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The Gameroid by Isla Benstead, age 10, UK

Amelia was staring at me, eyes full of adventure.

“Wow!” she exclaimed, her voice almost a whisper. The dusky room was gloomy and it looked like an enemy’s base.

“You shouldn’t be here”, a stranger’s voice came through the darkness.

We jumped and my heart pounded with fear.

“Hello, who’s there?” I shouted my voice shaking.

I wanted to run but my feet seemed stuck by invisible glue.

“Go on then, play a game if you wish”, this time his voice was darker.

Amelia looked like a sad puppy. The stranger stepped forward as we stepped back. I put my hand back and felt ‘The Gameroid’.

The hardest game in the arcade. My hand suddenly slipped, switching on the machine.

The stranger laughed evilly.

“You asked for it!”

And suddenly we were plunged into blackness.

I woke, rubbing my eyes and I realised someone was shaking me.

“Stop it!” I exclaimed. As my eyes adjusted to darkness I noticed it was Amelia looking frightened.

“Where are we?” I asked, puzzled.

Amelia grabbed my hand. “I have a feeling we’re inside The Gameroid.”

I squeezed her hand back and my mouth dropped.

“How do you know that?” I frowned.

“It says over there.” She pointed to a sign ‘You’re inside The Gameroid’.

I laughed, but it came out as a wheeze.

Suddenly lights flashed, and a booming voice came out of nowhere.

“I’m Fred. Reveal yourself!”

It sounded like a giant, and a massive shadow loomed over us.

We hugged each other in fright, but to our surprise, a tiny man stepped round the corner with a miniscule speaker.

Amelia laughed in delight. “It’s an Oompa-Loompa!”

I smiled. She was right. He had an orange tinge to his body and his size gave the impression of an Oompa-Loompa. Though I knew it wasn’t wise to laugh.

“If we’re inside The Gameroid, it means these are devil darers – they’re deadly!” I explained.

Amelia’s mouth shaped into an ‘O’. She puffed out her cheeks.

“Wait! That’s where you are wrong. I’m a nice version of a devil darer.”

Fred held out his hand to me politely. This made me flush red and I smiled back. “I’m Pippa”.

Fred sighed, looking at Amelia with hatred. ‘Oh and I’m NOT an Oompa-loompa’. He scratched his nose in a matter of fact way.

“Sorry about Amelia” I said, pursing my lips and giving Amelia a look.

“Will you help us?” I fiddled with my hands.

Him! Help us?” Amelia laughed before Fred could give an answer.

But Fred said politely, “I will help you escape The Gameroid, because I like you Pippa. But keep Amelia quiet”

Walking away, Amelia and I followed him into the darkness. It was some time before we found light.

“Here!” Fred exclaimed abruptly, stopping in front of a train track. “This will take you out of the game, but just be careful about the Hacker.”

Fred’s eyes were grave.

“The Hacker?” Amelia frowned.

“The Hacker is the one who put you inside the game. The one who destroyed all the games in the arcade. If you change the programming you could save us all.” Fred replied simply.

”But how do we get out?” I felt exhausted.

”You know Pippa, you’re clever. Use the Hacker to help you.” Fred backed away back into darkness.

Amelia sighed. Maybe it was simple. I sighed and bit my lip, thinking.

Next minute, we were on a train, going at full speed. Suddenly an eerie voice came out of nowhere.

The Hacker!

“You foolish girls. There’s no escape.” His voice sounded angry.

“Amelia,” I whispered, “keep him chatting”.

Amelia nodded. At the bottom of the train there was a computer.

“It must be the programming of The Gameroid” I realised, whispering to myself.

Exhilaration rushed through my body and suddenly I grabbed Amelia’s hand, pulled the lever and we fell into darkness once more.

I woke, rubbing my eyes and I realised someone was shaking me.

“Pippa! We’re out of the game” said an exhausted voice. As I came to my senses I realised it was Amelia.

“Where did you put the Hacker?” she added.

“I put him where he belongs.”

Amelia asked “How’s Fred going to be with the Hacker inside his game?”

“Oh, I teleported him to Candy Land. He’ll be fine”. I smiled, and added “I’ll tell you everything on the way home.”

And with that we went on the journey back with adventures to tell.

Name: Isla Benstead
Age: 10
Country: United Kingdom

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