I was recently contacted by Simon Williams who asked if I would share this book for him. Simon is donating the proceeds to TACT, an adoption and fostering charity. Since he will not be making money from this book, I decided to share here. This fantasy book is for children ages 10 and up. Below is an excerpt from Summer’s Dark Waters.
The afternoon wore on, tedious in the way that only summer afternoons spent inside can be. The hands of the clock on the wall appeared (to the eyes of the hot and tired students who kept staring at it) to be moving far too slowly, as if like them it was starting to wilt a little in the summer heat.
Joe finished his work and turned it over to stop anyone nearby from copying his answers. Nathan sat nearest to him, and he usually tried to look at Joe’s work whenever he got a chance, but today he was actually trying to figure out the answers himself for a change.
Joe frowned and looked around suddenly. The oddest sensation had come to him- something he could not even hope to describe.
It’s like there’s suddenly an extra person in the classroom, he thought, and he found himself looking around at everyone and counting heads, certain that there was a new student who had suddenly wandered into the room- although that was impossible, because he and everyone else would have seen him or her. In fact their teacher, Miss Wells, would have introduced the new student at the beginning of the lesson.
And there can’t be anyone new anyway, he reminded himself. It’s almost the end of the summer term. No one joins school with just a week to go.
But he couldn’t stop himself looking around, scanning everyone and silently counting them. A few saw him and stared back. Daniel made a rude hand signal and glared at him. Gemma stuck out her tongue. Caitlin just smiled and gave him a little wave before going back to her work.
“Have you finished your work, Joe?” Miss Wells asked, staring at him over the top of her glasses.
“Yes miss,” he said politely.
“Then could you please stop looking around at everyone else and read a book until the end of class?”
Joe took a book out of his bag and opened it at the bookmark. He began reading, but he had only got as far as halfway down the page when another strange feeling came to him. It was as if he was being watched intently by one of the other students.
No, he thought suddenly, closing the book slowly. His heart pounded and his stomach felt as if it had turned over. No, it’s not one of the other students. It’s the missing one. It’s the one I can’t see.
He knew that what he was thinking didn’t make any sense. It sounded completely mad. But that didn’t stop him being certain that there was someone in the class apart from all the people who he could see.
His eyes were drawn to a desk not far from the window where the sun poured in. There was no one sitting there, and he tried to remember who normally sat at that desk. Did anyone sit there?
Time seemed to slow down as he stared at the desk, at the sunlight slanting in across the classroom, at the tiny specks of dust that shone in the still warm air. He could dimly hear the tired ticking of the classroom clock on the wall. It’s slower than usual, he thought. It’s slowing down.
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