Time Sight
An Excerpt from Chapter One

Chapter 1: Magic Eyeball

Will wasn’t entirely sure why he was on a plane to Scotland, with only his little brother and no parents at all. His father had explained, of course, but there hadn’t been time for all the questions Will wanted to ask. Everything had happened in a great hurry.

There had been that first phone call in the middle of the night, and then more phone calls to follow, so that Will thought his father’s ear might fall off from being pressed so tightly to the receiver. Then Will had been put in charge of packing for himself and his brother Jamie, one suitcase each, and it had been hard to know what to take and what to leave behind. Jamie still slept with his stuffed bear, but it took up so much room! And they would need underwear and socks and things.

“Pack sweaters, too,” Will’s father had said in between phone calls, his face pale and his hair still wildly on end from where it had lain on his pillow.

“But it’s almost summer, Dad!” said Will.

“The Highlands can be cold any time of the year. Damp, too. Pack rain jackets.”

Jamie had fallen asleep in the cab to the airport, a warm huddled bunch against Will’s side, clutching his bear in a death grip. Will felt like clutching something, too, only he was twelve and past that sort of thing. He did wish, though, that his father would talk to him, instead of to whoever it was on the other end of the phone.

His father put the phone away long enough to buy them books at the airport. Jamie got something with pictures—Magic Eyeball, it was called—and Will hardly noticed what he grabbed. Something thick, to last him for the nine-hour flight. He stuffed it under his arm and looked up at his father.

“You’re a good lad, Will,” said his father. “I know you’ll take care of Jamie. And once you land in Scotland, Cousin Elspeth will take care of you.”

“Will you bring Mom home?” It was an effort to push out the words; Will’s throat felt strangely tight.

“Of course I will.” Will’s father spoke heartily. “It’s all just a mix-up, I’m sure, but sometimes these things are better handled in person. Don’t you worry a bit.” He smiled but the line between his eyebrows deepened, and he blinked twice, his eyes red-rimmed with fatigue. “Now one last hug all round, and then get on your plane. I’ve got a plane to catch myself. Oh, and here’s some spending money—you might want to buy a souvenir at the castle.”

“Cookies or salty snacks?” The flight attendants were coming down the aisle with their cart. “Coffee, tea, or soda, sir? Cookies or pretzels?”

The white-haired man on Will’s left flipped a latch on the seat back ahead of him and pulled down a tray table over his knees. “Coffee, please,” the man said, his voice a warm Scottish rumble.

Will copied the old gentleman and pulled down his own tray table, and Jamie’s, too. “Two root beers, please,” he said, just like an experienced traveler. “And cookies. Jamie, stop bouncing on your seat, or you’ll knock over the drinks.”

“But look, Will! I can see it, I can see the picture! I have the magic eyeball!” Jamie thrust his book across his armrest and bumped the tray table, hard.

The root beer sloshed—the plastic cup rocked. Will lunged for it but the cup slipped away from his fingers. Brown frothy liquid poured over the tray’s edge, soaked his jeans, and splashed all the way to the old gentleman’s newspaper.

The man was surprisingly nice about it, but the flight attendant had to mop up with towels, and the other passengers turned around to stare. Will’s ears felt hot and his legs were damp and sticky.

“Can I have another root beer?” Jamie asked.

No,” said Will.

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Time Sight
Copyright © 2006- Lynne Jonell. All rights reserved.
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