Black Maria by Diana Wynne Jones

By Diana Wynne Jones

Whilst Mig and Chris visit stick with nice Aunt Maria within the claustrophobic city of Cranberry-on-Sea, Chris falls so foul of his nice aunt that he is become a wolf, and Mig has unforeseen assist in her dramatic bid to save lots of him. The author's different books contain "Archer's Goon".

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Aunt Maria used her low sorrowing voice on me and then told Chris he had to go instead. Mum took one look at Chris’s face and martyred herself again by saying she would go with Aunt Maria. I can’t think why Aunt Maria needs Mum. When zero hour approached, Elaine and her husband came round with the famous wheelchair. Mr Elaine – who is called Larry – is smaller than Elaine and I think he was one of the line of zombies who got off the train. Anyway he has a pale, drained, zombie-ish look and does everything Elaine says.

I left it,’ she said. ‘I’ll go back for it. You take the cat food and wait in the main square. I seem to remember this picturesque little dump has a café there. ’ Which shows that Mum is a fairly human saint. But cat food weighs a ton. When I got to the main square I put it on the steps of the war memorial and wandered about. The café was shut. Of course. So I went down the street Mum was most likely to come to the square by so that I could wave and save her the journey when I saw her. And instead I saw a car parked by the chemist.

It’s getting cold and dark. ’ The lady was one of the Mrs Urs. As the children all obediently walked towards her, I remembered she was Phyllis Forbes. I was going to tell Chris, but I looked at the man first because it was embarrassing with him standing there. He seemed to have gone. So I looked at Chris to tell him and Chris’s face was a white staring blur, gazing at me. ’ I said. ‘I have,’ he said. ‘The ghost from my room. ’ I ran then. I couldn’t seem to stop myself. I went tearing my way through the bushes all across and down the little hill and then out into a field of some kind and then into another field after that.

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