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PLIGHT OF THE TIVINEL 


plight of the tivinel cover

 

In truth, all things are the same.

Trapped on Earth in 1989 after rescuing his twin from the Blue Mountains wilderness, Pedro falls into the clutches of the evil Barradhim. Under pain of death, he must lead them on a mission to neutralise Peter, all the while trying to solve the riddle of his own existence. But as he soon discovers, knowing the future is no guarantee of making it come to pass, for a third player is seeking to throw all that once was into turmoil.

In the uncertain future of 2071, honeymooning couple Joel and Loraine are walking barefoot through France along the Paths of Saint James, but are stalked by an inquisitive blonde-headed man. In an ancient abbey the trap is sprung, shattering their dreams in an abduction that sends shock waves through both galaxies.

On a mythical river called Styx, a lone ferryman, believed to be the last of his people, hears rumours that descendants of his kin are hiding in scattered enclaves. With the re-emergence of the Barungi on Huntress, he must act quickly before a chance union can plunge the universe into a dark and endless tyranny.

Set five years after Cry of the Bunyips, this story continues the adventure begun with Barefoot Times, Call of the Delphinidae and The Mind of the Dolphins.

 

In Store Price: $32.95 
Online Price:   $31.95

 

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ISBN: 978-1-922229-84-7   Format: Paperback
Number of pages: 416
Genre: Fantasy fiction

Cover: Clive Dalkins

 

 

 

Author - Jeff Pages
Publisher: Zeus Publications
Date Published:  2015
Language: English


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Author Biography

 

Jeff Pages was born in Sydney, Australia, in 1954 and from a very early age was fascinated by science and technology. After finishing high school he attended the University of Sydney from where he ultimately obtained a doctorate in Electrical Engineering. In 1989 his work took him to Tamworth in north-western New South Wales, where he joined the Tamworth Bushwalking and Canoe Club and spent many weekends bushwalking in the nearby parks and forests. In 1995 he moved back to the Sydney region and now lives at Umina Beach on the northern shore of Broken Bay.

He has always enjoyed going barefoot as much as possible and has been a member of the Society for Barefoot Living, an Internet-based discussion group, since 1996.

In 2013 he became a keen geocacher, combining his love of technology and bushwalking in the GPS-based hunt for caches hidden by fellow participants.

His first novel, Barefoot Times, was published in 2004, followed by Call of the Delphinidae in 2006, The Mind of the Dolphins in 2008 and Cry of the Bunyips in 2011. Plight of the Tivinel is now the fifth book in the series.

Further background information can be found on the series’ website at www.barefoottimes.net .

Reprise

 

Pedro stood leaning against the rail, watching Jim disappear as the fog enveloped the boat once more. Charon placed a hand on his shoulder.

“Don’t fret, Pedro, for your friend has found true happiness and peace. That’s not our fate, though, at least not for now, as you have another task to perform. After that, well this is a big cosmos and I’m sure there’s lots of mischief we can make.”

“What must I do?”

“You’re a smart lad, Pedro; I’d have thought you’d have it all figured out by now.”

Pedro grinned as the pieces started falling into place.

    “We must hurry, for dawn is approaching and he’ll soon be waking up.”

The mist darkened as the boat’s damp wooden deck disappeared beneath his feet, replaced a moment later by the touch of dry leaves and sandstone. A creek babbled nearby as the eastern sky began to glow. He looked around, trying to correlate the landscape with the maps and satellite images he’d been studying.

In a hollow amongst a clump of bushes, a young boy stirred. Pedro walked over to him, aware of the rustling leaves and snapping twigs beneath his feet. The boy looked up, his mouth gaping wide.

“Well don’t just sit there gawking,” Pedro said with a grin, waiting for his twin to stand before leading him north through the bush towards the track.

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Part One

Catalyst

 

Outcast

 

Pedro woke in the gloomy half-light of dawn, suddenly aware he wasn’t alone.

“Who the hell are you?” a phlegmy voice called out from the other side of the barn.

A heavily-built man, a farmer if the akubra hat and gum boots were anything to go by, stood just inside the half-open door. Pedro moved to his right, squeezing between an upended tractor engine and a pile of packing cases while hoping the gloomy interior would help conceal him.

“Don’t move, boy; stay where I can see you.”

Yeah, sure, Pedro thought, ducking down and crawling through a narrow gap behind a stack of newspapers. Between him and the door stood a workbench covered in assorted tools and half-finished projects, with a gap between it and the wall just big enough for him to squeeze through if he could avoid bumping anything and making a noise.

“What are you doing, boy?”

The farmer was starting to found flustered; Pedro hoped he didn’t have a gun. If he could just be distracted long enough, there was a chance of escape. Pedro picked up the nearest thing he could spy, an old tin can full of nails, and, as quietly as possible, threw it back behind him. The can hit the floor, disgorging its contents with a satisfying clatter.

“What the –”

As the farmer strode towards the noise, Pedro dashed for the door, but his little toe caught the handle of a rake, knocking it down onto his back and throwing him off balance. The farmer swung around, moving with surprising agility for a man of his size and wrapping his huge palm around Pedro’s wrist just before he could reach the door.

“Stop squirming, you little runt,” the farmer said as Pedro tried to pull himself free. “Now who are you and what were you doing in here?”

“I was sleeping.”

“Sleeping?”

“I got lost in the bush but found this place last night.”

“You’re not that boy everyone’s been looking for, are you?”

“Me? No, that was –”

“You must have been freezing out there in just those shorts you’re wearing. What happened to your shirt and shoes?”

“No, this is all I ever –”

“Come with me and I’ll take you into town. Your parents must be sick with worry.”

“My parents are –”

“Stop your yakking and come along, boy.”

The bright sunshine outside caused Pedro to squint and almost stumble as the farmer led him to a battered old four-wheel-drive. He bundled him into the passenger seat, not letting go of his arm until the seat belt was secured.

“They really should do something about all the school groups going out into the bush up here. Damn fools are always getting lost.”

“I wasn’t with –”

“They should fine the parents and the school, too right, and use the money to pay those poor sods that go out looking for them. Either that or leave them out there to perish.”

Pedro shook his head and groaned.

“I bet you’re starving, aren’t you?”

Until then Pedro hadn’t been aware of any hunger, even though more than twenty-four hours had passed since his arrival in this reality, but the mention of food had awoken the emptiness inside him, causing his stomach to loudly rumble.

“I dare say they’ll give you something to eat, once they’re through whipping your arse off for getting lost. If it were up to me I’d let you starve a few more days, make you think twice about doing it again.”

“I didn’t mean to –”

“A map and compass along with some training on how to use them, that’s what you lot need. That and enough common sense not to go wandering off the track, am I right?”

Pedro sighed, wondering how he’d gotten himself into this mess.

The orchards and hobby farms soon gave way to large suburban blocks adorned with cardboard mansions, spotless four-wheel-drives and rusty Kombis. Grevilleas, wattles and jacarandas sprouted out of garden beds bordered by triangular rocks set in concrete like crazy stone-age dentures. Some even had plantations of palms, a testimony more to the resilience of the trees surviving in the cold mountain climate than to the taste of their owners.

The farmer turned into the main street of town, negotiating the flocks of shoppers wandering aimlessly across the road before pulling up outside the police station.

The interior looked like something out of the 1950s, with small high windows, pale green panelling and a dark-stained wooden counter separating the public area from assorted desks and filing cabinets. Fading posters sticky-taped to the walls reminded visitors to lock their cars and homes, admonished them to not drink and drive, and pointed out the dangers of illicit drugs.

“I’ve found the lost boy you’ve been looking for,” the farmer told the desk sergeant, pulling Pedro forward by the arm.

“Which lost boy would that be?”

“The one that’s been on the news these last few days.”

“Peter Thorpe? He was found yesterday.”

“What? So who’s this then?”

The sergeant stared at Pedro. “Well?”

“Me? I’m Pedro.”

“Who?”

“Look, I think there’s been a bit of a misunderstanding here. I wasn’t lost, not really, just took a bit of a wrong turn and ended up coming out of the bush pretty late, which is how I came to be sleeping in your barn, so no harm done, as they say, and I’ll be off now.”

“Hey, just a minute, we need to –” the sergeant said, but before anyone could stop him, Pedro slipped out the door and dashed down the street.

He’d almost passed the newsagent when a sudden thought crossed his mind. Turning, he ducked inside and, with his back to the counter, picked up a copy of the morning paper and began flicking through it. He found what he was looking for on page five.

~~

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