The Shiny Shell
Story Synopsis
Our young adventurer is named Orion.  He is transported to the middle of the ocean while playing snorkel diver.  He meets Sleek, a friendly dolphin and together they journey in a travel bubble of air and water to another planet, Aquaterra, where there is a gathering taking place of ocean creatures from across our galaxy.  Sleek explains about the stars and space on the way. Orion is exposed to the ecological problems of alien species and our own problems on earth.  He picks up a glittering, spiral shell on the shore of an island while finding fresh water to drink.  The shell seems to give off it’s own light and it reminds him of his mother’s wedding ring so he puts it in his pocket.

     There are parables and riddles in the story to please young listeners.  There is even a “Gathering Song” sung by all the participants.  Many of the creatures are quite different from ones we’re familiar with and come from very different worlds.

     The antagonist is a shark-like creature with arms and hands.  He is not interested in environmental issues.  He just likes to pester and sometimes eat the gatherers.  Because at least two beings are required to make a travel bubble, Snaggle Q. Snark approaches Orion, thinking he will be an easy target as a “partner” for his trip home.  He tricks Orion by stealing the shiny shell which he hopes will lure Orion away from the group so he can abduct him.  As the gathering is about to end Snaggle sees his chance and offers to give the shell back to Orion.  When Orion is close enough, Snaggle grabs him and makes a travel bubble to take them to Commensal’s world.

     The end is a dramatic rescue by Sleek, the dolphin with the help of Humphrey, the humpback whale.  Once Orion is back home he finds out that his parents didn’t even realize he was gone.  Orion tells them his story.  His parents think Orion is very clever to have made up such an intricate story but they don’t believe it really happened.  He is lying in his bed playing with the glittering shell when his mother comes in to say goodnight and sees the light from the shell which could prove Orion’s story.  He decides it’s not important to try to convince her.