Back in June 2013, I introduced the world to ILONA.
Now, almost six months later, we are about to see her greatest adventure.
But let’s back up abit, shall we?
ILONA has been a long simmering brainchild of mine, the idea being looking at a lonely young girl who seeks friends, all with the help of a book. Once she attains this goal, ILONA learns many of the lessons and heartaches that friendship, true friendship, entails. That, you could say, and I will, is what THE PASSPORT TO THE WALL is all about.
Let’s start with a look at our main character, the heroine of the piece, the girl who seeks a new life.
ILONA: She is a 12 year old girl in grade five at SummerFall Junior School and lives in a small apartment with her poor, hardworking parents. Her loneliness and fear causes her to fervently wish to join up with a group of girls who spend every lunch hour reading up against a school wall. ILONA begs her parents to get her the same book they have, one featuring a man with a trident on the cover. All so that she can use the book as a passport to the wall.
Once she joins with the girls, they become fast friends. Sharing stories and books and laughs. And also sharing secrets and harassment and pain.
The girls are:
Cynthia: She is the leader, both spiritually and morally. She early on takes ILONA under her wings and tries to gently guide her through life. Cynthia is the youngest of a large loving family who love to give hugs. She also loan quite a few books to ILONA.
Madison: Crazy, reckless and impulsive are all verbs that Maddie would proudly salute to. Fiercely loyal and protective of her friends, she still would not hesitate to crawl across them for a quick laugh. Madison has an older sister, now in high school, who also went to SummerFall, named Tracey. Maddie most likely gets her exuberance from Tracey, whom we saw in the short story THE CHAT here on Scoops Mental Propaganda. More on this later.
Clara: Slightly less crazy, slightly less reckless, and slightly less impulsive than Maddie are all sayings that Clara would agree to. But only slightly. Eventhough she is besties with Madison, she is not as insane as her. Of all the girls, she may have read the most books altogether. Clara has an older brother, who is best friends with Tracey, and also went to SummerFall, named Joshua. He calls Clara and the yet to be seen little brother Muskrat. Joshua, as we found out in the short story THE CHAT, is gay, and works in a local convenience as we saw in SAY HELLO TO THE CLOUDS FOR ME. These stories are also available here on Scoops Mental Propaganda. More on this later, promise!
Susan: She is the smart analytical one, some would say the smartest, but her bestie Collette would disagree. She has, like all the girls, a love for Doctor Who, but hers might be the most fangirlish. Susan keeps it quiet, except amoungst her closest friends, of the fact she is a lesbian.
Collette: She is the smart analytical one, some would say the smartest, but her bestie Susan would disagree. Collette has a heavy interest in Sherlock Holmes, almost to an obsession. And besides ILONA, she is the only girl in the group without a smartphone. But she also had the coolest eleventh birthday, with a sleepover ending with her Hogwarts letter coming.
With this assortment of new friends inhabiting her life, ILONA has already gone through many changes. Learning about different aspects of life, reading a ton of books, and seeing even her strongest friends at their lowest, ILONA is absorbing and changing constantly.
One aspect that I try to channel into THE PASSPORT TO THE WALL is the love of the written word. ILONA and her friends are always reading and loaning books to each other. And every time someone finishes a book, they all do a group high five, a mark of honour for them. This was created by Joshua, Tracey and Sarah who appeared in THE CHAT here on Scoops Mental Propaganda. More on this later, definitely promise.
Okay, later is now. Right from the beginning of THE PASSPORT TO THE WALL, built into it’s DNA, was the concept of crossovers. I wanted every short story I have written so far on Scoops Mental Propaganda to intersect in some way with ILONA. So far THE CHAT has popped into the narrative a couple of times, with more crossovers planned in the future. A few in ways that might even surprise you.
Beside that, what does the New Year hold for ILONA? Here is a quick preview of Three Random Things (hehe) coming up:
1. A major change in the status quo at SummerFall Junior School.
2. ILONA has another brush with love.
3. The friends take a stand against censorship.
All this and more are planned for THE PASSPORT TO THE WALL. This ongoing story drops a new chapter every Friday, both here on Scoops Mental Propaganda and on Wattpad. Each part is about 1,000 words or so, with some chapters being standalone, or relatively standalone. And sometimes, like starting next week, THE PASSPORT TO THE WALL will feature a multipart story. September saw the WE LOVE ALL four parter, and next week a massive eight chapter story arc kicks off called MERRY CHRISTMAS!
So this Friday, join ILONA as she enters her biggest challenge yet, surviving Christmas and the keeping her spirit intact. The adventure is just beginning for her in THE PASSPORT TO THE WALL.
…is currently reading The Death And Life Of Superman by Roger Stern.