I am running out of time. That thought tugs at the corner of my mind a lot these days, but right now, as I speed somewhat erratically toward downtown Tucson, I am definitely running out of time. If I don’t make it back home before my mother, I’m dead.
I’d partially woken up a few minutes ago from an unplanned afternoon nap, sprawled out on my bed, the foreboding copy of Invisible Man, my AP English summer reading, opened up beside me. I hadn’t even realized I’d fallen asleep. I was daytime dreaming, my eyes closed and my body heavy, but still taking in the small things happening around me: the indie-rock song playing from the iPod, the whir of the ceiling fan, the air-conditioning kicking on with a groan. Yet when Tchaikovsky’s 1812 Overture sprang from my cell phone, the ring tone jolted me awake.
“Riley, get to Congress now.”
It took me a moment to recognize the voice as Nathan’s, one of my best friends.
“What?” I asked, confused.
“You need to get in the car and drive to Hotel Congress, okay?” He spoke slowly and deliberately, as if that would help me understand.
“Because your grandma is down here in her muumuu, chatting up the bartender in the lobby. She’s discussing the art of making a Pink Squirrel.”
Usually I am an ardent rule follower, but now I race at least ten over the limit toward the hotel. I glance down at the car’s clock. I think of my mother’s work schedule: did she say she had a meeting with the Tucson Association of Realtors that would make her late for dinner? Or did she say she would be home for dinner because the meeting was cancelled? I slam my open palm on the steering wheel, annoyed with myself for tuning her out. At least, in this case.
Okay. Fifty/fifty chance I’ll make it home first. It’s worth a try.
Riley Witt is running out of time.Battling Alzheimer’s disease, Riley’s grandmother Mary suffers from memory loss, mood swings, and a tendency to wander off. As senior year approaches, Riley has to face the reality that the one person she depends on most is slowly fading. Making matters worse, when Mary does remember the past, she tells tales of time travel and visions. As Mary’s version of the past gets more confused, Riley knows they are running out of time together.
But when Riley discovers a guitar belonging to a famous rock star at Mary’s house, the truth behind the crazy tales finally comes out.
SIX STRINGS tells the story of Riley’s journey back to 1973 where she enters a world of music, long-lost family, and first love. Her adventure is all about discovering her past, understanding her present, and figuring out how to step into her future.