1 Strange teacher set class an impossible homework task.
2 The unusual looking school bus does not take the children to school, but to an unexpected strange place.
3 Arrival and entrance of the strange place the bus takes the kids too
4 The kids enter a rather shaky elevator.
5They are introduced as the elevator doors open, by a rather strange looking creature. Looking like a very
odd human indeed.
6Looking around the strange place and realization they are In some future exhibition/museum that hold arte-
facts from their time (wrong facts of course). The real give away is when they spot a capsule that shows the
evolution of the mantis bugs.
7 Alan discovers an un-forbidden room and unnerves the creature and the story comes to an abrupt end to
leave the audience in suspense.
Whispers and giggles could be heard from outside the classroom. Sunlight streamed through the window
and there were paper airplanes hurtling through the air. Mrs Pebble’s class were restless as usual. It was like
any other day at Nightingale Primary School until the door swung open and he walked in.
“SILENCE!” he proclaimed. The class fell eerily quiet. For a moment, even the paper airplanes appeared
to hang still in the air, waiting for whatever was to happen next. There was something about him that made
the class feel uneasy. He was a tall and angular man, especially when seen from beneath; and this was from
where the seated class now viewed him. His height was largely due to his elongated and bandy legs. His
head was small, bald and wide. Wide enough to accommodate his giant eyes; which seemed to wrap around
his face from ear to ear. Against the white wall his silhouette was pointy. His shoes were pointed too; in fact,
everything about him was quite pointy
This was something being considered by a thoughtful Sally, as she twiddled her long plait and watched him
shuffling papers, moving jerkily around the desk. As he did so, she noticed that he didn’t do it the way Mrs.
Pebble would, by licking her forefinger every now and then so that her fingers would stick to the corners of
the paper. The tips of his long fingers seemed to stick to the papers just by pressing flat on to the surface.
Just then, some of the papers blew from the pile and came fluttering with the sound of wings as they hit the
floor next to her feet and flipped about in the breeze.
Sally broke suddenly from her thoughts as the teacher sprang up to the window and snapped it shut before
turning to the sea of faces in front of him. She had sat herself at the front of the class. Reaching down, she
collected the papers and placed them neatly back on the desk that connected to the front of hers. The teacher
didn’t thank her.
The gangly teacher exclaiming “CLASS! …May I introduce myself!” He followed every word with a chop-
py arm movement. As he now stopped to draw breath, his arms were straight, with the fingertips pressed on
the desk in front. Everyone in the classroom sat bolt upright, even Alan - which had to be a first.
“ Pro-fessssss-or! Please be careful to pronounce it correctly children. Nothing about our relationship will
require any other term of address. Now, to matters of art…”
Alan had noticed how the professor spat as he talked. He looked over at Sally and was glad he wasn’t sat
where she was. Sally smiled back at him. The Professor landed him a stern look from his over-sized, googly
eyes. Alan could tell this was going to be an interesting yet spooky kind of day.
The Professor’s long finger landed on the blackboard with a cringe-inducing squeak, another from his other
hand darted into Sally’s face again. This time it stopped in front of her. She knew what to do. Rising to her
feet, Sally cleared her throat, squinted her eyes and descrambled the chalk letters on the board, which read;
“Imagine a world where humans and animal have become extinct, who or what will be left? ”
Sally had finished speaking, but the teacher continued to look at her. There wasn’t anything else written on
the board for her to say, She felt a bit uncomfortable, so she broke away from his penetrating stare and sat
back down quickly without waiting for his say-so. Looking round at the rest of the class, she saw them ex-
changing confused looks. For once, the entire class didn’t have anything to say.
‘This is no ordinary art class’ thought Sally. If the teacher was this unfriendly now, imagine what he’ll be
like when he finds out I can’t draw! Sally wasn’t very good at art at the best of times. There was never a
right answer, unlike her favourite subjects Maths or Science. Something told her it was going to be a day to
remember, for better or for worse. For a start, this homework task made her kind of nervous already!
Three days later, Sally and Alan were at the bus-stop on the way to school. It was yet another sunny day and,
as usual, they didn’t talk much for the first few minutes. They both sat on the usual part of the wall, and their
legs swung in time. Sally got to thinking about the project deadline. It was two days away. She would usu-
ally have panicked at this point but the warm yellow sun on her face made her feel a bit fuzzy and mellow.
She still had some waking up to do.
The sun was bright, but Sally’s face stayed squinting once the cloud cast a shadow over her. Her eyebrows
were all scrunched. She was getting a bit more stressed-out now. Either way, she told herself it was nothing
to get so anxious over. After all, she knew the rest of the class were struggling too. It went without saying
that Alan hadn’t given it much thought since he had left the classroom. Alan seemed pretty laid back about
the work and reassured Sally that they could do the assignment in time; “Chill out Sal, it’ll be alright!”
Sally wasn’t so sure though… “The bus is quite late” she muttered back as she glanced at her watch. They
both turned to look down the road then back at their feet again. “I just wish we could go away…just disap-
pear…just not go to school and NOT have another lesson with that weirdo new teacher.” She rolled her eyes
at the thought of it. Alan finished his yawn and laughed. “I know what you mean,” he chuckled.
Just then a bright green school bus pulled up next to them. It had appeared so quickly that the two of them
had trouble getting their bags together. Although neither of them said anything in the scramble to get on,
they both noticed something different, ‘Isn’t the school bus usually red?’ thought Sally, as she looked over
at Alan, who was lying across the back seat. ‘This is usually taken by now’, thought Alan. Alan didn’t often
do much thinking so he didn’t question this too much. Sally, however, was wondering why so many people
seemed to be off sick. The bus was completely empty!
Within minutes of sprawling across the back seat Alan had fallen asleep. He had used his P.E kit bag as a
pillow. This happened quite a lot on the way to school, ever since his birthday in fact. Each night his prized
game console (a birthday present from his older brother) would have him deep in trance - with his face
glowing blue under his duvet - well after he’d been sent to bed. He had to admit it did make his eyes sore but
he couldn’t be sure whether that was the lights or just exhaustion.
Alan’s bleary eyes struggled to open once the engine stopped. He sat up and looked out of the window at the
fuzzy pavement “Eh?”
Alan’s tired, pinky eyes began to focus and he realised that what he was looking at was definitely not Night-
ingale Primary School. His eyes brightened-up, they seemed to twinkle now with excitement. He leapt to his
feet and ran to the bus door – this was a first for Alan who usually skulked most places.
“Wow Sally! Check it O-U-T!!! - We’re not at school!”
He clambered down the stairs and didn’t even notice or care where the driver was or why he’d driven here.
“I wonder what’s in that spectacular building! Sal! Have you seen this?!... Your wish has come true! No
Sally had indeed seen it. She was out there already. She was worried though -“I hope this is a good idea
Alan.” She gave a sigh, not really sharing Alan’s excitement. Sally wasn’t at all sure about all this, and re-
membering her wish, did not think it could, logically thinking, have come true.
They gazed up at the strange structure before them, ‘Looks like something from Futurama’ thought Alan as
he struggled to take it all in at once. He glanced back at Sally, who still wasn’t sharing his joy and was in
fact beginning to wonder now if wishes could come true after all. She knew that this idea should be a thrill-
ing one, but right here, right now, it was a very scary one. This thought led quickly on to another wish… this
time to un-wish the wish she made at the bus stop!
No longer content with just standing there, Alan grabbed Sally by the arm “COME on Sal let’s go check it
out!” Sally gave another deep sigh and hesitated. Her feet wouldn’t move forward and she wasn’t sure she
wanted them to either. She looked back at Alan and shook her head, “No…this isn’t a good idea…we should
find a way home! Let’s go.”
She turned to where the bus had dropped them off. It was gone now. She then looked around and noticed
that even the scenery was different. The plants were nothing like she had seen before, they were huge. “How
weird… I wonder if there’s a payphone anywhere.” She glanced around but nothing seemed too hopeful,
how would they get back home?
Remembering the Art lesson with the weird new teacher and the question… her mind raced with so many
worries. For once her confidence in her own ability to ‘always have a practical solution‘ (her mother’s
words), failed and gave way to complete puzzlement. It was no use. The tears welled up in her. Pulling from
her pocket a folded tissue she’d packed for her hay fever, she wiped away two large drops of salty water that
began rolling down her cheek. Alan meanwhile was already waiting for her at the bizarre entrance. He’d run
full speed up the path. He was now waving at Sally shouting “Come on!!”
‘I will just have to’, thought Sally and walked up the path to the entrance, where Alan was stood, smiling
and panting. They walked in to the organic plant looking structure. The porch was dark and tunnel-like, too
narrow for two people to walk comfortably side by side. Alan took the lead.
Their feet peeled off the floor with each step – but he didn’t seem too distracted by this strange sensation.
Alan lived in a pub, where the floors had always seemed a bit sticky and he understood this to be a similar
kind of flooring. Sally however looked down at her feet in horror; the carpet was grey-blue and sticky, like
a chameleon’s tongue. She was relieved when the tunnel delivered them to a very bright and pristine room,
with tall windows that flooded the room with white light. The ceiling was so high it felt like there was just
open sky above them. She felt she could have flown around the room if she’d wanted.
They passed a reception desk with a man sat behind it, who seemed to have fallen asleep whilst reading his
newspaper “Must have been a pretty boring newspaper, he should read one of my comics, much better!”
Alan giggled at Sally, whose fear and upset was now replaced by intrigue and curiosity ‘Why is it so empty
Alan noticed a pair of elevator doors - “Look Sal, it’s a lift!” Sally snapped to her senses “We can’t go on
that! We don’t know what this place is!” She turned and headed back towards the door. Just as she did, she
glanced back and saw Alan’s hand about to press the button… “Alan, W-A-I-T!” As much as she desperately
wanted to go home, she couldn’t just leave Alan, and there was no way he was going to be persuaded to go
back with her “… Look, I’ll come with you, we have to stick together Alan!” He looked back over his shoul-
der and smiled at her; pleased she’d changed her mind. Sally joined him at the delicate crystalline doors and
he pressed the button, the doors glided open and in they went.
They looked at the button options. There were three numbers that had letters next to them. Sally thought
they looked more like dates than floor levels; 2009; 5000; 10,000. …They looked at each other and shrugged
before Alan just slammed a finger on the first button. 5000. He looked back at Sally with a triumphant grin.
Sally’s heart jumped suddenly, as she felt the lift begin to shake a little “Alan did you feel that!” “What?” he
Before they had much time to discuss what was going on, the shaking got worse. The lift shook and shud-
dered and the ceiling crackled with little sparks. Sally started to cry again, staring at the jumping flashes of
light. Her huge, wet eyes - were open as wide as they could get. The dial started to go crazy and Sally yelled
“H-E-L-P! What’s going on!” They both found it hard to stay standing so they leant on the side of the lift,
gripping the floor with their toes.
The doors opened suddenly to reveal a magnificent room, and before they had time to think, a strange
lanky old man, that looked more like a creature really, was towering above them. He was very tall for such
a hunched-up, old man - ‘weren’t they usually quite small?’ thought Sally. The children didn’t give his face
much further thought though - he was a bit too tall to see properly and the room behind him was far more
exciting. They peered around him to try and get a better look at it. He held out a long and spindly arm -
“Welcome to this marvellous exhibition – as you’ll see from your leaflets, this is a journey through history
…Natural History that is, The Evolution of Colonising Communities. On this floor you’ll find yourselves
learning how bees were responsible for the fertilisation of all living things at one time, Ha-ha – I know, I
know, how far we’ve all come! You will also witness the organisation and teamwork responsible for the suc-
cess of the all-powerful giant ant colonies … very hard workers those lot.’
‘…But most enthralling by far, you will encounter original artefacts from a time where hairy animals were
held in high esteem within the society – possibly as rulers of some sort. Either way they were of high im-
portance, and so accordingly human beings, who would often be attached to their side by a rope-like thing,
protected them. We know this to be true from photo prints recovered from that era. Please refer to exhibit
capsule one, which is first on your left here.”
“Era?” Sally muttered to Alan. She thought it was most strange that he said ‘human beings’ – ‘what a
strange way to talk, after all, wasn’t HE one? Why did he talk like humans were something different? Why
didn’t he just say that the ‘hairy things’ were dogs? Didn’t he understand that we walk the dogs on a lead,
and that they protect us? What kind of a museum is this?’
“…Enjoy. Please make yourselves feel at home. ” And with that he placed some rather leafy looking tour-
leaflet with a picture of a bearded old man on the front into Alan’s hands and scuttled off out of sight. Alan
looked down at the picture briefly, the man looked a bit like Santa he thought. He stuffed it in his pocket.
Sally’s nerves were slowly melting away now, overwhelmed by the amazing room and the dopey old thing
that had just greeted them. She did feel a bit breathless though. Alan whispered to Sally “You know what, he
kind of reminds me of a mantis bug, my dad owns some.” Sally slid a sideways look at Alan; he was terrible
for talking about people before they were out of earshot.
Alan tripped on the entrance of the first exhibition room. He got himself up and looked down, picking up
the interesting looking item he had just tripped on The object was swiped from him and whatever took it
off him, had scampered off before he had to time to fully think about what it was. Sally was gazing around
trying to make sense of this strange place. Crazy spherical, bubble-like display capsules of varying shapes
and sizes filled the room. Visitors were crowded around the display bubbles. It was hard for Alan and Sally
to get a proper look of them; these people were gigantic. Most of the displays were as high as them and so
they could not really make out what they were. There were lower ones that were clearer.
They managed to find a gap amongst the long spindly legs to see what all the fuss was about. In the display
was a view of the city, which was made of giant hives and plant looking like structures. In fact the building
in which the exhibition was held had a plant like quality about it. Amongst the city were gigantic bumble-
bees wearing clothes going about their bug lives. There was a warning sign with a symbol of a human shape
and underneath it read ‘pest control’
Sally looked down to read her leafy leaflet to read about the display she had just seen
‘Bees many thousands of years ago roamed the world. They were quite particular at keeping these strange
things called humans. Humans were seen as pests, and must be kept under control. Humans lived in sewers
and were carriers of disease. Some humans were however kept as pets and were put in cages. For bees own
Sally or Alan had not noticed that they were being watched. The creature looked the same as the others but
a lot smaller. It was looking rather confused at Sally and Alan. Scratching its head and squinting its bulgy
eyes. In fact it was the same creature that had scuttled off earlier. It was the only creature that was aware of
their presence, well other than the strange character that greeted them when they had got off the elevator.
The creature looking at them had also seen the display. It had identified Sally and Alan as resembling the
same shape as the sign that said ‘pest control’. It was a little too nervous to approach Alan and sally by itself,
so it turned to join the rest of the swarm.
The crowd were quite far ahead now which meant Sally and Alan were able to get a view of a few more of
the displays. The next capsule showed a big tree and on it was birds with human faces sitting on the branch-
es. Sally let out an unexpectedly loud laugh that shocked them both with its echo. The crowd turned around
a little startled, but quickly turned back to what they were doing. It would be the same if we were to hear a
The exhibition was almost totally silent all that could be heard was the sound of Sally and Alan’s hearts rac-
ing, they now stood there as the place was deserted, they were the only ones left. They were overwhelmed
by the whole Journey. How and why had they got here? Sally broke the long silence…
“Alan!” she exclaimed, “None of the exhibitions and the information in the leafy leaflets makes any logical
sense” She spoke with a nervous excitement in her voice.
Just then, Alan interrupted her flow - “Sally, I’m looking out the window right I see nothing but giant plants
and those strange creatures we saw earlier. Come to think of it - no one was on our bus either! ? I mean, if
you think of it … that elevator …the way it shook us. It really did not feel or look like an elevator you see in
‘Tesco’ she felt comforted when he said that. All the times she could not stand going food shopping with
mum after school. If she could get out of here, she would never complain about a trip to Tesco again!
Alan returned to the round window to investigate further. Just as he did so, a flying earwig or ant type thing
fluttered past his ear and smacked up against the windowpane. Then it did the same thing twice again. It was
definitely determined to get somewhere in a hurry thought Alan.
He had never really taken the time to look at insects too carefully before, even his dad’s creepy collection.
But up close, he was momentarily captivated by the amazing design of its lacy, metallic wings, black armour
plating and the grippy-spikes on its oversized legs. It looked like a mini-person with a superhero outfit on …
like in his comics.
Taking one more good look now outside he could see a series of slow moving Beetle cars – but they hovered
just above the road. He couldn’t quite make out the drivers, but they were hunched over and very thin look-
ing. Just then, one came close and he glimpsed a shadowy figure wearing a hoody … no, was it? It almost
looked like wings or a small cloak. It was no use – it floated by in its car before he could be sure.
“It’s just like bugs have evolved and are running the planet instead! - Driving and everything! Sal! Look
Sally was not really paying attention. He joined her to see what was holding her attention. It was another
display capsule - larger than the rest. They’d walked all around it, but, ‘til now, it had been out of sight be-
hind a huge white pillar in centre of the room. He now stared with the same speechless wonderment as Sally.
The sign read; ‘EVOLUTION STAGE 1‘.
It showed the mantis bug, it looked the same as the things they saw earlier and it was placed next to a tiny
one … well, not that tiny really - the size that his dad had in a tank at home.
In utter amazement - Sally’s jaw hung so wide open that she could hardly get the words to form properly.
Sally turned to find Alan peeking through a strange looking door. Just as she was about to utter a word…
Alan reached a finger to his mouth signalling Sally to hush. Curious Sally went to join his side. All they
could make out was a silhouette; it held resemblance to the weird teacher.
They stood motionless as they found two enormous eyes staring right back at them...