'Out there' is closer than you think. Hop aboard... adventure awaits!
by Elizabeth Newton
The Invisible Door
To travel through time and space. To journey through history and to other worlds no one has laid their eyes on before... What an adventure. What a freedom. To set your eye on one of those stars way up there in the night sky or just any date you like in a book, set your coordinates and...
“Are you sure this is the right road?” Lisa asked from the back seat of the car, contaminating the atmosphere with doubt.
James on the other hand was filled with confidence. And as he was the driver, he was not going to let doubt enter his mind. “Of course I’m sure,” he said without taking an eye off the road. “That last turn off was Ardrossan, and now pretty soon, there should be a sign that says Minlaton and that’ll be the one we want.”
“But it seems like we’ve been going along this road for too long now, you’ve gone too far, I reckon.”
“Yeah, I remember thinking that last year, but it was right, so... just trust me alright.” James remained calm. He was a very good driver and he always knew just what he was doing. “And do you mind if I turn the music down for a while, while I concentrate? This road’s really dark and the rain’s getting heavier.”
It was about nine o’clock at night by this time, when James, Lisa and Evelyn were on their way to a shack at Point Turton.
Point Turton is a very small country town by the beach on the other side of the peninsula from Adelaide in Australia. James, Evelyn and Lisa’s youth group had travelled there every summer now since 2006–five years ago–for a long weekend to relax and enjoy the sun, the sand and the surf.
After Evelyn, James’ younger sister had been interrupted from her book The Mystery of Space and the Fourth Dimension, she gazed up, deep into the twinkling sky gob smacked by how many more stars you could see out here as opposed to in Adelaide–even with the clouds. She’d seen it before; but every time she did see it, she was in awe and couldn’t possibly get her head around it.
She kept this to herself for the time being and said, “I can’t believe we’re getting so much rain at this time of year.”
“I know, it’s crazy,” said James.
“We definitely need it though,” Lisa said from the back, “that’s for sure.”
“What’s the time, James?” asked Evelyn.
He looked at his watch in the light of the car stereo system, “Five past nine.”
“Oh far out, we’re running so late.” Evelyn was annoyed. “By the time we get there it’ll be time to go to bed.”
“Na, no one will go to bed before midnight,” James said.
“Won’t there be a ‘lights-out’ time, since it’s a camp though?”
“‘Course not, we’re young adults, well most of us are young adults now. Summer Camp is always just nothing but relaxation and doing whatever you want.”
“What, no... bible study or anything like that?”
“Not on Summer Camp. That’s why I thought you might like to come.”
“I’ve got nothing against the bible studies, it’s just... well...”
“It’s alright Evie, you’ll like it, trust me. And you’ve met all the youth before, so it won’t be awkward meeting a whole bunch of new people.”
“Yeah, I know, it’s just that I would have preferred to take along some of my school work to do, I’ll get behind.”
“But the term hasn’t even started for you yet.”
“Well... some books to read or something... about my subjects.”
“Evie,” said Lisa up back, “When you’re on Summer Camp, the rules are ‘relax’, and ‘have fun’. If you do work, there’s no point in you being up here at all!”
“That is exactly right,” said James.
“Reading relaxes me.”
“But surely not school readi–oh, this is the turn off.”
James quickly turned the wheel and they found themselves on a very dark road, which eventually turned into a dirt road. Bumpier and bumpier.
It was the beginning of a new year and fourteen year old Evie was in an ultra be-fantastically-organised mode. You know, the ones that get you all excited about a new year and then disappear after the first two weeks.
James, her older brother (who often thought of his sister as a big baby) had worked straight after leaving school, so he seemed to grow up quite quickly and while they were eight years apart, his maturity tripled Evie’s. Lisa was nineteen, three years younger than James, and she was going to TAFE, so she understood what Evie was wanting to do.
It was a funny thing–this road they were all now travelling on, seemed to cause a silence in the car. No one talked for some reason. But I bet you can guess that it was because they were all thinking the same thing... that this wasn’t the right road.
James didn’t remember a dirt road. Maybe they were in the middle of fixing it up, re-tarring it. Lisa didn’t remember there being no street lights. Maybe they just weren’t working tonight. Evie thought it strange that they now seemed to be backtracking onto the direction from which they had come. Maybe the road would bend around again at any time.
Three individual thoughts. Three peculiarities. All coincidences? Well they can all easily be explained. But the three young people in the car had doubts.
“You’ve got us lost,” Evie complained.
“No I haven’t, that sign said Point Turton.”
“Maybe it said Point Turton…so many kilometres away,” Lisa suggested.
“I’d notice if it did.”
“What was that?” Evie asked, hearing a sound.
“That doesn’t sound good,” James said doubtfully as the car slowed down to a halt.
James got out and observed a flat tire. At least the rain was only light now.
“Looking at it won’t fix it,” Evie said leaning out the window.
“I’ll need some help getting some luggage out of the boot so I can get the spare out.”
Evie moaned as she slumped out of the passenger seat–all rugged up in beanie, scarf and woolly jumper. She looked just like a walking pile of clothes.
“What did you do with the keys?” James asked. He had given Evie his second set of keys to look after–the set that had the boot key on it.
Evie reached her hand inside her pocket. Out came a used tissue, a little purse with her pocket money in, a plastic whistle, and then the keys.
“What have you brought that for?” James asked grabbing the whistle. “Didn’t I steal that from you and secretly put it in the bin?”
“I found it. In the bin, you big thief. I thought I’d use it to... um... use it in case of an emergency.”
“Right,” he said, not convinced. He was suspicious that she was going to use it to wake him up early in the mornings. He was the sleeper-innerer–she was the early-riser. She could drive him crazy with that stupid whistle. “I think I’ll keep it here in my pocket,” he said.
“No, it’s mine. That’s not fair.” Evie wanted to use it to wake him up early in the mornings, but she wasn’t going to tell him that.
“Come on, you two,” Lisa called. “Stop arguing.” She started to unpack the boot, while Evie walked a little way back along the road to see what it was that they had run over.
She let her eyes adjust to the dark moonlit road, but even then it was really hard to see. She saw the outline of a large... thing–difficult to make out. Larger than the normal stones you’d find on a dirt road, so she assumed it must have been the culprit. She knelt down, and picked it up. It was warm. She threw it down with a gasp.
“Don’t wander off, Evie,” James called.
“I’m just looking, to see what it was.” She looked up and further ahead. There were a couple more of them, scattered. She supposed they were rocks–well, what else could they be? But they almost looked like lumps of coal.
James and Lisa were making a lot of noise, Evie thought. Unpacking and packing, pumping and riveting, clattering and clanging.
But it took her just a few small moments to realise that not all the sounds she heard were coming from the direction of the car. There was something else. Straight ahead of her. In fact, the large, warm rock things formed a sort of scattery trail closer toward the sounds. She looked behind her at James kneeling at the front end of his car; Lisa, handing him the required tools; and then straight ahead again, where the strange sounds became more and more enticing. There was nothing but landscape in front of her, nothing but dry open fields and nature all around. But the sounds were that of machinery, and as she slowly walked further along the road past the guiding rocks, the sound grew stronger and she found herself walking to the slow and even pace of the rhythmic rattling hum of an engine of some sort.
Choofety chuff choofety chuff
Choofety chuff choofety bang!
Choofety chuff choofety chuff
Choofety chuff choofety bang!
The sound was so near, yet it must be miles away because she couldn’t see anything for miles. Land and sky to her left. Land and sky to her right. Land and sky is all she could see– nearly all in blackness. Lisa and James were getting smaller and smaller as she walked further and further towards the sound. That easy hum–not loud, just stronger with every step...
chuff choofety chuff
Choofety chuff choofety bang!
She bent over and picked up one of the warm rocks and held onto it. With another gasp of fright, she noticed it glow a little and fade. Glow... and fade. Glow... and fade. It grew hotter and hotter in her hand and eventually it was so hot that she could feel her skin burning and she had to toss it away. She looked down at her hand and nursed it, while out the corner of her eye, she saw a flash of light and heard a sound along with it. If you’ve ever heard a tennis ball hitting a tin roof–it sounded just like that.
She looked up. Nothing.
She picked up another one of those glowing rocks–warmer now in her hand, and she threw it, and this time, she saw the small flash of light as the rock hit... mid-air...?
She frowned, bent over to pick up another rock to test it again but...
“Do you mind not doing that?” a voice said. A male voice. English accent.
She looked all around her. There was no one. She glanced back to the car over behind her. It was not much more than a speck now. But no one was in sight... until she turned back around to the way she was facing before, and standing a little way in front of her was a man wearing driving-goggles. Standing out in the middle of nowhere, like herself.
“D-doing what?” she asked sheepishly.
“Throwing that debris at my craft.”
Evie looked around again, confused and slightly nervous. “What craft?”
“My beautiful Blackerby, my... oh... sorry. Never mind.”
Evie felt afraid. She frowned, and narrowed her eyes and said, “I think I should be getting back. Goodbye.” She turned on her heels and pretended she hadn’t seen anyone, shoulders hunched with the cold, and hands in her pockets.
The man called after her. “You must think I’m pretty loopy, mustn’t you?”
She stopped, turned her upper body back. “Where on earth did you come from?” Curiosity killed the cat, she thought to herself uneasily.
“Oh, well that’s a long story. Are you out here all by yourself?”
“No. My brother and friend are over there. We broke down. Well, not really, it was a flat tyre.”
“That happened to me. Not the flat tyre, the broken down bit.”
Evie looked at him like he was some kind of nut. “Your... craft you mean?”
“You think I’m some kind of nut don’t you.”
“Yes you do.” He shrugged, “I would if I were you.”
“Come here and I’ll show you that I’m not.”
Evie backed away and shook her head timidly. “No way.”
The man didn’t have anything to say for a few seconds. He looked disappointed–surprised as well. He changed the subject.
“By your accent I’d say you were from... Australia?”
“...Yeah, this is Australia.”
“This is Australia?”
“Where in Australia?”
“Not one hundred percent sure, but hopefully near Point Turton.”
“Well because... I’d better be getting back to my brother and Lisa... where are you trying to get to?”
“Never heard of it. Is it near here?”
“Well I wouldn’t know would I?”
“Oh I... suppose not. Is it somewhere round the York Peninsula?”
“I don’t think so, is that anywhere near the Coma Berenices constellation?” He was smiling slightly now, as if he was playing with her.
“Well clearly, you haven’t heard of it, so I’ve fallen short.”
Evie was busting to find out what all this was about, but she kept it concealed and merely shook her head as if she was dreaming. “I’d better get back.”
“It was your own curiosity that made you wander out this far wasn’t it?”
The stranger was making Evie feel more and more uneasy. She knew never to talk to strangers, but for some reason she felt she couldn’t just run away. He must have been a madman. He looked in his early thirties and could definitely do her harm if she got closer. But he showed no signs of wanting to cause her harm. He may need help, she thought. Maybe he’s broken down a mile or so away and doesn’t know how to ask for help. Maybe he needs mental help. He did look kind of harmless... in a funny sort of way. But all the same...
“I’ve got to get back to the car, my brother will be worried.”
He glanced over her shoulder, squinting his eye a little. “Right, that would be the car that was just over there a moment ago?”
Evie whipped her head around wide eyed and she panicked. The car that she had come in, along with Lisa and her brother–the small distant figures that they were, had gone.
She turned her whole body now and took a few steps toward the road. “No... what’s going on, where are they. Why would they leave without me?” Her breathing quickened and her heart was pounding. She turned again to face the stranger, and to her horror, he was now nowhere to be seen.
She gasped. She thought she’d imagined him. But she was certainly not imagining that she was alone. She ran back up to the road and looked for the car. “They wouldn’t leave me here,” she said to herself breathlessly, “James!!” she called. “Jaaaaaaaammes!!!”
Her voice became weak like she was about to cry in worry. “What’s going on, where are they?” She ran back to where the stranger had stood, and then turned back towards the road. “Hello? Is anyone there? HELLO!!? Oh my goodness, what do I do? HELLO!!!?? JAA...”
“My my, you do have a loud voice,” a voice said from behind her. She turned and the stranger was back, but now she thought she must be dreaming. His upper-body was on a slant and his lower-body was completely... not there. As if he was leaning out of a window and everything but his head and chest was nonexistent. Then suddenly he made a little jump and the rest of him appeared, but now he was leaning against...
“How did you do that?”
“Do what?” he said worriedly.
“Well, you just... came out of thin air.”
He looked relieved, “Oh... not out of thin air. What’s all the fuss about?”
“What do you think? James and Lisa have just gone. I’m all alone and I don’t know what to do.”
“They didn’t leave without you. Well, not deliberately.”
“Well then what else happened? Are they invisible like you?”
“Do you really want to know.”
“You’ve done it haven’t you... you’ve done something. Give them back!” she demanded. She huffed and then said quietly, “Yes, I really want to know.”
“Of course I’m sure.”
“Your brother and your friend are most probably trapped in a chronic continuous repulisaricular time spiral.”
All was silent but the pattering gallop of a rabbit darting across the road.
“A chronic continuous repul-oh, never mind. But don’t worry, I’m going to find them.”
“You’re going to help me find them?” she said, no where near convinced of this man’s sanity.
“Oh, I’m going to find everyone. Just as soon as I’ve completed my repairs.”
The man disappeared again. And this time, it was right in front of Evie’s own eyes. She gasped, eyes and mouth open wide. She hesitated forward. I must be dreaming she thought, it’s the only explanation. One step, after another step, she drew closer to... nothing–where the stranger had disappeared. There was nothing there. Until Evie took one more step and out the corner of her eye, she saw light. When she turned her head to the left, it was the strangest thing. There was a vertical and very narrow shaft of yellowy light. It seemed to be hovering in mid-air and at the top and bottom, the light cornered at a right angle so it looked like the outline of a rectangle–one side missing. She was about to raise her hand up to see if she could touch it, but suddenly, the sliver of light became a larger opening of light as the stranger burst through and Evie staggered back as something hit her. It was a door.
“Ooh, I’m sorry did I hurt you?”
“Well you would stand right behind the door!”
“I was just about to say all fixed and ready to go, are you coming?”
“Wherever I need to go to find your friend and your brother.”
Evie looked scared and unsure of herself. Everything was telling her not to trust this man. After all, he was a stranger and it would go against everything she had ever been taught about strangers.
She shook her head, “I can’t go with you.”
The stranger leaned a little further out of the door and said softly and reassuringly, “I realise your dilemma. However, I don’t know if you’ve noticed this but... you don’t have anywhere else to go.”
If you have enjoyed this sample, please purchase this book or others in the series from the link below:
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Others in the series so far…
Book 1 – “Moon Man”
Book 2 – “The Birth of Salvation”
Book 3 – “The Sanctuary”
Book 4 – “Furry Friends”