Click on the arrow above to listen to Sally’s reading.
“Hi, I’m Sally Rippin. I’m going to read a short extract from my children’s novel Angel Creek.
“Hey, Jel, look at this.”
Jelly walked to where Gino was peering out over the black water. “I can”t see anything.”
“Over there.” Gino pointed.
And then Jelly saw it: a pearly smudge of white against the gloom.
“Looks like feathers,” Gino said.
“Maybe it”s a bird,” said Jelly, “caught up in the rubbish. Poor thing.”
“I want to go back now,” Pik called.
Jelly and Gino ignored him and crept closer to the edge of the creek, over the sticky mud and slimy rocks, to see if the bird-thing was alive.
“What are you doing?” Pik called. “I’ll tell.”
Jelly glared at him. “Just stay there, Pik. We’ll be back in a minute.” Then she stepped into the cold water, and the mud oozed between her toes.
The water wasn’t deep but the current was strong, and it pulled at her legs. She grabbed at the reeds to steady herself. When she looked up again Gino had reached the rock. She watched him climb on to it and peer over the edge. Suddenly he reeled back, his arms like windmills.
“Jelly,” he gasped. “It’s not a bird!”
Gino slid off the rock and lurched back through the water. On the bank Pik started to bawl.
“What is it?” Jelly called. “What did you see?”
“Go look yourself.” Gino’s voice was snagged with fear.
Jelly’s heart thumped. All her instincts told her to turn back, back to where the Christmas lights beckoned and her mum and dad were laughing, unaware that she had slipped out into the night. But, despite her fear, something pulled her forward, on towards the thing in the water. She had to see it for herself.
She climbed up onto the rock to gaze into the dark water on the other side. There in the shadowy depths was a pale, pale child with glass-like eyes that stared up at her, and long white hair that billowed like clouds. There it rocked gently under the water, a thin white dress caught up around its knees. And it had wings. Great white feathered wings like a pelican’s, one of them bunched up and tangled in river rubbish.
“Wait.” She realised what she was seeing. “Gino, Pik, come back.”
She heard them stop.
“What is it?” Gino called.
Jelly looked back at the creature. It was still there. Her eyes hadn’t been playing tricks on her. “You won’t believe this,” she said, laughter bursting up through her chest. “I think, I think we’ve found an angel!”
ABOUT SALLY RIPPIN:
Sally Rippin was born in Darwin, but grew up mainly in South-East Asia. As a young adult, Sally spent three years in China studying traditional brush and ink painting. Later, Sally and her family moved to a village in the South of France, where she began writing and illustrating full-time in an old farmhouse amongst the grapevines. Now Sally lives in Melbourne, where she writes and illustrates for children of all ages. Sally has over forty children’s books published, many of them award winning. Her most recent books include the Billie B Brown series and Angel Creek. Visit her website at: www.sallyrippin.com
“I have been lucky enough to have three opportunities to stay at Varuna and each time has been enormously productive as well as restful. I have made long-term friends and completed picture books and novels during my time at Varuna and in the hustle and bustle of daily life, I constantly daydream about finding my way back there.” Sally Rippin
I have had over forty books published, so won’t list them all here. For my full backlist, please visit: http://www.sallyrippin.com/sallyrippin.com/Full_Backlist.html
Varuna has been funded by the Australia Council to produce a Varuna Writer-a-Day “app”. When we have recorded 365 writers the app will be made available via the iTunes store. In the meantime, if you subscribe to this free blog, you can receive a daily reading delivered to your email inbox which can also be directed to your mobile phone.