adventures in time

Teardrop Moons—Chapter 4

*This is not the final edited version. Story content may change before this book releases. Sign up for newsletter updates to get a message when Teardrop Moons (The Song of Everywhen, #2) becomes available.

A new thief is born.

Time travel objects are missing, and Chascadians are being blamed.
Silvie’s legacy and family reputation are at stake.
Will she be able to find and stop who’s responsible?
And will it be enough to convince the worlds?

4

Sloe sat in his bedroom, at his desk where there were piles of books, his mind focused on anything but the book in front of him.

“I need to get a job,” he muttered.

Studying was no longer enough to occupy his time. He’d been acing his exams, almost too easily. There was too much time; he wasn’t sure how to spend it all. When he confided in his mother about those problem, she’d laughed. When he told her he didn’t find it funny, she cracked a joke.

Sloe shook his head at the sheet hung across the opening to his bedroom. His father still hadn’t given him his bedroom portal back. Maybe it’s time for me to move out. Problem was, he didn’t know where else to go. Not without money.

He closed the book in front of him and sighed.

He’d messed things up so badly with Raven, he didn’t want it to happen again. Not with Silvie. But he wasn’t sure how to tell her that. Avoiding her attempts to comfort him wasn’t working. She was a healer, with an amazing amount of insight, so he had no doubt she knew something was wrong. It was only a matter of time before she knew what it was, or gave up trying to find out.

He felt bad that day—after Silvie had taken the time to visit him. He was happy to visit her, instead; she’d told him it was awkward to do anything date-like on Edgar, with Javis and her father around. And he hadn’t offered to go anywhere else—not after what happened with Raven, and the threat to her life. His days exploring the Clock Tower’s portals and the worlds where they led were over, for now. He didn’t want to put another person in danger.

He envied Silvie’s ability to keep herself gloriously busy at the hospital for the recovering Lost. Even though she worked both the early and late shifts, she had time to study and visit him at the end of the day—an arrangement they’d worked out to be able to be together. To give their relationship a chance. But it wasn’t working.

Yes, he needed a job. Something to keep his mind off things, and to feel useful. But what, and where? He wasn’t a healer like Silvie, and while he admired Javis, he wouldn’t want the type of job Javis had cleaning up after the hospital’s residents. He had enough trouble cleaning his own shower room, and that was with his mother reminding him every week.

He abandoned his desk and pulled open a file cabinet. He flipped through a roll of folders, stopping at one labeled, Test Results. He’d taken an aptitude test that was supposed to reveal which occupations would suit him. His high scores in categories relating to portals and traveling to other worlds confirmed he’d take over his father’s position as Time Keeper one day.

But he expected, and hoped, his father still had a long time to live. Travertine of Aboreal, now known as Nick of Time, had abandoned Aboreal, after the world abandoned him, so he didn’t know anyone from his father’s side of the family. There were aunts and uncles on his mother’s side, but he saw them so infrequently, they might as well have been abandoned, too.

Sloe needed something else to do in the meantime. He wasn’t sure how his travel talents would be useful for other work—something that would fill his time and pay the money needed for him to find a place of his own.

His room rattled. Stretchy rope bands fixed across shelves held his books in place, but a couple volumes he piled on his desk fell to the floor. He glanced at a timepiece mounted on the wall, surprised by how quickly time had passed just thinking about the possibility of a new job.

Moments later, there was a knock. Sloe threw open the sheet across his bedroom doorway and made his way to the Clock Tower’s front entrance. He opened the door.

Silvie smiled at him, her eyes bright. He didn’t feel he deserved how excited she seemed to be to see him. A smile reached his lips as he invited her inside.

“I know you don’t like the idea of hanging out with me on Edgar,” he said, “like on a date.”

Her painted brows twisted.

“But I have an idea,” he continued.

“Do you want to go somewhere else tonight?”

He shook his head. “I was thinking, maybe, tomorrow morning.”

“Tomorrow morning? But my early shift—” She shrugged. “Never mind, I can get someone to cover me. Where do you want to go?”

“You won’t have to miss your shift. I wanted to speak with your father, actually. To see if he has any work for me.”

* * *

You’ve seen it here first! Drop a line in the comments to let me know what you think.

Sign up for newsletter alerts to get an email when Teardrop Moons releases.

Read the beginning of Silvie’s story in Darker Stars (The Song of Everywhen, #1)

Read the beginning of Calla’s story in Travel Glasses (The Call to Search Everywhen, #1)

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Teardrop Moons—Chapter 3

*This is not the final edited version. Story content may change before this book releases. Sign up for newsletter updates to get a message when Teardrop Moons (The Song of Everywhen, #2) becomes available.

A new thief is born.

Time travel objects are missing, and Chascadians are being blamed.
Silvie’s legacy and family reputation are at stake.
Will she be able to find and stop who’s responsible?
And will it be enough to convince the worlds?

3

Family Matters

It was unusual for Father to take us out for a family dinner.

We had wonderful cooks at the hospital, and Javis was shaping up to be quite the chef at home. But I jumped at the chance, hoping we were in for a bigger surprise. Father wasn’t the type to do things on a whim. I expected he was taking us out to tell us news of some sort.

But I was surprised by his choice.

“Nakos Kitchen?” I said. “I didn’t think you were fond of Chascadian food.”

Father shrugged and pushed open the café door.

Javis and I exchanged a glance. His lips curled into a smile. I knew he was up for this. Chascadian was his favorite.

I whispered to my brother as we followed Father inside. “What did you do—achieve some extraordinary thing with your World Building talent?”

“I don’t think this is a reward for anything I did.” He glanced at the cloth napkins on the tables while we waited for Father to speak with the hostess.

“This is the type of place I’d expect Father to take us for a birthday celebration.” I said. “But it’s not any of our birthdays.”

Javis paled. “What if he brought us here to tell us he’s met someone?”

It was my turn to pale. I hadn’t thought of that. I shook my head. Father kept late hours every day at the hospital, and Mother’s picture still sat on his desk. I had trouble picturing him with anybody else.

“You mean like a girlfriend?” I said, finally.

Javis nodded.

“But who? Unless it’s someone at the hospital—”

I cleared my throat, and guiltily smiled up at Father who’d returned to tell us a waiter would be with us soon.

“What were the two of you discussing so animatedly?” he said.

I bit my lip.

“You never answered Silvie’s earlier question,” said Javis. I could have hugged him for how he’d jumped in like that.

The space between Father’s brows creased.

“Why did you pick a restaurant in Chascadia?” I reminded him. “Not that we don’t like it—”

Father grunted, then turned his attention to a waiter who was informing us our table was ready. After we’d been seated and our drink orders taken, Javis nudged me under the table.

I swallowed. “So, why did you bring us here?”

I expected Father to roll his eyes or show some other sign of impatience with us. But his face softened. He looked almost worried.

Oh no. Maybe he has met someone. My stomach filled with butterflies. But why would he bring us to Chascadia where his wife and Healer were from? Was this new person in his life also Chascadian? And why would this bother me so much? Surely, there worse things to happen in the worlds.

I wanted Father to be happy, didn’t I?

He frowned. “Our family is under attack.”

My heart crawled into my throat. I coughed, then looked around. Fortunately, our waiter had shown up with a tray of drinks. I gratefully accepted the tall glass of frothy iced chocolate.

But I was unable to return the waiter’s smile. His eyes and lips didn’t seem to be on the same page. I sensed distrust from him. I detected a shade of pain, with my healing talent.

I looked him up and down. He wore a tuxedo with a sash and cummerbund, similar to how the men were dressed at Grandpa Plaka’s funeral. His dark curls were tied back in a tail. Everything about him was clean, neat, and respectable.

“Thank you,” Father said.

“Are you ready to order?” The waiter spoke politely enough, but there was a tightness to his voice.

“Could we have a few minutes?” I’d barely had time to look at the menu.

The waiter nodded and moved on to another table.

I sighed through my teeth. “Father, what is going on?”

“I brought you to Chascadia because everyone of Chascadian descent is being watched carefully. I thought this would be a safe place to explain to you and Javis what’s happening.”

“Why couldn’t you have told us at home?” said Javis. The exasperation and frustration in his voice was notable. But Father didn’t seem to mind.

“I wanted to see for myself what the climate was like here,” Father calmly explained. “What the local citizens’ reactions would be…”

He sighed and lowered his voice. “There’s been a sudden rise in attacks on travelers who possess unofficial objects. At first, insiders at the TSTA were the most obvious suspects. Whoever is stealing them is doing a good job of hiding.”

“Okay, but what does that have to do with Chascadia?”

“The most recent travel object to be stolen was found here, in this restaurant. The man who was arrested is Chascadian.”

Involuntary shudders made their way from my neck down my arms.

“Since this is the first of the travel objects to be found, the Chascadian people’s reputation has been gravely harmed.”

Father sat back and cleared grit from his voice. The waiter had returned, and was looking at us expectantly.

“I’ll have the daily special,” I said, not knowing if such a thing existed at Nakos Kitchen. My menu sat there unread.

The waiter raised his eyebrows, not saying anything as he scribbled my order on a notepad.

“Um, I’ll have the same,” said Javis, his eyes focused on his tea. Steam had stopped rising from the teacup, so I guessed it had cooled to room temperature. He’d barely touched it.

Father gathered the menus into a pile and handed them to the waiter. “I’ll have the daily special as well. Three daily specials, please.”

“It will be our pleasure,” said the waiter, looking anything but pleased.

I smoothed my napkin across my lap, and frowned as the waiter marched off with our orders.

Stolen travel objects. My baglamas immediately came to mind. It was safe now, or so I’d thought.

Last I’d heard, Yannan and the cloaked men had been taken away. The TSTA escorted them to their headquarters. All three men had appeared for their hearings and were convicted. I didn’t know what their punishments had been, but I couldn’t imagine the TSTA let them walk freely to wreak havoc all across the worlds. But, then, the TSTA didn’t have the power it once had.

“Do you think Yannan has anything to do with the stolen travel objects?” I said. “I remember his fascination with the baglamas. He could be at it again.”

“The man who was arrested was from the family that owned this restaurant,” said Father. “He told the authorities of a young woman who masked her identity behind a hood.”

“That could be anyone,” said Javis. “But I still think this reeks of Yannan.”

Father frowned. “With so many objects stolen in such a short period of time, I doubt he’d be working alone. None of the descriptions match Yannan, or the cloaked men.”

“And the only person arrested so far was Chascadian?” I said.

“Yes.”

“So, the waiter…the distrust I’m sensing from him isn’t of me?”

“You and Javis are descendants of Chascadia, Silvie.” Father adjusted the dark glasses that concealed his eyes. “If there’s anyone for the waiter to distrust, it would be me.”

* * *

You saw it here first! Drop a line in the comments to let me know what you think.

Sign up for newsletter alerts to get an email when Teardrop Moons releases.

Read the beginning of Silvie’s story in Darker Stars (The Song of Everywhen, #1)

Read the beginning of Calla’s story in Travel Glasses (The Call to Search Everywhen, #1)

Teardrop Moons—Chapter 1

*This is not the final edited version. Story content may change before this book releases. Sign up for newsletter updates to get a message when Teardrop Moons (The Song of Everywhen, #2) becomes available.

A new thief is born.

Time travel objects are missing, and Chascadians are being blamed.
Silvie’s legacy and family reputation are at stake.
Will she be able to find and stop who’s responsible?
And will it be enough to convince the worlds?

1

Hearts Apart

“I’m sorry,” I told Sloe. “I guess you don’t travel to Aboreal much anymore.”

“Not since Raven stopped talking to me.”

“That’s sad.” I meant what I said, too. Part of me might have been jealous if Sloe were still seeing his ex-girlfriend, but I accepted their friendship. They’d known each other for a long time.

I also wasn’t sure what he and I were to each other. Or what we’d become.

Sloe sighed. His lovely lavender eyes lowered. “I didn’t mean to have her out of my life completely. So it was her choice, not mine.”

“I guess you can’t force someone to talk to you.”

“Or visit.”

Or like you, I thought. I reached out with my healing talent moments before my hand brushed his shoulder. I sprang back when he shook his head.

“Sorry,” I said. “Reflexive habit.”

“I know. See you tomorrow?”

“Only if you want to. I’ll be at the hospital all day. Javis has taken on extra studies—more lessons from Father, actually. They’ve been busy. Seems like they’re growing closer, too.”

“That’s good,” he mumbled. “Thanks, Silvie.”

I smiled and waved good-bye, all while keeping my distance. The last thing I wanted was another awkward hug or peck on the cheek. It had been a long time since Sloe had kissed me. And no matter how hurt he seemed, he dodged my attempts to heal him.

All he wanted to do was sit around and talk, which usually meant moping about Raven.

He insisted on seeing me every day. Was he lonely without her? Or, maybe, he simply didn’t want to be alone. I wondered if he still feared Yannan and the cloaked men. I hadn’t heard much about them in a long time. I’d assumed the TSTA had taken care of them—charged them with whatever they could come up with, and that they were prisoners for life.

At one time, a convicted traveler with a travel talent had two choices—pay a ridiculously expensive fine or go on a dangerous travel mission to seek the Lost. Prison was only an option for those without a travel talent. Or so my Father told me.

Times had changed.

Travel talents evolved and the use of unofficial objects had become so prevalent that it was difficult to tell who was a traveler with travel talents and who was not. Someone basically had to admit to not having a travel talent.

Oftentimes, such an admission was made with shame.

* * *

You’ve seen it here first! Drop a line in the comments to let me know what you think.

Sign up for newsletter alerts to get an email when Teardrop Moons releases.

Read the beginning of Silvie’s story in Darker Stars (The Song of Everywhen, #1)

Read the beginning of Calla’s story in Travel Glasses (The Call to Search Everywhen, #1)