Spreafico Giacomo Bernardo

The Desert Planet



Chapter 1: Looking through my window

Hello, my name is James, I am 13 years old. I am an ordinary boy with an extraordinary story, which I will narrate in this book.

It all started one regular, peaceful Tuesday evening. I had just finished eating a big tasty dinner. I would have fallen asleep, if I hadn’t eaten that much. My mom then called from downstairs and ordered “James, it’s time for you to go to bed!”

“But I can’t fall asleep!” I answered.

“Then read the book that you just got,” mom asserted starting to sound annoyed, “or count the sheep!” she added.

I picked up my pet lizard, called Jeremy. Whenever I read, I always love to have my pet close to me.

The book was about a girl being trapped in a place from which she couldn’t escape.
I was nearly falling asleep, finally. But a bright light flashed on. I shouted “Mom turn off the light, please!” Nothing happened. “Come on mom! This really isn’t funny; even you said I had to fall asleep!” I proclaimed impatiently. Again, nothing happened.

I got up angrily and tiredly, making Jeremy fall. I realized the light came from the windows somehow penetrating the shutters. I picked up Jeremy.

I opened the shutters and …


I went flying through the window.  I screamed that I needed help and the last thing I heard was my mom asking me whether everything was alright.

This light that sucked me in, was like a tornado. A light tornado!? I was being twisted and turned worse than my dirty clothes in the washing machine. I tried to understand what was happening. I just felt Jeremy, who somehow wiggled into my pyjama trousers’ pocket and a hard cuboid object pressed close to my stomach. I realised it must’ve been my reading book.

Finally, my bumpy ride ended and I hit a hard, sandy ground.

It looked like a rainbow-coloured desert!

Where was I?

Chapter 2: A place to rest

The ride and the last hit on the ground were very painful. So, I stayed on the ground for a while, until I regained my senses and my strength. I looked around and in this rainbow desert there was no cave or place I could take shelter in and where I could try to work out what had just happened.

The only thing I could do now was walk. I walked not knowing where I was going, not knowing if I was walking in circles. I was utterly lost.

Then I saw it. An oasis. Was it a hallucination (because I was starting to feel a bit dizzy in this hot desert)? I started to feel more hopeful when Jeremy rushed to the oasis.

I ran after him with the little energy I had left. When we got there, I was filled with relief as I realised it wasn’t a hallucination. I took off my clothes and dove into the small lake that was there in the middle. Then I ripped a leaf off one of the trees that were there and laid it on the floor, I lied on it and waited a few minutes until I was dry and got dressed again.

I was very hungry and I remembered I didn’t have any food. I saw a few coconuts on a tree and shook the tree until they fell. I couldn’t open them because they were too hard and strong; luckily, I found a sharp rock on the side of the lake and managed to break the coconut open. I drank the milk and ate the interior. I also offered some to Jeremy but he was feasting on some insects.

I took off my pyjama shirt and used it as a bag to hold a few more coconuts, that I decided to take with me just in case. I saw a sturdy vine hanging off a tree and an idea came to me. I used the vine to tie my sharp rock to a robust and long tree branch that I had ripped off. I used my materials to make a spear, just in case I needed some defence.


Chapter 3: Is magic involved?

I felt like it was getting late so I decided to try sand climb one of the trees to see if I could find a type of cave in this desert. I then saw that in one of the sand dunes there was an opening that was pretty big. I was very surprised that as soon as I thought of something it would appear. It might be, that since this desert is rainbow-coloured it could also be magical; which wasn’t too bad for me.

I got down the tree and started hiking to the cave opening and I realized that it is way harder to walk on sand than on normal grass or asphalt. So, it took me a bit longer than expected. When I got there, I went in and continued reading my book until the sun went down and I learnt that in the desert at night it is actually quite chilly outside. I didn’t have a lot of layers so I tried to fall asleep with the cold air; which isn’t easy at all. Somehow, I managed to close my eyes and rest.

I woke up very early because of the light from the sun, that had just started to rise. I thought “I should go downstairs and make a small breakfast.” Then I remembered where I was, and since I was in this, possibly, magical place I speculated: “Time might be different here.”

I got out and muttered to myself: “I should eat some coconuts and then go back to the oasis to explore more territory from high ground.” I ate and Jeremy detected some insects on the walls and hunted them down for his own breakfast.

When I started looking for the oasis I realised it had disappeared, how was that possible? I thought in astonishment. I got the answer: the place was definitely magic.

“This is amazing!” I shouted happily. “But now I don’t know where to go, I can’t see anything from a high ground. Just an endless desert,” I mumbled to Jeremy with a great sigh; my happiness turning to disappointment. 


Chapter 4: The inhabitant

The only thing I could do now was walk on and hope for something good to happen. As I was walking, I heard very faint footsteps but since we were on sand I wasn’t able to recognise if the sound was close by or far away.

I decided not to start running but instead I turned around with my spear ready.  I saw a thing that I would have never expected; a moving skeleton and a skeleton guard dog, with red eyes. This skeleton was actually very fast and was armed with a sharp sword and a pistol hung on its red, faded belt. The dog also had very sharp teeth and a spiky collar.

I threw my spear and pierced the skeleton’s heart, or at least where the heart should have been. The skeleton collapsed in a heap of bones. I stopped to regain my breath but then I lost it again for a moment as I saw the skeleton reassemble itself. I realised the only living part of this monster was its brain. I ran, picked up my spear, and was about to throw it when the dog attacked me with an angry “GRRRRRR!”

This made me jump back and kick hard, which made the dog also disassemble. I had a few seconds to think of what to do and I decided. My spear went flying and struck the skeleton in its brain, making it disintegrate.

The dog reassembled and jumped on me but it didn’t bite, instead it started licking me, I realised his eyes were normal, not red anymore. I guessed that when the owner was killed the dog was rid of an evil spell or something similar.

“I’ll call you Growler, after the first sound I heard from you!” I declared.

Then I picked up the gun, belt and sword from the skeleton, I put them on me and ditched the spear. I decided that we should have continued walking on.


Chapter 5: The desolate building

As we were walking I was reflecting on where that skeleton could have come from. I wasn’t concentrating on where I was walking and I tripped and fell. I had fallen on a normal rock except this rock was also rainbow coloured; I decided to put it in my pocket and keep it as a ‘souvenir’ if I would ever exit this place.

In the distance I saw a vague outline of what seemed to be a hut.

I reached this ‘hut’ after walking for a couple of hours. Before entering I unsheathed my sword and opened the squeaking door…then…nothing happened.

There was nothing inside, it was completely empty. So, I decided this would have been my temporary house. But I completely forgot about my food and I was very hungry; I didn’t think I had eaten since this morning and it was getting dark. I couldn’t see anything and there was no electricity. I was walking around the room when I felt a rug under my feet, which surprised me because it was weird that in this empty place there was a random rug on the floor. So, I decided to move it because (like in movies) there is usually something under a “misplaced” object.

I moved the rug and felt a big metal ring, so I pulled it and with a creak a trapdoor started to open. I climbed down a ladder and hanging on the wall there was a torch with a purple flame and a silver flame-tip. This startled me so much. First, I thought “How was the torch still on (since I was guessing this hut was pretty old), and what was its fuel!” and second, “How was the torch PURPLE and SILVER!”

I took the torch and it surprisingly had a very strong projection of light. Down in this secret compartment there was a huge stock of food, I think the stock could have fed a person for three years. I found some canned tuna and ate it; it was delicious. I put the torch back and climbed up the ladder to go back to the main room. I read my book then slept on the rug; with my now-tattered PJs.


Chapter 6: A big shock

I woke up and ate some canned fruit. Then I suited up with my weapons, I took my book and Jeremy. After that, I got out of the hut. The first thing I saw when I got out was a big forest in the horizon, the most logical thing to do was to go there, so that’s what I did. On the way I thought “Maybe I can finally get back to Earth!

I got to this forest, it was huge and green with a lot of birds and nature, it looked beautiful. I couldn’t wait to touch grass and green again, but as soon as I laid my hand on a bush...


After flickering a bit, the whole plantation disappeared. I sat down from the shock and thought that it looked like a movie, it might’ve been a hologram. This really worried me because I couldn’t trust anything in this place anymore. It also came to my mind that even the hut might’ve been very dangerous; who knows what could have been lurking around or inside that place.

Now that I was thinking about the hut, it had made me realise that I should have gone back, even though it might have been dangerous. I also made a very foolish mistake; I forgot to bring some food with me. Now I was there in this deserted land with no food. So, the smartest idea would’ve been going back to the hut which had fully stocked meals, the only problem was that the hut had completely disappeared, dissolved from existence. This concerned me even more because I was ‘food-less’ in this vast rainbow desert. I felt like I was about to cry, all these events were really weird and confusing, plus I hadn’t seen civilization in a long time and talking to Jeremy and Growler wasn’t exactly keeping me sane.

I really wanted (and needed) to have a real conversation again; for my sanity.


Chapter 7: It seemed a reality

Now I really wasn’t sure what to do, so I sat down with my head in my hands. I started thinking. I did nothing else, I just thought. Soon, I fell asleep.

I was running away from one of those skeletons again, just that this time Growler was on my side and the skeleton didn’t have a dog. The skeleton was, luckily, very slow so I started to lose it but of course I tripped on something and bruised my leg. I didn’t check what I had tripped on. I just got up and started running again. I looked back and thanks to my fall and my slightly injured leg, the skeleton was gaining on me. Out of the corner of my eye I saw many big rocks scattered all over the place so I swerved left and I hid behind one of the rocks. The skeleton followed me into the rocky plane but, as I was quick, it didn’t know which rock I was hiding behind. It started looking behind the first rock, then the second one, then the third one and so on. When I could hear it approaching my rock I put my hand on the hilt of my sword, ready to strike. The skeleton passed my rock and as fast as lightning I hit it right in the head and sliced its brain in half. This resulted in the disintegration of the skeleton.

I just remembered about Growler and Jeremy. I whistled and they popped out from behind a rock, they rushed towards me and I sighed with relief. I was so worried they had gotten hurt!

Then, I woke up and I was sweating, seated in the same position as before, with my head in my hands. I was very confused: “How was that a dream?” It had felt so realistic, that was probably why I had woken up sweating. Even though the dream was not real, I was still very scared and decided to start moving with Jeremy in my pocket and Growler at my heel.


Chapter 8: Captured!

Walking in the desert is very boring as there is nothing to see, no panorama, just the horizon in front of you. But at least if you walk straight, you know that you aren’t walking in circles.

I walked on for miles and miles and… more miles. Then after walking another millions of miles (not really) I started to see something, and no, it was not the horizon. I was also pretty sure it wasn’t a hallucination again, but you never know.

Since there was nothing else to do, I decided to walk towards it. As I got closer, I figured out that it was a tower. When I got even closer, I realised it was a tower made of… bones?!

Going towards it probably wouldn’t have been a good idea but I had nothing left to lose, so I walked there; I got there around dusk.

I entered and felt a little scared but I was so exhausted that I slumped on the floor with Growler and Jeremy, and fell asleep. I was woken up by a weird crunching sound and by Growler growling at the wall. I rubbed my eyes and saw that around a dozen of skeleton warriors were casually walking out of the wall. I quickly took out my sword, out of instinct, but I sheathed it again. There was nothing I could do, except surrender, if I wanted to remain alive.

I surrendered and they put a sac on my head, took my weapons away and even snatched my souvenir rock. I felt myself being slumped over one of the skeleton’s shoulder.

After a long bumpy ride, they finally set me down. They took the sac off my head and light poured out of a window with bars. I had to blink several times to get used to it.


 Chapter 9: Civilisation

I looked around and I realized I was in a prison cell, surrounded by big metal bars. Then out of the corner of my eye I saw something slumped in the corner of the cell.

I moved closer and there was something under a blanket. I removed the blanket and there laid a very pretty girl; she had long, curly blonde hair and she was, surprisingly, also wearing tattered Pyjamas. I decide to shake her gently and she woke up with a startled “Ah!” and kicked me (by accident, I hope).

When she had regained her senses, she got up and hugged me. She then saw the confused look on my face, and I was also, undoubtedly, blushing, so she let me go. She then said confidently “Oh, I’m so sorry where are my manners! My name is Mary Silver. Which is pretty ironic as I’m blonde,” This made me smile which made her laugh, but she continued apologetically “I’m very sorry for hugging you, it’s just that I haven’t seen civilisation in a loooooonnnngggg time! Anyway, what about you?”

“Well I can relate to that, I also haven’t seen any human since long,” I answered “My name is James Archer. So how did you end up in this amazing palace?” (those last words I said were a bit sarcastic).

Mary explained that she had arrived in this desert planet one Tuesday afternoon, after opening a window and being sucked in by a light. I told her that the exact same thing had happened to me too.

After a bit of talking about our lives, we decided to plan our escape. She told me that every day two skeletons would bring her food (three times a day), one of them had the key but she never managed to grab it, even if she did she wouldn’t have been able to leave because she was alone. And she would’ve been captured straight away.


 Chapter 10: We attempt the Plan

The time had come, it was morning the first meal, breakfast, was arriving. I was getting ready to release my secret weapon: Jeremy. I had him in my pocket, but I didn’t know where Growler was; I feared the skeletons had turned him evil again.

During the night me and Mary had tried our best to explain to Jeremy what he had to do, hopefully he had understood.

The door to the cell room creaked open and two massive skeletons, the size of a cupboard entered the room. They placed the food, some bread and two cups of water inside the cell. When they turned around to leave, I quietly released Jeremy and whispered “Get the shiny object from his belt. Go boy!”

Jeremy ran softly and swiftly, until he reached the key-keeper’s feet. He then started climbing the skeleton’s leg, slowly and stealthily. Jeremy reached the belt and snatched the keys.

He jumped off onto the floor with a light thud. I was barely breathing; my heart was pounding. Then, the skeletons stopped moving and listened carefully for a few seconds; though for me it felt like hours. I was pretty sure my heart had stopped beating. The skeletons both grunted and left, this made me release a huge sigh of relief. Jeremy returned with the keys in his mouth, his head held high and a gleam in his eyes. He looked like a dog who found their bone.

There were three keys on the keychain. I tried the first one in the lock, it didn’t fit. So, I tried the second one in the lock and it didn’t fit. Finally, I tried the third key, and my face turned as white as a sheet of paper, the third key didn’t fit. That’s when Mary (she was so quiet I had forgotten about her) exclaimed worriedly “Are you okay James? Why are you so pale?!”

I took a deep breath and replied in a cracked voice “None of the keys fit!”

“Let me try,” Mary said. Now, she too looked anxious. She tried the third key and it didn’t work; she flipped it over and it slid perfectly into the keyhole. “Silly Boy,” she exclaimed relieved, “next time be more careful before nearly giving me a heart attack!”


Chapter 11: Not again!

We (Mary, Jeremy and I) exited the room: not knowing what to do, we started walking. We walked down a corridor with lots of turns but no splitting pathways. Then, at a certain moment, there was a steep downhill leading to two corridors; one on the left and one on the right. We reached those and split up: I went left with Jeremy and Mary went right.

After around half an hour of walking, I reached a dead end. So, I started walking back, it took me a little less time to get to the area with the downhill because I walked faster. I had started to speed up because a feeling in my gut told me something was wrong.

Suddenly, out of the right pathway came Mary running as fast as light. She stopped next to me and said, panting, “HELP——Skeleton!” Then I saw it running towards us. I got ready and when it got closer, I sent a kick as strong as possible against its ribcage. It disassembled and I stole its tibia.

When it reassembled itself, it was limping (as I had part of its leg), I threw the tibia right at its brain. Before the impact, the skeleton let out a deafening screech that sounded like a broken whistle.

I think this sent a type of signal because a few seconds later six skeletons appeared from the walls, again. Unfortunately, Mary and I didn’t have any weapons to protect ourselves. The skeletons grouped up around us and then everything went BLACK….

We woke up again in a different jail cell than the last. Mary was in a corner, deep in thought but also looking very sad. I went over to her and I asked if she wanted to try the plan again the next morning. It was our only option at the moment, so she said yes.

The morning after, we attempted our plan again. This time the guards were more alert, and they realised something was wrong. They turned around, and saw Jeremy. With a swift movement one of the guards picked him up. Jeremy started writhing around in the skeleton’s hand trying to get loose. After certain attempts, Jeremy escaped from the grasp and slid into a crack in the walls.

The guard spun around and gave me and Mary a stare that melted all my insides, it was so cold that my neck hairs stood up. The guard turned around and reached for the door. Then out of nowhere Jeremy sprinted out of another crack from the wall and leaped onto the keyring. Just before the door was shut, Jeremy ran through the barely open door, with the keys!

We still had a chance! I inserted the key (the right way that time) and we exited the cell. I wondered “How did those skeletons get fooled twice with the same trick?! Foolish, Hehe!”


Chapter 12: Final escape

Mary and I, with Jeremy behind us, started sneaking out of the room. Which, I had just realised was deserted. Then, out of the corner of my right eye I saw a piece of what seemed to be paper. I advanced towards it and picked it up, it was an old, worn out letter! It said:

Dear fellow trapped kids,

I am Arthur Fox. If you have found this letter, lucky you! In this letter I will explain how to escape this colourful land (I know this because I followed a skeleton who was going back to Earth, to fetch other kids, probably). First, find a shiny bright door. Second, go into the room, and there will be an endless pit. Then, jump into it while shouting where you want to go, hopefully you will get there.

P.S. Leave this message for the next kids to find; Good luck,

­—Arthur F.

Mary and I decided to follow the instructions. After checking that the coast was clear, we left the room. There was a long corridor stretching in front of us. We started walking down it, obviously always staying attentive of our surroundings. We reached the end of the corridor, which had two other corridors coming from it, one to the left and the other one to the right.

Mary and I agreed to not split up and go through the left corridor. When we reached the end, there was no shiny brown door, only several doors on either side. We went back and walked through the right corridor. As we were walking, I heard a loud bark from a door on the left side of the corridor. I looked through the peephole and there he was! Growler. I tried the door handle and miraculously, the door opened. I was greeted with a big lick and a very warm breath in my face.

I was extremely happy, but I had to focus on the mission. When I turned to Mary, I saw her and Growler greeting each other.  I asserted “Guys, focus! Let’s find this endless pit.”

We started walking and when we finally reached the end of the corridor, there stood the shiny, brown door, towering over us. We pushed it open, and there, on the ground was the pit. We all got ready to jump, that’s when Mary stated “On the letter it said a skeleton was going to earth: that could be dangerous. We should exchange phone numbers just in case we need them to stay safe.” I told her mine and she told me hers, I hoped I would remember it.

I jumped, while hugging Growler and with Jeremy in my pocket. I shouted “HOME” and next thing I knew I was back through the light tornado, tumbling around in every direction. I opened my eyes on my bed, with my tattered pyjamas, my lizard and a beautiful Labrador; Growler in “Earth form”.

Envoyé: 18:41 Sat, 23 March 2024 by : Spreafico Giacomo Bernardo age : 14