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Elt and the Time Machine
Elt's Adventures Continue!
By Daniel R. Pard
AuthorHouseCopyright © 2014 Daniel R. Pard
All rights reserved.
"We're nearing our destination," announced the first officer to his captain. "Planet Earth is straight ahead."
"I am approaching the space pod," reported the captain as he stepped off his elevator and entered the area of the ship where the pod was located. Inside the pod, the captain sat down in one of only two seats that were available in the vessel. "I am starting ignition sequence," he pronounced while strapping himself in. Then he pushed a series of buttons and the space pod's engines ignited, thrusting powerfully away.
The space pod dashed off towards Earth, making sure its presence wasn't detected by the planet's surveillance systems. The egg-shaped pod spun its way down to the earth's surface, broke through the clouds and headed for the town of Spring Valley. Rapidly, it spun its way to the Valleydale subdivision. It maneuvered its way over Springhaven Court and the home of one Ralph Eltison.
As it landed, steam emitted from the bottom of the pod and filled the air that surrounded the Eltison backyard. Underneath their willow tree and next to the doghouse, stood Ralph Eltison and his ever-faithful superhero dog, Elt. They waited patiently for the Trianthian leader to make his appearance.
The door to the pod opened. From the darkness inside the pod emerged the familiar glowing figure of Coladeus. He hopped down from the pod and walked over to both Ralph and Elt. He first shook Ralph's hand, and then Elt's right paw.
"So good to see you both, my friends from Earth," remarked Coladeus.
Ralph's excitement was all too noticeable. "What assignment do you have for us Coladeus? Are we going to travel back with you and save a solar system or discover a lost planet?"
"Why all that and more," assured Coladeus as he welcomed the boy and his dog into his pod. "Usually there is only room for two occupants in our pod, but we have made special arrangements in order to accommodate you both on board Trianthius I."
"That's cool!" exalted Ralph. "When can we leave?"
"Well ... right now," answered Coladeus.
The three boarded the ship and fastened their restraints. In an instant, the space pod blasted off for Trianthius I, which was safely orbiting Earth.
"Can we help steer?" asked Ralph.
"Why sure," smiled Coladeus. Elt's tail wagged slowly as he watched his human take control of the Trianthian space pod. Ralph was excited yet careful in his efforts to steer the pod in the right direction.
"We should see Trianthius I shortly," stated Coladeus.
"There it is!" yelled Ralph. "I'll get us close to the ship." Coladeus watched Ralph carefully as he guided the space pod under the belly of the Trianthian ship.
"She's beautiful!" exclaimed Ralph. Ralph's eyes lit up brighter than ever as he took in all the wonderful sights before him. The greenish, triangular-shaped vessel welcomed the smaller vessel as the pod attached itself to Trianthius I. Coladeus glanced over at both Ralph and Elt.
"Ralph, lunch time!" exclaimed Coladeus. "I fixed some sandwiches."
Ralph stared at the Trianthian elder for a few seconds, and then realized where he really was. He had never left his backyard. Ralph was sitting on top of Elt's doghouse, straddling the roof. Elt had slunk inside the doghouse, taking a rest from the summer's heat and humidity. Ralph's dad stuck his head out the door. He held a plate full of sandwiches. "Well, are you coming?"
"Coming Dad!" shouted Ralph as he leaped off the doghouse and ran up the porch and into the kitchen. Elt followed him but opted to enter through the doggie door.
It had been a couple of weeks since Ralph had last seen the REAL Trianthian leader late one summer night in his backyard. It was the night Coladeus had revealed both his identity and purpose for visiting Elt. Ever since then, Ralph could only wonder about the nature of Elt's next mission. Was he, ten year-old Ralph Eltison, going to be part of that mission?
Although Ralph had cut the daydreaming down quite a bit, knowing his dog, still technically a pup, was a hero with super powers, was just too exciting. Adventures of traveling through space filled Ralph's head. He knew that at any moment, a voice from Elt's collar would communicate with them. He thought about voyages to unknown worlds, or space adventures to distant planets. It was overwhelming!
Ralph wanted to tell someone, but he knew he couldn't. Not to just anyone. He wanted to share that secret with his best friend, Jenny Rodgers. Jenny wouldn't tell anyone, he knew that. But informing one more human was that much more critical to Elt's existence as a super dog.
It had only been a couple of weeks since Elt and his friends, the pets from the Valleydale subdivision, had thwarted a bank robbery and captured Frake and most of the other men working for the unscrupulous Walter E. Crum. The town of Spring Valley was still abuzz. Folks were out shopping, working, and playing. There were no more worries. Frake and his men were in jail and Crum had flown off in his helicopter, hopefully never to be seen again. The park was full of people and their pets. Life was great again in Spring Valley.
The month of July was nearing its long, hot end. Ralph, his dad, and Elt had just returned from a mini-vacation, an almost week-long camping trip in the mountains that overlooked Spring Valley. Elt got to experience firsthand what outdoor living was all about; those late night trips to battle Crum and his men did not count as outdoor living. They slept in a tent, fished for some of their food, burned a campfire each night, and hiked miles and miles each day. There was a lake for fishing, swimming, and sightseeing. Now, nothing beat sleeping at the foot of Ralph's bed every night, but outdoor living wasn't so bad. Elt was doubly happy, for Ralph's dad had administered the proper flea and tick treatments before they left. Scratching and biting for five days would have been no fun at all.
When Ralph, his dad, and Elt returned home, normalcy resumed. Ralph's dad went back to work. Ralph completed his chores in the mornings. Some of the chores included bathing Elt, dumping the garbage, and washing the dishes. These chores were different from the ones he and his dad accomplished together, like yard work and cleaning house.
Ralph worked on his daily chores in the morning so he could free up his afternoon time for Jenny, Bernadette, and Elt. After Jenny returned home from her grandparent's house, Ralph and Elt would walk over. For close to an hour before dinner time, they would stroll along their usual route; Valleydale Drive to Schoolhouse Road and back, then all the way over to Springhaven Court, where Ralph and Elt lived.
The kids and their dogs would pass by all the neighborhood pets. Juan, the Chihuahua was always ready to greet them as they strolled by. Sarge would venture out from his doghouse, catch a glimpse of the kids and their dogs, belt out a couple of warning barks, and then head right back into his doghouse or scratch at the door for Mr. Davis to let him in. Max stayed inside with Mrs. Petrie, for it was still very hot outside and the old boy loved the air conditioning. Chin remained in the back of his house, only peeking to be sure that it was Elt and Bernadette, and then withdrawing to the shelter of his doghouse.
Jasmine, the tabby cat would sometimes trek along with the kids and pets, but would generally head back to her house when they reached Schoolhouse Road. Although she could handle the on-coming traffic from automobiles on that road, she figured that by then she had spent enough time tagging along with the walkers.
The last pet in their neighborhood was Prince, the highly decorated Doberman Pinscher. Ralph and Elt would catch a glimpse of Prince and Mr. Dawkins strolling in their yard. Prince would give a nod to both Elt and Bernadette. His demeanor was very stoic, nothing like the friendlier version of himself that helped Elt and the Valleydale pets thwart the criminal intentions of Walter E. Crum and his men.
Elt and the other neighborhood pets hadn't held a meeting since the heroic feats of a few weeks ago. A meeting was in the works, but Sarge hadn't announced it yet and Jasmine hadn't delivered the message to anyone. Elt had been on vacation with his humans. The Davis's and Mrs. Petrie had just returned from their vacations. Anyway, there was no real news to report amongst the pets in the neighborhood. Everything was calm. Late summer was in fact pretty non-eventful. Things, however, were about to change.
The day after returning from camping, Ralph finished lunch and asked his dad if he could head over to Jenny's house with Elt. Mr. Eltison and Ralph had finished their chores earlier, so Ralph was soon out the door with Elt, his leash in hand. When Elt and Ralph passed Mrs. Petrie's house on the corner of Springhaven Court and Valleydale Drive, they stopped to gaze at the house in between Jenny's and Mrs. Petrie's.
A sizeable yellow and green moving truck was parked in the driveway. Two men clad in khaki one-piece jumpsuits were transporting furniture and boxes into the house. Someone was moving in, but who? There were no signs of anyone other than the two men from the moving company.
When Ralph and Elt arrived at Jenny's house, Jenny was seated on her side porch with Bernadette lying near her feet. Jenny too had been watching the events next door.
"Have you seen who's moving in?" asked Ralph.
"Not yet," replied Jenny. "But I did see the moving guys take a couple of bikes to the garage."
"Kid's bikes?" asked Ralph.
"Yep," returned Jenny.
The yellow ranch house had only been vacant for about two weeks. An older couple, the Pattersons, had lived in the house for about ten years. Their children had grown and moved out of state, so they decided to find a smaller home that was closer to their kids and grandchildren. The couple's house had almost met the fate of the devious Walter Crum, for Frake was purchasing any home he could in order to charge renters very high rates. Now Crum was nowhere to be found and most of his men were behind bars. A "FOR SALE" sign had appeared as soon as the couple left and now someone new was moving in.
Jenny and Ralph watched for a few minutes, but no one other than the movers stepped in and out of the yellow ranch house. They knew that sooner or later they would meet the new people, so Ralph, Jenny, and their pooches proceeded with their walk. Upon their return however, Ralph and Jenny eagerly sat down on the side porch to continue watching the yellow house, while Elt and Bernadette found a shady area below them in the grass.
The moving truck was gone. Other than an old green car in the driveway, there was still no sign of anyone actually moving in and out of the house. Finally, something happened. The front door opened and a middle-aged man appeared. He was tall, a couple of inches over six feet, and he had brown hair with a fair complexion. As he headed towards the car, he noticed the kids and their pets.
"Well hello!" greeted the man. His accent was different; he was definitely not from Spring Valley or any of its surrounding counties. The kids were caught off guard by the man's friendly greeting. "What lovely puppies," the man continued. He proceeded to the fence and laid his long, lanky hands on top of it. Jenny regained herself enough to reply.
"Thank you," she answered brightly. Jenny jumped off the porch and walked over to the fence, tugging lightly on Bernadette's leash. The Cocker Spaniel rose from her resting spot and followed her human. Ralph and Elt moved forward too. The man reached over to pet the two dogs.
"You must have a wonderful time with these stunning puppies," said the man. Both Elt and Bernadette sniffed the man's hands, and then generously licked them. They sensed that he was a good human, not suspicious like Crum or Frake.
"You're not from around here Mister," mentioned Ralph. "You sound like you're from England."
"Oh, pardon my manners," returned the man. "I'm Stanley Greenlee ... Professor Stanley Greenlee to be correct. And yes, I am from Great Britain." He held out his right hand as a friendly gesture.
Jenny forged ahead of Ralph to shake the professor's hand. "My name is Jenny Rodgers," she said. "And this is Ralph ... Ralph Eltison."
"And these are our dogs," interjected Ralph. "Elt and Bernadette." Professor Greenlee bent over once again to pet the pups.
"Uh Mister, I mean Professor?" asked Ralph. "Do you have any pets?"
"Why yes we do," answered the professor. "A dog and a cat to be exact, along with two very special individuals. Ah, here comes one of them now."
Out from the front door, running down the steps, was a boy. He too had brown hair and a fair complexion, but was freckled. He looked to be about the same age as Ralph and Jenny.
"Come along son," said the professor. "Come meet your new neighbors."
"Technically, I live down the street," said Ralph. "Jenny lives here, but I guess I'm still a neighbor." Jenny smiled at the boy, who ran over and stood beside his dad.
"Precisely," returned the professor. He glanced down at his son. "See I told you there would be other children here." The boy smiled. Professor Greenlee turned around and headed over to his car.
"Cheerio!" exclaimed the boy to Ralph and Jenny. "Me name is Bryan ... Bryan Greenlee."
Cheerio? What was that? Cereal? Ralph displayed a puzzled expression, glanced at Jenny with that same expression, and then turned back to greet Bryan awkwardly. "Uh ... greetings."
Jenny knew exactly what the boy from Great Britain was saying. That brand of cereal was actually named for the British greeting. She returned a smile and said "Hi."
Jenny and Ralph were still standing near the fence with Elt and Bernadette. Bryan knelt down to gaze at the pups through the fence holes. He slipped his fingers through to touch each dog. "We picked up our puppy last year while on holiday in France," mentioned Bryan as he continued to pet Elt and Bernadette.
"Which holiday? Christmas?" asked Ralph. Bryan displayed a puzzled look. Jenny shook her head and smiled.
"What he's trying to say," explained Jenny, "is that his family bought a dog while on vacation in France."
"There ya go," said a smiling Bryan.
"My name is Jenny, this is Ralph," returned Jenny. "And our dogs are Elt and Bernadette." Bryan glanced at the dogs briefly and then turned his head around, as if he were searching for someone.
"Let me see if I can fetch me sister," said Bryan. He placed two of his fingers from his left hand to his mouth and belted out a shriek of a whistle. It only took a few seconds before a young girl in a light blue dress scurried out from the backyard. She was about two-thirds as tall as Bryan; with brown hair, freckles, and the same fair complexion as her dad and brother. Behind her, a black toy poodle and a black and white cat followed, but they stopped and hid behind the girl's legs. Both Elt and Bernadette had noticed the dog and cat. Their ears had perked up and they both stood at attention. They wanted to meet the neighborhood's newest pets.
"This is me little sister Caroline," announced Bryan. "She is eight years old."
"Pleased to meet your acquaintance," said Caroline as she curtsied to both Ralph and Jenny.
"This is Ralph and Jenny, our new neighbors," said Bryan to his sister. "They look to be about ten, like me."
Jenny smiled. "We are ten."
Caroline bent down to pet her poodle. "This is Trixie. She is almost two years old. Daddy purchased her in France."
"She's beautiful," said Jenny.
"And this is Seymour, our kitty cat," continued Caroline. Seymour rubbed his face against the girl's legs. All eyes, though, were still focused on the toy poodle, Trixie. She bashfully lowered her head. Trixie was used to gazes and stares, for she truly was a beauty to behold. She was jet black in color and finely groomed, for there wasn't one strand of fur out of place. She was gracefully trimmed with pink bows on both her head and tail; her nails even seemed polished. Trixie's petite figure was cleanly shaven; it was as if she went to the poodle groomer daily. Her eyes ... well let's just say that those brown beauties, along with her dazzling, long eyelashes, could melt many a male canine's heart.
Trixie raised her head and slowly stepped in front of Caroline. She couldn't help noticing the two canines in front of her, especially the handsome black and brown Labrador-Collie mix. She gleamed at Bernadette, but quickly diverted all attention towards Elt.
Now Elt only knew one female pooch and that was Bernadette. They were pals, and they really cared for each other. Their relationship, though, was similar to that of their humans. Ralph and Jenny were best friends, and that was it.
Still, there emerged a certain territorial jealousy factor on behalf of Bernadette. She had never had to compete with any other female for attention. She wasn't amused when Trixie flashed "the look" at Elt. If there was a "stink eye" given by dogs to each other, then Bernadette was really giving it to Trixie. The poodle, however, paid no attention to her female counterpart. Her eyes were totally fixed on Elt.
Excerpted from Elt and the Time Machine by Daniel R. Pard. Copyright © 2014 Daniel R. Pard. Excerpted by permission of AuthorHouse.
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