David’s mother found that ten in the evening was late enough for her twelve year old son to settle in for the night.
“Ok mum, will do, but I just want to finish this last instalment about Dan Devil. It’s just getting to the part where he can break away from the gangsters.”
“No, no, David, you can finish your story tomorrow and I am sure Dan Devil will survive without you for today. Lights out and sleep”
And with that last remark she gave her son a peck on the cheek and put the light out.
Did David go to sleep, well not exactly. He wanted to finish the story in the comic so took out his torchlight and read the remainder of the story under the sheets. He had just got to the part where Dan was going to be pinned down by the enemy and he was pulling away from them with all the strength he had when the lights went out in Acacia Avenue where David and his parents lived.
“John dear, what is going on?” called David’s mother Alice to her husband. “We have no electricity – did you do something to the tv or switch too many appliances on?”
“Definitely not” answered John “it is not always my fault when the electric doesn’t work. Look outside, the complete street illuminations are down. It looks like a breakdown from the main power station.”
“At 11.30 in the evening, just what we need. I will go and have a look to see if David is ok.”
She made her way up the stairs to his bedroom when a strange thing happened. Alice just froze on the spot. If Alice had remained in the living room with her husband she would have noticed that John also froze, but as Amy was also frozen she probably would not have noticed it. The only person that noticed anything in Acacia Avenue was David her son. David noticed quite a lot in that moment.
When the lights went out in Acacia Avenue they went on with a revenge in David’s bedroom to the effect that for a moment he was blinded from a flash coming from beneath his sheets, to be exact from the comic he was reading. Just as the hands of the gangsters had made a grip on Dan Devil, the hero of the moment made a jump to save himself and landed ….. in David’s bedroom.
“Where the hell am I?” was the first sentence he uttered.
“Help mum” shouted David, but mum was frozen - remember. “Mum, come quick, there is a man in by bedroom and he looks tough.”
“Well thanks pal” answered Dan Devil, “I am tough and I will get tougher if anyone stands in my way. Who are you kid?”
“I’m D-D-David Smith” was the nervous answer.
“Well, kid, just so you know I am Dan Devil, but something is wrong around here – hey I am wearing blue jeans and a black t-shirt with a green jacket.”
“Well, you look ok to me Mr. Devil, it suits you”, although David was thinking if Dan Devil was dressed up as Father Christmas he would have said the same.
“Well, son, something is wrong. I am not supposed to be coloured, I am black and white with a bit of grey, sort of a monochrome thing. And I still want to know where I am.”
By this time David noticed that there was no help to be had from mum and dad, so he decided to do the best he could.
“Call me Dan boy”
“Ok, Mr. eh Dan it’s like this. Either I have fallen asleep and am having a bad dream, or you are really here and that is not so good.”
“Well I think it’s fine, son. I like your room, hey you even have a poster of me on the wall. I already feel at home here, but all the same I shouldn’t be here. I was just thinking about how to escape from those gangsters, made a jump for it and left them behind.”
“Yes Dan you really escaped but you jumped out of the comic I was reading and you are now in my room. I think you should go back.”
“If I go back they might kill me and you don’t want that to happen do you? If they do that I won’t be back with next week’s comic.”
“Now that’s true Dan, but it’s a weekly comic and I am sure you will be back next week, if you return to the comic.”
“Well just how am I supposed to do that? I don’t even know how I got out of it in the first place. Do you have something to do with this boy. Is it your fault, because if it is….”
David was getting a bit worried and had to come up with some sort of idea. He didn’t want to get on the wrong side of Dan Devil.
“I didn’t do anything, it just sort of happened. All the lights went out and then there was this flash and you appeared.”
“So now it’s my fault. I don’t decide what happens with me it just happens. Who put me in this comic in the first place.”
David had an idea. He had a look at the beginning of the weekly story and saw the name Jack Hobbs as the author.
“Dan, have you ever heard of someone called Jack Hobbs.”
“Of course” answered Dan “he draws me and puts these balloons in my mouth every week.”
“Do you know where I can find him” asked David.
“Well I don’t know his phone number, but if you have one of these computer things you might get him somewhere. My boss in the comic story, Mad Morris, has one of those computers to find out where the gangsters are hiding.”
“Yes, Dan, but without electricity this is going to be a problem.”
“Well it looks to me that your computer is working, there is a control light showing.”
And surely the electricity in David’s room was still working. David switched himself into the computer and fed the names Jack Hobbs Dan Devil.
“Show me boy” said Dan Devil “well look at that, you have an e-mail address and telephone no. Now you go and ring that man or mail him and ask what the hell is going on and whether I am still alive next week.”
David crept down the stairs, nearly knocking his frozen mother over on the way, but found her cell phone.
“Call that number David, Jack Hobbs must be there.”
And funnily enough that number started ringing at the other end and someone picked the phone up.
“Hello Mr. Hobbs, this is David Smith – can you hear me”.
“Of course I can, who is David Smith and how comes you wake me up in the middle of the night.”
“I’m a fan of your comic figure Dan Devil and want to know if he survives the attack of those gangsters this week.”
“Well just read on in the comic and you will see the answer”
“What shall I say Dan, he says to read in the comic and the answer is there, but you have jumped out so the comic does not go any further.”
“Give me the phone David. Hello, now listen to me Jack Hobbs, my son David is a sick boy and looks forward to your story every week. The dog made off with the comic this week and chewed up the last pages, so just let us know what happens on the last page. I am sure you don’t want my son to have more problems than he has already. Oh and Mr. Hobbs, if you cannot do us the favour of letting us know, you might get a visit from me and my brother.”
“What’s your brother got to do with it” asked Jack Hobbs
“Nothing much, but he happens to have a black belt in Judo of the seventh dan and he likes to practice on people that annoy me and my family.”
Jack Hobbs decided it would be better to answer. “You know it is midnight and I would just like to get some sleep tonight. Just to keep your boy happy Dan Devil has a hand grenade in his pocket. He pulls the pin out, manages to wrestle away from those gangsters, throws it on the floor and jumps out of the window. The building explodes and the gangsters are killed. As Dan Devil lands on the pavement a beautiful blond with the bluest eyes picks him up. To be continued next week. Happy?”
“That will do Jack, and just remember, Dan Devil always comes out on top or otherwise my brother will……”
Jack Hobbs intervened “No problem, I am sure Dan Devil will always win”
Dan and David returned to the bedroom and Dan sat on the comic book.
“So what now” asked David.
“We just wait for the next flash” said Dan and just as he said the last word there was a flash of blue light and Dan Devil was gone again.
David picked up the comic with shaking hands and had to force himself to look at the pictures. The comic fell out of his hands and when he picked it up to look it opened on the last page where Dan Devil was in the arms of a blond lady, very curvaceous, with blue eyes.”
Suddenly the door opened to David’s room and his mother stood there.
“Just what do you think you are doing David. It is way past midnight and you are still reading that stupid comic. Now just give it to me”
“No buts, David, finished for all, now you go to sleep.”
In Acacia Avenue it was again quiet. The illuminations were on in the street as if nothing had happened and David eventually fell asleep.
The next morning David got up and got ready for school. He was a bit tired, but still wondering if what had happened was a dream or not.
“Well just look at that honey” said David’s father John “the writer of that comic story about Dan Devil, you know the one our son thinks is the best.”
“Yes John, well what about him?”
“You know, Jack Hobbs. Apparently in the house where he lives there was an explosion yesterday evening and he got killed.”
David was suddenly wide awake. “Hey dad, when did it happen”.
“I told you yesterday evening, wait a minute, the newspaper says at 11.30 in the evening. OK David and now can I read the rest of the paper in peace and quiet?”