Authors: Rowan McAuley
Tags: #ebook, #book
Iris was in her room playing her saxophone. She was learning a new piece for the school band, and the fingering was really tricky.
She was concentrating so hard that she didn’t notice her mum had come in until she was standing right in front of the music stand.
Iris jumped and blew a weird-sounding raspberry through the sax.
‘Mum!’ she squealed. ‘Don’t sneak up on me!’
Her mum sighed. ‘Not you, too! Kick’s just told me off for the same thing.’
Iris looked past her mum to the doorway. There was her little brother, Kick, grinning and giving her the thumbs up with one hand, while he hooked his hearing aids back over his ears with the other.
‘Cool, huh?’ he said.
Iris turned back to her mum. ‘What’s cool? What’s going on? You
interrupt me while I’m practising.’
‘Well …’ said her mum, but before she could say another word, Kick blurted it out.
‘We’re going on holiday!’
‘Really?’ Iris asked, putting down her sax. Kick was always telling dumb jokes, and she thought this might be one of them. ‘When? Where? And why?’
Her mum smiled. ‘It’s very last minute, but Dad just called to say that his boss needs him to do a big presentation tomorrow at the head office, not all that far from where Nan and Pa live,’ she said.
‘So we thought, why don’t we all go and make the trip a family holiday?’
Iris laughed in delight. ‘No way! Nan and Pa? Excellent!’
She hardly ever saw her grandparents, so when she did they always spoilt her and Kick rotten.
‘The only problem,’ their mum went on, ‘is that school doesn’t break up until the end of the week, so –’
Please don’t say it’s not going to
, she begged silently.
Don’t tease us with
a holiday and then say we can’t go!
‘I’ve already spoken with Ms Kyle,’ her mum said calmly. ‘And she’s not worried if you both miss a couple of days this week.’
‘YAAAY!’ shrieked Iris, dancing around in a circle. Kick, who was always ready to go crazy, came over and danced with her, whooping and clapping.
After a while, Iris and Kick settled down. There was only so much celebrating Iris could do before she realised she had a ton of questions to ask.
‘So, Kick,’ Iris said as she pushed her hair off her face. ‘When do we leave?’
‘Well, then, how long are we going for?’ she tried.
Kick shrugged again. ‘Mum didn’t tell me,’ he said. ‘She wanted to tell us together.’
‘Oh.’ Iris looked around. ‘Where has Mum gone, then?’
Iris went off to find her, with Kick following behind. Their mum was in her bedroom, with two suitcases on the bed and the wardrobe doors open.
‘Hey, Mum,’ said Iris. ‘Kick and I were wondering what the plan is.’
‘Were you now?’ her mum smiled. ‘I was wondering when you’d want to know.’
Iris and Kick stood by the bed, watching as their mum folded T-shirts, trousers and a skirt and laid them carefully in the suitcases.
‘Well,’ she said as she packed. ‘Dad’s meeting is early in the morning, so we haven’t got much time to get going.’
Almost none at all
, thought Iris. On their last visit to see Nan and Pa, it had taken a whole day and a whole night to drive there.
So, for this holiday, we’ll have to leave
before dinner tonight to make it in time.
‘Dad has to work back late tonight to get everything ready for his meeting, so we won’t be driving,’ Iris’s mum explained. ‘We’re going by plane instead. And we’ll all stay at Dad’s hotel for the first night.’
This was unbelievable! Iris had never been on a plane before.
She didn’t just shriek, she
While Iris’s dad was working at his office late that night, Iris, her mum and Kick started packing. They also began tidying up because their mum said she liked to return to a spotless house after being on holiday.
And, of course, Iris had to call all her friends to let them know she wouldn’t be at school for the next two days.
She was calling her best friend, Zoe, as her mum was glaring into the fridge.
‘I can’t believe I did a full shop this morning. Look! The fridge is absolutely packed, and we won’t be here to eat it.’
‘Yeah, annoying,’ Iris said, only halflistening to her mum as she waited for someone at Zoe’s to pick up the phone. Iris knew her mum hated wasting food, but a holiday was surely worth a mouldy loaf of bread, wasn’t it?
Zoe finally answered. ‘Hello,’ she puffed, as if she’d been running for miles. ‘Zoe speaking.’
‘Hello, Zoe speaking!’ teased Iris. ‘I was about to hang up. Guess what?’
Iris quickly told Zoe the news, and Zoe said excitedly that Iris would totally love the hotel bathroom. Zoe had stayed in hotels before and always brought back the tiny soaps and mini shampoo bottles that hotels put out for guests to use.
Iris glanced at the clock on the microwave. ‘Better go, Zo,’ she said. ‘I’ve still got to pack and I haven’t called Isabelle yet.’
The more Iris thought about it, the more there was for her to do. She’d have to clean out the fish tank in her room or it would be really gross by the time she got back. She also wanted to tidy up her room a bit, so it would be nice to come home to. And she had to phone Mia and Siri to say she wouldn’t be around after all for the sleep-over they had planned for the school holidays …
Boy, going on a holiday is a lot of work
, she thought, pulling her favourite bag out from under her bed so she could start packing.
But the hard work didn’t seem like a big deal at all when she thought about flying on a plane and staying in a hotel, and then about the great time ahead with her nan and pa. She felt so happy and excited about the holiday, she couldn’t imagine grumbling about a bit of tidying up ever again.
Iris kept whispering to herself in amazement.