My two favorite books are true but they are also dark, so I have picked one that I wrote for my granddaughters, Tyler and Toni, when they were young and … the planets were in big trouble.
Lolli Ripple is terrified. They are tearing through space in an airship. So fast she can almost hear the wind. The problem is bad enough but here she is in her night-clothes. They had fled so fast there was no time to dress. “Just as well,” she quivered, “this little one is not going to wait.”
Nevi Ripple’s wife grabbed her stomach with both hands, “I can’t make it,” she screamed. Her nightgown was soaked with sweat and stuck to her body. Eyes flying about like a buzzing bee. Heart pounding like a hammer on a nail. Nerves jumping like kids skipping rope.
Another pain hit and she cried out, “The baby’s coming, we must land now!”
The airship zoomed through the sky like a giant bullet. The outside was made from a special granite. A shimmering rock found only on planet Osis. The inside walls were padded with a pale grey canvas. There were six cushioned seats made from the same material, only the frames were built with a special plastic.
It was the same with the seats in the nose of the ship. They stretched out like beds as the ship took off. Passengers were strapped across the chest. Once in flight, the seats folded into a sitting position.
The airship was called a nebula. It was extremely well-built, strong and sturdy. It was used to transport dwellers from one outer planet to another. Problem was it wasn’t built for long distance, had not been put to the test.
Lolli and Nevi had no choice. It was a matter of life or death. They had to escape the Bugbear. The evil monster that had come to destroy Osis. The Bugbear looked like meteorites with antenna. Everyone knew the way it worked. The Bugbear sneak onto a planet on the back of a shooting star. Or drop from the tail of a speeding comet.
There was no defense against the Bugbear. They would hide in caves and tunnels and use their antenna like straws, sucking up the planet. As it grew smaller, the dwellers vanished. Once the Bugbear took hold it was useless. Many a planet had disappeared inside their rock bellies. Lolli and Nevi were lucky to escape.
They were also lucky that Nevi was an engineer. He had helped to design the nebula. Yet he was no flier and that caused a problem. Poor Nevi, he was a nervous sort. Skeleton skinny with red hair and beady eyes. Yet, he was a kind and tender man. And a very loving husband.
“Neeeviii!” His wife’s scream jerked Nevi back. He held the pilot stick with one hand and reached out to Lolli. Her long, blond curls were soaked with sweat. Her fair skin turning ruby-red from pain. “Hold on,” he begged, “we must be close.”
At that moment, the nose of the nebula dipped sharply. The airship trembled like an earthquake. It screeched like a giant macaw, the metal ripping at the seams. Inside, Lolli and Nevi were trapped and terrified. Nevi grabbed the pilot stick with both hands, sweat burning his eyes as he struggled for control.
Down below, the people on Sulu Island were snuggled in for the night. Their dreams were filled with barbecue pits and native dances. Not an inkling of what was taking place in the stratosphere. They had no clue that their world was about to turn topsy-turvy. By a babe in a blanket no less.
The nebula had entered Earth’s air space. It was too much for Lolli and Nevi. Their eyes began to droop. Heads dropped to their chests. Breathing slowed to a snail’s pace. They were as numb as the sleeping natives on Sulu.
The airship didn’t falter now. It made a beeline straight for the sea. Like a dart headed for a bull’s-eye. Lolli could feel the atmosphere change. She could no longer hold her head up. Eyes were glued shut. Brain didn’t work.
Lolli was desperate and determined. She felt alongside the edge of the seat and spread her fingers, searching for the switch that would lay the seat back. She heard it click into place and fought to stay awake. The seat unfolded as sweat poured from Lolli’s brow. The baby was coming ready or not.
At that very moment, the nebula crashed into the ocean. Except for bits and pieces, it would never be found. Lolli and Nevi Ripple didn’t make it, but their baby girl survived.
Only nothing came easy. Serious health problems threatened her life. She struggled against great odds to reach her goals. But there was no giving up, her dreams had to come true.
She would become Dolly Dancer!!
Dolly Dancer is not like other kids on Sulu Island. Actually, she is allergic to them. She is confined to the valley, a place surrounded by a shield that her friends call the wall. It’s the only place they can see her.
Still, Dolly is happy. There are “talkies,” which are better than cell phones. And she has real conversations with the sea creatures
When Tyler and Toni Longo move to the island everything changes, and for the first time Dolly has playmates.
But it’s the Sea Whiffet that changes her life forever!
May Your Glass Always Be Half Full