‘Arrrrr-choooo!’ His sneeze created an enormous blast of scorching hot air that reached a hundred thousand kilometres into the sky.
‘So that’s how sun flares happen,’ he said.
Jake bounced over the molten, bubbling larva and floated through pools of super heated gases that smelled like rotten eggs.
‘Arrrrr-choooo!’ Another sun flare burst into the atmosphere and curled and swirled in burning yellow and orange. The air shimmered and moved like someone shook it. He sat on a rock so hot it glowed red, but his bottom didn’t burn like he thought it would.
He gazed out into space at a blue and green speck in the black sky. ‘Home,’ he sighed. ‘But first, I have a job to do.’ The sun was too hot and the blue and green speck, earth, was burning up.
Jake stepped into a puddle of silver, melted metal but it didn’t burn his shoe like he thought it would. He hopped onto the other foot and soared a hundred metres into the yellow sky. He hopped again, this time two hundred metres into the sky. He landed next to a cold black round gauge with a cold black round handle. It shot sparks at him but they didn’t burn like he thought they would.
The temperature was set at fifteen million degrees. Jake gripped the handle and with all his strength turned it anti-clockwise once, then twice. The gauge hissed and steamed as the needle moved back stroke by stroke to fourteen million degrees.
‘Perfect,’ he said. ‘Arrrrr-choooo!’ A sun flare shot only fifty thousand metres into the air.
‘Jake. Jake.’ Zach, his best friend, shook him awake.
‘Hey,’ said Jake. ‘Arr-choo!’ No sun flares this time.
‘What did the doc say?’ asked Zach.
‘My heart is good, now. No more operations. I just have to get over this cold.’
‘I’d hate having to stay in bed for so long,’ said Zach.
‘It’s okay. The flowers help.’
‘Really?’ Zach picked a huge sunflower from a vase and swung it around the room. He plonked himself on the end of the bed and put the sunflower on his shoulder. ‘Look, it’s as big as my head.’
Jake laughed. ‘Arr-choo!’
‘So, how do flowers help?’
‘Well, they sort of take me places, show me things I need to do. Just then, I turned down the sun’s heat to save the earth, but it didn’t burn me like I thought it would. Last week, I regenerated a rainforest with white orchids, and before that, I helped save some endangered native animals with a red waratah.’
‘You sure your brain wasn’t operated on?’ joked Zach.
‘Next week, I’m getting blue flowers. The whales really need my help.’
‘Cool,’ laughed Zach. ‘Super flower power. Can I come too?’
©Jennifer Crane 2011, image Tania McCartney
Bedtime Stories downloadable tales for children are an AWO initiative, run in support of the National Year of Reading 2012. We encourage you to print and read these stories with your kids, and revel in the joy a wonderful story can bring. All stories are original and have been penned by established and emerging Australian authors. Every month, we will publish four stories running to a central theme, each on a Monday morning. See here for more.