Friday, January 20, 2012

Creative Writing Month of January: Blog 3- Letters from Mom & Mimi

Hi Ellie Spaghetti!

To refresh our crazy month of January theme… this month, your Mimi and I are writing you a story with specific weekly guidelines.  I will write a piece, then your Mimi has to finish it and we will do this every week for the four parts.  The only things your Mimi and I agreed on were the characters- Ellie and a magic teapot.  Anything is fair game- except we have to continue the same story, no starting over.  However, we are giving ourselves a time limit (because we know otherwise we will fall in love with this creative writing project and get nothing else done)- 45 minutes total (so whether that means 3 sentences or 3 pages, that’s what the other person has to work with).  And we each have an additional 30 minutes every week to figure out an illustration to go with our part.  Our goal Ellie is to have a beloved bedtime tale for you and future generations.  So alas, here is the 3rd installment (your Mimi’s part will be in italics and mine will be in regular font):

Ellie and The Magic Teapot: Part 3

Ellie, Mimi, Great-Gram, Baby, Mickey, and Mine-Mine were dropped with a thump in a wooded area.  It seemed like it was the middle of the night as it was very dark.  If it weren’t for all the branches and leaves making a ceiling over the dense forest, Ellie knew she would be able to see the Big Dipper. 
“Hmmmm… now wait a moment,” Great Gram said observing her surroundings, “I thought we were going to the sand castle!”
“I think we are at the sand castle… it’s just the sand castle is no longer at the beach,” Ellie gulped as she pushed away a few brambles to spot a grainy brown castle off in the distance.  Now that they were out of the light of day, the castle seemed a lot scarier.  Baby started to cry.
“Baby, you have to be brave for Blanket,” Great-Gram said soothingly as she scooped Baby up into her arms. 
“El, can you see the Moat Goats?” Mimi whispered to Ellie who was craning her neck to get the best view of the castle without being spotted.  She knew Blanket’s rescue depended on keeping their visit secret.  The surprise element would give them a better chance.
Ellie heard loud bellows in the distance along with splashes of water.  “I can’t see them but I can hear them.  They must be drinking out of the moat,” she said.  And just as she wondered how many there were, Mine-Mine flew up as quietly as she ever heard him before.  He returned, “Looks like there are about fifty.  Half are asleep and the other half are slurping the moat water,” he whispered in his squawking tone.
Ellie was nervous but she knew she had the best “weapon” of all, “Mickey, make sure you know the spell.  You and I will go take care of the Moat Goats.  The rest of you stay here until you get the “all-clear” signal.  Mine-Mine, you watch from the top of the forest and when I give you the two thumbs up, tell the others it’s time to meet us at the gate.”
Mimi took Ellie by the hands and told her to be careful.  With a kiss on the top of her head, Mickey and Ellie started off.  They tiptoed from tree to tree until there were no more trees to hide behind.  Then, they crouched down and crawled until they were so close to the sleeping goats that Ellie could reach out and pet their coarse hair if she wanted to… but she definitely didn’t want to.  These goats were nothing like the ones at the petting zoo that her Mom took her to see.  Moat Goats breathed out smoke.  One of the goats stopped drinking and settled in to snooze with some of the others and Ellie could see that it had red eyes with orange specks.  Ellie shuddered, it reminded her of fire.
Mickey whispered, “I need to hold a salamander when I say my spell for the spell to work… do you see any around?”  Ellie gulped.  She did see one but it was right in front of a sleeping and snoring moat goat.  The salamander must be keeping warm when the goat breathed out the smoke, she thought.  As she stood up to coax it over, her ankle cracked.  One of the sleeping goats startled at the sound but didn’t wake.  She tiptoed over and could now feel the warmth of the goat’s breath.  The salamander looked at her lazily and shook his head no.  Ellie realized that this wasn’t going to be easy.  But then she remembered that she had a Tootsie Roll in her pocket- who doesn’t love Tootsie Rolls?  She quietly peeled the wrapper and held it to the salamander, which perked right up at the chocolate smell.  He started to come towards her.  She backed up to lead the salamander back to Mickey.
“Hello Fella,” Mickey whispered to the salamander as he gently cupped him in his hands, “I won’t hurt you.  I just need to hold you for a second.  You can even munch on that Tootsie Roll while I say my spell.”
“Ok, do your thing Mickey,” Ellie pleaded.
            “Well, I need one more thing,” he gulped and pointed, “My feet have to be in water when I say the spell.”  Ellie realized that he needed to be in the moat but that’s where a lot of the goats were still drinking.  She noticed how green and dirty the moat water was.  She could smell the stench of the mold that was growing on the sides of the waterway. 
            “Okay, I’ll divert attention and as soon as I lead the moat goats away, jump into the water.  Make sure you hold onto the salamander though.  He might not be able to swim,” she directed as she blew her hair out of her eyes.
            Ellie stood up and began to skip as she loudly sang “Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star.”  The goats stirred in annoyance of being disturbed.  Those that were sleeping were almost trampled by the goats that stopped drinking to chase Ellie.  At that point, Ellie started to run but she still sang.  Singing always calmed her nerves.
            “No one is allowed near the castle,” bellowed one goat.  “You get over here and face the consequences,” bullied another goat.  At that moment, Mickey jumped into the water protecting the salamander that was happily eating the Tootsie Roll still.  Mickey sucked in a deep breath and began, “To To Go Go Be Be Ba Ba Bah Bah Bah Ba Ba Bo Bo De De La La taaljojoaoglljatogwelj Boo.”  Glitter spilled from Mickey’s fingertips as the salamander turned into a rainbow colored unicorn and the entire herd of moat goats turned into...

             A pack of “Not-So-Nice” Mice who were somewhat confused and frightened!  Those now Not-So-Nice Mice who were guarding the drawbridge on land quickly scurried to join those already in the water huddling together under the bridge!  Ellie ran back giving the gang two thumbs up. 
“Let’s go!” she yelled in her loudest whisper as she was unsure how long Mickey’s spell would last.  So they quickly tiptoed across the wooden bridge lying atop the moat and the Not-So-Nice Mice and through the gate into Sir Jelephant’s Kingdom.  Once they were all safely inside, Ellie told Mine-Mine to fly on ahead and try his hardest to locate the map while they waited in the courtyard. 
Mine-Mine knew Blanket’s rescue now depended on him and he was determined more than ever to find that map.  But which way should he go?  It seemed like one big maze!  So he closed his eyes tightly and turned slowly in a circular pattern squawking out, “Eenie-meenie mine-mine moe, to find the map which way should I go?”  On the last word he stopped dead in his tracks and opened his eyes.  There in front of him was the longest and darkest of all the passageways.  A chill crept over him leaving goose bumps on his feathers.  But bravely Mine-Mine set off, flying high at first only to find nothing.  So he tried again flying much lower this time.  The passageway was eerily quiet.  He was just about to give up on this one, turn around and find another when all of a sudden he heard a snort, snort, whistle…. snort, snort, whistling sound. Peering down towards the dead end, he caught a glimmer of light coming from the stonewalls lower corner.  To his astonishment was an opening no taller and no wider than three foot either way with a metal grate protecting it.  Mine-Mine landed without a sound just before the opening and peeked in.  His excitement was soon overcome with fear for in the middle of the tiny room was a glass box displaying the map that would lead the gang to Blanket who was locked in the tippy-top room of the farthest tower in Sir Jelephant’s castle!  However, guarding the glass box was a very fat sleeping black cat that every time it snored, its very sharp teeth glimmered brightly!  Mine-Mine quickly flew back to the gang to report what he saw. 
“Oh my, oh my!  I found the map!  It is in a tiny room at the end of the longest hall, but there is a problem! A toothy, black, furry, scary problem!” screeched Mine-Mine.  “There is no way to retrieve the map with that monster guarding it!”
All the friends looked at Ellie questioningly, but she was at a loss for an answer.
Thankfully Mimi spoke out.  “Silly little ones, the answer to this problem hides not far from us.”
“Huh?” they questioned.  “Where?”
“Mimi, what are you talking about?” inquired Mickey Mouse.
“Mickey, you are a great Mouse that all admire.  Do you think that you could convince the Not-So-Nice Mice to redeem themselves and help us get the map?” Mimi asked.
 It only took a minute before Mickey smiled and said, “Ahhhhhhhhh, the Cat and Mouse game!”  “Of course Mimi!”  “I will go and fetch a handful of Not-So-Nice Mice and return in a moment.”  And he did.
 Then they all followed Mine-Mine, tiptoeing down the long, dark passageway. At the opening, Mickey strategically positioned the Not-So-Nice Mice at equal distances across the metal gate.  “Now on the count of three, you will awaken the scary black cat by squeaking three times.  Once he opens his eyes, each of you are to confuse him by scurrying around in circles. “  Mickey commanded.  “As the scary black cat darts from one Not-So-Nice Mice to the others, it is up to you Baby, who is the smallest of us all, to crawl between the bars of the metal grate over to the glass box, lift its lid, and snatch the map.” Mickey said with just a bit of apprehension. 
“Me?” Baby whimpered.
“Yup,… You!” Mickey said sternly but then changed is voice to a soother tone as he added, “Then quickly crawl back to us where you will be safe!”
“All right.  For Blanket I can do this!” cried Baby.
“OK… Let’s do it!” sang out Ellie.  “One, Two, Three!”
And with that the Not-So-Nice Mice scampered here there and everywhere helping Baby to successfully retrieve the map before the confused scary black cat realized he had been fooled!  Once the mission was accomplished and they too were safe, the Not-So-Nice Mice pleadingly looked at Mickey and begged him to return them to their original selves, the Moat Goats.  Mickey agreed on one condition.  They were never to be nasty bullies ever again.  The Not-So-Nice Mice promised but Mickey was a bit hesitant.  So he told them that once Blanket was rescued and he and all his friends were safely far, far away from Sir Jelephant’s Castle, then and only then would he lift the spell.  What he did not tell them though was that there would be a slight tweak in its reversal of the magical words…. The Moat Goats would no longer breath out smoke but rather smiley bubbles, and their eyes would no longer be the color of orange fire but a sky blue with a speck of sunshine in their center.  Satisfied with his idea, Mickey smiled, but not for long.   As the gang hovered over the map while Great-Gram read its contents, a spine chilling fear enveloped them.  The reality of coming face to face with Sir Jelephant was almost upon them.  Ellie reached for Mimi’s hand gripping it tightly. 
Mimi looked down at her lovingly and said, “Come on Ellie-bean… it’s time.   Let’s go get Blanket.”  Timidly the others followed………..

We love you Ellie Bean!
Mom & Mimi

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