Friday, 2 August 2013

Beyond Imagination - Chapter Five

When I started to develop the Summer Reading Program for this year, it started with a series of images or almost painting in my mind that gave me the areas that Milo and Etta would visit. And honestly, before Milo or Etta even exsisted, this place that they visit in Chapter Five was an image in my mind.

Because of that, this Chapter was very special for me, making it a lot of fun to write and work with that initial concept and shape it into a part of this story which had grown so special to me.

Chapter Five

"The Forest of Giant, Giants"
After traveling across the ocean in a folded paper boat, it would seem that this adventure couldn't get anymore un-ordinary than it already was. But standing on the store with a forest of giants in front of them only proved to Milo and Etta that they were in a world beyond imagination and that defied any possible limits.
"If you squint a lot they kinda look like trees..." Etta said in a tone that was neither convincing nor certain.
"Not really." Milo replied solemnly before looking over his shoulder to ask for advice from Rupert the seal Poppet who had crossed the ocean with them.
But the Poppet was gone!
And so was their boat!
"I guess we can't go back now..." Milo groaned a bit. He wasn't very excited to go romping through a forest of gigantic people. "What if one of them steps on us?" He asked Etta, looking as uncertainly as a boy his age could possibly look.
Looking out at the crowd of people who made up the forest, Etta pouted a bit as she thought. They couldn't see who these people were because their heads were high above the clouds and she doubted that they would ever hear her or Milo; even if they shouted and threw a tantrum. So there was no sense in that.
"Well, they just won't." Etta concluded. "We're really small and they're really big which means we're super fast and their pretty slow. So we can make it through without getting stepped on if we're smart about it."
Well, Milo was smart. Or at least he thought he was smart. So maybe things wouldn't be so hard as they looked. Nodding at Etta he went up beside her and held onto her hand. He was nervous but didn't want to really say it so he would just hold her hand as they entered the forest. "Okay, we can do this..." He finally said, stepping forward with his friend into the shade of the giants.
From the inside, the forest looked impossibly more fantastic than it had from the shore. All the giants wore long pants so that they even covered some of certain ones' shoes; which gave the illusion of endless trees made from fabric instead of wood. A lot of them were plain colours like beige, navy, black or grey but there some that were cute and even hilarious! Pinstripes and plain stripes, flowery and frilly, pretty and preposterous. It made the place look very cheery compared to the overpowering exterior of the forest and that did wonders to banish Milo's fears.
Etta wasn't nervous in the least either, she was skipping between the giants and pulling Milo along as he tripped and bounced behind her.
"Wow, this is really fun!!" Etta shouted, causing an echo throughout the forest that made all of the giants start shifting. Both friends gasped right away and were sent flying as they tried to avoid a giant foot from stepping on them. They had been holding hands but had to let go of each other to both run away from the gargantuan shoes which made noise like thunder coming out of the ground.
When the giants finally settled down and the noise went away, Milo and Etta stood beside one another very still and very quiet. And in the silence of the forest, there came a noise that sounded familiar and strange at the same time.
"Did you hear that?" Etta whispered so softly that Milo had to strain to hear her.
" sounds like something I've heard before..." He replied. "Kind of like when I went to the zoo with my mom and we saw...the monkeys!"
And as true as can be the sound coming from a distance was the 'ooing', 'ahhing' and 'eeing' of a monkey. It didn't matter whether you've seen them in person like Milo or on television as Etta had before; there was no denying that it was a monkey.
"It doesn't sound very happy either." Was Etta's observation. "We should go see if everything is okay..."
Milo wasn't entirely happy about this since all he wanted to do was get out of there as quickly as his legs could carry him. But there was someone in trouble and so he agreed and the two of them pushed on towards the monkey in the distance.
Approaching the source of the noise, Milo and Etta saw that there was a monkey who had been trapped by a giant stepping on the tip of his long tail.
"Hey! Over here!" The animal called to them in a squeaky sort of voice that only a monkey could have.
Once they had reached the exact point where he was, it was no surprise to find that this was a Poppet, just like the rest of the animals that had met them on their travels.
"Vance is stuck! Vance in stuck!" The monkey told them frantically.
"Vance?" Etta asked, looking around to see if she could find someone else who was also trapped.
"I think he's talking about himself..." Milo said, looking seriously at the Poppet.
"Boy is right!" Vance yelped. "Vance is stuck!"
"Then we'll get you free!!" Etta proclaimed heroically.
"But how? If we shout the whole group of giants will move again..." Milo pointed out in a discouraged way.
Etta thought hard about what they could do and how her parents would get her to move when she decided to play a rousing game of stay in one spot forever and ever.
"Tickling!" She suddenly shouted, recalling how her father would often have to tickle her to make her move and ignoring Milo's protests she dashed over to the giant.
Ticking the giant's ankle, Etta giggled for effect but those giggles quickly turned into wild laughter as the foot of the giant lifted and she held onto it tightly. From where she was, Etta could see that the Poppet had gotten away and so, focused on making sure she didn't fall off of the wiggling foot.
"Be careful Etta!" Milo screamed up to her.
But she was having too much fun! "This is great!!" Etta shouted back. "YAY!" She cried in joy as the giant tried to shake her off. It all felt like a very fun ride at an amusement park, the kind that most people were nervous to ride except for the very brave or very reckless. Well Etta was made up of equal parts bravery and recklessness and so this was the perfect combination.
The giant was determined though and Etta couldn't hang on much longer. So with one last shake, Etta went soaring in the air and plummeting to the ground much quicker than anyone really should fall. But luckily they had made a new friend in the monkey Poppet and he was the one to break her fall. Landing on Vance was just like falling on a pillow and Etta was giggling gleefully when Milo came running over with concern all over his face.
"Vance saved girl!" The monkey said proudly as he stumbled around, dazed from having someone fall on top of him. It seemed that maybe she had knocked some of his stuffing out too because there was a tear in Vance the monkey's arm with fluff sticking out of it.
"Etta you're okay!" Milo cried, grabbing onto Etta and hugging her tightly. He had been afraid that she would get hurt or that they would get separated, it had never felt so good to have this crazy, giddy, noisy girl around. They were true friends after everything they had been through.
"Can I do it again!?!" Etta said excitedly as she returned Milo's hug. "It was so much fun!"
Milo shook his head and laughed as he wiped some tears out of his eyes. "No! Of course not, don't be silly." He told her.
They might have stayed there hugging for a bit longer but Vance was quickly running around them like a crazy monkey. He really already was a crazy monkey but when he was making himself dizzy by running in circles he seemed even more dotty.
"Giants are restless!" He told them, tugging on Milo's sweater and then on Etta's sock. "Run! Run!" And without saying anything else Vance ran and with such nervous monkey noises that Etta and Milo just had to follow him.
It turned into a mad dash as the giants stirred, each one walking together like one person in the opposite direction of Vance, Milo and Etta. The three had to jump, somersault and even hop from one giant foot to another in order to get out.
And once the trio had escaped from the giants and turned to look back at where they were going, they saw that all the giants were walking slowly and steadily towards the ocean where each one eventually stepped inside. No matter how deep it had been when Milo and Etta were looking inside the giants were even taller than that so even when the crowd was crossing the ocean, their heads were still in the clouds.
"Boy, girl and Vance made it!" Their Poppet friend said hopping up and down and waving goodbye to the giants.
"We really did it!" Etta said happily, looking at Milo who didn't seem to be watching the giants but was looking down at his shoes like he didn't want to turn around.
And for a good reason too, Milo had the strangest feeling that something spooky was behind them.

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