SCOPING, SCOUTING AND DEFINITELY NO SHOUTING
After running solidly for an hour and a quarter George and Ben climbed over the garden fence and jogged back to the summer house where Tabitha and Jenny were giggling. They had glued, stapled, sewn and taped all manner of material together. Finally the monster outfit was taking shape. It was a weird giant sausage-like-shape, but that was not the point. The ensemble was now a creation with four areas for each of them. It was arranged over four fold-out chairs and the head had multiple dolls’ eyes, some weird looking horns and something that might be likened to a trunk. To make the ‘creature’ increasingly original a nice brown bobbed wig with a fringe perfectly framed the top of its head. It was precisely brushed and framed the multiple features perfectly. The body had numerous silvery green scales cut from the shiny green fabric. Along the body there were some cut-out areas with netting material covering them. The monster spine had clumps of stapled fur jumper resembling hairy spine scales. Also the pair had added some fairy wings and decorated them with hair from their hairbrushes. To finish it off there was an odd looking fur-encrusted tail.
Ben and George stood silently staring at the monstrosity with expressions that could be likened to when someone stands on your toes and smells like a rotten sprout. Finally the pair burst into hysterical laughter. The monster outfit was the most hideous thing they could imagine and they had to dance in it in plain monster view.
Tabitha and Jenny folded their arms.
‘What?’ Tabitha demanded.
‘That is the ugliest costume I ever saw!’ said Ben between chuckles.
‘Don’t be nasty Ben! Monsters aren’t supposed to be pretty!’ Jenny said in a tone that suggested George and Ben should be more appreciative. ‘Anyway could you have done better in that small amount of time?’
Ben and George realised they had offended Tabitha and Jenny and appeared apologetic. There was no way they could have known where to begin with such an odd creation.
‘It is… erm… really good… Erm and no, we certainly could not have come up with anything close to that.’ With that George and Ben began laughing again until they were crying. Finally Tabitha and Jenny began to giggle because the laughter was so infectious.
‘Tea time,’ called their father from the patio.
‘Ah we have so much to tell you…’ said Ben to Tabs and Jen. He glanced over his shoulder to see how far away their father was. ‘We have figured out the route and the plan…’ said George.
‘Let’s have a call before we go to bed,’ suggested Ben.
Jen glanced at Ben, ‘Do you think mum and dad will let us?’
‘I think we are going to have to do a secret call. Just this once.’ Ben said.
Jen wasn’t too sure. She had been grounded before for making a sneaky call to a friend.
‘It will just be a one off. Or… What if Tabitha and George call us?’ Ben said glancing at his friends.
Jen shook her head. If mum and dad find out then we will all be grounded. Then we don’t get to go to the dance at all. Why doesn’t George just tell Tabitha what you found and you tell me?’
Tabitha nodded and so did George. It was the best option.
‘It isn’t worth the risk,’ said Tabitha. ‘If we get caught on a call then we’ll get grounded and then if we go to the dance and they find out then we will be in more trouble.’
Ben and George glanced at each other. Ben pulled his phone from his pocket and sent George the diagram and map he had put together.
‘George there are notes on it,’ Ben said as he prepared the message.
‘Oh and tell them about what else we found…’ Ben kept concentrating on his phone.
Jenny and Tabitha glanced at each other.
‘Can I tell them about…’ George’s voice trailed off.
Ben rolled his eyes… ‘Yes if you must…’
‘Can you stop being so secretive?’ demanded Tabitha.
‘Nope,’ said George.
At that moment Jenny and Ben’s father opened the door to the summer house and paused with a horrified look on his face. ‘My goodness what on earth is that?’
George and Ben burst into giggles again.
‘It’s a monster costume,’ said Jenny seriously with a hurt expression.
‘Monsters aren’t pretty,’ Tabitha said stroking the mounds of hair on the monster costume’s back.
‘Well… I guess you are correct…’ Said Jenny and Ben’s dad doing his best to conceal his amusement. ‘That is definitely an original looking monster,’ he said shaking. He turned and glanced back up the garden and took a deep breath. He turned again and began to laugh.
‘It’s not funny!’ said Jenny.
‘Sorry darling…’ He said. ‘It really isn’t funny. That is an excellent monster outfit. I have never seen anything quite so original! I am sure you will get top marks because it is very scary, very hairy and extremely monster-like.’Jenny and Tabitha huffed and folded their arms. Jenny and Ben’s mum came down to the summer house and paused at the door. ‘Your dinner is on the table…’ she trailed off and glanced at her husband who was shaking with tears running down his cheeks.
‘Oh that is an… interesting creature you have made. Quite a monster. Well done darling! I can see how you have used the velvet curtains and old wigs. I really like its hairstyle. The bobbed wig really makes it special and works so well with the trunk. How often do you see a monster with a bobbed hair-cut and a trunk?’ She turned to her husband awaiting his answer.
Ben and Jenny’s father gazed at his wife with complete admiration. ‘I… have never… ever… seen a monster with a bobbed haircut and a trunk…’ The parents gazed at each other and fought back their laughter.
‘Darlings that monster is completely unique. I am sure your teachers will be astounded by your creativity. Right then… time for Tabitha and George to go home.’ Jenny and Ben’s mum studied Ben and George. She noticed the dirt on their knees. She skimmed over them and ‘clocked’ the dirt on their hands and the swipe of mud on George’s forehead where he had flicked his fringe. The boys were a bit sweaty whereas the girls looked fresh. The only thing that stood out with Tabitha and Jenny were a few clumps of hair stuck to their palms. For a moment her eyes narrowed. A monster outfit, two boys covered in mud… and hairy palms. Something prickled on the back of her neck. They were up to something!