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"Eric's Epic Adventures"


Chapter 1
Eric And His Alien Drone

By sandramitchell

 
Eric was swinging by his legs from a branch high up in the old horse chestnut tree, much to Herbie’s dismay.

     “Come down from up there, before you fall off!” Herbie said flying up and turning himself upside down so that he could look at Eric’s face properly. “If you’re not careful, you’ll fall and break your neck. I don’t think your parents would like that, any more than you would.”

    “Poopers! You can be such an old windbag sometimes.” Eric told him, as he deliberately swung higher.

     “I don’t know what you mean, but if you’re swearing, I’ll tell your mother!”

     “Ha!” Eric laughed. “I’d like to hear that since you won’t let them know you can talk.”

     Herbie made a sniffing sound and then flew up in the air. “What shall we do? It’s not much fun here,” he said, flying back again.

     Eric pulled himself up and sat with his legs dangling on both sides of the branch as he gave Herbie’s question some thought. Looking at how the branches bowed under the weight of the many prickly husks, he had an idea.

     “How about collecting some of these conkers while I’m up here. Look at the size of them! My friends will be really jealous when they see them. Watch out, I’ll toss some down.”   Giving the branch a good shake, several fell off and bounced over the ground. “There’s some bigger ones up there,” he said, pointing for Herbie to see. “Can you get in there and knock them off? Hmm, perhaps it might be too tight a fit for you to do it.”

     Eric wasn’t daft, he knew Herbie would do anything to prove him wrong. For a machine, he was surprisingly vain! The trick worked. Herbie was up there and knocking the conkers off the tree, faster than Eric had time to take another breath. He gave a satisfied smirk.

     Jumping down from the branch, Eric started piling the conkers up. “Gosh, look at the size of these! I’ll be able to swap a few for something else. I’ll have to ask Mum if she’ll bake them for me. They aren’t much good as they are.”

     Herbie looked at them spread over the ground. “How will you get them home? You’ll never get them all in your pockets.”

     The frown that covered Eric’s face disappeared when an idea came to him. He sat down and removed his shoes and socks. Putting his shoes back on, he stretched open his socks and started stuffing them with the conkers.

     “How’s that?” he asked with a grin a mile wide. He could tell Herbie was impressed because he stayed silent. “I’ll tie them to your rotors when we go home.”

     Eric lay back on the soft mossy ground, folding his arms under his head as he brought his legs straight up in the air. Herbie immediately flew up and landed on the soles of Eric’s shoes.

     “Hey, isn’t that a horse over there?”  Herbie asked, flying off again to get a better look.
 
     “What’s it doing out here alone in the woods?”

     Eric brought his legs back down and stood up. He turned to see where Herbie was looking.
 
     “Yes. I wonder where his owner is,” he said, looking through the trees, and seeing no one there. “Do you think he’s escaped from his stable? Or, perhaps his rider has fallen off and is lying injured somewhere! Let’s go and take a look.” Eric ran over to where he’d left his bike and then pushed it over the bumpy ground.

     Thinking the horse would be nervous and gallop off, he walked slowly. As they got closer, Eric began to murmur soothing words. He was pleased to see the horse wasn’t going to shy away and delighted when he trotted over to meet him.

     “Hello, boy,” Eric spoke softly as he stood beside him and gently lifted his hand up to stroke the horse’s neck. “What are you doing out here on your own?”

     The horse tossed his head, whinnied, then turned around, revealing an arrow tangled up in his tail and a wound in his left flank. 
 
     Eric gasped and called Herbie over.  “He’s been shot with an arrow!  Who would do such a rotten thing? Thank goodness it missed its target. But something's hit him. What’ll I do?”
 
    “This is an Apache arrow, a genuine one,” Herbie told him after he had scanned it. “It’s very strange, though, because it’s not very old. I would say it was made only a few weeks ago.” Herbie stared at it again.  “I don’t know how that can be possible because the Apache Indians live in American and they certainly wouldn't be using bows and arrows now. Most bizarre. And look what’s hanging down the side of the saddle, that’s a rifle scabbard. But it’s empty. As far as I know about these things, no one these days would be riding a horse and take a rifle with him. At least not here in England. It’s against the law.”

     Eric wandered a  few steps closer so that he could examine it.  He frowned, swiped his finger along something sticky, and showed Herbie. “This yukky stuff looks like blood.  If it is, the rider must be lying hurt somewhere.”  Eric squinted his eyes and looked through the trees, but couldn’t see anyone. “What do you think happened?”

     “I don’t know, but I do know that stuff on your finger is genuine blood. I’ll link with the horse’s brain and see if I can get some answers from him.”
 
    “You can link up with brains? You didn’t tell me you could do that!”

     “You didn’t ask. Now be quiet while I find out what this horse is doing here.”

     Eric watched as Herbie flew level with the horse’s head. A red scanner came from his rotating eyes, went directly into the horse’s, and it didn’t even blink!
 
     Standing beside him, Eric waited impatiently, still gently stroking his neck. “Have you found anything out yet?” No answer.

     A few more minutes went by and then Herbie came away. “You’ll love this. I do believe we’re going on an adventure—which will be much better than collecting conkers!??
  
Continued....


* Stroppy = Bad-tempered.

Author Notes Eric will be starting his new specialist school in September and will be helped with his Dyslexia. The head of the school has ordered a few copies of the first book in this series, Eric and the Aliens. Now I must get this one finished. To see Eric's face when he opened his book at Christmas, brought tears to my eyes, he was thrilled. As usual, if you see any errors, I'd love it if you would tell me. This is written in UK English. Eric lives near the sea just outside the New Forest in Hampshire UK. (it isn't that new now!)


Chapter 2
The Next Adventure Begins!

By sandramitchell

End of part 1
     Standing beside him, Eric waited impatiently, still gently stroking his neck. “Have you found anything out yet?”
      No answer. A few more minutes went by and then Herbie came away. “You’ll love this. I do believe we’re going on an adventure, which will be much better than just looking for dinosaurs' toenails in stones!”
 
Part 2
 
     Eric stood there waiting for more. “Well? Are you going to tell me or keep it to yourself?  What sort of adventure? Are we going back to see Drozig?” A smile played with Eric’s lips as he thought of his alien friend and his son, Zig. He would love to see them again.  
 
     “No, I don’t think we’ll ever go back there,” Herbie told him. Eric thought he detected a slight sadness in his reply, which was total rubbish because his voice was robotic.
 
     “This is different. The people who own this horse had their daughter stolen by the Indians. We’ve got to get her back. I saw her mother crying so I think their horse has been sent here to take us back with him.”
 
     Eric let out a whoop of laughter. “What? Are you crazy? I think you’ve been downloading too many cowboy and Indian films into your hard-drive.” His face had creased up with uncontrollable giggles. “Did you really think I’d believe this horse has come from the past? That’s so whacky!” Eric gasped as he continued to howl with laughter.
 
     Herbie moved slowly over the horse, scanning its body. When he came around to Eric again, he stopped. “No, I’m not crazy, thank you very much! And yes, that’s exactly what I expect you to believe because it’s true. This horse is not from our time.”
 
     Eric looked thoughtful for a moment. “Okay, say it’s true, how did he get here? I bet they didn’t have time machines in cowboy days, and even if they did, they wouldn’t send a wounded horse into the future, would they?”
 
     “I know as much as you. The only thing I can think of is there’s got to be a … a door is the easiest way to explain it, where a person can slip through into another time.” Herbie looked the horse over again, scanning different areas. 
 
     Eric knew he could travel through time with the help of Gizmo, the gadget the aliens had attached underneath his BMX handlebars, so he knew such things were possible. He looked at the horse again, his mind now in adventure mode and made his decision.
 
     “Alright, we’ll go, but first we’ve got to get this hole stitched up because he’s still bleeding,” Eric told him. He gently touched the open wound and then frowned. “How’ll we do that? If we get the vet Mum uses for our cat, he’ll keep him and we won’t be able to take him back to wherever he came from.”
 
     “No, you’re right, but I can have a look at it.” Herbie went to the horse's rear and scanned the wounded area. “It’s nothing serious; an arrow might have nicked it and fell off. I can close the wound to stop it bleeding.” This is just what he did with a short laser burst from his eyes.
 
     “Okay, boy, we’re taking you home. Are you ready?” The horse whinnied and nodded his head. “Hey, Herbie, he understood what I said.”
 
     “Of course he did,” Herbie drawled. His metallic voice sometimes had a way of sounding sarcastic.   
 
     Eric looked at him, then shrugged and went over to the arrow still hanging out of the horse’s tail. “I’ll hold this,” he said, poking it through his belt. “We should be safe enough, though, shouldn’t we? That’s what the Wise One told us when he gave us Gizmo. He said it would protect us all the time. I think that meant when we go on our adventures, as well.”
 
     “Yes, he did. And he meant it to be wherever we go and whoever’s with us,” Herbie said. “I just hope they didn’t mean it would include the bad people … or other aliens as well ... unless they’re from my planet.”
 
     Eric stood his bike up and stroked the strange-looking box that was attached underneath the handlebars. He was still thinking. He didn’t want to chicken out, but they had no idea what they could expect when they arrived in the horse’s time.

     “I ‘spose there’s only one way to test it out, and that’s to give it a go. If I sit on the horse’s saddle, will you be able to bring my bike up to me? We’ll need Gizmo and the bike when we arrive on the other side.”
 
     Once Eric was sitting comfortably in the saddle, Herbie gripped the BMX with his landing gear and carried it up to Eric. “Come on then, you’re next.” When they were settled, Eric told the Gizmo to take them to the exact place and time the horse had come from.
 
     A noise started that he recognised from the time when they went back to the dinosaur era, and Eric felt that same excited flutter in his stomach. “Hold tight, Herbie…!”
 
     Before he had time to finish, everything began whooshing around so fast, Eric couldn’t even close his mouth. Then, almost instantly, they arrived on the other side, as he called it.
 
     He took a moment to look around. It wasn’t what he thought it would be like. He’d expected to find himself in the middle of a battle; instead, he was surrounded by miles of nothingness. It was quite hilly, with mountains in the distance.
 
     The first sign of life nearby came from a small log cabin. The smoke from the chimney was the only evidence that someone was at home. There weren’t any more dwellings, anywhere.

     They must get lonely. I wouldn’t like to live here.
 
     A movement caught Eric's eyes and turning towards it he saw two horses standing side by side in the corral; both used their tails to swipe at the many flies that buzzed around them. The huge barn was much bigger than the cabin. Eric guessed it would be where the owner kept all the horses' feed and their stables.

     Looking at the cabin again, Eric could see a flower bed just like his mum's, and a plot planted up with vegetables, although he hadn’t the foggiest idea what ones they were. Just beyond them was a small shed, too small to be of any use. He wasn’t sure what it could be used for. And that was all there was!
 
     There was nothing else to be seen, so where did the horse pick up his injuries? “Do you think we’re in the right place?” Eric twisted in the saddle to look over at Herbie, who had flown down and was now perched on a large rock. “There’s not a lot happening here. I thought a war was going on when we saw the arrow stuck in the horse’s tail.”
    
     “It’s got to be the right place. You told Gizmo to bring us back to where the horse came from, and Gizmos don’t make mistakes.”
 
     Eric dropped the reins and let the horse lead the way. It immediately trotted over to the corral and rubbed noses with the two other horses that had wandered over to the fence.
 
     “Hold up, there, or I’ll open fire!”
    
     Eric spun around, nearly falling off the saddle. “Oh crikey! Herbie, that man’s got a gun—and it’s pointed at me!”
 
Continued….
 
 
How the story began. From book 1: Eric and the Aliens.
 
Eric found Herbie, his drone friend, in a ditch and later learned he was a ‘Searcher’ from another planet come to find the aliens who had crashed on Earth. A Gizmo was sent to the last signals that Herbie unknowingly was still sending back to his planet. Once he found him, he put the suggestion into Herbie’s hard-drive and took him and Eric back in time to the dinosaur years where the alien ship had crashed. Eric then helped get the aliens back to their own planet.  As a reward, he was given his own Gizmo, and Herbie, to keep for the rest of his life.

 

Author Notes Thank you for reading Eric's story, it's written in UK English. During the story some words might not be the way the American people speak, if there are any glaring differences please could you let me know? Eric and Herbie will always use UK English, but the other characters will be American. Thank you in advance.


Chapter 3
Herbie, What Do I Do?

By sandramitchell

For anyone who didn't read the first book or those who have forgotten, I have written a small synopsis at the bottom which will help you understand Herbie.

End of part 2
“Do you think we’re in the right place?” Eric twisted in the saddle to look over at Herbie, who had flown down and was now perched on a large rock. “There’s not a lot happening here. I thought a war was going on when we saw the arrow stuck in the horse’s tail.”
     “It’s got to be the right place. You told Gizmo to bring us back to where the horse came from, and Gizmos don’t make mistakes.”
     Eric dropped the reins and let the horse lead the way. It immediately trotted over to the corral and rubbed noses with the two other horses that had wandered over to the fence.
     “Hold up, there, or I’ll open fire!”
     Eric spun around, nearly falling off the saddle. “Oh crikey! Herbie, that man’s got a gun—and it’s pointed at me!”
                                                             
 
Part 3
                                                            
Staring at the fearsome man who glared back at him, did nothing to lessen Eric’s alarm. The hostile set of his face as his eyes narrowed with suspicion, was enough to put the wind up the bravest man, let alone an eleven-year-old kid.
 
     “Don’t worry, he can’t hurt you,” Herbie said on his quietest pitch as he watched the man through the gap between Eric’s body and bent elbow. “Try talking to him.”
   
     Eric kept his unflinching eye contact, not wanting to look down the long barrel of the man’s gun. He was about to say something when a lady came out of the cabin.
 
    “Thomas, put that gun down, can’t ya see he’s just a child?” The woman was holding a bloodied handkerchief against a cut at the side of her head. Her hair and the left shoulder of her dress betrayed a large amount of lost blood, but she managed to come over to stand between Eric and Thomas. “What’s yer name, son?”
 
     “I’m Eric,” he told her, visibly relaxing. “I found this horse wandering around on its own. Is he yours?”
 
     The man had lowered his gun and came to stand beside his wife. “Annie, step aside. He might look like a kid, but tell me, have ya ever seen a kid that looks and talks like this one? No. He ain’t like no one we know. Where’d ya come from, boy? Ya don’t belong to one of our neighbours, that’s for darn sure.” His eyes travelled up and down Eric’s clothes. “And what’s that ya got there?” he said pointing at Herbie.
 
     Eric pulled Herbie against his chest and quietly told him not to move. “It’s just a thing. I’ve come a long way and wanted to bring this horse home. Do you know who owns him? —What happened to your head?” he asked, looking at Annie.
 
     Thomas put his arm protectively in front of his wife. “Injuns. They took our little girl and most of our horses. That’s one of ‘em that yer sittin' on. I’ll be takin' it off yer hands,” he told him, nudging his rifle up. “Get yerself down, boy. I'd also like to know how ya got yer hands on it? Are ya in with those there Injuns?”

     Eric hadn't thought about that. What could he say? He'll most likely shoot me if I tell him I'm from the future!
 
     The couple hadn’t seen Eric’s BMX, so he put Herbie on the handlebars, and watched him take it down to the ground before slipping off on the same side.  Now he was hidden by the horse’s body, he asked Herbie what he should say.
 
     “Who’re you talkin' to?” The man had walked around and was now staring at the bike. He raised his big gun up again and pointed it at Eric. “Just who are ya? What’s yer game?”
 
     Eric puffed out his cheeks and slowly let out his breath as he tried to think. “I told you my name, it’s Eric—I came here to bring this horse back.” He looked at the man and squared his shoulders defiantly. “I can help get your daughter back … if you want.”
 
     The man let out a bellowing laugh. “You? A scrap of a lad; ya reckon ya can just walk into an Injun's camp and get our girl and bring her home? Of course, you’d also be knowin' where their camp is?” He shook his head and reached out for the dangling reins.
 
     Grabbing his helmet and protective goggles from the handlebars where he’d hung them, Eric got onto his bike. “I didn’t say I could do that. I said I’d help you. I’d also stand a better chance than you,” he mumbled, lowering his eyes down to Herbie.
 
     The man stood there, his face now quite purple with rage. “Doggone! Are ya hearin' this, Annie?  This little squirt, from goodness knows where, is tellin me he’s a better man than me?”
 
     “I never said that! You keep saying I said things and you know I didn’t,” Eric cut in, wishing now that he hadn’t brought the horse back. “Herbie, what should I do?”
 
     “If you want to go home, just tell Gizmo, and we’ll be out of here. But I think you can do this,” Herbie told him. “And don’t forget, no one can hurt you.”
 
     “Wha … what is that thing?” He brought his gun up again, and this time he aimed it at Herbie just as Annie walked around the horse to see what was happening.
 
     “He’s my friend,” Eric told him roughly. His voice didn't sound like his anymore. 
 
     Thomas swung his gun back to Eric, and Herbie flew up to hover in front of him, releasing a low warning sound. At the same time, Gizmo began flashing and whirring.
 
     “It’s ... it's alright, Herbie. I  think Gizmo is watching what's happening, too. So this man can't do anything to hurt me ... can he? But if you still think we can do this, I’ll stay. l want us to be quick, though, because I really don’t like it here.”
 
     Annie’s hand went to her wounded head as she walked with slow, nervous steps over to where Eric was straddling his bike. “Do ya really think ya can save my Ellie May?” 
 
     “Yes, I do. The Indians can’t hurt me. No one can,” Eric told her, sticking his chin out defiantly as he tried to look as brave as he sounded. He kept his eyes locked with the man's, who was still waving his gun between him and Herbie. “Well, except for my mum and dad. They can still tell me off and send me up to my bedroom.” He grinned then. “I promise I can save her.”
 
     “But you’re just a child yourself; ya can’t be any older than our girl. What makes ya think ya can rescue her?”
 
     Eric knew they would never believe him if he told them the truth. But he had to convince them somehow. Without giving any warning to Eric, Herbie flew up and hovered in front of the couple.
 
     “I won’t let any harm come to Eric. I am not from your planet; I was sent here to help and protect him. Once Eric has rescued your daughter, I can protect them both ...” Herbie's eyes spun around his middle and stopped as he focused on Thomas. "And anyone else who is with him," he added. As if to prove it, he directed his eyes to the gun and it was instantly snatched from the man's hand and dropped to the ground. Without another word, he flew over to Eric's bike and sat back on the handlebars.
 
     Thomas and Annie stared at Herbie. The shock in their eyes told Eric he had to say something fast.
 
     “I found Herbie after he crashed. What he said was true. We can get Ellie May back. If I thought I’d be in danger, I wouldn’t be that brave. But Herbie, that’s his name, he won’t let anyone hurt me. If you fired that gun, it wouldn’t touch me.” I hope! I’ve never faced a gun before.
 
     “Thomas, I believe him. Tell him where ya think they went.” Annie had recovered from the shock quicker than Thomas and was now giving him a look that Eric recognised from the ones his mum gave his dad sometimes. Mum always won. Eric couldn’t help smiling.
 
     Thomas’s shoulders slumped. He had the look of a defeated man. He put his arm around Annie and nodded. “Whatever you want, Annie, but I’m goin', too.”
 
     Eric was pleased about that because, to tell the truth, he was a little nervous about facing a load of Indians on his own, even with Herbie.

     I hope the Wise One was telling me the truth when he said I would never be harmed because it looks like I’ll be finding out very soon!


 Continued....
 
 
How the story began. From, Eric and the Aliens.

Eric found Herbie, his drone friend, in a ditch and later learned he was a ‘Searcher’ from another planet come to find the aliens who had crashed on Earth. A Gizmo was sent to the last signals that Herbie unknowingly was still sending back to his planet. Once he found him, he put the suggestion into Herbie’s hard-drive and took him and Eric back in time to the dinosaur years where the alien ship had crashed. Eric then helped get the aliens back to their own planet.  As a reward, he was given his own Gizmo, which had the power to take Eric wherever he'd like to go, and which also had the bonus of a few added surprises that Eric would discover later. Herbie was also given to him, and both would be with him for the rest of his life.
 

 

Author Notes I am writing this for my 11-year-old grandson, Eric. He is dyslexic and struggles with words and numbers on the page. He asked me if I would write an adventure book for him. This is the second story. He is trying so hard to conquer his dyslexia, and we hope with the help of his new school for special needs children, which he'll be starting in September, he will master it enough to be able to read.

This is written in UK English. If anyone can tell me if I've made any errors in the way the American early settlers speak, I would be very grateful if you would let me know. Thank you! xxx


Chapter 4
Preparing To Rescue Ellie May

By sandramitchell

End of part 3
 
     “Thomas, I believe him. Tell him where ya think they went.” Annie had recovered from the shock quicker than Thomas and was now giving him a look that Eric recognised from the one his mum gave his dad sometimes. Mum always won. Eric couldn’t help smiling.
      Thomas’s shoulder’s slumped. He had the look of a defeated man. He put his arm around Annie and nodded. “Whatever you want, Annie, but I’m going, too.”
      Eric was pleased about that because, to tell the truth, he was a little nervous about facing a load of Indians on his own, even with Herbie.
     I hope the Wise One was telling me the truth when he said I would never be harmed because it looks like I’ll be finding out very soon!
 
Part 4
 A flurry of excitement charged the air since Thomas had said he would be going with Eric. The missing girl's parents had been given a surge of hope that they’d get their Ellie May back. Even though Thomas and Annie wouldn’t normally put too much faith into a child’s words, they’d never come across one like Eric, who also just happened to have a strange alien being as his protector.
 
     “Annie, can ya pack us some of your cornbread to take along?” Thomas called over his shoulder as he headed off to the barn with the horse. “And while yer at it, can ya fill the canteens?”
 
    Annie hurried off and Thomas filled his pockets with ammunition. Then, just to be on the safe side, he put a few boxes in his saddlebags.  He then rolled up a couple of blankets and tied them onto his saddle. The nights can get pretty cold.
 
     Eric watched all this without saying a word. He didn’t dare. He knew they wouldn’t be needing any of it, but he also knew he would be wasting his breath saying so. Apart from that, Eric remembered how many times he’d been told never to argue with your elders.
 
     “Even if I know they’re wrong … as they are now,” he muttered under his breath.
 
     It didn’t take them long. Eric watched as Thomas checked everything off; the food, water, ammunition, blankets and finally, his rifle which he opened to make sure it was already loaded. Satisfied, he turned and gave Annie a quick hug.

     “Git yourself inside and then barricade the window and door. If you’ve got a need to come out, make sure you bring the other rifle with you, hear me?”
 
     When she nodded, Thomas leapt up into the saddle and slid his rifle into the scabbard. He then watched as Annie went up to Eric and patted his arm.
 
     “You take care, now, okay? And I’ll be waiting here for when ya bring my child back to me. Just don’t you be getting yerself hurt. I wouldn’t be wanting yer ma feeling as worried as we are.” She smiled, but still looked a little wary.
 
     “Yes, I’ll take care, and we’ll bring her home.” Eric smiled as he thought of his mum. What would she say if she knew what I was going to do? She’d go nuts!
 
     Taking the reins, Thomas looked down and gave Eric a nod. “Right then, let’s go bring Ellie May home. They went that away,” he said pointing east. “We’ll have to track ‘em. They move around some so’s not to be found.” He started edging forward and then stopped. “Are ya sure ya can keep up on that skimpy bit of metal?”
 
     Eric nodded. “Yes, it goes really fast when I want it to. You lead the way and me and Herbie will be right behind.”
 
     Thomas grunted something Eric couldn’t quite hear, and turned back, gave the horse a nudge with his boots, and set off.
 
     Herbie spun his eyes around to Eric. “When the tracks disappear, ask Gizmo to take us to where the Indians have taken the girl. Hold onto the reins, and both the man and horse will be brought along, too.”
 
     “Okay.” Eric started peddling furiously and soon caught up with Thomas. He was moving along at a slow trot, leaning over to the side as he followed the Indian horses’ hoofmarks.
 
     It was dark sooner than Eric thought it would be, and Thomas said they would stop and set up camp for the night. Even though Eric knew he could just take them straight to where the Indians were holding Ellie, he thought this would be a great idea. He’d never camped without a tent before.
 
     What a story he could tell his mum and dad. And wouldn’t his friends be jealous? His smile almost split his face in two. They’d never believe him though. Eric’s smile faded.

     That's the worst part of this.  I've been to another planet, had a party with aliens, seen dinosaurs, now I'm camping like a cowboy, and going to sort out some Indians, and no one will believe me! It's not fair!
 

     “See if you can find me some kindling, boy, so we can light a fire,” Thomas said as he took the saddle off his horse.
 
     Never having had a real fire at home, he wasn’t sure what kindling was. He stood for a moment wondering what he should do. He sighed and looked over at Thomas. “What’s kindling?”
 
     Thomas stopped what he was doing and stared at Eric. “You don't know what kindling is? Haven't you ever lit a fire before? Where on earth have you been living?” He shook his head. “Never mind, I don’t think I want to know. Just go and look under them there trees, you should find some dead branches that have broken off. Get them and bring them here.”
 
     Eric turned to look where Thomas was pointing and wandered over. Herbie followed. He was just as interested as Eric because they didn’t have fires on his planet. Eric’s people had central heating but Thomas wouldn’t know about that in his time.
 
     Eric found a lot of twigs, broken branches and loads of pine-cones and collected as many of them up as he could carry. It didn’t take long before Thomas had a nice fire going. It wasn’t cold, though, and Eric wondered why they’d want one. Perhaps Thomas was going to cook some burgers on the fire. That put a smile on Eric’s face. When he asked if it was for cooking, he wished he hadn’t!
 
     “This here fire’s to keep the bears and wolves away. They don’t like fire. Yeh wouldn’t like to become breakfast for a bear, now would yeh?” The grin on Thomas’s face was not the sort that made you feel safe.
 
     Eric was really grateful that Herbie didn’t sleep. He’d watch over him, so would Gizmo. With that thought, Eric snuggled under his blanket after a meal of cornbread and a cup of awful coffee and went to sleep.
 
The next morning, Eric was woken with a light kick on his bottom. Not the best way to start the day, in Eric’s opinion. Soon they were on their way again. Thomas carried on carefully looking for tracks.
    
     The trail took them to the bottom of the mountain where there were two possible ways to go. Thomas got off his horse and searched for anything that would tell him which was the most likely.
 
     “They’ve covered their tracks well,” he told Eric as he climbed back on his horse. “We could be moving blind for miles just to find at the end that we’d taken the wrong trail.” He looked down at Eric’s bike. “Not that your bit of metal would get you very far.”
 
     Herbie turned to face Eric. “Now’s the time to take over. Take hold of the reins, and then tell Gizmo to take us to the Indian’s camp.”
 
     Eric moved closer to the horse. “Mr Thomas, I want you to hold on tight as I’m going to take hold of the reins now. This might scare you a bit, but you’ll be alright.”
 
     “What are you talking about? Ain’t nothing I’m scared of, ceptin’ those Injuns.”
 
     “Okay then.” Eric leaned over, grabbed hold of the horse’s reins, and turned and nodded at Herbie. Satisfied he’d thought of everything, he told Gizmo to take them to where the girl was being held.
 
     A loud howl came from a confused and scared Thomas as they whirled around as if caught up in a tornado before stopping with a sudden jolt.
 
     “What the heck just happened?” he yelled. He looked down at Eric, who was staring at the Indians who were staring back at them.
 
     “Are these the Indians who took your girl?” he asked in an awed whisper.
 

     Thomas’s anger, as his head snapped up, drained away and all colour left his face, leaving what could only be described as a sickly green tinge. His mouth hung open, and beads of sweat rolled off his face. “How in blazes did we get here?”
 
Continued….
 
How the story began. From, Eric and the Aliens.
Eric found Herbie, his drone friend, in a ditch and later learned he was a ‘Searcher’ from another planet come to find the aliens who had crashed on Earth. A Gizmo was sent to the last signals that Herbie unknowingly was still sending back to his planet. Once he found him, he put the suggestion into Herbie’s hard-drive and took him and Eric back in time to the dinosaur years where the alien ship had crashed. Eric then helped get the aliens back to their own planet.  As a reward, he was given his own Gizmo, and Herbie, to keep for the rest of his life.
 

 

Author Notes Thank you for reading my story, this is written in UK English. As I am in unknown territory with the American speech, if you see anything you think needs changing, I would be grateful if you would let me know. Thank you! xxxx


Chapter 5
Eric Tries To Be Friends

By sandramitchell


End of Part 4
 
     A loud howl came from a confused and scared Thomas as they whirled around as if caught up in a tornado before stopping with a sudden jolt.
     “What the heck just happened?” he yelled. He looked down at Eric, who was staring at the Indians who were staring back at them.
     “Are these the Indians who took your girl?” he said in an awed whisper.
     As his head snapped up, Thomas's anger drained away, and all colour left his face, leaving what could only be described as a sickly green tinge. His mouth hung open, and beads of sweat rolled off his face. “How in blazes did we get here?”
 


 Part 5                                                       


It was as if someone had pressed the pause button on a film Eric had been watching. The Indians sat there, frozen in position, jaws dropped in disbelief at what they'd just seen. Once the first shock had worn off, they began talking quietly, asking each other if what they’d witnessed had really happened. How could people pop out of nowhere like that? What magic was this?
 
     Then, the whole village burst into a storm of action. The men seized their bows and tomahawks, yelling to each other as they tried to quickly gather themselves together.
 
     In a state of panic, the women grabbed the children, who had begun to howl at the top of their voices, and disappeared with them into their teepees. The fear they’d picked up in the grown-ups was so unusual it had frightened them no end. It was a right hullabaloo!
 
      Within a short space of time, many more Indians had appeared from all corners of the camp. After a quick discussion, and a few nervous glances in Eric and Thomas’s direction, they gathered together and came towards them with slow, careful steps.
 
Eric watched, his fascination showing on his face. The Indians slotted their arrows in their bowstrings and, keeping their eyes on the strange pair, moved along, ready to fire. 

     It was then that one Indian recognised Thomas as the father of Ellie May. He pointed towards him as he told the rest of the tribe.
 
   “There’s nothing magical about him. It’s got to be the white boy who has the magic. Keep your eyes on him,” he said, throwing Eric a cautious look.
 
     Although they kept their arrows pointed on both of them, the Indians’ attention was now mostly focused on Eric … and the strange beast he was sitting on.
 
     They didn’t have to say anything; Eric could see it all in their eyes. He was their target. As they moved closer, the paint markings some had on their faces became a lot clearer.

     That’s got to be war paint! Crikey, you can’t have a war when there are only two of us against that lot, that’s a bit unfair!
 
    He looked at the few without the paint and decided they weren’t decorated because they didn’t need it. The way their enraged eyes were glaring at him was more than enough to frazzle his nerves.
 
     Just as Eric was about to ask Herbie to do something to help him, the Indians stopped. Now close enough to see Eric properly, and the strange beast that had a stranger thing sitting on top of it, their fear increased. Eric smiled, hoping to win them over with his charm, and for a double whammy, he gave a little wave as well. That startled them!
 
     They turned and looked at each other; it was clear that Eric had spooked them. Their eyes jumped from the bike to Herbie and up to Eric. He was unlike any white boy they’d seen before. Why wasn’t he scared? What should they do now? As these thoughts went through their minds, one of the older Indians decided to take charge and spoke to the man standing beside him. Then, Eric watched as the Indian turned and ran back into the camp.
 

     “Now what are ya going to do?" Thomas muttered, careful not to take his eyes off the arrows pointed at him. “I don’t think they’re going to hand my girl over without a fight, and there’s a heap more of them than there are of us!”
 
     Eric tried to remember what they did in the cowboy and Indian films he'd seen on TV when they weren’t shooting each other.
 
     I wonder if they will ask us to sit around a campfire and smoke the ‘pipe of peace’ with them … I don’t think I want to do that. Dad said it’s bad for your health. Then again, if I said ‘no,’ that wouldn’t be good for my health, either!
 
     “I think we should let them know we’re nice people. On all the films I’ve watched, the cowboy holds one of his hands up; that’s supposed to mean he wants to be a friend. What do you think?” he said, looking at Thomas.
 
     “I ain’t got a notion what you’re talkin’ about. Films? What in heck’s name are they, and how are they supposed to help us?”
 
     “Don’t they have cinemas here?” Eric asked Herbie in an awed whisper.
 
     “I don’t have that information in my hard drive. I’ll sort it out when we go back to our time,” Herbie replied. “But I doubt it, since Thomas doesn’t know what you mean.”
 
     Eric decided to give it a go and got off his bike. Immediately, all the Indians took a step back and pointed their arrows directly at Eric. Seeing this, Herbie started to buzz, ready to show them what he could do. But Eric stayed him with his hand.
 
      “Not yet. We don’t want to scare them into doing something we won't enjoy, like firing off those arrows and filling us full of holes!”
 
     “They can’t do that, but I won’t do anything unless I have to,” Herbie told him, using his lowest pitch.  
 
     Eric caught a movement out the corner of his eye and turned to look. A few of the smaller children had escaped their mothers’ clutches and dashed over to see what was going on. Not for long, though. The mothers came running up and grabbed the arms of the curious rascals and pulled them away, giving Eric and Thomas wary looks at the same time.  
 
     “What are they waiting for?” Thomas whispered. “I’d have thought they’d have killed us by now.”
    
     A soft murmuring swept through the tribe, and Eric watched as they lowered their bows before parting to create a pathway for three elderly Indians to walk through.
 
     “I think the one in the middle is their chief,” Eric muttered. “I can tell by all those feathers in his headband. The other two have only got one.”
 
     The chief walked up to them and looked at Eric, and then at Thomas. He spoke, but Eric didn’t understand him.
 
     “Do you know what he’s saying, Mr Thomas?”
 
     “Nope, never had dealings with injuns till they took Ellie May. But I’d be mighty happy if you and that … that thing there,” he said pointing at Herbie, “would just do what you said you’d do. Go and get her so’s you can take us the heck outta here!”
 
     Eric turned to Herbie. “What about you, can you speak to him?”
   
     “No. But if I scan his brain, I’ll be able to download his language. I’ll do it now while he’s just standing there.” Without waiting for Eric to object, Herbie flew up and shot a red laser-like beam from his eyes into the Indian Chief’s, just the way he had with the horse.
 
     That was when things went crazy. Howls of fear and anger erupted from the whole tribe. The two other elders grabbed their chief and tried to pull him away, but Herbie held him fast. Arrows started flying, and some of the closer Indians charged at them with tomahawks raised, ready to strike...
 
Continued….
 
How the story began. From: ‘Eric and the Aliens.’
 
Eric found Herbie, his drone friend, in a ditch and later learned he was a ‘Searcher’ from another planet come to find the aliens who had crashed on Earth. A Gizmo was sent to the last signals that Herbie unknowingly was still sending back to his planet. Once he found him, he put the suggestion into Herbie’s hard-drive and took him and Eric back in time to the dinosaur years where the alien ship had crashed. Eric then helped get the aliens back to their own planet.  As a reward, he was given his own Gizmo, and Herbie, to keep for the rest of his life.
 


 

 
 

Author Notes Thank you for reading my story. Although this is written in UK English, it takes place in America in the 1800s, but if you see any glaring errors, please let me know, (and the not so glaring, lol) Thank you!


Chapter 6
The Indians Attack!

By sandramitchell

 There is a short synopsis of the first book at the end of this part which will explain how Herbie came to be with Eric.

End of part 5
      “No. But if I scan his brain, I’ll be able to download his language. I’ll do it now while he’s just standing there.” Without waiting for Eric to object, Herbie flew up and shot a red laser-like beam from his eyes into the Indian Chief’s, just the way he had with the horse when they were back in their own time.
     That was when things went crazy. Howls of fear and anger erupted from the whole tribe. The two other elders grabbed their chief and tried to pull him away, but Herbie held him fast. Arrows started flying, and some of the closer Indians charged at them with tomahawks raised, ready to strike...
  
Part 6
 
If thoughts could flash through the mind as fast as arrows can fly through the air, Eric might have been thinking, ‘This will be a good test for the protection I was promised by the alien Wise Ones.’ But that thought was far from his mind. He was, in fact, looking at the raised tomahawk in the hand of the Indian who was racing towards Herbie.
 
     “Herbie, watch out!” he shouted as loud as he could above all the commotion.
 
     Arrows were thick in the air, mostly aimed at Thomas and Eric. Although the Indians with tomahawks feared Herbie, their alarm with what he was doing to their chief was stronger. 
 
     In a panic, Eric dashed forward—his only thought was to stop the Indians getting to Herbie who was, quite frankly, his best friend in the whole galaxy.
 
     While Eric's concern was keeping Herbie in one piece, Thomas's was about keeping his scalp on his head. Leaping off his horse, he made a grab for his rifle, but before he could remove it from the scabbard, the noise stopped … only to be replaced by an eerie silence.
 
     Eric and Thomas stared as all the arrows bounced off an invisible barrier. The Indian with the tomahawk and others close by were thrown back. The surprise on their faces would normally have made Eric laugh, but not today.
 
     Glancing over at the Gizmo, Eric wasn’t at all surprised to see it flashing. Its body had turned a fiery red, and Eric wondered if he touched it, would he get burned?
 
     “Well, I’ll be…!” Thomas wasn’t the only one to look confused … the Indians stood stock still; fear and confusion showing clearly on their faces.
 
     “What’s your … friend doing to that Injun?” Thomas asked Eric, still shaken by what had just happened, but trying hard not to show it.
 
     “Learning their language so we can speak to them.”
 
     “Clever little critter, isn’t it? You won’t be hearing any more complaining from me, young'n. Reckon it’s just saved our lives.”  
 
     Eric nodded. It came as a big relief to him, too. Now I know for sure that the aliens were telling me the truth.
 
     He and Thomas watched as Herbie broke the link with the Chief and returned to his place on the bike’s handlebars. “An interesting language,” he told an impatient Eric, and curious Thomas. “But I’m ready to talk to them now.”
 
     The Chief hadn’t moved; his eyes remained locked on Herbie. He was puzzled, not at all frightened but he did need advice. The strange intrusion into his mind by the unknown being hadn’t in any way upset him. Instead, he marvelled at the sense of peace that had flowed through him, and even more astonishing was how disappointed he’d felt when the connection was broken.
 
     Turning to the nearest Indians, he asked one of them to go and fetch the Medicine Man who was their healer and spiritual leader. He then faced the visitors and sat down. The rest of the tribe formed a quarter circle on each side of their chief and did the same.
 
     Eric looked down at Herbie. “Do you know what’s going on?”
 
     “No, I couldn’t hear, but I think he’s waiting for someone.”
 
     “Now you can speak their language, I want you to go and ask him where Ellie is, and that we have come in peace and just want to take her home.” He glanced over at the Indians who were all looking at him and Herbie. Suspicion and a trace of fear were still noticeable in the eyes of every one of them. “Go now, Herbie, and don’t forget to tell him we’re friends.”
    
     Herbie flew back to the chief and dropped down until he was level with his face. A rumbling stirred amongst the tribe, not liking this at all—but the chief just raised his hand for silence. Herbie then passed on Eric’s message.
 
     Whether it was because they weren’t expecting it to be able to speak their language, or that it could even talk, Eric didn’t know, but there was a collective gasp from the tribe as they stared in awe at this strange being.
 
     Eric walked over and stood beside Herbie. “What’s going on? Ask him to bring Ellie out.”
 
     The Chief slowly turned his attention to Eric, then back to Herbie and spoke.
 
     “What did he say?” Eric wished he could understand as well.
 
     “He wants to know if I’m a Great Spirit.”
 
     Eric’s first instinct was to laugh. But then he stepped back a bit, a frown creasing his forehead. It might not be a bad idea to let them think that. It would make things a lot easier; they wouldn’t dare anger a Great Spirit.
 
     He was about to tell Herbie what to say, when the Indian who had been sent off, came back with an elaborately dressed wizened old Indian. He stared at Eric and Thomas, and then at Herbie hovering in front of the Chief.
 
     Crikey! He’s got to be over a hundred years old! The Indian’s skin was deep bronze and wrinkled like a buffalo’s hide from the many years he’d spent in the sun. He was carrying a fan of feathers in each hand that had been decorated with other weird looking objects.
 
     He went over to the chief and had a quiet chat. The fans were twitching in his hands all the time, and when he turned, he stared at Eric so forcefully it was as if he was reaching inside his head and poking around.
 
     That’s impossible! He’s not as clever as Herbie, only he can do that! But it didn’t change the feeling he had about what this funny man was doing.
 
     He then switched his attention to Herbie and stared as hard as he had at Eric. His face crinkled even more than it had before; in fact, Eric wondered how that was possible!
 
     “What’s he doing, Herbie?”
 
     Herbie gave a tinny chuckle. “I think he’s trying to read me. But he can’t.” Herbie decided he’d had enough and flew up in the air, to more gasps from the tribe.
 
    Thomas was becoming more impatient to get his daughter back. “What’s the hold-up? When are you going to get my girl and take us all out of here like you said you would?”
 
     “I’m sorry, Mr Thomas, Herbie is having one of his funny turns. I’ll get him back.  Herbie, come down here—Now!” Eric bellowed.
 
     The Indian Chief stood up and started talking to his people. All the things they had witnessed had brought them to the conclusion that Herbie was indeed a Great Spirit. They all looked towards the sky knowing somehow that the white boy had called him back.
 
     Doing a double somersault, Herbie flew up higher, before zooming back down and whizzing over the heads of the Indians and Eric, making them all duck.
 
     “HERBIE. Stop showing off! You nearly scalped us. Go and tell the Chief what we want so we can go home … Now, Herbie!”
 
*****
     At the far end of the village, Ellie May sat on the teepee floor. A gentle Indian woman was carefully braiding her hair in the same style as the Indian girls wore. Although it seemed much longer, Ellie had been here almost two days.
 
     Her thoughts flew back to when the Indians grabbed her from the barn, fetching more feed for the horses. How she’d screamed. Her parents came running over, only to be hit by the Indians before they’d slung her over a horse like a sack of corn and rode off.
 
     At first, Ellie had been so scared she thought she was going to be sick, but the Indians had been kind to her, and her fear dwindled. She wanted to go home, though, and wondered if she would ever see her ma and pa again. Tears welled, but she quickly brushed them away, not wanting anyone to see. She’d quickly discovered that crying wouldn’t get her very far. Apart from that, she was eleven years old, not a baby anymore.
    
     Within minutes of arriving at the village, Ellie had been put inside the teepee. An Indian had stood outside until a lady had entered. She sat down next to Ellie, pointed to herself and said, 'Hetiwa.’ She then pointed to Ellie. Guessing Hetiwa was the lady’s name, Ellie revealed her own. Hetiwa smiled and repeated the word. ‘Ellie.’ It sounded strange coming from her, nothing like the way her mum said it.
 
     Hetiwa was very kind. She hummed a tune while she finished braiding Ellie’s hair, and the soothing sound had Ellie relaxing.
 
    When the flap of the teepee opened and a young girl rushed in, jabbering away, Ellie could see she was flustered about something she’d seen. Hetiwa had just finished braiding Ellie’s hair, and went to the flap and looked out. She quickly closed it again, pulled the girl to her and asked some questions, to which the girl answered. They both turned, looked at Ellie and frowned….
 
Continued…

 
Continued…
 
 
How the story began. From, Eric and the Aliens.
 
Eric found Herbie, his drone friend, in a ditch and later learned he was a ‘Searcher’ from another planet come to find the aliens who had crashed on Earth. A Gizmo was sent to the last signals that Herbie unknowingly was still sending back to his planet. Once he found him, he put the suggestion into Herbie’s hard-drive and took him and Eric back in time to the dinosaur years where the alien ship had crashed. Eric learned that the Gizmo was the only thing that could get them home. Eric gave them permission to use it and soon the aliens were able to get back to their own planet taking Eric with them.  As a reward, he was given his own Gizmo, and Herbie, to keep for the rest of his life.
 
 
    
 
    

 

Author Notes Thank you so much for reading my story. It is written in UK English. If you see any nits, please let me know so that I can stamp on them. :))


Chapter 7
Ellie May Is Disappointed.

By sandramitchell

End of part 6
 
     When the flap of the teepee opened and a young girl rushed in, jabbering away, Ellie could see she was flustered about something she’d seen. Hetiwa finished braiding Ellie’s hair, and went to the flap and looked out. She quickly closed it again and pulled the girl to her, and asked some questions, to which the girl answered. They both turned and looked at Ellie and frowned.
 
Part 7
 
Ellie May’s questioning eyes had Hetiwa lower hers and turn away. After a short chat, the Indian girl threw a sidelong glance at the little paleface girl before nodding and leaving the teepee again.
 
     What’s going on? A sudden spark of hope replaced Elie's fear as a possible answer came. Has my pa come to get me? Please let it be so.
 
     Moments later, the Indian girl came back, babbling something that upset Hetiwa even more. Ellie looked on, so confused her heart was thumping furiously as her nerves began to fray.
 
     “What’s happening?” The desperation in her voice would have been hard for most kidnappers to ignore. “Is my pa here?”
 
     Neither answered. Of course, the language barrier was a major problem between them. Yet, the looks they swapped made it obvious to Ellie that they had a good idea what she’d asked.
 
     “My pa is here, isn’t he? I know he is. PAAA!”  Her sudden scream blasted out as loud as a dozen trumpets, deafening the two who were with her in the teepee. She could only hope her pa would hear.
 
     Startled, and shocked into action, Hetiwa dashed over and pulled the white girl into her chest to muffle the next piercing shriek.
 
     The other girl hurried over to help Hetiwa. “What do you think we should do?”
 
     “I don’t know. If only our chief would send me a sign.” Her eyes closed for a moment as if deep in thought. “The girl must stay in here with us until they come to collect her … if they do.” Hetiwa finally murmured. “For the Great Spirit to show himself, he must be much displeased. If it is because our warriors took this white girl, she must be very important … but why?”
 
     Ellie listened and wished they could speak English so she could understand; it was so maddening not to be able to ask questions. While they were talking, their hands loosened their grip, giving her an opportunity to break away. Taking it, and with one almighty yank, she ran through the flap in the tent. Her pleasure at breaking away didn’t last long when Ellie saw what had been going on and why Hetiwa was so worried.
 
     With so many Indians, all with their backs to her, Ellie could easily have slipped away, but that wasn’t what stopped her … What is that? The weird egg-shaped thing floating above the Indians didn’t look very friendly. That was what they were worried about, not my pa.
 
     Forcing her eyes back to the Indians, and with fingers crossed, Ellie willed her pa to be among them, but her search was in vain. She couldn’t see him through all those Indians. Now that the reason for Hetiwa’s worry had been revealed, Ellie's hopes relating it to her pa vanished.  She didn't think she would ever see him or her ma again. The disappointment hit her hard. Tears welled once more. This time, she didn’t bother to try and hide them.
 
     The thought of running away crossed her mind. No one is interested in me at the moment; they’re all too busy watching that scary thing in the sky. But where would I go? I don’t know where my home is or how I would get there from here!
 

     She’d almost made up her mind to stay where she was when Hetiwa’s arms encircled her and gently pulled her back into the teepee. Ellie didn’t struggle this time; she just walked meekly back inside and sat down. Her shoulders slumped in defeat, knowing there was nothing she could do.
 
     Hetiwa watched her, sad for this child who was desperate to see her family again. If it was up to her, this little girl would be taken back to her parents. Now that the Great Spirit was here, Hetiwa was more than a little afraid herself.
 
*****
 
I’m sure I heard a girl yelling. Eric looked across at Thomas who was still keeping an eye on the Indians. Perhaps it was just one of the Indian girls playing. If it had been Ellie shouting, surely her dad would’ve heard and recognised her voice?
 
     Eric looked up at Herbie acting the fool for the Indians and rolled his eyes. All this because they asked him if he was a Great Spirit. There’ll be no living with him now!  “Herbie, come down here. All this messing about, boosting your ego, is not helping!”
 
     “I’m only doing it to get Ellie May back. If they think I'm a Great Spirit, they won’t dare defy me.” Herbie zoomed down and went back to his seat on the handlebars of Eric’s bike. “Did you hear a girl cry out? I think it was Ellie calling for her father.”
 
     “You heard her, too? I did, but I don’t think Mr Thomas did. Can you go and look around?” Eric knew he could ask Gizmo to take him to her, but as the Indians thought Herbie was the Great Spirit, it would be better to play it this way.
 
     All this time, the Medicine Man was studying Eric. There was something about him he didn’t understand. He would find out later what it was. He frowned, and although he said nothing, his feathered fans started twitching again.
 
     When Herbie flew off, the Indian Chief followed, pointing to a few members of the tribe to come with him. The other two elders stayed with the remaining Indians to keep watch over Eric and the paleface.
 
     “Where’s your friend gone?” Thomas asked. “Is he going to get my girl?”
 
     “We both think we heard her calling for you, but because you didn’t, Herbie has gone to check it out,” Eric said, standing on tiptoes, watching Herbie as he hovered over the teepees.
 
     “Why didn’t you say somethin', I’da gone to get her!” With that, he started moving towards the Indians, determined to get through. His fear of them was forgotten for a moment.
 
     The Indians weren’t scared of this white man; they’d fought him before. Now they lifted their bows again, pointing the arrows at him as he moved towards them.
 
     Thomas hesitated and looked back at Eric. “Are you coming with me?”
 
     Eric moved up to stand beside him. “You’re with me—they can’t
 hurt you while you are. But I have to tell you, once I’ve gone, my protection will be gone, as well. So, I’m thinking you shouldn’t make them mad at you.”
 
     Thomas stared at the Indians and chewed his lip. “Guess you’ve got a point. For a youngster, you sure talk a lotta sense. Let's hope your strange friend can find her.”
 
*
****
 
Herbie moved through the village. As his eyes could see through material things, he didn’t have to go inside any of the teepees to check them out. It didn’t take him long to find the one Ellie was in.  He hovered there for a moment, his eyes turning to face the Chief.
      
     “The girl is inside this one.”
 
     The Indian Chief cast fearful eyes at Herbie. He needed no more convincing that this was indeed The Great Spirit because who else could see through things?

     Inside the teepee, Hetiwa had been peering through a little gap, watching what was happening outside. As her Chief and the Great Spirit drew nearer, she began to panic. What would the Great Spirit do to her when he discovered the white girl in her teepee?
 
     Backing away, Hetiwa went over to stand by the two girls. The white girl was still seated with her head in her hands as she looked miserably at the ground. Next to her, the young Indian girl stared at Hetiwa, whose face betrayed her fear as the flap lifted...

 
Continued….

 

Author Notes The photo is of my grandson Eric on his BMX with Herbie (made by my husband) on his handlebars. :))

Thank you so much for reading my story. This is for my 11-year-old dyslexic grandson, who just happens to be called Eric! Written in UK English, if you see any errors, I will be most grateful if you would point them out.


Chapter 8
Eric Meets Ellie

By sandramitchell

End of part 7
     Inside the teepee, Hetiwa had been peering through a little gap, watching what was happening outside. As her Chief and the Great Spirit drew nearer, she began to panic. What would the Great Spirit do to her when he discovered the white girl in her teepee?
     Backing away, Hetiwa went over to stand by the two girls. The white girl was still seated with her head in her hands as she looked miserably at the ground. Next to her, the young Indian girl stared at Hetiwa, whose face betrayed her fear as the flap lifted.
..

Part 8

 The heat from outside was drawn into the teepee, and had it not been for the strange visitor responsible for creating it, they would have felt it. As it was, Hetiwa and the Indian girl stood side by side, holding each other’s hands, frozen in fear.
 
     Forcing herself out of her misery, Ellie May raised her head to see what was happening and found herself plunged headlong into terror. Jumping up, 
she dashed over to Hetiwa and clung onto her arm as if her life depended on it.
 
     “Ellie May?” Herbie spoke directly to her. “We have come to take you home.”
 
     Ellie heard him, but still didn’t move or say anything.
 
     “Your pa is waiting for you. Don’t you want to see him?” Herbie used his softest sound, although it still sounded weird to anyone listening. As he moved closer, Ellie bolted behind Hetiwa’s back, trying to hide her shaking body away from the thing that was talking to her.  Her hands gripped hold of Hetiwa’s buckskin dress; there was no way that thing was going to take her anywhere.
 
     “Would you prefer it if I brought your father to you?” Herbie realised he’d unwittingly scared her, and this would be the only way he could reunite father and daughter.
 
     Ellie poked her head out from behind Hetiwa and nodded as her small hand moved round to slip into the firm, comforting one of the kind Indian lady. Herbie bobbed and then left.
 
     He didn’t have to go far because Eric and Thomas were walking towards him.
 
     “Have you found her?” Eric asked straight away.
 
     “Yes. She’s in that tent but wouldn’t come with me. You’ll have to go in there yourself, Thomas. I don’t think she believed me when I said you’d come to take her home,” Herbie told him as he flew over to sit on the bike's handlebars. “It’s that teepee there where Chief Niwot is standing with some of his braves.”
 
     “Chief Niwot? Oh! Is that his name? How did you find that out? What are they waiting there for?” Eric bombarded Herbie with his questions.
 
     “Yes, Chief Niwot. Yes, that’s his name, and, I found out when I searched his mind. And I haven’t the foggiest idea why he’s waiting there. Anything else you want to know?” Herbie asked.
 
     “Sometimes you can be so … so obstr…whatever. I can’t remember how to say it!” Eric growled.
 
     “Obstreperous! Where did that come from?”
 
     “I heard Mum call Dad that a few days ago when she was cross with him. What does it mean?”
 
     “It means your dad was being bolshie, stroppy. And I wasn’t!”
 
     Thomas looked at them both and shook his head. “I can’t believe I’m hearing this! You’re acting like a couple of kids. Can we go and get Ellie now before she gets too old?”
 
     Eric looked at Herbie and then burst out laughing. “I am a kid! And so is Herbie, sometimes. Come on, let’s get Ellie May.”  
    
     Eric walked up to the teepee and laid his bike on the ground. He turned to Thomas. “Do you want to go in first?”
 
     Thomas looked at the teepee then back at Eric and nodded. “Ellie May?” he called out before walking inside. Eric followed him in, just in time to see Ellie run out from behind an Indian lady and rush into her father’s arms. The joy in her eyes and the smile on her face told how relieved she was to see him.
 
     “Pa, oh Pa, I didn’t think I’d see you again. Are you taking me home?” her words gushed out in breathless excitement.  
 
     “Sure am, Sweetheart.” He turned to Eric, and Herbie, who had just flown in.
 
     As soon as Ellie saw Herbie, she clung on to her father, the fear returning to her face.
 
     “What’s up, Darlin'?” He followed the direction of her eyes and realised it was Herbie who had unnerved her. “No need to be scared of him, Ellie. He’s the one who found you and brought me along to take you home. Him and Eric here.”
 
     Eric went over to her, a grin spreading across his face. “Hello, Ellie, nice to meet you. This is my buddy, Herbie.” He flicked his head and Herbie came over.
 
     “Hello, Ellie.” Herbie bobbed up and down, making Ellie smile.
 
     Hetiwa inched her way towards them, a hesitant smile on her face. She placed a hand gently on Ellie’s shoulder.
 
     “This is Hetiwa, Pa, she’s been real nice to me. Look, she did my hair!” Ellie gave a twirl to show him.
 
     Thomas nodded at the Indian lady. “It looks right pretty.”
 
     Herbie could see that Hetiwa was still rather frightened of him. He spoke to her in her own language. “I’m not going to hurt you, Hetiwa. I’m only here to take this child home to her parents. That’s where she belongs … and you know that, don’t you?”
 
     Hetiwa nodded and lowered her eyes. “I would never have hurt her, either,” she told him. “We heard her singing one day, and her voice was that of the Spirit world. We’d never heard anything sound so beautiful; it wasn’t Earthly. We didn’t think of her parents.”
 
     Herbie told the others what Hetiwa had said. Ellie’s eyes widened as her face flushed bright red. Thomas grinned. “Yes, our Ellie has the voice of an angel.” He looked down at his daughter and stroked her head.  
 
     The Chief, who had been waiting patiently, came into the teepee and spoke to Herbie. After a few minutes, Herbie told Eric and Thomas that Chief Niwot wanted them to stay for a powwow. "There will be dancing and a feast to honour us.”
 
     Thomas was all for going straight home, but Herbie said, “It wouldn’t look good if you turned down Chief Niwot’s invitation. He might take it the wrong way.”
 
     “I think it would be a good idea to make friends with these Indians. On the films I’ve watched, the Indians always helped the white people they’d made friends with,” Eric told him. “You wouldn’t ever have to worry about being attacked again.”
 
     Thomas looked at the ground, then back to Herbie. “Tell him we’d be right pleased to accept.”
 
     Chief Niwot nodded and smiled, then left the teepee. “That’ll be great!” Eric beamed. “Wait till I tell…” The smile left his face. “I hate it when I can’t tell anyone at home!”
 
     Herbie gave his tinny chuckle and led the way outside. The first person Eric saw when he emerged from the teepee was the strange Medicine Man. What’s more, he was now walking over to him.
 
     Eric picked up his bike, and Herbie came and sat on the handlebars again. “The strange man is coming over. What do you think he’s going to do this time?”
 
     Herbie didn’t have a chance to reply. The Medicine Man had reached them. He stared at Eric for a moment. “When the celebration is underway, you will come with me. We have much to talk about.”
 
     Eric gaped. This strange man had spoken in perfect English….
 
 
Continued….

    
 
    
 
    
 
    

 

Author Notes Thank you so much for reading my story. This is to help encourage my dyslexic grandson, Eric in his reading. Ellie May is his cousin and my other 11-year-old granddaughter, (photo of her above in the Indian costume for her school play) who was quite happy to be rescued by him. I thought she might object because she does love to boss him around, and he is quite happy to let her!!
If you find the nits that I know have crept in, please point them out for me, I'd be most happy.


Chapter 9
A Surprise For Eric

By sandramitchell

End of part 8
     Herbie gave his tinny chuckle and led the way outside. The first person Eric saw when he emerged from the teepee was the strange Medicine Man. What’s more, he was now walking over to him. 
     Eric picked up his bike, and Herbie came and sat on the handlebars again. “The strange man is coming over. What do you think he’s going to do this time?” 
     Herbie didn’t have a chance to reply. The Medicine Man had reached them. He stared at Eric for a moment. “When the celebration is underway, you will come with me. We have much to talk about.” 
     Eric gaped. This strange man had spoken in perfect English….
 
 
Part 9
 
While Eric stood and stared, open-mouthed, the Medicine Man cocked his head and winked. A little smile played on his lips as he turned and walked away.
 
     “I wonder what that’s all about,” Eric said, keeping his eyes on the back of the Medicine Man as he walked towards a teepee and disappeared inside. “How come he can speak English and all the other Indians can’t? And why wait until now to speak to me?”
 
     “I don’t know, but I’m coming with you.”
 
     “Too right you are! I wasn’t going with him on my own,” Eric said firmly. “He’s a bit scary, isn’t he? I’m taking my bike with us, too. If he starts any funny business, I’ll tell Gizmo to get us out of there, fast!”
 
     Without saying it aloud, Herbie had a distinct feeling that he knew this strange man. But how was that possible? He wasn’t used to this. He either knew, or didn’t, there was no in-between. Suspicions and feelings never entered into Herbie’s computerized mind.
 
*****
 
Eric and Ellie sat together talking, while Herbie stayed with Thomas and Chief Niwot as an interpreter. Ellie was their main topic of conversation.
 
     “A few of our young men were out on a hunting trip when they heard a voice from the spirit world. They hurried back to tell us about this strange happening. I went back with them to hear this for myself and discovered it came from the mouth of a child. We believed she was a gift and that her voice was that of a great spirit,” Chief Niwot explained, then waited while Herbie translated to Thomas. “I have talked with the spirits many times, and should have known this could not have been.” He paused and stared at Herbie. “I believe that is why you are here. Never before have we had a visit from a Spirit such as you. I am dismayed at the pain we have caused these people.”
 
     Thomas smiled and looked over to where Ellie was sitting with Eric. “There ain’t no denying that my Annie and I weren’t a bit more than a mite upset, but I can also see what you’re saying. We don’t know where she got her singing voice from, either. It weren’t from her ma, even though she was blessed with a fair voice; and as sure as God’s earth is beneath my feet and the sky’s above my head, it didn’t come from me.”
   
     Herbie listened to the two men talking, translating for them when needed. Now he put a suggestion to Thomas. “Perhaps we can persuade your Ellie to sing for us after the dancing has finished.” When Thomas said he would be pleased to ask his daughter, Herbie then told Chief Niwot and was rewarded by seeing both men smile at each other.
 
     Eric and Ellie sat apart from the grownups. “Were you scared when they took you away?” Eric asked, his eyes like round cartwheels as he tried to imagine what it would be like to be kidnapped by Indians.
 
     Ellie thought for a moment. “Not really. Well, a little bit at first when I was grabbed and thrown across the horse. I saw Pa shouting and waving his hands as he ran after us. I thought I’d surely be falling off when the Indian started galloping away. But when we arrived here, everyone was so nice to me. Hetiwa took me to her teepee and gave me this dress to put on.” Ellie looked down and fiddled with the tassels.
 
     As the silence lengthened, Eric thought Ellie had finished talking. He was about to ask her a question when she continued, “Then Hetiwa came and sat with me. She told me her name … it’s a pretty name, isn’t it?” Eric nodded and waited. “Hetiwa slept beside me all night because she knew I’d be wanting to go home. Then, this morning, she braided my hair just the way the Indians have it. I can’t wait to show Ma.”
 
     “It must be awesome living near the Indians. Do you see many cowboys here?” Eric loved watching the films where the cowboys rounded up the cattle to take them to be sold.
 
     Ellie frowned. “Awesome? I don’t understand.”
 
     “Awesome! Like it’s amazing. It must be fantastic to live near Indians.” Eric couldn’t understand why Ellie had a problem with the word awesome. He and his friends said it all the time.
 
     “Oh. I’ve never heard of that word before. I’ll remember it now, though … Awesome!” Ellie said the word a few times, and smiled. “I like it. Where do you live? If you’re here, you must live near the Indians, as well. Perhaps we can see each other sometimes?”
    
     “Eric, Ellie, are you watching? The dancing is about to start,” Herbie called out, much to Eric’s relief since it solved the problem of how to answer Ellie’s questions.
 
     The dancing was great, but what Eric liked most was the beating of the drums. The rhythm that set the Indians dancing had Eric wanting to join in. He loved to dance at discos. His Uncle Phil had his own disco equipment. It was brilliant when he set it all up, got the music going, and the lights flashing. He wondered if the Indians would mind if he joined in.
 
     When everyone was taking more notice of the dancing than the visitors, Eric felt a tap on his shoulder. He turned and saw the Medicine Man.
 
     “Come. We have to talk.”
 
     Eric looked around for Herbie because he’d said he would come. He spotted him sitting next to Thomas. “Ellie, would you mind going to sit next to your pa, and tell Herbie I need him?”
 
     Ellie cast a wary look at the Medicine Man, nodded and quickly went off. Moments later, Herbie came over. “What’s up?”
 
     “Nothing. Just that the Medicine Man told me to go with him. You do still want to come, don’t you?”
 
     “Yes. Let’s go.”
 
     Drawing near the teepee, Eric was fascinated by all the paintings of horses that covered the buffalo skin hides that made up the Medicine Man’s home.  Inside, Eric was surprised to see the ground was covered with more of the hides and thought how soft they must be to sit on. These were laid around a centre fire, and looking up, Eric saw a hole in the centre of the teepee which would let the smoke out when the fire was lit.
 
     “You like my home?” the Medicine Man asked, his eyes twinkling mischievously.
 
     Eric realised he’d been staring, and felt his face heat up. “Yes. It’s nice. What did you want to talk to me about? And how come you speak English?”
 
     “Oh, I learnt that from you a long time ago, my young friend.”
 
     Eric frowned as he looked across at Herbie, and then back at …  his heart thumped against his ribs, and his breath caught in his throat….
 
Continued….
 
How the story began. From, Eric and the Aliens.
 
Eric found Herbie, his drone friend, in a ditch and later learned he was a ‘Searcher’ from another planet come to find the aliens who had crashed on Earth. A Gizmo was sent to the last signals that Herbie unknowingly was still sending back to his planet. Once he found him, he put the suggestion into Herbie’s hard-drive and took him and Eric back in time to the dinosaur years where the alien ship had crashed. He met Drozig, the leader of the aliens who had survived living for centuries on Earth by shape-shifting and becoming dinosaurs. Now the Gizmo was within reach, he asked Eric for permission to use it to take them home. Which he did. He went with them, and for helping get the aliens back to their own planet he was rewarded with his own Gizmo, and Herbie, to keep for the rest of his life.
    

 

Author Notes Thank you as always for reading my story, and for all the helpful suggestions you have been giving me. Not being American, your help has been invaluable. If any errors leap out at you in this part, I'd be very grateful if you'd let me know. The next part will be the final one of this story. But Eric and Herbie will be off on another adventure soon. :)) xx


Chapter 10
The Final Chapter

By sandramitchell

End of part 9
     “You like my home?” the Medicine Man asked, his eyes twinkling mischievously.
     Eric realised he’d been staring, and felt his face heat up. “Yes. It’s nice. What did you want to talk to me about? And how come you speak English?”
     “Oh, I learned that from you a long time ago, my young friend.”
     Eric frowned as he looked across at Herbie, and then back at …  his heart thumped against his ribs, and his breath caught in his throat….

Part 10

Eric watched the Medicine Man disappear and his alien shapeshifter friend emerge in front of Herbie and him. He stared, speechless at this unexpected outcome.

      The sheer surprise on Eric’s face had the shapeshifter laughing. “Hello, my friend. I thought I’d come and surprise you, and it looks as if I have.”
 
     “Drozig!  Oh, wow! I never thought I’d see you again. This is awesome! What are you doing here? How come you’re the Medicine Man?” Eric was beyond ecstatic, and grinning from ear to ear. “Wow, it’s just so brilliant seeing you again. Is Zig here?”
 
     “It’s good to see you, too, Eric,” Drozig said, pleased that his surprise had made his little Earthling friend so happy. “No, Zig’s still back at home on our own planet. He wanted to come and see you, but we thought after our spaceship had crashed onto your planet, keeping us trapped there for so many years until you saved us, he’d had too much excitement already for his young life. Perhaps next time he can come with me. We’ll have to wait and see.”
 
     “There’ll be a next time? Oh wow! That’s brilliant. But how come you’re here now?”

     “Come, sit down and I’ll explain.” He waited until Eric had dropped down onto one of the furry hides.
 
     “I knew we’d met before, but in your Indian form, I couldn’t work out how,” Herbie said, having remained quiet up to now, just taking it all in. “It had me thinking my circuits were playing up. Now I know why.” Herbie bobbed up and down as was his way of a greeting. "Hello, Drozig."
 
     “Hello, Herbie, nice to see you again. I knew you were having a problem trying to work out who I was. I could feel your eyes on me,” Drozig told him. “I take it you’re looking after our friend here?”
 
      Herbie gave his tinny chuckle. “I’m just thankful I’m still in good working order. As for looking after Eric, that is not an easy task. You should try it sometime!”

     “I can well believe it,” Drozig said, before releasing one of his loud, roaring laughs that Eric remembered so well. “But at least I have you to thank for my being here.”
 
     Herbie's eyes did a jiggle as he tried to process that bit of information. Unable to do so, he asked Drozig to explain.
 
     “You blocked my predecessor when he tried to reach your main drive. That confused him because he’d never had that happen to him before. He decided to return home and seek advice from the Wise Ones. Once we’d entered his mind, we knew straight away why he’d had a problem with you. He hadn’t met you or Eric before.”
 
     “So why was that other man here and acting as a Medicine Man?” Eric asked.

     “We have people all over this planet, my friend," Drozig began, "keeping an eye on things and reporting back to the Wise Ones. Even though they have given you fifty Earth years to sort this planet out, they still like to know what’s happening here. It was a coincidence that one of our people was in place in this tribe when you arrived. When we found out it was you, I decided to come and see what you were up to." He leaned over to fluff up Eric’s hair. "You’ve done a fine job, my young friend. The Wise Ones will be pleased when I report back.”

     Eric beamed. Praise from Drozig always made him feel good. “We’ll be going back to our own time after we’ve taken Mr Thomas and Ellie May back to their home. I think they'll be friends with these Indians now.”
 
     Drozig nodded. “Let’s go back to the celebration they’ve arranged in your honour before they miss you.”
 
     Back with the others, Ellie gave Eric a questioning look and threw a suspicious glance over at Drozig, who had changed back to being the Medicine Man.

      “It’s all right,” Eric told her. “He just wanted to know a few things about us. How is the dancing going?”
 
     “It was lovely. I’m going to sing for them in a minute. Will you stay and listen?”

     “As long as your voice is better than my dad’s, I will!” Eric’s grin looked to be permanently fixed on his face. He was so happy; nothing could spoil his day now that Drozig was here.
 
     Ellie giggled. “I hope it is. My pa can’t sing either. Ma and I put our fingers in our ears when he starts singing.”
 
     “Hey! I heard that!” Thomas pretended to be upset, but couldn’t keep the smile off his face for long.
 
     Herbie flew over to Ellie. “I think they're ready for you to sing now.”
 
     Ellie spun around and saw everyone sitting down, watching her. She turned to Eric and grimaced. “I feel so nervous now.”
 
     Eric looked at all the upturned faces waiting for Ellie to begin. I'd be nervous, too, if I were standing in her shoes. “Just look at your pa and pretend you’re singing only to him. I know you can do it.” He gave her an encouraging grin.

     Ellie smiled back and, taking a deep breath, walked out in front of everyone. Keeping her eyes on her father, she began her song. The hush was so intense it was as if everyone was holding their breath. Nothing moved. Even the breeze seemed to have stopped to listen. Eric had never heard a voice as lovely as hers and if asked, he would have no words to describe it. He now understood what the Indians meant when they said they thought she had been sent to them from the spirit world.
 
     At the end of the song, the silence continued, as though everyone was in a trance. Ellie looked at her pa and then at Eric, unsure what to do. Then the Chief spoke to Herbie.
 
     When he came away, he went over to Ellie. “Chief Niwot has asked if you would kindly sing them one more song.”
 
     Ellie did, in fact, sing three more. After the celebration was over, Eric told them it was time to go. “I think your mum will be wondering if you’re ever coming back,” he said.
 
     Everyone said their goodbyes, and the Chief made them promise to visit so that Ellie could sing to them again. The Medicine Man ruffled Eric’s hair again and winked, and Hetiwa went up to Ellie and gave her a hug.
 
     Eric wished he could see Drozig again, but knew it wasn’t possible now. He did say Zig might come with him next time, so that’s got to mean we’ll see each other again.

     You can be sure of it, my little Earthling friend. Drozig’s voice burst into Eric’s mind, making him jump, and that had Drozig roaring with laughter. Eric grinned.
 
     Just as they were about to leave, Chief Niwot came over and handed Eric a gift. It was a miniature totem pole. Looking closer, Eric noticed his face and Herbie’s had been carved on it!
 
     “Awesome!”

***** 

Eric stood beside his bike while Herbie sat on his handlebars and watched as Ellie ran into her mother’s arms. She was still shaken from her unusual trip back from the Indian village.
 
     “I still don’t know where you came from, but I’m guessing you’ll be going back there now,” Thomas said awkwardly, thrusting his hands into his pockets. “We’ve got a lot to thank you for— both of you,” he said, turning to give Herbie a lopsided grin.
 
     Eric just gave a shrug, not sure how to respond to that. “It’s been a good adventure meeting you, Ellie, and the Indians. I’m glad you’re all friends now,” he said, and looked across at Ellie, enthusiastically telling her bemused mother all about the Indians. With arms waving about in her excitement, she twirled to show off her braided hair and Indian dress.

     Eric watched the looks flitting across her mother’s face, and wished he could tell his own mother about his adventures. He sighed as he got on his bike and gave a last look around. “Goodbye, Mr Thomas.”    
 
     Ellie spun on her heels and ran up to Eric. “Are you leaving us? Will we see you again?”
 
     Eric shook his head. “I don’t think so. It was nice meeting you, Ellie. I’m glad I got to hear you sing. You’ve got an awesome voice.” He smiled, then dropped his eyes to check that Herbie was holding tight.
 
     It would’ve been nice to stay for a while. Everyone’s been so friendly … well, once they’d got used to me and Herbie.” A grin flooded his face. “I won’t be taking too much notice of the cowboy and Indian programs anymore. Everything I thought I knew about them is so different. The books and films don’t tell it right.
 
     Ellie’s mother had come to stand beside her, and Thomas went to join them. They’re just like my mum and dad.
 
     With the thought of his parents, Eric was suddenly very keen to get going. He smiled at his new friends and gave a wave.
 
     “Goodbye, everyone. Take us home, Gizmo!”
 

 
                                                                                                     The End
 



 

Author Notes Thank you so very much for reading this story and all the help and encouragement you have given me along the way. I couldn't have done this without you all. I will be off for a little while getting it ready to publish. The new special needs school that my dyslexic grandson, Eric, started today, has already bought some copies of the first book, so I intend to give the school some copies of this book. That being so, if you find any errors, please let me know. I don't want the headteacher to think I need to go back to school!!!


Chapter 11
It's Published!

By sandramitchell

I have, at last, got Eric's second book published and it is out there in the world! Well, Amazon is the world these days. I also want to update you on Eric's progress at his new school for dyslexic children.

Although he has only been attending this school for two months, he is a changed boy. I had tears in my eyes when he told me he wasn't dumb. I said, of course you aren't dumb, you are really very clever. Apparently, some of the children in his primary school had been calling him names because he couldn't read or write. It broke my heart when he told me this. He had kept it to himself all this time.

As you know, Eric is dyslexic, and in his case the words would tumble off the page. It was impossible for him to read. My son's wife is also dyslexic and she recognised Eric's problem and immediately both Sue and Chris went into protective mode and began searching for a school that could help him.

They found a school that had excellent references and they were able to get Eric a place there. He is a changed boy. No longer the only one struggling to read and write, he has blossomed into the lad I knew him to be. He is so much happier. He is able to make sense of the jumble of words and proudly showed me how he can write his name and read a few words, and that is in two months!

The school has a wonderful way of building a child's confidence. In Eric's case, it was the Rubik Cube. He is unbelievably quick. The Head Teacher found this out and asked Eric if he would give a demonstration on the stage after morning prayers. He was a bit nervous but not for long. Mr Rogers told the school about Eric's ability. He then mixed up all the sides and handed the cube back to Eric who studied the eight sides for a moment and then went to work. He beat his own record of 50 seconds, getting all the sides in the right order in 40 seconds. The school gave him rapturous applause. He is now teaching his new friends how to do it. (I have to admit, he takes after his modest grandmother!!!!)

As you also know, Eric asked me if I would write a story about him being the hero. So, 'Eric's Epic Adventures' was born. His face, when I presented him with, 'Eric and the Aliens' will live with me for the rest of my life. Now, 'Eric and the Indians' will be given to him this weekend. I can't wait for Sunday to come. I hope to start on, 'Eric and the Pharaohs' soon.

I want to thank you all for the help in the editing, and for being so supportive in my endeavour to help encourage my grandson. You've all been amazing. Thank you.


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