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Charlotte Gillan – Jack and The Geraldstalk

P Charlotte Gillan LE Y P&W Dec 2019

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Short Story by Charlotte Gillan

Charlotte Gillan, 6th Class, St Aidans NS, Kiltimagh, Co Mayo. Her hobbies include reading, horse-riding and writing stories.


It was a Monday morning and Jack was bored. He was sat at his rickety old desk looking into the abyss of the wall in front of him. He was thinking – thinking about yesterday at the market. He was selling his cow Gerald. A mysterious man had walked up to him remarking ‘how good a cow Gerald was’ ,and that he would trade it with something much more valuable than money. Jack was curious of course, so when he was handed a bag of five beans he could have kicked himself. But, when he turned around to confront the man who had tricked him into selling Gerald, both the cow and the traitor were gone.

Jack looked at the beans scattered across the table, glowing inexplicably. Then he walked over to the window, opened it, and tossed the beans out. Then he went downstairs for breakfast.

The next morning Jack woke up to the peculiar smell of cows. He opened his eyes. All he could see in the dark, musty room was the ceiling. And to Jack, the ceiling wasn’t really that satisfying to look at. So he got out of bed and stepped into the murky hallway, the wooden floor creaking beneath his feet. When he reached the stairs, the deafening croaking and creaking of the steps as he descended was so ear splitting that Jack thought that even deaf old great grandfather Bob was quieter than this. He opened the front door. His jaw dropped. There, in front of him, was about 700 identical replicas of GERALD.

All 700 Geralds looked up in unison. At the sight of him, the Geralds trotted towards the centre of the garden. Jack looked on in awe and confusion. Suddenly, the most craziest of things happened. One of the Geralds stood on his hind legs, while another climbed onto his shoulders on his hind legs – with some struggle-. And another, and another, and it kept going until they touched the clouds. They had created a beanstalk. Except not a beanstalk – it was a Geraldstalk! The cow at the bottom nudged his head a bit – as if to say “climb …climb!” .  Jack had spotted this gesture and began climbing. Up, and up, and up until he was above the clouds. When he got to the top, there was a castle. Jack nearly fell off the Gerald in fright.  He placed his big toe on the clouds and found out he could walk on it.

He pushed open the castle door. In front of him was a huge hallway. He walked down the soft carpet until he found a living room. There were three armchairs on each side of a large, oak table. On the table was a feast fit for a giant. Literally. Jack sat down on the floor after his long journey. He ate some chicken and potatoes and then fell fast asleep. When he woke up he heard voices. He walked down the ancient hallway and entered another room – the dining room.

Inside were three giants. But not ordinary giants – oh no, they were gingerbread giants. A mommy giant, a daddy giant, and their daughter giant eating their dinner.

“ Arghh !!! “ Jack screamed.

They turned to look at him.

“ Hey! You there! What are you doing here?”, demanded the daddy giant. “Kill him ! , “ he ordered.

The family squatted down and began throwing things at him and trying to squash him.

“Hey! Stop!”, protested Jack.

Jack ran out of the room and down the hall, and entered the kitchen.

The sound of pots and pans, beeping of ovens, and the sound of things frying in the boilers filled the room. Rows of counters and machinery made the huge room like a maze to any human. Jack hesitated, before running over to a knife lying helplessly on the floor. He picked it up, and continued the fight with the giants. He managed to chip off a foot on the daughter, and two hands on the dad. Mum was the only one left.  But suddenly, the old fart of a cook appeared beside her. The fight continued. He chipped a finger off the mum. Finally, he was left with the cook.

An idea just dawned on Jack. He clambered over to the oven and hid. Cook followed. With the oven door open, Jack was ready. She stood in front of it, looking for him. He snuck up behind her and pushed the old bat in, closing the oven door behind her.

He found the front door and ran out onto the cloudy lawn.

He was relieved to see that the Geraldstalk had remained standing waiting for him. He clambered down, happy to be out of the dreadful place. As he approached the ground, Jack noticed that there was nothing different about home from when he left. Thankfully.

When he turned to look at the Geralds, they were gone. Apart from one. The real one. Jack ran over to Gerald and hugged him in happiness. Suddenly there was a KABOOM! from above, and down came bath-full of gingerbread.

From then on, Jack and his mum ate gingerbread for breakfast, lunch, and dinner, longing for the day they would run out of it. But they never did.


© Charlotte Gillan