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Science Fiction You'll Never Forget!

What if you discovered the FBI was following your every move?
Michael St. James doesn't know the FBI is following or why. But when he finds out, he is shocked to learn they think he is something special, the only man in the world who can save the country from an evil, paranormal terrorist.

Infants Michael and Daniel St. James were abandoned on the steps of a Catholic home for boys. A kindly nun who found them thought they were beautiful, sweet little boys… until forks began dancing on the mess table and mashed potatoes splatted in the faces of bullies who attacked the brothers. Their fellow orphans called them freaks. Fearing the little ones were possessed, the nun begged a psychologist-priest to save them.
After years of exorcism, the priest pronounced them normal. On leaving the orphanage, Michael became a novelist; Daniel roamed the country seeking their identities, but when he learns the truth, he is viciously attacked and left for dead.

Michael learns about his brother from Jessica Simms, a beautiful librarian who had befriended Daniel. Determined to save his brother, Michael and Jessica travel to Utopia, Arkansas where Daniel lies in a hospital enshrouded by a strange blue aura that baffles the doctors. In Utopia, an undercover FBI agent contacts Michael and begs for his help, changing all their lives forever. Together, Michael and Jessica set out to solve the mystery.

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ONE

THIRTY YEARS AGO…


"My plane, my plane! Gimme back my plane!”

The voice was high and shrill and Sister Mary Clare, on her way to supervise the evening meal, recognized it instantly. It belonged to Timmy Martin, a seven-year-old who had been at the orphanage less than six months.

Instantly suspicious, the sister changed direction and hurried toward dorm six, the source of the sound. At nearly six P.M., all the boys were supposed to be in the mess hall waiting for the evening meal to begin.
Another loud screech and the sound of giggles and clapping hands greeted the sister as she pushed through swinging doors into the dorm. Just inside the long room, which was lined on both sides with double bunk beds and metal lockers, she stopped to survey the situation and immediately saw the source of the disturbance.

Six boys, ages four to seven, were seated in a semi-circle on the dormitory floor, gleefully watching a distraught Timmy Martin jump up and down and dash in circles before them. The unhappy boy, hands over his head, was chasing a small, green-and-white, balsa-wood-and-paper biplane which was performing an amazing series of aerobatic stunts, always just out of the boy’s reach.

Sister Mary Clare took a step forward, intending to put a stop to the events, but something held her back.

The plane has no propeller!

The sister’s heart sank. Her gaze swept the circle of boys and then settled on Michael St. James, age four and a half, and his brother, Daniel, age six. She crossed herself and stepped quickly out of sight behind a locker.

Sister Mary Clare peered around the locker to watch. Michael, holding his brother’s hand and grinning happily, looked so sweet and innocent, yet over the past three years there had been other incidents around the brothers. Inexplicable things. Knives and forks dancing on the mess table and scoops of mashed potatoes mysteriously flying through the air to splat in the faces of boys who bullied the brothers.

Fascinated, the sister watched the little plane’s aerobatics. The biplane swept past Timmy’s head, performed a tight, overhead loop, and then dove straight for Timmy’s face. At the last second, Timmy screamed and ducked. The plane pulled up in a steep climb and made three fast circles like a miniature pylon racer around an overhead light chain.

“Dear God!” she breathed and crossed herself again. “This cannot be permitted!”

Sister Mary Clare stepped out into plain view and scowled at the group. “What is the meaning of this?” she demanded. Her voice, she knew, had the impact of a sudden thunderclap on the young ones, but that was as it should be. “Who’s responsible for this?”

The boys looked up, their faces frightened, filled with guilt. The sister put her hands on her hips. “Well?”

“They won’t give me back my plane!” Timmy Martin cried. He ran toward her and buried his tear-streaked face in the sister’s bosom. Just then, the plane, now out of control, did two clumsy swoops and hit Timmy in the back of the head. “Ow!” he screeched, grabbing his head and stumbling backwards. He landed with a crunch on top of the plane and began wailing even more loudly.

“Timmy Martin, stop that nonsense this instant. By heaven, you’ll disturb the good Lord, Himself!”

The sister grabbed Timmy by an arm, pulled him roughly to his feet. Her eyes swept the group of boys before landing on Michael and Daniel. The two brothers looked back at her in all innocence. Keeping her face stern, she focused on Michael, her favorite among all the little ones at San Francisco’s Marydale Home for Boys. Hand still tightly entwined in his brother’s, he returned the sister’s gaze without guile.

“Michael St. James, Francis, this looks to be more of your doing,” the sister said, keeping her angry tone. “The two of you stay where you are. The rest of you, out of here, now! Get yourselves washed for dinner and report to Sister Carrie. I’ll deal with you later.”

The boys were gone in a flash, leaving Michael and Daniel to face the Sister’s wrath alone.

“Well, what do you have to say for yourselves?” Sister Mary Clare forced herself to glare at them. She hated to take that tone and demeanor, but she knew it was needed for discipline. The boys had to respect, even fear, someone.

“We didn’t do anything, Sister,” Daniel said, head down. The sister saw him squeeze his younger brother’s hand so hard the little one cringed, but Michael didn’t cry out. He just stared back at her, blue eyes wondering.

The Sister bent down, scooped up broken pieces of the plane, held them out. “Then perhaps you can tell me what was making this thing fly. I see no motor on it, not even a rubber band. Well?”

“We didn’t do anything, Sister,” Daniel repeated.

“It flew by itself,” Michael added, wide-eyed.

“Nonsense! Things don’t just fly around by themselves!” She hesitated. Were the boys as innocent as they seemed? Could children so sweet and beautiful as these make things fly through the air without apparent power?

Sister Mary Clare saw Michael relax. Bless his sweet little heart, he always seemed to know when her anger was spent. How did he do that? She sighed, trying to decide what to do with them. She saw Daniel’s grip relax, too.

“What am I to do with you?” the sister said, not hiding her exasperation. She sighed again. She let her face become more gentle. She put the pieces of the plane down on a bunk and then bent down and patted their cheeks. “My two little blue-eyed angels,” she said, “so beautiful and yet…” She shook her head. “This cannot be God’s work. It cannot be allowed.”

The Sister straightened up and studied the two upturned little-boy faces, both with deep-blue eyes, both framed by nearly identical growths of dark wavy hair. They had arrived without identity as infants on the steps of the orphanage, and the sister personally had named them, choosing the names Michael and Daniel St. James. Now this. Something had to be done, she knew. But what? Had the devil somehow possessed these boys? The sister’s mind refused to accept the idea. The boys loved and protected each other too much to be creatures of Satan. But what then? She long ago read an article entitled Children of Tomorrow speculating that future humans might evolve to possess such powers, but she had discounted the concept as foolish meanderings. The article also said the children would be treated badly, call monsters, freaks, aberrations, but they would survive.

Sister Mary Clare frowned. If these little ones were not children of the devil, what were they? Could they be the beginning of a change in the human race as proposed by that article? Little orphaned brothers of tomorrow? Her own love for them favored any answer other than satanic possession. And yet, the alternative also jarred her sense of what was right and godly. Until now, she had hidden their antics from the Church, hoping things would improve, but with this flying airplane incident, she knew what must be done. Whatever they were, she had to find a way to protect them from themselves.

Sister Mary looked down at the brothers’ expectant, upturned faces, sighed and shook her head. In a gentle voice, she said, “I’m truly sorry, my little ones, but you have gone too far this time. I’m afraid I must turn the matter over to Father Nagib. I’m sorry.” Her voice trailed off. Still holding hands, the brothers came to their feet and smiled at her.

“It flew by itself,” Michael said again, his eyes showing puzzlement at her worry.

“We didn’t do anything, Sister,” Daniel added.

Sister Mary Clare felt sick at heart. So innocent, and yet she couldn’t deny her own eyes. After a moment, she touched their cheeks again and said, “All right, you two, I’ll have no more such nonsense, do you hear?”

They both nodded solemnly.

“Good. Now hurry and wash up for dinner.”

The boys bolted for the dorm door.

“And don’t run,” she called after them.

They slowed to a walk for two steps and then exploded into a run again. Sister Mary Clare followed them, but walked slowly in deep thought. She didn’t want to turn them over to Father Nagib, who was the orphanage’s psychologist. She chastised herself for her doubts, but she knew she was right. In his zeal, the father treated all the boy’s problems as if they were caused by the devil himself, not by terrible neglect and lack of a mother’s love. He was indeed a psychologist, but sometimes he acted much more like a self-appointed exorcist.

The sister believed there were no such things as bad boys, only lonely little ones who needed love. Still, such goings on as she had witnessed were far beyond her comprehension and her authority to handle. She could no longer hide the truth. What if they harmed someone? And what power might they possess when they became adults?

“Dear God, forgive me for my doubts, but please help my little ones if I turn them over to the father,” she breathed. A moment later she crossed herself again and added, “And God help us all, if I don’t.”


—End of Sample—