When a dirty trick backfires and two girls vanish into thin air, Ruben is terrified because it’s all his fault - even if he doesn’t know how he did it. Thomas has a few ideas, and he’s quietly confident that he can solve this wonderful new puzzle. But Mrs Abbott’s acting weird and Mr Bromble really isn’t himself; and though the mystery begins in the Principal’s office, it will take four children on a perilous journey to a galaxy far far away … but then again, maybe it’s just some local binary system. Can four mismatched children - the teacher’s pet, the class bully, the outcast nerd, and a girl who just loves flying - overcome their differences, rescue their teachers, retrieve one of their own, and make it back in time to save their classmates?
Sarah just wants to fly. That’s all she’s ever wanted. And she’ll end up doing it, for sure. But ever since the Wormhole she’s not satisfied just to be a pilot. In the air, I mean. In the atmosphere. She still wants all that, but now she wants to fly in space as well.
She wants to travel to the stars.
Some kids laughed when she said this in News, but Thomas Shepherd just piped up and said there’s no reason she shouldn’t, and maybe he’ll come with her. That’s just Thomas. He says stuff like that all the time and he never makes sense to anyone. Sarah grinned at him though, and nodded her head. Maybe she was just being polite.
Funny thing is, Ruben didn’t laugh either, when Sarah started talking about being a Space Explorer. In the old days he’d have said something loud and deflating. But this time he just sat there and grinned, and gave her a thumbs-up, and she smiled back at him like they were sharing a joke.
Before the Wormhole he was her arch-enemy. Her Stinky Farting Nemesis! It was like, she was so sure about what she wanted to do and who she was, and he just couldn’t handle it. But now? They do their homework together, down in After-School Care!
Thomas Shepherd gets called all kinds of things. Egghead. Geek. Weirdo. Not if Ruben’s there, of course. But if he’s not they really let fly. Cause Thomas just isn’t like other kids. His head’s in some totally different place from everyone else’s. A weird place. Ask him some like, impossible sum to do in his head, and he’ll tell you the answer that and give you all its factors, unless it’s a prime number, before you’ve even finished talking.
That’s if he hears you. He’s just as likely to come back with something like: “It isn’t always an equal and opposite reaction though, is it? Now what’s the reason for that?” And you realise he’s looking at you, waiting for an answer.
Most kids just give up and leave him to it, and he doesn’t seem to mind.
It’s not like he doesn’t function. He eats lunch. He goes to the toilet.
And there was that time with the Wormhole when he really seemed to be, almost in charge. Like he knew what was happening and nobody else did.
And then, later on, he was all friends with the scientists, the ones who came to study Mr Bromble’s office and take away Sarah’s flying machine. They didn’t seem to think he was a kid either. More like he was one of them.
And that’s just weird.
Jenny used to be a pain and she’s still a pain, only now she’s a different kind of pain. She used to have this perfect hair, and the best pencils, and the shiniest shoes, and her work was always So neat and So pretty, and getting stickers from her own teacher was never enough so she was always angling to get more of them from other teachers. Especially Mr Bromble, cause he had stuff like Principal’s Award that only he could give out.
Can I show my work to Mr Bromble, please Mrs Abbott!
Vomit, went the class.
And if Mrs Abbott said no, Jenny just pulled out some unicorn drawing from under her desk and took that to show Mr Bromble instead, at Recess. She’d come back in after Recess looking all smug and pleased with herself, waving her unicorn about with Principal’s Award all over it so everyone would see.
Then the Wormhole happened and everything changed. She got this reputation, just because of what she did with that laser blaster. And it helped that she didn’t look like Jenny Prissy any more … Jenny Smarmy. She came out of that Wormhole like she was covered in blood and looking for more of it and she was scary!
So now … yeah, she’s kind of embraced that whole Bad Girl thing.
Ruben is a big kid. He used to be a bully but that changed the day of the Wormhole. Ever since then he’s been friends with Thomas, and Thomas used to be his favourite victim. They’re not friends exactly. It’s more like Ruben looks after him. Or he looks out for Thomas, cause he knows Thomas can’t protect himself. I tell you what, you don’t want to do anything to Thomas if Ruben’s nearby! You don’t even want to look at him wrong!
Ruben used to be the worst kid in the class. He was like, arch-enemies with Sarah and always making fun of her hair and calling her Flying Girl, and the way he said it made it sound like she was the stupidest kid ever for having a dream. And she’d just go all slitty-eyed and call him Stinky Farter.
He was Mrs Abbott’s worst student, too. Not that he’s the best now, but at least he tries. And he still mucks up but the things he does aren’t mean like before. They’re just funny. Hilarious even. And Mrs Abbott kind of can’t help smiling, even when she’s telling him off. I guess the Wormhole changed her as well. Of course, she never really had a quiet class to start with.