This second book in the Aletheia Adventure Series returns to the city of Bible Truth - Aletheia - and goes deep into the mysterious fortress that is the Academy of Soldiers-of-the-Cross. Four children are granted the privilege of spending a week with the Rescuers of Aletheia at the Academy. But during that week something unexpected happens: an unprecedented storm appears on the horizon and suddenly the children are in the middle of an emergency rescue mission. They find themselves in an adventure quite unlike any they could have imagined, right in the very heart of the terrifying purple storm. In the storm the children face false, frightening creatures that would claim their allegiance. They must decide if they will place their trust in the creatures of the storm, or in the God of the Bible. Who will they choose to be their refuge in the midst of the purple storm?
Through the adventure, this book explores the Biblical concepts of
FAITH and GRACE.
This book can be enjoyed on its own - without reading the rest of the series.
Published in April 2014;
Written and illustrated by Eunice Wilkie;
Approximately 41,500 words;
Includes 26 illustrations;
Available as print and ebook.
This is a small sample of illustrations from THE PURPLE STORM:
THE PURPLE STORM is available across the UK, USA, and elsewhere - in print and as an ebook. It is available to purchase through good local Christian bookshops, and from several websites, including through the following links:
For more information see Purchasing Books.
Read a sample chapter of THE PURPLE STORM:
A WILD RIDE
The purple storm hadn’t grown much in size since Henrietta had first seen it from the foot of the cross. It still looked like an angry black and purple bruise glowering at them from the horizon.
“It’s small,” said Dusty.
“It looks fierce,” said Hugo.
“It’s like a dog on a chain,” said Henrietta. “It wants to gobble us right up, but it can’t seem to get free!”
“It’s nothing much,” muttered Josie. She had grown quieter and more moody as the flight progressed. The others heard her but ignored her. The view from the windows was fascinating and there was no time to pay any attention to Josie. Soon they got used to the purple storm hanging in the distance and spent their time spotting people and vehicles and animals on the ground below. Now and again they saw the glint of gold flying past the window of the Capsule. It wasn’t unusual to see money and gold flying around the skies of Err instead of being in people’s pockets and banks. All of the children who were brought up in Err and Aletheia quickly learned that if you loved money too much, it would grow wings and fly away.
Bourne saved precious energy in the Capsule by flying in wind currents for the first part of their flight. He had flown north and skimmed over Tragedy, which was, as usual, obscured by a thick grey cloud. Tragedy was one of the most isolated towns in Err despite being quite close to Aletheia. It was such a depressing place that only stalwart Rescuers and Mrs Payne Hope, who was the resident Outpost Rescuer, visited the people there. The children hadn’t observed the town. They had taken no notice of whatever might be beneath such a gloomy cloud. They had flown close to the town of Resentment which was hidden behind thick, dark trees; really Resentment just looked like a seething, impenetrable forest. Now Bourne was flying the Capsule south east. They flew over the majestic town of Pride, which was a constantly expanding town of the most unashamed, shiny tidiness. Pride had won the ‘Err in Bloom’ competition for the last ten years. Josie thought it might be a nice town to visit, although in reality it was an extremely irritating place. Everybody just wanted to talk about themselves. Anybody who lived there had no time to listen to stories about anyone else. Conversations consisted of everyone talking at once and nobody listening.
Now, ahead of the flying Capsule, a raging river snaked through the land of Err like a long, ugly, unhealed cut.
“Look down there!” cried Dusty. “Look at that town where the river has burst its banks!”
Harold had come back into the main cabin to join the children. “That’s Muddled-by-Self,” he explained.
“It must be pretty muddy there anyway!” said Hugo.
“Was that meant to be a joke?” asked Henrietta.
“Actually,” said Harold, “there is a story that the people who first settled in Muddled-by-Self intended to call the town ‘Muddied-by-Self’, because the River Self was always bursting its banks and causing mud there.”
“Ha, ha!” laughed Dusty.
“But somebody got uh…muddled when they wrote the sign for the town, and so they called the town ‘Muddled-by-Self’!”
The two boys laughed loudly.
“That’s not really a very good joke,” said Henrietta.
“But it is a pretty accurate description of the town,” said Harold. “Because that’s exactly what the people there are like. They are muddled by themselves.”
“Muddled by themselves?” asked Dusty.
“The people in Muddled-by-Self believe they have the answer to everything in life themselves and don’t need any other help to find it,” said Harold. “They don’t acknowledge God in their lives; instead they talk endlessly of their own version of what is good and true and right, and only end up unhappy and disillusioned and hopelessly muddled.”
Dusty stared at the untidy, desolate town retreating into the distance. That was exactly what he believed! Dusty thought he could figure out everything himself and find all the answers to happy, peaceful living somewhere in Err. And yet – people that believed what he did were living in a small, grubby town that was constantly flooded by the raging River Self.
“Why would people build a town where the River Self bursts its banks?” asked Henrietta.
“The River Self is always too full,” said Harold. “It’s always overflowing and it always will be while people are so full of themselves. Look at it raging just now! I don’t know how high it might get with this purple storm coming!”
“They should move further back, away from the river,” said Dusty.
“They can’t,” said Harold. “The pull of the Self is too strong.”
Dusty wondered what he meant, but Harold left the children and returned to the co-pilot’s seat.
The flight now followed the course of the River Self. Beneath them, through the peepholes in the floor, the children could see a landscape of largely trees and bogs and winding roads. They were passing over Compromise and close to Alternative Teaching. Hugo and Henrietta looked closely at the small streets of Alternative Teaching and the dots of houses and shops. They had been to Alternative Teaching once before, on their adventure in the land of Err in the summer. But they were flying too high and too fast to make out Dough’s tumble-down café where they had discovered the foul Black Beetle Beverage.
“The storm has moved!” Dusty exclaimed suddenly.
They stopped peering through the peepholes in the floor of the Capsule and gathered around Dusty at the window. Even Josie came, unable to resist the growing excitement.
“The storm is hanging in the air,” said Hugo.
“Awesome!” said Dusty.
“It doesn’t exactly seem like a storm,” said Josie.
“How strange it looks!” exclaimed Henrietta.
“You would look pretty strange if you were hovering around like that,” observed Hugo.
“But even for clouds, even for weather, it looks downright weird!” said Henrietta.
The others agreed. There was something alien about the menacing black and purple clouds that were boldly claiming the sky. It was as if they were poised to dump their evil purple load on the hapless Other-gods Conference Centre above which the centre of the storm now hung.
“I wonder when it moved,” said Dusty. “One minute it was brewing over there…” he waved his hand vaguely in the direction of the south-east of Err, “and the next moment it was suddenly there!” And ‘there’ was very definitely the small cluster of buildings and the big lake that formed the Other-gods Conference Centre.
Suddenly, without any warning, the Capsule dropped from the sky. Like a stone it fell, sending the children shooting upwards towards to the ceiling, before they fell back down with a bump onto the floor.
“Seatbelts fastened!” Bourne’s voice boomed into the cabin.
“It would be something if we could even get into our seats!” exclaimed Hugo, struggling to stand as the Capsule suddenly shot violently sideways.
“We’re going to hit the trees!” shrieked Josie.
“We really are just about at tree height!” exclaimed Henrietta. Both girls were still sprawled on the floor and clutching at the small rims of the peepholes there. And they were looking directly into the branches of trees.
Hugo hauled Josie by her ankle and managed to get her to a chair.
“Hold on!” came Harold’s urgent voice through the loudspeaker tube.
Which was precisely what the children could not do. Not one of them had their seatbelts fastened, and suddenly the Rescue Capsule catapulted straight up into the air. They were in a strange purple-tinged funnel which seemed determined to spew the entire Capsule high into space! And then suddenly they were released from the strange funnel and they were flying again, with Bourne and Harold swiftly regaining control.
Henrietta’s stomach was churning from the sudden turbulence and fright, and all of the others looked pretty sick. Dusty had a big bump on his head, and Hugo was clutching his arm as if he had hurt it.
“Grab a seat!” urged Hugo, “it might happen again!”
This time they all managed to reach a seat and fasten their seatbelts. They stared across the cabin at each other, too shocked to speak.
“What happened?” asked Hugo.
“Air pockets?” suggested Dusty faintly.
“Some air pocket!” said Henrietta.
“It was purple!” said Josie in wonder.
“Is everyone alright back there?” came Harold’s voice.
Hugo detached a speaking tube from the arm of his chair. “We’re Ok,” said Hugo. “What was it?”
“The outskirts of the purple storm,” said Harold.
“The outskirts of the storm?” echoed Henrietta. “What must it be like in the centre?!”
“Stay in your seats, we don’t know when it might hit again,” warned Harold.
“It’s funny, we can’t even see any of the storm yet, but it’s still throwing us around!” said Josie.
“There’s not much funny about this storm,” said Dusty. He looked pale and shaken.
“But there’s no purple here…” But as Josie spoke a tiny burst of purple smoke gave one little puff in the middle of the Capsule, and then it vanished.
“Did you see…?”
“Was that real?”
“What on earth…?”
“Hugo!” exclaimed Henrietta. “Did you just make a bad smell?”
“No, I jolly well did not!” said Hugo indignantly.
But there was certainly an extremely unpleasant smell around them. It was something like the smell of rotten eggs.
“Well, don’t look at me!” said Josie. “I certainly didn’t…!”
“I think it was the purple smoke thing,” said Dusty.
“There it is again!” said Henrietta. “Oh! It’s gone again!”
Another tiny burst of strange, malignant, purple smoke was there one moment, and the next it had utterly vanished away.
“Uh…” Harold’s voice came once more into the main cabin over the speaking tube. “Sorry kids,” he said, “but we’re having some problems with our protective filters. Hugo and Henry put on your helmets of salvation. The purple smoke isn’t poisonous, but it will begin to affect your mind…”
Neither of the twins could reach their helmet of salvation from their chair. Everything had been jostled about during the violent turbulence they had been through, and now there were bits and pieces all over the floor.
“We should have worn it all along,” said Henrietta in a subdued sort of voice. She knew that the helmet of salvation would keep her mind on what the Lord Jesus had done for her and how He had defeated everything that was evil at the cross. Wearing the helmet of salvation would also help her to be patient with Josie: because it would remind Henrietta that the Lord Jesus had died for Josie too – if she would only accept what He had done and trust in Him.
“What about me and Josie?” asked Dusty in a troubled voice. “We don’t have helmets of salvation to protect us!”
“It’s nothing,” muttered Josie. “Don’t worry about it.”
“It’s everything!” said Henrietta, trying to see her helmet through the jumble of things on the floor of the Capsule.
After a while they got used to the sight of tiny puffs of purple smoke appearing and vanishing in unexpected corners of the Capsule. The vile smell of something like rotten eggs became more constant and Dusty commented that it wouldn’t matter if someone made a bad smell now, because nobody would notice.
“That’s disgusting!” said Josie.
“Yuk!” said Henrietta.
But then they forgot all about the purple smoke and the bad smell. For once again the Capsule plunged violently downwards, then sideways, then straight up in the air. Then it was spinning wildly around in a circle, round and round, faster and faster, until they were convinced that their heads would spin off their shoulders and land in the jumble of things that were strewn across the floor. It was a far more wild and terrifying experience than the ride on the Gobbler at the Academy of Soldiers-of-the-Cross. All of the children knew that something completely unexpected had happened, something to do with the storm. And now the Capsule might be anywhere: they might have been flung straight into the middle of the purple storm itself!
Suddenly, from the pilots’ compartment, they heard an alarm sound.
“Not another alarm!” groaned Henrietta, trying to be light-hearted about it.
But her voice shook and the others looked as white and scared as she did. The alarm was harsh and urgent, the type of alarm that just sounded as if it meant disaster.
From the little they could see of Harold and Bourne there was some frantic activity as they pulled levers and turned dials and pushed buttons. But the alarm only got louder and more insistent.
“We’re going to crash!” shrieked Josie. “We’re all going to die!”
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John 3:17, The Bible.
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