On the forum there has been a discussion of prequels, showing the backstory of characters, so I thought I would post a couple of tales of Philip Marlowe and Agatha Christie as children. So here goes:
Agatha Christie - Ten Little Exam Cheats:
Jane Marple pursed her lips as she read the school noticeboard. The exam results for her class had been posted and there was something decidedly strange about them. How had Arthur Creep managed to get an A in Woodwork when the boy obviously did not know his Ash from his Elbow? Young Arthur reminded her of the Vicar's brother's cook's niece's son who was once arrested by PC Evans for scrumping apples from Lord Stuffingley's orchard. They both had that sly sideways look, and one long eyebrow instead of the usual two, and this, in Jane's 12 year old experience, signified the criminal intent of the lower classes. And then there was Primula Hedge's B+ in Cookery. Why, Primmy could not boil water without burning it. Something very odd was going on at St Mary Mead Girls Academy, and Jane Marple was going to get to the bottom of it.
At that moment, Wilhelmina Shufflebottom tapped her on the shoulder. "Jane, do be a jolly good sport and make up a team for lacrosse with us will you? Geranium House are falling behind Lavendar House in points and we're abso-posi-lutely desp to win the tournament. DO say yes old gel. That would be spiffing. And remember, the winning House gets to go to tea with the Rugger team from the Boys Grammar and I have SUCH a pash on Lancelot Smythe."
Jane pursed her lips. "Oh, I don't think so, thank you dear. I have some knitting to finish. And really, you ought not set any store in young Smythe. He reminds me of the grocer's nephew, who behaved so oddly during the Crimean War when he dressed as a nurse and disappeared with all that silk underwear."
Wilhelmina pouted "Oh really Jane. You're such an old stick in the mud. If you're not careful, you're going to end up an old maid and spend the rest of your life in St Mary Mead sticking your nose into everyone else's business." She turned on her heel and stormed off, swatting the air with her lacrosse stick, imagining she had Jane Marple's neat bun in her sights.
Jane simply nodded tightly and set off for the Common Room. As she entered, Arthur Creep, Primula Hedge and eight other pupils guiltily stopped talking and turned round to face her.
"Just as I thought," said Jane. "I'd like to see you all, in the library, at 11am."
Raymond Chandler - Big Sleep-Over:
She was a strawberry blonde, and I knew she was trouble. When she walked into my room that day, she had a bottle in her hand and mischief in her eye.
"Hey sister," I said, opening my desk drawer. I pulled out my own bottle from the drawer and took a thirsty swig. I was like a dying man in the desert. The soda pop hit my throat and went down with a burn. I looked at the dimpled knees of the babe in front of me. "What's new sister?"
"Goo," she said, smacking her building block down on my desk without a by-your-leave.
My Mom walked in at that precise moment. "Philip dear", she said "I do wish you wouldn't call your sister 'sister'. She DOES have a name you know. And will you get a glass. I HATE to see you drinking soda from a bottle - it's so uncouth. And I just don't know WHERE yoiu got that American accent from. We live in Sheffield."
I looked at my Mickey Mouse watch. "Sorry to love you and leave you like this ladies. I gotta hit the streets. There's a hot lead I gotta follow and I may not be in for tea." I shrugged into the raincoat hanging on the back of my bedroom door.
"Philip - you're not wearing that old thing. I've thrown it away twice. There's that lovely anorak that Grandma bought you for Christmas in the hall cupboard."
I narrowed my eyes. "The raincoat suits my mood lady. Now where's my fedora?"
Mom sighed. "For God's sake Philip. You don't HAVE a fedora. You don't even know what a damn fedora IS. And don't squint like that. The wind will change and your face will stay like that. And if you're not in by 4pm for your tea there will be trouble young man."
I opened the door. "Mom, down these mean streets a boy must go."
"And stay away from that Moose Malloy at number 73. Your father and I don't like you playing with him!"
I turned up my collar and walked out into the rain. I was neat, clean shaved and sober. And I didn't care who knew it.