The following is an extract from Volume 2 of the Falcon Boy: A Fairly Hopeless Hero series,

The Brothers Revoltable Travelling Circus and Other Crazy Fun with Special Guests.

(If you have not yet read Volume 1 I am not going to judge but merely suggest that you should follow the link at the bottom of this post.)


Chapter 3. ‘Dear Sirs and Madams’

‘Dear Sirs and Madams’, the email began. ‘My name is Clayton Candlegrease but you may call me Falcon Boy. I have recently been involved in certain world-saving situations. Perhaps you might have heard about them?’

Bewilder Bird didn’t say anything when Falcon Boy first told him that he was going to apply for the lead role in Eucalyptus McKenzie Really Saves the World. Considering the fact that Bewilder Bird has taken a vow of silence this is hardly surprising. However, even if Bewilder Bird hadn’t taken this vow I am pretty sure that the sheer deludedness of Falcon Boy’s ambition would have rendered him speechless anyway. I know I was struck dumb when I first heard about his plan. I’m still reeling even as we speak.

The trouble is that nothing would now do for our fairly hopeless hero. After the last lot of shenanigans with Dr. Don’t Know and his evil plan, Falcon Boy had now come to imagine that the world was still only spinning correctly because of his heroism and, therefore, he was now the de facto protector of Panic Town and all it represented. This is despite his being told repeatedly by Captain Lori Lorimer that he wasn’t to keep patrolling the streets without official permission.

‘We really appreciate the help you provided regarding the Dr. Don’t Know affair,’ said Captain Lorimer with as much tenderness as she could manage, considering that this was the fifth time she had had to call Falcon Boy into her office to speak to him about his patrolling. ‘But that was a one-off incident and we are not expecting any further situations where the safety of Panic Town is compromised in any way.’

‘But, I’m good, me …’ stammered a blushing Falcon Boy. ‘I really can help and fight and save you.’ Captain Lorimer coughed uncomfortably.

‘As I have told you before, we value your community spirit but a civilized society simply cannot have people taking the law into their own hands.’ She smiled. ‘There would be chaos and where would that leave us?’

A small tear began to form in the corner of Falcon Boy’s eye.

‘But chaos is MY business …’

Falcon Boy sniffed. Captain Lorimer smiled as kindly as she could.

‘I’m happy for you to continue wearing your costume in public if you want to. I am pretty sure that there will sometimes be the odd event that would appreciate the presence of a small-town celebrity to perhaps help draw a crowd …’

Falcon Boy stopped listening.


‘And then I told her that she couldn’t keep a good man down,’ said Falcon Boy to his long-suffering silent friend. ‘I don’t care what you say, I said,’ lied Falcon Boy, ‘I am going to keep on fighting crime all the time that Panic Town needs me to keep on fighting crime.’

With an opportunity to properly reflect even Falcon Boy would have possibly considered this last statement to be reasonably rash, especially considering that Panic Town has never really needed him to fight crime in the first place. Nevertheless he was too upset by Captain Lorimer to really be thinking straight. And as we all know, reflection has never really been Falcon Boy’s thing anyway.

Everyone will always need me, he said to himself. Even if they don’t know it yet.

Anyway, as someone I really don’t like used to always tell me, even when I asked them not to, you cannot unring a bell. And so the email to the production company continued.

‘I would be available for an audition at very short notice,’ typed Falcon Boy. ‘I am a bona-fide superhero but I have never flown so I will have to take the train and probably a connecting bus to get to you. I am pretty good with timetables and things and if given enough notice I can reasonably be anywhere you need me to be.’

Falcon Boy stopped typing and uploaded the action photos he had asked Bewilder Bird to take.

For the first photo Falcon Boy jumped from a small stepladder and asked Bewilder Bird to ‘catch me in mid-flight.’ The photo looks a lot like Falcon Boy has tripped and is falling but, as he told Bewilder Bird, ‘at least I’m not just standing still and smiling stiffly.’

In the second photo Falcon Boy is standing stiffly still and smiling in his favourite superhero contrapposto pose.

‘I want to appear at once serene but also exciting,’ he told Bewilder Bird. ‘Poised and ready to leap into action but not twitchy and nervous. Try and make that happen for me, my good friend.’ But Bewilder Bird’s phone was an old one, the camera wasn’t very good and the buttons were too small for his large gauntleted hands.

‘I have attached some images of me in action which I hope will give you a better sense of who I am and what I will bring to the role.’

The tone of an email is always the hardest part. Falcon Boy was trying to sound interested but not too interested.

‘I have no acting experience,’ he typed, ‘but I have recently been in situations that have required me to behave heroically in public so I think that this might make up for my lack of working in films and things. I also have had my photograph taken several times since I helped to save the world and so I would be well-placed to deal with the incessant demands of the world’s paparazzi.’

As I mentioned a moment ago, the tone of an email is always the hardest part. If you are ever writing an email and find yourself wondering whether you have got the tone right or not you could always print off Falcon Boy’s email and use it as an example of how not to write one.

‘I will sign off now because I think it will better for me to talk to you face to face rather than electronically. That way we can all be sure of exactly what it will be like when we work together.

I am big and strong and hardly ever wrong.

Yours in Profound Anticipation

Falcon Boy

PS – When you reply could you let me know if I will need to bring an overnight bag or not. It is always better to have too much than to realize you need something that you haven’t brought with you.


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