Archie Thunderclap And The Dogs Of Awesome Power
By Simon Wells
‘BRIIIIIIIICK! Brick!’ Honestly, what was the point in having an 8ft manservant with a daft name and muscles the size of cows when he wasn’t around when you needed him. And right now, Dr Shortlegs needed him urgently.
Dr Shortlegs, you see, was an evil genius. The type who are often found living under volcanoes plotting the moment they will rule the world. At this particular moment, however, Dr Shortlegs had his head trapped beneath a 14-tonne interplanetary telescope that had toppled over. It wasn’t comfortable.
‘Briiiiiiiiiick! If you’re not here in three nanoseconds, I’ll…’ Dr Shortlegs suddenly realised that someone with their head trapped beneath a 14-tonne interplanetary telescope was in no position to make threats. Fortunately, just then the manservant – a tufty-haired brute with a brain as useful as a tiny crusty bogey – reappeared in the observatory at the top of Dr Shortlegs’s secret headquarters (a less-than-volcano-like terraced house in Milton Keynes). With a twist of Brick’s huge hands his master was free.
‘Brick! Where were you? Oh nevermind! Anyway, I’ve found it! The lost planet of Alpha Romeo, where nobody grows taller than 3ft 2in. Look through the telescope! Just look! No Brick, the other end. See the tiny people. See how stumpy their legs are. Now fetch the Chocorocket!’
As Brick shuffled off, Dr Shortlegs recalled how the big kids at school had picked on him. Ever since his 11th birthday, young Dinosaur Rubikscube Shortlegs – he soon began to use only his initials – hadn’t grown a single micro-millimetre. He was, and always would be, 4ft 3in. But now this was his Big Moment; his moment to take over a new world; a world where everybody was shorter than him.
* * * *
Twelve-year-old Archie Baker wasn’t having a good day. For starters, it was maths all afternoon. For seconds, his teacher was more BORING than the longest car journey ever. For thirds, it was STILL maths. And for, well, more than thirds, he’d forgotten his packed lunch.
But it wasn’t just Archie. Everybody was grumpy. Even though it was a sunny day, everyone seemed to be under a cloud.
Increasingly peckish, the boy distracted himself from his sums by dreaming of the chocolate bars he would buy after school.
So it only made him more grumpy when he arrived at JJ’s 24-Seven-Eleven-365 SuperStore to find that all the chocolate had been stolen. Bar none. Literally.
Now everyone’s bad mood made sense.
* * * *
Back at the secret terraced headquarters of Dr Shortlegs there was banging and crashing coming from a large cardboard box. Finally, Brick clambered out clutching an amateurishly assembled 4ft 3in-long spaceship.
Dr Shortlegs pulled a Kit Kat Chunky from his lab coat and inserted it into a slot marked: “Insert chocolate bar here”. The Chocorocket whirred into life, wobbled, and lifted precisely 1.2mm off the floor.
The evil genius tapped frantically on his calculator. ‘By my carefully calculated calculations,’ he declared, ‘we need 14,000,000,000,000,003 Kit Kat Chunkies to get to Alpha Romeo. Brick, we’ve got stealing to do.’
* * * *
Archie ran home without stopping even to tie the shoelace flapping around his ankle.
You see, this was also Archie’s Big Moment, for Archie was in fact a Secret SuperSpy. His codename: Archie Thunderclap.
He whistled for his dogs, Benji, a Labrador, and a Scottie called Luke; his assistants otherwise known as the Dogs of Awesome Power. ‘Quick lads!’ he cried. ‘To the SuperSpy Kitchen Cupboard. We need our kit.’
Archie pulled on his Beanie Hat of Braininess, handed Benji his Collar of Amazing Laser Eyes and Luke his Tartan Jacket of Incredible Bendiness. They could also now run at SuperSpeed. And fly. Which was great.
Using his SuperBrains, Archie realised that once the shops were emptied of chocolate, the thief would head for the Mega-Massive Kit Kat Chunky factory on Chocolate Island.
‘Benji! Luke! Let’s fly!’
* * * *
As they hovered above the island they saw a most peculiar thing. A small man in a white coat and a large man with tufty hair were on an enormous ship. The man in the coat was pointing a laser gun at the factory, which glowed red as if it were heating up. The tufty-haired man, meanwhile, held a giant hosepipe that trailed from the glowing building.
‘They must be melting the chocolate so they can pump it out,’ thought Archie.
The SuperSpies flew into action. With his laser eyes, Benji blasted Dr Shortlegs into the water, while Luke used his stretchiness to tie himself around the hosepipe, cutting off the flowing chocolate.
Archie swooped down and plucked a soggy Dr Shortlegs into the air. Gripping the evil genius’s ankles, he launched him at Brick, who was still on the ship.
For a few seconds, everything became strangely calm. Dr Shortlegs hurtled through the air in stunned silence. Brick stared at the approaching lab-coat-clad missile with confused wonder. He carried on staring as his boss smashed into his nose, rebounding off into a heap.
Brick still looked confused. His left eyebrow twitched. His massive mouth opened slightly. Then he fell back, knocked out cold.
Working quickly, Archie and Benji switched the pump into reverse to send the chocolate gushing back, while Luke wrapped himself around Dr Shortlegs until the police arrived.
‘Now we can have our chocolate bars back. And the only bars you’ll be seeing will be in your prison cell,’ said Archie, with a self-satisfied grin.
And with that he patted Benji, turned around, tripped and fell flat on his face. Even SuperSpies need to remember to tie their shoelaces.