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Paul and Gianna#3:
Paul and Gianna were packing clothes for a camping trip. While packing, Gianna was recounting their fantastic adventures.
“ ‘Member that time we flew? You should’ve seen your face when I pulled you through a cloud!” Gianna giggled. “You screeched like a bird!”
“I did not screech.”
“You did!” Seized by a fit of laughter, Gianna fell onto her bed and began kicking her legs uncontrollably.
Paul slipped on his blue sweatshirt. “I can’t believe Mom and Dad don’t know about all the incidents. Do you think that they don’t pay attention or--what are you doing?”
Gianna had grabbed the shirts off her bed and walked to her suitcase. She was struggling to make them fit. “Ngh! Getting these shirts into the suitcase.”
“You can’t stuff them in,” Paul said. “You have to reorganize them.”
“But I’m not good at that,” Gianna sighed. Then, she smiled on one side of her face. “Maybe I won’t have to be!”
“You have an idea, don’t you?” said Paul, recognizing her “idea” face.
With a nod, Gianna reached into her pocket and produced a vial with an emerald green solution. “I made this earlier today. We can use this to shrink them,” she said. “That way, we don’t have to use multiple suitcases! It’s just so much more convenient! Oh, and when we need to enlarge it--” Gianna took out a lavender-colored potion. “--we use this.”
“You’re sure that works?” Paul asked, remembering the many times the potions malfunctioned and things went awry.
“Yes, I’m sure,” Gianna reassured. “One hundred percent sure.”
“Alright,” Paul said, “I guess we can try it out.”
“Okay, here we go!”
As Paul walked over, Gianna put the enlarging potion on desk and began shaking the shrinking potion vigorously. Bubbles began to form. The potion fizzed and bubbled violently, like a bomb ready to go off. Gianna made a nervous face at Paul.
“Get down!” Paul shouted, but it was too late.
The potion exploded and a giant green cloud flew enveloped all of them. Paul suddenly felt a strange and excruciating squeezing sensation like every part of his body was being jammed into a tiny container. He fell to the floor in pain, wincing. Then, the pain stopped. Gasping, he stood up. Lying on the ground was Gianna. Paul helped her up.
“Well,” said Gianna with a cough, “at least we didn’t explode. It looks like nothing bad has happened.”
Paul coughed. “Well, the fog is clearing up. Looks like we will have to pack the old fashioned--”
Paul froze in terror. He looked up at Gianna’s table. It was small, but it now was massive and towering. Looking around, he saw that everything in the room--the suitcases, the bed,the wooden floor, even the Pop-tart crumbs--was larger than a few seconds ago.
“Gianna,” said Paul, “You were right. Your potion does work.”
Gianna whooped. “EUREKA! This is awesome! It actually worked! We’re shrunken! And people said it was impossible! But no longer! Now, we can do all sorts of things we can’t at full size! We can go into tiny spaces and cracks, like ants and other small insects! Hey, we--”
“Yeah, this is great,” said Paul, “except we need to continue packing clothes.”
Reaching into her pocket, Gianna sighed. “Alright, I’ll enlarge us--” She stopped. Turning out her pocket, she then proceeded to her other pockets. She giggled nervously.
“Gianna. . .where is it?” asked Paul.
“It should be here,” Gianna said, rechecking her front pockets. “I dunno where it could possibly--”
Slowly, they looked up. There stood the potion, on the edge of the towering table.
“Are you kidding me?” Paul groaned.
“It could be worse, Paul,” Gianna smiled, optimistic despite the situation. “I mean, we aren’t in danger.”
Suddenly, there was a loud thud! Behind them, was a giant, black, hairy spider. It chittered and bashed its pincers together.
“Gianna,” Paul breathed, “I think that thing wants to eat us.”
“Maybe it’s a friendly spider?” Gianna offered hopefully.
The spider let a deafening screech. Paul grabbed Gianna’s hand and began running as fast as he could go. The spider began following.
“Paul, what do we do?” said Gianna, looking back.
“I don’t know,” Paul panicked, “but I’m not letting that arachnid eat us!”
“Look!” Gianna cried, pointing. “There’s a hole at the bottom of that wall! Let’s run in there and hide!”
Paul and Gianna rushed into the dark hole, but they lost their footing and began falling down, down, down. Then all of a sudden, Paul felt himself land in something soft and sticky. He opened his eyes. He was thankful for the light that was shining through the hole.
“Hey, Paul!” said a cheerful voice.
Paul turned. Gianna was beside him, beaming brightly.
“See?” she said. “It’s not so bad! At least we landed on something soft. Sticky, sure, but it could be worse.”
Paul tried to pull his arm, but it seemed to be stuck because of the strange sticky substance. Paul pulled harder and harder, but he could not move. He groaned. He then began thrashing about, trying to free himself when he noticed the white ropes that seemed to be holding him in place. Hoping he was wrong, he quickly looked around. The ropes were all connected in a specific order, forming a giant spider web.
Paul yelled in frustration. “Are you kidding me?! That spider herded us right into its web! Literally!”
“Huh,” Gianna said. “Who knew a spider could be so smart?”
“I don’t want to be eaten! This is not the way I want to die!”
“Paul, relax, you’ll die the way you want to die. Besides, spiders don’t have very good vision, so we’ll be fine.”
Then, there was a screech above them. Looking up, Paul saw the spider, slowly creeping towards its prey. As Gianna began to try freeing herself, Paul hissed, “Don’t move!”
“Why?” Gianna whispered. “I thought you said--”
“The web is designed this way for a reason,” Paul explained hurriedly. “If the bug tries to free itself, the spider feels the vibrations from the web and figures out where its dinner is!”
Gianna did not move a muscle. The spider creeping closer and closer.
“Paul!” Gianna breathed. “Can you reach my pocket?”
“I don’t know, maybe. I could slip out of my sweatshirt sleeve. Why?”
“I have Dad’s Swiss Army knife in there. Maybe we can cut the web and free ourselves.”
Paul exhaled. Wriggling out of his sweatshirt, he reached for Gianna’s pocket. It was difficult; the web had a pretty good hold on him waist down and Gianna was hard to reach. His fingers were now centimeters away from the pocket. If he could just reach a little further. . .
Suddenly, Gianna gulped and looked up. Following her gaze, Paul saw the spider staring down at them. It screeched. Paul and Gianna screamed in terror. Without a second’s delay, Paul snatched the Swiss Army knife and pulled it from Gianna’s pocket. No sooner had he done so, the spider screeched again and grabbed Gianna by the leg.
“PAUL, HELP!” Gianna screamed as she was carried down to the bottom of the web.
“GIANNA!” Paul furiously began cutting the web around his legs. He had to hurry, but it was not going as fast as he wanted since the scissors were dull and needed sharpening. Below him, he saw Gianna was kicking the spider in the mouth. Suddenly, its pincers grasped her left leg and Gianna screamed in pain. In a moment, Paul switched to the knife and hacked the webs away like strings. He was free.
In a moment of fury, Paul jumped on top of the spider, yelling, “LEAVE HER ALONE!”
Using the Swiss Army Knife, he stabbed the giant spider in the head. The spider shrieked in pain and shook Paul off its back. Paul was sent flying. He began falling into darkness until. . .
Something grabbed him by the wrist. Paul looked up. Gianna was upside-down on the edge of the web.
“Thanks, Gianna,” Paul panted.
She smiled. “You’re my twin, and twins stick together. Besides, you promised you’d come camping, remember? Don’t think I was going to let you get out of a promise that easily.” Gianna held out her other hand.
With a chuckle, Paul took it and tucked the Swiss Army knife in his pocket. After pulling Paul up, there was a screech. The spider chittered angrily.
“It’s still alive?!” Gianna exclaimed. “You didn’t stab it in the heart?”
“I couldn’t reach its underside--”
The spider jumped near Paul. Quickly, he took out the Swiss Army knife. As the spider charged toward him, Paul slashed at it, chopping off one of its legs. While the spider was knocked off balance, Gianna kicked it off the web, and the spider fell to its doom.
“And let that be a lesson to you!” Gianna shouted after it.
Paul nearly told her the spider could not understand her but instead said, “Are you alright?”
Gianna gingerly touched her wounded thigh. “I guess so, except for my leg. It can’t feel anything.” Sighing, she looked up. “And we still have to get out of here.”
Paul sighed and looked down. Noticing two loose strands of web, Paul ran his fingers over it. His eyes widened. “Gianna! I think I know how to do that.”
After cutting and rolling up the strands into two bundles of rope, Paul began crawling up the web with Gianna following him. When they reached the top of it, Paul and Gianna looked up at the ledge. It was rather high and hard to reach.
“What do we do now?” Gianna asked, looking at her brother.
Paul handed Gianna one bundle of rope and started unraveling the other. Taking a deep breath, he threw up one end of the rope. It flew up in the air and then landed on the ledge. Paul tugged on the rope.
“I think it can hold us,” Paul said and began climbing up, Gianna close behind him.
The rope was sturdy enough to hold them, and soon, they were out of the hole in the wall. Then, they reached the table. Paul threw the second rope up, and it attached to the vial. After the twins pulled with all their strength, the vial fell off the tabletop and shattered on the floor. Violet fog surrounded them. In a few moments, Paul felt himself being stretched in every direction. When the pain passed, the fog cleared. Paul stood up and looked around. The suitcases, the table, Gianna’s bed, everything was the same size again. Paul looked at Gianna.
She shrugged. “Well, I guess I should just reorganize my clothes from now on. Shrinking things is more trouble than it’s--” She shrieked and jumped away.
Paul looked down and saw a tiny spider at her feet. Quickly, he smashed the spider under his foot and stomped on it three more times for good measure.
Gianna shuddered. “I really hate those things.”