I cannot believe I have completed 65 days of faces. Some are disasters either through being in a hurry, tired or just plain crappy work. The thing I am pleased about is that someone does come each day. Strange, amazing people. Sitting with coffee in hand I choose a pencil of some description (can only use pencil or biro on these very thin pages). There is no rhyme nor reason what I start with. I am not looking to draw a perfect face I am looking to see who appears and what story they have to tell. If I try too hard then their story doesn’t come and it is just an exercise in drawing-I don’t want that. I want surprise and fun. Here are my people to date (or from where I left off before my story telling posts).
CHAPTER 5- 1 year later…
Andre and Oscar remained friends. Andre became a librarian and Oscar continued to puzzle about everything and anything. He had taken up writing about his puzzles. His manuscript about the rainbow serpent was tucked away under his bed never to be published, as the ending didn’t seem complete. He never found out why the serpent died or what the colours were that pulsated across the sky.
One ordinary day
Oscar got a message from Andre to visit the library the next afternoon. When Oscar arrived at the library Andre took him to the room where it all began and to his amazement and delight Koray was there and he had some startling news.
Koray told the story of the rays they saw in the night sky on that amazing night after capturing the rainbow serpent. The rays belonged to the black threads that sewed themselves into the dark clouds. The colours are the threads lifeblood, without them they were slowly dying. The Rain Bowers had stolen them to build the serpent, as the colours are powerful. The threads had been trawling the night sky trying to find them. Their luck was in on the night we were trying to capture the serpent. They heard the commotion and saw their colours, their beautiful serene colours, ugly and intensified on the beast. They saw Andre struggling and came to help.
The threads had wrapped themselves around Andre only to anchor themselves in their weakened state until they began stitching into the cloud. They sent their apologies for frightening Andre. They drained the serpent of its colours and as strong, as the serpent was as it writhed within the cloud it was no match for the threads taking what was rightfully theirs. Once the threads gathered their colours into themselves they transformed into their original shape of gaseous rays that spread across the night sky dancing in celebration and the serpent fell to its death.
That news was something Oscar had been waiting for. That was the exciting ending he needed for his unfinished manuscript. Andre asked Koray if he knew where the threads were now.
Koray explained they have returned to their home in the atmosphere above planet Earth. They are Aurora Australis. They dance in the night skies depending on solar radiation, the planet’s magnetic shield, and the planet’s position in relation to Ember Moon. Their dance is an exciting phenomenon to the earthlings.
Wow, us earthlings get a mention, how cool.
CHAPTER 6…THE ENDING
Months have passed since Koray’s visit…
Andre had not seen Oscar for some months and was wondering how he was. They had both been excited to see Koray and the news of the mysterious rays was a fantastic ending to their story. Andre still takes the greatest pride in knowing how he saved, not just Ember Moon but the whole universe. He was smiling deep in thought remembering the sight of the very ugly very dead serpent at their feet when the bell on the library desk rang bringing him back to the present.
It was Oscar. They greeted each other with a hearty hug asking each other at the same time how they were. “Full of puzzles as usual” Chuckled Oscar “And I am up to my neck in books as usual,” said Andre, his neck dipping and soaring as he laughed. Oscar handed Andre a parcel “I have a gift for you and I am puzzled to see if you like it. Andre zipped open the package and stared in disbelief. There on the cover of a book was a picture of cogs and planets with the title ‘Ember Moon and the evil rainbow serpent’. Under the title were the authors’ names… Andre and Oscar, The Protectors.
Andre’s eyes looked like they were sitting on the end of long stalks, his neck was weaving around, his ladders were rattling and his lips were stretching into the widest grin until his mouth was beginning to look a lot like his neck.
They sat together, Andre reading the book, Oscar nervous, waiting for him to comment. There were no obvious signs on Andre’s face to indicate what he was thinking. He did not look up from the book until the last page was turned. He closed the book slowly, his eyes were misty, his mouth void of words but the nod of his head on his very long neck showed Oscar all the approval he needed.
YES, THIS IS THE END! All the puzzle pieces are in place giving us a complete picture. Wait…my fingers are still hovering over the keyboard. Maybe there are more puzzles after all.
Do you think Oscar and Andre should have any more adventures? Do you think Koray will ever come to visit again? Are the Rain Bowers plotting anything else? What is a good name for the planet they live on?
Email me with your answers, thoughts and your stories about what future adventures these two strange, wonderful beings could be involved with and who knows, we might have a book published with all our names as authors.
I dedicate this book to my two lovely Granddaughters, Madelaine (10years) and Bianca(8years) who were my original editors. Their comments and ideas were invaluable.
This is a children’s book and the last paragraph is for the readers of the book, not for my wonderful blog readers…well…if you have that child within feeling …
I am hoping to illustrate the book using mixed media picture that hopefully will photograph 3D (kinda) really don’t know how or what or where etc. but certainly a work in progress.
Thank you for those that have sent along ‘likes’ and comments, much appreciated.
Here a a couple more pieces I have made for the book:
The books are not finished. I have an idea to put them on shelves somehow?
The euphoria was momentary, roars and flashes of light and colour burst out of the cloud. Koray trembled. Andre froze as he looked up to see the ugly head of the serpent breaking through the cloud net, that same piece had moved sideways again. The serpent, still partially trapped was writhing with fury to escape. He broke free through the gap and with an almighty hiss, streaked away in the direction from which he came. They waited but knew that the serpent would return as the low rumbling growl and hissing were still very audible and they were not wrong. The hissing became stronger and louder, he was attacking again.
Koray stretched his arms toward the skies and began chanting strange words. Whether it was the chanting that did it, who knows but stars began to appear, hundreds of them, flooding the night sky. Oscar was amazed at his next thought. He remembered another thing he read in the reference book. “Hurry Andre, Oscar shouted, “Gather the stars, and try to attach them to the cloud to hold it together”. Koray chanted and chanted, chaos was everywhere, the rumbling, hissing of the serpent was getting closer, and the purple sky was swirling with stars. Andre did not have time to be afraid or question whether it would work or not, no one would ever know unless he tried. He laddered up and reached with all his might to his left then his right gathering the stars who seemed to comply. Andre moved around the dark cloud forcing it back into position and studding it together with stars trying not to look in the direction of the serpent. As much as he tried it was not enough, he could see more holes appearing. Koray chanted on and on, his voice rising into the sky.
Andre felt weakness in his neck, arms, and ladders; he was exhausted he felt defeated.
Out of nowhere, something wound around Andre’s wrist then his neck. Black threads; he was terrified. The black threads wound around his fingers whilst the other end latched itself to the cloud and began to weave itself in and pulling Andre’s hand with it. Andre could feel his life ending when another thread attached itself to his other hand and began the same thing. They pulled his long arms further and further into the cloud net. He was powerless. He was doomed but just as fast as they latched on, they let go. Andre unbalanced with the sudden release. He rocked back and forth out of control. A long thread wound around his neck and it stopped him from rocking but it was tightening its grip. He braced himself for the end of his short life. He closed his eyes and waited. The thread around his neck loosened slightly, he opened his eyes just in time to see it slip gently from his neck into the clouds. He was finally free and steady on his ladders. When his heart had slowed to a frantic beat, he could not believe what he saw. The black threads had literally ‘sewn’ themselves into the cloud and along with the stars, they had formed what looked like an impenetrable net and not too soon as the head of the monster once again roared into sight.
Andre had never folded himself down so fast in all his life. The sky filled with flashes of colour, the rumbling and screaming hisses were so loud it was enough to make your toenails curl. This time the clouds moved straight into the serpent and again they took on grotesque shapes. The rumbling, screaming, and hissing died down. Koray quietened his chanting to a whisper and finally there was total silence in the night.
The three friends exhausted and terrified, waited. They waited to see if the monster was going to break free again, knowing if that happened they would never be able to stop it. A slither of Ember Moon’s glow appeared from behind the slow moving dark misshapen mass of cloud net. Koray bowed deeply and when he rose, he whispered, “Ember Moon is safe”, but Oscar and Andre cautiously kept their eyes on the sky.
The cloud had just about passed ember moon completely when bright colours started to emanate from the dark mass. Gasps and groans escaped from Andre. There just seemed no way to stop that evil monster. There was no hope. As the three brave friends looked up into the night sky, they began to realise it was different this time. There was no rumbling or hissing and no ugly head appearing, just long dancing coloured threads spreading themselves across the sky. It raised their hopes although they did not understand what was happening.
A heavy THUD next to Oscar’s feet nearly toppled him off the tower. They all looked down and saw a clump of brown. On closer inspection, they saw what was left of the evil serpent, a brown speckled mess, and best of all, very, very dead. Oscar did not mind seeing this dead body.
The colours in the sky pulsated into a stunning light show. The stars floated free as the winter cloud reshaped itself into its original form and passed out of sight.
Oscar and Andre turned to Koray but he was gone. For a horrible moment they though he may have fallen from the tower until they saw a ruby heart shape hovering just above where he had been standing, it slowly rose into the sky until it was glowing in front of the Ember Moon before it disappeared. They knew Koray had gone home. Oscar and Andre stood together for some time smiling at Ember moon and the mysterious dancing rays.
No one fell from that tower…whew! I am glad Koray made it back to Ember Moon, aren’t you? Now let us tie up the loose ends because I don’t know about you reader but I don’t like stories that end without me knowing answers to all my puzzles, like…What were the colours in the sky? What happened to Oscar and Andre? Did they ever see Koray again?
To be continued……
The night of action…
The third night arrived far too quickly for any of them. They made their way to the top of the satellite tower. The starless sky was a strange purple haze and deathly still. Ember Moon was glowing softly in the purple. To the far right they saw the winter cloud slowly making its way toward Ember Moon. Andre waited for Koray to give the signal to begin. Koray nodded, Andre began his extension. He extended with speed but stopped with a violent jolt lurching to one side stopping far short of where the dark clouds would pass. He wavered around trying to get his balance, he felt himself lurching further to the right when one of his ladders folded or broke or something and he began folding back down in the most ungainly manner. His voice struck a note of horror when he nearly toppled off the tower taking his two friends with him. He shut his eyes tight. When he stopped moving, he opened his eyes he saw one ladder sticking out at an odd angle. Andre stretched his neck down to see that a joiner had come out. Andre could not believe the disaster, it had never happened before and in his excitement and panic he left his tool kit home. The three looked at each other, no thoughts in their head, no words to utter, just staring at the odd shaped ladder.
Finally, it was another of Oscar’s habits that came to the rescue, his habit of collecting things. Just that morning he had picked up a cog lying on the pathway outside his apartment. He had put it in his pocket and forgotten about it until now. There was an assortment of other findings in his other pocket as well. He gave it all to Andre who chose the cog, a piece of wire and a small rod. His hands worked with a tremor attempting to repair the damage.
Oh, Oh this wasn’t planned. Will the repair work? Will it all be too late? Let us read on quickly…
Koray had not taken his eyes from the cloud mass. Finally, he said quietly but with an edge of urgency that the cloud was almost at Ember Moon. Andre did the best he could with the repair and started back on his way, slowly at first testing its strength. Once he felt steady, he moved like the flick of a Swiss Army Knife.
Shaping the cloud into a net was difficult; it was heavy and sticky and did not seem to want to go in the direction Andre was pushing it. He just about had it into a net type shape when a piece broke sideways exposing a small hole. He pushed and pulled until he got it back into place. Andre did not have a chance to see if the cloud would stay in place. He heard a rumble to his left then hissing then he saw it He saw the serpent, rainbow coloured with black scales, slithering, sliding, and weaving toward Ember Moon. Andre gave an almighty push and the cloud rolled into the serpent or the serpent slid into the cloud he was not sure which. The serpent’s rumbling and hissing became muffled, the cloud took on grotesque shapes as the serpent squirmed within its net. The rumbling and hissing slowed as did the movement of the clouds. Andre folded himself down to the safety of the tower. “We got it…We got it! The cloud has netted the monster”. Andre did not know whether to laugh or cry. They all shook hands and looked into the sky where the cloud had passed directly in front Ember Moon blocking it out completely. All was silent.
The three stood with arms about each other, Andre’s long arm wound around his two friends like a lasso.
Success, amazing…THE END!
Sorry readers, do you really think that would be the end of this story, of course not…
To be continued …
Back to the alcove behind section ‘z’ and The Meeting
“Hello, my name is Koray; I believe you have a small book that belongs to me. Oscar swallowed his dizziness and retrieved the small book from his pocket. The strange man bowed deeply and when he rose up, the heart on his forehead was glowing. Oscar asked him what the writing meant. Koray looked at Andre who quietly urged him to begin his story He reminded Koray there did not seem any other choice, he needed urgent help, and Oscar was by his own account. a very good solver of puzzles.
Oscar learned from Koray that the writings in the small book were the ancient language of all moons. It is their history and tells of where precious minerals are. The serpent is a new addition, it is the biggest threat ever seen in the galaxies.
Koray told Oscar the whole story (the story we already know). After he had finished Oscar, Koray and Andre sat in deep thought. Andre was the first to speak asking when the attack by the serpent would take place. Koray’s voice shook as he told them that it would be in three nights time when the first dark clouds of winter pass in front of Ember Moon.
When Oscar finally spoke he began asking Koray a million questions, well, maybe not that many but a lot anyway. Koray, Andre, and Oscar huddled together whispering for the next hour. When they parted, Oscar promised to try to puzzle out a plan but also said he was not confident about a solution, even after asking all those questions. They made to meet the next day in narrow room next to the reading room…well it was not a room, it had a door which was locked (Andre knew where the key was). It had no windows and no ceiling. Didge’s Father built the library in two parts but then discovered one section did not quite meet the other so he ended up with a strange combination of a room that was not a room but it had a door. That was so like Didge’s Dad. Luckily, Koray he can go through doors and walls when he is in disappearing state otherwise he would have been stuck in that room when he first landed.
Oscar puzzled hard and long into the night, so many pieces, no straight edges, nothing he could put into a corner to start a plan. He was drifting off to sleep with exhaustion when it struck him. Something he had read in the reference book. The cloud of winter pass was a thick sticky substance made up of millions of small particles left over from each happening (he wasn’t sure what that exactly meant yet) and he didn’t know what good it would be but at least it was a start, a cover maybe or a…a… net? Oscar jumped out of bed and began to write a plan. He did not get back into bed that night. He was not in the least bit tired nor was he the least bit confident, but at least it was something.
CHAPTER 4-THE PLAN
In the room, that is not a room…but it has a door…
Koray and Andre listened to Oscar’s plan. One minute Andre was nodding in agreement, next he was shaking his neck in all directions in disagreement. Koray listened quietly without interruption. Andre’s face looked ashen, his worry lines rippled under his skin, and his ladders rattled involuntarily. Koray had a complicated look on his face, a mixture of hope and despair.
The plan: When the winter cloud comes, Andre reaches up and forms it into a net shape to capture the serpent hoping that Koray will know where or how the monster can be destroyed or rendered useless…or..or…something?
Koray said the plan was too shaky. Yes, the cloud was made of a strong sticky substance but whether it would serve as a net would be impossible to tell. Maybe if the cloud could encase the serpent it might suffocate it… or… maybe not, but they had to try something and that was the only plan they had.
Andre was still pale and his ladders were rattling to the racing beat of his heart as he heard Koray even think about the possibility of such a plan. Koray saw how Andre was shaking; he spoke softly asking him how far he can extend his ladders, arms, and neck. Andre recalled with a tremble in his voice that he once reached as high as the stars in the northern sky of his planet. Koray was surprised and delighted. “If you can reach that far then you can reach the clouds as this is the time when Ember Moon is at its lowest in the sky. Koray bowed low in appreciation of Andre’s modesty.
The plan went from Oscar to Koray to Andre and back again, tweaking this and that, changing that and this, adding other and subtracting some. Finally, a time and place was set. In three night’s time, they will meet on top of the new satellite tower on Mainmount Hill. Andre felt a low excitement that maybe…just maybe he could be of the ultimate use, yet the fine timing that was needed was shaking his faith in his ability not to be…that word … cl..sy. At that thought, his ladders shuddered.
So…they have hatched a plan…will it work? Can Andre really reach that far? Can they save Ember Moon?
Oscar worries about it,
Andre is fretting about it and
Koray is willing it to work.
to be continued….
CHAPTER 3 – THE MEETING
The library was very quiet when Oscar walked in the next afternoon; only two visitors were browsing. He kept his eyes focused for anything that slightly moved… or not moved…like a body. He made his way to the reference section without interruption. He took down the huge Ember Moon book, placed it on the equally huge table, and opened it to, surprisingly, the first page. That is not Oscar’s usual practice; he always worked from the back to the front of a book. It gave him more puzzles as he did not know what he was reading until he got to the start then he would put it all together, but not on this day, his curiosity was too strong. He spent a good hour reading, running his finger under each line so he did not miss a single word. There was nothing about small books, strange languages, or snakes; however, the theory of the rogue planet was spellbinding and terrifying.
André had just finished stacking shelves when he saw Oscar at the reference table. He felt he needed to apologise again for running off the day before so he made his way to him to apologise. “Excuse Me,” said André. Oscar jumped, then André apologised for making him jump. “Sorry said André. Sorry I just made you jump and sorry about yesterday the way I ran off”. Oscar smiled at so many times ‘sorry’ came from this boy. “That’s o.k. Oscar smiled, I was deep in my reading, and you don’t have to keep apologising”.
André saw that Oscar was reading the new reference book on Ember Moon and asked him if he found the book interesting. Oscar nodded enthusiastically, telling André that he spent most of his time solving puzzles and the ember moon was something he was especially interested in because of Nathaniel Knight’s theory of a rogue planet that could be a danger to them all. He said he was even more interested and puzzled since he found a strange little book in the library the day before titled Ember Moon, obviously not belonging to the library. Oscar then asked André if he knew anything about it watching him closely, ready to see his reaction.
Oscar knew he should have stopped there and not mentioned the dead body again for fear of confirming to the boy that he was crazy but the words fell out of his mouth before he could stop them. When he finished he stood with his puzzle head pink from top to chin, especially his nose. Whilst he thought the boy knew something more, he wished he had not mentioned dead bodies.
Oscar did not expect what happened next. André almost shouted for Oscar to stay right where he was. His head and neck disappeared in a flash leaving his laddered body behind which looked quite bizarre. Oscar stood there still pink-faced and very confused by what just happened when the boy’s head popped back around the corner and pleaded. “Please, it is very, very important to stay right here”. His head disappeared again taking the rest of his body with him this time, his ladders rattling into the distance.
Oscar didn’t move, number one because he could not have moved had he tried, the bizarre events felt like they had nailed his feet to the floor, and number two, he has never turned away from a puzzle yet and the puzzles in this library were getting bigger and bigger. He didn’t have time to think further, an index finger reached around the corner of the aisle and beckoned him to follow. The finger belonged to the very long arm of André. Oscar followed until Andre’s long arm caught up with the rest of him in a small alcove in the ‘Z’ section and there to Oscar’s amazement was the dead body except the dead body was alive. Oscar felt his eyes rotating in his head, now he really was having a dizzy spell.
Pause: Now I will tell you about Koray…
Koray did have a secret, he was sole keeper of the history of Ember Moon as was his Father and his Father before him and his Father before him and, well, you get the idea don’t you.
Koray left Ember Moon to search for help, as a dark and brutal threat had come from the planet of the Rain Bowers. The Rain Bowers had always been rogues and renegades around their own galaxy raiding and capturing smaller planets and using their beings as slaves. Now they were a threat to all galaxies. They developed a rainbow coloured evil serpent that can wrap itself around large planets dragging them from their axis and taking them back to their galaxy. They strip them of their precious minerals and life forms, which allows their planet to grow larger and stronger and the most powerful in all atmospheres. Ember Moon is their target. If they can capture that, there will be no stopping their evil ways.
Koray had to be vigilant as the Rain Bowers had their seekers everywhere reporting on planets, galaxies, and especially the movements of Koray. They need to capture him and get the history book to complete their knowledge of Ember Moon’s hidden minerals. Unfortunately, Koray found the tides outside of Ember Moon played havoc with his dream state. He was exhausted by the time he reached this planet and took cover in the library through the open roof next to the reading room. He knows it will only be a matter of time before the seekers find him. It will not take much to capture him. His waxing and waning is not working to full capacity and his dream state comes upon him so quickly now.
Koray told Oscar how he had watched and listened to André each afternoon and began to trust him. He showed himself to him and they became friends but he did not think André have the burden of this problem as he was only a boy but now time is running out and he is desperate to save Ember Moon and all the galaxies including this one.
There, now…Do you agree that was worth the wait? Did André do the right thing in bringing Oscar to meet Koray? Can they save Ember Moon from the evil serpent? Will that save everyone from the Rain Bowers? Can Oscar puzzle out a plan? Let us continue…
At this point, Oscar does not know the story yet but you and I do. (How cool is that).
Back to the alcove behind section ‘z’ and The Meeting
to be continued….
That night in Oscar’s house
Oscar sat on his bed and pulled the small book from his pocket. The cover was soft, ash coloured with a metal object with cogs and planets embedded in it. Oscar opened the book, the writing was in black, but he could not understand it. It was like hieroglyphics in a way but not quite, it was neither pictures nor letters, well not letters Oscar knew. The second page showed a picture of the Ember Moon, at least that was identifiable. Page after page was more strange writings then there seemed to be new pages added, they were paler in colour and the edges did not have that ‘turned over many times’ look about them. On the first new page was a drawing of a snake with many colours. It had an ugly menacing head with evil eyes and sharp teeth. The next six pages held more of the strange writings. What did it all mean? What did the snake mean and the strange writings? It all puzzled Oscar into an excitement he had never experienced before. He knew he would hurry back to the library the next afternoon, read Professor Knight’s book on the ember moon and speak to the ladder boy Andre again.
Andre was clearing the top shelf, his head fuzzy from worry and lack of sleep when he heard his name called right next to his ear, which made him jump. He looked across to see Koray’s sad eyes peeking over the top of a book. His habit of disappearing and appearing was disconcerting sometimes, especially when ones head was fuzzy.
“Andre, did you find my book yesterday?” Koray whispered. Andre shook his head. Koray’s eyes shadowed as if a cloud had just past over them. “I am desperate I need help, could you meet me in our usual place.” Koray disappeared as quickly as he appeared. Their usual meeting place was a small odd shaped room behind the ‘Z’ section, hidden from the main area. The ceiling went all the way up through the stories of the library; it was excellent for Andre as he could stretch his neck.
Andre folded himself up and made his way to meet with Koray. He was both curious and pleased, pleased that Koray had asked for his help and curious as to what he was going to say.
“Andre, I have no one else to turn to, I need help”. Koray went on to tell his story. Andre listened in amazement. When he finished they both sat in silence for what seemed an eternity. Koray waiting anxiously for Andre to digest his story and fearing he might not believe him. Andre felt like Koray’s story had rolled itself into a tangled ball in his brain and was blocking his mouth from working. He needed time to think; after all, he was only a boy and could not see how he could help with a problem of that magnitude.
Andre’s mouth was still empty of words when Koray spoke again. “I have to go Andre, I feel my dreamtime coming on, and I don’t want to be exposed again. Please meet me here again tomorrow, same time?” Andre nodded his mouth still empty. On the way home, Andre knew it was going to be another sleepless night.
Pause: Are you ready yet to find out about Koray? No! You are a very good mystery reader. I would have read the back page by now…DON’T YOU DARE…I will go straight on with the story now.
to be continued….
Oscar had not moved from the spot where Andre left him. Puzzle pieces scattered in all directions in Oscar’s brain and none seemed to fit together like, had he imagined he saw a body let alone think he saw it appear and disappear in sections? Did the boy Andre looked startled, or frightened, or embarrassed when asked about a body, or did he just think Oscar was crazy for asking a stupid question?… or did he know something? Who owned the small book he found? Oscar needed to go home his head was spinning. The one thing Oscar did know, he would find the missing pieces somehow.
CHAPTER-2 KORAY, ANDRE AND OSCAR
That night in the library
The heart on Koray’s forehead pounded. He would have to be more careful, the tides on this planet were so different from his, and they were playing havoc with his dreaming, waxing, and waning. He just made it out of sight in time from that young man but now he realised he had lost his book. “Oh, sacred stars” he chanted softly “please let it be that Andre picked it up.”
Koray knew he must not wait any longer, He did not have a choice, time was running out. He knew he must ask for Andre’s help immediately.
Dare I pause again so soon and tell you about Koray? No not yet? Ok, I agree…
That night at Andre’s house
Andre could not sleep. He felt bad for everyone, bad for himself mainly. He had been perfecting his skills since fourth grade by practicing the art of laddering up to great heights in record time then folding down like a Swiss Army knife. His skills became widely admired. Now he was remembering what the librarian had called him…that word…that horrible word… ‘Clumsy’, He could not tell the librarian why he caused the scene and to see the librarian glare so angrily and call him clumsy…clumsy…CLUMSY! It brought back the memories he thought he had locked away forever but the feeling had burst out with a roar. Why Andre had even used white out on ‘that’ word in his school dictionary. The space between ‘clump’ and ‘clung’ had a drawing of a shooting space star on it with him riding it. You could never ride a space star if you were…well…you know (that word)…cl___y.
He felt bad for Koray, He had not been himself lately; whoever ‘himself’ is. He was a strange one, so softly spoken. Some days whilst Andre was stacking books or cleaning shelves, he would hear an almost inaudible chanting. He would know Koray was close by, behind a book, or in his disappeared state, (that is what Andre liked to call it when Koray just disappears in the wink of an eye). He would know when a visitor or librarian was coming, long before Andre could see them.
Andre often wondered why Koray chose him. He appeared one day with his sad eyes peaking over the new reference book on Ember Moon by the acclaimed author Nathaniel Knight. His knowledge of Ember Moon and other planets was amazing. His dream stories were incredible but Koray was always worried about being seen my others. He was sad and stressed, he had a problem but would not say what it was. To go into such a deep dream state in the open as he had was scary so Andre felt he did not have a choice but to help his friend with a diversion tactic by faking the fall and causing chaos.
He felt bad about the man who called himself Oscar. For being rude to him when he asked about a dead body, but what could he have done? Koray had pleaded with him not to tell anyone he existed. The man must have thought him totally cl—sy as well as rude. Poor Andre, he had a headache from his shoulders way up to his head and his neck felt weak with worry.
to be continued….
He stood puzzling over the missing body when something caught his eye at other end of the aisle. It looked like the person. The dead body person Oscar thought to himself, but not only was this person not dead, he seemed to disappear by half then appear again then disappeared completely all in a matter of seconds. Oscar shook his head and closed his eyes and when he opened them, there was nothing to see other than shelves and books. Poor Oscar wondered if he had seen what he thought he saw or had he had a dizzy spell. With the strange goings on with bodies and flying books it was possible. He found it hard to believe he saw a dead body only to find it had disappeared then see it reappear then disappear by sections. He though it better to believe he had a dizzy spell.
He was still pondering over this when he heard a voice behind him. “Excuse me”. Oscar turned to see the boy who had caused the commotion. “My name is Andre and I am sorry”. Oscar was puzzled as to why the boy was saying sorry to him but before he could ask the question, the boy continued. “I am the boy who caused the book avalanche. The librarian said I have to go to every visitor in the library and apologise for the calamity I caused. She said if I did not I would not be able to volunteer in the library and that would be a tragedy. I come here every afternoon after school to stack shelves. I have done so much work getting rid of the cobwebs and rearranging books and stacking shelves. This is the first time I have ever ‘unstacked’ shelves!”Oscar told him not to worry as he did not get hurt and thought the whole thing was a spectacular sight. Oscar felt that was a bit thoughtless of him to say that so he quickly asked the boy if he had been hurt, “No, just my pride.” said Andre.
Oscar could plainly see that the boy had his ladders and arms under control; he was as compact as a Swiss Army knife. He had everything in perfect alignment. Oscar suddenly had an idea. “Have you seen anyone or anything unusual in the library today? Like…someone… disappearing or – or dead? Andre blinked twice in rapid succession and looked like he was trying to swallow a fur ball. “Nope” he said far too quickly and before Oscar could ask anything else Andre excused himself saying he must continue with his apologies and practically ran away, his ladders rattling as he went. Oscar felt stupid. The boy must think him crazy, no wonder he hurried off but Oscar felt there was more to the boy’s reaction. The strange look on his face puzzled him.
Again, let us press pause in this story to learn a little about Andre the ladder boy.
As you just read, Andre can fold up his ladders and arms onto his body with perfection like a Swiss Army knife. It was not always like that though. It took him until fourth grade to perfect his ladder and arm folding and neck control. Up until then his head used to bob around like an out of control kite on the end of its string on a very windy day. His head often got in the way of the hologram board in the classroom when the other kids were trying to work or his head would swoop down and cause havoc knocking their books and ipads from their desks. He often had bruises on his forehead. The bully kids called him weirdo clumsy neck. Oh sure, the other kids had strange bodies as well, like Didge, he had the longest fingers and sharpest nails of anyone but he could retract them so they looked relatively normal inside the classroom although he didn’t like doing that, he felt too ordinary so he bullied everyone to cover up his feelings. He stole their things and if they asked for them back, he would extend one finger and poke them hard in the back when the teacher was not looking. In the schoolyard, he would extend his fingernails and scratch their arms or legs then grab at shirts, and tear them. He did it mostly to Andre. Then there was…well…we will not even talk about her, she was the worst of all…she continually called Andre CLUMSY!
It all changed just before the start of fourth year. It was Celebration time to mark the beginning of their Rock Harvest (celebrated each year since the settlement of this planet). Didge and his family had never won the decorated house contest as his Father built their house from the top down, like he built the library and the main hall, his house was ten stories tall, the tallest house ever built. There was no way anyone could reach the roof of his buildings. Each year he was frustrated because he wanted to decorate the whole house especially the roof but unfortunately, not only had he lost his builders license the worst thing of his entire life was that he lost his hover license… INDEFINITELY!
Here on this planet one must have a license for just about everything. Poor Didge’s Dad, he was the only one that could hover. It was hard for him to stay grounded but the people got sick of the way he built buildings that were impossible to reach the top levels, so if he was grounded they were all safe from the dreadful skyscrapers.
Didge’s Dad saw Andre practising his unfolding and folding of his ladders and asked him if he could put decorations on the roof of his house. Andre did a brilliant job. The Didge’s were the winners. Didge’s Dad invited Andre to dine with the whole Didge family to thank him. Didge (Bully fingers as they called him at school) learnt that bullying was not smart at all, doing something good was.
I could go on about…well…no, I said I would not mention her, besides; I have digressed far too long. I hope you have not lost the story line… let us quickly continue…
to be continued….
Oscar moved closer to the body hoping to see a chest rise and fall. It was hard to tell the age of the person. He had a very round head with a red heart tattoo on his forehead; his hands looked metal, his legs thin like string and his feet had no shape at all. Oscar bent down; the person was not breathing. He was about to touch him when there was a thundering, clattering, crashing and thumping from the next aisle and a book came flying over the top of the bookshelf and missed Oscar’s head by a centimetre. He ran to see what happened just in time to witness ladders, arms, legs and a long, long…very long neck all out of control. Books were tumbling onto each other from the shelves fashioning themselves into a pyramid. Librarians and visitors came running. A book slid from the shelf and hit one librarian on the shoulder. The last book landed with a thud on top of a very sheepish face that belonged to the ladders, the very long arms, and the extraordinary long neck.
One librarian stabilised the books and checked that no one was hurt then tried to help the boy up but one of his out of control ladders pushed her into the bottom shelf and more books spilled out. She let out a yelp closely followed by something Oscar did not quite hear but the boy’s eyebrows furrowed and his mouth turned itself into a thin line. He looked sad and angry at the same time. The boy struggled and finally managed to stand up although one of his ladders stuck out at an awkward angle from his body.
Oscar had forgotten about the body in the commotion, he turned back into the aisle. The body had disappeared! A small notebook with strange writings on the cover was lying near the empty spot; Oscar picked it up and put it in his pocket. He knew it was not a library book; they do not have books that small.
to be continued….