The Director hires nine-year-old Tommy Whitaker to be a character in a book set in 1957. Tommy readily agrees and soon becomes involved in a gang of thieves ...and a murder.
“I see you’re a little confused.” The Director cleared his throat. “Let me explain. Books and stories need to be...worked out. They have to be real...both to the author writing the story and to the person reading the story. Understand?”
Tommy nodded even though he didn’t understand.
“Now, the best way, really the only way, for this to happen is for the characters to be alive to the author. To be actually living out his story. This is where I come in. I find characters who act out the story for the author.”
Tommy didn’t speak. This was getting weirder by the minute.
“You’re not agreeing yet. Yes, well. You’ll be a character in a book. I will pick you up, oh, right here, probably not every day but almost every day. I’ll drive you through the tunnel and when you reach the other side; you’ll be in the book. It’s simple! So, what do you think? Are you in?”
The Director threw his head back in relief. “Meet me here tomorrow at ten o’clock. The story’ll begin five minutes later. I have to go. See you tomorrow.”
Tommy watched the Director drive off.
Tomorrow at five minutes after ten, he would be a character in a book. A book with a murder in it. At a different time and in a different place. Unbelievable! Tommy could not wait.