Phinn as a fourteen-year-old lives by the beach in Southern California. His best friends are Frosty Jack, a surfer extraordinaire, Chuck, a retired tile layer, and Sue, a sculptor of unusual designs. They sell their beach cottages and journey off. Jack to surf all over the world. Chuck to meet the home run legend, and his brother-in-law, Henry Aaron. Sue to sculpt figures from The Simpsons for La Maison Du Chocolat in Paris. Phinn feels lost and abandoned. He is left with two friends—an obnoxious white Husky with blue eyes he calls Blacky, and Micky, as independent and unpredictable, he wishes to have as a girlfriend. Phinn witnesses a cargo plane crash. Roberto Clemente, a famous baseball player, climbs out. He had drowned years ago. He warns Phinn of an earthquake to hit LA. Phinn imagines Roberto rescues him away to become a superhero—Salamander Boy. Is it fantasy or is it real? He returns to the catastrophe of the earthquake. Who must Phinn save first? As Salamander Boy or a boy? In the chaos, someone is kidnapping girls, even his friends who live on his block. Can he save them before they are sold as sex slaves? Is any of it real? Does it matter?
Under the Hero's Thumb