Keeper of the Black Stones

I've gone by many names, but it's always been me.

I met Anne Frank before she wrote her diary. I consulted with Churchill on political doctrine. I crossed the Potomac with Washington. I even polished Napoleon's shoes in the streets of Charleroi, once, though it's not a story I like to tell. I've been in too many places to name, and done things I never thought I'd do. All in the name of saving history, and saving the world we call home.

I realize that these boasts won't be taken seriously, but I must remind each of you that at one time the earth was flat, the atom unbreakable. And the thought of reaching the moon was just as ridiculous as the idea of jumping through time.

I know, because I was there.

My name is Jason Evans. I'm ten days shy of my fifteenth birthday, and this is my story…

S
TONE
E
NDS
, B
OOK
1
KEEPER
OF THE
BLACK STONES

PT MCHUGH

SAN DIEGO, CA
[email protected]
www.glasshousepress.com

This is a work of fiction. Apart from well-known actual people, events, and locales that figure in the narrative, all names, characters, places, and incidents are the products of the author's imagination or are used fictitiously. Any resemblance to current events or locales, or to living persons, is entirely coincidental. The publisher does not have any control over and does not assume any responsibility for author or third-party websites or their content.

US Copyright ©2013 by Patrick McHugh

All rights reserved. No part of this book may be reproduced or transmitted in any form or by any means, electronic or mechanical, including photocopying, recording, or by any informational storage and retrieval system, without permission in writing from the publisher, except for inclusion of brief quotations in a review.

Published in the United States by Glass House Press, LLC, 2013

GLASS HOUSE PRESS and colophon are trademarks of Glass House Press, LLC.

Library of Congress Cataloging-in-Publication Data
McHugh, P T, 1969-
Keeper of the black stones / PT McHugh. -- First edition.
pages cm
Summary: Shy fourteen-year-old Jason must travel through time to the Middle Ages to join Henry VII's fight against Richard III and stop the man who holds Jason's physicist grandfather captive.
ISBN 978-0-9816768-0-7 (trade pbk. : alk. paper) -- ISBN 978-0-9816768-1-4 (ebook) (print) [1. Time travel--Fiction. 2. Middle Ages--Fiction. 3. Grandfathers--Fiction. 4. Orphans--Fiction. 5. Great Britain--History--Richard III, 1483-1485--Fiction.] I. Title.
PZ7.M478637Ke 2013
[Fic]--dc23
2012031556

ISBN 978-0-9816768-0-7 (paperback)
ISBN 978-0-9816768-1-4 (ebook)
Printed in the United States of America on acid-free paper
16 15 14 13 12  1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9
First Edition

To my wife, Tatiana, for her unwavering belief in me.

To Katherine, whose hugs and smiles cheer me up, even on my worst days.

And to Cristina – your name might not be used for any of the characters, but your personality shines through in all of them, and that matters just as much.

I love you all.

Finally, in loving memory of my oldest and dearest friend, Natalie.

A
CKNOWLEDGMENTS

Writing a book is an adventure unto itself, and getting it published is a whole different story. I've been very lucky to have come so far, but none of this would have happened without some very important people. I would like to start off by thanking Cynthia, David, and Maureen for their patience and assistance in editing my first manuscript (which seems as though it happened a lifetime ago).

To the Stilley family, for their overwhelming encouragement and support early–your assistance was crucial in getting this book off the ground!

To my father, who introduced me to his love of history early in life, and my mother, for encouraging me in anything and everything I pursued.

To Barbara, John, and Andrea for putting up with me, my Clancy & Theys family in Raleigh, and my HMH family in Sacramento.

To Glass House Press, for giving me the opportunity to put this book into print and find out what it has to offer. And last–but certainly not least–my special thanks to Carrie White, the best editor in the world. This book is as much yours as mine. You have been a friend, a therapist, and my greatest supporter.

Thank you all!

June 14

The Ribbon Theory … it's something I've been working on for years, and now it looks like we have proof. This both frightens and fascinates me. When something that has always been abstract–a theory–becomes suddenly solid, it is as though the world turns on its side. Exhilarating, and yet terrifying, no matter how ‘right' it makes you.

What then, is the Ribbon Theory, you may be asking yourself. Well, I shall tell you. It started as a dream … an idea that time was a force of its own. An alternate dimension, if you will. The Ribbon Theory follows this dream, assuming that the fabric of time is imprinted on a dimensional ribbon. Think of music or film, imprinted on tape as it was years ago, before the microchip. Now imagine that the tape actually holds time rather than 007 or The Wizard of Oz. This, then, is the ribbon of time.

If time is a ribbon, folding back on itself again and again, and there are–as we know there to be–black holes that are rips in the fabric of space and time … if these holes exist where the ribbon folds back on itself, and the fabric becomes weak … does that mean that there are worm holes between different parts of the ribbon? That there are, in fact, holes that lead from one time plane to another?

Could there be doorways, so to speak, into our past? Into different parts of our history, depending on where and how and when the rip or tear takes place? Could these doorways be manipulated? Used to transport us anywhere we wished to go? Could these holes take us back in time, if we wished to go there?

You may be asking what the Ribbon Theory has to do with our real lives. You may also be asking what holes in space have to do with our physical world, and what we see around us.

What you should be asking yourself, dear reader, is what the Ribbon Theory–and the idea of time travel–have to do with history itself. What if we did have that power to travel through time? And what if that power, God forbid, fell into the wrong hands?

Doctor Richard Evans
John de Vere, 13th Earl of Oxford
Keeper of the Black Stones

P
ROLOGUE
A
BERGAVENNY
, E
NGLAND
A
UGUST
, 1485 A.D.

T
he old soldier's horse thundered across the plain toward the small village of Abergavenny, and death rode with him. The people of the village didn't deserve to die, but within the next several hours, many of them would. For all the soldier knew, many of them may already be dead; Dresden's men had arrived hours earlier, and did not have a reputation for mercy. It was very important that he get there as quickly as possible, not only for himself, but for the people of Abergavenny. For the entire country, truth be told, and for the world itself.

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