It is a time of bizarre “plagues”. The city where the Bugg family resides completely disappears, consumed in a Plague of Daytime Darkness. The family’s old butler, Bentley, and the two Bugg children, acrobatic Athena and brainy Odysseus, narrowly escape. They travel from town to town, hoping to find the children’s parents. To earn money they put on shows featuring the incredible acrobatic skills of Athena.
Bentley keeps a journal as they travel, relating one particular adventure: the making of the film Bad Day in Gladland by Prodigious Productions. At Prodigious Productions they learned of other plagues, such as the Plague of Getting Lost, the Plague of Anti-Gravity and the Plague of Flying Fish. Events turned dangerous when the greedy director of the film company and his scheming assistant became convinced that one of the actors knew a recipe for creating gold. It was up to Bentley, Odysseus, Athena and Defoe to save the day.