She couldn’t quite put her finger on why or how, but everything she knew to be real and safe was suddenly uncertain. Up was down, left was right, this way was that. Her mind was spinning with dizziness, and not in a good way, like when you spin round and round in the park and fall over laughing. It was more like that dizziness you get when you ride a rollercoaster too many times and feel like your head is stuck to the ground and you can’t stand up. Lucy’s arms soon started feeling wobbly and tired. Her legs felt like they were made of mashed potato, and she realized she was losing her fight with the floor. But, oddly enough, the very second Lucy stopped struggling and wriggling, the walls seemed to let her go. Her feet came out first as she plopped out of a hole and fell a few metres, but before she landed she stopped in mid-air, just hovering, like one of those astronauts on the International Space Station. Yep, Lucy was floating, just above the ground. Except the ground wasn’t beneath her feet now – it was above her head, and everything was the wrong way up! The moment Lucy realized this she went toppling up to it with a wet thud, landing next to the hole she’d plopped out of. Lucy was in the Woleb. ‘Whatever the Woleb is,’ she muttered.
She stood up (which was now down), brushed herself off (which was now on) and her head began to feel all twisted with this backwards-ness. She took a step forward (which was now backwards) and stumbled a little as the ground wobbled under her bare feet. It was the strangest thing she’d ever stepped on. It felt warm, damp and squelchy, like standing on a giant tongue. Yuck! thought Lucy. I wish I’d worn my slippers! That’s the thing about having adventures in the middle of the night. You can never be fully prepared for them. The air was hot and misty down here in this soggy corridor, and Lucy felt her T-shirt begin to stick to her arms and back. She slicked her fringe out of her eyes and it stayed there, stuck in place on the side of her forehead by small drops of sweat. The walls were slightly rounded, with ridges on them that arched up over Lucy’s head as though she was standing in a giant throat. The thought made her shiver. It also stank – it was so disgustingly rotten that Lucy could feel her eyes watering and she had to hold her nose.