What Was Lost (chapter 1)

This post is a bit outside the box for me. For a while now I have been burdened to influence Christian youth in American culture to live for Christ. It is not an easy time to be Christian young adult. And the beauty of blogging is I can write basically whatever I want. So I have decided to share a fictional youth mystery novel I have been working on for the last few months, entitled What Was Lost. I’ll be posting each chapter as I am able. I’m about half-way through, working on chapter 7 right now. Many of the places and events are based on actual places and events from my own life. There’s even some hidden literary allusions for you literature nerds out there. I hope you will share it with the young people you know. And please let me know what they think! ~CP

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Chapter 1 Insomnia

Milton wished he could sleep, but he couldn’t. It was annoying. He didn’t used to be this way. He readjusted his pillow and turned on his opposite side for, how many times had it been? He didn’t even know anymore. He reached over to check the time on his phone. 2:45 AM.

“Quit fooling yourself,” he thought. “This isn’t going to work.”

He fumbled for the lamp on his bed stand, and rotated the knob. With a click light filled the room. 

Swinging his feet off the bed, he sat up, wearily glancing about at the walls. Why had he painted his room dark blue? Oh yes, it’s because it was his favorite color. Not just dark blue, royal blue. Half-amused, half-embarrassed, he smiled to himself. He used to be so obsessed with royal blue, though he couldn’t tell remember why. He just liked it. So when mom mentioned the possibility of repainting the pasty white walls, Milton had jumped at the opportunity.

A border of paper about a foot high stretched around the top of every wall in his room, totally encircling him, except for at the door, closet, and window. He had picked out the border himself while making the renovations to his room. It included every extreme sport imaginable, from sky diving to ski jumping to trick biking. It wasn’t that Milton had ever done any of these things. But he had thought they were cool, and that was good enough for him.

He smiled to himself again. “What a little kid. That was so childish.” But his room had a familiar feel to him, and, though he wouldn’t dare admit it to his friends, he still liked it. He stood up from bed and shuffled downstairs to grab a bite to eat. If he couldn’t go to sleep, he might as well enjoy it. He knew there were a few brownies still left over; he just needed a tall glass of milk to go with it. But he never got the brownies. Or the milk.

It was a full moon that night, and the stairwell had a rather sizeable window at a landing halfway down that allowed in the light. Through the window Milton could see a wide expanse of desert prairie.  It was a rare slice of untouched Colorado landscape in the midst of Denver suburbs. Though his house was in a subdivision, his was the last in a long row on their street. Beyond their house the subdivision stopped, and a large open space stretched away for almost a mile until it sloped down to a large city park. But Milton didn’t think much about that now. It was a sight he had seen a thousand times, and it was much more attractive in the daylight. As things were now, the moon cast an eerie glow over the whole scene.

He rounded the landing and continued down to the bottom of the stairs, but as he walked down the hallway towards the kitchen, he happened to walk too close to the computer stand and accidentally bumped the mouse. The screen turned on, its bright glow casting strange shadows down the hall. Annoyed, he reached for the mouse. He peered up at the screen to put the computer back to sleep. For some reason his mom had left a local news website up. “Probably checking the weather—again,” he thought to himself.

But just before he closed out the window, he glanced at the headline. And his jaw dropped.

Click here for chapter 2

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