by Clare Hobba, UK
‘Daisy, please come to the front of the classroom and read out your story. Just to remind you all, the assignment was to write a story entitled “My Perfect Day” and to use it as an opportunity to really exercise your imagination and take some flights of fancy.’
Sam often picked Daisy to go first. She usually tackled the assignment well, so she provided a good example to the younger students.
Daisy brought her scraps of paper to the front and, with the quiet confidence of a child who tends to get things right, she began to read:
‘On my perfect day I would get in a car with Mummy and she would drive us to the Spar shop. We would buy a pack of spaghetti and a can of beans and a potato. We would go for a walk in the woods and there might be a swirrel.’
‘Squirrel,’ corrected Sam, gently.
‘And when we got home my friend Jade would come to tea and we would eat the whole can of beans.’
She stopped, appearing to have reached the end of her tale.
‘Well, Daisy, you certainly have stretched your imagination! What creative ideas. Very well done.’ He looked at his five other pupils. They had been listening with quiet attention to Daisy’s tale, partly impressed, partly puzzled by so many unknown words.
‘Don’t worry if you can’t come up with something as imaginative as that. I think one of the grown-ups must have been telling Daisy about the not-long-ago. Is that right, Daisy?’
She nodded, proud at her success.
‘Well, you made up a good story from it, Daisy. Tom, I’d like you to go next, but first it’s time for the fifteen-minute check.’
Sam stepped over the rubble on the concrete floor and stooped to peer through the periscope in the corner.
Cautiously he swivelled the scope, but there was nothing moving on the grey, barren shore where the warm, acid sea lapped. No prey, and no predators. More worryingly, there was no sign of the scavenging party which should have been returning by now. Before he spoke again, he took a moment to steady his voice so as not to communicate his fear to the children.
‘Come on then, Tom, let’s hear about your perfect day.’