Title: THE STONETALKER
Genre: MG Fantasy
Work Count: 57,000
Birthdays shouldn’t be this tough.
But ever since his dad died, Asher thinks they’d be a heck of a lot easier with him around. When Asher turns 13 his mom gives him a pretty unusual present. An old pin that belonged to his father.
And that’s when everything changes.
Strangers start showing up at Asher’s school. Objects begin moving around on their own. Mysterious creatures keep lurking around every corner.
And when Asher gets chased into a world called Eden Worn through his school’s boiler room, he finds out why. It’s because his dad’s not really dead. He’s being held prisoner by Lord Balor. A madman who wants something of Asher’s. Something Asher doesn’t even know he has.
The power to use the magic from the ancient Stones in Eden Worn.
Asher has to make a decision. If he leaves Eden Worn, he’ll never see his dad again. But making a deal with Lord Balor could mean the end of both worlds as he knows it.
Nope. Birthdays shouldn’t be this tough.
Birthdays royally suck.
Hold on. Back up. They used to royally suck. Especially Asher’s sixth. That was the day his dad died.
During the service, Asher never cried. Not because he didn’t want to. He wanted to throw himself on top of the closed casket and empty about a million gallons of tears and say bad words and kick things and scream.
But he didn’t.
He needed to be strong for his mom. His dad was strong. His dad was a bricklayer and had big muscles all over. And he never let anything bad happen to them.
No, Asher didn’t cry because he had to be the strong one now. While everyone else blew their noses into little tissues and sniffled and wiped their eyes, Asher held it all in. Even Em cried the whole time. She sat a few rows back in the non-family section, but Asher could tell it was her. Best friends always know things like that.
The preacher stood up front, whispering things about being reunited one day. But Asher couldn’t listen.
He knew he’d never see his dad again.
And every birthday after that one was just a reminder. Happy birthday, kid, hey remember how your dad’s dead?
It took a while for birthdays start to sucking a little less. But eventually, October 9th became just another day. The sting was still there, sure. It always would be. But Asher sort of got used to being the kid without a dad.