Gadgets the great escape, p.26
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       Gadgets: The Great Escape, p.26

           David Hancock
 
The night was uneventful except for some cats screeching. The watch was changed twice so everyone could get some sleep and at the crack of dawn the gadgets started to rise from their slumber. The remaining water they held was rationed because it had taken all of Deep Fat’s water to drown the wasps. They were allowed just enough to slake their thirst but not for washing, even though Zalda the Ice Queen protested profusely.

  The sun rose quickly and strongly. The storm the day before that had washed the gadgets down the rockery had cleared the air.

  The General got everyone back in position. ‘Squad form up there, form up,’ he kept saying, much to the amusement of everyone who were trying to stifle their giggles.

  Just moments after the gadgets moved off, the back door of the house opened and out stepped Mr. Abercrombie. It was Saturday and Sebastian wasn’t in the office. He walked round the side of the house to the garage and emerged moments later with a step-ladder which he hauled down the patio steps. Also charging out of the house came Zack and Jake. Sebastian turned back to look at them. ‘I’ve told you two to stay in the house,’ he shouted.

  ‘Oh, but dad,’ they both cried.

  And then Jake said: ‘It’s my iPod, I want to see it rescued.’

  Sebastian thought for a moment and then said: ‘OK Jake you can come with me and hold the ladder. You Zack, back in doors this minute.’

  ‘Oh, but dad.’

  ‘No buts Zack, back inside now.’

  Seb dragged the ladder down the steps across the second patio and on to the lawn where he leaned it as well as possible against the ornate fountain.

  ‘Come here now Jake and hold this ladder as steady as possible. Put one foot on the bottom rung and really hold it hard for daddy, ‘ he said as he started to climb up. ‘That’s the way, good boy, as steady as you can.’

  ‘Will my iPod be all right dad?’

  ‘I don’t know son, it has been in the fountain a long time. Keep your fingers crossed. Now be quiet please, don’t distract me.’ And so Sebastian continued up the ladder till he got to the top fountain bowl and started fishing about in the water.’

  While he was fishing around he noticed something in the distance. What’s that, he thought, right down there in the middle of the lawn. I can’t quite make it out it’s too far away. At first he thought it was some sort of snake or a crocodile perhaps. ‘No it can’t be that,’ he said to himself. ‘I must be seeing things. As soon as I get down I’ll go and have a look.’

  ‘Have you found it yet dad?’ Jake shouted up to his father.

  Not yet son, hold on….Wait, what’s this? No it’s just a piece of stone,’ he said lifting the object out of the water.

  A few more minutes passed until Sebastian finally retrieved the iPod Nano.

  ‘I’ve got it Jake,’ he announced. ‘I’ve got it. I’m coming down, now hold the ladder tightly for me.’

  But Jake didn’t hear his father’s last words because he was too excited. He took his foot off the bottom rung of the ladder and jumped up and down with glee. That was it, the ladder started to wobble and then sway and Sebastian looked in horror knowing exactly what was coming next.

  ‘Arghhh,’ he shrieked and then hit the lawn with a thud. Jake was horrified because he knew he would get blamed but he was pleased to see his dad lying flat out on the lawn still clutching the iPod.

  Rebecca and Zack came running from the house, where they had been watching the proceedings, with little Lucy in tow. Down the steps they ran until Rebecca was at her husband’s side. But Sebastian was unconscious.

  ‘Zack, back in the house,’ she said to her son. ‘And phone for an ambulance immediately. Go, as fast as you can.’

  ‘But mum,’ he protested.

  ‘Not now Zack, just do as you are told.’

  ‘But mum I’m only saying… why don’t I use my mobile?’

  Rebecca took a deep breath. ‘Good boy, yes… I wish I’d thought of that. Do it right now.’

  A smug grin appeared across Zack’s face.

  ‘Darling, darling, wake up, are you OK?’ said Rebecca to her husband, cradling his head in her arm and lightly patting his cheek. ‘Please, please wake up.’ But Sebastian was out like a light.

  It was at the same time that they heard the ambulance sirens that Sebastian’s eyes started to flicker as if he was coming back to life. Zack raced up to greet the ambulance men realising just what he could achieve by dialling 999 on his mobile phone. He flung open the front door and ushered them through the house into the garden. ‘Down here, down here, on the lawn,’ he was shouting. ‘It’s my dad. I think he’s dead.’

  But he wasn’t dead, he was coming round. The ambulance man ordered his partner to go and get a stretcher and then told the other members of the family to stand back.

  ‘Can you hear me sir?’ he asked, and a very groggy Sebastian started to mutter something.

  ‘Well he’s back with us,’ said the ambulance man reassuringly to Rebecca. ‘We’ll just have to get him to hospital for a check-up, make sure there is nothing serious. How did it happen?’

  ‘He fell off the ladder trying to get something out of the fountain.’

  ‘Well good job he fell on grass, or it could have been a lot more serious.’

  Zack whispered to Jake in an evil tone: ‘It was your fault. I saw it all. You nearly killed our dad.’ At that Jake burst into tears.

  Just as the stretcher arrived Sebastian started mumbling again.

  ‘What’s he saying?’ asked Rebecca.

  ‘Something about a snake or a crocodile in the distance,’ replied the ambulance man. ‘I wouldn’t worry about it too much madam. Some people can be quite delirious when they come round from concussion.’

  And then Sebastian was gently lifted on to the stretcher and taken to hospital.

 
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