Thanks Adam - you maybe up for a mystery prize this month :).....
Oscar Grows All Green:
Chapter 1: No Sun.
The rain came down hard; it had been for two days now.
Oscar wiped the steam from his breath off of the window but not before he had written his name and drawn some stupid pictures on the glass.
“Oscar….is your room tidy yet” called Oscars mum from downstairs.
Oscar did try to keep his room as tidy as he could but for a nine-year-old boy keeping a bedroom tidy was no easy task.
If you asked Oscar, he would say that his room was fine.
“Yes Mum, I’ve done it already”, Oscar picked up a handful of toys and games and shoved them as far as he could under his bed.
There were two things that always seemed to happen on a Sunday, the first, Oscar had to tidy his bedroom. The second, well it always rained on a Sunday, at least that’s what it seemed like.
Oscar lived in a wonderfully strange house with his Mum and Dad and little sister, Molly. If you looked at the house from the outside it seemed ordinary enough but inside, pictures on every wall, not just ordinary pictures, they were family portraits, and there were about fifty, all painted by his mum.
If the pictures weren’t strange enough, then all of the weird plants left to the family by Oscars Nan certainly were.
They filled the hallway forming a tangling weaving arch, a bit like a country side walk but only on the inside.
He felt a strange sensation in his fingers every time he walked past the plants, ugly green Venus fly traps and many others that he could only guess their names.
He thought they were watching him, waiting for him to slip up so that they could make their move. Oscar could still remember that day when he was two years old.
A strange looking, slightly off colour and larger than usual Venus fly trap tried to bite Oscar on his finger.
Oscar’s Nan had told Oscar of How she was bitten by the very same plant years before Oscar was born. He had never trusted any plants again.
Oscar ran down stairs.
“Walk down the stairs Oscar!” said Oscars Dad.
Oscars Dad was calm most of the time but if there was one thing that bothered him it was when Oscar ran up or down the stairs.
“Mum, when will it stop raining?” asked Oscar sounding frustrated.
“Oh Oscar I don’t know, why don’t you go play with Molly?”, before Oscars mum could finish her sentence Oscar had cut in.
“Play with Molly, you’ve got to be kidding, I am not going to play with her, she smells”.
Molly is Oscars little sister and is seven years old.
Molly annoyed Oscar whenever she could, she did love her older brother but it was fun to see his cheeks go bright red when he was angry.
Oscar made his way back to his room.
He looked in his sock draw where he kept his walkie talkies.
“Red Eagle this is Red Eagle, Sky Wing are you there?” said Oscar holding down the talk button.
Oscar and his best friend Sam each had a set of walkie talkies. They had made up code names for each other.
“This is Sky Wing, how you doing Red Eagle?” replied Sam.
Sam was excited to hear from Oscar. Sam was bored to.
“Yeah I am ok, but it is so boring, can I come over?” said Oscar excitedly.
“My Mum said it’s ok as long as your Mum doesn’t mind” said Sam.
Oscar threw his walkie talkie on to his bed. He looked in his mirror and ran his fingers through his scruffy brown hair.
Oscar and Molly both had crystal blue eyes. Molly had a dash of freckles on her cheeks.
Oscar thought that he was lucky not to have freckles but was embarrassed about his slightly sticky out ears.
They weren’t really that bad but Oscar had convinced himself that they were.
“Mum, is it ok if I go to Sam’s?” asked Oscar as he ran down the stairs.
“Be back in an hour Oscar, dinner will be ready and then you must get ready for school tomorrow.”
“Thanks Mum.” said Oscar dashing out the door.
Sam Hopkins sometimes called hoppy by Molly was Oscar’s best friend.
Sam lived at the edge of Midwich town with his Mum and Dad, about six hundred yards from Oscar.
By the time Oscar got to Sam’s house he was soaked through.
“Hi Sam, open the door!” said Oscar looking up at Sam’s bedroom window.
The door opened.
“I can’t believe it’s been raining all weekend” said Sam.
“What did your Mum say about the school project?” asked Sam
“Not much she said we’ll have to wait until school tomorrow.”
Oscars mum was head of the school PTA.
This meant that Oscar usually got to find out things before his friends, like if there is going to be a school disco, or what uniform they must have for the next term.
The boys ran up stairs, Sam switched on his Playstation.
Before they knew it Oscars Mum was on the phone, “Oscar, your Mum wants you to go home now”, called Sam’s Mum.
“Thanks Mrs Hopkins”, “See ya Sam”.
“Yeah see ya at school Oscy”.
Oscar ran most of the way home.
Although he normally was bored by school he was quite looking forward to finding out what the school project was all about.
Later that night when Oscar was in bed the rain got heavier, thunder and lightning filled the night sky. Oscar woke up.
Oscar could hear something in his room.
“Os---caaaar” whispered the voice.
Oscar grabbed his bed covers tight and fumbled for his torch that he usually kept under the pillow.
“Os---caaaar, don’t be afraid to use it” said the voice again.
“Erm, use what, and who are you” Oscar replied nervously.
Oscar thought the he knew the voice, but it couldn’t be. Surely it couldn’t be.
“Nan, is that you?”
There was silence for a bit.
“No don’t be daft it’s Sam”
Oscar realised that he had left his walkie talkie on.
Sam laughed, “Nan, oooohhhh”
“Shut it Sam, what do you want?”
“Look out your window Oscar”
Oscar pulled open the curtains, the sky was dark it was raining, then he noticed the plants on the wall, the small ones either side of the front door were nearly up to his bedroom window.
“Your house is weird Oscar” said Sam
“It’s probably my mum over feeding them again Sam, and my house is not weird!”
He switched off his walkie talkie, removing the batteries just to make sure, leant over pulled his curtains shut and settled back down to sleep.
A new project.
The morning came and Oscar woke up earlier than usual as he was excited about the school project.
He kicked the covers of his bed, and pulling the curtains open he peered out of his window.
The plants that were up to his window were back to their normal size.
Oscar scratched his head, “strange”.
A lovely smell of toast wafted up the stairs.
The bedroom door suddenly opened, “get up, now, mum said now”.
“Get lost Molly, go away!” said Oscar.
Molly would always come in to Oscar’s bedroom without fail every morning to tell him to wake up.
Oscar went downstairs.
“Got any toast for me mum?” said Oscar.
“Yes but grab it fast, your Dad has been eating it all morning”
“Cool, thanks Mum”.
Oscar ate his toast; he even helped his mum wash up.
Molly came into the kitchen, “come on mum we are going to be late”
“Mum!” said Molly raising her voice because she had no answer the first time.
“Yes Molly, I know, come on Oscar lets go”, Said Oscars Mum grabbing the last piece of toast on the way out.
In the car on the way to school both Molly and Oscar decided to ask their mum what the school project was about but she told them the same as the day before, to wait and see.
They got to school with five minutes to spare, Oscars Mum was pretty good at driving when she needed to be.
“Bye mum” said Oscar
“Bye mum” said Molly
They both ran in to school, Molly went off to see her friends and Oscar went and lined up out side his class.
“Hi Oscar”, said Sam sounding out of breath.
“Hey Sam, what you been doing, you sound puffed?”
“Yeah, well my Dads car broke down so I had to run in to school, I didn’t want to miss this morning, you know, the project”
“I know I couldn’t stop thinking about it” said Oscar.
It might sound strange that everyone was getting so excited about a school project but rumour had it that there was a fantastic prize to be won and prizes make school projects a little bit more exciting.
Sam stood a bit closer to Oscar and leaned towards his ear.
“Oscar, what about those plants, you have to admit, that is a bit weird”
“Yeah ok, but they aren’t there now”.
The bell rang and Cedar class went in for registration.
After registration had finished the class was lead down to the hall by Mr Snickel for Monday morning assembly.
Mr Snickel was the new form tutor for Cedar class as the last teacher had left after having a nervous breakdown.
About ten minutes later the entire school was in the hall. Mr Bell the headmaster went up to the microphone tapped it twice and began the assembly.
“Good morning children” boomed Mr Bell.
“Good morning Mr Bell” replied a chorus of voices
“Now I know that some of you have been getting rather excited about the school project.”
“So, we have invited Mr Risdale from Risdales Garden Centre to talk to you about this year’s project.”
A small squishy shaped balding man stepped up to the microphone.
“Risdales Garden centre is the largest garden centre in the town, and we are pleased to be running this year’s school project” said Mr Risdale.
“The project for this year is”, at that moment the tension could be felt in the air.
For Oscar it felt a bit like the Xfactor results, he could feel his checks glowing red with excitement.
“The project is a plant growing competition”.
There was a stir of voices from the children.
“Hush now, settle down” boomed Mr Bell, taking the mic from Mr Risdale.
Mr Risadale continued, “We at Risdales want you to grow any vegetable that you want and find out about it and the biggest and best one will win a prize, there will be two runners up prizes.”
The children sat on the edge of their seats as Mr Risdale began to read out the prizes.
“First place is, a family trip to Euro Disney and £100 spending money, second place wins a family trip to Sparks Amusement World and £500 spending money, and third place wins a day out to the London Eye and £100 spending money”
There was a gasp from the entire school, Sparks Amusement World was an awesome place but Euro Disney was just out of this world.
Even Griff the school bully seemed exited about the prospect of going to Disneyland.
Mr Bell got up and finished the assembly.
As the different classes were led back to their form rooms the sound of chattering voices was louder than the usual Monday morning mumbles that could be heard around the school.
“Cedar” said Mr Snickel.
“Come on line up in an orderly fashion.”
“Right, last time otherwise no one from Cedar will be allowed to take part in the competition!”
That seemed to do the trick.
Cedar lined up and for once they were behaving themselves.
After Cedar class had gone back into their form room Mr Snickel decided that this was a good opportunity to talk to Cedar class about the School Project.
Oscar sat up in his chair, he had never been on a holiday in another county before and he certainly had never won any prizes before.
Mr Snickel began speaking but it was too late as Oscar had drifted off, He was at the top of the roller coaster with his sister Molly screaming next to him, at least he was until the screwed up piece of paper hit him firmly on the head.
“Oscar, pay attention in my class” said Mr Snickel.
The whole class laughed and this in turn set Oscar’s cheeks glowing red.
“Okay, Cedar,” said Mr Snickel pausing as he took a sip from his glass of water.
“As you know the school project is a particularly good one this year. I have printed out these leaflets for you all to take home.”
“Sam can you hand them out for me.”
As Sam handed out the leaflets Mr Snickel read out the rules.
You must work on your own
You can only grow vegetables.
Adults can help but you must do all writing yourself.
No computer print outs or bits copied from the internet.
Must be ready for judging day on the 18th of July.
“I hate rules”, groaned Sue sitting at the back of the class chewing on her pencil.
“We all hate rules” added Lucy, Lucy and Sue were best friends. Where ever one went the other was sure to follow.
“Yeah me too” said pukey Peter.
And you can guess he was called pukey Pete!
“Ok, enough now!” exclaimed Mr Snickel, as he began to understand why the last teacher, Mrs Jones, had left after a breakdown.
The rest of the day seemed to rather pass by rather quickly as the final school bell rang.
Oscar was walking out of the school gates to meet his mum.
Sam had walked on ahead to make sure that he could see if his dad had got his car working.
Oscars mum wound down her window and called out to Sam, “Sam I’ve spoken to your dad and you’re coming home with us tonight.”
“Cool” said Sam.
On the way home Oscar, Molly and Sam did not fight like they usually did but instead spoke about their fantastic ideas on how each one of them would grow the biggest and best vegetable imaginable.
As Oscar walked through the front door, the various house plants in the hallway seemed to leer towards him, he thought they were whispering something to him but did not say anything at the risk of sounding like a complete idiot.
The rest of that night Oscar felt ill.
“Oscar you look a pale green, I think all the excitement of today has got to you.” said Oscars Mum.
She usually didn’t pay much attention to Oscar’s sick act but this time it seemed genuine and Oscar really did look slightly green.
Eventually Sam’s dad came and collected Sam.
“Bye Sammy” said Molly in her cute girly voice; she Knew Sam did not like it when she did that.
“Bye Oscy” said Sam.
There was no reply. Oscar was fast asleep on the sofa.
During the night strange things started to happen.
Oscar was woken up at about 2am by a bright green light.
The light seemed to be coming from under the bed covers.
Oscar slowly peered under the cover.
It wasn’t his torch, or his glow in the dark watch that he was given for his birthday....it was him.
His hands were glowing bright green.
“AAAARRRRGGGGHHHH!”, screamed Oscar.
His bedroom door flew open.
“What, what is it?” said Oscars dad as he tripped over some marbles that were on the floor.
“Dad, help me, my hands are green!”
Oscar’s dad pulled down the cover, “There’s nothing there Oscar” he said,” they look perfectly normal to me.”
Oscar looked once more at his hands, his dad was right, they were normal.
“Just a bad dream Son, try and get back to sleep”, Said Oscar’s dad.
“Night dad” mumbled Oscar.
Oscar knew what he had seen. The question that he wanted answering was what was happening to him?
He soon fell back to sleep.
The next morning Oscar was not feeling ill at all.
The only strange thing, the bite mark that Oscar had on his finger from that awful Venus flytrap that had bitten him when he was only two years old was throbbing and looked a pale green colour.
Oscar went down stairs for breakfast and as he did the plants in the hall way seemed to turn to him.
“Mum”, called Oscar.
“What is it Oscar, can’t it wait I am rather busy at the moment, Molly has been sick all over the kitchen table”
“Err, gross.” replied Oscar.
Oscar called for his Dad.
“Yes Oscar”, Oscar cut in,
“Dad the plants they are looking at me, help!”
“Don’t be so ridiculous” said Oscars Dad.
“I am not Dad they really are I can’t come down!”
Oscar’s Dad could hear the fear in son’s voice so he put down his paper and went to investigate.
“Well I never!” said Oscars dad sounding completely amazed.
It was just as Oscar had said; all of the plants had turned around and were now facing directly toward Oscar.
He grabbed Oscar and carried him down the stairs.
“Fran”, Fran is Oscar’s mum’s name, “come here quickly”.
“Okay Doug”, said Oscars Mum.
She could not believe her eyes as Oscar.
“I am not sure what is going on, maybe we should call a doctor” said Oscars mum a little bit my worried than before.
“Don’t be silly darling; they will think you’re insane! just imagine what the doctor will say if you tell him that plants are looking at Oscar! we will just have to keep quiet and maybe I can Google it?” replied Oscars dad.
“Okay, you’re right, Oscar get ready for school. Sam is going to knock any minute now” said Oscar mum.
Oscar was clearly shaken and concerned but as he calmed down the plants in the hall slowly turned back to their normal positions.
There was a knock at the door.
Molly came out of the kitchen unaware of what had just happened.
She opened the door, “Hi Sam” she said.
Oscar grabbed his school shoes from the shoe rack that was by the front door and hurriedly crammed his feet into them.
On the way to school even the trees seemed to lean toward Oscar, it was as if they were trying to talk to him.
Sam stopped in his tracks; “OSCAR!” yelled Sam but it was too late.
The tree at the bus stop leant toward Oscar and tapped him on the shoulder.
“Um, excuse me”
“Excuse me, I know you can hear me” said the tree.
“Arrrghhh!” Screamed Oscar, this in turn made both Sam and the old oak tree scream too!
They settled down.
“You’re a tree” said Oscar in utter disbelief.
“Ten out of ten, how did you know?” replied the oak tree.
“Ugh the braches and leaves I guess, anyhow, trees don’t talk”
“Yes we do said the tree, my name is Basil you must have been bitten by an outer space Venus fly trap from the planet Venus” said Basil the tree.
“That is why you can hear me; it can take a while for the bite to take effect sometimes up to ten years!”
Oscar explained that it was his Nan that was bitten and not him. And that she had died two years ago.
“Maybe the power has been passed on” said Basil.
Sam by now was just standing with his mouth wide open. He could hear Oscar talking but could not hear a word that Basil the tree had said.
The School bus arrived just as Basil had finished explaining Oscars new abilities.
Oscar poked Sam in the ribs, “Come on Sam, we’ll be late”.
On the bus ride to school Oscar and Sam agreed to keep silent about what had happened.
Oscar did not pay much attention to school work that day and spent lunch time trying to see if he could hear other plants.
Sam had to stop him when he tried talking to the grass.
This had certainly been a strange day at school and it was only going to get worse when he got home.
Oscar sat in the front room with his mum and dad when he announced that he could talk to trees.
They looked even more upset when he told them that the tree by the bus stop was called Basil.
The next morning Oscar was woken up by his Dad which was unusual.
“Oscar I am giving you the day off school, were going to find out what is going on!”
“Okay dad”, said Oscar. He certainly wasn’t going to argue.
Molly came in; “can I stay too daddy”.
Just as she was about to be told no Molly fluttered her eyes.
“Okay Molly, but behave, we have got some serious stuff to sort out.”
“I have checked out Google and not have had not found much, so I am going to take you to see a friend of mine who is a special type of Doctor.”
Oscar was not stupid and interrupted his dad.
He explained what had happened to Nan and that he would prove to his dad that he really could talk to trees.
Oscar took his dad to see Basil.
“Okay Dad tell something that only you would know to Basil”
Oscar’s dad frowned but he went up to Basil and told him about the new kitchen.
No one could possibly know about this he thought, as he had only just come up with the idea.
Oscar came out of the car and went to Basil.
Basil leant down to Oscar and told him about the kitchen.
Oscar had to shout at his Dad.
“Dad get up. Come on, wake up.”
Oscar Dad got up, he could not believe it, his son could really talk to trees.
Oscar and his dad went home and talked about all the things that he might be able to do.
“Maybe you can ask the plants in the garden to tidy themselves so I don’t have to do it” laughed Oscars Dad.
Oscar however had already begun to wonder if he could talk to vegetables and ask them to help him win the school project.
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