Holly’s daydreaming competition

9 04 2010

Hi Guys,

I have taken into account your kind comments. Here’s an improved (hopefully!) and now extended 1st chapter.

It’s more verbal which I hope works. So being a bit different it’s possible I have removed parts you liked. So if you miss a bit of the story please let me know, it’s great to get your feedback and it really does contribute to the development of the book.

Oh and I don’t think I mentioned the age range when I originally posted the chapter. It’s aimed at 7-9 year olds .

Thanks 🙂

Holly daydreamed, Holly daydreamed a lot, whenever and wherever she went, she daydreamed. Her mum always said she should have been born as a cloud because she had her head in them so often.

It had started young and no-one could understand why. The first time happened when she was being fed as a baby and for no obvious reason she stopped eating mid-chew and started to stare at the rather boring lampshade that hung above the kitchen table. Not so unusual for a baby to do that you may think? But she stared at them for two whole hours!

Her mum was so worried, she took Holly to the doctor who sent them immediately to hospital. Holly was wired up to funny and complex looking machines for hours on end. But eventually all the Doctors could say was that there was probably nothing to worry about and that she would grow out of it.

Well she never did and while most girls her age at school were using their brains to work out complex long division sums, Holly was imagining pitched battle between the evil pumpkin headed wizard (her teacher) and the stick people (the marker pens), who more often than not were horribly outnumbered and had to call for reinforcements from neighbouring classrooms.

“Holly McMillan!”

Holly came to with a start , the pumpkin headed demon was looking in her direction!

“That’s the fourth time today I’ve caught you not paying attention, I will be calling your mother. Now sit up!”

Holly corrected her position as her classmates sniggered at the disruption.

“Sorry” she mumbled. Embarrassed to be pointed out in front of the class again.

Eventually home time came around and she found her mum waiting for her at the school gates.

“I hear you have been causing trouble again?”, she was trying to so sound serious but could not hide the smile on her face.

Her mum had got used to Holly’s dreaming episodes a long time ago and realised that there wasn’t much that could be done.

“Er, yeah, they laughed at me again” Holly said dejectedly.

Her mum knowing just what was needed to cheer her up asked:

“Well, was it a good one?” Holly immediately brightened up.

“Yeah, in the last one Miss Smith was an evil pumpkin headed wizard who was battling against the heroic marker pen army for domination of the classroom and ultimately the whole school!”

“Sound’s great! Did anyone win?” her mum asked

“Oh, dunno, I was interrupted”

“Shame. You know you should write all this down or something. Maybe you could make them into a story and then everyone will know how good you are at it!”

“Yeah, suppose.” Holly replied, but didn’t really believe that anyone would be interested in what was in her daydreams.

It was a good twenty minute walk back to the house and they talked about general stuff, what Holly had done at school and what her mum had done during the day.

Just as they were approaching the house her mum left her to go into the house on her own.

“I’ve got to go on to the post office, Dad’s in, help yourself to the food in the oven” she said, and left Holly at the gate.

Holly let herself in the front door, the keys often played up so it took her a minute of jiggling to get in.

“Whats up kiddo!” chirped her Dad from somewhere at the back of the house as she came in through the front door. He sounded like he had a mouth full of food.

Holly’s dad had never quite grown up, he still hung around in baggy jeans and talked with occasional street slang. All the children at her school thought he was ‘a bit weird’ (and told her so) but Holly thought he was the coolest dad around. He was the one who had taken her to see the Cirque du Soleil when all the other kids were on a trip to the local industrial museum and he was the one who had driven the family to Africa for a month to volunteer to build homes in a remote village when all the other children had been on their French exchange trips.

“Hi dad!”, she shouted taking off her coat and shoes.

“How many goblins this time?” her dad shouted back – he must have been at home when Miss Smith rang.

“The marker pens were winning Dad but the evil wizard was fighting back.” she called back as she hung her coat up in the hall.

“No Goblins?” he sounded almost disappointed.

She walked into the kitchen to see her dad taking a plate of out of the oven.

“Not today, although the wizard had a pumpkin for a head”

“Cool! Must have been rubbish at maths then with a head like that!”

He smiled at Holly, “Hey, want some dinner?”

She nodded and sat down at the table. Dad put the plate in front of her and she picked up her knife and fork. Just as she was starting she spotted something moved on her plate.

“Huh?” she looked up to see if her dad had noticed. But his back was to her getting his own dinner out of the oven.

Looking back at her plate there was movement in her pile of peas. The mound began to shiver as if something was trying to push itself out of the pile. Suddenly it exploded like water does when you drop the soap in the bathtub.

“I’m free!!!!” a little voice cried.

One of Holly’s sausages, previously buried under the mound of green balls was streaking across her plate in a mad dash for the tomato sauce bottle “Gimmeegimeegimeee!” it cried.

But before it could reach it,

“BANG”, Holly almost jumped out of her skin.

The back door behind her crashed against the work surface and her Mum burst through the doorway looking very excited indeed.

“Phew, MUM, don’t do that!” Holly laughed, relieved the huge crash was only her mum coming in.

“That’s definitely a happy face”, her Dad smiled whilst recovering a few peas which had jumped clear off his plate in the excitement.

“Sorry, couldn’t get in through the front door but I have something really exciting to tell you!”

The fact that Holly’s mum was so excited didn’t really surprise Holly, or her Dad at all, she was prone to bouts of it.

They could be about anything from the news of a newly born baby to the totally uninteresting news that one of her rhubarb plants had a leaf shaped like their next door neighbours cat (perhaps this was where Holly’s imagination had come from!)

She was so flustered she had to prop herself up on the edge of the work-surface just to catch her breath.

Holly’s mum had been brought up as a child in a small town on the south coast of Devon. Although you cant tell it from here her accent was decidedly country. She pronounced Devon “Devaaarn” and Cows sounded more like “Coos” and she called everyone “Moi lurve”!

This provided constant opportunities for mickey taking from both Holly and her dad. It was a friendly joking though, the kind of thing you get when you meet someone with a funny but lovely accent that you cant help but copy because it sounds so nice.

”You know…”, she paused for breath.

“…how we joke there should be daydreaming competitions for Holly to enter?” she continued. Dad nodded plopping the escapee peas back onto his plate.

“..and if there was, she would do really well?”

“Uhuhh?” said her dad again, sort of uninterestedly as he was pushing the peas away from all the clean pieces of food.

Holly meanwhile had NO idea where her mum was going with this.

“Well…there is, down at the village hall in four weeks time!”

This time Holly’s dad really took notice and looked up at her mum.

“What?” Holly and her dad said in unison

Surely mum was making this all up? Holly thought.

But as excitable as she was, inventing something as fanciful as this, was not her style.

“That’s wicked! Are you sure?” her dad asked excitedly

“Wicked?” Holly mocked sarcastically

“Well yeah, you know, really good.” He then realised holly had been teasing him and picking up one of the escapee peas lobbed it at her.

Her mum propping up the work surface continued, still out of breath, her Devon twang stronger than ever – it did that when she got excited.

“Yeah, wicked exactly! All I know is what I heard from Mrs Dukes who got it from Mr Dukes who saw it on the notice board down at the village hall. There’s going to be a tent set up and judges to assess the entries. There are prizes and everything!”

Surprised and excited both Holly and her dad didn’t know what to say but looking at each other they both knew what each other was thinking.

Holly said it first. “Where do we sign up?”



3 responses

9 07 2010

Nice work bro! much better:) i like the more fluent style you are taking and the extra detail defiantly helps to absorb you into the story.
Keep going Mr gravy man 😉

9 07 2010

who am i logged in as? seriously.. i mean.. i don’t even have an account? ! my cleaver old electro box seems to have it’s own log in? is that normal? should i call it?

10 07 2010

As a fellow writer of yours, I imagine that you would have realised the infinite spelling, grammar and punctuation errors in the above posts.

Tim’s a loser. 😀 lol.


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