Chapter 1 – Creature of Habit
Max sat bolt upright in bed. A smile flashed across his face as he thought back to the time he had spent with Laura and Oscar watching the Galliard Giraffes dancing as the sun set on Raffie Island.
Their mum was booked into a day at the spa as a birthday treat from their dad. Max and Laura had planned to spend the whole day with their dad but when he came home from work last night he explained that he had to go into work today because of last minute problems with a project. Their mum had offered to cancel her day at the spa but Max and Laura had convinced her that they would be fine on their own at home and listed things they might do while both their parents were gone like homework, cleaning their rooms, playing board games and visiting friends.
And we fully intend to visit friends but not ones here, Max thought as he busied himself tidying his room.
He could hear Laura singing along to one of those girlie pop songs that had a series of dance moves. In the privacy of his room Max quickly went through the dance moves, just to prove to himself that he was better at them than Laura, knowing he would die of embarrassment if anyone caught him dancing like a girl. His mum told him that dance moves were for boys and girls but he knew different.
Come on dance queen,’ he called as he went past Laura’s room, ‘time for breakfast.’
‘Be there in a min.’ Laura’s excited voice zoomed through her closed door.
‘Morning Dad,’ Max said and stood staring at the boxes of cereal in the cupboard until Laura nudged him sideways with her hip.
‘Why do you always stare at them? You always choose the same one no matter how long you stand there.’
‘Dunno,’ Max mumbled.
‘Habit,’ their dad said from behind the paper where he sat at the table. ‘Max is a creature of habit trying to convince himself he is open to new things.’
‘I am open to new things!’ Max said.
‘Yeah, he was open to trying to disappear the biscuit after he found the book of magic words.’ Laura stood with her hands on her hips and a smile on her lips.
Their dad lowered his paper. ‘True.’ He cleared away his breakfast dishes and placed a hand on Max’s shoulder where he still stood in front of the cereal. ‘Nothing wrong with being a creature of habit son, nothing at all. You remember that.’
‘Will do Dad,’ Max said, certain his dad would freak if he found out just how adventurous he had been since he and Laura had been allowed to play with their dad’s box of broken things.
‘Want to watch a bit of telly?’
Max nodded gratefully at Laura.
‘No cartoons, mind! Watch a documentary or something like that which will do more than fill your brains with bright colours and noise.’ Their dad raised his eyebrows at them until they nodded.
Max and Laura flicked through every channel until they agreed to watch a documentary that took them on a tour of notable tree houses all over the world, including one built on the very top edge of a mountain that served tea to climbers.
‘You two all set for today?’ Their mum asked. ‘Know what to do if you have any problems?’
‘Yes Mum, phone Dad first and then Gran if we can’t get a hold of Dad for some reason,’ Laura said.
‘Have a good day, Dad, Mum,’ Max said.
‘You too. See you both here at 6pm.’ With that their dad picked up his brief case, which looked at odds with his Saturday jeans, and sketched a goodbye wave in their direction.
Max and Laura waved goodbye to their parents through the front room window, laughing at their mum as she made rabbit ears over the top of their dad’s head.
‘Right,’ Laura said once they had driven away. ‘What do we say if Gran phones while we’re through the portal?’
‘We, erm…we say we were visiting friends! It wouldn’t be a lie, would it?’
‘No, it won’t because we’ll be there with Oscar. Now we’ll be there the whole day so what do we need to bring with us?’
‘Oscar!’ Max laughed.
They walked upstairs to get him from Max’s room. ‘We can’t bring anything else with us because it changes as we go through the portal, remember what happened to the map? Some things change for the better though, eh?’ Max patted the pockets of his shorts where the chocolate coin was still safely tucked away from their last trip to Raffie Island.
‘You’re wearing the same shorts as yesterday Max, ewwww!’
‘They’re clean! They got a wash while I swam down to the portal. Wasn’t the coin cool the way it changed to real when we went through the portal?’
‘Never know when we might need a coin I guess. Ok, so we’ve got everything we need for our day away. Let’s go!’
Max and Laura walked up the stairs to where the portal waited for them in their loft looking like nothing more than an old wooden box containing some broken and much loved old toys of their dad’s in the bottom.
‘Let’s add the word “Queendom” in, see if that makes the portal take us straight there, ok?’ Laura suggested.
Max nodded and held tightly onto his toy crab Oscar.
They held hands and said the magic words, ‘Shalalazoo, disappear us to Queendom!’
YOU ARE READING
Queendom (book three in the Portal Series)Adventure
Join Max and Laura on their third adventure in the Portal Series as they discover how to subdue a joop, help the Commander of the Peace find out who put Laura’s life at risk and if the fart of a frost flower fairy is as awful as people say.