Saturday, 26 March 2011
I remembered today that a long long time ago, I for a brief foolish moment thought I could write a story book. As strange as that last sentence may sound, they do say we all have a book inside us, its just harder for some of us to lever it out !!
Well it was 8 years ago my illusions of grandeur struck, the children were much younger ( 8 years !) and I guess it was for them I started. I didn't get very far and stored what I had in the dreaded "my documents" folder. of course I had to protect my masterpiece so I added a password to the Word document.
Over the past years I have attempted to reopen the file, but could never remember the password. Today I decided enough was enough and downloaded a password cracking piece of software and set it to work... it took 17 seconds to crunch though all the permitations, the password....JOHN. Yes I now feel stupid !!! Anyway I read my attempts for the first time in a long time and decided I would share, which is something I may well regret !! It is was a collection of real incidents that I blended together in a fairy tale type story. the centre of the plot was to be the overused climbing frame at the bottom of the garden. this shabby piece of play equipment was to have magical properties that would transport the kids through time. Well here we are 8 years on ....
The Magic Climbing Frame
It was a cold wet Saturday morning. The children woke at their normal time, which in Dads opinion was always too early for a weekend, in fact Dad could never work out why on school mornings nobody wanted to get up, and at weekends nobody wanted to sleep in.
Jacob was sat up in bed reading a chapter book, his favourite hobby. Jake as he liked to be called was not particularly sporty, due to recurring spells of illness. An inward sense of acceptance had made him realise some things, like sport were not meant to be. He looked around his room, the smallest of the three bedrooms, but at least he didn’t have to share it. In an attempt to make the north facing room cosier, the top half had been decorated with a warm orange colour. As he peered down from his extra high cabin bed, herds of dinosaurs roamed freely on the mural around the bottom half of the walls. It was a long way down but not for a seven year old, if only Dad would let him have a rope to climb down! Or better still a fireman’s pole!! Jake thought for a moment, perhaps the incident of monkey hanging from the shoelace was enough to put any parent off ropes?
The best part about sleeping higher than the wardrobe was the view, from up here looking one way he could see over his door onto the landing, and the other way, out of the window onto the drive and beyond to the road. Needless to say, at seven on a Saturday morning, the road was empty.
“JAKE! JAKE!” A small girl wandered into his room shouting, ”What Ruth?” Jake was not in the mood to be bothered by his younger sister. He wished he had hung the do not disturb sign he had made, on the door, then realised it wasn't very successful at keeping four year old's out. A smile broke his lips as he remembered the glue stick plan, then he stopped smiling as he pictured the look on Mums face when she had found him painting a glue line across the doorway. Glue kept his sister out, but it wasn't worth the hour of cleaning it up, he had been made to do. “DO YOU WANT, WATCH TELLY WITH ME AND RACHEL?” As always Ruth felt the need to shout everything. In fact the family knew Ruth only stopped shouting when she was eating and sleeping. “DO YOU WANT, WATCH TELLY WITH ME AND RACHEL?” The lack of an answer had not put her off the question, just caused mild annoyance. Jake knew if he didn't answer before the question was asked three times, his sister would cry loudly and get him into trouble. “No Ruth, I’m reading my book” Jake hadn’t realised yet; Ruth actually did want him to watch with her. He assumed she asked stupid questions to wind him up, but the fact of the matter was, she liked him around. There was a sense of security having your big brother near you that a big sister couldn't give. Disappointed Ruth tried the next door; she quietly opened it and sneaked into Mum and Dads room.
Approaching Mum without disturbing Dad was daring stuff, like rescuing a princess from the fire breathing Dragon, but even more dangerous. The room was the biggest upstairs, a warm red colour on two walls, cream on the others. Light came through the Hessian curtains and dimly illuminated the prize. In the centre of the room was Mums Bed! Wide, tall and soft, it was by far, the best bed in the house. Once upon a time the Dragon slept on the side near the door, but recently life had got a little easier as they had changed sides. The new carpet was warm and soft, there was a temptation to stand and dance bare foot, but there was no time to take extra risks. It was a long way to the bed, at least one meter! Every step was a step closer to the goal, a cuddle, but also a step closer to danger. The dragon sighed, Ruth stopped, and stood as still as any 4 year old she knew. Forward another step, then she spotted something even more interesting, a toy catalogue!!! As quiet as a mouse she picked it up and snook back out. She was like a cat that had got the cream, but who could she tell?
She stood on the landing thinking about her choices, Jake was reading and she had tried him once. She thought about the obstacles to get up to Jakes bed, three rungs on the ladder and a scramble at the top, all while carrying a catalogue. The other option was Rachel, Princess of gossip, Miss Style. Would it seem cool to show a toy catalogue to the girl that you always wanted to impress? The final option was to start crying and see who came, that must prove who was interested! That could also attract Mum and Dad, best not.
“JAKE!” Look what I’ve got. “JAKE!” Jake lifted his eyes from his book and was about to tell her he was still reading, but then the catalogue caught his eye.” Where’s that from?” “MUMS ROOM” Ruth’s answer gave away the deep desire to impress. Jake thought about how he could get down from his bed without Ruth knowing just what a prize she had got her hands on. He knew if he seemed too keen to look, she would change her plan to show all, into one which was much less fun, the hide and run game! The secret was to get her to want to come to him, like trying to attract a kitten………………………..
If you have made it this far thank you ! The funny thing is, as I re-read the story, I could remember the incidents that inspired each part, and the kids characters have not really changed that much either ! Who knows one day you may see more.