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.

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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!!!