Tag Archives: parallax

Short Excerpt from The Unintentional Time Traveler

The Unintentional Time Traveler by Everett Maroon coverShort excerpt from the final revision of the young adult novel I have coming out this fall, The Unintentional Time Traveler. This section is from Chapter 18.

Closing my eyes made the experience feel more familiar, even if I knew I was sitting back on Jeannine’s rich friend’s couch and not in a lab. Dr. Dorfman’s voice was strangely comforting even with all of the guilt because of everything I’d put him through. Without seizures anymore, he wasn’t sure if this would work. Sitting still made me almost miss all the years of pills and needles and brain scans, but not really. Maybe I should have been more nervous about the hand-built EEG machine than my own capacity for out of control neuron activity, but I didn’t think the doctor would have subjected me to anything that could hurt me. Even as revenge.

We’d had a long discussion about trying to send me somewhere. Dorfpoodle wanted to have witnesses present who agreed that time travel was at least a possibility. I wanted to see if I could time jump without my own seizures, and I was desperate to see Lucas again. Alive. I prayed to nobody in particular. Please give me time to fix what was so screwed up back there.

“Relax, Jack,” he said. It occurred to me that I didn’t know why he cared to do all of this for us. Was he interested in inventing a time machine? Wanting to prove himself correct? Was he actually delusional? Why were these questions only now just popping into my head?

I considered ripping off the wires, held to my scalp with some kind of hair product instead of the medical putty I was used to. This was crazy. What was I thinking? I should get out of here, explain to my parents that I’ve been stupid and desperate. They’ll have to get over it at some point. Maybe I’ll super enjoy juvenile detention. Read More…

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Excerpt from Chapter 1 of The Unintentional Time Traveler

Coming your way this summer/fall, here’s the new start to my debut, young adult novel, folks.

1926 BugottiI first jumped back in time on September 21, 1980, just a few weeks into high school, but nothing about how that day started was odd in any way. It’s not like the sun popped out of the sky and said, “Hey Jack, how about if you take a trip to a completely different era where nothing makes any sense to you?”

No, it was a regular day where I woke up from my incredibly annoying alarm clock, which of course alerted King, our Golden Retriever, that he should burst through my bedroom door and lick me all over the face until I was awake enough to push him off of me. He followed me down the hall like usual, standing behind me even when I whizzed into the toilet, lest I don’t know, he miss out on any of my fun. He and I didn’t even notice anymore that the sink was wrapped in rolled up towels, held in place by constantly unraveling, goopy duct tape. It had been that way since my parents had started letting me use the bathroom by myself.

I have epilepsy, see, which means that on an irregular basis I lose consciousness as the neurons in my brain decide to go on a bender and start firing like a bunch of kindergarteners who missed their Ritalin dose that day. As one can imagine, this gets in the way of conversations, walking, brushing one’s teeth, or anything else worth doing. But like the padding over the hard surfaces around the house, I’ve gotten used to having seizures, even if I’m not happy about them.

Sometimes—maybe half the time—the “episodes” gave me a tiny bit of warning, mostly by screwing with my sense of balance. The ground around me would abruptly shift diagonally, like a ship listing hard to one side. Or my own private earthquake. I mastered the art of quickly sitting down, before I would fall over into humiliating twitchiness. Before the darkness could collapse over me. Read More…

Excerpt from Parallax: Chapter 28

The tracks stretched so far toward the horizon that the individual rails merged into one point, and then they devolved into something indistinct. If men had laid down a railroad here, at some point it became lost to the wilderness. I followed the tracks, using a scrap of paper I’d received a couple of hours earlier. Edgar camped out where the tracks took on a look of modern sculpture, the result of a terrible derailing several years ago. Not that modern art was anything anyone had heard of yet. The old conductor told me I couldn’t miss it.

I’d been tracking him for a week, and I was running out of time. I crunched through a stream of broken glass and pottery. Moonshine bottles, brown beer glass, growler jugs, or so I guessed. Hopefully I was getting close. If the story was right then he hadn’t started to spiral down yet, but this was the last night for his sobriety. Read More…

Excerpt from Parallax: Chapter 23

We drove until we reached the other side of three towns, and then pulled up to a general store. I cut the engine and Jackson and I inspected each other.

“Well, you’ve looked better,” he said, lifting my chin.

“You’ve looked worse,” I said. That made him smile for a moment. “So who was that back there?”

“I don’t know,” he said, taking the opportunity to look back behind us, where the dust we’d kicked up was settling back on the wide lane. “You were kind of in a hurry when you talked to me the last time.”

“Last time? How many times have I come by?” Where did I get the time for all this, I wondered, and then paused. If I could jump at will then I kind of had all the time in the world. On this side, anyway. Read More…

Excerpt from Parallax: from Chapter 22

I hoped my memory of how to find his house wasn’t fuzzy, but if I was right, we had quite a ways to go before we’d show up at the white row home. As the sun prepared to set, I sniffed around an abandoned strip of train cargo cars. Judging from the height of the weeds and the rusty state of the tracks here, no trains had passed through here for a long while.

I slept in fits, as Pie was tied to a crumbling handle on the open cargo door. The wood was rotted in places and my nose stuffed up from the smell of mold and old urine, but I’d become so exhausted I couldn’t keep myself awake, and I hoped the horse would alert me if I were in any danger. Read More…

Excerpt from Parallax: from Chapter 19

For those of you following along, here’s the latest piece I’m sharing of my work in progress.

Closing my eyes made the experience feel more familiar, even if I knew I was sitting back on Jeannine’s friend’s couch and not in a lab. I appreciated Dr. Stanger’s voice, strangely comforting even after everything I’d put him through. Without seizures anymore, we weren’t sure if this would work. I should have been more nervous about the hand-built EEG machine than my own capacity for out of control neuron activity, but I didn’t think the doctor would have subjected me to anything that could hurt me. Even if he’d gone through a terrible ordeal on my account.

“Just relax, Jack,” he said, and it occurred to me that I didn’t know why he cared to do all of this for us. Was he interested in inventing a time machine? Wanted to prove himself correct? Was he actually insane?

I considered ripping the wires off of my head, held to my scalp with some kind of hair product instead of the medical putty I was used to. This was reckless, dangerous. What was I thinking? I should jump up and get out of here, explain to my parents that I’ve been stupid and desperate. They’ll have to get over it at some point. Read More…

Excerpt from Parallax—from Chapter 17

For those of you following along, here’s another excerpt of the first draft. Enjoy!

While Dr. Stanger worked on building a crude EEG machine, I drove out to Conestoga for more information on the town and its residents. Whatever town square I’d seen was gone now, subsumed into a street grid. Only on the outlying areas were there still farm lands, but the vast majority of the area had been developed. I pulled over, seeing a yellowed sign in the window of a storefront: Historical Society. I fumbled for dimes in my pocket and bought an hour’s worth of parking time, and headed inside. An older lady with curly white hair greeted me.

“Suggested donation is one dollar,” she told me, “but you can see if that’s worth paying after you walk through.” I smiled and put a bill in her metal box. It didn’t appear they had visitors often. Read More…

Excerpt from Parallax—from Chapter 16

My latest bit of Parallax, from the first draft. To read the earlier excerpts, click on Parallax in the tag cluster on the left side of the screen.

Sanjay looked much older in scrubs.

“Green’s a good color on you,” I said, sitting in my car.

“Oh shut up.” He clipped his brother’s hospital badge on his shirt and said, “Wish me luck.”

The plan was for Sanjay to say Dr. Stanger needed to go to respiratory therapy, and he was the orderly to remove him. With all the smoking the doctor did, we hoped it wouldn’t look suspicious. According to Jay’s brother Prabal, lots of patients on the mental wellness ward smoked a lot and it was common for them to get checkups from the respiratory therapy staff when they inevitably had problems breathing. Read More…

Excerpt from PARALLAX

Those of you keeping up with the first draft of my WIP, a YA novel about time traveling with trans themes, I’m posting another excerpt today. All excerpts have been posted in order, so to go back and read any earlier episodes, just click on the Parallax tag on the left side of the screen. Enjoy!

I couldn’t let my isolation get the best of me. I determined to push through whatever this was, find out if there was a way to save both mothers and my friends who were in danger.

Looking up again, I saw Jeannine start her engine. I was going to miss her and then not have a way home, 20 miles away.

I leaped up and raced into the parking lot, waving my arms, and saw the flash of Jeannine’s brake lights. She backed up and reached over to unlock the passenger door.

“What the hell, Jack?”

“Can I get a ride?” Each word came out with a pant in between. Read More…

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