Well Hello!

It is really very nice to meet you.

As you know my name is Great Uncle Owain,  and I am a Great Uncle

 to most of the Glitzi Gum Characters that you have become acquainted with,

 except Dewin Thyme the 'Bestist Wizard on the Glitzi Planet, the 'funny' Gums,

and the evil, nasty,bad Malvicieux Gum.

My wife is Great Auntie Gwen.


                                          Chapter 4

          'Thunder in the Library' and the arrival of Great Uncle Owain

What a library! The Gladstone book repository at Hawarden in North Wales is an amazing place and so very full of the magic captured in books over the times of man. Row upon row of old reference books on two floors housed in an equally impressive pink stone 3 storey lead lighted castilic building, offering silence and solitude, excellent for contemplation and research. There are many references to Gladstone dotted around the building as you walk on the wooden parquet polished floor, but the presence of the pair of porcelain ink pots, mounted on a ceramic plinth and decorated with flower artwork and sporting fine brass cast flip lids captured the discerning eye. The main attention grabber is the pheasant feather quill pen, which although it had seen finer times, rose proudly out of the right hand inkpot portraying anarrogance of capability to anyone with the knowledge of use. The inkpots had seen more proactive days but had been forced into retirement by the introduction of the fountain pen followed by the biro pen and then into oblivion by the computer and printer systems.

The weather outside the mullion windows was definitely deteriorating fast.

The rain lashed down against the little glass panes held in the lead framework and every so often the gloomy lighting in the library dipped as if subdued in harmony to the flash of the electric light storm raging in the distance. All was quiet as it should be with the few rustlings of pages being turned and the feint tap of the computer keys as new literature was created.

The 10 or so greyhair men and the librarian concentrating on the worlds in front of their eyes,totally oblivious to the nearing wrath of the weather storm. The research of the 10 or so grey haired men varied from religious understanding to butterflies, from kites to magic and then to Mr Edgar Jones a devout preacher of Cleaniology, the art of preservation by the removal of discarded mess on otherwise pristine surfaces.

The Main Uncle Owain 'arrival' novel.
Edgar Jones was now a researcher following redundancy from Llanpeter University where he was head janitor for inkpot refilling following the decline of the use of ink in pots.

The University supported his new occupation to tackle the problem of chewing gum removal from public places, when the lady chancellor of the university managed to place her high heal shoe in a stuck gum resulting in a pirouette into the canteen slops bin.

This resulted in a most embarrassing covering of the day’s fish and stew menu and topped off with solid custard mixed with apple pie.

Funny how an incident is a catalyst to change.

The lightening flash illuminated all the bookshelves as the straight light shot through the tiny panes of glass and was chased by the resounding thunder crash around the building. Corners of the library out of direct view of the windows remained in the shadows, devoid of light due to the straightness of the lightening beam.

There was an almighty flash of light and the darkest of the corners of the library were illuminated as the light rebounded from the shinny surfaces in the room.

The accompanying thunder crash shook the building framework, rattled the windows and caused all the books on the shelves to shudder just like a line of soldiers taking dress.

All the 9 greyhaired men shook in their chairs, and Edgar Jones hit the delete key by mistakeand a line of twenty words disappeared in a flash followed by a muffled ‘No,Blast, ruddy computers’, closely followed by the mandatory library short hand for ‘shut up the talking or making a noise ‘ from the nine other researchers ‘Shusssssssh’.

Edgar ducked behind the research book he was reading on ‘Gum Bubbling’ by Winifred Chewit secretary to WAG 1948 to 1952.

The double-glazed windows that permitted a condensation accumulation to occur produced tiny droplets of water that were forced to merge into one larger droplet when the thunder crashed. The size of the larger droplet was now sufficient for gravity to grasp it and slowly it trickled down the glass surface dragged back towards centre earth.

The library temperature and humidity was constantly monitored and the second check of the day was due to ensure no damage to the old books. No one looked at the big white clock behind the librarian which registered the arrival of the 3.20 pm lightening strike.

The researching men in the library, already on high alert from the ferocity of the storm were illuminated like ghosts, frozen as they read the reference books on the tables.The lightening flash turned every ones hair white, stood it on end and accentuated the age of the researchers to all look over a hundred years old!

Everyone jumped in their seats as the flash of lightening strained to reach every dark corner of the library.

Heads turned towards the perceived entrance window and the anticipation of the next event.

The wind howled,the thunder crashed, the building shook, dust moved into the air and the temperature of the room dropped sending a cold shiver down the spine of all who gathered there.

The lightening struck again but this time illuminated the library with a softness of light that gave a white hue just like talcum powder rather than the jagged scream of an angry spirit.

The lightening did not flash, but grew in intensity then slowly subsidised like the lights of a passing car, as if time stood still.
A very fine finger of lightening was seen to invade the room brighter than the main strike as if slowed to permit traceability of its track, and totally detached from the mainflash and seemingly positive in its directions.

The unique finger of light shot across the room after passing through the moisture drop on the double glazing glass, and crashed into the shiny aluminium step ladder used by the ‘small’ people to access the books on the lower shelves and by the ‘tall’ people to access the books on the higher shelves.

The finger of light, which was carrying so much energy, rocked the steps to and fro and excited the emittance of an electric blue static shimmer before it rebounded across the library room to the inkwell pot brass lids. The finger of light energy flipped open the lid of the left hand inkwell pot as a finger would flick up the lid with a knocker resounding bang!

It was a good job the ink well pot ink was dry or ink would have splashed everywhere.

The finger of light then shot back across the library room parting the up stood hair of the old mansitting at the dimly lit table researching Magic and struck the gold coloured dehumidifier control knob where it shot up at an angle and struck the sole of a shoe wiggling to and fro under an upper gallery table. The shoe, worn by Edgar Jones who was now ghostly in appearance, was still sitting to the table illuminated by a low light spot lamp typing slowly on a laptop.

‘Ouch’! Shouted Edgar Jones; Shussssssssh’ came the resounding reply from the audience of grey hair old men sat at various tables in the library.

The energy in the finger of light sprung the shoe from Edgar’s foot and it pirouetted through the air to the lower library where it disappeared into a wicker waste paper basket.

At that very instance the emergency lighting system triggered and the darkness of the library was suddenly extinguished, which was good really as mayhem akin to fireworks had broken out in the wicker waste paper basket.

The initial pops and bangs from the waste paper basket were drowned by the prolonged roll of the accompanying thunder clamp that seemed to crescendo and fade like a roll on the drums.

The sudden lighting increase was complimented with the sudden burst of the in house alarm system demanding immediate evacuation of the library building and was accompanied by the screeching of hard rubber pads on the polished parquet floors as the researchers arose from their chairs pushing them out the way, collecting together their belongings, moaning at the sudden interference with their studies and hastily headed for the exit doors.

This was excellent cover for the newly arriving Gum, lost in the cloud of crackers Catherine wheels, bangers and stars effervescing from the waste paper basket.

The basket rocked from side to side, the shoe, a brown brogue with leather sole was totally ensconced in the cloud of chaos, indiscernible as a shoe but acting admirably as the host provider of the gum stuck to the sole.

Slowly but surely the gum absorbed the Glitzi magic.

Edgar Jones, the man with the missing shoe was now rushing around in the library, the alarm still sounding loud, in search of his belligerent shoe.

‘Did any one see where my shoe went’ he shouted.

No one replied.Everyone was in to much of a rush to get to the fire exit door and escape thehigh pitch racket of the alarm system.

Edgar Jones reached the lower floor of the library; his fingers in his ears to prevent entry of the sirens scream and looked up to the balcony where he had been sitting typing up his research. With a bit of Pythagoras he deduced the trajectory the shoe would have followed and turned to look into the far corner of the library room. To his amazement the corner was brightly illuminated with effervesced fireworks ejecting stars Catherine wheels and poppers from out of the wicker waste paper basket enshrouded with an expanding gas cloud of vanilla orange colour and generating one hell of a noise.

‘Gosh’ he exclaimed, transfixed to the spot as if the one shoe had grown roots and the floor, covered in a glue patch, had engulfed his red sock.

‘That is amazing’,‘what are all those little stars, Catherine wheels and poppers doing’, Edgar Jones exclaimed.

He tried to walk towards the wicker waste paper basket but was rooted to the spot, totally unable to move a limb forward. A sensation of a zip grew on his top and bottom lip and he watched in amazement as the zip travelled across his mouth so he could not open it.

At the same time his hands were stuck firm in his trouser pockets and no amount of tugging could withdraw them.

He then stood bolt upright beads of perspiration rolling down his forehead and dripping off the end of his nose as a little voice in his ear said ‘don’t be afraid just stand still, you have nothing to fear and the apparition will be over in a few minutes.

The voice went onto say ‘you will remember what you have seen but you will go dumb when you try to talk about it’, that’s the rules’.

‘You will look silly if you do try to talk about what you have seen as when you mouth the words, nothing will come out of you mouth!’

‘You will gradually refrain from talking about it because you look silly’

Edgar Jones face contorted under the restraint of the zipper. The scene was bizarre, an old man with a grey Mohican hair do, with pasty white skin colours, a zipper across his mouth, both hands stuck in the trouser pockets trying to escape and stuck to the floor with one shoe on and one shoe off.

The final embarrassment was the big toe poking out from the red sock through a failed darning patch. ‘Nice toes’ said the voice in the ear, ‘you need more practice with the darning’ and with that the thread of the sock wrapped its self around the big toe. ‘Won’t be a minute’ said the voice ‘these transformation tend to take a while, but when the passenger is of an age they take a little longer’.

Two minutes had passed, the waste paper basket stopped rocking from side to side and the mayhem of fireworks started to subside.

Slowly the zip undid and the mouth resumed operation by opening.
Edgar Jones stood there calling out but was aware that even though he was mouthing spoken words,no sound was being audibly transmitted.

He was dumbed!

‘It works well ’said the voice ‘many years of development to perfect the magic’

In the chaos of the magic a little Glitzi gum character was forming.

A strange little guy, dissimilar to the other travelled Gums, because he looked old with white hair and a more wrinkled skin around his eyes and mouth. He was fussing with a book in one hand and a stick in the other both of which seem to have minds of their own as to which hand they should be in.

The jostling for hand position slowly subdued in keeping with the dispersion of the orange and vanilla cloud.

The little character reached inside the book and with drew a monocle glasses set and placed them on his nose.

And there on the shoe stood a very distinguished looking Glitzi gum.

‘Ah ha!’ he said‘so this is the library of much knowledge and you’ he said, pointing a finger at Mr Jones, ‘must be Edgar Jones!’

The little character was a ‘senior elder’ of the gums from the planet Glitzi called Uncle Owain.

Uncle Owain had been selected to travel to earth to help the younger gums return the evil Malvicioux gums and speed up the conversion of the waste gums to good gums.

Uncle Owain as a senior elder belonged to the Gums ‘inner hexagon’ so called because the Gums liked the shape more so than circles.

He commanded a respected ‘ore of presence’ and so it was appropriate that the selected apparition location was the library of Gladstone’s books.

Unlike the young Glizti gums the older gums commanded more control of their apparition location and also the ‘host’ who would unwittingly provide their transport around the world.

In this instance Edgar Jones was a very appropriate host even though Edgar Jones had no idea that he was to be the host as Uncle Owain at the time was invisible to Edgar Jones.

With the zipper now open and the hands suddenly released from the trouser pocket prison, Edgar Jones found his feet had acquired movement. Slowly he shuffled forward towards the wicker waste paper basket apprehension written all over his face but curious for an answer.

As he neared the basket he leaned forward to look inside.

Resting toe down with the laces showing was the rebel shoe, still and silent.

Edgar Jones reached inside the wicker waste paper basket and carefully grasped the heel of the brown shoe between his thumb and forefinger. Slowly he raised the shoe in the air, which occurred with amazing ease almost as if the shoe had lost all its weight.

The Glitzi Gum character was as usual invisible to the human however the very fact that Uncle Owain stood on the rising shoe holding on to the shoe laces passed the floating magic into the shoe making it lighter.

Edgar raised the shoe to his chest slowly turning it to view the structure from all possible angles. There were no discernable changes to the shoe. No marks were visible from the fireworks or the projectile shoe landing in the wicker waste paper basket. In fact the shoe was as it has always been.

Uncle Owain watched as Edgar looked at the shoe. He staying stuck to the top of the toe stitching in his little blue shoes and revolved as Edgar turned the shoe in his hands,upside down, right way up, upside down, right way up, upside down right………..

Edgar spun the shoe at least twenty times looking for evidence of the strange event but the shoe offered no clues. Uncle Owain’s eyes were crossed, the left eye looked through the right hand glass of the monocle and the right eye looked through the left hand glass of the monocle. He wobbled on the shoe dizzy from the rotations but the magic glue on his shoes made his location secure.

‘No more spinning please ‘said Uncle Owain ‘just put me back on the end of your leg’.

With that Edgar stop spinning the shoe as if pinged by a static spark, he looked straight forward. His brown eyes opened wide, staring but not seeing, then slowly, very slowly they started to move, first to the left then to the right, his mouth open as if to blow bubbles. Suddenly he jerked forward bending at the hips like a marionette having the string holding the head up being cut. He placed the shoe on the floor, pulled open the laces and slipped the ‘big toe protruding red sock’ into the shoe, wiggled this foot from side to side for comfort then leaning over pulled the laces tight before tying a bow.

With a jerk he stood back up straight and rocked toe heel, almost robotic in appearance, ‘well done said the voice, now lets try a turn’

Edgar, his eyes looking all over the room seemed to have control of his ‘normal body functions ’but no control of his movements and the little voice in his ear sounded to real to ignore.

With out warning the left leg at the knee suddenly lifted into the air, and spun Edgar’s body through 90 degrees before replacing the foot back on the parquet floor with a stomp.

Edgar wobbled; Uncle Owain smiled, and turned on the right shoe to survey the direction that Edgar was now facing. Lifting his little book Uncle Owain shouted ‘forward we go the doors over there, starting with the right leg lift it with care’.

Edgar raised his right foot of the ground and much to his amazement the leg placed the shoe forward half a pace back on the parquet floor and immediately the left foot followed suite.

Edgar was walking,sort off, more like a half body shuffle with a right left swing.

Edger’s eyes moved independently left right, his hands had taken on an unusual wide fingered fan hold just as you would if you were expecting to fall over.

The library alarm still singing away was totally suppressed by the voice in Edgar’s ear.

‘My you are good at walking a long, lets try it with a spring in your step and a poise on your toes’.

With that Edgar stood up straighter raised his body weight up on to the toes of his feet and pranced around aimlessly like a ballerina.
Wales | Children's Story Books | Glitzi Gums | Great Uncle Owain | Harwarden | Castles of Wales
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