Gabriel lives with her family on the Island of Madeira, where a warm climate provides the perfect environment to enjoy the outdoor life.
The Giant Growth
“Give it back to me now Graham or I’m telling Mum.” Sam yelled at the top of his voice making a grab for his mobile phone. Graham dangled the phone in-front of him and then quickly pulled it away. He laughed at his big brother, his face was growing redder and redder and redder. He was going to explode.
“I’m telling, I’m telling. That’s all you ever say, you big red faced curly haired baby!” Graham threw the phone at his brother. It hit him hard on the shoulder and then landed with a loud crack on the floor.
“Ow! That hurt,” Sam roared with anger, turning to pick up his phone. “The face is broken, you broke my phone,” he howled, kicking out at his brother and stomping hard on his little toe. Graham let out a cry, grabbing his toe he hopped about shouting at Sam. He put his foot down to examine his poor toe. It was red and it was throbbing.
“It’s starting to swell, look! Sam my toe, it’s swelling.” Sam looked at Graham’s toe. It was certainly swelling. No! It wasn’t swelling, it was … it was growing.
“It’s growing. Your toe, and… and you… you’re all growing, all of you. You’re growing. Oh! oh my Gosh!
“Mummy!” Graham shrieked at the top of his voice. Wide eyed and frightened he watched as his toes grew, his feet grew, his knees and legs grew. The hairs on his legs grew; long and thick.
The buttons on his pajamas strained against his burgeoning tummy. Pop, pop, pop, pop and pop! The buttons flew off at high speed around the room. Sam ducked one button as it soared over his head bouncing off the wall.
Grahams fingers and elbows grew, his arms grew. His pajama bottoms ripped, his bony knees poking through the material. The elastic band around his waist dug harshly into his soft skin. With a finally ping the elastic gave way. Grahams pajama bottoms were in shreds. His shoulders grew. His top stretching and ripping against his expanding back. Sam stood in shock watching his fourteen year old brother grow at an alarmingly fast and terrifying cosmic rate. It was like watching the incredible hulk bursting out of his clothes. He half expected his brother to turn a worrying shade of green.
He’s taller than Dad, he’s taller than Uncle Jim. Uncle Jim was 6ft 6 inches. He’s taller than the barn door. He’s taller than the barn: Sam’s brain was going ninety miles an hour calculating Graham’s height while watching his little brother grow enormous. His legs were bigger than tree trunks and his huge head wobbled dangerously from side to side. His face was massive, an air balloon of despair. His hair was thick, like the wire Dad used to make the fences that ran around the farm keeping all the animals in and the wild dogs out. His ears looked like complicated skate board ramps; deep curves and high wedges.
Graham was feeling sick, he felt he was on a roller coaster, the monster roller coaster in Florida, the one they went on last spring break. The one that made him throw up his cheese burger. A great big fast roller coaster diving through water, going around and around in circles, dipping and diving and his stomach dipping and diving, going up and down and his stomach going up and down. His head pounding and his body shaking. Graham’s breakfast was edging its way up his neck. He could feel a yet to be fully digested piece of toast with chocolate spread soaked in orange juice gaining speed. The next thing, the soggy mess was in his mouth, his big mouth. He couldn’t swallow it, it tasted sickly, the chocolate spread was runny, the bread heavy and wet. He spat it out. It landed on Sam’s head. A big brown blob of stickiness melting into his blond curly hair, steam rising from the hot gooey mush. Sam screamed, ripping of his favorite pajama top and wiping the mighty Thor’s face in his hair.
Graham was bent over at the waist, his head almost touching the floor, his huge bum squashed up against the ceiling pushing through the roof. Lumps of plaster and chunks of paint fell off and landed on his bedroom floor. My new carpet. Mum will go mad. She’ll have a fit, he thought, an absolute fit.
Sam looked at Grahams feet, they were enormous. His toe nails, thick and tinged yellow, a thin line of black grim between each toe. The stink of sweaty feet the dominate odor in the room, damp and sour. He wanted to vomit. He gagged. One toe was almost as big as him.
“What on earth is going on? Stop growing Graham!” Sam yelled helplessly, as his brothers bum pushed right through the roof.
“I can’t, I don’t know how to stop. I don’t know what’s happening.” his brother yelled back as the wall gave way crashing loudly to the floor. Sam dived under the bed for shelter. With an unmerciful BOOM! the roof piled into the room, an eruption of steel and shingle expelling a huge cloud of dust and dirt. The window exploded sending shards of glass everywhere. Graham hardly noticed as the glass bounced off his shins, his legs filled the room, he towered over the house. Sam peeked out from under the bed. The room was a yellow mist of rubble, everything was destroyed. With the ceiling gone, the window shattered and the walls collapsed a cool breeze quickly filled the air thankfully allowing Sam to breath. He looked upwards. Grahams feet filled the room, Sam couldn’t see past his brothers knobbly knees. A little bit of sick came up his neck. He gulped and swallowed it back down.
Graham was terrified. His fingers were massive and his hands colossal. He could hardly see his feet. His head ached and his tongue felt dry and crusty. He felt faint. His stomach flipped and his knees shook. He looked about him. He was towering over their little farm house. What remained of their lovely little farm house and their newly decorated bedroom. Mum will be so mad. Dad will have a heart attack. The garden was a mess, it wasn’t even a garden anymore, it was a mangled landscape. He glanced down at their bedroom. Sam looked like an ant way down below, a screaming ant, scurrying about.
“I better not step on you.” Graham boomed. The sound of his voice like thunder. Sam cupped his palms over his ears.
“Don’t shout. You’ll deafen me!” Sam roared at the top of his lungs. Graham only just about heard him.
He continued to look about him. He could see the fields stretching for miles and miles, a patchwork of deep greens and pale yellows. The rolling hills far off in the distance. An oasis of woodland dotted the horizon. From so high up, the big lake were they swam in the summer months now looked like a lonely little puddle after a shower of rain. The dirt road to their house stretched for miles before meeting the main road. He could see tiny moving specks darting along the road. Cars and trucks smaller than his toys. Would he ever play with them again, he wondered, his toys, his cars, his console. His favorite superheroes.
Suddenly he was surrounded by a white mist. He reached towards the haze, his hands went through it. He flapped at the mist trying to push it away. He started to panic. Was he being gassed? He started to cough. Big noisy, shattering, wet, lurching coughing sounds bellowed over the landscape. Sheep and cattle in the fields fled to the furthest point they could reach. The trees shook and the hills quivered. Wings soared. Swiftly realization sunk in.
“Clouds, it’s just clouds. Thank God.” Graham whispered to himself. Everywhere he looked all he could see was white fluffy cotton clouds. He looked down. He was way up in the clouds. Birds flew below, a few even stopped for respite, perching on the hairs of his legs. Was that bird poop on his thigh?
Graham was dizzy, his head ached and he was thirsty, his tongue felt massive in his mouth. He looked towards the lake. He bent down and got on his hands and knees. His big hands scooped up some water, he held his palms to his mouth to drink, a few droplets escaped creating mini lakes around the devasted farm house. Oblivious to his brother who was now taller than a ten story building, Sam shrieked as one droplet, about thirty gallons of lake water crashed down on the house through what was left of the roof and into their ruined bedroom. He grabbed onto the bedstead as the water poured over him in waves. It was like being flushed down the toilet. Finally he was able to stand, aghast he watched his now giant brother drink from the lake. Sam was drenched to the bone, he was shivering, he was petrified. He wanted his Mum and Dad. He wanted his brother to stop growing. How much taller could he possibly grow.
Abruptly the ground started to shake. Graham was moving into a sitting position. His long legs stretched out over the fields. He started to sniffle, his shoulders sagging. He felt terrible, he was scared and he wanted this to stop, whatever this awful thing was. He wanted to cry. Sam stared up at his ginormous brother.
“Oh! oh no! no! Graham don’t cry. For the love of chocolate, don’t cry! Don’t cry!” Sam wailed, willing Graham to hear him. His brothers eyes filled with water, shinning pools of turquoise blue brimming to the rim. A vast tear slipped down his ruddy cheek gathering alarming momentum as it fell. Sam gasped in horror, he ran and grabbed the bedstead for the second time in what felt like hours although only minutes had gone by. He held tight. He closed his eyes and prayed.
He waited. Nothing happened. Gingerly Sam opened one eye. Then he opened the other eye. He dared to glance up at his brother. Graham had wiped away his erupting tears with the back of his great big hand. The tons of salty water dissolving into his skin. Sam was safe, he wasn’t going to drown in an ocean of his little brothers tears.
Graham looked around him. The house was destroyed, a bed of debris. The lake gone, in its place a murky slick of slush a gapping cavern, a scar on the landscape. The ground where he sat was a devastated muddy trench. He felt alienated. He felt tired. He looked for Sam. Where was his brother? Finally finding him in the wreckage of their bedroom. He put his hand down to allow his big brother to climb up and out of the dilapidated house.
Sam watched with sheer terror as Graham swept his hand over the ruins of their bedroom. What on earth was he doing. The hand stopped, the mammoth hand, big as a two story house. Sam realized what was happening, he climbed aboard the open palm and held on tight.
Graham lifted his hand slowly up to his face. His big brother sat in the middle of his palm. He was tiny, smaller than Tom Thumb. He looked terrified. He was in an awful state. Sam looked like he’d been flushed down the toilet. Suddenly he realized that his brother was just as frightened as he was. That they were in this together. The two of them, and that they always would be, because they were brothers. They were only eleven months apart. His heart thumped loudly in his chest, full of love for his big brother.
“Are you ok Sam?” he whispered.
Sam felt a rush of hot air in his face. An unpleasant stale whiff. Something chocolatey assaulted his senses. He gazed up at his brother. His little brother. His enormous, gigantic, little brother who loved chocolate spread on his hot buttered toast, who annoyingly dipped his chocolate toast in chilled orange juice every breakfast.
“Yes, Graham. I’m ok,” he shouted. And then he smiled a big beaming radiant smile.
Graham beamed back. “Sorry about your phone Sam. I’ll buy you another one. I promise I will.”
“That’s ok. Sorry about your toe.”
Graham lifted his toe to examine it. It didn’t hurt anymore. It hadn’t really hurt in the beginning.
“That’s ok, it’s fine now.”
“You do realize that you're naked, don’t you?”
“Yeah, I might have a bit of problem there.” Graham tried to keep his loud vibrating chuckles under control as the two brothers, one a stupendous monstrosity circa 500 feet in height, the other one, no bigger than a fly in his mighty hand, laughed together at their shared joke.
And far off past the green and yellow patchwork quilt of fields, the rolling hills and the woodland trees, speeding cars and trucks went busily on their way, the drivers and passengers wondering when the threatening thunder would finally bring the pouring rain.
© 2020 Gabriel Wilson