Not that long ago, on an earth similar to ours, stood Windburne; a city where the wind never stopped. The city was founded near an ocean in which the waves permanently curved. Houses and buildings were built on slants with the house of bosses being the most crooked building of all. Trees naturally warped sideways and all the people of the town stood permanently bent over; occasionally scraping a big nose along the ground as they walked. The only things that appeared flat in Windburne were the ground and what lay directly upon it. Windburnians knew of the illusion though, as their history told them – the earth had always been round. For Winburnians life was normal and they knew no other way but to sit in their curved chairs and sleep in their crescent beds.
Timothy Bent was a typical Windburnian; that was until he reached the age of nine. At Timothy’s ninth birthday party, heavy raindrops shaped like mini flying saucers prevented any outdoor game or activity. Timothy was happy enough to read a borrowed copy of Bender while his elder brothers, Apollo and Eric, became restless. They started jumping on Timothy’s bed as if it were a trampoline.
Timy, Timy is a girly bee,
Doesn’t play football,
Can’t climb trees,
All he does is read fantasy,’ they teased.
‘Stop, stop, you pit-bulls,’ Timothy pleaded, holding back tears but his brothers bounced higher and higher with their heads almost touching the ceiling. Apollo put in one huge bounce in an effort to reach the ceiling but he and Eric came down with a thump. Timothy’s bed was broken. It was Timothy’s worst birthday ever. With no spare bed, Timothy was forced to sleep on the floor.
‘When can I get a new bed?’ Timothy asked his dad.
‘I’ll think about it if your behaviour improves,’ his dad barked back knowing next week’s wages were already earmarked for last month’s rent.
‘But what have I done?’ Timothy whimpered. ‘It wasn’t me.’
At first, Timothy was uncomfortable laying almost straight but as the days turned into weeks and then months, his back gradually straightened out until he was the first person in Windburnian history to walk with a straight back.