This book was written for children, however it has found much acclaim amongst adults across the world. It was originally serialized on the podcast show KidsCastSciFi. It follows the adventures of two boys who accidentally discover some form of gateway, that takes them to other worlds or parallel universes. This was the book that started a series (The Tower Bridge being the next in line). Enjoy.
Tom and Barry were playing around the old wrecked buildings, the ones that Tom's grandpa said had been reduced to rubble during the second world war. There just hadn't been the money to rebuild on the land, but Tom and Barry didn't mind that, it made a great play place for them. They played hid and seek, soldiers, demolition men and many more games here. Today was just like any other day, Tom and Barry were deeply involved in a game, this time it was a rescue. Tom had disappeared into what had once been a cellar, Barry had seen him enter it, so he knew where his target was. He heard the call on his walkie talkie, the call for "International Rescue"
Tom said he was trapped in a deep cave and needed urgent medical treatment.
Barry radioed back that the rescue team were on their way. He headed off to the entrance that he'd seen Tom go through.
The room was quite small but dark, there was just enough light to make out the corners of the room, but there was no sign of Tom. Barry thought that Tom was really good at hiding, he reached into his jeans back pocket and pulled out his rather battered torch. It flickered as he turned it on and quickly died, it had never been the same since he dropped it when last playing hide and seek. Barry smacked the torch on the bottom and the light came on quite bright this time. He shined it everywhere, but Tom was nowhere to be seen.
Barry reached for his walkie talkie and pressed the transmit key, he asked Tom to let him know where he was. All that came back was silence and when he turned the squelch nob down, there was just a loud "Shhhhh" noise. Barry called again, with the same result.
Barry thought that maybe he'd been wrong and Tom hadn't come in this room after all, also the reception could be bad. As he headed towards the entrance, he thought he heard Toms voice, it was quite faint, but unmistakeably Tom's voice, it was coming from the walkie talkie.
Barry raised the walkie talkie to his ear and sure enough through the shhhhh noise, he could hear Tom describing some place that sounded nothing like the area round the wrecked buildings.
Tom said that there was a wooden stockade ahead of him, there appeared to be smoke coming from within it.
Barry wondered if Tom had hit his head on something and had become quite delirious.
No matter how much Barry tried to radio Tom back, he was either ignoring the calls or could not hear Barry.
Suddenly Barry tripped on some rubble on the floor, he found himself falling forward. Expecting to land on the hard rubble, instead he found himself in some tall grass. There was a strong smell of smoke and what sounded like crickets.
Barry picked himself up being somewhat taller than Tom, he could see over the tall grass. He could see what looked like a wooden stockade in the distance. He could also make out the outline of someone walking towards it. Then he heard Tom's voice coming clearly over the walkie talkie. He was saying that he had heard some rustling in the grass behind him. Then Tom said that he could see someone standing in the grass. Barry raised the walkie talkie and said, "Its me you Berk!"
Tom asked how Barry got there.
Barry suggested that it was probably the same way that Tom.....he added that he wondered where there actually was. Barry walked towards Tom and soon the two boys were side by side, looking at the wooden stockade.
Tom said that there must be sort of of entrance, but there was no sign of one.
Barry suggested that they move to the other side of the stockade, but use the shrubs and tall grass as cover. They are soon looking at the large impressive entrance, with towers and flags flying from them.
Sudden;y there is a lot of noise as something disturbs the shrubs and grass clumps to the right of the boys. There is the sound of a horn and the ground trembles.
Both boys hiding in the shrubs are astounded as something resembling a giant caterpillar covered in some sort of armoured covering that flapped up and down as the creature moved at incredible speed towards the stockade.
As the boys looked closer they could see that there appeared to be individuals perched on top of this giant caterpillar . They seemed to be spaced at regular intervals. They were carrying some form of weapon, it looked like a medieval lance, like those carried by knights of old.