Here is the prologue of BUSTER’S LEGACY: Book Five of the Adventure Chronicles:
April 9, 1993
Friday, 9:17 PM
A small, Midwestern town like this one usually had very few businesses that remained open after 9:00 PM, but Jameston, Missouri took that even further. There were not even any bars in the small town, not that alcohol was illegal here. But with the street gang that ruled the little town demanding higher protection charges from businesses that were open after ten, the owners of the bars had closed up shop some time ago.
After Sheriff Goodman had resigned his post to move his family to the equally small town of Sera, about two hours’ drive to the northwest, the man who took his place, Sheriff Brad Simmons, was widely known to be on the Renegades’ payroll. One would not find a patrol car on any streets where the gang’s drug deals were going down. One would not find a police officer coming along to stop a mugging that was instigated by Ben Shalley, the leader of the Renegades, or one of his goons. And very few break-ins of any of the businesses in the town were thoroughly investigated.
In fact, there were very few occurrences in Jameston in which Ben Shalley did not have his hands. But tonight was different. There would have been no way that he could have known about the horrible thing that was about to step into his town.
The air was crisp on this clear, spring evening. With not a cloud in the sky, Craig Browers was surprised to see what he thought was a bolt of lightning strike a couple of blocks away. His mother had begged the senior at Jameston High School to be home early, but he had lost track of time while visiting his girlfriend’s house. Now, his curiosity was going to sidetrack him again as he decided to check out the disturbance. He rubbed the back of his neck, looked around to make sure that nobody was near, and then headed in the direction of the lightning bolt.
* * *
He stumbled out of the glowing door. He had known that the coins that he had stolen from the prophetess and her husband were special, but nothing like this. The place where he was now standing was different than anything that he had ever seen. The ground was hard, as if the entire area were made of one large rock. The buildings seemed to be made of a similar substance. Artificial lights, perhaps created by some long-lasting spell, stood at the top of poles that were positioned along the roadway, which also seemed to be made of the rock-like substance.
Hoping to avoid being followed through the glowing, blue doorway, he kicked at one of the coins, knocking it farther away from the other. He watched in dismay as the coins disappeared with the door. But his fear at being stranded on this alien world was short lived. A red glow flared from his right hand as a sharp pain shot up his arm. He opened his fingers to see the other item that he had stolen from the couple who had nursed him back to health—a small ruby. It was now shining with an unholy light as it burrowed itself into the palm of his hand.
Another mind . . . another personality . . . was trying to force itself into his head. He knew that it would seek to completely remove his own consciousness. And it was a fight that he was quickly losing.
Craig walked around the corner just as he heard a man scream in anguish. His eyes were saucers as his heart leaped into his throat. He played football, but would not dare to tackle with the Renegades if they were hurting someone.
Then, he saw the man. He was wearing black leather pants and a white, button-down shirt. He was standing in the deserted parking lot of Vince’s grocery and grasping his wrist in pain. And it looked as if his hand was on fire.
As Craig broke into a run toward the man, the pitiful fellow bellowed again in agony, then dropped to the ground. Craig came to stand over the stranger to find him unmoving. He gave the man a cursory examination. He no longer saw any sign of fire. The man’s hand did not seem blackened. The man’s clothing, which looked like it belonged in a Renaissance Faire, was stretched out as if it were made for someone who was smaller and not having the rippling muscles that this man possessed. In fact, the man’s soft, leather shoes had split down the middle.
Craig’s eyes focused on the man’s hair. It was blonde. That was strange. He could have sworn that it had been dark when he had first seen the man. “Hey, Mister,” Craig whispered. “Are you okay?”
A bright, red light flared from the man’s right hand as it shot up and clasped Craig by the throat. “I am doing quite well,” laughed the stranger.
As the demonic glow began its changes within Craig, he screamed as he had never screamed before . . ..