This is a sneak preview (a preview for sneaks) of the beginning of THE saga, which is awaiting publication as part of La Gr@not@’s relaunch (sometime early this year, 2022!) It’s a collaborative-writing novella, which was slapped together on a social media site for writers. A prequel – The Habit – is being written NOW (and you can join the writing team!) HERE on WordPress.

ALL proceeds from both books, when published, will be going to groups which work with refugees – either saving their lives at sea or working with them (especially with the children) on land.

So far, THE saga has only one illustration (the cover). If any graphic artists would like to contribute further illustrations, they may be sent as JPG attachments (+/-200kbs) to saga (AT) la-granota (DOT) com… or leave a comment below and we will contact you.

THE saga is divided into 3 parts: “The Fellowship Or Some Thing”, “The Two Towels”, and “The Return Of Tol Kien”. We show the beginning of “The Fellowship Or Some Thing” below.

Aisha wiped the mud out of her eyes before plunging her head into the almost-freezing mountain stream.

“That Jon!” she muttered (filling her mouth with water, the rash girl), “He’ll pay for this!”

Shaking her head caused myriad waterdrops to fly out from her long, red hair. – Emilie van Damm

A frog peeked out from a tree bole (it was a tree frog).

“Bleedin’ hoomings!” it croaked. “Narstying up our ribber!” – Jimmy Hollis i Dickson

“Less of the hoomings!” Aisha spat through gritted, frozen teeth. “It’s as much our ‘ribber’ as yours.” – Hache L Jones

She considered throwing a handful of pebbles at the vile creature but thought it a waste of good anger. Instead she concentrated on tying up her knotted hair with unnecessary vigour. If she was going to catch up with Jon, she would need some shoes – anybody’s shoes. – Victoria Fielding

As if summoned, Jane Austen – turned into a zombie by unscrupulous literary agents keen for a 21st century scoop – stumbled out of the undergrowth.

“This is going to be a push-over”, thought Aisha… and pushed Ms. Austen over.

The shoes were a bit small and really too dainty for forest running, but PERHAPS better than nothing. – Wilhelmina Lyre

[The literary agents of Ms. Jane Austen (b. 1775, d. 1817, z. 2016), being too unscrupulous to sign up with an upstanding web-site such as this, have put themselves (by devious means) in contact with myself and asked me to include the following contribution from their client:]

“Waaurughhhhhhhhh”, ejaculated Miss Jane.

“Do not you think”, riposted the tree-frog, “that you are hardly in a position to make such a statement? And watch your language: words have changed their meanings since you were alive, and there are children perusing this, do not you know?” – Jane Austen

Aisha, somewhat confused, beat the zombie Austen to a greasy stain with the dainty yet suprisingly lethal shoes, forever ending her plans to marry a handsomely moustached zombie. – Victoria Fielding

‘Hmm,’ said Aisha, wiping the remains of Miss Austen from the shoes. ‘A bit messy, but they’ll do.

Slipping the shoes on, she set off through the undergrowth, making for where she’d last seen Jon. – Helen Jones

Meanwhile, three sneaky, creepy, slinking literary agents slinked creepily and sneakily from under a large, moss-covered rock and slinkily crept their sneaky way over to the remains of the greatest undead novelist in the English language… bar none!

“A shame to waste our investment,” gargled one of them to the other two.

Schlepping the battered zombie away, they all squeaked sleekly: “Jane Austen shall rise again!” – Jimmy Hollis i Dickson

Two kilometres ahead already, Jon (remember Jon?) was taking a breather and combing the lovely, long hair on his legs. He KNEW that Aisha would soon smell him out (that awful aftershave that he’d been forced to use after his overnight stay at Luigi’s) and face him down. Were red-heads ALWAYS this dangerous?!!! – Wilhelmina Lyre

A particularly large Red Kangaroo (Osphranter rufus) – carrying a sunglasses-wearing Southern Hairy-Nosed Wombat (Lasiorhinus latifrons solisspeculi) in her pouch (both of them on a long-desired European six-month holiday “to take a squizz at the Poms and Euros” – startled Jon by landing right in front of him after a six-metre bound.

“Strewth, Cobber, this is a fair dinkum op shop, and I’m as dry as a dead dingo’s donger!” exclaimed the Osphranter.

“Pay no attention to her: she’s just skulled a whole row of gooms, and it’s fried her brain; she doesn’t know Christmas from Bourke Street,” explained the Lasiorhinus. – Emilie van Damm

Jon, in a vain attempt to maintain some degree of reality, could only stumble: “I’m afraid that I don’t…”

“Those gooms have dried me out: got any amber fluid on you?” insisted the kangaroo.

“You just watch it or the booze bus will be along to get you to blow in the bag… and I’m getting out before you make with the technicolour yawn: I’ve got to strangle the lizard, myself,” was the wombat’s contribution to the conversation. – Jimmy Hollis i Dickson

“The booze bus would have bloody hard yakka getting here: it’s beyond the black stump!” retorted the kangaroo, leaning forward to facilitate the egress of her stumpy-legged passenger.

“Do I understand that you would be appreciative of a beer?” asked Jon, fishing three cans of the ‘amber fluid’ out of the sack he had left lying on the ground, while the wombat delicately disappeared behind a tree to take care of business.

“You little ripper!” exclaimed the kangaroo, adding to the unseen wombat: “this bastard’s blood’s worth bottling!” – Wilhelmina Lyre

[An (unfortunately: ONLY) nearly comatose Jane Austen (zombie) has asked her literary agents to pass on the following contribution to our work. Frankly, I’m getting a bit narked that she’s muscling in here, using up MY turns at bat, so that my own rules bar me from contributing original additions of my own. It is only crass commercial calculation (you see: I have a turn for alliteration) that urges me to cede my rightful place to her. After all, we’ll be able to splash “The NEW novel by JANE AUSTEN (and co-writers)” all over the front cover.]

“To sit in the shade on a fine day and look upon verdure is the most perfect refreshment,” opined the kangaroo.

“And yet there is nothing like staying at home for real comfort, do not you agree?” enjoined her as-yet invisible travelling companion. He could not forbear from adding: “A single kangaroo with a very narrow income must be a ridiculous, disagreeable old maid – the proper sport of boys and girls; but a single sheila of good fortune is always respectable, and may be as sensible and pleasant as anybody else.” – Jane Austen

Several cans and enthusiastic ballads later, Aisha perched unnoticed in the violated tree assessing the peculiar scene. Shoes in hand, she was poised for attack. She absolutely had to act while she still had the strength and while there was still beer. – Victoria Fielding


So much for the preview, you sneaks! Now, who’s going to help us write the prequel?

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