Shadowridge Press titles in detail...
Tracy L. Carbone
Trade paperback / 6 x 9 / 228 pages / Publication date / March 2017
“I took a trip and now everything is all messed up and I don’t know how to fix it. I’m going to die if I don’t fix it. I’m not even really here.”
When a young man discovers that his father is a murderer, he goes back in a time machine -The Rainbox - to change his history. But when he returns home, he’s standing over the body of a drowned little boy who looks just like him. He confronts the man who was his father but all has changed in this reality. No one knows him, no one believes him, and fate is determined to repeat events if he can’t alter destiny one more time . . .
HERE'S A PREVIEW OF THE RAINBOX
Please stop screaming. Danny ducked in the corner of the porch, his hands tight over his ears as Barry and Dad yelled at each other inside the house. When glass shattered on the floor, he moved his hands and cocked his head to listen. He wanted to run in and do something but Mom ordered him to stay outside no matter what. So he waited. He covered his ears again but it did little to block out the sounds of violence. Anyway, he needed to hear in case it got worse. Please hurry and come out, Mom. Please.
“You’re not taking my wife and my son, you bastard,” Dad said. “No one is taking my family.” Danny knelt and peeked through the window to find Dad standing in the kitchen doorway, facing Barry, who was inside by the counter. “I’ll kill you before I let that happen!” Dad ran from the kitchen, past the window, and toward his office. His gun was in the office. Shit. He’s gonna shoot Barry.
Panic and helplessness seized Danny. Dad was drunk and didn’t know what he was doing. If he had a gun and Danny tried to stop him he could get hurt. Or worse.
“Mom!” Danny pleaded from the porch through the window. “Mom, get out here!”
He hoped to God she heard him. She’d make this all okay. She’d come downstairs with her suitcase and Danny’s new backpack, their getaway bags. She’d grab Barry from the kitchen, and any second they’d both run out before Dad came from his office. Before he ruined everything.
“Mom!” he called again.
He ran to the door and held the doorknob but stopped. If he betrayed her orders and went in—
He stood and waited. Listened. Smash.
No gunshot but maybe Dad threw a chair. He’d learned to stay away when Dad got violent. He never raised a hand to Danny or Mom but he broke stuff, punched walls, and Mom said they could never be sure when he’d progress to hitting them instead.
His hand was trembling when he let go of the knob and slowly backed away from the door. He turned and saw Mom’s car was unlocked. He’d hide there until they came out. He could see from here the door was unlocked. Danny moved from the porch, stopping on each step, waiting for a signal, a hint of what happened, and what he was supposed to do next.
By the bottom step, he knew there was trouble.
Silence from the house.
No one moved inside.
“Oh my God!” Barry’s shout carried out the window and gripped Danny.
Fuck it, I need to go in.
Danny barreled in and tripped over a pair of shoes. He fell on his knees. When he looked up—
Mom was dead. Barry sat on the floor Indian style with Mom’s bloody broken head on his lap. Dad shot her!
He looked to his left. Dad stood by his office on the other side of the room. He didn’t have his gun. He didn’t shoot her.
Barry? No, he couldn’t have. He loves Mom, would never have—but she’s dead and he’s there.
Barry looked guilty as hell as he stroked Mom’s red-stained wet hair.
Dad strolled across the room not saying anything, not showing any emotion. He numbly picked up the phone, then his half-empty beer from the table.
Danny tried to make sense of it. Mom’s blood is all over Barry.
“You killed her! You were supposed to love us and you killed her. You bastard!” Danny yelled.
Dad was off in a corner holding the phone and beer and not doing a goddamned thing.
“Dad? Do something for God’s sake!”
Dad stood frozen, holding the phone.
Mom had just given Danny the new backpack this morning, his escape bag that she was going to pack with all his favorite things. He didn’t know what it contained, but he trusted her. They’d come back to the house and get more once they were settled. She’d promised that just a few minutes ago.
And then this.
Danny didn’t know what to do, who to run to. Who to trust. He eased toward Mom, hoping she was still alive, that she’d just banged her head. She wasn’t moving, not even a little, except for the puddle of blood that streamed its way down Barry’s shorts and eventually into a growing circle under him, seeping into the edges of Danny’s new backpack. The one filled with everything he needed to escape.
“I didn’t do this, Danny. I swear to God, I didn’t. It was accident. She fell down the stairs,” Barry said through tears.
The boy bent down, looked at Mom’s face up close. Her fixed dead eyes stared at him. Run away, Danny. Run away. That’s what she would’ve said if she could talk anymore. He was sure of it.
“I thought you loved us,” Danny said quietly to Barry, out of earshot of Dad who was finally talking to the police on the telephone.
Then he grabbed the bag and ran out the door.
Danny was the top runner in the sixth grade and knew he’d be safe. He’d played in these woods his whole life and knew where to hide, how to get away. He’d hide until the police came or Dad sobered up. He’d hide and he’d be rescued and then— he didn’t know what but he had to hide. Had to close his eyes really tight and try not to see Mom dead on the floor, try not to see the man he’d grown to love as a father running his fingers through her bloody hair. Why the hell did he do it? Maybe because Dad said he couldn’t have her? If he couldn’t have her he’d kill her? No, no, no!
Danny ran past his best friend’s house but knew she was away with her family for the day up in the mountains. Shit.
He ran into the woods, down the hill. All he could see in front of him was Mom’s face. Her dead look. No! He wiped his eyes but it didn’t help. How could Barry do this? He said he loved us. That thought only made him cry harder.
Still he ran, darting between the trees, his backpack banging against shoulders. The sounds of his breathing and his heart pounding drowned out everything else except the faint distant call of Dad’s voice. “Danny, come back! Please come back!” He didn’t sound angry. Sounded like he was crying. Danny ran faster, wondering if he had it all wrong. If Dad did love him enough to quit drinking and—
Someone punched him in the back. Or kicked him. He didn’t know which, but it hurt like hell and he fell face first into crusty dead leaves. Danny tried to get up but something hit his head. A rock? He reached back and felt blood in his hair.
He pushed up and lifted his head from the dirt.
“Dad!” He yelled as loud as he could. “Dad! Help me!”
He saw the shadow of a branch under the moonlight, a giant black claw coming at him, a second before it slammed into his side.