Published by: Amberjack Publishing
Publication date: July 11th 2017
Genres: Romance, Time-Travel, Young Adult
Zat is a dreamer from the distant future—a time when humans no longer dream and Earth is a desolate wasteland. He dreams of the beautiful Earth of the past, and a fiery-haired beauty named Babe. Against the wisdom of his peers, Zat decides to risk everything to travel back in time and live in Babe’s dreams…
Babe is the perpetual new girl in town. Her father’s job frequently moves the family around the country, and Babe just longs for a place to call home. As she settles into the sleepy town of Sugar Dunes, Florida, Babe begins to have strange dreams of a green-eyed boy named Zat. Night after night, Babe shows Zat her world. But the dreams come at the cost of nearly crippling migraines every morning. Babe’s life outside of her dreams pales in comparison to her growing love for Zat and their time spent together.
But the more time Babe and Zat spend together in her dreams, the more Babe’s pain increases, and Zat begins to question the reality of his existence. How can he live a life with Babe, when all they have is her dreams?
Can a dream become a reality?
He thought about the girl again. The dark red color of her hair reminded him of the flaming sun at the very second it dropped out of sight. Such an odd color, really. And the mass of hair on her head. So silly and useless. What would it feel like to have that growth sprouting from your head? Hot, undoubtedly. What would it feel like to touch it? To run your fingers through it? He knew there were differences in the quality of hair, from coarse and thick, like rubbing sand between the palms of your hands, to smooth and slippery, like the inside of the juicy cactus plant. But which would hers feel like? He couldn’t tell from the looks of it. He could never tell. He would never know.
His uncle’s chest rose and fell, and Zat could hear a heaviness in his breath that signified sleep. His uncle slept most of the time these days. All the older ones did, the ones who were staying behind. Zat knew he should sleep more. Rest to be strong enough for what lay ahead. But he couldn’t quiet his mind. He had so many questions that wouldn’t leave him alone. He leaned back against the wall and brought the lids down over his eyes, trying to force a dream. Outside the wind whined and moaned like a wounded beast but inside his head he could retreat to the images of that long ago, almost mythical Earth. The words, written by a man people were no longer interested in—they’d inspired Zat to make the difficult choice of separating from his family, chasing a future they believed impossible, foolish . . . even suicidal.
Now he called on those words to calm his nerves and boost his sagging courage. The clouds over the land now rose like mountains and the coast was only a long green line . . . He forced his mind to a place where clouds once filled the sky. As high as mountains above him. What would that be like? The water was dark blue now, so dark that it was almost purple . . .
A sea of rolling waves so vast it changed colors depending on the sun and the moon and the presence or absence of clouds. Now the deeply salted, toxic sea had only two colors. Slate gray and black. At sunrise and sunset an orange glaze spread across its surface. But it had been many years since Zat had seen the sea. Nobody went there anymore. Nobody had any use for it apart from the greasy, lurking monsters which inhabited its depths. “Zat?” his uncle turned and Zat wasn’t sure for a moment if he’d woken or was just mumbling as he often did while he slept.
“You’re still here?”
“Isn’t there a gathering? It’s not night yet, is it?”
“No, Uncle. It’s not night. I didn’t go.”
“Why not go? You should be with other young people while you still can.”
“There’s no point. Everyone’s leaving, and anyway, none of them want to have anything to do with me. They all think I’m crazy.”
“And maybe you are . . . maybe you are. There’s still time to change your mind.”
“And what? Leave here hoping to find a planet that may or may not be hospitable to life? That may or may not even exist? At least I know for sure where I’m going.”
“I meant to stay here. With me. We can care for each other until the end.”
Author Bio: Kathryn Berla graduated from the University of California at Berkeley as an English major. She has lived in many different countries in Europe, Asia, the Middle East and Africa. She currently resides in the San Francisco Bay Area.
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