1. Adverbs and Daydreams

Ada was sat at her desk trying to explain to the teacher how she could use an adverb within her writing. She was getting frustrated. Jacob wasn't helping either. He was busy writing down lots of examples of adverbs on his paper. Ada looked across the table at Isabelle. Isabelle silently mouthed to her 'It describes how an action is being carried out' to help, but all Ada could make out was 'I prescribe traction on a big trout'.

That didn't help at all.

How she wished it was break time. A wet break. She liked wet breaks because they meant she could go to the games cupboard and choose a game. Her favourite was the new stacking animals game that also linked to a class iPad. She loved playing that game with Isabelle, Jacob and Nathaniel, and finding new ways to create fabulous creatures.

"Ada!"

The teacher was getting annoyed at waiting, so turned to Nathaniel instead for the answer. However before he could open his mouth to say anything there was sudden flash of blinding purple light across the table. For a moment the four children were illuminated brighter than a corner shop neon sign, and then suddenly the light vanished.

So had the children. Their seats in the classroom were empty.

...

The four children looked around. Paper fluttered to the floor beside them. along with pencils and rubbers that had been resting on their table.

This was not their classroom. This was definitely not that familiar room where they had just been talking about adverbs, proper nouns and adjective phrases.

They looked at each other, bewildered, confused, frightened and wondering what had happened. Not one of them was able to speak. They just stood, open mouthed, and stared around them. This was a strange and unfamiliar place, with strange and unfamiliar sights...


2. An adventure begins

Jacob finally gasped as he stared at the turquoise ocean in front of him. He tapped Ada on her shoulder and pointed towards the deep rippled sea. She strained her eyes as she scanned the horizon.

Slowly something rose from beneath the surface. Ada turned towards Jacob. Her eyes widened and seemed to say "Did you see that?".
Jacob nodded his head.
Nathaniel and Isabelle had seen it too.
Isabelle whispered "Am I dreaming? Or is that real?"
"It's got the tail of a shark, the body of bird and the head of a warthog. That's strange" replied Nathaniel.

The children kept watching the strange looking beast in disbelief. This was unreal. They thought they were having the same dream. The four children continued watching the beast as it kept diving and surfacing in front of them.

Eventually it dived and didn't return to the surface.
Jacob rubbed his eyes then looked at the rest of the children.
"Wow", he remarked, "That was cool".
"I wonder if there are anymore strange and unknown creatures around this land?" wondered Isabelle.
Ada replied, "Lets explore".

Excitement replaced fear in the children. They were eager to look around.

Their adventure had begun...


3. Stars fall

Jacob excitedly picked up the paper from the grass whilst Isabelle bent down and picked up the pencils and crayons.

Nathaniel cried out "Let's explore the land first".
The children ran across fields of grass through every shade of green.

Ada stopped, looked up and shouted "Stop. Look up to the sky".
The others stopped and looked above them.
"So. Many. Stars." she gasped.
They looked and looked.
All of a sudden Jacob said "Look, those stars look like an octopus".
"And those look like a bear" added Isabelle.
"There's a warthog" gasped Nathaniel, pointing upwards
"An eagle" shouted Ada, tapping Jacob on the shoulder, who was busy looking at more stars that looked like a shark.
"Toucan" yelled Nathaniel and Isabelle together.
"These constellations are strange" muttered Ada, "I don't know any of these".

Unexpectedly, the three stars in the warthog constellation slowly began to fall towards the ground. The children backed away whilst staring at the falling stars until they hit the ground. Instantly, a warthog appeared in front of them, snorting and eating the juicy grass.

"Wow" the children whispered, "That's magic" they all agreed, then moved their heads to look up again. More stars began to move. This time, in the bear constellation. A moment later a fierce, hairy, grizzly animal was roaring loudly at the warthog.

Soon the octopus and the shark constellations began falling towards the sea. A moment later a menacing shark was swimming around an eight legged octopus.

The eagle and toucan constellations were the only ones left in the sky. Those stars rapidly turned into the real creatures, and flew above the children's heads.

They had discovered their first creatures.

"Let's draw these quickly" suggested Jacob.
The children took a sheet of paper and each drew the beasts they saw before them.


4. Evolving

After what seemed like a few days, and after the children had drawn lots of images of the beasts they they found, they discovered something rather strange.

Ada had been watching the bear when it slowly began a deep growl and raised it head to the sky. It opened its huge mouth as wide as it could then roared loudly. It was louder than the loudest sound the children had ever heard.

Ada stuck her fingers in her ears because it was deafening. Nathaniel saw her doing this and did the same. Jacob threw his hands over his ears and Isabelle scrunched up her face and shut her eyes tightly to block out the noise.

It felt like the roaring went on for minutes. Eventually they felt the relief as the earth shaking sound stopped. The children continued watching the bear as stars fell from the sky and vanished into the bears body. Slowly bear became more colourful. It's back turned blue. The tummy became striped, and its legs had a pattern of diamonds on the fur.

"It's evolved" shouted Isabelle.

Ada added "It's the stars. The stars. They're what made it evolve".

Jacob stood and wondered whether the other beasts they had discovered could evolve as well. There was only one way to find out... to watch them.

They went to find the warthog.


5. Migration

The children had spent many hours watching the native beasts evolve. They had watched carefully as each beast changed and had drawn detailed images of the new, evolved beasts.

After Nathaniel had finished his notes for the Gullinbursty, he watched another warthog nearby as it ate the rich, juicy grass around it. When the warthog seemed full it began to trot towards a river. After a few minutes trotting the warthog reached the riverbank where it then began to drink the refreshing, clear, cold water.

Water dripped from its bristly snout every time it lifted its head up from the river. The drops reflected the sunlight as they fell back towards the water.

Isabelle sensed something happening above her, and lifted her head. She watched silently, with her mouth gaping, as the stars above began falling towards the warthog. When they reached the beast they vanished in to the body.

Slowly the warthogs legs began to shrink, and its body got lower and lower until it was touching the ground. It's long, thin swishy tail changed and became chunkier and shorter, with two reddish fins flapping about.
Where its legs used to be, a single large, grey fin grew from each side of its belly. These fins shovelled the ground around it as the beast desperately tried to reach the water. With a final swish of its tail, the beast slid into the transparent rushing water below where it happily swam off downstream.

"That beast has migrated" remarked Nathaniel, staring at where the warthog had been.
"I didn't think warthogs liked water" said Ada.
"Water-hog. Haha" laughed Jacob.
The other children giggled at the joke.
"I'm not joking" replied Jacob, "it really is a waterhog".
"This land is getting weirder" added Ada, "What are we going to find next?"
"What about an eagle living in the sea?" joked Nathaniel.
"You mean a seagle" said Isabelle, "Come on, let's look".

And so they headed across the lush green fields in search of more weird and wonderful beasts.


6. Sounds In The Night

A few hours later the children had discovered several more migrated beasts.
"I can't believe that I got it right", said Nathaniel, "that there really was an eagle living in the sea. Wowzers. What a world".

They had also watched a bear migrate into the sky, becoming an air-bear - or 'bair' as Ada called it - and an octopus that grew legs and walked onto the rocky land becoming a rocktopus (named by Jacob).

It had been a long day, and the children were very tired as the sun began to set.
Isabelle watched the sky turn a dark pink before saying "That's weird. The sun normally sets in the west, but here it's setting in the east".

The children found sticks lying on the ground all around them, collected them up and put them in a pile. Jacob gathered some stones and placed them around the pile of sticks. Nathaniel grabbed two of the sticks and rubbed them together quickly until a flame appeared, before putting the burning sticks into the pile.

A few minutes after starting the fire, the children were sat down on the grass in a circle by it, putting their hands out in front of them to keep warm. Even though they seemed to have been in this land for day, they still weren't hungry. However they were exhausted and soon they fell asleep.

--

A loud rumble woke the children in the middle of the night. Blackness was all around them. The sound of animals grunting, roaring, screeching and snorting was getting louder and louder.

Their campfire was almost out.

The children couldn't see, so they called each other's names and felt in the darkness for their hands.

"What's that noise?" asked Isabelle.
"No idea", replied Nathaniel.
"What do we do?" shouted Ada.
"Stay here" commanded Jacob, "Crouch down, and hold hands".

The sound of the animals was deafening now, and suddenly the ground rumbled as hooves, paws and feet raced past them on either side. The animals were fleeing. But what was making them flee?

The children shuddered, and squeezed each other's hands tightly, until the animals had passed by.

Isabelle slowly turned her head towards the direction the animals had raced from and saw an orangey red sky above a distant mountain.

She gasped and called out to the others...

"Volcano!"


7. And Then There Were Three

The children began to run in the same direction as the animals had, but they were finding it hard to breathe because of the dust the animals had kicked up.

Ada coughed and slowed down. Jacob coughed too and stopped running. His left hand rested on his knee as he bent forward and tried to spit the dust from his mouth. Breathing quickly Jacob shouted "Ada. Stop!" Ada turned around and ran back to Jacob.

Nathaniel and Isabelle carried on running. They hadn't noticed that two of their friends had stopped.

A minute passed, then Nathaniel glanced around to see how Ada and Jacob were doing. They weren't to his left, so he quickly turned to his right and looked back. They weren't there either. They had disappeared. Nathaniel began to worry. He stopped running and stood still looking back where he had run from. In the distance he could just see two tiny dots. He began running back towards them, forgetting all about Isabelle who carried on running rapidly across the grassland.

When Nathaniel reached Jacob and Ada, Ada stared hard at Nathaniel with a confused look and asked "Where's Isabelle?"
Nathaniel spun around, his hands smacked his face and then appeared to be stuck to his cheeks as he cried out "I completely forgot about her".
"We've got to find her" pleaded Jacob, and began running to locate her. The other two followed.

Meanwhile, Isabelle was still sprinting away from the Volcano. Finally she stopped to catch her breathe. She fell to ground, put her hands on the grass in front of her, and panted hard. Her shoulders moved up and down as she sucked in mouthfuls of air. With a sudden feeling of panic, she realised that she was on her own. The others were gone. She was lost.

She stood up. She looked around her, but saw no one. She began walking, searching for the others. Isabelle wandered along the grassy plain. She was so busy looking into the distance for her friends that she didn't see the cracks in the ground.

As she placed her right foot in front of her, the ground suddenly collapsed. Isabelle fell. She tumbled downwards, her arms brushing against dirt walls. With a massive thud she hit the floor. Isabelle looked up and saw only soil, with a small looking gap that she had fallen through. It was way too high to reach.

Isabelle began to explore the strange cave she had landed in. In the distance there seemed to be a dim purple glow. She slowly crept closer the strange light. Finally she reached it. It was a sparkling, shimmering oval light that stood upright.

She reached out with her hand and pushed her fingertips into the mysterious object and then pulled her arm back. Her fingers were still there, so with a deep breathe she stepped into the light. Purpleness blinded her, and Isabelle was gone.

Back up on the surface of the plains, hours and hours passed by as the three other children continued to search for Isabelle. With disappointed hearts, they realised that they could not find her and sadly gave up looking.
They were now a trio.


8. Endings and Beginnings

The three children watched as the beasts continued to run from the erupting volcano. 

Nathaniel and Ada turned their heads to face the volcano. Lava began to run down the rocky side of the mountain looking like rivers of fire. The lava began to move rapidly towards the three children. 

Ada turned back and shouted “Jacob, run. The lava is getting closer”.

Jacob whirled around to take a look. His eyes grew larger as the panic rose inside his body.

“Good plan Ada” he called back, and turned to run. “That hill over there. Head for it. The lava won’t get us up there”.

Nathaniel, Ada and Jacob ran faster than they had ever ran as they sprinted across the grass towards the hilly area. Finally they began to feel the earth rise beneath their feet, but they didn’t stop running. They continued, sucking in mouthful after mouthful of air until eventually they reached the peak of the hill. There on a rocky plateau they fell to ground, lay on their backs looking at the sky as their bodies heaved in and out.

Slowly the children regained their breath. Nathaniel was the first to sit up and look around. The low ground below them was slowly turning orange as the lava crept along the plain. Where they had stood not long ago was now just a glowing mass of slowly moving liquid rock, with steam and smoke rising into the air.

Ada and Jacob sat up, joining Nathaniel, and all three turned to look at the animals.

Something very strange seemed to be happening. The beasts were no longer running from the volcano. Instead they were stood still looking towards the still erupting mountain. The beasts of the air had landed on the ground and were still. The sea beasts had surfaced and seemed to be laying motionless in the water, whilst the land beasts simply stood where they had stopped running and lifted their heads to face the volcano.

“Run, you silly things”, Ada muttered under her breath as she stared at them.

“What are they doing?” asked Jacob, confused by the behaviour the beasts were displaying.

“Wait. Look.” called out Nathaniel, pointing to the closest beast. “That warthog over there. It’s… it’s…. it’s turning back into stars.”

All three children sat in amazement as the warthog vanished in front of them and a group of stars rose from where it had been and climbed high into the sky. They craned their necks to follow as the stars continued rising until they were no more than pinpricks of light. 

The children’s gaze returned to the gathered creatures in front of them. More beasts began to transform into stars and rise into the sky until eventually not a single living creature could be seen anywhere. The land was empty. The sea was empty. The sky was empty. The children were alone in the world, just like they had been after that flash of purple light.

“They’ve…. gone”, cried out Ada. “They’ve just… gone”.

“Wait a minute”, called out Jacob, his mouth contorted as he bit his lip, “Wait. This is like it was when we first arrived isn’t it. There was nothing here then either. It was only when the stars began to fall that the animals appeared”.

“So what are you saying?” asked Nathaniel, “We watch the stars to see if they fall again?”

“Yes” answered Jacob. “That’s what we’re going to do”.

The children sat on the rocky plateau and watched. First they saw the lava cool, turn black and slowly give way to fresh grass growing through the fertile soil, and then – slowly at first – they saw a single star, then two begin to move in the sky to form familiar constellations.

“It’s happening”, Nathaniel whispered.

“It’s starting all over again, just like before.” Ada called out, clapping her hands in delight.

The children sat watching as three stars in the warthog constellation slowly began to fall towards the ground. They watched the falling stars until they hit the ground and a familiar warthog appeared in front of them, snorting and eating the juicy grass.

The children looked at each other, smiled and said “Here we go again”.


9. No Time Passed

Days seemed to pass, yet the children still didn’t feel any hunger pains.  Nathaniel commented on their lack of appetite. “Hey guys, have you noticed we’ve been here for several days, and yet we’ve not thought about food” he said.

“Oh yes. You’re right. That’s weird”, replied Ada. “I’ve not even had the urge to eat a piece of healthy fruit”.

“Well that proves one thing”, added Jacob, “If you’ve lost the urge to eat, this place is officially weird”.

Ada glared at Jacob, then stuck her tongue out to tell him she didn’t care what he had said.

Nathaniel suggested “Let’s go back the way we came”. Jacob and Ada both nodded and agreed. The three children turned around and began walking towards where they had first appeared in the land.

After a while they reached the river where they had first seen the warthog turn into a waterhog. They all stopped and removed their shoes and socks. They scrunched up their socks and placed them safely in their shoes before tying the laces together and putting them around their necks.

Ada called out “I’m going in first”, but Nathaniel beat her to it. He stood at the edge of the water, placed one foot in the river and suddenly cried out “It’s cold. You go first Ada”. Ada rolled her eyes, thought ‘What a baby’ and began to cross the river. The other two looked at Ada, and followed her quickly.

The children shook the water from their feet and put their shoes and socks back on, before continuing their journey.

Finally, after another long walk they reached a familiar looking area of the land. Was this where they had first arrived? They looked around, wondering what to do next.

“There must be a clue to help us somewhere around here” muttered Jacob, “Split up, and start searching”.

The children split up and began to look at the ground. After a short time, Ada noticed something in the grass. It was a small shiny, purple, oval pebble. She bent down and examined it more. It seemed too nice to leave where it was, so she picked it up and placed it in her pocket to look at later.

Meanwhile, Nathaniel was looking at another part of the ground. It looked different to the ground around it. It felt a little bouncy. Nathaniel called out to the others “Hey, you two. Come and check this out”. The other two ran over to join Nathaniel.

“What have you found?” asked Jacob.

“Watch this”, Nathaniel replied, as he began to jump up and down on the spot. The ground did begin to bounce, and then it began to rumble. Ada’s eye widened. Jacob looked at the ground as cracks appeared all around them. Without any chance to run, Nathaniel began to sink into the ground, and then suddenly a great hole appeared and all three of them fell downwards.

Ada screamed. Jacob tried to grab the dirt walls as he fell. Nathaniel saw Jacob doing this and began to do the same, but it was no good. There was nothing to grab. Down they fell.

With a smack they hit the ground. It was dark. It was dusty. It smelled like a damp blanket.

It took a few minutes until the children's eyes adjusted to the dark hole. Jacob squinted and stared ahead of him. “Is that a light over there?” he asked.

“It’s very dim” answered Ada.

“Can we reach it?” asked Nathaniel.

Slowly they made their way towards the dim light. As they got closer and closer the light became brighter and brighter until they were standing in front of a sparkling, shimmering oval light that stood upright. Although the children did not know it, it was the same light that Isabelle had stood in front of when they had lost her.

“What is it?” asked Ada.

“No idea” answered Jacob.

Ada replied, “What do we do?”

“Test it” Nathaniel said quietly.

“How?” called out Jacob.

Without warning, Nathaniel stuck his arms into the light, waited a moment, and then pulled them back crying out “Ta-da. It’s safe.” as he waved them in Jacobs face.

Ada called out “3…2…1…jump” and all three of them leapt into the light.

...

They were sat in their seats in the classroom. Isabelle was sat in her seat too. All four children looked at each other, dazed. What had happened?

“Nathaniel” shouted the teacher, “Are you listening? What is wrong with your table? First Ada, now you. Pay attention over there”.

All four children looked at each other confused – how long had they been gone for? They thought it was days, but it seemed that no time at all had passed. Was that possible? Was it real? Had they imagined it? Did they all have the same daydream? They could still remember the beasts they had discovered, and so at break time they began to draw them once again. Soon they had all the beasts drawn, and decided to make a game from them. They created a card game to play with the class that was like Top Trumps. The class loved it, and wanted to play it all afternoon.

As Ada left school later that day, she put her hand into her pocket and felt something strange. She took the object out of her pocket and looked at it. It was a shiny purple pebble.

Perhaps her adventure had been real after all.