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THE SICK GIRL  
Picture story ill girl comp  

Jinny was sick in bed, covered in diseases, on her bloody kneeses carrying all these diseases. There was a polite cough from beyond the door, then a cough again. Jinny croaked. ‘Come in.’ And with that through the door came an antidoor, it came in quick picked Jinny up and dumped her on its shoulder. Its all in the name, antidoors dislike doors, so they just pretend none of them exit things exist, and somehow the Cosmos likes the joke which means for antidoors there are no doors at all.
The antidoor and Jinny went up and down the street in and out the neighbours houses, the antidoor was searching for a special kind of frame it found it at number 51. Through that door with some shimmer and some sparks. Then they were in a very different place entirely
It was twilight and the mist was trying hard to hide, the antidoor carried the girl to a dwelling that looked odd placed among the trees, its decoration resembled a fairground ride, and there was a neon sign on the wall, ‘All sick little girls welcome here.’ Inside the building was bright and nearly every inch was covered by a collection of mechanical toys and automations.
A woman sat writing at a desk, she was old but very beautiful, her dress reflected the complimentary colours that surrounded her. At Jinny’s arrival she looked up. ‘Oh good you’ve bought her, now we shall see.’
‘See what? and I’m a Jinny, I’m not a “her”.’
The woman bowed. ‘Please excuse me I intended no offence.’
‘If that was your aim, I must tell you that you have failed. Hauled out of bed, carried around like a sack of potatoes, then dumped here, does tend to engender a certain degree of irritation. If you wish to be polite I think you should say what you intend to do with me. Are you going to eat me?’
The woman reached out her hand and pinched Jinny’s arm. ‘I’m sorry my dear but there is really not the flesh on you to waste the wood.’ The woman patted the couch, a mute request for Jinny to sit next to her. ‘My name is Harmony, and I am one of the spirits of Balance. I’ve searched far and wide, in the past and in tomorrow, in this world and in others, searching for the one with the power to lift the gloom that casts such sadness over this once happy kingdom.’
‘Yes, your point being?’ Jinny asked.
‘Why, you’re the one, the only one that can free this place. Jinny you must help, all the people here are relying on you to release them from the monster.’ Harmony’s face was flushed and she was beaming like a zealot, she had no doubt that Jinny would help, she just had to.
‘You’re crazy if you think I’m the one you’re looking for? I’m so ill I can hardly lift myself. I need a hundred medicines just to keep on living.’
Harmony filled her pen. ‘Yes that’s what you say, and others may believe it too. But my dear I know there is a little doubt deep inside whether you yourself believe it true, certainly in your dreams you can fly.’ She waved her pen and Jinny was raised up and soaring around the room.
‘Help put me down I’m too ill for this.’
Harmony was waving her pen directing Jinny’s flight like a conductor. ‘So you say but don’t you find it exhilarating to leave your boring bed and live’
‘No,’ Jinny said petulantly, ‘I’ve had enough of this you’ve got the wrong person I want to go home.’
‘Jinny, all the signs point to you. You have the power if only you will use it.’ Harmony dropped her arm. Jinny was now flying by her own ability.
‘You are wrong, so wrong, why aren’t you listening, nobody ever listens, listen I’m telling you. Don’t make me angry.’
Harmony turned her back on Jinny. ‘I don’t hear a word you say. I think you are a sly little liar, a fake and a fraud leeching off every one around you.’
‘I am not.’ Jinny’s temper boiled, dark clouds rolled around her, from her fingers lightning flashed, the house began to burn. ‘I am not, I am not.’ The roof crashed off. Jinny landed and stood solid. Harmony and the antidoor cowered. ‘I am a sick little girl and I want to go home.’
There was a chime in time and Jinny was back in her bed safe as she always wanted to be. What a horrid dream, a delusion of course but why was she so wet? That horrible woman why couldn’t she see that if Jinny lost her temper terrible things would happen.
Jinny settled back to sleep but then she jerked upright. Time was going the wrong way round, it was becoming light, it was dawn, then it turned around and faced the other way, it started getting dark again. Jinny was aware of a darkness assembling in the air, a murky haze. It settled into the shape of a pretty, though misty, girl veiled in black.
The girl sat down and studied Jinny. ‘Oh you do look nice, I bet you are as good as gold. I would love to have a friend as nice as you. Will you be my friend?’
Jinnyy shut her eyes, maybe this odd girl would just disappear as suddenly as she had arrived. She opened her eyes, the girl was still there. ‘Who are you? why are you hear? how did you just appear like that?’
‘Me, I’m nobody really, just a little girl who must work so so hard to keep her realm in order, make sure chaos doesn’t rush in. You must understand that, you wouldn’t want horrible chaos in your room would you? Pulling out your drawers.’ The girl pulled out Jinny’s drawers. ‘Throwing your clothes all over the place.’ The girl threw Jinny’s clothes all over the place. ‘Ripping down your curtains.’ Curtains ripped. ‘You wouldn’t want that would you? Will you, oh say you will, will you be my friend?’
She ran towards Jinny, jumped up then floated down on Jinny’s bed her eyes just inches away from Jinny’s eyes. “Oh come with me please, we can live and play together, we would have so much fun.’
Misty hands touched jinny’s arms. Jinny felt the slightest touch of need dragging life out of her. ‘NO,’ she screamed. The light of the day burst through the windows, the mist singed to cinders fell to the ground. The girl winced in pain and threw herself through the mirror.
The antidoor and Harmony appeared. The antidoor had a brush and pan, and without a word started brushing up the cinders.
Jinny’s mum rushed in. ‘Jinny are you all right we heard a scream, you know the doctor says you must not get excited.’
‘It was nothing mum just a bad dream. Don’t worry.’ But she was wondering why her mother could not see the antidoor and Harmony standing right next to her. Jinny’s mum kissed her. ‘You know where we are.’
Harmony sat on the bed. ‘So you have met our adversary?’
‘What that little girl? I was expecting a monster.’
Harmony smiled and shook her head. ‘All monsters start off small.’
‘Well she didn’t seem that bad to me. She just wanted a bit of order, that seemed quite sensible to me. Although her touch felt very creepy, you will laugh but it felt like she wanted to suck the life out of me.’
Harmony hugged Jinny close. ‘Darling that is exactly what she would like to do, she needs you more than you can possibly know. I fear her but I feel sorry for her, she is playing at running the realm, she knows the words but she doesn’t know the tune. Its a brittle place. Jinny you must come again to that realm, you were in such a haste to leave you saw nothing.’
‘Through the doors we go.’
It was twilight when they arrived back in the Other’s realm.
‘What do you see?’ asked Harmony
JInny looked around. ‘Is it always twilight here? Okay I see trees, twigs, leaves and stuff.’
‘Look closer.’
Jinny looked again and saw the place was indeed peculiar, all the trunks and branches were straight, or going off at regular angles. The leaves were square. The branches on the left matched the branches on the right. The trees were symmetrical.
There was a river that seemed to flow well but in reality it didn’t, the river was straight as a dye and the water tumbled down as blocks as cubes.
The wind was arranged in bands, east - west, then north - south alternately.
‘Where does the Other live?’ asked Jinny.
‘There.’ Harmony pointed to a massive rectangular block, whose only features where large clocks on the sides and loudspeakers on top. ‘The commands that come from there tell the people what to wear, when to eat, when to shit, when to brush their teeth, when to love. Everyone must agree we cannot have chaos here.’
Jinny felt in her pockets and lifted out a sweet rapper. ‘Well let’s get her out of there.’ She deliberately dropped the wrapper on the ground, ‘That should do it I guess.’
The mist appeared and inside the Other swirled. ‘Hello my dear I believe you have made a little mistake.’
‘No, I don’t think so,' said Jinny.
‘That there, that piece of litter. You know we can’t have litter don’t you?’
Jinny put on her most innocent face. ‘It doesn’t belong to me.’
The Other’s facade of calm was cracking ‘I saw you do it. Pick it up please it disturbs me.’
Jinny faced the Other and spread her legs wide as she had seen in cowboy fights. ‘Well it does not disturb me, you pick it up.’
‘Don’t make me mad. Jinny you would not like to see me mad.’
‘Now isn’t that a coincidence.’
The Other grabbed hold of Jinny and forced her hands to the ground, ‘Pick it up.’
‘You’re hurting me, let go.’
‘You call this hurting, you don’t know the meaning of the word.’ She twisted Jinny’s skin giving her burns.
Jinny fumed she tore her hands away. With one hand she held the Other’s arms, wIth the other she picked up the offending litter and forced it down her throat.
The Other was sick, threw up at her feet.
Jinny looked down at the sick. ‘Now that’s not very neat, pick it up.’
‘Pick my sick up?’ The Other was horrified.
‘Yes then eat it.’
The gloves came off. The Other returned to be the mist. She roared around Jinny making a vortex, sucking the air out of Jinny’s lungs. Jinny flew up high, breathed in clean fresh air, then dived into the mist and sucked every last bit of it into herself. The Other fought to get out but Jinny used her arm to push the Other down deep.
Everything stopped.
Then the sun broke through, dawn arrived, the trees went crick crack stretch, the prisons of the waters became unlocked, unblocked the waters gushed, cascaded, swirled and whirled, freeing the rivers to take their rightful sinuous supple path. The people were on their knees in praise for the warmth of the sun. Then they rose and with every tool they had attacked the rectangular block. Making a human ladder they tore at the clocks, bleeding hands clawing at the hated dials. eventually the block fell and they hammered every piece into dust.
The Other no colour not where its seen, can’t take a look its wearing the wrongs so we are all right.