I recommend catching up on the earlier chapters if you have some time. If you only have a few minutes, however, here is a bit of a recap (with spoilers!).
Chapter 1 by Tami Clayton - In which we meet Twinkle (thus named for his love of the song Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star); his father Geraldo, a toy maker; and his mom Juniper Jackie who leaves to pursue her passion for tree climbing acrobatics. Twinkle is summoned by the Sparkle Sudz Soap spokesmodel (The Golden Goddess) through his television.
Chapter 2 by Mike Schulenberg - In which we meet archnemesis Lord Lobstar, his army of Shrimperators, and a cloaked figure named Jupernia.
Chapter 3 by Liv Rancourt - In which we learn that The Golden Goddess is Jupernia's sister.
Chapter 4 by Ellen Gregory - In which Jupernia goes to Twinkle's house for help, but Lord Lobstar lands his crustaship in the garden and Twinkle is captured.
Chapter 5 by Richard Monro - In which Twinkle is tortured by the Shrimperators but manages to ward them off with Sparkle Sudz Soap.
Chapter 6 by Kim Griffin - In which Jupernia tells Twinkle that soap won't work against Lord Lobstar and we learn that Jupernia is actually long lost Juniper Jackie.
Chapter 7 by Jodi Lea Stewart - In which we learn Jupernia is from a planet of trees and Lord Lobstar plans to ruin her planet as well as earth. He's a little angry ever since SpongeBob stole his girl.
Chapter 8 by Cora Ramos - In which Jupernia explains to Twinkle and Geraldo why she really had to leave and devises a plan to thwart Lord Lobstar using paprika, soap, and lavender. Alas, Twinkle has run off.
So, what does a writer do when handed this story? She curses, laughs, notes a few key points, and types away. I give you Chapter 9...
* * *
Lather: The Twinkle Jackson Story
“He’s gone.” Jupernia spun from one side to the other in case Twinkle was somehow just hiding in a corner. Spinning didn’t help. He was still gone. “Damn it, Geraldo. Twinkle is gone!”
“What do you mean gone? Twinkle doesn’t go anywhere.” Geraldo had come up behind Jupernia and was now surveying the otherwise empty room.
“We can’t stop Lord Lobstar without him.”
“Hold on,” Geraldo said and left the room.
Jupernia huffed muttering, “Hold on? Lord Lobstar’s crustaship is squashing the squash plants outside and Twinkle is gone. Sure, let’s just hold on.” She paced the floor wishing the sister she only mostly hated would appear at a convenient time for once.
Jupernia whipped around to find the Golden Goddess standing there in all her perfect elegance. “Don’t do that! You startled me.”
“Did you or did you not need me?”
“Twinkle is gone.”
“What do you mean gone?”
“Why does everyone keep asking that? Gone. As in gone.”
“We can’t stop Lord Lobstar’s evil plan without him.”
Jupernia rolled her eyes. “I know.”
Geraldo returned surprised to see two women where only one stood before. Rather than waste precious time wondering where Jupernia’s sister had come from and why she was dressed like the Sparkle Sudz Soap icon, he simply said, “I know how to find him.”
“With this.” He held out a small rectangle.
“Geraldo,” Jupernia said, “you detest all things technological and especially that fruity company ever since your falling out with Steve when you were children. Why on earth do you have an iPhone?”
“If you can’t beat ‘em, join ‘em?” The way he phrased it as a question made Jupernia question his motives, but there wasn’t time for that now. They had to find Twinkle fast.
Geraldo opened an app and in a few minutes a little glowing dot appeared on a map. “He’s there.”
The Golden Goddess looked over his shoulder. “How do you know?”
“I tracked his phone.”
Jupernia’s jaw dropped. “You got Twinkle a cell phone?”
“No. He got it himself. He doesn’t know I know.”
She smiled. “Aren’t you full of surprises? Well, what are we waiting for? Let’s go.”
Five minutes later, they were knocking on the door of a small white house on the other side of town. The Golden Goddess cocked her head to the side like a dog. “Does anyone else hear quacking?”
Before anyone could answer, the door opened just wide enough for a girl’s face to peer through. “Can I help you?”
Geraldo spoke. “We’re looking for my son, Twinkle Jackson. Is he here?”
“Aww, Dad.” The door opened a little further and there was Twinkle with his radiant hair. “How’d you find me?”
Geraldo held up his phone.
Twinkle couldn’t believe it. “You have an iPhone?”
Casting a wink at Jupernia he said, “Why does everyone keep asking me that? Are you going to introduce us to your friend?”
“This is Surnia.”
The Golden Goddess stepped forward greeting Surnia first, then turning to Twinkle. “Look, toots, we need your help. We have Sparkle Sudz Soap, paprika, and lavendar, but we can’t save the planet without you.”
“It’s you,” Twinkle gasped. “You talked to me through the tv.” Surnia raised her eyebrows at Twinkle. He shrugged. “Fine, I’ll go with you.”
They all turned to leave the porch and found themselves ensconced by large white ducks that had managed to sneak up behind them. “I told you I heard quacking,” the Golden Goddess said.
“Those are mine,” Surnia said. “We raise ducks, chickens, and turkeys.”
Jupernia looked at the army of ducks then at her sister. “Are you thinking what I’m thinking?”
“You bet I am. Surnia, you and your ducks are coming, too.”
* * *
Will Twinkle and his family and friends be able to stop Lord Lobstar from destroying the Earth and Planet Juniper before it's too late?
We'll find out as the story continues. I think Elizabeth Fais is up next, so watch her blog for the next installment. I'll try to keep you updated here as new chapters come out.