Five: Episode Sixty-Five is based off the following book excerpt from my science fiction, supernatural, thriller, The Contingency Generation.
First Gleam of Dawn
There’s a logical explanation for everything. I’ve been injected with enough Propofylozine to kill me two times over, so I must be having an out of body experience.
It makes sense except that my body seems to still serve me when I reach for the rope side rails of the slippery footbridge. The struts under my feet appear to be made of mirrored glass. Below me a blanket of dense fog hides the source of the rushing water I hear.
I look behind me but see no sign of Fol, lion or otherwise, so I slow my pace and move forward with caution.
The damp air carries a familiar scent. Minutes later, I remember the name. It’s Bergamot, the smell that comes with tea and the habit, that at this moment, I’d give anything to enjoy instead of running for my life.
I try not to think about the unlikely durability of glass as I scramble past the midpoint. Dazzling light pours out from an archway at the bridge end ahead of me. The brilliance reflects on the mirror treads and creates the illusion that I’m walking both to and on the light.
Somewhere near the end of the span, my legs give way, and I slide. My reach for the ropes yields hands instead, gripping and pulling me until I’m laid to rest, gasping on my back on something solid.
The intense light blinds me, but I can hear my rescuers’ voices.
“She’s incredibly lucky.”
“Or maybe not, depending how you look at it. She didn’t come through the water, so she’ll likely have to go back.”
“But she’s here, and not on Abyss, so that means she’s one of his.”
I cough and try to rise as I speak. “Hello? I’m right here. Even though my eyes are shut, I can hear you. Why is it so darn bright? Anyone have a pair of shades I can borrow?”
“You’re on Five, dear. It’s best to take it easy,” a soft voice answers and hands underneath my shoulders gently lift me. “Here. I’m giving you something to drink. Soon you’ll be able to open your eyes.”
The words are a shock, even as the drink soothes. It tastes like water flavored by many kinds of fruit.
If I’m on Five, then I’m certain that I’m dead.
The world around me comes into fuzzy focus, but only at times do portions become completely distinct. I sit and study the surface I’m on. It appears to be a pebble path that curves up a hill until it disappears into a dark patch of towering tree-like shapes. Blobs of white move on either side of it and bleat like sheep.
I squint at my rescuers to gather details, but their faces and form are harder to discern because a prismatic glow around them keeps shifting and flowing.
“Who are you?” I ask bluntly.
One of the forms comes close and squats beside me. “We’re herald shepherds. Your bridge brought you here for some reason. We’ll take you to him just as soon as you’re strong enough.”
The figure stands as a dog begins barking nearby. I follow the barking and see a dark four-legged oblong trot up the path to accompany an indistinct form that runs toward us. With effort, I can make out details of a woman in a purple gown carrying a lamb.
Several of my rescuers move to meet the runner, and after indistinct conversation, they return and I feel several arms hoisting me up.
“Can you stand?”
My legs feel solid again. “I can.”
“Then you must run.” A hand grabs mine and tugs.
“But I can’t see well enough yet. I’ll fall if I run now.”
“We will guide you. Come on.”
What is it with the running? I allow myself to be pulled along. Things can’t get any worse than they were. At least I’m alive, and soon my sight will be good enough to see the place I once thought was only a hoax.
This blog post is an excerpt from my supernatural thriller, Five, presented in rough draft version. The posts appear weekly as my story development progresses. The story snippets will likely be full of typos, garbage, and confusion. I’m sure to regret allowing readers a sneak peak of the chaos involved in this process of making a finished book.
Someday, if I still have an audience, my book(s) and screenplays will be polished and for sale. Until then, my story snippets are free, but payment by “subscribing” with your email would be a nice gesture. For doing this you might get a discount on my purchasable work should that day ever arrive. All you get now is a notice via email of a new story episode that I have ready to read on my “blog.” I don’t sell my email list or do anything else with it.
Why am I doing this stupid and terrible thing—letting readers see my “off the cuff” story writing?
Book industry experts say that in today’s world of book marketing, an unknown author must build their own sales platform. I’m supposed to advance my platform by collecting readers, and for now, by blogging. Since I can’t imagine blogging about what I had for breakfast or the things my cat does, then instead, I’m blogging fiction excerpts of my work(s) in progress.
Thanks for slogging along. Maybe we’ll meet on a bookshelf someday.