Since a number of 3 Day Novel Contestants are posting their first chapters–for example, you can check out the Ekphrasis artist collective here–I thought I would post mine for Work-in-Progress Wednesday. You can read about my older 3 Day Novel Contest experience here, or check out my full 3DNC autopsy in Monday’s post, “A 3 Day Novel Contest Post-Mortem,” where I think about my 7th time setting a weekend aside to write an entire novel.
I have also posted before on other projects, such as what began as A Myth of Sisyphus but is now Wish for a Stone. I’ve got a hankering to rework this piece. And my earlier MG humour novel, Hildamay Humphrey’s Incredibly Boring Life–see a bit of it here–is being shopped around to agents.
This year I wrote a Middle Grade novel, a humorous story about an alien race that seeks to conquer Earth to steal our refrigeration technology so they can make banana splits. When they get to Earth, they slowly realize that they are actually very tiny—just three or four inches tall. And it turns out that you need to know math if you want to colonize other worlds. Conquering Earth is going to be harder than they thought. Based on a facebook survey, I have named the book, Pants are Evil, and Other Lessons from Outer Space.
The little selection here is a prologue I wrote about halfway through the novel. I have an alien race attacking Earth, but we don’t get to Earth until the sixth chapter. It is a long time to wait for our world and its characters. This prologue is meant to tease the reader and root them, literarily, on Earth.
Thanks for reading,
Pants are Evil, and Other Lessons from Outer Space
A Prologue in the Park
Young Saralee Pickforth was enjoying her visit to the nation’s capital with her family. She was especially enjoying her ice cream cone. The ice cream was melting in the warm summer sun. The melted treat was running freely now, forming a pinkish-brownish paste that glued her fingers to the base of the cone. Her tongue was stuck out and her hand was halfway to bringing the ice cream cone to her mouth for a new lick when it happened.
Saralee froze in place as she watched a boy with glasses and many layers of clothing running like mad through the park. He was being chased by four older boys with devilish smiles on their faces. Saralee watched as a small man the color of cabbage climbed onto the running boy’s shoulder. He was about the size of a parakeet. The little man pulled out a tiny hair dryer very much like the one Saralee had in her dollhouse, though this one was green. The man raised the hair dryer and a stream of bright light hit the sidewalk just behind them. With a cracking noise a hole the size of her trampoline suddenly appeared in the sidewalk. The four older boys tumbled into the hole and disappeared.
That was when the running boy yelled back over his shoulder:
“Sorry! I don’t have time to get beat up today. I’m trying to save the world!”
And then the boy was gone.
Young Ms. Pickforth blinked. She brought the ice cream cone to her mouth and took a big lick. Then she looked up at her parents as they were looking at their map. She then looked to the other side of the park. Suddenly she shrieked:
“Daddy! Look! A puppy!”
I love the concept, and I’ll read and promote this book! In this excerpt I like how you describe the size of things in terms of things Saralee is familiar with. And the lovely irony of no, “Daddy, look at the little green man with a powerful weapon,” but “Daddy! Look! A puppy.”
I’m glad you got the joke. I’m not sure that a child wouldn’t prefer a puppy to an alien–especially a violent one!
And thanks for the support. We’ll let this story ferment a bit and decide in the winter what to do with it.
Okay, you got my vote. I’d turn the page…
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WHAT HAPPENS NEXT???
Nice! Well, the book starts. It starts on the Planet Dren, in a world much different than ours, yet has a lot in common.
As a kilt and caftan aficionado, I’m intrigued – what was the parakeet-sized cabbage-coloured chap wearing that would lead (whom?) to the conclusion,”Pants are Evil”?
You’ll have to get the book, David!