I hope you enjoy the following as much as I did.
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This excerpt from Chapter One of Carl Prescott and The Sleeping One begins at Carl’s San Diego school. Headmaster Dorchester of the Thorndike Academic Institution is meeting with the three friends in their school cafeteria. Two skunks have wandered onto school property and raised a commotion. As we join them, Dorchester is addressing the students:
“Earlier, Carl mentioned that a large number of animals seemed to be watching and following your bus to school. That could be a random happenstance or not. Our little experiment will have each of you venture out onto the patio. Then, we will see if or how those creatures react to you and vice-versa. Most likely, the skunks will continue to forage for food. If they behave in some other fashion, we will learn. Now, Carl, since you mentioned the animals watching the bus, please go first.”
“What if they spray me?”
“Carl, skunks are not aggressive animals. If they are near the doors where you will exit, do not go. If they start to move toward you, just come back inside. Believe me, I do not want to explain to any of your parents how you got sprayed by a skunk.” He stood. “Let us all walk over to the doors so we can review the results.”
Soon, they were ready. Carl had his hand on the door handle. The two skunks were on the far side of the patio eating some potato chips that had fallen to the floor during the rapid exit by the students. “Okay, Carl,” Dorchester said.
Carl opened the door and stepped outside. The skunks did not notice him and kept eating. He took two steps toward them and cleared his throat. The skunks froze for a moment. “Hi,” Carl said softly. The animals turned to face him. “It’s not safe for you here.” The skunks stood up on their hind legs. Dorchester was about to open the door and call Carl back inside when the skunks bent over as though bowing to Carl. They stood again. Not sure what else to do, Carl bowed to the skunks, who immediately started to forage again. Bewildered and confused, Carl walked back into the cafeteria. “I’ve never seen anything like that in my life,” he gasped. “Did that really happen? Did any of you see that?”
“That sure was freaky!” Burt exclaimed. Grace had turned to face the other way.
Dorchester was busily writing down notes. Without looking up from his paper, he said, “Your turn, Burt.”
Burt stepped outside. The skunks immediately noticed him. He took two steps forward and then said, “What’s up, skunks?”
The two animals stared at him and then glanced at each other. Then they began to chase each other around in a tight circle. After a few seconds, they separated and ran around the perimeter of the patio. Finally, the two converged on Burt’s left and right sides. Both climbed up his trousers, shirt, and stopped on top of his head. After a couple of seconds, they raced back down his front and back and then fled back to the same pile of food they had been eating. Burt could feel Dorchester’s hand on his upper arm, pulling him back inside. The headmaster started writing again, while Grace and Carl stared at Burt.
“That was amazing!” Grace said with a laugh.
Burt was trembling. “I thought I’d pee my pants.”
“Those skunks must be from a circus,” Carl replied.
“It’s your turn, Grace.”
“I’m not sure I should, Headmaster. What if I’m the freak?”
Dorchester patted her shoulder. “My dear, you saw what happened with the others. None of that was normal. In fact, I’ve never seen what occurred with Burt here. It will be okay.”
She walked outside. The skunks noticed her and stood on their hind legs. Grace walked over to the nearest table and sat. Unsure what to do, she sighed heavily and looked down. The animals hurried over, jumped up onto the table, and sat facing her. One reached out a paw and touched her hand. Grace looked up and the skunk removed its paw. “Hi! You know, you two don’t smell very good.” The skunks looked at each other and then shrugged their shoulders. Grace giggled. “I didn’t mean to offend you.” Each of the skunks smiled and nodded. “You know it’s really dangerous for you here. Animal Control is coming and they might kill you.” The animals looked at each other again. “Do you know how to find your way home?” They nodded. “Please go there now before they come for you.” Each of the animals stood on their hind legs and licked her cheek. Then the two hurried away.
The other three rushed out of the cafeteria. “Grace, that was so awesome.” Carl exclaimed.
“Did they actually kiss you?” Burt asked.
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Karl Morgan Bio
With a long career in finance and as author of almost twenty books, I like to say that words and numbers are my life.
I have had a lifelong fascination with stories in the science fiction and fantasy genres, whether it was the Tom Swift novels by Victor Appleton I read as a young boy, or television like Lost in Space and Star Trek. More recently, I have devoured film series like Star Wars, Harry Potter, and Lord of the Rings. That fascination is combined with a keen interest in cosmology, astrophysics, quantum physics, and spirituality.
That quirky combination along with the fantasy genre allows me to craft stories that reinforce the importance of family, friendship, and love. The protagonists must overcome incredible danger and challenges to survive their journeys, but eventually end up on top. It goes without saying that as a finance guy, my life has been less action-packed than my characters (thank goodness).
With Carl Prescott and The Sleeping One, I ventured back to comfortable territory. Many of my stories reinforce our direct connection to the Divine. While that is an element of this story, the sequels feature that relationship to a much greater extent. That element in my stories is an homage to what I believe really matters in this life.
I am the son of an Air Force pilot and as such, I have lived in many places, never for more than four years at a time. Thankfully, as an adult, I have lived in Chula Vista, CA for the past thirty-seven years. I met and married Aida, the love of my life, thirty years ago. Our grown children have made us grandparents four times over. It is a blessing to be around such wonderful parents and children.
My new goal is life is my stories. I hope you can follow me on this new adventure.
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Karl Morgan Social Media and Contact Links:
Book on Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B07L7HHNB3
Amazon author page: https://www.amazon.com/Karl-Morgan/e/B00A57RWPO
Twitter handle: @karljmorgan
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