Sunday, April 6, 2014


An excerpt from Joe the Dreamer: The Castle and the Catapult
By Ada Brownell

Gorilla, the guard, sat on his jacket, leaned against the castle wall, and snoozed. His huge hairy chest and bulging stomach swelled up and down as he breathed in the Indian summer air. The guard had taken off his shirt.
His lunch sack overturned. Fries and part of the extra hamburger spilled out. The metal knight’s armor that had been used inside the castle as decoration lay beside him on the rocky ground, among the boxes from which he’d taken robot kits.
Gorilla’s foot with the broken toe rested on a large rock.
Old Norton crept from the trees behind the man, a smile emerging behind his scraggly white beard. A box jiggled in his hands. His worn shoes halted behind the huge guard.
 Working nearby, Darin Baker watched Norton open the box. A half-dozen mice scurried toward the overturned sack.
Norton stole away so quickly he almost stumbled over a dead tree branch.
One mouse, barred from the feast by the others, ran up the large rock and across Gorilla’s bare foot. The snoring halted. His eyelids flicked open.
He jerked his leg and bumped his toe and groaned.
Two mice climbed over his stomach and surveyed the territory like Indian scouts.
Gorilla rolled over to get them off and landed on two other mice. He rolled again, and the mice he’d almost squashed with his behind scurried in circles with dizziness.
The guard finally got up and limped to a big rock, trying to go around the mice and climb up on it. One mouse, however, zoomed over his bare feet before he made it. A deep scream bellowed from Gorilla’s cavernous organs.
“Help! Who did this? Who put these mice here?”
“I’ve been working here all the time you’ve been asleep,” Darin said. “I didn’t do it.”
“Well, somebody put them here, and you probably saw it.”
The mice still scurried about, darting in and out of the lunch sack, sniffing to find more food, occasionally finding crumbs they’d missed.
“What’s going on here?” Kermesis asked as he strode toward Gorilla. “What are you yelling about?”
“Mice attacked me!” Gorilla scanned the ground, and every time a mouse came near, he bellowed again.
“Mice are all over in the forest. They’re probably hungry and smelled your leftovers.”
Darin feared Kermesis would ask if he saw anyone bring the mice. Darin would never betray Norton. He’d take the blame first.
“Darin ought to be in the dungeon!” Gorilla grumbled.

“Darin is the best stone layer we have. This wall and castle were supposed to be done yesterday!”
“But Darin broke my foot! Then he brought all these mice in. We can’t run this place without discipline!”
“Kermesis, I didn’t have anything to do with these mice.” Darin walked toward them. “But I will scare them away for you.”
He reached down and dumped three mice out of the sack. When they scurried toward the rock where Gorilla stood, the huge man hopped and yelled again. Darin ignored him and grabbed a small branch off a nearby tree and swept the creatures into the forest.
“Darin.” Pride shone from Gorilla’s dark eyes, “You might be interested to know my robot won’t be no ordinary robot. I’m combining three kits to make a Super Robot Guard. Remember that old show ‘Home Improvement’ you probably saw in reruns?”
Darin remembered.
“Well, I’m doing the ‘Tim Taylor thing.’ I studied electronics and built a robot in college. You might have seen it at the State Fair. That robot couldn’t do much, but this guy will. He’ll keep track of all of your electronic bracelets and can zap you from fifty feet.”
“Sounds creative.”
“It is, and it’s been loads of fun. I think I’ll have it ready in a week. Next time you do something, I’ll send this robot after you.”
Kermesis ignored the big guard. “Darin, we have a volunteer to have the epilepsy gadget connected to his brain, and a surgeon volunteered to implant it.”
“Who volunteered?” Gorilla asked.
“Jimmy Roberts.”
“Jimmy Roberts!” Darin felt ill. “He’s mentally challenged. He probably already has seizures if he doesn’t take medication.”
Kermesis ignored him. “He would still be a good subject, because we could see if saying religious words will trigger a seizure. The surgeon said we can bring in patients and give them a drug where they won’t remember anything about it. We’ll just drop them off at home, and they’ll be unable to preach Christianity again.”
“You know a seizure could kill Jimmy—and even other people you nab off the streets We don’t even know for sure how brains will react to the device.”
“We’re going to do this, and you’re going to help us, Darin—sooner or later.”
Darin rubbed his beard, hating the bristles as they brushed against his hand. Would it hurt to insert the brain chip in Jimmy? Perhaps he could keep the program set at seizure control instead of tweaking it to cause a seizure.
Then pain ran through Darin’s stomach.  The project needed tested, perhaps on animals, and then, if it looked promising, there would be lengthy clinical trials with patients. Besides, when the radicals had the chip design and the wall was finished, he probably would have no value to his captors. Would they kill him then?

©Ada Brownell January 2013


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
The book is also available at, and is listed at

To learn more about this author’s books: Stick-to-Your-Soul-Encouragement

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