John shuffled in the uncomfortable and unforgiving plastic seat. The underground train home after school always juddered and bumped along but today nothing could distract him from his numb rear. Having forgotten his trusty comic he was stuck having to listen to the predictable chatter of the people around him. Suddenly a conversation caught his attention – two underground station cleaners were whispering in the corner behind him.
“…enormous great thing it’s meant to be,” said one.
“Who knows how it got that size, but no-one can find out. Think of the panic!”
John was really intrigued.
“Anyway, who would believe that the underground would be infected by giant fleas!” John gasped loudly, and the men spun round. It was his stop, so John darted out through the door, pushed through the crowd and beyond, before the men could stop him.
Sat on his bed, John thought about what he had heard. Could it be true? Packing a small rucksack of snacks, torches and dark clothing, he promised himself that tonight he would find out for himself.
As soon as his mum flicked the light off and closed his bedroom door, John gathered his kit, moulded his pillows into a John-shaped lump in the bed, and silently lowered himself out of his bedroom window.