Chapter Three: Dubber Dare Night

Now we’re at Yourponga, it’s time we met the neighbours.

But before we go further, there is a warning you must listen to.


Got it?

You have?

Just don’t even think about it.

You have to remember that Yourponga doesn’t have the same set of rules that you do.

Now you have heard an have promised to not repeat anything you see in this chapter, we can go on with the story.

As Kate McTavish’s  was contemplating the arrival of her grand-daughter at Hippy Corner, down the road and around a couple of corners, a slow, growing clap came from a back bedroom of the ramshackle house which held Kate’s nearest neighbours.

The house was so run down, many people would have thought that it wasn’t inhabitable, but thankfully the house, despite needing a lick of paint and its garden a good round of weeding, it was water tight and livable and it was home to the Dubber Family.

Nana Kate always liked the Dubbers. Like her, they were a bit alternative.

John Dubber was an artist when he wasn’t doing odd jobs for the local council. His wife, Jane Dubber used to play violin with an orchestra in Adelaide. She now tended to look after the children in her own haphazard way. The children were well fed and loved and they turned up to school and they were polite, even if they never seemed to have matching socks on their feet and some of their clothes had seen better days.

These were the children who are currently making the slow clapping noises from the back of the house.

Jump…. Jump…. JumpJump….” The slow clap gathered momentum.

In the room from where the noise came, we see an older boy with a shock of white hair and vibrant blue eyes looking petrified as he stood on top of a large wardrobe.

Darren Dubber, aged twelve, hated what the family called “Dubber Dare Night”. He wished he could have stayed at Mrs McTavish’s place and had her posh cheese on toast for dinner instead.

From the ground, near the door, his siblings, Denzell Dubber, aged 14, Diego Dubber, aged ten, Dwayne Dubber, aged eight, Dylan Dubber, aged six and their sister, Narelle Dubber, aged four, stood waiting. They stood in descending height order, each of them with deathly white hair and blue eyes, except for Narelle, who’s hair was as gold as her mother’s wedding ring.

Jump… Jump…Jump… Jump…”

Now before we go on, there are a few things we need to get straight again.

Firstly, never, ever, ever try what they are doing at home.

Just don’t.



Secondly, let this be a warning to you. Cupboards are for putting clothes in and sometimes hiding in when you’re playing a game, but they are never, ever there for jumping off. And unlike other famous wardrobes, you’re not going to find an ice queen and a big lion and a number of children through the door.

So don’t get disappointed.

Back to the story.

The Dubber children continued the slow clap.

“Jump… jump… jump…”

“Come on, chicken!” said Denzell Dubber, tired of waiting.

“Just do it, I’m hungry.” complained Diego Dubber. Diego was always hungry.

“Nothing bad will happen to you!” encouraged Dwayne Dubber, who’s arm was in a sling from the Dubber Dare night from a fortnight before, when he fell off a fence post.

“It’s easy. I survived.” Said Dylan, who was finally seeing straight after knocking his head on a tractor a month ago.

You see why you shouldn’t try this at home.

I hear Mum coming,” said Narelle Dubber in a quiet voice.

This was enough to make the Dubber children gasp.

It was at this moment that Darren Dubber, who had been perched on top of the wardrobe  found his courage. He turned around, squatted down and let his body fall from the top of the high wardrobe. He was ready, in his heart, to be carted off to the Victor Harbor Hospital for stitches at best, or concussion at worst. He could see himself failing his maths test next week. He was prepared for all of that.

What he wasn’t prepared for is that instead of falling heavily onto the floor below, as he had done many other night, he felt himself float ever so gently down onto the bed, landing like a feather.

The Dubber children, watched on in amazement, perplexed at how their brother, who at worst, should have hit the floor with a bang, was now sitting, smiling on the end of the bed.

Feeling betrayed at the lack of screaming and bloodshed, they started to turn.

“How did you do that?” asked Denzell Dubber, scratching his head.

Darren shrugged his shoulders, and smiled. “Must be magic.”

If only they knew. If only they knew.


Go to Chapter Four: The Short Road to the Shallow South

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