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As my brother and I grew up we, like many children, invented childhood characters. Whether it was because we didn't have a television for most of our childhood I don't know, but over the years our repertoire of characters increased immensely in size and blossomed into an incredibly complex and intricate web of bizzarity.

Here are the main players in our strange games. Bear in mind that many of the characters and stories we invented for them were made up at a relatively early age, although a few were introduced in our teens.

Freddie and Ferdie (Invented by us both)

These were the first of our characters, me being Freddie and my brother adopting the role of Ferdie. In our little games we were strange humanoid ferrets who worked as spies for the Secret Service. As the years went on, it turned out that Freddie and Ferdie were not quite what they seemed. After Ferdie went on a killing spree with an axe and Freddie was institutionalised, it soon became clear that the strange pair were in fact evil spirit creatures, Grand Princes at the right hand of Satan himself, and the whole Secret Service episode was merely a small part in some immense global plan, too vast for most mortals to comprehend.

Uncle Neck Tube (Invented by me)

Another part of this growing circle of evil, named thus because he was originally depicted as having a very long neck with small tubes growing the length of either side, out of which sprouted squirming tentacles. However, he soon evolved into a superhuman creature of immense strength and unreasonable rage. His constant anger was far more intense than any human would be able to cope with, to the point where it had taken over his entire soul and became the very thing that kept him alive. He now roams the earth alone, screaming with rage and killing anyone who gets in his way with a brick. Because of his intense anger, he sometimes loses his mind completely and dresses up as a woman, with careless lipstick smeared garishly across his face and a flowery dress adorning his huge rippling body. Walking around in high heels, he carries his brick concealed in a handbag.

The Unholy Reverend Rita Mavis (Invented by my brother)

In later years, our dark company grew to include the Reverend. He is a very calm yet intense man, and one always has the feeling that something unsettling boils away deep beneath the surface, betrayed by the strangely dark fire in his eyes. Whispered rumours about his penchant for choirboys are the least worrying of the many stories about him. Oddly uncomfortable company, the Reverend scares the hell out of most people...

Bobby Rainbow (Invented by me)

An associate of the Reverend who professes to be a psychaiatrist, Bobby appears to be very much into pop psychology and often invites people to his "love cottage". He is very softly spoken, and reiterates the importance of hugging and expressing love to one another, and he usually makes people very uncomfortable with his overbearing professed love for them. However, once again there seems to be a strange immovable solidity beneath his soft exterior, a sort of dark wisdom, and his closeness to the Reverend and the Circle of Darkness lead many to be suspicious.

Guv and Bolb (Invented by us both)

The harsh master of a huge myserious mansion known only as Guv owns a downtrodden servant, Bolb, who knows nothing of the evil plans of which Guv ensures he is so unwittingly a part. All he knows is that Guv orders him about, forcing him to perform menial tasks all day every day for no wage or reward. Guv also inflicts the odd beating when his fancy tickles him, and he looks down upon the dimwitted Bolb with nothing but contemptuous amusement. Bolb has given up any idea of escaping the mansion long ago, as every attempt yielded failure. Unbeknown to him this was due to the dark forces whose helpless pawn he is, and in which Guv is involved far more than he lets on.

Peter and Uncle Johnny (Invented by us both)

Peter and his brother Uncle Johnny took in a small stranded alien (a role fulfilled by our stuffed monster toy) when its spaceship crashed and took care of it, showing it great kindness as they began to rear it as their own. Then, when the little alien was lulled into this sense of security, they suddenly turned around and began abusing it constantly, torturing it for amusement. The depraved duo forced it into performing acts of vomit-inducing filth, until it eventually died of the terrible abuse and despair.

Mr Chair (Invented by my brother)

The mysterious unseen master of this strange group is a shadowy character known only as Mr Chair. Who or what he is nobody knows, but there are often secret underground meetings where Freddy, Ferdie, Uncle Neck Tube, the Reverend, Bobby Rainbow, Guv, Peter and Uncle Johnny attend and convene before Mr Chair. One can only assume he is a very influencial force in the nether-realms.

Guv's cousins (Invented by my brother)

Discovered by Bolb fairly recently were "cousins" of Guv, results of the genetic experiments which produced Guv himself, a part of his past which he is very vague and secretive about. One such cousin is approaching middle age, wears a tight red shirt half opened, with a fake hairy chest and a large gold medallion. He struts around in his tight flares and platform shoes, convinced he is a hit with the ladies, playing it cool as he works his "charm" with them, not letting a lack of success deter him. Another cousin is a little more normal; he is quite short, and has a head which is just a little too big for his body. He is a dancer, and when he is dancing, you can swear his head wobbles slightly with the extra weight.

Mr I and Mr E (Invented by us both)

Also related to the dark circle, although nobody knows quite how much they are involved, are two brothers, Mr I and Mr E. They both have ridiculous faces, with jutting chins and constant contorted joker-esque smiles, and Mr E talks in an extremely bizarre parrot-like voice. They are both convinced of their superiority above the other and often label each other "freak" without realising how stupid they look themselves. Mr E in particular likes to chat up married women, mostly because he is too stupid to realise they are married and, more immediately, still hasn't realised he is ludicrously unattractive.

Mr Waah (Invented by me)

Then there is Mr Waah. He is only thirteen years old, and has withered to a strange brittle dead-wood substance with a pale, sickly green skin. He drags himself around, horribly contorted and with a personality to match. He is convinced he is the greatest of all creation, more powerful and glorious than heaven itself, and his rasping breath and penetrating nasal whine make him one of the most hated among the characters, especially with his father who he constantly slaps and insults. Mr Waah also slaps anyone else unfortunate enough to meet him, and constantly demands in his vile arrogance "Get my dinner!" regardless of whether he has already had dinner or not. His long-suffering father is rapidly approaching the brink of killing his disgusting offspring.

Bobby Hat (Invented by me)

In contrast, there is the seemingly calm Bobby Hat. Son of a strict military general by the name of Frederick von Trapp Hat, Bobby lives only for efficiency. He is completely emotionless and only does what is necessary to exist. All of these supressed emotions come out in odd ways; for example Bobby wears a bowler hat which is just a little too small for him. Whenever he bends down it falls off and Bobby begins to panic. "My hat," he says in his emotionless monotone. "My hat. My hat." When he has procured his hat he is calm again, retaining no memory of his fallen hat. His nights are plagued by screaming black nightmares, as his repressed emotions cry for release. Bobby awakes screaming in absolute terror, shivering in a cold sweat, then composes himself, forgets about it and carries on.

Patty Hat (Invented by me)

Bobby's younger brother, Patty, is the complete opposite. Patty is a nervous wreck. He has suffered numerous nervous and mental breakdowns, most notably when he dated his pillow for three months, convinced it was Christina Aguilera. One tragic night, he lay on the beach with his love Christina, and when he awoke, he saw the tides had washed her away. His pillow was gone, and as he sat up he could see Christina drowning, screaming his name as the waves devoured her. Patty has never been the same since.

The Nameless Freak (Invented by me)

Totally oblivious to all of this is a character so self-absorbed he lacks any kind of reason or even basic awareness. He is skinny, fairly ugly and swaggers everywhere, shirt open and cheeks sucked in. He talks in a ridiculously high voice, with a fake american accent which he thinks makes him sound cool. He has passed the point of arrogance; he doesn't just think everyone loves him, he takes it for granted. The whole of creation was put there for his benefit, the sum of humanity, every technological and cutural advance, it is all for him. Every single thing in the universe, every object on earth, everything was made to please him. Secure in this knowledge, this nameless freak drifts through life presuming everyone is amazed that he condescends to be in their presence, and every insult he assumes to be a compliment. People can't stand him.

These are but a few in the vast array of fabricated people. Worryingly, in retrospect I can see how many of these maligned and fundamentally disturbed characters were merely exaggerated facets of my own personality. Yet, despite the fact both my brother and I are in our twenties, we still continue to invent yet more strange characters, most of them with some sad, tragic background whose lives all share the same underlying theme of immense loss and emptiness.

Perhaps these personalities helped us to stay sane by providing an outlet, or perhaps they just compounded the problem. All I know is that most people think we're a bit mad when they find out.

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