Libby, short for Olivia Beatrice Lizard (pronounced Lee-Zard), shivered in the morning air. She scampered from her hiding place in the leaves looking for the perfect place to get warm. It was the time of year in which the sun warmed the earth as it rose high in the sky. So, with chattering teeth, Libby made her way to an open spot in the grass where the sun shone the brightest.
But then the most perfect thing happened. Gran’s car pulled into the drive!
She had learned long ago long from her friend Leondras that a newly parked car’s hood was the best place to get warm. She looked around for Leon as she waited for Gran to go inside. He was no where in sight. So, for the first time without Mom, Dad or Leon, she hopped onto the tire and climbed onto the hood.
IT WAS SO WARM!
She crawled to the brightest spot, the place the sun reflected off the glass of the windshield, creating a sustainable warmth that would not fade with the cooling of the engine. It was fabulous!
Soon, Libby was more than warm. She was hot! So, she shimmied down under the overhang between the hood and windshield into the shade. It was the perfect spot for a nap.
“I’ll just rest my eyes.” she said.
Then she dreamed.
Her dreams took her to faraway places to the sounds of roaring waterfalls and to hammocks beside the shore that rocked her gently while she slept. But then the hammock turned over and the waterfalls screamed at her. And she was awake.
Libby froze. Something was wrong! She was moving, not just rocking. And the waterfall wasn’t a waterfall at all. It was an engine! She stayed put, afraid to move.
“What would Leon do?” she said to herself.
She could hear his voice in her head. “Girl, you better check things out. You can’t fix the problem if you hidin’ from it.”
So, Libby took a breath and discovered the bravery she never knew she had. She crawled from her hiding spot and hopped onto the windshield. Her eyes widened in horror as she met Gran face to face. All that separated them was glass.
She clung to the glass for dear life. She was hurtling at rocket speed. There was no way off. She faced Gran with a look of horror. Gran seemed almost as horrified, but what could they do?
They were hurtling through space and time at breakneck speed. They were flanked by other speeding cars as they powered down the interstate. So, Libby did all she knew to do. She hung on.
After an eternity the rocket began to slow and stopped in a landing zone covered with cement like the drive at home, but bigger. So much BIGGER!
She’d never seen anything like it! She looked around. Beyond the cement was a giant building. Wow! Luna and Killian’s house was no where near this big! But, there was grass and trees nearby. That meant places to hide! So, before Gran could open the door she jumped. She scurried across the parking lot and under the root of a tree. She saw Gran searching the ground, shrug her shoulders and move into the giant building.
Questions swirled in Libby’s mind. Where was she? How far from home? What should she do? and How could she get home?
Her heart pounded within her. But then she remembered. She remembered how her great-great-great grandfather, Luis Lizard, had traveled all the way from New Orleans to Texas after the great storm. She remembered that papa had told her she was brave and strong-braver and stronger than she knew. She remembered that he said you never knew what strength and bravery you possessed until you needed it.
So today, she would be brave and strong. Even though she was shaking. Today she would begin the journey home.