Saturday, September 13, 2008

Apologies to All

I'm so sorry I haven't posted a blog entry for a couple weeks. There's just so much going on, with school, with the Appletons, with my classmates, with my cows, and with GlomCorp...I haven't had even a moment for my online friends, or for myself!

You might not hear from me again for a while, but I'll be thinking of you all. Thanks for reading my journal!

Much love, BIG MELLY.

Thursday, August 28, 2008

Boy Are So Squirmy!

Mr. Appleton is raging mad at me today. Jay's friends haven't come back to help in the orchard, and we're falling way behind schedule. I'm picking as fast as I can but I have trouble with the low-hanging fruit because I have to bend way down and try to reach in without getting my face cut up by branches.

"I don't know what you said to those boys, but you'll have to make things right," said Mr. Appleton, and that was that. I got the three boys' names and addresses from Jay, and luckily I didn't have to go through the downtown area to get to any of them.

Here's how it went...

I walked up to a house with a normal-sized front door, which came up to about the middle of my thigh. I gave the door a "shave-and-a-haircut" knock, almost but not quite hard enough to splinter the wood. When the door opened, a woman poked her head out and looked up at me, open-mouthed.

I smiled. "Hello, Mrs. Maldonado. I'm Melly, Jay Appleton's foster sister."

Mrs. Maldonado nodded slightly and continued to stare.

"Is your son, Andy, home? He's late for his job in the orchard."

Another nod, and the woman disappeared back into the house. I could hear shuffling, thumping, and yelling for a few minutes before Mrs. Maldonado pushed a terrified boy outside. I recognized him as one of the three I'd chased out of my shed.

"Thanks a lot," I told Andy's mother, as politely as I could. After two more houses, my arms were loaded down with squirming boys. I never knew boys were so squirmy but I'm used to wrestling Old Carl the bull to the watering hole and back every week so they didn't give me any trouble. In addition to Andy Maldonado were Kevin Gulchnick and Toshi Mitsuyama.

I dumped the boys at Mr. Appleton's feet and said, "There! Are you happy now?"

He wasn't, but at least he didn't yell at me anymore for the rest of the day.

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Part Time Doc

Dr. Crisp came by today for our final tutoring session. He says I'm officially ready to start classes next week and the school has a tutoring program if I need help during the year, so his work with me is done. Officially, that is.

"I'll still be by every other week for medical checkups," he said. "That's my contract with the state because of your 'special needs,' though I've never met anyone healthier in my life."

I don't know what I'm going to do without Doc being around so much. I really count on him, and trust him, and feel like I can tell him things I can't say to the Appletons or other adults. I feel so betrayed!

"Can we still shoot baskets sometimes?" I asked.

"Sometimes," he agreed. But only sometimes.

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

An Infestation of Boys

I thought Jay and three of his friends were supposed to pick fruit with me yesterday, but they had better things to do and better places to do them at. Instead it was just me on foot and Mr. Appleton on a tractor, carting away the bushel-barrels as I filled them up. It was slow work because Mr. Appleton wouldn't let me shake fruit out of the trees and I had to pick them all by hand.

By noon I was wishing Jay's friends would show up, and that made me realize I hadn't ever seen any of Jay's friends in all the weeks I'd been living with him and his family. I was beginning to think he'd made them up and that would be another reason for me to feel sorry for the little guy. But then today I took some time off fruit-picking to milk and wash my cows, and I must have left the big sliding door open on the fifty-foot wide shed where I've been living, between the Appletons' house and their orchard.

When I came back, Jay was standing outside the door, nervously clenching his hands together. I heard him call into the shed, "Come on, guys! She'll be back any second and she'll have a fit if she finds you in there!"

All right, to be fair, I have had a few fits and Jay has been right at the center of most of them. And I do like my shed to be my own private space, like a bedroom would be if there was a bedroom in the Appletons' house large enough to fit me. But like I said yesterday, this is the new and improved Melly Mills who acts mature and doesn't get mad at stupid little boys and their stupid little friends--

Yeah, so what can I say? Old habits are hard to break. I was at that door as fast as my nine-foot legs could carry me, waving my arms and yelling loud enough to shake the walls! You should have seen the three of them scatter like rats as I chased them around the room, under my bed, over my sneakers, into the legs of my desk and chair, and out into the orchard.

"I warned them," said Jay, and then he disappeared as well.

When they'd gone, I fell over and couldn't stop laughing. Real mature, Melly. Way to make friends and influence people.

Monday, August 25, 2008

A New Chapter

Welcome to the next big chapter of my life. I woke up this morning and decided to be a more mature, more responsible Melly Mills--and it wasn't even a dream that convinced me. Even I can't have life-altering dreams every night.

Doc measured my height and weight yesterday. I won't tell you my weight, except that it's more than most cars but less than many pickup trucks or SUVs. But finally, my height was eighteen feet exactly. In another country that would be 5.486 meters and not much of a milestone at all, but here in America that's still kind of a big deal.

So no more acting like an immature 17-plus footer for me. No more dangling boys upside down by their feet and tickling them until they wet their pants, no matter how much they deserve it. And no more triple exclamation points to show how loud I can yell or how enthusiastic I can be.

Today I also start my new job, picking fruit for the Appletons--mostly apples, which makes sense from their name, but also some peaches, pears, and cherries. They even have one tree with all four cuz-- excuse me, because it's an apple tree with peach, pear, and cherry branches grafted onto the trunk. Mr. Appleton calls it his Eden Tree because it looks like something that came out of God's own garden.

I like that tree a lot because it has more to offer the world than usual--just like me, or so I like to think.

Friday, August 22, 2008

End of Chapter One

I got a letter today from the school superintendent about the school board's decision, making it official what I already knew. They won't be able to provide transportation, since there isn't a bus big enough for me, so I'll have to walk to school.

There was a map enclosed with the letter of my "strongly suggested" route--the long way that bypasses downtown. And there's a number I'm supposed to call if I'm going to be going home later or earlier than normal. I like that they included that word, normal. On some streets there will be wooden barricades set up for me to walk between but still, that's going to be considered normal.

School starts on September 4th but I'll have a special orientation on the 3rd to meet my teachers and arrange my room--which will be a secondary gym that's being converted into a classroom. The letter says it has a high ceiling and double-doors that open directly onto the faculty parking lot. It will be the only part of the school I'll ever need to go into, kind of like an old-time one-room schoolhouse. Maybe I'll get to wear my "Little House on the Prairie" dress after all!!!

Once school starts I'm going to be meeting more people than I've ever known in my life, and most of them will be my own age!!! It's exciting and scary. It really does feel like an important chapter in my life is coming to an end, so I'll write it out here...

END OF CHAPTER ONE
CHAPTER TWO BEGINS ON MONDAY, AUGUST 25th.

Thursday, August 21, 2008

Caging the Monster

I've already run out of the sleeping pills Doc gave me, cuz I've got to take a whole bunch of them at a time on account of my size and metabolism. But maybe after last night, I won't need them anymore.

I dreamed of the meadow again but this time everything was calm and peaceful. It was daytime again with blue skies and a rainbow from one horizon to the other. I could still hear my monster shrieking in the distance 'tho, along with a whole lot of banging. I went to investigate and didn't feel frightened at all.

Over the ridge, I came to my old barn. Something inside was making a terrible racket, banging again and again into the doors, but the crossbar them shut. Red light and smoke seeped out through every crack as my monster struggled to break free.

"It's about time you showed up," said Miss Freckles. She stood by the door with her hands on her hips. "I caught your monster for you--don't thank me or anything."

"You? You're the one who did this?"

"It wasn't so hard. I'm not the one he's so pissed off at. Well, maybe a little, but he's your monster and not mine."

"I don't know what to say," I told her.

"Thank you would be appropriate."

"Oh, right, thank you."

"You're welcome. Just don't get used to me fixing all your messes. You're not my responsibility. Not anymore." She looked at me seriously. "This is only temporary, Melly. That door won't hold forever. Eventually you'll have to face him and own up to what you've done."

"I know," I whispered. "I'm just not ready--Oh!" I had a sudden, terrible thought. "In another dream, the barn was the last place I saw Ma!!!"

"Your mother?" Miss Freckles sighed. "Yeah, I've got that covered too. You really would be helpless without me."

She led me to the other side of the barn and there was Ma!!! I got down on my knees and hugged her close.

"Oh, Melly, Melly, Melly, you've grown so much!" she exclaimed.

I shook my head. "An inch and a half, maybe, since our last dream together."

"Not height, Melly. You've grown in other ways, too. You can relate to other people now and you're well on the road to finding your own place in the world."

Miss Freckles chortled under her breath. "Your own place in a circus freakshow is more like it."

"Hush, you!" Ma snapped and, remarkably, Miss Freckles dropped her head.

"I don't know if there really is a place in the world for someone like me," I said to Ma. "I feel out of place every time I go into town."

"And yet, you keep on going," said Ma. "You'll be going into town every day for school, and doesn't it feel more natural and normal each time?"

"Yes," I had to admit.

"Your father and I did you wrong, Melly. We had to hide you away, but at such a high cost... I hope someday you can forgive us."

"Oh, Ma! There's nothing to forgive!"

Miss Freckles grinned. "If she only knew..."

"Hush!" Ma snapped again.

I looked from Ma to Miss Freckles and back. "Do you two know each other?"

Miss Freckles laughed. "If you think your deepest, darkest secret is the one in that barn, you're in for the shock of your life!"

Miss Freckles was still laughing as the dream faded around me. The last thing I heard was Ma's voice saying, "You have a long way to go, Melly dear, but you'll get there. I have faith in you!"

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

One Thing Away from Ruin

Mr. Appleton pulled me aside today for a talk. That sounds funny, doesn't it? Cuz you know he'd need a tractor to literally pull me aside, and what he actually did was sit me down for a talk. While he stood. Looking up.

"Melly, we're tapped out. We've taken out loans and second mortgages in order to set you up in your shed. The money we get from the state doesn't cover any of it, or even a fraction of your food budget."

He must have noticed my expression of worry because he quickly added, "Not that we're unhappy to have you here. Quite the opposite, in fact--I've never seen Becka happier since the day I married her."

This sounded true, 'tho Mr. Appleton really only talked about Mrs. Appleton being happy, and not himself or Jay. Mrs. Appleton seemed so happy to have a girl around that she hardly paid any attention at all to her own son anymore, which was yet another reason for Jay to resent me.

"Any little thing could be the end for us," said Mr. Appleton. "Any unforeseen expense, any unexpected damages, any injury caused to another person, or anything that costs us any money at all. If any of these things happen, the state will take you away and I honestly don't know what would happen to you then. Do you understand?"

I nodded, but Mr. Appleton was waiting for more than just a head-bob so I also told him, "Yes, I understand." I'd never seen his face so tightly drawn and serious.

I never imagined things were so bad as Mr. Appleton made them out to be. How would I ever keep from costing the Appletons whatever was left of their life savings when the world and everything in it is as delicate as Ma's old porcelain tea set--which she never let me play with, but which I still ended up breaking when I accidentally bumped into the house hard enough to knock over the curio cabinet.

"Also," said Mr. Appleton, just when I thought there couldn't possibly be any more, "we usually hire a few farm hands to help with the harvest, but this year the orchard budget is a little tight. Jay and his friends will help some but I really need you to step up."

"Of course," I said. I always helped Ma and Pa at harvest time and it's not like there were any crops this year at Mills Farm anyway. "What about that GlomCorp sponsorship?" I asked "That would help a little, wouldn't it?"

Mr. Appleton smiled a little with just the right side of his mouth. "That would help a lot, actually, but I haven't heard from GlomCorp in a week now and anyway, Becka's not too keen on anyone using you to shill products for them. For now, we'll assume the sponsorship deal is dead and be pleasantly surprised if it ever does happen."

When he said that, Mr. Appleton reminded me a little of Pa. Both of them had that "hope for the best but expect the worst" thing going on, and both of them kept their distance from me. With Pa, it was cuz he loved his horse more than he ever loved me and that's okay cuz he did still love me too. But Mr. Appleton doesn't like me at all and only keeps me around cuz it makes his wife happy. He still thinks I'm a monster. I can see it in his eyes.

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

The Illusion is Complete

Something amazing and magical happened inside my shed today. There's a fuzzy white carpet on the floor now, picked out by Mrs. Appleton, and a headboard for my mattress--built by Mr. Appleton and Jay and stained birch-white to match my desk, chair, and shelves. As a finishing touch, Mrs. Appleton had posters made of "hot boys" from movies I've never seen and TV shows I don't watch, each blown up to six feet by nine and plastered at odd angles all over the cotton candy walls.

The magical part is, when I'm in my room, everything seems to become normal sized including me!!! And any small person who comes in looks like a Munchkin from the Land of Oz!!!

There are still a few things out of scale, like my computer--which could be a toy sitting on the corner of my desk. Or Tinkerbell, who might look like a weirdly-shaped dog with Guernsey markings if you catch sight of her in the corner of your eye. It's not enough to break the illusion 'tho, cuz all those posters have a powerful effect.

"Now this is a girl's room!" Mrs. Appleton exclaimed. She was jumping up and down on the bed like she'd suddenly become a six-year-old, only smaller. She jumped hard enough to knock over the giant teddy bear she'd bought me, which was almost as tall as she was. Boo-Bear, she insists on calling in.

She invited me to join her but I shook my head. "Could you take your shoes off, Mrs. A?" I asked, because somebody in that room had to be an adult.

I have to admit, the shed finally does look like a girl's bedroom. A normal girl's bedroom. Not my bedroom, maybe, but I place where I can hang out and pretend.

Monday, August 18, 2008

Staying Inside with the Doors Locked

I confronted Jay yesterday and accused him of sneaking under the fence last summer to watch me bathe. I didn't have any proof, except for the weird dream I had in the back of Dr. Crisp's truck, but Jay didn't deny it. It's hard to lie about stuff like that when you're being dangled upside-down by an angry seventeen-foot, eleven-and-a-half-inch girl.

"Give me a break, Melly! What fifteen-year-old boy would turn down a chance to see a naked girl, larger than life?"

I wanted to get back at him, and I could have. It would have been so easy, while I was holding him by the feet with one hand, to peel him like a banana with the other--but that's one banana I don't ever want to see. Never, ever, ever, ever!!! Instead I tickled him until he peed his pants, dropped him on his head, and told him we were officially even 'tho we're probably not.

Jay rubbed his head and looked up at me. "I'm sorry, Melly. That all happened back before I knew you. I wouldn't watch you now though, not even if you paid me."

"Gee, thanks."

His face turned red. "You know what I mean! Besides, I never went back again after..." He made a twisting motion with his hands.

"So you really were there that day." I frowned. "And I suppose you told Mrs. Rodriguez all about it?"

"Of course not! I told her you had a temper problem and about some of the stupid stuff you've done to me since my parents took you in, and she actually laughed. She said she'd done all that and worse to her own little brother when she was your age. After that I was too embarrassed to tell her how I'm actually two months older than you, and we never got around to...that day."

I let out a long breath. My deepest, darkest secret was still safe, or as safe as it could ever be in the hands of Jay Appleton.

"Still, I can't ever get that image out of my mind," he said.

I nodded. "I feel really bad about what I did. I have enough guilt to--"

"Choke a horse?" Jay suggested. "No, sorry, that wasn't funny."

"I have enough guilt to give me nightmares every time I close my eyes."

"Good," said Jay. "You deserve your nightmares." I didn't say anything to that cuz I knew he was right. I haven't had any more dreams since Doc gave me those sleeping pills but I will have to face my monster eventually.

From now on, no matter how hot the day is or how much that old creek seems to call out to me, I'm sticking to the private shower in my shed. The one with no windows and a door that I can lock!!!

Friday, August 15, 2008

Like a Gigantic Fly on the Wall

Dr. Crisp came back to the orchard last night to pick up my math exam, just like he promised. He parked the big moving truck next to the house and accepted Mrs. Appleton's invitation to step into the kitchen for pie and coffee before he had to leave for his meeting. I snuck over to the truck and of course it was unlocked.

As quietly as I could, I opened the back, crawled in feet-first, and pulled the doors shut behind me. There wasn't room for me to stretch out my legs, and the roof was too low for me to sit up, but at least I fit. It was comfortable too, cuz Doc had cushioned the floor with padding.

Good old Doc, always looking out for me. What would I ever do without him?

I almost drifted off to sleep but I woke up when the front door of the truck opened and closed and I heard Dr. Crisp tell the Appletons to "Take care, now." Then the motor came to life and we were off.

My sleep-deprived brain was spinning in a frenzy during the entire trip. I could fit into a truck, and that meant I could go anywhere--well, anywhere a big moving truck could go, which is quite a lot of places. If I had a driver, I could visit big cities, forests, deserts...I could see the ocean, and go for a swim in water too deep for me to stand!!!

Except I've never learned how to swim, so I'd need to take lessons first.

The truck stopped and I heard Dr. Crisp get out, his footfalls fading away across the pavement. I waited a few minutes before I emerged from the truck and verified that yes, I was just outside of Town Hall and there was nobody else around to see me. My legs were cramped up from just that short trip, so I had to stretch a bit and rethink my grand plans to tour the country in a truck like this--but maybe they make trucks in a bigger size that would give me more room?

I found the window Dr. Crisp said would be open, and stood to the side of it where I could hear and still be out of sight. The meeting was already going--or should I call it "the fight"? Mr. Peterson was loudly proclaiming that they'd be ice skating in Hades before I'd be allowed to disrupt classes in his town.

"We have to educate her," said Mrs. Lee. "If she doesn't graduate high school, she'll never go to college, marry a rich man, and get to buy lots of expensive clothes and designer footwear!"

"We'll pay for continued tutoring at her home," said Mr. Peterson. "And there are plenty of colleges that offer courses over the Internet."

"You can't keep Melly at home forever, Cedric," said Dr. Crisp.

"Sure we can," said Mr. Peterson. "In fact, I'm looking for the funds to build a thirty-foot gate around that orchard to keep her from ever menacing ordinary folks again!"

I seriously considered saying something just then, and letting them know I was there, but they were all talking at once and shouting over each other so they wouldn't have even heard me.

"The issue in front of us is very simple," said Mrs. Lee, when the room had calmed down again. "We have to treat Melinda Mills like any other student and allow her to come to school if that is what her guardians want for her to do. As long as we can reasonably accommodate her physical disabilities--"

"Being tall is not a physical disability," Coach Saunders stated. "If it was, I'd be able to get much better parking spaces."

"Melly can't fit through standard doors, or stand upright in the hallways, or fit into most classrooms," said Mrs. Lee. "She can't do necessary things the other children can, and from a legal standpoint that's a physical disability."

"Humph," said Coach Saunders. "You're not putting her in my gym all day. The physical education program is already stretched thin without losing our biggest space."

My heart fell. Was a school gym really the only place I'd fit? No wonder Coach Saunders was against me, and Mr. Peterson too, which meant Dr. Crisp would have to win over Mrs. Rodriguez in order to get a majority of board members on my side!!!

"I worry about the safety of the other children," said Mrs. Rodriguez.

"Melly is well-behaved and respectful," said Dr. Crisp. "She wouldn't hurt a soul."

"I've brought a witness who says otherwise. Mr. Appleton, would you come in here?"

Mr. Appleton? Had I heard that right? I know I was sleep-deprived and not thinking clearly but I couldn't imagine what would Mr. Appleton be doing at the school board meeting. I risked a peek into the window but it wasn't Mr. Appleton who stepped sheepishly into the hall. It was Jay Appleton.

"Have a seat, Mr. Appleton," Mrs. Rodriguez said formally to Jay. "Are you comfortable?"

"Yes, ma'am," said Jay.

"Good. Tell us about the day you first saw Melinda Mills."

I know the day I first saw Jay. It was after my first disastrous trip into town, when they chained me up like an animal, and when the Appletons volunteered to look after me--but that's not the day Jay told the school board about.

"It was last summer," he said. "There's a huge fence between our orchard and the Mills Farm, with lots of signs that Mr. Mills put up that trespassers would be shot on sight--but I found a gap at the bottom that I could just squeeze through, so I thought I'd look around and see what was so gosh-darn secret. That's when I first saw Melly, washing her cows in the creek."

My jaw dropped and my fingers twitched all on their own, wanting to strangle that little creep for spying on me in my own private farmland. And I didn't just wash the cows. I also washed my clothes and on warm days I took a nice long bath--what exactly had Jay seen? I felt myself blushing at the thought.

"Did you ever go back after that?" asked Mrs. Rodriguez, leading Jay through his story like an expert lawyer on TV.

"Every Tuesday, for a while," Jay confessed.

THAT LITTLE PERVERT!!! I wanted to kill him!!!

"Now can you tell us what happened on Tuesday, October 9th of last year?"

My heart almost stopped and my throat went dry. That was the day Pa died. Was Jay there when it happened?

Jay started to say something but instead he asked, "What has six legs and two heads?"

"We're not here for riddles, son," snapped Mr. Peterson.

"It's not a riddle," said Jay. "It's a monster!" He pointed to the other side of the room, at my horrible two-headed dream-beast of exposed bone and rotting flesh, with four legs on the floor and two more dangling at the sides of its barrel-shaped body.

"Nice doggy," said Mrs. Rodriguez, adjusting her thick glasses.

The creatures howled and-- I woke up in the back of the truck. Dr. Crisp looked at me through the open doors. "You missed the whole meeting, Melly. You really should try to get more sleep at night."

I tried to sit up and of course bumped my head. "Did they--? Was there--?"

"The vote was three to two. You're going to school, Melly."

"Okay, good, but that's not important right now. Was there a monster at the meeting, and did Jay Appleton tell everybody...stuff...about me?"

Dr. Crisp looked at me curiously. "There were no monsters or teenage boys in attendance. Just the five board members and a whole lot of boring talk. It probably would have put you to sleep again, even if you'd woken up for it in the first place."

Doc drove me back to the orchard and gave me some pills to take for my bad dreams so I could get some sleep. I plan to sleep for the entire weekend and deal with Jay on Monday.

Thursday, August 14, 2008

Oooooooooh!!!

Oh, wait!!! I can sneak into town in the back of Doc's empty moving truck and listen to the meeting from just outside the window!!!

Some Kind of Code?

After staying up two nights in a row, I could barely keep my eyes open by the time Dr. Crisp came by today for our tutoring session. Strangely, he drove up in a large rental truck. "What are you hauling?" Mr. Appleton asked him.

"Nothing yet. I have a friend who's moving into town, but right now this truck is just a big empty space." Doc looked right at me as he said this, like he thought it would mean something important to me, but I was too dead tired to think about what he was saying.

"Is that school board meeting still happening tonight?" Mr. Appleton asked.

"Sure is. In the second-floor meeting room at Town Hall. It's a nice room, except that it gets stuffy in the summer and we have to open a window." He looked at me again and said, "Usually it's the window looking out onto the parking lot."

I blinked and yawned.

"The lot where I'm going to park my big empty truck," he added.

"Humn," I said, cuz it seemed like he was trying hard to get some kind of reaction from me.

"And the meeting is closed to the public?" Mr. Appleton asked.

"Strictly closed. The only way a person might hear what's going on would be if they happened to be located 18 feet off the ground, just outside that open window." It was like he was speaking in code, I thought, but I was just too tired to figure out the message.

"I have a math exam for you, Melly," he said, handing me a few sheets of paper. "I'll be by later to pick up your answers, on my way to the school board meeting, in my big empty truck."

I took the papers and nodded. I wanted to ask Doc if he'd come up with a way for me to attend the meeting, like he said, but I'm sure he'd have told me about it if he had.

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

All-Nighter, Hour 9

It's 6AM and the sun's coming up over the apple trees at last. I'm so tired I can barely think straight, but I successfully avoided my dream monsters for one whole night!!!

One night down and the rest of my lifetime to go...

All-Nighter, Hour 8

5AM. The sky is getting lighter but there's no sun yet. This is normally when I'd be waking up to milk the cows. Maybe I should go to sleep for a minute or two, wake up, and trick my body into feeling like I got a whole night's sleep.

Cows need milking and I'll bring Tinkerbell with me for company. She's not giving any milk yet 'tho, cuz she hasn't had her calf--'tho she's getting fatter every day!!!

All-Nighter, Hour 7

4AM. It'll be getting light soon. Now I know why adults drink coffee or Red Bull.

Hey!!! I have a red bull--Old Carl--except he's more of a dark brown with white patches. We can play bullfighter with a pair of my red AthletiGlom shorts. Ole!!!

That ought to wake me up.

All-Nighter, Hour 6

I've got my second wind, or third wind, or I don't know how many winds I've had cuz I stopped counting already. It's 3AM, by the way.

The only thing on TV right now is an infomercial about a skin-cream that doubles as a marinade for chicken and can also be used to patch up a flat tire. It comes in original, barbecue, or teriyaki flavor.

I should ask Mr. Appleton to hook up some more channels.

All Nighter, Hour 5

2AM. So sleepy...zzzzzzzdlkf;jasd-- Hmm??? Almost drifted off there. Almost...

All Nighter, Hour 4

It's 1AM and I've never been so tired in my life.

I should take another victory lap but I haven't won anything else so far.

Maybe after this game I'll take a defeat lap.

All-Nighter, Hour 3

It's midnight and I just won a game of spider solitaire on the difficulty level with four different suits!!! Hooray for me!!! And now my eyelids are drooping, so I'm going to do a victory lap around the orchard--Coach Saunders would be so proud!!!

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

All-Nighter, Hour 2

It's 11PM and spider solitaire is kicking my butt!!! Tinkerbell is asleep in my lap and I don't think she's in the scary meadow cuz she's waaaaay too content. If I fell asleep now, maybe I'd join her in a happy cow-dream--but I don't want to risk it!!!

All-Nighter, Hour 1

It's 10PM and I'm not sleeping. I'm going to stay up all night watching TV, playing spider solitaire, and not going back to the spooky meadow with Miss Freckles and that other monster.

I'll try to check in with my blog every hour. If an hour goes by and you don't hear from me, COME BY AND WAKE ME UP!!!

My Monster

I fell asleep last night and dreamed about the spooky meadow. Everything was the same as before except now I had Tinkerbell in my arms--which makes sense cuz that's where she was when I fell asleep.

Tink got startled when the first gargling howl came from over the ridge. She squirmed and struggled, so I had to hold her tight and try to calm her down.

And guess who showed up with us right then. No, not Dream Boy--I only wish!--it was Miss Freckles, the giant girl who hates my guts, and she was cackling with glee. "What dark and evil part of your mind is this?" she asked.

"I thought you were the dark and evil part of my mind," I shot back. "I wish I could have traded those GlomCorp clothes for you instead of for Dream Boy!"

"That really hurts, Melly." She made a momentary effort to look sad but failed miserably. I think it had something to do with the gleam in her eyes as she looked out at the swirling red smoke rising from the other side of the ridge. She clasped her hands together when the beast let out another tortured shriek. "Why, Melly! I do believe you've made yourself a monster!"

"Why is it my monster?" I asked, stroking Tink to calm her down again. "Maybe it's your monster."

"It's your mind, so it's your monster. That's the way it works."

"But how do I know this isn't your mind?"

"Oh, Melly." Miss Freckles laughed. "Do you really think I'd invite you into my mind? The creature on the other side of that ridge is a manifestation of your fears, your guilt, and your anxieties. It's your very own monster, created by you!"

The shriek came again, closer than ever, and the red smoke swirled from something large passing through it. Miss Freckles leaned forward eagerly and waited, while I swallowed hard and tried to turn away--but I couldn't. It was like my eyes were glued to the spot!!!

Slowly, a creature emerged from the smoke. It had six legs, two heads, and patches of flesh that clung loosely to its visible bones.

Miss Freckles recoiled with her entire body. "This is your monster? This is the skeleton in your closet?"

My mouth was so dry, I couldn't even answer.

"What have you done, Melly?" Miss Freckles demanded.

"N-n-nothing," I said, unconvincingly.

Miss Freckles launched herself at me, swinging punches that could have flattened a heavyweight boxer--pretty easily too, since she's my size or close to it. I fell back and raised my arms to protect myself. I know it was only a dream but it sure felt real as she connected her fists with my face, arms, and shoulders.

"What have you done, Melly?" she kept asking. "What have you done? What have you done? What have you done?"

I woke to find Tink mooing in my ear. I stroked her neck and told her it was all just a nightmare, and I'm sure it was--but then, why are my hands still shaking as I type this, and why are there bruises coming up on my arms as if I got hit for real?

Monday, August 11, 2008

Tinkerbell Mooooves In

I barely slept all weekend. Every time I closed my eyes I was back in the dark and spooky meadow with that monstrous something waiting just over the ridge. It's like my brain was a TV and I couldn't change the channel!!!

Don't tell Mr. and Mrs. Appleton but I've brought my favorite heifer, Tinkerbell, into the shed to keep me company at night. She's not "shed-broken" yet, so I don't let her up on my mattress, but I don't mind curling up with her on the floor with a blanket. Tink's a smart cow, so I'm sure I can teach her to leave her cow-pies in the litter box I made for her from the wooden crate my GlomCorp stuff came in.

The school board met on Friday night and decided on all kinds of budget items, new rules, and curriculum changes--but they couldn't agree on what to do about me. Dr. Crisp said they were deadlocked, with two members voting to let me attend the school, two members voting to keep me out, and one who wasn't able to make up his or her mind.

Doc wouldn't tell me who voted which way but I think I can figure it out. He would have been on my side, of course, and I think Mrs. Lee liked me and my designer jeans well enough to let me in. Mr. Peterson hates me and would have wanted me removed from his school, his town, and his planet, if that were ever put to a vote. Mrs. Rodriguez probably voted against me too, after Jay whined to her for an hour about how mean I am. Which means Coach Saunders gets to cast the final vote. I sure hope he won't decide based on how many laps I can run around the orchard or how many chin-ups I can do!!!

Doc said the school board is meeting again this week. If the other board members can't persuade that last member to vote with them, it will be up to the chairperson to decide--and that's Mr. Peterson, unfortunately. I asked if I could go and plead my own case but Doc didn't think so. "The meeting is closed to the public but maybe I can arrange something for you."

Anyway, that's just one more thing for me to be anxious about while I'm avoiding sleep.

Saturday, August 9, 2008

Bonus: The Olympics!!!

Did anyone else catch the opening ceremony of the Olympics last night? Wow!!! I didn't know about these games until just recently, so it's probably too late for me to enter--'tho I'm sure I could win a gold medal at some of those events. Like anything where you have to lift or throw something, who could beat me? And those hurdles in the track races wouldn't slow me down very much. And there's also women's basketball!!!

But here's a list of sports that I don't think I'd be very good at:

1. Diving. I don't know that the diving board could support my weight. Also, they'd have to refill the pool after every dive!!!

2. Archery. With the bows and arrows they use, I'd look kind of silly. Like cupid. And I probably wouldn't be able to hit the broad side of a barn, either.

3. Equestrian. Me? On a horse? The cruelty to animal people would be all over me!!!

4. Cycling. Probably not going to happen unless GlomCorp makes me a custom-sized 120-speed bike.

5. Balance Beam. Are you kidding? Have you seen my size 73-and-a-half sneakers???

What do you guys think? Should I start training now for London in 2012?

Friday, August 8, 2008

Spooky

My dreams have been boring lately, and still no Dream Boy. I kept going back to the meadow where Dream Boy and I had our first dream kiss, but he was never there so the dream was just me sitting around until I woke up.

But last night things got spooky. First, the sky over the meadow went dark--not a little at a time like when the sun goes down, but with a snap like somebody turning off a light. Then a cold breeze blew right through my clothes, through my skin, and chilled my bones. I could feel the wind growing stronger and stronger until I could barely stand against it, 'tho the grass around me wasn't moving at all.

I heard a rustling sound from the other side of the meadow, where the ground rose to a ridge just high enough that I couldn't see over the top. "Is somebody there?" I asked. I had to ask a second time, louder, cuz that first time my voice never made it out through my lips.

The ridge rustled again. A red light lit that part of the sky like a flashlight in smoke and I heard a horrible choking noise and an animal's shrieking cry like I'd only ever heard once before in my entire life.

I forced myself awake and I'm never going back to sleep again!!!

Thursday, August 7, 2008

Halfway Up the Melly Tree

I met the last school board member today. Mrs. Rodriguez. Doc wasn't kidding when he said she was "getting on in years." Mrs. Rodriguez looked like she was made entirely out of gnarls, wrinkles, and thick eyeglasses that didn't actually help her to see. I knew this cuz the first thing she said to me was, "Well now, you don't seem all that tall to me."

She was talking to my kneecap.

"I'm up here," I told her.

Mrs. Rodriguez took a step back and pointed her thick lenses upward. "Oh, climbed a tree, have you? That's most unladylike behavior."

"Sorry."

She chuckled. "That's all right, dearie. I scaled a few oaks myself when I was your age. Bet you're surprised to hear that!" I sure was surprised--who knew they had oak trees that long ago!!!

"I'll cut to the chase," she said, 'tho I couldn't picture her chasing much of anything. Maybe a snail, if it didn't have too much of a headstart. "Some of the parents," said Mrs. Rodriguez, "worry that you might be a danger to the other children."

"That's crazy!!!"

"I know, dearie, but it's my job to handle the crazy concerns as well as the sane ones. I'll need to ask some difficult questions to find out exactly how dangerous you really are."

"Ask me anything," I told her.

Mrs. Rodriguez laughed, which sounded more like a chicken's cackle than any sound a human would make. "Oh dearie, dearie! I've been around the block more than a few times. You don't get any useful answers from asking a person if they're well-behaved or not. But I know who just might have something to say on the matter--where is your foster-brother, Jay?"

I felt my stomach sink. "He's over in the house."

"Thank you, dearie. You stay up in your tree and I'll have a nice sit-down with your brother."

I don't have a good feeling that conversation. I'm worried Jay'll make up a bunch of stories about me, and I'm even more worried he'll tell the truth!!! Why couldn't I have been nicer to him when I had the chance??? Now I won't get into high school and my whole future will be ruined!!!

Wednesday, August 6, 2008

Now More Than Ever

I've been thinking about it and I do still want to play on the girls' basketball team. In fact, I want to play on the team now more than ever. I want to show Coach Saunders that I can work as hard as he wants me to, even if the workouts wear me out.

And I Said, "Give You Twenty What?"

I met Coach Saunders today, one more school board member who looks and acts nothing like a timid cow. Coach had me drop and give him twenty, then made me run laps back and forth through the rows of cherry trees in Mr. Appleton's orchard. Would a cow do that? I don't think so!!!

Coach kept looking at his stopwatch and saying I could run faster, faster, faster!!! Finally, I couldn't take another step. I couldn't breathe without feeling like my throat was on fire. "Why?" I asked, and that single word took up all the air left inside me. I felt like a beached whale and, rolling on the ground, I probably looked like one too.

"Dr. Crisp says you want to play on the basketball team," Coach stated.

I tried to lift my head and failed, miserably.

"There are girls on that team who have been playing ball since elementary school. Kayla Rice and Maddy Diamante spent their summers at a basketball camp to sharpen their skills. You may not have to work as hard as they do, but you will work as hard as they do--or harder. There are no slackers in my athletic program, and nobody who expects to just walk on and become an instant star."

That was over an hour ago and I still ache all over from running so hard. The basketball finals looked so easy when I watched them on TV, but sports are harder work than I ever imagined!!!

I don't know if I want to play on the high school team anymore.

Tuesday, August 5, 2008

The Honor's All His Honor's

Today is the last day I have to do Jay Appleton's chores as punishment for losing that basketball bet--one week and not a minute more!!! So naturally the little creep milked every moment of my time. Then he was supposed to go with me into town for my dental appointment, but he insisted on riding my shoulders and steering me past some teen hangout where all his friends would see us. Oh, didn't I tell you that Jay Appleton has friends? Yes, it seems that absolutely everybody has friends except for me. All I have are cows!!!

But I didn't get to meet Jay's friends cuz there was a police roadblock across Bypass Road. They must have known I was coming, cuz it's hard to believe they've been setting up like that every day with all those lights, sirens, bullet-proof vests, riot gear, fire trucks--yeah, fire trucks, the kind with the long ladders. That must be in case they need to rescue a kitten from my hair, I guess. And in the middle of the whole noisy-flashy mess was a thin man in a sharp white suit with crossed arms and the meanest scowl I've ever seen.

"That's Mr. Peterson," Jay whispered into my ear, and for that moment I was glad to have him on my shoulders.

"Mr. Peterson from the school board?" I asked.

"Yeah. His dad is the mayor."

"Great..." I tried to imagine Mr. Peterson as a timid cow, but he totally didn't look the part. So much for that little piece of advice. Thanks for nothing, LadyNerd!!!

"Do you have business in my town, Miss Mills?" Mr. Peterson asked.

"Your town? It's my town too, you know. Born and raised."

Some of the police officers adjusted their taser-guns, cuz I guess they didn't like my disrespectful tone, but Mr. Peterson waved them back. "Say you're sorry, quick!" Jay urged into my ear. I might have, except I didn't feel like I had anything to be sorry for.

"I have a dental appointment at eleven," I told Mr. Peterson. "If you move your toy soldiers out of my way, I should be able to just make it."

The man's face turned bright red, and I felt a panicked tornado in my stomach. I flashed back to the first time I "rampaged" through town and expected history to repeat itself--and it might have, except this time history was stopped by another man in a white suit that was even brighter and more spiffy than Mr. Peterson's, with a red rose in the lapel button. "What all is going on here?" the new man asked.

"Papa, please, let me handle this," said Mr. Peterson.

"Papa?" I asked.

"That's Mayor Peterson," Jay told me.

"Young Miss," said the mayor, addressing me. "You have my sincerest apologies for the dunderheaded actions of my boy. Gets a little big for his britches sometimes, if you know what I mean."

"Maybe I could lend him a pair of mine," I offered.

"Indeed, indeed," said the mayor with a wink, and such a charming laugh that I wondered how him and the younger Mr. Peterson could possibly be related. "You have a good day now, miss."

"Thanks, Your Honor. You too!!!"

"You're going to let her just stroll through town?" Mr. Peterson demanded of his father. "Think of the panic!"

"I see guns and uniforms on your side of the street and two innocent children on the other. Now tell me, boy, which would folks around here be more panicked about?"

"I'm just counting down the days until that school board meeting," said Mr. Peterson through gritted teeth. I felt his eyes burning holes in my back as I walked away into town.

After that, the dental appointment itself was pretty routine, or at least I think it was. I really have no way of knowing, since it was my first time ever having my teeth looked at. Does every dentist use ropes to hang out a second-story window and look into a person's mouth, or was that just for me?

Monday, August 4, 2008

Giant House on the Prairie

Mrs. Johansson is much nicer to me these days. She said it's cuz the reports she has to write about me are better than they used to be, back when she first took on my case. "Two months ago, you were living in a barn. Now you have adequate food, clothing, and shelter, access to medical care, and a stable family environment." She said this proudly, like it's all because of her, even though it's not.

Besides, I still miss my barn.

The clothes she was talking about weren't my cool new GlomCorp stuff, by the way. Mrs. Johansson brought by some prairie dresses she'd had made and I was modeling them for her and Mrs. Appleton. "Prairie" as in "Little House on the"--except these would have been too old-fashioned for even Laura Ingles Wilder!!! They were actually big on me, if you can believe that, and so long they tripped me up when I walked.

"You'll grow into them," said Mrs. Johansson.

I hope not. These dresses were made for a girl of nineteen or twenty feet, but I'm fine with only being seventeen feet, eleven inches, and closing in on another half-inch. That's a whole nother inch since June!!!

The way I've been growing this summer, I'll be eighteen-foot-something very soon--and for some reason that seems so much taller than seventeen-foot-something. It's just another foot, I know, but it's a milestone--and combined with all the other changes in my life, I feel like I'm about to peel away my skin and become a brand new Melly Mills. I'm sad about that cuz I really liked the old Melly Mills who lived in a barn with her cows and a shelf of stolen library books. I don't know who this new Melly Mills is going to be except that she'll go to school (I hope), play on the basketball team (I hope), and have a whole bunch of new friends (I hope, I hope, I hope!!!)

Jay couldn't stop laughing at my stupid new dress. I glowered at him but he wasn't looking at my face, so he didn't even notice--and don't you hate wasting a perfectly good glower like that? Jay only stifled himself when Mrs. Johansson told Mrs. Appleton that I'm going to need a dental checkup. I should have known she'd have yet another humiliation for me, no matter how nice she's been acting!!!

"I can take Melly to the dentist," Jay piped up. "We were already planning to do some school supply shopping."

"Is this true?" Mrs. Appleton asked, looking up at me with wide eyes. I had to swallow hard and nod, cuz it was just one more embarrassing thing on the list of embarrassing things I've had to do after losing that basketball bet. Jay knows how much I'm afraid of going into town, so he saved his worst "chore" for last.

Mrs. Appleton clasped her hands in front of her chest. "It's so wonderful that you're getting along so well. My little boy and my little-- Well, my boy and my girl, anyway. I'll make you an appointment to see Dr. Ham!"

Wonderful. Just wonderful.

Friday, August 1, 2008

Dream a Dream of Dream Boy

I searched my dreams last night for Dream Boy, just to reassure myself that message from yesterday wasn't for real.

I started at my Appleton Family Circus dream, but this time it was night in the orchard and all the visitors had gone home. Mr. Appleton was counting the money from that day's admissions. Jay was sweeping up peanut shells and bags of GlomPop brand popcorn. And Mrs. Appleton was touching up the paint on a huge poster that read, "LIVE ON STAGE, SEE THE GIANT GIRL-MONSTER!"

"Hey!" I shouted. "Has anyone seen Dream Boy?"

They all looked blankly at me for a moment before going back to their circus chores.

"You couldn't miss him. He's twenty feet tall and I think we're kind of in love or something."

The Appletons acted like they couldn't hear me so I ran away to search in a town I saw way in the distance. Except it wasn't as far in the distance as I thought--it was the town from my Tiny Town dream!!! I was taller than all the buildings there except the giant-sized high school, which had been rebuilt to my size.

It was also night in Tiny Town and the streets were abandoned--except for Miss Freckles. She sat on a pile of broken buildings she'd made into a throne. She tossed a car up and down into the air with one hand like she was bored.

"Where is he?" I asked her.

"Your Dream Boy?" she asked. "He's not real. You made him up."

"No, I remember now. You called him a freak, just like me. Why would you say that to him if he was just another part of my imagination?"

Miss Freckles shrugged. "It doesn't matter. They won't let him talk to you anymore."

"They?"

Her eyes focused on my chest, or maybe on the AthletiGlom logo on my T-shirt. "Stay away from them, Melly. They'll ruin your life, just like they ruined mine. Well, actually you ruined my life, but I'm not supposed to blame you so I'll blame them instead."

"Who are you?" I asked.

"Just another part of your imagination," she said. Then she faded away and the dream ended.

Weeeeeeeeeeeird!!!

Thursday, July 31, 2008

Har-Har-Har, Very Funny

Thanks to some helpful comments I've come to realize that I'm not losing my mind after all. That vanishing message from Dream Boy must have been written by some practical joker with a mile-wide mean streak.

I'd blame Jay Appleton except he's not smart enough for something like this and besides, he's been far too busy thinking up new "chores" for me to do this week... So I don't know who's behind the disapearing ink yet, but they'll be in big trouble when I find them!!!

Anyway, I'm going to sleep well tonight and see Dream Boy in my dreams and give him a big kiss and tell him not to leave me no matter what that stupid note said!!!

Messages

The strangest thing just happened. I was moving all those GlomCorp boxes around my shed when a little envelope dropped out. Inside was a letter addressed to me.

Dear Melinda,

Please accept these custom-sized items with the compliments of GlomCorp. They are the best the factory here could produce on such short notice. If the sponsorship department decides to offer you a contract, a greater variety will be available to suit your color and style preferences.

Sincerely yours,
L. Stewart Riggs, III
Executive Vice President of Corporate Sponsorship

That's not the weird part. That was just me not finding the letter until today. The weird part was when I held Mr. Riggs's letter up to the light and a bunch of handwritten words appeared on an empty part of the paper.

My queen: I hope these poor garments will suffice for now. I told you I would provide, and so I have. Our dreams will have to be separate for a while, but I look forward to someday meeting you in person.

Much love, your Dream Boy.

By the time I finished reading them, the words were already fading away. Now I can't see them at all no matter how I hold the paper. Did I imagine them? It must be my mind playing tricks on me, right?

Wednesday, July 30, 2008

It's All in the Jeans

I met Mrs. Lee today--my first school board member, other than Dr. Crisp. Doc was here with me when Mrs. Lee arrived, so at least I didn't have to talk to her alone. I used the advice LadyNerd left on my blog last week and imagined that Mrs. Lee was a skittish cow that might be easily spooked by a stranger like me. I smiled, then remembered not to smile too wide, and then I lost control of my mouth entirely and blurted out, "Hello, Mrs. Lee. It's a pleasure to milk you--I mean, to meet you!" So much for imagining her as a cow!!!

Mrs. Lee looked me up and down and sniffed with disdain. "Those aren't this season's DenimGlom jeans. I ought to know because I buy a new set every spring and fall, one of each item in the line, and those don't resemble anything currently in my closet." I mean, really! I'm taller than a giraffe and what she cares about most are whether my jeans are in style or not?

"Actually, the packing slip said they're next season's jeans," I told her.

Mrs. Lee raised her eyebrows a bit and turned to Dr. Crisp. "Julian? You're her physician too, right?"

"I am," said Doc.

"So, just how contagious is she?"

"Excuse me?" he asked.

"Is there a chance of Miss Mills infecting the other children? Some of them are menace enough at ordinary sizes, but if they were to catch her disease--"

"I'm not diseased, I'm just really tall!!!" I stomped my foot to prove my point, hard enough to shake the ground.

Dr. Crisp cleared his throat to cover a little hand gesture, which was probably meant as a signal for me to chill. "My best conjecture is that Melly suffers from a genetic abnormality. Her height isn't contagious at all, any more than my blue eyes or your high cheekbones, Brenda."

That was interesting. I kinda figured my extreme tallness wasn't spread by extreme tallness germs, but I never thought about it from the viewpoint of genetics. Ma and Pa weren't any taller than normal, so I must have some kind of mutation, according to the biology lessons I've read for Dr. Crisp. Except...aren't mutations usually minor things like webbed feet or a peanut allergy? Then again, there was that girl in India who was born with extra arms and legs, and that's got to be at least as strange as being seventeen feet and eleven-plus inches tall.

The rest of my interview with Mrs. Lee went pretty well, once she'd been satisfied that I wasn't hosting some giant flu virus that would turn her town into a hangout for super-sized juvenile delinquents. 'Tho many of her questions had to do with GlomCorp, and whether I might have any inside contacts who could get her a peek at the upcoming line of GlomBag brand handbags.

I'd blog more about Mrs. Lee but I have to go make Jay a sandwich now and then do his laundry. Oh, I never should have made that bet!!!

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

One-on-One

Okay, so remember what a good mood I was in earlier today? Well, my mood got even better when Jay Appleton showed up at my basketball hoop in gym shorts and a black Adidas shirt.

"Mom says I have to get out of the house and play some basketball," he said miserably, with his shoulders slouched and his mouth all droopy, like shooting hoops was the most horrible torture in the world. I knew I had to cheer him up, so I charged at him with the ball.

"Jay, try to stop me!!!" I dribbled right up to him, which was funny cuz my new AthletiGlom socks were pulled up high enough to be level with his chest. It looked like he was just playing against my shoes while the rest of me hung out and watched.

"Not funny, Melly." Jay tried to step out of my way but I moved my leg and he ran right into it.

I kept moving my legs and stomping one foot or the other down anywhere Jay wanted to go. "Come on, we'll play for chores. If you can stop me from scoring, I'll do all your chores for a week!!!"

"And what do I have to do if I can't stop you?"

"Just the stuff I normally do--milk my cows, wash them in the creek on Tuesday, put them out to pasture, scrub their barn, and clean out my shed from top to bottom!!!" I nudged him toward the basket with my shoes, into the range where I could make an easy shot. "Really, Jay, it's like you're not even trying to stop me."

"What am I supposed to do, Melly? You weigh a ton!"

Closer to two tons, actually, but I wasn't going to tell him that. He made a half-hearted attempt to push against my leg, so I brought my other leg in and trapped him between my calves--not hard enough to hurt him, 'tho you'd never know it from all the whining he was doing. He squirmed a bit but he wasn't going anywhere.

I hopped the last ten feet to the basket--three little hops, taking Jay with me. The basket was level with my hip and I was close enough to reach out and hold the ball directly over it. "Come on, Jay. If you can't stop me from scoring, you'll be tending my cows from morning 'til night. But you can't even move, can you? And I'm sooooo close to dropping the ball through the net. So what are you going to do now, smart boy? Huh? What are you going to do?"

And that's when he bit me on the knee. The ball dropped from my hand, hit the rim, and bounced out.

So I'm not in such a good mood anymore. I guess it serves me right for teasing him like that, but I'm not looking forward to doing Jay's chores for a week as well as all my own!!!

I Am a Billboard

I did my best impression of a walking billboard this morning, after I got back from washing my cows--AthletiGlom shirt, AthletiGlom shorts, AthletiGlom sneakers, and even a pair of socks with the AthletiGlom starburst logo on them. Under the shirt I wore an UnderGlom brand sports-bra and I honestly don't know how I got by without one of these for so long. Now I can move around and everything stays where it should!!!

Now that I've got these new sneakers, my hook-shot's improved overnight and I'm unstoppable from half-court. Bam-bam-bam!!! My new record is six in a row and I feel like I could do even better!!!

I challenged Dr. Crisp to a game of HORSE and played HORSE with a vengeance!!! Bam-bam-bam!!! I even made one shot with my eyes closed!!!

"You're in a good mood," said Doc, as he made a nice shot of his own--'tho from much closer cuz that's my handicap.

"I'm in a great mood," I said, and of course I was. Have you ever seen an unhappy billboard?

Monday, July 28, 2008

Corporate America to the Rescue!

There were some great guesses about what was in that big wooden crate I got on Friday. It wasn't a gift from Dr. Crisp or Mrs. Johansson. It wasn't a robot. It wasn't a shrinking machine that would make me the same size as everyone else--and it also wasn't a growing machine that would make everyone else the same size as me.

So are you ready to find out what it was? Okay, I won't make you wait any longer. I pried the lid open and...inside the box...was...

was...

was...

...a bunch of smaller boxes???

Yeah, I was surprised too. Personally I was expecting a pony, but wait--it gets better!!!

Inside the biggest box I found a bunch of athletic clothes--sweatshirts, sweatpants, T-shirts, and sweatbands in a half-dozen colors. And the most wonderful, most impossible thing was that all the clothes were enormous, like tents of jersey material shaped into shirts and pants, and so they fit me perfectly!!! According to the packing slip, it was a custom order from AthletiGlom, which is a division of GlomWear, which is a wholly-owned subsidiary of GlomCorp.

The next box had three pairs of jeans from DenimGlom, another division of GlomWear, the wholly-owned subsidiary of GlomCorp. The jeans had copper rivets the size of quarters and instantly I recognized the D.G. logo on the butt from Mrs. Appleton's fashion magazines. These are the kind of jeans supermodels wear!!! They're super expensive, even in normal sizes!!!

Other boxes had UnderGlom brand undergarments, FootGlom brand sandals, a WinterGlom brand coat, and the greatest gift of all, a pair of high-top AthletiGlom sneakers that make my feet feel like rockets!!!

Mr. Appleton said he's been talking to the people at GlomCorp for a couple weeks about giving me a corporate sponsorship, so all my clothes and stuff would be free like this. Mrs. Appleton is hopping mad at him for going behind her back, and cuz she's sure nothing corporate is ever really free. Actually, what she said was, "Just look at Melly in that shirt. She looks like a walking billboard!"

Mrs. Appleton wants me to send everything back to GlomCorp, but I don't mind being a walking billboard, and it's not like Mrs. Johansson is going to find me anything better to wear. 'Sides, nobody is going to make me give up my amazing new basketball sneakers!!!

Friday, July 25, 2008

What's in the Box?

Jay Appleton rang my bell this morning. I slid the shed door open and looked down at him in surprise.

"I know it's early, but Dad needs you right away. He said for me to wake you."

"I wake up at five every morning for the cows," I reminded him. "I've already been to my farm and back."

"Yeah, whatever." He studied my face for a long moment before adding, "You should probably go easy on the lipstick and eye gunk."

"But your mom said--"

"It's okay on her because she's a mom, but nobody our age wears that much makeup unless it's Halloween. Just ease up a little and you'll look nice."

"I'll look nice? Really?" It didn't seem normal for Jay Appleton to pay me a compliment, so I squinted at him with my clown-painted eyes until he broke a sweat and turned away.

"Melly, seriously. If you're going to be my foster sister, you're going to have to try a little harder to fit in. As well as you can, I mean, considering your size." Even though he wasn't looking at me I could hear the blush in his voice. "Aw hell, you know what I mean."

"I know what you mean but I don't know why you'd care."

"Survival," he told me. "I'll get beat up bad enough for having a carnival sideshow for a sister, but I can't imagine how much worse it'll be if you're made up like a circus clown!"

"Oh, come on! If somebody has a problem with me, why would they take it out on you?"

"Which one of us is the easier target? Think about it, Melly!"

I did think about what Jay had said for all the time I followed him around the house to where Mr. Appleton was waiting for us. Of course I'm worried about school and how the other kids will treat me. I'm worried they'll call me names, hurt my feelings, and refuse to talk to me--but I'm not worried about anyone causing me real physical pain. How could they, when everyone is so much smaller than me? But Jay is so short and weak that he could get beaten up by a ten-year-old. Or by a girl. Or by a ten-year-old girl. It's tough to be me sometimes, but it must be really tough to be Jay Appleton. When I realized that it made me want to scoop him up, give him a big hug, and tell him everything was going to be all right--but of course I didn't. I just kept walking behind him until we reached the front of the house.

Mr. Appleton was standing on the porch with a very anxious FedEx delivery guy. He looked up, and up, and up at me, swallowed hard, and asked, "Are you Melinda Mills?"

I nodded.

"Rush delivery for you. Sign here, please." He handed me an electronic pad and a stylus that was almost as small as one of my eyelashes.

I've never signed for a package before. Heck, I've never gotten any packages or mail or postcards from anyone in my life!!! I pressed down hard enough to break the first stylus and pad and had to try again, more carefully, with a second set. It took three FedEx workers to wheel the package--a large wooden crate--from the back of their truck, 'tho I was able to carry it back to the shed by myself cuz it only weighed about half as much as a cow.

You'll never guess what it was or who it was from, but go on and try. Go on, guess!!! I'll give you the weekend, and then I'll tell you all about it on Monday.

Thursday, July 24, 2008

The Results Are In!

My makeover is done and Mrs. Appleton is crowing about how beautiful I am. I have to admit, I do see a difference when I look in the full-length mirror she gave me--well, it's full-length for her but smaller for me, of course. My cheeks are pink and my lips are red, and all the stuff around my eyes will take some getting used to. My hair is trimmed but also puffed up and out. It's hard to describe but it looks really good. My own cows will hardly recognize me!!!

I look a bit like Mrs. Appleton now. I knew she wore a lot of makeup, but I never guessed how much time it took to look like that. The beauty women gave me lessons on how to use the little brushes and the whole shelf full of jars and bottles they left behind. It's going to take hours for me to get "made up" like this every day!!! I can't take that time away from caring for my cows so what do I give up, studying or basketball practice???

"I only wish Mrs. Johansson had your new clothes made by now," Mrs. Appleton said.

That made Mr. Appleton smile for the first time all day. "We'll see to that tomorrow," he said. Mrs. Appleton looked at me like didn't know what he meant by that, and neither did I.

Attack of the Beauty Women

Mrs. Appleton insisted on giving me a makeover before I meet the school board, and today's the day. It seems a makeover is when somebody points out all your faults before plastering over them with bottles of slimy gunk.

Mrs. Appleton said my hair was scraggly and misshapen, so I shouldn't use Pa's old hedge shears to trim it anymore, or shampoo with the same soap I use to scrub the cows. Also, my skin tone is blotchy cuz I spend so much time outdoors and my nails are "calling out" to be buffed and polished. Mrs. Appleton hired three women from the beauty parlor to come to my shed and help her--and right now Mr. Appleton is breathing hard into a paper bag cuz it costs a whole bunch of money for three beauty women to make an all-day house call.

Mrs. Appleton and the beauty women spent the morning combing out my hair and covering my face with green goop. Right now the beauty women are on their lunch break and Mrs. Appleton is at the drug store buying more gunk, so I have a few minutes for this blog entry. The only reason I can see at all right now is cuz they don't grow cucumber slices large enough to cover my eyes!!!

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Giant High

I had a dream the school board voted to rebuild the high school so everything would be my size. It was great for me, but nobody else could open any of the doors. I was the only one who could reach the latch on my locker, and all the other kids had to struggle to push bags of oversized textbooks down the halls. And the teachers were all shorter than their desks, so nobody could see them!!!

The best part was the basketball court. They put an oversized basket 32 feet high and made the balls almost three feet across, so I had to use two hands to shoot them, and I had to jump to get rebounds like the players on TV. I couldn't dunk the ball on that court but that was okay cuz I was the only person in the world who could make a free-throw!!!

They probably won't do all that just for me, but wouldn't it be nice?

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Know Your Enemy

Here's what I've been able to find out about the people on our town's school board:

Dr. Crisp - He's my doctor and my tutor, and I'm sure he'll fight as hard as he can to do what's best for me. Of all the adults in my life, Doc is the one I trust the most--but don't tell Mr. and Mrs. Appleton I said that!!!

Mrs. Rodriguez - Doc says she's been on the school board for-ev-er. She was one of Doc's teachers when he was in school, and Doc's not exactly young. Doc says I should be respectful to her cuz she comes from another time, like maybe the age of dinosaurs!!!

Coach Saunders - He's the coach of the high school football team, which Doc says is a big deal in our town. I told Doc I'd try to learn how to play if that would help, but It seems the team is just for boys. That doesn't seem fair to me, but I'm not supposed to tell that to Coach Saunders.

Mrs. Lee - Her family has money. Lots of money. They own a good part of the town, and control a lot of the rest. Take the school, for example. You can't own a public school, normally, except that Mrs. Lee joined the school board and so now she kind of does.

And finally...

Mr. Peterson - He's the president of the board and Mayor Peterson's son. Mr. Peterson also wants to be mayor someday, and Doc says sometimes he acts like he's already taken over.

They're going to come by the orchard one at a time over the next two weeks, when they have time in their busy schedules, and then they'll get together for a big important meeting. Doc says they'll be discussing lots of stuff other than just me, and it's all routine, but I'm still very nervous!!!

Monday, July 21, 2008

Good News, Bad News

I had a long talk with Dr. Crisp about everything that's going on with Mr. Appleton and I feel much better now. Doc's known Mr. Appleton for years and says he's a good man who would never sell me to a circus or anything like that. "Though maybe you should learn how to juggle, just in case," he said, but then he winked and laughed to let me know he was kidding.

We also went over all the stuff I've been learning in our tutoring sessions. Doc says I'm doing really well now in history and language arts. I still have a lot to do to catch up with all the other kids, but I'm a fast reader and I remember every word I see. Doc's been trying to assign me two hours of reading each night but I can usually get through his assignments in about twenty minutes. I use the extra time to read ahead and visit study sites on the Internet. Math and science are harder for me cuz there are problems to solve, but I'm getting better at those as well.

All of that is the good news. The bad news is the school board wants to meet me so they can figure out what to do with me next year. I hate meeting new people, especially if they're judging me!!! Doc is a member of the board, so I'll have at least one person on my side, but I'm afraid he'll be outnumbered by frightened, hurtful townies!!!

Sunday, July 20, 2008

Bonus: Melly Mills on MySpace

I have a page on MySpace!!!

Thanks so much to the Giant Girl Creative Team, whoever they are.

Friday, July 18, 2008

The Secret Savior

I talked to Mr. Appleton today. I said I knew how worried he was about money, and maybe I could get a job to help pay for things. Maybe I could move boxes, or unload trucks, or help people reach things on tall shelves. Or like Pie Guy said in the comments, there's got to be a farm job for somebody like me who can do the work of five men and a tractor. As long as it didn't keep me from taking care of my own cows, of course.

Mr. Appleton laughed, actually laughed, for the first time since I met him. "I just got off the phone with somebody who can help us," he said. "If things go as planned, none of us will ever have to worry about money again!"

He wouldn't say anything more than that.

For a moment I thought of Dream Boy and the promise he made to provide for me. Then I remembered that Dream Boy is just a figment of my imagination. Of course Mr. Appleton is talking about somebody else, but who???

Thursday, July 17, 2008

A New Crisis Underfoot

Two coats of paint later, I'm back in my shed. The color will take some getting used to. The walls are so pink, they make everything in the room look pink too!!! When I stand in the corner, my skin looks like bubble-gum!!!

Now Mrs. Appleton is talking about carpeting. She has a dozen little sample squares, and she's checking each one against the walls and under the sodium lights. I can see Mr. Appleton trying very hard not to throw a fit about the cost.

I'm going to talk to him about getting a job to help pay for my own expenses...but maybe not until tomorrow when he's in a better mood.

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Get Your Tickets Here!

I'm still worried about all the money I'm costing Mr. Appleton. That's probably why I dreamed that the Appletons had to turn their orchard into a circus to pay my bills. A long line of people handed over an admission fee to Jay at the gate, then Mrs. Appleton directed them all past caged animals and cotton candy booths into a huge tent. That's where I danced and jumped while Mr. Appleton waved a chair at me and cracked his whip like a lion-tamer.

I realized it was a dream when I saw Dream Boy in the crowd. He really stood out cuz he's outrageously tall and handsome. His dark green eyes seemed to glow in the light of a nearby fire-eater and his sandy brown hair was tied into a knot at the back of his head. "Why do you degrade yourself so, my queen?" he asked.

"Mr. Appleton needs money to take care of me," I told him.

"Ah yes, the little people are obsessed with their little green slips of paper. We have no such need of money on the Island of the Tall Ones."

"The Island of the Tall Ones doesn't exist and neither do you," I replied. "I don't live in dreams. I live in the real world."

He shrugged and said, "For now."

"In the real world, Mr. Appleton needs money to pay for my food and clothing."

"Then we will make sure he is able to do so without making you jump through hoops for your supper."

"Oh yeah? And how are you going to do that?"

"We will find a way, my queen. Our obligation is to provide for you."

Honestly, could my dreams get any weirder???

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Unwanted and Unloved

I overheard Mr. and Mrs. Appleton talking last night. They were walking in from the orchard and I guess they didn't realize I was sleeping outside to avoid the paint fumes. They passed by the other side of the shed, so I couldn't see them, but I sure could hear them!!!

Mr. Appleton was complaining about how much it was costing him to keep me on their property. He complained about all the food I was eating, the clothes I would need, and the shed I was living in--which was pretty expensive to build, I guess. Plus Mrs. Appleton wants him to build me a whole roomful of custom-sized furniture.

"But Melly is such a sweet girl," said Mrs. Appleton.

"She's a monster," said Mr. Appleton. "No wonder Mick and Molly hid her from the world for so long."

"But dear, she's helpless on her own. It's our duty to take care of her."

"Why? So you can have the daughter you always wanted? If you feel that strongly, we can adopt a normal-sized girl. There are plenty to choose from, and they won't send us to the poor house like Melly's doing!"

I had no idea Mr. Appleton felt that way about me!!! I feel like running away, if I'm not wanted here, but where would I go? Nobody else is going to take me in!!!

I'm stuck here until Mr. Appleton throws me out or until I drive the Appletons into bankruptcy.

Monday, July 14, 2008

Cotton Candy From The 1939 World's Fair

My shed is unbearable right now, so I have my computer in my lap with a very long extension cord. It's all Mrs. Appleton's fault. She means well, but her weekend painting project filled my room with more fumes than the ceiling fans could handle!!!

Painting the four inside walls took fifteen gallons of pink paint in a color called Cotton Candy From The 1939 World's Fair. Jay says it looks more like Upset Stomach Medication From The Downstairs Bathroom, but Mrs. Appleton was the one who picked out the color, not me!!! Jay helped us paint, 'tho he still isn't talking to me much, and I'm not really talking to him. We just keep looking at each other, all suspicious like. Jay and his mother painted the low parts while I took the sections up high, of course!!!

My shed now also has a lumpy mattress filled with pieces of foam, thanks for Mr. Appleton. I think it's great, but Mrs. Appleton wants him to build me a real bed with a headboard, footboard, and some kind of fancy canopy. Mr. Appleton rolled his eyes when she said that. He said he'd think about it, after he finished making me a really big desk and chair.

If the paint fumes don't go away by tonight, I'll have to drag the mattress outside to sleep. I just hope it doesn't rain!!!

Friday, July 11, 2008

My Deepest Darkest Secret

When I went to milk the cows today, Jay Appleton was waiting outside my shed. "You're being selfish," he told me.

I ignored him and just started walking, but he followed, 'tho he had to jog to keep up with my long strides through the orchard. I was impressed that he was able to keep up, even if he was wheezing by the time we reached the stockade fence that separated Appleton Orchard from Mills Farm. "I can be as selfish as I want to be," I told him, as I stretched my legs over the fence.

Pa had built that fence all around our property to keep out prying eyes. I was sure Jay wouldn't be able to climb over too easily, cuz it was taller than his head and covered in wire and orange "NO TRESPASSING" signs. But Jay surprised me again. There was a small gap at the bottom of the fence that he was able to wiggle through!!!

"No, you can't," he said, catching up to me again. "You're not living alone anymore, Melly. You have to deal with other people."

"I'll deal with you if you keep pestering me!" I flexed my fingers in his face in case he didn't get the point. "Know what I could do with these hands if I wanted to?"

"Yeah, I know," he said, and the steel in his voice stopped me cold. What exactly did he know about me, and how long had he been using that gap under the fence?

I sat down hard on the grass. I was still taller than him, even while sitting on my butt, but we seemed more equal now. "What do you want, Jay?"

He took a deep breath and let it go before he spoke. "For whatever reason, my mother likes you. Maybe she feels sorry for you, or maybe she's always wanted a daughter, but she cares for you and all your moping around is driving her nuts. So what I want is for you to do whatever it takes to cheer her up."

"She wants to paint my nails," I admitted.

"So let her."

"And she wants to paint the inside of my shed with a pretty shade of pink."

Jay winced. "Better you than me."

I nodded. "Jay?"

"Yes, Melly?"

"Can we be friends yet?"

"No, Melly. Not ever."

"Well, why not?"

"Because I know what you can do with your bare hands." He made a squishing-twisting motion and made it obvious that somehow he knew my deepest darkest secret!!! I'll have to be very careful around Jay from now on.

Thursday, July 10, 2008

Alone

Mrs. Appleton came by this morning. She said I'd feel better if I let her give me a makeover. She actually brought nail polish and a paint brush. I told her to go away, and she did.

Dr. Crisp came by later on. He said we could skip my lessons and play basketball, if I wanted. I said for him to go away as well.

Then Mr. Appleton came by with a platter of food. I told him I wasn't hungry. Why did I say that? I'm hungry all the time, even with this new diet!!! But he believed me and he went away. I should have asked him to leave the food.

Wednesday, July 9, 2008

Tiny Town Dreams

I didn't get much sleep last night. Every time I closed my eyes, all I could see were police lights and camera flashes. When I finally drifted off, I dreamed I was back in Tiny Town and it was tinier than ever. The people only came up to my ankles instead of my knees, and there were tanks the size of my fist. They were firing missiles at me that stung like wasps when they hit. It was like my very own Japanese monster movie!!!

In the dream, I wasn't alone. Miss Freckles stood on my left side. She was as tall as me and full of taunts and jeers, just like in my shadowy memories. "See how they hate you? It's because you're such an unnatural freak! Why don't you do them a favor and just curl up and die?"

"Don't listen to her, my queen," said a voice from my other side. It was the handsome Dream Boy from my other dream. He was also as tall as me, or actually taller. It was so strange to have all three of us standing together in the town square, with so many teeny-tiny people running all around us.

"You're as much of a freak as she is," Miss Freckles said to Dream Boy. He bowed toward her, bending respectfully at the waist. A bunch of jets flew past our heads, dropping bombs that covered the area with smoke. My eyes stung, but they didn't hurt at all. When the smoke cleared, the three of us were still standing as tall as ever.

"You're not real," I told the other two giants. Dream Boy chuckled while Miss Freckles rolled her eyes. "You're just part of a bad dream," I insisted.

"You're real." Miss Freckles stomped her foot next to the movie theater, making it crumble into steel beams and brick dust. "And the town is real. Do you really think these fine folks will allow a clumsy monster like you to stomp through their streets every day to the high school and back?"

Dream Boy pulled the flagpole from an office building and pointed it at me as he spoke. "How long will you continue to live as a peasant among the tiny ones when you can be Queen of the Tall Ones?"

"These people are too good for you," said Miss Freckles.

"You are too good for these people," said Dream Boy.

I woke up in a cold sweat.

Tuesday, July 8, 2008

I Hate This Tiny Town!

I'm back home in the quiet empty shed that I've never appreciated so much until now, and I'm not going out again for the rest of the week!!! Except to milk the cows, I guess, but I don't even want to be around them right now.

My second-ever trip into town was even more of a disaster than the first time. This time the police cars, helicopters, and flashing lights started on Bypass Road and didn't let up for a moment!!! They'd set up barricades all along my route to let me know where to step, and to keep back crowds of gawking little people and their flashing cameras!!!

I had to walk in the street cuz the sidewalks are so narrow, and cuz the awnings and tree branches are so low. That was real embarrassing and there were lots of stopped cars honking at me like I was the one who planned for them all to be late to wherever they were driving. And I had to go reeeeeeeal slow, even tho' I was aching to get the trip over with, cuz Mrs. Appleton walks like a snail. After each step I'd have to wait for her to catch up!!!

The shopping part was easy enough. I stood outside each store entrance surrounded by police and townies while Mrs. Appleton went in to find a clerk. He'd come out and strain his neck to look up at me. After a few minutes, Mrs. Appleton would ask if he had any clothes that might fit me. And in three different stores, three different clerks said exactly the same thing: "Let me go check in the back room!"

No, of course they didn't have anything in Size Two-Zillion, or whatever it is I wear. We knew that before we started, and Mrs. Johansson will just have to deal with paying for something to be made special for me. If she wasn't such a stubborn witch, she'd have agreed to that from the start and I'd never had to go back into town at all!!!

The only good part was when somebody threw a basketball at me from the court in the playground as we passed by. I caught it with one hand.

"Hey, Goliath! Let's see what you've got!" called one of the players on the court.

So I lined up my shot and banked in a seventy-footer. Bam!!! That shut the townies up for a few minutes!!!

Monday, July 7, 2008

Food for a Growing Girl

Thanks so much to everyone who left comments about my ruined farm and empty belly!!! It's good to know people are worried for me--and so were Dr. Crisp and the Appletons when I talked to them. Mrs. Johanssen wasn't, 'tho. Her charts say a girl my age should be getting between 1,500 and 2,000 calories per day, and she thinks I'm certainly eating more than that. "With your size, I'm worried that you eat too much rather than too little," she said. Then she recommended I switch to fat-free milk and add a multivitamin for my RDA's.

Lucky for me, Dr. Crisp is my doctor and not Mrs. Johanssen!!! Doc measured me today and I've lost almost 75 pounds since last month, 'tho I still weigh almost two tons so I'm not exactly wasting away. But get this--I'm up to 17 feet 11 inches even, half an inch taller than before!!! So I do have some growing left in me, in case you were wondering.

Doc came up with a diet plan to give me what I need without making Mr. Appleton grumble too much about the cost. I should be fine now, 'tho I can't say the same about the farm. It's too late now for planting anything, and Mr. Appleton draws the line at feeding two dozen head of cattle. In fact he said I could solve both of my problems by adding more beef to my diet--as if I'd ever eat any of my cows after raising them from calves!!!

I'm not worried about where my next meal is coming from anymore. Now all I have to worry about is my big clothes-shopping trip into town. It's tomorrow, so wish me luck!!!

I Think It Started with a G...

I haven't seen many movies in my life, but there was a good one on TV this weekend. It was about a gigantic lizard-man who walks out of the ocean and stomps over an entire city. The army hit the lizard with the most powerful missiles they had, and that only made the monster mad.

This thing was sooooo big, it even made me feel small and that was really nice for a change. I would love to be in a city where a giant lizard was attacking cuz I wouldn't be the tallest one anymore. "See everybody? That guy is enormous and I'm almost normal, just like all of you!!!"

I missed the credits so I'm not sure what the movie was called but the monster had some weird Japanese name and I think it started with a G... I want to watch it again if I can find it!!!

Saturday, July 5, 2008

Bonus: Illustrated Fanfiction About Me!!!



A couple of super talented folks got together and made an illustrated story about me. It's called "Melly Mills vs. The Schoolyard Bullies" with text by Realsmall and illustrations by That Borrower!

This story is so neat!!! It didn't actually happen to me, but it could have, and wouldn't it be great to put some bullies in their place??? Maybe someday I'll do something in the real world that's as brave as I was in this story--Heh-heh!!!

Also, DustinM wrote a blog entry that might be true about how Giant Girl Ruined My Vacation--'tho it wasn't my fault he came to town on the same day that I did!!!

Great work, guys. Keep them coming!!!

Friday, July 4, 2008

Life in My America

Happy birthday, America!!!

For the first fifteen years of my life, all I ever saw of America was my family's farm. Now there's also the Appletons' Orchard and the nearby town, but that's still not enough for me to get a real sense of the place. I've read about the Grand Canyon, the Rocky Mountains, San Francisco Bay, Amber Waves of Grain, and all that stuff, but none of it seems real to me. That's why I always think of America as just my farm and anything else I can see with my own eyes.

I'm sure the real America is still in good shape this year, but I can't say as much for my America here at the farm. There's no feed left for the cows, and for some reason the regular supply deliveries have stopped coming. I'm pasturing the cows in the corn and wheat fields to keep the pasture grass from being nibbled too short, so it's good I wasn't able to buy any seeds during my disastrous stroll into town. If Pa were still alive, those acres would be covered in crops instead of cow-nourishing weeds.

There's really not much left to feed myself with, either. I emptied the larder during the winter. This spring I got by on milk and eggs, but there aren't any more eggs since I couldn't feed the chickens anymore. So now I'm down to cow's milk and whatever table scraps Mrs. Appleton can spare.

In the past, Pa used to celebrate the Fourth of July by grilling steaks, setting off fireworks, and playing patriotic music on the stereo. "Melly," he'd tell me, "whatever else you are, and whatever else you become, always remember that you are an American." According to the Internet, that means I'm supposed to have a decadent lifestyle and unlimited freedoms, but I don't.

I'm starving to death, alone in a shed!!!

Thursday, July 3, 2008

Out of the Shadows

I had a dream about Freckles, the man or woman or boy or girl I can't quite remember while I'm awake. In the dream, Freckles was at the farm with me, back when Ma and Pa were still alive. There was a whole lot of taunting, and Ma said for Freckles to leave me alone. And oh, she was so mad at Ma for that--yes, she was a she, I remember that part now!!! Miss Freckles was a girl with freckles and long orange-red hair. She was always frowning, always shooting daggers of resentment with her eyes, and she was just as tall as me!!!

Now that I'm awake, I don't know if I was remembering something real or just having a stupid crazy dream. There's nobody else as tall as me, so who was this girl and where did she go???

Stupid crazy dream.

Wednesday, July 2, 2008

Returning to the Scene

Mrs. Appleton and Mrs. Johansson have been arguing and negotiating for a week about me and my lack of a proper wardrobe. Of course, I'm not allowed to participate in the discussion at all!!!

There's state money that can be used to make clothes in my size, but only if three different local stores don't have anything for me to wear. Obviously Mrs. Johansson will have to hand over the money, but she's making Mrs. Appleton get a signed statement from every store manager in town that they tried their best to fit me into something and failed.

That means I have to go back into town!!! The same town where people smashed their cars while looking at me!!! The same town where people tried to chase me away with rifles!!! The same town where they shot me with tranquilizer darts and chained me to four lamp posts cuz I was trying to buy seed for my family farm!!!

Mrs. Appleton says I don't have to go right away, cuz it will take a while to warn the police and town government that I'm coming. She swears that this time I won't get shot by anyone, but I'm not so sure.

I don't wanna go!!!

Tuesday, July 1, 2008

Brotherhood

Okay, that so didn't go the way I expected.

I walked over to the Appleton house, just like I said, and peeked into Jay's window. I had to bend over a little to do it, since Jay's room is only on the second floor. Jay was sprawled with his head at the foot of his bed and his sneakered feet propped up with pillows as he read a paperback book with spaceships and aliens on the cover. Do all boys read upside down like that? I had no idea!!!

I knocked to get his attention, just like I always used to knock on Ma and Pa's window when I needed to talk to them. It was never any big deal with Ma and Pa, but I guess it's different when you're not expected. Jay looked at the window, saw my face, and shrieked like a little girl--or how I'd imagine a little girl might shriek, since she wouldn't be able to get any more shrill or high-pitched. Jay fell off his bed, mid-shriek, and scampered toward the door like an insect with too many legs to work them all at the same time. He misjudged the distance and slammed his head into the wall.

I tried not to laugh while he was rolling around on the floor, but it was hard cuz he looked sooooooo funny!!! Somehow Jay got back to his feet and staggered around in a daze. I motioned for him to open the window for me but he was so out of it, I had to push the window open by myself. It was unlocked, 'tho I'm sure it will be locked from now on.

"Are you okay?" I asked.

"I thought this was your wash day," he said. "Aren't you supposed to be washing your cows and stuff?" For someone who's been avoiding me, he sure knows a lot about my routine.

"I'll do that later," I told him.

"So what do you want?"

"I thought you might want to shoot some hoops." That was a phrase I'd learned from Doc. Shoot some hoops, like the ball is a weapon and the hoops are target practice. I held the ball up to the window in case Jay didn't know what I meant.

"I don't want to shoot hoops with you!" he shouted.

"Look, I'm sorry about what I did a couple weeks ago. Maybe I can watch you eat an entire pie and we can call it even?"

Jay seemed to recover his courage, and actually gained a few ounces more courage than he'd ever shown before. He even took a few steps forward, close enough so I could probably have reached into the room and grabbed him. If I'd wanted to, I could have pulled him outside and shook some sense into him!!!

"You don't get it, do you?" he asked. "I didn't want to be your foster brother, and I sure don't want to be your friend. Now go away and leave me alone!"

I was too stunned to speak. I was too stunned to do anything but retreat back to my shed, while Jay bolted his window and pulled down the shade. I'm still stunned, and probably couldn't speak right now except that my fingers almost seem to be typing by themselves.

Before today, Jay had just been an annoying boy who lived in the Appletons' house. But he really is my foster brother now. And he will be my foster brother for as long as Mr. and Mrs. Appleton keep taking care of me. Me and Jay probably won't ever be friends but we still have a family connection, and neither of us can break that.

I've never had any siblings in my life, but now I have a brother!!!

The Bigger Person

My dream is to play in a real basketball game with two teams wearing numbered uniforms, but that will have to wait at least until the school year. For now I'll have to aim low, which is why it might be fun to challenge Jay Appleton to a game of HORSE.

Jay hasn't spoken to me since that day with the pie, and I feel awful about that. I see him sometimes, looking out his bedroom window cuz it faces my shed. But when I wave to him, he just disappears. I don't have much experience with how long people are supposed to stay mad at each other, but Jay seems to be way over the limit!!!

I can't wait forever until Jay gets over being mad, so I'll have to be the bigger person--like they say. I'll just march over to the Appleton house, knock on his window, and ask him to play some HORSE.

Monday, June 30, 2008

HORSE

I'm getting better at shooting free-throws from the half-court line at the hoop outside my shed. I still miss more shots than I make, but I get a piece of the backboard or rim most of the time. Dr. Crisp taught me a shooting game called HORSE that only takes two people to play, and I can play with a "handicap" so my height isn't so much of an advantage.

And by the way, Dr. Crisp has a really good outside shot for such an old guy!!!

I thought Doc would be upset that I hadn't done his writing assignment about my earliest memory, but he wasn't. "Memories are tricky things," he said. "It sounds like you've got an important part of your past rattling around that big head of yours, but you can't force a memory to come until you're ready for it."

Maybe. I guess. No matter how hard I try, I can't put a face to the shadowy person in my mind. All I get is freckles and red hair, and it makes me angry. What I don't know is whether I'm angry at Freckles or at myself for forgetting him or her so badly.

Friday, June 27, 2008

Fuzzy Memory of Freckles

Dr. Crisp has given me a writing assignment. He wants me to write about my earliest memory. He says it's a common topic for students to write about, but he might also be testing me somehow. He's my doctor, as well as my tutor, so he's always trying to figure out why I'm so different from everyone else. Maybe he thinks my gigantic brain remembers things differently too--Ha-ha!!!

First memories are tough for me cuz my life has been the same for as far as I can think back. My family always celebrated holidays with small homemade gifts. I always helped with the cows, the chickens, and the crops. And I never left the farm until this year. I had no Internet or cable TV, and the only people in my life were Ma and Pa.

Well, no... I'm not sure that's exactly true. For a long time I've felt there was somebody missing who used to be with us a long, long, long time ago. But even when I'm remembering as hard as I can, he's just a shadow person. Or...she? I can see red hair and freckles, and Ma and Pa didn't have red hair and freckles, so who can it be?

This assignment is dumb and I'm not doing it anymore!!!

Thursday, June 26, 2008

Seven Feet of Nekkid

Mrs. Johansson still isn't happy. Apparently my clothes, handmade by my own mother's hands, are "woefully inadequate for a proper young lady." When she said this I wanted to pick her up and toss her across the lawn. That would show the little witch who the woefully inadequate one is--but you'll be proud of me for biting my tongue and just glaring down at her from my full height.

Okay, so I've grown a few feet since Ma made my skirt-shorts. They don't cover my knees anymore. But so what? I've seen much shorter skirts in fashion magazines. And that's what I told Mrs. Johansson, too.

"Your hem is higher than most people are tall. You're seven feet of nekkid, from the ground up!" And that's just the way she said it too, seven feet of nekkid. Well yeah, maybe I am, but that's all leg. And there's nothing obscene about my legs except that they happen to be almost nine feet long!!!

"Of course you're right, Mrs. Johansson," Mrs. Appleton said, taking that witch's side. "But what can we do? They don't sell outfits off the rack for 18-foot girls."

"I'm 17 feet 10 and one half inches," I reminded her.

"I can't make any exceptions to the rules," Mrs. Johansson stated. "There's no such thing as a child who can't fit into standard clothing sizes, especially these days, with special orders and the Internet."

"But Melly is one of a kind," Mrs. Appleton protested.

"No exceptions," Mrs. Johansson snarled. She and Mrs. Appleton continued to argue while I stalked away as fast as my freakish legs could carry me. Even if they sold Gap dresses or Banana Republic shirts in my size, I'd never trade in the clothes that Ma made for me with love and her own ten fingers. Never!!!

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Illustrator Challenge

Artists can create illustrations of me or the events in my life, as long as they are appropriate for my young readers. Any previous post on this blog can be illustrated. If I like an image that goes well with a post on the blog, I may add a small thumbnail version along with credit to the artist and a link to the full-sized image. Images of me posted elsewhere should link back to the "Giant Girl Rampages" blog.

If you want to draw a picture of me, here's what you need to know:

I'm 15 years old and almost (but not quite) 18 feet tall. Mrs. Appleton says I'm very pretty and well proportioned, which I guess is a complement. I'm not super thin or anything but I think I'm in pretty good shape.

I have dirty blonde hair that's kind of wild because I trim it with Pa's old hedge trimmers. My eyes are green as the ocean, as Ma always said, but I wouldn't know because I've never seen an ocean. My skin is tanned from being out in the sun a lot but not too dark and (usually) not burned.

I wear a blouse and skirt-shorts that my mother quilted for me three years ago. They look like a big patchwork cuz she used many squares of fabric and cowhide. I've grown since then, so the skirt-shorts no longer come down to my knees, my blouse is way tight, and there's a bit of skin showing in between. I don't have any shoes (and that makes me sad to think about so I usually don't).

If you do draw my picture, send the link in a comment so I can post it to my blog. Thanks!!!

Fan-Fiction Challenge

You can write fan-fiction about me if you want. Just let everyone know your story is made up and not real, unlike this blog which is absolutely 100% true.

Be sure to link back to my blog and I'll link to the stories I like best!!!