Young Billobi didn't care much for sleeping. It was a waste of time, probably invented by parents, to keep children like himself from doing all kinds of interesting stuff.
"Mom!" he shouted from his bed. "I'm bored!"
"Go to sleep, Bill", a male, monotonous voice answered him.
"I said 'mom', not 'dad'!"
"Read a book, Bill", his father replied.
Billobi answered with a long repetition of the word 'a', and then rolled around in bed until he grew tired of that too. With both hands tucked in under his bed, he searched for a while before pulling out a book.
"Mom!" he shouted. "Read!"
"You know how to read, Bill", his father answered with a tired voice.
"I'm too tired."
"Then why don't you go to sleep?"
Billobi didn't know what to answer to that, so he rolled over in bed a couple of times - book in hand - before finding the perfect position to read. He opened the book and started to read aloud: "A LONG TIME AGO, IN A COUNTRY NOT TOO FAR AWAY, THERE LIVED A KING BY THE NAME -"
"Read with your mouth closed, Bill."
He frowned in the direction of the voice, and then turned to the last page. It was the best page in the whole book, because it had a map.
"Just south of the Copperstream" is a short story based on a little world I dragged my friend through almost a year ago. My initial idea was to make it into a setting, or something similar, but after a night of trying I figured that's a path better suited for others to pursue.
So I turned it into a short story instead. I wrote it with young readers in mind, so if you are a parent (or you have kids in your vicinity) it would be cool if you could read it for them (or have them read it), and report back here and tell me whether they liked it or not. Or if YOU liked it or not!
It's licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 3.0 Unported License.
View/download it here (on Google Docs).
UPDATE: I've made two versions for eBook-readers as well, with the same license. EPUB and PRC.
And yes, there's a map on the last page!
The 2016 Cartographic Review!
1 hour ago