Friday, April 11, 2014


By Ada Brownell


Halting footsteps on the concrete roused Darin Baker from a deep sleep the next morning, as someone limped to the dungeon. The round-top door creaked open.
“The sun’s shining. Have I been asleep that long?” Darin asked, struggling to stand when he saw Gorilla. For the first time in weeks, he felt rested.
Gorilla’s huge body towered over him. “Get up. Dr. Zogg said to take you out.”
“Cuz he’s the owner of this here castle now, and he’s the boss,” Gorilla said, motioning to the stairway leading to the door.
Confusion whirled in Darin’s mind like a prairie dust devil as Gorilla limped up the steps on his broken toe, his meaty hand holding Darin’s arm. Could execution be next?
“What happened to the other owner?” Darin asked.
“None of your business,” Gorilla snapped. 
A few minutes later, another guard shoved a sack into Darin’s hand. Inside the sack were two lukewarm breakfast sandwiches. Darin’s mouth watered. He unwrapped one, took two huge bites, and then stuffed the whole thing in his mouth. After he swallowed, he realized what he had done. Horrified, he twisted the sack, leaving the other sandwich inside.
Kermesis strode up to him, a grin on his tanned face. “Is this another bribe?”
“Get your tummy full, and we’ll talk. You apparently weren’t hungry enough last night.”
“You know, you folks are repeating the Holocaust!” Darin said. “Trying to eliminate a certain group in the United States—the country founded for freedom! You’ll soon be pitching our starved bodies over the wall.”
Kermesis cleared his throat, folded his arms, and cradled his chin on one fist. “Dr. Zogg was quite upset about your interruptions during last night’s meeting.”
“We’re still supposed to have freedom of speech in America.” Darin shoved the sack toward him.
“Your freedom ends where ours begins. We have thousands of people who want freedom from religion.”
“Not really. What you really want is to force your own set of beliefs onto everyone else.”
“What I want is your software design. You must have it here, because we’ve searched your house. Give it to me, and we won’t need to train your kids in the art of suicide bombing.”
Kermesis grinned and stretched out his hand containing the food. “We also need you to lay stone, and you’ll work faster if you eat.”
“Take it, Darin. You have something I want, and I have something you need—nutritious food.”
“Then why don’t you feed all of us?”
“We tried last night.”
“It’s bad enough that you make us work here, let alone starve us to death.”
“We’re teaching you a lesson you refuse to learn.”
Kermesis shoved the sack into Darin’s hands. “Keep it. Think about food and freedom.”
“How will you finish the wall and gatehouse if we all die?” Darin asked. “Capture more Christians?”
“Dr. Zogg plans to start collecting money.”
“Not quite like building a church, is it?”
Kermesis crinkled his forehead. “How so?”
“People  work, sacrifice, and give because they love the Lord, and the Lord sometimes stretches finances.”
“Well, people do love our cause. You’ll see.”
“Did you grow up learning about God? Did your mother serve the Lord?”
“Leave my mom out of this!” Kermesis angrily spat on the ground next to Darin.  
“I’ll pray for you and for her,” Darin was about to hand the sandwich back, then decided to share it with someone.
“Use your energy to get that wall built,” Kermesis growled. “We’re supposed to have this wall finished now.”
Darin put the sack into his holey pocket and walked toward the pile of stones.

“We have a man keeping an eye on your children. Your kids live with that powerful newspaper man, but we’ll do whatever is necessary to get the computer chip.”

Book Summary:

Joe the Dreamer: The Castle and the Catapult
By A.B. Brownell
Free April 11-13

Enter an area where people are missing and radicals want to obliterate Christianity from the earth. After Joe Baker’s parents and 30 other people mysteriously disappear, he finds himself with a vicious man after him. Joe and an unusual gang team up to find his mom and dad. The gang is committed to preventing and solving crimes with ordinary harmless things such as noise, water, and a pet skunk instead of blades and bullets. Joe reads the Bible hoping to discover whether God will answer prayer and bring his parents home. In his dreams, Joe slips into the skin of Bible characters and what happened to them, happens to him—the peril and the victories. Yet, crying out in his sleep causes him to end up in a mental hospital’s juvenile unit. Will he escape or will he be harmed? Will he find his parents? Does God answer prayer?

 No fantasy. No wizard, but suspense that sometimes makes you smile. Christian payload. Joe the Dreamer: The Castle and the Catapult  or book is also available at, and is listed at

©Copyright Ada Brownell January 2012