Title: THE QUESTER
Category and Genre: YA Science Fiction
Word Count: 73,000
Andrew and Christine’s first real date is going great-until they meet an energetic young woman and a brooding young man standing over glowing bomb. They cannot disarm it and God only knows what will happen should it go off. The strangers claim the teenagers are the only people who can stop it-by jumping through a portal made of fire.
Andrew finds himself inexplicably drawn to the strangers. They reveal themselves to be Keepers; Earth’s chosen guardians, given extraordinary powers by the planet itself. Curious to learn more, Andrew agrees to help and persuades Christine to join him.
The portal of fire leads to an alien world. While there, Andrew’s power to control plants begins to manifest. He is a Keeper. Joining the group means leaving his current life behind, but deep down he knows he must. Christine finds herself caught up in a whirlwind of an adventure she did not really want in the first place, but Earth insists on her involvement.
Now the Keepers need the help of Andrew and Christine. The universe is out of balance and the only way to correct it is to travel to other dimensions and collect ten dangerous artifacts called Quester Stones. The Stones are intelligent and resist efforts to find them, but without their energy, the universe will collapse in on itself.
Andrew and Christine were at a small, roadside carnival that had come through town for the weekend of Halloween. The rides were questionable and looked as if they might fall apart at any moment. It was like they had magically appeared in empty parking lot a few hours ago. Then, right at nightfall, all the neon lights flipped on and spirited music began playing, attracting everyone to it. The food being sold was mostly puffed sugar, deep-fried, and then shoved on a stick, but it was cheap. Joyful screams occasionally rose over the crowd of people.
“What should we ride next?” Andrew adjusted the eye patch he was wearing and pushed his pirate hat down tighter on his head over his brown hair. The goofy plastic hat was constantly threatening to fall off his head. A giant skull and crossbones was painted on his shirt, completing his pirate outfit.
“The Twister!” Christine exclaimed. They had already been on the Twister three times. Their friends were lined up in front of the spinning ride, dressed in colorful costumes, from cartoon characters to superheroes.
Christine had black whiskers painted over her cheeks, a ball of white fluff pinned to her jeans, and a pair of pink and white ears over her short, chestnut hair. Andrew thought she looked great in the rabbit costume and he hoped his pirate outfit impressed her as well.
Andrew frowned as he waved his tickets in front of Christine. “We need four tickets for that and we’ve only got three.”
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