Wednesday, April 25, 2007

Uncle Pennywhite's Verticopter

The best thing about Abigail--and there was lots that was great about her--the best thing is how she was not a girl. I mean, she was a girl, she had the hair and eyelashes and the dresses and all that. The other girls, though, most girls--allright, ALL girls, except Abby--didn't go for the more boy stuff. You know, frogs, spiders, and swinging from ropes, the get your knees dirty kind of things.

Abby had been to the colonies, she said. Told me stories about elephants and lions. She'd seen them face to face, you see. Her mum, she tried to get Abby to be more girl, a proper lady, but Abby just couldn't. She was too interested. She was interested in what was under the grass, in the sky, what made the earth tick, you know.

Her parents must have finally given up because they sent her here, to London, to live with her uncle. Abby's uncle is more like Abby. Cut from the same cloth, you could say. He likes to invent things. Always tinkering and going on and on about "The Great New Science." I don't mind the going on. He does some really keen things. Every once and a while those things blow up and then it's really exciting. Plus, he pays me a couple quid to help him. Who doesn't need a couple quid?

To be honest, when Abby first came, I didn't like her very much. I thought at first she was going to be like a girl and make us drink tea and say things proper. One afternoon though, when her uncle was out, Abby says to me, "Reggie," she says, "Reggie what do you reckon is under that tarp?"

Well, I knew what was under the tarp. It was the verticopter. I pulled off the tarp and showed her.

"Smashing!" she said, "Let's try it!"

I told her that's exactly the sort of thing we should not try. The first thing her uncle told me after inventing anything, he would set down his wrench or whatever and say, "Reginald. See this? Don't ever touch this."

Abby didn't care what her uncle said, "He's my mother's baby brother, and who listens to babies?"

It was at that moment I knew I was going to like this girl a lot. I mean, if you could like a girl and all.

the thumbnail:

to see more detail: click here.

artist's note: this illustration represents a slight shift of my style. it is more realistic. i have a few juvenile reader fantasy projects i am developing and i am working to bend my style a bit to fit the tone of those projects.



lindsay said...

I want to hear the rest of the story...

Sydney said...

me, too. this is brilliant! :)