Calla Winston’s mobile devices sit in a corner of her room, covered in dust. Weeks ago, she shared photos and laughs with her best online friend. Now, after having felt the sting of betrayal, she prefers being hidden and friendless. She equates privacy with security and technology with pain.Then she meets Valcas, an otherworldly time traveler who traverses time and space with a pair of altered sunglasses. When an ethereal being knocks Calla to the ground near her family’s lakeside cottage, Valcas uses the Travel Glasses to help her escape. He offers his further protection in exchange for a promise. Intrigued by Valcas and the possibility of time travel, Calla accepts. That is until she learns that his search for her was no mere coincidence.Calla sets off on her own, taking the Travel Glasses with her. Torn between searching for her estranged father and reuniting with the rest of her family, she tracks down the inventor of the Travel Glasses in hopes of discovering more about Valcas’ past and motivations. The Travel Glasses take Calla’s mistrust of technology to all new levels. But without them, she’ll never make it back home. With Valcas hot on her trail, Calla hopes to find what she’s looking for before he catches up.
When our food came, Valcas ate slowly and deliberately, mostly facing the lake. I caught him looking around behind himself several times—back in the direction of the dock.
Since Valcas remained quiet, I decided to try out Uncle Al’s advice. “Thanks for taking me out tonight. We had an odd introduction earlier today, don’t you think?”
Valcas looked at me. His lips tugged into a slight frown. Even with his sunglasses blocking his gaze, it was obvious that this was the first time during dinner that he’d really looked at me.
“Trust me, this is not a date.”
As he said this I felt a chill from the breeze coming off of the lake.
“Oh, I see.” I cleared my throat, my cheeks steaming with embarrassment. “So, you did just take pity on me for what happened at the dock?”
“I’ve been searching,” Valcas said. “You’re a runner, right?”
“Do you run?” Valcas looked behind him again and then turned to refill my water glass.
“Well, for exercise, yes.”
I sat there agape, wondering whether this was really the best effort he could make toward conversation. During the next few moments of uncomfortable silence I kept my mouth tightly pressed shut. So much for Uncle Al’s advice. Suddenly I felt very cold. No doubt we’d shared one of the strangest experiences of my life earlier that day. He could at least fill me in on what he knew. I was the one who’d been knocked to the ground.
I shivered and cleared my throat. “Earlier at the dock you mentioned being new to the area. Where are you visiting from?” I asked, hopeful that this approach would eventually lead to an explanation.
Valcas sat there, stony and indifferent. Frustrated, I stood up to leave. Just as I was about to make an excuse for why I had to go home, Valcas yelled.