Chapter 1

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"Happy Birthday, Alex!"

I grin from ear to ear. Eleven years old! Eleven! I just can't believe it!

I look at the big pile of presents then to mum pleadingly. "Can I..?"

Mum laughs. "You kids! Birthdays are all about presents, are they? No, you eat your birthday breakfast first, then I might allow you to open your presents!"

"Mu-um!" I acted all cross but I wasn't really. I love birthday breakfasts. I mean.. who wouldn't? Delicious pancakes heaped with blueberries, chopped strawberries and melted chocolate drizzled on, brightly coloured candles stuck on.It's really great.

I suck melted chocolate off of the the candle holders and tuck into my pancakes. I wish I could have them every day. Imagine that! I tell gran and she chuckles and ruffles my hair and calls me Lord Birthday Pancake which makes me laugh. Grandpa makes an ace story about a boy called King Alex who lived in a pancake castle with a chopped strawberry throne and a crown made of melted golden pancake that can make all your food dreams come true.

I wish I had that crown in real life. Can you imagine? I could have anything I want with a snap of a finger. Well.. or the touch of a melted golden crown. Don't get me wrong:I'm not fat. No matter how I eat, I stay quite thin. Mum says it's a gift.

"Well! You've polished off your plate, Mr Birthday! You can open your presents now," Mum nod, smiling.

"Thanks, mum!"

I dive to the presents and pick up the smallest one and feel it. It's rather soft and squishy. Maybe some sort of cuddly toy? I tear it open and find myself holding a pair of minuscule socks with Thomas The Tank Engine on it. They look like they wouldn't even a fit a newborn baby! My first present as well!

"Who is that from?" Grandpa frowns. He picks up the wrapping paper and on it is a label. "From Granny Mavis. To darling baby Alex XX"

"Oh, she's batty as a frying pan.She thinks you're a baby," My brother Ronald laughs. "Then again, maybe she's right!"

"Shut up, Ronnie! And don't talk about your granny like that either, please. Or your brother for that matter!" Mum tells him and he folds his arms moodily, muttering about he can never have any fun now.

I unwrap Gran and Grandpa's presents to find books and toy cars.

"Thanks, Gran! Thanks, Grandpa!" I beam, opening the book politely and making vroom sounds whilst sliding the tiny plastic cars across the carpet in an effort to look enthusiastic.

Soon I have unwrapped toy dinosaurs, piles of books, sketching books, boxes of chocolates and lollipops and a WHsmith book voucher. Only one last present remains. It's from Ronnie.

I peel off the Merry Christmas! wrapping paper to reveal a big white box.

"Open it, lil bro!" Ronnie smirks, leaning against the wall.

I hesitate for a moment, pull off the lid and peep inside.

"There's nothing inside.It's empty!" I tell Ronnie, confused.

"What? Don't be stupid."

"No, look, empty."

I point into the box and Ronnie snorts.

"Idiot. Your Jokes are not funny, mate."

I look back into the box in confusion and give a start. There's a Furby inside.

"Wha-?" I wonder if I could have missed it. The box was definitely empty before! I pick the Furby up doubtfully. I've always wanted one but I like the new versions. This one is smallish with weird eyes.

I stare at it hard and the eyes suddenly snap open

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I stare at it hard and the eyes suddenly snap open.


I yell and drop it, leaping as far away as I can.

Ronnie stifles a laugh. "It's your own Furby, Al! You've always wanted one so here it is!" He pushes it to its standing position. It waddles a few steps towards me, its mechanical eyes revolving. "Pretty cheap too!"

"Yeah?" I say carefully. "How much did you get it for? Where did you find it?

"Car boot sale.About a tenner. It was the only thing the man sold. He looked creepy as hell but he sure does good prices! That thing is probably worth a lot. Do you like it?"

"Yeah," I lie, eyes fixed on the waddling Furby. "Sure,"

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