Chapter 1

The smell of beer and smoke wafted through the noisy room. The fat innkeeper squeezed past the tables, trying not to spill anything from the five mugs he was holding. He nearly stumbled over a small dog lying on the floor next to a table, and almost banged his head on a petroleum lamp hanging from the ceiling as he stood on his toes to look for the people who had ordered the beer.

At last he reached the table, and put down the mugs. By now, he had spilled so much that there was only half the beer left; but the people didn't notice. They were too busy talking.

"I never thought something this bad could happen to us!" an old lady said. She was wearing a black dress and her grey hair was pinned up with a knitting needle. She was wearing glasses, but looked over them rather than through them.

"At least none of us have been taken to You-Know-Where yet," a small old man with a long white beard, which was trailing on the floor, said. He was kneeling on the chair so he could look above the edge of the table. He was also wearing glasses, but they made him look stupid rather than intelligent and magnified his eyes too much. "Lampiro, please pass me that mug! I want some too!" he shouted across the table at a tall young man with red hair and hairy arms and legs, who was wearing an old T-shirt from playing in the national soccer team.

"But who knows what they'll do? They might come any time! Remember how fast they were with the Tree People? They were grabbed just a week after their story stopped!" a young lady with tangled red hair said. She was also wearing a black dress.

"The story didn't stop. The Author stopped writing!" the old lady corrected her.

"We have to be careful!" Lampiro said. "I heard they start with children first. The younger they are, the earlier they go."

"What? Then… what… what'll we do with the school?" the small man asked, jumping around nervously on his chair and spilling some of his beer.

"Think, Little Lowe," Lampiro said. "The school will close anyway! Don't you know what's going on?"

"Y-y-yes, I do!" Lowe stammered.

"Oh, this is horrible! Why can't the Author just continue?" the red-haired lady moaned.

"Lack of ideas?" Lampiro suggested.

"It would have come anyway. It's too bad we were invented by such a lousy writer!" a young man with curly black hair and a beard said.

Just then, the door opened and some snow and cold air flew in. Something looking like a big ball of fur entered and shook itself. It was a tall, dirty, young man in a big fur coat. He had dirty brown hair and there was something about him that showed he came from the streets. He took off his big fur coat and joined the five at their table. One could see that they didn't like him, because they moved away from him at once.

"Hello, everyone!" he greeted them. He took Lowe's beer tankard and drank up the last sip.

"Hey! That was mine!" Lowe complained and tried to jump at him across the table.

"Easy, Albert. Just ignore him!" the red-haired lady said, holding him by his beard.

"Dumbiyaha, you know we don't want you here," the old lady told the newcomer icily.

Dumbiyaha pretended not to hear, and leaned back in his chair, looking at the angry faces. "What's wrong? Why so angry?" he asked them.

"You know exactly why!" the man with the black hair said through clenched teeth.

"What? You mean because I've been taken out of the Blue Tooth?" Everybody shuddered when he mentioned it.

"Don't ever say… the B. T. word again!" Albert Lowe hissed. "Let me go, Enorma! Let me teach him a lesson…" he told the red-haired lady.

Dumbiyaha put his feet onto the table and rocked on his chair. "Who cares?" he said, "Anyway, I can't help it that I've been taken out again. If you want to be angry with someone, don't be angry with me! I've never done anything wrong!"

"But you can enjoy everything now! You might still have a few months of happy life before the Author changes her mind again and decides to dump you, like us," Lampiro said.

Dumbiyaha stopped rocking on his chair, and put his feet back on the floor. "What? You've been stopped?" he asked, looking shocked.

They nodded. "She hasn't written for a week. We're expecting the… You-Know-Whats… any time now," the old lady said.

Dumbiyaha quickly glanced at the door as somebody opened it again, as if to check that it wasn't one of the people from the Blue Tooth. But it was only someone leaving the inn.

"Are you sure she's really stopped?" he asked, turning around again.

"Well… we can never really be sure. It's hard with her, because she sometimes starts the story again only shortly after stopping. But this time she really stopped," Enorma said.

"Oh… I… I'm sorry… I didn't know…" Dumbiyaha stammered, getting up, "I… I think I should go now… supposed to go buy some cat food. For my mistress's fifty cats…"

When he had gone, the five people sat in silence for a while. Then the man with the black curls said, "Well… what now? What shall we tell the students when they come to school in two weeks?"

"That, Illworth, is simple," Lowe said firmly. "They mustn't know about it at all!"

"And that means for Meyhem and Enorma too!" Lampiro added, looking at the ladies. "Women are well-known to let things slip! Okay? No gossiping among students!"

"Why should I tell the students?" Mrs Meyhem said. "I never take favourites! Anyway, I believe this subject should not be mentioned at all!"

One by one, the five people left the inn, Little Lowe last, after he had undone his beard, which Illworth had tied to the table leg.

A/N: Sorry if the chapter is a bit short... I wrote this when I was 13; this is my second-ever long story. I'll update if people are interested. : )