The Chapterbuzz challenge is to write 10k words in March, but leo, I would like to invite you to read the story as it is written. It is a first draft, so bear that in mind! You can search for the other parts on this blog, or you can jump over to the Challenge website and read the story so far. You can do that by clicking HERE.
Some catching up to do here, so it’s a slightly longer read today:
As soon as the front door closed, Ellie grabbed her book from the pile of shopping and turned to her brother. “You want to come and look at it with me?” She clutched the book to her chest, almost bouncing with excitement.
“Not really.” Flynn shrugged. There was Xbox to be played and TV to be watched. Books were for school and this was the weekend, so no school tomorrow.
Ellie knew better than to press him. He was only two years older, but his priorities had changed. He wanted to play with her less and less with each passing week and increasingly spent more time in his room texting his friends and playing Xbox. That was okay, though, as Ellie had her new book, and at the moment, books were exciting, especially new ones.
She rushed up the stairs and in to her bedroom. She threw herself down on to the bed, dropping the book in front of her. Before opening it, she brushed off the dust that had gathered on the cover. She drew her fingers around the edges and slipped them under the front cover. Holding her breath, she opened the book.
There was nothing written on the inside cover, but when she turned over the first page, she was met with the title, Jungle. It was written in the finest calligraphy, not that Ellie would know that; to her it was ‘fancy writing’ and that was enough.
On the left side page, there was a scribbled inscription in faded black ink:
There were also shapes and symbols that meant nothing to Ellie.
The paper was thicker than regular paper. It felt more like thin card, and when Ellie turned the page, she saw why. Trees sprang out of the book as she folded the paper back. It was a pop-up book of sorts. She had seen a lot of pop-up books in her short life, but none like this. This was by far the most intricate that she had ever seen. She had to touch the trees with her finger to make sure they were just pictures on card and not miniature copies of the originals. She imagined that she could smell the leaves and put her face close the book and inhaled. The book smelled musty and old, but if asked, she would have said that there was something of the jungle in what she smelled in those pages. There was no text. None that she could read, anyway. The symbols she had seen earlier were here, but she didn’t need to understand them to know that she was looking at the Rain Forest. Her class had completed a project on it at school and Ellie could tell you how much of the jungle was being cut down every day, but they hadn’t learned anything about these symbols.
She flipped to the next page. Another pop-up picture brought a smile to her face. Two palm trees stood out of the pages, with what looked like vines and creepers draped between them. Ellie had to blink and touch the trees again, as for a moment, she couldn’t be sure that they weren’t real. She imagined she could see droplets of water on the palm fronds, slowly falling to earth.
The more she stared at the image, the more it felt like she was falling, falling into the jungle. The image seemed to fill her vision, reaching towards and around her. There was still an earthy fragrance that reached her nostrils, and Ellie thought she was starting to perspire.
“Ellie!” Mrs Lawson shouted. “Dinner time.”
Ellie blinked and she was back in her bedroom, pink wallpaper and floral curtains. She glanced down at the book. It still showed two trees standing out of the book, but now that’s just what it was: a picture of palm trees in the Rain Forest. No dripping humidity, no earthy smell. Just a book. She closed it and placed it on her shelf. “Coming mum!”
That’s the last couple of days in the bag. Let me know what you think. The whole bit about Cabral – I’m not sure where it’s going. What do you think?