Thursday, 18 July 2013

Beyond Imagination - Chapter Four

And now with this chapter, you're going to be all up to speed on the newspaper editions of Beyond Imagination. I won't say much about it at risk of being a spoiler to my own story, but I will say that it's high time we got to know Etta a little bit better!

Chapter Four

"The Endless Ocean"
The only thing that Milo was convinced of was that Etta had built a paper boat big enough for both of them to fit into it. He wasn't positive that it would float and even if it did there was no way it could get them across that ocean.
The only thing Milo was positive of was that none of this was going to work.
But as Milo was learning, nothing in this world was exactly what he expected it to be.
He certainly wasn't going to be the same sensible boy leaving this place that he had been upon entering it...
And oh, he was nervous as Etta convinced him to get in the boat as the two of them brought it to the edge of the water. The children of the Oasis waved goodbye to them cheerfully and Ada the Poppet stayed behind. No one was worried except for Milo and he shut his eyes tightly as they floated out into the ocean.
But after he had counted to one hundred exactly one hundred times, Milo opened his eyes to find that the Oasis had completely vanished from view.
Now, Milo and Etta were out in the middle of a vast ocean. Their little boat seemed small compared to it but the friends felt even smaller. It was overwhelming but incredible.
The ocean was crystal blue and shimmered like diamonds had been sprinkled across it. Even more amazing still was the fact that when they would lean over the side of the boat and peer into the water it acted like a mirror.
For the first moment it looked like the sky was staring back up at you. But as Milo saw while he was mesmerized by the view, the water would ripple away from the boat and reveal the world beneath it.
"Look!" Etta gasped and rightfully so. For what the two friends were looking at was truly impossible.
Beneath the water's surface, down, down, down in the deep depths was an assortment of fish in every shape, size and colour. They weaved happily through a shimmering coral reef, the little fish playing hide and go seek amongst the structure. Other fish swam down into what looked like the bottom of the sea.
"It's like a whole different world down there..." Milo said breathlessly.
They could have watched it forever and Etta leaned herself closer to the edge of the water to take a better look. She could have easily tipped the boat with one wrong move and likely would have if a grinning seal's face hadn't popped out of the water so suddenly that it sent Etta jumping back into the boat.
Milo was shaken up by all the rocking their boat was doing and he nearly fell out himself.
"You shouldn't scare people like that!" He shouted, shaking a finger at the seal just like his mother would have.
Just like he knew she was going to once he got home and she found out it was him who ruining her garden with all that digging...
"Scare?" The seal barked out a laugh, leaning himself half way into the boat. From the way he was shaped and the sewing all over him it became obvious that this was another Poppet. "I was just playing." He said simply, swimming backward and then around in a circle like he didn't care that he frightened Etta. "I'm Rupert by the way. Don't bother introducing yourselves. I already know, you're Milo and Etta."
"How did you know our names?" Milo asked suspiciously.
"The water told me." Rupert explained as if it were common knowledge.
"The water talks!?" Etta asked with surprise which was unique since she never found anything strange.
"Why yes; haven't you looked into it yet?" The Poppet asked, ignoring Milo and focusing solely on Etta.
The girl hesitated, like maybe she had something she didn't want to talk about and so Milo piped up in her defence.
"Of course we did, all there were was fish!" He asserted.
"Then you didn't look hard enough!" Rupert replied in an annoyingly smart tone. "You had better try again."
So just as the Poppet said, both Milo and Etta looked into the water this time with the idea of what it wanted to show them and not what they expected to see. At first the image was fuzzy and hard to make out, like a blend of colours that someone put together while finger painting. But after awhile of focusing the colors came away from each other and made a true life-like image.
"It's you!" Milo exclaimed in shock, looking at Etta and then to the girl in the water's image. It certainly was her but she didn't seem like herself. Etta looked miserable and was hiding in a closet. And judging by the stickers on the wall, Milo figured that it must be her own closet.
"What's wrong?" He asked, looking at the real Etta who now seemed very sad too.
"I remember..." She said first. "That was just before you found me. I was hiding in my closet because my family is going to move." Etta explained as she focused on the image of herself. "I wanted to stay there forever, I shut my eyes and then when I opened them I appeared on that street where we met."
"Well you could always stay here." Rupert said quickly, before Milo could get a word in. Swimming back up to them and through the image of Etta so that it rippled away from the water and vanished. "If you keep going, you have to move away eventually. But you could stay here and never move away...ever."
Etta looked tempted, really tempted and that scared Milo because he knew if they never left that he would never get home. And he knew there was no way Etta could be happy just staying here either.
It was then that Milo noticed that their boat had stopped moving. He wasn't certain when it happened but he knew for sure that it wasn't going anywhere now.
"Oh Etta! We can't just stay here..." He told her desperately. "Please tell me you don't want to stay like this forever!" Milo said, searching Etta's face for some sort of answer to what she was thinking.
"...I don't want to leave my house!" Etta cried out with little tears gathering in the corners of her eyes. She was determined to stay at her own house but Milo just couldn't understand why. She seemed to love adventures so much and going to new places was always a discovery.
"I'll show you why you shouldn't just stay stuck..." Milo said uncertainly. He looked over the edge of the boat, giving Rupert the seal Poppet an annoyed look and then stared deeply into the ocean. Milo thought hard, his mind went to Etta and how she didn't want to move, how she seemed to enjoy their travels together. As he meditated on that thought, more colours started to appear in the water. Milo had to focus harder than he ever had in his life; even harder than when he was learning multiplication.
He was rewarded though as an image appeared so cleary that he gave a loud gasp. "Look Etta! Look!"
Glancing listlessly over at the water, Etta didn't seem interested at first but once she saw that it was a picture of her leaving her old home holding both her parents hands, she quickly wanted to see it. "What happened!? How did it change?" She asked franticly, looking at Milo.
"It's another adventure." He explained. "I thought about what your next adventure would be." Smiling at her Milo hoped that Etta would understand.
She didn't seem to want to, but Milo kept his eyes on her and looked so hopeful that she cracked a little smile.
"You really think it will be an adventure?" Etta asked softly.
"I know it will be! Just watch..." Milo said, pointing at the image as it showed them getting into their car to follow the moving van.
As Etta came to accept this, the friend's boat started to move again, the image going with them and guiding them along so that she could see the road along the ocean that they would follow to get to their new house. There a huge bridge they had to cross and then a land with fields, animals and quaint houses. That road led into a city with interesting people and fascinating buildings that the Etta in the picture couldn't want to explore.
Neither Etta or Milo noticed but the whole time their boat was moving because Rupert was the one pushing it along the ocean until there was perfect land in sight. It was a beach with a thick forest that you couldn't see past.
The friends were watching the vivid image in the water so closely that they only noticed the beach when the picture vanished just before Etta could see what hew new street would look like.
"No! I wanted to see the street! Everything else was so pretty..." She said, looking at Milo who was smiling at her, proud that Etta had been brave and moved on.
"Then you'll just have to find out for yourself what it looks like!" Rupert said, flopping onto the shore along with the boat.
Etta nodded. "Right, I will!" She declared with determination.
But looking past her, Milo wasn't so convinced that they would have to worry about where she was moving at this very moment. "We've got something else to deal with!" He said in shock, pointing to the forest before them that wasn't made of trees but from long, long, LONG legs that belonged to...giants!

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