Wish he'd been around to see my books. Every now and then, when the house is quiet except for the tap, tap, tap of my fingers on the keyboard, I feel him looking over my should as I write. I hope he approves.
His character, an 18-year-old cave guide in The Magic Medallion, saves Cynthia and Gus from certain death when they are swept into an underground river while searching a Southern Indiana cave for a lost medallion. Didn't I tell you he was my hero? Cynthia and Gus think so, too.
Read an excerpt:
I went flailing into the water the split second Cynthia reached out to grab me. I couldn't see what happened to her, but the scream I heard and the following splash said it all.
The current seemed to be moving faster and faster. I tried unsuccessfully to grab onto the rough ledge, but instead, I floated deeper and deeper into the cave.
I helplessly tumbled over and over in the blackness and thought about the irony of the swimming trophies and scout badges I'd collected over the past three summers. Hmmmphh. A lot of good that did me!
With every breath, I gulped more and more water. A feeling that I probably wasn't going to get out of this alive swept over me, and at the same time I wondered if Cynthia was faring any better. For some reason, it was comforting to know that she was probably going to drown with me. Oh, that's a generous thought, Gus! Here you are feeling good about the fact that your best friend is probably drowning, too! I knew I didn't really feel that way. I wanted her to make it out because…well just because. Also, so she'd be able to tell someone where to find my lifeless, broken body.
Yep, I'm dying all right…there's the bright light I've heard about. I was being pulled straight toward a small glow in the distance as a feeling of peace began to take over. That peace didn't last long, though, as my ears picked up the deafening roar of a huge waterfall…a real one this time! I started paddling backwards as fast as possible but couldn't fight the current and started falling and falling and falling. Moments after I heard screams telling me that Cynthia was falling too, I landed face down in the water. Gathering the strength to look up, I couldn't believe my eyes. We were in a river outside the cave. If I could only swim to that bank, but my arms were like dead weights.
"Grab onto the rope!"
I turned in the direction of the voice and saw a splash in the water just in front of me. I reached out and held onto the rope with all the energy I had left and was relieved to feel myself being pulled toward dry ground. As I crawled to the bank, I heard the command repeated.
"Grab onto the rope!"
Soon, an equally exhausted Cynthia lay beside me. "Are we dead?" I gasped.
"I…don't know," she said weakly. "I think we're alive because every inch of my body hurts. I don't think you hurt when you're dead."
"No, you're not dead…but you are lucky to be alive," a voice lectured. As I painfully rolled over on my back, I saw a figure in green khaki pants standing beside me, but the glare of the sun hid his face.
"How in the world did you two get to the waterfall? There's no way to reach it through the main entrance since it was blocked off years ago, and I know you didn't sneak into the cave the back way…and what in the world are you doing exploring caves in those old granny outfits?" He laughed.
"Who are you to criticize our spelunking attire?" I asked, indignant. "We just didn't have time to change and certainly didn't think we were going swimming today!"
"Whoa there, Nellie. I don't care what you thought you were going to be doing…you look silly."
That did it! I jumped up, in spite of my exhaustion, hands on hips, and spit out a withering comeback…"Oh yeah?"
That's all I managed to say because it hit me like a pan-full of my mother's burnt biscuits…I knew this person. Although I'd seldom seen him in a hat, the faded green scout cap looked familiar. It was identical to the one I'd found in the tent. He had the same smile and unmistakable twinkling blue-gray eyes. We had made it to 1934…and the young man who pulled us out of the river…was my dad.
Click on my website for Buy links to all 5 Cynthia's Attic series books!