Alarmed, shocked and confused, he sat down to analyse what had happened. He went over every single thing in his mind. Yes, the hole had been there. He had come through. Yes, it was as clear as water. But now it was gone and there were no marks at all where it had been. He strained his mind and tried to think what his grandpa would have done if he had been in the same situation. Nothing came to mind. Nobody could help him. Nobody knew he was there.
His problem of being stuck in a small chamber with no doors or windows, no food or water, and without a soul knowing his whereabouts, made him shiver. He wondered how long it would take before he threw up. With nothing much in his stomach, it would be gut-wrenching.
He curled up in a corner with his arms tight around his body, but found it impossible to relax. The nausea had turned into hundreds of ice cubes rolling around in his stomach. He felt helpless and sick, but knew he had to stop feeling sorry for himself. 'No! No! NO! Get up! You’ve got to think of something. You know you’re good at finding solutions. Do it! Do it NOW! Think! THINK!'
He had to pull himself together. How about finding something useful? But without a single tool in the place, there was no way he could work on the wall to try and break out. He had a new idea and began crawling around the sides on all fours to look from every angle. Something must be there somewhere to show where he had come through.
He found nothing. Not even a shadow of a doorframe. Nothing resembling an exit.
Q: Did Benjamin Starling get away? If he did - how?
A: Sorry, can't tell you right now. Wait and see.
Q: How long to wait?
A: As long as a piece of string. (Sorry, couldn't resist.)
Excerpt from Lost DownUnder
© Copyright by Lena Nilsson
So, I cooked up a story for 9-12 year olds about the Starlings being Lost DownUnder. It's soon in the oven. Let's see if it comes out as a book. You'll hear it here first.