“I know where it is!” Ellie persisted. Her arms were cross across her small, flat chest. She tapped one toe in obvious annoyance.
“Oh really?” Ald asked. He paused at the gate, looking over his shoulder at her. “Let me guess, you figured it out from another story?”
Ellie rolled her eyes and then glared at Ald. Being her best friend, his skepticism was the toughest to bear. It wasn’t her fault that she was the better reader between them. Perhaps his disbelief stemmed from him not having read any of the stories. She figured he also bore some irritation at the fact her introducing him to The BFG by Roald Dahl had been a red flag to his parents, prompting them to pay closer attention to Ald’s reading habits and blacklist titles as they saw necessary. It was a complicated situation for two kids to be in.
“It doesn’t matter!” Ellie reached an arm up to tug at one of the long, brown braids hanging down behind her ear. She chewed on her lip as she considered how to continue speaking to Ald without offending him. She needed to inspire him. Dropping her braid, she balled her hands into fists and took a step forward, thrusting her arms down to her sides, “We could get to the treasure first if you listen to me. Do you really want Gus and Blake to find it before us?”
Ald regarded her with a scowl, his mind processing her words. He took time to mull things over, and it drove Ellie crazy. With her mind on overdrive and often following multiple topics, she wrongly perceived that Ald might be on the slow side of things. Although he wasn’t quick to speak, he was never hesitant to act when it mattered. But Ellie’s young observance of him wasn’t that deep.
He hiked the leather bridle up on his shoulder and turned back to the gate. Ellie tensed, expecting the worse.
“Fine. I’ll get Pistol,” Ald replied as he began to walk across the field towards the horses.
Ellie grinned and skipped after him, pumping her fist into the air in solitary celebration.
She knew Ald’s distaste for Gus and Blake would win over his doubt. Ald didn’t share Ellie’s confidence in her ‘special’ abilities. As Ellie clambered through the rail fence, she could hear her grandmother’s voice in her head. A story can take you anywhere, show you anything you desire. You just have to be clever enough to read between the lines.
Before reading The BFG, they had merely been words that the old woman recited to Ellie. But the night that Ellie realized a giant was indeed delivering her dreams, she began to give the words merit. Ellie devoured books from that day onwards, discovering information that helped explained the fantastic and mysterious questions that kept her up at night. It was soon apparent to Ellie that someone or something was communicating with her through her books. It was the only way to explain her newly discovered insight to her life.
She had tried to reason with Ald about the giants, but he hadn’t believed her. She had lent him her tattered copy of The BFG for reference and explained that he should stuff his bed with clothes then hide in his closet and wait for his dreams to arrive. The book had been promptly returned to Ellie’s mother the following day by Ald’s mother. She had eavesdropped from the hallway and the words stuck in her mind, “I found Donald lurking in his closet late at night after your daughter told him giants would be visiting his room. He had to go to school without a lick of sleep and is now grounded, so let Ellie know he won’t be able to play for the next week. I would appreciate it if you would refrain from sending any more silly fantasy stories home with him.”
Ellie looked up to see Ald approaching, leading Pistol, his aging Palomino.
“So where do we need to go?” Ald asked, reaching up to tug at Pistol’s mane with his fingers.
A grin broke across Ellie’s face, “We have to find an ocular animal to tell us where it is.”
……..To be continued.