The Ancestor

It’s the end of summer. Daniel studies the back acreage that intrigues him to the estate the Realtor is showing him. The house is large and antebellum with a modern addition that makes it attractive to this Southern California novelist. He needs a place to stay in the South while caring for his mother and taking that overdue sabbatical to get centered from his mid-life crisis. His agent is masterful at patiently stalling the publisher while constantly prodding Daniel’s progress to meet his promised deadline. Daniel has become weary of cell phones, freeways and word processors and buys a diary book, notepads and a supply of pens tp practice calligraphy. He knows he’s not going to live up to his promised deadline so his ailing mother and a struggling marriage is the perfect excuse to get away.

A short time passes. The leaves turn color. Daniel's preparation for a long winter is all for naught as his mother unexpectedly doesn’t pull through. At the funeral he is moved between the warmth and comfort of a multitude of family members and the feeling of emptiness and loss. He takes a walk through the older part of the cemetery and notices the small confederate flags at some of the grave sites. He bends down and reads the name and date engraved on a weathered stone.


BORN JULY 10, 1846, DIED SEPTEMBER 18, 1864 
He is on one knee staring at the headstone. Michelle walks up from behind and puts her hand on his shoulder. Daniel ponders aloud, “He was 18. Am I the first person to look at this in over a hundred years?” He takes one of the flowers she’s holding and puts one on his grave.

Between his lonely nights with grief, guilt, and a growing obsession to find his purpose, he begins to hear strange noises coming from the forest in the back. It’s pitch dark when he turns on the back flood lights and walks out to his balcony deck. He concludes he’s hearing things and decides to try and drink into the night and sleep.

Scene : Somewhere in Time
Chapter from book out now.

The Time Portal

Daniel’s finishing his morning shower routine. He walks into the kitchen looking fresh and awake, wearing his full-length robe. The sunshine is breaking through. He pours his usual cup of coffee and opens the doorway out
onto the balcony, then steps outside. He looks out as he is about to take a sip and freezes like a deer in the head- lights. His eyes widen and his face has an expression of astonishment. He’s startled by the panoramic view in front of his eyes.
Most are dressed in uniform, but some are not. There are layers of smoldering campfires among the dozens of tents. Many horses are neighing, exhaling the cold air. Some men are cooking, others washing clothes by the creek, even one is bathing in a heated tub. Many lay sleeping on the ground under wool blankets. Others are cleaning rifles, while some are tending wounded. 

The breeze picks up, blowing those same leaves, but a different setting below. Daniel sets down his coffee without taking his eyes off the scene beneath. Suddenly, a flock of honking geese fly overhead, forcing Daniel to look up and catch the identical formation from the previous day vanish into an invisible line in the sky as if into another dimension.
He scurries downstairs and steps out onto the ground. He pauses and looks left to right, confused by the change of scenery. He contemplates another shot of whiskey, but keeping clear-headed, steps into the back acreage of his yard and walks toward the creek then stands at the bank. He spots three young boys gathered around a smoldering fire.
“What are you doing here?” he calls out, squinting if perhaps it was an illusion.
They offer no answer. From the creek’s edge, he stretches one leg toward them, stepping on one rock, and then reaches the bank on the other side. His robe turns to a long wool coat in a mystical moment. He begins to walk through the tent area with trepidation. The men are going about their business, acknowledging him, but giving little concern. He walks with a bit more trust then approaches and stops by one soldier, a young boy, stooping and cooking with a pan over a fire.
“Is this some sort of reenactment?”
The boy glances up at him, but gives no response. He
asks the other soldier, “How old are you?”
One boy stands and spits, eyeing him up and down.
“Seventeen, sir.”
Daniel, feigning a grin, and sensing relief exclaims,
“You’re a Scout troop, right?”
The third boy sharpens his knife, but says nothing.
“Learning survival skills. That’s good,” Daniel juxtapositions a more cautious tone. 

Daniel again tries to uncover this strange scene. “Seriously, what are you doing here?”
The one boy seems more talkative, with a strong country Southern twang; he is the first to explain, “Texas Brigade, sir. We’re holding Sandy Creek til further orders.”
“You’re holding my back yard!” Daniel exclaims. They all look at him.
Quickly, cautious again, Daniel covers up his remarks,
“That’s good,” as he looks around suspiciously. “Holding it from who?”
“Yankees! Maybe two days out. Got us on the run fer now. Waiting orders from General Hood where to ambush ‘em.”
The third one, sharpening his knife, chimes in barely understandable, “That yorn house yonder? Yuz got any chikns?”
Daniel turns back and sees his house, then looks back to the soldier with a crazy expression. “Yorn? You guys are good. Really, what’s going on?” It’s all incredulous to him.
The Rebel boy cooking holds out a frying pan after taking a sample. “Take ye’ some. Darn tasty beins brown tail.”
Daniel looks about questioning as his thoughts try to rationalize what his eyes are seeing and his ears are hearing. The friendlier rebel boy spits again. “Squirrel meat,” he pauses. “You ain’t got nothin ta worry about, sir. We won’t bother yer house.”
Daniel decides to look around more. He pets a horse on the face, then glances further. He notices two officers looking over a map outside a tent with a table so he then walks toward them. They stand straight and look his way.
The first uniformed officer looks up and notices a some- what nervous Daniel approaching. With an educated tone of comfort, he assures him “We won’t be needing your house, if that’s what you’re seeking.”
“Well, that’s a relief.”
 He looks at the map with puzzlement. “You’re lost, right?”
“No sir. This is Sandy Creek Ridge, yonder is Sugar Hill. Cavalry scouted the area a fortnight back.”
The other officer looks over Daniel then, with a deep good ol’ boy voice, “You seen any Yanks?”
Quickly, a civilian rider pulls up and slides off his horse with a saddle bag full of mail. He dumps it out on the table and then hands the officers specially tied letters.
The rider is out of breath, “Ya’lls lucky I got through. Yanks everywhere twixt here and Atlanta. No more mail
lieutenant, this is it.”
They quickly hand him some water and food while
he then hops back on his horse and rides off. Daniel’s mouth is open.
The second officer grimaces, “That settles it.”
They go back to their map.
“Agreed. Hood ain’t comin. We’ll retreat further south.”
Daniel walks around unnoticed to where he can see the mail. He picks up an envelope and reads the postmark.
AUGUST 19, 1864
He then picks up a post card, dated the same year, with
perfect cursive handwriting.
My dearest beloved husband, the war can wait. Our children are hungry and crying for their father. Please come home. Your devoted wife, Martha May.
Daniel sets it down in awe, completely perplexed. “Excuse me. This is dated August 1864. These letters are
all dated...”
They chuckle and look at each other grinning “That’s
only a month late. Least it’s the same year.” More laughter. Now Daniel looks around in disbelief. He makes one last attempt at clarity. 

“In that case, could I borrow your telephone? Mine’s dead.”
They look at him with blank stares and dead silence. Daniel politely dismisses his request, “Never mind then.” He looks at his wrist, but there’s no watch. “It seems
I’ve lost track of time.”

Scene and chapter: Finding Sarah

• Discover hiding with slave
• Background: Age 22; Married Union officer when away to college; daughter of a wealthy Southern plantation owner; disowned by parents; raped by rebel raiders; slave Marcus kills all 4 with his bare hands and a knife ; she has a baby;
• Slave, Marcus, runs away and is loyal to her and saves her from death
• She’s conflicted about keeping baby if her husband returns from the war, he will make her leave it behind (Daniel proves who's baby it is by retrieving DNA into the future for testing)
• She’s told her husband is missing and probably dead
• Daniel becomes infatuated with this young woman as she expresses so vibrantly the child within her.

Thanksgiving and Abraham Lincoln 1864

See diary for set up
• Before actual Thanksgiving day : all is at peace for one day.
• Marcus can cook
• Lincolns proclamation and healing
• They play music, sing and celebrate
• The arrival of General Sherman and battle plans
• Thousands of lives awaiting their fate

 Andersonville: Journey into the Heart of Darkness

• Purpose: Daniel to find his great great grandfather and give him hope and a reason for his life by telling him of the future before he dies in prison

Novel released June, 2019/ Also in Original Screenplay

Genre: Historical/Science Fiction/ Drama/Romantic/Time Travel or Time Portal