Rarity from the Hollow is adult literary science fiction filled with tragedy, comedy and satire. A Children’s Story. For Adults.
About the author:
Robert Eggleton has served as a children's advocate in an impoverished state for over forty years. He is best known for his investigative reports about children’s programs, most of which were published by the West Virginia Supreme Court where he worked from 1982 through 1997, and which also included publication of models of serving disadvantaged and homeless children in the community instead of in large institutions, research into foster care drift involving children bouncing from one home to the next -- never finding a permanent loving family, and statistical reports on the occurrence and correlates of child abuse and delinquency.
Today, he is a retired children's psychotherapist from the mental health center in Charleston, West Virginia, where he specialized in helping victims cope with and overcome physical and sexual abuse, and other mental health concerns. Rarity from the Hollow is his debut novel. Its release followed publication of three short Lacy Dawn Adventures in magazines: Wingspan Quarterly, Beyond Centauri, and Atomjack Science Fiction. The Advance Review Copy of Rarity from the Hollow received considerable praise through Robert learning about the world of books as a novice. The final edition was released to Amazon on December 5, 2016. Author proceeds have been donated to a child abuse prevention program operated by Children’s Home Society of West Virginia. http://www.childhswv.org/ Robert worked for this agency in the early ‘80s and stands by its good works. He continues to write fiction with new adventures based on a protagonist that is a composite character of children that he met when delivering group psychotherapy services. The overall theme of his stories remains victimization to empowerment.
Excerpt, Chapter 32: “The First Sexual Harassment Complaint on Shptiludrp”
Scene Prologue: Rarity from the Hollow includes political allegory, parody, and satire. Long before Donald Trump was on the political radar, it predicted his rise to political power. In the story, Lacy Dawn, the eleven year old protagonist, is a most unlikely savior of the universe. At this point, readers have learned that the universe faces an imminent threat. An android named DotCom (a recurring pun in the story) was sent to Earth to recruit and train Lacy to fulfill her destiny. She changed the android’s name to “Bucky” to cover-up its true nature, assembled and prepared a team to diagnose and address the threat, and took her team to planet Shptiludrp (Shop Until You Drop), a giant shopping mall and the center of economic governance for the universe. The following scene is the team’s first meeting with the Manager of the Mall and takes place in the only high rise office building on the planet, now easily identifiable as Trump Tower.
…Lacy Dawn scanned across a desk larger than her bedroom and lowered her gaze until just above the desk top. In an oversized swivel chair behind the desk sat a humanoid…. Mr. Prump stood up…. He extended a small hand with six fingers, each of which had at least two overly large golden rings.
“It's very nice to meet you, Lacy Dawn,” he ignored the others….
“He looks almost just like that short guy on those taxi cab reruns,” Dwayne whispered. “What’s that actor’s name?” (Dwayne, Lacy’s father, is an Iraq War damaged Vet who suffered from PTSD, night terrors and anger outbursts until cured by the android since he had refused treatment by the VA hospital. Dwayne, an expert used car salesman, plays an important role on the team and worked very hard to save the universe in an effort to achieve Lacy’s forgiveness past abusive behaviors.)
“Shhhh,” Lacy Dawn glared.
“I have a complaint to make,” Lacy said to Mr. Prump.
“Oh?” Mr. Prump sat down, opened a drawer, and shoved a form across his desk in her direction. “Please call me Mr. Prump.”
Hospitality has been extended to her entourage.
The form ran out of momentum half-way across the desk. Lacy Dawn extended and retracted because it stopped well short of her reach.
That's too far regardless of obligatory respect.
“I was not aware of any dissatisfaction of any type, sir,” Bucky reverted to his role as DotCom in the presence of his long-term authority figure. Lacy Dawn gave him The Look and trumped.
“Your elevator operator just told me that I have a nice ass,” she said.
Dwayne started for the office exit to get the offender. Lacy Dawn pushed him toward one of the chairs in front of the desk. Tom grabbed Dwayne’s arm. (Tom is Lacy’s neighbor. He is a wealthy “back to the land” marijuana dealer who relocated to The Hollow when he concluded that city life aggravated his Bipolar Disorder.) Then, Tom and Lacy Dawn had to restrain Bucky’s attempt to go after the offender.
Lacy and Jenny stood alone in front of the desk while the males sat. Jenny moved to her daughter's side. (Jenny is Lacy’s formerly downtrodden mother whose self-esteem had been enhanced after the android had replaced her rotting teeth with new ones.) Brownie growled. So did Bucky. (Brownie is the family mutt and the only member of the team with enough empathy skills to communicate with, at this point in the story, vile invaders of the universe.)….
Mr. Prump shoved another form in her direction with the same result. The complaint forms were the only papers on the desk….
“Tree says that to me all the time,” the receptionist said from the doorway. “Would anybody like something to drink or a snack?”
Nobody responded except Mr. Prump. He extended a cup that had been on his desk, but the gesture was ignored.
"That's different, you…" Tom started but Lacy Dawn's look cut him short.
“The females of those people got no figures at all -- straight up and down,” the receptionist said. “I wouldn’t take it personally, Lacy. All males from that planet become infatuated with any curve on any body that they think is female. He's a nice person once you get to know him.”
“Regardless, it was inappropriate for him to tell me that I have a nice ass.”
“Yeah,” her team said in unison. DotCom was the loudest except for Brownie’s bark followed by another growl.
“I ought to kick his ass for talking trash to my little girl,” Dwayne said.
I'm such a juvenile.
Lacy glared at him again.
“Sorry,” Dwayne hung his head.
“Further,” Lacy Dawn continued. “I'm not about to do business with any planet that permits the sexual harassment of its visitors or employees to go undisciplined.”
Jenny sat down.
“Yeah,” the receptionist said.
Mr. Prump sank deeper into his seat….
“I’m never going to sit on your lap again unless I want to,” the receptionist said. “And, as for anything else, you can just forget it from now on unless you take care of this. Take care of the whole problem on the whole planet -- equal respect for all people -- within their financial means, of course.”
“Take a memo to Division Managers with a copy to All Staff.”
Lacy Dawn stood alone before the desk. He dictated the memo and she listened.
It's pretty good. There's procedure for making sexual harassment complaints, investigation, due process, and penalty.
“That’s all for now. I'll contact you tomorrow to begin negotiation of terms,” she said.
Mr. Prump asked her what time but she didn't answer. Lacy Dawn had concluded her first meeting with the most powerful being in the universe and had beaten him in negotiations.