Veronica’s eyes widened while Ellie pretended to be concerned, knowing that Zoe had control of the situation and, despite her wheezing, would be able to calmly walk over to her bag, take out her puffer, put it in her mouth and take three, measured breaths. Although the event lasted no more than a few seconds, the girls thought it best to do something a little less energetic and draw some pictures.
Ellie relished this part of the day and traditionally left the other two girls alone as she practised developing her drawing skills by drawing what she missed the most about her life outside of the never-ending sleepover; her mother and father and little sister. Over the past eighty-one days, Ellie was proud of how far she had come as a drawer and had improved so much that Zoe, who was known for her artistic talents, leaned over and commented on how wonderful Ellie’s drawing was. This took Ellie by surprise as this had not happened before today and she felt flattered that someone with Zoe’s reputation thought she was a great drawer. Getting caught up in the idea of potentially being an artist, and getting excited by the thought of mixing up her day a little bit, Ellie proposed they display their drawings on Veronica’s wall. Both girls immediately looked up at Ellie, seemingly shocked by her proposal.
“I, um, don’t really share my unfinished work,” Zoe said timidly.
Veronica’s eyes shot quickly from Zoe to Ellie, “And there is no way I’m sharing mine.”
Energised by the prospect of having a change in her day, Ellie continued pressing the girls to take part. “Oh, come on!” she said, “You two are such spoilsports.” Enjoying this change in her routine a little too much, Ellie ripped the page with her drawing on it out of her book, hopped over the two girls and started taking down some of the posters on Veronica’s wall to use the sticky gum on the back to replace them with her own picture. Veronica was getting visibly frustrated and stood up to try and get her walls back to the way they were a few seconds ago. Still caught up in the moment, Ellie took this opportunity to snatch Veronica’s drawing from where she had left it unguarded, hopped back over to the other side of the room, and mockingly held the picture close to her chest.
“Give it back!” Veronica demanded in desperation.
Boasting a cheeky a smile, Ellie looked down and the picture, “Why? What have you got to…” Ellie froze and stared at the drawing. Veronica had drawn a see-through bedroom resembling the one they were in, floating in darkness. Ellie could make out three girls lying down to sleep in their sleeping bags, one of which had a dinosaur printed on the outside.
Ellie looked up at Veronica who standing silently with her arms folded. “Are you… are you stuck here, too?” The look of relief on Veronica’s face spoke volumes. Both girls stared at each for a moment and spoke at the same time. “Eighty-one days,” they said in unison.
Ellie looked down at the picture and then back at Veronica. “Is it your fault we’re here? What have you done?”
Veronica shook her quickly, “No. I mean… I don’t think so… I just…”
“It’s mine,” Zoe interrupted.
The two girls quickly turned to Zoe as held up her drawing. Zoe’s picture showed the bedroom, with Zoe clutching her bag as the other two girls laid mattresses down, getting ready on the first morning of the sleepover. “My drawings,” Zoe started, “They sometimes, well, they sometimes come to life. I was enjoying this so much, that I didn’t want it to end, so I’ve drawn us starting again for the past eighty-one days. I honestly didn’t think the two of you would be part of it.” Tears started to form in Zoe’s eyes. “I’m so sorry.”
“This is something we are definitely going to have to talk about later, but, for now, can get us out of here?” Ellie asked Zoe.
“I’ll try,” Zoe replied as she sat down to draw another picture.
As Zoe drew, Veronica and Ellie discussed how they were too scared to change much of the day, in fear something might go wrong when they were free again. Just as they were starting to see the humorous side to their situation, Zoe held up her page for the two girls to see. The drawing showed the three girls being picked up by their mothers and Zoe and Veronica commented that it was the most beautiful picture they had ever seen. They moved over and hugged Zoe, thanking her for sending them back home.
Just as they’re sadness to gratefulness, there was a knock at the bedroom door.
You can read about when Zoe first discovered her special drawing abilities by reading Tale #33 – The Tale of Zoe and the Actual Real-Life Monster in Her Bedroom.
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