Book one ~ Game Over
Candy Land Crush
The Glowing Thingamabob
“You be a good boy?” fourteen-old James Peterson’s mom asked. But it was more of a statement rather than a question.
“`Course Mom. See you after school.”
James’ mom sighed, knowing something would go wrong at school. She had brown hair, which she always wore in a tight bun, and tired eyes.
James rolled his eyes and turned to his father. He broke out in a smile as he bounded into his fathers arms.
“Bye son,” Mr. Peterson said. He had a bright smile and always is extremely friendly. His light brown hair always seems to have a small ‘dent’, so to speak, that obviously his dad had tried to comb out on the way home from work.
But James never worried.
He only suspected that his dad was trying on products at work. He’s a salesman down in the big city!
Although James has asked many, many times- he’s never been aloud to come along.
“Now James,” Mr. Peterson said sternly. “I’m gonna try to survive today without an email from your principal!” he continued, swallowing a smile.
James grinned slightly. “Sure dad!” James walked out the door after a last second hug from Molly, his 5-year-old sister.
James, like many other kids, has a specific problem so to speak.
He’s a good student, but gets distracted easily.
This was the most recent time. It happened 3 days ago….
He was sitting at his desk, gazing out the window. His teacher was talking but a yellow butterfly, just outside the window, distracted him.
His teacher asked some sort of question on place value and he absentmindedly raised his hand to answer. “Mr. Peterson? Can you tell us the answer?”
In a sleepy tone James answered, “Have you ever wondered why berries are red?” His head was pointed towards the ceiling and he was leaning dangerously far back in his chair.
He had won a snicker from his classmates, though James was oblivious to it at the time.
His teacher had worn a shocked expression. But at the same time a little amusement crossed her face. “Well no, actually, I haven’t. But I would appreciate it if you could return to Earth for the last 41 minutes of class. Make that 40. Unless…you would like to pay a visit…TO THE PRINCIPAL’S OFFICE! FOR THE 4TH TIME THIS YEAR!” She literally yelled that last bit!
James had snapped out of his trance and, as he sank down in his seat, he had realized that the whole class was laughing at him! Well the whole class except…Callie Carpenter, Miles Dale, and Cole Smith. They were his best friends! He didn’t have a clue how, or why, but they just were!
Callie had blue eyes, rosy cheeks, and an ever-present-strawberry-red headband that kept her chestnut hair out of her face. She was very sweet, and at that moment, her eyes had been filled with concern for James. She never wanted him to get in trouble.
Cole had dirty blonde hair, brown eyes, and usually wore a smirk- which meant trouble.
Miles had neat brown hair and dark brown eyes.
James himself had always messy brown hair and eyes as blue as the ocean!
That day had ended with the teacher sending his parents an email and Callie, unsuccessfully, trying to come up with excuses for him. Most of them were things like, “But I really wanted to know why berries were red!” or “Eh, I just wanted to watch Ms. Craft get mad!”
Although Callie’s sweet, it might only be fair to warn you, that she can be troublemaker at times.
Callie and Cole tend to get into fights let’s say about 2,3, sometimes, 4 times a day!
At this moment, however, the four friends were walking down the street, empty at the moment, on their way home from school.
Miles was lagging behind, shuffling some early fall leaves that had fallen with his feet. Callie and Cole had somehow picked up an argument about how long it would take a penny to reach the bottom of a sewer, if thrown in. James, on the other hand, was enjoying watching the argument!
“Well,” Callie was saying, with extreme “enthusiasm”. “If you drop the penny from standing up it would probably take about twenty minutes or so. But really is depends on how long or short the sewer is, so I would say-” But she was cut short as she almost fell into an open sewer herself!
“Callie watch out!” yelled Cole, throwing down his neon-green-leopard-print-backpack along the way! He grabbed her arm to steady her. Her fox-fur vest caught on a branch and she tugged it off.
“Thanks!” Callie sighed, dusting off her blue jeans. “They should really warn you about that! I could’ve fallen in there!” she continued, checking her red Converses for holes. “You know, a little police tape never hurt any- hold on what are you planning?”
James turned around and realized that Cole was wearing a smirk. He had a bad feeling about this. And as he watched- Cole’s smirk grew!
“Well,” said Cole. “I was thinking…There’s an open sewer right here! And I’ve got a penny in my pocket! Time to prove you wrong, Callie!”
He reached into his pocket and, sure enough, pulled out a penny.
Cole dropped it in and almost instantly they heard a plop as the penny hit the bottom. “Oh yeah! I was right! In your face, Cal!” Sang Cole, dancing around the sewer with his hands in the air.
James laughed.
He could tell Callie was upset that she hadn’t been right. “Well let’s see if you’re right about…” Callie said to Cole. She looked around for something else to throw in. Finally, she picked up a twig. “If you’re right about a twig! I think it will hit the bottom in three seconds!” she said matter-of-factly.
“Hey!” shouted Cole in protest. “You just said that because you knew I was gonna say that and win! And you just want to win!”
“Well, let’s see who’s right,” Callie stated innocently. And with that said she dropped the twig into the sewer. It hit the bottom in exactly three seconds. “Who’s right now?” Callie bragged. They did the same thing with a pencil, a leaf, a button from Cole’s shirt, and a piece of tree bark. They were starting to turn it into a game, though, of just picking up random things and throwing them in.
“Hey Cal,” said Cole. “Check out that newspaper over there!” he was pointing a few feet away to where a newspaper lay on the sidewalk.
“Oh, this?” asked Callie as she stood up to grab the newspaper. She walked back over to Miles, James, and Cole. She peeked at the front page and let out a gasp of mock excitement. Then she exclaimed sarcastically, “Oh, it’s an article about plants! My favorite topic!”
Callie held it over the sewer and dropped it in.
“Oh, no!” she said, as her hands flew up over her mouth. “My bad! I don’t have a very firm grip. Hey guys! Did I ever tell you about the time I was reading something about ducks for some lame school assignment. It was worth like, 50% of our grade or something. Boring right? Anyway, I totally “on accident” dropped the paper in the pond?!” James and Cole burst out laughing!
Miles stepped forward and cleared his throat.
“Ahem. I don’t mean to interrupt, well-” he pointed at the others, “-whatever this is. But shouldn’t we be getting home now? This place is giving me the creeps.” As he said this he stared at the empty street and shivered, imagining all the terrible ‘empty street stories’ he’s ever heard coming to life.
“Aw, come on, Miles!” said James. “We’ve only been here for a couple minutes.”
“Yeah come on Miles,” Callie pleaded. “Please…?”
Miles sighed. “Ok fine, but, um….” He trailed off.
“What’s up now?” James and Callie both said at the same time. They shared an awkward glance and returned their focus on Miles.
Miles tilted his head like a puppy dog and he wore a confused expression. “What…what is that?” he asked, pointing.
James and Callie turned their heads, along with Cole, towards the field in which the Perkin’s house used to be; the mayor and his family. They squinted against the tired sun that was trying to peek over the autumn trees.
The field was spotless except for one small object.
A tiny sparkle in the field that shown against the sun’s sweet rays.
All four looked at each other, shrugged, and ran. They dropped their backpacks and let the dry wind blow their hair around. The four were blown effortlessly into the field at a race to find the small object.
Making it at the same time they all crowded around the object. “What is it?” Cole asked.
Callie pushed her hair away from her face and leaned a little closer. “A…goblet.”
“Goblet?” asked the boys. Callie nodded. Goblets definitely were not the big hit here in New York City!
They looked at each other, reading their expressions, and nodded. Cautiously, they bent even closer to the goblet and reached out a hand.
They touched the cold metal and let the cold swarm into their arms.
Nothing happened so they held their hands there on the goblet.
Suddenly the sun burst from the trees, swallowing the field and blinding the teenagers. The trees all seemed to wave down on them and suddenly they were sucked up by light.
James felt the feeling of floating and he desperately kicked his feet to find solid ground.
He hit something.
“Ow, James!” It was Callie.
“Sorry,” he yelped back. At least he wasn’t alone.
The light took over and soon they were blinded.
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