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  • Chapter 1: The Edge of the World

    Nathaniel hobbled across the scorching pavement from the small plane toward the tiny airport, dragging his giant old suitcase, wishing he had one with wheels. He had flown before, but always in big planes that attached to enclosed boarding ramps connected to large busy airports. Usually, luggage was delivered to a rotary near the taxi and pick-up area. Here, the suitcase bumped awkwardly over dusty rocks because it was too heavy for him to lift off the ground all the way.

    Nathaniel looked to the left and right and saw nothing but flat parched brown land with a few puffy plants. They were mostly grey and only faintly greenish. Level ground stretched to the horizon in every direction and was unbroken by a single tree or any building other than the tiny tin shed that served as an airport. Two battered, faded pick-up trucks were partially visible behind the shed.

    Skull, he muttered bitterly to himself, Skull, Idaho. What was Auntie Frannie thinking, sending him here? Even if she was sick. There must be someplace else he could stay. And where was Uncle Spud? She said he'd be here to meet him, but there was no one around at all—the place looked deserted.

    Nathaniel pulled open the flimsy aluminum screen door to the airport and peered into the dim interior. Anything would look dim after the glaringly brilliant sun on the cracked white concrete of the runway.

    These are the opening words of one of my UNfinished children's novels. The illo is mine, done in someone else's Moleskine sketchbook. (The skull part.)(The rest is collage.)
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