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Sunnyvista city


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For elementary students who study English at pre-intermediate level. Build your vocabulary while enjoying your reading!

For elementary students who study English at pre-intermediate level. Build your vocabulary while enjoying your reading!

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  • 1. 1 Another lovely dayS uddenly he was awake. He could see the light through the curtains. Tinawas still sleeping beside him. That was strange. Theyalways woke up together. He looked at his watch. Sixthirty. He tried to think. Yes, they always woke up atexactly eight oclock. He couldnt remember waking upbefore eight . . . not ever. Why not? Everybody in thecity woke up at exactly eight oclock. Every day. He got out of bed quietly. Tina didnt move. Hewalked to the window and opened the curtains. Helooked out at the quiet city. Nothing was moving. Thenhe dressed quickly, and went to the chair and sat down.He had to think. He had to remember. He was stillsitting there an hour and a half later when Tina openedher eyes. Dan, she said, Dan, what are you doing? I got up early, he said. Early. It sounded strange. Butwhy did it sound strange? Dan, is anything wrong? Wrong? No, nothings wrong. I just wanted to get up,thats all.
  • 2. Tina dressed. She smiled brightly. Its time for breakfast, she said. Come on, we mustnt be late. Wh . . . ? He was going to say, Why not? But he didnt. He stood up. Yes, yes, its time for breakfast. Look, you go down for breakfast. Im not hungry today. Ill see you later. Tina looked at him. We have to go to breakfast. Are you feeling ill? Ill call the doctor. The doctor. Yes, he had to go to breakfast. He didnt want to see the doctor. Tina was standing by the door. She looked annoyed. Tina, he said, I didnt eat anything yesterday, or the day before. And I feel different. Tina moved towards the phone. Of course you feel different, Dan. You are ill. Ill get the doctor. Dont phone, Tina . . . please, he said. I wanted to feel hungry. I havent felt hungry for . . . for a long time. I wanted to remember the feeling. She looked worried. I dont understand, she said. Nobody wants to feel hungry. Thats it. Nobody wants to feel hungry. Nobody wants to feel unhappy, nobody wants to feel anything. Yesterday and the day before, I didnt eat. Nobody noticed. I threw the food away . . . and now Im beginning to remember things. I think theres something in the food, a drug. Because of the drug we cant remember things. Tinas face was red. Youre crazy, she said quietly.2 3
  • 3. Maybe, he said, but why cant we rememberanything? What is this place? Its ... our home, she said slowly. Our home? When did we come here? Er ... I dont know, Dan. Is it important? Where were we before we came here? He shook herarm angrily. Why did we come here? We . . . we . . . Oh, Dan, I cant remember. Dontworry about it. Look, dont be silly. Were going to bevery busy today. First theres the pottery class. Youll beable to finish making that bowl. Then were going to goswimming, then lunch. Then we can lie beside theswimming pool before tennis, then theres dinner. Thenwe can watch the new videos in the video room, have adrink and go to bed. Well be exhausted! Exhausted? At eight oclock? Well, yes. Thats bedtime. We need twelve hourssleep a night. Everybody says that. Tina, how long have we been here? I dont know, Dan. We call this place "home". Dont you remember? Weused to call it "a holiday". We used to call this "our hotelroom". Now we call it "home". I dont remember that. Thats stupid. No, it isnt, Tina. I remembered this morning, when Iwoke up early. Perhaps you didnt wake up, Dan. Perhaps you had adream. A strange dream, thats all. 4 5
  • 4. But I did wake up, Tina. You saw me. I was sitting inthat chair - with all my clothes on. Im not sure. Were you? I cant remember now. Shesmiled at him. Come on, the suns shining. Its anotherbeautiful day. Lets go and have breakfast. She opened the door. Dan looked at her for amoment. Youve forgotten our conversation, haventyou? he said. Youve forgotten it already. 2 I love breakfastD an followed her into the corridor. He looked at the rows of doors on both sides. They were all thesame. They walked along to the lift. Tina pushed thebutton, and the doors opened. Morning, Tina, morning, Dan. Russell, the sportsorganizer, was already in the lift. He smiled. I hopeyoure both ready for the tennis match, he said. Wereplaying Level Fourteen this afternoon. Theyve gotsome good players. Tina laughed. Level Five, Level Five, she sang, LevelFive is really alive! It was their team song. The lift went down to the restaurant level. They joinedthe long line of people. They were all waiting forbreakfast. Dan looked around. Everyone was wearingshorts and T-shirts, the men and the women. 6 7
  • 5. Dan looked down at his T-shirt. It was light blue, the He felt pleased with himself. He looked aroundLevel Five colour. His shorts were light blue too. There quickly. Nobody was watching him. He picked up hiswere different colours for all the levels. The man in tray again and walked over to the waste disposal unit.front of him was wearing a yellow Level Nine T-shirt. Quickly he threw the food and drink away. He looked Oh, good! said Tina. Cornflakes. I love cornflakes. around again. No, nobody saw him. He started to walkSo do I, said Russell. to Tinas table. And there are no sick people, he Dan smiled. Every day breakfast was cornflakes with thought. They take them to a hospital somewhere.thin milk. Every day Tina seemed pleased with it. She Nobody else leaves. Never. He stopped. There wasalways seemed pleased with lunch too. And dinner. Jack! Jack went to hospital . . . but when? He walkedEverybody seemed pleased. He thought about the food. over to Jacks table.Lunch was usually soup, and some bread. Dinner was Jack! Good morning, he said.usually soup, and some kind of rice. They sometimes Good morning, Dan. Lovely day, isnt it?had a little meat or fish, but not often. But they were Hows your leg, Jack? Is it better?never hungry. Jack looked surprised. My leg? Theres nothing Dan took a tray, a bowl of cornflakes and a vitamin wrong with my leg.drink. He followed Tina and Russell towards the tables. Dont you remember, Jack? You hurt your leg. YouThe restaurant had big windows, and through them you cut it by the swimming pool. I was with you. You fell oncould see the large swimming pool. The families with a bottle and it broke, and cut you badly. They took youchildren all lived on the other side of the pool. On this to hospital. You went in a helicopter.side there were only people without children. Dan Jack stopped eating. He looked worried for a moment.stopped and thought, And none of us ever have Then he laughed. Ive never been to hospital in my life,children. And the youngest children on the other side he said. And Ive never been in a helicopter. Is this aare ten or eleven years old. They used to be younger. joke?He could remember babies. So, no children are born Dan looked down. Jack was wearing green Levelhere, and the youngest children are ten or eleven. Dan Eleven shorts. He could see the long red scar on Jackswaited for a moment. He put his tray down on an empty leg. He looked at Jack again. Jack was smiling.table. It was difficult. Thinking was difficult. So, maybe Dan, are you all right? It was Russell. He wasthats how long weve been here. Ten or eleven years. standing behind him. 8 9
  • 6. I was just talking to Jack. About his leg. He cut his leg when we were at the swimming pool. Look, theres the scar. You remember, Russell. He fell on a bottle. You carried him to the helicopter. Russell wasnt smiling. Dan, can you come to my office after breakfast? I want to talk to you. Dan looked at Russell carefully. Russell was the sports organizer for Level Five. There were a lot of organizers. They all lived on the highest level of the building, Level Twenty. There were organizers for sports, pottery, yoga, music, everything. No, I cant come to your office, Russell. Im busy. Russell looked surprised. Busy? What do you mean? Dan turned and walked quickly out of the restaurant. He walked to the lifts. He got to the lifts, pushed the button, and the door opened immediately. Dan stepped in. Russell was hurrying along the corridor towards him. Dan pushed a button, and the doors closed. Dan looked at the buttons. There were twenty levels. He pushed number twenty. 3 The twentieth level S unnyvista City was built on both sides of a deep valley. The swimming pools and sports areas were at the bottom of the valley. The rooms were against the sides of the valley. At both ends of the valley were the10 11
  • 7. offices for the organizers. The city was about two Dan stepped into the lift, and Russell followed him.kilometres long. Helicopters flew into the city every day. Russell turned to the row of buttons next to the door.They always landed on the roof of the twentieth level. Level One, he said to himself and moved his hand The lift stopped. Dan walked out. The corridor was towards the button. Dan hit him once, hard on the backempty. The rooms were bigger here. There was a bigger of the head. Russell fell to the floor.distance between the doors. Then he heard a noise. Itwas a bell. The door of the next lift was opening. Danstepped back. Russell was coming out of the lift door. Dan, said Russell, what are you doing? This is LevelTwenty. You shouldnt be here. Why not? said Dan. And why are you following me? I must speak to you, said Russell. Its important. Dan looked at Russell. Russell was looking at the wallnext to the lift. There was a red button on the wall.Russell was moving towards the button. Dan steppedbetween Russell and the button. OK, said Dan. Whereshall we talk? Russell looked worried. Er . . . we can go to myoffice. We can talk there. Dan thought for a moment. Russell was bigger thanDan, and stronger too. Dan thought about the sports inSunnyvista City. Nobody tried to win . . . not ever. Why I knocked him out, thought Dan. I hit him once andnot? He could remember the day before when he played knocked him out. Where did I learn that? There weretennis against Russell. Dan tried to win. He wanted to never fights in Sunnyvista City. Nobody was ever Russell was surprised then. Dan smiled, Come on, Dan looked at the buttons. He pushed the button forlets go to your office. I mustnt be late for the pottery Level Ten. There was nobody on Level Ten at this timeclass. Im making a bowl, a soup bowl. Have you seen it? of the morning. He stepped quickly through the door Russell smiled. No, I havent. You can show me later. before it closed. 12 13
  • 8. 4 On the roofD an walked along the corridor. There were some stairs at the end. He ran up the stairs. There was adoor at the top. He pushed the door, and it opened. Itwasnt locked! He went through the door, and he was onthe roof. He looked around. A large helicopter was standing onthe roof. Dan stopped and looked at it for a moment.The helicopter was a Westing Type 23. He thought for amoment. The Westing Type 23 had twenty seats, twoengines and it could fly at 300 kilometres an hour. Buthow did he know that? He tried to remember. Of course!He used to work at a helicopter factory. He used tomake Westing helicopters. He used to work! But whenwas that? And where? Why did he stop working? Andwhy did he come to Sunnyvista City? Dan walked acrossthe roof. It was very wide. He walked to the side andlooked over the wall at Sunnyvista City. Then he walkedacross to the other side and looked over that wall. Heshook his head. There was another valley with morebuildings. It looked exactly the same as Sunnyvista City.There was a door on the other side with a notice on it,Sortie. He tried to think. Sortie, it was French. Itmeant exit. But when did he learn French? He turnedand ran over to the helicopter. The door was open.There were a lot of boxes inside. They were empty. 14 15
  • 9. Dan climbed in, and hid behind the boxes. There waswriting on the boxes. One said Sunnyvista City, anothersaid Club du Soleil, a third said Playa del Sol. Hethought about the writing. English, French and Spanish.He looked at some more boxes. Some were German,some were Italian. One was Portuguese. He sat therefor about ten minutes, then he heard voices. The doorclosed. Two men got into the front of the helicopter.Dan listened. Well, thats it. Weve delivered everything to theEnglish and French sections. Yes, we can do the German and Italian sections thisafternoon. 5 Dan remembers moreT he engines started and he couldnt hear anything else. The helicopter took off and climbed slowlyinto the sky. Dan moved quietly to the window andlooked down. He could see more valleys like SunnyvistaCity, then more and more. They flew over the valleys forhalf an hour. Then Dan could see fields and trees andfarms. In the distance he could see a town with factoriesand smoke. The helicopter began to go down. Dan hidbehind the boxes again. The helicopter landed, and thedoor opened. Some men began to move the boxes. Danstood up. Hello, he said. Where are we? 16 17
  • 10. The men looked at each other. They didnt speak. nothing in it. Im sure youre hungry and thirsty. VeryAnother man climbed into the helicopter. hungry and very thirsty. Its all right, he said to the men, its just another one How do you know that? said Dan.from the valleys. He looked at Dan. Why have you Travis sat down. They always are hungry and thirsty.come here? Thats why theyre here. Look, dont worry. Sunnyvista I dont know. I started to remember things. I wanted City isnt a prison, you know. When the helicopter tookto remember more, said Dan. off, the pilots knew there was somebody there. They Youve come from Sunnyvista City, havent you? said knew because of the extra weight.the man. Why didnt they take me back? asked Dan. Yes, said Dan. Ive told you. It isnt a prison. You got into the Hmm, I see. I think you should come with me. helicopter because you wanted to leave. Thats OK. Dan followed the man out of the helicopter. Youve left. We didnt stop you. My names Travis, said the man. Come on, well go Dan looked at the table for a moment. There was ato my office. man, one of the sports organizers. His names Russell. Dan looked around. They were at a small airport. He He wanted to stop me. I knocked him out. I left him incould see nine or ten helicopters, two large planes, and the lift, and sent the lift down to Level Ten. I didnt wanta lot of trucks. The helicopters were all Westing 23s. to hurt him.Men were putting boxes into them. There were fields Hes OK. You didnt hurt him badly. I spoke to him onaround the airport, and a small road going towards the the telephone a few minutes in the distance. What is Sunnyvista City? asked Dan. What is it Travis took Dan to a small building. They went inside. really?Travis led him into a small untidy office. Dan looked How much can you remember? said Travis.around. In Sunnyvista City everything was always in the Im beginning to remember more and more. I cantright place. Nothing was untidy or dirty. remember everything yet. Sit down, said Travis. Would you like something to Youll remember more tomorrow, said Travis.drink? Ive got tea or coffee. Well, said Dan. I used to work in a helicopter factory Er ... no, thank you, said Dan. in England, the Westing factory. This isnt England, is it? Travis laughed. Dont worry, he said. Theres No, said Travis, it isnt. 18 19
  • 11. I lost my job, said Dan. The factory closed. I was unemployed for a long time. Then I saw an advertisement. It was on television, I think. It was for very cheap, thirty-day holidays for the unemployed. Very cheap. We left England, and flew to Sunnyvista City. I cant remember much since then. But I remember something. I havent seen or talked about money for years. Travis smiled. Sunnyvista City is one of the oldest towns here. It opened ten years ago. You havent seen money for ten years. But whats happening? said Dan. Can you remember ten years ago? There were millions of unemployed people all over the world. There was very little work. Computers were doing everything. There was fighting in the streets - riots, revolutions, hunger. The governments all over the world had a meeting, a secret meeting. They built Sunnyvista City, and hundreds of places like it. All of them are in warm, sunny places near the sea. They sent unemployed people on "holidays". They give everyone drugs in the food. There is no hunger, no fighting, no children in the cities. There is also no memory. Nobody can remember anything. Everyone lives for today. But thats terrible, said Dan. Is it? Is it really? said Travis. Things were much worse before. Are you going to send me back there? asked Dan.20 21
  • 12. You can choose. We can give you a drug. Youll wakeup tomorrow in Sunnyvista City, and you wontremember anything about this. You said I can choose, said Dan. Yes. You can stay here. You can go back to England.Well find you a job. Life will be difficult. Youll have towork hard, and ... But Ill be free, said Dan. Yes, you will. A few people . . . only one or two percent . . . leave Sunnyvista City and the other cities everyyear. That isnt a problem. We can find jobs for thosepeople. Most people are happy there. About half of thepeople that leave choose to go back. I dont believe it, said Dan. You will. Maybe next year youll want to go back. Itsan easy life. But what about now? Are you going back,or are you staying here? Dan sat back in his seat and smiled. I think Ill stayhere, he said. 22
  • 13. Exercises 4 Comprehension questions 1 How long did Dan wait before Tina woke up? 2 Why didnt Dan want breakfast?1 Read through the story quickly and find this information. 3 What did Dan do with his food the day before? 1 The time people wake up in Sunnyvista City. 4 Whats Russells job? 2 The time people go to bed in Sunnyvista City. 5 What did people wear in Sunnyvista City? 3 The age of the youngest children in Sunnyvista City. 6 How long did Dan live in Sunnyvista City? 4 The colour of the Level Five clothes. 7 What happened to Jack? 5 The colour of Jacks shorts. 8 Where was Jacks scar? 6 The number of levels in Sunnyvista City. 9 Where did the organizers live? 7 The make of the helicopter. 10 Why was Russell following Dan? 8 The French word for exit. 11 Which button did Russell move towards? 9 How many per cent of people leave Sunnyvista City. 12 How did Dan knock Russell out?10 The number of people that go back to Sunnyvista City. 13 What did Dan used to do before he came to Sunnyvista City? 14 Where did Dan hide in the helicopter?2 Are these sentences true ( v ) or false ( x ) ? 15 Where did Travis take Dan? 1 There was a special drug in the food. 16 How did the pilots know Dan was there? 2 No children are born in Sunnyvista City. 17 Why did Dan go to Sunnyvista City? 3 Jack has never been to hospital. 18 Why was Sunnyvista City built? 4 Tina could remember coming to the city. 19 What was the world like before Sunnyvista City was built? 5 Russell knew why they were there. 20 Whats Dan going to do? 6 Russell was badly hurt. 7 The pilots knew that Dan was in the helicopter. 5 Discussion questions 8 Travis wanted to send Dan back to the city. 1 Describe a day in Sunnyvista City. 9 Dan used to work in a helicopter factory. 2 Describe Sunnyvista City.10 Dan will go back to Sunnyvista City next year. 3 Describe the meals. Why were they like this? 4 Describe how Dan left Sunnyvista City.3 Complete the spaces in these sentences. 5 Describe the world ten years before the story. 1 In Sunnyvista City, breakfast was always ..... with thin milk. 6 Was Sunnyvista City a good or bad idea? Why? 2 When he woke up, Dan could see the light through the ..... . 3 The City was built on the sides of a deep ..... . 4 Dan got in the lift and pushed the . . . . . for Level Twenty. 5 Dan used to work in a helicopter . . . . . . . 6 Jack had a long red ..... on his leg. 7 Everyone in the city wore ..... and T-shirts. 8 Dan was making a ..... in the pottery class. 9 Dan stepped into the ..... before Russell.10 Dan hit Russell once and . . . . . him out.
  • 14. Glossaryadvertisement: a notice in a newspaper or on television telling people about things for sale, etcbowl: a deep round plate for soup or fruitconversation: a talk between two or more peoplecornflakes: a special breakfast foodcorridor: a long, narrow space in a building with doors on both sidescrazy: mad, insane, lunaticcurtains: large pieces of cloth over the windows of a room; you can close them at nightdistance: the space between two things or placesdrug: a medicine or chemical that makes sick people well, or a dangerous thing that people take (like heroin or cocaine); in this story it is a special drug that makes people forgetexhausted: very, very tiredfactory: a building where people make things, usually with machinesgovernment: the organization that controls a countrylevel: a floor of a large building, or car parkorganizer: someone that plans or controls things for other peoplepool: a place for swimmingpottery: making plates, cups, bowls, etcrevolution: a total change of government, often violentrice: a food, often from China or Indiariot: a crowd of people fighting and shoutingrow: a line of people or thingsscar: a mark on the body from an old cutsection: part of somethingshorts: short trouserssoup: a food made with water that you eat with a spoonstupid: the opposite of clevertray: a flat piece of wood or plastic for carrying plates, cups, etcunemployed: without a jobuntidy: with everything in the wrong placesvitamin: vitamins are in food, e.g. vitamin C, vitamin A, vitamin B6; we need vitamins for our healthwaste disposal unit: a machine that you put rubbish, old food, etc into