Gerald and his best friend, Vernon discover a mysterious spot in the woods where Gerald visualizes a miniature village complete with wee inhabitants. He enjoys going back to that spot and watching the day to day activities until trouble starts in the village and he tries to convince Vernon that the “visions” are real and the wee people need help.
While trying to prove that the whole thing is just Gerald’s wild imagination, the boys literally fall into the new world and get caught up in a war. The boys come up with ways to keep the invading force from entering the village but another solution has to be found in order to put an end to the conflict.
Along with a few companions from the village, Gerald and Vernon embark on a quest to face down the deranged forest god who instigated the mayhem. The dangerous path is laid out by an ancient prophecy, but not everything goes as planned.
Why they had to hurry, Gerald did not know but something in the back of his mind kept telling him that time was running out. It took a few minutes, but all the boys were finally awake, a little groggy but ready to move.
The problem was that everything seemed to be happening in slow motion. The heat was almost unbearable. It was a major effort to put one foot in front of the other. Gerald reminded the rest of his team that it was Miach’s way of keeping them from reaching their destination. But this time the illusion did not stop when he mentioned the forest god being up to his old tricks.
This time it was no illusion. The walls burned their hands, the hot air burned their throats. The floor was sticky with some kind of hot substance that burned their feet through their shoes. They began to hear a distant sound like the laughter they had heard earlier.
Cian fell to his knees and cried out in pain as the scalding liquid burned his skin. “I can’t go on, just leave me here to die,” he screamed.
Tomas reached out to his brother and tried to help him up. It was no use; he was too weak and exhausted. In a very weak voice he said, “You all go on. I’ll stay with Cian. I can’t go another step anyway.”
No one else said a word, the other two boys were too tired to talk, too tired to walk, too tired to care.
This was not supposed to be happening. Gerald did not remember this from his nightmares. Something was wrong. He yelled to whoever was listening, “Did we take a wrong turn or something? Stop it Miach, stop it. You want me, leave my friends alone.”
That just made matters worse. The scampering, unseen creatures came out of nowhere. They did not just run past this time but stayed and started pinching and biting the legs and arms of Gerald’s companions. For some strange reason though, the creatures did not bother him.
All four of his companions were down, rolling around on the ground trying to fight off the shadowy figures. The screams intensified from his friends as the burning liquid covered their bodies and the creatures’ biting turned to gnawing. Gerald could hear pieces of flesh being torn away as the other boys were being eaten alive. The laughter was all around them now bouncing off the walls and echoing through Gerald’s head.
“Stop it, stop it now. Please, I’ll do anything you want, Miach, just stop the noise, and stop torturing my friends.”
Total silence fell. All the gnawing, screaming and laughter were gone. Gerald did not know if the total lack of sound was worse than all the noise. He noticed a light shining above him. He looked around and realized he was all alone.
A voice spoke inside his mind and said, “Anything I want, huh,” followed by a soft, haunting chuckle.
Targeted Age Group:
Middle grade/young adult
Greta Burroughs loves to read. No matter where she is, there is always a book close at hand. Her love of reading began at an early age and blossomed over time to include many different genres, her favorite now being fantasy.
As a preschool and elementary school teacher, Greta tried to instill the joy of reading in the children she worked with. Books were an important part of her classroom and story time was the highlight of the day.
It has been a while since Greta was in a classroom but she had lots of experience in reading to children of various ages and remembers what they enjoyed listening to. She tries to incorporate that knowledge into her work as an author and believes it makes her a better writer of children’s and young adult books.
She now resides in SC with her husband, Robert and three dogs. Greta has six books published at the present time; three children’s books in the Patchwork Dog and Calico Cat series, two MG/YA fantasy entitled Gerald and the Wee People and House on Bo-Kay Lane, and a nonfiction account of her experiences with an autoimmune blood disorder called ITP – Heartaches and Miracles.
For more information on Greta’s books visit http://booksbygretaburroughs.weebly.com/
What Inspired You to Write Your Book?
There are too many young people who do not appreciate the joy of reading. I wrote this book to share with them their ability to go places and do things using a good book and their imagination.