A Time to Reap, YouTube

A Time to Read…

The pun in the title is on purpose. I’m not slacking at proofreading just yet. I was able to sit down with L.R.W. Lee and participate in her YouTube channel, Book Nerd Paradise. She has new and experienced authors alike give a brief synopsis of our book, tell one of our favorite quotes and pose a trivia question.

Did I also mention I read a portion of my book, A Time to Reap?

Did I also mention I’m giving away two free copies of said book? Just for commenting on the video, you can have a chance at winning!

I spent the past few months combing back through and perfecting the first and second books in the series. It wasn’t because I didn’t love the original, I just wasn’t satisfied with a lot of the open ended portions and inconsistencies I had in my own brain. So, it’s back and better than before! If you have a Kindle copy and haven’t tried it out yet, please go update and I hope to hear from you!

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Journey of 1000 Miles

Where is Your Copy?

If the answer is yes, does your friend, your mom, your dad, siblings, cousins, friends, frenemies, enemies and all the people in between? Amazon lets you gift these things! You can even hold them as a gift for a birthday or Christmas present. Point is, the sale is a limited time and I’d love you to save money. More than that, I’d love to see pics of you with your copy! Post it out on Instagram or Twitter with the #ATimetoReap or #ATimetoLive

The mini-sale on Kindle copies is ending soon! $.99 each!! WHAAAAAAT? Yup, for the same amount of change you can find in your car, you can enjoy a digital (eco-friendly, green) copy of both my books!

This sale ends for A Time to Reap on the 11th and A Time to Live is going to run until the 14th. So, take a dollar gamble, read a chapter or two then come back and pick up the sequel with plenty of time to spare.



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Journey of 1000 Miles

Dry July

Well, as an Indie, the only truly bad part about being your own boss is that you can’t reprimand the underlings for slacking on their job. Well, you can, but it’s basically a shouting match in front of a mirror. And let’s face it, I can’t argue with this face. Soooo, my busy body time in June left my July a slackerrific month indeed. As such, my sales greatly noticed it. In fact a sale in June and one in August bookend the hollow nothing in-between.

That’s a bad author… no biscuit for me. So, as a punishment and in hopes that there are still fans out there, I’ll be kicking off a mini-sale on Kindle copies starting this Friday morning! $.99 each!! WHAAAAAAT? Yup, for the same amount of change you can find in your car, you can enjoy a digital (eco-friendly, green) copy of both my books!

Careful though, sale ends for A Time to Reap on the 11th. Why? I don’t have a clue, Amazon would not allow me to stretch it out for a week. On the plus side, A Time to Live is going to run until the 14th. So, take a dollar gamble, read a chapter or two then come back and pick up the sequel with plenty of time to spare.



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A Time to Reap, The Next 1000 Miles

Dream a Little Dream

As an author, November has by far been my worst month. A steady flat-line has plagued my sales report all month. From the last sale on Halloween to today, not a thing. It’s distressing and humbling, making me question a lot of what I’m doing right and what I’m doing wrong. Mainly, my largest fault is my impatience, followed closely by imagination.

We’re all our own worst critics, but there has to be a time when it becomes clear once again that our writing is basically wonderful. Maybe we have some grammatical kinks to iron out or some issues with flow, but in all, we’ve written a story. A STORY! Think to yourselves about a friend or family member who has a dream and if they achieve it or even try to. Have they? Well, I have. Soon to be twice!!

The point is, for all of the negative feedback, the criticism and growing pains associated with my writing, I achieved a lifelong goal. And the age old question of what now has loomed above. We all want our stories to do well, but alone, without an agent, a publishing house or it being a full-time job, what can be expected? Lightning doesn’t strike when and where you want it. I must learn to dream big, expect small and hope for whatever should happen, will happen.

In the giving spirit, I have a book giveaway happening right now on Goodreads, feel free to put your name in and hopefully you’ll become one of the lucky ones! It runs until the 16th of December and is absolutely free and anonymous. Another item I plan on doing is what I’d like to hope as the Pay it Forward method.

I am going to give three digital copies away. One on WordPress, one on my Facebook Page and one on my Twitter page. It’s first come, first serve. I’ll gift it to your Kindle with no real expectations or obligations. My hope, if you enjoy the book, try to Pay it Forward. Gift a copy, or three, to someone you know that might like it. If you don’t, I understand, it’s a gift for $1.29. No harm no foul. So, be the first to respond and I’ll get in touch with your info and you have a free book. My Merry Christmas to you!

And if you’re still debating to start on a dream of your own, my only advice is to start now. There will always be another dream waiting.

A Time to Live, A Time to Reap, The Next 1000 Miles

Who Forgets How to Drive?

In my state, whenever snow touches the ground again for the first few days, it seems like everyone. As much as I’d love to give each idiot a physics lesson on what happens to water when it freezes, acceleration versus velocity, viscosity and all of that, I just hope that mother natures plan to thin the idiots from the herd doesn’t have me as a bystander.

Onto the new stuff. So, the next book is in my own preliminary edits (my own personal hell) before going to the pros in December. In the spirit of giving, I have another Goodreads giveaway up for diligent fans, the link is below. Totally free, it will ask for your address only because I’d have to mail you a copy if / when you win.This will be the last giveaway I have for A Time to Reap, so I hope you can all give it a shot.

I am planning on doing a cover reveal for the sequel, A Time to Live, in the month of December. It’ll be fairly small depending on the size of the crowd, but you can ask questions (book or non-book related), have a chance to win prizes and help me spread the word. So, keep your eyes peeled or come join me on the Facebook!

Goodreads Book Giveaway

A Time to Reap by Jonas     Lee

A Time to Reap

by Jonas Lee

Giveaway ends December 16, 2014.

See the giveaway details
at Goodreads.

Enter to win

A Time to Reap, The Next 1000 Miles

Oh, So You Like Gangbangs?

Sorry, no porn here, but while you’re reading, let’s talk about the poor unfortunate souls known as Reviewers. As an author, especially since I’m an Indie author, reviews are my major form of credibility and advertising.

One site that I was directed to The Indie View. It’s a site that post links to reviewers that are accepting books in various formats and genres and also a place for want-to-be reviewers to go and sign up to get books. Now, this is a great tool for each person.

Authors will hopefully find a reviewer or two, readers will get free books to read and contribute in helping an author step into the light. That’s the general premise.

Here’s the issue: authors will have to search, hunt, and peck through dozens upon dozens of sites. Mostly, to try and find out if the reviewer is looking for their genre, if they’re accepting reviews and the time commitment. I’ve come across sites that were taken down, no longer reviewing, and no longer accepting more than anything. Other sites have such a backlog, they can’t possibly accept all books and because of such, will not respond to let you know if they are even interested. So, for author’s it has promise, but the payout is not really there in my opinion.

For reviewers…oh, I hope you don’t go in thinking “I wonder if I’ll get many books…” because you will. Books will coming flying at you in such rapid speed and succession, you won’t know what the hell you got yourself into. I hope you have lots of free time and can devour a book in a day. If not, they will get crammed in your cram-hole until you have to deactivate your account.

Hint: set up a review email, don’t use your personal one unless you like sorting.

In the spirit of letting those reviewers rest, and to save myself time (let’s be honest), up until the end of the week, anyone wanting an eBook of A Time to Reap that reads this blog, just email me at JL.Fiction@outlook.com and use the subject line Gang Up on Jonas Lee. Tell me your format of preference and I’ll send you a copy in expectation of a review on Amazon and/or Goodreads. Deal?

This is only going out to my folks on WordPress, no other social media at this time. So, take advantage, read some reviews and lets help each other out!



Showcase

My Writing Process Blog Tour

Good morning, Imaginators!

Today, I am posting my part in the great Writing Process Blog Tour! This is a great way to answer questions nobody asked me directly. It’s like I’m reading your mind right now, almost. Some of you need to turn down the nudity…seriously.

First and foremost, I have to thank my lovely friend, Lizzy Baldwin from MyLittleBookBlog. Lizzy and I have been appreciating each others blogs for a while now. She was kind enough to be my first reviewer when I was still in editing stages and continues following me. She has a great site, please go visit her.

On to the next portion, the Q & A:

What am I working on? Currently, I have a lot of pots on the stove and diligently attempting to stir them all. My first book that I plan on releasing in July (Indie-Style) is A Time to Reap. It follows the musing anecdotes of Carter Gabel who is afflicted with a genetic abnormality taking place in the future where people unpredictably travel back in time. Additionally, I am working on wrapping up the sequel to said series. AND I’m collaborating with the exquisite, Reenie Denver on a possible new story. We’re just starting to think of how to tackle our dynamic duo, so it’s in the beginner stages. Beyond that, I’m plotting out ideas for a YouTube channel and other marketing possibilities. So…working on a couple of things.

How does my work differ from others in its genre? Hmm, well it’s a conundrum just to ponder realistic time travel and such. Now I have to dive into what makes me special? That’s almost worse. My work (seriously) differs from others in the same caliber because I take you through not one shade of color but a spectrum. You won’t just be entertained with the plot, you will chuckle, then laugh, then feel the depth of drama, the romantic element between characters and the anger associated with decisions they’re faced with. And those colors can change from page to page in some areas. Be as prepared as you can for the twists.

Why do I write what I do? Why a YA-based story dealing with time travel and other nuances? Well, I originally started this story as a means to engage some readers while I attempted pitching my first complete work. Honestly, taking the pressure off from that more serious piece allowed my creativity to just explore. A Time to Reap reflects a lot of my personality through it in terms of being lighthearted.

As far as writing this type of story versus straight horror, mystery or romance, I think there is a different genre waiting to be born. All of these sub-genres don’t really speak to the gravity of emotions a certain type of story can take you on. I say this because when I think Sci-Fi, I don’t really think of my book. I think of space travel and phaser guns and shit. It’s not a fantasy filled with fairies or dragons. It’s not a horror with an unspeakable foe of nightmarish proportions. It’s life … with a twist. Fragile, wonderful, explosive and packed with the determination to entertain the reader in various ways.

How does my writing process work? Generally, I get ideas while driving. On occasion you might find me “talking on my speaker phone” when I’m actually playing out dialog aloud. I start with a little notion of what I want to accomplish and just start hammering the keys. At some point after the first page, I get lightning flashes of ideas on what a character would say or how character development might take place or simply a cool “look” that floats in my head. I swear I generally have to redo the first few paragraphs because of something I contradict later because I like it better.

Additionally, I could not get far without some music playing off my Bose ear buds. It’s usually melodic dubstep. Mainly, it has no lyrics I need to focus on and provides a beat keeping my mind constantly engaged. On certain circumstances, I actually paired my typing speed to the beat and the result was an action packed scene I dare not spoil.

Not to sound like a juggernaut, some times I have every intention of writing. I sit down and it’s like brain constipation. Pushing a thought out is borderline aneurism inducing. It’s rare, but in those instances I need to either read or get on the Netflix for something to kick-start me.

OK! That part is done. I could babble on and on, so it’s a good segue to the next and last portion of the Tour. The next round of talent!The following authors are set and ready to post their own section of the tour on July 7th. So, in order of their response to me:

{Ryan Attard} – I stumbled onto Ryan’s page through another blogger as I’m sure we’ve all done. I was listening to the podcast he has for this author and I enjoyed his random musings and entertaining rattles about whatever topic graced his mind at the time. Ryan is the author of the Birthright series, his second novel released a few weeks ago and you should check out the blog, read the books and let him know I sent you!

Ryan at Amazon and on GoodReads

{Reenie Denver} – I honestly saw a comment from Reenie on the Opinionated Man and followed the link down the rabbit hole until I made it to her site. And yes, I am collaborating with her currently an a project out of her element. Reenie has a very steamy page filled with the kind of things you should not read at work or small children. But…yes, there is a but, she also is able to craft her words into more than one area. Her short stories as well as her poetry display those characteristics remarkably. You should have clicked on something by now and know what I’m talking about.

{Honorable Mentions} I tried to get a few others, but they had either recently gone through the tour or were unavailable. Special thanks to Shannon A. Thompson and Sarah J. Carlson for taking part already and letting me know.

A Time to Reap

Final Blog Chapter

TTTG Ch 12

Well, spank me on the rear and call me a newborn. I had never met a Hunter before in my life and I guess a lot of my own internal questions were being answered while many more started sprouting up.

“How do you know he was a Hunter, Mo?”

“I could sense it in him. He’s not powerful like we are, even when we’re apart. But I think he could read your mom if he wanted to.”

Wow, that’s scary. A day ago, my mom was dazzling me with the things she could do. She was blocking Mo from me and flashing around the kitchen. Now, Mo was basically saying people below our abilities (aka, Mom) would be in danger around a Hunter.

“Did you get anything else from him?”

“He was easy to pick up on, but it was hard to understand all of him. He was blocking something out. And he kept trying to hide his face from my memories.”

“Is that what he was doing? I thought it was hard to look at him or something.”

“Another thing,” she says reluctantly, “they apparently have a hierarchy to Hunters.”

And something tells me my next question’s answer will not be favorable. “Like low level to high level?”

“Uh huh,” she states.

“And we’re on the …?” Please let me be wrong.

“The tippy-top.”

“Of course we are. I mean why wouldn’t we be?”

Her smile is not confidence inspiring by any means, but she’s at least acknowledging the dark humor in this situation of ours.

“Carter, there are 12 of them at our level. He wasn’t here for me, he was here for you. I think that’s the only way I got to read him, he wasn’t expecting me.”

I’m sure my smile has her wondering what the hell? But I think I know what we have to do today at school and it doesn’t involve my Lit paper or the Theorems from Geometry.

Mo and I got ready and rode the transit to school together. I kept stealing glances at her along the trip, throwing mental conversations at her along the way. It was a new way to communicate and the more we did it, the better we got. It wasn’t even necessary to say words at times. We could think of a picture or an emotion and when we pushed it over to each other, we immediately knew.

I didn’t necessarily ask her to be my girlfriend or anything as corny as that. But over the past few days, we have grown together like vines and were able to share things with one another in a way unlike anyone else could. We were further along in sharing ourselves then most people were in their first few years. Titles or gestures were no longer really needed. As she held my hand on the last part of the trip, it was evident to us both we were feeling love. Love as best as we knew how to describe it. We have yet to kiss and already she had my heart.

The doors opened to the station and we stepped out together. The school was a block away and I was suddenly hit with anxiety. My stomach bubbled and a patch of icicles poked down my neck. What would happen today and what if I didn’t do the right thing at the right time?

Mo squeezes my hand in two short bursts. Her winning smile is back and shining at me as her warm eyes peek out below the stocking hat I gave her to keep her pretty melon warm. In those few seconds, she reaffirmed me that we’d be fine.

The first two periods flew by like they were candles on a birthday cake, extinguished in a blink. About half way through the 3rd period, fortunately right before I was supposed to give my speech on the book I had yet to read, the communication link sounded calling for both Mo and I. It even took over the white board in the upper right corner showing our names and pictures. It looked like we were fugitives.

It was amusing to me, simply because they did that with everyone, except in my case, I may indeed be a criminal by the end of this period.

As I opened the frosted glass door reading Principal’s Office, I immediately noticed Mo sitting behind the countertop separating those waiting for the Principal and those simply in there for whatever reason.

I approach the front where Victoria is busy typing away at something. Victoria is Principal Uzman’s assistant and simply one of the nicest people I have ever met. She always has a smile to give you and remembers your name no matter who you are. Her wrinkles were only present in her smile even though she was older than my mother. The love this woman had for perfume was her only downfall. I think she has a misting machine she runs through periodically throughout the day in order to have a fresh coat on her clothes at all times. By the afternoon, she gets mighty potent.

“Hi, Victoria!” I was a little too enthusiastic. I hadn’t seen her in about a year.

“Carter DeTamble, how have you been sugar?” Her slight southern speak comes out when she’s being informal.

“I’m good, only had a few spells so far this term, so I’d say I’m improving.” My sophomore year had me in and out of class a lot. I was leaping out of nervousness I think, but there were a couple of instances when I leapt back into a gym class locker room. Thankfully, it was the boys and not the girls’ side.

“That’s wonderful, hon. So, it looks like you and Ms. Zester are set to visit with Principal Uzman.”

“Yah, I guess so. Any clues you can give me as to why?”

She pouted slightly, “Afraid not, they only have me give out the announcements. I don’t get to be privy as to the why.”

I smiled back knowing as much and she waived me through the swinging bar saloon-style gate leading behind her to the hallway with chairs lined on each side. Mo was sitting patiently in one and as I sat down beside her I noticed panic.

“What’s wrong?”

“Carter, I can’t sense anything. I actually tried and I can’t sly or buffer or push. Someone or something here is better at this than me.”

Oh, shit. “Well, that’s not good.”

She giggles nervously, cute but still no comparison to her normal laughter. Hoping to calm her nerves, I push a thought to her. It would be the physical equivalent to a mother stroking her hands through her child’s hair. It was a motion that either put me at ease or to sleep.

As she calmed down she looked at me relieved. A few seconds passed before her face scrunched ever so slightly in confusion. She reached out and held my hand and repeated the look.

“You’re much stronger than I am, Carter.”

“How is that?”

“You can still push thoughts to me. Even touching you, I can’t.”

Curiouser and curiouser. I always liked the saying since we read the classic Alice in Wonderland last year in Literature History class. But I hope something wasn’t overlooked or changed since I forecasted last night. My theories on time travel were limited and mostly theoretical, traveling ahead in time was never a factor so thinking of all the possible outcomes and scenarios was giving me a headache now. Swallowing down the large bite of alternate universes and string theories nearly killed me before the door across from us opened.

Lingering in the doorway, Principal Uzman was standing like a giant mutant. His skin shone even in the dim light of his doorway. I truly hoped that “future me” knew what he was talking about because right now I want to flash with Mo back home and begin running.

“Mr. DeTamble, Ms. Zester, please come into my office.” His voice was the only semi-cool thing about the man. It was low and grumbly like what you’d expect an evil wizard to sound like. If you only heard him talk, he’d be frightening. Mixed with his appearance though, he was simply creepy.

“Ready?” I ask Mo.

“As I’ll ever be.” Her panic was back but subdued as she felt better by my side.

As we walk into Uz Land. Wait, strike that. As we walk in the Land of Uz (yah, much better), I pick up on the thing Mo was mentioning. It was like a high-pitched frequency in the background. You wouldn’t even know it unless you really tried. It wasn’t mechanical though. It was coming from a person.

Whatever it was, it was trying to jam up Mo’s ability and mine I suspect. The only thing was I seemed to operate just fine without it. I could feel the molecules in my body ready to flash on command or buffer out any other attempts on me; although I couldn’t really test it without someone noticing.

Principal Uzman stepped into his office and waited on us to follow. On our way there, Mo grabs my hand with an emphatic squeeze.

“I don’t think this will work for us if I can’t help. I feel useless.”

I give a smaller squeeze back. “It’ll be okay. I’ll figure something out.”

We cross over the threshold into Uzman’s office and I fully expected a veil to drop or a signifying something letting me realize how we were now in the Danger Zone. Instead, it was a poorly lit office except for a desk lamp. There were no windows in his office, so it was more cave than anything. As my eyes adjusted to the gloominess, I realized it wasn’t just Principal Uzman and us. In the far corner, the Deslin twins were standing and looking at us like wounded gazelle in the African open field.

Mo had just enough time to look back at me with actual fear. It wasn’t panic, it was pure blown fear. For that I was going to take great delight in getting my retribution on them.

As Mo collapsed into my arms, I realized the twins were there as a method of getting information out of us. In their wicked smiles I knew together they were able to gang up on Mo who was defenseless and knock her out. The same was going to be directed at me soon.

Crap! I had to take this one on the chin. I couldn’t block them or else this charade would be over before it began. And if that’s the case, who knows what they would do to Mo before I could stop them. I had to let them feel like they’re winning and more powerful in order for them to let their guard down.

Man, this day better end in a win for us.

—————————————————————————————————————————

Thanks for everyone and anyone interested enough to read this far into the first half of The Time Traveler’s Grandchild. As I stated before, if anyone wants to continue seeing chapters, please feel free to email me and I will make sure to pass them along. Otherwise, I hope you will all join me on new stories both short and novel-based as I continue!

Journey of 1000 Miles

TTTG Ch. 11: In the First Year

TTTG Ch 11

No lie, I am exhausted. After I finally got to sit down and take the day in, all of the flashing and conduit training really takes its toll. Mo didn’t survive past dinner. She fell asleep propped up on her hands at the kitchen table as the water boiled on the stove for my special macaroni from a box.

I lasted at least until I made it up to my bedroom. Granted it was before 8:00 at night and my mother wasn’t even home yet. Still, I beat out Mo. I consider that winning. I couldn’t carry her all the way down to her room for the night so I put her on the far end of the king bed in my room.

If anything, my mom would freak out. But I was honestly too tired to even notice Mo in any way other than my friend needing a place to sleep. I was nice and tucked her in under the sheets while I remained above them. I think this makes a neutral barrier for us both.

The last thing I recall before drifting off was how my bed was seriously the most comfortable thing in all of creation. My muscles melted like butter in a skillet the moment I laid down. There is something to be said about the cool breeze of fall outside of a nice warm comforter.

On top of a mentally and physically exhausting day, I also learned my slightly cranky trainer is actually my grandson from the future trying to protect me. Try, just try and make this scenario believable to someone a few decades ago. Their mind would pop.

On a side note, I need to be nicer to David when he grows up.

As my thoughts calmed into the pillow beneath my head, my body floated off to sleep. It was the most relaxing feeling I could imagine making the exhaustive day worthwhile if this is the reward. I would catch small fragrances of Mo’s soap or perfume, I couldn’t tell. It was citrusy and relaxing in the same. A fleeting glimpse of her resting on her side was all the heaviness of my eyelids would allow as I was out.

My dream started early that evening for me. I was a ghost, I think, floating like a breeze through the streets. Everything appeared like my city. I could see familiar places I had been like the station where I went to school each day. I moved along the air with the track and the first difference I could see was the gigantic crater in place of where my school used to be.

It wasn’t recent as it looked like loose debris had already been cleared away. The hole remained in place of an area stretching out engulfing the entire complex, parking lot, practice field and out into the streets around the property. Something large and heavy fell on my school or something massive exploded.

My dream allowed me to drift down to the nearby park a couple of blocks from where the Pemberton School used to be. I got closer and closer to the ground and stabilized myself at my normal field of vision. I had no recollection of my limbs; I was just a floating mass wafting in the night time air.

Something pulls my focus as I notice a couple of men walking down the dim path. I could catch their features for a second as they passed under the old fashioned light posts. It only took a couple of times to realize it was David and I. As I got closer, I could tell we were talking about something important.

“We simply can’t trust him,” David explains. “I know he’s your father, he’s my great grandfather, and no one wants it to be truer than either of us. But the simple fact is too much of this is coinciding with what happened to that hunter from a couple of months ago.”

“I know that, David.” Boy I sound pissy in this dream. “He came to us at great risk though. If we hadn’t been in the exact place at that exact time, you know he would have died. Call me old fashioned, but I still would like to know the whole story before believing in what someone tells me.”

“And that Hunter? Did he not convince you enough?”

I am starting to question the dream I’m having. Everything feels too vivid. Even though I feel like I’m floating on my back in water there’s something too real about it all.

“That’s so unfair. You know why I couldn’t just let him go.”

David began shaking his head in apology. As he did so, a breeze picked up into a small gust and a red food wrapper hugged around his leg.

“Man, shit. Why don’t people use the poles around here?” David is talking about the receptacle poles, which are literally located on every street corner. Basically, you put trash in, then it crushes, sorts and recycles what it can and burns off what it can’t; all eco-safe.

“Wow, I know this moment,” I casually mention to David.

“What?”

“Give me a couple of minutes and I’ll catch up to you at the shop.” David nods and takes a few cautious glances around and in a glimmer disappears. No matter how many times I see it, it still gives me excited goose bumps.

My self goes over to a bench located directly beneath one of the lamp posts, takes a seat and waits. Whatever dream ocean I’m floating in has a current pulling me in that direction. I look like I’m trying to recall something as my eyes are pinched shut. When I open them, I’m looking right in my direction.

“I know you’re there. I remember this moment, only I was on the other side of this conversation when it happened for me.”

Wait, is this a dream?

“It’s not a dream, Carter. Oh, that’s weird, addressing myself aloud without having a real face to speak to.”

Can you hear me? Am I talking to you somehow?

A few moments go by, “I think I asked if I could hear me, and if it proves the same, then no. I can’t hear you. What you are doing is forecasting. You are asleep right now in your bed at home. Mo’s lying beside you. Because she is there, the Gemini power is working. So she is fueling a submersed talent you weren’t aware of before.”

I’m curious. This still feels like a dream, but in the same way I know that it isn’t.

“This is your first of many forecasts. You are basically doing what Timothy Lord did, only you are doing it correctly. Right now, you have projected your conscious a year in the future. Because you are me, your conscious will always be drawn to wherever I am. So no winning lotto picks, no roaming about trying to expect what else is going on in the world. You will be drawn to me whenever you forecast. After a while I won’t be able to remember all of our first encounters, so I won’t always know when you’re there.”

No way! If he could hear me or hear himself, I guess, I would be squealing with excitement. I wonder how many other hidden gems I have in store.

“Neat, right?” You’re damn right, …me. “Well, the main thing I have to tell you right now is about your tomorrow when you wake up.”

Ah yes, my apparent Doomsday. I hope I have some insights to share with myself.

“First of all, don’t panic. At least don’t panic yourself into flashing out of the room. They’ll be expecting something from you in order to track how you do it. And if they learn how you do it, they’ll also learn how to prevent you from doing it.”

Wait, am I saying once I wake up I’m going to be surrounded?

“Secondly, don’t worry about Mo. They are going to take her into another room thinking if you two are apart you won’t be any threat. She’ll be fine and you both will get through the day unharmed.”

Okay, so no panicking or worrying. And if this really is the future then I made it out okay and listened to my former future self. Wait, what? Crap! Time travel and loops get confusing.

“Lastly, just agree to whatever they say. Admit everything up to meeting David. Leave him out of it. But tell them about Ray and lying about Ray. Tell them about your mother with their questions when they ask. They’ll have you both back to school before the first bell sounds.”

Wait, I’m still going to school? As a student? Not sneaky-ninjaing in through a window or something? Nuts. I was kinda looking forward to that part.

“I know, sucks right? Don’t worry, you’ll have ninja moments later that day.” My future self looks around making sure that no one is approaching. As he does, I am curious what I have gone through in a year. I don’t look older, but there is something about me. Something that’s drastically different.

“Now, Principal Uzman will call you both to the office. Not to spoil it all for you but he basically runs the Program. The Program is the under the scenes organization within the government keeping tabs on people like us, and simultaneously experimenting on people with various levels of abilities. Most are kicked back out into society, not useful or harmful enough to do anything. Others either join into the Program or they simply vanish. Blamed on whatever is convenient at the time.”

I don’t know what creeps me out more, knowing such a thing like the Program exists or having to be in the same room with Principal Uzman who runs it. Principal Uz as we like to call him is pretty much the grossest man I have met. Not because he has a strange oily complexion necessarily, but he looks oddly disproportionate. His arms are too long, always exposing a few inches of wrist past his dress shirts. And, even though he is not an obese man, he has a strange double chin that’s always present.

The thought makes me dry heave and that is hard to do as a conscious projection into the future, well I’m guessing.

“When you are in there, don’t try to out buffer anyone. Not right away. Wait until the right moment. You’ll know when, cowboy. After that, be prepared to act fast work together. You’ll have about 15 minutes to find out what you need. Afterwards, let Mo work her magic and leave.”

Leave? Like go back to class, leave or get out of town, leave?

“Get home and your mom will be there waiting. She can take it from there.”

I have a feeling my comfortable night’s sleep might be the last I get for quite a long time. So, wake up without panicking, agree to whatever and make it calmly through a day of school before getting called into the principal’s office to hopefully overpower and mentally interrogate him. Got it.

“Time to get up, Carter.”

The comfortable warmth of my bed and the rhythmic feel of floating are suddenly pulled back into a cold and drafty room. Someone is holding my hand as I come out of the daze that I still believe is a dream.

“Don’t move!”

As my blur tends to focus, there is a dark thing a few inches from my face. As my eyes strain to identify the object it slowly becomes apparent that the barrel of a gun is aimed at me. Poop my skivvies; I’ve never seen a gun in real life let alone had one pointed at me.

“Good morning, Mr. White.” It’s like I knew it was going to be him.

“Dr. Phillips. This is an interesting alarm clock service you’re providing.” I’m pretty sure my voice cracked in there somewhere.

“I received a concerning notice the other day which led us here. Whereas I am thankful for finding both of you here,” as he motions to Mo who is being escorted out of the room by a rather thick-necked gentleman in a suit, “still, I am curious as to how.”

“What do you mean?” I know what he means, he’s asking about Mo and her making it out of the car in one piece.

“We had a couple of witnesses come forward mentioning how you two were fighting earlier today and they thought you threatened Ms. Zester.” His smile was like a poison working its way through my blood.

“Well, as you can see, she is fine. I think whoever told you that was pulling your leg.” I have this strange itchy sensation coming from inside my head. My focus shifts from Dr. Phillips to the man standing in the background of my room. I thought he was a henchman like the one who woke me to the barrel of his gun. I can’t tell for certain, but I think he is trying to read me.

A small rush of panic quickly trails behind my thoughts as I scramble for what to do. Buffer? No, if I make my brain completely blank, they’ll know I’m able to hide something. The best I can do is try to imagine not rescuing Mo and everything else that followed.

“Mr. White, we came over here to question you about her car exploding. People from various angles said they witnessed her in the car seconds before it blew up, they also recalled seeing you there. So, now we are curious if you saw what happened?”

The man in the room is strong-arming his way into my thoughts, not like Mo who can simply pick them up. Luckily I learned quite a lot through David in the last day and I believe I hid all pertinent information as he goes trudging around.

“Is everything alright, Mr. White? You look pale.” His venomous grin makes me think that is what he expects, me in pain. I allow the charade to continue.

“It’s fine, I just have a headache.”

“Well, hopefully it goes away soon. Now, do you know anything about what happened to Ms. Zester?”

“Not really. I was at home and the next minute, she was in my backyard. She thought someone was trying to hurt her but not sure who. We bonded a little bit earlier in the day and I didn’t think she had any other friend to turn to so I let her spend a couple of days with me.”

“Without contacting her guardian?”

“Mo told me her aunt was out of town and not able to be reached, but she would be contacting her as soon as she thought she’d be available.” Where in the hell am I conjuring this story from? Because I know I’m not imagining it, but it certainly is pouring out of my mouth like I actually thought it.

“And you both didn’t attend school yesterday? What were you up to?”

“Mo was still scared the next day. I was caught up on all my assignments so I stayed with her. We walked around and even went to some places where I grew up, sharing some memories to take her mind off of things.”

“Ah, and where would that have been?”

This cat and mouse game gets old, especially since I know I am like a pit-bull hiding as the mouse. “Down by the wharf district. I used to play soccer down at a field around there. We just bummed around the rest of the day.”

At this, Dr. Phillips glances slightly over his shoulder in the other man’s direction. After a couple of seconds, he turns back to me. The toxicity of his smile was gone. “Mr. White, are you familiar with Raymond Lord, known by many as Lord Ray?”

I tried to force a small spike of panic so the Eventual in the room would pick up on something. From there on out, I confessed to being abducted by Lord Ray, all of the things I went through with him and anything else that fed Dr. Phillips’ hunger for information. After he was fully satisfied with my meal of explanations, he left the room briefly and I was alone with the man standing at the other end of my room.

He was ominous as anything I imagined a government agent could be like. He wore a dark suit with a darker undershirt. His tie was a vibrant blue and somehow took notice away from him. Even trying to recognize his features was difficult. The moment I tried to remember something about him, it would slip through like trying to stick margarine to a hot frying pan.

Dr. Phillips entered the room before it got to the point where I became nervous. I still have no idea what that guy looks like.

“Your story corroborates with Ms. Zester’s accounts.” He looked highly disappointed. Ha, good. “We recommend you both return to school tomorrow and have already assured your friend that we will devote resources into what happened to her vehicle and how she wound up in your yard.”

Dr. Phillips stands up and slides my chair back under my desk, signifying it was time to leave. The figure in my room didn’t budge. “Mr. Gemini, if you please.”

A small glare later and the man started moving. Gemini? Somehow that’s too coincidental for me. A part of me really wants to know more about that guy but doing so would tip them off to some degree. For now, it was better to let them go about their business and get out of my house.

After they all left the house and drove safely away, it was safe to talk with my mother and Mo again.

“Well, that went as expected.”

“Expected?!” my mother nearly shouts. “I nearly peed myself coming out of the bathroom to see a gun pointed at me.”

I giggle a little in my head, but thankfully hide that from her in my thoughts and my expression.

“Mo, was that you feeding me a story to tell Dr. Phillips?” Her shy grin confirms it. “How did you do that?”

“Well, you were busy buffering the other guy in your room to what you wanted him to know. I figured you could use a hand. But hey, looks like we get to go to school in a few hours.”

Skippy, just how I wanted to start my morning, three hours earlier than I normally wake up followed by a rigorous interrogation. “Did you pick up on what they called the guy in my room?”

“I heard, Gemini. I also got a little from him on what he was there to do.”

“I felt him poking around inside my head. It was unpleasant to say the least.” Remembering it gives me a small shiver. I hope such a thing doesn’t happen again.

“Did you catch what he was though?”

Now I’m wondering what else I missed besides what he looked like. “No, what?”

Mo was walking to go upstairs and change her clothes. She paused on her way up the stairs, looking over some of the photos on the wall. Her lack of an answer made me ask again as she was staring once again at my family photo.

“What was he, Mo?”

“You just had a Hunter in your house.”

A Time to Reap

TTTG Ch. 9: There Was a Certain Man

TTTG Ch 9

What we learned later that evening, the scrambled mix up work Mo did as a conduit shared a lot of information between the three of us. Mainly, my mother was not going to leave Mo or I alone together for too long and apparently a lot of the preliminary training was no longer needed. Mom shared the knowledge of her struggles on how to leap, flash and buffer to both of us. Granted, Mo won’t benefit from anything except the buffering aspect, but nevertheless, she now knows how it works.

I was now fully aware of the limitations and the precautions to leaping. I knew how to regulate my body or harness my ability to use it. Flashing was different. If there was a comparison, leaping was like using a shotgun on a target at point blank range; flashing was using a high powered rifle from a hundred yards away with the precision of a sniper. The more I practiced, the better my scope and the steadier my aim.

My attempts last night were a little hit and miss. My first attempt put me in the backyard, naked again. Awesome. The nudity followed on all attempts up to #11. I had to make Mo close her eyes as I was closing in on my target area. Mom was one thing, girlfriend (when I get the chance to ask her someday soon) is entirely different.

Good ol’ number 11. I flashed from one point of the kitchen to the backdoor. All my clothes still on! I paraded around gallantly.

“Is that your sock?” Mo pointed out on the floor.

“Yup,” also feels like my underwear are on backwards too, “but still, all the main areas are covered!”

A slow clap from both in the peanut gallery didn’t make me any less proud of myself. In fact, I wished I could have been shown during our conduit session just how well my mother did on her attempts. I bet there were some doozies in there as well.

This morning, I made my way out of my room like a vampire from a crypt, the light seeping in from the hallway was blinding in a smear of fluorescent blues, yellows and oranges. As I adjusted my eyes to the single light overhead beaming at me with a penetrating 40 watts of sunlight, I heard the door down the hall open and Mo come walking out.

And I am fairly certain that if there ever was a moment outside of a road accident, a zombie film or my death bed, Mo was seeing me at the worst possible time of day. I must have looked like a kid who just finished crying then got thrown into a pillow fight with dodge balls in the cases instead of feathers.

“Hi,” I roughly manage.

“Good morning.” Her perkiness was adorable and made me fairly ashamed to have to put her through looking at me at the moment. How does someone wake up looking like that? I must master those secrets.

As she walks by me down the hall past me, she sniffs a little and I think sweat started forming immediately as I’m sure that my activities last night and stewing in them all night have left me pretty ripe.

“Don’t you smell manly,” she mentions with a wink as she leaves me alone in the hallway looking like a lost old man in the super market.

My insides smile where my mouth forgets to follow. And for whatever reason in my head, it seemed like the good idea to smell under my arms. Whew, I’m glad she’s not offended, but I am going to hose this musk off.

After a rigorous hose off, I throw on my favorite jeans, a throwback AFI t-shirt from my mom’s era (the one with three rabbits in a circle) and head downstairs for some breakfast and to prepare for the day.

My red sneakers no sooner touch the ground level when the doorbell rings. Cautiously, I look around for Mo who I see heading up the stairs at the back of the kitchen. My mom has no doubt gone to work already, so I timidly approach the door. A quick wave in front of the reveal pad and the thick wooden door becomes transparent on my side revealing an older man in a familiar purple delivery uniform (I order a lot of stuff online). He has a single envelope in his grasp.

I key the code to unlock the front door and as it slides away, the man greets me with a hearty good morning. He dispenses with small talk and sticks to pleasantries as he asks for me by name and then has me sign for my letter. He turns and promptly leaves as he came, wishing me a good day.

Safely inside and behind a locked door, I proceed to the kitchen and mentally call to Mo that the coast is clear. As she lightly traipses down to the kitchen, I am already in the midst of unsealing the envelope.

I open up the slit the pull tab created and shuffle the contents out. A simple photograph was inside. It was a picture of a park that I used to play soccer in when I was younger. On the back there was a time of 8:45 scrawled in marker. Underneath it said flash with your friend here.

“Well, that’s optimistic of them now isn’t it?”

“I guess they know you have the capability?”

As I look at the nearest clock, it reads 8:32. “Think we should try to be early?”

“I assume they would appreciate it more than fashionably late. Plus, what if we have to run the rest of the way in case you miss?” Her coy grin is somehow infuriating and captivating at the same time.

“You think I’ll miss?!”

“You are rather new at all of this. Plus, you’d be carrying a passenger.” Her wink seals my gushy heart in a box and she now has it. Great, I’m a sap.

I snag the closest breakfast bar from the kitchen and stuff it in my front pocket. I motion for her to take my hands and as I begin prepping my concentration for where we need to go. I think back to the times when we were kicking that white and black pocked ball around in the cool spring morning. I can still remember hearing the birds returning from migration and swooping down to the creek that ran by the field.

As Mo clasps both of her hands in mine, we immediately flash. I’m not sure if it was the startle and jolt of her touching me or if it has anything to do with being Gemini. Regardless, we were standing in an abandoned soccer field.

“Whoa!” I exclaim. “That was unexpected.”

“No shit,” Mo says as she is looking down. Conveniently, her pants are missing. Luckily for her, the large sweatshirt she was fashionably sporting covered most of her thighs. Unluckily for me.

“I did not do that intentionally.”

“Uh huh,” she says calmly. Afterwards she shrugs her shoulders and continues to the gate in the chain link fence leading to the field.

She handles a moment that I would normally be mortified in and simply rolls with it. Yup, I might be smitten. Or full of smit. I’m not sure how this works.

I pat my front pocket and realize the other thing I left at home. “Oh, man. I left my breakfast bar at home too.”

“The goose bumps on my legs mourn your loss, Carter.” Never looking back, she begins to walk forward. I admire this girl.

As I catch up and apologize again, her smile forgives me. We make our way through the gate and it’s nearly time as we notice a large SUV making its way toward us. I’ve seen enough spy movies that this is where the thick-necked guys get out and shoves us in. I brace myself with a grin as the vehicle approaches. And the grin leaves my face as the SUV passes us.

A corresponding shrug between us both has me wondering what we should expect. As I look down again, the digital number changes from 8:44 to :45. A pssst sound comes from behind us.

Parked along the curb, a man in an older station wagon sits in the driver seat. Oh, hell no. This is not the awesome ride I was imagining. Although, how did that junker drive up on us without even knowing it?

“You two should get in so we can start.” The middle-aged man with the circular glasses, nasally tells us.

Oh, please do not be –

“I’m David Nelson. I’ll be teaching you today.”

David. This is the sensei, Jedi master we will be learning from. It looks like a powerful sneeze might take this guy out of commission. He looks like he’s both shorter, skinnier and not to mention older than I am. I was expecting some brooding unnatural-looking presence before me, with an eye patch or a scar on his face or facial hair. But no, I get nerdy David Nelson – Trainer. God, I bet he has business cards that say that too.

“I’m Carter. This is Mo.”

“I know who you are, stupid. I called you here.”

Oh, and he has a lovely bedside manner as well. “Okay, so are we hopping in your sweet ride or are we training here?”

“You don’t see me getting out, do you?”

This may possibly be the longest day of my life. Not only is this guy a gem to look at, he is a class 1 asshole as well. Mo and I start making our way around to the passenger side of the car. I reach for the handle to ride shotgun.

“Nuh uh, you’re in the backseat. The lovely lady can ride up front.” With you, Creepy McGee? I already know arguing that point will get me nowhere, but I’ll have an eye on you, buddy.

We take off down the street and David goes through parts of town I’m unfamiliar with. The wharf district once housed vast amounts of commerce that used to arrive by boat. Shipping logistics started dying out as aqueous magnetic transits (AMT’s) docked at airports. Air carriers developed AMT’s using the earth’s magnetism through water to levitate and move.

Large warehouses and empty buildings lined most of the streets. The property was still considered commercial until the city would appropriate it as residential. It was something I heard in the news, a large project to rezone the district to make affordable housing. That’s because most of the city’s vagrants and poor were squatting in the empty lots. It was also used by various gangs, crime organizations and general riff-raff to keep anyone at bay until it could be torn down and rebuilt.

Now we were having a nice mid-week morning drive through it. Lovely.

“So, we’ll be training today. Together at first then separately.”

Thank you that was a lovely detailed syllabus for today’s activities. And where are we going? If this guy was following a route it must in the shape of spaghetti in a bowl.

“Okay, change of plans. Individual training first.” Super, we must be getting close to our destination. If so, I’m not sure why he’s speeding up. “Do you remember the soccer field, Carter?”

“Yah,” we literally just came from there 15 minutes ago.

“Good, meet us there after your first lesson.” And with that, he grabs Mo by the wrist and they flash. Suddenly, I am in a car’s backseat without a driver, barreling towards a red brick building.

“Holy – ” that was the first part to the last thought I had racing through my head as I approached a wall going 50 miles per hour. From there I flashed out with enough time to spare. And no, not back to the soccer field. I had glanced at the water beyond the building and apparently my subconscious thought it was a nice landing pad.

As I swam up through the frigid cold water, I gasped for air as I recalled how to tread water. It took a few seconds to remember how to flash out of there, thinking I needed a solid surface to start from.

I went back to the building I nearly collided with moments before and saw the steam rising from the engine. The front half of the car was pushed in past the driver’s seat turning it into a snub-nosed station wagon. The car probably never looked better. It would be some small satisfaction if it was indeed David’s car. That asshole.

He nearly killed me just now. Pretty certain my mother will not be very appreciative of that. I look myself over and realize that I flashed with all my clothes intact. I’m fairly impressed with that alone. The fishy smelling water squishes around in my shoes as I walk and I notice a distinct difference. I missed a sock again. Dangit! Why just one sock?

As I furiously squish my way from the accident, a hard thing to do, I think of the spot where Mo and I arrived earlier and suddenly I was there. David and Mo were leaning against the chain link fence looking right at me as I stomped over with my most furious look of angst.

“You almost killed me, you asshole!” Granted I forgot to apply the brakes to my mouth, but it was true.

Without missing a beat, he continued on as if I didn’t say anything. “What was your first lesson?”

Mo was stifling a mad case of the giggles, which actually did upset me. If I reacted a few seconds later I would be a two-dimensional version of myself. Still, as water began chaffing my inner thighs, I wanted to know David’s logic behind everything.

“How to react when I’m in danger?” Bravo, dick.

“No, it’s don’t piss off your trainer the first day. No matter how nerdy he may look, he will still know more than you.”

My fury radically shifts into embarrassment as it is apparent David has both my ability and Mo’s wrapped into one. So, everything I was thinking to myself went out as if I said it aloud. Great move, Carter. I thought I was buffering my thoughts?

“Your buffering skills are at a Kindergarten level, Carter. We need to push you through to high school by the end of the day or else whatever tomorrow brings may get the better of you.”

“Well, I just learned them yesterday, so I guess I consider that progress.”

“Well, you are going to have a rude awakening if you find yourself in the same vicinity as anyone with your mother’s ability. They will pluck the thoughts from your head and the car incident will seem like a picnic.”

I don’t know what to think now. I want to apologize still and ask him to take it easy on me. I’m still a kid in my book and this goes beyond the scare of leaping naked into the past. This was someone coming after me for some unknown reason and it is supposed to happen in less than a day.

“Carter, by the time we’re done today, you’ll be ready to shield, defend and if necessary fight. We’ll teach you both the basics of your gift, the main ways to control it and harness it when you’re apart and how to utilize it best when you’re together.”

Something tells me that this is going to be a grueling day.

David smiles, telling me that it most certainly is. “For now, you need to clean up your mess.”

“What mess?” I’m curious.

“Your station wagon mess.”

Aw, man. How is he assuming I do that?

“Put the car where you originally landed. But get your sock out of it first.” Okay it’s cute when Mo pokes around in my brain box, it’s creepy when David does it. I think buffering needs to be the first chapter in our lessons.

“I just got out of the water. I think I have seaweed in my shorts still.”

“So, just move the car.” Oh, right. That’ll be easy. “It is easy, just think of where you want it and focus on moving it and not your body. You managed to pick up on flashing within an evening. Point-flashing shouldn’t be too hard.”

“I had Mo pumping my mom’s experience into me first.” I’m not sure I want to have her and David practice her conduit powers on me just yet.

“We’ll get to her conduit training later. For now, try it on your own and meet us back here in 15 minutes.” David walks to me hand outstretched as if to shake hands and mend our differences. As I touch palm to palm, I immediately flash to some unknown rooftop in the wharf district. I can still see the water. He did this on purpose. What a tool.

It takes me a few flash attempts to get back to the spot where I ran full speed into a building, but it was still there, steaming away like a metal accordion.

After placing my hand on the car, I tried channeling the way that David was describing. I focused on putting the car in the water. I thought about the car to the water, the car to the water. The next moment, well, something was in the water. It was me. Crapdamnit!

A few attempts later I was making progress. I moved the car itself along with me about five feet away from the building. Nearly 10 minutes have passed and I was still plodding along trying to put the car in the bay.

Finally, after a few dozen attempts, I push my frustrations out and yell within my mind at the car to just get in the damn bay! And suddenly, the car and all of its connected parts are gone and as I look out, I briefly notice it hover above the water before crashing down. I smile from ear to ear as it slowly sinks into the murky abyss.

A quick flash and under 15 minutes later, I go back to the soccer fields, accomplished.

“Got it.” I triumphantly announce. “Who’s car was that?”

“Your principal’s,” David replies.

I am not sure whether to be frightened or elated by that statement. Happiness wins over as I can’t help but smile larger.

“Hence why you needed your sock,” he states.

And my smile vanishes. I already know what he’s going to say next and I simply hang my shoulders and shuffle slowly toward them. “Aw, really?”

He nods his head slowly enough to recognize. “Unless you want them finding a clue if they discover the car. You had better retrieve it before a current pulls it out of the bay.”

Man, training sucks.