View Full Version : Tatty Berry's tales of woe and immense stupidity!

January 12th, 2014, 02:47 PM
This is my first ever thread post, and suffice to say, I am a little nervous, excited and curious to hear what you think! This is the opening chapter from a teen novel that I've just started writing. It is a collection of embarrassing tales, which have supporting illustrations and their primary aim is to make the young adult reader laugh and cringe with embarrassment for Tatty. I would really appreciate any feedback that you have.


You know those films where all the bad stuff happens to the main character and you’re all like “Oh yeah – sure, that could never possibly happen to one person.” Well it can, and that person is me - believe it or not.

Throughout my relatively short time on earth, I must have gathered enough esteem-crushing embarrassment to fill a million pages of Mizz’s cringe sections. And those stories that you normally read aren’t even that embarrassing, all “I got a chip stuck to my bum” or “Ooh! I sneezed when he kissed me…” Yeah? Really? You call that humiliating?

Well, my true stories are FAR worse than those. Those stories you read are nothing in comparison to my popularity crushing holes of destruction. Because, for a start, they actually happened and when you hear them you’ll wish you had a million chips stuck to your bum as a ‘sympathy vote’ for me.

My name is Tatty Berry, I am fourteen years old and I have a tendency to “put my foot in it big-time”, as my best friend of all my life, Jasmine, likes to tell me. In my book, you will read about how I unwillingly do this and how this leads to dire consequences for me and everyone involved.

Are you ready to enter my world, the world of Tatty Berry? Are you ready to read my tales of woe and immense stupidity?

Alright then, but don’t say I didn’t warn you because I did. Here we go…

January 12th, 2014, 03:02 PM
Well, it's a very good first thread. Well done. :)

Your prose is light and readable. It engages the reader as if they were part of Tatty's inner circle. (I love the protagonist's name!)

I think if the tales do not take themselves too seriously, and you keep the jovial light-hearted nature going, it could develop very well.

And those stories that you normally read aren’t even that embarrassing, all

Was there a word missing at the end of this, or was this intentional? - I expected to see 'are' I guess.

“put my foot in it big-time”

I'd work this cliché into your style of humour - I realise it is a quote from Jasmine, but I'd still embellish it a little - Even in this short section, Tatty has developed quite a distinct personality, and I'd like it to shine through at every opportunity.

I'm a couple of generations beyond young-adult fiction, but I can see you write well.

January 13th, 2014, 04:36 AM
By all means continue. Your writing provides a hint that something fun and enjoyable to read is in the works.

February 24th, 2014, 09:36 PM
Thank you for your comments and views. Here is a short story that carries on from the introduction. The basic premise is that Tatty tells ridiculous tales of woe and embarrassing tales that have actually happened to her. This one is called 'The Dreaded Bum Boil.' I would love to hear your thoughts - any suggestions and criticism would be gratefully received!

I don’t know why I am going to share this. But you see, I have a peculiar tendency to get boils. And these aren’t just any boils. Oh no. They are not your basic boil, which is poisonous, can make a baby cryand can turn milk sour. Oh no, these boils I get are BUM BOILS. The worst kind of boil. Fact.

A bum boil takes about two weeks to fully develop and you can feel its growth throughout this time. At first, it feels like an irritating itch – almost like your knickers are constantly skewwhiff and are at risk of disappearing up your bottom, never to return. But then it develops. It matures over the next twoweeks, getting more and more unbearable as time goes on. Until, it’s at the height of its growth. And it’s here, at the last stages of its boil life that it is TRULY horrific and you’re almost willing the day that it pops and you can feel the septic pus running down your leg, burning your skin as it does so.

I’m not even exaggerating.

And this bum boil that I had on my bum was the epitome of all bum boils. It was making walking difficult and I sort of had to shuffle everywhere. Which is all fine and dandy when you have crutches and people can see your injury and be all sympathetic but when you’ve got a bum boil that is making your right bum cheek look like Beyonce’s (but SO NOT in a good way), then it kind of gets VERY embarrassing. Especially when people are asking what’s wrong and you’re trying to disguise the fact that you’re technically lopsided and teetering off to the right.

It was at the final stages of its life, when my mum ‘accidentally’ saw this atrocity onmy bottom (I’ve put accidentally in inverted commas because who in their right mind ‘accidentally’ walks into the bathroom when their teenage daughter is showering? And no exclamations of “stop being ridiculous, I gave birth to you, I’ve seen it all before” will ever cut the bread, thank you very much).

This is what she said after her eyeballs had recovered from the sight:

“Oh Tatty darling, we need to go and get that checked out.”

(I’ve painted my mum in a good light here. Truthfully, she spent about five minutes not saying anything, making indescribable zombie grunts and just staring and pointing at my bottom. It was most off-putting, particularly when you’ve just lathered your hair in shampoo and you’re trying to tell your mum to “bog off”whilst desperately trying not to get soap suds in your eyes.)

So we did. And, as ridiculous as it sounds, mum made us go to A&E. A&E is meant for EMERGENCIES not bulbous boils!

We spent about 45 minutes arguing about it and mum was having none of it, she was the“boss” after all and when I pointed out that we had indeed been arguing about it for 45 minutes and therefore if it was a real emergency, I would probably be dead now and that surely means that having a boil on your bum doesn’t constitute as being life-threatening in anyway as I am aliver than alive which means I shouldn’t be going to A&E as it ISN’T AN EMERGENCY.

Mum huffed at this and dragged me into the car. We were going to A&E. End of.

Whilst we were waiting in the waiting room, mum made a special bum cushion for me with her coat. She insisted, as it “would ooze the tension and swelling in my bumcheek.” She said this very loudly and I wanted to die on the spot. Did everyone have to know? But then, luckily and unluckily for me, they called my name. And not just anybody called my name, Archie Jenkinson’s[1] (http://www.writingforums.com/#_ftn1)mum called my name. I didn’t move; I couldn’t move. I was frozen on the spot. I mean, this could be it –this could be the moment Archie Jenkinson’s mum falls in love with me and then sets me up with her son; this could be the start of mine and Archie’s passionate love affair. This was it. This was mine and Archie’s time take two. All of my other misdemeanours would be forgotten and forgiven (don’t pretend you don’t know what I’m talking about, you know, the whole “bra” episode which I’d only just got over. Like, I’d just got over it right there at that moment in time when my life felt like it had taken a sudden optimistic twist).

Then I realised.

I had a throbbing bum boil on my right cheek that was at risk of erupting and causing an avalanche of festering pus at any moment. This really WASN’T going to be the start of our love affair. How could it be? No romantic stories ever begin withthe explosion of a bulbous boil!

And then it dawned on me even further…She was going to have to look at it. Because that’s what nurses do.I WANTED TO DIE! I WANTED THE GROUND TO SWALLOW ME UP AND FOR ME TO NEVER RESURFACE. (AGAIN! – Why did this KEEP happening to me?)

I turned to mum for help. She must stop this from happening. THIS IS SOCIAL SUICIDE.She sensed my panic. But instead of saving my dignity and teenage years, she took my hand,squeezed it and talked to me like I was five years old, “Don’t me frightened of the nurse, Tatty Darling. She is here to help you. Can you be a brave girl for mummy?”

Amazingly, I nodded. I mean, I actually nodded. I am fourteen years of age, getting a bum boil checked out by the sex god’s mum and I nodded like I was five years old wanting an ice cream with hundreds and thousands on.

Archie Jenkinson’s mum led us into a hospital bay. Mum explained the situation and Archie Jenkinson’s mum asked if “I could drop my pants so she could take a look.” Stupidly I did this. I didn’t even protest or hesitate.

This was it. My life was officially over. I heard her white, clinical gloves ping against her wrist as she put them on, ready to inflict torture on their unwilling victim (that being me in case you didn’t know!). The sound reverberated through my brain, causing my hairs to stand upon end and my spine to tingle.

“Okay, Tatty.This looks like a nasty little brute. What I’m going to do is I’m going to apply a little pressure to the boil to see if it will ooze pus. It’ll hurt for a bit but I’m sure you’ll be a brave girl. Is that okay?”

I whimpered what I thought was an okay but in reality was a mehmh. (FYI: this isn’t a wordor even a recognised sound.)

Then the squeezing started.

It felt like all my senses had gone to my bottom to experience the utter pain that Iwas feeling. My bottom twisted and throbbed with the intensity of the squeezing. I could feel the septic pus channelling and finding its way out, finding the middle point, its breaking point. The poignant pus was slowly making its way to the epicentre of the boil, and it was heaving the skin andtrying to break the barricade whilst crying “let me out! We are ready to bereleased! Let me out!”

And then I heard it.The soundof the boil breakage. The sound of the pressure exploding through the barrier and being released into the atmosphere.

And then…

“Argh!Yuck!” Archie Jenkinson’s mum exclaimed whilst running to the little sink in the corner.

I turned around and there, on Archie Jenkinson’s mum face, was a large splattering of bright yellow mucus pus. It was slowly running down her face, burning her perfect Jenkinson skin. She had one eye closed and was aimlessly floundering at the sink, whilst shouting for help from her nurse friends. Her arms were flailing everywhere - knocking ointments, dressings and pills off the once neatly arrayed shelves. As they dropped, they hit her head and made her lose her balance on several occasions, causing her uniform to rip and her to be eventually knocked unconscious.

Three nurses ran in to assist Archie Jenkinson’s mum. They bathed her eye, wiped the pus and put on some sort of cream, which mum said would ooze the swelling.

And all of the time they were doing this, yes, you’ve guessed it, I sat there staring with my knickers round my ankles. Not registering or wanting to believe what my revolting bum boil had done to my potential mother-in-law. The image of Archie Jenkinson’s mum, unconscious on the floor with septic bum boil pus disfiguring her Jenkinson beauty is something that is STILL burnt into my retinas. According to Jasmine, my best friend of all my life, this image will never leave. Great. So I might as well give up on the whole lover’s dream thing now then. Brilliant. NOT.


Apparently, Archie Jenkinson’s mum’s face improved over time. The septic bum boil pus only took off a few layers of skin and she could see properly after a week, so if I am perfectly honest, I don’t see what the fuss was about.

Oh who am I kidding?

How will I ever get over this?

And I think Archie Jenkinson’s mum has told Archie as he always shouts “SPLAT” and “BULLSEYE” whenever I walk past him. Jasmine is the only one who finds any of this remotely funny, and if she carries on, I might have to sack her from the role of best friend and employ someone new into the role. On second thoughts, I don’t think anyone would want to be best friends with Tatty Berry, bullseye boil bum. I think the love affair has ended before it has even begun. MY LIFE IS OVER (again).
[1] (http://www.writingforums.com/#_ftnref1)FYI: Archie Jenkinson is the love of my life and has been since nursery, it issuch a pity that he hasn’t come round to my way of thinking and feeling… YET!There still is time…