Lacy Dawn is the protagonist of Rarity from the Hollow, a literary science fiction novel written by Robert Eggleton. She’s the last person that you would expect to save the universe – a skinny, eleven year old girl with stringy brown hair, from a hollow between the hills in West Virginia. She is also a prototypical humanoid whose savior attributes have evolved for hundreds of thousands years, the product of a genetic implant installed by Universal Management. This Lacy Dawn Adventure picks up with a threat to the economic structure of the universe. It is in imminent danger, potentially devastating billions of citizens living on hundreds of planets if Lacy Dawn cannot find a solution to prevent its collapse. An android has been sent to Earth for Lacy Dawn’s final training. He installs a port in her upper spine so that content from the Universal Database can be directly downloaded into her brain. During tutoring sessions, they fall so deeply in love with each other that the android begins to aspire to achieve human-like emotions and Lacy Dawn finds a boyfriend for when she is old enough to have one.
Hi, Lucy, what is your story?
I don’t really have a story. I’m just a kid who loves her mom and dad, even if dad is messed up – it’s not his fault, he used to be a good man, it was that damn war in Iraq, he came back and just wasn’t the same, not by a long shot. I still love him though, and I’m doing everything that I can to fix him. I’m studying really, really hard – working on it. I’m just a regular kid. There are lots of kids like me, my school is full of us. Each of us has our own story to tell, but nobody really wants to listen. They just say they do, but it’s part of their jobs. If is wasn’t for kids like me with a few problems here and there, just growing up stuff, you know, some adults wouldn’t even have jobs. They get paid for helping us, but I don’t need them because I’ve got a real best friend who is really, really powerful, for real. I’d let you meet him, but he’s not supposed to do stuff like that. Well, that’s it. That’s my story. Pretty boring, huh?
Who are you?
My name is Lacy Dawn Hickman and I’m going to be in the sixth grade next year when school starts. I always make straight A’s because that’s what makes my mommy most proud. She brags about it ‘cause we ain’t got much else to brag about. I’ve got a dog. His name is Brownie. I live down the holler just before the last school bus stop, but if the roads are slick, like in the winter, I have to walk up to the top of the hill. I’ve never missed a day of school and I sure don’t want to start now – no matter what! There ain’t nothing more important than an education. I’m going to be a veterinarian when I grow up, but my friend says that I have some other job to do first. I can float a few inches above the floor and move places without walking. Do you want to see? No, I ain’t supposed to show anybody. Sorry.
Where do you live?
Have you ever heard this? Mountaineers are always free! I’m from West Virginia, and proud of it, but I’m not sure why. My daddy always watches WVU football on TV, when it comes in cause we ain’t got no cable. I wish he wouldn’t get so drunk, but it’s funny sometimes, like when he gets excited and yells at the screen and stuff. I live in an okay house. I’ve got my own bedroom, that’s more than some girls my age. I wish that our bathroom had a door on it though. Sometimes, you know, it’s gross, never mind. This summer I get to plant my very own garden. Mommy promised. I’m still deciding on what to grow. Do you like veggies? I like meat okay as long as I don’t think about where it comes from. Cows have beautiful eyes. It makes me sad to think about it. We go into town every now and then and one day I’ll get to see a Harry Potter movie, like on my birthday. Everybody knows where I live. Do you want to visit? Tell me first because we’ll have to clean up or mommy would be embarrassed. We always leave one beer can to use as an ashtray. Do you smoke? It’s gross. Mommy don’t and I ain’t ever.
Are you the hero of your own story?
I ain’t no hero. That’s something else. Everybody keeps telling me how cool I am, smart and stuff. I am getting’ smarter, every day. I can feel it. I get extra help learning stuff. My best friend, oh forget I said that, I’m not supposed to talk about it. Anyway, sometimes I don’t know where the answers come from. It’s like magic or something. I just know stuff, a lot of stuff, stuff that I don’t know why I even want to know about, some of it is grow up stuff. It’s gross. I know how to help out people when they are having problems. I’m a lot better at it than the preacher. But that don’t make me no hero, not matter what other people say.
What is your problem in the story?
I ain’t got no problems. Well, nothing that I can’t handle. My friend keeps telling me that I have a real important job to do, something about saving the universe. I know about the universe. I know hundreds of different languages. Do you want to learn how to say “hello” in Simbean? It’s a planet close to, oh never mind, it’s too complicated. Maybe I should be a French teacher instead of a vet. Parlez-vous francais? I don’t know why my friend keeps talking about problems someplace else. I lied before. Sorry. I just wanted to sound brave. My problem is that I’ve got to fix my parents before my daddy kills my mommy and, maybe, me too. My mom cries all the time when I ain’t looking. She tries not to let me see, but I know that she does. Her eyes are red and sometimes I can hear her. It’s really, really sad. My dad got some pills from the VA but they ain’t helping. It’s up to me to fix things. It’s a kids job to fix her parents and any kid who don’t ain’t much of a kid and maybe don’t even deserve to live. Don’t you think that’s true?
Do you run from conflict?
I ain’t never run from nothing. It’s stupid. If you run from a bear, that bear will just chase you down. Think about copperheads, move real slow. That’s my advice. There ain’t much more dangerous than a copperhead in this universe. Running away never helps nothing.
How do you see yourself?
Sometimes I see myself as a kid alone in the woods, metaphorically speaking. See, I told you that I was smart. Other times, I see myself as the lead singer in a rock band, like James Hetfield of Metallica. That’s daddy’s favorite band. I’ve been looking at Goodwill every time we go for a CD that daddy doesn’t have, but no luck yet. I am kind. I am smart. I am important. Just kidding, did you see that movie? They showed it at school for social studies class every day for a week this year. There’s only one black kid in my whole school. I think we all need a lot more diversity training, a lot more. That’s my favorite movie of all time, but I do want to see one with Harry Potter. Other girls have shown me his picture and he is sooooooooooo cute!
How do your friends see you?
My best friend is named, Faith. I don’t know where her parents came up with that name. Nobody in her family has been inside of a church, not once. They need it too, except for Faith, she’s cool. Faith thinks that I have magic. I told her that I just have another best friend who teaches me stuff, but I don’t think that she believes me. I’m not allowed to introduce her to him. It’s against the rules. Faith thinks I’m too slow at fixing stuff. I told her that I’m doing the best I can, that I’m growing up too. Faith thinks that I’m kind, I’m good – just kidding again. Seriously, though, that’s what she really thinks. Honest. Ask her.
I don’t get to play with the other kids after school. They live too far away and daddy doesn’t want to drive me. When mommy learns how to drive, maybe she will. I think that those kids think that I’m too smart for my own britches. Most of the time I try not to look so smart. I want to fit in with the crowd, you know, fit. They like me okay, I guess, but they only talk to me when they want me to help them, like when they are feeling angry, or sad, or scared. I like helping them, but every once in a while it would be nice if somebody else besides Faith asked me to do something fun, or tell me a joke or something.
There is this one girl at school who is real jealous of me. Her name is Brittany. If I wasn’t there, Brittany would definitely be the smartest kid in school. I miss spelling words every time there’s a bee on purpose so she can win. Does she thank me? Heck no. And she knows that I’m missing those words on purpose. She has to. Last year, Faith beamed her in the back of the head with a dodge ball. I fussed at Faith for doing it, and didn’t laugh then, not even a smile. But after I got home I LMFAO. Do you know what that means? I’m not allow to say the “F” word, so I can’t tell you if you don’t. I ain’t got no computer at the house, but my friend lets me mess around on one of the ones that he’s got in his spaceship, oops, anyway, you wouldn’t believe what people say on the internet.
My other best friend, you know, the guy, but he ain’t got know private parts, not even a little bump, so it’s okay, he thinks that I’m like a God or something. I think he’s crazy ‘cause I ain’t that smart yet. It’s weird, but I kind of like him thinking that I’m something special when I’m not. Pretty soon, I’ll have him wrapped around my little finger and I’ll make him fix my parents. I didn’t learn how to do that to a man from the computer. My mommy has already taught me how to make men do what you want them to do, and, no, it ain’t got nothing to do with s, e, x. That’s where some girls mess up. They think that s, e, x is how you get a man to do whatever you want him to, like take out the trash or fix the roof. Since you are a girl too, you probably know all this stuff. A man’s attention span is too short for s, e, x to work for very long. Ain’t it? My mommy’s smart. Maybe she didn’t graduate from high school, but she knows a lot of stuff, not book smart, but SMART.
How does the author see you?
Do you think the author portrayed you accurately?
Oh, I get it now. You think that I’m a made up character in a fictional story. Here, sing along with this, “I am he as you are he as you are me, And we are all together.” Does that answer your question? Did you ever play that Beatle’s record backward? Paul ain’t dead.
I’m as alive as any other part of Robert Eggleton’s personality, perhaps more so. There’s no way to portray any of us, the ones who live in his mind, any way other than accurately because we are what we are. That was a weird question. Anyway, I’ve got homework to do. It ain’t good enough just to know answers. A person has to actually do something with the answers before they count. And, what I’ve got to do before school tomorrow is a three page essay and a take home pre-algebra test. If I don’t write down the answers and turn in the papers, I score zero points. I doesn’t matter that I already know the answers inside my head. That counts for zip. See ya later, alligator.
About the author:
Robert Eggleton has served as a children’s advocate 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. Today, he is a recently retired psychotherapist from the mental health center in Charleston, West Virginia. Rarity from the Hollow is his debut novel and its release followed publication of three short Lacy Dawn Adventures in magazines: Wingspan Quarterly, Beyond Centauri, and Atomjack Science Fiction. Author proceeds have been donated to a child abuse prevention program operated by Children’s Home Society of West Virginia. http://www.childhswv.org/