Second Star To The Right …


Rochelle Wisoff-Fields, Queen of FF Central invites you to try this wonderfully addicting blog.

Jennifer Pendergast sent us this super photo. I can’t wait to see what you’ll write about it!

Since the architecture has inspired me to write something of a European flavor, I dedicate this to our Friday Fictioneers U.K. Branch.

Before we begin …

EDITOR’S NOTE: The following is a message picked up one night by a HAM radio operator named Kevin who originally hailed from Flanders. The language spoken, he told me, sounded something like a sort of “High Flemish,” if there were such a thing and almost read like an electronic message in a bottle. “I felt very sorry for the woman transmitting,” he later told me. “She sounded so sad.” He copied it down in English, took it to the library and stuffed it in the front pages of a first edition Caldecott book.

Maybe he thought it would have made a great Forward …???


My explanation of what happened to us afterward will solve the mystery our home world has wondered about.  

After we arrived, we escaped detection by our language being similar to that of a tribe called Flemings and clearing our pallor by eating a vegetable called the green bean.  We had a benefactor and lived happy lives on Earth, not unhappy as some feared.

I’ve been alone since my brother’s untimely death and been chronicled many times in Earth legends. I’ve decided to die here on planet Earth.  

A doleful story? No. I lived a life richer than I ever dreamed.


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66 Responses to Second Star To The Right …

  1. So, I need to look for the second star to the left…Right? Good story.

  2. Hannah says:

    I love the title and the reference. Intriguing story and I like the editor’s note!

  3. Interesting! Thanks for the editor’s note it brought the story into perspective. At least the alien had a good life on earth and discovered green beans! (love that part.)

  4. Sandra says:

    I’m on the slowest internet connection in the world this afternoon, so I can’t pick up on your links to help me get to grips with this. But even without, the story stands as a sad yet nostalgic piece.

    • wmqcolby says:

      Let me know how you fared on the links (sounds like I’m referring to a golf game!). I think it could use a little more work, but Rochelle and I agreed, throw it out there and let the readers decide.

      And thank-you for your nice comments, a pleasure as always, Sandra!

  5. My that is complex, and very well-constructed. I can see this becoming a series. A very clever tale.

    • wmqcolby says:

      A series? Really? Hmmm. There IS a lot of fodder there. I had fun with this one, even though I think it might need some more work. Thanks for reading and your nice comments!

  6. znjavid says:

    My son’s favorite vegetable is the green bean. It’s strange as no one else at home likes it. Sometimes I feel he comes from an alien race….

  7. K.Z. says:

    great story kent. thank you for the links! 🙂

    • wmqcolby says:

      Thanks, KZ. I hope the story made sense. This was one I kept doing over and over and over. Sooner or later, I thought someone might find me keeled-over dead at the keyboard!!

  8. Kent, I don’t have time right now to check out those links but I’ll do so a bit later. The rest of your story was very interesting and creative though. (Also, in case you don’t get back to check my return comments on my blog, I decided that you were right and reworked my story to make it clearer who was talking. Thanks. Sometimes it takes someone else to see what the writer doesn’t) 🙂 —Susan

    • wmqcolby says:

      No problem, Susan. I re-worked your story in the comments section of your blog. It’s only a minor fix, you should be fine now.

      I think you’ll enjoy the links on my blog. The Gutenberg Project is a great website. No end to free books! Thanks for stopping by to read.

  9. helenmidgley says:

    I hate green beans 😉 Great story and I loved the editor’s note 🙂

  10. After reading the link to Green children of Woolpit I couldn’t help but be amused at your line “I lived a life richer than I ever dreamed” Girls just wanna have fun 😉

  11. elmowrites says:

    I love the explanation of what happened to the translation, and I enjoyed the piece itself too. So much mystery and so much by implication – the signs of greatness in Fictioneer-y!

  12. I loved your last line…. I lived a life richer than I ever dreamed…. sort of connected
    me to the ……… alien.
    nice piece….

    • wmqcolby says:

      Thank-you very much! I tried commenting on your story, but Blogspot didn’t publish it, so I wrote another one. Then, it decided to publish them. Now, you’ll have THREE, I think, comments on your story from me! Ah, technology.

      Thanks for stopping by to read!

      • ha ha ha i loved each one of them…actually it comes for moderation before it gets published…….. anyways….now i can see the star you were talking about, quite clearly since i am on cloud nine…… 😉

      • wmqcolby says:

        You’re too kind. The quote, in case you didn’t know, came from Peter Pan, “Second star on the right, straight on ’til morning.”
        Why not?
        Is English your second language, by any chance?

      • Of course its my second language…. thanks for the info though…I did see the movie but didn’t remember…..

  13. Jan Brown says:

    I loved the editor’s mote! And thank you for the links; I enjoy learning “new” old legends. Good story!

    • wmqcolby says:

      Thanks, Jan! I have done Editor’s Note once before, I think, or something similar. I take as many liberties as I can. Why not?

      Thanks for reading and commenting!

  14. elappleby says:

    Hi Kent
    Suffolk’s just up the road, but I hadn’t heard about the Green Children of Woolpit, so you’ve taught me something this week! Fascinating stuff, cleverly done – thank you!

    • wmqcolby says:

      Thank-YOU, EL!
      My idea isn’t an original, since the article points that up, but there are so many stories out there anyway. I thought for SURE you’d heard the legend, thus the reason for the dedication. Also, it was the first time I had read Babes In The Wood. Such a sad tale. Anyway, it was fun to write.

      BTW, we got the first of your gray skies today, keep sending it!

  15. Dear Kent, Great story and I did go read the links you left. Very interesting and curious. The “green children” were interesting indeed! I have never heard of this before so thank you for another entertaining story which may be based on some fact. Good job Kent! Nan 🙂

  16. dmmacilroy says:

    Dear Kent,

    You are growing and we are the beneficiaries. Thank you for writing one of your best ever. The green children of Woolpit. Amazing. I learned something new this night and I owe it to you.

    Mahalo and Aloha,


    • wmqcolby says:

      Well, thank-you, Doug, for the vote of confidence! It was an experience for me, too, because I don’t remember how I ever came across that article. It was fun.

      Again, thanks!

  17. Dear Q,

    Your star is rising and the third tree is the…For some reason I’m craving green beans.



  18. rgayer55 says:

    Just for the record, I plan to die on planet earth too. If you’re around, stuff a few green beans in my casket.

  19. MM Jaye says:

    Loved your take. Dimming the pallor through consumption of green peas while hobnobbing in High Flemish… Ingenious!

    Greetings from Greece!
    Maria (MM Jaye)

    • wmqcolby says:

      Thanks for your nice comments, Maria!
      The condition does exist, by the way, called Hyper Chromic Anemia or Chlorosis. It can clear up when fed the right nutrients.

  20. A sad tale, with realistic tones… interesting direction you went this week!

    • wmqcolby says:

      Hahaha! Yes, that’s about how it went!
      Well, I’ll tell you, I wrote the story in twenty minutes and then thought … no! It’s all there, but it isn’t interesting enough. Emotions were what it needed … and character. So, first person in the form of a bottled message and what she might have thought. Secret addendum here: before the final draft, I cut out the part where she said, ” … my home for nine centuries.” Epic, but I only was allowed 100 words. Oh well …

  21. I’ve just planted out my green beans and will not take kindly to some alien harvesting them.

  22. Dee says:

    I really liked your take on the prompt Kent. The editor’s note was perfect, very cleverly done. The links were great, I think we have all learned something new today. Thank you for that.

    PS – ‘Second star on the right…’ a line from probably my most favourite book when I was a child. I have told the story to my granddaughter (3) who now runs around the house pretending to be Tinkerbell and some days she tells me I am Peter Pan and other days I am Smee!


    • wmqcolby says:

      Thanks, Dee! That was the Peter Pan quote, of course. I didn’t want to use it, originally, because I though it to be overused. But, it worked well and time was a-flying, so … it was a good fit.

  23. Hi kant.
    That was one intriguing work! I love how you write.
    Thank you for your suggestions on my post. I’ve improved it, if you might wanna take a look again.
    Also, I’d be glad if you could help me improve. How should I contact you?

  24. Hi Kent. Editors note. A sneaky way to get some added context. Well played. Quick question. I wonder if putting the green bean in quotes would give it that extra “Oompff”. That aside, I particularly enjoyed this story. Good job

    • wmqcolby says:

      Thank-you, Welchy! Well, I didn’t do the intro any differently than I ordinarily have in the past, it’s just a little longer than usual. I thought of quotes, which is interesting for you to point that out. Since this was written from an alien viewpoint, I thought something plain would be better. Maybe in the re-write …???

      Thanks again!

  25. Sarah Ann says:

    Oh wow. Thanks for the link – it shows just what you have done to condense and adapt into your wonderful little story. Show off 🙂

    • wmqcolby says:

      Hahaha! Whattya mean, “show-off?” You can do it, too! Research is great. 🙂

      And I’m not the only one who has written a story based on the green children and called them aliens from space. (beep,beep!)

      Thanks for reading and your neat comments, Sarah Ann!

  26. Taygibay says:

    So a story of out-worldly green kids that happened under King Stephen? Maybe Wikipedia got it wrong cause I know of a King named Stephen in Maine that might have written that!
    😉 😀 😉 Tay.

  27. subroto says:

    Those links are fascinating as is your post too 😉
    Who knew little green men have bean here before. This one hit like kale force.

    • wmqcolby says:

      (holding nose) I’ll pretend I didn’t hear that … 😀
      Actually, though, the condition of “chlorosis” isn’t unheard of. Kind of like the Wolfmen of the Ural Mountains — a family that had hair all over them which inspired the legends.

      Thanks for reading, Sub!

  28. Great story and a fascinating source material. I like the way you’ve made it read like a translated account. Pity the narrator didn’t land a little bit west of Flanders, or he could’ve given Brussels sprouts a try.

  29. Wow, I really enjoyed the complexity within the story and the editor’s note gave me an interesting heads up and explanation. This was intriguing and emotionally compelling on it’s own, but then to find out it was based on folklore was even more amusing! Reading about the green children legend gave me the willies, not going to lie!

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