Heir of Nostalgia- Update

A month or so back I posted that something amazing was happening within the Valerian universe- I can now say what that something is:

They say a picture is worth a thousand words- let’s see if that’s true.

Heir of Nostalgia presents(1)

 

That’s right- seems Phillip and the gang are going international- Heir of Nostalgia, the 1st Book in the Valerian Cycle, is in the process of being translated into Italian.  Pretty cool if you ask me.

Update Aug 9th- Click Here for first 17 pages translated

By the way, Shameless Promotion week is still going on- till the end of August now, in celebration of this milestone.  Until the end of August, you can pick up the eBook version of Heir of Nostalgia- Book 1 for a mere $1.99, but only at Amazon.  Simply click here to be taken to that page.  While you’re at it, pick up a paperback copy as well- and enjoy that cool new cover as well!  Check back often and I’ll keep you up to date on the latest… but for now, arrivederci!

 

Shameless Self-Promotion Week

A new talent~ Finlayson

Gathering Darkness CoverheFata Morgana

Click on Book Cover to see Amazon Website

Amazon Links above:

A reminder that all three of my books are on sale as E-Books for a mere $2.99 each, (one even cheaper than that!) Trade Paperbacks are also available from all your finer on-line bookstores, Nook, Amazon and B&N, as well as Smashwords, etc.  Simply click on the book cover above to be taken to the Amazon website.  As a note, if you would like a signed copy of one of my books, simply let me know and we can arrange for that to happen.

Click Here For Amazon Website:

Click Here for Nook website:

Click here for B&N website:

Click here for Smashwords:

Click here for iTunes (Apple):

Hope you enjoy- make sure and check my website often for deals, news and upcoming events- simply Click Here!

Bonus- Leave a comment on this post to enter a contest where I will be giving away (1) Trade paperback version, as well as (1) E-book version of all (3) of my books, that’s (6) chances to win!!!  Winners to be decided at the end of August 2016.  Winners will be notified by email.

Great Turnout- Book signing @ Hastings

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Some pics from this weekends Book signing at Hastings Books, Warrensburg Missouri.  Great turnout.  Loved seeing everyone who attended.  Humbled to be in the presence of so many great authors such as G. A. Edwards, Stephanie Flint, Christine Gilbert, Mary-Lane Kamberg, R.M. Kinder, R.L. Naquin, Debbie Noland, Thaddeus Nowak, W.L. Ripley, Stan. C. Smith, Alfie Thompson (Val Daniels) & last but not least, James Young.

Looking for a good book, stop by and pick up one or all…!

Book Signing- Hastings Bookstore

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Reminder: I, along with other local and area authors will be signing books this Saturday, June 4th, 2016 at Hastings Book Store in Warrensburg Missouri from 4-6 PM.  Can’t wait to see you there.  Make sure to stop by and say Hello!

What: Book Signing.  A chance to meet me and other local & area authors

Where: Hastings Bookstore, Warrensburg Missouri

When: Saturday June 4th, 2016 from 4:00 PM to 6:00 PM

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Heir of Nostalgia- Chapter Zero

Heir of Nostalgia- A Gathering Darkness

Present Drocktrails21ay…

Can’t stop shaking, no matter how hard I try

The air around me cloying, buzzing, twisting in the night.  Scythes of light slice darkness, illuminating madness and chaos.  Death has been here, rendered much here.

Prospered here..

Someone sobs behind me.  Stones scatter and clack.

They are coming for me.

I don’t care.  Let them find me.  Let them end me.  I am death anyway.  Everything I touch, everyone I ever loved, gone.

Only memories remain.

In the distance, ever closer, the scream and wail of sirens approaching, like the world is coming to an end-

In a way it is.

All because of me, what I’d done and hadn’t done.

Should have done!

On my knees, prostrate before my father, his hand outstretched still, reaching for me, pleading, begging for a mercy in death he couldn’t find in life.  He’d been swimming in rivers of blood since 42nd Street and Leo’s, then Kaelynn’s flight, and now this, Central Park burning in the night, littered with corpses.

Acid, burns the back of my throat.  It is all I can do to turn away, gagging and retching, spilling my insides out.

Convulsions course through me, the world spins.

Seems I can’t even die right…

And I wanted to die, oh god how I wanted to die.

In my hand, Jagiello’ blade, at least what remained of it.  The blood-smeared hilt weighs a ton- the weight of the world.  And for what, vengeance?

“You shouldn’t have pushed me,” I scream, “you didn’t have to die here.”  But I had no choice, he forced me.  The words war within me.

‘We all have a choice.’  My mother’s words.

“Maggie…?  ‘Aaron…”  Their names roll off my tongue, but they are gone like everyone else.  Into the grave.

“Damn you!”  I’m scream, the sound echoing back to me from stone and tree, filling the sky like blood spills from the east.

More rocks scatter behind me.

They are getting closer all the time.  And when they find me…

Grinning, “I’ll be ready…”

 

Fata Morgana- Chapter Nine & Ten

Chapter Ninemed_res

There is a saying that comes to mind, something from an old movie that I’d seen as a kid all those years ago, and it spoke to me still, ‘I was ninety-nine point nine five percent parched, and I needed a drink.’

Clambering to my feet, after giving a wary look towards the silent darkened windows above me, I struck out in search of a well, that or a water faucet. Right now I’d take anything. (In my mind I was really hoping to find an old garden hose and twist knob faucet. For those of you who have never experienced the sweet goodness that can only come from a garden hose on a blistering hot day, crystal refreshment just begging to be tasted, just a hint of the hose, the crisp tongue-biting tease of wetness that can parch even the staunchest of souls, there are simply no other terms or words to describe it, other than absolutely heavenly. In fact, I’m sure that heaven will have its fair share of garden hoses as well, if for no other reason than to relive the sensation, the absolute joy of quenching ones thirsts from one.)
Upon entering the backyard, the first thing that I noticed, other than the overgrown patch where a garden would have been but only weeds ran riot now, was a dull gray pipe sticking up out of the ground next to a wooden pole, both wound in dark green ivy. Topping the gray pipe was a sun-bleached red-handled pull faucet. (Sadly, no hose though.) It took two yanks on the handle, the second yank more desperate then the first when it seemed the damn thing wasn’t going to work- to come so close, yet be denied –but finally I managed to draw forth a stuttering stream of rusty, then running clear, water.
Needless to say, I immersed my head twice, before I could no longer resist, shoving my face fully into the stream where I simply opened my mouth and allowed the crisp wetness to drown the fire ragging within my throat and soul.
Timeless moments later, my thirst quenched, or should I say slackened as it would take some time to replenish what mother nature and the sun had so callously stripped, I stood, wiped off the excess water and took a good long look around. (I didn’t leave however, for now the faucet and the water was my friends, long lost friends.)
As before, the farmhouse was a two-storied structure sporting a three-quarter wrap-around porch, complete with white-washed columns and a porch swing. Jutting out on the backside, where I currently stood, was a cracked and much-stained concrete pad. The pad acted as a patio, per se, and was dominated by a series of rusty-green lawn chairs with seashell backs; which in turn seemed to be standing sentry to a screened-in back porch, its door closed.
Just to the left of the patio stood another door, the basement door, wooden and sagging on its hinges. A bricked-lined path led from the patio to its darkened threshold. Unlike the back door, the basement door was wide open, not invitingly though. Darkness seemed to pour from the opened doorway like ink from a spilled inkwell.
Needless to say, I decided to investigate the upstairs first.
Something about darkened basements made my skin want to crawl. Despite the coolness, which I’m sure would be welling up from darkness below, basements usually smelled of rotten potatoes and rusting metal cans. Not only that, but did I mention how much I hated spiders.
The screen door leading into the house was about as stubborn as the front gate had been to open, squalling hideously as I yanked on it. The weathered and swollen inner door was just as bad, requiring two good shouldering’s and a shower of rotten wood and paint before it too, finally let go and lurched open. The only difference being, the inner one would skid to a stop about halfway through, prompting me to worm my way around it.
It was obvious the farmhouse had been abandoned for quite some time.

The first room I entered was the kitchen, with its pale-yellow walls and green linoleum floors. Floors that were warped and buckled in many places, hence the door stopping halfway. It was obvious that the ravages of time, moisture and humidity had rotted the subfloor, as it had the plaster and lathe walls. Simply put, the house was a mess of rot and mold.
Cabinets of darkened cherry barely clung to the walls, many with their doors hanging wide open and askew. A gas stove and refrigerator, (I could only imagine the horrors contained therein) and a battered three-legged kitchen table, dominated the rest of the room. All were covered in thick layers of dust, debris and mouse droppings. Layers of tattered spider webs completed the picture of a farmhouse long in the tooth, and abandoned to both time and the elements. Three wooden chairs set tucked up under the kitchen table, the fourth, currently on its back like its owner had been in a hurry to leave, lay near the head.
Straight ahead, on the opposite side of the room, lay a darkened hallway with a full-length mirror on one side, and a closed wooden door on the other.
Far off to the right stood a small shelving unit holding the desiccated remains of moldering cardboard boxes and rusted cans, what had once been a pantry, and beyond that an opening showing angled stairs leading upward to the second story.
For the moment I decided to continue my investigation of the farmhouse downstairs.
The smell of disuse and rot seemed to permeate the entire house, with motes of dust drifting lazily across shafts of brilliant sunlight.
I sneezed twice before making it to the hallway- allergies.
The closed door across from the full-length mirror was locked and all the tugging in the world would not open it. This was a good thing, because I think it led to the basement- the last place I wanted to be at the moment.
For some reason I ignored the mirror.

Beyond this, and straight ahead, lay a large living room of darkly paneled walls. One wall was hung with countless pictures in a variety of dust and cob-web covered frames, the images they contained and the faces therein, of people, places and things, now faded to jaundiced ghostly images trapped forever behind glass.
In the far corner, across from a sagging and much-rotted divan, its course multi-colored weave faded and heavy with clumps of wind-driven leaves, set an old console television set, its darkened screen long since shattered, remnants of straw and dried grass poking from within its broken confines.
The only other objects in the room, besides the patchy shag carpeting rotting underfoot, and an old wicker shelving unit its shelves collapsed in a heap at its base, along with the shattered and dust-covered remains of what they once held, were two openings leading off to my right. Both of these ended in bedrooms, now nothing more than rat’s nests of shredded clothing, sagging bedsprings, broken-down headboards and the collapsed remains of a couple of dressers and a nightstand. The pictures hanging in these two rooms were just as bad and indecipherable as the ones hanging in the living room.
This left me with a dilemma of sorts, if I wanted to continue exploring the house, which didn’t seem half as ominous from the inside as it had from the outside then I’d have to go either upstairs, and possibly fall through rotted floorboards, or downstairs and wade into the basement.
Upstairs it would be.

Chapter Ten

The stairs leading up from the kitchen were choked with leaves and the remains of tattered clothing. It was here that I discovered a shattered baseball bat, a Little Slugger. It had been wedged between the third step and the cracked and weathered handrail of the stairwell. Stepping over this, my eyes continued to travel upward, into the dim darkness overhead.
Reaching the top of the stairs I was confronted by a long hallway stretching away from me the length of the house. Behind me was a long window, nearly floor to ceiling, its eight panes covered by a cracked and yellow blind. Unlike the windows downstairs, this window, as well as the other one at the opposite end, had their blinds pulled, casting the entire hallway in a darkened pall, a brownish glow that seemed to absorb even sound. The carpet up here, though dusty and strewn with bits of leaves and grass, seemed intact, its softness muffling my footsteps.
Curiously, the hallway stank of recently mowed grass and gasoline. It reminded me of a time when-

We had just moved for the third time in as many years. (This would have been about a year or so after the whole Richard getting punched in the nose, incident.) My father was still a police officer, still had his temper, but in a light bulb moment, figured out that us leaving the trailer park was by far, better than Mom leaving him. So, instead of pushing his luck, and her buttons any further, he had decided we needed to move into a more stable environment.
The house we moved into was an old two-story unit that sat across from the city’s ball park. It too, was a rambling ramshackle of a place, with hollow wooden floors, plenty of plaster and lathe walls and rooms filled with cheap wood paneling. But it had a temperament about it, a stubborn, in your face hatred.
That and it was haunted as well.
My strongest memory of the place, and the reason I thought it was haunted, became clear the night we first moved in.
For some reason that night, while my brother and I lay upstairs on a temporary mattress dad had thrown down on the floor; we both began to feel ill. Whether it was the smell of the place, with its mold and general stink of disuse and neglect, or whether it was something we ate for dinner that night, we both ended up spending most of the night downstairs in the bathroom throwing up this orange chunky bile, bitter and acidic. (I can still remember how it burned the hairs in my nose and the back of my throat.) According to Mom, we threw up most of the night, just me and my brother. Mom and our new baby brother never did get sick.
After an hour or so of us worshipping the porcelain throne, Mom decided she’d better call dad and ask him to stop by during his shift, to take a look at us.
Which he did, even if begrudgingly so…
I can distinctly remember that through it all, he never really showed us too much concern, and in the end chalked it all up to something we must have eaten the day before.
By daybreak the barfing had quit, thank god, and we were left feeling weak and puny, pale and sweaty.
And that’s pretty much it.
So why have I told you this story, and when do we get to the haunted part?

Since that night, and many nights since, I have often wondered whether it was really food poisoning we had suffered from, or just us being kids and picking up some weird bug. It wouldn’t be until years later that I would develop another theory, however.
Like I said, dad had chalked it all up to something we must have eaten earlier in the day, but now I’m beginning to think it was simply the house hating us.
I know, sounds crazy, how can something inanimate like a house hate?
Because it was cursed from the very beginning, since its conception- first board cut. Houses can do that, people can do that. Houses, like people, have personalities. They can hate, become jealous, scheme even.
I seriously believe, even to this day, even with the general lack of evidence, that that house, across from the ballpark, rumored to be haunted, hated us, and what the house hated, it wanted out. This puking we suffered was simply its way of trying to get us to leave.
Needless to say, it didn’t work then, and it sure as heck wouldn’t work now. Even though that same ‘sick to my stomach’ feeling was returning, that acidic, orange, chunky I just can’t wait to throw up, feeling’. When the spit in your mouth gets all stringy and your legs turn to water, and you feel like somebody has just reached down your throat and grabbed you by the guts and was busy twisting them into knots. This was the exact same feeling I was getting now, here, in this farmhouse, stranded at the top of the stairs. Whether it was from lack of water, the heat, or that I’d drank too much water too fast because of the heat, some small part of me, the part that still remained a kid, knew beyond the shadow of a doubt, that this house was like that one before, it hated me being here and it wanted me gone.
The only difference being, this time I was grown. I was an adult, and I could do what I want.
Yea, right…

It occurred to me then, even as I choked back the nearly overwhelming urge to hurl, that I’d almost fallen into ‘day trip’ mode again, the absolute last thing I needed to be doing right now.
I needed to stay put.
I needed to remain grounded in the here and now, not the once upon a time. Mainly, because I needed answers, and the answers I needed, could only be gotten by me staying put for once.
Granted, there for a moment the world had gotten fuzzy around its edges, but in the end I remained- despite the fact that I was holding back enough nausea to power a small city

Along the hallway before me were three doors, two on my left and one on my right. The doors on my left were both closed. The door on my right, however, was open just a crack, not a lot, but enough to allow one stabbing beam of sunlight to cut its way through the gloominess of the upstairs hall and illuminate what looked to be a flowered pattern worked into the hallway carpet.
Pausing, I gathered my wits. (Why was I so nervous, so scared? After all, what could really happen to me, I was already dead… right? Besides, nothing has happened so far to make me scared, other than being completely confused. One would think that after having faced the absolute last act of living and breathing and coming through it alive, I would have at least a smidgen more of courage.)
But I didn’t. I was afraid- enough for a half dozen people.
My goose bumps had goose bumps.
In fact, the last time I felt this scared I must have been around five or six-

*

We were living in Darton, in a little pink house situated on the very outskirts of town just off the curve of a highway. (This would have been just prior to the two-storied hating house and the trailer park.) Darton would be our new beginning, another starting point, one we desperately needed. The house, however, despite the newness of the town, needed a lot of work, the yard especially. Dad was still working construction in the city, so my parents were still able to pay the bills, something dad would later remedy. For now, though, we were the consummate picture of an American family.
Mom, dad, my brother and I had just finished working in the yard outside, chopping down the roof-high weeds surrounding the house, and clearing out most of the brush in the yard. My brother and I were completely worn-out from helping dad mow. Being just liddel-in’s we were put down for naps.
I loved those days, when parents actually scheduled naps and kids were required to sleep during them. Though back then, I don’t think we truly appreciated them like we should have. Years later, especially during my early teenage years, I would have killed for a nap-
I can remember laying there in bed, in what would later become our bedroom but for now remained a storage room. My brother snuggled up against me, his forehead and hair matted with sweat. Smudges of dirt surrounded his mouth and marked his left cheek.
It’s a couple of minutes in and I’m already half-in half-out of ‘it’- not really awake but not all that asleep. (At least I didn’t think so.) That’s when I begin having this dream… this ‘day trip’ sort of thing.

The room was dark except for a back-lit doorway immediately in front of me. Through it I can see my parents, still up and working in the living room, moving things about- furniture and such- that and this brilliant light shining in from above, illuminating this single thread of crystal-like web above me.
Normally I’d be freaking out, but I’m not. For you see, I’m not afraid of spiders… yet. So, instead of freaking out, I just lay there and watched this web, the way it shimmered in the sunlight, especially the way its brilliance outshined the rest of the room, redefining what darkness could be.
After a couple minutes/hours of lying there, I begin to notice this tiny little figure working its way along the webs length, making its way from my left to my right. (Remember, this web is really no more than a foot or so above the bed, so if I set up it gets destroyed.) This tiny little figure is a spider, its legs and body just as crystal clear as the thread it weaves. Located in the middle of this spider’s little bitty body, is this tiny blue shimmering flame, kind of pulsing along like a heartbeat, but this tiny blue light beats really fast. (The most amazing thing about this whole experience is the way the sunlight seems to shimmer off the spider and its web, diamond-like glitter, cutting across the room, as well as my vision, and absorbing all my interest, all my mind.)
So once again here I am, absorbed by this mesmerizing sight, a singular strand of web cut horizontal to my world, which is mystery enough, for how could a spider this small, or of any size for that matter, spin a web horizontally? Where was gravity and why wasn’t it working? And then there’s this tiny crystal spider working its way across it, like a tiny blue flame flickering diamond bright, a lit fuse slowly burning down.
Looking beyond the web I could see my dad. At the moment he was watching me, this most amazing look on his face, like he’s so proud of me. Immediately I smile back, and then, in a moment of absolute love, I ask him to come in here and witness this sight I’m seeing, that he would surely love it more than anything in the whole wide world, that, and I wanted to give him a great big hug for being the best-est Father in the whole wide world.
And that’s when I notice the ‘other’ spider
The bigger spider
The reason I’m so afraid of spiders to begin with, spider.
This thing here in the room with me, with us, has to be the size of a small dog, I’m not kidding you. Its eight glittering eyes look like flickering red flames, flames that are watching me, have been the entire time, probably. And worst of all, it’s crouched just this side of the wall next to the open door, just waiting to pounce on the first thing foolish enough to come through.
I’m literally frozen in place, as still and as sure as if I’d been wrapped up in silken thread and caught in a trap. I was nothing more than bait; I realize that now, and my father would turn out to be its next victim.
Unless I did something
Much to my horror, much to my surprise, here he comes though, this man I call Father, that same look of love and pride on his face. He’s coming to get his oldest son. To pick him up and kiss him on the cheek; tell him that he loves his oldest boy more than anything in the world.
Possibly ‘whole wide world’
That his boy did an awesome job out there this morning, helping his Dad rescue their new home from the ravages of time and decay-
And all the while, there it waited, the spider, crouched just inside the doorway, its eight legs quivering in anticipation. Venom dripped from its fangs, striking a thin vaporous line as it scarred the filthy hardwood floors.
And all the while I can’t say a thing! I can’t even scream. All I can do is lie there, mouth open, face frozen, too terrified to even move.
I can’t even wake my little brother up, tell him.
And my Dad is almost here, almost to our room, and there the spider is, waiting, waiting to pounce, waiting to bite- waiting to trap.
The crystal spider that was above me is gone now; having vanished off to my left, vanishing once more into darkness. Its little blue flame, now a flicker of brilliant blue stars all around me, hundreds… no thousands, of flickering blue heartbeats, all crouched in anticipation within the warm still darkness of the room. It was then that I realized we had entered her lair, her home, the place where she kept her young, where she put her young down for naps, possibly after feasting on stray cats, kittens and a rabbit or two… anything foolish enough to enter- and we had entered.
We were going to be next.


The entire house was a trap, her web in disguise. Instead of using leaves and bits of twigs and things like most hunting spiders, she had used windows and siding, pieces of wood, hardwood floors and carpeting, furniture and drapes…
“What is it son, are you ready for Daddy to come get you out of bed?”
He was here, it was too late. The fingers of his left hand were mere inches from the spider’s front legs- and I still couldn’t say a thing. All I could do was sit there and whimper, peeing myself under the blankets, my brother snoring softly beside me, his forehead all matted and sweaty, his cheeks dirty.
This is what she wanted me to do all along, she wanted me to lay there silent and afraid, whimpering like a baby, because that way my dad would have to come in and get me.
She was always such a devious little bitch, that one.
With his eyes focused on mine, his smile still evident, Dad stepped into the room… and in that instant the fear was gone, my paralysis vanquished. I immediately began to scream, even as she struck, even as her fangs sank deep in his side and filled him full of poison.
And then, like that, she was gone, shriveling back into the darkness to hide deep within her lair.
As she struck, Dad flinched to the right, lines of anguish striking across his features, his mouth opening in a silent scream, aware for the first time of the trap that had been set and successfully sprung by his oldest son, a willing and silent participant-
And I saw it, even as the love left his face, drained from his eyes, and in its place a new darkness fell, a flattening. I can still see him standing there, even today, right hand gripping where he had been bite, staring at me accusingly, even as the last visages of my true father fell away and were replaced by something else, something evil, a venomous black stare, a darkness her venom had introduced into the world.
And I knew then, even as I knew now, that because of my silence, my inaction, I’d murdered my dad, as clear and as clean as if I’d pulled the trigger on a gun myself. For in those eyes stood Cain, and on his forehead for the whole world to see, was that black spidery blotch, the mark that God had so righteously put there after Cain had murdered his own brother in cold blood.
The love of my father died that day, even as I ran to him, now freed from my paralysis, and threw my arms around him, and sobbed to him that I was sorry, that I didn’t mean for this to happen, to forgive me… and yet, even as I pled and begged, even as that old bitch crept out of the room, out of our house and out of our lives- even as the coldness of my father’s limbs surrounded me and lifted me up to his face to be kissed, I knew, as sure as I could no longer look at him for fear of what I might see reflected in his face, the flatness of his eyes, that my father was gone for good, and that no amount of childhood wishing, or tears or regret, would ever bring him back to me or to my family, again.

I wrapped my arms around me, willed myself to return, to shake off this feeling of cold creepiness stealing through me-

This time I’d been ‘day tripping’ and then some. Though, unlike all the other times, this time I remained in the farmhouse.
But why here, why now?
What was so different this time around?
What was so different about this place?
Every other time ‘day tripping’ meant movement, travel- frequent flier miles. Never once did I just ‘hang around’ afterwards.
Then again, I was still new to this, maybe the rules didn’t apply here. Maybe they had changed somehow…

Check that, I had moved after all, not so much in miles but in feet. To my horror I found myself standing halfway between the first and second doorways along the hall. And the first door, much to my chagrin, was now open, the darkness leaking from it looking like spilled ink.
Or blood…
Gazing down and back, I could see clearly, as plain as day, my footsteps leading from the top of the stairway, on down the hallway, only to stop before the now-open first door. Once there, however, they simply stopped, and did not pick back up again until now, directly beneath where I was currently standing.
But how? Between that place and here was a gap of about five feet- five undisturbed not a footprint in sight, feet.
Directly in front of me was a single shaft of sunlight, its golden bloom illuminating one tiny yellow flower woven into the carpet at my feet. For a moment I found myself wanting to fall into that light, to dance within its midst, revel in its warmth, for I had suddenly grown cold, and all the miles and miles and hours and hours of traveling life’s highways and byways had fallen heavily upon me. I didn’t though, because as far as I was concerned, this little adventure was over.
As in right now.
Instead of finding answers within the farmhouse, I’d only found questions, disturbingly dark questions. Questions I felt had no answers- because in the end, they dealt with me.
And at the moment I was an enigma wrapped in a mystery, just like this place I was in.
So I did the next best thing. I ran.
I turned to go, but not before catching a glimpse of what lay beyond the open doorway of the room. Mind you, I didn’t catch all of what lay beyond its threshold, but I did catch a glimpse, and a glimpse was more than enough to send me sprinting towards the stairwell like a madman. With a cry more whimper then words; I stumbled down the stairs, throwing myself down them three at a time, tripping over the broken baseball bat and sprawling out on the kitchen floor. Getting up I sprinted through the kitchen, arms wind-milling, stumbled into the table, sending it crashing to the floor, and out the back door.
As I rounded the farmhouse I found myself back under the sun, beyond the elder American elms reach, beyond even, the lilacs intoxicating coolness and scent.
I would take my chances on the road. I deserved the road. I deserved the sun.
I deserved to run till the end of time.

I would end up sprinting almost all the way to town, never once looking back for fear of what I might see, for fear of what I might behold, for fear of what might be watching me from those damnable upstairs windows on the second floor, from behind that damnable open door halfway down the hall.
In a room without drapes, a room whose windows had been papered over except for one tiny tear, one tiny hole allowing just enough light in to illuminate the darkness of hell, light enough to outline a figure that shouldn’t have been setting there but was.
Or was he?
What the hell do you think! Of course he had been there. Why else would I be running, breath ragged and tears streaming down my face, with all my fears, all my terrors, coming in sobs, great ragged cries, screaming like a man who had lost his mind, whose very sanity seemed perched on the brink of oblivion and madness.
Why else would I be running from the visage of a man I’d known since childhood, loved all my life, but feared from the very first time he picked me up in his arms that fateful Darton day so many years ago? The very individual who had gifted me with ‘red’, had bet me fifty cents that I couldn’t punch some kid’s lights out… the very architect of who I would later become in life?
My mind refused to believe it though, accept the truth, or at least the truth I thought I had glimpsed just beyond that door setting in his chair waiting for me to enter, wearing his blue jeans, cowboy boots, red western-shirt and brown leather vest, his dark hair sparse and slicked back, his arms tanned and scarred.
Father… surely not!
Why not, though? Why not my father, the very man I’d betrayed? The very man who’d lost his soul to a spiders bite? Even when all else failed to make sense, with all this craziness going on around me spinning out of control- everything I’d witnessed up to this point, the vision of him setting there, smiling at me, his eyes no longer flat and dark but worse, flaming red, the eyes of the bitch reflecting from his, and his words, an otherworldly rasp, welcoming me home, welcoming me back, thanking me for bringing him here and that more than anything, he wanted to return the favor I had so graciously bestowed upon him all those many years ago.
And yet, even as I stumbled out into the light and heat of the highway, away from that house, even as I discounted such visions as mere hallucinations, my fear remained.
And grew
I made up my mind, right then and there; I was never going back to that farmhouse, not for any reason. Whatever lay before me had to be worlds better then what lay behind, and more often than not, within me.
It just had to be.
Fata Morgana

Salvation shouldn’t come from the barrel of a gun.  Neither should it come from the hand of an angel.

Salvation needs to be earned.

Some books refuse to be categorized, Fata Morgana is one such book.  Part autobiographic, part fantasy, both horrific and exhilarating, Fata Morgana will leave you breathless and wanting more.  You simply have to read this book to experience it.

 Also by S.M. Muse:

The Valerian Cycle
Heir of Nostalgia- A Gathering Darkness
Heir of Nostalgia- Kaelynn’s Tale

Standalone Novels
Fata Morgana

This is a work of fiction. Names, characters, places, and incidents either are the product of the author’s imagination or are used fictitiously. Any resemblance to actual persons, living or dead, events, or locales is entirely coincidental.

Text copyright © 2009 by S.M. Muse
Second Printing- Revised 2014
Chapter-art copyright © 2014 by FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Worldwide Edition

Visit me on the Web!
https://phillipsjournal.wordpress.com/

spider animation

Fata Morgana- Chapter Seven & Eight

Chapter Seven1399664955126

I figured my job at the moment was to stay put. Concentrate on the here and now and don’t think about anything else. Because I needed to remain here, in this exact place, if I was ever going to figure out exactly where and when, here and now was.
The asphalt underfoot, long faded to a watery gray by endless summer suns, reflected heat like a blow torch, heat that radiated upwards through my shoes (a pair of brown canvas hiking boots) like a blast furnace, searing the air and making my eyes water.
Assuming that over my shoulder meant the direction I’d just come from; then straight ahead must be the direction I need to be going. (How’s that for logic.)
Head down, I continued walking.

Time… if I didn’t know any better, I’d say I was the one standing still and the world passing beneath me.

Cotard’s delusion… ever hear of that one? I just did. For some reason the word, or should I say the diagnosis, just leapt inside my head. The idea that I’m dead, but I’m really alive, believing I am dead.
I know, sounds even crazier than being crazy if you ask me, however, the possibility could exist.
I suppose
Then again, I’ve never heard of anyone suffering from Cotard’s delusion thinking he was dead but alive, wandering through Kansas or Nebraska in the middle of a heat wave, either.
Go figure.

Another moment in time
My eyes must be playing tricks on me, because if I squint really hard and use my hand to shade my eyes, I swear the horizon seems darker than before.
I’d been traveling for what seemed hours, all the while making very little obvious headway.… and now, after an immeasurable amount, I spot something on the horizon, something ominous looking just beyond the range of my vision but near enough to break the monotony of the endless fields on either side. Another quick glance confirmed my observation; it was definitely darker ahead of me than behind.
At least it was something to strive for. With any luck it would be an approaching storm.
With renewed confidence my pace quickened.

I continued to walk like this for a couple more hours, head down, teeth clenched, mind centered on remaining exactly where I was, intent upon placing one foot in front of the other and making a dogged effort to reach the darkness first glimpsed on the horizon sometime back.
What confidence I had gained earlier was swiftly fading.
I’d taken to walking alongside the highway, not because I was afraid of being run down by a passing motorist, because there weren’t any, but because it was habit. I’d already accepted the fact that I was alone, that this world had passed on. In my mind the highway was a farce, a story I’d been told that had no ending- the hard, sure promise of something that would never completely be.
Besides, the heat seemed less intense along the highways edge.

The next time I thought to look up, busy within the confines of my own misery, the darkness had grown, been replaced in fact, but not by what I had hoped for. As it turned out the darkness I’d spotted earlier hadn’t been a storm at all, nor was it the promise of a cooling rain or cloud, but something much, much better, or worse depending on how you looked at it. The darkness turned out to be a town, but not like any town I’d ever seen or known before.

Chapter Eight

Between one footfall and the next, between boiling darkness on the horizon and the hope of rain, there came the first house on the outskirts of a town. It had materialized from within and without, shimmering between wave after wave of glassy heat rising off the asphalt and reaching towards the heavens.
Could this be a mirage, madness, maybe an illusion? Better yet, maybe it was a delusion? The fantastic byproduct of dehydration, perhaps-
Did it even matter what it was, as long as it was something other than endless fields and blistering highways.
The fact that I had been hoping against hope, praying for a miracle and/or wishing upon a star, escaped me at the moment. All I knew for certain, was that my entire being, my entire universe, seemed to be rooting for the first real signs of life and civilization I’d come across since my unexpected ‘arrival’ here.
It could not have happened at a better time.
My mouth felt and tasted like worn-out shoe leather, my tongue, all but swollen, and my throat an arid canyon of raw pain and dryness. All these signs and more, alerted me to the fact that if I failed to find shelter or sustenance soon, I’d be a set of sun-bleached bones littering the side of a highway that no one would ever drive down or see-
No road signs to welcome the weary traveler. No fanfare for the forgotten.

One moment, open fields for as far as the eye could see, and the next, a two-story, white-washed farmhouse with a wraparound porch. The farmhouse was topped by a green-shingled roof and anchored by an eerily familiar red-brick chimney. I noticed that a series of smudged and rainbow-hued windows, three across the front on the first floor and two on the second, overlook a white-picket fenced yard.
A massive hedge of lilacs, now out of bloom, their forest-green leaves curled under from the heat, dominated the entire left side of the yard, next to the open fields.
Along the front of the farmhouse, and the white-picket fence, were a couple of untrimmed rose bushes, now run rampant, a smattering of red glimpsed among green and thorns. (I can remember thinking how odd this was, for roses to be in bloom this time of year.) From looks, the grass hadn’t been mowed for quite some time. Branches lay scattered throughout the yard, clumps of year-old leaves, etc.
The front gate, next to the road, had been left open, not enough to seem odd, more like someone had to leave in a hurry.
Around on the other side of the house, stood a series of outbuildings, three in all, and a garage. All the exterior buildings were painted the same color as the farmhouse and all three had green-shingled roofs. Between these, as if separating yard from field stood a handful of what looked like American elms, gigantic trees with huge crowns, their dark trunks twisted and darkened with greenery. Their enormous branches seemed to sag under the weight and mass of their immense emerald crowns. The slightest of breezes would bring an ocean of sound, a rush of shushing and creaking, and the promise of shade.
And yet, despite the cry of relief escaping my lips at the moment, there were no signs of life to be seen. No drone of tractors toiling in the fields, no whir of window fans to beat the noonday heat. No slap of screen door as Farmer Brown heads into town or out to meet me. No grunt of pig, no low of cow, no baa of sheep. Nothing whatsoever but silence, pre-natural and still. Like the highway, and every other damn thing around here, the farm and the fields surrounding it seemed desolate and empty, almost listless.
A mile or two on down the road and I could see even more buildings, first on the left side and then on the right. There were single-storied Ranch styles, two-storied farmhouses and so on. However, there were still no signs of respite, no billboards or advertisements, garage sale signs or banners, just the same dual-lane highway cutting through their midst, passing from nowhere into somewhere else.
And to think, it all began here, what I referred to as, ‘At Least it’s Something Else other than nothing’.
Without another moment’s hesitation I broke into a staggered and wobbly run, the only thing on my mind being the sweet salvation of shade looming just on the other side of that white-picket fence.
Passing through the front gate, which swung, open with a squeal of protest, its rusty hinges flaky and arthritic, I made a beeline for the closest shade tree, a gigantic American elm. When I got there, having passed from death into life, blistering heat into soothing shade, I simply collapsed, allowing the world and the ground to catch me.

Time passed… could have been hours… could have been days…

It felt so good just to lie there amidst the deep and darkening shade. Overhead, flickering beams of sunlight began to play hide and seek between the shifting and swooshing branches. The lush fullness of the grass beneath me, sharply scented and itchy- now going crisp in the mid-summer’s heat –was enough to support me.
There was the slightest hint of a breeze to ruffle my hair and tickle my nose.
I’d made it. Somehow and against all odds, I’d made it. I didn’t care how and I didn’t care where. All I cared about was the opportunity to lie down and breathe, relax, listen to my hammering heartbeat as it downshifted from overdrive into third, from third into second and then finally into idle.
I closed my eyes and allowed even more time to pass.
What, me in a hurry?
I smiled-

The next thing I know I’m waking up.

My throat was sore, parched a better word, but not nearly as dry as before. Thanks to the grass and the support it offered, my clothes, for the most part, had dried. My hair was still a matted mess though, plastered to my forehead.
I sat up in a panic, forgetting for a moment where I was, forgetting that I was supposed to be dead. Realizing that my circumstances, though improved somewhat, were still the same but different somehow. I still had no clue as to where I was but I had fallen asleep, and that was something.
Upon awakening, and after peaking up over the tall grass and realizing the farmhouse was still there, I came to the realization that for the first time in a long time, at least since my arrival, I hadn’t gone ‘day tripping’, I’d remained here.
It was a start, at least.

Alonehall1b

Salvation shouldn’t come from the barrel of a gun.  Neither should it come from the hand of an angel.

Salvation needs to be earned.

Some books refuse to be categorized, Fata Morgana is one such book.  Part autobiographic, part fantasy, both horrific and exhilarating, Fata Morgana will leave you breathless and wanting more.  You simply have to read this book to experience it.

 Also by S.M. Muse:

The Valerian Cycle
Heir of Nostalgia- A Gathering Darkness
Heir of Nostalgia- Kaelynn’s Tale

Standalone Novels
Fata Morgana

This is a work of fiction. Names, characters, places, and incidents either are the product of the author’s imagination or are used fictitiously. Any resemblance to actual persons, living or dead, events, or locales is entirely coincidental.

Text copyright © 2009 by S.M. Muse
Second Printing- Revised 2014
Chapter-art copyright © 2014 by FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Worldwide Edition

Visit me on the Web!
https://phillipsjournal.wordpress.com/

 

Fata Morgana- Chapter Five & Six

Chapter Fiveindex

The next thing I know, my next memory of that day anyway, Dean winds up on the ground, glassy-eyed, blood leaking from his nose and I’m standing over him looking down through a sea of blood-red haze. My fists are clenched and my heartbeat is thundering like crazy. Somewhere behind me, pulling at my arm and screaming my name over and over again is my little brother. He’s been trying everything he can think of to calm me down.
But I was calmed down- hence the ‘red’ leaving.
As I said, the last clear memory I had of that moment was of me hitting the ground, after Dean had put me there with a well-placed karate kick. After that, nothing else but a sea of red for as far as the ‘eye’ could see.
I knew better than to try and speak. (This isn’t the first time ‘red’ made its appearance.) Besides, speaking only made it worse, the emotional part anyway. I tended to look like I was crying, that or shake like a leaf. Anyone watching or listening, at least in my experience, tended to get a false sense of ‘sissy’ or ‘security’, like I was afraid of them or something, when in reality; I always figured it was God’s way of warning them to get as far away from me as possible, before the ‘red’ fell completely. Because, when the ‘red’ fell, I felt nothing, no remorse, no pity, and certainly no mercy. I’d attack them with hands, fists, teeth, feet, whatever it took to beat my opponent down and keep them down. (Matter of fact, ‘red’ never completely left me my entire life. How I kept from killing someone, accidentally or by intention, the entire time I was growing up, is beyond me.) I think some serial-killers must suffer the same debilitation, the inability to control oneself in a given moment of time and complete and overwhelming anger.

I had this like, dislike for ‘red’. It was my so-called, Ace up the sleeve, because when ‘red’ had hold of me I was literally invincible, ten feet tall and pretty much bullet-proof on top of that. In fact unless you killed me outright or knocked me out completely, there was nothing, absolutely nothing, that you could hit me with or throw my way that could stop me from stomping a sandbox up your caboose.
Later on in life my mother would often mention how this ‘red’ was also another unwanted and unneeded gift from my father, one of many it seemed, along with his wild-ass temper and hair-trigger responses. In fact, it wasn’t unusual for the four of us, mom, dad, my brother and me, to be setting around the kitchen table when all of the sudden Dad would look up, smack dab in the middle of conversation, and say, “I’ll pay either one of you a quarter, if you go next door, knock, and ask for Richard. (Richard was our next door neighbor’s kid… chunky, thick rakish hair and a bad case of acne. On a good day he smelled like old fish, on a bad day, week old gym socks,) When he comes out, without saying a word to him, rear back and bloody his nose.”
My mother absolutely detested this sort of behavior; in fact, she absolutely wanted nothing to do with it. She’d been raised by a good Christian family and this was no way to ‘love your neighbor’ and all that church stuff. Being my father had its advantages though, and one of those advantages was this, ‘The king rules the kingdom, so what the king says is law.’ (And there lay the groundwork for a myriad of arguments and downright disagreements, many of which sometimes grew quite heated, like the time he threw our Christmas tree across the living room because we’d pissed him off by not saying ‘Thank you.’)
The entire time he was egging us on, she’d be protesting. He’d be taunting, she’d be trying to defuse or deflect… but eventually he’d reach down into his pocket and pull forth two quarters, thus ending all arguments.
‘Money talks, mother-f’er! All others walk.’
“I’m not saying you both need to go over there at the same time, but I’d be willing to pay fifty cents to the one who does.”
I can remember looking over at my kid brother and thinking, ‘you’ve got to be kidding me. We’re in the middle of freaking lunch, in fact I’m just finishing up my fried bologna sandwich, when all of the sudden, out of the clear blue wonder, Dad wants us to go next door and punch this kid Richard in his great big pie face?’
Dilemmas, dilemmas
On one hand, Dad was dad; and you need to understand that under our roof Dad was King. As for the rest of us, his subjects, we were all living within the protection and jurisdiction of his kingdom, the Kingdom of Dad. So any sort of standing up to the King brought consequences, maybe not right now, maybe not tomorrow, but sooner or later the King always pay’s back, in spades. So despite my mother’s words or concern, my brother and I were already on our feet and racing for the front door, ready to carry out the King’s wishes.

“Why…? That’s all I want to know, why?” This would be the question my mother would ask my father later that night, after us kids were already in bed and out of earshot. (It never boded well to question the King in front of his loyal subjects; doing so might buy you some ‘royal’ retribution of your own.)
My father’s simple answer- ‘It will make men out of them.”
This statement would haunt me for the rest of my life.
Nevertheless, my brother and I were already on the path to our own destruction by then, and my father’s words, like my mother’s worries, seemed so distant as to be invisible.

It was Richards’s mom that answered the door that day, wringing her hands on a dishcloth tightly clutched. With a smile and hello she welcomed us, after all we were just a couple of kids Richards’s age, as well as his next door neighbors. So we must be friends… right?
We asked her if Richard was home. She said that he was
Looking back, I’m sure she was just glad that her son had made some friends. Their recent move had been especially hard on the family. Richards’s dad, her husband, had just lost his job; as a result the family had fallen on hard times. Add to this their losing their home, and then being forced to move to a trailer park- let’s just say living like this had definitely taxed the three of them, emotionally as well as spiritually. At least her son had an escape, had friends, and here three of them were, knocking on their front door and asking for her one and only son to come out and play.
I can remember her hollering back for Richard. Richards’s dad was in the front room, his butt parked in a recliner, newspaper in hand. The TV set in front of him turned down to a steady roar.
In no time at all Richard came be-bopping to the front door, big-ass smile on his face. Looking back at his mom he smiled, thanked her aplenty and turned to open the screen door to let us in.
My fists were already clenched before he got there, my heart beating out a rhythm like the rolling drumbeat to the Star Spangled Banner… when all of the sudden with his face only inches from mine a simple but effective ‘red’ haze seemed to fall over everything, coloring my world.
In retrospect, ‘Red’ had just popped my proverbial cherry.
“Hey guys, what’s up?”
My answer to his question was simple and direct- a right hook, one that seemed to contact his nose straight on. In slow-motion action my fist smashed his nose to his right cheek, where it flattened with a sickening smush. Immediately, Richards’s eyes watered up as a geyser of blood squirted, first from the left nozzle and then from the right, dotting his tee-shirt and smearing red across my knuckles.
I’d just earned my first of many fifty cent pieces.
Within the confines of their trailer, darkness swiftly fell. How quickly his mother’s smile seemed to slide off her face, replaced by an anguished look of shock and dismay, her hands on either side of her mouth, her voice a silent scream as the dreams she’d had for her son to fit in, to be accepted and wanted, fell to the floor in a flutter much like the dish cloth she’d been holding. Behind her, dear old dad had set up at the impact, the paper he’d been holding wadded up like a fan in his right fist. He had this one vein in particular bulging right up in the middle of his forehead, and the most peculiar of looks in his eye-
And like that we were gone, my brother and me, and the ‘red’ quickly followed.
I can remember laughing as we ran back around the side of the trailer, laughing and cat-calling, while at the same time running for our lives.
In the end we had accomplished exactly what we’d set out to do, what our father had asked of us. We’d delivered what needed delivering, and in doing so discovered the power of ‘red’ for the very first time. As powerful a craving as cigarettes, as addictive as cocaine, this feeling of power, or ‘red’, would haunt me for the rest of my life, and many times during the early years, especially as my kids were growing up, I’d let ‘red’ out of its box myself. For you see, ‘Red’ was particularly handy when raising kids, or so it seemed at the time. ‘Red’ was always the easy answer, the quicker fixer upper. In the long run, however, ‘red’ really didn’t fix anything, other than breeding its own version of ‘red’ in others. A fact that I realize now, years later, but only after having seen Richards’s eyes reflected in my own children’s eyes.
I’m a firm believer that ‘red’ was there more often than not, usually unseen, like an agent plotting and destroying behind enemy lines, or in my case, the home front. Be it thirty pieces of silver, or fifty cents, the price of betrayal remained the same. And ‘red’ would gladly answer anybody come asking, anyone willing to give something up- usually their compassion, their mercy, as well as their simple human dignity. And as long as there were children out there willing to give up a little piece of themselves each and every time, then ‘red’ was happy.
One other thing I need to mention, there is a price to pay for having ‘red’ hang around all the time, it was the look Richard’s father had given us on that fateful day all those years ago, the same look Abel must have given Cain just before his betrayal- murder.

Chapter Six

It was hot again, and the sun was back in all its brutal glory. I’d lost Dean, Corky, Ray and Daisy, as well as my childhood memories to the effects of ‘red’, and to the shame I felt for what I had done to Richard. As a result, I found myself, once again, deposited alongside a two-lane highway, just another transit hitchhiker thumbing a ride.
Things were different now; my entire situation/location had changed. And not for the better, either.
Earlier I’d stumbled across an intersection of sorts, a place where the four cardinal points of north, south, east and west met. In order to proceed I would have had to make a choice, pick a road, chosen a path. The thing was, after my latest little ‘travel down memory lane’, I seemed to have already done that, chosen a direction, made a choice-
Because the intersection was gone
Looking back over my shoulder only verified this. There was nothing to be seen of the blinking stoplight or the intersection it patrolled, only another stretch of endless, hellishly hot highway, which in turn, seemed to be surrounded by even more miles of wavering grass. In other words, once again I could be anywhere, and seemingly nowhere, all at the same time.
One more haunting thought before I go on, which direction, which route, had I chosen to go down, and does it even matter? Add to this another trifling point of contention, would it even be worth my time to turn around and retrace my footsteps? Maybe discover which path I had chosen?
But how? It’s not like I’ve been mapping or dropping breadcrumbs along the way like Hansel and Gretel. Without some fixed location, some initial point, I was lost, clear and simple. Besides, where would I end up if- god forbid -I did try and retrace my footsteps, only to go ‘traveling down memory lane’ again?
Now I knew how Alice felt after falling down the proverbial rabbit hole- it was apparent that something had happened to her, that her world had turned itself upside down, that things would never be the same again. And in the end she conceded these two points quite readily. The only other question left to answer really, was the obvious one- not what had happened to her per se, but what to do next.
That, and was there any going home afterwards?
Another thing throwing a monkey wrench in the whole kit and caboodle, some small part of me didn’t want to go back. Why? Because going back for me, would mean dying all over again.
There are some things a person knows deep down inside- two plus two equals four, the Earth is round, and that death and taxes are the only two constants in the entire universe.
Like I’ve already said so many times, I’m supposed to be dead. I can remember dying. I even know where I was when my dying happened- and I know how it felt. I saw the whole tunnel thing, i.e., the bright light at the end, however, instead of finding Heaven or possibly even Hell waiting on the other side; all I did was wake up here.
Wherever here was!
Now, you may be asking yourself, what if this place I’m in really is Heaven (or Hell.) After all, it’s not like triple ‘A’ has ever been here before scoping the whole thing out. As far as I know, other than Jesus Christ himself, no one has ever really returned to give us the low down or the 411 either way. (For the time being I’m going to ignore all those so-called ‘return to lifers’ out there, with their books, their talk shows and their made-for-TV movies and late shows. Some of those guys and gals are really something. What’s funny is that almost every single one of them describes something a little bit differently on their journey to this ‘after life’ they’d found. Granted, they will tell you that for every one of us, heaven is probably something different, whether it’s thru gifts or crowns or stations… as each is to receive as each has given. Personally, I think that maybe even a few of them actually experienced some phenomenon that cannot be explained away so easily. However, I think the majority of these so called ‘return-to-lifers’ fall prey to the whole ‘get rich in a hurry’ scheme. After all, religion as a whole, equates to big bucks.
(At the same time, however, I believe and still believe even though I have yet to see him, that God and religion are two very different things altogether.) So the question remains, after the world went dark, after the whole ‘I’m falling through a tunnel’ thing- even after I approached the proverbial ‘light’, where did I end up?
Heaven or Hell
If Heaven, then where was the big guy, you know, God? If this was Heaven, I wanted the whole package, clouds, angels playing harps… you know, what was sold to me Sunday after Sunday by legions of televangelist’s worldwide?
Personally, I find it hard to believe the big guy would be so quiet. And I refuse to believe that he’s given up on us. (Regardless of what we did to his Son.)
On the other hand, perhaps this is Hell. It was surely hot enough. Seriously, I was literally soaked through and through, the mere act of standing here, and the general lack of any real breeze to speak of, was enough to send my throbbing temples into overtime.

Enough philosophizing… There was some reality here I needed to address, mainly survival.

Ignoring the trickles of sweat meandering their way down my forehead, I figured the first thing I needed to do was find some shelter, some water and some food, with shelter being my primary concern. I had to get out of this sun before heat exhaustion, or worse yet, heat stroke, set in. And from the way my heart seemed to be beating and my temples pounding, I probably wasn’t too far away from either. Besides, once I procured these, I could actually take time and take stock of what it was exactly, I had to work with, besides the obvious lack of anything?
For all I know, it could be the heat causing all these ‘delusions’, all these ‘trips down memory lane’. (What I really wanted, what piqued my interest most, was what I looked like now, after death.)
Was I still me?
I thought so.
Overall I felt strong. My body seemed sure of itself. I appeared steady and my stomach flat. My agility, (as I jigged a little dance) seemed quick, and my feet sure of themselves. Not like the last few years of my ‘other’ life, with time being the bastard it was, stealing my strength, my stamina and my ability to use my body as I saw fit. So I am pretty sure I looked exactly how I felt, somewhere between my mid-to-late twenties, which was definitely better then how I’d exited the world, far into my eighties.
But did I have my face? The same face I was used to seeing in the mirror day in and day out, ever aging, ever maturing. Better yet, would I even be able to recognize myself again, say at twenty or at thirty?
What if… what if what I saw reflected back at me was the face and eyes of a stranger, the angle of my cheeks, my jaw-line, all wrong, then what? Who would I call to complain to?
How could I ever figure out where I am and what I’m supposed to be doing, if I couldn’t even recognize who I was supposed to be?

 

Alonehall1b

Salvation shouldn’t come from the barrel of a gun.  Neither should it come from the hand of an angel.

Salvation needs to be earned.

Some books refuse to be categorized, Fata Morgana is one such book.  Part autobiographic, part fantasy, both horrific and exhilarating, Fata Morgana will leave you breathless and wanting more.  You simply have to read this book to experience it.

 Also by S.M. Muse:

The Valerian Cycle
Heir of Nostalgia- A Gathering Darkness
Heir of Nostalgia- Kaelynn’s Tale

Standalone Novels
Fata Morgana

This is a work of fiction. Names, characters, places, and incidents either are the product of the author’s imagination or are used fictitiously. Any resemblance to actual persons, living or dead, events, or locales is entirely coincidental.

Text copyright © 2009 by S.M. Muse
Second Printing- Revised 2014
Chapter-art copyright © 2014 by FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Worldwide Edition

Visit me on the Web!
https://phillipsjournal.wordpress.com/

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