This is an intro to a story I'm working on. I've given it to my friends who seem to like it well enough but I can't tell if they like it because I'm the writer or if it is genuinely interesting. Your input is not required but always welcome. All that I ask is that you STOP reading it if you get bored, otherwise enjoy. ~ Trevor Colben was an unlikely sort of lad to find himself in anything a normal person would call an adventure. If there was a grand convention for all the people in the world who could plausibly be accused of day dreaming about escapades into the wild unknown, Trevor would be at home watching it on the news. Why should he be adventurous? He was a small boy, average in height and appearance for a ten year old (the problem being that he was actually fourteen). He lived in a small town by the ocean where no one ever did anything exciting as far as he could tell and all of his needs (and most of his wants) were met by other people. He had always been one of those rare children who’s imagination was disappointingly equal to his stature, in fact it was probably a few sizes too small. His intelligence was hardly to blame for this deficit. His grades were above average when compared to his classmates at St. Matilda’s Boys Academy, a private school for grades six through twelve that had actually integrated girls several years before the beginning of this story but had never gotten around to fixing the front sign. St. Matilda’s was in turn above average (albeit decidedly lacking in impetus) among schools in the coastal town of Gloford. Truth be told, his deficiency in imagination was most likely the fault of his parents, Linda and Roger Colben-Childs. As the last name implies, this was a progressive couple. They had long ago decided to allow electricity to do a large part of the parenting. Young Trevor was well stocked with the latest video games from the time he could hold a controller. When he lacked a television or computer, he could always pull out a hand held device and lose himself in someone else’s creativity. There were never any books around the house. Trevor was in middle school before he ever realized that some people actually considered reading them a form of entertainment. One supposes that his parents believed they were being merciful on the boy by providing him with every (legal) version of digital entertainment. After all, there was not much to do around town except the beach, and being of a diminutive size, the boy preferred not to expose himself in a bathing suit in front of the general public (his peers had many lovely names for him in that regard). Neither parent ever encouraged him to go outside all that often. As a matter of fact that rarely encouraged him to do much of anything as they were rarely home. Roger was employed as an extension cord salesman and traveled around the country doing things that no one in the family ever bothered to inquire about (the extension cord business has never been a great subject of conversation). His wife was a tour guide for a local company that gave small day time cruises up and down the seashore. Her job was considered more or less important as tourism was a major source of money for the town. She played a lot of bridge at night, something that little boys aren’t exactly inclined towards. Trevor was, in fact, home much more often than they were. As I was saying, Trevor was the last individual any sane person would have picked for an adventure. But sometimes fate does not make the most likely (or even remotely probable) choices when deciding these things. For good or for bad, events were in motion now that could not be stopped. Despite the best efforts of nearly everyone involved, Trevor’s hum drum existence was only hours away from being changed forever (which is fortunate because this would be a very dull story otherwise). However, as far as Trevor knew, this was going to be a day like any other, full of unnoticeable, unexciting events without incident or excitement. He woke up to his mother’s voice at his bedside. She held a glass of water and some vitamins, like she did every morning. Mothers in Gloford (or just about anywhere for that matter) are big on vitamins, milk and the latest child supplements to ease the burden of any less than perfect parenting on their conscience. Trevor didn’t know what she said in the morning to wake him up, he was never able to catch the words as his dreams (seldom remembered) were still drifting away in his mind. Her words were not required. He knew the ritual. Sit up, take pills, and drink water all under the careful scrutiny of the matriarch lest he drop one in the covers. Vitamins were not free, a fact he was reminded of often. After he was finished, and thoroughly awake, his mother began to talk again. “Your father is going to take you to school today. I have to run over to Aunt Maggie’s. She woke up this morning to find a mouse in her bed and she’s on the roof and won’t come down.” Aunt Maggie, Roger’s sister (a great deal more exciting than her brother), had a slight phobia for things that crawled too low to the ground. She would take the furthest exit from the nearest mouse, snake, or insect and if that happened to be a window, then so be it. This happened once or twice a year. She was very popular with the local exterminators. Now most people would think this sort of news would excite the imagination of a boy of fourteen but Trevor had never given such incidents a second thought. His parents always sorted them out, allowing him to think of more pertinent matters (or nothing at all). With her instructions delivered, his mother bustled out of the room and Trevor proceeded to get dressed. Several minutes later he heard the front door open and close and the sound of the family station wagon leaving the driveway. Trevor went down to the kitchen to have his normal breakfast of cereal. He found his dad sitting at the kitchen table reading the morning paper while sipping on a cup of coffee. Trevor only saw his dad when he was not out of town on business. He only had the vague knowledge that his dad worked with extension cords and was never really curious to know more (but then neither was anyone else). He could always tell if his father was home or not as he was coming down the stairs for breakfast. The man had a peculiar habit of reading the paper and listening to the news on the kitchen television at the same time, whether he could actually do both at once was anybody’s guess. Today was different. The television was silent (but turned on) and Trevor failed to notice that his father was scrutinizing the paper with more than his usual intensity. His usually passive face was furrowed and he failed to offer his usual distracted salutation as his son entered the room. He would say good morning to anyone who entered the kitchen without ever looking up regardless of whether they were entering for the first or twelfth time that morning (Trevor used to amuse himself by seeing how many times he could trigger his father’s reflexive greeting before the man caught on). Today he might have been an ill placed piece of garden statuary. Trevor went to pour his cereal which consisted of thick grainy chunks of heaven only knows what. He had never really thought about it (one of the few blessings of a sedentary mind). Roger’s brooding was disrupted by the sharp clunks of crunchy bits on porcelain. He looked up at the boy with a startled suddenness, seemingly aware of his presence for the first time. “Today when you get home from school, I don’t want you going anywhere.” Perhaps he had forgotten that his son never went anywhere after school. “I’ve decided to cancel my business trips for the next couple of days. Maybe we could do something together as a family.” As he spoke he was trying to soften his concerned expression into a smile, with somewhat comical results. Trevor dropped the box of cereal sideways on the counter. Their family scheduled their ‘together time’ weeks in advance and it usually occurred on holidays, vacations, or visits to very old people who lived annoyingly far away (his impression of relatives). He had also never heard of his dad canceling a business trip in his life. As has been said before, Trevor was a boy of little curiosity or imagination, so his mind was slow to jump to conclusions as to why his father had developed a sudden interest in his own home. Perhaps if he had been the curious type, he would have looked over at the morning’s news headlines. “Fourth Unexplained Disappearance in as Many Days. Police Urge Extreme Caution” However, boys and newspapers are much like boys and celery, they usually only approach each other when forced. Trevor was less inclined to the printed word than most boys, and without this suggestive piece of evidence, he was at a loss to explain his father’s behavior. The only thing he knew for sure was that today was that he had a feeling that he did not get very often. It was the unwelcome feeling he got when the unknown barged into his perfectly predictable life.