Five: Episode Four is based off the following book excerpt from my science fiction supernatural thriller, The Contingency Generation.
Fol closes the door to seal out the light in the game room. He hears her voice, warm with sleep.
“A minute longer would have been nice.”
“Sorry. Do you need the light?”
“I don’t if you don’t. The game will start sooner this way”
Fol knows she can see nothing, but her form is as clear to him as the Rec suit he holds in his hand.
“Sooner is better. I’m way behind.”
“I was wondering about that. I wasn’t sure you would make it. You sounded upset when we talked.”
“Not upset. Just lots happening. We’ve got outlaw trouble in Navana again.” Fol tugs on the pants and then fiddles with the chinstrap of his helmet.
“I’m sorry. I thought it was my Blame Log story.”
He’s glad for the cover of dark. She’s getting too good at reading his face. He hears her laugh.
“Are you really a thief?”
“Maybe. If I am, how are you going to stop me?
“I’ll love you no matter what.” She walks towards the center of the room, and he moves to intercept her.
“There you are,” she says. Her kiss is warm and inviting. “Will you do the same?”
“Love me no matter what.”
Of course. Always” He murmurs the untruth in her ear and feels frustrated. Why is this emotion so impossible? In most capacities, he is an expert. Although the dim room still covers his flaw, he senses the need for more. He pulls her against him and asks, “Why did you choose cocoa for your end product?”
“I wanted to test the printer’s ability with two manufacturing processes.”
He lifts her ungloved hand to his mouth for a kiss. “You could have used your own coffee cup.”
“My audience needs to know my true opinion, which I can only give after my evaluation.”
“How long will you keep it up?”
“Keep what up?
Wrong move. He discards the warning. “Your writing. Product evaluations. I would think working on the module would be more important to you.”
She sighs and pulls away. “Of course it is. You of all people should know how important resurrection is to me. It’s all I care about.”
Her face, now illuminated by the blue light coming from the floor’s perimeter, reflects the sting of his senseless remark. He feels guilty and reaches out to touch her hair.
She ignores the gesture and pulls the strands out of his reach and into her helmet.
Say something good. “I’m sorry, babe. You know I’m all about success and your design is the best.”
She just stares at him while tightening her strap, and then she avoids looking at him altogether. He struggles to interpret her unfamiliar facial expression. It’s no use. Her silence continues. Welcome indifference returns to his spirit. She can pout all she wants. Any woman would be glad to be his partner. She has no idea who he is.
Her answer finally comes as she zips her jacket and moves to her side of the court.
“I guess I’ll find out tomorrow.”
When she turns to face him, he squints through the glare of their first challenge, an ephemeral green net. Is she mad or smiling?
A voice announces the terms of the game and their battle begins.
This blog post is an excerpt from my supernatural thriller, Five, presented in rough draft version. The posts will 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.