The boy who played with.., p.1
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       The Boy Who Played With Dark Matter, p.1

          Holy Ghost Writer / Actions & Adventure
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The Boy Who Played With Dark Matter
The Boy Who Played With Dark Matter:



The Secret Adventures of Zeddy

(Count of Monte Cristo)



Holy Ghost Writer



~~~







Copyright © 2012 Holy Ghost Writer

Published by Illuminated Publications, Ltd.

All rights reserved.



LCCN: 2013900334



License Notes

All rights reserved. No part of this book may be reproduced or transmitted in any form or by any means, electronic or mechanical, including photocopying, recording, or by any information storage or retrieval system, without permission in writing from the copyright owner. For further information and bulk orders, email Illuminated Publications Limited (UK) via info@illuminatedpublications.com. This book was printed in the United States of America.





This is a work of fiction.

This is a work of fiction. Names, characters, places, and incidents are either the product of the author's imagination or are used fictitiously, and any resemblance to any actual persons, living or dead, or locales is entirely coincidental.



Cover Art by

Durham Editing and E-book Design



TABLE OF CONTENTS





1 THE BIG BOOM

2 SEARCHING FOR DAD

3 THE ZITCHES

4 WITCHY WORLD

5 ZAMIRA AND ZENITH TVS

6 BEHIND THE TAPESTRY

7 ZLOAT

8 A NEW FRIEND

9 A VISIT TO ZARANCHER LANE

10 STORIES COME TO LIFE

11 TELESCOPE REVELATIONS

12 WIMPS ARE MORE THAN MEETS THE EYE

13 IDEAS TURN INTO REALITY

14 FEAR KNOCKING AT THE DOOR

15 HIDING IN WAIT

16 DISCOVERIES

17 PLAYING WITH DARK MATTER

SPECIAL PREVIEW

ABOUT THE AUTHOR



1 THE BIG BOOM





The summer day was so hot that Zeddy did not feel like moving. He lay on his bed, his big dark eyes staring blankly at the ceiling. He was bored; there was no other word for it. Worst of all, it was only three weeks until school started.

"Zeddy, you need to take the dog out!" his mother Zadie called from the kitchen.

"But, Mom! It's too hot to go outside right now! Can't I wait till it cools off some?" Zeddy pleaded.

An answer didn't come immediately, so Zeddy sat up because he knew silence meant his mother was on her way. Zeddy's mother appeared in the doorway just as Zeddy made it upright.

"Young man, Zipper is your dog. We told you that having a pet is a big responsibility. You asked for him. You get to take him out," his mother replied.

"Okay, Mom, I'm going," Zeddy answered half-heartedly.

Zadie smiled triumphantly and headed back to the kitchen to finish making lunch. As Zeddy mumbled and grumbled to himself, he got up from the bed to look for his shoes. Zeddy was on the frail side, thinner and a little shorter than the other boys his age. His brown hair was a little shaggy, since the International Government had passed the new adolescent school haircut standards to prohibit gender discrimination. He may have been small, but what he lacked in size, he made up for in smarts. Zeddy had an IQ that was off the charts, a fact he had been taught to hide since he’d learned to speak. He knew his parents were scared that the International Government might discover his true IQ; he just didn’t know why.

"Don’t worry about it, gang! I can take Zipper out. I need to clear my head before lunch," Zeddy's father Zane called from the living room.

"It’s okay, Dad. I'm coming. I just need to find my shoes," Zeddy called back, as he shuffled through the piles of precious paperback books cluttering his floor. Sometimes Zeddy enjoyed weaving in and out of the piles, pretending he was in a giant maze. Today he felt like he had dropped a grain of sand and was looking for it on a beach. He lifted fallen books and scattered papers, hoping that somewhere in this organized chaos he had dropped his shoes.

"Just join us when you find them, Zeddy. Zipper really needs to go out. We shouldn't be too far down the street by the time you find them," his dad answered.

"Will do, Dad!" he replied, consciously speeding up the search for his shoes.

Zane traveled often for work. On this last trip, he had been gone for over two months, and Zeddy had truly missed him. When his dad had gotten home yesterday, he was so tired that he went straight to bed. Zeddy had been anxiously waiting for a chance to get his dad alone so he could find out if he had discovered anything new and amazing for them to discuss. Zane and Zeddy shared a love of science that other people didn't understand. His mother surely didn’t understand all the scientific things those two were always babbling about. Even Zane's bedtime stories for Zeddy all revolved around the adventures and explorations of two famous scientists, Dantes and Prophesy. Zeddy had each tale memorized, and he had even started to collect them in journals that he read over and over while Zane was away.

"Finally!" Zeddy exclaimed, as he quickly pulled his shoes on and tied the laces, before running down the hall towards the front door. As he reached for the handle, he was startled by a giant noise outside the house.

"KAPOW! ZAP! KABOOM!"

Zeddy threw open the door. It had sounded almost like a gigantic lightning strike, but there wasn't a cloud in the sky. The air was filled with the crackling of static electricity, and the sky was blazing neon pink. This was odd, because it wasn't close to sunset or sunrise. Zeddy stood there mesmerized. As he watched, the sun seemed to soak up the mystical magenta static into its hot yellow rays. Before he could even blink, the sky was again the color of a yellowish gray, summer haze. "What could be happening?" he wondered.

"Zeddy? Zeddy! Where are you!" his mother shouted frantically, as she came running from the kitchen.

"I'm here, Mom, at the front door!" Zeddy answered.

"Are you alright? What happened? I heard that horrible noise! Are you sure you're alright?" Zadie questioned her son.

"I'm okay, Mom! Really, I am! I was just at the door when I heard it, too. But it was too weird, Mom! When I opened the door, the sky was all pink, and it felt like my hair was going to stand on end from all the static in the air. Then as quick as I saw it, the pink was gone and so was the static."

"Where is your father? Wasn't he going with you to walk the dog?"

"I was coming out to meet him. I thought he already left," Zeddy said, as he looked up and down the empty street. "Is he still in the house? I don't see anyone on the street."

"Zane! Zane! Where are you!" Zadie called out, as she turned to check inside the house. "I'll check outside, Mom!" Zeddy offered.

"No!" Zadie said, perhaps a little too quickly. "I mean … let's check downstairs first, and then I can go with you to check outside. We don't know what just happened. I'm afraid to let you go alone. Hurry!" With no sign of Zane anywhere, she said "Let's check upstairs now, and then we'll go outside together. Shut and lock the door. This may be some new drill by the International Government. Did you check the Law-Update Monitor for today's updates yet, Zeddy?"

Zeddy shut and locked the door, hanging his head in shame. "No, Mom. Sorry. I know that's one of my chores, but I … I … I forgot. I'm sorry!"

"It's okay. We all forget things from time to time. Even little geniuses like you. But we have to hurry now. I'll continue to look for your father, while you run and check if we missed something. They posted the new updates at 7 o'clock this morning, and we’re supposed to know them by now. Hurry! It could be important," Zadie said as calmly as she could, with her heart pounding against her ribs in fear.



2 SEARCHING FOR DAD





Zeddy ran to the Intel room behind the living room, where all the computer monitors were up and running, performing their daily functions: monitoring the temperature and oxygen level inside the house, displaying the climate conditions and pollution level for their area, and scrolling the new law updates. Zeddy ran to the Law-Update Monitor and read as quickly as he could read. He had to be careful not to miss one, even though some days there were twenty or thirty new laws. It could mean life or … well, he wasn't sure, but he was sure it wasn't good. The screen scrolled the new laws:

1. All constituents will no longer be allowed to wear 1000 SPF sunscreen. The new law states that only 1500 SPF is legal for use, possession, or distribution. Relinquish all 1000 SPF sunscreen via home or business recycle disposal chute by midnight tonight, August 31, 2099. New sunscreen is located in all arrival chutes. One bottle per family member per week will be delivered until further notice.

2. All persons with intent to enter into a marriage contract within the next year are reminded to register for the parenting approval class at least one year in advance of the date the civil union is scheduled to occur. One child per family is still the law.

3. There has been a rise in pollution levels and, consequently, oxygen tanks are to be carried by all constituents at all times. Tanks are located in arrival chutes. One portable oxygen tank per family member per day will be delivered until further notice.

4. Nuclear radiation was detected in Nevada Province, Upper Amerasia yesterday, August 30, 2099. All constituents of Nevada Province have been placed in quarantine until further testing is completed. No travel will be allowed within or through that province until further notice.

5. Caffeine has been detected in a batch of Super Cola. All constituents are asked to immediately relinquish any Super Cola in their possession via the recycle disposal chute. The terrorist who has created this catastrophic endangerment of our people has been captured and sentenced by the International Tribunal to 100 years hard labor in Lower Amerasia. He will repay his debt to society by supporting our valiant effort to resurface more land masses. Any constituent, who has consumed Super Cola in the past 5 days, must report immediately to the International Detoxification Facility in your province to have this harmful illegal drug removed from their system.

The International Government takes pride in each constituent's loyal obedience to the protective laws designed to maximize life span and control the environment for the prosperity of all constituents and their offspring.

Thankfully, it was a short list today. Zeddy heard his mother frantically running around the house calling for his father. She finally stopped in the front hallway, staring at the giant tapestry that covered the wall. Zeddy ran towards her.

"Mom! Did you find Dad?"

"No. I … I didn't. Was there anything in the new laws to explain that noise?"

"No, there wasn't anything about the noise. If we're going to check outside now, we need to get busy. We have to dump the sunscreen from yesterday, grab the new tubes and lather up, grab the oxygen tanks, and go! I think we should see if Dad's tank is still here. If it is, then we'll need it when we find him. We don't want to get arrested if we get stopped by the IMP. Pollution levels are past red again," Zeddy explained as quickly as he could.

Zadie shook at the thought. People who were arrested by the International Military Police often never came back. No one knew what happened to them. She thought to herself, 'We'd better hurry!'

"Oh! And you should be glad we didn’t order Super Cola! Somebody got arrested for putting caffeine in it!" Zeddy shouted, as he ran to the bathroom to get the tubes of sunscreen from the day before.

Zadie shook her head at the silliness of so many of the new laws. If someone could get arrested for putting caffeine in sodas, what would they do to them if Zane was out wandering without the right sunscreen or his oxygen tank? She dashed down the hall to the grab the tanks they hadn't used yesterday. They were still lined against the kitchen wall.

Zeddy hurried back to the Intel room. He threw yesterday's sunscreen tubes down the recycle chute on the back wall. The monitor screen displayed a happy face with the words "Thank You" under it. Zeddy shook his head at the round yellow face on the computer. He walked to the arrival chute and grabbed the new tubes of sunscreen. Zeddy slathered the thick green liquid over all exposed body areas. It instantly dried clear. Zadie was beside him now with the oxygen tanks. As Zeddy grabbed his father's tank and stored it in his backpack, Zadie took a tube of sunscreen and smothered her exposed skin. They walked hurriedly towards the front door, and Zadie grabbed the house remote as they left. She clicked the "LOCK" button, and the house alarm chirped behind them. Zadie slipped the remote into Zeddy's backpack for fear that if something were to happen, Zeddy would need a way to get back in their home.

Zeddy and his mother looked up and down the street. There was no sign of Zane or Zipper. The two held hands as they searched for their missing loved ones. They walked all over Discovery Bay, even out to the dock. Zadie suggested that they paddle around on their canoes to see if Zane might have decided to go fishing. Zeddy thought that was useless, but agreed they would paddle one of the canoes along the Delta passageways just to be sure. After 30 minutes, Zeddy needed some of his oxygen, as he could no longer breathe the polluted air.

"Mom, you know if dad went fishing that he would've taken me."

"Usually, but maybe he just got absorbed in thought. He does that sometimes. Besides, I'm out of ideas. I don’t know where else to look. Where do you suggest we search?" Zadie answered as tears welled up in her exotic violet eyes, the thick summer breeze blowing her long brown hair across her face.

Zeddy was out of ideas, too. Maybe the IG had taken his father already, if he happened to get stopped while he and his mom were searching for him. Just then, the digitized portable computer phone rang. Frantically, Zadie fished the phone from her pocket

"Hello! Zane is that you?" Zadie asked, trying to hide the worry in her voice.

"No, it's Judy Zitch. Your puppy was running loose again. We have him at our house. Could you come pick him up as soon as possible?"

"Oh, I'm sorry! Thank you so much. We'll be right over to get Zipper. Thank you!" Zadie answered.

As they pulled back up to the dock, Zadie stuffed the phone in her pocket again. She climbed out and reached down to help Zeddy out. Zeddy knew that the Zitch family must have found Zipper again. He was a strong puppy, and last week he had gotten away from Zeddy when he broke his leash. The Zitches were the only people who would risk being caught by the IMP to save the puppy. Zeddy knew no one else would be that brave or crazy. But the question remained, if the Zitches had Zipper, where was his dad?

Zadie was thinking the exact same thoughts. She looked down at her frail little boy whose dark eyes and brown hair mirrored her own in the bright sunlight. She tried to keep from crying, but she knew he saw her concern. She looked at the street in front of them and said, "I'm really worried about your father now. He would never let Zipper get away. He knows how dangerous that could be … for Zipper and us. So if Zipper is with the Zitches, where is your father?"

Zeddy was worried, too, but he knew his mother needed some encouragement if they were ever going to find his dad. Zane had always told Zeddy that if something were to ever happen to Zane, Zeddy would be the man of the house. Today Zeddy was definitely feeling the pressure that being the man of the house might involve. He tried to think of something comforting to tell his mom, something to make her smile. Zeddy always smiled when he remembered parts of the stories his father told him. He decided that maybe a funny memory might help Zadie calm down.

As calmly as he could, Zeddy said, "I don't know, Mom. Maybe it's all a misunderstanding. Maybe dad's playing a trick on us. You know, like the time he hid in the closet while we ran around looking for him when he burned dinner. The house filled with that awful smelling smoke, and we couldn't find him anywhere! But he found us. Don’t worry, Mom. We'll find him."

Zadie held back her tears to keep her son from worrying too much. She even managed a half-smile at the memory of the stinky smoke and Zane jumping out of the closet to tickle her and Zeddy until they were all in tears. Somehow, she just didn't feel like this was a joke.



3 THE ZITCHES





They walked quickly to the Zitch house to get Zipper. As they neared the end of the walkway, Judy Zitch opened the heavy steel door and waved them inside. Judy Zitch was the most beautiful woman Zeddy had ever seen. She had blonde hair that was styled differently every time he saw her. She was so tall, six feet tall. Her brown eyes were always lined in blue, and she wore this amazing lipstick in bright red or pale pink. Most women had adopted the no-make-up look since the International Government seemed to arrest women that wore make-up more than those who didn't, but Judy Zitch wore as much as she wanted. She walked them through the corridor to a dark room lit by candles. An elderly Ms. Zitch sat at a round table, the long crimson sleeves of her satin dress draped across the sides of the table from her arms folded in front of her.

"Do join us for tea," Judy said as she directed Zeddy and his mother towards the round table and its enormous chairs.

Zeddy had never seen Judy Zitch’s mother before, at least not clearly. Even when she ventured outside, she always seemed to be barely out of his sight’s range. It had seemed odd to Zeddy since he had perfect vision and she only lived four houses away. People in the neighborhood gossiped that she was a witch. Zeddy looked around the room and thought they may be right.

Zeddy and his mother sat down in the elegant, hardwood chairs that surrounded the table. Zeddy thought the Zitches must be really rich because actual wooden things cost millions of dollars since the Tree Protection Act. Hardwood furniture hadn't been made in nearly 50 years. It felt warmer and more inviting than the metal or plastic chairs he usually had to sit in. The wood felt smooth and rough at the same time as he explored its grain with his thin fingers.

Zeddy peered across the table in the dim candlelight at the old woman sitting before him. He noticed her deep golden eyes. They were oval-shaped and yet round at the same time, and they were outlined by long, thick, black eyelashes. Her grey-streaked black hair must have been past her waist because the braid flowed across one shoulder, and fell into her lap with no end in sight. She had large gold earrings that made her olive skin look rich and mellow. But strangest of all was that her face didn't have a single wrinkle or imperfection. Sure, before it was outlawed, lots of the older women had plastic surgery to make them look young longer; but this was not plastic surgery. He had seen women that were old now and had undergone plastic surgery in the past. Those women looked really creepy. The elder Ms. Zitch looked amazing. If possible, she may have been more beautiful than her daughter, Judy.
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