Getting more and more behind on the word count, but it’s been a busy week. I wrote a 1500 word blog post on using Instafreebie to boost your readership, over on Nicholas Rossis’ blog. I’ve you’ve ever wanted a way to grow your email list, give it a read.
Back to the challenge: Last time, the children were worrying about how to hide the book and their new jungle-in-a-bedroom look. They discovered that closing the book hides the jungle. The children are now looking forward to getting home from school to open the book once more…
If you want to catch up with the story so far, you can do so HERE. Onto today’s part…
When Flynn got home from school, his mum asked him how his day had been. She always asked him, and his response was always the same: Okay. Today, however, he couldn’t remember what had happened. There had been lessons, he was sure of that. Science? He thought he had played football with his friends during one of the breaks, or it could have been basketball. The truth was, Flynn had spent the day thinking about the book, and the jungle it held within. So when his mum asked him what he had been up to that day, he said ‘don’t remember.’ His mum took that to mean that it had been another day where nothing special had happened, nothing worth mentioning. Nothing he cared to mention to his mum, anyway.
Flynn had waited at the gates to meet Ellie. He couldn’t remember the last time he had waited for her. He was usually with his friends; she with hers and never the twain shall meet. He told his friends that his mum had asked him to wait for Ellie after school today, and said he would see them tomorrow. Some of them made some smart remarks, about him being a mummy’s boy, but he didn’t care.
Ellie seemed to have had the same idea, as when she walked out of the gates, she was alone. She saw Flynn and rushed over to him. “No friends today?”
“I thought we could get home quicker if it was just me and you.”
“Come on, then.” Flynn set off towards home, with Ellie following along behind him. His pace meant that Ellie had to jog along to keep up, but she didn’t mind, she wanted to open the book as much as Flynn did.
After Flynn had offered his ‘don’t remember’ answer, both children went upstairs, citing homework as a reason. Mum frowned at this sudden desire to do school work at home, but shrugged and let them get on with it.
The pair went straight into Ellie’s room, where the book was, and shut the door.
“Where is it?” Flynn was ready to open the book again.
“I hid it.” Ellie crawled under her bed and pulled out a teddy bear with a zip down its front, where her pyjamas lived. She pulled the zip open and reached inside, removing the book. She crawled back out and placed the book on her desk where she did her homework. There would be no homework tonight. “Do you think it be okay?”
“I don’t know,” said Flynn. “Let’s do it.”
Ellie opened the book and turned to the first page. The pop up trees stood out as she fully opened the book. They still looked real to Ellie, and she touched them again to make sure they weren’t.
This time, the transformation was much quicker. Branches extended through all of the walls and some through the ceiling; the carpet vanished, quickly replaced by earth, vines and creepers that snaked across the room; flowers sprang into being, some on the floor, some suspended part way up tree trunks that grew from floor to ceiling in seconds.
The children were forced to move around the room as the jungle came in to being, to avoid being knocked off their feet. After a while, the rate of growth slowed to a crawl, giving the children the opportunity to look at the jungle in Ellie’s bedroom.
“Do you think mum heard that?” Ellie said.
“I don’t know, but if the jungle is only in this room, then maybe the sound is only in this room.”
“Go and look out in the hallway, see if there’s anything there.”
Flynn thought that sounded like a good idea, but where the door should have been, there were long drooping palm fronds and grasses and mosses climbing up from the floor. There was still a line visible along the bottom of the door where the light from outside crept in. There was part of a poster visible part way up the door. Flynn assumed it was some pop star that Ellie adored. Right now, this woman, this girl, was missing all the left side of her face and most of her jaw and neck on the right side. The moss that covered it seemed to be growing at an almost imperceptible rate, but growing it was, bit by bit devouring the rest of the poster; the rest of the door.
“I can’t see the handle!” Flynn began to pull at the leaves and branches, tearing the foliage away, tossing it behind him.
Ellie hadn’t heard him. She was turning around in the centre of the room, looking at what had been her bedroom only minutes ago. The light that hung in the centre of her room was all but gone, consumed by twisting vines, leaves, and creepers. The window had been all but covered, throwing the room into an early afternoon twilight. Her bed was gone. Where it had been, there was now a giant tree trunk, felled and rotting in the humidity, covered in mosses and fungi.
“I think we need to go,” said Ellie. The early excitement at this amazing find was rapidly being replaced by a creeping panic, heightened by the sound of Flynn’s voice.
“Hold on,” said Flynn. “The book is still there,” he pointed to a moss-laden rock that lay where the desk had been, “we can just close it like we did yesterday.”
“Right!” Ellie bent to pick the book up, but Flynn stepped in her way.
“Just wait.” Flynn stepped in front of his sister. He held her shoulders, his head swivelling, taking in the rapidly-disappearing room. “Let’s see what happens if we leave it open.” His momentary panic was receding, replaced by his thirst for adventure. It wasn’t every day that a ten-year-old boy from Nottingham got to go into the Rain Forest. He wanted to see what else there was to be seen.
I promise I’ll catch up! I’ll get another post done tomorrow. Promise.