As the multiple moons exchanged places with the sun in the now azure sky, a misty haze began to form under the canopy of swaying, rugged trees. What was this place? Why was it so eye catching and yet so unnerving? Curling around thick spiraling branches were constricting vines, which braced and creaked – taking choking holds of the helpless trunks within. Dangling down from the layer of moss, vast, bold leaves flickered like flames in the growing bluster of wind. Dust, grit and grime drifted through the archways created by the curving branches which overshadowed the dimming the forest, leaving areas of unknown and bewilderment.
However, the most puzzling of all the sights was the strange, exotic, unfamiliar plants which throbbed with glowing rage. Sapphire, ruby and emerald pierced the sometimes dull surroundings - filling it with an eeriness and raised even more questions about this frightful place. In addition, these supernatural forms danced and twisted in an odd attempt to hypnotize and entice any vulnerable being. Vulnerable was exactly how Suzie felt as she stood lost and engulfed in this strange and threatening setting. This place was truly special, but for the wrong reasons. Because, in the chaos of the natural surroundings, (where vines choked vines and branches beat down branches) she could feel the eyes of the forest fixed upon her! It was hypnotizing! On top of this, there was a sense that perhaps this was all a mask for an even darker presence… or even a being…
Through a small gap in the flickering leaves, two dull, piercing eyes emerged followed by a gaping mouth full of teeth that jutted out like yellow pegs of evil! Before Suzie had time to spin and flee, the furious beast came charging through foliage like a steam train. Smashing and bursting the tress, splintered due to the strength of this vile being which took its first lung towards the helpless, scrambling girl. Like a clamp, its jaws came chomping down around Suzie’s bag and lifted her high up into the air. Fortunately, as quick as a flash, the young explorer, grasped hold of the fastening and sprang it open causing her to escape from the monster’s raging mouth. As she landed onto the damp, saturated ground, she took a forward roll which removed her from the immediate danger of being stamped on. However, the disorientated beast was only temporarily distracted.
Within seconds, it had caught sight of the now fleeing young girl and made another dart towards her. Leaping over fallen branches, and stumbling around sharp rocks, Suzie’s heart was now pounding like an exploding drum. Suddenly, she caught sight of a cliff! If she could make it over the cliff, perhaps there would be a small chance she would escape! Faster and faster her legs carried her. Closer and closer the creator came! Reaching the edge of the land, she took a desperate leap out over the surging, frothing water below – she closed her eyes. Behind her, the horrid mammal took one final snap towards her, its feet clinging on to the edge of the cliff. Suzie felt its warm putrid breath on the back of her neck but slipped out of its grasp, plunging down towards the deep river below… With a frustrated growl, the beast retreated back into the depths of the wood in which it belonged… Suzie, meanwhile, was nowhere to be seen…
The jungle is a hot and steamy world where enormous trees loom up to the sky, lush vegetation, ferns and fungi thrust up from the forest floor, and vines and lianas curl around the tall trunks, reaching eagerly towards the high canopy. Buttress and stilt roots sprawl across the shallow soil. Orchids burst into incredible swirls of colour and form, frogs and butterflies flaunt vibrant hues, emerald snakes glisten, parrots soar in a blaze of orange, scarlet, blue and green while hummingbirds probe exotic flowers for nectar. Toucans and birds of paradise add to this amazing colour spectrum. A myriad of plants and animals find their own special niche in this kaleidoscope of life and energy.
UNDER THE SEA
Far below where the golden sun shimmered on the surface; deeper than the rainbow coral; beyond the darkest of caverns stood the most glorious of all sights.
Like golden shards from heaven, beams of light sliced through the darkness to reveal a myriad of colours. Plants, all neatly placed in organised rows waved at the passing traffic: shoals of silver fish; scuttling, red crab; lumbering purple squid and, of course, the daughters of Triton.
Each girl swam through the ornate, golden gates to a corner of the palace garden. Adrina sped the furthest, to her own sanctuary. Isolated from her sisters, she began to twirl through the piles of delicate shells, each one baring more chips each time she visited. Like a tornado, she whipped up the seabed, creating diamond ripples that spread beyond her own room. Above her, the seaweed too danced from random corners where it hung from her collection of treasures from her ship wreck adventures.
Aquata glided beyond her elder sister into her own private haven. As she gently lay herself onto the soft sea bed, she counted the rows upon rows of tiaras, pearls and potions. Assessing her collection, she flipped her tail fin, directing the team of sea sponges to address the residue that had gathered over night. Khaki green soldiers, the marched to their duty.
Deep within an enchanted forest, lives a young, lonely girl named Jub. Jub lives in the forest in a very special tree, an old silver birch tree, which she calls home.
Jub’s home stands proudly at over 20 feet tall (it is by far the biggest of its kind). Like a snake shedding its skin, the silver, crumbling bark is flaking from the trunk. Because the tree is so old, the roots spread for miles under the ground, like a spider’s web encompassing the earth.
From this old, impressive tree, grows an array of shapes, sizes, colours and textures of leaves. As the autumn leaves hang from the branches, they sway in the howling wind. Occasionally, a leaf falls and, ready to leave its home, it dances, spirals and twirls through the air, eventually landing on the ground.
Although Jub’s home is a tree, with leaves, bark and branches, to the human eye it is much more: it is a rainbow of colours bursting through the air. Like any person who wears clothes, Jub needs somewhere to dry her washing, however, because her hollow is small, she has her washing line outside. Hanging off the washing line, is an assortment of colourful clothing: t-shirts, stripy socks, a scarf and shorts. Also, a pair of six-fingered gloves (because Jub is an aberration, who has six fingers on each hand).
Above the washing line, Jub uses the branches and grooves in the tree trunk effectively. Since she doesn’t have a lot of space inside the hollow, she stores her belongings outside. Strangely, a bike wheel is propped between a thick branch and the trunk, as an umbrella hangs of the most delicate of the tree’s twigs.
Dark purple clouds sprawl across the sky, billowing in from the west. The trees, etched different shades of brilliant green against their ever-darkening backdrop, stretch out their leaf-laden branches expectantly. The suffocatingly humid air grows heavy; the scent of rain is dark and heady on the stiffening breeze.
The birds fall silent. A stillness decends. For a moment, everything stops… Even the wind holds its breath until a jagged, startling, streak of silver splits the indigo sky.
A deep rumble of thunder growls in the distance like an angry lion announcing its presence. Increasing in intensity, it echoes round the hills, travelling across fields and villages, rattling the rooftops. Heavy drops of rain begin to splatter spasmodically onto the parched ground until, suddenly, the heavens open and the deluge is unleashed.
The night sky.
I knew I just needed to get away. As I peddled, my legs turned as fast as a jet engine. The blood was pumping through my body so loudly it was like a rush in my ears. When I rounded the final corner, I saw that my town was a small scattering of houses in the distance. Ahead of me was just the endless road, and the inky night sky. I gripped my handlebars tightly and pumped my legs even faster. I was a machine. Like the beam from a powerful torch, a single, bright light suddenly cut through the sky. Then another appeared, which was a beautiful, luminous green colour. After a while, thousands of tiny lights were shooting across the vast sky, like microscopic, silent rockets.