||Temple House Pty. Ltd.
ENCOUNTER by Ronelle Smith
A lonely but gifted thirteen year old schoolboy is drawn into a web of international intrigue and espionage. Caught up in a current of events beyond his control, Jonathon uses his amazing abilities to assist Federal and A.S.I.O agents in combating a potential threat to the lives of thousands of people. During his hazardous journey he draws closer to his estranged stepmother as action-filled events move towards a dramatic climax.
Darkness descended quickly and Jonathon still hadn’t found the walking track. The temptation to use the road was great but the boy did not want to meet up with his abductors, should they return. In the dim light the huge granite boulders loomed like giants in front of him. He remembered seeing these in his out-of-body flight and this heartened him. He stopped, listened, and thought he heard the sound of a vehicle some distance away. Holding his breath he listened harder... no sound. It was bitterly cold and Jonathon knew he would have to find some shelter if he was to survive the night. Placing his bag squarely on his back so that both hands were free he began to climb one of the granite tors in the hope that the formation on top would provide a barrier from the bitterly cold wind that was sweeping through the pass. Luck was with him. Several boulders had weathered, cracked and fallen in a formation that formed a small cave. Jonathon squeezed between the rocks that formed the entrance and stood inside. It was quite sheltered and would do very nicely for the night. He lit his candle and quickly opened the can of sardines and spread them with his fingers on a few slices of bread. These he devoured hungrily and quenched his thirst with fruit juice from his bottle. In the pale light of the flickering candle his tired eyes watched as weird forms danced and cavorted, their grotesque images being projected on the rounded walls of his granite cave. He remembered the ghost stories he and his father told each other around their campfire and the hairs on his neck stood on end. They laughed about them but sometimes, when he really became scared, his dad would put his arms around him and hold him close. He wrapped his arms around himself pretending they were his father’s.
He knew the men would come after him once they discovered he was missing and they would see the light coming from his shelter in spite of its dimness. With reluctance, he blew out the candle and curled up in a little ball, pulling the hood of his jacket as far down over his head as it would reach. As he lay in the dark, shivering, all he could think of was sharing a warm campfire with his dad. He imagined himself leaning up against his father, and listening to his amazing stories. It gave him some comfort but he could not sleep. His shivering was so violent he clenched his teeth to stop them from chattering.
Jonathon’s leg muscles began to spasm and his body twitched convulsively. An incredible weariness crept over him and contrary to his wakefulness earlier, he could now hardly keep his eyes open.
‘Where are you TRYSTARON when I need you?’ he moaned.
A swirl of mist intensified into pink light that immediately circled the boy’s body.
‘Lavender, I can smell lavender.’ The boy’s eyes fluttered open and fixed upon the swirling apparition, which condensed into the form now recognised as TRYSTARON.
‘We are here Jonathon Newman-Smith in answer to a physical call from your body. Thank you for inviting us for we cannot intervene unless it is your will that we should do so.’
The energy of pink light was absorbed into his body and the shivering boy became warm and rested.
‘That is better.’
‘You allowed the environment to overcome your Biology. You did not remain beside the warm fire of your imagination. Your thoughts control your Biology and you allowed yourself to drift away from the fire believing you were cold. Your body responded and had you continued this thought of coldness, indeed freezing, before morning you would have left this existence.’
‘I would have died?’
‘In human terms that is so.’
‘I have the power to control my body with thought?’
‘Indeed so. Your scientists have investigated this phenomenon for several years and are now applying techniques to put this knowledge into practice.’
‘Is this one of my gifts?’
‘Every human being of sound mind has this ability, it is not specifically your gift.’
‘Did you save me from dying?’
‘It is not your will to leave this existence at this time, and we came to remind you of that fact. In calling us you saved your own life.’
The mists began to swirl and the entity became less distinct to the observer.
‘Provide your physicality with the fuel at your disposal then let
your thoughts bring about the desired response.’
With that, the mists receded more quickly than they had come, leaving Jonathon in the cold darkness of his cave. The thirteen year old sat up and hugged his legs to his body. He pondered where he might get fuel. What fuel was at his disposal? It had to go into his “physicality” so fuel must mean food and physicality, body. Jonathon felt around in his bag his hand finally resting on a small cardboard box.
‘Chocolate, drinking chocolate,’ he said aloud.
With satisfaction, he poured a mound of sweet powder on his tongue, swirled it around several times and swallowed. He did this twice more until the sweetness became sickly. He felt the chill re-enter his body and struggled to rekindle his imaginary campfire, a BIG campfire. He pictured himself pulling a very thick sleeping bag up over his body and head and curling up beside the fire. Gradually he felt the heat circulating through his veins. Then, and only then, did he rest comfortably until first light.
High School Principal
“Encounter blends fast paced action, evocative descriptive prose and well developed characters. The protagonist, Jonathon is the focal point for a multifaceted exploration of a teenager’s encounters with the demands of a complex life. This novel by a promising new author will appeal to a wide audience eager for a storyline that both entertains and provides a vehicle for personal reflection. Every reader will find some aspect that resonates with their personal life journey and leaves them eager to read more about Jonathon’s unfolding adventures.”
J. Appleton, BA (Hons), M.Ed., M.Ed.Admin High School Principal, NSW.
John Morrow, Book Critic
Get set for a roller coaster ride that takes you from Australia to Istanbul when a gifted young teenager helps ASIO agents to crack an espionage ring that could save thousands of lives around the world. This novel is written at a cracking pace.”
Angus and Robertson Book Seller
“I enjoyed the book a lot, especially since it was something I would not normally read. I enjoyed the fact that the story was based in places that I knew of. The storyline of the book was excellent, it was captivating and spine tingling and I did not want to put it down until the end.”
BookSeller Angus & Robertson Bookstore Queanbeyan, NSW.
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