There's a special kind of garbage dump in the woods
near Peter's school. He and his friend Dante have spent many hours sifting
through the broken but interesting stuff. What's even more interesting
is that the contents of the dump seem to change. Different things appear
and disappear without any clue as to how and why it happens.
though, Peter and Dante have drifted apart. They used to be inseparable,
but now it seems as though Dante is more interested in having a good time
with newer friends, and has even taken up some unsavory habits Peter
disapproves of, the same things both of them swore they would never do.
And Dante's incessant interest in and vocal observations about the
opposite sex are getting tiresome.
afternoon finds Peter alone at the dump, rooting through a newly
appeared pile of refuse. Underneath a large metal panel, he comes across
a black duffle bag. Inside the bag he finds several dozen bricks, made
of what looks to be plastic and laced with golden circuitry. He also
finds something that appears to be a gun, even though it's unlike any gun
he's ever seen. It's oddly shaped, with a rounded mass where the barrel
would normally be and a grip that looks as though it was made for six
It's not long before Peter figures
out it's not just a gun, it's an instrument so advanced that what it can
do boggles the mind. It got thrown away by accident and now people --
people not from our Earth -- are looking for it.
Peter finds himself in a dangerous game of cat and mouse, caught in the
middle as different groups tracking the mysterious gun begin to close
in. But who are the good guys and who are the bad? And just how
dangerous is the gun?
With the help of Dante and
his next door neighbor and classmate Christy, Peter tries to figure out who is who, how
to keep the gun hidden, and how to keep himself and his friends --
and the very world -- safe.
Van Pelt is a high
school teacher, and his familiarity with teenagers and the teenage
condition shines through in this story. There's something for everyone
here, from the teen who will recognize aspects of him or herself in the
characters, to the adult who will experience a wistful nostalgia for
younger -- but not necessarily -- simpler times.