Check out the full story so far HERE.
Yesterday, we left the children in the jungle in Ellie’s bedroom. Furniture has been transformed, as has the humidity. This time, the children decide to turn a page…
“But what if the book goes?”
“We’ll hold it.” Flynn reached down and picked up the book, careful to leave it wide open.
The children stood together, as the jungle grew around them, Flynn with his arm around Ellie’s shoulder. They watched, as Ellie’s bedroom window grew progressively darker, until eventually, the last sliver of light was gone, replaced by branches, leaves, and vines. Once the light from the window had gone and the gap under the door was covered up, the jungle appeared to stop growing. The crunching, rasping sound that accompanied the growing branches and tree trunks was silenced. It was as if the jungle had finally come to life in a little girl’s bedroom in a three up, two down semi-detached house in Nottingham. The children could hear birdcalls somewhere in the distance and insects close by.
“That’s amazing!” shouted Flynn. Looking upwards through the trees and branches, he could see the blue sky and sun, delivering what meagre light there was, to the floor of the jungle. He reached out a hand to touch one of the many tree trunks that now surrounded them ran his hand down it. “It feels real,” he said, mouth hanging open, head leaned back, following the line of the trunk as far as he could see, before it disappeared into the canopy overhead.
“It is real!” Ellie ran in circles around Flynn, allowing her outstretched hand to brush up against any of the foliage it could reach, anxiety, for the moment, forgotten.
“Look at your bed!” Flynn pointed towards the fallen tree trunk that now lay where her bed had been. The covering of moss that lay on it looked a lot older than the five minutes it took to create it.
“Look at my cupboard!” Ellie said. Flynn turned to see the trunks of three palm trees rising from the spot that her cupboard previously occupied. She giggled as she walked over to it and wrapped her arms around one of the trees and laid her face against the bark.
For several minutes, the children walked around the room, giggling, pointing at this tree and that shrub or this patch of moss and that clump of ferns. It was Flynn that finally brought their game to a halt, placing his arm across his sister’s chest.
“What happens if you turn the page?”
For a moment, Ellie stared at the book in Flynn’s hands. “Well, I’ve already seen the second page.”
“What was on it?”
“More trees. Some flowers I think. Mostly just more trees.”
“Okay, but what do you think will happen if we turn the page now?”
“Let’s find out.” Before Ellie had a chance to object, Flynn flipped a page of the book he held. As Ellie had said, there were more trees and they stood up tall as he opened the book. They look as real as the trees did on the first page. Not as real as the trees in the bedroom, but for a picture book, they were good.
Ellie jumped as there was a rumbling sound behind her, and the log that had been her bed seemed to dissolve before her eyes, creepers retreated into the distance, leaves folded up into nothing. When they had gone, other features began to grow into existence: where the log had been, there was now a small hole that filled up with water as she watched. New trees emerged on the far side, different in variety, but equally as tall and imposing. White flowers sprang into life off to her left. New vines dropped from the canopy above.
Ok, that’s enough for today. I think I have seen how this is going to end. I’ll get more updates posted next week. Let me know what you think so far of this early draft.