The Stone of Tomorrow: Intro and Chapter 1

I wrote/am in the process of writing a novel for young adults. Frustrated by my inability to bust down the gates of a, or any, reputable publishing house I have decided to post chapters here to my website. Like it, share it, do with what you please. If it sucks, lacks an experienced editor’s voice and/or you’d prefer I stop disseminating, tell me that too. Your feedback may very well determine the fate of this folly.

-JL

SUMMARY/INTRO

The Stone of Tomorrow is about Wheelie, a 12 year old boy who following his parents’ divorce moves with his mother to her hometown in rural New Hampshire where they will care for the boy’s grandfather who is confined to a wheelchair after suffering a stroke. The expansive farmhouse where the grandfather lives has been in the family for generations going back to before the Revolutionary War and includes a massive stone fireplace that was part of the original foundation.

One night the grandfather goes missing and when the curious boy investigates he uncovers the magical powers of the farmhouse. Transported back in time through the fireplace the boy encounters an evil officer in the British Army and a mysterious man who may very well know the whereabouts of the boy’s missing grandfather.

Joined by a young neighborhood girl who is equally lonely and desperate for adventure, the friends travel back and forth through time hoping to stop a chain of events that threaten to rewrite the course of history and eliminate the very existence of the boy’s family.

Chapter 1

UNDER A DARK MOON

The dark figure lurched over the lifeless mason’s body and began making its way up the side of the rocky slope towards the entrance to the quarry. It had stopped raining and the clouds had opened up just enough to allow the full moon to shine through giving the mysterious man plenty of light to see as he navigated his lanky frame over and around large boulders of limestone and granite.

When he reached the top of the hill he looked back down the steep slope one final time to see if he was being followed. The mason’s arms and legs remained splayed out over the rocks. The man smiled. Confident that he was alone he drew the bloody stone axe out from beneath his red coat and started his descent down the rope ladder and into the cave below where his date with destiny awaited.

Before reaching the bottom his hands slipped off the rope and his body came splashing down into a puddle of rainwater on the quarry floor. The man pulled himself up onto his knees. A lock of black hair draped in front of his eyes and his damp shirt hung loosely from his body revealing a long scar which ran from the center of his chest all the way up along his neck to the back of his left ear. Normally fastidious, presently the man was not concerned about his appearance now that he was so close to claiming his prize.

As he made his way across the muddy path towards the far side of the quarry he came to an abrupt stop.

Footprints

Excitement turned to anger. He’d seen these footprints before. He’d followed them across rivers and valleys. Over rocky mountains and fertile farmlands. In war and in peace. And now these familiar footprints were a step ahead of him once again.

With axe drawn, he sprinted across the quarry floor. The footprints disappeared down a tunnel through the quarry wall. The man got down on all fours and like a rabid dog plunged into the darkness. There was a light at the end of the tunnel and the man didn’t have to crawl for very long before emerging from the shadows. This next portion of the quarry was much narrower and taller than the main room. The moon was shining brightly through a very small opening at the top of the cone shaped cavern. The light made all the quartz crystals embedded in the walls of granite glow like stars.

There were no trace of footprints but at first glance the man knew that this was the place he’d been searching for. The walls of cavern weren’t solid rock but thousands of individual granite blocks, stocked one on top of the other like bricks. Each of the bricks had a different set of digits chiseled into its side. The man surveyed the cone shaped room and located the section of numbers he was interested in directly above the tunnel opening. He clasped the axe between his teeth and using the small crevices between the bricks began climbing the side of the cavern.

His mind was filled with rage as he scaled the wall. Halfway up the face of the cavern he came to a stop and using the blood stained edge of the axe began counting.

1771…1772…1773…1775…1776

The mysterious man let go of the axe and thrust his hand into the open space.

The brick was missing.

He lowered his head in anguish and began beating the granite with a closed fist. Blood from his knuckles trickled into the sides of the bricks as he quickly made his was back down the quarry wall. When he reached the ground he picked up his axe and stared up at the full moon before letting out a loud howl.

It was at that moment that he swore he would never allow the man responsible for the footprints to ever see the light of day again.