Late for school

I know a place where the grass is green and the sun shines brightly like the stars at night. It happened one day when the rain was pouring down in buckets. The alarm went off ringing in my head like a siren. I rolled over and pulled the covers over my head. The doona was luxurious, thick and soft. Still the alarm clock kept on sounding. Moaning and groaning I burrowed further under the doona like a rabbit hiding from a fox. It was Monday morning and my desire to get up was less than enthusiastic.

Then in came dad raging like a hippopotamus. I watched as his face burned red and his jaw clenched tight and when he spoke saliva trickled from his mouth. "Get out of bed" was all he managed before I darted past his quivering figure. I rushed down the carpeted stairs two at a time. Tripping, falling and crawling I reached the bottom and headed for the botched cubby house that I had made.

Quickly I climbed up the rickety ladder that I had finished last summer. You could barely call it shelter, I thought as I pulled the rope ladder up, then I settled down in the blue, worn beanbag and selected one of the many books scattered all over the floor. Turning to the first page I began to read, and as I became absorbed in the book it seemed to pull me into it. A moment later my feet thudded onto some luscious green grass. I looked around at the vast landscape, the tall, proud trees and the brightly coloured flowers. As I was turning to face the morning sun a dark, menacing shape loomed up out of nowhere. I stopped and waited for something to happen.

I didn't have to wait long. The shadow moved and now I was facing the ugliest thing known to mankind. It looked like the witches you happen to glance at in picture books. Except worse, ten times worse! She had a long tattered black dress, which was torn everywhere. Her hair was matted and grey. I watched as her long, broken nails clenched me tight. As she came closer I noticed that her eyes were glazed and the long, warty nose that was protruding from her face sniffed here and there, searching for something. There was also a putrid stench wafting from her. This was torture. I couldn't take it any more. I screamed. A long shrill scream that turned the horrible witches heart even blacker (if that was possible). She let go just for a split second but that was enough for me.

I ran and my skills at running stood me in good stead. Those proud trees looked just like another obstacle I had to avoid. Running through the forest was a hard task. It included a lot of jumping over rotten sticks and climbing over old oak trees that there was no way around. After a while the witch had finally given up pursuing me. I climbed a steep hill, with overgrown grass cropping up here and there. As I neared the top, I saw the beginnings of a small town bustling with activity. It had tall, thin houses with flat roofs. I ran down to the border of the village and walked into it.

Looking around I realized that it was a lot like my village at home. It had large, tall brick buildings scattered here and there. It had some flower shops except they weren't flowers they looked like some sort of cross between a cactus and a sunflower. They were yellow, tall and prickly, but there were also small smooth orange blobs. I walked on through; glancing in windows that were filled with all sorts of flowers brightly coloured and pretty. Suddenly I passed one of the creatures that must inhabit this cheerful place. It was a small monkey with bright wings. It flew up to me and put its furry face close to mine.

" Who are you?" he questioned. By the sound of his voice I judged he was a male. He had long brown coat of fur and had and his clothes were made of lion skin. I didn't want to show I was scared, but he probably worked it out because stuttering is my speciality.

" I ...I'm Jessica and I'm lost." I said helplessly.

I think he took pity on me because he herded me off to one of the houses, sat me down and gave me a drink that was soothing and calmed me down. Before I started to explain my story I noticed that the houses didn't have any stairs probably because they had wings to get up there. It didn't take me long to tell him about it all, but by the time I was finished I had an audience of four crowded around me. They had listened to my story in silence and were sympathetic towards me. But when I had finished they started talking all at once. The subject of the witch was the most popular topic.

Then the monkey who had met me first, whose name I found out was Tapi, called for silence. He spoke about the witch making a shiver go down everyone's spine. I realized that she had been overpowering them for years because Tapi's great great grandfather had played a trick by persuading her into eating some slimy worms and now the witch was their greatest enemy and that she had put them in terror for the last twenty years.

At that moment there was a hurried and loud knock on the door. Tapi's wife opened it and a little winged monkey came in panting, spluttering and still shouting, "The witch is here, the witch is here, the witch is really here!" Everybody panicked. The children were shepherded of upstairs by their mother, while Tapi was holding an axe and sharpening the edge of it on a rough stone. He called me over and asked me, "Are you any good at fighting?"

"No, but I could pursued her to leave you alone" I answered, my knees knocking. Just then there was a scream from outside, "She's here, she's here she's really here!"

I ran outside and saw a dozen other strange creatures were standing there trying to ward off the witch I had seen earlier, but now I noticed her wand! It was forever shooting bright sparks and once it got a poor little creature. I watched as it smoked up and then faded away at us and we were defenceless and unprotected. Well that what I thought, before I heard the swish of an axe and remembered the sharp weapon that Tapi kept.

I wanted this war to stop. I was against violence, so I walked up to the wicked witch and tried to reason with her but she just sent a jet of flames at me, and I dodged just in time. Hurrying back to the comfort of the others, I tried to think of a way out of this. I remembered that I had got here by a book and if my childhood memory served me rightly then in all the witch books that I had read you had to break the witch's wand.

Now saying that was easy, doing it would be the hard thing! I told all those gathered around me of my plan and they agreed to help. They would get all the men and especially Yunga to fight, while I crept up behind her, and as she couldn't see, it would make it much simpler. That's when the fight began. It was really aggressive and hostile, even though there was only one of witch! Yunga was shouting, "Priscilla the witch dares to threaten us!"

Just at that moment there was enough noise for me to creep up behind her. A few more seconds passed, while I stood poised, ready for action. The time came. Someone else had shouted an insult at her and she drew her wand. As quick as a pickpocket my small hand darted out and held the wand in a firm grasp. Surprisingly it let out a shrill wail and started to wriggle. With all my limited strength I snapped the wand. I watched in horror as the wand slowly turned into dust and then trickled away. Then I looked at the witch; her face was screwed up as if she were in tormented agony. I gasped. Her feet had disappeared, then her body and now only her head remained and it too was going. Finally she vanished for good! But before anyone could do anything a strange sensation came over me and everything became blurred. I found myself comfortably sitting in my been bag just where I had been before.

I heard the sound of the birds twittering and the rustling and sighing of the trees. A roar as loud as a lion's roar broke this calm silence. I looked down only to realize that the noise had been made by my rampaging father screaming at me to come down. Reluctantly I threw down the rope ladder.

Just then an even louder scream than before came from below. I looked down and there was a red boil swelling on his overlarge head to match his scarlet face. He looked up at me and I knew he would not forgive me unless I got him his favourite, some rich, dark, Cadbury chocolate, fast!

I grabbed the loose change that I had been saving up for a special occasion, like now! Quickly I scrambled down the escape root at the back and ran down to the corner shop up the steep hill and came panting to the corner shop and bought the king size asking that they keep the change to save time then down the steep hill as fast as I could go (which wasn't hard). I saw in the distance this red ball moving towards me, ah oh! Quickly I peeled off the wrapper and gave my dad the chocolate and waited with baited breath.

Slowly but surely he started to cool down it had worked. Leaving my dad I rushed down to home and started to get ready for school. And guess what, I was late for school, AGAIN! What a morning!

Created by Anna from St Peters Junior School

St Peters Stories index.

Daryll Bellingham, Storyteller
P.O. Box 5300, West End, Q4101, 
Brisbane, Australia
Tel. 61 (0)7 3846 3135
Mob. 0417 478408
All contents copyright (C) 2001, Daryll Bellingham. All rights reserved.
Last update: 26th August, 2003.
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