Two boys are transported from a forbidding cave tunnel, in which lies an alien creature, to the extraordinary world of Merdia where adventures, strange life forms, dangers, and the task of saving that world from destruction, awaits them.


A gripping, fast-moving story, full of surprises, that adults as well as children will thoroughly enjoy. 


In Store Price: $AU22.95 
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ISBN:   978-1-921919-72-5
Format: Paperback
Number of pages: 103
Genre: Fiction

Author: R.J. Desiatnik
Publisher: Zeus Publications
Date Published: 2012
Language: English




The author was born in the United States but has lived most of his life in Australia. He has published several non-fiction books, but this is his first work of fiction. He wrote it for two of his grandchildren, giving them a chapter each week. Their enthusiastic reaction suggested the story should have a wider audience.





Deep in one of the tunnels that led away from the cave the thing lay, quite motionless. It had lain there for centuries without ever moving and thick dust had gathered on its black, hairy body. At times some faint breeze from outside the cave touched it and at other times damp mist, which had drifted into the tunnel when the wind blew rain into the cave during storms, settled on it—but it never moved.

Yet the creature was alive.

It was shapeless, but had the power to take on many shapes. When it first had been placed in the tunnel of the cave, so long ago, it had straight away taken on the shape of a large rock, since other big rocks were all around it. Since then, although at times insects had crawled over it, lizards had scrambled across it and bats had perched on it, it had stayed in that shape, never moving at all.

It did not need to eat, drink or sleep. It had never done so. It could however, hear, see, smell and feel—far better indeed than any human being.

Why was it in the tunnel? Who had put it there? What was planned for it to do? The creature was not troubled by those questions. All it did was what it had always done—wait.

Over the ages from time to time, human beings had come into the cave and some had even ventured into the tunnel where the thing lay. At first they had come dressed in furs walking half stooped, grunting and holding burning sticks to give themselves light. More recently they had come wearing clothing, walking upright, talking and holding torches to light their way. On all these occasions, though always aware of their presence and indeed touched at times by them, the creature had never moved.

Then a day came when it heard from outside the cave, faint sounds of voices. The voices became louder as two boys, one carrying a torch, slowly and carefully walked into the cave. The creature did not know of course what was being said or that the voices belonged to children. However, it could hear their movements inside the cave and was aware that they were getting closer and closer to it.

In fact two boys were looking at the entrances to the various tunnels that led away from the cave. Coming to the entrance of the tunnel in which the creature lay, they hesitated, as the one who held the torch shone its dim light over the uneven hole.

With slow, small steps they entered the blackness of the tunnel and sounds of their voices, as they spoke to each other, excitedly and fearfully, came clearly to the creature as, step by step, the boys came nearer and nearer to it. The boys came alongside it, passed by it and moved away and their voices became less easy to hear. Then their words again became louder as they came back to where the creature lay.

The light of the torch fell on it, outlining its jagged edges and those of other nearby rocks and one boy, accidentally bumped by his companion behind him, put out his hand to avoid falling over. In so doing, just for a moment, he touched the thing.

And the creature moved!


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