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Excerpt for The Fantastic Adventures of Sticky - Book 1 of The Fantastic Adventures Series by , available in its entirety at Smashwords




The Fantastic

Adventures of

Sticky


Book One of the

Fantastic Adventure Series


By Rene Cournoyer




Copyright 2018© Rene Cournoyer

Published in the United States of America

Worldwide Electronic & Digital Rights

Worldwide English Language Print Rights


All rights reserved. No part of this book may be reproduced, scanned or distributed in any form, including digital and electronic or mechanical, including photocopying, recording, or by any information storage and retrieval system, without the prior written consent of the Publisher, except for brief quotes for use in reviews.


This is a work of fiction. Names, characters, businesses, places, events, and incidents are either the products of the author’s imagination or used in a fictitious manner. Any resemblance to actual persons, living or dead, or actual events is purely coincidental.


Library of Congress: TXu 1-994-391


Cover by Rene Cournoyer



Dedication


I dedicate this book

to my daughter

Sabrina Dawn



Prologue


In this exciting and adventurous tale, the world of fantasy collides with reality and real-world events. This four-book series takes place in Pennsylvania (PA) in 1776—the year America declared its independence from England, on July 4th.

Sticky and his friends start their journey in the village of Shendale which is located deep in the woods near Avondale, PA. This quaint little village is inhabited by elves, dwarves and a few dogs. It’s the only fictitious town in this Fantastic Adventure.

Sticky, Robyn (both elves) and Dumbley (a dwarf) are on their way to Philadelphia, PA, better known as Philly.

It’s not because Sticky didn’t love his home in Shendale, he did. He loved everything about it. From its tall trees and the cool winds which would blow through the pines. These winds would whisper to him in his dreams. Shendale was a quaint village with its sun-dappled orange and gold leaves of fall, to its icicle diamonds shining in winter. Nonetheless, he was ready to see the world, especially the humans who lived in Philly.

The adventurers will travel through eight towns on their way to Philly. Sticky is going to search for his sister Faylin, who never came home from her own quest.

Her quest was to study humans in their day-to-day functions. Faylin had always been the most curious of elves, not to mention Shendale’s top student.

The towns they come to in their travels have real names in Pennsylvania. Some elves and dwarves like to keep to their own village. However, it’s not uncommon to see them mingling in the human towns.

The three races get along and can live together as they do in some towns. Elven villages are nestled deep in the woods and surrounded by mushrooms. They blend in to keep them hidden from the human eye.

Humans are at least twice the height of Sticky. Robyn is one head shorter than Sticky, and Dumbley, being the shortest of all, is a head shorter than Robyn. Sticky is tall for an elf and he stands at three feet tall.

There’s a map at the back of each book to show where they’ve journeyed so far.

Historical facts are scattered throughout the books to help explain a few parts of history. They will be in (*) and italicized. These are not history books. Most of the facts are in the last book when they reach Philly.

Elves and dwarves are short and hard to see. If you focus hard enough and long enough, you might catch a glimpse of them hiding in their hidey-holes amongst the trees. So, keep your eyes open and stay focused.

I’ll add a ‘memory lane’ section to each book following this one. Each book will start with this section. It’s a brief update of the previous volumes in the series. This will help you recall the main points of the story. It will help if you spend too much time in between books. You don’t have to re-read any of them. Simply take a walk down memory lane.

I invite you all to expand your imagination and travel with Sticky, Robyn and Dumbley, as they embark on their Fantastic Adventures.

For you adventurous ones, you can have fun with the map in the back of the book.

Shendale is a fictitious town, and it won’t show up on any maps of Pennsylvania.

To have fun with the map, you can find these places for yourself. Google the town of Avondale, PA, then look northeast to Willowdale. Now look east to Chadds Ford, and then look east and a little north (known as east-northeast) to Chester Heights. Now go northeast to Elwyn, and then northeast to Springfield. Now look east and a little south (known as east-southeast) to Darby, and finally northeast to Philly.



Chapter 1

Shendale




Sticky’s home is in the tall tree.

Robyn’s home is in the shorter tree.

Dumbley’s little cave is on the left.



Sticky burst awake. Today was the day! He was setting off on a Fantastic Adventure with his best friends, and it was time to get going.

He threw back the well-loved quilt his mother had stitched for him and leaped from his soft bed and on to the floor. His bed was made from the soft downy feathers of the white geese which frequented the crystal blue lake, on the other side of Shendale.

In this early morning moment, he had no idea this would be the first of many great adventures he’d have with his friends. They were destined to become much more than adventurers who simply went to Philly.

He and his friends were off to the big city to find Faylin and make sure she was safe. Sticky was trying very hard not to worry about her.

He wanted to see the world outside of Shendale and this adventure was his chance.

He checked and rechecked his travel sack and he was ready. There was a bubbling in his stomach. It wasn’t the butterfly feeling, so much as the tingling he got when he drank the nectar soda his grandfather brewed.

It was made from the honey the Shendale bees made. He scented it with lavender and wild strawberries and it tickled his insides, all the way from his tummy to his nose.

Soon, he had eaten his breakfast of strawberries, and then washed them down with thistle juice.

Afterward, he set off for the clearing in the center of town where the pines grew the tallest. This is where all the Shendalians had gathered to say goodbye to Sticky and his best friends, Dumbley and Robyn.

Sticky smiled as he looked around at all the Shendalians who came to wish them well on their Fantastic Adventure to Philly.

Green-skinned, pointy-eared elven-folk and round-bellied dwarves, along with a few trusty dogs, had lived hidden in Shendale for generations.

They were known for their elven crafts, nimbly weaving grasses into fancy pitchers and nice baskets, with intricate designs. The dwarves among them were the finest foragers in the entire world.

They crafted small swords with jeweled hilts and fancy pewter goblets, not to mention the tiniest and most elegant tiaras and crowns fit for a king. They were cherished by humans, dwarves and elves throughout the world.

Two young elves, one of them Sticky’s younger brother, Castien, were playing catch with a silver ball made from the silken threads of ancient caterpillars. The ball could bounce high above their heads.

Castien missed his catch and had to chase after the ball. It rolled into the mosses growing near the woods. The other elf walked over to talk with Sticky. As he approached him, he asked, “Hey Sticky, are you guys leaving for the big city of Philly today?” asked the young elf.

“Yes we are, Jimmy,” replied Sticky.

“Can I come? Please! Can I? Can I?”

“No, you can’t,” said Castien. “You’re too young to go on a trip like this. You need to be as old as I am.”

Sticky laughed—an elven laugh, which sounded like a cross between a giggle and the tinkling of bells. “You’re not old enough either, Castien. As I told you before, you’ll be staying with Faylin and my friend, Shendoah. You can play with his dog, Spencer. They’ll help keep you busy while I’m away.”

Sticky had a lot of responsibilities. He helped his older sister, Faylin, take care of their little brother Castien. Their parents passed away a few years earlier. It was war-time and they were in the wrong place at the wrong time.

He certainly wasn’t bringing the little elf on the long journey to Philly.



Chapter 2

Sticky



“My mom gave it to me,” replied Sticky. “The same as your mom gave you your name.”

“Why in the world would she call you Sticky and not a normal Elven name?”

“The name was easy. I was born sticky. If you touched me, my skin felt sticky.” It’s known in Shendale, for every child, either an elf or dwarf must discover their own special gift. Some will be weavers while others will be blacksmiths. Some will collect the morning dew for our special recipes while others will lasso the butterflies and train them as messengers of the sky.

However, for me, my parents had no idea what my talents were. They observed me and tried to figure out what I was best suited to do. It wasn’t till I was three years old when I found my gift by accident while I was playing.

“One day, I was playing with a ball and it rolled away from me. When I reached for it, this stuff came out of my hand. It stuck to the ball and brought it back. My whole family stopped breathing for a moment. They were shocked at what they had witnessed.”


“Then what happened? Please tell me, tell me now! I really want to know.”

“Okay, okay, settle down. First, they checked to make sure I was all right. I was, of course. I thought it was fun. Then they asked me to do it again, which I did. I stuck out my hand and shot this stuff towards Faylin’s head. The sticky stuff stuck to her head.”

“When I pulled on the sticky rope, it yanked her off her stool. I was shocked. It was an accident. I didn’t know what this stuff could do. This was all new to me.”

“It’s so cool to hear this. Tell me more.”

“Everyone laughed. Except for Faylin, she was not happy. By age four, my skin was no longer sticky. I was left with this special talent to use my hand to shoot out this sticky gooey stuff. My parents were happy they named me Sticky because now it fits who I am.”

“One day, I tasted the stuff and found out it tasted like bubblegum.”

“Wow, what a great story. Can you eat it?”

“It’s funny you should ask. I put a piece in my mouth to I tasted it,. I bit down and then I couldn’t open my mouth. The gum was too sticky to chew. I had to use a stick and pick at it. It took a while to get my mouth open again.

“My friend Dumbley can eat anything. I gave him a piece and he could chew the gum with no problems. Every now and then I shoot a small piece in the air and he’d catch it in his mouth. He doesn’t like to touch it though. It’s too sticky for him.”

“I also found I can stick it to the ceiling and climb up. It’s also great for climbing trees. I shot it at a branch and it sticks. Then I use it as a rope and climb up. The stuf…”

He was interrupted by a woman screaming. “Help me! My daughter’s stuck in a tree and she can’t get down. Please help me!”

Sticky’s instincts always kicked in when someone needed help. He ran right over and saw the little girl near the top of a tall tree.

“I see her,” said Sticky. He stuck his arm out and shot a bubble gum rope at the branch next to the girl. “Grab onto the rope and climb down. It’s safe. You don’t have to be scared.”

“No! I can’t let go! I’ll fall if I do!” she said in a panicky voice. “Help me!”

“Let me go up there and get her,” Sticky offered. “I love climbing trees. Wait here.”

Sticky tied his end of the bubblegum rope to a small tree near him. He climbed hand over hand and reached the branch the girl was holding on to.

She was hanging as tight as she could. All the knuckles in her hand were a whitish green. Her breathing was rapid. He knew he had to distract her in some way.

“What’s your name?” he asked.

“I-It’s D-Dana,” she murmured. Her whole body was shaking uncontrollably now.

“Okay Dana, I need you to take a few deep breaths. Lucky for you I happen to be really skinny. I’ll use some bubblegum rope to attach us together. This way you can’t fall. Then I’ll slide my super thin body in between you and the tree. Here I go.”

He got halfway between the tree and her. Sticky moved in fast. He grabbed one of her arms and pulled it free from the tree branch. He brought it over his shoulder and down the front of his body. Then he did the same with the other arm. He held them together and put a glob of bubblegum around them to stick them together. He then pushed her hands against his chest to spread the gum out. She was now stuck to him.

Now she was in the piggyback position and secured with the gum.

“All right Dana. You did a super job when you let me help you. Now I’ll climb down and I don’t want you to worry, you can’t fall. You can’t be any safer than being stuck to Sticky. I’m the stickiest thing around.”

“We can’t do this, I’m too scared. I want my mommy. Please get my mommy.”

Sticky grabbed the bubblegum rope and climbed on. Her grip tightened around his neck. He sat for a while waiting for her to relax so she could see it was going to be okay.

“We have to climb down now.” Sticky looked at the end of his gummy rope and thought to himself. “My gum is turning to a darker color which means it’s drying up. I have to move quicker, this rope is going to break.”

Sticky said to Dana, “Hang on tight. We have to go now. Okay, here we go.”

Sticky climbed down as fast as he could. Dana screamed in his ear the whole way down. Sticky was fast when he needed to be and he was back on the ground in no time at all. He un-stuck her from his chest and set her on the ground. She ran straight to her mommy’s arms. Tears of joy covered her little face.

The mother approached Sticky with Dana in her arms. “Thank you so much. You saved my little girl.”

“What, what did you say?” yelled Sticky. “I can’t hear you right now. My ears aren’t working right. Dana has a high pitch scream.”

The mom reached over and did a three-way hug with Sticky and Dana. When they parted, Sticky bowed and went back to talking with Jimmy.

“Wow, I can’t believe what you did,” said Jimmy. “Do you have to do a lot of rescues?”



Chapter 3

Dumbley




“Not really,” Sticky replied. “Thankfully, this is a small village. It leaves me more time for napping. My favorite pastime is sleeping. Nothing makes me feel better than a good long snooze while leaning against a tree.”

Jimmy thanked him for the story and returned to playing catch with Castien. Sticky walked over and propped himself against a tree and watched Dumbley bringing all these supplies out on his front lawn.

“Hey, Sticky!” yelled Dumbley. “I don’t mean to trouble you while you sit and watch, little buddy. Being a tall, skinny elf doesn’t mean you can’t lend a hand with these boxes.”

“You’re a strong dwarf,” said Sticky with simple directness. “Why are you asking for help from a skinny elf like me?”

“I know you’re worried about Faylin not coming home. It doesn’t excuse you from helping me out. Come on, give me a hand.”

“Why are you carrying so many supplies?”

“This journey is taking us all the way to Philly. We’ll be gone a long time. These supplies are not all mine, I’m adding them to the pile over there. All of the boxes will get divided amongst the three of us. All of the cookie boxes will be going to me.”

Sticky considered this. He noticed the boxes were baked cookies. Dumbley loved his baked snacks. He could eat them all day.

“Hey Dumbley, are you wearing your magical shirt, the one which creates pockets when you hold an item up against it?”

“Yes, I love having extra pockets. These are my new traveling clothes. You never know when you might need the pockets this shirt can make. Now, all I need is a hat to create the same pockets and I’ll be all set.”

“Do your boots make pockets?”

Dumbley snorted. “Will you stop with the pocket questions? Are you going to help me or not? We’re a team you know.”

Sticky knew dwarves were not known for their grace or balance. One of the boxes Dumbley was carrying teetered, wobbled and fell toward the ground.

Sticky shouted, “I’ll get it!” He whipped his hand out and shot a long string of bubblegum-stickiness which stuck to the box. The box flew through the air, and Sticky grabbed it.

“What a great save, Sticky, thank you so much. I’m pretty sure it has cookies in it, and I hate broken cookies.”

“There, I helped you. I saved the box, are you happy now?”

Dumbley put down the other boxes. “I guess it’s the best you can do. You couldn’t carry any of these boxes, anyway. They’re heavy enough to crush you.”

“I can still help.” He zapped a box from the pile and shot it at Dumbley. When it hit his shirt, it created a pocket for the box. Finding this amusing, he continued to shoot more packages at him. Dumbley’s legs shook and rattled from the added weight.

He turned to avoid the boxes, now the back of his shirt and the arms were busy making pockets for the cartons flying at him. The weight of the boxes started to add up.

“Stop!” he yelled. “I can’t take any more.”

Dumbley’s voice was muffled by the cases which filled his shirt. He couldn’t move the boxes faster than they were piling up on him. Sticky couldn’t hear him and continued having fun shooting containers at him.

He enjoyed watching the pockets form, one after another. As long as there was room for more, Sticky kept firing away.

Dumbley couldn’t take the extra weight. His knees gave way and he crumpled to the ground. Sticky, who was rolling on the ground laughing, got up and helped his friend empty his pockets, so he could get up again. They both enjoyed a good laugh together. Sticky got him good. They loved fooling around like this, it made their friendship stronger.

Dumbley, wanting to get Sticky back for burying him in boxes said, “Hey Sticky, you’re so skinny that if you turned sideways and stuck out your tongue, you would look like a zipper. And the shirt you’re wearing is so bright? Wow, it's blinding me!”

“Yes, I call it ‘hello yellow.’ It goes with my black pants. I like to dress in fancy clothes so people will notice me.”

“It certainly screams, ‘Hello!’ It’s more like, ‘Hello and wake up.’”

He gestured to the crowd around them in the clearing. Little elves darted between adults, and dwarves were whispering among themselves. They all wore plain greens and browns. This allowed them to blend in with the trees in case some enemies—such as trolls or house cats were close by. Elves, especially, hated those pesky house cats who roamed the area. Cat’s loved to chase elves.

Sticky grinned. “If I wore my brown forester’s outfit, like the one you have on, then we would be twins.”

“I don’t think we could ever be twins. You’re a tall, skinny elf, and I’m a short, wide dwarf. I love to eat, and you love to sleep. I like hard work, you prefer to snooze. I like to help people, you love to nap.”

“I like to help people, sometimes.”

“How can you help anyone if you’re always dreaming the big dream in dreamland?”

“Hey, I helped you with the falling box.” Sticky snickered. “I also helped with a few extra boxes. So, you see, I can help people when I have to. I prefer a nap before helping.”

Dumbley sighed. “I suppose you’re right.”


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