Chapter Three

By Uplands Community Primary School



They sped on towards the Slimy Terror, faster and faster, speedier and speedier. Through the window the multi-coloured planets and dazzling stars became a blur.

"Everyone stay calm," said Captain Pinash shakily.

"How can you say that at a time like this?" yelled Pazaz. "We're going to be blown to pieces."

The Pinkerellians all stood on one leg with their heads under their armpits.

"I'm scared," Proddle whimpered.

A nightmare mouth opened up before them. The Slimy Terror's terrible jaws clamped shut. With a sickening lurch they stopped, and evil laughter filled the ship.

"Ya ha ha ha! I have a source of information telling me that you have the 'Daisy Mark 1'. I am going to seize it and win the competition myself."

"Who's he calling 'it'?" Daisy grumbled angrily. "I'm a girl, not a machine."

Suddenly it went pitch black.

"Hey, something's gripping round my ankle," screamed Pazaz.

"Oops, sorry! I thought it was the control lever." Captain Pinash chuckled apologetically.

There was a crunching noise at the air lock and the door slid open with an eerie creak.

In a split second glowing, luminous slugs on space-dust-powered uni-skates whizzed into the cabin and snatched up the astonished Daisy.

"Help, help, YUK!" she shivered.

"If only I were back at Calthorpe Grange, helping with the party. I wish Cook had been taken too. She would soon sort out Captain Slug."

The Pinkerellians were trying to zap the slugs with their lasers, but the zapper guns were running out of ammunition.

"I should have re-loaded my laser on the Planet Zog," exclaimed Captain Pinash frustratedly.

The Pinkerellians could hear Daisy's faint yells fading into the distance as the giant slugs carried her away into the darkness.

"What are we going to do now?" panicked Pazaz. "If only we hadn't got rid of that wretched vacuum cleaner. We could have sucked her back."

The Pinkerellians fell silent because they were thinking: thinking is very hard for Pinkerellians.

Finally Proddle said, "We must find some invention to snatch her away with."

The Pinkerellians fumbled about hopelessly through the piles of junk and broken inventions they'd collected on their voyages round the universe. There had to be something that would help them rescue Daisy.

Meanwhile Daisy was already hard at work in the kitchen of the Slimy Terror. Captain Slug had wasted no time in testing his new toy. He was proud of himself. He'd easily defeated the Pinkerellians, and he knew the Rose Bowl was as good as his.

Daisy attacked the lettuce with a sharp knife, pretending it was Captain Slug. She thought of sunny days at Calthorpe Grange, when she'd collected the lettuces for Cook to use in fresh crunchy salads.

"Those vile slugs were a nuisance even then. I spent hours shaking salt around the garden to stop them eating everything."

She gave a gasp. That was it. Salt!

She rummaged in the baggy pockets of her apron. She pulled out the cold glass salt shaker and sprinkled the lettuce liberally. She carried the plate through to the waiting slugs. As she stepped forward she caught her foot on the dangling ties of her apron and fell. The slugs were covered in salty lettuce. They started to sizzle repulsively and squirmed in pain. Daisy reached out her hands to save herself and accidentally pressed a large, flashing red button.

"Oh no! What have I pressed? I wonder what that does?" she cried.

© Cheltenham Festival of Literature 1999
last amended 6th October 1999