The Atomic Weight of Secrets or The Arrival of the Mysterious Men in Black

BOOK: The Atomic Weight of Secrets or The Arrival of the Mysterious Men in Black
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T
HE
A
TOMIC
W
EIGHT OF
S
ECRETS

OR

THE ARRIVAL OF THE

MYSTERIOUS MEN IN BLACK


Book One

Eden Unger Bowditch

Copyright 2011 by Eden Unger Bowditch

All rights reserved.

No part of this book may be reproduced in any form or by electronic means, including information storage and retrieval systems, without written permission from the publisher, except by a reviewer, who may quote passages in a review.

All the characters in this book are fictitious, and any resemblance to actual persons, living or dead, is purely coincidental.

ISBN 978-1-61088-002-2 $19.95 (cloth)

ISBN 978-1-61088-006-0 $14.95 (paper)

Published by Bancroft Press (“Books that enlighten”)

P.O. Box 65360, Baltimore, MD 21209

800-637-7377

410-764-1967 (fax)

www.bancroftpress.com

Cover design and author photo: Steve Parke

Interior design: Tracy Copes

Chapter illustrations: Jason Williford

Printed in the United States of America

FOR MY CHILDREN,

JULIUS, LYRIC, AND CYRUS, WHO SHOWED ME WHERE

“MAGIC” FALLS SHORT AND THAT REAL MAGIC

IS SOMETHING WE CAN TOUCH.

AND TO THE LOVE OF MY LIFE,

WITHOUT WHOM I JUST WOULDN’T BE–NATE.

T
ABLE
O
F
C
ONTENTS

CHAPTER 1:
ONE DROP FROM DISASTER
or Science Interrupted

CHAPTER 2:
MINDS OVER MATTER
or A View from the Schoolyard

CHAPTER 3:
A MODEST PROPOSAL
or How Lucy Came to Bite Her Nails

CHAPTER 4:
THE SCHOOL AT SOLE MANNER FARM
or Jasper and Lucy Find Their Places

CHAPTER 5:
FAYE’S ABSOLUTELY PERFECT LIFE
or Little Marmelo Finds an Oven

CHAPTER 6:
IN A CLASS OF THEIR OWN
or Miss Brett Discovers the Gap

CHAPTER 7:
BLACK HUMOR
or Nonsense Comes to Sole Manner Farm

CHAPTER 8:
THE SOPRANO’S SON
or Noah Shares Someone Fit for a King

CHAPTER 9:
THE BIG BLACK BARRIER
or How the Children Found the Fence

CHAPTER 10:
WEEKENDS IN THE MEADOW
or When a Second Isn’t Enough

CHAPTER 11:
SOMETHING RINGS A BELL FOR JASPER
or Faye Flies Off the Handle

CHAPTER 12:
ALL PLANS UP IN THE AIR
or Faye Finds a Soft Spot

CHAPTER 13:
TELEPHONIC REASONING
or Wallace’s Special Secret

CHAPTER 14:
A BRAIN FOR DR. BANNEKER
or Wallace Finds His Feet

CHAPTER 15:
THE GREEN BOOK SHARES A SECRET
or Lucy’s Flowers

CHAPTER 16:
LUCY TELLS A TAIL
or Pieces Begin to Fall

CHAPTER 17:
LETTERS FROM NO ONE
or What Happened in the Meadow

CHAPTER 18:
FAYE TAKES HER SEAT
or Wallace Finds the Missing Word

CHAPTER 19:
THE POWER OF FLIGHT
or The Language of Light

CHAPTER 20:
THE DISTURBING SUBSTITUTION
or What Just Flew In

CHAPTER 21:
THE BIG UNLESS
or Miss Brett Makes the Call

CHAPTER 22:
FEARS OF FLYING
or Miss Brett Discovers the Young Inventors Guild

CHAPTER 23:
DECISIONS CAN BE RELATIVE
or The Right Brothers for the Job

CHAPTER 24:
A BICYCLE BUILT FOR FIVE
or The Long and Winding Road

CHAPTER 25:
AN APPLE FOR TEACHER
or Wallace Empties His Pocket

CHAPTER 26:
THE BACK OF KOMAR ROMAK
or The Man Who Wasn’t There

CHAPTER 27:
THE YOUNG INVENTORS ON THE MOVE
or The First Car and What They Found There

CHAPTER 28:
MUCH ADO ABOUT NOTHING
or The Mysterious Beyond

N
OTE
T
O
R
EADER

Dear Reader,

If you wonder whether you have walked into the right book, ask yourself whether you have ever had to tie a shoelace to a light switch in order to create enough force to pull it open from your bed... or if you have ever put vinegar into baking soda and created a volcano... or if you have ever had to use your formidable brain to invent something to help you or those near you, if not mankind. If so, then you know how important invention can be.

For some, tiny moments of invention can lead to bigger and more powerful uses of brainpower, unleashing something mystical within. This, good reader, is the secret to where the real magic lies.

But be wary of what magic you bring into this world, because sometimes we cannot undo the magic we create.

—Eden Unger Bowditch

Dayton, Ohio, Early Fall 1903

O
NE
D
ROP
F
ROM
D
ISASTER

OR

SCIENCE INTERRUPTED

T
here were two things the scientist knew for certain. One, he had only seconds to change the world. And, two, if he took too long, all his efforts might be for nothing.

As beads of sweat on his forehead threatened to rain into his eyes, he thought to himself,
Not now.
With only a handful of moments to achieve the correct ratio, he could ill afford the time or movement to wipe away the perspiration.

His hand twitched ever so slightly, his fingers motionless, as he clutched the burette. Trying not to blink, he hooked his elbow on the edge of the table and leaned in to brace himself. The corner of the table cut into his arm, but he had no choice. He had to prevent his hand from shaking any way he could—his right hand, anyway. His left, holding the beaker, continued a slow, circular spin, to be sure that the resin, when released, would not settle at the bottom, and that the other liquid remained in constant motion. With so much resting on an action so small, he could not make even the tiniest of mistakes.

The scientist took a deep breath and let it out slowly. This eased the fog beginning to cloud his glasses. One droplet—one golden droplet from the burette’s long, slender glass tube—was all he needed. The golden resin in the burette had to be released into the rotating beaker and captured in the clear, viscous liquid. Any more than one droplet, even a fraction more, and, after months and months of computations, he would have to begin everything all over again. That is, if he survived the catastrophe.

His thumb ever so gently touched the rubber bulb at the end of the burette. This light pressure pushed the resin down the glass tube, a small golden bulge appearing at the bottom.

The sound of a creaking door suddenly filled the silent room. His breath caught in his throat.
Careful. Concentrate. One droplet.

BOOK: The Atomic Weight of Secrets or The Arrival of the Mysterious Men in Black
2.79Mb size Format: txt, pdf, ePub
ads

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