Peter's Magic Fountain Pen

Peter's Magic Fountain Pen

Status: Finished

Genre: Children Stories



Status: Finished

Genre: Children Stories



I wrote this story for my son's 12th birthday.
Share :


I wrote this story for my son's 12th birthday.

Chapter1 (v.1) - Grandpa Morgan

Chapter Content - ver.1

Submitted: January 29, 2017

Reads: 33

A A A | A A A

Chapter Content - ver.1

Submitted: January 29, 2017



Grandpa Morgan

Sir Richard James Morgan QC

Born 14th September 1900

The scene that met Peter when he came home from school that day meant only one thing. The house had an air of spring cleaning even if it was mid-October, the hoover was bellowing its voice somewhere upstairs and there was the smell of fresh polish in the living room. The downstairs loo had blue stuff in the water, there were fresh flowers in the hall and bowls of pot-pourri everywhere. That thing had to be Grandpa Morgan.

Peter was more than excited at the prospect of seeing Grandpa Morgan again but knew only too well it was a delight his mother simply would not share. The whine of the hoover faded and she bundled the machine downstairs.

"What time is he coming ?"

"Said he would be here by six o'clock," replied his mother, somewhat out of breath after he battle with the vacuum cleaner. "Take your school things away, have a bath and smarten yourself up.  I've got to organise something for dinner. Grandpa Morganis not going to appreciate the fish fingers and chips I had planned.

"Why's he coming ?"

"Since when has that man ever needed a reason for anything he does ?  H just gets on an aircraft, jets half way round the world then expects everyone to drop what they are doing and fall into place."

Peter picked up his school bag then headed towards his room. Why was it that Grandpa Morgan always brought an attack of terminal panic in his mother ?  She dreaded his visits so much an the trouble was that no one every quite knew when he was going to turn up. Half of the time the family never even knew where in the world he was. Just a telephone call giving a couple of hours notice, something which would send his mother's blood pressure to a point measurable on the Richter Scale, and then he would be there on the doorstep.

Strictly speaking he was not Peter's grandfather at all, but his father's grandfather. Peter had no idea just how Grandpa Morgan was but he had to be very old in spite of the active lifestyle he led. His son, Peter's real grandfather, had died in a car accident the day Peter was born and his mother's father had died when she was a child so Grandpa Morgan was the only grandfather he had ever known. But how old was he ?

Peter knew his Dad was forty-two. If Dad's father had been twenty-five when Dad was born and Grandpa Morgan twenty-five when his son was born that would make Grandpa Morgan, Peter paused in his calculation, ninety-two ! That was old, it was an incredible age.

Peter did not know it, but his estimation of Grandpa Morgan's advanced age was not all that far from being right although his method of calculating the figure was a little out of line. He loved his great-grandfather so very dearly, there was a special bond between them that spanned four generations. It was not because he was rich or famous, although Peter was not beyond boasting from time to time to his friends at school about his celebrated relation, but simply because he found him the most wonderful and fascinating person in the entire world.  The calculation of Grandpa Morgan's age suddenly frightened Peter, posing the question he had never before thought of: How much longer could he live ? Life without him would not be the same.

Sir Richard Morgan's tale was not one of rags to riches, far from it, he was born into a family that had at its head The Right Reverend Doctor James Edward Morgan, Bishop of Colchester. Dr Morgan had two daughters, both much older than Grandpa and long since dead, but just the one son, Peter's great-grandfather. This son was sent to school in one of the nation's most famous and expensive public school s before going on to Oxford University where he read law. Shortly after her coronation the Queen selected Grandpa Morgan as one of her Queen's Counsellors Learned in the Law. Twenty years later he again knelt before the Queen, this time to receive a knighthood. It was not the legal profession, however, that earned him his title or for that matter his vast fortune. That all came by way of his becoming one of the world's best selling authors.

It was a career taken up quite late in life and certainly not until after the death of The Right Reverend Doctor James Edward Morgan who certainly would have frowned upon such a frivolous occupation, but since he had first put pen to paper Grandpa Morgan's books had been in the top selling lists, remaining there for decades. Several had been turned into films and Peter always overfilled with silent pride when he saw the credits roll up on the TV: Original Story by Sir Richard Morgan.  Of late he had turned to writing crime thrillers and a series featuring one of his characters, Inspector Blackwell, was currently running on ITV. Even at his advanced age Grandpa Morgan was still turning out novels at a rate of two a year.

"Peter, peter have yiou finished in the bathroom yet ?  Janet's home and waiting to get in there.

Finished ? Gosh he had hardly started. "What about thee other bathroom ?"

"I'm about to go in there."

What chaos Grandpa's visits caused to the tranquillity of the Morgan home.

"Won't be long."  But he was.

Peter passed Janet in the hall-way and could not avoid her scolding. "Thank you very much, little brother, so kind of you at long last ! What's the mater with you ? Don't you want me to make myself look good for the old man then ?  Or are you afraid of losing your place as his favourite great-grandchild ? He must be a hundred if he's a day and just can't go on for ever even if his books do. You may be OK, but the rest of us don't want him to cut us out of his will at this late stage, do we ?  Not after Mother has worked so hard all these years to secure our inheritance."

Peter hated the way she was speaking, but he had heard it before and it was not out of character.  Big sisters were born to be unkind but surely she wasn't interested in Grandpa only because of all his money ?  No, it couldn't be true that was why his mother always made such a fuss when he visited, but was it ?  Could it be possible ?

The telephone rang. It was Dad. "peter, is Mum there ?"

"She's in the bath."

Dad was a little relieved that his wife could not come to the 'phone but, guilty at having to put his son in the role of messenger, he knew exactly what his wife's reaction would be. "Look, tell her I've been delayed at the hospital, will you.  I doubt if I'll be home much before eight."

Eight !  Thank you very much, Dad.  Peter knew exactly what his mother would say to that piece of information.

"OK, I'll tell her."

"Thanks, Son. I'm sorry."

He had hardly put the phone down when the door bell rang. Being the sole perosn in the house not immersed in a bath full of water, he had no alternative but to answer it.  There in all his considerable glory, stood Grandpa Morgan. Peter glanced at his watch. Grandpa was early, very early.

"Grandpa !" Peter exclaimed with delight at seeing his favourite relative again and at the same time searching his brian for a way to explain the absence of his mother.

"We weren't expecting you until six."

"Never too early to see my favourite great-grandson.  Come to think of it my only great-grandson."

Grandpa Morgan did not wait to be invited in, he never waited to be invited to do anything, but made his way into the living room.  he was dutifully followed by a chauffeur holding a large blue suitcase in each hand.

"Just put them down Paul, my grandson here will take them up to my room for me. You can go off now. Drive back to the London flat and I'll telephone you when I'm ready for you to come and collect me."

"Very good Sir Richard."

"Right then, my fine young fellow, just what have you been doing with yourself since I last saw you ?"

"Nothing much," Peter confessed, "just school."

"Just school. You poor boy. That doesn't sound very interesting. Now, I've just come back from a monthin San Francisco. It's a wonderful city, you must go there some time."

"Don't they have earthquakes there ?"

"Earthquakes, theatres, opera, fine restaurants and everything else a man could possibly want,"  Grandpa chuckled.,

"I think I had better let Mum know that you're here."  Peter rose nervously anticipating his mother's reaction and he had not yet told her about Dad being late home from work. "She won't be long, I think she is still in the bath."

He thought he might just possibly have heard his mother swear through the bathroom door when he told her of their visitor's early arrival.  He was certain she swore when he explained that Dad wouldn't be home until eight o'clock.

"Sir Richard," Mum beamed, arms outstretched. "How simply lovely to see you again. I do apologise for keeping you, we weren't expecting you quite sop early. Janet will be down to join us in a while."

"Lovely to see you too, my dear, bit I do hope my unexpected visit has not caused you to go to any trouble."

"Oh, no, of course not. Not at all."

"Liar," Peter thought. He did not like the way his mother was falling over herself to be nice to Grandpa Morgan when less that an hour ago she was cursing his visit with her every breath. Perhaps it was nerves or was it something else?  Was Janet right in what she had said ?

"I am afraid David has been held up at the hospital so I wasn't planning to eat until about eight.  Will that be alright with you ?"

"Penalty of being such a fine surgeon. Whatever time you plan to eat will suit me perfectly and do not go to any trouble on my account. No trouble at all please, beans on toast would be fine by me."

Peter doubted if his grandfather had ever eaten beans on toast in his entire life and could not, even in a terrible nightmare, picture his mother serving them on the best china in the family dining room. What a nightmare.

"Now could Peter possibly help me upstaors with my bags and then I have something I would liketo talk to you about ?"

"Sure Grandpa, this way."

The old man took his time walking up the stairs and into the bedroom.  He closed the door behind them and turned the key in the lock. Peter was puzzles, why had he done that ?

"Peter, sit down. I need to talk to you. "  Grandpa Morgan was speaking quietly and was strangely serious.  It made Peter feel just a little uncomfortable but he did as he was told.

"No need to look quite so worried my young grandson.  What I have to say to you is very important but nothing at all to be afraid of."

"I'm not afraid."

"Apprehensive then. That's a big work for a little man. Now listen.  I have just made a new will, you know what a will is do you Peter ?"

"BYes Grandpa."

"Well, the thing is I am going to die next year and...."

Peter began to protest, trying to say that Grandpa Morgan had a long time left to live but the old man silenced him with a gentle wave of his hand.

"Within twelve months of today, Peter, I will be dead. You mustn't be sad, I am ninety-two already."

So Peter's calculation had been right.

"In my will I am going to leave you these."  he took from his pocket a pen and a sheet of paper.  He placed them on the bed. Peter went to pick them up.

"Not yet Peter, just leave them there for the moment. I need to explain to you what they are and how to use them.  My father explained their use to me and his father to him. My own son is dead and his son, my grandson and your father, is a highly successful man in his own right so he won't need them. I have decided, therefore, to bypass two generations and leave these most valuable possessions to you. Do you understand that much ?"

"Yes Grandpa," Peter replied.  It wasn't completely a lie but he did not have a clue what the old man was talking about.

Grandpa smiled. "I am not making a very good job of this am I ?  You know for a man who earns his living with words I should be able to do better. For hours on the plane coming over I tried to decide how to put things. Let me explain. Have you ever heard of Captain Henry Morgan ?"

"Wasn't he a pirate ?"

"Among other things he most certainly was. He was one of the most feared pirates of all time. At his height he had thirty-seven ships and two thousand men under his command. When he retired from piracy he lived a perfectly respectable life as Governor of Jamaica and died in his bed. To die in your bed was something rare for a pirate."

Peter listened with interest. He thought he knew what his Grandpa was going to say.

"Peter, Henry Morgan was your ancestor. He lived thirteen generations ago in our family. You can work our how many great-greats that is but he was your grandfather."

This was exciting. "Are you going to write a book about him Grandpa ?"

"No Peter I am not planning to write a book about him although the idea is a good one. You Can look at that sheet of paper now."

Peter picked up and unfolded the sheet turning it round to read the writing. Written in his grandfather's own hand it was titled: THE MORGAN FAMILY LINE -MALE HEIRS 1649 +

"You must make me a solemn promise Peter that if I explain all of this to you, you will not breath a word to another living soul until the time comesfor you to explain it to your own son. Do you promise me that ?"

"I promise."

"It is not a promise to be made lightly. It will also mean that when you are married you will have only one son, you can have as many daughters as you wish but only one son. the line must pass directly, there must be no complications. You may think that is too high a price to pay."

Peter hadn't a clue what on earth Grandpa Morgan was talking about. What was this about sons ? he had never, ever thought about getting married let alone having children of his own.  He was, after all was said and done, twelve years old and had yet to find his first girlfriend but of one thing he was certain and that was one of Grandpa Morgan's fascinating stories was about to unfold.

"Do you want me to go on Peter ?"

Peter nodded.

"Are you sure ?"

Peter nodded again.

"Henry Morgan," Grandpa explained, "had a son John Henry Morgan. He was born on 27th January 1649. He was not so lucky as his father, he was executed on Christmas Day 1700 for the crime of piracy."

Peter settled himself into one of the bedroom chairs. Yes, this was definitely one of Grandpa Morgan's stories, perhaps it was going to be turned into a film.

"Before Pirate Morgan died he gave to his son, who was Peter John Morgan, that pen."

Peter glanced from the paper he was holding to the pen and made to speak before changing his mind. he did not want to spoil Grandpa's story with such a little detail but the old man had already anticipated him.

"I know exactly what you are thinking young Peter. That's a new pen isn't it ?  So it is but let me explain it has not always looked like that. It's changed twice since it's been in my keeping and looked very different in old Pirate Morgan's day when he passed it to his son. That son, your ancestor who, also called Peter Morgan, used the pen very wisely and built up a thriving shipping company. For three generations ships of the Morgan Line traded the world. Unfortunately, the next generation, James Morgan, had no interest at all in shipping. When the pen came came into his keeping he sold all of his shares in the Morgan Line then invested in a merchant bank. His son, Edward Morgan, rose to become chairman of that bank. They sound a thoroughly boring couple of people if you ask me !"

Peter smiled, he felt it was required of him.

"Now Colonel William Edward Morgan, born 1820 and died at the age of seventy-one was awarded the Victoria Cross for bravery in the Crimean War.  He was my great-grandfather, the same relation to me as I am to you. I never knew him, he died nine years before I was born. I have his VC medal and have left it in my will to your father, it's quite a valuable family heirloom."

"My grandfather was Doctor Edward Morgan. Although he was never rich like the Morgan bankers or famous like his father and his son, as a country doctor he put the pen to very good work. I remember him from when I was a small boy, he would be so pleased to know your father is also a doctor it's such a noble profession.  I think he did more with his life than any of us."

Peter though being a pirate sounded much better than being a doctor.

"My own father rose to high office in the Church to become Bishop of Colchester. He and I were never that close. My mother died when I was just a boy and children never had much to do with their parents in those days. As soon as I was old enough I was sent away to boarding school. He didn't tell me about the pen until he was eighty-one years old then died the next year very reluctant to meet his maker. A great man of the Church he may have been but he was not that keen to report in to head office."

Grandpa laughed but Peter did not understand the joke.

"When my father gave the pen to me he told me, as I am now telling you, all about our ancestors. He told me, not without half choking his pious throat, all about Pirate Morgan. It amuses me to think of The Right Reverend Doctor James Edward Morgan descended from a pirate and a pirate executed, of all days, on Christmas Day. He explained to me that the pen ensured success in the chosen career of its owner. It had given him success in the Church, his father in medicine and his grandfather in medicine. He told me I was to pass it on to my son and he to his son.  He explained that each son would in turn have only one son, daughters do not matter. the pen would then provide a direct line within the Morgan family all the way back to Pirate Morgan and the seventeenth century. He also told me that once the owner had passed on its secrets to the next generation he would be dead within a year."

"My father was dead within a year.  I often wonder what kind of a time God gave him when he got to Heaven. So you see, Peter, now that I have told you the family secret I, also will be dead within the year."

"No Grandpa, No,"  Peter protested.

"I am an old man, Peter, and my time is long overdue. When my father gave me the pen I was already a successful barrister with a thriving practice. He hoped it would ensure my becoming Lord Chief Justice of England but I had suffered enough of the law with its dusty old court rooms and stuffy legal books. So, when it came into my keeping I retired and took up writing. My career as an author has now become longer than my career in the law and I don't regret any of it. I would rather tell a good story any day than sit in judgement then send some poor old lag off to prison for twenty years. Besides the pay's much better !"

"I planned to give the pen to my own son, John, on my eightieth birthday but that was the very day he was killed.  I did love him but the silly fool was not much of a driver. He may have been able to command fighter aircraft but in a car he was a menace. The accident was entirely his own fault and fortunately no one else was hurt but I do miss him. You were born on the same day that he died. I vowed there and then that the pen should be yours.  Your father doesn't need it so you shall have it. Will you use Pirate Morgan's pen wisely my young Peter ?"

Peter managed a confused, "Yes."

"No doubt when you come to pass it on the pen will have become a pocket computerised word processor. It was a feather quill when Pirate Morgan stole it all those years ago. Just use it wisely. One last thing, nothing to do with the pen but a family tradition since the time of Pirate Morgan in passing on the Christian name of the father as a second name for the son. I am Richard, your grandfather was John Richard and your father David John. Your son must take the name of Peter as his second Christian name. Do you promise to continue the tradition ?"

Peter agreed. He hoped the tale was nothing more than the plot for one of Grandpa's new books but he wasn't sure.

Grandpa picked up the pen and took the sheet of paper from Peter. With care he put both into his pocket.  "The next time you see these I'll be dead and they will have been left to you in my will. No need to look so glum, Peter, your entire future is now assured. What ever you decide to do in life you will be the very best at it. Now don't you think we had better go downstairs ? Your mother will be wondering what on earth has happened to us.

Grandpa Morgan left the next day, it was to be the last time Peter Saw him, and flew bacjk to San Francisco. He died three weeks later. Peter cried.



Henry Morgan Dates uncertain - Possibly born 1635

Died 25th August 1688 Age 53

Pirate and Deputy Governor of Jamaica
John Henry Morgan Born 27th January 1659

Executed 25th December 1700 Age 41

Peter John Morgan Born 17th May 1678

Died 4th July 1720 Age 41

Ship owner
William Peter Morgan Born 4th January 1700

Died 11th June 1760 Age 60

Ship owner
Frederick William Morgan Born 21st November 1732

Died 30th December 1775 Age 43

Ship owner
James Frederick Morgan Born 11th June 1764

Died 11th May 1821 Age 57

Director of Willis and Patterson Merchant Bank
Edward James Morgan Born 28th February 1790

Died 16th August 1851 Age 61

Chairman of Willis and Patterson Merchant Bank
Colonel William Edward Morgan VC Born 11th November 1820

Died 21st December 1891 Age 71

Army officer
Doctor Edward William Morgan Born 7th January 1845

Died 11th February 1910 Age 65

Right Reverend Doctor James Edward Morgan Born 6th May 1870

Died 7th June 1952 Age 82

Bishop of Colchester
Sir Richard James Morgan QC Born 14th September 1900 Barrister at Law  Writer
Wing Commander John Richard Morgan DFC Born 21st April 1925

Died 14th September 1980 Age 55

Royal Air Force officer
David John Morgan Born 3rd November 1950 Consultant surgeon
Peter David Morgan Born 14th September 1980 Schoolboy

The story of the fountain pen bothered Peter at first and he could not get to sleep the night his grandfather told him of it. He dreamed in fits of pirates, of a new book by Richard Morgan and of a strange pen writing the future for him. The next day he wanted to tell someone but Grandpa Morgan had made him promise not to breath a word.  Why had he done that ? Because it was the plot for his next book and there is such a thing as copyright. Things needed to be kept secret, of course that was it. From then on Peter did not let it trouble him very much but couldn't help secretly hoping his family was indeed descended from pirates.  It couldn't do any harm to ask about that, could it ?"

"Dad ?"


"Were our ancestors pirates ?"

"Pirates ? No, I don't think so, they were ship owners. The Morgan Line was quite famous in the eighteenth century."

"Ship owners ?"

"Yes until the family went into banking."

Grandpa was right.


When Grandpa Morgan died his body was flown home from San Francisco. He would be buried alongside his wife. Funny how Peter never thought of him having a wife but, of course, he must have. He wondered with a smile what The Right Reverend Doctor Morgan said when he met up with Grandpa in Heaven. Would he give him what for, for not becoming Lord Chief Justice of England ?Would Grandpa tell the two ancestors who had given up the shipping business for banking that they were thoroughly boring ?  Would Pirate Morgan be waiting there to meet him in Heaven ?  Did pirates go to Heaven ? Surely not, he must have gone to - well certainly not to Heaven.

Grandpa Morgan's will was read in his solicitor's office three weeks after the funeral.  There were only Peter, his Mum, Dad and sister there. In spite of Grandpa's complicated finances things had been well prepared in advance and quite simply he had left everything, his London flat, holiday home in San Francisco, the VC medal that had once belonged to Colonel William Morgan and all his worldly goods with one slight exception to Peter's father.

"Congratulations Doctor Morgan," the solicitor said, "even after the death duties have been settled you will be a very wealthy man."

"It's Mister Morgan," he corrected......"Surgeons are called Mister, not Doctor."

"Oh, quite correct, I am sorry. Now there is just one other small bequest. To my great-grandson, Peter Morgan, I leave my Parker fountain pen and my notes explaining our family history. I have previously spoken to him about these and so he will be expecting them."  The solicitor looked over the top of his glasses. "Is that correct Master Peter ?"


"Then here you are young sir, one Parker fountain pen and a sheet of your grandfather's writing. In time anything in the great writer's own hand could become of some value."

Peter took them and offered polite thanks.

"What's it like to be rich Daddy ?" Janet bubbled excitedly, quite unable to contain herself.

"I don't want to be right only a good surgeon."

"But you can't refuse it," his wife chided, he voice containing a note of fear. "Not after all those years of having to be nice to him. He was never an easy man you know. Strange him leaving a fountain pen to Peter, perhaps he hoped he will become a famous writer as well."

Some chance of that with the reports he brings home from school each term."

Peter did know what he wanted to be or what he would do with the pen. His grandfather may have told him the pen brought success to its owner but he had not explained how to put it to use. He put the pen away in his bedroom to think about it. But he didn't think about it, He forgot all about it.

You can read my diary at

You can dfind all of my stories at

© Copyright 2017 Max Robinson. All rights reserved.


Add Your Comments:

Booksie Spring 2017 Flash Fiction Contest

Booksie Popular Content

Other Content by Max Robinson

Jake's Story

Short Story / Memoir

Fireball XL5

Short Story / Science Fiction

Popular Tags