EVERYONE WINS in the Rabble Preorder Campaign & Giveaway

Receive the first 13 chapters of Rabble (book 2 of the Cosmic Conspiracy) AND a 50% off coupon for Babble (book 1) just for entering. When you enter the giveaway, you’ll automatically receive the option to download the excerpt and start reading right away. You’ll also be entered in a drawing for a Rabble t-shirt, mug, and autographed copy of the book.



But no need to wait. Here is the next installment of Babble

One young boy is the key to the universe.

Babble is the story of Bobbie Cagle — a teenage misdiagnosed autistic boy who is the first human to leap into a brave new world of consciousness — an evolutionary leap as great as the first fish that crawled from the sea onto land.

But unfortunately, everyone wants Bobbie for their own purposes.

Installment #3

Chapter 2

Angie plopped herself down on the now-empty footlocker and stared at the full duffel bag and backpacks. Once again, she’d had to sift through their personal belongings and decide what to take with them and what to leave behind for the next person who would call this ramshackle room home.

She’d done it enough times that she now had it down to an informal system; one that she could complete in less than an hour if need be. Though this time, given how engrossed Bobbie was with his artwork, she’d taken a more leisurely approach to the task.

She turned her attention from the mound of luggage to Bobbie. It had been close to three hours since Pendra had dropped by with news about the stranger, but in the past hour, Bobbie had spent less time actually adding to the tower-like sculpture and more time studying it as he ran his fingers through his thick head of hair. She had to admit that she loved his hair long though she also wondered if it wasn’t one small way she could keep her son from looking like his father. Brian kept his own dark hair cropped in a buzz cut; at least he had when they were together. Anyway, Bobbie diverting his attention away from the tower was a good indication his latest project was drawing to a close.

Through the years Bobbie’s towers had varied in size, from the earliest ones he’d built with building blocks and Legos that had reached more than five feet, to the smallest one just under twelve inches. In the past few years, he’d evolved to using mostly scraps of electronics and other miscellaneous trash he was constantly collecting. But no matter what the height, weight or breadth, each piece was a one-of-a-kind work of art, with such intricate design and balance as to be almost inconceivable that it could have been built by a boy still short of his sixteenth birthday.

The knock on the door shook Angie from her daydreaming as her heart skipped several beats. Was it the stranger? Were they too late to make their escape? Then she heard the last part of the knock, the code that she and Pendra had agreed to.  Angie took a deep sigh of relief. She strolled over to the door and opened it.

“Good, you’re still here,” Pendra said as she rushed through the doorway. “I’m not too late.”

“Too late for what?” Angie asked as she took a quick glance down the hallway to make sure Pendra hadn’t been followed.

“Not too late to let you know you can’t go out the front way,” Pendra replied as she fought to catch her breath. “There’s been a black SUV out front since early this evening. The glass is too dark for me to tell if the person in the driver’s seat is our mystery man or not, but I suspect it is.  If so, I know where he’s from.”

“Where?” Angie asked as she closed the door.

“Big Brother, the government, my guess from Homeland.”

“How do you know that?”

“The SUV has a government tag. They don’t even try to be subtle anymore.  It’s my theory that they want us to know that we’re constantly being watched.  He wears old clothes to try to fit in but then wears his dress shoes. Not very subtle, I’d say.”

“No, I guess not. Still, I can’t figure out what Homeland Security would want with Bobbie or me. It didn’t make sense the first time, and it makes even less sense now. ”

“You’d have to ask Mystery Man, but personally I wouldn’t recommend sticking around for that.  He’s more likely to want to ask the questions than to answer them.”

Angie nodded.

“How’s he doing?” Pendra asked looking in Bobbie’s direction.

“I think he’s coming out of his spurt, but he’s going to be dog tired and hungry. Not the best shape to travel.” She shrugged. “But you’re right, we need to get out of here as soon as possible.”Angie hesitated for a moment before asking, “Could you do us a big favor?”

“Sure,” Pendra replied without hesitation. “You know how honored we’ve all been to have Bobbie and you stay here.  We just wished it could be for longer. What can I do?”

Angie pointed to her son’s tower. “Can you see that his artwork gets to this address?” She handed Pendra a scrap of paper.  “It’s the address of his ‘agent.’ She’s been very discreet about helping us to preserve his work. Of course, I’ve had to sell a few pieces from time to time to help keep us afloat, but she knows what will sell for the best price and which ones to hold onto because they’ll only grow in value later.”

“Sure, I’m happy to do that. I always wondered how you managed for so long on your own.”

It hadn’t been easy, Angie thought. Oh, the artist communities had helped by providing room and board in exchange for some of Bobbie’s smaller pieces, so she rarely needed to tap into her bank account. The global electronic financial system might have been a good idea for businesses and financial institutions, but it had proven to be a real pain for Bobbie and her. Whenever she did have to tap into her account, she made as many purchases as possible of items they needed as well as items she could later use for barter at their new location.

She glanced over to her son with a loving look. “The funny thing is that as soon as Bobbie finishes a piece, he seems to lose all interest in it.  I just hope when he grows older he won’t be upset that I haven’t been able to keep them all.”

“Uh-oh, here he comes.” She watched as her son shook violently for several seconds almost like he was going into a seizure, then gazed around his surroundings for a moment before getting to his feet and walking toward the kitchenette.

Angie followed to show him where the peanut butter and jelly sandwich was that she’d prepared for him, but stopped when she heard a harsh rapping at the door.  She glanced at Pendra with a look of alarm that matched the one she saw on her friend’s face.  Pendra pointed to the window and mouthed, “Out the fire escape,” as she rushed over and gently picked up the piece of sculpture. She reached down and grabbed one of the backpacks and together the two women tossed the luggage out the window and onto the landing of the ancient fire escape that strained with a metallic groan.

Angie rushed back to Bobbie. She handed the sandwich to him, and he immediately started to devour it. Taking one of his hands, she stooped down before him.

“Sweetheart, it’s time to play another game of hide-and-seek,” she whispered, trying unsuccessfully to keep the urgency and fear out of her voice. “I know you’re hungry and tired, and I’m sorry, but we really do need to play just a little while. Okay?”

Without waiting for an answer, she stood up and gently guided him toward the window. In the meantime, Pendra, who had already climbed out the window, helped first Bobbie and then Angie through just as they heard louder pounding on the door.

“I’ll go up a few flights and give them the slip.  Don’t worry.” She held up Bobbie’s artwork. “I won’t let them get this. You take care of yourself.”

She reached into her pocket and pulled out a yellow piece of paper folded several times and placed it in Angie’s hand.  “This is the name, address and directions to my uncle’s place in Penland.  It’s an artist community much like this one, just larger, but so far off the beaten track almost no one knows it exists. It’s a few hours from here in the mountains, but if you can make your way there, you’ll be safe…at least for a while.”

The two women quickly hugged before heading off in opposite directions.

Stay tuned for part #2 next Friday or jump ahead by joining the Rabble Preorder & Giveaway.

EVERYONE WINS in the Rabble Preorder Campaign & Giveaway

Receive the first 13 chapters of Rabble (book 2 of the Cosmic Conspiracy) AND a 50% off coupon for Babble (book 1) just for entering. When you enter the giveaway, you’ll automatically receive the option to download the excerpt and start reading right away. You’ll also be entered in a drawing for a Rabble t-shirt, mug, and autographed copy of the book.