Pia Wade’s life is a book with torn-out pages, she sees things no one else can, and she has weird dreams—particularly of a mysterious island. It all started four years ago when she mysteriously vanished in the night. One problem though, she has no memory of the incident whatsoever, yet claims she was kidnapped.
Now at sixteen, Pia embarks on a trip back to where her nightmare began. Going back is a good thing—or not. She’s confused that’s for sure, as an irresistible force drives her; so much so, she feels possessed. If only all the craziness would—Poof!—disappear. If only her parents would grant a little more breathing room because after all, whatever happened that night, she certainly didn’t kidnap herself.
What Pia doesn’t know is that a new world of Pandora’s box will open up. On the spot she has a strange encounter with Cameron Jacks that leaves her shaken. She is warned to stay away from him. But as her cryptic world gets crazier with Cameron in it—like a ghost walking the street while everyone else is as good as dead and a vicious waterspout dropping out of the clear blue sky stirring up a volleyball game—how could she?
Pia grows desperate to uncover the mystery.
And, the clock is ticking.
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About the Author
For C.C., the joy of reading came later in life. When it did, it was as if she'd been placed under a spell with the desire to read. It wasn't until her imagination started going wild when she realized her desire to read had evolved into something else. At first, she didn't know what to do with the images; she just wanted them to go away so that she could get some sleep. But it didn't take long to realize that it was time to pick up a pen.
She resides in Arizona with family and friends.
Visit her at www.ccwyattbooks.com
Read an Excerpt
Not in my wildest dream would I have imagined a nightmare whisking me away in the middle of the night, only to return me with no memory of the time we spent together. I could never forget that night—how and why it happened to me. So when the opportunity of finding out came knocking at my door, I couldn’t just let it slip away. And so once again, not in my wildest dream would I have imagined a moment as chilling as this.
The sun beamed down on the illusive island and ran through every pulse in our bodies as we ran against time, so desperate to see the side of change that awaited us, in a faraway place called home. I couldn’t help myself; I had to put it to the test—fate, that is. Now we were grasping, running for our lives, and our only hope of escaping was an injured plane and a prayer.
Before long, the island’s beauty would only be a memory etched in my brain. Its demise crept mercilessly beneath the burning sun. Before long, it would be what seemed…an ice age?
But how could that be?
Only in dreams, that’s how.
Dream or no dream, surely we could die or be forever lost in this nightmare.
No Turning Back
In theory, there’s only one day that comes and goes in precise intervals, that’s unaware of itself and its unique charm. We rise accordingly and go about our daily routine, and near time for it to make its exit, we settle down in the same position as we started. And when the day rolls around again, we repeat. Almost mechanically. As if we were spellbound by the cycle of day and not know it. As if, when change comes along and snaps its fingers, the spell’s broken. And it’s a rude awakening…sometimes.
This day especially was like that. And it didn’t matter that it had been four years and three months, two weeks and a day in the making, and should go down in history as Pia’s day of dread, though I had the guts to face it somehow, one precarious step after another, as I embarked on a trip moments away from takeoff. No. What mattered was the unpredictable path I was on and how it would end about a week from now.
With my backpack hanging off my shoulder and a mild breeze playing in my hair, I led the way to the plane. I couldn’t believe that I was actually going through with this. But not only that, I had a weird feeling I just couldn’t shake. But when you find yourself returning to a dark part of your past—to a place you thought you would never see again because your last experience there resembled episodes of the Twilight Zone, this place much like home to you too—then how should you feel?
I drew in a deep breath, and then stole a few moments to make a wish. A mere request, because I believed with all my heart that anything was possible—and because I had the experience to back it up. So I closed my eyes and wished this moment away forever; wished away the nightmare and all memory of it forever times two. Then one, two…I counted to five for good measure. And then I heard it! Something magical! A whisper. And right then I knew. Knew that my “wish come true” would have been exactly that had the little voice only said, “Your wish is my command.”
But it disappointed me instead. Is that what you really want…never know what happened during the most critical hours of your life?
Of course granting my wish would have served me just fine, I thought with pooched lips. But I knew all too well. Knew that deep down I would give just about anything to know what really happened that night at the Florida beach house, where I mysteriously vanished in my sleep. And if it took going back to find out, ultimately proving my theory of what happened, then so be it. After four long years of not knowing anything, it would mean the world to me. Not to mention that it would probably be the greatest solved mystery of all times.
I arrived at the plane looking back at my parents coming up behind me. I settled the backpack on the ground, attempting to stretch precious moments I had left, by any means possible, before boarding the plane. I looked up as one flew over me, closed my eyes, and let my mind wander up to the universe. Suddenly I was amazed that we were all right here, right where we were supposed to be…at a point of no return. Or was I just plain crazy about all this? Some people, however, wouldn’t have a problem thinking so.
Suddenly, I felt a nudge on my back. In an instant I turned, thinking someone had snuck up on me but…no one was there. I frowned. That was creepy. I lifted my backpack and contemplated that some more. I could’ve sworn…it couldn’t have been the wind hitting me like that in just that spot.
“Pia is everything okay?” Dad asked as he and Mom approached.
“Yeah, sure,” I replied, still in wonder. Maybe it was the hands of the universe…had to be, urging me to get moving. So I boarded the plane convinced that that was it.
Mom and Dad filed in behind me. And in moments the twin-engine plane roared to life.
“All set?” Dad’s vibrant tenor reigned over the humming engines. Wearing dark shades and a ready-to-go smile, he looked back at me, as did Mom, her hazel eyes gleaming. Through them I pretended to read her mind. Pia, if you’re not ready, it’s not too late to cancel this trip.
I imagined her reading mine. But Mom, it’s spring break, and we’re all set to go. And what about the pilot’s convention? The house? Dad could sell it for real next time. It’ll be okay, you’ll see.
Mom was the reason Dad hadn’t sold the house already. She was right, though: the house had deep, sentimental value, had been part of the family for far too long to get rid of. Dad had lost sight of that and probably would’ve regretted selling it. And how could either of us blame the house? It hadn’t whisked me away in the middle of the night, stolen sixteen hours of my memory, and set my mind to see creepy things. It hadn’t…changed my life forever.
We just needed to go back…to heal and…and because destiny was calling and because…just because.
I gazed out the window. Was I really out of my mind? Suddenly my fingers were tap-dancing on my lap. I stared at them for a moment then curled them into a tight fist. If I was a real nutcase, I supposed I would soon find out.
The plane taxied into position for takeoff. Upon clearance, it became a straight line of roaring thunder up the runway. Up, up the plane climbed over Houston. My eyes shut tight, hands gripping the armrests as anxiety grew like fever through my body.
No turning back.
We were on our way.
No turning back.
Table of ContentsPreface
1. No Turning Back
2. The Beach House
3. Freaky Encounters
4. Girls Reunion
5. The Show
6. A Divine Truce
7. Twists in the Game
8. Tough Decision
9. The Meeting
10. Mysterious Island
11. Plans, Plans
12. To Miami
14. Deluded Not
15. Close Call
16. Unbelievable Paradox
17. To Bermuda
18. An Eventful Evening
19. New Discovery
20. The Confession
21. Eye on Fate
22. The Promise
23. Shattered Dilemma
24. Onboard a Search
25. No Man’s Land
26. No More Iceberg
27. Serving the Story
28. Unexpected Surprise
Epilogue: Adjusting to Change