Children Fiction posted March 19, 2016


Exceptional
This work has reached the exceptional level
A story for those who like stories

Real Imagination

by mfowler


Graeme imagined books in his head before other children of his age could read their names.
 
By the age of eight, he'd filled hundreds of scrapbooks with stories about space exploration, safaris through African jungles, and hero knights of medieval times.
 
His father would read his stories and say, 'Graeme, you have the imagination of Roald Dahl and the writing ability of Rudyard Kipling. One day you'll be a great writer.' 
 
Graeme would wonder about these names, but they were of no real interest to him. The stories Graeme composed were his, and they were as true to him as the air he breathed. That is simply because they were true, and Graeme had lived through every moment of every tale.
 
One morning Ms Feather, his teacher, read the class a story about a boy who could fly: Little Johnny Buttons saw the plane in trouble through his window. He put on his special cape over his pyjamas and flew off to save the people on the plane...
 
At recess, Graeme sat with his good friend Zac, sharing his broccoli and celery snack-pack.
 
'Boy, wouldn't that be great? Flying like Johnny Buttons, I mean. You could do such cool stuff.' Zac was clearly impressed by the story's hero.
 
'Do you want to fly?' asked Graeme.
 
'Oh, that would be great.'
 
'Come to the library,' said Graeme. 'There's some good costumes in the drama box.'
 
'Better than nothing, I suppose,' replied Zac.
 
The school library was unusually quiet. Graeme and Zac had the drama box to themselves.
 
'Like me as Goldilocks?' said Zac, sporting a curly blonde wig.
 
'Nuh!' said Graeme. 'How about this?'
 
He dragged a superhero cape out of the jumble. It was gold and shiny with a black 'Z' emblazoned in the middle. There was a jagged rip along the left hand side, but being earthbound, such a blemish seemed hardly worth mentioning.
 
'Oh, yeah, Super Zac. That's for me.' Graeme tossed the cape to Zac, and he paraded around like a superhero model.
 
'And this'll do me,' said Graeme, fishing a wrinkled velvet coat from the box.
 
'It's not a real cape,' said Zac.
 
'Maybe, we'll have to wait and see. Do you want to go on an adventure?'
 
'Like climbing trees and jumping out?'
 
'No, a real one. Let's sit on the readers' cushions and I'll tell you how.'
 
***
 
The boys made themselves comfortable and Graeme began the telling:
 
Super Zac and his partner Goodly Graeme flew across the city skyline. They looked below into the canyons between the skyscrapers, people and cars moving in every direction like random dots and dashes.
 
'Good to be home, Zac. It'll be good to put our feet up,' messaged Graeme with his telepathic mind.
 
'The old city's looking good alright,' replied Zac as they zipped past the Spenser Tower. 'Hey, what's that? I see a jet falling from the sky, but I'm looking straight ahead.'
 
'Uh, oh,' said Graeme, 'you're not seeing things. That's a giant reflection in the Tower's windows. We have to help.'
 
Zac gripped Graeme's arm. He felt the tension in his voice as they perched on the Humpty Dumpty cushions. He could see them both surging upwards towards the stricken jet, and hear the scream of the engines as it lost altitude.
 
As the two heroes neared the underside of the fuselage, Graeme noticed a boy struggling to stabilise the plane. He was holding onto the base of the aircraft between the wings, but couldn't slow its fall towards the city.
 
'He needs our help,' messaged Graeme. 'You take the front end.'
 
Super Zac raised his gloved fist in understanding. He caught the underside of the nose-cone and pushed upwards with all his might.
 
Goodly Graeme moved to the tail of the aircraft and gradually dragged it down to a safer line of flight.
 
Zac picked up his giant cushion and held it aloft. He could smell the fumes of escaping aviation fuel, and hear the anguished screams of the frightened passengers and crew. As Graeme continued speaking, he guided the cushion to a safe landing on the carpet.
 
The three heroes ensured the plane landed smoothly in a field north of the city. They gathered on the grass as the crew prepared to launch the inflatable safety ramp.
 
'It's you, Johnny Buttons,' said Zac enthusiastically. 'You saved the plane.'
 
The boy in blue and white striped pyjamas and matching cape was pleased to meet them. 'How did you know I was in need of your help?'
 
'Let's say Super Zac has eyes in the back of his head,' said Graeme, smiling at his friend.
 
Zac suddenly became aware that the siren was sounding to go into class. He became anxious. He wondered if he should stop Graeme talking.
 
Suddenly they heard the grinding sound of the plane's main door opening.
 
'Time for me to get home,' said Little Johnny Buttons. 'School starts soon.'
 
The heroes shook gloves and flew off into the blue, leaving behind a crowd of grateful passengers watching them disappear.
 
***
 
'Hey you two. The siren's gone. Put away those capes and skedaddle out of here.' Mrs Warren, the librarian, stood over the boys as they lay across the cushions.
 
'Ooh, yes, Mrs Warren,' said Graeme.
 
'Hold on a super-hero minute,' she said. 'These capes smell of something. My goodness, if I didn't know better I'd say that was gasoline. And, Zac, the tear in that cape is huge. How on earth did two little boys make such a mess sitting on the Humpty cushions?'
 
***
 
In class, Ms Feather continued the story of Little Johnny Buttons. Zac knew exactly how the story went.
 
He looked at Graeme quizzically and smiled. He couldn't wait to hear another of his stories.
 
Graeme sat on the mat quietly. His mind was a thousand years away in ancient China. Genghis Khan was about to attack the city below. Graeme was riding for dear life to warn the citizens.
 
 
 
 
 

 


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aimed at children 8-12 yrs
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