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David Loeff

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Orphan's Gold
by David Loeff   

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Category: 

Science Fiction

Publisher:  Smashwords Type: 
Pages: 

67

Copyright:  July 6, 2012 ISBN-13:  9781301701995
Fiction

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Fifteen year old Virgil was ready to risk danger crossing the prairie to find his father and a fortune in gold. But he never expected to find himself among mammoth hunters or falling in love. Virgil had a vision, but would he live to make it real or witness humanity’s extinction instead?

This time travel romance is intended for adults and mature young adults. Novella.

Excerpt
In the morning, Virgil set out for Golden City, the town closest to the diggings. It didn’t take him long before he came to the ferry dock. He figured he’d rather swim the Platte than pay $2.50 for a short ride across. The current was swifter than he’d estimated. When he reached the other side of the river, he was a good distance from the trail. It took him some time to cut through bushes and bramble before he regained his route.

He’d hoped to make it to Golden City that day, but evening found him bedding down in the open. He’d approached a group in three wagons, but they hadn’t been too friendly, so he removed himself a small distance and lay down. His bedroll was still wet from his time in the Platte, though his clothes had dried in the summer sun. It was a warm night, but not so warm that he slept comfortably. He heard some animals prowling nearby and decided that he’d be just as well off walking under the moonlight as wondering what they were up to and if they intended any harm. He hoisted up his pack, readied his rifle, and started walking.


Professional Reviews

A delightful story that can be enjoyed by teen-agers and seniors
This is a delightful short tale, which can be read as a parable of a search for improving self and humankind. The 14-year old protagonist lives during the time of the American Civil War in Illinois. His mother is dead and is father, distraught over his wife's death, leaves home, goes out west, and searches for gold. The boy's name is Virgil, and readers familiar with classical literature, will associate him in some ways to the Virgil of classical literature who went on searches. Virgil goes in search of his father, but later goes in search of something else.

Virgil find's his father's partner and feels that the man is not telling him everything he knows about his dad. He enters the cave where the two partners had been mining gold. He discovers a panel that he does not understand. It is a time machine that can take him to different periods of time. By chance he goes to the age of cave dwellers, tens of thousands of years BCE. There he has adventures and meets people, one of whom becomes important to him. For reasons that are clear in the story, he needs to leave, even though he wants to stay. He is transported to the 21st century where he learns about something that should have been done in the past. So he returns to the BCE century determined to get the cave dwellers to help resolve the future problem. Something happens and he needs to move forward again; this time to a new time.

I found the story delightful and thought provoking, and think that even teen-agers will enjoy it.

~ Israel Drazin on Amazon



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