Title: Geared to the Present
Author: Dana Bennett
Release Date: February 27, 2014
Geared to the Present is the story of Jones Whitman who, after making unsavory lifestyle choices in Boston society, learns his father, James, has arranged for him to school under the tutelage of Master Wong Fei-hung in Foshan, China. Jones Whitman submits to the teaching, evolving into a strong and ethical young man. Fei-hung, master of Hung Gar gives each student a new name upon graduation. Jones’s new name is 時光旅行者, Time Traveler. Jones spends the next seven years working diligently on a design for a time machine. The Atomotron. When the first human trial is to take place, he inadvertently trips the lever and jumps forward 120 years to Snohomish, Washington, 2012. That’s where the real adventure begins.
Dana Bennett lived in north central Florida for the first chapter of his life. After high school, he spent the next chapter working with problem teens and their families in Pensacola, Florida and then spent time on the Colorado River Indian Reservation, in Parker, Arizona helping the Native American population. He graduated from Nova Southeastern with a degree in psychology later in life. He has had many eclectic professional experiences in the work arena, always returning to the creativity he finds in building and construction as well as crafting new stories.
He has three wonderful daughters and two adorable grandsons. He is married to his best friend and partner in life, love, and business. They have a strong supportive community of friends and neighbors who encourage them daily to keep writing.
He enjoys each day with Blakely as they work on their never finished project, life. Writing is his bliss and both he and Blakely are chasing the dream of writing full time.
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Jones blushed upon realizing the short length of Darcy’s skirt. He had never seen a woman dressed in that manner. He brought his attention back to her freckled face and brown eyes, at once feeling rather mesmerized and confused. Ever the gentleman, he struggled not to stare at her bare legs.
“You’re not hard on the eyes at all. If you clean up your act—”
“I beg your pardon? What does that mean?”
“Take off those goggles, you look kinda weird with ‘em on.”
“This seems incredibly contentious for a first time meeting,” Jones said, removing his goggles.
“That’s the kind of girl I am. What’s your name?” She took a tentative step forward and found the green in his hazel eyes captivating.
“Jones Whitman. And yours?”
“I’m Darcy Champagne.” She squinted in the sunlight and dropped her arms to the sides. “Are you from England?”
“No I am not. Please, may I have a few moments to explain the situation in which I find myself?”
“Sure, but this better be good, ‘cause I’m running outta steam for this get together.”
“Yes, as I have as well with the Atomotron.” Jones pointed to the machine. “Well, how shall I begin?” He laid his goggles and dustcoat on the picnic table and took a deep breath contemplating a way to move events forward. “What do you know of time travel?”
“H.G.? I’ve read a few books. I’m in a steampunk sort of mood these days. I even have a corset to wear for this year’s Steamcon.”
“What?” Jones asked. “So, wait, where am I? And what date would it be today?”
“Okaaaay. Now that’s a really odd question.”
Darcy began to back up, crossing her arms in front of her once again.
“It will not seem strange in a few moments, I assure you.”
“You’re in Snohomish, Washington and it’s Sunday, June 2012, and I don’t off hand remember the exact date.”
“This is incredible. I am stunned.” Jones glanced at the toggles on the time machine. “I left Boston, Massachusetts on Monday, 7 September 1891, at precisely 9:30 am.”
“Yeah, right,” she said with a nervous grin. “I’m starting to think you need some help.”
She pulled out her cell phone and looked at it.
“I know how this must sound but please bear with me. I am Jones Whitman, nephew of Walt Whitman—”
“Oh right. Sure you’re the nephew of Walt Whitman and I’m the niece of… of Joan of Arc.”
“You are making light of me, I can tell. So how can I prove to you that I am who I say I am?”
“Wikipedia. If you’re somebody famous, that invented a time machine—well that’s ridiculous because if you had, we’d all be using one right now! Who are you?” Darcy’s eyes widened, the angst apparent in her voice. “I think I’ll call Taylor and have him take you to a shelter.”
Jones wiped his forehead on his sleeve and sat down on the picnic table.
“There must be a way I can explain. I assure you these circumstances came to be by accident. I tripped—”
“Okay. Let’s say you’re telling the truth, then why can’t you just travel back to where you came from?”
“Because I have bent two gears that are crucial to generating the low vibration used to expand my atomic gravitational field to allow for a lateral time and space displacement.”
“What the…? What did you just say?”
“May I intrude upon you for a glass of water?”
“That is not what you just said.”
Darcy flopped down next to Jones.
“Yes, I know. However, my immediate need is to quench my thirst.” Jones glanced in the direction of the house. “Would this be your domicile?”
“Yeah. Came by it from the death of my father.”
“And your mother?”
“She’s in a facility. She never got over my Dad’s death. And what business is it of yours anyway?” Darcy looked Jones up and down.
“I realize it is none of my business. I am a curious kind of fellow.” Jones waited.
Darcy stared at Jones for a moment. “Come on. I’ll take you inside.”
“You can feel completely assured that I mean you no harm,” he said as he rose from the table.
“Not necessary, I’m highly intuitive. I wouldn’t be asking you in if I had even one red flag.” She traipsed over the yard toward the house and bounced up the steps with Jones in tow.