“Chasing Prophecy” is the story of Mo, a teen boy just trying to survive high school in the mountain town of Boulder Creek, Washington. Boulder Creek is an isolated and mysterious place, proud of its reputation as the “Bigfoot Sighting Capital of the World”. Mo falls in love with a girl named Prophecy who lives with a group that some call a commune and others call a cult. When she disappears, Mo must find the courage to face the monster that her family has become. “Chasing Prophecy” is a heartwarming contemporary coming of age story. This book chronicles the adolescence of one boy who must transform himself to save the girl of his dreams.
of chapter 3--Confrontation between main characters and their rivals on a
bridge high over the Boulder River.
said, “Why are you even talking, Maureen, I mean Maurice? Go sit in your
highchair and let the grownups work this out, OK, little guy?”
with my new growth spurt, he never missed a chance to let me know I lived every
second of my life ten seconds from a surfing lesson.
said coldly, “Don’t you clowns talk to him that way.”
said, “—or we will kick your cracker asses.”
looked up at her and realized I’d been looking up to her my whole life.
She was calm and still when she was standing up for herself. She didn’t
have to stand on her tiptoes or raise her voice. When I tried to stand up
for myself, I knew people saw the question marks in my eyes.
eyes were full of answers, and I loved her. Deep inside me I felt
something break, heal, and get stronger all at once.
watched another carful of mourners pass us by. “Your little cult funeral
all done?” he said.
said, “Why do you say ‘Cult’? Do you see a fence keeping anyone in or
out? Do you see us trying to blow anything up? There’s not a weapon
on our whole ranch. You crackers have more guns than I’ve seen in my
pulled out my pocketknife, found a smooth spot in the pine railing, and pushed
the blade into the sun-bleached log. I worked the blade up and down, back
and forth, deeper and deeper.
said, “So let me get this straight. One of us jumps, and you don’t say
‘cult’ for two years? You don’t say a word to any of us all the way til
pushed the tip of the blade across the wood. I made a rectangle and
rounded off the corners.
pulled off my Seattle Mariners baseball cap and dropped in my keys and
phone. I found a safe corner to stash my stuff near a gigantic steel
bracket joining two logs. I walked to the other side of the bridge,
across from the others.
said, “We’re waiting, Kazzy, I mean Prophecy.”
Richard!” I said.
looked at me. They all looked at me.
I yelled, tossing him my knife. I said, “It’s August twentieth. If
you can’t spell ‘August,’ just write eight-dash-twenty.”
all stared at me. I held up three fingers. “Redneck Honor,” I
said. I pulled off my shirt, dropped it to the ground, and ran right at
Richard and Boo. They stepped back. Their eyes were full of
the first time in my life, my eyes were full of answers.
never . . .” Richard started to say.
DON’T!” Kazzy yelled.
screamed, “Oh, YEAH!!!”
left foot landed on the orange Bigfoot “X”.
right foot landed on the low rail. I pushed off.
closed my eyes. I opened my eyes. I saw sky and mist kicked up by
white water crashing into rocks.
closed my eyes. I opened my eyes. I looked down. I was either
going to just clear the boulder closest to the bridge or I was getting an
ambulance ride, or I was about to die.
bottoms of my feet smacked the water hard, then all of me was underneath, then
my feet hit the bottom. Knees and elbows on rock. I looked up
through ten feet of clear, freezing water. Through the bumpy surface I
could see the shapes of my friends, the colors of their clothes. I pushed
off the bottom and shot through the surface.
Dizzy. Alive. Icy water—snow the day before—stretched my skin
squinted up at the bridge, saw Max and Kazzy jumping up and down, arms over
their heads, screaming. I pulled myself up to the flat top of a giant
rock. I stood and raised my arms to the sky, the mist throwing little
rainbows all around me. I held up the three-fingered redneck honor
salute. My friends threw back their heads and laughed. They turned
to Richard and Boo, showed them three fingers. The bullies walked slowly
to their car. I stood on a rock but felt myself floating.
thought, So this is what it means to fly.
5-ish: The first major disaster / forced commitment motivating
characters--when Mo & friend are tricked into smuggling drugs.
leaned over and whispered, “They don’t have any gear.”
looked at their packs. He was right. No rolled-up tents, sleeping
bags or cookware dangled from any of the straps or hooks. Just bulging
backpacks. Their empty sports-drink bottles were the only clue that
they’d known they were about to hike straight up a mountain.
remember thinking how weird it was that they carried so much weight uphill and
none of that weight was soap, clean clothes, or sleeping bags.
peeked inside one of their packs. He undid the top pull-cord and pulled
out a giant freezer-bag of red crystals. I undid the top drawstring of
one of the other backpacks. More bags of the same stuff. I held one
up. A bright flash startled us, made us step back. After blinking
away the spots, I saw Clean with one arm extended, centering us in another picture
he was taking on his phone.
this?” I asked, holding up a bag of what looked like raspberry Sno-Kone.
Max said softly.
is not ‘drugs,’” said Clean. “It is the salvation of our family. It
is the sword we will use to fight off Big Brother, to beat him back from our
land, to cut off his hand as it reaches for what is ours. Now put those
bags of salvation back, please. I’m sending word of our salvation to my
father.” He held the Blackberry closer to his face and I knew he was
forwarding the picture to Able back at the ranch.
buckets of reality crashed down on me head. Huge bags of drugs brought in
from Canada. Hiked over the border in the dense woodsy areas where the
Mount Baker National Forest drops to the Canadian Border.
guys are criminals, I thought.
waved at our tents, sleeping bags, and the rest of the food. He said,
“You guys should just chill for a day, catch your breath, eat, drink, and
sleep. No fires. We’re way off the trail and we’re nowhere near the
spot where people hang-glide, base-jump or wall-climb. I put all the
dehydrated food pouches in the blue backpack—soups and chili and fruit. A
whole bottle of water purifying tablets. It’s not tons but it’ll keep you
fueled til you’re back home. Thanks to you, the hard work is done.”
bruh,” said the leader of the other team. The three of them were leaning
into the rock and leaning into each other. They must have done that on
the way up, at night, to stay warm.
motioned us to the other end of the rock. He said, “We leave in half an
hour. Drink all the water you can, then fill up one small water bottle
each. Remember to add an iodine tablet. No one can get sick on the
way down. And,” he said, pausing to reach into his pack. “We wear
these on the way down.” He pulled out green and tan camouflage floppy
hats and t-shirts that matched the backpacks our visitors had carried.
about . . .” I started to say.
took a deep breath, dropped his chin and stared at the ground. He
understood before I did that the Vision-Quest was over. We’d come to
exactly this spot because this was the mission Able and Clean had planned for
us all along.
said, “We’re carrying it back down to the trailhead. We’re taking no
food. We ate less than 24 hours ago and will be able to eat again before
we go to sleep, after we get home. We have water. It’s downhill for
us so we should make the car before dark. I have a small thing of
sunscreen. Other than that, all we need is some guts.”
face was angry. I was just plain numb. There was nothing else to
an hour later, Clean hugged his three companions goodbye. We stayed on
the southern end of the ledge, teetering under the heavy packs, just nodding
politely to the other crew. We started down and did not talk. The
backpacks carried the same weight but since I’m smaller than Clean and Max, I
struggled more. I panted and stumbled a few times. We reached the
tree-line in a couple hours.
and I kept trading WTF looks.
thought, What is Kazzy doing right now? Does she have backpack of
drugs, too? Did she know about this? Of course she didn’t
know. The day before she looked so lost and confused. As lost and
confused as anyone in the dining hall. If she had drugs on her back, she
was as surprised as we were.
I wanted to hold her and I wanted her to hold me back. I’ve never wanted
to hold someone so much. I thought of the squeeze she’d given me as she
left the school bus.
school bus. Right. They’d chosen a special ed. school bus to bring
us in and out because it would hide in plain sight. No cop would pull us
over for a small reason.
suddenly said, “Shit.” He kicked a tree, nearly fell from being
off-balance under the heavy pack, steadied himself, unstrapped, and dropped his
pack on the ground. He looked at me, then at Clean. “This is
illegal. It’s not what you said we’d be doing.”
moved quickly toward Max. I dropped my pack to the ground and took a long
step toward them--to break up the fight before it got started. Clean’s
eyes darted to mine. He put his finger to his lips.
put up his fists but Clean was already past him.
took two long steps down the path, to the bend in the next switchback. He
looked back at us—eyes on fire. He pointed sharply at us and then up into
pulled on our packs and labored up the rocky hillside, grabbing at pine trees
and brush. Glancing to our right, I saw Clean doing the same. We
reached a spot thirty feet off the trail, level and dense with ferns.
From the trail we heard a rustling and the unmistakable clip-clopping of
horseshoes. We dropped down in the ferns, shimmied out of our backpacks
and kneeled down in the dense mossy soil.
forest ranger on horseback came into view. As he brought the horse to a
stop, it sniffed at the air, looked our way and froze. I knew it had
smelled us. We turned to Clean. He put one finger to his lips and
stared daggers at us.
ranger wore an olive green, short-sleeved shirt and cargo shorts. He had
a walkie talkie clipped to his belt and a satellite phone in his hand.
The saddle held a canteen, knapsack, and a long leather sleeve with a shotgun
handle sticking out. As he turned around, I saw a handgun holstered at
his side. The guy looked straight ahead, spoke into his satellite phone,
dismounted, whispered softly to the horse, and stroked its mane.
looked back at Clean and what I saw told me that the Bethlehem family had
changed forever. The fingers of one hand were spread toward us,
commanding we remain still and silent. His other hand held a gun.
The lines on his face were calm. He was not afraid.
ranger turned his back to us, lowered his hands, undid his belt buckle, moved
his legs apart, looked to the sky, began to whistle. Clean gently clicked
off the safety. The horse heard it, darting its eyes in our direction,
snuffled, pawed at the ground restlessly. The man turned back to the
horse, whispered, went back to whistling.
the ranger and horse were safely out of earshot, we stepped over to
said, “What are you doing with a GUN???”
added, “Yeah, and what were you gonna do if he saw us?”
looked calmly at me, snapped the safety back on, and returned the gun to the
waist-band against his lower back. He clicked on his walkie talkie,
adjusted the volume and channel, and said, “Redemption Team One to Redemption
Team Two. Redemption Team One to Redemption Team Two. Anyone out
there chillin’? Over.”
long pause, and then the crackling response, “Chillin’ like Bob Dylan.
Thought you guys were gone. Over.”
said, “We just ran into Steve’s Big Brother. You remember Rick,
longer, crackling pause.
that. Long time since we’ve seen Rick. He by himself? Over”
the longest, crackling pause yet.
long til Rick arrives for dinner? Over.”
probably not coming to your house, but if he does go that way, it’ll be at
least an hour. No more than two. Over.”
that. If you seen him again, tell him sorry we missed him and we’ll catch
him next time. We’re running late and we’ll be gone in ten minutes.
like a plan. Sorry about the fast turnaround. I know you guys are
tired from the trip. From the long drive all the way from California, I
that. Catch you guys next time. Over and out.”
that. Over and out.”
switched off his walkie talkie and clipped it onto his belt.
at me,” he said. “Everyone take a drink of water and pee if you have
to. We are not stopping for a few hours, until we get to the parking
lot. I will walk on point. That means I’ll be by myself about fifty
feet ahead. There will be NO talking, so I can hear what’s ahead.
You watch where you’re walking and you watch me. I put my hand up, that
means stop. I point, and that means you have five seconds to go wherever
run into someone and can’t hide in time, you just do exactly what I
do. We’ll say hello all friendly-like, but you keep your heads down
and you do not slow down no matter what. I will go first. I’ll
pause, I’ll make some small talk for ten seconds while you pass me, and then
I’ll bring up the rear after the two of you are down the trail a bit. I
will catch up on my own so don’t look back. We don’t look back and we
don’t stop no matter what.”
When he's not dazzling Goodreads members with his wit and charm, the author is typically reading, writing, or watching way too much TV while snacking on chocolate treats from Trader Joe's (and who can blame him--those things are GOOD, yo!). The author wanted to write about teenagers transforming themselves to survive. The result is "Chasing Prophecy," a story about love, loss, redemption, and monsters. Boo Radley is the author's all-time favorite book character, which is how the Seattle-area legend of Bigfoot entered this story. Moser holds a B.A. in bookish matters and a Master's in the same. He lives in Seattle with his wife and eight year old son. Author links: https://www.facebook.com/1chasingprophecy https://twitter.com/moser_james https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/7735290.James_Moser