Jacob Black is spending the summer in England. But when the creepy Barnabas Barnaby comes, Jacob may wish he never stepped a foot out of California.
As he lay on his bed, lap top in front of him, closed, he tried thinking what he could do. Read? No, he already finished all seven books he brought for the summer. Sketch? Impossible, he was out of pencils. Go outside? Ha! Not with his annoying cousins, Mary and Jenny out there. Those bratty toddlers were a pain in the-
Wait. He sat up quickly, flicking his lap top open. He moved the cursor to an icon on the screen and double clicked. A bright white screen came up. Jacob smiled, and started typing furiously.
When he finished, he quickly skimmed over what he had done, satisfied. Another peal of thunder shook the cottage, followed by a bolt of lightning, closer than it had been when the storm started twenty minutes ago. He could her his mother and father arguing below his bed, and his older sister's music blaring from under the old wardrobe. (Was it Boys Like Girls? All American Rejects? Whatever it was, it was catchy.)
He turned his attention back to his handi-work on his computer. He had done it! He had created a game that took the main character to far flung places, a game that could turn out 1,000 ways exactly.
Suddenly a knock came at the door on the first floor. All Jacob could think was how sad that the walls and floors were that thin for the knock to be heard plainly in the attic.
But his sister's music still played.
His parents still argued.
And his cousins had got back to his uncle's cottage when the storm started.
So, without closing his computer, he headed downstairs.
The steep stairs were murder. You had to go down them to get to the TV, kitchen, small living room, and only bathroom. So it was always best that you go down backwards, like a ladder. But when Jacob finally got to the door, he got the fright of his life.
A wolf had sprung at him.
"Heel!" yelled a deep, mysterious voice still out of view. "Nero, heel! Bad boy!" When the "wolf" got of Jacob's chest and stomach, he noticed it was just a big, wolf-like dog. Then he got a glimpse of the master.
Tall, pale, and obviously aware that he had huge muscles due to his tight shirt, the man old in the face, yet his muscles made him seem so young. He wore a tight white shirt and black pants under a long, open black cloak.
Wow, Jacob thought, this dude is weird.
"Sorry, just checking if anyone here is interested in buying antiques." He said, still deep and mysterious.
"We don't want salesmen." The door started closing.
"No, you don't understand." He started. "I'm promoting my new store. I just bought a building in town and converted it into a antique store. Here, have a card."
"He whipped out a cream colored business card. It said:
ANTIQUES, COLLECTIBLES, and CURIOSITIES
We sell CHEAP!
"Hmm." Was Jacob's only response.
"Well, here, come to the shop with me, and I'll let you look around."
Another roar of thunder made Jacob remember that he was standing in the rain with the door open.
"I'm already wet, so why not?"
A wicked smiled crawled onto Barnabas Barnaby's face.