The Boy in the Bubble

A story of love, suffering, telekinesis, and revenge. A Friday the 13th story.

Read a sample and purchase here:

Timothy Bergendorf suffers from so many potentially fatal allergies he is forced to live in a self-contained bubble. Protected from everything and loved by his parents, Timothy endures a lonely childhood. Yet, as nature compensates, he develops extraordinary telekinetic and psychic powers.

As he reaches puberty, his secret talents increase in power so he can travel the world in his mind. Using his power while juggling numerous cars in the air, Timothy suffers a ruptured hernia and is rushed to the hospital for emergency surgery.

But the operation goes wrong, Tim awakens in agony, and the arrogant, incompetent surgeon can’t help. Enraged, Timothy unleashes the full power of his ability—and no one in his path is safe.


Meeting the real ‘Boy in the Bubble.’

I feel very fortunate to have published seventeen books to date. Three under pseudonyms (I won’t tell you the other name I’ve used, but I will pay $100 to the first person to email me with it), and I have never based a protagonist on a real-life person I have met…until now.

My wife and I were invited to see a football game in the major sponsor’s corporate box. That is Australian Rules Football, not American style, and sadly, the game was dreadful, as our beloved West Coast Eagles were beaten by a better team on the day by a huge margin. But the premium wines flowed, the food was excellent, and we sat at a table and met a fantastic couple: Tim and Sharon. Sharon, I knew through business, but I had never met her husband, Tim, but I’m so glad I did, as he told me his life story.

Tim was born with so many severe allergies that he had to live his early years in a sealed plastic sphere, and he called himself one of the original boys in the bubble. He spoke matter-of-factly, not in an attention-seeking way, and I asked him to tell me more.

Tim spent his childhood completely cut off from the world, except for his family, who had to take extraordinary measures to keep him safe from contact with one of the allergens that could prove fatal. His family was amazing, and Tim grew up in his bubble, loved and cared for as he slowly gained some immunity. As a teenager, he could leave the bubble with great caution but had to be constantly vigilant about what he ate and touched.

I greatly admire Tim’s battle to survive and his apparent childhood loneliness. Eventually, he grew up, gained employment working outdoors, and met Sharon, who would become his wife. She picked up the mantle of studying cooking and ensuring Tim’s diet didn’t include anything that could be harmful or even fatal for him. To a certain extent, Tim led a ‘normal’ life, and things finally looked rosy. Sadly, it was not to be so forever, and Tim was struck down with a hernia and had to have an operation.

All surgery has risks, even supposedly minor procedures such as a hernia, but something went wrong. When Tim woke, he was in agony, and nothing the doctors could do eased his suffering. He had follow-up operations on three separate occasions, and the surgeons have not found a cause for why he has such chronic pain other than nerves were damaged. He has tried everything: hypnosis, drugs, meditation, and even an electronic device implanted, which delivers mini-electric shocks to the nerve endings in his spine.

Tim lives with more problems than anyone should suffer, yet he doesn’t complain, and things are not likely to improve any time soon. While chatting with him, I looked back on the trials and tribulations I have suffered recently and felt embarrassed to have complained.

It was around this time that Alicia Dean invited me to contribute a story once more to the fantastic Friday the 13th series, and I had that week been thinking about what story I could write. That night, lying in bed thinking about Tim and Sharon, I began one of my what-if train of thoughts. What if a boy, forced to live and grow up in a bubble, developed telekinetic powers? I mused.

I remember reading somewhere; my brain is a treasure trove of trivial and useless information, that the US government conducted trials in the seventies, and they believed that when children reach puberty, any psychic ability they possess increases in power at that stage in their lives. OK, so that could have been in one of my more famous namesake’s stories, but the thought resurfaced from somewhere. I imagined Tim, stuck in his bubble, being able to move items with his mind, close doors, and light fires. Then, when he hits puberty, he tries to use his mind to lift several cars in the air at once, and that causes a hernia. When the operation goes wrong, as it did for the real-life Tim, he unleashes his mental powers in a way that brings death and devastation.

And so, dear reader, that is how my Friday the 13th contribution, The Boy in the Bubble, came to be. I dedicated this book to Tim and Sharon after asking their permission. The dedication reads:

For Tim, a true superhero in my eyes, and Sharon, his Wonder Woman.

I hope you enjoy the story, and if you do, spare a thought for Tim and how he lives without complaining. I think we could all learn some appreciation of our lives.

I hope, dear ever-patient reader, you enjoy the Boy in the Bubble as much as I enjoyed writing it.