Exquisite Genres: School on a Cruise


 This collaborative story was written by four groups of young writers on Sunday 25th May, at our Exquisite Genres workshop at the Sydney Writers' Festival.  Part 1

'Do you have any Chinese lessons ready for us?' Mary asked Sir Rambunctious, the nice teacher. 'I've only practised six hours a day on my Chinese! I might not be able to ask where the spare dishes are!'

'Don't worry, there are plenty of other kids around who can help,' he replied. 'But we need to get to the ship, quickly.'

They walked quickly over to the ship, with the rest of the class trailing behind.

'Hey, Sir, what are all of those bags for? We're carrying all of ours,' she said, pointing to a large pile of luggage on the dock.

'Never mind them, they're probably just being unloaded from the previous cruise,' he replied with a yawn.

'Look, our rooms are just over there.'

I opened the door of my bedroom the next day and wandered down the hallway to my next classroom, as of course this was a school cruise so classes were abundant. I opened my class door, C6, and stepped in looking around. I was shocked at what I saw. A group of thug-like men sitting around a pile of goods. They looked up and it all went downhill from there.

Part 2

I felt nervous because the group of angry thugs were nothing to do with school. I turned to back out of the room but one of the angry thugs grabbed me suddenly. Billy the bully walked into the room and tied me up.

This was terrible! I was missing class and my teachers would be so worried. Just then, Rory opened the door.

"Mary? What's going on? You're missing maths, and its your favourite subject".

The colour drained from his face as he saw that I was tied up.

Billy was laughing hysterically. "You stupid people! I'm going to get your tea". He walked out and returned a few minutes later, carrying eight cups of steaming tea that smelled funny.

The captain came down because Billy was taking too long. As he walked in I was terrified. I thought, "oh no, not more trouble!".

I heard the captain say, "BILLY, what's taking you so long?"

"Captain I have tied Mary but I can't manage to feed them the tea".

Part 3

I feel very "smart" right now, (Mary thought excitedly to herself), Billy hasn't managed to feed EVERYONE with the sneaky, foul tasting tea. Right now, some helpful smugglers are helping me to escape from the rough, but tight ropes. We are using my dainty sharp glasses to cut the long rope... Mary plotted.

It was very hard because the thick rough rope had tied their hands together. Fortunately, Mary helped the smugglers unbind the teacher. Finally, they were all free to roam the ship.

Almost as soon as soon as they were free, the rest of the class found them. They told the group what was going on. While, bully Billy and the captain ranted together. The captain was so outraged that he pushed Billy overboard.

Fortunately, Billy found a flimsy ladder that had been discarded and he climbed up the rope ladder. Meanwhile, the evil captain released the loyal warrior monkeys. Billy found the captain of monkeys. His name was Hanumaan. Hanumaan started to tell Billy the captains violent and horrible plan.

Part 4

"All you monkeys, stop this instant! Come here to me!", Rory bellowed as the monkeys started swinging around with their flexible tails.The monkeys came to a halt almost immediately and obeyed Rory.

"We have arrived in China", the captain screeched.

The captain went to the room with the smuggled sailors and the monkeys. He lead the monkeys to the pirate ship with a banana and threatened the sailors. Meanwhile, Mary let the children out and the captain screamed, "I'll sell you all to the pirates!".

The pirated grabbed the monkeys and the sailors, and brought them to their ship.The teacher said to Mary, Billy and the children, "Quickly, come with me to see the fire works".

"We never want to see the captain and the pirates ever again!", the children all agreed.