For the Busy Business-Parent

Whimsical Bedtime Stories for Children of All Ages

U.S.S. Starship Treehouse
Chapter II

"Whaaaaat??... What did you say??" demanded Starship Captain Timothy Grey.

"...Breakfast, sweetheart," Timothyís grandmother called again from the kitchen. "Your breakfast is already on the table."

"Sheesh!" said Timothy to himself, slowly sitting up in bed and rubbing his eyes. His grandmother appeared at the door, her arms filled with a stack of freshly laundered bath towels.

"The Wrongulins were trying to blitz my Starship, Grandma," he said.

"Sorry to interrupt your dreams sweetheart, but you said you wanted to go to the McGregor brothers shop with me this morning and Iím going to be ready to leave in about half an hour."

"Jeepers," said Timothy, throwing the covers back, "I overslept. Sorry Gram, Iím up, I'm up!" he said.

Barefoot, wearing gym shorts and an oversized T-shirt, Timothy rolled out of bed and hurriedly bounded across the room, where he began rummaging through a heavy chest of drawers. Quickly settling on jeans and a red sweatshirt for the day's attire, he shoved the drawer shut, leaving half a blue-striped athletic sock peeking over the edge.

Timothy gave his grandmother a self-conscious peck on the cheek as he tore past her on his way down the hall to wash his face and brush his teeth.  
Timothyís Grandmother first smiled....
...and then laughed out loud as she noticed a tail sticking out from behind a curtain in the hallway.

As Timothy passed, a small paw snaked out from beneath the hem and tagged Timothy's ankle.

Although they played this same game every morning, Timothy responded as if caught off-guard by the sneak attack. He leapt into the air with a convincing yelp.

Delighted at achieving the hoped for reaction from his prey, Sam Cat dashed out from beneath the curtain, and in his best grizzly bear imitation, reared up on his hind legs before diving forward to tackle Timothy's ankle. Sam affixed himself like Velcro to Timothy's leg.

"Ow, ow, ow Sam, arrrrggghh, wait, I've got to get going, Sam, Saammmmm, arrrrgggghhh, SAAAMMMMMM!" Tim collapsed on the carpet laughing.

In a flash, Sam Cat vanished, in search of fresh prey.

Still smiling, Timothy's grandmother, having lingered at the door of Timothy's room to watch the game, turned and gave the room one last thoughtful look before heading off to deposit the towels in the linen closet.

The walls of Timothy's room were covered with vintage Star Wars™ and Star Trek™ posters. Model starships and assorted space vehicles hung suspended from the ceiling while more of their plastic counterparts covered the tops of Timothy's desk and bureau and chest of drawers.

Timothy's dearest wish was to become a Starship Commander when he grew up. The fact that Starships hadnít quite been invented yet didnít seem to discourage him in the least.

As she stood there thinking, Timothy's grandmother absent-mindedly fingered the necklace she had worn for as long as Timothy could remember. From a thin strand of braided gold there hung an unusual pendant of antique keys. Three, to be exact, delicate antique keys in different colors. They fit together somehow as one, and the combination was no bigger than an inch across.


Timothy's grandmother nodded to herself as she looked around the room. As if coming to some sort of important decision, she called out over her shoulder.

"Timothy, before we leave, I have something I want to give you. It has to do with Starships."


"Starships?" prompted Timothy.

The four of them were seated at the breakfast table. Timothy, his sister Amanda, their grandma, and Sam Cat.


Sam was seated in his chair atop a stack of old telephone books.

He had a white napkin tied under his chin and was happily working his way through a blueberry pancake and a saucer of milk.

"Chew with your mouth shut, Sam," scolded Amanda.

Sam stuck his tongue out at Amanda.

"Cut it out Sam," said Timothy.

With a pained "Who, me?" expression, Sam raised a paw to his tongue and painstakingly licked off an invisible drop of pancake syrup, as if that had been the reason why his tongue was sticking out in the first place.

Amanda wrinkled her nose at Sam, then bent down to pick up the napkin that had slipped off her lap.

Taking advantage of the diversion, Sam snagged the last piece of bacon from Amanda's plate.

"Starships, Grandma? What about Starships?" Timothy asked his grandmother again.

"Ah yes...Starships," Grandma said thoughtfully. The table grew silent. "Well," Grandma began, "If you truly want to explore outer space Timothy," she said, "You may well have to build your own Starship."

"What?" yelped Timothy. "Grandma, I'm just a kid. How could I build a Starship? I'd have to have instructions, equipment, tools. Where would I start? How..."

Grandma held up her hand for silence. "You already have the instructions, Timothy. I've been holding them for you ever since you were born."

A rambling old building stood towards the rear of Grandma's property. Built back in the 1800's, the ground floor once housed horse-drawn carriages. The second floor, although empty now, had probably once been cozy living quarters. Today, however, the carriage house functioned as an oversized garage.

Grandma and Timothy climbed up the creaking old stairs which led to the attic. Although the weather was crisp outside, the temperature inside was quite comfortable. Sweeping the silken cobwebs aside, they wound their way back through a maze of boxes and barrels and trunks. Grandma stopped in front of an antique leaded glass-front bookcase.

Pale light insistently forced its way through ancient windowpanes A dozen specks of dust waltzed languidly in the sun.

Right away Timothy saw what it was they were after. Inside the bookcase, on a shelf by themselves, were four books. Three stood upright, the fourth had toppled over on its side. Together they gave off a kind of muted glow.

Timothy reached for the handle of one of the glass doors and gave it a tug. It didn't budge. "Uh-oh... it's locked Grandma," said Timothy, looking to his grandmother for instructions.
Silently, Timothy's grandmother lifted the thin braided gold chain from around her neck and held the pendant aloft, and as if it knew its purpose, the three braided strands of gold began to unwind and the combination separated into three distinct keys. Grandma handed one of the gold chains to Timothy. Swirling the remaining two strands into a single necklace once again, she slipped the chain back over her head.

Timothy looked closely at the fine gold chain in his hand. From it dangled a small, pulsing, white gold key. Curious, he glanced up at his grandmother. "That will open the bookcase," she told him. "Go ahead," she said. "Open it."

Once the door had been unlocked Timothy held the necklace with the white gold key back out to his grandmother. She shook her head. "No," she said softly, as she reached past him into the bookcase and straightened the books. He noticed that the spines formed a picture when the four books were stood upright.

"You wear it, Timothy, just slip the chain over your head, but you must guard it carefully."

"These books were given to me when I was about your age, Timothy," explained Grandma. "So I think perhaps you're old enough to learn How Things Work."

Grandma selected Volume II and handed it to Timothy. "What youíre looking for is in here," she told him. "Ask me about anything you donít understand," she said, "...and between us weíll figure it out. When youíre sure youíre ready, weíll begin construction on your Starship."

Eyes wide, Timothy couldnít believe what he was hearing. Timothy watched his grandmother turn and head back down the stairs to get ready to go. "Don't forget to lock up when you're finished," she called up to him from the second floor landing.

Alone in the silent attic, Timothy glanced down at the strange little silver book in his hands. He ran his hand across the cover and to his surprise, it begin to glow a little brighter. As Timothy began flipping through the pages he noticed one page with a corner turned down. It marked the beginning of a chapter.

The name of the chapter was
"Starship Construction"