Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Chapter 1 "Down The Drain"

Once upon a time there was a girl named Maddy who lived in Brooklyn with her mom, her dad and her cat Henry. Their apartment was on the twelfth floor of a tall, skinny building and when Maddy went to bed she felt like she was sleeping in the clouds.

Maddy’s mom was an Olympic swimmer. She loved the water and could swim faster than a cat chasing his tail. Their apartment had a giant tub so that her mom could practice swimming every day. When she wasn’t swimming, Maddy’s mom was drinking water or juggling ice cubes or doing a rain dance or playing in puddles.

Maddy’s dad was a circus acrobat. He could bend himself into a pretzel, stretch from the couch all the way to the television to change the channel without having to use the remote. One time when the building elevator was broken, he dove out the living room window and swung from branch to branch until he landed on Cortelyou street and hopped on the bus to work.

One day after her dad left for work, Maddy’s mom put on her bathing suit and her cap and her goggles and hopped in the tub. Maddy was feeling particularly fast that day, so she decided to race her mom as she did her laps. She and Henry went to her room to get ready. She put on her red sneakers, the fastest shoes she owned, and her favorite racing dress and Henry put on his green racing collar and they headed back to the bathroom. Maddy and Henry crouched by the edge of the tub and looked down into the water. As her mom pushed off under water, Maddy sprinted as fast as her red shoes could carry her to the other side of the giant tub and Henry started chasing his tail. When she looked up, panting, her mom was already back at the other side. Maddy took a deep breath and tried again. But try as she might, Maddy just couldn’t run as fast as her mom could swim. She and Henry decided to take a break. Maddy curled up on the bath mat and using Henry as a pillow they fell fast asleep.

As she drifted off to sleep, Maddy dreamt that she was at the beach with Henry. They were nice and warm in the sun and were making doughnuts out of sand and water. They let the doughnuts bake in the sun in their sand oven and as they browned they would turn into real doughnuts. Maddy and Henry kept eating and eating the doughnuts but they never got full. They just kept getting hungrier. Finally Maddy’s stomach growled so noisily that she woke up with a start and realized that she needed her morning snack. She sat up and looked into the tub but her mom wasn’t there. Maddy looked all over the apartment, in the kitchen, her parents’ bedroom, the closets, under the couch, even in the refrigerator but couldn’t find her mom. She sat down in a heap in the middle of the living room, frustrated, starving and on the verge of tears. Where was her mom?

Suddenly she heard Henry meowing wildly from the bathroom. She got up and ran to find out what was wrong. Henry was pacing back and forth along the edge of the tub. Maddy peered into the tub to see what he was looking at. Finally, at the very bottom of the tub she spotted a beautiful golden fish swimming back and forth, back and forth. Maddy couldn’t believe her eyes. Her mom had turned into a fish! What was she to do? She was so hungry that she couldn’t think. Suddenly she remembered that she still had some peanuts in her coat pocket from the last time she visited her dad at the circus. She went to the front hall closet and found the half empty bag of peanuts and sat down on the floor of the closet to think. It was a good thinking spot, dark and quiet.

As she ate, she suddenly remembered her butterfly phone. On her last birthday, her fairy godmother had given her a phone in the shape of a butterfly. It was to be used for emergencies and boy was this an emergency! What had she done with that phone? Maddy ran to her room and dumped everything out of her toy chest. No phone. She looked in her closet and in all her shoes but no phone. Just as she was about to give up she suddenly remembered. The phone was under her pillow in her bed. She pulled the phone out and opened it up. The wings began to flutter, the antennae lit up and it began to hum. Maddy dialed F-G-M (for Fairy Godmother) and waited while the butterfly phone connected her to her Fairy Godmother.

“Hello, Operator,” Maddy heard.

“I need to speak with my Fairy Godmother right away. It’s an emergency,” said Maddy.

“What is the state of your emergency?” asked the operator.

“My mother has turned into a fish,” said Maddy and her eyes began to fill with tears.

“Please hold while I connect you,” said the operator and Maddy waited for her Fairy Godmother to pick up.

“Hello Maddy,” she finally heard. Maddy let out a huge sigh of relief.

“Fairy Godmother,” Maddy gasped. “My mom has turned into a fish and I don’t know what to do.”

“Not a problem Maddy, I’ll be right over,” said her Fairy Godmother and as Maddy hung up her butterfly phone she heard a knock on the door. She ran to the dining room, dragged a chair to the door, climbed up on it and looked through the peep hole. There was her Fairy Godmother wearing her magic purple dress and waving a wand. Maddy opened the door.

“That was fast,” said Maddy.

“I don’t mess around in emergencies,” replied her Fairy Godmother. “Let’s get to work. I know just the spell to change your mom back into a mom” and she strode off towards the bathroom. As they walked through the bathroom door they saw Henry swatting at the chain attached to the plug. And before their very eyes, Henry gave one wild swat and the plug plopped out of the drain with a huge sucking sound. Maddy and The Fairy Godmother screamed and rushed towards the tub. But they were too late. As they reached the edge of the tub they saw the tip of the goldfish tail swishing down the drain.

“Quick, change her back into my mom!” screamed Maddy.

“I can’t. If I change her back now she will get stuck in the drain,” explained The Fairy Godmother.

“Well what do we do then?” asked Maddy. She was beginning to get very worried.

“I am not really sure,” admitted The Fairy Godmother. Maddy started to get mad. Who had changed her mom into a fish? Why couldn’t she be changed back? And where had she gone? Maddy decided to take charge.

“I am going in after her,” Maddy proclaimed.

“You are a very small girl, but you will never fit in that drain,” said The Fairy Godmother.

“Yes I will,” said Maddy. “My dad taught me how to stretch and I am going to go down that drain.” Maddy went to her room and put on her silk pajamas and her swimming cap and came back into the bathroom.

“I’m ready,” said Maddy.

“If you are going to go on an adventure you need an adventuring name,” said The Fairy Godmother.

“Fine,” said Maddy. “My adventuring name is Madebonne.”

“That works,” said The Fairy Godmother. “Now, get back as quickly as you can. The longer your mom is a goldfish, the harder it will be for me to change her back into your mom.”

“Why?” asked Maddy.

“Your mom will become more and more like a fish the longer she is one. She’ll start to forget what it’s like to be your mom and after a while it will be impossible to turn her back,” explained The Fairy Godmother.

““I better get going,” said Maddy feeling a bit worried. And with that she stretched with all her might and when she was two inches thin she dove into the drain and slipped right down in her silky pajamas. Just as her last toe was going to slip out of sight, Henry dove in after her. He had learned to stretch too.

“I’ll be waiting for you,” said The Fairy Godmother. “Hurry back, I’ll have a spell waiting.”

Question to Madeleine: Where do Madebonne & Henry go on the other side of the drain?


  1. Linda, you are an amazing writer! I can't wait to read more about the adventures of Madebonne. I feel I can visualize this story so well.

    And how does one get his own adventuring name?

  2. Of course they end up in the back room of a French restaurant, everyone knows that! With a mean chef who throws pots and pans!

    I LOVE THIS SO MUCH. gogogogogogogogogogogogogogo girl! You are amazing. Continually. Amazing. I want more every day.

  3. congratulations lovely cha cha! i am so happy to see this up here. i love love love these adventures x i too want an adventuring name.

  4. We are so sucked in, thank you for your cool story. Charlie and Patches think they enter a cool underwater land filled with fairies, called Drain Land City. Who knows, we will have no choice but to wait for the next post.

  5. stigsahoy is my new adventuring name, thanks for the inspiration, Linda (and Ameet too!)

  6. Thanks for sharing this with me it is so fun! I am going to read it to Cole tonight. I am forwarding on to all my mommy friends.

  7. I read both installs last night before bed. It's written sooo well Linda. I have a couple of little girls, I'm hoping I'll get to read this too. Their Mom will have to continue on as you add more, I'm sure they won't let her off the hook once we start it. Nice to read someone thing that "stretches" my imagination again... thanks.x j

  8. Linda,
    This story has me captivated. When Montana was little he used to look at rain puddles and wonder where he would go if he jumped in and what he would find on the other side. This has been fun, I wish that I still had a little one to share it with. Keep it coming! Andrea

  9. Linda, I had to take a peek, so great, will read this with Lilli tomorrow. You are amazing!!!!!!! Rachel