Chimera Book 1
By Phil Gomm
Written by Phil Gomm
Read by Dan Snelgrove
Music by Andrew Fisher
Produced by Dan Snelgrove
Chimera Book 1Feb 25, 2021
Chimera Book 1 / Chapter 21 - The Sin King
Kyp stepped blinking from the tunnel Cuthbert had described into a vast wilderness of discarded carpets. The carpets were layered in drifts, their colours clashing, and their patterns hectic. The horizon swam and shimmered, but Kyp could just make out the dark smudge of a distant city. He set out towards it. Gritty gusts blew across the hummocks of piled carpets, the wind reeking of cat pee and propelling tumbleweeds of dog hair across the dunes. The ground felt oddly coarse beneath Kyp’s feet; looking down, he saw to his disgust that the carpets were crunchy with toenail clippings and jumping with fleas.
Chimera Book 1 / Chapter 20 - The Flamingo & The Dummy
Kyp glanced back at Thingopolis, dark clouds hanging above the distant city. He thought about the Berserker running amok, delirious with pleasure as it battered its way through the ruinous streets. He thought about the Tealeaf, its pale body bright with guzzled Light - and Madame Chartreuse, gliding among the survivors of the Cavalcade, hunting for treasures; hunting for him.
Chimera Book 1 / Chapter 19 - Thingopolis Under Attack!
‘Get out of here,’ demanded Circinus. ‘You cannot be found.’
Sir Regulus shook his head. ‘I’m not leaving you.’
‘Whirlitzer must know you survived. It changes everything.’
‘Which is why you have to go now before you’re discovered.’
‘He’s coming back!’ said Jamie, looking into the warehouse at the approaching figure of the armchair-ape.
‘Go!’ said Circinus.
Chimera Book 1 / Chapter 18 - The Other Carousel Horse
Just as it seemed as if they would be pulped against the ceiling, the basket tipped sideways to deposit Kyp and the others down a steep metal chute. They spilled out the other end onto the stone floor of a windowless warehouse, where they were set upon by a legion of penknife beetles. The beetles picked them up and bore them away as ants carry leaves, transporting them up ramps and along suspended gantries. They sorted Kyp and Jamie into a container filled with dolls’ heads and mannequin limbs and left Sir Regulus knee-deep in hubcaps. Bertram was left upside down in a hamper of broken chamber pots.
Chimera Book 1 / Chapter 17 - The Dismantlers
‘It’s eating us alive!’ wailed Jamie.
‘No,’ shouted Sir Regulus. ‘We’re being taken through into the bombardment compartments. Brace yourselves!’
The shovelisk made a raucous, revving noise at the base of its long throat. Then, with a sharp, quick flick of its head, it ejected the contents of its mouth. Kyp, Jamie and Sir Regulus hit the ground hard, covering their heads as debris rained down around them. Kyp grimaced as the lifeless body of Polly Honeydew landed close by. Ankle-snatchers lay twitching on their backs.
Chimera Book 1 / Chapter 16 - Return To The Plummet Pit
‘Slow down!’ whispered Jamie.
‘There’s no time,’ Kyp whispered back, leading the other boy onwards and upwards through more dank passageways. The dried mud covering their skin was starting to flake, rays of Elsewhere Light flashing from their hands and faces. Desperate metamorphs pursued them.
Kyp had another reason for hurrying: the tealeaf’s contagion, the fugue. How long until he forgot about his determination to reunite the Bean twins? How long before he looked upon this other boy with confusion? How long before he became a lacunatic, a stranger even to himself?
Chimera Book 1 / Chapter 15 - Whirlitzer
‘Don’t bother with excuses,’ said Whirlitzer, walking further into the Museum Room. ‘I knew your conviction was weakening, Regulus, but I didn’t think you capable of such blatant defiance. I should have known better. This isn’t the first time you’ve betrayed me.’
Chimera Book 1 / Chapter 14 - The Souvenir Society
The metamorphs turned and ran from the cave into a tunnel. The two boys sprinted after them, dodging debris and geysers of stinking water. The tunnel came down behind them, driving them onwards.
At last, the violent vibrations ceased and slowing finally, the carousel stallion waited for Kyp and Jamie to catch up.
‘Nobody wants you here,’ it told them, as exhausted, the two boys flopped to their knees. ‘At the very least disguise your Elsewhere Lights. You won’t be safe otherwise.’
Chimera Book 1 / Chapter 13 - The Plummet Pit
They landed on an enormous rubbish heap, their fall broken by large chunks of yellow foam and slashed sofa cushions. The rubbish heap was contained inside a cavernous chamber, its buttressed walls running wet with rainbow-slicks of oil. The chamber was illuminated by the flicker of fluorescent tubes that dangled from the walls on lengths of electrical wire. To his disgust, Kyp saw the walls were crawling with ankle-snatchers. More of them scuttled amongst the rubbish heap, their fingers worming through the refuse.
Chimera Book 1 / Chapter 12 - The Phawt-Gnoks Oligarchy
Kyp’s eyes snapped open. He was flat on his back, his body listing from side to side. He was being carried on some kind of stretcher through a narrow canyon of crumpled, colour-splashed paint kettles.
As Kyp sat up a gruff voice complained, ‘Do stop fidgeting. You’re putting me off my stride.’
‘We have to go back. We have to go back, we -.’
Kyp stopped, as a number of details impressed themselves upon him. His transport wasn’t a stretcher, but a large brown sofa. It resembled a kind of buffalo – a soffalo! - and he was on the creature’s soft, brown back.
Chimera Book 1 / Chapter 11 - The Boy In The School Uniform
The dust cleared to reveal the figure of a boy. He was a little older than Kyp and wearing a school uniform, his white shirt untucked and the knot of his navy-blue tie pulled tight. The boy’s face was pale and streaked with dirt, his thick blonde hair clinging to his forehead in clumps.
Chimera Book 1 / Chapter 10 - Caramels & Coconut Cracknell
The cavern above the ankle-snatchers’ prison was dominated by a series of huge stalactites. In the soft light given out by the toadstool lamps, they glimmered with different colours. As Kyp and Atticus neared the first of them, Kyp became aware of their peculiar smell, a curious mixed-up fragrance of cheese and onion crisps, tangerines, and chocolate. He was amazed to find the jewel-like objects studding its surface were chocolates in foil twists. Also embedded were spirals of dry, wrinkled orange peel, clusters of nuts and countless one penny and two pence pieces.
Chimera Book 1 / Chapter 9 - Captain Toothache & The Silver Locket
For a long time, neither Kyp nor Atticus spoke.
‘Say something, Kyp,’ said Atticus finally. ‘Please.’
But Kyp didn’t know what to say.
‘What are the ankle-snatchers going to do with us?’ he asked instead.
‘We’re of little interest to them now. They’re hoarders, nothing more. Look at the walls. See how they’re ripped where others have tried to escape? Do you see what covers the floor? When a metamorph reaches the end of its life it becomes an object again, nothing more.’
Chimera Book 1 / Chapter 8 - The Moppet-Drover
Kyp awakened with a start.
He leapt up and pawed at his clothes. Scanning his surroundings, he found no sign of either toe-biters or ankle-snatchers – or Atticus. Kyp noted the snake’s absence without surprise. He wondered how long it would be before Madame Chartreuse came to collect him. Kyp had no intention of being here when she arrived.
Chimera Book 1 / Chapter 7 - The Bedrock Catacombs
Kyp opened his eyes to near darkness. He’d dropped into a tunnel, his fall broken by something springy and soft. Ahead of him there was faint yellow light, little brighter than a candle.
He shook his head, as if clearing his ears of water. The green light was gone, but not quite yet the happiness it had given him, which persisted just long enough for Kyp to feel more lost and alone than ever.
Atticus had lied to him.
Chimera Book One / Chapter 6 - The Mannequin
His keepsakes back in his pocket, Kyp walked in the direction of the voice.
The miasma floated in thick, smelly ribbons, and out of it a figure materialised. Judging by its height, Kyp concluded it was another child. He hurried towards it, but as the mist thinned, he saw it was the top half of a shop window mannequin. The mannequin was bald, with rouged cheeks, blue eye shadow and red lips. It wore a tightly buttoned tweed jacket.
‘Awfully sorry to trouble you,’ it said, ‘only it really is the silliestthing. You see, I can’t seem to feel my legs.’
Chimera Book 1 / Chapter 5 - The Elsewhere Light
Kyp and Atticus hurried through the Lumen Arboretum. Twigs snapped and baubles shattered as things unseen crept alongside them. Was the fugue creeping too, Kyp wondered, spreading inside him like ink into paper?
Chimera Book 1 / Chapter 4 - The Oblivion Three
Kyp blinked. A blaze of light hurt his eyes.
‘Thank goodness,’ said the snake. ‘I’ve been so worried. You must have hit your head when I pulled you to safety.’
Kyp jumped to his feet. Brown, brittle Christmas trees surrounded him in dense thickets, their dead, dry branches hanging with scraps of tinsel and sad-looking decorations. The ground crackled with pine needles. The tremendous light came from thousands of lamps amassed in clumps about him, their fringed shades in different shapes, colours and patterns. Electrical cables sprouted from their bases, curled together like roots.
‘It’s all right,’ said the snake. ‘You’re safe. For now...'
Chimera Book 1 / Chapter 3 - A Talking Snake
Only Kyp didn’t fall.
The tentacle that attacked him in the labyrinth encircled his waist. It shook Kyp violently then yanked him up out of the chasm and stood him back on his feet.
‘Promise me you won’t run away again,’ said a cross-sounding voice...
Chimera Book 1 / Chapter 2 - The Tentacle and the Tea Tray Bridge
‘Good riddance,’ muttered Kyp, as he crept away into the shadows of the junk shop. He should have been shocked or upset, but all he really felt was relief. That was that then.
Kyp went further this time, deeper, pushing through racks of old clothes that smelled of perfume and pipe-smoke, and picking his way across causeways of boxes. He ducked beneath dangles of dusty chandeliers and inched past steeples of leather-bound books, ignoring how the hairs on his neck stood up as unseen things creaked and shifted in the gloom. He was soon lost, but Kyp didn’t care...
Chimera Book 1 / Chapter 1 - The Mum and Dad Who Weren't
Kyp Finnegan glowered at the two grown-ups sitting in the front of the car. With his creased blue shirt and bald-spot, his dad looked like his dad, and his mum smelled of soap like always, but they weren’t his parents...