Ella is the quiet girl at school. She has no friends- apart from the annoying Star, who won't leave her alone for a second. But suddenly, when the pair find themselves in a world of Queens, magic and mystery, they figure that this is the time to work together...


1. The Hole

"Spotty Swotty!"

"Get a life, you nerd!"

"You are SUCH a weirdo, Ella Mitchell!" So, there I was. Doing the usual post-school walk home, with popular girls yelling behind me. Don't worry, like I said, it's usual. I held on tight to my duffle bag, and picked up a pace, almost running. But the girls kept following, the comments getting meaner at every step. But I finally lost them- I always lose them at the same place- Honeysuckle Avenue. It's where the police station is, so I guess that they just get scared and dart off. Except Karl Star, who zoomed up behind me on his skateboard.

"That was a close one, Ella!" he said. 

"Karl, they weren't even chasing you," I told him. "Nobody is interested in you. You're not a dork, you're not popular... you're just, well..."

"I know. Oh, and call me Star by the way; it'll add to my street cred!"

"How can you add to what you don't have?" I teased, but 'Star' just grinned and ran his fingers through his ragged, blonde hair. He followed me along to my estate, where the houses are pristine-clean and the lush green lawns are mowed to perfection. 

"Nice home you've got yourself here!" he pointed out. "I just live with my mum in a stinky flat." I just nodded. I was too busy scanning for Jenna, my little sister, riding around on her pretty pink bicycle. If she saw me hanging out with Star, she'd turn it into a love situation for sure. But luckily, she wasn't there; neither was mum in her spotty blouses, or dad in his lawyer suit, or Granny with her ever-growing wool collection. I breathed a sigh of relief. 

"Wanna hang?" Star asked.  I thought. I didn't want to go and  hang out with my family. Let me explain: my mum was a snob, and that is probably the POLITE way to say it. She didn't like animals, or people who had holes in their shirts, or mess, or paint. If I ever came in muddy after playing at the park with my friends, she'd go off on one, and run me a bath immediately, then lecture me about germs and hygiene. Dad basically had no time. He worked from six in the morning until four in the evening, in a posh office in London. If I ever tried to speak to him, Monday-Saturday, he'd just dismiss me like I was an annoying fly that he wanted to let out of an open window forever. Jenna is just a typical rainbows-and-ponies seven year old- and she's eight years younger  than me. EIGHT! So we had nothing in common; at least I thought we didn't. And Granny- well, she didn't have a clue. We'll leave it at that. 

"Sure," I said to Star. "I know a place- there's this little park along the road. Come on!" I lead him to my private chill zone- well, it's really just an empty, old park with rusty swings and a bench and a wall to bounce balls off. Star looked amazed.

"Awesome!" he laughed. "This is the best skate park ever!" 

"There's a wall that you can use as a ramp just over..." But my voice trailed away. The wall had a huge, creepy hole, right in the middle of it. It couldn't have crumbled, or been knocked- it was an almost perfect circle, smooth and central. "What the?" 

"I wonder what that's for?" Star thought aloud, confused. 

"Maybe there's some kind of clue on the other side?" I suggested. "I won't jump over it; it's way too high. I'll have to crawl through." So I did. I shoved my duffle bag under the bench and got down on my hands and knees. I made my way through, careless... but when I turned to crawl back through, the wall wasn't there. Just a huge, giant silver gate and, on the other side, serious looking men with bow and arrows. Behind me, there was towering trees, looking glum and droopy. Just then, I felt a cold hand on my shoulder. It started dragging me away, backwards, further and further from the gate. 

"STAR! HELP! PLEASE- CLIMB THROUGH!" And I was just able to see him stumble through, a terrified look on his face, before I blacked out. 

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