Duffy tells me he’s barely left his office for weeks. He even sleeps in there. When we found him, he was halfway through organizing the schedule for the University Spleef team. There was paper everywhere.

“Good to have you with us Magenta,” said Professor Gotobed. He spoke so fast it was hard to make out what he said. I have a feeling communication will be an issue for me here in Schumpville.

“I’m happy to be here, Professor.”

“Your office is being rebuilt,” said Gotobed, “The last redstone Professor, Professor Sobrero, managed to blow it up along with himself in a TNT experiment. For now you’ll be based in the library.”

“Very well.”

“Duffy will take you. Your first lesson is at nine tomorrow in classroom 6F. Thank you good day.”

And with that, Professor Gotobed was back to his Spleef schedules. I’d have liked to ask more. About what I should teach in my lessons, if it was alright to use the library as my inventing lab, and whether or not Schumpville University had a science fair. But Duffy led me away instead.

“Professor Gotobed is a busy man.”

“I can see that yes.”

“Don’t let it freak you though; Mr Mag. Goto is a total dude.”

“…Yes. Yes I’m sure.”

We set all my things down in the University Library. One of the largest libraries I’ve even seen. A huge room with books running round each wall. There’s not much open space for me to work on my inventions, but Duffy tells me that hardly any of the students ever come into the library anyway, so I can use it however I like. Pity. If I conduct my experiments here, a lot of the bookcases are likely to catch fire. Oh well. We all have to make sacrifices I suppose.

Duffy put down my bags, and gave Fred another friendly whack on the arm. That one almost sent him toppling over.

“I’m glad you’re here, Mr Mag. College is gonna be so turbo now you’re our Professor.”

“Yes. Turbo. Indeed.”

“You should get chill. I’ll catch you tomorrow for class. Laters.”

“Laters. Yes.”

Duffy left me and Fred alone in the library to unpack and settle in. She was right. We had the place to ourselves. Not a single student walked in while we were setting up our gear.

It’s now eight o’clock, and all our stuff is unpacked. I’ve even had the time to tinker the Magenta Twangtastic Vine-Thrower, though all I succeeded in doing is knocking over some books. But no matter. We’ll get there.

For now, I need to focus on planning my first lesson tomorrow. Fred, I need you to stop writing the diary and help me write down my lesson plan. What? No, we can’t do it after dinner this is important. Of course. Now help me get this ready.

What? Oh don’t be silly Fred. Of course it’s safe for teacher to use arrow traps in a lesson.



Day Three - Morning

So. My first lesson. I think it went well. Rather brilliantly in fact. What’s that Fred? Oh don’t be so nit-picky. It was an accident. People get shot with arrows all the time, it wasn’t my fault.

Fred and I turned up to the classroom early, so we could set up the morning lesson. Duffy arrived for class first to wish me good luck on my first day. Or, at least, I think that’s what she said.

“Knock ‘em dead, Mr Mag,” said Duffy, “It’s gonna be totally mythic.”

She brought her two best friends with her. So she says, these are the bunch that help her fight off mobs and nasties by night. They don’t look like a particularly fearsome trio, they’re just teenagers. But then again, looks can be deceiving.

Harris Sanders was the boy. Quite a talkative one. Babbles away without really thinking about it the way teenage boys always do.

“Heya Mr Magenta,” said Harris, “Turbo to meet you. I’m a big fan. Totally turbo. Is it chill if I call you Mr Mag? Or do you prefer Professor Mag? Morris, do people call you Morris? Or Mor? Ris? Risko?”

“Good morning, Harris. Sit down.”

The other is named Birch Dewitt. Duffy’s best friend, apparently. She seems like the smart one of the group. A quieter girl with a friendly smile and red hair.

“Hey Mr Magenta,” said Birch, “Duffy told me about all the stuff you did at Abernathy Manor. That was totally turbo.”

“Thank you Birch, you’re very kind.”

“Did you find any ghostly relics there?” asked Birch, “I’m reading a lot about enchanting at the moment, I’m thinking of taking it as my major. I’m really into casting spells and stuff.”

I flinched. Of course, as a scientist, I think all that enchanting hocus pocus is a load of muddy gravel. But I didn’t say that to Birch, of course.

“That’s very nice Birch. Sit down now, we’ve got a lesson to begin.”

Duffy, Harris, and Birch sat in the front row as the other students filed in. A few of them began whispering when they saw a creeper standing at the front of the class. But they kept it hushed. Perhaps that was thanks to Fred, who I had standing beside me looking menacing. He’s got a heart of gold, of course, but Fred does tend to freak people out a little.

“Welcome,” I said, when they’d all settled down, “My name is Morris Magenta, and I’m your new Redstone and Mechanics teacher.”

“Are you the same Morris Magenta that caught the bandit Bucktooth Burrows?”

“Yes.”

“Are you the same Morris Magenta that defeated a whole tribe of pigmen?”

“Yes.”

“Are you the same Morris Magenta that said Notch is just a fantasy and we should stop talking like he’s real?”

“Let’s get started, shall we?”

I nodded to Fred, and he began working with the arrow dispenser I’d set up at the front. As I spoke, he did the actions along for effect, just like we’d rehearsed.

“So,” I said, “Today we’ll be learning how to make an arrow trap. Now an arrow trap is a very useful contraption for defending your home against mobs and unwanted door-to-door salesmen. Now all you have to do is take a dispenser, like the one my lovely assistant Fred is showing you, and fill it with arrows. Yes, Harris, question?”

“Is it true that you once invented a machine that could throw pigs over mountains?”

“Yes. Now back to the arrow trap. The next step is to take a pressure plate, like this one, thank you Fred, and you place it on the ground for your unsuspecting enemy to step on. Then, as the final step, you have to link the two up with redstone like this. Yes Harris, question?”

“Is it true you once stopped a war between creepers and humans using just a minecart, three ladders and a bowl of mushroom soup?”

“Yes. Now back to the arrow trap. We’ll need a volunteer for this part…yes, Harris, come on up. Now Harris, when I give the signal I want you to step on the pressure plate. If we’ve hooked it up properly, it should fire. Of course, normally we’d use arrows, but because we don’t want to hurt Harris here Fred has filled it with carrots.”

“Totally turbo.”

“What’s that Fred? You filled it with arrows after all?! I told you not to, I said…wait, Harris, don’t step on the plate! I haven’t given the signal!”

Harris did, indeed, step on the plate. Unfortunately, the trap was perfectly wired, and so the arrows fired right out. Harris was quick enough to duck, and so the arrows went shooting toward the classroom door instead. Where Professor Gotobed was standing, coming down from his office for ten minutes to wish me good luck.

The nurse says that Professor Gotobed will be fine. He just got quite a nasty fright. But I think it’s safe to say my first lesson did not get off to quite the start I wanted. But, most importantly, it was not my fault. Thanks Fred.



Day Three - Evening

After the stress of that first day on the job, Duffy suggested we head out to a nice relaxing evening at ‘The Iron’. ‘The Iron’, apparently, is the local tavern where all the students and professor’s alike go to drink milk and listen to energetic jukebox music. Honestly, it sounds a little hectic for my tastes. As Fred will tell you, I’m more of a sit at home with a book type. But Duffy was very keen to show me the place, so it was only polite to go along. According to her, The Iron is ‘mythically turbo’.

Duffy, Birch, and Harris led Fred and I through town to the tavern. Thankfully his close encounter with the arrow trap seems to have hushed Harris for a little while. He’s still asking me questions, but less of them.

On the way to The Iron, we passed a very peculiar thing. Out the front of the University buildings was a huge grass field. However, there were walls of dirt built up all through it, with paths winding all the way through. After a moment, I realised what it was. A maze.

“Beautiful, isn’t it,” said a man leaning against the dirt wall. He was a grubby looking fellow, covered in dirt and carrying an iron shovel. But he smiled fondly to the three students, and they smiled back.

“Indeed,” I said, “That’s quite a maze you have there. Did you build it?”

“Aye,” said the grubby fellow. He tipped his leather cap, “Bungo’s the name, groundskeeper here at the University. You must be the new teacher?”

“That’s right,” said Harris, before I could fit a word in, “Mr Magenta is teaching us mechanics. He built an arrow trap today, it was ultra.”

“We were just taking him to The Iron,” said Birch.

“Ah,” Bungo nodded, “Well, enjoy Mr Magenta. I’m sure we’ll see each other round. In the meantime, you need anything dirt or flower related, you come to me. Good evening.”

We arrived at The Iron just as it was starting to get lively. All the students in the town seemed to be flooding there. We were let in without a problem. The bouncer gave Fred a suspicious look, but let him in anyway.

Inside, things were even livelier. There was a bar, where people were serving milk up by the bucket, and a set of tables. The other half of the tavern was a dance floor, where students were bopping up and down to an energetic jukebox record. Up on a small stage there was a girl with blue hair working at a jukebox. Every few moments she’s bash the top of it with a pickaxe, making the record skip. The students seemed to like that.

“Lexa!” Birch waved. The blue-haired girl waved, and bashed the jukebox again for effect.

“Who is that?” I asked.

“Oh that’s Lexa,” said Duffy, “Birch’s roommate. She does music most nights at The Iron.”

“What on earth is she doing to that jukebox?”

“Hmm? Oh that’s called DJ-ing.”

Harris got us some milk and we grabbed a table on the far side of the tavern. We talked quietly, mostly with Harris asking me about my adventures. Lexa kept playing the infernal jukebox music, though I will admit that after a while you do get used to it.

“Things have been kind of chill here recently,” said Duffy, “Last summer we were out like every night fighting off skeletons, spiders and other undead nasties. And zombies, they kept trying to come in groups. They were the worst…no offense Fred.”

Fred grunted.

“And that angry pack of wolves we had to fight off,” said Birch.

“And that group of united creepers, they were awful…no offense, Mr Mag.”

“None taken.”

“Even that slime migration that rolled through town,” said Duffy, “That wasn’t fun at all. I’ll tell you, after last summer I’ve got enough slimeballs to open a shop. But it died down now. All peaceful here in Schumpville, right? Might as well enjoy it while it lasts.”

“I intend to,” I said, “After everything I’ve been up to, I’m quite looking forward to a relaxing few months here.”

“By Notch himself. Morris Magenta?”

I turned. I didn’t recognise the man facing me. Dressed up all fancy like Professor Gotobed, with a black hat and a frankly quite ridiculous twirled moustache. He was grinning ear to ear, and his eyes were sparkling like fresh diamonds.

“Hello. I’m sorry, I don’t believe we’ve been…”

“Josstopher Reynolds, Professor of Mobs and Mysticism at the University. Delighted to meet you,” Reynolds held out his hand to shake mine, realized I didn’t have a hand to shake, so shook Fred’s instead, “And you must be Frederick, Mr Magenta’s loyal zombie butler?”

Fred grunted.

“Good to meet you, Mr Reynolds…”

“Josstopher, please. Or Joss, if you like,” said Reynolds. He sat down next to me, shifting Harris out of the way, “You’ll see me around the University I expect. Like you, I am an inventor. Researcher too.”

“Oh really?” He was talking awfully fast now, and was beginning to irritate me.

“Yes,” said Reynolds, “Actually, I’m currently involved in some ground-breaking research about other worlds. It’ll be in my book, once I get round to writing it all up. I’d like to talk to you about that actually. I heard you’ve travelled to The Nether before?”

“He has,” Harris said immediately.

“True,” I said, flashing Harris a look, “Fred and I were part of a team who went to rescue some missing miners. As it turned out, they’d stumbled across a nether portal and gotten lost in there.”

“What was it like?” asked Reynolds, “I’ve been meaning to mount an expedition there myself, but I am coming to believe that The Nether is just one of many other planes of existence we may be able to visit. Right now, I’m hoping to find a way to…”

“Come on now, Josstopher,” it was Bungo. He appeared behind the Mobs and Mysticism professor and put a friendly hand on his shoulder, “Mr Magenta has barely been here a day. Give the poor fella a chance to catch his breath before you load him with questions, eh?”

“Yes…” Reynolds nodded, “Yes, yes, I suppose so. Sorry, Mr Magenta. I’ll see you round I’m sure.”

“I’m sure.”

Bungo led Reynolds toward the bar. He turned back, and gave us a knowing wink. Once Reynolds was out of earshot, Duffy, Birch, and Harris let out a collective sigh.

“Sorry about that, Mr Mag.”

“Yeah. Professor Reynolds is a bit off his minecart, you know? Couple of ingots short of a smelter.”

“Yes,” I said, “Yes he did seem a little odd.”

“It’s best just to try and ignore him,” said Duffy, “He’ll try and fill your head up with a load of hocus pocus nonsense. There’s nothing to it though, he’s just a guy who’s read too many magic books.”

“I know the type,” I said, “Irritating, they are. Is he going to bother me like that all the time?”

“Most likely.”

“Perfect,” I said, sipping at my milk, “I wish he’d just disappear.”



Day Four

Professor Reynolds has disappeared. I feel dreadful. I didn’t actually want him to disappear, of course I didn’t. I just wanted him to leave me alone. And now the fellow is gone. Vanished on his walk home from The Iron. Nobody can work out what happened. Most peculiar.

Professor Gotobed was the one who told me. He called me to a meeting this morning (he’s working from his hospital bed right now, still recovering from the incident with the arrow trap).

“Does this sort of thing happen often in Schumpville?” I asked him.

“It used to,” said Gotobed, “We used to get all sorts of mobs round here. But since we’ve had Duffy and her friends they all steer clear. They know they’re in for a beating otherwise. Whatever took Professor Reynolds, it’s something we’ve not seen before.”

“What should we do?”

“We must act at once,” said Professor Gotobed. He sat up, and winced at his arrow wounds, “We cannot allow the teaching schedule to change just because a man has gone missing. You will take over Professor Reynolds’ lessons. Starting today. Congratulations.”
I’ll be honest. I’m not thrilled about this and neither is Fred. I think Professor Gotobed assumes that, just because we’re both mobs, we’re qualified to teach Mobs and Mysticism. That’s a little prejudiced of him if you ask me. Yes, I can probably teach a fair few things about mobs. But mysticism? Enchanting and the like? I think not.

Reynolds’ next lesson was penciled in for two o’clock. So Fred and I spent the rest of the day in Reynolds’ office, reading up on his lesson plans so we’d be ready. The man sure was scatter-brained, I’ll say that. His office is a mess. Chests stocked to overflowing with all sorts of junk. Spider eyes, bonemeal, lapis lazuli, ink sacs. There’s even a chest filled to the brim with gravel. Gravel?! And then there’s his room piled high with books, blocks, and tables in no good order. Fred even found a live (and very anxious) chicken at the back of the room. Reynolds is a complete slob.

Nonetheless, after a fair amount of searching Fred and I found his lesson plan, along with the notes he left to go with it. We had just enough time to read through them ahead of the lesson, and get everything prepared.

“Sit down, sit down,” I said, as the class filed in, “Now, I’m sure you’ve all heard about Professor Reynolds…”

“Did they finally fire him?” asked Lexa, the blue-haired girl who’d been DJ-ing at The Iron.

“No he’s missing.”

“Oh.”

“Until Professor Reynolds is found, or a replacement is hired, I’ll be teaching his lessons. Now today’s lesson is all based on Professor Reynold’s lesson notes. Last week you learned about Silverfish, yes?”

“That’s right,” Harris shivered, “Man I hate creepy crawlies.”

“Well fear not, Harris, for this week we learn about something very different. Fred, if you please.”

Fred held up the first sign. We’d made several for this lesson. This one had Fred’s best attempt at a drawing, depicting the mob of the week. It was little more than a stick man really, but it did the job.

“This,” I said, “Is an enderman.”

The whole classroom gasped. Duffy and Birch leant forwards to get a closer look. Harris shivered.

“Endermen are without a doubt one of the most dangerous mobs you can encounter, so it’s best to stay well clear of them. Nobody know where they come from, in fact we don’t know much about them at all. But we do know they’re extremely dangerous and vicious creatures that have the ability to teleport. They like to move blocks of dirt and grass around, nobody know why. But it’s best to leave them to it. Also, on no account should you ever look an enderman directly in his glowing purple eyes. They don’t like that at all.”

The lesson went smoothly. Surprisingly smoothly, given I’d only really learned about enderman myself a few hours before. After class, I met Duffy, Birch, Harris, and Lexa in the corridor. They were waiting for me.

“Hey Mr Mag?”

“Yes Duffy?”

“So…” she shrugged, “I and the others were gonna go check out the place Professor Reynolds went missing. You know, hunt round for clues and stuff.”

“That’s a very good idea.”

“D’you wanna come along?” asked Harris, “The Duffster says you’re good at solving mysteries.”

I turned to Fred. He nodded sharply, and I turned back to the teenagers, “Yes, very well. I’ll help you find out what happened to Professor Reynolds.”

Of course, I was going to do that anyway. But they don’t need to know that, do they Fred?


Day Four - Evening

Reynolds was last seen on the road between The Iron and the University. Bungo was the last person to see him. We found the groundskeeper at his garden shed.

“We walked here from The Iron just after we spoke to you,” said Bungo, “Ol’ Josstopher was really excited about something, it’d got him all sparked up.”

“Excited about what?”

“Can’t say,” Bungo shrugged, “You know how it is when someone like Professor Reynolds goes on and on. You just switch off and nod, don’t you.”

I could understand that. I’d done the same to Reynolds that very night, “So this was the last place you saw him?”

“That’s right,” said Bungo, “Said goodbye at the shed, and I went to bed while he wandered off that way in the direction of the University, down by the side of the maze. Didn’t know there was anything wrong until people came asking if I’d seen him this morning.”

“The maze,” said Duffy, “You don’t…you don’t think he might be in there?”

Bungo chuckled, “I can sure see ol’ Josstopher getting lost in the maze for a few days. But he’s not. I already searched every corner, and I know that maze like my own boots. He’s not there.”

We took Bungo’s word on that. I don’t know about Duffy and the others, but I sure didn’t fancy getting lost in the maze searching it. So instead we walked the path towards the University.

“What are we looking for?” asked Duffy.

“Anything unusual,” I said, “Any clues about what might have happened to the Professor.”

“Like what?” asked Lexa.

“I don’t know.”

We found out exactly what ‘unusual’ meant a little further up. Birch spotted something ahead, “Hey guys! Check it out!”

There was something lying on the path. Fred picked it up, and handed it over to Duffy.

“Is that…”

“Professor Reynold’s hat,” said Harris, “He loved that hat, he’d never leave it behind unless…”

“Hey guys,” said Lexa, “Check this out.”

She pointed to the side of the maze. It was all warped. Where most of the maze was made up of straight lines, lovingly shaped by Bungo, this part had been rearranged. Some of the walls were shorter, and blocks were scattered about the area.

“Someone has been messing about with the blocks…” said Harris.

Duffy and I shared a look. We’d both had the same thought. Both thought of a terrible beastie famous for its fondness of dirt-shifting.

“I found something!” said Harris. He was grinning, pleased as piglets to be helping, “Look at this!”

Harris scooped something up from behind a block. A round, blue-green orb that was dark in the middle. Like a crystal ball that’d gone all foggy. Harris held it up to the light and it shimmered.

Birch’s attention was drawn immediately, “What is that, some kind of magical orb?”

“I don’t know,” I said.

“Kinda turbo looking…”

“Harris give it here,” said Duffy. She snatched it from him at once.

“Hey Duff, what’s your damage?”

“It looks powerful,” she said, “And it might be dangerous. We should study it.”

“Agreed,” I said, lost in my thoughts.

Duffy looked at me again, “Hey Mr Mag? You thinking what I’m thinking?”

“Rearranged dirt, fellow gone missing without a trace,” I shrugged (as much as a creeper can shrug), “Endermen? Maybe. But they’re very rare, and there’s never been any report of Endermen in this area, have there?”

“If there had, we’d have seen them,” said Duffy.

“And we didn’t,” said Lexa.

“Yeah,” said Duffy, “After what you said in class, Mr Mag, I don’t think an enderman is the kind of thing you forget.”



Day Five

Things have taken a rather serious turn. No Fred, I’m not saying that to be dramatic. It is serious. Very serious.

No you great buffoon I’m not talking about spilled milk! I’m talking about what happened after. Of course. What do you think I am, some sort of lunatic?

I suppose I’d better start at the beginning. Where else do you begin, right? So after we found the mysterious pearl and the moved-around dirt, we decided to hit the books. No Fred, not literally. That wouldn’t help at all. We decided to do some research on endermen, and dive into Professor Reynolds’ notes. It wasn’t going to be easy, as his handwriting truly is the worst, but we had to try. If he’d been carrying the mysterious orb when he was attacked, then surely he must have known what it was?

Now I wanted to do all our research in the library. It is, after all, a room designed for study. It’s quiet, peaceful, and cut off from all distractions. However, Duffy is under the impression that the library is, and I quote ‘lame’. I was outvoted five to one (thanks Fred) and so we took all the papers and books up to The Iron instead. Lexa had another DJ performance there anyways.

So that’s how we spent the first half of the evening. Myself, Fred, Duffy, Birch and Harris all crammed onto a table with books and notes, while people danced around us and Lexa did her DJ-ing on the stage.

“Woo!” said Birch, “Go Lexa!”

Lexa gave the jukebox a particularly heavy thwack with her pickaxe, earning a cheer from the dancing students. I rolled my eyes. I’d never understand.

The teenagers were fine, but I found it almost impossible to concentrate with such a racket going on. In fact, it’s a miracle that I got any work done at all.

“Ok,” said Harris, leaning back and stretching his arms, “It’s official. My brain is zappo. I can’t read another word.”

“C’mon, this is important,” said Duffy.

“Yeah,” said Birch, “Within these pages we might find the key to what happened to Professor Reynolds.”

“Yeah,” said Harris, “Hey, maybe he read too much and turned into a puddle of brain juice. Face it guys, this is getting us nowhere. We’re no closer to finding out what happened to the Professor or whatever this orb thing is.”

“That’s not true,” I said, “I think it’s an Eye of Ender.”

“Ender?” said Duffy, “Ender as in enderman?”

“Yes. Fred, turn back a page.”

Fred did as he was told. The three students leant in, and I nodded toward the book, “It says it right here. An Eye of Ender is…”

I was cut off by another of Lexa’s thwacks on the jukebox, which set the crowd cheering even louder than before. Lexa took a bow, and left the stage to a round of applause.

“Woo!” said Birch, “Go Lexa!”

“The Eye of Ender,” I went on, “Is a blue green orb that resembles a large eye. This rare item can be crafted with an ender pearl, dropped by an enderman, and blaze powder.”

“What does it do?”

“It has many uses, apparently. But it is rumored that they can be used to open End Portals.”

“End Portals?”

“A little like Nether Portals, I think. Gateways to another world. The End, where all endermen come from.”

“And the dragon.”

“What?”

“Here,” Harris pointed to the book he was reading, “The Ender Dragon. The most vicious creature of The End, so they say. A fearsome flying nasty, not the kind of thing you want to mess with.”

“Sounds dangerous.”

“I’ll say,” said Duffy, “Professor Reynolds was obsessed with travelling to other worlds. D’you reckon he went too far? Was he trying to go to The End?”

“Maybe,” I said, “Maybe he went searching for endermen, hoping to get his hands on an eye like this one. Maybe he got too close and…”

“Ladies and gentlemen,” said a man on the stage, “It is The Iron’s pleasure to present a jukebox band. Ladies and gentlemen: The Mossy Cobblestones!”

The noise was unbearable. There were four jukeboxes this time, with four students standing at each. One had a pickaxe, one a shovel, one a wooden stick and one an alarmed-looking chicken. They began thwacking the jukeboxes without mercy, and sent the crowd into excited fits. As for me, it was the final straw.

“Alright, that’s it,” I said, “Fred, gather up our things.”

“You’re leaving?”

“I’m going to the library,” I said, “I can’t concentrate any more with that racket going on.”

“You don’t dig DJ music, Mr Mag?”

“No. I most definitely do not dig it.”

Fred and I made our way back toward the University. It was dark now. The moon was high in the sky. But I wasn’t worried. Unlike Professor Reynolds, I had no argument with creatures from another dimension. Plus I had Fred with me, and the Magenta Mob-Bopper to punch any nasties that got too close right on the nose. I certainly didn’t think I’d be seeing anything suspicious on that walk.

“Evening Mr Magenta.”

“Evening Bungo.”

The groundskeeper was leaning up against his hut. He had his spade propped up against the wall, and was looking at the sky.

“What are you doing, Bungo?”

“Just looking up at the stars,” he said, “It’s a hobby of mine, see, I like to…”

That was when we heard the scream. It was a terrified, help-me sort of scream, coming from up behind us. Back toward The Iron. Bungo and I shared a look, and ran towards the screams. He snatched up his shovel as he went too.

In the bright moonlight, we saw it all clearly. It was Lexa. She was running towards us, yelling and waving her arms.

“What is she saying?” Bungo craned his head, “Me old ears ain’t so good.”

“Run!” Lexa yelled, “Run! It’s a…it’s a…”

That’s when I saw it. It skulked out of the darkness like a shadow, and snatched Lexa into the maze before we could reach her. Eyes glowing like purple stars, standing twice as tall of any of us. Arms as long as vines, making a strange garbled noise as it appeared.

“Hey!” I yelled, “You bring her back! Right now, you hear me!”

Another two appeared out of nowhere. They’d teleported right in front of us, and they stared with those terrible all-seeing eyes. I couldn’t help it. I knew you weren’t supposed to look at them, but it was no good. I could only stare, half in a daze. The endermen came for us just like they’d come for Lexa.

However, they got more than they bargained for. The one that came for me, I smacked full in the face with the Mob-Bopper. It hissed and went reeling back into the shadows. The one that came for Bungo was just as unlucky. The old groundskeeper swung his shovel across its head, and yelled, “Get out of it, you poxy mob!”

They were gone just as quickly as they’d appeared. Back into the maze, or the very shadows themselves. They left Bungo, Fred and I standing in shock.

“By Notch’s kneecaps,” said Bungo, “What were those things.”

“Endermen.”

He craned his ear again, “Slender men?”

“Close enough.”



Day Six

It goes from bad to worse doesn’t it! For goodness sake Fred, write it faster! Yes I want you to write it now, it won’t wait! Well learn to write while you run then! Come on! And listen up!

Ok, so the news of Lexa’s disappearance caused quite a stir. She is a star DJ after all (whatever that means). The students were very upset she was gone. Professor Gotobed was terrified. He worried it might make Schumpville less popular as a tourist destination, if people thought all the cool kids were getting kidnapped by mysterious shadow creatures. Duffy and Harris were upset. Lexa was their friend after all, and they wanted to know she was alright. But Birch had it the worst. Lexa was her roommate, her best friend. Now the endermen had taken her, this wasn’t just regular nasties-fighting. This was personal.

That’s not to say I wasn’t shaken up as well. I kept cool at the time, of course, but it took quick-thinking to use the Mob-Bopper. It’s a scary thing to come face to face with an enderman, I tell you. So scary, in fact, that I managed to persuade Professor Gotobed to give me the day off from teaching. Which I spent, naturally, doing more research with Duffy, Harris, and Birch.

“What are we doing here?” asked Harris, pouring over a book named ‘The Monstrous History of Monstrous Things’.

“I told you,” I said, “We’re doing research. We’re trying to find out where the endermen might have taken Lexa, and what we can do to help her.”

“No I mean, what are we doing here?” said Harris, pointing at the library around him, “This place is lame.”

“This is the library Harris,” I said, a little offended, “This is a room dedicated to learning and science. It most certainly is not lame.”

“It’s too quiet in here,” said Harris, “Can’t we go to The Iron and do our research there?”

“No,” said Duffy, “You heard what Mr Mag said. It’s too loud in there. And what Mr Mag says goes. He’s the famous adventurer, Harris, not you.”

“Besides,” said Birch, hanging her head, “Lexa won’t be there. It’ll be empty without her.”

Poor Birch. I felt very sorry for the girl. Without her best friend I think she was a little lost.

“Just knuckle down and read,” I said to Harris, “The answers are somewhere in these books. Or in Professor Reynolds’ notes.”

“All this reading,” Birch rolled her eyes, “Can’t you just…I don’t know, invent a way to find Lexa and Reynolds? You’re Morris Magenta aren’t you?”

“What do you think I’m doing?” I said. I was leaning over my craft bench at that time, with Fred working away under my instruction. The Magenta Twangtastic Vine-Thrower was coming along nicely. It still needed a few finishing touches but…

“That’s just a vine-thrower,” said Birch, “Why can’t you invent some sort of Magenta Double-Quick Book-Reader? Or a Magenta No-Fuss Lexa-Finder? Or…”

“Birch! Chill,” said Duffy.

“What about the eye of ender?” said Birch, “Maybe if we offer to give it back, the endermen will trade it for Lexa. Or…”

“Birch, listen,” I said. If I’d had a hand to put on her shoulder, I would have done so, “I want to find Lexa just as much as you do, alright? But it’s not as easy as that. We need to find out what we’re facing before I can invent us a way to solve the problem.”

“Shazam!” said Duffy, grinning and tapping her book.

“Excuse me?”

“Bingo! Snap! Yazoo!” said Duffy, “I’ve found something.”

“What is it?”

“Listen,” we all crowded round Duffy as she began to read, “The Mobs researcher Hans Von Niblick Rogerstein once performed an experiment to try and lure endermen to him so he could study them more closely. Having found a non-functioning End Portal near his research station, he used the endermen’s famous fondness for moving dirt to trap them. He built a dirt maze near to the portal. All the endermen in the area were drawn to the maze at night, and got trapped in the walls once they’d rearranged the blocks.”

“In the name of Notch…”

“That’s it!” said Duffy, “The maze, that’s what’s pulling all the endermen in. It must be where they’re hiding Lexa and Reynolds.”

“But Bungo said he’d searched it,” said Harris.

“He must have searched during the day, when endermen hide. But at night…”

I grinned, “Shazam indeed. Well done Duffy.”

“So now we know where they are! Yeah!” said Harris, “So…uh…what do we do now?”

“We go get Lexa and Reynolds back.”

“How? There could be dozens of endermen in there…”

“Duffy,” I said, “You remember when you told me you had loads of slimeballs left over after that slime migration last year?”

“Sure.”

“Go grab them. As many as you can carry. I’m going to convert the Vine-Thrower into a Slime-thrower!”

Birch’s face fell, “How long will that take?”

“Not long. Now go, quick, get me those slimes.”

The three of them rushed off while Fred and I worked on the vine-thrower as fast as we could. They returned a little while later, bursting through the door with their arms full of slimeballs.

“Sorry we took so long,” said Duffy, gasping for breath, “The slimes were all stuck to the chest, we had to pluck them off.”

“Where’s Birch?”

Duffy and Harris turned around, and found that it was just the two of them. Duffy frowned, “Uh…she ran ahead. She’s not with you?”

“No,” I said, fearing the worst.

“Maybe she got lost in the corridors,” said Harris, “Or maybe she ran into someone and is trying to get unstuck…”

“Or maybe she just couldn’t wait to go and rescue Lexa,” I said, “Duffy, where is the eye of ender?”

“In my pocket. Of course.”

“Check.”

“Well jeez, Mr Mag, it’s right here I…” Duffy’s mouth dropped open, and she stared up at me in horror, “I…I don’t understand, it’s gone…”

“Birch must have taken it when you were unsticking the slimes,” I said, “She’ll have gone ahead to the maze to try and trade it for Lexa and Reynolds.”

“Oh wow…” said Harris, “Totally turbo. What if it works?”

“Then we’ve got nothing to worry about.”

“What if it doesn’t?”

“Then we’d better get there fast,” I said, “Fred, grab the slime-thrower. We’ve got to get to the maze. Pronto.”



Day Seven

Alright. So this is how the events in the maze went down. Fred, Duffy, Harris and myself all rushed out of the University as fast as we could into the night, with Fred carrying the gun and Harris carrying all the spare slimeballs.

We passed Professor Gotobed on our way out. Apparently he’d gotten bored on his bed in the hospital wing and come to get some fresh air.

“Mr Magenta?” he gasped, “And Miss Redherring? What is…”

“No time to talk Prof,” said Duffy, “There’s a student in danger.”

“A student in danger?! I…ahhh!”

Professor Gotobed chose the wrong moment to lean forwards. Fred couldn’t swerve aside in time and so knocked the professor clean on the head. Professor Gotobed tumbled onto his back with an alarmed cry, and Fred shrugged to say sorry. But there was no time to stop. Birch was in grave danger after all. We had to get to that maze as soon as possible.

Just as it hit midnight, and the moon was at the centre of the sky, we reached the maze. It’s hard to tell when looking at endless walls of dirt, but it looked to me like some of them had moved.

“In there?” said Harris, staring down the path that led deeper into the maze.

“Yeah,” said Duffy, “We gotta. For Birch.”

“Sure, of course,” said Harris, “Only…well it’s awfully dark and spooky and terrifying and…”

“Fred, give Duffy the Moonlight,” I said.

Fred grinned, and produced a small block. He hit it once on the top, and the thing lit up with a brilliant silver-yellow light. He handed it to Duffy, who stared in wonder.

“What is this?”

“The Magenta Reflecto-Crystal Pocket-Moonlight,” I said proudly, “A new invention of mine. Glowstone and diamonds all working together. Will that take care of your problem, Harris?”

“Well I don’t…”

“Good. Onwards.”

We marched into the maze. Duffy led the way with the Moonlight, Fred and I followed with the slime-thrower, and Harris came last. He’d found himself a wooden stick, and was batting at the shadows whenever he got spooked.

Bungo had built the maze well. It didn’t take long for us to become confused. I was no longer sure which way was forwards, which way was back, or even where we were.

“Birch!” yelled Duffy, “Birch! Where are you? You here? Helloooo.”

“Ah this is pointless,” said Harris, “Dangerous pointless. We should go back.”

“Which way is back?”

“Alright fine, let’s take a page out of the endermen’s book. Let’s dig our way out.”

Harris began digging at the dirt wall with his stick. However, he was quickly silenced by Duffy, “Shush….d’you hear that?”

“Hear what?”

“Shsh!”

Somewhere nearby was a strange sound. A garbled, nattering noise. Just like the one I’d heard from the endermen that took Lexa. And something else too. Was that a voice?

“Birch!” said Duffy, “Come on. This way.”

Duffy led us on. We rounded a few more corners, and then there we were. The open circle at the middle of the maze. Birch stood there, torches planted around her and holding up the eye of ender. All around her, skulking in the shadows, were endermen. I felt a chill go up my creeper back.

“Here’s the eye!” said Birch, “This is what you want, isn’t it? I’ll trade it for Lexa. Wherever you’ve hidden her, I want her back you fiends! And uh…and Professor Reynolds too, if it’s not too much trouble. You give me those, and you can have the eye. Fair is fair.”

The endermen didn’t speak. Lexa and Professor Reynolds didn’t appear from the shadows. Instead the endermen began to edge closer. Toward Birch, arms outstretched.

“Hey!” said Birch, “That’s not fair! I want to make a deal! I want Lexa back!”

“Birch!”

Birch turned, “Duffy?”

The endermen turned too. Away from Birch and towards us. Duffy faced the nearest one, “Hey, long and tall, heads up.”

Duffy leapt up and kicked the enderman right in the face. It screeched and began stumbling backwards. The other endermen turned away from Birch turned to us. They hissed, a terrible sound like sliding gravel. And then they attacked.

“Fred!” I yelled, “Fire!”

Two endermen ran at us, arms outstretched to snare us. Harris yelled in panic, but Fred did as he was told. The slime-thrower worked like a charm. The two endermen were hit by blasts of slime, and were stuck to the ground. They struggled, but it was no good. The slime Duffy gave us was quite the stickiest stuff I’d ever seen. I’ve kept some for further study – it might be useful for my long-unfinished Magenta Fashion-Friendly Climbing-Boots.

“Take that!” said Duffy. She kicked another enderman away, running toward Birch, “And that! And that! You tall scruffy shadow-sniffers!”

Seeing Duffy battling the endermen with her bare hands, I understood at last why Schumpville had been so free of mobs for so long. No sensible monster would have come to this town knowing Duffy was here to fight them. That meant that either the endermen didn’t know, or they were not sensible at all.

“Come on,” Duffy snatched Birch’s hand, “We need to get out of here.”

“But Lexa,” said Birch, “I can trade the eye of ender for…”

“No!” said Duffy, “The endermen won’t trade. They’re total wacko, dude, for real! Come on, let’s go…”

And enderman barred their path. Fred wasn’t quite fast enough with the slime-thrower, and the awful creature snatched Birch by the arm.

“Hey! Lemme go! Lemme go!”

Then, out of nowhere, Bungo was there. He appeared from the shadow like a phantom, and clouted the enderman across the head with his shovel. The enderman groaned and let Birch free.

“Get off her, you swirly smokey beastie!” said Bungo.

“Bungo!” I yelled, “What in the name of Notch are you doing here?!”

“This is my maze!” he said, “And these nasties are ruining it. Who’s going to go for a trip to the maze so long as these devils are in here?” He took Birch’s hand, “C’mon now little one, let’s get out of here.”

The endermen were gathering now. There were dozens. More than I’d thought, all crawling out of the shadows to attack us.

I didn’t need telling twice. I ran. Not because I’m a coward, of course. It was a tactical retreat so we could get our bearings, naturally. Bungo led the way, Birch close behind. Then went Harris, muttering to himself about this being awfully dangerous. Then Duffy, who kicked any enderman who got too close. Finally me and Fred, sealing the way behind us with a barrage of slime.

By the time we escaped the maze, we’d left the endermen far behind. Bungo led us out into the open air; where we all sat down to get our breath under the moonlight.

“Ouch!” said Birch, as Duffy punched her on the arm, “What was that for, dude?”

“Dude,” said Duffy, “Don’t ever run out on us like that again! You scared the wackos out of me.”

I think it’s fair to say that last night was quite a stressful evening.



Day Eight

Things have changed. Come on Fred get this down. I need it all written down so I can think straight.

“You lost it?!”

“Yeah kinda…”

“How could you lose it?! It was the only lead we head!”

“D’you think I wanted to?” said Birch. She shook her head, and took another sip of milk, “It must have just fallen out of my pocket as we ran out of the maze.”

“It’s alright Birch, it’s alright,” I said.

“Is it?” said Duffy, “That eye of ender was our only hope. Now either the enderman have it, or it’s out in the maze somewhere.”

“If it is, we’ll find it,” I said, “And if not, then we’ll get to the bottom of this endermen crisis another way.”
This morning was just as stressful as yesterday. Perhaps even more so. Fred and I were woken up by a message from the nurse, who told us Professor Gotobed hit his head when we crashed into him and was now back in the hospital wing claiming he could see daisies spinning round his head. There was still no sign of Lexa or Professor Reynolds either. The eye of ender was missing and so (amazingly) was the slime-thrower. Somehow, Fred had lost it overnight. He promised he’d left it in the library, but it wasn’t there now. Personally, I think the foolish creature is losing his wits.

So (since Professor Gotobed had gone to bed, and pretty much everyone assumed that classes were off until he was back) we spent the day reading books once again.

I left Duffy, Birch, and Harris with the mobs and mysticism books. They didn’t like it, but even someone as smart as I can only read one book at a time. So I left them, and Fred and I worked for most of the morning on Professor Reynolds’ notes instead.

Now he really was a strange fellow. Fascinated by other worlds. Every note he had was about ways to visit the nether, or other more mysterious dimensions that I‘d never heard of. There was another thing too. He kept talking about the ‘the coming of Isador’ and what a spectacular thing it would be to watch. Quite who Isador was I didn’t know. A friend? A DJ? Could be anything.

As I moved through Reynolds’ notes, going closer and closer to the night he was taken, they became even more bizarre.

“I’ve found it,” said a note written two weeks before he disappeared, “Bunbury Gobsmith was right. Clever devil. He found it right where Van Katzentanzen said it was. Bunbury Gobsmith thinks we should act now, but I’ve told him to wait. I’m the scholar after all, not Bunbury Gobsmith. We’ll gather everything we need before doing anything hasty. I shall go in the maze later to discuss this with Bunbury Gobsmith.”

“Hrrrrr,” said Fred.

“Indeed,” I said, “I don’t know any one named Bunbury Gobsmith. And as for Van Katzentanzen…”

“Mr Mag!” Duffy yelled, “Come here superfast!”

I did, indeed, rush into the library superfast. Duffy was reading a book, with Birch and Harris behind her.

“What is it?”

“Did you just say Van Katzentanzen?”

“Yes, it was in Reynolds’ notes, why…”

“He was a mobs researcher, he wrote this book,” said Duffy, “And listen, he says ‘On Tuesday I found what I’ve been searching for at last. An End Portal, deep under the earth and untouched for centuries. I’ve marked the location as 220 blocks south of Wilbert’s Hill and 336 blocks west of Mason Point.”

“Woah…” said Harris, “What…uh, what does that mean?”

“It means Professor Reynolds found an End Portal,” I said, “He and somebody named Bunbury Gobsmith. I’ll bet that’s why he had the eye of ender when he was attacked. He was trying to activate the portal, and he had the maze built to lure endermen to him so he could harvest them for eyes.”

“Then why did he go missing?” asked Birch, “Where are he and Lexa now?”

“I don’t know…” I said, “But I do know this. We need to find that End portal.”

“Wilbert’s Hill…Mason Point…” Duffy shook her head, “I don’t know where those places are.”

“I think we know somebody who does.”

The sun was just setting as we arrived at Bungo’s shed. There was no sign of the groundskeeper outside so I had Fred knock on the door.

“Bungo,” I said, “Bungo, are you in there? We’ve found some clues about Professor Reynolds. We need your help.”

There was no answer. Just the rustling wind and Harris’s feet shuffling from side to side.

“Maybe he’s out in the maze,” said Duffy, “He said he’d go look for the eye, didn’t he, in case we dropped it there?”

“Maybe…”

Fred tried the door. It opened. After a quick look at Duffy, I stepped inside.

“Hello?” I said, “Bungo? You in here?”

The inside of the shed was pretty much what you’d expect from a groundskeeper’s home. Lots of shovels, craft benches, and blocks of dirt and wood all stacked up. There was even a chicken, wandering round and looking thoroughly confused.

“Hello?” said Duffy, “Bungo? Dude, you in there?”

I turned round, and caught sight of a picture above the door. In the dark of the shed, it took me a moment to make out what it was. It looked like some sort of certificate.

“The Minecraftia Gardening and Herbology Board,” I read aloud, “are proud to present this certificate of maze-building and design second class to Mr Bunbury Gobsmith III.”

“Bunbury Gobsmith!” said Birch, “The one Professor Reynolds was working with. What’s his certificate doing here?”

“Bungo…” I said, thinking aloud, “Why does everyone call him Bungo? Is that his name?”

“I dunno,” Duffy shrugged, “I always guessed it was a nickname.”

“Bunbury Gobsmith…Bun Go…Bungo?”

“You don’t think…”

“Oh I do.”

“Ah terrific.”

“What?” said Harris, “What is it?”

“It’s Bungo,” I said, cursing myself for not working it out faster, “He is Bunbury Gobsmith. He’s working with Reynolds to open an End Portal, he has to have something to do with his disappearance or else he would have said something. He’s probably the one that stole the eye of ender from Birch too; I bet she didn’t drop it at all.”

“So what do we do now?”

“We find that portal. Fast.”

“Here!” said Birch. She was digging into a chest, and pulled out a tattered looking map of Schumpville, “This map is really old. Look, here’s Mason Point. And here’s Wilbert’s Hill. Just like it said in Van Katzentanzen’s note.”

“Then that’s where we begin,” I said, “To Mason Point.”

“What are you going to do?!” said Harris. He never gets tired of asking that.

“We’re going to find that End Portal. And put a stop to whatever foul business Bungo is involved in.”

***

The directions in Van Katzentanzen’s book led us, surprisingly, to The Iron. At first I thought I must have counted wrong, but we all got the same number (apart from Fred, who we’ll just assume was wrong as usual). 220 blocks south of Wilbert’s Hill and 336 blocks west of Mason Point, that’s where The Iron stood.

“Very peculiar,” I said, “There’s no way this is an accident.”

“So what are you saying?” said Harris, “There’s an End Portal? Under The Iron?”

“Looks like it.”

Fred tried the door, and found it was locked. He gave me a confused look, like he wasn’t sure what had happened.

“Why is it locked?” I asked.

“It’s a Sunday, of course,” said Birch, “The Iron doesn’t open on Sundays.”

“Totally,” said Duffy, “But chill Mr Mag. I know a sly way in.”

Again surprisingly, Duffy wasn’t making it up. She led us round the side of the building to an old window, and pointed out that the glass had been broken long ago. So we climbed through there and inside the Iron. Being of course a creeper I needed Fred and Harris to push me through the window, and I landed on my head on the other side. But there was no harm done.


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