Sister and Brother – Story 2: Lyla & Bendle

rocketSo, as the rocket was being built, a contest was announced across all of the planet. TV and radio, papers and magazines, all carried the news of the contest.

Only the four bravest, smartest, and purest Himmincats would be chosen. Everyone was to travel to one of the 12 big cities on Orth to be in the contest, to see if they would be chosen.

Far away from the capital city, in a little village on a lake, the news of the contest soon reached a hunter’s family.

A young girl Himmincat ran in to her mother from school that afternoon and said “Mother…have you heard? There is a contest to decide which of us will go on the rocket ship to another planet.”

“No Lyla, I have not heard. Where did you get this news?” her mother said.

Hover_Bus_by_DarkMeasures“They told us at the school,” interrupted Lyla’s younger brother, standing there panting at her side after the run from the hover-bus.

(A hover-bus was like our school bus, only it floated on a cushion of air and could travel over land and water.) “They said that we must all travel to the city to be in it to see if we are chosen.”

“Hush Bendle…don’t interrupt your sister,” said their mother gently. She looked at Lyla again, “When is this contest, Lyla?”

“It begins tomorrow, mother,” continued Lyla. “They said we don’t have much time. They have to choose quickly so that the chosen will be ready to leave on the rocket before the supernova.”

Her mother looked up, sadly, but with a fire in her eyes and said, “Alright children, sit down and eat. We must sleep tonight so that tomorrow you will be strong for the contest.”

The Planet Orth – Story 1: Lyla & Bendle

blog-himmincatThey lived on a dying planet, named Orth. It was dying because one of its suns (it had three) was beginning to supernova.

The supernova would cause the sun to grow several thousand times its normal size. The intense heat and radiation would burn the planet to a crisp, killing all living things.

There wasn’t much time — less than a month. Orth was surely going to die.

So the great scientists and philosophers and leaders of Orth decided that they must do something. They could not let the planet die, without finding some way to let their race live on.

The Orthians were no ordinary people — they were “Himmincats.” Himmincats were fierce, proud, lion-like creatures that walked on their hind legs. Their speech was like a growl and adults stood 12 feet tall, with children 6 feet tall.

{NOTE: During your bedtime storytelling, imitate some growling noises to illustrate their speech; these creatures are kind of like the ones in the computer game Wing Commander 3, for those who ever saw or had the game.}

They refused to be beaten by the supernova, so they called a great meeting held in a huge hall in the central building of the capital city.

After much talk, finally the oldest of all elders stood slowly and growled “There is only one way! We must find another planet for the Himmincats to live on. We must build a rocket ship to travel there before the supernova destroys Orth.”

But who will go on the rocket ship? asked the other elders. “There must be a contest,” said the oldest again.

“There is not enough time to build enough rocket ships for all of us. So, we must choose the Himmincats that have the best chance of surviving and building a new generation in another galaxy. Our hope and spirits will live with them.”

POSTSCRIPT: It’s interesting to read these notes from a bedtime story series that I started telling my kids 20 years ago, in light of the huge success of The Hunger Games trilogy.  Kudos to Suzanne Collins, the author, for an exciting series that appealed to young kids.

But, the reality is that the meme of youthful, high risk competitions is as old as the battles between Cain & Abel, Jacob & Esau, and David & his brothers…just to name one source – the Old Testament of the Bible!