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Excerpt from "Dark Matter"

From Chapter 8  "How do you like your eggs?"

Listen to the author read this excerpt in MP3 format.

The girls were sound asleep and did not hear the rooster crow in the morning but what they did hear was the sound of shotgun blasts coming from the back yard.

“Jumpin’ slimy toads of Phargus!” Megan yelled as she leapt from her bed, pulled the curtain back, and looked toward the back yard. “What in the world is going on out there?” Megan saw the chickens running and flying around the chicken pen and several of them had found their way outside of the pen running for their lives.

“What’s going on?” Brianna asked stumbling, not yet awake, as she took a position beside Megan.

Megan shook her head. “I don’t have any idea but the chicken pen gate is open.”

“Did I hear gunshots?” Kat said yawning and looking toward the window at the foot of her bed where Megan and Brianna were standing. She got on her knees in her bed and looked out the window. “Oh great!” she said shaking her head. “The chickens are out!” Of course the chickens being out wasn’t the problem since they usually let them out during the day anyway but Kat wasn’t fully awake.

“Something’s out there and I’ll bet grandma is out there with the shotgun after what ever it is!” Suddenly Megan bolted from the room barefoot and in her nightgown. She ran down the stairs headed for the backyard.

Brianna and Kat looked at each other for a moment then ran after Megan nearly knocking May down in the hallway on the way out the door. “What’s going on? I thought I heard shots!” May asked grabbing at Brianna’s shirtsleeve.

“Grandma has something caught in the hen house!” Brianna exclaimed as she ran.

May paused to see Tahnina standing in the doorway to their room with a puzzled frightened expression on her face. “It’s all right, nothing to worry about. It’s just grandma. She’s killing something in the hen house with her shotgun, I expect.” May sighed then yawned and returned to her room and fell back on her bed. *

* “What is it, grandma?” Megan yelled as she entered the chicken pen to find her grandmother standing poised at the door with her shotgun ready.

“There’s some kind of varmint up there in the ceiling.” Martha pointed with the barrel of her shotgun. “Egg thieving little varmints is what they are! There was two of them. One of them ran off into the south forty. I shot at it but must have missed. The other one climbed up there in that crack between the boards.”

“Raccoon? Opossum? What?” Megan asked. “What is it?”

“I never saw anything like it before.” Martha shook her head.

Megan looked down at the ground to see the impression of the invader’s footprints in the soft dirt where the chickens had been scratching for food. “Uh, what did these egg thieving varmints look like, grandma?” Megan asked fearing the worst.

“Little gray things about this high.” Martha held out her hand about four feet above the ground. “Big black eyes.”

Megan gasped slapping her right hand over her forehead. She moved her hand over her mouth then put both hands on her cheeks wondering what to do. Her left hand trembled as she reached for Martha’s gun. Pushing the barrel down toward the ground, Megan said, “Don’t shoot at them anymore, please. I can get him out of there.”

Martha looked at the broken eggs all over the inside of the hen house. “I’m not going to be able to fill my orders today, I can see that!” Martha exclaimed waving her left arm in the air. She watched as Megan approached the chicken nests under the crack in the boards where the creature was hiding. She made a face as she felt something slimy squish under her bare feet but was afraid to look to see what it was. The smell of the chicken coup was a mix of dust, chicken poop, and ammonia and it made her eyes water. She glanced to the right to see one of the hens clucking at her, refusing to leave her nest.

Megan reached out and placed her hands on the roosts in front of the nests and made a face since every one of them was covered with mostly dried chicken poop from one end to the other and there she was with her bare hands and feet dressed in her night gown.

“Someone’s going to pay for this,” Megan whispered under her breath as she climbed.

Peeking into the crack beside a loose board she saw two big black eyes starring back out at her. “Come out of there now before grandma blows you out of there,” Megan insisted as she pushed the loose board up out of the way. *

* “Be careful, Megan! That could be some kind of rabid wild animal!” Martha warned as she saw the little gray head appear in the hole between the boards. “Rotten little egg suckers,” Martha muttered under her breath about as mad as she had been in awhile.

“It’s all right, grandma. I know what it is,” Megan reassured her grandmother.

Brianna pushed in beside Martha glancing at her shotgun as she did. She watched as the small gray thing with big black eyes and broken egg goo all over it crawled out of the hole in the ceiling and Megan helped it down to the ground.

“What in the world is that thing, Megan?” Martha asked. “Looks like some kind of mutant animal.”

Megan stood there holding the little alien android’s hand. “Yeah, Megan, you better watch out. You might get something contagious from touching that thing.” Brianna giggled placing her hand over her mouth trying to contain her emotions. Martha glanced at Brianna noticing her lack of surprise at seeing such a strange creature.

Kat just shook her head. There stood Megan bare foot in the chicken poop and broken eggs with one of the little alien androids all covered with egg, chicken poop, and dirt.

“All right, Megan, you have some tall explaining to do.” Martha unloaded her shotgun and backed away from the chicken coup door allowing Megan and the little android to exit.

“Yeah, Megan. I want to hear this one myself,” Kat giggled.

Martha looked at Kat recognizing the same reaction that Brianna had given. “I have a strange feeling you girls have seen these little creatures before,” Martha remarked.

Kat wiped the grin from her lips just long enough for Martha to pass by then nudged Brianna. “This should be interesting,” she whispered.

“You think this is so funny! Well, I have news for you. You two can just go find the other one,” Megan snorted as she walked the little android out of the chicken pen into the chicken yard. “I’m not the one who put these guys in here but you can bet your bowl of oatmeal I’m going to find out who did!” Megan barked the words at Kat and Brianna as she walked toward the house. “I can make about four guesses and I bet one or two of them are guilty,” Megan continued nodding her head, mad enough to throw things.


Excerpt from "Dark Matter"

From Chapter 9  "Megan meets Ray!"

Listen to the author read this excerpt in MP3 format.

“Hey, there’s something in here!” Ray yelled.

Megan looked up to see him standing poised in the loft window with a pitchfork in his hand as if to hold something at bay. “Raccoon maybe?” May asked.

“They get in the barn all the time. Any farmer knows what a raccoon is,” Megan muttered. Suddenly her eyes grew large. “Oh, God, no!” Megan bolted and ran for the barn.

May jumped up quickly, slipped, and fell straight into the horse-watering tank. Water splashed out all over Tahnina leaving her drenching wet, frightened, and stunned at the sudden commotion.

“Cripes!” May yelled as she tried to climb out of the moss-covered tank only to slip and fall back into the water. Tahnina was pale as a ghost, drenching wet, and frightened half to death as she backed away from the fence where the water tank was located. For all she knew there was some kind of monster in that water that had grabbed May.

“What in the world is that thing?” Ray yelled as Megan cleared the top of the ladder into the barn loft.

Megan looked around but didn’t see anything but hay. “What did it look like?” Megan looked in the direction Ray was pointing his pitchfork.

“It was gray with big black eyes,” Ray gulped. “It went up there over those bales.”

Megan looked toward her old hiding place high on the bales of hay and wanted to cry. All this had happened in less than two hours this morning and all because of Xeba sending two of the little androids after the morning eggs. Now she had to try to explain this to a stranger. Perhaps she could lie about it and make out like it was some other kind of woodland creature.

“Did you get a good look at it?” Megan asked.

“Ohhhhh, yes!” Ray insisted nodding his head up and down. The look of pure shock was in his eyes and Megan was fairly sure he would use that pitchfork if he felt threatened.

“Are you sure it wasn’t a raccoon or opossum?” Megan asked.

“Look, I was just working here. I turned around and that thing was standing right behind me! I know what I saw and I never saw anything like that before!” Ray’s voice quivered. “You… You shouldn’t stand so close. That thing might jump out of there and bite you!”

Megan looked at Ray and realized she wasn’t going to explain this one away, but could Ray be trusted with the truth? Could he be trusted to know who Megan was and who her friends were? She began to climb the bales toward her old secret hiding place where she had discovered the music box and the medallion a year previously.

“Hey!” Ray yelled trying to get Megan’s attention.

Megan stopped and looked at Ray. “My name is Megan if you are talking to me. There’s the hay.” She pointed at a bale of hay. She took another step then glanced back just in time to see Ray grab her and pull her from her feet back toward a pile of loose hay on the floor he had piled up with the pitchfork. They fell upon the pile and rolled landing with Megan on top of him.

“There’s some kind of creature up there!” Ray warned.

Megan was looking directly into his eyes and trying to decide if she wanted to be mad at him for pulling her off the bales. She realized he had no idea what kind of creature was up there. He had no way of knowing that Megan knew exactly what was hiding up there and that it was harmless. Slowly a smile crossed her lips. She pushed herself up then stood and began to brush the hay from her clothes. Then she looked at Ray. “You’re scared to death of that thing and yet you pulled me down to protect me, didn’t you?”

Nodding his head in a somewhat uncertain motion, Ray stood and began to brush himself off. “I guess so.”

Megan unconsciously scanned Ray’s emotions and realized he hadn’t told her what he thought the little creature was. Any boy raised on a farm wouldn’t be very afraid of normal woodland creatures but what ever Ray had seen had terrified him.

“What do you think the creature is?” Megan asked.

Ray picked up his pitchfork then positioned himself between Megan and the bales of hay where he had seen the small creature hide. “You’ll laugh,” Ray answered softly.

“Try me,” Megan said.

“It looked like one of those little alien beings I saw on a TV show about alien abductions,” Ray answered. He saw Megan shake her head and smile. “See I told you you wouldn’t believe me.”

“No it’s not that,” Megan said. “I’m sure that’s exactly what it looks like.”

“Did you find him?” The voice came from the ladder hole in the central area of the barn loft floor.

Megan and Ray watched as a very soaking wet May climbed up the ladder to join them. She had green moss from the horse tank all in her hair and on her clothes. Seeing Ray standing there May realized it might not be the best thing to talk about.

“Find who?” Ray asked.

Megan closed her eyes not knowing what to say. “It’s a day for revelations,” she said looking at the floor.

“If this is a bad time, I can come back later,” May said as she started to go back down the ladder.

“Oh, no you don’t!” Megan said grabbing May’s arm. “I’m…” Megan started to say something then thought better of it.

May’s expression changed. “Do you want to cuss and throw things?”

Megan nodded her head. “You know it.”

“You guys act like you know what that thing is,” Ray said relaxing somewhat as he did.

Megan and May both stood facing him in the barn loft. “Maybe.” Megan noticed the top of a little gray head as it bobbed above one of the bales of hay then retreated once again.

“I heard strange stories about this farm and the lights at night but I didn’t know if I wanted to believe it,” Ray said.

Megan and May looked at each other. “Who told you stories about that?” Megan demanded to know not realizing anyone had ever seen Orion over the farm.

“Just a friend of mine who lives down the road. Said he was coming by here late one night and saw something over that south field. I told him he was nuts but he swore he saw something,” Ray explained. He turned his attention back toward the high bales of hay where the creature had hidden. He tightened his grip on the handle of the pitchfork. “It is an alien, isn’t it?”

May and Megan glanced at each other realizing their cover had been blown. “See the aliens come here to ride the horses same as everyone else,” May explained. “They don’t hurt anyone, they just want to ride the horses and pretend to be human for awhile.”

“Oh, yeah!” Megan exclaimed with a sigh. “A dude ranch for aliens.” Megan nodded her head. “You believe that, don’t you?”

“You girls are just plain crazy!” Ray yelled. “You’re trying to tell me...” Suddenly Ray’s expression changed to one of sudden realization. “You guys are aliens too, aren’t you?” Ray started backing away toward the loft window. He glanced back at the bales where the little alien android was hiding to see it peer at him from over a bale of hay.

“Now look what you did, May,” Megan said shaking her head. “You went and scared the new helper.” Smack! The sound of Megan’s hand cracked as she whacked May on the shoulder.

“Ouch!” May yelled. “All right then!” May turned around and began to climb the bales of hay toward Megan’s old hiding spot.

Ray positioned himself between the girls and the loft window while sizing up the distance to the ground below. Megan walked toward him.

“He’s harmless, Ray,” Megan explained holding both hands out palm up to indicate she had nothing to hide.

“You just keep your distance,” Ray demanded now pointing the pitchfork at Megan. “Oh God! Oh God! I’ve been sucked up into an episode of the Twilight Zone,” he moaned.

“There’s no reason for you to be afraid of us,” Megan insisted.

“That’s what they always say just before they suck your brains out through your eye sockets!” Ray’s voice was tense, his pitchfork poised for action.

“Not all aliens are mean or dangerous. In fact, some of them are very nice.” Megan glanced through the loft window behind Ray. “Oh, no!” she yelled. “You guys all went off and left Tahnina out there like that!” Megan threw her arms in the air and ran for the ladder. Her sudden yelling and gestures frightened Ray causing him to slip and fall out the loft window.

“Aggghhh!” Ray yelled as he fell.

Find out what happened to Ray and Tahnina in this exciting novel.

Megan can't believe how many catastrophes they have had this morning but that's not all, there's a movie star on the way to the farm just a few minutes after all the excitement. And that's not even the main plot of the novel!  The world is in danger of being destroyed and it's up to Megan and her friends to set things right again.

* NOTE: short segments of the story are clipped out of the excerpt but are in the novel.

Find out more about Megan and her adventures in this thrilling 180,000 (aprox) word book.

These are not cheap books like you normally find in book stores for $4.99.  They are 5"x 8" with high grade photo covers and paper.  These books are the kind collectors frequently look for.

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