The Opening Chapter of Britland Calling: 1. A TRIP TO ANOTHER EARTH.
Chapter 1. The Writer
Hello. I’m about to write a story. What’s it about? Not too sure yet because it’s only this morning started to flood into my head like water from a bath tap that someone’s turned on to the full. I can’t turn it off, so I had better get my act together. I’m not sure where the story’s coming from. Could it really be from my own mind? It seems too alien and yet too real, too colourful, to be from my monochrome mind.
Many of the characters forming are not those I would ever have imagined. Fortunately some of them are. Which is just as well, as it will help me to write the story. I can write the story from their point of view. Maybe when I get to know the more outlandish characters, I might be able to write some of the story from their point of view. We shall see…
However, just before I begin to start typing the story, I feel obliged to mention an incident that I’ve just observed. Somehow I have a feeling in my gut that it might be important to the story.
Just a few minutes ago, I was in my tiny upstairs kitchen making a nice hot cup of tea. I always do that before I settle down to write a story. And, well…
You see, I usually get a perfect view of my back garden looking down out of the upstairs kitchen’s small window. Except that just a few minutes ago, the window had steamed up a little bit because my kettle poured out a lot of steam. I left it boiling for too long because my mind was occupied with the strange story flooding into it. Anyway, I was looking out of the steamed up window at something odd that had landed in my back garden, and it puzzled me. It really puzzled me.
This odd thing I saw… Well, I thought for a minute it was a spaceship of some kind. Don’t worry; I know just how childish and ridiculous that sounds. But bear with me… It was the way it this odd thing moved through the air. A sort of anti-gravity movement as if a pilot was carefully flying it. Smoother than any helicopter or hovercraft. But if the movements of this odd thing were unearthly its appearance was not. Don’t laugh, but it looked like a huge black box. A box with all its sides equal. That is to say, cube shaped. About the size of a garden shed.
Of course, spaceships just don’t land in streets where people live. Well, they don’t, do they? Except for maybe in films or TV shows. So I reckon it must have been a huge empty black coloured cardboard box that found itself somehow carried away on the wings of a billowy breeze. There again, maybe it really was a spaceship. Still, perhaps the steamed up window fooled my eyes. Landed right on my cabbage-patch, whatever it was.
You know, as I started to make my cup of tea, I thought for a moment that I saw that Tommy from next-door jump out from the huge funny looking box, and then start banging on it with a peculiar shaped stick—a stick that looked like a hand. Just imagine hitting a box with a hand in your hand… That’s just plain daft, isn’t it? I mean, you might as well just use your own hand. Still, I’m sure the steamed up window made the peculiar shaped stick just look like a hand.
Tommy’s always climbing over my fence to get his ball. Treads all over my flowers sometimes. A right little nuisance he is, that Tommy.
The box probably fell on his head when he was getting his ball back. Maybe that’s why he was hitting it?
That’ll teach him!
I can’t be sure it was Tommy, but I think it must have been because he’s the only boy where I live with bright-red spiky hair. Sometimes when you see Tommy running around the estate on a windy day, his hair looks like bright red flames, as if his head is on fire. It didn’t look so spiky through the heavy condensation on the window, but I definitely saw a boy with a mop of red hair on his head.
Then as I dropped my teabag into the kitchen bin, I thought I saw through the window, Tommy disappear into the box again. But he couldn’t have because the wind lifted the box right up into the air and over my fence into his back garden. I say ‘the wind’, but it did seem such a controlled lift and floating motion…the same sort of anti-gravity movement it had moved in before. And well, that’s what puzzled me. What if Tommy was in the box and it wasn’t the wind that made it fly about?
Anyway, this huge black box seemed to lower itself as if it intended to land on Tommy’s funny-looking garden shed.
Tommy’s garden shed stands like a big white cube. Built it himself—clever little boy with his hands. Clever little boy with machines too. The noises I hear coming from his garden shed! Keeps me awake at night sometimes. A regular nuisance he is, that Tommy. Still, as clever as he is, I would have thought he could have come up with a better design for his shed than a simple cube shape. Not bad for a boy that’s just turned thirteen, though.
And d’you know what? I’m sure I saw the box fall ever so slowly right through the roof of his garden shed.
That’ll teach him!
Anyway, I’m back in my writing room now, you’ll be glad to know, with my cup of tea. Just a minute, I must have a sip…
Aah…mmm…lovely. You can’t beat a nice sip of piping hot Rosy Lee, if you’ll excuse my cockney rhyming slang.
I thought I had better mention that Tommy because no matter what story I write—he always seems to end up in it! Perhaps today will be the first story I write where he doesn’t somehow end up in it. Well, we’ll soon find out, I suppose. And I don’t know how, but I wouldn’t be surprised if that huge black box ends up in the story.
Erm…now let me see? Oh yes, on with starting the strange story.
I don’t know how it will progress or end yet, of course… And I honestly have no idea where this story is coming from. I’m not making any effort to think it up. It really is just flooding into my head. Perhaps someone—or something—wants this story to be told.
Right. Just to say, as the story happens to begin in my own town of Basildon, which is another reason I suspect Tommy will definitely end up taking a part in it. This I have to see!
Oh well, make yourself comfortable, focus your eyes closer on the words because here we go…
Chapter 2. Logan and his Mother and the Strange Shop
The intense summer sunlight dazzled seven-year-old Logan’s eyes as it reflected off the glass and metal of passing shop and car windows. Logan was strolling down the small town centre of Basildon with his mother. He was dressed in blue jeans and a white T-shirt just as his mother was. And he felt very happy because his mother had decided to take him shopping and buy him a present because she said he had been a very good boy lately.
Suddenly, Logan stopped on the High Street pavement outside a bank and looked up at his mother’s smiling face, a radiant face that made the late morning sun seem even more warming.
‘Do I really deserve a present, Mum?’ he asked, tugging at her wrist. ‘Are you sure?’