by Michael Fedison
Seventh-grader Mitchell Brant and three of his classmates inexplicably wake up at the back edge of a softball field to the sounds of a game, the cheering of the crowd. None of them remembers coming here. And as they soon learn, “here” is like no place they’ve ever seen. Cars resemble antiques from the 1950s. There are no cell phones, no PCs. Even the spelling of words is slightly off.
A compulsive liar, constantly telling fantastic stories to garner attention and approval, Mitchell can only wish this were just one more of his tall tales. But it isn’t. It’s all too real. Together, as they confront unexpected and life-threatening dangers, Mitchell and his friends must overcome their bickering and insecurities to learn what happened, where they are, and how to get back home.
The answers can be found only in the mysterious little girl with the blue, hypnotic eyes. The one they had each dreamed of three nights in a row before arriving here. She is their only hope. And, as they eventually discover, they are her only hope.
And time is running out.
Read an excerpt:
(End of chapter 12)
It seemed like hours before he got to sleep. The night-beast outside continued to howl, Duss continued to bark, and Joe had to keep getting up to hush him. But eventually, mercifully, the howling ceased. And then Mitchell just lay there, thinking—of worlds upon worlds, layers of existence, side by side. And he wondered. What was he doing in those other worlds right now? Did he have a sister? Were his parents the same? Did they get along, somewhere? Were there really worlds out there where his mom and dad didn’t fight with each other? Were there worlds where Mitchell was confident? Where he could talk with ease, and his tongue worked as fluidly, as effortlessly, as his mind?
“Good night, Mitchell,” he whispered, to himself, to all of his selves, in all of the worlds in existence. His last thought before sleep finally took him away was of a line of Mitchell Brants. They stood, single file, one in front of the other. He started to count them in his mind’s eye, but the line went on and on, forever. He was infinite, endless.
When he counted the two hundred sixty-third Mitchell Brant, the line began to melt away, disintegrating into the netherworld of his dreams.
Michael S. Fedison was born in Rochester, New York, and now lives with his wife, Sarah, and regal cat, Luke, in the green hills of central Vermont. Michael has been writing creatively for as long as he can remember, and has had short fiction published in several literary magazines, including Iconoclast and The Written Word. He works as a full-time technical writer and also is a freelance proofreader and copy editor.
Michael has been a lover of imaginative stories his entire life. He enjoys any story that takes you by the hand, lifts you up, and transports you to another place, a new and creative way of looking at the world around us.
Michael will be awarding a $25 Amazon GC to a randomly drawn commenter during the tour. Follow the tour for more chances to win!