The Writings of Michael J. Bowler

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                         A MATTER OF TIME


The world's greatest evil stalks the world's greatest ship, and the only one who can stop him hasn't been born yet.

 Jamie Collins is a junior at Santa Clara University in 1986. He has friends, a professor who mentors him, and a promising future as a writer.

 Then the dreams begin - nightmarish memories that transport him back to a time and place fifty years before he was born: Titanic's maiden voyage in 1912.

When Jamie discovers a foreign cell in his blood that links him to the famous vessel, the two timelines begin to overlap and he realizes an unimaginable truth - something supernatural stalks the ill-fated ship, something that will kill him if he can?t stop it first. And the only way to stop it may be to prevent Titanic from sinking.

But even if he can figure out a way to do that, should he? What will be the effect on history if he succeeds? And what about the lady he wasn't supposed to fall in love with? As her destiny becomes entwined with his, Jamie discovers the value of friendship, the power of love, the impact of evil, and the vagaries of Fate.

Excerpt from Chapter 4:Revelations

Jamie said not a word to Maggie on the trek back to the dorm, merely mumbled over and over to himself about how stupid he’d been not to have seen it. Maggie trailed behind like a puppy and when Jamie burst into his room, a startled Dan looked up from his studies to see Maggie waving his questions into silence. Jamie bee-lined to his bookshelf and pulled down a large, hardcover book. Off flew his hat and sunglasses, the cloak dropped to the floor, and down he plopped onto his bed, rapidly thumbing through the book.

Dan cast Maggie another questioning look, but she just shrugged and shook her head.

“Ah, ha!” Jamie shouted so loudly that Maggie jumped, and he slammed the book shut for added effect, looking up at brother and sister, his eyes ablaze with triumph. “Now I know for sure who is inside of me!”

Dan and Maggie exchanged a worried, bewildered look.

Jamie didn’t seem to notice the look or care if he did. “His name was Jack Phillips and he was the senior wireless operator aboard . . .” He held up the book and displayed its title: A Night To Remember.  “. . . the Titanic!”

Maggie’s face dropped. “Oh, my God . . .” Stunned by this announcement, she sank into his desk chair.

Dan gaped in surprise. “Huh?” was all he could manage.

Jamie stood up and began to pace the room energetically, like a caged lion. “It all fits, Dan. The ship in my dreams seemed familiar because I read so much about it as a kid. I was always fascinated by that story. On the day Titanic struck the fatal iceberg, Jack Phillips had been very tired and lethargic, just as I’ve been feeling. Because of his exhaustion, he failed to send several crucial ice warnings to the bridge.”

Maggie looked dubious. “I’m a history major, remember? And we just covered Titanic last month. The wireless operator was very overworked from the passengers sending frivolous messages to shore, and that’s why he forgot those warnings.”

Jamie did not take offence, as she thought he would. He merely nodded. “That has always been the conventional wisdom. But consider this. At 2:05 am, 15 minutes before Titanic took her final plunge into the sea, Captain Smith relieved Phillips and junior wireless operator Harold Bride of duty, saying they could do nothing more. Bride went forward onto the boat deck where the only remaining lifeboats were being unloaded. But Phillips inexplicably went aft, towards the rear of the ship. I always wondered why he did that. Now I know. He was being summoned, by a vampire!”

Jamie’s mind was racing as fast as his mouth. Yes, it all fit!

Dan and Maggie exchanged another dubious look, but they both forced an appearance of calmness into their demeanor. Dan cleared his throat awkwardly. “Did this guy go down with the ship?”

Jamie fixed his fiery blue eyes so intently upon Dan that the bigger man squirmed uncomfortably. “No. He turned up later on one of the overturned collapsible lifeboats, and hung on with the others until just before dawn, when he suddenly died.” Now Jamie ran a finger across his chin, as though directing his next words more to himself than to them. “Why did he die when he wasn’t in the water that long? I’d always wondered that. Now I understand. He was so weak from loss of blood.”

Maggie’s heart thumped wildly, but she affected as casual a tone as she could muster. “I don’t know, Jamie. It all sounds a little far-fetched.”

Dan’s eyebrows shot up. “A little?!”

Jamie ignored them both, continued his frantic pacing. “But it all fits. These days right now coincide exactly with the days Titanic was on the open sea. And it’s a little known fact that Phillips lied about his age to get into the Marconi company. He was only 20, same as me.”

Dan nodded, finding a certain amount of clarity in Jamie’s thinking. Maybe there was something to all this after all . . .

But Maggie remained unconvinced. “Are you sure about this?”

Jamie nodded, and slowly lowered himself to a sitting position on his bed. “In two days, on April 15th, I’m going to die, just as Jack did 74 years ago.” He sucked in a deep breath. “He would’ve risen as a vampire had the sea not claimed his body. I won’t be so lucky.” He looked up at Maggie, tears building just behind his eyes. Fight them back! “Maggie, my birthday is April 15th.”

“Damn!” Dan whispered. Jamie’s arguments and obvious belief in them were swaying him. Maggie glanced over at Dan, but he merely shrugged. This was way out of his line. Either Jamie was completely nuts, or there was something to what he said.

Maggie decided to play along for now. “Let’s say this is all happening just like you said. How can you stop it?”

Jamie’s features hardened. “There’s only one way I can see – I’ve got to board Titanic before she sinks and prevent Jack Phillips from that final rendezvous with the vampire.”



Dream Cast for A Matter of Time

A Matter of Time    
About Matter of Time
What is your destiny?
This question haunts 20-year-old Jamie Collins. A junior at Santa Clara University in 1986, Jamie has friends, a  professor who mentors him, and a promising future as a writer.

Then the dreams begin – nightmarish visions that transport him back to a time and place fifty years before he was born: Titanic’s maiden voyage in 1912!  Less than a week before the 74th anniversary of its sinking, Jamie discovers that his fate is inexplicably linked to that of the famous vessel. Somehow, the two timelines are overlapping, and when Titanic dies this time, Jamie will die along with it.
The dreams reveal something evil stalking the ill-fated ship, something that expedites the collision which sinks her. Jamie realizes that the only way to stop this evil and prevent his own death may be to prevent Titanic from sinking in the first place.

But how? How can he stop that ship from sinking in 1912 when he hadn’t even been born yet? And even if he can stop it – should he? What will be the effect on history if he succeeds? Jamie’s quest to fulfill his destiny ties friendsand  family together  in ways he could never have  imagined.

A Matter of Time is an emotionally charged voyage into the value of friendship, the power of love, the impact of evil, and the vagaries of Fate.

 Dream Cast of Characters

Jamie Collins – is a twenty year old junior English major at Santa Clara University; aspiring writer; at odds with his father who he feels has never understood him; he has a strong mentoring relationship with Dr. Denton, his chief writing professor; insecure about his looks and insecure within social situations; tends to live a lot in his own imagination as he conjures stories to write; he feels that true love is something that will likely elude him forever, but confesses he may be too in love with the ideal of love to recognize the real thing; tends to second-guess his own decisions; honorable and loyal and dependable – a man of his word.
Actor: Ezra Miller

Dan is Jamie’s 18-year old roommate; freshman; tall, very handsome and athletic; rows for the crew team; babe magnet; funny and flippant personality; seldom gets too serious about anything; his strength of character is tested because of Jamie’s circumstances, and he proves to be loyal and dependable and the best friend Jamie has ever had; Jamie’s journey helps him grow up in ways he never could have imagined.
Actor: Liam Hemsworth

Dan’s sister; a junior history major; beautiful and fun-loving; enjoys having a good time; initially attracted to Jamie’s friend, Jay and they date awhile, but Jamie is the one she really wants and her change of heart creates a rift between Jamie and Jay; honest and decent and loyal, Maggie tires her best to help Jamie and make things right between them because she’s in love with him.
Actress: Emma Stone

27-year-old widow Jamie meets aboard Titanic; smart, insightful, beautiful, nobody’s fool, very independent, especially for 1912; she’d love to go to college; married at 16, but husband died shortly after their son was born; she’s been raising David on her own and has refused to remarry just because her parents feel scandalized; determined not to remarry until she falls in love again; despite Jamie’s being younger, Kate instantly falls for him, and vice versa.
Actress: Keira Knightly

Junior at Santa Clara; very cynical and condescending towards everyone and everything; makes a joke about anything; never takes anyone or anything seriously, a trait he acquired from his mother; very insecure about his looks, his abilities, his intellect; Jamie’s friend at the beginning, Jay fails to be helpful when Jamie’s troubles begin and later breaks from Jamie altogether over Maggie.
Actor: Keir Gilchrist

Jamie’s friend; junior physics major; shares Jamie’s love of fantasy and science fiction; very pragmatic and logical; looks for a scientific explanation for every occurrence, even Jamie’s feeling that there is another person living inside of him; Jamie’s journey forces Kevin to confront the reality that not everything can be explained through a physics equation.
Actor: Tom Felton

Dr. Denton
In his fifties; Jamie’s writing professor and mentor; very shy and buttoned-down; seldom makes eye contact when he teaches or converses; expert on literature and writing; never married – socially inept; emotionally stunted; keeps people at a distance, but recognizes Jamie as that one student in every teacher’s life who has true talent and has the desire to learn all that’s necessary to enhance histalent; against his better judgment, Denton allows himself to be drawn into Jamie’s situation on a personal level, and he grows emotionally as a result.
Actor: Liam Neeson

John and Amanda Collins
Jamie’s estranged parents; separated and living apart.
John is emotionally guarded and has created a rather large gulf between himself and his son – they don’t connect or understand one another; he has never encouraged Jamie’s writing aspirations because they aren’t practical and because he doesn’t understand where such desires even came from; loves his son, but doesn’t know how to show it.
Amanda is more emotional; has always encouraged Jamie’s imagination and writing aspirations as he was growing up; loves her son deeply, but doesn’t know how to help him; still loves John even though they live apart.
Jamie’s journey will ultimately help bring them back together.
Actors: Dennis Quaid and Elizabeth Shue

Captain Ewen
Captain of the fishing trawler Jamie hires to take him and Dan out into the Atlantic Ocean; middle-aged, Scottish descent; closed down emotionally due to a personal tragedy involving his family; more than anyone else, he understands Jamie’s desire to discover his destiny; despite not comprehending Jamie’s situation, he agrees to help the boy because Jamie reminds him of himself at that age; in the end,through Jamie’s ordeal, Ewen comes to a better understandingof himself, and even of his own son whom he’d never appreciated before.
Actor: Gary Sinise

Kate’s 10-year-old son; rambunctious; smart; very outgoing; takes an immediate liking to Jamie and sees the young man as perfect father material.
Actor: Jared Gilmore

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