There’s Still Time

The young woman came across an ad in the Sunday paper for an upcoming movie called The Golden Compass. She grew instantly excited and babbled to her mother and aunt how this is the greatest thing ever. Of course, they give her that look, the Mr. Spock of Star Trek look, the one with one eyebrow raised.

“Honestly, Lola,” her mother said, “what are you talking about?”

So the young woman ranted about the book by Philip Pullman, how a great fantasy story it is—as good as The Lord of the Rings, better than Harry Potter, the best thing she ever read.

The eyebrows remain raised at her.

“It’s the first book of a trilogy called His Dark Materials, published in 1995 in Great Britain and recommended by a friend over there.”

“Was that that girl named Bekka?” Mother asked.

“Yes.” Without missing a beat, she added, “I couldn’t find the book at any of the local book chains, so I sent Bekka some American cash inside a box.” (She was 15 and knew of no other way to get Bekka the money.) “So Bekka bought and sent me the book—all about Lyra Belacqua and her daemon and how they set out to prevent her best friend Will and other children from becoming the subjects of gruesome experiments in the Far North.”

The eyebrow rose again. So did Aunt Shirley’s.

“Sounds creepy,” Aunt Shirley said. Then, “Why again are you so excited?” she asked.

“They’re making it into a movie!” The young woman nearly stood and danced. “Imagine the special effects they’ll have with the magic and animals and fantasy worlds.”

“Another computer-generated movie,” Mother said with a hint of sourness painting her voice.

“Or a cartoon,” Aunt Shirley says. “They’re making too many of those—that Disney stuff and all.”

But the young woman stopped listening and nearly skipped to her bedroom where she found the His Dark Materials trilogies still on her bookshelf. The third book still held the bookmark where she had written: To build the Republic of Heaven.

“Yes,” she said as she gazed out a window overlooking the fire damage of a still smoldering San Diego, “that’s what Lyra was going to do. And me.

“There’s still time.”


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