Zoom Out

When I first saw the film below (and we called it a film, and it did wind reel to reel), I was in Mr. McGuffin’s Grade 5 class. It blew my 10-year-old mind. I still find it such a compelling translation of our understanding of the universe, such as it was in the late 1960’s. It is a wonderful device, that zooming thing.

So I got quite excited when I read about Zoom Posts from Dragon on Miss Wyatt’s Student Blogging Challenge blog. How clever! How fun! To make this creative commenting game work, you need to play by the simple rules:

  • Choose an image. (Creative Commons licensed and attributed, of course, if it is not your own photograph). Think of an image that is a starting point, something from which a viewer can move back to see more of the story.
  • Invite your readers to “zoom out” of the the scene to reveal what else they imagine is also a part of the story.
  • Commenters are obliged to read previous comments and carry the storyline is a sense-preserving way.
  • If you’d like a great example of how the story can evolve, check out this one about a Dr. Pepper can and this one about a keyboard.
  • Make sure you tag your post Zoom Post to make it searchable, and link to the Student Challenge blog.
  • And yes, you can comment on your own Zoom Post–but leave room for your readers, too!

So readers, what is the story here? Update! The tale is now told–Read the exciting of saga of Molly and the Chocolate Cake–now closed for comments as we have reached the end of the story!

Three Layer Cake

Image credit: Miniature Dollhouse Food -Three Layer Cake by Stephanie Kilgast


Miniature Dollhouse Food - Three Layer Cake



  1. As she holds the cake gently on her fingertips, she notices the tiniest hand pull back her yellow window curtain.

  2. Then all of a sudden, she saw a hand come crawling out of the cake. Molly finally saw what they were, they were just hands, hands with eyes.

  3. Some of the hands were old wrinkly grandpa hands and some were soft baby hands. There were about forty hands wiggling across Molly’s floor towards the cake. Then something happened. Like a wave the hands lifted a minute person in the air.

  4. As the tiny pixie rose into the air, Molly screamed. The pixie signaled for the hands to grab the cake from the frightened girl.

  5. At the pixie’s signal all forty hand start ripping at the cake, tearing through it trying to get to Molly. So, Molly still thinking about her cake tore a huge chunk out of it and ran out the room screaming for her mom and dad to help her.

  6. So, she went to Alaska to get away from the hands. But as she was relaxing on the plane Molly felt a tap on her shoulder. It was a hand! She had to sky dive…

  7. Molly jumped out of the plane with no parachute on. Amazingly the hand followed her out the door, grabbing onto her, pinning her clothes to the plane wing.

  8. The hand let go of Molly. The hand and the young girl were falling and falling until they landed in a pile of snow. Molly did not see the hand because it was buried in a drift. Suddenly the hand crawled on to her. She screamed, then punched it and ran…

  9. As she tumbled down the snowy glacier she noticed unfolding before her was….A REAL GIANT CANDYLAND BOARD!!!

  10. Her stunned face slowly broke into a smile as she read the sign. She hopped, she skipped, she jumped, then realized the hand was on her shoulder the whole time.

  11. She shrieked and threw the hand in the air. It landed by the giant die. The hand started rolling the die and it landed on five, so the hand moved itself five places. Molly noticed 39 hands surrounding the board except for the end square. Molly had to win to get out alive!

  12. But when she saw Cupcake Commons, the Lolly Pop Woods and the chunky Chocolate Mountains, her memory of playing Candy Land with her parents came flooding back. She knew just what to do!

  13. The hand rolled a 5 and moved five space. Molly grabbed the die and rolled a 6, then moved ahead six. The hand rolled a 5 and moved 8 places. “You cheated!” Molly yelled. The two started sprinting towards the finish line.

  14. The hand was going to beat her but Molly made a diving roll and got ahead of the hand. She jumped in joy until she saw the hands had surrounded her!

  15. She ignored their eyes and turned to continue the race. Molly tripped and fell on the hand. The hand picked her up and threw her in the air. The hand blinked its eyes wildly when it realized it had tossed her to a few spaces before the finish line. It sped ahead.

  16. The hand was getting ahead of her, she knew she couldn’t make it. Then suddenly a giant candy cane swooped down and flung Molly past the finish line into a big pile of “ice cream”.

  17. But Molly was lactose-intolerant! She jumped out of the bowl and ran into a randomly placed elevator, that was heading to the Amazon jungle.

  18. As she jumped into the elevator Molly said “I won, yay!” But the hands were surrounding her as she reached to close the elevator door.

  19. When Molly made it to the Amazon she had worse problems than cake eating hands with eyes! There in front of her was the master of the hands , only it was a massive body! She looked back but the elevator door was just closing. She had to fight…but then she remembered the piece of cake she had put in her pocket.

  20. Molly threw the piece of cake as far as she could away from her. The hands just stared at each other and then they went crawling off to find out where the cake had gone. Molly was so exhausted she thought she should just fall down and take a nap. But then she heard the hands coming back again and she realized the cake she had thrown was now eaten, and the hands still wanted more. So Molly, with her last breath, did a taxi cab whistle hoping someone would come pick her up, but instead of a taxi like she was hoping, a magical unicorn appeared before her.

  21. When she saw the unicorn she said, “NO way am I riding that!” (She hated unicorns.) Then it ran off and a red Ferrari pulled up. She jumped in and the driver pulled away. In the nick of time the hands ran out of the jungle and watched her drive away. Then she looked at the driver for the first time. It was a HAND! She went for the door but she heard it click and it was locked!

  22. As Molly touched down in The North Pole she took a moment to realize that it would be pretty hard for a hand to get here across all the frozen water. But suddenly she realized that the whale that had flown her there was the magical evil pixie who had the power of transfiguration. Molly started running away from the pixie but the pixie just laughed and shouted “You can run Molly Poxer, but I will always find you no matter where you hide and my hands will always follow you until I have the last piece of that cake.”

  23. The evil pixie grabbed her. Molly was very sad what was going to happen to her? The evil pixie took her to her mansion and put her down on her table. The pixie was very tired and put her feet up on a stool and said, “So, where is the last piece of cake?”

    1. “Ummmm…”Molly muttered. She had to think fast! “Forget about the last piece, if you give me time and transportation, I will get you all the cake you could ever want.”
      The pixie let her go leaving a tracking device on Molly’s back. Molly thought there would only be one way to stop the hands and the pixie. She ran to the US Military base and the Acme cake factory. She hollowed out a cake that looked like the original, only MUCH bigger. She filled the inside with C4 explosives and put small fuses in, instead of candles.

      1. In her haste, Molly didn’t notice that the C4 explosives were actually labeled C4A, meaning “Candy For All”. She gingerly packaged her gift in a cake box and wrapped it in a pink bow. She strode back to the pixie, explosive gift outstretched. The hands, sensing the presence of cake, rushed her, knocking her to one side. They yanked the ribbon from the box, causing the detonation of the C4A.

        BOOOM! Molly shielded her eyes and head as candy rained down all around. There was a brief pause, then pandemonium broke out as the Pixie and forty famished hands clawed over one another in competition for the candy and the lumps of cake.

        The pixie grovelled on her hands and knees, stuffing her face with cake crumbs, custard, whipped cream, chocolate mousse, and whipped cream, until she was unable to move. The hands scrambled for the candy, filling their palms with it and closing their fingers into fists. No longer able to crawl, the fists just stood shaking, protecting what they gathered from other prying fingers. The pixie groaned in agony and turned her green-tinged faced toward Molly.

        “Ok,” the sick-faced sprite mumbled. “You win! I will never eat cake again. You are free to go.”

        Molly gave the pixie a little grin and a tender pat on the head. She then headed home, resolving that, like the pixie, she would never even look at a chocolate layer cake again.

        The END

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