Junior- Release Tour
Series: A Wyrdos Tale, #3
Author: Gwendolyn Druyor
Release Date: March 31, 2017
You can die of fright.
Junior canât live without it.
Junior Leo just found out heâs the boogeymanâs bastard and his job is to terrify children.
Trick is, none of us ever really grow up. Weâre all children at heart.
Itâs the rare child that dreams of growing up to be a villain. Junior never did. But can you fight your genetic inheritance? Could he be a hero?
Heâs been hiding from the question for eight years but heâs about to encounter an ancient artifact thatâs going to show everyone the truth about Junior Leo.
Especially, Junior Leo.
Junior is the third standalone in the Wyrdos Tales series. The Tales each feature a different supernatural characterâs involvement in the same apocalyptic event. You get to live it through different eyes each time.
If you like the work of Jim Butcher, T S Paul, and Shayne Silvers, then you will love all the books in The Wyrdos Tales series by Gwendolyn Druyor!
Copyright Â© 2017 by Gwendolyn Druyor
All Rights Reserved
Donât sleep with your closet door open.
When you were a child, you believed there were monsters in the closet. You watched your mom or dad or legal court appointed guardian leave your bedroom. Theyâd snake a hand back in through the doorway and flip off your light. With no consideration for the sliver of light they could leave you through the crack of that door, they shut it with a click. In the darkâno matter how many siblings share your room, in the dark you are always alone. You try breathing quietly, but he can hear the beating of your heart. You stare at the closet, thinking that if you donât blink he canât sneak up on you. But the dark is his ally. He can see your eyes glowing in the dark. And he can move invisibly through your room, under your bed. Heâll paralyze you with fear so that you cannot escape. So shut your eyes tight and pull the covers over your head if it makes you feel better. But it wonât help. If you leave the closet door open, the boogeyman can get you.
âSorry, wrong room.â Junior turned to flee back into the bedroom closet.
He rebounded off a shimmering, intractable wall of air. The force sent him tripping backwards, avoiding the wailing infant that had drawn him into the room.
A few feet beyond the magical circle, under an outdated mobile of the solar system, a dusky boy of about ten sat crosslegged on a rag rug, his hands poised over the shuttle of a ouija board, his jaw hanging open.
The kid squeaked, coughed, and then exclaimed, âHoly crap, it worked! I caught the boogeyman!â
Junior fell against the side of the prison closest to the kid, who flinched. Junior used the magical wall to steady himself with one combat-booted foot on either side of the six-month-oldâs flailing limbs. His pale hands glowed where they touched the magic. The gauze wrapped around each palm lit up. The bandages sizzled though he felt nothing on his burnt fingers. He pressed a hand flat and saw the bones through the bandages and skin as clearly as on an x-ray. Of course, skeletal as he was, he could see them almost that clearly without a magical prison wall for enhancement.
The wall rose from a chain of silverware encircling Junior in his peacoat and the wailing baby in her too-big Ewok onesie. It trapped them in the middle of a larger-than-average bedroom with books, clothes, and action figures strewn literally everywhere. Harley Quinn straddled the deep bowl of a torchiere floor lamp on the far side of a bed covered with a tangle of Star Wars sheets and a Batman comforter. A disturbingly muscular Spiderman dangled by red yarn from an air vent high on one wall. Just outside the circle of silverware, Junior saw Deadpool laying face-down in a pile of dirty socks, threatened by Wonder Woman wielding his own katana.
Junior couldnât smell the socks. He could barely hear the hiss of the standing humidifier half-buried in a Slytherin cloak. The shimmering walls of his prison dulled everything outside. Inside the bright, nose-tickling powder of freshly-washed baby battled his own indefinable homeless musk. He brushed his teeth as often as he could and washed his face, socks, and underwear every few nights. His jeans and t-shirts got cleaned much less frequently.
Pretty much every square inch of the bedroomâs plush carpet was covered except for a swath of space just in front of the closet door and within the circle of Junior and the babyâs prison. The walls fared no better. Pale green paint peeked out from the rare spaces between overlapping posters of superheroes, scientific theories, astrology, and Ohio.
The kid leapt to his feet, whacking his head on Jupiter and sending the planets spinning. He gripped his curly black hair with both hands and then grabbed his Captain America pajama pants before they fell down. âI caught the boogeyman!â
Junior was too hungry and tired for this. He had somewhere to be. He reached up and ran a hand along the impenetrable, shimmering barrier of air stretching from ceiling to floor, searching for weaknesses. He found none.
âLet me go.â
His captor laughed. âHell no.â
The wailing settled to silence as the towheaded baby sucked in a tiny lungful of air. Her mouth opened wide in an astonished O and she seemed to look right into Juniorâs hazel eyes. Then she squeezed her own eyes, opened her mouth and renewed screaming. Junior crouched to comfort her. It was why heâd come through the door in the first place. âThere, there. Itâs okay. Youâre okay.â
The kid chanted, âI did it! I caught the boogeyman. I caught the boogeyman.â He kicked the ouija board aside and danced around the room, scattering toys. When he passed the full-length mirror on his bedroom door, he spun around to announce to himself, âI, Ethan Durnell, caught the boogeyman.â
Junior stood, bouncing the baby girl in his arms, careful at first of her weight on his ruined hands. âNo. You didnât.â
Ethan turned, his brown eyes glowing. He held his arms out to the sides, inviting his guest to come at him. âReally? You can get out of there?â
Junior considered kicking the silverware but he was pretty sure he wouldnât be able to break the spell. He sighed and crooned at the crying baby. âPlease let me go. Iâve got somewhere to be and Iâm not the boogeyman.â
The kid smirked, âYeah right. You came out of my closet, but youâre not the boogeyman?â
âYou have to grant me three wishes now.â
Junior raised an eyebrow at the kid. âThatâs a djinni.â
âIsnât the boogeyman a genie?â
âNo, heâs an asââ Junior censored himself. The kid was a jerk but he was still a kid. âThe boogeyman is a type of goblin.â
âEwwww,â Ethan plopped down on the edge of his bed. âYouâre a goblin?â
Junior cooed at the baby. âIs this your sister?â
Junior noted the bile in Ethanâs tone. âWhatâs her name?â
âDawn.â He spit the word. âSheâs the dawn of their new life together.â
At that, Junior looked up. He stopped bouncing. âReally?â
Dawnâs cries increased.
âOkay.â Junior rocked the unfortunately named baby as he paced around the small circle. This wasnât an easy life. Jane said he should think of it as a calling. And Jane was a god; he should trust her advice. But it wasnât a calling. He could travel from closet to closet and paralyze people with fear. That didnât sound like a calling. Or a life. It sounded like the genetic lottery had handed him a sack of lemons.
âYouâre not so ugly, for being a goblin. Arenât goblins hideous?â Ethan lay on the bed, examining Junior.
Junior let his pacing take him back around to face the kid before he responded. Ethan could see him. Most people were so racked with fear every moment of their lives, they couldnât see Junior at all. But Ethan, in the dark of the middle of the night, could see him. What ten-year-old was so fearless? He looked at the boy. âA) Thanks. B) Iâm half-goblin. Iâm not the boogeyman, kid. Iâm the boogeymanâs kid.â
âSooooo, wouldnât that make you a boogeyman, then?â
âPeople donât talk about a boogeyman. They talk about the boogeyman. Thatâs my dad.â
âBut you just came out of my closet.â
âSure. I can also roll my tongue because my mother could. Whatâs that got to do with who I am?â
The ten-year-old scrunched his face like he was talking to an idiot. âEverything.â
âNo!â Junior stomped one booted foot. âI donât want to be the boogeyman.â
Dawn had almost calmed. He shouldnât have scared her. He looked down at her wide-open eyes staring at nothing. She was so scared she couldnât see him. He sighed.
âPlease let me go, Ethan.â
âNo. I called you and caught you fair and square.â
âWhat do you want, kid? Why did you call me here? You really thought the boogeyman could grant wishes?â
Ethan shrugged. âWhatever.â He bounced over to a book on the floor by the door and dropped down to flip through the pages. âThe instructions were for summoning a demon but that seemed, like, really stupid to me.â
âYeah.â Junior shivered. âYeah, that would be stupid. You donât want a demon in your bedroom.â
Ethan spun around. âYouâve seen a demon?â
âNo. It wasnât cool at all. It was terrifying.â
âYouâre an adult. Adults donât get scared.â
Junior snorted. Dawn giggled. âYou have a lot to learn kid.â
âSo tell me. Nobody ever tells kids anything. Itâs like weâre invisible until we do something wrong.â
âLike use your baby sister as bait to catch a demon.â
âYouâre not a demon.â The kid kicked at the ouija board.
âNo, but I am a monster. You want to know things? Listen.â
âI do. Iâm always listening to the blah, blah, blahââ
âNow, Ethan! I mean shut up and listen now. You want to know about feeling invisible?â Junior let the words tumble out. âI have been invisible for eight years. Eight years ago when you were still as cute as Dawn, I discovered that I could travel through time and space using bedroom closets. I traveled back in time and did something stupid. Now I canât get back to my life. Iâm stuck in this world, this . . .â He struggled to find the word.
âAlternate timeline.â Ethan scrambled over to his pale blue bookshelf and dug through the pile of books on the floor around it. He waved A Wrinkle in Time in the air, hitting the solar system mobile again.
âNever read it.â
The kid gave Junior a pitying look.
âIâm stuck in this alternate timeline where Iâm older than my mother who has no son.â
Dawn gurgled around the two fingers sheâd stuck in her mouth. Junior looked down. Her pale blue eyes were still wide but he couldnât tell if she could see him or not. She stared at the wobbling planets. He cooed at her to calm himself. Ethan waited.
âIâm invisible to anyone whoâs afraid, which is, sorry to tell you kid, everyone. I can make people see me but that paralyzes them. I can travel anywhere in the world through closets, but only through bedroom closets for some reason.â
âAnd you can time travel.â Ethan tossed a Dr. Who action figure in the air. âJust go back if you want to.â
âI donât know how I did it. I donât know how I do any of it. I donât want to scare people.â He mumbled down at Dawn, âI donât want to be the boogeyman.â
âSorry, dude. Sometimes youâre given a sister and you just have to deal with it. Thatâs the way it is.â
Junior looked up from the baby. He raised his eyebrows at Ethan. âA) You donât strike me as one of those kids who just repeats what others say.â
Ethan hung his head at that. He pretended to pick at a smudge on his pajama pants.
âB) I am a monster who tortures kids. I accept that. Fine. Maybe kids like you deserve to be tortured. But I met a demon today who tortured a grown woman who definitely didnât deserve to die. I am the only one who can get to her grandson, a kid named Louis. Thatâs where I was going when you trapped me here. Do you know what itâs like to lose someone you love?â
Ethan sat, leaning against the shelves crammed with books. He shrugged.
Junior turned away to face the open closet on the far side of the silver ring. He sucked in deep, slow breaths. He didnât have a lot of time. If he wanted to help Louis, he had to get there now. One of Ethanâs many posters featured a listing of age appropriate books with checkmarks drawn in beside most of them. His doorway was blocked with a Bartlettâs, a dictionary, and the Bevington edition of the Complete Works of Shakespeare. Ethan himself was surrounded by books on the shelves and on the floor around him.
He faced the kid. âYou like a good story?â
Junior ran a hand through his unruly mop of dirty blond curls. âHow about I tell you a story. If you like it, you let me go.â
âItâs gotta be a good story.â
Junior grinned down at Dawn then raised his eyes to Ethanâs. âDuh.â
The kid rolled over to his bed. He settled into the corner created by his bed and the bookshelf and hugged his knees to his chest. âGo.â
Junior shook his head. âDo we have a deal?â
âYouâll let me go?â
âYeah. I already said I would. Iâm not my dad either. I donât say things if I donât mean them. Iâm not gonna tell you Iâll let you go and then poof, ha ha, sorry, I have to work and youâre stuck here with Dawn andââ
âEthan.â Junior waited while the kid wound down again. âYou called me here and trapped me. I may not be a demon or the real boogeyman, but still, you have to know a little something about magic to have gotten this far. Yes?â
âSo you have to promise to let me go, three times.â
âOh. Then itâs binding and I canât welsh.â
âFine. Iâll let you go. Iâll let you go. Iâll let you go.â He said. âAfter your story.â
Junior nodded. âWhere are we?â
Ethan glanced up at a map on the wall like Junior should have already seen it and known. âOhio.â
âWell this story takes place in Illinois. In Chicago. Itâs the story of how meeting a few real monsters made me realize Iâm not so bad.â Junior frowned down at Dawnâs infectious grin as he thought about where to begin. A lot had happened in the past twelve hours.
Gwendolyn Druyor was born at the Quonset Point Naval Air Station Hospital, North Kingston, RI. The ID bracelet wrapped three times around her little wrist. She could swim before she could walk and read before she started school. Thanks to her pilot father, Gwendolyn got to grow up in Maine, Ohio, and Illinois. After completing 3 performance-based degree programs in 4 years at Illinois State University (with a minor in English), she started her illustrious acting career as a saloon girl dancing the cancan in upstate New York.Gwendolyn has traveled the world telling stories. She spent a year in Amsterdam writing and performing sketch comedy at Boom Chicago with Seth Meyers (Late Night with Seth Meyers), Allison Silverman (Colbert Report), and Greg Scott Shapiro(voice of the Dutch Trump!).
Sheâs toured North America with Shenandoah Shakespeare (11 people in 3 vehicles performing 78 roles) and with the incredible improv/educational show Sex Signals in an effort to make sex better for all.
Since kinda sorta settling down, Gwendolyn has written for and performed with various sketch groups in the states, including The Future Dead, Improv International, and G2 Productions. For now she lives in Hollywood with her Irish Jack Russell, Josh Lyman Zyrga, who is still pissed she didnât put him on the cover of Laylea.
For more information on Gwendolyn and her projects sign up for her newsletter at www.GwendolynDruyor.com
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