The At Home Hero


When Benji, finds himself suddenly in forced quarantine as a result of a nationwide virus, he needs to find things to do during the two-week total lockdown. With the help of Mum and Dad, the three come up with a series of daily activities to inspire creativity, fight against boredom and learn a little something about the importance of not spreading their germs to others. A story told in rhyme to help explain why staying home can save lives, but that you don’t just have to survive, you can work together to thrive.

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The At Home Hero by Sam M. Raife

Benji is a superhero.

But with no powers. Zero. Forced to do nothing but stare out the window.

He doesn’t fight crime, or huge monsters of slime. He doesn’t find time to battle Frankenstein in the nighttime and end it with a witty punchline.

Benji can’t fly, into the sky, way up high, shouting “Goodbye, Mr Bad Guy” whilst swinging a sword like a samurai or shooting an arrow and hitting the bullseye.

But Benji is still a Hero. No powers. Zero. He just stays home and stares out the window.

Day One was lots of fun, hanging out in the garden sun. The endless run. Benji shooting bubbles from a gun. Until Mum explained he couldn’t play with his chums and that would help protect everyone.

Day Two they live streamed animals at the zoo. Looking for a panda that does Kung fu instead of just sat eating bamboo. They played peekaboo with a cockatoo and Mum made beef stew whilst Benji watched a kangaroo cause a hullabaloo. But still Benji was feeling blue and couldn’t help but say “A-A-ACHOO”.

Day Three Benji wanted to be free. So Dad made him a teepee and sang “let it be” and a song about being “under-the-sea” despite being off key. By the end of the day he felt less like a detainee as he sat on his Mums knee, rocking with glee singing about the deep blue sea-sea-sea.

Day Four was a bore, as Dad did a chore and mum felt pretty poor. All Benji wanted to do was explore.

Suddenly, he heard a roar, a dinosaur, running, like a carnivore towards a brontosaur. Lava became the floor, so Benji had to use nothing but parkour to get from the sofa to the door and by bed time all he wanted to do was snore.

Day Five, Mum came alive. She taught him to Jive, then they ran round like Bonnie and Clyde. At night time, Mum hugged him tight and said they would thrive, not just survive.

On Day Six, Dad was sick, so Mum taught him a few magic tricks. Benji was transfixed, what could be done with just his hands and some chopsticks. Then he ate cake mix and had a picnic whilst Mum and Dad took in the politics.

Seven they made a rainbow and placed it in the window. Then watched a film with a lot of snow, that sang a song that said to “let it go”. In the evening, Benji used a domino to make a fabulous floor show, of a spinning tornado that all fell down with a big blow.

Day Eight, things were great. Mum invited his best mate, to a virtual play date. Benjis Dad played Dire Straits and Mum taught him to meditate. The news said “we need to all pull our weight”, “Stay at home on every estate”. Mum and Dad made plans to isolate, whilst Benji got to stay up late.

On Day Nine, the weather wasn’t fine. Mum had no choice but to resign. Dad decided “it’s cinema time, the perfect day come rain or shine”, old movies and clementine. They watched one about stopping crime, and another about fixing time. Then followed up with Christmas time and for mum, one about Valentine.

Day Ten. Wet Again. So Mum told Dad to make a Den. A giant pillow fortress, that could hold one thousand men. And then. Practising with a Pen. To write his name…”B”…”E”…”N”.

Eleven they made pet rocks. painting one to look like a fox. It was bright orange with white spots. Next, Benji helped Dad sort the socks and they raced to find the dots. The winner was the first, to tie them into knots. They ended the day, banging on pots, wooden blocks and bottle tops but the most amusing sound came from a giant cardboard box.

On day Twelve the three were elves. Magical ones, not sat on shelves. They learnt protective spells to keep them safe from harmful cells. Then they phoned Grandma and Grandad, who said “Stay home. Look after yourselves.”

Day Thirteen, was a dream, Benji did an online fitness regime, then Mum did home-made ice-cream, which they ate in a sunbeam, donned with sunscreen listening to Springsteen (or more likely, Dancing Queen). Followed by garden games involving wolverine, and night time dressed up in Halloween.

Finally Fourteen. Last day of Quarantine. Dad made special cuisine, with an aubergine & frozen protein singing “Come on Eileen”, whilst Mum made Benji home-made Plasticine and made a figurine, from a magazine of lightning McQueen.

No one said isolation would be easy. It would take effort to not just be sleepy. But the cause cares very deeply, don’t spread your germs wide and freely. Be like Benji. Don’t be Greedy.

Benji is a Superhero. No powers. But a Hero. Because he stays home. Infecting Zero.

About the Author.

Sam Raife is a Senior SEO at Blueclaw Media, but in his spare time he likes to write children’s books for his son, Benji. During a recent conversation with Benji, Sam and his wife struggled to find the right words to explain about the impact Covid-19 was having on all their lives and why Benji couldn’t see his friends, his grand-parents and why Dad was all of a sudden working from home (although Benji thinks this is actually pretty awesome). Benji’s Mum came up with a plan. If her superhero loving son, can be told he is saving the world just by staying home, then this might be a message he can understand. So, Sam got to work, and wanting to do more than just write a story, came up with fourteen days worth of activities inspired by those shared online.

© Sam M. Raife

At Home Hero

Written & Illustrated by Sam M. Raife

All rights reserved. This book or parts thereof may not be reproduced in any form, stored in any retrieval system, or transmitted in any form by any means – electronic, mechanical, photocopy, recording or otherwise without prior written permission from the Author.

For further information or requests contact:

Sam Raife

[email protected]

The book is a work of fiction based on the authors’ experiences. Names, characters, places, events and incidents are either products of the authors imagination or used in a fictitious manner. This book is intended as a work of fiction not to provide practical advice or information.