Welcome to the Sunday Street Team!!! I am pleased to have Ryan Dalton as December’s featured author.
Hours drifted by as he let the historical adventure envelope him through the dead of night. Between chapters, he stretched stiff joints and watched the night sky battle on. His room had the best view of the storm, which appeared to be growing angrier by the hour. Lightning flashed constantly behind the dark clouds and the air rumbled with rolling thunder. His brow furrowed as he noticed that frost had formed on the edges of his windows.
Frost seems odd for summer. Maybe we’re close to the storm center.
Malcolm picked out the largest bolts of lightning and the most intense thunderclaps. Mentally he counted the seconds between them, hoping to guess their distance away. Wait, that can’t be right. He counted again and got the same result.
The delay was identical every time—one and a half seconds between lightning and thunder. Strike-pause-boom, wait, repeat. After twenty minutes of counting, the cycle still ran like clockwork. Is that normal around here? Valentine probably knew, but must be dreaming by now. Maybe he’d ask her tomorrow.
As Malcolm turned away from the window, something brushed the corner of his vision. A burst of light, but not like the others. He whipped back around and stared into the night. A bolt of lightning and crack of thunder greeted him again.
Whatever it was, it had looked different than the lightning—brighter, and a slightly different color. Light must be playing with my eyes. He rubbed them and moved to turn away again. Probably just—no there it is again!
He saw it this time—a strange pulse of blue-white light. It hadn’t come from the clouds. It had been closer to eye level and from the direction of . . .
Malcolm lunged at the shelf over his headboard. Grabbing an antique spyglass, he pointed the lens across the street, toward the house with no doors. He held deathly still, his eye trained on the front window.
A beam of light lanced from the window, piercing the inky darkness. One-point-five seconds later the sky erupted in thunder and lightning. Malcolm felt like he’d been dunked in ice.
“Pulse-lightning-boom. House-sky-air, every time. What on earth is—”
A man’s face glared at him through the window.
With cold fury, he stared into Malcolm’s room and straight down his spyglass. Malcolm froze under those accusing eyes as they pulled him toward the window. His panicked breath came ragged and hoarse, his muscles refused to budge.
The face disappeared.
Malcolm snapped back like a broken rubber band, yelping as he fell from his bed. He smacked onto the floor and collided with the dresser. Antiques and picture frames toppled onto him as he sprawled on the floor, groaning.
A moment later Valentine staggered in, squinting. “What are you doing? It’s like 2 a.m.”
Malcolm sprang up and dragged his sister to the window, shoving the spyglass into her hands. “Look across the street.”
“You know what! Come on, just do it.”
Sighing, Valentine held the spyglass to her eye. “What am I looking for?”
“You’ll know. Shouldn’t be long now.”
Malcolm watched with her, determined to catch the next pulse. But after a moment, he knew something was wrong. It should have happened already. “These pulses of light were coming from the window! I . . . ” What’s taking so long? Minutes passed as they watched absolutely nothing happen.
Valentine handed him the spyglass. “Well, this was fun. Go to sleep. Tomorrow is a school day.” She glanced out the window as she turned to leave. “Hmm, looks like the storm broke. G’night.”
~*~ABOUT THE AUTHOR~*~
Ryan Dalton is the author of the young adult Time Shift Trilogy. His debut novel THE YEAR OF LIGHTNING will be released on December 8, 2015. Ryan splits his time between writing books during the day, fighting crime at night, and hanging out in his awesome underground lair. Please do not tell anyone he’s Batman. It’s a secret.
Ryan has also been generous to donate a giveaway item!