Wednesday, March 16, 2011

A Tick in Time, excerpt from chapter 3


A TICK IN TIME is a fantasy adventure for kids ages 8 - 12. Here is an excerpt from chapter 3. Tommy has run past the clock, which ticked when it should have tocked, and he was thrown into another dimension. At this point he has been in the strange land for quite a while.

“Boy!”

Tommy awoke with a start from the hard ground.

“What did you do?” Angrily a woman scolded him. “Get off the marns! They’re almost dead! Why, they’re flatter than a Doldale coin. What were you thinking? Step lightly, now.” She was fat and sweaty, with her face all scrunched up and puckered like a prune and she was stomping the ground with a thick walking stick.

Tommy rolled off the flattened marns onto his hands and knees and the coin he had in his pocket fell at his fingertips.

The old woman’s eyes fixed on the pink coin and her face changed into a near approximation of a smile. “A pink. You have a pink, I see. Are you a visiTOR?” She pronounced it just like Zerd.

Tommy got up and nodded.

“Are you hungry? I’ll give you a whole dinner for that pink coin. A whole dinner and two blue coins in change.”

Tommy had no idea what a pink or a blue coin was worth, but he sure was hungry and dinner sounded great. He passed over the pink coin and the old woman gave him two blue coins from her pocket. Then she cracked off the rounded top of the walking stick and bit into it as she shoved the rest of the stick in Tommy face. “There you go, boy. Enjoy and step lightly,” she said as she chewed noisily, crunching on another bit of the piece. She mumbled under her breath, “Can’t have a visiTOR eating the best part.”

“Wait a minute,” Tommy began, but the old woman was fast. She jumped over a marn at the side of the trail, bent down and grabbed a handful of the blue grass, then disappeared behind a humongous tree trunk.

Tommy was stunned. He had just bought a walking stick for dinner. He looked at it. It appeared to be a giant pretzel. The top part where she had broken off the rounded head was flaky and warm. He smelled the top. Hot pretzel. He bit off a tiny portion and rolled it around on his tongue before chewing it up. Yum. He broke off a bigger piece and stuffed it into his watering mouth. Delicious. This wasn’t a bad deal after all. And he had two blue coins left. Perhaps Zerd and the old woman were nice, generous citizens of Doldale.

copyright 2010 A Tick in Time by Debra Chapoton