The Queen of all Mermaids took the hand of her eldest daughter.
”I am weary. Your time has come, time to take my place. Our people are waiting to crown you. Go, child’.
‘Are you not coming with me Mother?’ she asked.
‘I cannot Princess, this you must do alone to prove you are worthy.’
‘But where do I go?’
‘To the horizon’ her Mother said.
‘How will I know when I’m there?’ the Princess asked.
‘You will know little one. You will know’
And with that, her mother was gone.
She was alone.
She swam with a kaleidoscope of fishes, through forests of coral and above deep dark places that made her shiver. But the horizon came no closer.
‘How far is the horizon?’ she asked a dolphin. ‘As far as you can see and farther still’ it said.
Which way is the horizon?’ she asked a starfish. ‘That way child’ it said pointing in five directions.
‘How long will it take?’ she asked an oyster. ‘How long is a string of pearls?’ it replied.
‘I’m tired, may I ride on your back?’ she asked a seahorse. ‘No Princess’ he said. ‘You have to go alone’.
Suddenly the ripples began to glow. Flowers floated around her. From the shimmering sea towered a rock of silver, gold and sparkling diamonds. At its peak, a jewel-encrusted throne and alongside it sat her Mother. Finally, she had reached the horizon.
She heard her Mother’s voice. ‘Your journey is over Princess. It’s time for you to lead your people’.
A hundred smiling mermaids swam to the surface and formed a circle around her. They splashed, they frolicked, they laughed with joy. They formed a nest of arms and gently lifted the Princess higher and higher. Songbirds of every colour fluttered and whistled, rainbow fish lept and dived.
‘Place her upon the throne’ said her proud Mother. ‘Let us all welcome our new Queen of all Mermaids’
Young Tyler was staring up at the night sky from his bedroom window. It was black as ink and the moon was huge. His little sister Kate crept up behind him. ‘Boo’ she shouted and Tyler almost jumped out of his skin!
‘What are you doing Tyler?’ she asked.
‘I’m looking up there Kate’ he said, ‘I’m trying to see the man in the moon’
Kate giggled. ‘Don’t be silly Tyler, there’s no man in the moon. There can’t be because the moon is made of cheese’.
‘Perhaps he likes cheese’ said Tyler. ‘You do’.
Mum walked into the room. ‘Hi you two, what are you looking at?’
‘We are looking up there at the moon’ said Kate.
‘The moon’s a balloon’ said Mum with a silly grin on her face ‘A big round yellow balloon’
They all looked at each other and laughed.
‘Tyler believes there’s a man in the moon’ chuckled Kate.
‘Kate believes the moon is made of cheese’ laughed Tyler.
‘And it’s really not a balloon Mum!’ said Kate.
‘I’ll tell you what I believe’ said Mum ‘I believe it’s way past your bedtime!’
Kate went back to her room and opened the curtains just a little so she could peer up at the moon from her bed. She felt sure she saw a little mouse nibbling away at the surface.
Tyler took one last look before he jumped under his duvet and waved to the man in the moon – and the man in the moon waved back.
Tom saw a time traveller on television. He was sitting in a chair wearing a special helmet and goggles and when he pulled the lever, he went back in time, and when he pushed the lever he went into the future. That looked fun! Tom thought he’d try it.
Daddy’s desk chair was perfect. He found a big wooden spoon for a lever and some string to tie it on with. Mummy’s tin colander looked just like the helmet. It just needed an aerial on top, so he got a twig from the garden and poked it in a hole. He put on his sunglasses and he was ready!
He closed his eyes a pulled back the lever. When he opened them he was in the park, but it didn’t look the same as it had this morning. The swings and the slide were made of wood. There was a tall thin tent on the grass and kids were sitting in front of it watching two funny puppets. He spotted his friend Charlie, but instead of riding his scooter, he was chasing a big wooden hoop and whacking it with a stick. He had funny clothes on; trousers down to his knees, long socks, a brown jacket, and a cloth cap. Then he saw Mr and Mrs Jones from next door. She had a funny little feathery hat on her head and a green and white spotty dress almost down to the ground. She even had a dead fox around her neck! Mr Jones usually wore a baseball cap and trainers, but now he had a hat with a brim, a stripy blue suit and shiny black and white shoes. All around, kids were skipping with ropes, playing hopping games, and rolling little tiny glass balls along the ground. Everyone looked so happy!
Tom pushed the lever forward and blinked. He was still in the park, but there were no children there. There were no birds singing, the flowers were dead and the trees had no leaves. The lake was filled with slimy mud and plastic bags and squashed bottles. Everything around him was grey and dusty. A sad looking old lady sat on the path holding out her hand.
Tom heard a ghostly voice in his ear. ‘Don’t let this happen Tom’ it whispered.
Tom didn’t like what he was seeing or hearing, so he tugged the lever upright.
‘What are you doing in my chair young man?‘ said Daddy.
Grandad was fast asleep in his armchair. He was snoring very loudly. Zac was sitting at the table with his tin of watercolour paints and his colouring book.
‘Grandma,’ said Zac, ‘can you stop Grandad snoring please?’
Grandma gave him a little shake. Grandad made a huffing sound, then the snoring stopped.
Zac went back to his colouring then suddenly Grandad started snoring again. ‘Oh no!’ cried Zac.
He jumped down from his chair, walked over to Grandad and prodded him. He kept snoring. Zac put his hand over Grandad’s mouth. That didn’t work either so he tried squeezing Grandad’s nose. That just made it worse.
He took one of Grandad’s slippers off and tried tickling his foot. No.
‘You won’t stop him’ said Grandma as she got up and walked out to the kitchen. Suddenly Zac had a fantastic idea!
First, he brushed some red paint on Grandad’s cheeks, then some yellow paint on his nose. Then he painted black glasses around his eyes a black beard on his chin! He was still snoring his head off!
Grandma came back in the room with a tray of tea and biscuits. When she saw Grandad she yelped and almost dropped the tray! Then she started laughing and so did Zac.
All the commotion woke Grandpa up. ‘Have you finished your painting Zac?’ he asked.
‘Yes Grandad’ chuckled Zac.
‘What are you both laughing at?’ he yawned.
‘Nothing!’ said Zac and Grandma together.
‘Grandad’ said Zac, ‘can you take me to the swings, please? My friends will all be there’
Yesterday was Sunday. I like Sundays because we don’t have to go to school. I go to a kind of school though. It’s called Sunday School and it’s at the church. It’s more fun than real school.
The day before yesterday was Saturday. We don’t have to go to school on Saturday either. I had to go shopping with my mum. She was buying knickers and things. How embarrassing. We did go into McDonald’s though and that was nice.
The day before the day before yesterday was Friday. We played football. Freddie tripped me up and made my knee bleed but I didn’t cry because I’m brave.
The day before the day before the day before yesterday was Thursday. We do painting on Thursdays. We had to paint a picture of our teacher. He looked at mine and said ‘I haven’t got a red nose’, but he has really.
On Wednesdays we do maths, adding up and that kind of thing. I only got nine out of ten because Mrs Wilson said twelve plus seven isn’t eighteen, but it is, isn’t it? On Tuesdays, we have a club after school where we plant things in a garden next to the playground and I can’t remember what we do on Mondays.
The day before the day before the day before the day before the day before….lot’s of days before yesterday it was Sunday again. I like Sundays because we don’t have to go to school.
‘Guess what I got for my birthday’ said an excited Harry as he hopped from foot to foot.
‘Give me a clue’ said Bobby.
‘It begins with Z’.
‘Nothing begins with Z except zebra,’ said Bobby ‘and I don’t think you got one of those’.
‘No, I was wrong,’ said Harry, ‘it actually starts with an X not a Z, at least I think so’.
‘An Xbox, an exercise machine thing, a kiss from your girlfriend?’ joked Bobby.
‘No silly, it begins with an X but it sounds like a Z’.
‘That’s stupid Harry. I give up, what is it?’
‘It’s a xylophone!’
‘What’s a xylophone?’ asked Bobby. ‘Is it like an iPhone?’
‘No, it plays music silly!’
‘So does my iPhone said Bobby pulling it from his pocket. ’Listen’. He went to push a bud thing in Harry’s ear just as he turned his head and it went up his nose instead!
‘Let me explain’ huffed Harry. ‘It’s like a row of wooden bars and you bash them with hammers, one in each hand’. He demonstrated by flipping his arms up and down whilst singing ‘plink plonk plink plonk’ very loudly.
Bobby still had no idea what he was talking about so Harry took him to his house to show him his present.
It’s the school concert next week and Harry and Bobby are performing a duet on the xylophone while the choir sings a song beginning with Z. What’s it called? Oh yes, Xanadu!