Robin Boyden Illustration

St.Georgia's Interactive Adventure

Here you can find the crowd sourced project that I have illustrated and written about one of my own creations 'St.Georgia'. The idea is that the online community provide me with their ideas or pieces of writing that are then included into the story, creating a tale imagined by many. 

Georgia_1.jpg

So without a sword, or a soul around to support her, Georgia travelled across the barren desert. In time, she came across a cave where she could take shelter from the sun. A fire burned on top of it, someone or something wanted attention... 

Q. What is inside the cave?

 

Georgia_2_large-1.jpg

Georgia wasn't sure if she was best prepared to enter the cave but the heat was taking its toll. In the distance a sand storm scythed through the dunes, leaving her with no choice but to seek shelter inside. As she got closer to the entrance Georgia spotted a small sign stuck in the ground. 'Back in 5 minutes' she read aloud. What was this place, standing alone in the desert and who was the sign for? Left paralysed by confusion, Georgia was for a moment oblivious to the storm's rapid approach. As it skated over the final dune its piercing screech got her attention and she ran inside, into the unknown. 

  After adrenaline carried her through the darkness, Georgia spotted a bright orange light hovering not far in front of her. Then another, and another. All of a sudden she found herself in a room illuminated by giant fireflies, the size of garden birds. They hovered around without panic or danger, almost guiding Georgia's eyes deliberately to the wonder's of the room. This wasn't an Aladdin's cave full of treasure but wealth of a different kind. For a creative mind like Georgia, the room provided a bounty of items that could assist her in escaping the desert. She was cautious however, guarding the scrap on the floor were several enormous Maoi statues. They had no eyes but she knew they were looking right at her. 

 

Georgia_2_2.jpg

Georgia looked at the tiny creature with a bemused look on her face. “Fire? The hot, burny thing?” she queried. “Oh just fine, after I lost my original hands back in the great space wars of long, long ago, I constructed a new fire resistant pair made of asbestos.” Georgia added, turning away from Lollylute and rolling her eyes.  The sarcasm was lost on Lollylute, a wildly intelligent creature but not one well versed in social deceptions. 


Georgia_3_1_a.jpg

Lollylute chimed enthusiastically “Well that’s highly unusual and unexpectedly perfect! Follow me then, we have a lot of fiery plants up top that need moving” and then her tiny arms beat like the wings of a bumblebee and she headed upwards to the roof of the cave.

Georgia looked dumbfounded. If she wasn’t facing death from dehydration or a swirling sandstorm then she would have left the cave right then and there. Curiosity of course though made her boots step up the spiral, stone staircase carved into the walls of the cave.

 

Georgia_3_1_b.jpg

 

Georgia looked dumbfounded. If she wasn’t facing death from dehydration or a swirling sandstorm then she would have left the cave right then and there. Curiosity of course though made her boots step up the spiral, stone staircase carved into the walls of the cave.

 It was after exactly 343 steps that Georgia heard a whimpering whisper from the scrap heap below. Although the desperation in her voice was barely audible, the panic in the eyes of the “Princess” was all too apparent. The whispers rose and circled upwards around the cave walls, some words faded away and some fell back to the ground. The one word that reached step 343 though was ‘Help’.

  Georgia gave a look of concern, she was all too aware of how single-minded she could be at times but in order to be a fairy-tale heroine she had to help. She sent a sympathetic look back to the Princess and her Wolf companion and sent a sincere nod towards them before moving up to step 344.

Georgia would help in time but her list of curiosities followed a strict chronological order and she would discover what Lollylute had planned first. As she approached the final twist and turn of steps upwards, she hesitated slightly “ This doesn’t quite add up. How does a three inch nymph gather so much junk?” She questioned how wise it was to follow this bizarre creature towards a gigantic fire? Was she working for someone else? Would she end up being the entree for some rooftop dinner party? As was usual for Georgia, she caught herself putting her needs first. This wasn’t the heroine’s code she had set for herself. Why did the Princess and the Wolf need help? If Lollylute couldn’t help them, maybe it was the mysterious nymph that they needed help to escape from? 

  There were so many questions that ran through her head but her legs obeyed curiousity and pulled her forwards to step 500, the summit.

Georgia_3_2_b.jpg

The chain link fence surrounding the hole at the top of the cave was red hot. Georgia carefully limboed and contorted her body through the worn out sections to avoid becoming flame-grilled. She tripped on her last step but thankfully fell flat on her face on the sandy roof rather than into the fence. Lollylute scuttled over to her and warmly greeted her.

 

Georgia_3_3_a.jpg

“You came, you came!” She cried. 

“Of course, it was only 5 minutes ago.” Georgia replied with puzzlement.

“Forgive me, everything seems to take longer when you are this small.” the nymph explained.

Georgia pulled herself up, dusted herself off and then, deciding to embrace her only ally in her life at this moment, robustly scooped up the little cave dweller and placed her onto her left shoulder.

 

Georgia_3_3_b.jpg

 

 Before them was the enormous, frenetic fire Georgia had seen from a distance hours earlier. The heat was unbearable.

  “This is a Nitronectarine plant.” Lollylute explained, “When it begins to blossom it erupts into an inferno and doesn’t stop till fully flowered. Some call it, the Mother fire of summer, the seasonal phoenix reborn, the...’

  “What do you want me to do with it?” Georgia said impatiently, the heat started to conduct through her metal plate armour, leaving her a little more than uncomfortable.

 “Oh right yes, the mission. There is a city of Werewolves way out west from here, it is cold, frozen stiff with a sleep spell cast by a mad, musical, Monkey mage.”

Georgia_3_4a2.jpg

 “A mad, muscial, Monkey mage?” Georgia asked.

“A mad, musical Monkey mage.” Lollylute replied dramatically.

“Does he or she have a name?”

Lollylute postured extravagantly, in order to build up the theatrics.

“Some have called him the Puzzling Prince of Primates, the Electric Enigma, the Gibbering Gibbon of Gibraltar.”

“Stop. A real name? Something legal to track him by.” Georgia interrupted.

“Delroy. Delroy Adams.” Lollylute replied, snapped out of her thespian daze. “Here, I drew a picture of him so you can identify him.”

 

Georgia_3_4b.jpg

She handed Georgia a scrunched up roll of paper. It was old and worn, clearly kept in the nymph's pocket for sometime. This made Georgia suspicious, was this a long-time target of Lollylute's? Was the fire meant to destroy Mr Delroy Adams, or to wake up the city of Werewolves from their frozen slumber?  

 

Lollylute went on to explain, that Mr Delroy Adams, had frozen the inhabitants of the Werewolf city as a political sanction. The city, known to the wolves by its archaic name ‘Misernderstad’, was harbouring a fugitive, Delroy’s accountant simply known as Troll. 

“You must use the Nitronectarines to unfreeze the city. The accountant cannot be freed and only the werewolves have the required ferocity to keep Delroy away. the city is already frozen, Delroy is a step ahead of us already so we must move fast.”

 The Nitronectarines were too large and hot to handle, so using Georgia’s workshop and scientific skill, Lollylute uncovered items in her scrapyard to construct a giant lantern to encase the flames.


Georgia_3_5_a.jpg

There were old windows, ancient maps, ship’s anchors and rusted tools, anything Georgia needed, Lollylute could provide.

“But how shall we move this? It’s too big for me to carry?” Georgia queried.

Without a word, Lollylute sprang up into the air and unleashed a ear-shaking noise from a trumpet.


Georgia_3_5_b.jpg

Within moments, the cave was shaking, objects shooting into the air from the vibrations along the floor. The thuds of footsteps reverberated around the walls and a creature began to rise from the scrap pile.

 

Georgia_3_5_c.jpg

The whirring of cogs and hissing of pistons echoed around and tormented Georgia's ears. She  cowered under her shield to shelter from the flying debris that was spraying around the cave. The howling and groaning of rusted metal scraped against rock and cracked the bedrock as something tried to find its feet.

“That’s it, back it up, you’ve got plenty of room.” Through the terrible noise Georgia could hear Lollylute shout squeaky commands to the creature. Now welded to the floor and locked tightly under her shield like a limpet, Georgia opened the tiniest of gaps to poke her eyes under. Leaping up in surprise and awe more so than relief, Georgia was astonished to find an enormous mechanical Mantis scurrying and twitching around the crave. It was well used and assembled from older vehicles that had long past their function but their was clear workmanship and skill in its construction. Its powerful forelegs dug holes into the floor, clearing a space, all the while its nimble, spherical base and hind legs, skated gracefully behind.

The machine suddenly stopped and a cab on top of its head arched open. A small, jovial boy, popped out and scurried down the Mantis, muttering to himself.

 

Georgia_3_6-copy_2.jpg

Georgia, this is Mr.E,  my mechanic, Mr.E, this is my new friend Georgia” Lollylute chimed cordially. 

Mr.E was preoccupied, he was fidgeting around with a set of controls to which the Mantis responded in even more robotic movements. 

“Line it up, move back, now, now, thirty degrees anti-clockwise..” he muttered.

Georgia looked baffled but at least she saw progress being made, so she decided she liked this happy little character. Georgia was not one to hang around and Mr.E seemed as impatient as she was.

“Boop beep, brrrrr…” The noises of the Mantis weren’t enough for Mr.E, he liked to add his own commentary to the events as if he was communicating with the robotic insect.

“Beep…BOOP!” This noise served as confirmation for the completion of his task. He spun around on the heel of one foot, nearly toppling over in the process and finally replied to Lollylute’s introduction. 

“Mr.E my name, Georgia hello, ready, lets go move lantern now.” 

By the time Georgia could comprehend what he had said he was back in his cab atop the Mantis and levering up the now attached lantern onto its back. A one second pause and they were away, marching out of the cave. In under 20 seconds time, there was silence.

Georgia turned to Lollylute, “So, I follow him? To Misenderstad?”

 

Georgia_3_6_b.jpg

 

“Yes, and you better hurry, his world goes a little faster than ours.” Lollylute replied.

Georgia was so baffled by the days events so far that any instruction would be followed. If Lollylute had told her to run her a bath and make her a ten course meal she would have. She was exhausted, in need of rest, and her usually sharp brain was already asleep. Georgia got the feeling that she wouldn’t be able to recover until business in Misenderstad was over, and she sensed that business there, just like here would not be straightforward.

“Off you pop then. You’ll hear from me when the job is done.”  Lollylute said abruptly. Georgia nodded with fatigue and lifted her heavily armoured legs across the ground towards the rear exit of the cave. As she was swallowed by the darkness of the cave she paused to think again, what was she doing? How did she get embroiled in this. Still with doubts about the nymph Lollylute she turned back to take another look at the cave.  There, alone, with a diminishing spotlight surveilling her, was the usually confident Lollylute, now looking pale and afraid, her charisma drained. 

“One mystery at a time”. She said to herself before turning to the desert and running into the vast, open world again.

Georgia_3_6_c.jpg