Today, I’m taking a little break from the usual Wednesday ‘Character Column’ to introduce some wee friends who could well pop up as characters in the near future! I was lucky enough to land recently on a beautifully-appointed starship cruising through the Amazon Meet Our Author forum. The SS Wordsmyth, with its visionary captain and crew, just made a successful jump to Fourth Dimension (it’s easy when you know how), all accessories intact, dragons on deck, dolphins in the pool. Once I’d met the dolphins, it was only a matter of no-time before the Fairy Penguin Brigade showed up. In the 4D everything-is-now zero point, all the dots connect in an instant.
Why Fairy Penguins? Because they were an indelible feature of idyllic childhood holidays spent at my grandparents’ beach-house south of Perth, Western Australia, on a spit of land opposite…Penguin Island. A very tiny island which can be walked around in a matter of hours, Penguin Island is now a nature reserve, to protect its Fairy Penguin colony. It can be reached from the mainland by a sand bar, knee to waist-deep at low tide, although care is needed with the tides and cross-currents. This bit of the WA coast is sheltered by a ring of islands, and our treks across to the island were often accompanied by dolphins, butterfly fish, sand whiting, crabs, sea turtles and the occasional seal.
In the ‘old days’ half a dozen holiday shacks stood on the island’s front beach. I stayed one night there with school friends, made memorable by a complete lack of sleep…thanks to the penguins (standing at only a foot tall) who come out of their sand burrows at night to hold council meetings in caves and – when the cabins were there – under the floorboards. If you can imagine the sound of forty geese honking simultaneously for hours through the night under your bed, you’ll know why sleep eluded us! Even so, the stoic little birds have a fond place in the hearts of mainland residents. On one occasion, we found a lone penguin wandering around dazed under the hot sun in a carpark on the mainland. My grandfather put it in his speedboat and took it back to the island.
So, naturally, aboard the Wordsmyth, when I spotted penguins playing with the dolphins in the pool, they had to be Fairies. They have been met with a very warm welcome, and will no doubt become a permanent part of the starship’s menagerie…um, crew. Here are some special attributes of the space-going FP Brigade:
1) Unlike their Earthsider cousins, they have an extra pair of wings – transparent fairy wings, with which they can fly and hover with uncanny grace.
2) While Earthside FPs dine on fish, the space brigade live exclusively on a high nutrient cocktail they concoct from rays of the Blue Star Kachina. Large starry dollops of Fifth Dimensional Love keep an eternal rosy glow on their cheeks.
3) As well as making cocktails, they are always already smartly outfitted as drinks-waiters in their distinctive plumage (both Earth and Spacesiders have unique dark blue and white feathers).
4) Space FPs honk in the Fifth Harmonic, a wonderfully soothing and peaceful sound designed to tune the inner heart to the Universal heartbeat.
5) Last but not least, they are experts at maintaining equilibrium while passing through localized planetary time-space dimples.* When it comes time for the SS Wordsmyth to jump to the Fifth Dimension, they will be a great asset.
If you know of any other special qualities of Space Fairy Penguins, please feel free to add them below!
If you would like to meet them on deck, along with a stellar group of SF and Fantasy lovers, readers and writers, you can find the SS Wordsmyth – In the Fourth Dimension thread, steered by the good captain Linell Jeppsen, in the Amazon MOA forum.
*In 2011, NASA scientists proved Einstein’s theory that Earth exists in a localized ‘dimple’ of time and space is correct. See this link for details.