Chapter One - I’m going on an adventure!


Possibly one of my favourite film lines of all time is gleefully whooped to the winds by Bilbo Baggins as he dashes, leaps and vaults his way through the Shire: “I’m going on an adventure!!!” In times of frustration, stress and irritation how much would we all like to follow suit?! To fling the suffocating paperwork off our desk, wring the neck of the phone line and just go. Go away and run to the ends of the earth. To never look back and just to be free. Sadly, in all probability, we wouldn’t have a convenient party of good looking dwarves who had already pre-planned the route and were sufficiently good warriors to keep us out of total danger (adventure suddenly feeling a lot more scary…) Despite our dreams and desires, in all probability we would get to the pavement and realise we don’t have the foggiest idea where to go next, turn on our heel and head back in to the comforting safety of the office to pointlessly check our emails for anything distracting. But it is the what if that always keeps me wondering. What if? What if we didn’t stop? What if we kept going? What if we dared to more than dream? With that in mind I have decided to go on an adventure. A wonderful, fantastical adventure through the eyes of a young woman called Hannah. 

For 26 years Hannah has lived a totally normal life. She was born, acquired some siblings and friends, went to school, survived the trauma teen years and reached adulthood: the world of work, flatmates, boyfriends and paperwork. She has a job she half likes, lives in a flat that’s “alright I suppose" and has a motley collection of friends though she’s not entirely sure where she found them all. They just sort of accumulated. Hannah has plenty she should be be grateful for: good health, a roof over her head, a steady job and social life but sadly, well there’s simply no other way to say it, Hannah is, for want of a better word, bored. In fact she spends most of her days trying to arrange her paperclips into a house of cards, her work answer machine has been edited so many times into so many accents it is a wonder it hasn’t exploded and she remains the undisputed queen of first and “never again, he was so dull” dates. 

And so our heroine of reluctant conventionality seemed destined to remain forever, trapped in the hamster wheel of city life but then, all of a sudden - Ping! Her life was changed in an instant. Changed in the form of an email:

-Greetings! Do you need a change of direction? Expanding Horizons is seeking a flexible, independent adventurer to join their dynamic team. No previous experience required. Much more important is your enthusiasm, relish of danger and belief in the impossible. 
NB Must be prepared to travel. -

Her heart quickened. Now this was a game changer if there ever was one. She fumbled through the screen looking for the Apply Now button that was usually so conveniently placed. There wasn’t one. How highly irregular. Instead right at the bottom she found ‘The Small Print’:

- Immediate start date. Applicants desiring to be considered for this position must report to headquarters now. -

The word headquarters was underlined. Expecting a smart website with a nearby address printed in bold for her to google she clicked the mouse. Instantly the email disintegrated. Word by word it simply floated off the page and she was left with nothing but a black screen and three tantalising words:

FOLLOW YOUR FEET

She looked around her. Surely this must be a prank. Only last week someone had brought in a remote controlled helicopter and flown it round the office upsetting documents, hair do’s and nerves in turn. But today there was nothing. No giggling. No unsubtle glances to see if she’d received it. Nothing. All she could hear were the sounds of an argument over an unmet deadline and the whirr of the printer in the corner. She looked back at the screen.

FOLLOW YOUR FEET

She’d always wanted an adventure and she had nothing to leave behind. Not really. She was a careful saver and her rent came out on direct debit. There was enough to cover it for a while. If she disappeared for a month or two it wouldn't matter. Silently she slipped out of her pod and headed for the lift. She bumped into Andrew by the water cooler. 
“Hello Hannah, where are you off to?” he said in his perfected smarmy tone.
“Me? I’m, I’m going on an adventure.”
“Cool. Bring me back triple shot skinny latte would you?” 

The lift door closed and Hannah laughed, in her heart she was already on the road. Freedom beckoned. She was going on an adventure. 

For Chapter Two - The Time Tower - click here. 

© Isla Robertson 2017