By Swell C E Primary School
"W..w..where are we going?" Daisy asked.
Before Captain Pinash could answer, the spaceship lurched to one side, vibrated violently, and an ear-piercing wail of sirens alerted them.
The Pinkerellian spaceship was plunging into the entrance of a BLACK HOLE!
The Pinkerellians raced to their control room, coming from all parts of the ship. Proddle, the Chief Mechanic, put his right hand on the joystick but the shuddering of the spaceship threw him back to the doorway. "Ouch!" he screamed. "My head is broken. Pazaz, do something quickly!"
Almost as suddenly as they had started they came to an abrupt halt. Pazaz approached the control panel and looked at the Pinkerellian Powermeter. The lights flickered and went out. The engines stopped, the wailing stopped and the clock stopped. In fact, everything stopped except Daisy.
"Oh!" she gasped. "What shall I do now?"
She went towards the controls. All she could see were buttons that were pink. Oh, yes. There was one black lever. She stretched up and pulled it down. Gradually panels in the walls drew back and she could see the space outside. The dustbin was surrounded by space junk.
Spinning its way through the debris, towards her was a blue umbrella. "What?" thought Daisy, "What on earth is that doing here? Oh dear! But we're not on Earth. Anything could happen here. Even …… a spinning umbrella?"
Daisy's attention was caught by a strange voice. "Hail, Pinkerellians! This is Scumball. We have Daisy and we want to swap her for your Powermeter."
What were they talking about? She was Daisy and she wasn't with Scumball. She looked again through the windows and saw that the umbrella was approaching fast and that it had a box with a big glass window inside its spokes. It seemed to be heading straight for her. What should she do? She needed help. "Who can help me? There are only these pink beings. I'll have to wake them."
They were lifeless, on the floor. There was no alternative. She would have to get out of there herself. She looked at the buttons and started to chant, "One potato, two potato, three potato, ………." Her hand stopped by the second one from the right. "This is the one," she said, and she pressed it.
The Powermeter's lights came back on and the clock started to move, slowly at first and then with increasing speed, but backwards. The Pinkerellians started to revive and they rubbed their eyes with amazement. As they pulled themselves up from the floor the ship started to twist and turn. Daisy looked at the umbrella and it seemed to have come to a standstill. The dustbin left it behind and she turned to look around her. Captain Pinash was looking at her. "What was that you asked, Daisy?"
"I did ask where we were going", she replied, "but I don't think that matters now." The umbrella had started to move again and it was catching up fast. "How do we get away from that umbrella?"
"What do you think it is?"
"I think it's someone called Scumball. He sent a message to say he would swap Daisy for your Powermeter. He can't do that because I am Daisy. I want to get away from him."
"We can't lose our Powermeter," said Pinash. "It's the most important part of our vessel. No-one has anything as powerful to run their ship."
As he spoke the dustbin broke free of the black hole and zoomed off into space. Scumball wasn't far behind.
Cheltenham Festival of Literature 1999