Excerpt for Outer Space Adventures With Spacenoodles by
& , available in its entirety at Smashwords


A Middle Grade Novel

Hank Curci and Betsy Olson

Copyright 2018 Hank Curci and Betsy Olson

All rights reserved. No part of this book may be used or reproduced in any manner whatsoever including Internet usage, without written permission of the author.

This is a work of fiction. The names, characters, places, or events used in this book are the product of the author’s imagination or used fictitiously. Any resemblance to actual people, alive or deceased, events or locales is completely coincidental.

E-book formatting by Maureen Cutajar


Chapter 1

Chapter 2

Chapter 3

Chapter 4

Chapter 5

Chapter 6

Chapter 7

Chapter 8

Chapter 9

Chapter 10

Chapter 1

Cleo, the cat, woke up first, jumped off of Matthew’s bed and took off! Matthew opened his eyes.

“Peter”, he called to his twin brother sleeping in the next bed. “Wake up!” “Look!” Hovering over their beds were three of the weirdest looking creatures the ten year old boys had ever seen. They were smiling and looked friendly although one was a pink dragon! The boys heard no language spoken but they knew what the creatures were asking just as they sometimes knew what the other one was thinking.

Using her telepathic language one of the lady creatures said, “Why did you call me?”

“We didn’t,” said Matthew.

“You must be in the wrong house,” said Peter. The creatures seemed to ignore him and looked around the boy’s room, picking up things here and there.

“Weeee,” said the lady with the yellow flower on her hat. She zoomed around the room sideways, giggling as she flew. “Let’s go have some fun!” “Come on! The pink dragon will give you a ride!”

“We can’t go with strangers,” said Peter.

“Strangers? Where do they come from?” said the other lady who had a pink bow in the few hairs she had on top of her head.

“Strangers are people you don’t know,” said Peter.

“That is Sunny Rosetta and that is a dragon,” she said as she pointed to the other two creatures. “And me? Well, I am just one of the little green ladies. We live in the Centauri

Globular Star Cluster and we have come a long way to see earth. We need someone to show us around. We use telepathic language just as you sometimes use between the two of you. We received your messages because the frequency of your communication happens to be the same frequency we use. We knew we could communicate with you so you are it! We have chosen you two to show us your part of earth.”

Peter and Matthew looked at her without saying a word.

“Now you know us, so get up and let’s go!” said the one they called Sunny Rosetta.

Matthew jumped out of bed and with a big grin on his face said, “I am ready. Come on Peter. This will be great!” Peter had never been as daring as Matthew but he wasn’t about to let Matthew go with these creatures alone so he also got out of bed.

“Guess you boys can’t fly, huh?” said the dragon. “Too bad, you miss a lot of fun. But get on my back and I will give you a ride.” The boys got on the dragon’s back. The Little Green Lady opened the window and the five of them took off into the sky over Seattle. With a lady on either side of the dragon and the boys on his back, they made quite a sight as they flew around the tall buildings and zoomed down over the waterfront.

“That tall building is Columbia Tower,” said Matthew.

“The tall ferris wheel is called the Great Wheel. We have ridden on that!” added Peter.

“I see you have a space ship!” said Sunny Rosetta. “Have you ever gone anywhere?”

“That is called the Space Needle,” said Matthew. “You don’t go places in it. You ride an elevator to the top and you can eat in the restaurant while it rotates around. Then you can go out on the observation deck.”

“It just sits there on top of that tower all the time?” asked the dragon. “It doesn’t take you to another planet or someplace fun?”

“No,” said Peter.

“Boring!” replied the dragon. “I am tired. Let’s go sit on top of it and rest.” He coasted in and landed on the roof of the restaurant. The Little Green Lady and Sunny Rosetta sat down beside him. The boys were too afraid to get off the dragon’s back. They did get brave enough to open their eyes. The lights on the buildings of Seattle glittered in the dark sky. They could see lights for miles.

“Weeee, come on, let’s jump off, “exclaimed Sunny Rosetta as she jumped off and glided about halfway down the Space Needle. The dragon joined her as the boys held on tightly. They darted up and down and around the Space Needle. Finally, Peter and Matthew relaxed enough and began laughing as they soared around on the back of the pink dragon.

“Race you to the ground,” said the dragon to Rosetta.

“We need to get these boys home before their folks find out they are gone,” said the Little Green Lady. “Let’s race back!” So the three creatures took off and flew as fast as they could to the second floor window of the boy’s bedroom in the house boat that was their home on Lake Union in Seattle, Washington.

Cleo, the cat, was sitting in the open window. She jumped down and ran as the group flew into the window one by one. “What is that?” asked the dragon.

“That is our cat,” replied Peter.

“Cat? What’s a cat?” asked Sunny Rosetta.

“A cat is a type of animal that people have as a pet, “ said Peter. We love them and feed them and pet them and play with them,” he added.

“That sounds nice. Can I be your pet?” asked the dragon.

“You silly old dragon, you can’t be a pet!” said Sunny Rosetta.

“It is time for us to go,” said the Little Green Lady. “It will be light outside soon and we need to get back to our cave on the island. That is where we are staying while we are on earth.”

“Will you come back?” asked Matthew. “That was fun!”

“Where would you like for us to take you?” asked the Little Green Lady.

Matthew thought for awhile and then he said, “The Moon!”

“We will be back and we will go to the Moon! she replied.

Peter and Matthew watched as the three creatures took off into the night sky. Peter closed the window and both of the boys got in their beds. “Wow!” was the only sound that was uttered as they thought about what they had just experienced. They closed their eyes and all too soon heard their Dad.

“Boys, are you going to sleep all day? It is Saturday. You are usually up early on Saturday. I have made some pancake batter and have the bacon frying. Get up! You don’t want to miss your old Dad’s famous Saturday morning pancakes, do you? You may not want to keep your pajamas on because we are having breakfast on the front deck. It is beautiful outside this morning.”

Peter and Matthew changed into shorts and a shirt before going downstairs. They were still sleepy but the smell of bacon was too good to resist. Dad’s pancakes smothered in butter and maple syrup were the best! Mom always scrambled eggs to go with the bacon and pancakes. This morning she had added cooked apples to the feast.

“What scared Cleo last night?” Mom asked as the boys joined them at the table on the deck. “I got up to go to the bathroom and she was in the bathtub behind the shower curtain. I finally got her to come out and took her back to bed with me. She stayed close to me all night.”

Peter and Matthew looked at one another. “She’s just weird!” said Matthew.

The family of four enjoyed this time together on week-end mornings. Week day mornings were rushed. The boys had to get to school where they were in the fifth grade. Dad is Dr. Andrew Strawder, one of the country’s most respected aerospace engineers, who works at a local airplane plant. Mom is Dr. Lily Wilson Strawder, a professor of astrophysics at a nearby university. However, on the week-end they are just parents to the twin boys.

“This has got to be the most relaxing place on earth, “exclaimed Lily as she looked out onto the waters of Lake Union. “We were so lucky to have found this house boat for sale. I can’t imagine living anywhere else. Do you boys ever miss not having a yard?”

“Our yard is the lake,” said Matthew.

“We can always go play ball in the park,” added Peter.

“Mom, I have a question,” said Matthew. “Do you think there is a chance that creatures from somewhere in outer space could come to earth to visit? Peter looked at Matthew with a “don’t go there” look.

“Well, son, I have learned that you never say that anything is impossible, especially not with unknowns. Technology is advancing at such a rapid rate that new developments are occurring daily. I would say that there is a possibility that life from outer space may one day come to earth but it may not be in our lifetime,” she answered.

“Could they talk to us?” Matthew asked.

“They probably will not talk but they may be able to communicate with some humans. There are several theories. One is that communication would consist of pictorial references to universal phenomena similar to what the ancient Egyptians used. Some people believe their communication is telepathic. You know, we have asked you two about that because there has been research done to show that twins can have telepathic communication. It would be much the same,” said Lily.

Andrew laughed and then he said, “Sounds like you have met some little green people! If they come around for a visit and want you to go home with them, don’t leave me out! Now, who wants to go on the sailboat?”

“You three boys go, but I need to stay here and do a few chores,” said Lily.

“Are you sure about that?” asked Andrew. “We can all pitch in and help with the chores and then all go sail.”

“No, you three go on. But come pick me up later and we can sail over to the restaurant for dinner,” answered Lily. She watched as the three most important people in her life left the dock. Andrew was such a good man and a fantastic father. She thought about the questions Matthew had asked her at breakfast. Andrew did not comment and although she knew how he felt about his professional reputation, she wondered why he did not at least tell his sons that he believed that life exists in outer space. He has seen too many careers ruined by people expressing beliefs and keeps his opinions about life in outer space to himself she thought. Guess that might be wise for me also, but I am not as concerned about my professional reputation as I am about expanding the world’s knowledge of space. She laughed to herself as she said out loud, “Get off your soap box, Lily, and get to work!”

The boys took the cover off of the 23 foot sailboat. Andrew got in the boat and lowered the motor into the water. Matthew and Peter untied the mooring lines and jumped in as Andrew cranked the motor which took them out into Lake Union. There was a good breeze blowing when they put up the main sail. Andrew shut off the motor and pulled it out of the water. Matthew took the spinnaker out of the duffle bag. Peter hooked it to the rings and pulled it up the line that connects the front of the boat to the mast. The bright red and blue spinnaker billowed out as it caught the wind. They had been sailing for years but they never failed to enjoy that moment!

“Who wants a turn at the tiller, first,” asked Andrew. Peter was closest so he took hold of the tiller and steered. They passed house boats of friends who waved to them. There were many boats on the lake but it was not too crowded and they all enjoyed the time on the water.

Andrew always enjoyed the time he spent with his sons. They were good boys. They were smart achievers in school and good in sports. He felt truly blessed with his family. He had a beautiful intelligent wife and two great sons. What more could a man want? He was determined to provide financial security for them. That was the main reason he had turned down that position as an astronautical engineer. He loved the field but space was too controversial an issue and he made a lot more money as an aerospace engineer. He was a contented, happy man!

Matthew looked up at the Space Needle and thought about the night before. Did that really happen or was it a dream? No, it happened! If he and Peter told his parents, would they believe them?

Peter interrupted his thoughts when he yelled, “Matthew, come take over. I want to get a snack.”

When Matthew took the tiller he asked Peter, “Do you think we should tell the folks about last night?” Peter laughed before answering with, “Will they believe us?” He went down below to get a drink and something to eat. Matthew had to pay attention to where he was going so he did not think anymore about the previous night’s escapades.

After a couple of hours, Andrew asked, “Anybody getting hungry? You ready to go pick up your Mom and go get some fish and chips?”

“Aren’t we always?” said Matthew.

Lily was on the dock when they motored up. Andrew whistled before asking, “Are you the beautiful young lady who lives her? Surely you are not old enough to be the mother of 10 year old boys!”

Lily laughed as Matthew helped her board the boat. She loved these three more than life itself. She was so happy. Her world was perfect!

The restaurant was crowded but they were fortunate to get a table by the window. The lake with all the sailboats with spinnakers of different colors was a beautiful sight against the skyline of the city. They all ordered the fish and chips. The adults ordered side salads.

“You boys need to order a salad because you haven’t had any vegetables today,” said Lily.

“Oh Mom, we eat vegetables all the time,” said Matthew.

“We eat so much green stuff we will probably turn green,” said Peter.

Andrew laughed and replied, “Just think, you can turn green and become “Little Green People. Then you would be able to do all kinds of things and have lots of varied adventures.” Andrew sees the Space Needle from the window and remarks, “You can become Spacenoodles!”

“Spacenoodles! What are Spacenoodles?” asks Peter.

Andrew thought for a minute and then said, “They are intelligent life who live in space. Some of them are little green people made of chlorophyll. They fly between planets, moons and asteroids.”

“Are you kidding us?” said Peter. He looked at Matthew.

Andrew laughed and said, “Maybe, but maybe not. I don’t really know.”

The food was served and everyone was hungry and began eating right away. Matthew was still thinking about what his father had said. Two of the creatures that had come last night were green and one even called herself Little Green Lady.

“Let me ask you this. If some of those green people came and asked you to go with them someplace, would you go?” said Matthew. Peter looked up from his fish and gave Matthew a warning glare. “Do you think they would hurt you?” he added.

Lily and Andrew put down their forks and looked at Matthew. They had always told the boys to never go anywhere with strangers. Lily did not say anything but Andrew answered him in a joking manner by saying, “Just come get me and let me go too!”

“Would you really go with them? asked Peter.

“If they were nice,” said Andrew with a smile on his face.

“Oh, they were nice,” replied Peter before realizing what he had said.

“Were nice?” said Lily. “What do you mean by that?”

“He had a wild dream about being kidnapped by aliens,” said Matthew. “That’s what he meant.”

“Son, you know you can always come to us at night if you have a bad dream,” said Andrew. “Always!”

Peter nodded his head but did not say anymore. In fact, the boys were unusually quiet for the rest of the meal. They even turned down dessert! They later regretted that!

When the family got back onboard the boat, Andrew asked Lily if she would like to have a short twilight sail. “Oh, yes,” she said. “You know this is my favorite time of day on the water.” They reached their dock just before dark and secured the boat. Lily suggested they sit outside for awhile. The boys wanted to watch TV so they went inside.

Andrew and Lily sat side by side holding hands and not saying a word. They enjoyed this quiet time and being together. Finally, Andrew said, “We may have gone too far with these little green people. They may go to school and tell their science teacher that we said space was full of Spacenoodle characters flying all around.”

Lily laughed and said, “What would that do to our reputations as scientist?”

That night Peter and Matthew could not go to sleep. They kept wondering if the little creatures were coming back. When they were just about to give up, a green glow appeared at the window. Matthew jumped up and opened the window. Cleo let out a screech and ran out of the room. Matthew motioned for the creatures to back away as he quietly closed the window and got back in bed. He had just pulled up the covers when Lily came in. “What is wrong with Cleo?” she said.

“I told you she was weird, “sa id Matthew. “She jumped up and hollered and ran out of our room for no reason. Maybe a bug bit her!”

“You boys need to get some sleep,” said Lily. “Look at that sky. It is a green color,” she added as she walked over to the window. “I don’t think I have ever seen that before.” She looked out the window for a minute before coming over and kissing the boys goodnight for the second time. “Sweet dreams,” she said as she walked out of their room.

“Wonder why she did not see them?” said Peter.

“I don’t know, but let’s wait a few minutes before we open the window again.” said Matthew. They waited for what seemed like a very long time. Matthew got up and opened the window and then closed their bedroom door. The creatures flew in.

“We were going to take you to the moon tonight but we don’t have enough time,” said the Little Green Lady.

“And your Mom might catch us,” added Sunny Rosetta.

“My Dad said you were called Spacenoodles,” said Peter. “Is that right?”

“Spacenoodles?” said Little Green Lady. “Where did he get that?”

“I don’t know,” replied Peter. “Maybe from spaceships?”

“I’m a Spacenoodle, a Spacenoodle!” sang Sunny Rosetta.

“Me, too. I’m a Spacenoodle!” said the pink dragon. “I have always wanted to be something. Now, I am! I am a Spacenoodle! Yea!”

“Oh, alright, if it makes you both that happy, we will call ourselves Spacenoodles!” said Little Green Lady. ‘Everyone from the Centauri Globular Star Cluster will now be called Spacenoodles!”

“I have been wondering about something,” said Matthew. “How are we going to breathe on the moon? Will we be safe?”

“We will make you a cryogenic/ hydrogen lattice work space ship,” said the little green lady.

“How will you do that?” asked Matthew. But before the little green lady had time to answer, they heard someone on the stairs.

“Go,” said Peter. “Hurry before they catch you in here and we have a lot of explaining to do.”

“We will come back tomorrow night and go to the Moon,” said Little Green Lady.

“No, not tomorrow night. We have to get up early on Monday morning to go to school. Come next week-end,” said Matthew.

“Week-end? What is a week-end?” asked Sunny Rosetta.

“Just go, “said Peter. “Come back in six nights.”

The pink dragon, Little Green Lady and Sunny Rosetta flew out of the window.

Lily looked out the kitchen window just in time to see the same green glow in the night sky that she had seen from the window in the boy’s room. She stood there and watched as it moved away from the house boat. That is strange, she thought. It looks almost like it is flying through the sky. She sat down at the island in the kitchen to drink a glass of milk. Could the green glow have something to do with all of the questions the boys were asking about life in space? Why did they ask if creatures from outer space could come to earth to visit? And the comment Peter made about green people being nice and the look on his face when Matthew stared at him. What had scared Cleo on two separate nights? She usually slept on one of the boy’s beds every night. My imagination is getting out of hand, thought Lily. What am I thinking of? Next thing you know I will be feeding little green people at my table! She laughed to herself as she went back up the steps to bed.

Chapter 2

“I smell cinnamon rolls,” said Peter. “And they smell good!” He jumped out of bed and headed for the door. “Are you coming?” he asked Matthew.

“Go on. I will be down in a minute.” said Matthew. Matthew sat on the side of the bed. He was still thinking about last night’s visit with the creatures his Dad had named Space Noodles. Were they really going to the moon on Friday? That could not be possible or could it? How would they breathe? What was this thing they called a cryogenic/ hydrogen lattice work space ship? He stood up and walked downstairs.

“We started without you,” said Andrew. “Your mother’s homemade cinnamon rolls were warm and just ready to eat. We couldn’t resist!”

“Yummy!” said Peter. “Mom, you make the best cinnamon rolls in the whole wide world!”

“Thank you, Peter,” said Lily. “Matthew, would you like milk or orange juice or both.”

“Both, please,” answered Matthew. He joined the family at the table and chose an extra big cinnamon roll with lots of white sugar icing on top. It was so good! He finished two rolls before he spoke another word! “Mom, what is a cryogenic/ hydrogen lattice work spaceship,” he asked.

“A what?” asked Lily.

“A cryogenic/hydrogen work spaceship,” answered Matthew.

“Where did you learn about that?” asked Andrew.

“I saw something about it on TV,’ said Matthew. Peter did not say anything. The boys were usually honest with their parents and most of the time told the truth. They always felt guilty when they didn’t and the bad feelings were worse than owning up to the truth.

“Well,” said Lily,” cryogenic gases are gases that can be liquefied at extremely low temperatures. Liquid oxygen and liquid hydrogen are both cryogenic gases. Liquid hydrogen and a liquid-oxygen/liquid-hydrogen combination are used in the space program,” she added. She was trying to explain this so a ten year old could understand the information. “I am not sure about the lattice work,” she said.

“Taming liquid hydrogen is one of the technical achievements of twentieth century American rocketry,” added Andrew. “But the use of these cryogenic fuels has posed enormous technical challenges. If you are interested, we can get on the internet after we come home from church and do some research.”

“I thought you said we could have a friend come over this afternoon,” said Peter. “I wanted to ask Jeff and Matthew said he was asking Brandon.”

“You can,” replied Lily. “In fact, go call them now so they can bring extra clothes to church to change into after we come home. They can just come home with us from church. Tell them to tell their parents that we will bring them home around six if that is okay.”

“Would you like to grill hamburgers and hot dogs?” asked Andrew.

“Yes,” said Peter. “Mom, will you make French fries?”

“Sure,” answered Lily. “After we come home, I will go to the grocery store and buy everything. What would you like for dessert?”

“Banana splits!” said Matthew.

“I should have guessed,” said Lily. Matthew loved ice cream better than anyone she knew and the gooier the toppings, the better for him!

The talk of the cryogenic gases and spaceships seemed to have been forgotten as the plans for the day were made. Lily put the dishes in the dishwasher and cleaned the kitchen while Andrew and the boys went upstairs to dress for church. The questions from the night before returned to her mind. Were all these questions about space just a passing interest from something the boys had seen on TV or read? She certainly hoped this was the reason but a doubt nagged at her to be more watchful of her surroundings.

Lily dropped Andrew and the boys off at the house boat after church. Jeff and Brandon were special friends and classmates of her boys. They loved coming to visit and thought living on a house boat was the greatest thing. She bought hot dogs and hamburger meat and all of the makings for the lunch the boys had requested. She wasn’t in a hurry because she had told them to help themselves to the rest of the cinnamon rolls left from breakfast. Ten year old boys had bottomless pits for stomachs! They were always ready to eat!

The boys were in Peter and Matthew’s bedroom when she went upstairs to change her clothes. Andrew had helped put the groceries away and was busy making his famous hamburgers. He pretended it was his secret recipe! Her sons called it Dad’s famous hamburgers!

Lily could hear the boys talking from her room. She usually did not pay any attention to the boy’s conversation but something Matthew was saying caught her attention.

“We can pretend we are from the Centauri Globular Star Cluster NGC 5139,” said Matthew. “Peter can be Little Green Lady, Jeff can be Sunny Rosetta, I will be the dragon and Brandon can be? I don’t know who Brandon can be. I know! The dragon said he has a Little Green Knight that usually rides on him. You can be him!”

“Why do we have to be ladies,” asked Peter.

“Yea, we don’t want to be any old girls,” added Jeff.

“Well, you have to be. That was all we saw. We don’t know anymore.” said Matthew.

“What did Matthew mean? Saw? Who or what did they see?” Lily asked herself. Probably just a TV show she thought as she left her room. She stopped at the door to the boy’s room. “Lunch will be ready in about an hour. We will call you. Have fun,” she said as she closed the door.

“Did you really see these creatures?” asked Brandon. “You are just kidding aren’t you?”

“Nope, they came to our room. Everything was kinda green and there they were!” said Peter. “They took us for a ride in the sky and we sat on the Space Needle!”

“Sat on the Space Needle?” said Jeff and fell back on the bed laughing. “Did you jump off?” he asked as he continued to laugh.

“We did!” answered Peter. “We were on the back of the dragon and we held on tight while he flew around the Space Needle.”

“Flew around the Space Needle? Now I know you are making this up!” said Brandon as he joined in the laughter.

“You know Peter! He loves to joke. He got you this time. You believed him, didn’t you?” said Matthew as he looked at Peter with a don’t say another word look! Matthew had been listening to their friends. He knew they did not believe what Peter was saying. He also knew that if they told some other friends what Peter has said that Peter and Matthew would be the talk of the school. Everyone would laugh at them. “Who wants to go play on the sailboat?” Matthew quickly asked.

“Will your Dad let us”, asked Jeff.

“Sure. Just so we don’t mess it up,” said Peter. He realized he should not have told Jeff and Brandon about the space creatures. He wasn’t thinking. They were good friends and he wanted to share with them. He never thought they would not believe him and certainly not laugh at him. Friends don’t treat friends that way.

The boys went downstairs and passed through the kitchen on the way out to the boat. “These are good, Mom,” said Peter as he grabbed a few French fries.

“Yea, they are!” added the rest of the boys as they each grabbed a handful. Lily laughed and knew she would have to peel some more potatoes. Boys and their appetites!

The boys climbed in the boat and were enjoying a pretend sailing adventure when Andrew called them to lunch. They devoured the hamburgers, hot dogs and French fries with little conversation. “Anyone have room left for banana splits?” asked Lily. All she heard in response were groans!

“Why don’t we go for a short sail and then come back and have dessert before we take you home?” suggested Andrew.

“Sounds like a good idea to me,” said Matthew.

“Ok. But first we all have to help clean up,” said Andrew. Everyone pitched in and helped and it wasn’t long before they were all on the sailboat. “Peter, give out the life jackets and then we will get going,” said Andrew. He assigned jobs to all of the boys and soon they were enjoying the afternoon on the lake. They sailed for about an hour before coming back to the dock.

Lily brought out everything for the banana splits to the table on the deck. The boys tried to see who could make the biggest one. They started with bananas and added vanilla, strawberry and chocolate ice cream. Then they added nuts and chocolate syrup and topped it with whipped cream and cherries! They ate every morsel! Lily was glad when Andrew took their guests home. At least if the banana splits made them sick, she would only have to deal with two boys!

Later that evening, after the boys had showered and gone to bed, Lily and Andrew sat on the deck. “I think Peter and Matthew really enjoyed their day, don’t you?” asked Andrew.

“They did and I did too” said Lily. “I hope they will always want to bring their friends home.”

“You keep feeding them like you did today and this may turn out to be their headquarters,” Andrew said as he laughed.

“Andrew,” said Lily, “when I went upstairs to change today, I heard Matthew telling Jeff and Brandon something and it disturbed me. They evidently were going to pretend they were creatures from space and Matthew was assigning them roles. He only had three characters at first and he made the statement that that was all they saw! What do you think he meant?”

“I think maybe they have been watching shows on TV about space and aliens and he was telling them what he saw.” answered Andrew.

“I hope you are right.” said Lily. “But where do you think they are getting all of this technical stuff. These are ten year old children asking questions my college students would ask me. Where would Matthew have heard about a cryogenic hydrogen lattice work spaceship? I read the technical journals daily on my computer and also the technical magazines we take and I have never heard of hydrogen lattice work. It is as if they are embarking on a journey beyond their years, beyond our years. What is really going on Andrew?”

Andrew replied, “There has been some research done at the university linking hydrogen atoms together to form a lattice work. It is like weaving a basket but it has not gone beyond research. The lattice work would be used to construct a space vehicle of great strength. A hydrogen proton would be added to its nucleus to make the hydrogen atom a hybrid but it would not be explosive like a normal hydrogen atom. I have no idea where ten year olds would possibly hear of this research. I think we should just ask them where they are getting the information. They have always been so truthful to us but I get the feeling they are hiding something.”

“So do I,” Lily responded. “Peter gave Matthew a warning glare two days ago when Matthew was about to tell me something. It just seems strange that they are asking all of these questions all of a sudden.”

“Well, we will just keep a watchful eye out but I am sure it is nothing. They probably saw something on TV that sparked their interest and prompted the questions. I have a busy week coming up and I think I am ready to call it a night,” said Andrew. “Are you ready to go in?”

“Yes,” responded Lily. “I need to read over my lecture notes for tomorrow.”

Matthew was still awake when he heard his parents coming up the stairs to their bedroom. He was having a hard time going to sleep. He was worried that Jeff and Brandon might tell some of the kids at school what Peter had said about the space people. He was also thinking about going to the Moon. Could it be possible that he and Peter were actually going to the Moon?

The week went by quickly. Jeff and Brandon must have forgotten about what Peter had said as nothing was mentioned at school. It was a normal week for the Strawder family and as they went through their routines, there was no mention of anything about space.

When Andrew came in from work, Friday afternoon, he asked, “Anyone want pizza for dinner tonight?”

“Sure,” said Peter. “I am hungry!”

“Aren’t you always? asked Andrew. “Where are Matthew and your Mother?”

“They are upstairs, getting ready,” answered Peter. The family always went out for dinner on Friday night and usually it was for pizza. They had several favorite Italian restaurants in the Seattle area and they took turns choosing where they would go.

Lily came down the steps. “Did I hear pizza?” she said. “I am ready!”

“Me, too!” added Matthew as he appeared. “Let’s go. I am hungry!”

Andrew smiled as he winked at Lily. He could not imagine life without his boys. “Well, let’s not keep the pizza waiting. I believe tonight is your Mother’s choice.”

The restaurant parking lot was crowded but they found a vacant space. Fortunately, they did not have to wait for a table. Everything smelled so good. Andrew ordered two of their favorite large pizzas and soft drinks for all. “Do you have anything planned for the week-end?” Andrew asked as he looked at the boys.

Peter looked at Matthew and Matthew replied, “Nothing special.” He did not like lying to his parents. But what would they have done if he had told them that he and Peter had a trip to the Moon planned for tonight!

“I was thinking about going on a hike Saturday,” said Andrew. “This early spring weather is warmer than usual and it might be a nice day to get out and enjoy it. What do you think? You up for a long hike?”

Matthew knew Peter was thinking the same thing he was thinking. If they stayed up all night on the trip to the moon, they would not feel like hiking all day on Saturday! “I don’t know, Dad. We have had a rough week. I was thinking about sleeping late in the morning. How about you, Peter?”

“Yea, I sure would like to sleep late, too,” answered Peter.

“Well, maybe we will go after lunch, then,” Andrew suggested.

The pizza came and Lily served the first slices to her family. It was so good. Lily had other favorite Italian restaurants but this one had the best pizza and was informal and kid friendly. “I love their pizza sauce and all the extra gooey cheese,” she said before taking another bite. The family ate it all and left none to take home.

Andrew saw the look on the boy’s faces as the last piece was taken. He knew they always liked to eat the leftovers for late night snacks on Friday night. He motioned for the waitress and ordered a medium size pizza to take home. “That make you happy?” he asked.

“Thank you, Dad,” said Peter.

“Yes, thanks, added Matthew.

Sometimes on Friday nights, after the family came home they either played board games or watched a movie. But tonight, Andrew suggested, “It is such a clear night, I think we should sit out on the deck and enjoy the stars.”

“Wonderful idea,” added Lily. “I will bring some cookies out for dessert.”

Peter and Matthew chose the chaise lounges and Andrew and Lily sat in the glider. They passed the cookies around and sat munching cookies and looking up at the clear night sky. “This is just a beautiful night,” said Lily.

Matthew said, “Show me again where the Great Bear is located and the Big Dipper.”

Lily pointed out the location and said, “It is also known as Ursa Major and is probably the most famous constellation. The body and tail of the bear make up what is known as the Big Dipper. Most of the constellation is circumpolar which means it is visible all year long. Some of the constellations are seasonal and can only be seen during certain times of the year.”

“Where is Little Bear?” asked Peter.

Andrew pointed it out to Peter. “It is also called Ursa Minor. The most important object in Little Bear is the last star in the tail. It is called the North Star or Polaris. Some people think it is called the North Star because it is very bright but really it is not. It is called the North Star because it does not move from its place in the night sky,” said Andrew.

The family sat looking at the night sky. The wind picked up over Lake Union. “I am going in, gentlemen. You can stay out here if you want too but I am getting cold,” said Lily. She stood up and went in and it wasn’t long before the others followed her.

Peter looked at Matthew and said, “I am a little tired, I think I will go to bed. What about you, Matthew?”

“I am too. I think I will join you,” said Matthew.

“What? No pizza! You must be getting sick,” said Andrew.

“We will eat it for breakfast,” said Matthew. He and Peter often ate leftover pizza for breakfast and sometimes did not bother to warm it!

“I am rather tired, myself,” said Lily.

“Well, if everyone is calling it a night, I might as well too,” said Andrew. The family went upstairs and said their goodnights in the hall before going into their bedrooms.

“Do you think they suspected anything,” asked Peter.

“Yea, right. Like they thought we had a big Moon trip planned tonight,” answered Matthew.

Peter threw his pillow at Matthew. The boys did not put on their pajamas but lay down on their beds with their clothes on. Peter opened the window. They waited in silence. They knew what the other was thinking. They were both afraid of what was about to happen to them. Their parents had always told them that it was okay to be afraid sometimes, but not to let your fears rule your life. “Do you really think we should do this?” asked Peter. “We may never come back home,” he added. “We may never see Mom and Dad again.”

“I am going. You can do what you want to do. Either stay here or come with me. But if you stay, don’t go wake up Mom and Dad and tell them I am gone. You promise?” said Matthew.

“I am going with you,” said Peter. They waited for a long time. They heard the grandfather clock in the living room strike eleven times. Peter said, “Maybe they are not coming!”

Before long, Little Green Lady appeared in the window. “Are you ready to go?” she communicated to the boys.

Matthew saw a huge object hovering outside their window. “We have been waiting,” he said.

“Well, come on.” Little Green Lady held out her hand and the boys followed her to the window and climbed into the cryogenic/hydrogen lattice work spaceship. Inside the ship, Sunny Rosetta greeted them with a hug.

“Where is the pink dragon?” asked Matthew.

“He will join us later,” said Sunny Rosetta.

The spaceship lifted up and soared over the beautiful night sky of Seattle leaving the Space Needle behind as they gained altitude. The twins looked out the window and saw majestic Mount Rainer as they passed overhead at 16,000 feet. Faster and faster the spaceship traveled and was now exceeding 100,000 miles per hour. The boys could see their home planet, Earth, fading away until it became a small blue-green ball. They did not utter a sound but watched in amazement.

Matthew and Peter saw an enormous pink dragon that had to be the size of a ferry boat. “Is that the little pink dragon? How did he get so big?” asked Matthew.

“That is his real size. What you saw before was a hologram. I know you won’t understand this but he was too big to get into your window or to fly around Seattle without being noticed. So, I did a photographic recording of a light field of him. Think of it as a three-dimensional picture,” said Little Green Lady. “He is our protector tonight. Actually he is a fierce laser breathing dragon that is feared by every creature in space. On his back is Little Green Knight who helps him. We will travel safely tonight with the two of them.”

“Wow,” was all Peter could say.

“Look, you can see the rings of Saturn,” said Sunny Rosetta. They also saw the brilliant stars shining against a blackboard canvas painted by an intergalactic Cosmos.

“That huge planet is Jupiter,” said the Little Green Lady. “It almost became our second sun giving us a twin binary star system but it did not have enough hydrogen to fire off its’ nuclear reactor such as our sun has.” They saw a big red spot on Jupiter that was moving very fast in a big circle. “That is a huge storm much like a hurricane on planet Earth.” Peter and Matthew watched in awe as they saw the sun with its’ violent sun storm flashes. “Those flashes send damaging solar radiation to planet Earth,” she added. “The planet Earth’s magnetic energy field protects it from the sun’s damaging solar wind.” They continue watching as Venus and Mercury orbited the sun.

The spaceship was now traveling at 500,000 miles per hour and they could see the Moon approaching with all of its many craters. Matthew asked the Little Green Lady, “How does this spaceship go so fast?”

“You are asking about the propulsion system?” answered the Little Green Lady.

“Yes, I guess so,” said Matthew.

Little Green Lady said, “We can fly up to speeds of 500,000 miles per hour between local planets, moons, and asteroids by reversing the magnetic polarity of our bodies. We become positive or negative charged magnets and this lets us be attracted to or repelled by a planetary system. For example, the Moon is a positively charged planetary system. It is a positively charged magnet so we simply charge our bodies negative and we are magnetically drawn to the moon. So is the spacecraft. When we want to return to earth, we change our body’s magnetic polarity to positive and we are repelled by the moon and fly back to earth. Directional control is maintained by following the intricate webbing of magnetic flux lines similar to the Van Allen Radiation belts which surround the earth. I know that is a lot for you to understand but just think about magnets and how they work.”

“That makes sense,” said Matthew. “I have another question. Why are there so many holes on the moon?”

“The moon has been in orbit around your planet for billions of years and the holes are from comets and meteorites smashing into the moon,” she replied. She set the spaceship down on the large crater that is visible from earth.

Sunny Rosetta handed them each a spacesuit. “Put these on,” she said. She helped each one put on a suit. The door of the ship opened. “Let’s go take a look around,” said Sunny Rosetta.

Little Green Lady joined them. The four of them explored part of the surface of the Moon. Soon the boy’s suits were covered in dust from the sand like surface. They saw craters and mountains. Matthew said, “This looks like a desert.” They stopped at the crater, Aristarchus, and picked up some rocks. The Laser Breathing Dragon and the Little Green Knight stayed by the spaceship to guard it.

“Can I write my name in the dirt,” asked Peter.

“Sure, why don’t you both write your names and the date. Let’s go over and write them on the side of the mountain where there is dust that can be seen from earth. The high resolution orbiting telescope will be able to see your names from earth, “said the Little Green Lady. They each wrote their names in letters about two feet tall and wrote the date under their names. “Matthew, you have been taking lots of pictures. Take one of your names.”

“Before we go, I want to show you the other side of the Moon. You don’t ever see that side from Earth,” said Little Green Lady. When they reached the other side of the Moon, Matthew and Peter picked up some more rocks. Peter grabbed a handful of dust from the surface of the Moon. “We should have brought something to put the dust in”, she said.

“I don’t see Earth anymore,” said Peter. “What happened to Earth?”

“The Moon completes an orbit of the Earth every 27.3 days. The Moon also rotates on its axis. You have probably studied the tides in school. Because of tidal forces, the Moon completes one revolution every 655 hours. So one side of the Moon is always facing the Earth and the other side is always facing away. We are on the side of the Moon that is facing away from Earth and you can’t see it. When we go back to the spaceship, you will see Earth again,” Little Green Lady explained.

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