Here’s this week’s Picture It & Write:
Aiden looked up at the white paper sky. He often wondered what lay behind this sheet of clouds. People passed by him. He knew that they all thought that he was crazy. But he knew that he was not.
In Storyland, everyone went about their business, going about the usual adventures, saving people, imprisoning the evil sorceresses, dancing for the king… Aiden was a different man. His mother, long dead, had often told him to go and chase vampires, or become a werewolf, because of his well-built muscular body.
“Get a life,” his friends who say.
He always protested that he had a life, that he was a storyteller. He wrote things, imagined scenarios… Everyone laughed at him. Such a job did not exist in their town. He indeed did not receive any reward, not even from His Majesty, whom he would try and try to entertain with his stories.
Witches, battles, magic, true love… These kinds of stories were merely boring, since they were the routine of Storyland.
“I have nothing else on which to write,” Aiden would say.
Indeed, he had known and learnt nothing else. Except…
He had always wondered why the sky was all so white, day and night. It seemed unreachable, yet it looked opaque, as if, if he could ever find a way to fly that high, he would be able to touch it. Then, a story idea illuminated him: what if there was another world over Storyland? Another realm? With a different lifestyle… to be inspired from! Oh, if only he could find a way…
Thus, he began to write. He imagined everything he could on what could be behind the clouds: were there other creatures than dragons? Maybe robots, aliens, flying metal? Or a sky of a different colour?
He wrote and wrote and wrote…
And finally, he showed his work to the King.
He was laughed at again.
“Boy, these are utter absurdities! Nonsense!”
Aiden watched in rage as the King tore his piece of work in a million of pieces. “Come on,” the King’s voice softened, “what adventure do you want me to give you? What Story character do you want to become?”
Aiden was so disgusted by this land’s narrow-mindedness. He was fed up of the constant criticisms. He was tired of the conventions to follow… He turned away as bitter tears fell down from his grey eyes and walked towards the huge wooden door, at least twice his height and so heavy that it would be the Cards of the kingdom which had to open it…
Tall and heavy.
Aiden halted. He quickly wiped his eyes and looked back to the King. He smiled as he uttered his final wish: “I wish to become a giant.”
His Majesty was shocked. “A giant! It’s an interesting idea… But there is no place for giants in Storyland. I will have to ban you…”
“No, do not worry. I will live in the mountains and will seek my own adventure up there…”
The King nodded, satisfied. He then called the Great Magician. “Merlin! A new adventurer!”
An old man with a long dark blue cloak came in. His face was buried in his white beard. Yet his blue eyes shone with immense power and infinite wisdom. He bowed. “My lord.”
“Merlin, the young Aiden has finally made his choice. He will become a giant and go to the mountains. I will provide him with five hundred thousand pages a year.”
Five hundred thousand! That was a large sum of money. His mother would be proud of him.
But money did not matter to Aiden. He had other plans in mind…
Merlin frowned. He looked at the young man. “A giant… But the mountains would be improper for you. They are humid and cold and you might be deprived of food, and because of your size, it might be difficult for you to come back to buy your provisions.”
The King rubbed his chin. “That is what I was worried about as well…”
Aiden was barely listening. Just get on with it…
Merlin raised up his finger. “But do not fear, I have a remedy to that. I can provide you with a magic bean, one which, when buried in fertile soil will grow up to become the highest plant this land has ever known, and at the top, a mansion will emerge, with everything you need in it…”
The King interrupted him: “That’ll be fine but do not forget, Aiden, that you will have to go on an adventure at least every year for you to benefit from the five hundred thousand pages I’m offering you as a payment.”
“All right,” Aiden said dreamingly.
Thus, he was soon ten metres tall, living in a luxurious mansion, held by a giant bean plant. But this was only the beginning of his success to realising his dreams. When Merlin had gone and he was left all alone, he went on the rooftop. He looked up at the white opaque sky which seemed so near…
He threw his hands up and jumped.
It was over. It was over for Kerry. She would never be able to attend creative writing classes. Her parents had refused to finance her studies, unless she would follow the path of business and management. She had no other solution but to abide by their rules and forget about her passionate relationship with her pen and paper.
Her eyes blurred with tears as she took one of her writing pieces, a mere sheet of paper with stumbling words, and started to rub her eraser onto her art.
She barely noticed as her favourite character in her stories, Aiden, tore up the paper and tried vainly to catch her attention, struggling to hold on as she slowly killed him…
An Evil Nymph.