Saturday, May 25, 2013

Wendy West Saves the World

I've wanted to be a writer since I had the words to say so. Considering that, I guess it's not very surprising that I produced a great many little stories as a child, and one of my earliest examples was an adorable little short story entitled "Wendy West Saves the World."

Written on March 15, 1989, this 232-word story about a heroic explorer with superpowers who saved the world from aliens even had its own hand-drawn cover art:

Here's the full story, with spelling and grammar preserved. (Yes, even then I was a pretty pedantic little squirt.)

Wendy West was an explorer who had shiny black hair and light purple eyes. She could see farther than a million telescopes put together could see.

One day Wendy West was exploring a hole in Sudan, Africa. She heard some screeching inside the hole and a laser beam shot out of it, narrowly missing Wendy. It hit a tree and the tree evaporated into thin air.

Wendy was shocked at this. She looked into the deep hole. It seemed endless, so she used her special vision to peer deep into the hole. At the bottom, there was a huge group of tall, blue men! They shot lasers at her. They missed. She ran to a nearby police station.

The police were on coffee break. Wendy got a police man to come to the hole. He looked inside the hole. "Is this your idea of a joke? I don't see anything," Said the police man. "No," said Wendy. She shined a flashlight down in the deep hole. Sure enough, nothing was there. She used her special vision to look around in Africa, then in Europe. When she got to China, there were the blue men, shooting huge buildings down.

The police sent helicopters to China, after Wendy West reported her story. They disposed of the aliens, and then they had a party for Wendy and proclaimed that day a holiday called "Alien day!"
It just kills me that the police were on coffee break. Hahaha.

Also that apparently Wendy needed to tell police in Africa to go send helicopters to China in case they hadn't noticed that aliens were shooting their buildings down.

What I think is interesting about this (besides the perfect spelling and near-perfect punctuation in an elementary-schooler's story) is that the heroine of the story WENT AND GOT HELP when something bad happened, and she LET THE POLICE HANDLE THINGS instead of going on a ridiculous, dangerous quest. She had superpowers, but all she could really do is see really faraway things. So she gathered information, passed it on to people who had the power to tackle the problem, and was thanked with a little party. That's actually kind of realistic.

Well, if you can get past her having super vision.

For the record, Wendy was not supposed to be a kid. She was an explorer and an adult. It's interesting how often I created main characters who were adults when I was a child. I even sometimes wrote fanciful stories from my own point of view that were actually supposed to be me when I was older. I remember one where the prompt was "As long as I live, I will never again . . . " and I proceeded to describe a scenario in which an older me opened a bottle from the sea and ended up cursed with bad luck. The bad luck included me driving a car and getting a flat tire, and at the time I wasn't old enough to drive. Oddly, even as an adult I don't have a driver's license. The little doodles in the margins feature a much older me. It's pretty weird.

If anyone reading this is an author who wrote during childhood, did you write about children or adults? Curious. . . . 


  1. I still don't have a license either. Driving seems scary. I think I had both adult and child protagonists but I can remember writing a book called Jace and the Tropical Rainforest about a kid in a tropical rainforest that ate lion meet and one story was about a kid whose aunts were mean to him but a lot of the drawings were about adults.

    Then in Jr high school I had a story that involved cat people, a woman who falls in love with Lord Jaguar and their relationship.

    1. "Kid whose aunts were mean to him" reminded me instantly of James and the Giant Peach!

      It's always interesting to see how children write adults. Adults write children all the time, but not all of them do a good job.