Kyp Finnegan is lost in Chimera after running away from the imposters pretending to be his parents. Chimera is as remarkable as it is dangerous - a fantastical world of lost properties in which bowties evolve into butterflies and abandoned sofas transform into snorting herds of soffalos! With the help of Atticus Weft, a sock-snake with a secret, Kyp must evade the clutches of Madame Chartreuse, who is determined to add him to her collection of lost children and imprison him in Chimera forever...
Written by Phil Gomm Read by Dan Snelgrove Music by Andrew Fisher Produced by Dan Snelgrove
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.
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.’
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?
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...'
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...
‘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...
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...