Chapterbuzz 10k Challenge: Update 9

Ok, so I failed the challenge.  I don’t feel too bad, because I have still achieved a lot this month.  You don’t want to know that, though.  All you need to know is that I will finish the story, either here or over on the Chapterbuzz site.

Last time, there was more activity as Ellie’s bedroom continued to morph into the jungle.  Here’s the next part, or you can read the story so far HERE.

The children had moved back to the centre of the room to avoid the rapid construction of the new section of jungle. After a few minutes watching parts of the jungle spring to life and other parts recede into nothingness, the room seemed to emit a metaphorical sigh and was still again.

“That’s amazing!” said Flynn. He paused for a moment, taking in the jungle. He turned to Ellie, and with a smile that said let’s do something we shouldn’t, he said “How far do you think we can go?”

“Go where?” Ellie said.

“In there.” Flynn raised an arm and pointed it into the jungle.

“Not far,” Ellie said, “my bedroom’s not as big as yours.”

“Let’s find out.” Flynn started to walk towards what he thought had once been the window. He moved once pace at a time, hand out in front of him, brushing away vines and creepers, but also reaching for the wall he expected to find. After several strides, he began to feel something pressing against him. It wasn’t something he could see, but he felt it against his chest and round his waist, down into his legs and through his arms. He put his head down and tried to push further in, but keeping the book safe was making it difficult, and he stepped back. “Come and get this, Ell.” He held the book out to Ellie who came over and took it.

“I don’t think you should be doing this, Flynn.” She stepped back from her brother, cradling the book.

“Well if I can’t get through this, I won’t be doing anything.” He turned back to the area that had just repelled him. “Here I go.” Flynn put his arms out in front of him, then moved forward, waiting for resistance.

None came.

He carried on walking forward, arms out, brushing away leaves and branches. After a while, he stopped and turned around. He could see Ellie standing about a dozen paces away. She clutched the book to her chest. The dense jungle made it difficult to see her clearly, but he knew she would be worrying.

“I’m okay, Ell.” He waved and tried to look happy. He felt anything but happy. He felt terrified, but also excited. There was something happening here that he didn’t understand; if he had been right about where the bedroom window had been, that would put him now several metres above their back garden. He looked down and lifted a foot of the ground. There was soil and mud underneath it. He could not see the garden beneath him. “Do you want to come?” He held out an arm towards her.

“What about the book?” she shouted to him.

“Bring it.”

Ellie picked her way across the floor of the jungle in Flynn’s direction, stepping over large-leaved ferns and bright yellow and blue flower. Just a few steps from her starting point, she began to feel like someone was pushing her back. She tried to push against it, but like Flynn, she couldn’t make any progress. “I can’t, Flynn!”

“Put the book down and leave it.”

“What if something happens to it?” Ellie was close to full-blown panic, and Flynn knew it.

“There’s no one around to do anything with it.” He held out his arms and began to spin around. “We’re in the jungle!” He laughed as he said it.

Elle placed the book carefully onto the jungle floor. Before she dared move away, she reached out and picked up two small stones that were nearby. She placed them on the book, one on each side. “So the pages don’t turn,” she shouted.

Stepping carefully over the book so as not to disturb it, Ellie walked into the jungle.

Turning back after every step to make sure she could still see the book, Ellie made slow progress towards her brother. When she reached him, she did something she hadn’t done since she was much younger: she threw her arms around her brother and hugged him.

“It’s okay, sis. Let’s just enjoy it!” He placed both hands on her shoulders and turned her to face him. He bent forward until their eyes were level. “How often do you get a chance to go into the jungle?”

He took her by the hand and led her deeper into the jungle.

“Not too far, Flynn.” Ellie allowed herself to be led by her brother, but she refused to take her eyes off the book. The further they went into the jungle, the harder it became to see the book. Twenty paces in, Ellie could see it reasonably easily, through gaps in the foliage. Forty paces in, and the book was a dot that could only be seen by jumping up and down. Ellie pulled Flynn’s arm to alert him to the situation. Flynn stopped and looked back.

“I can still see it. Just.”

“Let’s go back. Please.”

Flynn looked at Ellie. She looked as if she were about to cry again. There would be other times for them to investigate the jungle. If Ellie wouldn’t come, he’d go on his own. “Wimp.” He started to head back towards the book, climbing over fallen logs, and around the vines that dangled in front of him. Ellie followed.

There is still more to this story, so stay tuned…

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