Yesterday, we published reminiscences from Aimée and Rose de Larabeitti, the daughters of author Michael de Larabeitti. The stories their father told them stories would go on to publish as the anarchic, anti-authoritarian, and completely wonderful Borribles Trilogy of young adult books. Republished this month by Tor UK (here's Cory's review!) we're delighted to present the first chapter of The Borribles for your enjoyment. — Eds.

The swirling rain-clouds rushed on revealing the bright moon, and the two Borribles dodged behind the bushes and kept as quiet as they could. There was danger in the air and they could feel it. It would pay to be cautious.

‘Strewth,’ said Knocker, the chief lookout of the Battersea tribe, ‘what a bloody cheek, coming down here without so much as a by-your-leave.’


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Lightfinger, Knocker’s companion, agreed. ‘Diabolical liberty I call it . . . nasty bit of work, covered in fur like nylon hearthrugs . . . snouts like traffic cones . . . like rats, aren’t they?’

‘There’s a big one, just getting into the motor, he’s shouting at the others, he’s the boss all right. Tough-looking, do you see?’

‘Yeah,’ answered Lightfinger, ‘they do what they’re told, don’t they? Look at them move.’

Presently the two Borribles saw the large car drive away in the moonlight, passing along the shining tarmac which led between the trees to the limits of Battersea Park. The car stopped for an instant at the gates and then turned left into Albert Bridge Road and disappeared on its way southwards into the quiet streets of the outer London suburbs.

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