Mark's solo camping trip to the desert begins as any other camping trip, until a mysterious beam of light appears. The trip turns into a terrifying and thrilling adventure when the light beam transports Mark into another time, and what appears to be another planet! Although he is searching for his way back to earth, in the meantime he is forced to make a life in this unknown world. He meets primitive tribes and shares the joy of human bonds, but this end of isolation in the new world also brings war and a struggle for power.
There are no customer reviews available at this time. Would you like to write a review?
October 11, 1999
Number of Print Pages*
Adobe DRM EPUB
* Number of eBook pages may differ. Click here for more information.
Excerpt from The Transall Saga by Gary Paulsen
he desert was unusually quiet. A gentle breeze tumbled over the sparse vegetation along the wide canyon floor and then continued on its way to the north.
Thirteen-year-old Mark Harrison sat on a white slab of shale studying a small army of ants that was carrying off the crumbs that had dropped from a granola bar he'd just eaten.
A roadrunner, unaware of his presence, trotted to the base of the rock and stopped near a crimson cactus flower. Mark shifted position and it scurried away in the opposite direction.
He yawned even though it wasn't late. The sun hadn't completely faded behind the blue-gray mountains to the west. Still, he had put in a long day. He'd walked farther that day than on any of the previous three days and he was ready to turn in.
His parents had given him just one short week to backpack across the old Magruder Missile Range. And if he didn't meet them at the appointed spot on the other side by Saturday afternoon his mom had threatened to call out the National Guard.
Hiking and backpacking were Mark's one obsession. He saved every dime of his paper-route money to buy equipment and now he had some of the best. In his spare time he studied survival books and magazines to stay up on the latest techniques. But so far he had been allowed to hike only short, easy trails and had actually camped out only twice in his life. This time he'd hit the jackpot, though.
Mark stretched, ran his hand through his short brown hair and grabbed his bedroll and pack. He'd decided to make camp in the canyon. The quiet here was a little unnerving for a city boy, but there was a trickle of water, and a dead tree that protruded from the south wall would provide plenty of firewood.
When the small blaze was crackling and his bed was made, Mark stretched out on the soft down sleeping bag and stared up at the stars. This was the life he wanted for himself. Someday he'd fix it so that he was always camping under the wide-open skies.
He yawned again and was just about to settle in for the night when a flaming ball of fire shot over the edge of the canyon wall.
The fiery thing was the size of a grapefruit and glowed bright orange around its blue edges. It danced and sputtered when it touched the ground. Then it fizzled away to nothing.
Mark snapped on his flashlight and found his camera. He scrambled to the top of the dirt wall and peeked over. To his right, behind a huge rectangular boulder, was a bright, iridescent beam of bluish white light that seemed to be projected at the ground from somewhere in the sky.
For a full minute he stood transfixed, watching the strange tube of light. It had two sections, each supercharged with electricity. The sides pushed mightily against each other, but both were equal in power, so nothing moved except for an occasional shooting spark caused by the tremendous friction.
He shook his head. This was worth looking into. Maybe it was some sort of experiment the air force had once conducted out here and then forgotten about, or maybe . . . He swallowed. Maybe it was something not from this planet at all.
Mark inched closer, snapping pictures as he went. When he reached the boulder he used his flashlight to search for a way up and began climbing.
The top of the big rock was flat. He pulled himself up and sat, staring again. The inside of the tube contained myriad surging colors: reds, blues and yellows. It was like watching a spectacular laser light show being performed just for him.
Slowly he put out his hand to see if the light generated heat. Too late, he heard the rattle--and felt the snake strike.
He jerked his hand back and leaped to his feet. The sudden movement threw him off balance and he fell, off the boulder and into the light.