Tuesday, 4 October 2011

The Bath Kidlitfest Big Blog Story: Chapter 14

We were  thrilled to be invited to take part in Bath Festival of Children's Literature's newest project - The Big Blog Story, a rolling adventure written by all sorts of different people on all sorts of different blogs. You can follow the story up till now in order by clicking on the links - it's got some fascinating twists and turns!

Chapter 1
Chapter 2
Chapter 3
Chapter 4
Chapter 5
Chapter 6
Chapter 7
Chapter 8
Chapter 13

And now, our very own Awfully Big Blog offering. We hope you'll enjoy this joint contribution from (in order of appearance) Joan Lennon, Linda Strachan, Dianne Hofmeyr and Lucy Coats (there's a different picture to show you where each author begins and ends!)


It was a cryptic haiku.

Look! Firework display
in the sky – a brave new moon
ignites jealousy

    “Blimey. Enigmatic or what?!” scribbled Scribbler. But Mr Catch had lived longer in the world than the blue boy and he knew a thing or two about a thing or two.
     “Did I ever tell you the story of my gap year?” he said. “Some time ago now, of course. ButI’ll never forget my experiences teaching English to the Forgotten Tribes of Zing. Mornings we worked on the difference between fewer and less, and afternoons we worked on building fireworks …”
    Scribble wrote, “?”
    Mr Catch was grinning now, all over his wrinkled old face. “I’ll bet my bottom drawer that this coral’s luminescence is the result of a phosphorus component – and this rope is made of Himalayan hemp – and there are emergency flares in the locker here …”
    A smashed coral, unravelled rope and dismantled emergency flare later, and Mr Catch stood up in triumph.
    “There’s more than one way to make a moon launch,” he cried as he reached for the controls …

Meanwhile deep in the dark murky depths of the ocean Cynthia had made a decision. She was tired of being everyone’s prawn.
 She yearned to get back up into the deep velvet of the night sky and bask in the solar winds, while the tides pulled to and fro at her whim.
    She realised (not that she would tell him this), that Breton was right. Even if part of her longed for a knight in shining…blue fur??... to come to her rescue, she was more of a ‘go get it’ kind of girl. It wasn’t as if she couldn’t do it. All she needed was a little help from her friend Luna, but it had been a long time and would Luna hear her call. And if she did, would she help Cynthia?
    A long way off in the town square all the townspeople people were still gathered around the statue of the mysterious stone lady with long flowing hair. Despite shivering in their nightclothes, they stayed because they were too scared to go home.
    A strange cracking and crunching echoed about the square, shattering the quiet of the night.
    “Look!” said a little girl, pointing at the statue “Luna is smiling!” It was true, and as they watched the statue began to glow with a ghostly moonlight-coloured brightness.
    In the dark depths of the ocean Cynthia was thrilled. “She heard me! Luna heard me. I’ll be home soon.”
    She was so delighted that she didn’t hear poor Egeria squeal….

   “Move over twin sister. You’re out of your depth!”
    "Minnaloushe! I thought Doris banned you to the Depths of Sirod?”
    "Hah! Doris Boris… that dried up piece of seaweed with her lack-lustre pearl eyes and her Capetown kelp hair… she doesn’t scare me!"
    "But…?" Egeria shook her head. No light shimmered out from the stars in her hair.
    “Why do you think it’s suddenly so squid-ink black down here?”
    “Moon has sunk below…”
    “Air egg!”
    “Air egg?”
    “That’s what your name spells backward. Air ege! Doris should’ve drowned you at birth. Who do you think snapped out the underwater glow? It was ME.”
    "Yes. Moon has seen her dark side forever. She’s on her way down. I squeezed every bit of light out of her silly little minions. No more phosphorus.”
    “Her minions? You mean you killed the plankton?”
    “Every single one of them.”
    “But Minnaloushe, their phosphorus keeps the world alive. They’re the bottom of the food chain.”
    “Well they’re at the bottom of the ocean now. All dead.”
    “I was tired of Moon waxing and waning. Every time she turned her dark side she took the light out of my eyes. Moon couldn’t stay constant. I lost interest in her.”

Egeria had never felt such rage. Her shock and fear at her twin’s sudden appearance had quite disappeared. How dare Minnaloushe darken Cynthia’s precious light? How dare she threaten the world’s existence on a whim? How dare she make fun of the beautiful name the moon had given her? She remembered something Moby Doris had told her long ago:
    “Anger is power, nymph girl, and it can be shaped.”
    So Egeria drew on her rage, shaped it into a gigantic angler-fish, and set it on her twin. She just had time to see Minnaloushe’s eyes widen with terror, and then the monster swallowed her whole. With a shimmering flick of its tail, the angler-fish drifted off, bubbling screams of rage coming from its belly.
    “Let me out! Let me out!” yelled Minnaloushe. “It’s all slimy in here and it stinks!”
    “Not until you give back the light you stole,” said Egeria.
    “I can’t,” mumbled Minnaloushe in her sulkiest voice. “At least not all of it. My spell ate most of it up. There’s only enough left to power a crescent moon now.”
    “Then that must do,” came a weakened voice from the ink-dark depths.
    “Give it up NOW, Minnaloushe, or stay fishfood forever!”
    “Oh, very well!” Suddenly the angler-fish’s lantern blazed with a fierce pearly light, which shot downwards, hitting Cynthia squarely in her Sea of Serpents. She hissed with pain, as less than a quarter of her began to glow. Saving herself would be more difficult now. Luna had better reach her soon, or the blue boy would be her only hope....           

The story will be continued on 6th October by Kate Maryon at http://katemaryon.co.uk/index.php/blog/

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