TIME GAMERS: The Chameleon Quest
Extract from Chapter 6
by Lesley Reed
‘How come we’ve traveled in a time funnel and ended up here?’ Tamal asked moodily. ‘I thought time travel was all about going to important places or events in history, not an island in the middle of nowhere.’
‘Many of Miss Brady’s games take children to places such as you describe, but this island is an important place and this is also an important time, Tamal,’ Magi replied. ‘The islands here represent what’s happening in the world hundreds of years later than your own time. Climate change has meant the seas have risen and coastal land all around the world has been swamped. Wars are being fought over habitable land in this time, because there’s so little of it left. Some island nations have disappeared entirely and so when islands rise from the sea like this group did, it means there’s new living space, including for wildlife. This island is a rare and precious jewel on Earth, a very special place indeed.’
‘Do people live here, or only animals and birds?’ Tim asked.
‘They do on some islands in the group, but while Lizard Eye Island used to be a great place for fishing, it’s probably not habitable because it’s so rugged. There is very deep water on the northern side of the island, where we are. It’s deep even very near the shore, over by the mangroves. The small cove you can see over there protects the mangroves from large waves, so they flourish. These days, though, people in the surrounding islands are very fearful of this place. They think the island’s haunted.’
‘Haunted?’ Sebastian whispered, his freckles standing out again.
‘It’s just the stuff of superstition,’ Magi said, appearing not to notice his companions had fallen quiet, ‘but because of the rumours, it seems we’re the only ones here. That means only our small group will ever know what happens next.’
‘So… what will happen?’ ventured Tim, his voice quivering.
‘Your birthday lunch, that’s what, Tim,’ Magi replied. ‘We can’t waste the party food we brought with us in the time funnel, can we?’
‘Yes…er…no. Thank you, Magi, but I meant what’s next…after my lunch?’
The lizard laughed, baring his teeth in a knowing grin. He flexed his long blue claws and gently tapped one of them on the tip of Tim’s freckled nose.
‘Aha! That, my friend, is when the party ends!’