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Authors: Danny Parker

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Lola stepped out from her hiding spot with a flourish. ‘The Plastic Prince will be proud,' she said. ‘You got here very quickly! Very quickly indeed.'

Buddy smiled gratefully at Lola. But she wasn't sure her plan was going to work.

The Almost Toys were probably going to grab her and throw her in prison. Or whatever it was that Almost Toys did to real girls who were caught stealing
top-secret plans
.

With Lola by his side, Buddy found his voice again. ‘The Plastic Prince asked us to break into the safe, to see if the alarm worked,' he boomed. ‘And to see how quickly you could get here!'

Some of the Almost Toys started to look around at one another.

‘This was a test,' said Lola. ‘And you've passed!'

Buddy was nodding in an important kind of way. ‘You will be rewarded.'

‘But the final part of the test,' said Lola in her best adult voice, ‘is to return the secret plans to the Plastic Prince.'

The Almost Toys all looked at one another.

‘Which of you brave guards will take these plans back to your leader?' Lola added.

There was a pause. By now, Lola's heartbeat was
racing
. She was sure the Almost Toys could hear it.

Suddenly there was a rush as every plastic hand shot into the air.

Almost Toys were hopping up and down on the spot, chanting, ‘Me, me! Oh, choose me!'

Buddy offered the folder to the nearest Almost Toy. It grabbed the folder and began marching back along the corridor.

Not wanting to be left out, all the other Almost Toys marched off after it.

Lola and Buddy watched as the entire army moved back down the corridor. They weren't even trying to march in time now.

Felix's furry head appeared from his hiding place behind the door. ‘Well, that seemed to go well,' he said, beaming. He was still clutching the second folder.

Lola smiled. ‘They aren't very bright, are they?'

‘No,' said Felix. ‘But when they find out they've been tricked, they'll be back!'

Lola, Felix and Buddy crept back along the corridor to the plastic bedroom. They watched for Almost Toys all the way.

‘What was in the folder you gave the Almost Toys?' asked Felix.

‘Oh, not much. Lists, some letters, and the recipe for the Plastic Prince's
favourite
ice-cream.'

Buddy and Felix laughed.

‘Will you come home with us, Felix?' asked Buddy, opening the door of the tall plastic wardrobe.

‘I can't,' said Felix. ‘I must return these plans to my father. The Plastic Prince has not been stopped. We've slowed him down, but we haven't defeated him yet.'

Lola felt the floor vibrate again. She looked up at Felix.

‘They're coming back,' Felix said. ‘You need to hurry.'

‘Will you be OK?' asked Lola.

Felix nodded. ‘I'll stick to the shadows,' he said. ‘Go now. And
thank you
both for your help. I'll see you again.'

Buddy and Lola climbed into the tall plastic wardrobe.

They climbed
into
the plastic wardrobe, but Lola climbed
out of
…

Lola climbed
out of
her toy box. They were safe and sound, back in her bedroom.

Lola pulled Buddy out of the toy box and popped him on the pillow on her bed.

‘Bless your buttons, Buddy,' she said. ‘I think your new glasses and moustache suit you. What do you think? Shall we keep them?'

Lola decided she wouldn't get Nick back for it after all. It wasn't worth starting a war over.

But her favourite toy was silent. He could only talk to her in the Kingdom. Lola sighed. She missed having proper chats with Buddy.

She
always
had mixed feelings when she came back from the Kingdom. She liked being home. But she was sad to be away from all the adventures.

Lola smiled. Then she started to giggle. She just couldn't resist it. She grabbed Buddy and jumped back into the toy box.

‘Come on, Buddy boy!' she cried. ‘Let's go again!' And she closed the lid above her.

The Plastic Palace

published in 2015 by

Hardie Grant Egmont

Ground Floor, Building 1, 658 Church Street

Richmond, Victoria 3121, Australia

www.hardiegrantegmont.com.au

This ebook is also available as a print edition in all good bookstores.

A CiP record for this title is available from the National Library of Australia.

eISBN 9781743583555

All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced, stored in a retrieval system or transmitted in any form by any means, electronic, mechanical, photocopying, recording or otherwise, without the prior written permission of the publishers and copyright holders.

Text copyright © 2015 Danny Parker

Illustrations copyright © 2015 Guy Shield

Series design copyright © 2015 Hardie Grant Egmont

Design by Stephanie Spartels

We welcome feedback from our readers. All our ebooks are edited and proofread vigorously, but we know that mistakes sometimes get through. If you spot any errors, please email
[email protected]
so that we can fix them for your fellow ebook readers.

BOOK: Plastic Palace (9781743583555)
3.11Mb size Format: txt, pdf, ePub
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