The ancient clock ticked when it should have tocked and Tommy slipped into another dimension, a world of riddles and adventure.
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A TICK IN TIME is a middle-grade fantasy-fiction novel with surprising twists, unusual creatures, quirky riddles and (gently) scary moments. Tommy MacArthur is a 6th-grader who is spending the summer at his grandparents’ with his younger brother. Though he is warned not to run past the old pendulum clock he does, of course, and the clock ticks when it should have tocked and Tommy is plunged into another dimension. He navigates through a number of adventures before stumbling upon the solution to returning. When he shows his new friend, Noelle, how to slip into the strange land, the two of them fearlessly explore. However their younger siblings have followed them through the portal and that means trouble. And who or what will follow them back?
A TICK IN TIME
Out of nowhere two hairy arms reached around Noelle’s waist and locked tightly pulling her backward. She screamed for Tommy to help her as she dug her heels into the rocky path and scratched at the arms squeezing her middle. Tommy’s face registered disbelief as he reached for Noelle and struggled to free her. He gripped her hands and pulled her toward him. He felt encouraged as she seemed to move forward, her head dropping down, long blonde curls hiding her face, but she collapsed over on herself like a clam as her stomach was pulled back into nothingness and her feet actually lifted up and off the ground. Tommy still couldn’t see anyone other than the hairy arms magically coming out of thin air. He dug in his heels and yanked his friend with all his might. Their hands slipped apart and incredibly Noelle was sucked through the air with a whoosh and disappeared. Tommy fell on his butt, mouth open in shock. It was as if Noelle had been captured through a rip in reality. Now what would he do? He had escaped this strange land once before, but how could he go back without Noelle? How could he explain this? Surely they would lock him away in a dark and scary mental institution, a loony bin, a coo-coo cage, a padded room, never to return to 6th grade, never to make it to junior high.
Tommy slapped his hands to the sides of his head. He squinted his eyes tightly shut and was about to holler as loud as he could when another idea smacked him on the forehead.
“Of course!” he breathed aloud. “She must have been taken to the dungeon!” He pushed himself up off the rocky path and looked at the spot where Noelle had disappeared. He felt around blindly with his hands, feeling for something, anything, where she had been. He circled around to stand behind the spot and reached up and down and patted the air. He looked like a circus mime trying to find his way out of an invisible box, but when he pressed the air in one certain spot his finger disappeared.
“Oh!” he jerked back then realized how stupid he had been. He searched the air again until he located the spot. It took twice as long to find it again. This time he used both hands and tried to enlarge the opening. There was nothing he could see, he had to work by touch only and his muscles strained to gain some kind of advantage over the rip. It wanted to close back up around his fingers but slowly he widened it enough to poke his elbow through and get more leverage. Tommy had started at chest level but now the hole seemed to be higher up. With his elbow thrust through he tried to force the hole down, but though it was widening, it was also pulling him upwards. He kicked up off the ground and plunged his head and chest through.
A stranger sight was never seen for on the Doldale side hung a boy’s torso and legs, kicking wildly, while on the Luruss side Tommy’s hands had found a round hairy object that was letting out screams and yelps of utter fear. It was dark, pitch black, blind, and Tommy screamed, too, trying to winch his way back from where he had come. But at that moment the other screams stopped and Noelle grabbed his arms and pulled.