Bobby Decker

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Bobby Decker and the Other White Room


Bobby Benton Decker had a secret. At sixteen, he wasn’t a young man who did well with secrets. His parents were the absolute best, and he could tell them anything. Their policy was they’d rather be horrified and informed than blissfully ignorant.

In a show of good faith, Dad had once handed over his high school yearbook. “Just so you know that nothing you do will shock us.”

Bobby had opened it randomly.

“Yo Decker, ya slob, I’ll never forget that night at the pool party—”

One horrifying paragraph later, Bobby had slammed it closed and held it out. “I’m all about the blissful ignorance, Dad.”

And Dad hadn’t even blushed.

Even Bobby’s little brother, Danny, wasn’t completely annoying. They had their own rooms, now, and although they shared a bathroom, Bobby never needed to lock the door because Danny always knocked and waited for an invite. And the little guy always seemed to know when his older brother wanted to talk. They still told each other stuff, even though most of Bobby’s friends treated their younger siblings like lice-ridden contaminants.

Bobby told Danny most everything. . . eventually. Usually after Danny whined and wheedled or tricked Bobby into revealing. . . well, pretty much anything.

See, while Bobby would never admit it to the little squirt, Danny was smarter. Quite a bit smarter, actually, than pretty much everyone. Mind you, Bobby was no slouch in the grades department, but apparently the brains that carried Dad though a career as a chemical engineer and Mom through her job as a herpetologist had waited until son number two to manifest.

Bobby stared at his reflection in the bathroom mirror. If he could admit that his little brother was smarter then Bobby should also be able to admit he was good-looking.



Lots of girls had told him so.

He kept getting asked out. And he always said yes, because… well, that’s what you did! But it never led to more than a couple of movies or dinners. Bobby would rather work on his tai kwon do, anyway. Which made him a freak.

But it helped his little brother. Since Danny had stopped his own martial arts training, someone had to watch over the brainiac geek. Not that Danny knew it, but several kids in his class had needed some gentle persuasion to leave Danny alone. And Danny was so innocent and honest, he would never know that his big brother had smoothed the way for him.

Oh well, Bobby didn’t mind. Danny was a good kid brother.

Bobby sighed. If only he could tell him his secret.

Bobby scrutinized his image in the glass. Could anyone see it?

He turned one way and the other. What would it even look like?



The universe twisted and spat out a completely different–somewhat older–Bobby Decker someplace utterly different and far away from the sixteen-year-old version. His eyeballs nearly popped, his eardrums screamed, and something shoved him so hard, he stumbled, catching himself with one fist on the floor.

Three deep breaths and the vortex settled.

“Dimension-hopping sucks.” He chuckled. “But I nailed it, right? Fist on the floor, one knee down, and eyes on the floor, too. The classic pose for anyone passing through an inter-dimensional portal.” He rose. “I’ll be back.”

This Bobby stood at a crossroads in time. Literally. It was called the White Room, but it wasn’t really a room. More like a state of mind. According to both quantum physics and metaphysics, every point in the universe is connected. That’s where Bobby stood: the place where all those points meet.

It… looked like a big white expanse extending in every direction.  He was never impressed.

That’s because your mind is too limited to appreciate the situation. The Cat Lady growled in Bobby’s head. She was his boss, a feline ET who helped lead the underground movement against the Time Police. She spoke to him psychically because she couldn’t be there in person.

It was slightly interesting that he seemed to be floating in midair, but he felt a floor beneath his feet. He jumped. Yep. Solid. Just a big white room.

I heard that!

Ugh. Psychics. They made him want to drink.

A glass of whiskey appeared in Bobby’s hand. What the what?


Oh yeah. That was tons easier than it used to be. Bobby had needed intense training to access even the most limited aspects of the infinite. He sipped. Nice.

Why are you there? The Cat Lady hissed. To get drunk?

No, Bobby was there to get in touch with himself. Literally.


He unfocused his eyes. Several years working against the Time Police had given him the skills to reach into the void. While the space around him seemed a featureless white expanse, if he let himself see them, he perceived subtle shifts in the white, like drifts of snow on an ice-covered lake.

He reached into the void and drew through time. A scene swirled into focus.

There he was. Bobby Benton Decker, age 16. Tattered jeans and a dirty vest. Brass and leather goggles, a stellar rifle, and a really negative attitude. Wow. Had he ever been so young?

Not what we’re after. The Cat Lady’s growl pulled Bobby out of his reverie.

He focused harder. He twitched his head to the right and the scene scrolled and whirled. Dozens of Bobbies streamed past from dozens of timelines. The first versions were similar to the petulant fighter this Bobby had been, but the longer the timeline scrolled, the more they changed, became very different young men.

Huh. Some of them seemed almost… happy? Weird.



Bobby ducked his chin.

The image came to rest on a sixteen-year-old Bobby Decker in a different timeline who’d apparently just come out of the shower. The younger Bobby stood in front of a mirror in Grandpa Oliver’s old house. Blue boxer briefs. Orange socks. Interesting choices. He made body builder poses.

Seriously? Just how self-absorbed was this kid? By the time the older Bobby had reached sixteen, Grandpa Oliver and his house had both been reduced to ash. That was also the year Mom had died, and Bobby had been rescued from certain death. When a time-travelling Cat Lady said he would have died… well, Bobby had had reason to believe her. As far as everyone else was concerned, Bobby had gone down in a rain of laser fire. As far as Bobby’s dad knew, he’d lost his son and his wife to the invaders after losing his second born to the Cat Lady.

See, Bobby hadn’t been the first Decker boy to be rescued by her.

Danny, Bobby’s little brother, had been taken as an infant and given to this timeline, to the one where Bobby spent too much time in the mirror in a version of Grandpa Oliver’s house that still existed, where Danny wouldn’t die as a casualty of war by the time he was five. And now Bobby had to help the little brother he’d never met, who believed the younger Bobby was his original brother.

Time travel was complicated.

That’s why we’re here, the Cat Lady reminded him. We need to help the Danny Decker who lived.

The older Bobby had lived through a planetary invasion and grown up in a world where he’d learned to fire a rifle before he’d had his first kiss. And here he was about to hand this other Bobby the one and only thing that could help little Danny save the planet. Well, the planet and everything else in all of space and time.

Bobby held up a hand and it appeared.


A box. A plain, wooden box that could change history and prevent the destruction of, oh, pretty much everything. Didn’t look like much. Just a plain wooden box. But Danny needed it, and the younger version of Bobby needed to give it to him.

Get on with it, the Cat Lady coerced.

Bobby dropped the whiskey, knowing it would simply cease to exist. Then the box, knowing he could call it up when he needed it. He called up the hat and goggles he’d worn at sixteen, and they appeared in place

Why so theatrical? the Cat Lady asked.

Do you even know me? Bobby asked. Do you not remember the mentor you forced on me?

She meeped.

Yeah. That mentor choice had not turned out well. But Bobby had never lost his flair for the dramatic.


Anyway… time to get to work.

He reached out. The multiverse warped and pulled….



One benefit to turning sixteen had been that when Grandpa Oliver wanted to treat the family to Chuck E. Cheese, Bobby could bow out, unless, you know, he really wanted pizza and was willing to put up with those insufferable singing whatsits. He had Grandpa’s place to himself for the evening. From the Bluetooth speaker on the counter, Bobby’s favorite band, Moorcheeba, sang, “Oooh, I love my make-believer. . .”

Ugh. Timing.

He’d told Nax his secret, and, in some ways, Bobby had been even closer to Nax than to his brother or his parents. They’d been best friends since, well, since long before Bobby could even remember. Nax had always been at his side. Always. One of them had slept on the floor of the other’s bedroom nearly once every month since birth. Well, since birth was hyperbole. But it made the point.

Dad taught them boxing, and Nax had been Bobby’s best friend and sparring partner.  There was nothing, absolutely nothing, Bobby couldn’t tell Nax. So Bobby had shared his secret with his best friend.

And Nax had punched him. Pow.  Not any kind of proper blow Bobby might have blocked. Just a sucker punch that had laid Bobby flat. And then Nax had walked away.

Just like that.

So. . . yeah. Maybe Bobby should keep his secret… secret.

The light above the mirror flashed.


The music stuck. “Make-believe, tch, make-believe, tch, make-believe, tch. . .”

Ugh, now what?

A very bright light filled the room.

A very, very bright light! Holy spit! It was like a nova!



Bobby Decker pulled. . .  and the younger Bobby appeared. He yelped and dropped to a knee, one fist to the ground.

Bobby chuckled. “Dude, you totally nailed it, too.”

The younger Bobby rose and stared blankly.

“Fist on the floor.” Bobby shook his fist. “One knee down.”

“Terminator,” young Bobby muttered. “Arnold Schwarzenegger.”

Nice. One of the all-time classics. Bobby had seen it on a mission to a timeline where Arnold became President.

Young Bobby looked around, then spun with wide eyes. He looked down and yelped, backpedaling several feet.

“Where the heck am I?” The younger Bobby looked down, then jumped and landed hard. “Who are you?” He circled Bobby, alternately examining the older version and scanning the non-existent horizon. “What the what?”

“This. . .” Bobby opened his arms to the expanse. “Is a sort of inter-dimensional safe room, a convenient place for me to meet you.” He shrugged. “To meet me.” With one hand, he yanked off the cap. With the other, he removed the goggles. “Ta-daa!”

Younger Bobby gasped. Well, he had spent the last several minutes staring at his own reflection. This would be nearly the same thing, like looking in a mirror, except with facial hair. And an inch or two taller.

“What. the. heck?” Bobby edged closer. “You look exactly like me.” He squinted into older Bobby’s eyes. “Your eyes…”


The eye color would be a dead giveaway. Gold was an unusual color for eyes. At least on Earth.

“Time travel?” Young Bobby stared down his doppelganger. “Inter-dimensional travel?”

Bobby smiled. “You don’t doubt it’s possible?”

“The infinite white expanse kind of eliminates my doubt meter.” The younger man waved his arms. “Occam’s razor.”

“The simplest solution is likely the true one.”



You know, looking in a mirror isn’t the same. A mirror reverses everything. This was Bobby Decker looking at Bobby Decker the way others saw him… except… older.

“Huh.” The older Bobby Decker glanced up and down. “Blue and orange? Interesting choice.” Really? That was his takeaway?


“You crossed inter-dimensional space to mock my taste in underwear?” Bobby wouldn’t mention that he normally wore plain Fruit-of-the Looms or that he hoped for UTSA for college.

“No.” The doppelganger smiled.  He held up a hand. “I came to give you this.”

A wooden block appeared. Bobby tried to be surprised, but the infinite white expanse had truly ruined that option. What the heck?  A really, plain wooden block.

Bobby took it.

Nothing happened. No giant electric shock. No amazing musical riff.

“It’s an uncarved block of wood.” Bobby held it up.


“Yes. Yes, it is.” Other Bobby leaned back and crossed his arms.

“What does it do?” Bobby turned it in his hands.

“It performs a miracle.” He raised a hand and its index finger. “But it only performs the miracle one time.” He extended the hand. “Once.”

“Fine. Fine.” Bobby brushed his doppelganger’s hand away. “One miracle, I—”

Oh-dear-God, he’d-touched-his-doppelganger-from-another-universe! Aaaaaah!

Nothing happened.



“What?” The doppelganger raised an eyebrow.

No explosion?

“I just touched you and we didn’t blow up.” Bobby backed away. Isn’t that what happened in every sci-fi show ever?

“You watch too many movies.” Other Bobby held up a hand. A bottle appeared. Whoa! Whiskey? It looked like grandpa Oliver’s good stuff. “You want a drink? I could use one”

“Seriously? How old do you think I am?” Bobby was sixteen. Some of his friends drank, sure, but Bobby hadn’t tried more than a sip, a painful throat-burning sip. “How old are you?”

The other Bobby gave him a wink and a lopsided grin. Then he wilted. The bottle fell to his hip. He stared at Bobby a long time, then raised a hand where a glass appeared. He added whiskey.

“Age is relative. By the time I was your age, Mom was dead, I’d learned how to kill pretty efficiently, and we didn’t really have a drinking age.” He dropped the bottle and it simply vanished. “Dad survived, but he thinks I died.” His eyes opened wider. “When you see my dad, can you tell him I’m alive? I wasn’t killed by those damn bugs; I was plucked out of the timeline by—”

He stopped abruptly.

Wow. So many things Bobby simply couldn’t process.


No! The Cat Lady growled.

How much should Bobby tell this kid? Tell himself, but not himself? This conversation had been completely different when he’d been on the other side. It hadn’t been another Bobby, it’d been the Cat Lady’s minion, an asshole named Leighton Lawes, who’d saved Bobby from a team of ET bugs who were about to blow him into atoms.


You cannot tell him a thing! The Cat Lady hissed.

Bobby winced. No. He might not be Time Police, but he knew the consequences of messing with the timeline.

“By?” The younger Bobby prompted.

“By good people who needed my help.” Close enough to the truth.

Thank you.

“And…  I’m going to meet your father, the one from your dimension?” The younger Bobby seemed to listen… and to think.


The distinct clearing of a throat emanated from the Cat Lady. How did she do that psychically?

“I’ve already said too much.” Bobby would deal with the Cat Lady later. “A lot is going to happen to you. You’ll go through a lot in the next couple of years. I’m twenty-four.” Ish. Whiskey burned his throat. “I’m going to tell you something you can’t tell anyone. Not your parents. Not Danny.” Oh, yeah. This Bobby had a best friend. “Not Nax.” He raised the glass. “I know you’re not speaking now. That changes.” He sipped. “But you’re standing in an infinite white void, and you seem to accept that I’m you from the future.”

“From a future.”

“I forgot how quick I was.” Interesting. Always thinking, this one.

“Well, Danny might be the smart one in the family,” the younger Bobby said, “but relative to most rubes. . .” His eyes narrowed. “Wait. You were on my side of this eight years ago?”

Bobby opened his mouth to say yes, but he stopped. “I was. Sort of. I wasn’t standing there in my underwear.”


Bobby glanced downed and sort of shrank. Really? He could be embarrassed by being seen by himself? Then he raised an eyebrow. Wow. This one really was a thinker. Jeans and a t-shirt appeared.

Holy crap! Bobby had needed almost six months to learn how to manipulate the White Room at all.

Is that why Danny was brought here? Bobby sent to the Cat Lady. Because this Bobby Decker is better than me?


Fine. Shouldn’t let the kid see his surprise.

“Really?” Bobby laughed. “I’m you. I know what you look like, and you were just staring at yourself in a mirror. How is this different?”

“Because I didn’t keep commenting on my underwear.” He shoved his hands in his pockets. “It’s creepy.” He scowled. “Even coming from myself.”

“Fair point.” Bobby sipped the whiskey. “There were other differences when I was on your side. My world was a war zone. It wasn’t an older version of me offering me whiskey. Anyway…” Time to return to the task at hand. He gestured at the block of wood in the younger Bobby’s hands. “That thing. It’s important.”

“It looks like a reject from an eighth-grade shop class.”

Bobby had said the exact same thing. “You’ll learn that sci-fi movies get most of it wrong. If you were going to create the most amazing thing in the universe, would you really want to advertise it by making it all sparkly and glass and blinking lights?” He gestured at the block. “Or would you just make a box out of wood that you could leave on the counter at Starbucks, and no one would steal it?”

“So this is the most amazing thing in the universe?” The younger Bobby turned the block in his hands.

“It’s up there.”

“You never answered my question.” The younger Bobby held it up. “What does it do?”

Bobby sipped his whiskey. He had to tell this guy about Danny before he explained the box. When Bobby had first learned about Danny, he’d already been battling time-travelling ETs for a few years. This kid didn’t even know ETs existed. How would he react? One more sip of whiskey.

“You can never tell Danny what I’m about to tell you.” He pointed at Bobby. “I hope you can handle the responsibility.”

“Keeping a secret? That’s—”

“This is bigger.” Bobby waved it off. He sipped. “Wa-a-ay bigger.”


He knew? Of course, he knew. Other Bobby might be from a different timeline, but he was still Bobby.

“What could be worse?” Bobby asked his doppelganger.

Other Bobby sighed. “You buy that I’m from somewhere else. A different timeline or an alternate dimension. You buy that, right?”

Bobby looked the other guy up and down. No way was he someone in a costume. No way was he a prank. How did Bobby know? Not sure, but he knew. The fact that he kept making stuff appear and disappear helped. And, once again: infinite white void.

Bobby nodded.

The guy met Bobby’s eyes. “So is Danny.”

Wait. What?

“Danny Denton Decker is not from your timeline. He’s from mine.” Other Bobby sipped his drink. “The Danny born in your universe died in his crib in the hospital. Someone swapped them out. Brought my Danny, my brother, from my timeline, and switched him with the corpse of the Danny Decker who died in a hospital nursery.”

That was insane.

“No.” Bobby turned away. “That doesn’t make any sense.”

“Seriously?” He moved into Bobby’s view and waved at the expanse, gestured at himself.  “What the heck am I?”



Bobby stared at his doppelganger. What was he? Occam’s razor. The easiest answer. . . Danny had never really made sense, had he? He was too smart. Too kind. Too. . . perceptive. He knew things a little kid shouldn’t understand.

The other Bobby nodded. “You’ve noticed things.”

“So he was supposed to be your little brother?” Bobby asked.

“In my timeline,” Other Bobby said, “he would’ve been dead by the time he was five.”

Wow. Other Bobby had grown up without a little brother. That must have sucked.

“It did.”

“Are you reading my mind?”

“Your face.” He raised an eyebrow. “I know it pretty well.”

Well, of course, he did.

“When did they switch him?” Bobby asked. “Does he know?”

“He was a few hours old.” Other Bobby shook his head. “He doesn’t know. Your parents don’t know.” He met Bobby’s eyes evenly. “And now, you’re the only one in your universe who knows. . .” He sipped his drink. “And you can’t. tell. anyone.”

What the hell? How could he keep a secret like that?

Other Bobby smiled. “Welcome to my world, Bobby Benton Decker.”

Danny was from an alternate world. A world where Danny Decker didn’t die.

“Could you get more Harry Potter?” It was all Bobby could think to say.

The other Bobby smiled. “I have no idea who you’re talking about.”

He’d said his world was a war zone. Who would’ve had time to read Harry Potter in a war zone?

But wait a minute. “How do you know Terminator, but not Harry Potter?”

Other Bobby waved his empty glass at the wooden box. “That thing will only work once.” Always with the redirection. “You will want to use it before the proper time. Don’t.”

Bobby turned the boring piece of wood in his hands. “How many times have I asked what it does?”


“A few.” Other Bobby stepped closer. He took the box and held it up. “This boring piece of crap wood will return Danny to his home dimension. Back to the place he was born. It will work once, and it will bring anyone touching Danny with him.” He returned the block. “You will be tempted to use it as a means of escape. Bad things are going to happen, and you will think, ‘We could use it to escape.’ You’ll think this several times. ‘Wouldn’t it be better to be in Danny’s original timeline?’” He shook his head. “Don’t.”

Other Bobby held up his glass and it refilled. He glanced at Bobby. He held up his other hand and a glass appeared. “I might as well corrupt myself.” Other Bobby held the glass out.

Bobby reached for the glass.

The other Bobby held it, their hands touching. “If you use this box before the appointed time, horrible things will happen.” He forced Bobby to meet his gaze for several seconds.

“What will happen?” Bobby asked.

“Look out into the void.” He released the glass and pointed. Seriously, was this guy incapable of giving a straight answer? “Look!”

Bobby looked. Endless white expanse. And? Except… He could almost make out swirls of white in the white. And movement, maybe?

“You’ll start to see colors,” Other Bobby said. “Shapes.”

Fwoosh! The scene exploded, grabbed Bobby, and dragged him inside!

Smoke and fire! Lasers? Were those lasers? Bobby stood there. He looked more like Other Bobby, but somehow Bobby knew this was his own future.

An explosion! Screams! Mom’s voice? 

Bobby charged into battle with nothing but an old pipe. Lasers spat at him from an enemy he didn’t even understand, but they wanted his family dead.

The world shifted.

Bobby lashed out at everything around him. Anything he hit needed to die.

The world shifted again.

Bobby lay splayed out on a concrete slab, naked, dying.

Mom lay nearby. She wasn’t breathing. Dad lay beside her, blank eyes staring at the sun,  fat, black flies crawling across his face—

No! No!!

The world twisted and spat Bobby back into the White Room. His eyeballs nearly popped, and his stomach heaved, tried to vomit, but he hadn’t eaten all day. That’s right! He should be eating pizza with Mom and Dad and Danny. . . and Grandpa Oliver, not dying on a concrete slab beside his dead parents. . .

Mom and Dad. Dead.

No. Not that. Never that. That would kill him and Danny both.

Except that Danny had already died.

Bobby stayed on his hands and knees. Would his stomach ever stop trying to vomit?

A gentle hand rubbed his back.

“Now, you understand the consequences.” Other Bobby held Bobby’s shoulder. “I could show you more, but I doubt I need to.” He helped Bobby to his feet. “No one can know that your brother is from another dimension, most of all Danny himself, and you will be tempted to tell him his origin a dozen times and you will be tempted to use the box as a means of escape. . . but you have to resist.”

“How will I know the right time?” What the heck? The box had vanished. Where was it?

Other Bobby smiled. He held up a hand and the box appeared. He gave it to Bobby.

“You will stand with Danny beneath an enormous, phosphorescent weeping willow on a far away timeline. A very old man will say, ‘I would give you the box, but I do not have it.’” He pointed at the box. “Then, and only then, give Danny the box.”


“And what do I tell him?” The block seemed so plain.

Other Bobby shrugged. “Whatever you want. The box will explain what he needs to know. I’m not a messenger. Just a courier.” He sipped his drink. “At several points in time that will seem funny. It does to me.”

Bobby stared at the block. Danny had been born in an alternate dimension. It was the kind of thing Bobby saw in movies. Bobby’s little brother had died, and someone had replaced him.

“Don’t think that,” Other Bobby said. He gestured at the glass in Bobby’s hand.

He sipped. Holy heck! It burned all the way down his throat! But maybe in a good way? Bobby coughed.


“It takes getting used to.” Other Bobby sipped his drink. “Just like accepting that your brother is your brother no matter what universe bore him.” He sipped again. Gestured for Bobby to do the same. “The night you told Nax your secret. . .”

Bobby sipped fire. He didn’t want to think about that night.

“You curled up in your bed and cried your eyes out, hoping no one would notice the black eye.” Other Bobby settled into a hip. “How could you ever explain what had happened? You couldn’t. And what did Danny do? He didn’t whine. He didn’t push you. He just left Ben and Jerry’s next to your bed with a spoon.”

That’s exactly what Danny had done. Chunky Monkey. Bobby’s favorite. No cajoling. No pestering. Just a tub of ice cream and a spoon.

“I don’t care where he was born,” Other Bobby said. “He’s your brother.”

“Wait a minute.” Something didn’t make sense. “If you didn’t have a Danny, how could that have happened to you?”

“It didn’t.” His eyes grew sad. “When I learned how to see across the timelines, I found him. Danny. My brother, too. I wanted to know what he was like. See if he was happy. See what his Bobby Decker was like.” He stepped closer. “You’re a good brother. I like the way you look after him.”


He nudged Bobby. “Plus, from a genetic standpoint, no one on your planet would be able to tell he wasn’t the Danny Decker who was born there.”

Wait. “No one on this planet?” That had been worded carefully.

“And now you’re thinking like someone who will survive the next eight years.” The other Bobby smiled. He finished his drink.

“And after that?”

“I can’t speak to what happens after my time.” Other Bobby moved a few feet away. He pointed at the box. “But I’m serious. Reveal that secret ahead of time, and everyone you know will suffer and die.”

Bobby shivered. He’d seen proof of that already.

Other Bobby met Bobby’s gaze. “Things are going to suck for a while. But in the long run. . . well, the long run I know. . . it all works out.” White lightening flashed around him. “As long as you don’t mess it up.”

The expanse flared a dazzling bright white!

Bobby closed his eyes and spread his feet, lowered into a crouch. Something yanked him backward, then threw him forward. All the breath wheezed out of his lungs, and he coughed. Bam! But he managed to stay on his feet! Yes! Other Bobby must not have had tai kwon do.

One moment of peace… then…

“Bobby?” Dad? Holy crap! What had he seen?

Bobby spun around. He was back in Grandpa Oliver’s house.

Dad’s eyes drifted to the glass in Bobby’s hand. “That must be why I heard you coughing.” Damn! Whiskey! Dad held up a hand. “Don’t freak out, son of mine.” He joined Bobby in the bathroom, reaching out. “But I’d not let your grandparents know.”

Bobby gave over the glass.


Dad sniffed. He raised an eyebrow. “You found the good stuff?” Then his brow furrowed. “Where’d you get the glass?”

Uh… what…? No criticism for drinking?

Dad chuckled and pulled Bobby into a one-armed hug. “Never outside the home, and never your friends.” He ruffled Bobby’s hair. “We don’t know what their parents think.” Dad swirled the glass. “I know Europe has completely different rules, but this is the US.” He sipped the drink. “I trust your judgment.” He squeezed Bobby. “And I never want you to think you have to keep secrets from me.”

Secrets? So many secrets.

“What’s that?”

The cube! Dad saw the cube!

“Nothing,” Bobby said, tucking it into a cupboard to get it out of sight. “Shop project. Basic shapes.”

Secrets and lies. He could never tell Dad about the doppelganger from another universe. He’d seen the results. He’d seen his father a fly-riddled corpse.

Not that. Not ever that.

Bobby grabbed Dad again.

“I’m queer,” he blurted into his dad’s shoulder.


Dad held him all the tighter. He set down the glass and stroked Bobby’s hair. “I kind of figured, son. I kind of figured. I hope to God you know that doesn’t change a single thing about how much I love you.”

And that was what Bobby had wanted to hear. What he’d been afraid to want. Nax had punched him. His dad kissed the top of his head. That’s all that mattered.

And all the new info about Danny? Who cared? Danny was his brother. Nothing would change that, either.

“Is that a new shirt?” Dad asked.


…to be continued!


Click the image for part two!

Bobby has another exciting adventure traveling through time.

Interested in an entire novel about Bobby Decker and his little brother Danny? Follow the link. Bobby Decker and Danny have a complete novel that tells the story of their travels across the galaxy with a highly evolved AI and an immortal space witch where they battle Saurians and giant, metal-plated fleas before meeting the most advanced species in the known universe! And now YOU know a secret even Bobby’s kid brother doesn’t know! It puts a wild spin on an already exciting story!


Paperback and Kindle available on Amazon.

Buy it here!

John Robert Mack lives and breathes in Franklin, North Carolina. At least, this year. He sort of pays the bills by teaching dance but continues to build a business writing stuff, taking pictures of stuff, and designing stuff. Although unmarried and with no children of his own, he has nephews he loves and hopes one day to spoil.


About the model

Nathan Goss

Although relatively new to modeling at the time, Nathan dove in head first in his role as no fewer than four Bobby Deckers. Did you keep count? A former student at UTSA (the inspiration for Bobby’s love of the college), Nathan now works as a chiropractor and enjoys time with his wife, two adorable kids, and Clifford, the big red dog.








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