Prologue

Adrift: Between real and reality,

Adrift: Not quite, used ... unused, a free ... unspirit,

Adrift: Loosed. No particular place to go,

Adrift: Waiting ... for what?

Adrift: Once owned, owned twice ... looking.

Adrift: How many times?

Adrift: Made ... unmade.

Adrift: No purposeful purpose.

Adrift: Once?

Adrift: Solid ... simple rebuilt rebuilding

Adrift: Sands of time sanding, wearing polishing.

Adrift: Immense heat the forging, cutting

Adrift: Melting

Adrift: Failure

Adrift: New from old.

Tick ... tick ... ticktock

Adrift: Success

For the moment of time and the angels sing.

June? Waiting.

"Wait up, June?" That's NOT the voice associated with angels.

"Hurry up ... don't have all day." That voice is closer.

"Wait please..."

"Stay out of the water."

"Wait..."

"Mom said stay out of the water ... look at you."

"Yeah ... she's going to be mad."

"New shoes ... school shoes. You are going to get it."

He held out his hand.

"Where did you find that?"

He pointed with his left at the water.

"It's probably no good ... soaked ... there's water inside it."

"Wait ... buckle the strap? I can't make my thumb work."

"Why? It's never going to work."

"Please?"

"Shit."

"Junie ... please..."

"Here ... gimmie that. Gawd, you can be so ... so ... sometimes."

"Tighter, June."

SLAP! "Keep your fingers off while I ... just ... get ... this ... in ... the ... hole. THERE!"

"How does it look?"

"Looks good ... shake your wrist ... too loose?"

"No, June ... it stays on."

"Let me check..." SLAP "Keep your fingers off while I look."

"I just want to see if it winds."

"Damn it ... hold still."

"Ah ... June?"

"Idiot!"

"Junie."

"What!?!"

"Where are we?"


"Dummy ... we're on the beach just above the pier..." She looked up ... then back. She turned on me..."Ok ... what did you do with the pier?"

Like it's my fault ... Every-time something happens it's my fault. Gawd ... Sisters!

"I didn't do nothing."

"You did something ... Where's the Snack Stand?"

"Snack Stand? Where's the lighthouse?"

"Won't be no lighthouse without no pier. Jimmy ... where are we?" June panicked.

She started running away from the beach ... up to the no longer there road.

"JUNE!!!" I hollered. "JUNIE!! June Moon!"

June Moon ... what was mom thinking? James Moon I can live with ... but poor Junie. Now that she's 13 and showing ... butt, life is going to be very hard. Kids can be so cruel.

"There's a Moon out tonight. Let's go strolling"

"Hey ... it's a full moon."

"Junie ... stick your butt out the window ... moon them guys."

Who knows what else. I better go find her. Just in case you're wondering ... I'm just looking for my sister ... I'm NOT in a full bore panic ... yet.

But I AM close.

She was easy ... inside the treeline ... when there's only your tracks and no others. The lake is still here ... it's impossible ... no town ... no channel ... no sawmill.

June was sitting on the boulder in our yard ... the boulder the science teacher said is a glacial erratic ... ah ... the boulder in our yard if the yard was ours. From the looks of things ... it's nobody's yard. Odd thing ... it's lots taller ... but it's still our boulder. Maybe it's not taller ... maybe the ground is shorter. I keep thinking apples and oranges. They're both fruit. Taller, shorter ... still it's a condition of the ground and boulder.

Where the channel is supposed to be ... if it was there ... but it's not ... there's a stream ... it's pretty wide but not very deep that runs out to the Big Lake. I have a feeling the lake is not called Michigan. I have that same feeling about Mishigami.

Now that Junie is sitting on the boulder ... I know for sure WHERE we are ... I just don't know WHEN.

Junie is sitting in what she calls the Lotus Position. My legs don't bend like that ... I tried. I can see she's battling mightily, as the preacher says, mightily to stay sane. One thing I know ... don't fuck with June when she's "Communing with the Spirits," so I won't. Instead, I'll sit here on the rock and try and remember what I did to get us here ... now ... when. Full bore panic coming right up.

Lessee ... I stuck my fingers in while she was working on the band ... Look at the watch, Dummy ... look at the watch ... what's different about it? Different than when you picked it out of the water?

Ah ... it's dry.

Junie seemed to come out of her OHM ... OHM ... OHM.

"Can I talk to you?" I asked.

"Yes ... Jimmy ... I'm past frightened ... I even peed myself. Don't look ... pervert!"

"Don't look she says ... Junie? You look."

Junie's white shorts ... lightly stained yellow at the crotch ... are skin tight ... and transparent. Sitting cross-legged in the Lotus isn't the most modest position ... and she's camel toed. She might be older ... and she sure is developing faster ... Mom said girls do that faster than boys ... it's so they choose older mates ... mom said. She's my sister ... EWW! But interesting. And sliced pear halves on her chest too. Hmmm? When did that happen?

A deep inhalation of breath. "Jimmy! Quit looking ... I'll tell mom!"

"As soon as you see her ... I'LL tell her I looked!!"

"Oh."

"Look at the watch."

"What?"

"Look at it ... what's different?"

"It's dry ... oh ... it was wet."

"Do what you were doing when ... we ... when-ed."

She grabbed my wrist ... I reached in like I was going to wind it ... but the stem turned without clicking.

"Shit ... it's broke!"

"Dummy ... you have to push in the stem ... like this."

"Are you two going to the beach?"

"Yes Mom..." I said, "Mom I looked ... mumble mumble murmph"

Junie slapped her hand over my mouth and whispered in my ear..."I'm not wet now. Shut up."

Chapter 1 ยป