Monday, May 14, 2012

Adventures of the Night Sky

Welcome, Blog Readers, Facebook Friends, Family, and All of the Above!

So, I came across this picture on Pinterest.  (I'll find the link and post it soon!)

If you look at the night sky in this amazing picture,  it almost looks like there's animals moving in the shadows.

Which got me thinking about the local planetarium
and a mini-unit we did last year at school on constellations.
Kids are sooo interested in constellations.

I was inspired to write this short story.
I'm trying to decide if I should play the "Query to Lit. Agent Game" again.
It's just that it can be such a deflating process.
So for now, I thought I'd share the opening here.
If you'd like to read the rest of the story, just let me know!

Adventures of the Night Sky

Today’s Constellations Exhibit:   Adventures of the Night Sky

“Miss Stella, all I ever see are just dots of light in the sky. Why do we wanna sit in some cold, pitch black room listening to that boring man in a crooked bow tie talk on and on about some pictures in the sky that ain’t even there? ”

Miss Stella keeps walking with her hand on my shoulder.  Leading me like some animal… like some dumb ‘ole bear I’m supposed to be finding up on the ceiling.

“They’re not even real stars.” I huff plopping into the squeaky chair next to her.

She still says nothing to me but gives me her, ‘You best stop talking Jamie,’ arched eyebrow.  Then smiles and pats my hand.

Every year we gotta go to this stinking Planetarium and the teachers make out like it's some exciting field trip. But it ain't...

“Welcome to Adventures of the Night Sky at Lunatown Planetarium. “ drones Mr. Crooked Bow Tie

Then he starts in telling us all his rules... like he always does.
I usually get in trouble for breaking some of his rules.
Last year it was # 1 the year before it was # 3 and # 5.  

# 1 No Eating
# 2 No Drinking
# 3 No Talking
# 4 No Phones
# 5 No Moving Seats
# 6 No Leaving for any reason short of bleeding or being on fire.

I’ve never heard that # 6 before.   What if I decide I need to use the bathroom Mr. Crooked Bow Tie?  I wonder if he’s got a rule for cleaning up this seat.
That makes me snicker.

“# 7 No laughing.”  He adds.

Miss Stella touches my arm.  I imagine she’s got that eyebrow up at me again.
I lean my head back and cross my arms. The torn leather bites into my leg.

“If you would all close your eyes and give them a minute to adjust.” Mr. Crooked Bow Tie instructs.

I keep mine open wide just outta spite and stick out my tongue.
Not like he’ll be able to see me anyway, it’s too dark.
The little kid behind me starts whimpering like a pup.

Can’t even tell my eyes are open.
I give ‘em a blink just to be sure.
When I open my eyes I still see nothing.
I stretch my arm out a little bit just to be sure Miss Stella is still there.
But I keep stretching and stretching…
I feel nothing.

“Miss Stella” I call out.
She doesn’t answer.  She must have moved seats to be over by that whiney kid.

Mr. Crooked Bow Tie’s voice reminds me that there’s no talking.
Wonder if he knows Miss Stella’s broke one of his rules too?

“We will start our adventure in the night sky by exploring the 17 main stars that make up Pegasus, the beautiful winged horse constellation. It was one of the original...” he starts but then I can’t hear him. 

A strange, rhythmic woosh-woosh noise rings in my ears.

I still can’t see.   
Where are the bright yellow dots that are supposed to be on the dome above me?

But then...
I do see something.
It’s not yellow.
It’s white.
And it’s getting closer?

Mr. Crooked Bow Tie must be back there working on a computer showing off some new fancy trickery.

As the white thing gets closer I feel the rhythmic sound...
It’s a breeze on my face.
I close my eyes.
I feel warm breath.

I squeeze open one eye.
Warm Breath…
From two giant nostrils.
Inches from my face.
Mr. Crooked Bow Tie’s gonna have to get over rule # 6.
I’m outta here.
I try to stand.

There’s no ground under my feet.
It’s like trying to walk in a swimming pool.
My feet are kicking for the concrete below me that I can’t seem to find.

Before I can even squeak out a ‘HELP ME MISS STELLA’
I plop down on something firm and hairy.
I don’t dare to open my eyes yet
My stomach drops… I’m moving up.

I peek open my eyes.
I’m sitting on a horse.
A really big horse.
With really big wings.
I know from being on Papa’s farm that normal horses don’t got wings.

On instinct I reach out and grab around its neck.

“As we continue our adventure if you will look to your left you will find that 18 main stars create a giant fish known as Pisces.” Mr. Crooked Tie recites.

I look real quick over to my left.
Oh… My…. Stars.
I am flying by the biggest fish I’ve ever seen in my whole entire life.
Did he just flap his tail at me?

I dig my fingers deeper into the horse’s soft white hair
and press my face down closer to her neck.


  1. Fifty Shades of Grey has nothing on this story! It is really a page turner for a child's book. Will it be a picture book or a short story for a magazine like "Ranger Rick"? I predict we will read one day that this story was originally published as a short story and then republished when you can't write fast enough for your audience. I loved this story and I say, Go for it!

    1. HA!!!! I love your opening line. If this ever gets published I want that on the cover as a review. :-)
      I'm not sure where I'll try to get it published yet. You're right though, a magazine may be a good audience. I would love to see this as a picture book. I think the black sky with the contrast of the constellation characters could be beautiful on the page.
      I hope you are right and someday I do have an "audience". If only I could find a lit agent who is as supportive as you!