“Another great piece of work! On Point Polly challenges readers to view the world from a different lens; to focus on what really matters. It is layered with messages of positivity and simultaneously takes the reader on an emotional ride with cadence and rhyme. A perfect book to lift spirits in hard times.”
~ Leah Bigham
The Tail of a Runaway Toenail is a wonderful short story that illustrates the amazing purpose of everything in life, and that size is relative in the greater scheme of the Universe. Life always conspires to remind us of our awesome place in Life if we care to listen. Although written for children, the timeless lesson is for everyone.”
~Anna-Mari Pieterse -Founder: Reclaim and Live uBuntu
Doubt looked toward the street-front, watching his dorm-mates nimbly jump the chain-link fence then disappear around the corner. He was afraid for them, and angry that they had gone through with their ridiculous plan, but most of all, he wished they had let him come along.
He had joined them before, numerous times. In fact, Doubt was there on Crumbling Cliff, when Courage fell to his near death. He had warned Courage not to get too close to the edge. It seemed Doubt was often their only voice of reason. Those four needed him!
…And he needed them.
Besides, who were they to say where he could or couldn’t go? Doubt straightened his slouch and puffed out his chest. He would be 13 in one-month! He could go anywhere he wanted to…right?
“Yes, I can,” Doubt whispered to himself, then thought for a while about whether he really wanted to. “I want to!” He spoke, a little too loudly. Doubt covered his mouth and looked slowly about the room. It didn’t appear he had woken anyone. A bit more stillness, just to make sure… then, as quickly and quietly as he could, Doubt dressed into his Saturday play clothes, (all gray, of course), packed his PJs and tooth-brush in his book bag, and tiptoed toward the dorm-room door.
The sound of movement behind him stopped Doubt’s steps. He turned and peered
silently for a moment but saw and heard nothing, so he proceeded out of the room, down the hall, and onto the old front porch.
As he walked down the steps toward the fence, his feet dragged reluctantly, and the closer he got, the more like lead they began to feel. “Maybe this is all just a bad dream,” he thought, as he reached the fence and gripped the metal wire with his sweating hands. Doubt had never been a good climber. He was afraid of heights. He had climbed the fence before, with the help of the odd-quad, but never alone.
It was now or never. If he waited any longer he might never catch them, or he might get caught, which could prove a more dreadful fate. He reached up, remembering where Courage had taught him to place his hands, tensely gripped the chain-link, stuck in his foot and slowly and carefully scaled the fence, alternating step by step, grip by grip, up and over, clutching anxiously, then, at the top, carefully twisting his body so as not to get stuck or stabbed by the sharp wire-wrung border. A few maneuvers downward, and then, there he was, safely on the other side, heart pounding wildly.
Now where to? Doubt had an idea where the four were going. He had overheard them talking about making their way to “The Wall.”
The Wall was a twenty-meter high edifice of concrete and iron, that surrounded three-quarters of the kingdom of Glug. Its endpoints met up with the slope of Mount Mortem, and separated the city from the Wasteland beyond.
The Wasteland was the city dump. Planned from Glug’s beginnings, it lay around about half the perimeter of the city, twenty-miles outside the original city limits. But it didn’t take long for the Glugian sprawl to reach the mountains of garbage that had piled up around it. In order to keep out the vile sight and foul stench of the Wasteland, Augustus Glut, Glob Glutton’s great-grandfather, built the Wall. It kept the refuse out, and the citizens in – a win-win for Augustus the Great.
Doubt had never been to the Wall, but he had heard things about it; mostly the kinds of things you don’t want to believe are true. Still, his determination was not deterred, which was a new sensation for Doubt, for he rarely ventured out beyond his fears.
Doubt took off in the direction he had seen the odd-quad go and turned the street corner, out of the sight of young, timid, Finky McFly, who watched from the window. After Doubt disappeared, Finky slunk back into bed, sunk his head under the covers and wondered what he should do.
To be continued