The Nameless Horror

A Kids Story: Billy McPugh & The Monsters' Ball

It’s book season in reception and I wrote a story to read to Aidan’s class last week. Some of the rhythm is iffy and the rhyme pattern shifts all over the place, but thirty 4-5 year olds loved it. They played the part of the Squeaks (there’s a line naming three of them and their teacher; amend to suit) and got to roar all together at every RARGH! in the text. And no small child doesn’t find a poo monster hilarious (or, it seems, a clockwork old woman piloted by a goblin), and I got to do a bunch of silly voices.

How I’d love to be/to know an illustrator and try for publication, but I’m not/I don’t, and so here it is for your own reading pleasure.


BILLY MCPUGH & THE MONSTERS’ BALL

There once was a boy called Billy McPugh.
He wasn’t an ogre, wasn’t big, wasn’t blue.

He didn’t have fur, or spikes down his back,
or a beak like an eagle, or teeth coloured black.

But Billy’s best friend was a beast just like that.
She had feathers, and horns, and claws like a cat.

Her voice was an earsplitting, terrible yell,
but she was loving and kind and her name it was Nell.

Now every year the monsters
hold a great big monsters’ ball.
There’s lots of food and lots of drink
and dancing in the hall.

But when his best friend Nell went off
to join the monster crowd,
she said to Billy, “I’m so sorry!
Normal people aren’t allowed.”

When Billy tried to follow her,
a massive giant blocked the door.
“What’s this?” he said. “Not scary,
not a monster, I am sure.

You can’t come in,
Get out, we’re through.
No people at the monsters’ ball,
no party time for you.”

But Billy wouldn’t listen
and he made a clever plan
to make himself appear to be
a monster, not a man.

He made himself a wooden club,
His skin he painted green.
He gave himself a warty nose
Like a witch from Halloween.

Billy walked back to the giant,
and said, “Get out of my way,
for I am a troll, ferocious and fierce,
and I’ve had a very bad day!”

"A troll?" said the giant. "Now don’t make me laugh.
I’ve been more scared of the soap when taking a bath.

That’s not your nose,
and your eyes are too blue.
No people at the monsters’ ball
and no party time for you!”

Next Billy tried a pair of wings,
and covered his body in scales.
He made a big snout to cover his mouth,
and claws to go over his nails.

"I am a dragon, you must let me through, else I’ll burn you all up,” said Billy.
“A dragon? Not so, you’re more like a boy. Don’t think that I’m stupid or silly.”

"Those wings are just made from paper,
Your snout it’s been stuck on with glue.
No people at the monsters’ ball
and no party time for you!”

So Billy took a bedroom sheet,
and cut two holes for eyes.
Some spooky moans and eerie groans
would make a ghostly surprise.

"Wooooooh! I’m a ghost, let me pass, I insist!
I’ll give you a fright if you shan’t.”
“Oh no I won’t,” said the giant. “Stop kidding, desist.
And give me a fright? You just can’t.

Get out, go home, I’ve said before,
You’re never getting through.
No people at the monsters’ ball
and no party time for you!”

Poor Billy trudged away so sad,
he’d miss Nell’s party, all the fun.
But what he didn’t know was that
some things had seen him feeling glum.

In trees and bushes lurked the Squeaks,
tiny creatures all cheeky and dirty.
Squeak-Aidan, Squeak-Eden, Squeak-Oliver too,
Squeak-Pickersgill the worst of all thirty.

The first of the Squeaks jumped out of the bush,
said, “Wait, we can help you tonight.
That giant is nothing to get past, we know,
so long as you tackle him right.

No need to be monstrous to frighten that bully,
all you need is to trust in your friends.
With us on your side you’ll go to the ball,
and believe us the fun never ends.”

"But I’m not scary," said Billy.
“The trick is your roar.”
“My roar’s just too weak
to get through the door.”

"What we do," said the Squeak,
“is we all roar in song.
Our voices are meek,
but together we’re strong.

One Squeak joins another Squeak,
then those Squeaks join one more.
Before you know it, thirty Squeaks
are walking through that door.

So give us once more your warbling roar,
but this time we’ll all join in.
And I think what you’ll find,
when we all roar as one,
is the most incredible din.”

1… 2… 3… RARGH!

"That’s brilliant!" said Billy. "That’s a roar and a half!
It’s totally horribly frightening!
We’ll make that giant jump up so high
you’d think he was just struck by lightning!”

Once more to the door of the monsters he went,
ran with the speed of a rocket.
Squeaks in his hair and Squeaks in his shoes,
and most of them hid in his pocket.

The giant shook his head. “What’s this?
I’ve told you once before,
no people at the monster’s ball…”
Then Billy roared his roar!

RARGH!

The giant jumped. “Aaaargh no! Help! Run!
Won’t someone please save me?
I’m so scared I think I might, just might,
have done a little wee.

Go through, go through, go on, go through,”
the giant showed them after.
The Squeaks and Billy passed the door
into monster songs and laughter.

The other monsters gathered there
saw Billy searching round for Nell
but how this boy had gotten in
they really couldn’t tell.

"Excuse me," he asked a shambling mound,
“I’m trying to find my best friend.
She’s here at the party, I’ve looked all around,
but the crowd seems to be without end.”

"A friend? Have I seen?" said the mound, turning round.
“If I have then what’s it to you?”
The glistening blob loomed above, smelling bad,
for this monster was made out of poo!

Before it could cover young Bill and the Squeaks,
(They wouldn’t have liked it; the stink lasts for weeks!)
Once more,
like before
Billy roared!

RARGH!

The poo monster fled,
squealing loudly in fear,
for the roar, like before,
was most scary to hear.

After him was a witch,
then a zombie, a spider,
a clockwork old woman
with a goblin inside her.

They all ran from young Billy
and his pockets of Squeaks
till at last they saw Nell
who delightedly shrieked:

"Oh Billy, you made it,
I thought that you couldn’t!”
“Miss a party, like this one
with monsters? I wouldn’t!”

And so they went dancing,
played games, and ate cake.
They raced, and they chased,
until it was late.

And when Billy told her
how he’d come to be there,
of the giant, the Squeaks,
how they’d helped him to scare

Nell laughed and ruffled a claw through his hair.
“Oh Billy, you’re silly, oh Billy McPugh.
Seems we’re all little monsters…
especially YOU!”


Encore, applause, exit, pursued by a bear. Or have two children try to eat your jacket to prove what good monsters they’d be. Whichever, y’know.