This is my first novel; though I've rewritten and revised it for so many years, I don't actually consider it a first beginner novel anymore.
Barnes & Noble.com
Barnes and noble
Katrine and Alyssa are linked despite the obstacles of time, space, and fiction. Alyssa is a writer who has little control over the adventures of Katrine, the main character in a book she's writing. In fact, when Alyssa stops writing, Katrine's story continues. Alyssa is desperately trying to figure out the missing pieces to the puzzle, and her new love interest only seems to make matters more confusing. Could it be that Katrine lives outside the world created by Alyssa's pen? When Katrine is kidnapped by Zor, a handsome warlock, the secret of her connection to Alyssa is exposed. Zor becomes inexplicably drawn to this telepathically-linked pair. But with time, the rare link between these two women grows too strong, threatening those around them who fear the incredible power that the link gives Katrine. Trouble brews when Zor's witch-girlfriend is consumed by a burning jealousy that quickly bubbles over, creating a dangerous situation for all involved. Add a very powerful warlock to the mix, and things go from dangerous to deadly in a flash.
Alyssa opened her eyes and smiled when she saw John leaning over her, then she remembered and her smile disappeared.
“Oh, my God,” she said. “I am so sorry. I fell asleep, didn’t I? I can’t believe I did that!” She rolled out from under John and stood up. John sat on her bed and looked at her with a smile, but Alyssa could tell there was something disturbing him. “Something wrong? Aside from the fact your girlfriend falls asleep before sex instead of after it?”
John gave a nervous laugh, then swallowed. “There is something I need to talk to you about.”
Alyssa shifted her weight uneasily. “Are you breaking up with me?” she quietly asked. “I can’t tell you how sorry I am that I fell asleep. I’ve been staying up way too late this past week―”
“It’s not that. It’s not your fault that you fell asleep. I put you to sleep.”
She appeared confused. “What do you mean? Did you drug me or something?”
“No, I didn’t drug you.”
Alyssa let out a sigh of relief. “John, you’re not boring. You didn’t put me to sleep.” She grabbed a cola out of her refrigerator, popped it open and took a swig, then headed to the sink room where she splashed water on her face. “What time is it, anyway?”
“About ten in the morning.”
“Great,” she mumbled, shaking her head. “I’m late for class.” She quickly dried off her face with a hand towel.
“Alyssa, you fell asleep two days ago.”
Alyssa momentarily froze before peering over at John. “Two days ago?” She stared at him, waiting for him to correct himself, but he sat on the bed in unwavering silence. “My brain must be short circuiting or something. Weren’t you able to wake me?” She threw the towel on the spare bed and picked up the phone without waiting for his answer. “I’ve got to call the hospital. This has got to be because of that bicycle accident I told you about. My head just hasn’t been quite....” She quickly stopped herself from revealing too much about her mental state. “Let’s just say this is not normal.”
John stood up and walked over to Alyssa where he hung up the receiver. “Sit down. I want to talk to you first.”
Confused, Alyssa sat down on the spare bed behind her. “I really think I should call my doctor.”
“Be quiet. I need to tell you something,” he replied impatiently. Alyssa fell silent and watched as he began to pace the small room, struggling for the right words.
“How should I put this?” He ran his fingers through his hair. “I’ve been thinking about it for quite some time and there’s no easy way.” John stopped at her desk, which was cluttered with papers and books, and picked up the pad on which she had written her story. Alyssa rolled her eyes, unable to believe he wanted to continue talking about the story when something was seriously wrong with her. He threw the pad on the bed beside her.
“Things have changed since the bicycle accident, haven’t they?”
“No, not really,” she answered without hesitation.
He pulled out a chair from under her work desk, turned it around so that it faced Alyssa and sat down. “English majors are good at analogies, aren’t they? Here’s one for you: Nicole is to Alyssa as Zor is to John.”
Alyssa glared at John, unable to believe what he was trying to do. “That is really low.” She shook her head. “You have no right to use me in one of your psychological experiments. It shows very bad judgment.”
“I’m not a psychology major. I’m not even a student here. Check the records.”
Alyssa stood up from the bed and walked to the door. “Leave, John,” she said as she opened the door.
She stared at him and soon realized that no light had entered the room when she had opened the door. She turned her head and looked out to see that behind the door was a brick wall.
“What the hell?” she whispered.
“You’re not in your room, Alyssa. You’re not even in your own time.”
Alyssa turned toward John with a piercing glare, then lifted up her curtains and tore off the aluminum foil to reveal a wall behind the window. She backed away from it until she was beside John, then she backed away from him towards the bathroom. Turning around, she charged through the bathroom to the door leading into the adjacent dorm room and swung it open. She let out a startled cry when she saw there was only another wall.
She walked slowly back into the room where John sat waiting and picked up her hairdryer by the sink for a possible weapon. “What kind of sick game are you playing?” she asked as she pulled the hairdryer’s plug from the wall. “How do I get out?”
“Open your closet door. It’s the only way out,” he replied calmly.
She reached out beside the sink’s cabinet to the closet door and pulled it to the side to see her clothes hanging, but then her vision began to falter. She closed and rubbed her eyes with her thumb and index finger of her free hand, then looked at her clothes again. They seemed to be swaying back and forth.
“What did you do to me? You did drug me, didn’t you? My eyes―”
“Have never been better. They’re much more appealing without contacts.”
Alyssa turned to look in the mirror and for the first time realized she wasn’t wearing her contacts, yet could see perfectly. She stared at herself, stunned. She had worn glasses and contacts since the fifth grade.
“I thought it best that you didn’t have any handicaps when you face Rehnquist,” John commented.
“Who?” Alyssa asked, turning towards him in somewhat of a daze.
“Adrian’s brother, Master Rattimor’s son. He’ll be coming after you. He’s probably already waiting in your real dorm room for you to arrive.”
With a frustrated cry, Alyssa raised the hairdryer and threw it at him as hard as she could; but the hairdryer seemed to turn in midair, and she missed him completely. If she hadn’t been so angry, she would’ve been embarrassed about her throw. John rose out of his chair with a sigh and walked towards her.
“Don’t you dare come near me, you lunatic!”
John began to look agitated. “I’m sorry, Alyssa, but I’m racing against the clock here and don’t have any more time for small chit chat.” As he approached her, she made a fist and swung it at him, but he caught it, tightly grabbed her arm, and pushed her into the closet. Alyssa struggled to get free until she noticed that she hadn’t run into her clothes. She looked around to see tall, green hedges with several brown doors every few meters, a blue sky above her, and thick green grass below her. She stood speechless, staring down the row of hedges until John pulled her back into the room and guided her to her bed where she sat quietly.
“Are you all right?” he asked as he sat back down in the chair in front of her. Alyssa said nothing. She simply continued to stare at him. “I didn’t want to tell you, but now I have no choice. Something’s gone wrong, and I need you. Adrian’s father has not only my brother, but also Katrine and another young woman held hostage.”
“Did it really happen?”
“Did what really happen?” he asked as his eyes narrowed in confusion.
“Did a psychotic witch named Adrian force my car off the road and damn near kill me last weekend?”
Alyssa looked away, shook her head, and whispered, “Unbelievable. Why me?”
John moved his chair closer to her bed. “Rehnquist is going to visit you, so I need to prepare you as best I can before I send you back.”
“Tell me what happened last weekend, John,” Alyssa interrupted, still not convinced he hadn’t just read her story and was trying to play some crazy mind game. “Was it exactly like I wrote it?”
John looked impatient. “All except the part that you could see me, because I showed up invisible to you. I suppose I was trying to delay the inevitable, you finding out about me – and the kiss at the end didn’t happen. Satisfied?”
Alyssa clenched the bed sheets with both her fists and closed her eyes, wishing she would wake up.
“Now pay attention because what I have to say will save your life.” She opened her eyes and glared angrily at him as he continued. “I want you to have these,” he said as he pulled from his pocket three very slim remotes that resembled garage door openers. “These are called remote disruptors. They’re harmless in the twentieth century, but they’re a weapon in the fifty-first. Press the button on the remote and it emits a wavelength at a special frequency. You can’t detect it, but Rehnquist’s auditory nerve will pick it up and send it to his brain where it will disrupt neurons in his medulla oblongata. It’ll render him unconscious almost immediately. It won’t work on Master Rattimor, should he decide to show, because Rattimor’s altered his brain somehow and his nerve won’t pick up the frequency. If, God forbid, Master Rattimor shows, keep the disruptors hidden until he’s gone. Don’t give him any reason for a mind probe, or he’ll find out about them.”
John turned one of the remotes over to reveal a clip on the backside. “Clip one to the back of your pants in case he ties your hands behind your back.” Alyssa took a deep, nervous breath. “Clip one to the center of your bra. Rehnquist won’t look there because he’s a flaming homosexual. And place one in your desk drawer as a backup. You’ll be sitting at your desk most of the time.”
John placed the remotes on the bed beside Alyssa. She stared at them, wondering what kind of fool he took her for, but decided to say nothing. “But don’t press the button until Rehnquist sends the black ghost that will be accompanying him back to his father to inform him that Rehnquist is in position. Once the ghost is gone, press the button.” John stood up and sat against the desk. “I believe Katrine’s surrounded by a mist that will contain any power she has once you connect with her. If Rattimor doesn’t get word that Rehnquist is in position, he won’t lower the mist for her to fill the transfer vase. So don’t press the button prematurely.”
“So you want her to fill the vase?” Alyssa asked skeptically.
“That’s the last thing I want her to do. I want her to help me get the other young woman out of the mist. It’ll take two of us combining our powers from the same side of the mist to bring it down. Once the young woman is out, she’ll take care of everything else.”
“Who’s the woman?”
“Can’t tell you that. What you know, Katrine knows, and Rattimor can read Katrine’s mind when you two aren’t linked.”
“How are you going to get in without Rattimor surrounding you with a mist?”
“Can’t tell you that either, for the same reason. Just be alert and smart, and you’ll know everything you need to know when the time is right.”
Alyssa rolled her eyes, uncertain what to believe. She had been struggling for so long to keep her grasp on reality, but now...she had just lost it. No longer could she distinguish between fantasy and truth. Time to commit herself to a mental hospital.
“Here’s something else you might need,” John said, pulling a checkered red and gold pen from his pocket. “It’s an ordinary pen, but it looks exactly like the one Rehnquist will give you. He will sit you down at the desk with paper and his pen before ordering you to make your connection with Katrine, then he’ll have you write down everything that is happening. The pen allows him to monitor what’s going on from your side of the link, to make sure there are no deceptions when she’s supposed to be filling the transfer vase. You can’t write down lies, and you can’t hide your thoughts with his pen. You end up writing everything down when you are holding the pen he will give you. First chance you get, switch it quickly and quietly with this one so that you don’t write down what is really happening and give me away.” He threw the pen down beside the remote disruptors. “Even if you are holding the ordinary pen, be careful what you write. It’s hard even with an ordinary pen to think one thing and write down another.” He paused as he looked down at her on the bed. “Hopefully you’ll knock Rehnquist out before he gets a chance to sit you at the desk. Just play it smart, Alyssa.”
There was silence between them until she finally broke it. “So let me get this straight. Instead of just keeping me here where I’m supposedly safe, you’re sending me into a situation where I might...” Alyssa raised her eyebrows and waved her hand in front of her as she looked at John, trying to finish the sentence.
“Where you might get hurt or killed. He’ll have a gun with him.”
“And can you remind me why I’m doing this?”
“Because if Rattimor doesn’t believe Rehnquist is with you when you connect with Katrine, he’ll never lower the mist around her―”
“And you and Katrine won’t be able to get this other woman out of the mist.” She stared at him angrily. “What happens if everything goes wrong, and Katrine ends up filling a transfer vase for Rattimor?”
“Don’t do it, no matter what the cost. Rehnquist will kill you, and Rattimor will become strong enough to read James’ mind to find out where Adrian is, strong enough to read the young woman’s mind and find out her true identity, and then he’ll finish the evening by killing us all. He’s already acquired transfer vases from two other links. With the power of three links, he’ll probably be strong enough to kill even me.”
Alyssa shook her head in disbelief. “If I break up with you, are you going to put me in some ridiculous fin get-up or something?”
John paused before answering, “No.”
She looked him straight in the eye. “I am so broken up with you; you won’t believe how broken up I am with you, John.”
“Yes...I figured as much,” he quietly answered.