Go Big or Go Home Chapter One The Intruder There might be more unlikely ways to die, but I can't think of any. It was late in the evening at the end of the first week of August. I was home alone and sitting on the edge of my bed, only seconds from crashing. I let out a huge yawn. In a way, I owe my life to my watch. As I reached to take it off, I had the vague feeling that I was supposed to do something at a certain time. Do what, Brady? Then I remembered. I'd been checking out the Perseid meteor shower off and on since the middle of July, and this was the night it was going to peak. I threw open my window, swiveled outside onto the flat roof of our garage, and pulled up the lawn chair I keep out there. The sky was inky black and blazing with stars, which is nothing unusual for the Black Hills of South Dakota. Most nights are cloud-free, and our dry mountain air makes for excellent stargazing. Living out of town helps, too--no lights. I'd barely found where to look--in front of the Perseus constellation--when the first shooting star fell, then another, and another. What a show. I could read my watch by starlight alone, and I started timing them. Five to seven a minute! Mars was hovering just above the treetops, brighter than any star and twinkling bloody red. Mars hadn't passed this close to Earth in a couple hundred years. Too bad Quinn is missing the show, I thought. My cousin lived forty miles north in the town of Lead, which rhymes with speed . On Quinn's block the streetlights make for lousy stargazing. I'd been outside awhile, long enough to feel the chill, and was about to crawl back inside and hit the sack. My dad might be getting home soon, but he wasn't expecting me to wait up. All was quiet except the burbling of Spring Creek and a slight breeze in the pines. Nothing unusual was happening. Then, in a split second, something totally unusual was happening: the sky was changing from black to blue. Horizon to horizon, the night sky was glowing a brilliant blue. My jaw was on the ground. Strange, beautiful, bizarre, eerie, weird, awesome . . . words can't begin to describe that light. Then, suddenly, Boom! Boom! Two tremendous explosions rocked the sky, so powerful they rattled my bedroom window. What in the world? I didn't know what to make of the blue light, but I wondered if the booms had come from the Crazy Horse Memorial five miles south, where they're carving a mountain into the biggest statue in the world. Lately my dad and his crew had been widening the gap between Crazy Horse's pointing arm and the mane of his warhorse. Saturday evenings in the summer, like this one, they do a night blast for the tourists. It's totally spectacular. From home we sometimes hear a muffled rumble, but nothing like this. I didn't have time for another thought. All at once, a roar and a blinding fireball were coming down on me like a freight train strapped to a runaway skyrocket. I hit the deck, and as I did, Wham! Something crashed right into the house. From the earsplitting sound of it, I'd nearly got hit. Blinking and stupefied, I got to my feet, amazed to discover I was among the living. The sky was black again and lit with stars. Except for the burbling creek, everything was dead quiet. Meteorite? I wondered. Could that be possible? I climbed back through the window into my bedroom. When I switched on the light, more strangeness awaited. My bed was littered with debris--bits of wood, chunks of plasterboard, shreds of asphalt shingle. My eyes went to the ceiling over my bed and found a ragged hole there, big as a softball. I glanced back to my bed. The sheet was ripped open and scorched, right where I would have been lying. I stuck my fist into the hole and pushed it all the way through my foam mattress. Whatever had done this had punched a hole between two of the slats spanning my bed frame. I couldn't reach any farther, so I dropped to my knees and looked under the bed. And there it was, among splinters on the floor, unbelievably real. A meteorite! Heart hammering, I sat on the edge of my bed with my prize in one palm and then the other. The space rock looked like a baked potato, all burned shiny, but with rougher edges, pits, and sparkles. It was heavy, and almost too hot to handle, as well it might be after blazing a fiery hole through the atmosphere. We'd been hit by an intruder from outer space! I couldn't think of anything cooler that had happened in my entire life. I grabbed my cell and punched in Quinn's number. Go Big or Go Home . Copyright © by Will Hobbs. Reprinted by permission of HarperCollins Publishers, Inc. All rights reserved. Available now wherever books are sold. Excerpted from Go Big or Go Home by Will Hobbs All rights reserved by the original copyright owners. Excerpts are provided for display purposes only and may not be reproduced, reprinted or distributed without the written permission of the publisher.