Friday, February 15, 2013

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

Dear Ellie,

These few days in February are particularly filled with such love in our house- Valentine’s Day yesterday and then Kyle’s birthday is on Monday.  Your Mimi and I will honor Kyle with a letter on March 1- the anniversary of his death, when we choose to celebrate and honor his life. 

As for this past week, you have been such a happy girl as Gigi and Pop came to visit.  You are enjoying being the center of attention, as they adore spending time with you!

And now here is our final story (with many chapters to write!) for you. 

So as for our weekly guidelines: I write a piece one week in regular font, and then your Mimi will write a piece in italics the next week.  The only things your Mimi and I agreed on were the characters- Ellie and a magic teapot and the setting (an aquarium).  Anything else is fair game and will make our adventure a new tale.  We also need to figure out an illustration to go with our part.  Our goal Ellie is to have a beloved bedtime story for you and future generations.  And so we will continue our fourth piece of fiction. 

Ellie and the Magic Teapot: Off to the Aquarium- Part 7

Ellie and Lion zoomed away from the ship toward the crime scene again.  At that moment, she could see what looked like a tornado of sand whirling up ahead.  Luckily for Ellie and Lion, they had their goggles on so they wouldn’t get sand in their eyes.

“Hey!  What’s going on here?”  Ellie interrupted loudly.  The funnel cloud was dying down and Ellie could see that an octopus was at its center.  He was swirling.  As he slowed, the cyclone did too.  Ellie could see 6 stingrays underneath the octopus mimicking the octopus’ moves.

“Can we help you?  Are you lost?” asked an out of breath octopus.  “We’re very busy but if you need directions, I will do my best to point you on the right track,” he said pointing his eight arms in all different directions. 

“Don’t you know that this is a crime scene?” Ellie said as her eyes narrowed taking in the setting.  She nodded toward the yellow tape that they were obviously ignoring.

“Crime scene?  No dear, this is our rehearsal place.  That yellow tape ropes off our arena.  Now if you don’t mind, we have a lot of work to get ready for the competition.  It is only a day away,” Octopus lifted one of his arms to direct the stingrays to begin again as he counted backwards from three.

“Rehearsal for what?  Looks to me like a cover up!  I think you know something about the pirate’s chest and the missing gold and jewels,” Lion alleged in an accusing manner interrupting the octopus.

“My name is Octavious the Octopus.  I don’t suppose you have heard of me from where you are from,” he said as he pointed up above, “but down here I am an ocean renowned synchronized swim coach.  I have led eight teams to the Ocean Olympics and seven of those teams have medaled.  This team here has shown more promise than other groups I’ve coached.  Not only could they take home a gold, they could get a perfect score too.  Do you have any idea of how difficult that is?  But in order to do so, they need to practice.  So if you don’t mind, we have work to do.  And to answer your very forward question, we didn’t take the pirate chest, as we have no need for it.  In fact, we earn our own gold in competitions,” and with that he turned his back on Ellie and spoke softly to the stingrays.  Ellie strained her neck to hear his words but only caught him saying, “Don’t let them distract you.  Keep focused.”

Ellie blushed.  Was she a distraction?  She was only trying to be helpful and solve the mystery of the stolen treasure chest. 

“Come on Lion, I feel rather foolish.  I think we owe these fish our apologies.  We went around accusing people of stealing when they didn’t do anything wrong.  That’s not very nice of us,” Ellie wavered.

“Gosh Ellie, I didn’t think of it like that.  I guess we haven’t been very friendly,” Lion said sheepishly.

Ellie and Lion were about to interrupt Octavious the Octopus one more time to apologize but he had already begun to lead the stingrays into their swirling pattern again.  This time the team rose up in unison and descended quickly toward the sand.  Impressively, the synchronized group got within an inch of the ocean bottom without actually touching it all doing the exact same move at the exact same time.  Even though Ellie was almost blinded by the sand storm they kicked up when they spun, Ellie caught a glimpse of gold shimmering on the ocean tanks floor.  Lion nudged her clearly seeing the same thing.

“STOP!” Lion and Ellie cried out together.

“What now?” Octavious cried in annoyance as he squirted a thick cloud of ink.  He shook his head in frustration.  “I do this when I get defensive,” he explained to the dark mess that now surrounded them.

“We saw something reflecting in the sand as you practiced,” Ellie explained and continued, “We’re not accusing you.  In fact, we wanted to say sorry for the way we reacted before.  And we were just wondering if you could move your practice area over to that clear patch while we investigate here a little further,” she motioned to a clearing between coral beds.

Octavious the Octopus heaved a sigh and directed the stingray to their new rehearsal site by pointing his arms in the direction of the gap.  “Let me know when you are finished,” he said as he propelled away behind his team.

Ellie winked at Lion as she reached into her pocket and pulled out two shovels and two soft bristled brushes.

“What are these for El?” Lion asked perplexed as Ellie handed a shovel and brush to Lion.

“Dig Lion!” she instructed.  “I don’t think the treasure was ever stolen,” Ellie explained.

Lion followed Ellie’s lead and started digging.  When his shovel hit something hard, they used their brushes to clear off the remaining sand.  Within minutes, they uncovered the pirate’s chest still filled with all of the gold and jewels.

Lion and Ellie gasped in unison at their find, “It was an illusion Ellie- just like Perseus the Pufferfish taught us.  The treasure was here the whole time.  But how did it get under the sand?”

“That’s easy Lion, the synchronized swim team swirled up so much sand during their practices, they buried it without meaning to or even noticing,” Ellie clarified.

“Well, I guess that’s it then.  We can go home,” Lion said.

“Not quite Lion.  I think we owe all of the fish an apology and we need to tell them that we found the treasure,” Ellie pointed out.  “And I know just how to do it!  Come on.  Follow me!”

Three hours later, Ellie and Lion were on stage in front of the giant seashells, which became the seats for the underwater animals to sit comfortably.  In the audience, they spotted Rita, Perseus, Pete, Octavious, and the stingray synchronized swim team.

“Ahem,” Ellie called into the microphone, “May I have your attention?  Before I introduce the very talented comedian and clown, Collywobbles, I have a few words.”  Ellie glanced at Lion who held her hand.  She continued, “Lion and I want to say that we are so very sorry that we assumed that some of you took the treasure chest.  We wanted to be detectives and took it too far.  We hope that you can forgive us and that we can all be friends.” All of the fish cheered and nodded.  As the crowd silenced, Ellie went on, “We also want to wish the synchronized swim team the very best of luck tomorrow at your big competition.  We saw how talented you are and we know you will do great.”  More cheers erupted from the audience.  Lion took over to say, “And now, here is Collywobbles!”

Lion and Ellie stepped backstage as Collywobbles took the spotlight.  They could hear him begin his skit, “Why do pirates always carry a bar of soap?... So if they get shipwrecked, they can wash themselves ashore!”  The crowd exploded in laughter.

“Well Lion, I think our job here is done,” Ellie said as she reached into her pocket and pulled out her teapot and two teacups.  “It’s time to go home.  Are you ready for me to say the magical words?”

“Yep,” Lion anxiously answered.   And slowly Ellie began….
Until next week Ellie Bean!

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