In preparation for my book coming out this June, now is as good a time as any to introduce everyone to the characters from my first book. I figure the best character to start with would be the boy telling the story: Kyle.
The Dead World follows Kyle and his three friends as they embark on a journey to save themselves from abusive adults in the Child Teaching System and the dying world of Tehrahey. It’s an epic adventure, and something that Kyle and his friends have hoped for since they were little, but they weren’t prepared for the dangers of their world.
What Does Kyle Look Like?
Kyle is a scrawny thirteen-year-old with short black hair and deep blue eyes. He counts himself lucky that his appearance is close enough to everyone else’s in the CTS, if he looked too different, they’d pick on him like they do Andy. Tehraheyians don’t really like anything that is different and he knows his blue eyes are rare. He’s never met anyone else with eyes like his, but maybe that’s just because he’s been stuck in the CTS all of his life. Thankfully, no one ever really pays attention to his eyes unless they are already fighting. By then, it doesn’t really matter.
The poor kid has low self-esteem—not an uncommon trait in the CTS, but he definitely has it worse than his friends. The way Kyle sees it, all of his friends are better than him at something; Andy is smart, Max is fast, and Jason is strong. What does that leave for Kyle? How can he possibly hope to survive if he isn’t the best at something? After all, only the best survive on Tehrahey.
Despite that, Kyle doesn’t just give up, especially where his friends are concerned. Since they were little, Kyle has always stepped up to Andy’s defense, letting bullies know not to pick on her. And while Kyle isn’t the best fighter in the CTS, but he can hold his own against most of the bullies in his age group. After all, while he doesn’t go looking for fights, he’s still had plenty of practice.
Get to Know the Boy from the CTS
All of Kyle’s memories are from the CTS. Unlike his friends, he really can’t remember ever being outside of it or having ever met his parents. There is one memory, but it is so faint that he can’t tell if it was real or just a dream. He remembers a dark, cold room. He couldn’t move and something glowed gold in the center. A voice told him that she loved him.
Then there is a separate memory, one that is even foggier than his first memory. All it is is a tune. He doesn’t know where it came from, or if there are words to go with it. He just knows that it makes him feel better when he’s feeling down.
He still believes in the Stars, even though most people have given up on them. You see, on Tehrahey, the night skies are empty save for the moon. The stars all blinked out of existence long ago, and many Tehraheyians hold the Stars in reverence. Those celestial bodies left the world long ago, and people hope they will someday return.
Kyle doesn’t expect them to for two reasons. One, Tehrahey is never that kind to its inhabitants. Two, if he and his friends could get away from the world, he wouldn’t come back either.
So, when Kyle is given the opportunity to get out of the CTS and hunt for the three Tablets left behind the Traveler, he jumps at the opportunity. If he and his friends can find all three Tablets, then they can escape Tehrahey and never look back. At the very least, they get away from the CTS and the horrible adults that work there.
The problem is, the outside world of Tehrahey isn’t a great place to be. It’s hot, dry, and filled to the brim with people all fighting to survive. If Kyle and his friends are going to survive this adventure, they are going to have to rely on all of their strengths.
The Stakes Are High
Kyle and the rest of his friends have their work cut out for them with this adventure, but the reward outweighs the risks. If they can find those Tablets, and the lost book of the Traveler, one of them will be granted magical powers that will allow all of them to escape the coming death of their world.
They all know it’s coming, they just don’t know when. Hopefully, they aren’t too late already.
Excerpt from The Dead World
I massaged my shoulder as I looked up with a smirk. He would regret ever pushing Andy around or making fun of her appearance. No one messed with my friends and got away with it.
My smile seemed to catch my opponent off guard. “You really are a freak, aren’t you, Kyle?” he mocked.
I sent a warning glare at Andy who stood at the far edge of the crowd beside Jason and Max. She’d given this jerk my name without realizing it. Names were precious in the CTS. Being nameless made hiding from the adults easier.
I could see the apology in her expression. I could also see her begging me not to fight this kid. That wouldn’t happen. Jason and I had both agreed; nobody picked on her and got away without a beating.
“You like getting pummeled?” the boy continued.
“No. Who would?” I glanced at a girl near the edge of our ring. “Do you like getting pummeled?”
Without hesitation, she shook her head and backed away, allowing two other kids to take her place.
“I’m smiling,” I continued, “thinking about how I’ve fought third years who hit harder than you.” Taunting, just another skill I had to offer when it came to fights. The more teasing remarks I made, the angrier my opponents got, and the worse they fought. This was another thing I had learned from Max, since just being strong like Jason wasn’t working for me. He had it so easy when it came to fights. Max and I actually had to work to win ours.
Laughter erupted around us, with Max cackling louder than anyone. He loved to laugh, and he knew laughing at my opponent would only anger him more, thereby helping me out. The boy’s face reddened as the snickers from our audience continued. “When I’m through with you, you’ll see more stars than are in the sky,” he threatened through gritted teeth.
I released my shoulder and rolled it experimentally. It still seemed to work. “Not much of a threat, since no one’s ever seen a star.”
With a growl, he lunged forward.
The Adventure Continues Soon
You can follow Kyle and all his friends on their adventure across Tehrahey in The Traveler: The Dead World, available on Amazon this June! Until then, if you’re looking for a fun playlist to listen to, check out this one I made to represent who Kyle is.