Noisy Night on Planet Purple Plum

Guy Belleranti

Guy Belleranti

Guy Belleranti writes fiction, nonfiction, poetry and more for children and adults. His work has been published in print, online and as a podcast. "Noisy Night on Panet Purple Plum" was originally published in Spaceports & Spidersilk, January 2015. It is now a part of Short Édition's series, The Current.


Jason sat up in his space bunk. What was that noise? It wasn't the wind. He'd heard and felt lots of Planet Purple Plum wind in the front yard that afternoon while Mia and he were building their first ever purple snowman. But it didn't sound like that!


Jason leaped to the floor. It was coming from somewhere in the front of their space house.
He rushed around the first corner of the twisting hallway and stopped short. Mia's bedroom lights were ablaze.
"Mia," Jason whispered. He looked in the room, then in the closet. Mia wasn't there. Spooky, their basset hound and Mia's constant companion, was also missing.
Jason stepped back into the hall.
A shiver ran down his spine. Had the noisemaker grabbed Mia and Spooky? Or had they gone searching for it just like he was? Neither was good. The noisemaker might be a dangerous Planet Purple Plum creature like a giant snake ape. Or it could be a three-tongued, two-headed cyclops or a Planet Purple Plum purple people eater. He'd heard about all three, but hadn't seen any yet because his family had just landed here yesterday morning.
His parents were at the Planet Purple Plum orientation meeting, but that was only two hundred miles away. If he zapped an SOS, they could zoomerang back within minutes. But they'd left him in charge. It was his job to demonstrate the bravery and brains of an Astro Knight in training. He had to find Mia, Spooky, and the mystery noisemaker by himself.
Jason closed his eyes and thought hard. No one and nothing had passed him or his room. He was sure of it. Which meant the best option was to continue toward the front of the house.
Several alien eyeball-like nightlights lit his way. He thought about calling Mia and Spooky's names, but decided against it. He'd heard that some space alien beasts got extra mad when they heard humans shouting. He didn't want to make any space beast extra mad!
Jason checked a bathroom and then cautiously turned another corner.


Wow! That had been a big one.
Jason stood still, waiting for his heartbeat to return to normal.
Wait! What was that? Another sound, but not as loud.

Tap, tap, tap, tap . . . Tap, tap, tap, tap . . .

Jason slowed to a stop as the sound came closer.

Tap, tap, tap, tap . . .Tap, tap, tap— "Grrr-ruff!"

Whew! It was Spooky, with Mia.
"I thought you and Spooky were a giant snake ape with long toenails," Jason gasped as Spooky licked his face.
Mia giggled. "Those were Spooky's toenails. We were checking out that weird snoring noise. At first I thought it was you playing a joke. But that last one—the four snore one—I decided no way was it you and that I better find you fast."
"Smart thinking," Jason said. "You should both stay in the safety room until I've figured out what's making the noises."
"And let you solve the mystery by yourself? No way!"
"Shhh," Jason whispered. "Not so loud. If it's a giant snake ape or three-tongued, two-headed cyclops—"


"Yikes!" Mia exclaimed. She quickly covered her mouth. "Sorry. I didn't expect another one so soon."
Jason nodded. "Which is one reason why you should hide in the safety room."
Mia crossed her arms. "I'll only hide if you hide, too."
"Me?" Jason scowled. "No way. Astro Knights don't hide."
Mia grinned. "Neither do Astro Knights' little sisters," she said.
Jason sighed. "Okay, fine. You can come along. But I stay in front. And please, both you and Spooky need to keep really quiet."
"Deal," Mia said.
The three moved forward, checking rooms and leaving the lights on as they went. Nothing in the storage closet. Nothing in the spare bedroom. Nothing in the library. Nothing in the laboratory.
Jason put a finger to his lips and whispered, "The living room's next. Remember, just because we haven't heard anything doesn't mean something isn't waiting and watching."
Mia nodded and patted Spooky. "You're being a good boy," she told him softly.
Jason flipped on the lights as they entered the room. A quick search behind and under furniture turned up nothing.
"The only place left to check is the kitchen," Mia said.
Jason nodded as they crept toward the room. Whatever was making the noise had to be in there.
But it wasn't. They didn't find anything strange in the kitchen.
"How can we solve the noisiest mystery ever if there aren't any more noises?" Mia complained.
"Maybe there will be more," Jason said. "Let's sit and wait."
"And have a midnight snack at the same time," Mia added, rubbing her belly.
Jason laughed. His sister never turned down a chance for a snack. "Sure, why not."
"Grrr-ruff," Spooky agreed.
Jason and Mia found Planet Purple Plum pie for themselves, a bone for Spooky, and purple water for everyone.
"Are snake apes dangerous, Jason?" Mia whispered.
"Probably. But I haven't met any yet. I do know that they slither and snore a lot."
"Snore?" Mia's eyes lit up. "I bet that's what's been making the noises."
"Could be." Jason finished his pie and rose to put his plate in the sink. That's when they heard it: the loudest noise yet.


"It sounds so close," Mia gasped. "Almost like it's on the other side of the wall."
"It is on the other side of the wall," Jason said.
"But that's outside," Mia said.
Jason's eyes widened. "You're right. Which means it isn't in the house. It's in the front yard. Come on!"
Jason raced back to the living room, Mia and Spooky close behind.
"The planetary periscope sees everything outside the house," he explained.
"Wow!" Mia said when Jason had logged on. "The snow is all purple, glittery, and beautiful under the three full moons."
"Uh-huh," Jason said, only half listening as he moved the periscope, trying to find some likely source of the noises.
"I sure wish we could go outside and play in the snow," Mia said. "It was so much fun this afternoon, running and jumping in it and floating all around in the weird air. I felt like a feather. And I think our snowman is the best snowman ever. I wish we had a sled and that Spooky could pull us and—"
"Eureka!" Jason exclaimed. "I think I've solved the noisy night mystery!"
"You mean you see—"


"Grrr-ruff," said Spooky.
"Is it a giant snake ape?" Mia asked. "Is it? Is it?"
"Nope. Grab your winter space suit out of that closet and put it on while I put on mine."
"You mean we're going to go out there . . . out there where the noisemaker is?"
"What if it eats us or something?"
"It won't."
"Okay, but if you're wrong and it does eat us, Mom and Dad will be really angry."
A minute later Jason led the way out the door.
"All I see is snow, stars, and moons," Mia said.
"There's also something else," Jason said. "Something that loves the cold."


"Yikes!" exclaimed Mia. "I don't believe it. It's our snowman. He's snoring!"
Jason grinned. "I guess on Planet Purple Plum, anything can happen."

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