by Jared Agard
GENRE: Middle Grade Supernatural Thriller
An antique pocket watch with a tragic past.
When 8th grader Caleb Meyer stumbles upon the old watch at an abandoned railroad museum, he’s sure that if he has it, all his fears will vanish.
But the watch is more than just spindles and gears. A twisted ghost lives within, a Dreadmonger, feeding off the fears of his victims.
And Caleb, seeking to finally be rid of his secret, is walking right into the Dreadmonger’s trap.
*** Note: This book has a fun companion Reading/Literature Course especially for those who homeschool.
I was alone.
I sat in a ring of light in an empty room. The walls oozed blackness, like fresh asphalt. Cold prickles ran up my arms and legs, and then they went numb. I tried to stand, but I couldn’t.
The black stuff bubbled out of the wall in front of me, sliding down to the floor like a slug. It slopped into a pile, forming feet and legs. It only took seconds. Shoulders. A head.
A man in a wheelchair.
The squeal of metal and rubber. The man rolled closer, his breaths raspy and labored. My heart raced. My stomach cramped.
I couldn’t move.
I knew who he was. I tried to close my eyes, but they wouldn’t respond. I tried to stand again, but none of my limbs would obey. The shadow wheeled closer, the chair moving on its own.
My father, or what once was my father, stared dully at me through dead eyes. His body was a heap of skin, a husk, planted in the wheelchair. His piercing blue eyes had gone out like an old light bulb, but they were open and they were fixed on me. His lips bulged and sagged. Living, but lifeless.
“Is that what you want, Caleb?” His voice came clearly even though his mouth didn’t move.
My heart pounded against my ribcage. What I wanted was to run, or at least look away. But I was frozen, my eyes glued open, focused on him.
“Is this what you wanted?”
Tears burned my eyes. I couldn’t move my arms to wipe them away. He rolled closer.
Tick, tick, tick, tick…
In a flash of light, he was gone. In his place, a golden orb hung in the air, blurry, like I was looking at it through a fogged window.
Tick, tick, tick, tick…
Was that… the watch?
A thick, grey mist dripped down the walls. It swirled around the golden orb. A tingling sensation ran up my arms and legs. I could move them again. I stood, carefully, holding my arms out from my sides to make sure I didn’t fall. The vapors coiled together in mid-air in front of me, forming into the face of a man. His body dripped out beneath him.
He was older and very thin. The light blue suit he was wearing looked very expensive, but also like it was made centuries ago. The wrinkles around his small black eyes creased as he examined me. A smile spread across his thin lips.
The mist behind him formed into other shapes. People. Children. He was surrounded by at least twenty shadows, clothed in old-fashioned suits and dresses. Some were my age while others were much younger.
The man reached his hand into his suit coat. I stepped forward in anticipation.
He had it. The watch. It shone gold against his gray body. The cover was engraved with a picture of a locomotive, the watch face concealed. I’d almost taken that watch. Why didn’t I? It was the most beautiful thing I’d ever seen.
AUTHOR Bio and Links:
Jared Agard was writing and illustrating books as far back as he can remember. His mother was a school librarian and knew all the best books to read. Now, he teaches Art and Film at the Beaverton Academy of Science and Engineering in Beaverton, Oregon, which is his dream job, besides being an author. He values creativity and always has a new idea rattling around in his brain. He loves watching cartoons, goofing off with his boys, and chili dogs. He is married to the most gorgeous woman on the planet and has three amazing boys, two tiger oscars, and the most pathetic dog you’ve ever seen.
Jared Agard will be awarding a $10 Amazon/BN GC to a randomly drawn winner via rafflecopter during the tour.a Rafflecopter giveaway https://widget-prime.rafflecopter.com/launch.js