Now I told you how Spookie and Dyspepsia dug up the Monstosaurus, and transformed Sunderland and Newcastle out of all recognition.

You might wonder if life got a bit boring after that, and you’d be right. However Dyspepsia had some money left over from the Monstosaurus project, so she and Spookie thought they’d build a spaceship and go to Mars.

They felt Mars was a better place to go than the Moon, because nobody had been there yet. People had been to the Moon, and hadn’t gone back for 40 years, which was understandable because there wasn’t a lot to do when you got there. Perhaps that was true of Mars too? But if Elon Musk, the man who owns PayPal, could build his own spaceship, then why couldn’t Spookie and Dyspepsia?

And once you’ve built a spaceship, it’s nice to have somewhere to go.

Now if you haven’t read the previous stories, I ought to tell you something about Spookie and Dyspepsia.

Dyspepsia is a normal little girl, about the age which little girls normally are. But she’s a living monument to the fact that you shouldn’t pick a name for your darling daughter, no matter how pretty it sounds, unless you know exactly what it means.

Spookie was once a perfectly normal cat called Pookie, until her accident. Actually it wasn’t an accident… but it wasn’t her fault, so she can’t be blamed. She belonged to a rather brainy, rather nasty man called Professor Schrodinger, who did a cruel experiment on her. After which she wasn’t alive—but she wasn’t dead either. Somewhere in between. She was undead, like Dracula, and that girl from Twilight, which is why everyone calls her Spookie.

It’s an unfair name because she doesn’t like doing spooky things. She likes going out and playing ball in the sunshine, having picnics on the beach and going for walks in the park. She doesn’t like drinking blood (nothing would make her drink blood). She likes Dr Pepper and 7-Up, plus smoothies like mango-and-passionfruit, which you can buy in little bottles in Sainsburys on the way out.

But every now and then she starts glowing in the dark. She can’t see it herself, and she never knows when it’s going to happen. But while she’s glowing she can walk through walls and do spooky things like that.

Which has got her into trouble in the past because she doesn’t know when the glow is going to stop. So she can be in a locked cupboard or a disused mine shaft at the time. Dyspepsia said that while they were on Mars she’d have to behave herself and not go wandering off, especially when she’s glowing, or they mightn’t get her back.

We’ve started with Chapter 0. We’ll never reach Chapter 1 no matter how fast we hurry. But we’ll get a good few chapters in nonetheless.