Murphy and the Hunky Punk


This was the start of a chapter book I never finished. Upon rereading this opening chapter, I am beginning to wonder why I abandoned it. Any thoughts? Should I plan on finishing this?


Hunky punk on a church.

Chapter One – Radio Daze

Isaac Murphy often wondered if his name had cursed him. He loved sharing a name with his hero, Isaac Newton, but Murphy thought that his surname was what brought him bad luck. Everyone knows about Murphy’s Law: Anything that can go wrong, will go wrong. The law seemed all too true for Murphy. When he was around, weird things happened.

He wished people would call him Zak or Izzy, which were cool names. As a Zak, he would have smooth and in charge. As an Izzy, he would have been popular in Year Six. However, everyone called him Murphy, even his parents, and so he was jinxed to be clumsy, and to say or do stupid things when he was trying to be clever and witty. The episode with the hunky punk is perfect example of how strange things happened to Murphy.

Murphy wanted to be a cool kid, like a sports star.  But no matter how hard he tried to play soccer and cricket, he seemed destined to be a science nerd. He tinkered with gadgets. His current obsession was ham radio; he enjoyed building home-made radios and antennas as well as chatting to people from all over the world.

Murphy’s call sign was VK*MUR (This is not a real call sign. However, in Australia, all ham radio call signs starts with VK. The VK is followed by a number that represents your state, and another couple of letters to identify the individual.). He held an advanced licence, which meant he was allowed to tune into all of twenty-three amateur bands available. It was great fun to talk to people from other countries, when the conditions were right. He had spoken with people from every continent on the planet.

He spent all his pocket money, birthday money, and any cash he earned doing odd jobs for his neighbours, on new radio equipment and on improving his antenna array. He was constantly working to improve the range and sensitivity of his radio setup. As well, he borrowed every book in his library about radios and electronics. He hunted through the internet, looking for sites and forums that were run by fellow fanatics. When his friends were gaming or watching television, he was fiddling with his radio dials.

His parents were happy that he had a hobby.

Murphy’s parents did not suffer from the same curse as their son. Mr Murphy was a psychiatrist who liked to tell Dad jokes; he always answered the phone “Hello. This is Murphy’s Madhouse.” Mrs Murphy was a computer programmer, specialising in financial systems. Both of Murphy’s parents were successful in their jobs, looked like normal people and were pretty good at golf. As parents, they were kind and encouraging.

Murphy often wondered if he had been given to them by mistake, even though he had red hair the exact same shade as his mum’s hair (his hair looked goofy, his mum’s hair looked brilliant). But then, they didn’t seem to suffer from Murphy’s Law. Weird things happened to him, while his parents didn’t seem to have strange or bizarre incidents. For example, they never did see why he wanted to change bedrooms after his run in with the hunky punk…

What, you’re telling me you don’t know what a hunky punk is?  Well, have you ever seen a gargoyle? Gargoyles and hunky punks are ugly, gruesome statues that squat all over old buildings and some new ones. Gargoyles serve a purpose, as they act as drains, funnelling water away from the walls of a building like a pipe. Hunky punks are only there for show, to make the building look scarier.

There aren’t too many houses in Australia that sport gargoyles and hunky punks. However, Murphy lived in a house that had been built by an eccentric artist, one who had spent his days carving monsters and mythical beasts out of stone. Any that he couldn’t sell he put into the garden or used them to decorate the house. There was a truly horrible hunky punk set above Murphy’s window, with huge, spiky eyebrows and a wicked, leering mouth.

Most of the time, Murphy took little notice of the hideous thing.






Filed under Short Story, The Writing Life, Uncategorized, writing, Writing Style

3 responses to “Murphy and the Hunky Punk

  1. When I (used to) assess people’s manuscripts, I’d do the same exercise I’d run my students through on Evening 2#.
    “Where does the dialogue start?”

    If you pick up ‘The Hobbit’, the answer will be on page 4, as I recall. It is also (un-coincidentally) where the story actually starts.

    I used ‘The Hobbit’ as an excellent example of the worst possible way to start a children’s book.

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