Excerpt from GATEWAY TO THERA

Below is a short excerpt from Book Three of the ADVENTURE CHRONICLES. Please be aware that this is an unedited clip:

Jamie cupped his hands together and dipped them into the cool, clear water of the spring. Bringing them to his lips, he drank deeply.

“Where d’ya s’pose we are?” inquired Deck as he stretched with a yawn.

“Your guess is as good as mine,” replied the young ninja as he looked around the clearing.

“Well,” muttered Buster, “I guess it’s safe to say we’re not anywhere near the warehouse.”

“I did not expect us to be,” stated Yoshi. “Not after going through that ‘glowing thing,’ as Jamie called it.”

“What was it?” wondered Max aloud as he tore a piece of his vampire cape off and made a sling for Alex’s wrist.

Yoshi sighed and shook her head. “Magic?”

“I don’t believe in magic,” muttered Jamie as he walked over to stand among his friends. “There must be some other explanation.”

“The chunin of the Funakoshi ninja clan doesn’t believe in magic,” commented Deck with a chuckle. “How do you explain all that stuff you can do, like hidin’ in shadows, and disappearin’ in clouds’a smoke.”

“Each of these things can be explained scientifically,” replied Jamie. “In Feudal Japan, the ninja wanted people to think that they were supernatural. But now, it’s just like any other illusionary magician. The magic isn’t real, but you never tell others how you do it.”

“Look up there!” exclaimed Buster in amazement. He was gesturing toward a figure that was flying toward them. As it came closer, the teens and adult could make out a monkey with wings.

The creature landed in a tree just above the group. What surprised them the most was the fact that it spoke. “Greetings from Tarent the mage,” it said, its voice screeching like that of a bird.

“Who?” inquired Max.

“Tarent wishes for me to tell you that you were foolish to follow him here to get the girl,” continued the creature. “For this misdeed, he will allow you to be trapped here for the rest of your miserable lives.”

Max crossed his arms and rolled his eyes. “Here?”

“But,” said the creature, ignoring him, “he has stated that how long those lives are depends on you.”

“How so?” demanded Buster.

“If you make no further attempts to save the girl, he will not kill you.”

Jamie exploded in rage. “You tell that old MONSTER that he’s going to have to do alot more than make threats to keep us from getting Shawna back, do you HEAR ME?!!!”

His friends looked at him in awe.

“Then you have sealed your own fates,” squawked the creature as it took to the sky.

“We’ve landed in Oz,” muttered Buster as he fidgeted with the silver cross that hung from his neck.

“Well,” asked Yoshi, “what now?”

“It flew off in that direction,” said Jamie, still watching as the little thing disappeared into the distance, “so we head that way, too.”

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