Toby is a thoughtful boy. He is Scottish like his twin brother Tinker.
Both boys were eight on their deathday.
Me and me brother Tinker sang this song to Miss Annabel to warn her about the demons and monsters in the shadows. They are everywhere.
If you have time will you tell us if you like it in our ghostbook?
Your ghost friend, Toby
(Song 'Not While I'm Around', from Sweeney Todd)
They lost their parents even younger. Before ending up in the workhouse they lived with their last remaining relative, Uncle Parallax, a very very VERY old man who fancied himself a great astronomer.
Uncle Parallax lived in a huge, derelict and mostly empty mansion with one very old butler plus Toby and Tinker. What the butler couldn't or wouldn't do, was left to the boys, which, needless to say, was about everything.
To earn his daily bread Toby's job was to make sure Uncle Parallax stayed awake to stare at stars which could be viewed through the octagonal glass dome recessed into the bedroom ceiling.
Because the whole house was crumbling the seal around the dome had rotted and shrunk which meant drops of rusty rainwater constantly dripped in and on Toby's head.
From 8 o'clock till midnight every night the old man would lie on his back, stiff as a board in his four-poster with the yellow stained linens tucked under his scraggily chin staring through a brass telescope positioned over his filmy eye. The cylinder was pointed skyward but Uncle Parallax spent the whole time nearly asleep.
Toby, tired and very hungry and wanting to use the loo would have to stand on the chair next to the bed and pinch the bridge of his uncle's beaky nose - holding it gently so not to hurt but firm enough keep the nostril's from collapsing inward, because that would make the old man snore which would wake him up and alert him that he'd been asleep instead of watching the stars which would result in no supper for the ungrateful boy that night.
It was truly miserable to have to stand on a chair for hours and squeeze a greasy nose while holding a copper cage in the other hand.
It was when the cage was empty that Toby's worries really began.
Because it meant Béchamel, Toby's pet bumble bee had escaped again and was somewhere out in the garden. Toby was obsessed with that bee so all the free time he had in a day was spent chasing him down. He would scold Béchamel and put him back in the cage but it wouldn't be long before the bee was buzzing freely again.
There is much more to Toby's story and will be told in time.