Michael Potters is caught in a dilemma. He is attempting to solve his own murder and trying to do so in the form of a little boy whose body he now inhabits. While doing so, he not only has to keep the secret from his own son, but from the new family that he is now living with. To add even more to his troubles he is having to once more attend grade school, something which was frustrating enough the first time. He has no idea why all of this is happening to him nor how much time he has left to find out why. All he can do is race the clock to try to discover who was responsible for murdering him before his time runs out.
From the author: Like most people, I have often wondered what it would be like to be a kid again, but to retain the experience and wisdom that I have as an adult. This is a good deal about what this story is about. It is also a bit of a culture clash as the main character of this book experiences being a kid again in a whole new world that is different from his own. I suppose every generation looks at the one coming up and asks “Is this what our future is? We’re doomed!” Michael Potters is actually having to face this experience firsthand not because he wants to, but because he has no alternative.
Targeted Age Group:: 8-25
What Inspired You to Write Your Book?
I had to idea to write a out-of-body novel where a man was trapped in the body of a little boy and trying to solve his own murder while keeping his secret from his loved ones. The story pretty much unfolded as I wrote it. I really had no idea how it was going to end until I wrote it.
How Did You Come up With Your Characters?
The story came before anything. The characters came to life as I was writing them and got to to know them better.
All of the voices were speaking at once, overlapping each other. This looked a lot different than it did on television. Then again, he had never experienced any of it from this point of view. Well, there was that one time when he broke his arm when he was twelve, but that was nothing compared to this.
He closed his eyes. So tired.
“We’re losing him!”
David, he thought.
Then, he felt a strange sensation. He was not in any pain anymore. It was gone. It felt…he felt…as he were being pulled away. Very gently, as if he were beginning to float. It was pleasant. He opened his eyes and he could not believe what was in front of him.
All the doctors were working on him…and he was watching it all from several feet away. He was standing in the room wearing a white frock made of silk and watching all of the people gathered together there working frantically on his body. One of them, an older man from what he could see above his mask, had some paddles with some cords attached to them in his hands, the kind that he had seen on television that they used when someone was dying and they were trying to jumpstart his heart.
The head doctor pressed them against Michael’s chest. As he was watching himself he involuntarily jumped when he saw the paddles pressed against him, but then realized that it was in reaction to seeing himself about to be shocked. He did not feel a thing.
“Clear!” he yelled.
The body momentarily surged upwards in reaction to the shock. Michael realized that he did not feel any sensation at all, his hand resting on his chest as he looked on.
“Going again. Clear!”
The body surged upwards again and then still lay still. The machine that had been beeping had now fully stopped. Instead of a jagged line on the monitor, there was now only a straight one and a constant, shrill noise.
“Okay. What time is it?” the doctor said in a defeated tone.
“Six ten,” one of the others replied.
“I’m calling it,” he said as he took off his mask and looked down at Michael with a sad expression on his face. “Dammit,” he whispered.
Michael looked at all of this with a stunned expression, taking it all in as he was still trying to come to terms with what he had just seen. Every emotion that he could possibly think of he was feeling at this moment.
Am I…am I dead? he thought. Wait a minute! I can’t be dead. I’m standing right here! Can’t you see me?
Slowly, the team of doctors walked by him and emptied the room. Before he did so, the head doctor looked at Michael’s body one last time and then pulled the sheet up and covered him. Once everyone was gone and the room belonged to him, Michael slowly walked up to his body and looked down at it.
He was looking at himself, at his own dead body.
“I…I can’t be dead. I’m only thirty-four. I still have my whole life ahead of me,” he said in a monotone voice as he continued to look down at the sheet-covered figure. Then, he raised his hand to touch himself and was surprised to see that instead of being able to do so; his hand had passed right through the sheet. “Oh, my God!” he exclaimed as he pulled his hand quickly back in shock. He tried again and the same thing happened. Then, turning around in a panic, he attempted to pick up one of the medical instruments that were on the table next to him and the same thing occurred. “This can’t be happening,” he murmured as he tried again in desperation several more times and then gave up. He just stood there with a terrified look on his face as he tried to come to terms with what had happened, with what was happening.
Still in a daze and not knowing what else to do he slowly exited the room and entered the busy hallway. He looked to his left and, before he could move away a large man walked into him. Michael yelled in surprise as he did so…but he did not feel any kind of impact and neither had the man…because he had walked right through him and then kept going. As he had done so, Michael had for a split second seen the inside of the man’s body, and it had been the…most unpleasant sensation thing that he had ever experienced in his life, one that he had no interest in repeating ever again. Seeing the inside of a body was in no way a beautiful experience, he didn’t care what doctors had to say about it.
“Oh, shit,” Michael said in a deadpan voice. “It’s true. It really is true. I’m dead. I’m standing right in the middle of a crowded hallway and I’m invisible. A…ghost.”
A young woman dressed in some scrubs was walking towards him and it did not appear that she was going to stop. Instinctively, Michael got out of her way before that…that sensation could happen again. Confounded, he began to slowly walk through the crowded hospital, darting this way and that to avoid the oncoming traffic of people.
All of it had happened so quickly, he thought. The stabbing, the struggle, the hospital ride…dying, and now…this. And speaking of this, why is this happening? Shouldn’t I be…shouldn’t I be in Heaven right now? Isn’t that the way this kind of thing works? If you live a good, moral life, you get to go to Heaven? What happened? Did I screw up, somehow? Did I do something wrong? Is there a train station or stairway I’m supposed to head for? Some kind of bright light?
Still getting used to the world around him in his new state he continued to walk down the hall, taking in his surroundings. He wanted to yell, to scream, to do anything that might fix this, but he knew that that he was invisible to the people around him. For all intents and purposes, he was alone. As he was walking along he noticed that he didn’t seem to feel anything. He was barefoot, but walking on the hard floor did not bother him at all. Also, he was not cold, which by all rights he should be because he was wearing nothing but a frock. He felt…nothing. Then he saw something that made him feel even more unsettled. To the left of him was a huge pair of glass doors that led to another hallway and, in the reflection of them he could see all the activity that was going on around and behind him. That was not odd. What was odd was that even though he was standing only a few feet from the doors he could not see his own reflection. It was like he did not even exist. And, technically speaking, he didn’t. With a sad, morose look on his face, he raised his hand and waved at the door hoping for anything to happen and saw nothing.
Is this the way it is going to be for the rest of my life? Wait a minute! I don’t have a life. My life is gone! Is this…is this the way things are going to be…forever? Being a shadow? A wraith? Not fair! It shouldn’t be this way! I should…I should be somewhere else. Am I the only one here like this?
He looked around the hallway and did not see anyone like him. Well, he saw people like him, technically speaking; the only difference was that they were fortunate enough to still be alive.
As he was standing there he noticed a little boy looking up at him. He appeared to be about five years-old and seemed to be looking directly at him.
Michael was stunned. Someone could see him!
“Can you…can you see me?” Michael asked.
The boy continued to look at him, not saying anything.
“Hey!” Michael said waving his hands in front of the boy. “Can you see me? Can you see what I’m doing?”
The boy just continued to look at him, a small smile on his lips.
“Mark? Honey, we need to go,” a young woman said as she appeared around the corner, grabbed his hand and gently pulled him along. As she was doing so, the little boy looked back at Michael and waved bye. Not even thinking about it, Michael did the same.
“Well, that was weird,” he said to nobody. “Just my luck that a little boy can see me but not a doctor. Swell.”
He began to wander the halls some more marveling at what he was experiencing and trying to keep an eye out to see if there were any more people in the same situation that he was in. After all, this was a hospital. Maybe they could help each other out. So far, no luck. He got on an elevator with some other people and stood in the back corner until the doors opened. Once the passengers had exited, he got out and then began to walk some more. As he was doing so, he began to feel a…pulling sensation, similar to what he had felt when he had…well, when he had died. However, this time it felt like it was pulling him to a certain destination, a certain point. Deciding that he had nothing else better to do, and also that whatever was happening might supply some answers, he decided to allow his body to follow it. He eventually found himself in a section of the hospital that he recognized for some reason. Looking around, he began to examine the various doctors and nurses that were working around him, none of them noticing him. The pulling sensation was growing stronger, the strongest it had ever been and he now found himself in a room with a single bed in it.
“I…I know this room. I’ve been here before,” he said gazing around and out the window where he recognized the view. He had seen it at least a half dozen times. Then, he looked at the patient lying on the bed. “Oh, my God! That’s…that’s Tommy!”
The tiny figure on the bed lay still as if he was sleeping, but Michael knew that he wasn’t. The car wreck that he had been involved in almost three months ago had resulted in a serious blow to the head and the result was that he had been in a coma ever since.
“That poor kid,” he said as he looked down at him and felt a deep sympathy. He suddenly realized that the pulling sensation was stronger than ever and he found that he was being compelled to walk towards Tommy. “What is this? What’s going on?” he muttered as he continued to walk towards the little boy until he was standing right beside his bed and looking down at him. He looked so peaceful. There even seemed to be almost the hint of a smile on his face. Feeling the overwhelming need to do so, Michael raised his hand and placed it gently on Tommy’s shoulder, vainly attempting to touch it. As he was doing so, he looked down at himself and noticed that he seemed to be…fading. Disappearing. He looked at his other hand as he raised it and it was transparent. He could see through it. His gazed down and saw that his body was continuing to become less and less visible. With a sudden realization at what he thought was happening he looked down at Tommy again, an expression of incredulity on his face.
“Oh, crap,” he said.
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