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Whose Story Is This?

by  andinadia

Posted: Friday, March 13, 2015
Word Count: 990
Summary: This is in the same vein as the previous rather surreal one. What I'm trying to do is capture the occasional randomness of children's story-telling, while keeping an overall narrative framework. It's also trying to show how stories are often created jointly, even randomly jointly. If published, the cover might show the word 'is' in larger/capital letters, to indicate how the question is being asked (i.e. in exasperation!)

Whose Story Is This?
by Adam (and Jake)
(with help from Andy)
Spread 1
This is the first story I’ve ever written.
It was summer. I was out on my bike.
‘Me too, Adam!’
No, Jake. You’re not in this story.
My brother Jake is always shouting.
(a/w: Adam, aged 6/7, is in front of the double page spread, along with his little brother aged 4. Both are wearing T-shirts. It should be made clear that it’s the older boy, Adam, who’s doing the narrating in the first 2 lines. The spread shows an aerial view of his home and street, with the hedge from spread 3 visible. The lines in italics will be in a different font, indicating the conversation that takes place around the story that’s being written.)
Spread 2
See, I told you. My brother shouts when he’s happy and he shouts when he’s not.
There. That should do it.
(a/w: Adam shuts his bedroom door. We can see the inside of his room, which is a total mess.)
I wasn’t having a good day. First, Dad said my room looked like a jungle. Then Pawpaw ran away.
I went looking for Pawpaw. And now my back wheel was squeaking … again.
(a/w: Adam on in his bike, in the streets hat we could see in spread 1. He’s carrying posters to put up around the town. All we can see on the posters is the word ‘LOST’. He’s turning to look at his back wheel)
Spread 3
I heard a noise above me, like a door slamming. Then the sun disappeared. Well, nearly.
The day was not going well. I went flying through the hedge.
(a/w: Flash of yellow and black. Adam flying through the air, into a big hedge full of spring blossom.)
Spread 4
When I opened my eyes again there was this train. In a field. And a lady shouting, ‘Roll up, roll up! Ride your stories here.’
‘Hey, I was on that train too!’
No, you weren’t, Jake.
‘Yes I WAS!’
(a/w: Adam’s perspective. The train is like a theme park train, with open carriages with benches facing each other. Adults and children gathered around, some of them already on the train, including the man from spread 7. There is a lady by the train, holding a clipboard.)
Spread 5
So … there we were, Jake and I, sitting on the train.
The lady said, ‘When you’re ready, just press the button.’
‘What button, Adam?’
‘Just wait and see.’
(a/w: Jake is sitting on the train, beside Adam. We can see some of the carriages and their passengers, including the man from spread 7 again, in the carriage behind, peering around.)
Spread 6
Now we were wearing jackets, with big buttons in different colours.
‘Press the green one,’ she said. ‘It’s best not to press the red one.’
Jake pressed the red one.
(a/w: Close up view of Adam and Jake, now wearing something like safari jackets with lots of pockets, and big coloured buttons.)
Spread 7
A man was sitting opposite.
‘What are you doing in my story?’ he asked.
‘This is OUR story,’ Jake said. He only shouted one of the words. The man got out of our carriage.
I pressed the green button on Jake’s jacket, then the one on mine.
(a/w: Another black and yellow flash. A man is sitting opposite them in their carriage. He looks a bit like Terry Pratchett)
Spread 8
We were in a jungle. The train had gone.
‘This is the where the action starts!’ the lady said. That was when she disappeared.
(a/w: Very different scene. Thick swampy jungle – the Sundarbans in Bengal)
Spread 9
You’ve never seen anything like it. Huge parrots. Poison arrow frogs. Snakes as thick as your arm!
(a/w: Thick jungle, with sunlight breaking through the canopy. We can see all sorts of jungle animals, not only the ones Adam mentions. This is where the reader spots the animals, which should all be authentic Indian subcontinent wildlife. The snake should look a little threatening, looping down from the tree – but not too threatening! There is a colourful chicken/grouse running into the picture. Adam and Jake are looking around and above in wonder.)
Spread 10
This boy ran by. He was chasing a chicken. Or that’s what we thought.
He wasn’t chasing the chicken, Adam!
That’s what I said, Jake.
(a/w: Indian boy of same age as Adam is running after the chicken that’s now squawking and flapping its wings. The Indian boy is looking back over his shoulder, but we can’t see what he’s looking at.)
Spread 11
The lady came back and said, ‘OK, are we nearly done, boys?’
‘Nearly,’ I replied.
‘I’m ready,’ Jake said.
(a/w: Lady reappears, holding clipboard. Ticks something off. In the background we can see the Indian boy and the chicken, with a fairly friendly-looking tiger chasing them through the jungle.)
Spread 12
It was Pawpaw, playing his usual games. He loves chasing our friends!
‘PAWPAW!’ Jake shouted. Sometimes he can really shout.
‘Come on Pawpaw, it’s time to go home for tea,’ I said.
(a/w: There is a kind of tunnel, which says The End. The tiger has stopped and turned to look towards Adam and Jake.)
Spread 13 (single page)
That was our story. Jake’s and mine. And Pawpaw’s. We hope you liked it.
(a/w: The two boys arriving home, on their bikes. Jake’s has stabilisers. Pawpaw the tiger is running beside them, on a lead. Friends of theirs – adults and children in the area - are waving at them from their front doors and gardens. One of them is the same Indian boy that we saw in the jungle, but now he’s in regular clothes like Adam and Jake. The lady with the clipboard is now a lollipop lady. The Terry Pratchett man is walking by too.)