Afraid of the Dark is a short novel intended for the Mousegate Series. Tommy Hartnett is a twelve-year-old boy raised by his grandfather, a retired baggage handler at the airport, who loves Tommy dearly in addition to the heartbreaking Chicago Cubs. Tommy is a little leaguer that strikes out most every time at bat, but Joe Hartnett will continually encourage and praise his grandson. Joe has become a surrogate father to Tommy as the boy’s mother was killed in the Iraq war when he was two and his father has had to work overseas in Afghanistan due to the scarcity of jobs in the United States. Joe often talks about the 1969 Cubs, the National League team that year favored by most to play in the World Series, but saw a storied collapse in September. Knowing that ‘Gramps’ is getting old, Tommy yearns for a Cub World Series but has lived through his grandfather’s disappointments year after year, and is afraid he might not see one. Thus, the boy dreams of a different outcome for the great team of 1969 that was laden with future Hall-of-Famers. And then on a trip to Disneyland with his grandfather, Tommy is transported back in time while wearing Gramps’ Mouseketeer ears to 1969 as a member of that Cubs team. It is September and the disastrous slide had already started. But Tom Hartnett (He feels Tom is more of an adult name than Tommy) immediately turns the Cub fortunes around with incredible feats, both at bat and in the field, and the Cubs are back in the race against the New York Mets, the World Series winners in the 1969 history books. Knowing that his grandfather attended most Cubs games in 1969 as he worked nights at the airport Tom searched the bars around Wrigley Field and finds him at a popular establishment Gramps had taken him to for hot dogs once after a game. In addition to getting to know Gramps as a young man, Tom also meets his future grandmother, whom had never known as a boy as she and Gramps went their separate ways, though not divorced, not long after they were married. Patty Dwyer, a feisty dynamo, was a zealous Cub fan, as was Joe. But then, just when Tom begins to bring the Cubs back, a gangster appears that had waged a good deal of money against the Cubs to attempt to persuade Tom not to help the Cubs win. Johnny Rome and his brutal associate threaten Tom and his ‘newly found friends’, Joe and Patty, with bodily harm and even death if Tom doesn’t comply. About this time Joe decides to join the Marines and Patty, a fervent anti-war activist, is outraged that he has decided to fight in Viet Nam and may come home dead or maimed. She disappears for a while but is found by Tom who tells her of the threat to all three by Rome. As mad as she is against Joe, she is even more infuriated by the mobster threatening them, and decides to accompany Joe to California where he will go through boot camp.