At the farmhouse Jessica was just waking up to the sunrise. The previous night had not been a very comfortable sleep in the slightest. With her broken arm now in a cast it was difficult for her to sleep, the fact that the bed was too small for her eight foot plus frame didn't make things any better.
The atmosphere inside the farmhouse had completely changed. Wanda was still very fatigued after giving birth to her son. Brian had been doing everything for her to try and make things easier. Unfortunately for him one of these jobs was to look after his new son Albert while his wife rested. Being a farmer had come natural to him but becoming a father was something else entirely.
Jimmy had been allowed to leave thanks to his help during Wanda's childbirth. He had done everything that he could have done and for this reason Brian decided that his debt had been repaid in full. He swore that he would never steal again and something inside Jessica made her feel like he was telling the truth.
The Healer had left earlier that morning but since Jessica was now unable to take him back Brian had lent him one of his horses that he promised to give back to him once Brian went to the town again. Unfortunately Jessica had broken her promise about returning him as soon as she could but the Healer had not minded. Her safety and health along with that of Albert was his main concern.
As Jessica got out of the bed one thing that she noticed was that she was hungry. With everything that was happening she had not eaten since breakfast the previous day and she could feel her stomach rumbling. She was just thankful that no one was around to hear it as she found it embarrassing. In her mind it wasn't very lady like to have her stomach growling like that.
When she stepped out of the room she could see Brian in the kitchen trying to give Albert some milk. The tiny baby was drinking it and Jessica couldn't help but think that it was a lovely sight. Albert was indeed a small baby as both his parents we well below average height and she knew that he wasn't likely to grow very tall. If she could donate some of her height to his overall height she would in a heartbeat.
"Hi there Brian," said Jessica as she stepped towards him. Brian was sitting down in a chair and Albert was resting in his arm.
"Oh hey there Jessica," replied Brian. He yawned and it was obvious that he too hadn't had that much sleep. "Did you sleep well?"
"Not really. This arm's already giving me a headache and yet I've still gotta wear it for another six weeks."
"The time will soon pass. I still remember the day that I was told that Wanda was pregnant. That soon passed and now I have Albert with me."
"How is he anyway?" She squatted down so that she had a good look at Brian and Albert. She could still see the baby drinking the milk which had come from his own mother who was sleeping in another room.
"Albert's fine for now, the Healer examined him and has determined that for now he's perfectly healthy. He told us that if we start seeing problems that we should contact him as soon as possible."
"Well let's just hope it doesn't come to that." She took a closer look at Albert and something inside of her seemed to click. She thought that it might have been some kind of maternal instinct. "And you certainly are the most adorable baby that I've ever seen aren't you." Obviously Albert didn't respond but she just smiled at him as he was still grasping the concept of life."
"Do you really have to leave? I could certainly use a woman of your talents in the fields and you would be a good influence on the boy."
"I would like to but I have other responsibilities. I have a friend that I need to meet back up with. We had a falling out and we decided that we needed to have a cool down period before we spoke again."
"That's too bad." By then Albert had finished his milk and Brian was rubbing his back so that he could get him to burp. "This person do they mean a lot to you?"
"Yes, more than I could possibly imagine."
"In that case things should work out for you and your friend. If you are as important to your friend whatever grievance you have between you I have no doubt that you will sort it out. The relationship between myself and Wanda hasn't always been smooth sailing but we were able to work passed them and it made us grow closer."
"Thank you for that advice." She smiled at him. "But growing is certainly something I really don't want to do and yet I seem to be doing it every day." Both of them laughed a little and it was the first time that she had seen him laugh.
"I suppose I should have used a better phrase. Believe me I know what it is like to be on the other end of that." Just then both of him heard a relatively quiet burp and Jessica couldn't help but find that adorable. "Do you want to hold him for a moment?"
"I don't know whether I should." She was a little nervous with the thought of holding something that was so small and yet so important.
"You should do. I think it is important that you hold him at least once before you left. He might not see you ever again."
"Ok then but I'll be really careful, I promise." It had taken her a few moments to make this decision but she did sit herself down on the ground. Even sitting down on the floor she was still taller than Brian as he was sitting on the chair. She got her good arm into a decent position before allowing Brian to place the tiny baby in her arm.
Jessica could feel Albert in her arm and when she looked down at him she could see the baby had gone to sleep. She could barely feel his weight and she couldn't believe how small he looked in her arm. It almost seemed like she was holding a doll rather than an actual baby and she was overcome with joy. This was the first time she had ever handled a new born baby and she couldn't wait for the day that she had her own.
Brian stood close to her just in case Albert slipped out of arm. Normally she would have been able sort the problem herself but with her left arm in the cast she couldn't move it. She did look down at Albert and slowly she rocked him in her arm.
"Aren't you just the cutest thing that I've ever seen," said Jessica in a relatively high pitch voice. "I know that you won't probably remember me but I'm sure going to remember you. You have a very strong father and a good natured mother so I'm sure the future is going to be bright for you."
Jessica kept Albert in her arm for another couple of minutes before returning him to his father. Every movement that she made was with great care as she knew that she was very big and strong. What would be just a minor movement for her could cause a lot of damage to the baby. The last thing that she wanted to do was to hurt him, it would make her feel like she was truly a monster.
Thankfully everything went without a hitch as she passed Albert back to Brian. By then he was fast asleep and Jessica felt honoured to have held what Brian and Wanda now valued the most. She knew that he was in more than capable hands with parents like them. She could only hope that she could be a good parent when the time came.
"So since you're not going to be stopping with us when were you planning on leaving?" asked Brian. He wasn't trying to indicate that he wanted her gone but that he was just curious.
"It'll have to be soon. With my arm in this cast I can't grow to my actual size. I'm going to have to make the entire journey at this size, it'll be something I've never done before. I fear that it will take me a lot longer than I would like."
"How long do you think it'll take you?"
"Well when I was my normal size it took me a couple of hours to reach here, at my current size I don't know exactly how long it'll take me. Maybe a day or so, I don't really know. When I was walking I really wasn't paying attention."
"In that case you'd better be off as soon as you can if you want to meet him in time. But of course you can help yourself to some much needed food before you go."
"Thank you, I'd really appreciate that."
Over the course of the next several minutes Jessica began to make herself some breakfast from the food that was around the kitchen. She made sure to only eat enough to keep her going, she knew that the family didn't have much food so she only took what she needed and nothing more. She even prepared some food for Brian because she thought that he would be hungry as well.
Nothing that Jessica made was cooked since she wasn't very good at cooking and with her arm in the cast it would only make things more difficult. She was able to prepare a little something for herself and Brian. It was mainly made up of fruit but it would be enough to satisfy them both.
Brian was thankful for the food and Jessica just ate away at her own food. She didn't realise just how hungry she was until she began to eat. She felt like she could eat for an entire family but instead she was only eating enough to satisfy a normal person. It didn't take her long to finish it off and although she had more than enough room for more she felt that it was best to stop at this point.
When Jessica had finished she did do a bit of cleaning up but she realised that it was time for her to leave. A part of her had wanted to stay and just live the rest of her life in the farmhouse but she had a friend to return to. She knew that she had other responsibilities that she had to attend to.
Reluctantly Jessica said her goodbyes to Brian and Albert. She did give the baby a little kiss on his forehead before leaving. She had also wanted to say goodbye to Wanda but she was still fast asleep in her bedroom, she told Brian to say goodbye for her and to thank her for everything.
With that Jessica ducked out through the front door and looked out towards the horizon. Before leaving she had made sure that she had picked something up of great value. This was the map that was leading her and Sir Tucker to Three Man's Treasure, if she left that behind they wouldn't be going anywhere.
With each step Jessica took the farmhouse behind her began to shrink smaller and smaller into the distance. It would not be long before it was completely out of sight and it would be very unlikely that she would ever see it again. She wouldn't forget about what happened there, although her broken arm and bruises would remind her for the near future. She still ached a little from her bruises but it wasn't as bad as it had been the previous day, unfortunately her arm still hurt.
There were some clouds in the sky that seemed to indicate that it would be raining soon. This was the last thing that she wanted, so far on this quest she had been pretty lucky when it came to rain but it seemed that soon her luck would be running out. Despite how rain might have been essential for life she still found it annoying.
For now the rain was still remaining in the clouds and she hoped that she would find a suitable place for shelter before it all came down. On her original trek she had not noticed anything that would have been a shelter but it was because she wasn't really concentrating on her surroundings. Instead she had been angry and for that moment it had consumed her enough for her to be careless.
Jessica continued to walk but once again she was finding it difficult to walk such a long distance at her current size. She was beginning to see how normal people had to travel, more than ever she wished that she could grow but right now she knew that it would cause her more harm than good.
Once or twice she almost tripped up which would have made things even more difficult. She didn't want to suffer any more broken bones, the arm was bad enough but if she broke her leg there would be no one around to help her. She would be at the mercy of the elements and it would likely be the death of her.
Suddenly Jessica felt something wet on her head. It only lasted for a moment but a few seconds later she felt it again. She continued to feel it happening over and over again and she soon realised that it was beginning to rain. It wasn't just a light shower but instead a torrential downpour that could make a person completely soaked within a few seconds.
Quickly she began to look around for some form of shelter. Her salvation looked to be a cave that was a short distance away from her. She didn't care what was inside, all she cared about was the fact that she was going to be dry. The rain was coming down faster than she would have liked.
The ground beneath her feet was beginning to turn into mud and this only made things that much more difficult for her. Not only did she have to get to the cave quickly but also to make sure that she didn't slip over. This was a task which was far easier said than done as the field around her turned into a mud pool.
After much effort Jessica did eventually reach the cave and thankfully for her she was now sheltered. She gave a sigh of relief but now she had to dry herself off using only one arm, her dress was soaked and it only made her feel cold. She would have liked nothing more than to take off her dress so that she could dry it off but she knew what would happen if she did. For now she would have to remain cold.
Now Jessica had to go through the boring game of waiting for the rain to subside. It was something that she didn't particularly want to do but she knew that there was no other choice. All she could do was wait but she did try to think of something to help pass the time and make her forget about what was happening. She did worry that she might miss her deadline and Sir Tucker would think that she didn't care. One thing that she did take comfort with was the fact that she could sit down and catch her breath. She felt that she had walked a lot but the distance she had actually travelled was much lower than she would have liked.
After several minutes Jessica was lost in a world of her own as she thought about numerous things in her life. Not only was she thinking about Sir Tucker but she also thought about her family back in Morgan. She thought about how they were coping without her helping out on the farm. She did also think that they were probably worried about her since she was their only child and had gone through a lot with her. She just wanted to bring some treasure back to them so that they could live the rest of their lives without having to work another day on the farm.
Jessica's concentration was broken when she began to hear a growling noise. Quickly she stood up and found herself face to face with a large bear. Only too late did she realise that this cave was its home. She watched as it stood up on its hind legs and roared at her, it was still slightly shorter than her as it stood up but it wasn't any less intimidating. It was surprised to see a human that was taller than it but all it wanted was either her out of its cave or its next meal.
Again this was a situation where Jessica's size changing would have come in handy but unfortunately she couldn't grow so she had to try and deal with the situation with her current size. She needed to be very careful as she didn't want to risk receiving a serious injury, she couldn't fight it and she knew that if she ran she would be caught quite quickly. She just thought that there was some way that she could calm the beast without having to resort to violence.
"Easy there I'm not going to hurt you," said Jessica as she held up her hand. She made sure that there was still some distance between her and the bear. She could hear it growling at her. "I know this is your home but I just wanted to stay dry." It continued to growl and she did consider running but it would only catch her. "As soon as it stops raining I'm going to leave you be."
It seemed almost pointless trying to reason with a wild animal. It seemed like it was likely that she was going to be hurt. However she had been around animals long enough to know how to deal with them. More than once a farm animal panicked and she was able to calm it down. Back then she could grow in size while for now that option wasn't available to her. She just stood strong and took a step towards it.
"Please just be calm," continued Jessica. By now she was close enough for it to bite her hand but she still remained calm. Fear would only made the situation worse. "You don't have to be afraid."
Jessica's large hand came into contact with the bear and rather than hitting it she began to stroke it. She knew that at any moment it might try to bite her but the growling seemed to subside. The bear even went back to all fours and Jessica knelt down and continued to stroke it. She smiled down at it and she thought that it wasn't as aggressive as people would make them out to be. Of course there had been people who had been mauled by a bear but Jessica didn't seem to be one.
"You're not so bad are you," said Jessica as she sat down. The bear seemed to enjoy being stroked and it didn't have any intention to harm her. It just sat itself down right next to her and looked at the rain outside. It had never seen anyone the size of her but it could see that she truly didn't want to hurt her. "I see that you're not that big of a fan of rain, can't say that I blame you."
Jessica remained where she was for the next couple of hours as the rain continued. The bear stayed right by its side and she talked to it throughout that time. Of course the bear had no idea what she was talking and couldn't properly respond but it just liked to have a bit of company. Also she was stroking it just in the right spot to keep it calm.
She was telling the bear about practically everything that had happened since she had left Morgan including when she was held against her will at July and when she was placed on trial at Royal City. In a way she was trying to make sense of everything that had happened since it had taken place over a short amount of time. She felt that she had experienced more than anyone could hope for a single lifetime and yet this had all taken place over the course of a couple of months.
Eventually the rain did subside and Jessica decided that it was best for her to carry. However the bear seemed to be saddened about her leaving but she just gave it another stroke before leaving. Being able to talk to it in the manner that she did had made her feel better and although it couldn't respond to her she had liked the fact that someone had been there to listen to her.
Jessica continued her journey but where it had been solid ground that she had been walking on now it had turned into a mud bath. Each step she took was difficult for her and her weight only made her feet sink deeper into the mud. The special shoes that she was wearing were getting particularly muddy and she didn't want to lose them. She had no other shoes that would grow with her.
However the sun had come out and Jessica could see a rainbow in the sky. To her this was a sign of good luck and it did give her something. It showed her that after something as chaotic as a downpour could eventually turn into something as beautiful as a rainbow. Once when she had been younger she had tried to chase a rainbow so that she could reach the end of it. As most would expect no matter how far she went she couldn't reach the end of the rainbow. It had always seemed to be that goal which was just out of reach which felt like quite a lot of things in her life.
The hours went by as Jessica continued to walk and she was finding it easier to walk through the mud. She was getting more used to the terrain and with the warm sun out it was beginning to make the mud dry up. Before long it would be dry once again but for the time being she was having to continue her trek.
Once or twice she could actually see one of her gigantic footprints in the ground from the other day. She looked at it and she was somewhat amazed by its size, it almost felt funny to her that she was able to create a footprint of that size. She thought that someone could easily build themselves a house on the footprint and probably live comfortable. It was also an indication that she was going the right way.
At another of her gigantic footprints she could see that some of the rainwater had settled into it creating a small pool. With the heat of the sun Jessica could just about see some steam as the pool was evaporating. It was just a little something else that she felt that she could tell Sir Tucker when they met up again. He would probably find it funny and it would be one of those little things in life.
Jessica continued to walk and before long she realised that it was reaching dusk. Before long it would be night and after almost a full day of walking she was beginning to feel tired. She had been following her gigantic footprints and she knew that she couldn't be too far away from where she planned to meet up with Sir Tucker.
With the sun going down the heat that was evaporating the rain water went away and although most of the rain had dried up some of it still remained. This made the ground a little muddier than normal but nothing that caused her too much concern. She was also hungry as she hadn't eaten since breakfast. Walking that distance had really tired her out and her body demanded much more food than the average person. She thought that if she didn't get any food the next day she might not make it.
Jessica soon found a large tree for her to sleep under. If it decided to rain again it would shield her from most of the rainwater but some would still trickle through. As she lay down she felt that the ground was not as comfortable as she would have liked. It definitely wasn't like she was lying in a bed but one advantage that she did have was the fact that she didn't have to worry about being confined. She could stretch out as much as she wanted and didn't have to worry about falling out or hitting a wall.
She knew that on the morrow she would be meeting up with Sir Tucker again and she was excited to say the least. She did wonder what he had been up to while they had been separated, she thought that he had some kind of mundane experience which was him just drinking in an inn somewhere. She did hope that he was safe and would return to her in one piece.
Jessica's view of the stars was blocked by the canopy of leaves above her but she imagined that there were shooting stars flying above her. She wondered if she would ever grow big enough to reach them. She doubted it but she thought that her body would likely give it a good effort.
Eventually fatigue did take its toll on her and she found it difficult to keep her eyes open. As the world around her faded to darkness she couldn't help but think about the family at the farmhouse. She thought about what might have happened if she hadn't turned up on their doorstep. It was likely that Albert would have still been born but she doubted it would have gone as smoothly and there was a chance that something terrible might have happened. She might have suffered a broken arm but things could have gone a lot worse for all those involved. She wondered if she would ever see them again, although she doubted it she thought that it would be nice if she saw them again at some point in their lives. Maybe by then she would have children of her own.