On the eighth floor the elevator doors sprung open with new vigour, Omar hurried out to stretch his legs and inhale some fresh air. As he looked around it became apparent that this kingdom was distinctively different.
Then he realized why; the tall and sickly thin green trees were blades of grass and the unattended sporadic pools were merely puddles despite their frightening depth. He tested this with a pebble, which was probably grit from the soil. The glaring size contrast wasn’t the only cause for concern, in this new world there was more sheep but on this land the sheep did not bleat. They spoke and stood upright just like him on their hind legs, they cycled, wore clothes, ate wraps the vegetable kind of course and even took lambs with rucksacks to the school bus. It wasn’t just the concept of lambs going to school that caught Omar’s eye, he marginally avoided becoming a pancake five times in succession to observe giants living alongside the sheep. The Prince could see how the folk tales of Jicotea elders might have been real encounters after all and he suspected that they probably came from this land. A big town sign referred to kingdom as ShRATI with a sheep symbol. Omar looked at me and muttered,
‘Whatever they feed the sheep here remind me to ban it when we get back to Jicotea.’
The bzzzzz!!! of a monstrous fly startled the Prince. He ran with me struggling to hold onto the cloth of the robe pocket for dear life, as it untied and swung with his every stride. The fly’s legs smacked in the likeness of a noisy eater with each movement, large spheres scanned the cobbles and shrubs in search of Omar who lay mechanically rigid. I could hear his short sharp inhales, the sounds that told me the Prince was trying to be as still as he could to avoid the prospect, which terrified him most. He wouldn’t have to wait for long to find out, less than a minute later the fly moved on and Omar anxiously rose from the ground, sweeping the area to ensure no other predators had him in their sights. The coast was…red. ShRATI was remarkably red and his royal highness joked that the town probably resembled a tomato from space: rooftops, fences, entire buildings (save for windows), a wave of ultisol trucks laying new soil for front gardens, red water pulsed from the fountains and the giants and sheep all attempted to outdo each other in their own uniforms of the same colour. As the Prince’s eyes became used to the view he concluded that the one colour town was rather bland until he spotted something…someone quite unique. A short distance away hunched the distressed Mook in blue jeans and a deep green shirt; his attire also gained much disapproving attention from passers-by. This giant was taller and slimmer than his peers that were quite rounded and they made it clear that they did not like this not one bit as they chanted,
‘Mook more like meek, he’s incredibly weak.’ It was painful for Omar to watch them throw a fly swarmed bin over the giant’s head and the action brought with it ten times the sympathy for the Prince to realise that he was far too small to assist Mook. The young ostracised giant struggled under the weight of removing the putrid bin but time did not pause to observe Mook as he wiggled and pulled. Soon the bright shades of the skyline were muted then no more. Mook stopped fighting the bin and flopped forward with exhaustion, the motion was quick and the lithe giant felt his torso upwards pop!!! Straight out. Lying back on the grass to catch his breath, Mook’s eyes adjusted to the darkness and the tiny specks of enchantment that inspired new ideas. Feeling more at peace he stole a casual glimpse of his pocket watch and muttered to himself in a pitch that wasn’t his own, Omar laughed seeing himself in the giant. I used my tail to cover the Prince’s mouth like humans do to unequivocally silence each other but the quick rise and suspicious scan informed us that Mook certainly heard the Prince, though he could not see him. Mook’s eyes flashed with terror as he rechecked his watch and took off running through the town; he momentarily transitioned into a moving colourless outline as he frantically, thundered through the town. I quickly turned to the Prince to bring this transformation to his attention but taking his own precious time to turn was just too long and he missed Mook’s new disappearing act. The Prince nonchalantly shrugged and suggested,
‘Maybe he has curfew’. I poked Omar with my tail and tried to catch up with the giant. I figured the longer we were amazed with every single event that took place, the greater the length of time that we would spend stuck in ShRATI and they did not make lamb stew. What?!! I was forced to look at sheep the entire day.
Arriving at Mook’s home we were pleasantly surprised to see that there were no cobwebs or scattered dishes and other unknown debris littered around. I guess those tales of giants, as messy beasts might have been just that. In fact despite showing up a considerable amount of time after Mook we were still able to witness his awkward telling off. He was indeed banished to his room for missing curfew and we’ll whisper the next reason…smelling badly.
Mook cleaned up and proceeded to sit glumly at his workspace. I suggested that we give the poor guy some alone time to get over his upset but Omar’s frown and gritted teeth told me that I should hop into his pocket to watch the boo hoo scene. I breathed a HUGE sigh of relief as Mook’s eyes lit up; he wiped his face and whipped out his sketchbook. Let’s briefly discuss the dirty handkerchief he unknowingly threw near the Prince…don’t worry we’ll skip a description of what was on it. Happily dancing to a rhythm only he could hear, Mook mixed colours and used various material to make the different fashion pieces from the sketches of his book. It was incredibly late when he was done and Omar was half asleep I had to nudge him awake to show him what the young giant had achieved. Mook put the piece on and made admiring comments towards himself in the mirror, clearly feeling rather suave. This made Omar completely forget where we were and loudly (just like his father) burst out laughing, instantly giving our location away. Despite, being so tall in general and a giant too Mook quickly turned to spot the Prince and I quickly retook my place in his robe pocket. Drawing closer to the window ledge with annoyance then amazement the giant leaned down to put us on eye level. You might want to cover your ears, as this was when he screamed,
Copyright Teherah Wheeler (©) 2017 All rights reserved.
Images from pitara.com and freepik
All the best.