Mysterious Castle

A family of five moves into the Sierra Nevadas, on the eastern slopes where rock formations near Virginia City resemble castles. On their property, the three siblings find one that is actually a castle with mysterious qualities, magic and time-travel adventures.

"Aren't we there yet?" Lissa whines, brushing aside her ash blonde bangs from her pale blue eyes.

"That doesn't help," Mom warns her thirteen-year-old-daughter, a mirror image of herself at that age.

"This is so boring," Eddy complains, again. Towering over fifteen-year-old boys, his large frame and muscular build may make him appear older but his behavior declares his age.

Brit counters, "Well, at least you can play music on your iPod, little brother" She loves taunting Eddy. "I have no reception out here. I was talking to Shane and the call got dropped--he was in the middle of telling me about a really bad car accident by Cal Expo. We're so far out here, we probably can't even get satellite TV."

It is a beautiful spring day, with mild temperatures and gentle breezes, a good day for a family excursion. Their brand new 2014 Acura MDX wound up the mountain roads easily enough, having all-wheel drive. The Bannards had left Sacramento early this morning to head east up Interstate 80 to Reno, then turning south toward Virginia City. Following the GPS map and written instructions from a realtor, it appears they are close. No doubt about it, it is a long drive for a family to be stuck together like this, no matter how comfortable the car.

"What grade are you in, Brit? Satellite coverage is worldwide, remember? How could there not be any? Can't you all watch a movie?" Dad growls.

Eddy interjects a retaliating jab, saying, "Little as she is, she looks like a freshman."

Glaring at her brother, Brit replies, "I just graduated, remember? No service providers, Dad. What about that? And nobody wants to see the same movies over again."

Mom asks her husband. "Bob, could we stop for a couple of minutes? I need to stretch my legs. This area is beautiful. I love mountains and trees. It's so secluded here, especially with all these trees along this narrow road. Would you mind?"

Dad replies, "As soon as I find a wide enough area that a car could pass by us."

Lissa perks up and, pointing at the hill walling the road beside them, exclaims, "Look at those rocks! Don't they remind you of something, like a castle in a fairytale?"

"You mean like how you saw fairytale castles all over Bryce Canyon, or miniature cities at Mono Lake?"

"Well, snap, you saw boys everywhere, Brit."

"They were real."

Challenging his sisters, Eddy asks, "Remember when Brit saw a huge chess piece?"

Brit looks offended, then grins and laughs, triggering a case of the giggles for all.

Mom looks the formations over. "They do look like castles, don't they!" Then she quizzically asks, "Where are we, dear? Are you sure this is Nevada? I thought Nevada was all flat desert."