THE STORY: A Sci-Fi Paranormal Thriller
Gladwell Sanitarium, circia 1963, where Shippy Pennfield was institutionalized beginning at the age of seven.
“…a suspenseful, thought-provoking, paranormal thriller.”
Two periods of time clash with alternative universes in Time Framed. The story pits family members against each other across generations as they attempt to evade the dire consequences of a menacing family curse. Dating back to the Mayflower, the curse had its origin as family patriarch, Charles Pennfield, threatened a poor servant girl. His threats eventually caused her to leap to her death off the Cape Cod coast. Now, her unsettled spirit ebbs and flows, surfacing every sixty to eighty years to exact justice as she inhabits a living agent and forces them to crush the greatest ambitions of whatever unlucky Pennfield crosses her path.
Time Framed begins on a brisk winter night in 1963. Seven-year-old Arthur Shipkin “Shippy” Pennfield rushes outside to play with his cousins during a family Christmas party. Unable to keep up with his bigger and faster playmates, he consoles himself by walking out onto a small rickety dock behind the house. He looks up and sees a strange glow in the sky. From that point on, he is afflicted with a mysterious trance-like condition requiring lifelong institutionalization.
In 1996, Shippy’s older relative, Professor Christopher Pennfield, twenty years his senior, becomes his generation’s victim of the vicious Pennfield family curse as his pregnant research assistant, a contemporary surrogate for the servant girl from centuries before, commits a highly-public suicide in Grand Central Station, continuing the family curse. Professor Pennfield immediately flees for a family estate in Maine, wasting away in grief, guilt, denial, and addiction. During his exile, he is visited by the spirit of his cousin, Ophie, who reveals crucial truths about Shippy’s paternity, and pleads with the ostracized professor to find a way to help the boy.
But how can he help him if Shippy is institutionalized, trapped in a mysterious, unexplained trance?
In the year 2053, Jimmy Mashimoto-Pennfield, a powerful tech entrepenuer and member of the highest, and newly-formed caste in a society where rights and privileges are now solely determined by a numerical score combining a measure of wealth, a controversial intelligence-test, and family lineage, is about to make an announcement that will change the world forever. His research and development has promised to push biotechnology, cryonics, and nanotech to the point of restoring human life to the deceased, and he is confident that he has at last hit the mark.
Megalomaniacal and distrusting, Mashimoto-Pennfield also fears he is the most likely member of his generation to be stricken by the dreaded curse and is determined to do everything and anything he can to prevent the destruction of his industrial-technological empire, especially as his company is on the verge of its momentous announcement.
If Mashimoto-Pennfield could somehow intervene and prevent little Shippy from being afflicted with his condition in 1963, then a normal Ship Pennfield might live his intended life and become the victim of the curse instead of Christopher Pennfield. If so, Mashimoto-Pennfield calculates, the intervention will upset the timing of this maddening haunting, redirecting it away from himself and his empire.
When Jimmy intervenes and alters Shippy’s life-path, he unleashes an alternative universe, one in which Shippy avoids that fateful night on the dock and grows up to become a world-renowned doctor and philanthropist who uses his family inheritance for positive social change.
In this alternative life, Dr. Ship Pennfield clashes with Izan Bonne-Saari, CEO of the world’s largest banking conglomerate, one so powerful and far-reaching that its clout and might is stronger than any existing government’s. Intent on controlling the world order, Bonne-Saari schemes to set up a new, stratified system of government which rewards the very wealthy and immobilizes the poor, one which will eventually reign over the future world inhabited by Jimmy Mashimoto-Pennfield in the early 2050s. In his efforts to thwart Bonne-Saari, Dr. Christopher Pennfield follows a path that leads up to becoming the next victim of the life-shatteringconsequences of the Pennfield family curse.
Through paranormal intervention, Christopher Pennfield can sense the alternative life of Shipkin Pennfield and its ultimate resolution. Vowing that he will never allow Shippy to suffer the consequences of the curse, he reignites his sense of purpose and is determined to fight back. Aided by a psychiatrist, a physicist and a ghost-hunter, Christopher does everything in his power to ensure that Shippy avoids the curse. In a monumental battle of intellect, sheer will and paranormal interventions, Christopher and his colleagues in 2007 battle Jimmy Mashimoto-Pennfield in 2052, each trying to outmaneuver and outwit the other across time, space and alternate realities. Hanging in balance is the fate of Arthur Shipkin Pennfield, but the question becomes increasingly difficult
Will Ship be institutionalized for the rest of his life, or grow up to become a philanthropist-physician who nevertheless falls in the path of the Pennfield family curse?
Time Framed is a suspenseful, thought-provoking, paranormal thriller. Readers eager for epic and fast-moving tales that successfully connect multiverse time-travel, wave/particle duality, the paranormal, and political dystopia, will be delighted to encounter Time Framed.