for a free sample of the PennSTAR Master Curriculum:
4,830 Objectives and 2,719 Activities
Who Killed Jesus, and Why?
the Gospel with the children of the world for just pennies!
One US dollar will provide the Book of Hope to three children.
Gone's Preface, Major Characters, and Chapter-by-Chapter Synopsis
Now You Can Read Gone on Your Kindle
and parents who are homeschooling--
Download the PennSTAR Master Curriculum
Have you seen Mel Gibson's movie, The Passion of the Christ?
Click to Send E-Mail
Table of Contents
Return to Gone Home Page
In the last few years, a number of catastrophe novels have appeared in the mall bookstores. The themes are as varied as the imagination of their authors: meltdown, epidemic, tidal wave, comet fall, forest fire, dam break, earthquake, nuclear war, epidemic outbreak.
Some of these terrible things may happen. Some may never happen. Who knows?
This is what makes Gone different from all other disaster literature. If you read the New Testament of the Bible, you know the rapture is a literal event which is going to happen. You also know that no one is exactly sure when this event is going to occur.
You can know one thing, however. The first coming of Jesus Christ as a baby in Bethlehem's manger was precisely predicted by the Old Testament prophets. All of those prophecies were fulfilled, right down to the town in which He would be born. Therefore, the New Testament prophecies of His second coming will be fulfilled in equal detail. "Even so, come, Lord Jesus." Revelation 22:20.
Gone shows how the rapture will break into the lives of Mr. and Mrs. Average American, in this case the Marlow family. Infants, young children, and persons with mental disabilities are taken. Good, law-abiding citizens are left behind. The explanation of what happened in the rapture is provided by the wife of an evangelical minister who is left behind, also. She is analytical, rather than bitter, and helps the main characters understand what has happened and what may be in store for them in the future. The book ends on a sequel note, should the saga be continued.
Thanks to my wife, Nancy, who provided the motivation, the inspiration, the encouragement, and the proofreading to make Gone a possiblity.
Reference to the radio services of the Associated Press (AP) made by permission of Glenn Serafin, of the Harrisburg Office, Broadcasting Executive for Pennsylvania, Virginia, and D.C.
The location of Liverpool, Pennsylvania is real. All other references to Liverpool are fictional.
The Bethany Community Church and Parsonage are fictional. Any similarity to a real church and congregation is purely coincidental.
The location of Camp Mill, Pennsylvania is real. Radio Station WMOR is fictional. Any similarity to a real station with similar or identical call letters and format is purely coincidental.
The location of Seven Stars, Pennsylvania is real. The Seven Stars Elementary School and the River Area School District are fictional. Any similarity to real school entities or the employees of such entities is purely coincidental.
The location of Walnut Valley, New Jersey is real. The Walnut Valley Colony is a fictional composite of several such facilities with the general appearance of the campus drawn from the Laurelton Center (formerly Laurelton State School and Hospital in Laurelton, Pa.) Any similarity to a real and specific facility for persons with mental disabilities and the residents or employees of such a facility is purely coincidental.
The Gospel music artists referenced in Chapter 8 were involved in national Christian ministry at the time of publication. The Bill Gaither Trio referenced in Chapter 9 and elsewhere was involved in national Christian ministry including annual concerts at the Hersheypark Arena in Hershey at the time of publication. Specific references to the style and content of the Hersheypark concert are a composite of real concerts of recent years.
All other characters not specifically mentioned above are fictional. Any similarity to real persons living or dead, or to characters in other fictional works, is purely coincidental.
Dan Marlow: General manager of a medium-market FM radio station ... Moral but not religious ... Good husband and father ... Bit of a short temper ... Forty-eight years old.
Karen Marlow: Dan's wife and principal of a local elementary school ... A caring mother and an exemplary educator ... Forty-six years old ... Like Dan, moral but not religious.
Kevin and Kellie Marlow: The much-loved but not spoiled twins of Dan and Karen ... Six years old and in the first grade at Karen's school ... Full of fun and energy.
Mark Marlow: The adult son of Dan and Karen ...Works as an administrator at a state residential facility for persons with severe and profound mental disabilities.
Jason Masterson: The new pastor of a local non-denominational evangelical church ... Interested in broadcasting Gospel music.
Veronica (Ronni) Masterson: Jason's wife and a thorough Bible student ... Years ago cursed God because of the tragic kidnapping and murder of her 6-month-old son.
Lacey Bowder: The bright, bouncy, all-night DJ at Dan's radio station ... Very caring about people, especially her listeners.
The narrative occurs between early Thursday morning, January 2, and early Monday morning, January 6, without the year being specified. There is one major flashback in the first chapter.
1: Black Cat
Dan and Karen are in an agony of grief and confusion over the unexplained disappearances of their twins, Kevin and Kellie. Then Ronni Masterson walks into their kitchen in an apparent catatonic state. Suddenly a strange, black cat appears and runs upstairs. Shortly afterward, hideous sounds and smells emanate from the twins' bedroom. When Dan goes upstairs and finds that the black cat is desecrating the clothes the twins had worn that day, he shoots it. The sounds and smells disappear instantly. Major flashback..
Dan Marlow wakes up to a snow storm and has to be at his radio station in Camp Hill by six. On the way a slow-moving Amish sleigh causes him to skid into a snow bank. A passerby named Jason Masterson pulls him out.
As the trip to Camp Hill continues, Dan remembers how he hired Lacey Bowder to run an all-night country show for truckers. When he arrives at the station, Lacey's apparent depression reminds him of the fatal truck accident Tuesday night which occurred while Lacey was talking to the driver on the CB.
4: Snow Delay
Karen Marlow's school district has called a two-hour snow delay because of the storm. Principals are instructed to provide a one-hour professional improvement meeting for their teachers. Karen makes a quick call to an assistant superintendent who agrees to talk to the teachers about the new elementary school computer program. Karen's first-grade twins, Kevin and Kellie, are fascinated by the chance to watch teachers "at work".
5: Walnut Valley
Mark Marlow, Dan and Karen's adult son, drives through a salt-and-cinders soup to his job as an administrator at the Walnut Valley Colony, a residential facility for persons with severe and profound mental disabilities. A reporter from the Atlantic City Press wants an interview and Mark explains the complexities of staffing such an institution 24 hours a day, 365 days a year.
Jackie Dark, a young adult resident of Walnut Valley with a severe mental disability, wanders away from his dormitory and becomes lost in a snow storm. Mark Marlow is serving as "administrator on duty" for the afternoon shift and assumes responsibility for organizing a major search. Jackie is subject to seizures and a nurse reports he has refused his four P.M. anticonvulsant medication..
7: Gospel Music
Jason Masterson visits Dan Marlow at his radio station and reveals he is a Gospel DJ on the side, in addition to being a pastor. Dan resists putting any Gospel music on the station. Then he hears a demo of Jason's programming and changes his mind. Jason invites Dan and Karen to join Ronni and himself for dinner and a Gaither Homecoming concert at the Hersheypark Arena.
8: Gaither Homecoming
The wives drive down to Camp Hill together and join Dan and Jason for the evening of dinner and Gospel music. On the way to the concert, Dan and Karen hear a news item on the radio regarding the Jackie Dark crisis at Walnut Valley Colony. At the concert, Dan and Karen are impressed with the music of the Gaithers and the number of songs they have written. At the close, Dan feels a powerful emotion sweep over him but then the crowd begins to leave and the emotion is lost.
9: Good-Bye, Twins
The morning after the Gaither concert, Dan sleeps in later than usual and then enjoys breakfast with his family. He has a strange fear of letting the twins get in the car as Karen drives off to the Seven Stars Elementary School.
Lacey Bowder attends the funeral for Ben Hadad, the trucker who died while talking to her on the CB. The service is in a little country church outside Gettysburg and interment will be in the Gettysburg Military Cemetery.
An all-night search of Walnut Valley Colony and the surrounding area has been fruitless. Jackie Dark can't be found and the search team is disbanded, except for a skeleton crew of institutional farm and grounds workers.
12: Good-Bye, Jackie
Jackie is found at last. And then, he is ... gone!
13: The Dead in Christ
Back at the Gettysburg Cemetery, Lacy and the people at the graveside service are amazed at what takes place during the interment.
In the Bethany parsonage, Ronni Masterson realizes she is pregnant but will never see her daughter grow to maturity.
15: Where Are the Twins
At the Seven Stars school, Karen Marlow is standing in the lunch line when the normal daily routine is disrupted severely.
16: The Big Show
Back at the Walnut Valley Colony, the employees see residents with severe and profound mental and physical disabilities present a most unusual show.
17: The Cemetery
Lacey is momentarily enthralled by the strange things which she has just observed. But then, a strange chill sweeps over the cemetery and she borrows the flower car to drive back to the church and get her Corvette.
Dan gets an unidentified blip in his radio earphones at exactly noon but isn't aware of anything strange until a newswire bulletin reports missing infants in a hospital nursery. It isn't long until audio and wire bulletins tell him something very strange is happening..
19: The Absentees
Karen Marlow she has no kindergarten and very few first grade students. Some of the older children and her own secretary are gone as well..
20: The Layoffs
The superintendent of the Walnut Valley Colony explains to Mark and the other employees that the facility is to be mothballed and they will be furloughed until further notice. The facility is no longer needed!
Ronni revives and claims the dead black cat is hers. She takes care of the remains and then offers to explain to the Marlows how years ago, the kidnapping of her six-month-old son, Sunny was involved in the recent disappearances.
Ronni believes that the disturbance in the twins supernaturally involved her cat, Midnight.
23: Big News
Dan, Ronni, and Mark drive down to Radio Station WMOR in Camp Hill where Dan feeds both an audio and a wire bulletin to the AP about Ronni's knowledge of the disappearances. Within minutes, all three major networks have called and the White House wants Ronni to participate in a news conference in the East Room.
24: The Forum
At Karen's insistence, the Marlows attend a memorial service for the missing school children. They put photographs of Kevin and Kellie in a common casket with the pictures of hundreds of other children who are also gone. It's an empty ceremony.
Ronni Masterson and Lacey Bowder are overnight guests at the Marlows. The ladies are upstairs chatting and Dan is dozing by the living room fire. Suddenly the demonic sounds and smells are back, only worse than before..
26: The Lamb
Ronni explains how a picture of Revelations's Lamb of God may have given them power over the demonic visitors.
29: The Beginning of the End
The visitors are asleep and the Marlows are talking quietly before falling asleep themselves.
Table of Contents
Return to Gone Home Page
Click to Send E-Mail