TITLE: The Last Timemaker and the Stolen Sun
GENRE: YA Fantasy
On the night Thomas Wright became a murderer, his grandpa tucked him into bed at 8:15 and then told him a story. When he was finished he began to tell it again.
“Er, Grandpa?” Thomas said when he started the tale for a third time.
“You already told me that one.”
“Did I?” His grandpa frowned and then said, “Oh, yes. Of course I did. I read it last Monday. Not to worry. I’ll read you a different one instead.”
While his grandpa shuffled over to the bookcase, Thomas played with the sheets on his bed. He didn’t like watching him walk. It made him sad and scared to see how slow he moved. But tonight, something made him look up.
“Grandpa?” he said. Every time his grandpa took a step, a strange crunching sound filled the room. “What’s that?”
“That thing in your shoe.”
“It’s, a, um …” Unable to remember the answer himself, he peered down for a clue. “Oh! It’s a chocolate for dessert.”
“You put chocolate in your shoe?” Thomas was used to his grandpa doing odd things, like putting the eggs in the oven instead of the fridge and eating breakfast for dinner and lunch for dessert, but he’d never done this.
“Well, I had to put it somewhere.” Now that he knew where it was, Thomas’s grandpa tried to get the chocolate out. But his back refused to bend.
“Don’t worry. I’ll get it, Grandpa.” Thomas climbed out of bed and hurried over to help. He was used to helping by now. His grandpa had all sorts of problems: a bad back, a bad hip, bad blood sugar too. It hadn’t always been like this. When his grandma was still alive he’d been pretty healthy, but now every part of him was failing, and no matter how much Thomas tried to help things kept getting worse.
He knew he should tell someone what was happening, like a doctor or a teacher, but what if they said Grandpa was too old to look after him? What would happen then? Would they put his grandpa in a hospital and him in some stranger’s home? He didn’t have anywhere else to go. It had always been just the three of them: him, Grandma and Grandpa. Well, just the two of them now.
“That’s my boy,” Grandpa said when Thomas pulled the squashed chocolate from his shoe. With shaking hands he tore off the wrapper and held the treat towards Thomas. “Here you go. I bought it just for you. It’s your favourite. I remembered, see?” he said proudly.
“Um …” Thomas stared at the chocolate. A piece of the wrapper had torn inside his grandpa’s shoe and now green fluff stuck to the sweet. “Thanks, Grandpa, but I’ve already brushed my teeth.”
“Well, that’s even better. Now it will taste like a Peppermint Crisp.”
Thomas didn’t want to eat the chocolate, but he didn’t want to let his grandpa down. So he took the offered sweet and ate it all up.