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Written by Jasper in portal Fantasy

Dragons of the Ice

The frigid face of the glacier was difficult to hold on to but Alderch climbed steadily with help from the Arquoai axes and climbing shoes, which were adorned with sharp spikes. Crisp air whipped his face, stinging his eyes and nose, trying to convince him to abandon his quest. Luckily his ears were tucked under a woolen hat, and the rest of his body was tightly bundled in layers of fabric and fur.

The pain was only a small sacrifice, for the chance to find the mythical ice dragons and bring glory to his name. After what felt like hours of climbing, his nervous hand grasped the snowy top of the glacier and he pulled himself up onto a plateau of ice.

Even if he didn’t find what he was looking for, the views from this spot in the southern Ice Lands alone were worth the trek. Most importantly, he’d be able to say he’d achieved this all on his own.

From out of nowhere, looming in the distance, he saw a faint black outline on the bright blue and softly clouded sky. Alderch’s stomach dropped and his heart rate jumped, as he fully comprehended what was flying along the horizon. Even at a safe distance, terror flooded his veins as fire furled out of its massive mouth, and instantly he knew his journey was just beginning.

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Write a 10 sentence fantasy story.
Written by Jasper in portal Fantasy
Dragons of the Ice
The frigid face of the glacier was difficult to hold on to but Alderch climbed steadily with help from the Arquoai axes and climbing shoes, which were adorned with sharp spikes. Crisp air whipped his face, stinging his eyes and nose, trying to convince him to abandon his quest. Luckily his ears were tucked under a woolen hat, and the rest of his body was tightly bundled in layers of fabric and fur.

The pain was only a small sacrifice, for the chance to find the mythical ice dragons and bring glory to his name. After what felt like hours of climbing, his nervous hand grasped the snowy top of the glacier and he pulled himself up onto a plateau of ice.

Even if he didn’t find what he was looking for, the views from this spot in the southern Ice Lands alone were worth the trek. Most importantly, he’d be able to say he’d achieved this all on his own.

From out of nowhere, looming in the distance, he saw a faint black outline on the bright blue and softly clouded sky. Alderch’s stomach dropped and his heart rate jumped, as he fully comprehended what was flying along the horizon. Even at a safe distance, terror flooded his veins as fire furled out of its massive mouth, and instantly he knew his journey was just beginning.



#fantasy  #fiction  #adventure  #mystery 
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You've travelled into the dead world\realm. Only with your spirit. You're alive, but can't find your body. You meet ghosts, zombies and other scary creatures. What happened to you to be in this state? Do you end up finding where your physical form/body is? How do you end up returning to normal & the physical world. Narrative, & descriptive writing format, please. Or You can also make it a quest. You needed to be in the spiritual or dead realm to find a special powerful device|object.
Written by desmondwrite in portal Horror & Thriller

"The Great Fugue"

[An excerpt from the famous orc scholar and adventurer Brakis Grimdear. For the full text, please consult the librarians of Teatree University in the city of Harkness.]

"The underworld is not the heart of a volcano as described by the Cult of Fire, nor a blue ice-fringe as described by the Cult of Ice. There is no eternal whirlwind, meaning the djinn of the Cult of Air are wrong (or metaphorical). Perhaps the Cult of Earth understands this realm best, for the underworld is a cave that expands to bounds unknown. Here, shadows rule, and the darkness has such potency that it becomes fluid and runs on the rocks. The void is lessened only by the blue lights emitted from the souls of the dead, and by the cairns, or stacks of stones and skulls, which glow internally from some secret flame, and the lanterns at the docks. 

The terrain is mostly plains of a material akin to obsidian, and is intercut by hills and shade-cloak rivulets; these 'rivers' are called Little Fugues and are easy to cross as long as you don't step in them. The entrance of the realm ends at the Great Fugue, an immense black channel, although I am sure it has no current. To be truly initiated into the dark halls, one must cross the river. This is usually done by a barge called the Ferryskul, although I believe that boats buried in tombs can be used as well. On this side of the Great Fugue, the undead do not emit a glow, for they still carry their meat and cloaks and any possessions left in the grave. I think the lantern-light attracts them for they crawl across the plains intently and growl if deterred. At the docks, sarlowes strip the dead of their belongings, load the barge with freshly-shaved souls, and ferry across the Great Fugue. The dead's luggage is tossed into the river which is, in some form, alive. I did not see where the refuse went, but if you peered into the muck, you might glimpse lights in the depths and the honeycomb of tombs.

The sarlowes (these labormen of the underworld are robed halflings with faces concealed by hoods, although each had a single blue eye which shone from within; not cycloptic, but as if the other had been punctured) were efficient carvers, and could whittle a man to spirit in seconds. I watched an elf lose her long-ears and long hair, her pale skin, her accruements of sexuality, her green and brown leather coat, and a single arrow puncturing her neck, and when this was peeled away I watched the sarlowes scrape away muscle and bleached bone and even bits of personality, including her elvish grooming, artistic ability, honor, freedom, vitality, and grudges. A dwarf tyrant, too, I beheld; I think it was Urist II of Val Dhuhaim (he had died of an energetic bowel). The stone-faced king was first parted with his beard and jewelry—diadems, rings, a crown, armor plate laced with silver. Then his gentle red cloak, his garments, and all other materia that makes a fattened monarch. Urist almost kept his cruelty and folly if an observant sarlowe hadn't pulled him from the barge for a second snip—then the tyrant lost his lust, glory-love, and insolence, too.

Finally, it was my turn, and those robed barbers examined me confusedly. "Yes," I said to them. "I am still alive." The creatures chittered to each other in an underling vernacular, and then one of them asked about my trip. I explained my rationale; how I was not satisfied with the wars between humans and goblins and other species, nor the political conflicts of Harkness, that rotting capitol, or world cultures. All of these endeavors were arbitrary, and it was a testament to the entropy of scholarship that I was one of the few who still wondered what the gods were made of, if they were merely magical mortals, if there was an afterlife, how magic originated, from where the different races derived, etc, etc. How could anyone let themselves be distracted from examining the principles of the cosmos?

The sarlowes wanted to know how I had come to the land of the unliving. I will not detail my process of reaching the underworld here for it was a tedious project, but I explained to them my preparation. Just imagine a ritual with the usual accruements of necromancy: signs made from blood, infernal words, candles lit and extinguished by cold gusts of wind, wails from invisible spirits, etc, etc, and a breach into reality itself—down into which I climbed.

Finally, the sarlowes took their blades to me. It was fascinating to watch my physical experience be severed from immaterium. First they took my armament—my foul-wind sword, my cloak of ever-fire, my flying scabbard beetle for a shield, and the black crown I let hang by my neck from a chain. Then they cut away my green flesh and layers of muscle beneath, and pried away my bones. Of my persona, especially my intellect, courage, pride, and independence, I would not depart.

All of this luggage they secured in a chest for my return. And then it was the onto the Ferryskul, and onward to Hell, not to rescue a lost lover, not to seek ancient counsel, not to conquer some infernal beast or steal a wondrous artifact, but to better the annals of mankind through the cogency of research."

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You've travelled into the dead world\realm. Only with your spirit. You're alive, but can't find your body. You meet ghosts, zombies and other scary creatures. What happened to you to be in this state? Do you end up finding where your physical form/body is? How do you end up returning to normal & the physical world. Narrative, & descriptive writing format, please. Or You can also make it a quest. You needed to be in the spiritual or dead realm to find a special powerful device|object.
Written by desmondwrite in portal Horror & Thriller
"The Great Fugue"

[An excerpt from the famous orc scholar and adventurer Brakis Grimdear. For the full text, please consult the librarians of Teatree University in the city of Harkness.]

"The underworld is not the heart of a volcano as described by the Cult of Fire, nor a blue ice-fringe as described by the Cult of Ice. There is no eternal whirlwind, meaning the djinn of the Cult of Air are wrong (or metaphorical). Perhaps the Cult of Earth understands this realm best, for the underworld is a cave that expands to bounds unknown. Here, shadows rule, and the darkness has such potency that it becomes fluid and runs on the rocks. The void is lessened only by the blue lights emitted from the souls of the dead, and by the cairns, or stacks of stones and skulls, which glow internally from some secret flame, and the lanterns at the docks. 

The terrain is mostly plains of a material akin to obsidian, and is intercut by hills and shade-cloak rivulets; these 'rivers' are called Little Fugues and are easy to cross as long as you don't step in them. The entrance of the realm ends at the Great Fugue, an immense black channel, although I am sure it has no current. To be truly initiated into the dark halls, one must cross the river. This is usually done by a barge called the Ferryskul, although I believe that boats buried in tombs can be used as well. On this side of the Great Fugue, the undead do not emit a glow, for they still carry their meat and cloaks and any possessions left in the grave. I think the lantern-light attracts them for they crawl across the plains intently and growl if deterred. At the docks, sarlowes strip the dead of their belongings, load the barge with freshly-shaved souls, and ferry across the Great Fugue. The dead's luggage is tossed into the river which is, in some form, alive. I did not see where the refuse went, but if you peered into the muck, you might glimpse lights in the depths and the honeycomb of tombs.

The sarlowes (these labormen of the underworld are robed halflings with faces concealed by hoods, although each had a single blue eye which shone from within; not cycloptic, but as if the other had been punctured) were efficient carvers, and could whittle a man to spirit in seconds. I watched an elf lose her long-ears and long hair, her pale skin, her accruements of sexuality, her green and brown leather coat, and a single arrow puncturing her neck, and when this was peeled away I watched the sarlowes scrape away muscle and bleached bone and even bits of personality, including her elvish grooming, artistic ability, honor, freedom, vitality, and grudges. A dwarf tyrant, too, I beheld; I think it was Urist II of Val Dhuhaim (he had died of an energetic bowel). The stone-faced king was first parted with his beard and jewelry—diadems, rings, a crown, armor plate laced with silver. Then his gentle red cloak, his garments, and all other materia that makes a fattened monarch. Urist almost kept his cruelty and folly if an observant sarlowe hadn't pulled him from the barge for a second snip—then the tyrant lost his lust, glory-love, and insolence, too.

Finally, it was my turn, and those robed barbers examined me confusedly. "Yes," I said to them. "I am still alive." The creatures chittered to each other in an underling vernacular, and then one of them asked about my trip. I explained my rationale; how I was not satisfied with the wars between humans and goblins and other species, nor the political conflicts of Harkness, that rotting capitol, or world cultures. All of these endeavors were arbitrary, and it was a testament to the entropy of scholarship that I was one of the few who still wondered what the gods were made of, if they were merely magical mortals, if there was an afterlife, how magic originated, from where the different races derived, etc, etc. How could anyone let themselves be distracted from examining the principles of the cosmos?

The sarlowes wanted to know how I had come to the land of the unliving. I will not detail my process of reaching the underworld here for it was a tedious project, but I explained to them my preparation. Just imagine a ritual with the usual accruements of necromancy: signs made from blood, infernal words, candles lit and extinguished by cold gusts of wind, wails from invisible spirits, etc, etc, and a breach into reality itself—down into which I climbed.

Finally, the sarlowes took their blades to me. It was fascinating to watch my physical experience be severed from immaterium. First they took my armament—my foul-wind sword, my cloak of ever-fire, my flying scabbard beetle for a shield, and the black crown I let hang by my neck from a chain. Then they cut away my green flesh and layers of muscle beneath, and pried away my bones. Of my persona, especially my intellect, courage, pride, and independence, I would not depart.

All of this luggage they secured in a chest for my return. And then it was the onto the Ferryskul, and onward to Hell, not to rescue a lost lover, not to seek ancient counsel, not to conquer some infernal beast or steal a wondrous artifact, but to better the annals of mankind through the cogency of research."
#fantasy  #fiction  #adventure  #death  #underworld 
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Write a 10 sentence fantasy story.
Written by Harry_Situation in portal Fantasy

Land of Satyrs

I would not dare to travel far from home, and never beyond to the forest where the trees consume the sun. It is the home of their people. An unusual, unnatural civilization that take the form of both man and goat. Our village has told nightmarish stories of how these creatures would proud warriors, defending their home and nature, raiding the strongest of strongholds and becoming victorious. 

I would not dare enter their territory; but if the stories of how they are not just warriors but skilled medicine people, it his their aid I seek to heal the sick in my village. My presence could end in death, but it is worth the risk.

Their enclosure is not far now. As I walk down the pathway of this dark forest, I feel their presence around me, watching within the trees. I reach the wooden walls of their home where they wait for me. Their spears at the ready, body and face armored, it is time to see if they will act as friend or foe.

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Write a 10 sentence fantasy story.
Written by Harry_Situation in portal Fantasy
Land of Satyrs
I would not dare to travel far from home, and never beyond to the forest where the trees consume the sun. It is the home of their people. An unusual, unnatural civilization that take the form of both man and goat. Our village has told nightmarish stories of how these creatures would proud warriors, defending their home and nature, raiding the strongest of strongholds and becoming victorious. 

I would not dare enter their territory; but if the stories of how they are not just warriors but skilled medicine people, it his their aid I seek to heal the sick in my village. My presence could end in death, but it is worth the risk.

Their enclosure is not far now. As I walk down the pathway of this dark forest, I feel their presence around me, watching within the trees. I reach the wooden walls of their home where they wait for me. Their spears at the ready, body and face armored, it is time to see if they will act as friend or foe.
#fantasy  #fiction  #horror  #adventure  #suspense 
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Written by Rubenkells in portal Poetry & Free Verse

Imagination

It is not as beautiful as it used to be, holding hands, gazing into your eyes for the fun of it, we are friends who have found a deeper interpretation of friendship outside love and lust.

The unusual play mate I always wanted and the willingness to be available at odd times is all that matters, I was just a lonelier who really did not have anything to offer but then you ran into my life and stole the loneliness and made us a companion without love and fear of attachments.

There is no missing rib as good as the one you broke for me to share. Oh! How beautiful your smile is, and when you walked in you change everything I knew in the time past, you are a friend who is an outright definition of love.

You are special and this is one I ain't giving up on.

@rubenkells

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Written by Rubenkells in portal Poetry & Free Verse
Imagination
It is not as beautiful as it used to be, holding hands, gazing into your eyes for the fun of it, we are friends who have found a deeper interpretation of friendship outside love and lust.
The unusual play mate I always wanted and the willingness to be available at odd times is all that matters, I was just a lonelier who really did not have anything to offer but then you ran into my life and stole the loneliness and made us a companion without love and fear of attachments.
There is no missing rib as good as the one you broke for me to share. Oh! How beautiful your smile is, and when you walked in you change everything I knew in the time past, you are a friend who is an outright definition of love.

You are special and this is one I ain't giving up on.

@rubenkells
#fantasy  #scifi  #fiction  #nonfiction  #romance  #horror  #adventure  #education  #poetry  #science  #philosophy  #mystery  #film  #love  #politics  #spirituality  #culture  #lyrics  #opinion 
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Trident Media Group is the leading U.S. literary agency and we are looking to discover and represent the next bestsellers. Share a sample of your work. If it shows promise, we will be in touch with you.
Written by Txabier in portal Trident Media Group

They Promised Us Eternity

Part 1: Godlike

I. Undaunted We All Barged In, Straight to Our Dooms

People's minds are curious, marvellous things. At the best of times, someone regales us with radical scientific discoveries or astonishing medical breakthroughs. Some are capable of taking our breath away with their sheer capacity for abstraction and sound reasoning; others crack us up with their unbelievable chutzpah or their knack for comedy. Certain minds wander spinning wonders all the while; a few more wonder, and that's how we end up with philosophical treatises, doctoral theses or quite few literary works with a notable tendency to wander off what we believed the tale was about.

     Me? I'm a common man; one who has a rather simple mind and a usually uncomplicated life. I enjoy what I do—most of the time, anyway—as it's what I dreamed about doing as an adult when I was a 12 year-old with too much time on his hands. I had this perfect image of what my life would look like on any given weekday: sitting alone in a room, putting on my headphones over my 'thinking GB Packers beany', then hitting play on the computer's audio player and go on to write the day's quota. Eight hours of cranking up pages and coming up with full-fledged comics books scripts.

     What? The pay is nice, I get to hang around some of the best illustrators and draughtsmen in the industry, and best of all… it pay the bills, rent and the occasional outing. So, yes; I do believe that's quite the respectable job, thank you very much.

     The only bad thing I'd have to say about it might be that it somehow led me in this fine mess I've gotten myself into. I swear, last night all I did was to take a break of the desk and look at the neighborhoods' nightscape through my studio's window. Why, I hadn't even heard a damned thing with my headphones on!

     So, here I am; forcibly stuck with a woman bound for who knows where and bent on doing heaven knows what, all the while trying our damnedest to outrun the very definite threat this very peculiar individual represents.

     Oh, and did I forget to tell you the Weather channel had forecasted possible thunderstorms yet, as soon as we went out the door, the sky seemed to immediately turn into a dark, puffy wet blanket that began to pour?

     Yes; as in 'when it doesn't rain…"

     Anyway, it's a good thing I was done with the scripts for October's two issues; that should leave those stories neatly wrapped up, and ready for the next arc… if any. For I haven't finished making up my mind about this Sophia character and just how screwed I really am; you see, it's known that I've missed a couple of deadlines in the past, but the way this whole situation is turning out… I quite possibly am going to have a brush with the other deadline, and to this seasoned script writer, it sure as hell looks ever more likely that I won't be able to skip that one.

     Damn it! I swear I was just looking to stretch my legs and get a cup of coffee.

***

"You've been awfully quiet for a while now, Mr. Writer." Sophia's voice had a soft, flowing raspiness to its pitch that made it both unique and unmistakably feminine; a strange mixture of a certain coy gruffness, tinged with sweet-sounding menace. "Quite the opposite to how you showed yourself to be during our fateful encounter."

     "Fateful… yeah, right."

     "Is that it?" She asked derisively, a smirk briefly creasing the smoothness of her cheeks.      "That's all I'm getting from you, now? Seriously?"

     "Well, it's not like I'm the one who's packing a gun, am I?"

     Sophia stopped on her tracks and turned to look at the man next to her. His body looked fit, even if slightly overweight, and despite his shoulder-length uneven-cut hair, she could tell he bathed everyday and was used to wearing clean clothes. In a city so full of ripe and sour odours coming out of every nook and cranny—some of them so overwhelming they even made her eyes water—Sophia considered this man's cleanliness to be a small blessing.

     "Oh, enough of that, already! You know quite well I have no intention to shoot you! I mean, I could've done so by now or the minute I came into your apartment."

     "You brokeinto my apartment. You didn't come in. For that, you'd have to be allowed in and I clearly remember never doing so."

     "Oh, that's more like it! Now we got us a discussion about semantics. I guess you really are a writer, after all."

     "Well, I'm not a killer, that's for sure."

     "Neither am I. I've already told you--"

     "Look, I just know I saw you there standing over two dead bodies and with a gun in your hand and, a minute later, you came through my window with this crazy--"

     Sophia looked at me as if daring me to follow up on the phrase to its obvious conclusion. I knew better than to completely piss off someone packing a gun under her parka.

     "Story; yeah, story about how these two had been following you, were doing so under orders of the very individual who killed them. I mean, really? That's what in my line of work we call a major incongruence. It just doesn't make sense; so, you'll have to excuse my skeptical cynicism about the whole thing."

     "Well, in my line of work… you're what we call a major as--"

     "Mind your language, please. I'm the one who has every right to be cursing and calling you all kinds of names, and I'm not."

     "Granted. You could've been a lot more insulting and less snarky, Mr. Writer."

     "You'd think, right?" I mumbled under my breath and saw her face suddenly light up with a wide, toothy smile.

     "Yes. Thank you for that."

 

II. It Wasn't Your Typical Score



"This had always been such a nice place. Lucky bastards."

     The rumor of the few cars going through Castelar Bridge and heading out to the big city—'The Horrid Maze,' as locals called it—dimmed the sound of the waves softly lapping at the lakeshore. It was very early in the morning and the surroundings remained under the cover of the slowly-retreating darkness; nevertheless, a good number of those living in Alameda Heights were already out and about, diligently getting busy, minding their own businesses and making plans, both big and small, for the rest of their day

     "Not too far from the queen of all rat holes, and it neither became a suburban pisspot nor does it remain the picturesque dorm town." The lone man continued to talk  softly talking to himself in a slow, warm baritone voice; he let his words float away along the vapor left behind by his breath as it trailed upwards into the cold, late January morning air. The man sighed and then coughed, spitting into a paper towel. "Still, even when The Horrid will almost always end up swallowing everything whole, eventually, I must confess I'm surprised at how this lil' place remains mostly unchanged and that it hasn't become anywhere nearly as rotten or crowded as Farnsworth Hill… yeah; it remains quite a nice, quiet place; its neighbor notwithstanding."


     The man stood near the edge of the lake’s northern arm the local boys called 'Greendeep Turn', attentively looking at the still-scarce traffic hurriedly passing by. He noticed how its sound was very much like that of darting, angry wasps, all whistling through the metal and concrete ribcage of a long dead monster. The solitary figure turned around and came face to face with dream-like image created by several rows of middle-class houses that the early light appeared to make them look as if they popping out of the dark blanket spread over the nearby hill; each one of these rows of houses formed tidy man-made strata, which transformed the natural elevation into a series of wide, long terraces peppered with angular, unique structures and identical, neatly-trimmed bushes and very ample, perfect lawns. A few of the buildings had their lights on in different sections of their interiors, while some others remained completely dark inside and to the man’s eyes, they were nothing more than blocky silhouettes cut against a smattering of tree foliage and the dim radiance coming from those other neighboring two-storied houses. These made him think of those shy, light-hating beetles that stubbornly try to remain under the cover of the darkness beneath a rock which had been half-lifted too suddenly for them to react and escape into the receding gloom.

     "This place is so nice, in fact, that I can clearly see how an enterprising, clever man could be pulling quite a healthy amount of jobs here. That's for sure." The loner took out a lollipop from his coat's pocket, tore the wrapper off and put it in his mouth. He put the torn wrapper in the opposite pocket and rubbed his hands. “But breakfast comes before business… I just hope I find something nice and not too fancy so I don’t have to walk back to the city to find a pricier place to eat there. "Cause I'm about done with decent… I just can’t stand the thought of having to munch on Rogelio’s greasy pancakes one more time."

***

As we were making our way out of my apartment and down the alley to the lot where I usually parked my compact SUV, I couldn't help but notice how strangely calm I was considering this woman, a perfect stranger who hadn't given me any option other than to come along with her, was a walking carrying a gun… and that she actually hadn't used it to cajole me. Saying that I had been forced to accompany her 'at gun point,' would be lying to the jury at a court of law. She actually phrased it thus:

     "Alright, I know this looks bad enough and that you probably think I'm here to kill you. But that's not what I do. My name's Sophia and I've been framed."

    And that was that. She continued to explain that what I had just saw—her standing over two dead bodies in the alleyway behind the old warehouse turned apartment-studio that I rent for $1,000 dollars a month, with an option to buy—needed some explaining and that she needed me to come with her.

     Of course, I tried to put a few points across regarding her breaking into my flat through a window that I personally had locked after sunset. Truth be told, I might have been a bit of a smart-ass while speaking my mind about her breaching the sanctity of my 

home and my seeing her lording it over two dead unknowns, of course. But what surprised me was this… this… 'aura' of calmness? Trust? Maybe, the best word to describe it would be 'innocuousness'. Even when I had seen the gun in her hand, knowing she was armed didn't set any alarms or triggered any response other than me trying to vent my surprise and fear by coming up with quips and passive-aggressive verbal abuse.

     Much good that did for me.

     So, as we went down the alley, she signalled for me to stop and I silently obeyed her; she kneeled beside one of the corpses and took something out from one of its pockets, and she then made another sign for me to keep going, so on we went to my vehicle and she asked me for the keys.

     "What?" I replied, not understanding why would she want me to hand her the keys. "Are you also stealing my car?"

     "No, you klutz! I'm taking you with me, but I'm driving."

     Seeing the earnest look in her eyes, I felt equally compelled to cuzz and hand her the keys, but after a couple of seconds I decided we both had enough of my attempts at verbal fencing and just gave key the keys.

     She nodded her thanks and got inside the SUV. She started the engine as soon as I was onboard and then drove out of the parking lot.

     "Mind you, I drive fast… just in case you're planning to jump out of a moving car, Mr. Writer."

     "That's one of the few things I don't need to experience in order to better capture the feel of it for my writing."

     "I'll count my blessings, then. I mean, I could've stumbled with an obsessive method actor or some such."

     I laughed a little at her remark. Having dated a couple of would-be actresses, he could understand why Sophia would make one such joke. 'Everything's an opportunity to build a character; all experiences allow to create a role!' Oh, boy; was in for a ride with that one. Good thing it only lasted for three months, with my wallet intact for the most part.

     "So, what was it that I saw back at the alley?" I asked after a few minutes more on the road. I was trying to make a mental map of the route we were following, but all I could say about it was the we were heading North.

     Sophia looked at me as if sizing me up and shrugged, then turned back too watching the road.

     "Other than me standing over those two goons, with Shorty's gun on my hand, you mean?"

     "Yes. Other than that, Miss Smarty Pants. I don't need to tell you I'm a key witness in a double homicide."

     She sighed and then puffed twice, her body visibly relaxing. She cleared her throat and side-glanced me one more time.

     "Well, for starters, they're fond of fancying themselves godlike," Sophia words hit me like a wave of freezing water. Her tone was serious and direct, and I was certainly not expecting to hear such a opening statement. "But as you've already witnessed, they aren't. They can be unbelievably tough, sure, but for all their resilience and quick recoveries, every single one of them remains quite mortal."

     Nor was I expecting that second one, either.

—To Be Continued…—

Title: They Promised Us Eternity

Genre: Slipstream Adventure (Science-Fiction, Techno-Thriller)

Age Range: 15-35

Word Count: 100K words

Author Name: Txabier Etxeberri Otxoa (pen name).

Why your project is a good fit:

It can add to the diversity of voices and explore the new trend of "super-heroic" fiction without blatantly ripping-off comic book tropes, but actually adding a bit of science and literary rigor to the subject matter. 

The Hook:

An unknown group has found a procedure to bring forth the next step in Human evolution, but they don't have good intentions for it.

Synopsis:

A narrator (Mr. Writer) is brought into the world of corporate cloak&dagger as three groups fight over the revolutionary genetic procedure that will give their chose godlike abilities. As the plot thickens, Mr. Writer and Sophia will face-off the CelGenTech (Celular Genetics Technologies) Group's minions in an attempt to retrieve a microfluidic chip containing the key to unlocking the first stage of "psionic ascendance" in chose human subjects. In the final confrontation with Carradine, Mr. Writer will be forced to inject Sophia with the microfluidic gen-key to save her life from the grievous wound Carradine inflicted upon her, thus turning her into the very thing she wanted to prevent.  

Target Audience:

Young Adults - Adults who enjoy adventure, espionage and fiction based around metahuman abilities (super-heroic fiction).

Author bio:

Platform: Txabier's slowly-developing is mainly made of readers who enjoy fantasy fiction and its intersectioning with horror, epic, "grimdark". space opera and science fiction, and who want deep characterization and dynamic plots.

Education: A Communications major, Txabier Etxeberri has also studied History and Industrial Engineering.

Experience: 22+ years a s translation-localization specialist has seen Txabier working on TV series, documentaries, movies (both TV and theatrical releases), video games, Classic Literature novels, magazines and a couple of comic book projects (aborted when the publishers folded in). Txabier recently published his first novel in the English language under The Ed Greenwood Group's "Hellmaw" banner, and will continue to work with the companies second and third franchises: Stormtalons and Folklore: The Affliction. Personality: Highly analytical yet easy going, Txabier enjoys a good conversation as much as a civil debate. While neither an introvert nor shy, in social situations he performs at his best when interacting with small groups. He usually has a quip or joke for almost every situation and likes to listen to others sharing their views and life experiences. His 

writing style is centred on characterization through actions rather than exposition, so the readers can expect his characters to grow through a lot dynamic sequences and dialogue as the plot advances. Txabier likes music of almost every flavor—he'll listen to everything at least once—fiction and non-fiction books on almost very subject matter—although he still has to finish a romance novel and he won't touch "shock factor" publications. He's also fond of comic books, as well as traditional and electronic war, roleplaying, card and board games. When going for his video-game fix, he's mostly into solo gaming.

Hometown: Mexico City.

Age: 44 y-o.

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Written by Txabier in portal Trident Media Group
They Promised Us Eternity
Part 1: Godlike
I. Undaunted We All Barged In, Straight to Our Dooms

People's minds are curious, marvellous things. At the best of times, someone regales us with radical scientific discoveries or astonishing medical breakthroughs. Some are capable of taking our breath away with their sheer capacity for abstraction and sound reasoning; others crack us up with their unbelievable chutzpah or their knack for comedy. Certain minds wander spinning wonders all the while; a few more wonder, and that's how we end up with philosophical treatises, doctoral theses or quite few literary works with a notable tendency to wander off what we believed the tale was about.
     Me? I'm a common man; one who has a rather simple mind and a usually uncomplicated life. I enjoy what I do—most of the time, anyway—as it's what I dreamed about doing as an adult when I was a 12 year-old with too much time on his hands. I had this perfect image of what my life would look like on any given weekday: sitting alone in a room, putting on my headphones over my 'thinking GB Packers beany', then hitting play on the computer's audio player and go on to write the day's quota. Eight hours of cranking up pages and coming up with full-fledged comics books scripts.
     What? The pay is nice, I get to hang around some of the best illustrators and draughtsmen in the industry, and best of all… it pay the bills, rent and the occasional outing. So, yes; I do believe that's quite the respectable job, thank you very much.
     The only bad thing I'd have to say about it might be that it somehow led me in this fine mess I've gotten myself into. I swear, last night all I did was to take a break of the desk and look at the neighborhoods' nightscape through my studio's window. Why, I hadn't even heard a damned thing with my headphones on!
     So, here I am; forcibly stuck with a woman bound for who knows where and bent on doing heaven knows what, all the while trying our damnedest to outrun the very definite threat this very peculiar individual represents.
     Oh, and did I forget to tell you the Weather channel had forecasted possible thunderstorms yet, as soon as we went out the door, the sky seemed to immediately turn into a dark, puffy wet blanket that began to pour?
     Yes; as in 'when it doesn't rain…"
     Anyway, it's a good thing I was done with the scripts for October's two issues; that should leave those stories neatly wrapped up, and ready for the next arc… if any. For I haven't finished making up my mind about this Sophia character and just how screwed I really am; you see, it's known that I've missed a couple of deadlines in the past, but the way this whole situation is turning out… I quite possibly am going to have a brush with the other deadline, and to this seasoned script writer, it sure as hell looks ever more likely that I won't be able to skip that one.
     Damn it! I swear I was just looking to stretch my legs and get a cup of coffee.

***

"You've been awfully quiet for a while now, Mr. Writer." Sophia's voice had a soft, flowing raspiness to its pitch that made it both unique and unmistakably feminine; a strange mixture of a certain coy gruffness, tinged with sweet-sounding menace. "Quite the opposite to how you showed yourself to be during our fateful encounter."
     "Fateful… yeah, right."
     "Is that it?" She asked derisively, a smirk briefly creasing the smoothness of her cheeks.      "That's all I'm getting from you, now? Seriously?"
     "Well, it's not like I'm the one who's packing a gun, am I?"
     Sophia stopped on her tracks and turned to look at the man next to her. His body looked fit, even if slightly overweight, and despite his shoulder-length uneven-cut hair, she could tell he bathed everyday and was used to wearing clean clothes. In a city so full of ripe and sour odours coming out of every nook and cranny—some of them so overwhelming they even made her eyes water—Sophia considered this man's cleanliness to be a small blessing.
     "Oh, enough of that, already! You know quite well I have no intention to shoot you! I mean, I could've done so by now or the minute I came into your apartment."
     "You brokeinto my apartment. You didn't come in. For that, you'd have to be allowed in and I clearly remember never doing so."
     "Oh, that's more like it! Now we got us a discussion about semantics. I guess you really are a writer, after all."
     "Well, I'm not a killer, that's for sure."
     "Neither am I. I've already told you--"
     "Look, I just know I saw you there standing over two dead bodies and with a gun in your hand and, a minute later, you came through my window with this crazy--"
     Sophia looked at me as if daring me to follow up on the phrase to its obvious conclusion. I knew better than to completely piss off someone packing a gun under her parka.
     "Story; yeah, story about how these two had been following you, were doing so under orders of the very individual who killed them. I mean, really? That's what in my line of work we call a major incongruence. It just doesn't make sense; so, you'll have to excuse my skeptical cynicism about the whole thing."
     "Well, in my line of work… you're what we call a major as--"
     "Mind your language, please. I'm the one who has every right to be cursing and calling you all kinds of names, and I'm not."
     "Granted. You could've been a lot more insulting and less snarky, Mr. Writer."
     "You'd think, right?" I mumbled under my breath and saw her face suddenly light up with a wide, toothy smile.
     "Yes. Thank you for that."
 

II. It Wasn't Your Typical Score



"This had always been such a nice place. Lucky bastards."
     The rumor of the few cars going through Castelar Bridge and heading out to the big city—'The Horrid Maze,' as locals called it—dimmed the sound of the waves softly lapping at the lakeshore. It was very early in the morning and the surroundings remained under the cover of the slowly-retreating darkness; nevertheless, a good number of those living in Alameda Heights were already out and about, diligently getting busy, minding their own businesses and making plans, both big and small, for the rest of their day
     "Not too far from the queen of all rat holes, and it neither became a suburban pisspot nor does it remain the picturesque dorm town." The lone man continued to talk  softly talking to himself in a slow, warm baritone voice; he let his words float away along the vapor left behind by his breath as it trailed upwards into the cold, late January morning air. The man sighed and then coughed, spitting into a paper towel. "Still, even when The Horrid will almost always end up swallowing everything whole, eventually, I must confess I'm surprised at how this lil' place remains mostly unchanged and that it hasn't become anywhere nearly as rotten or crowded as Farnsworth Hill… yeah; it remains quite a nice, quiet place; its neighbor notwithstanding."

     The man stood near the edge of the lake’s northern arm the local boys called 'Greendeep Turn', attentively looking at the still-scarce traffic hurriedly passing by. He noticed how its sound was very much like that of darting, angry wasps, all whistling through the metal and concrete ribcage of a long dead monster. The solitary figure turned around and came face to face with dream-like image created by several rows of middle-class houses that the early light appeared to make them look as if they popping out of the dark blanket spread over the nearby hill; each one of these rows of houses formed tidy man-made strata, which transformed the natural elevation into a series of wide, long terraces peppered with angular, unique structures and identical, neatly-trimmed bushes and very ample, perfect lawns. A few of the buildings had their lights on in different sections of their interiors, while some others remained completely dark inside and to the man’s eyes, they were nothing more than blocky silhouettes cut against a smattering of tree foliage and the dim radiance coming from those other neighboring two-storied houses. These made him think of those shy, light-hating beetles that stubbornly try to remain under the cover of the darkness beneath a rock which had been half-lifted too suddenly for them to react and escape into the receding gloom.
     "This place is so nice, in fact, that I can clearly see how an enterprising, clever man could be pulling quite a healthy amount of jobs here. That's for sure." The loner took out a lollipop from his coat's pocket, tore the wrapper off and put it in his mouth. He put the torn wrapper in the opposite pocket and rubbed his hands. “But breakfast comes before business… I just hope I find something nice and not too fancy so I don’t have to walk back to the city to find a pricier place to eat there. "Cause I'm about done with decent… I just can’t stand the thought of having to munch on Rogelio’s greasy pancakes one more time."

***

As we were making our way out of my apartment and down the alley to the lot where I usually parked my compact SUV, I couldn't help but notice how strangely calm I was considering this woman, a perfect stranger who hadn't given me any option other than to come along with her, was a walking carrying a gun… and that she actually hadn't used it to cajole me. Saying that I had been forced to accompany her 'at gun point,' would be lying to the jury at a court of law. She actually phrased it thus:
     "Alright, I know this looks bad enough and that you probably think I'm here to kill you. But that's not what I do. My name's Sophia and I've been framed."
    And that was that. She continued to explain that what I had just saw—her standing over two dead bodies in the alleyway behind the old warehouse turned apartment-studio that I rent for $1,000 dollars a month, with an option to buy—needed some explaining and that she needed me to come with her.
     Of course, I tried to put a few points across regarding her breaking into my flat through a window that I personally had locked after sunset. Truth be told, I might have been a bit of a smart-ass while speaking my mind about her breaching the sanctity of my 
home and my seeing her lording it over two dead unknowns, of course. But what surprised me was this… this… 'aura' of calmness? Trust? Maybe, the best word to describe it would be 'innocuousness'. Even when I had seen the gun in her hand, knowing she was armed didn't set any alarms or triggered any response other than me trying to vent my surprise and fear by coming up with quips and passive-aggressive verbal abuse.
     Much good that did for me.
     So, as we went down the alley, she signalled for me to stop and I silently obeyed her; she kneeled beside one of the corpses and took something out from one of its pockets, and she then made another sign for me to keep going, so on we went to my vehicle and she asked me for the keys.
     "What?" I replied, not understanding why would she want me to hand her the keys. "Are you also stealing my car?"
     "No, you klutz! I'm taking you with me, but I'm driving."
     Seeing the earnest look in her eyes, I felt equally compelled to cuzz and hand her the keys, but after a couple of seconds I decided we both had enough of my attempts at verbal fencing and just gave key the keys.
     She nodded her thanks and got inside the SUV. She started the engine as soon as I was onboard and then drove out of the parking lot.
     "Mind you, I drive fast… just in case you're planning to jump out of a moving car, Mr. Writer."
     "That's one of the few things I don't need to experience in order to better capture the feel of it for my writing."
     "I'll count my blessings, then. I mean, I could've stumbled with an obsessive method actor or some such."
     I laughed a little at her remark. Having dated a couple of would-be actresses, he could understand why Sophia would make one such joke. 'Everything's an opportunity to build a character; all experiences allow to create a role!' Oh, boy; was in for a ride with that one. Good thing it only lasted for three months, with my wallet intact for the most part.
     "So, what was it that I saw back at the alley?" I asked after a few minutes more on the road. I was trying to make a mental map of the route we were following, but all I could say about it was the we were heading North.
     Sophia looked at me as if sizing me up and shrugged, then turned back too watching the road.
     "Other than me standing over those two goons, with Shorty's gun on my hand, you mean?"
     "Yes. Other than that, Miss Smarty Pants. I don't need to tell you I'm a key witness in a double homicide."
     She sighed and then puffed twice, her body visibly relaxing. She cleared her throat and side-glanced me one more time.
     "Well, for starters, they're fond of fancying themselves godlike," Sophia words hit me like a wave of freezing water. Her tone was serious and direct, and I was certainly not expecting to hear such a opening statement. "But as you've already witnessed, they aren't. They can be unbelievably tough, sure, but for all their resilience and quick recoveries, every single one of them remains quite mortal."
     Nor was I expecting that second one, either.

—To Be Continued…—

Title: They Promised Us Eternity
Genre: Slipstream Adventure (Science-Fiction, Techno-Thriller)
Age Range: 15-35
Word Count: 100K words
Author Name: Txabier Etxeberri Otxoa (pen name).

Why your project is a good fit:
It can add to the diversity of voices and explore the new trend of "super-heroic" fiction without blatantly ripping-off comic book tropes, but actually adding a bit of science and literary rigor to the subject matter. 

The Hook:
An unknown group has found a procedure to bring forth the next step in Human evolution, but they don't have good intentions for it.

Synopsis:
A narrator (Mr. Writer) is brought into the world of corporate cloak&dagger as three groups fight over the revolutionary genetic procedure that will give their chose godlike abilities. As the plot thickens, Mr. Writer and Sophia will face-off the CelGenTech (Celular Genetics Technologies) Group's minions in an attempt to retrieve a microfluidic chip containing the key to unlocking the first stage of "psionic ascendance" in chose human subjects. In the final confrontation with Carradine, Mr. Writer will be forced to inject Sophia with the microfluidic gen-key to save her life from the grievous wound Carradine inflicted upon her, thus turning her into the very thing she wanted to prevent.  

Target Audience:
Young Adults - Adults who enjoy adventure, espionage and fiction based around metahuman abilities (super-heroic fiction).

Author bio:
Platform: Txabier's slowly-developing is mainly made of readers who enjoy fantasy fiction and its intersectioning with horror, epic, "grimdark". space opera and science fiction, and who want deep characterization and dynamic plots.
Education: A Communications major, Txabier Etxeberri has also studied History and Industrial Engineering.
Experience: 22+ years a s translation-localization specialist has seen Txabier working on TV series, documentaries, movies (both TV and theatrical releases), video games, Classic Literature novels, magazines and a couple of comic book projects (aborted when the publishers folded in). Txabier recently published his first novel in the English language under The Ed Greenwood Group's "Hellmaw" banner, and will continue to work with the companies second and third franchises: Stormtalons and Folklore: The Affliction. Personality: Highly analytical yet easy going, Txabier enjoys a good conversation as much as a civil debate. While neither an introvert nor shy, in social situations he performs at his best when interacting with small groups. He usually has a quip or joke for almost every situation and likes to listen to others sharing their views and life experiences. His 
writing style is centred on characterization through actions rather than exposition, so the readers can expect his characters to grow through a lot dynamic sequences and dialogue as the plot advances. Txabier likes music of almost every flavor—he'll listen to everything at least once—fiction and non-fiction books on almost very subject matter—although he still has to finish a romance novel and he won't touch "shock factor" publications. He's also fond of comic books, as well as traditional and electronic war, roleplaying, card and board games. When going for his video-game fix, he's mostly into solo gaming.
Hometown: Mexico City.
Age: 44 y-o.
#scifi  #fiction  #adventure  #slipstream  #technothriller 
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Written by Betzahel

Eye-Am

Im going to tell you all that I know. Understand first that I only know and accept what is empirical and absolute, not as communicated by any person or institution of personhood, but as related to me by the particular environment in which I find myself. I am not going to communicate to you an idea, for an idea is no more than an orderly dream. I'm going to tell you what I know, and I only know the Truth as my senses relate that Truth to me; thus, I tell you only what my eyes see clearly.

My eyes are blue just as the sky is blue. My left pupil is at times a square, at times an hourglass, at times it is round like your own. These statements are facts, though facts are not always what they may seem. Neither my eyes nor the sky is ACTUALLY blue. Both are illusion caused by a phenomena known to physics as Rayleigh Scattering.

I assure you, despite the Blue, they sky over your head is darkness rising to infinity.

This is not poetry nor is it mystic vision. What I will tell you is All that i know and I know no more or less than this:

There is no God.

There are no gods collected as God.

There is no goddess.

There is no savior of the faith.

There is no faith.

There is no religion -

No science.

No philosophy.

There is no right way nor wrong way, in and of itself, of going about the business of your life

No good to perceive, nor is their evil -

for what we determine to be good is just as likely as not.

A little girl saves a butterfly from a stalking cat. "Good" we say to the child, as the very next flutter of the butterfly's wings sets into motion events causing a tsunami in Indonesia.

Such a scenario is absurd unless you're a meteorologist.

Cause and effect.

This is what theologians try to say when they speak of 'The Will of the God'.

There are only two varieties of human existence -

the known

and the unknown.

What is it to be known?

And just what is it that is doing this knowing?

That which Knows is a Self embodying all selves and Knowing all creatures.

A Self moving all created selves from the beginning of all movement.

You might say this Self is Nature. You might say this Nature is anthropomorphic.

But both assertions would be misguided.

The Self that knows all selves is reflected in its individual manifestations, therefore, the smaller selves behave in a similar fashion -

they are, as is said,

'made in His image'.

All of humanity understands the fact of this Self in Existence.

From the beginning of our humanness we have understood it. The anthropologists refer to pervasive knowledge as being 'a cultural and historical universality'.

Think of a shadow trying to discern the object that cast itself. Not liking its place in this relationship, eventually the shadow came to believe that shadowness is object and object is shadowness. The only complexity in regards to the reality of Self is in the confusion of this inversion. Shadows speak in their own peculiar languages, but Object speaks in a Language of Pure Awareness. This is Self. Self is All-Awareness.

If i tell you that I am the God you will not except this as fact. But if you understand that God is you we shall recognize one another.

The choice is a simple one. It is not what actions we choose or what gods we should follow. It is not what we will make of our lives or how we should earn our livelihoods.

It is, rather, are we to be our selves or are we to be our Self?

Are we the beaters of our hearts or is our Heart Beaten?

Is life what we make of it or is Life Made for us to Be?

Is there knowledge outside Self or is Self Knowledge?

There is no age nor ending. Time is an expanding orb which burst forth from a pinhole in an Other-Side. Every moment in time is to move. And to Move is all-ways towards Expansion. If you believe yourself sitting still it is of no importance.

Do this and you will understand what I'm saying to you. Go outside and stand in the grass and look at your feet on the Earth. Seeing that your feet are where they are, know that the ground is spinning your body at a rate of 1000 miles per hour. Know too that your body is hurling itself around the Sun at a speed of 67,000 miles per hour. At the same time know that the entire galaxy is traveling your body outwards towards the unknown at a rate 1.3 million miles an hour.

You have never been still.

You are not feet on ground.

You are not earth spinning.

You are not sun hurtling.

You are not galaxy outwards through space.

You are not space.

You are not even you.

You are exactly only

Self in Place -

and I will Love you

Everywhere you are.

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Written by Betzahel
Eye-Am
Im going to tell you all that I know. Understand first that I only know and accept what is empirical and absolute, not as communicated by any person or institution of personhood, but as related to me by the particular environment in which I find myself. I am not going to communicate to you an idea, for an idea is no more than an orderly dream. I'm going to tell you what I know, and I only know the Truth as my senses relate that Truth to me; thus, I tell you only what my eyes see clearly.

My eyes are blue just as the sky is blue. My left pupil is at times a square, at times an hourglass, at times it is round like your own. These statements are facts, though facts are not always what they may seem. Neither my eyes nor the sky is ACTUALLY blue. Both are illusion caused by a phenomena known to physics as Rayleigh Scattering.
I assure you, despite the Blue, they sky over your head is darkness rising to infinity.

This is not poetry nor is it mystic vision. What I will tell you is All that i know and I know no more or less than this:

There is no God.
There are no gods collected as God.
There is no goddess.
There is no savior of the faith.
There is no faith.
There is no religion -
No science.
No philosophy.
There is no right way nor wrong way, in and of itself, of going about the business of your life
No good to perceive, nor is their evil -
for what we determine to be good is just as likely as not.
A little girl saves a butterfly from a stalking cat. "Good" we say to the child, as the very next flutter of the butterfly's wings sets into motion events causing a tsunami in Indonesia.

Such a scenario is absurd unless you're a meteorologist.

Cause and effect.
This is what theologians try to say when they speak of 'The Will of the God'.

There are only two varieties of human existence -
the known
and the unknown.

What is it to be known?
And just what is it that is doing this knowing?

That which Knows is a Self embodying all selves and Knowing all creatures.

A Self moving all created selves from the beginning of all movement.

You might say this Self is Nature. You might say this Nature is anthropomorphic.
But both assertions would be misguided.

The Self that knows all selves is reflected in its individual manifestations, therefore, the smaller selves behave in a similar fashion -
they are, as is said,

'made in His image'.

All of humanity understands the fact of this Self in Existence.
From the beginning of our humanness we have understood it. The anthropologists refer to pervasive knowledge as being 'a cultural and historical universality'.

Think of a shadow trying to discern the object that cast itself. Not liking its place in this relationship, eventually the shadow came to believe that shadowness is object and object is shadowness. The only complexity in regards to the reality of Self is in the confusion of this inversion. Shadows speak in their own peculiar languages, but Object speaks in a Language of Pure Awareness. This is Self. Self is All-Awareness.

If i tell you that I am the God you will not except this as fact. But if you understand that God is you we shall recognize one another.

The choice is a simple one. It is not what actions we choose or what gods we should follow. It is not what we will make of our lives or how we should earn our livelihoods.

It is, rather, are we to be our selves or are we to be our Self?
Are we the beaters of our hearts or is our Heart Beaten?
Is life what we make of it or is Life Made for us to Be?
Is there knowledge outside Self or is Self Knowledge?

There is no age nor ending. Time is an expanding orb which burst forth from a pinhole in an Other-Side. Every moment in time is to move. And to Move is all-ways towards Expansion. If you believe yourself sitting still it is of no importance.

Do this and you will understand what I'm saying to you. Go outside and stand in the grass and look at your feet on the Earth. Seeing that your feet are where they are, know that the ground is spinning your body at a rate of 1000 miles per hour. Know too that your body is hurling itself around the Sun at a speed of 67,000 miles per hour. At the same time know that the entire galaxy is traveling your body outwards towards the unknown at a rate 1.3 million miles an hour.

You have never been still.
You are not feet on ground.
You are not earth spinning.
You are not sun hurtling.
You are not galaxy outwards through space.
You are not space.
You are not even you.

You are exactly only
Self in Place -
and I will Love you
Everywhere you are.
#scifi  #nonfiction  #romance  #horror  #adventure  #childrens  #poetry  #science  #mystery  #film  #politics  #spirituality  #news  #culture 
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Written by chainedinshadow in portal Sci-Fi

Chapter 1: 90411 Red

Note: Please keep in mind as you read the chapters from this book two things: (1), This book is written for the age range of 12-18, though older than that may enjoy it, and (2) This is a trilogy, so some things will not be explained until book two, or even book three.

Chris

I slung my backpack over my shoulder and waited for my friend, Rachel, to catch up with me before I walked out the door. Because her brother and my sister had to stay after school to work on some science project with their teacher, I was walking Rachel home. We’ve known each other for two years, ever since they moved here from Indiana when her dad got a promotion. Although she hadn’t been the most thrilled about it (she’d actually been a real snot during the first two months), she did come to like it here. Though, of course, the Team had helped with that.

     

     “I hope Abigail doesn’t, you know, get terminated from the team,” Rachel said softly as she picked up her books. “I know what this means to her.” She paused to pull her hair back into a ponytail and added, “I know what it means to me.”

      I nodded. “Yeah, I know.”

Abigail is my sister, and the Team is not something you probably know about, which is okay. I’ll explain. The Team was started by Brandon because of his uncle, Dr. Oswald. There are plenty of bad people in the world, and Pleayus and his half-brother are the worst, if there is a worst. That’s why Dr. Oswald cut connections with them, became a Christian, and started his own elite team made up of trained teenagers to stop them. Because who would expect teenagers to stop someone? So that’s why we were created, because you can’t be everywhere at once, no matter how hard you try or how big you are (I don’t mean weight wise, I mean as in how big your corporation is.). We haven’t had any real missions yet, but if we do, Brandon may not let Abigail go.

    Rachel didn’t say anything else as I held the door open for her and we walked out of the Christian school and towards her house.

     “Let’s go the back way,” she said at last. “It takes longer and I just need some time to think. It’s nice having a baby sister, but sometimes Ashley is just too much. Literally, all she does is eat, sleep, and poop. And breathe,” she added. She shook her head and yawned, rubbing her still blood-shot eyes. Apparently, she’d been up until three in the morning because Ashley had started teething.

     “I’m glad I don’t have a baby sister,” I laughed. “The one I have used to be hard enough!” I paused. “But now she’s training all the time, so she’s not that bad anymore.”

I actually kinda miss my sister. I don’t see her that much anymore because, like I said, she’s so busy training. It’s like that’s her life.

     “Yeah right! You were complaining about her just yesterday, actually,” she responded, laughing. She walked ahead of me. “Peter’s not that bad. He always was such a dirty rotten snitch, but I broke him in. Or so I like to think. I’m not sure if it was the other way around, however.” She smiled slightly and gave me a quick sideway look. That’s what Rachel does when she’s trying to figure out what mood you’re in. She’s really good at that.

I didn’t really feel like talking anymore, and Rachel wasn’t expecting me to, either, which was fine for both of us. She rattled on about her brother and Ashley, and I tuned her out as we walked through the woods and then knee high grass.

     “Chris!” she said at last, so urgent I snapped too with a jolt.

     “What?” I asked, startled, looking around, expecting a fire or someone pointing a gun at us. When I didn’t see anything like that, I turned back to her. “C’mon, what’s the reason for yelling like that?”

     She didn’t even answer me, just shoved her phone at me. I saw it was a text from another member of the team and one of our friends, Jackson Carson. He’s a cool dude, but sometimes his stupid pranks go way too far. And I mean way too far (like the time his sister swallowed a pencil and had to have surgery to get it removed from her stomach.).

I opened it up and it read my cousin literally is being held for ransom. need help @ haunted house.

     I laughed. “That’s a good one. Of all of his pranks, that’s a really good one!”

     Jackson’s been pulling these pranks a lot, where he’ll make it sound like he or someone else is in really bad danger, and we’ll come rushing to the location he’s given us, only to find out he’s laughing his head off. He’s like the boy who cried wolf.

     I grabbed the phone and texted back, Good one Jack! not fallin 4 it this time.

     Rachel shook her head, disbelief and disgust written all over it. “I can’t believe he’s still doing this after Brandon told him not to. You’d think he’d actually learn, even though he’s so smart. But then again, it’s not that hard to be smarter than me.”

     “I know,” I agreed, then hastily added when she glared at me, “Not you, him. Sometimes he can be so stupid, you know?”

     “I know,” she laughed. Then she frowned. “I didn’t know he had a cousin. But it’s not like he and I are besties- not since that prank I pulled on him.”

     “Yup, her name is Jenny and she’s fifteen too. She’s coming here for a week. I think Brandon’s eyeing her for on the Team. He says she’d be a good fit with some decent training. She’s already being taught karate and she’s the star track runner.” I paused and thought about what Brandon might possibly have in mind. I just didn’t want to say it.

     “You don’t think maybe she’ Abigail’s replacement?” Rachel asked softly, echoing my thoughts exactly. Then she rolled her eyes and smiled, obviously trying to avoid any further conversation regarding the matter. “Maybe she’ll be Jackson’s? He’s gonna get himself terminated if he keeps it up! You’d really think he’d learn!”

     Her phone beeped, and she pulled it out and looked at it. Wordlessly, she shoved it at me, her eyes wide and her face pale.

     I took the phone and looked at the text. It read 90411 Red. Then I knew he wasn’t lying. See Brandon knew when there was actually trouble, we wouldn’t know if it was really for real. So he had given this code, 90411, with different colors to signify how bad the danger was, with Red being the worst. Anyone who used this code for anything except for the intended use would be terminated from the Team.

      “Jackson may be hardheaded, but not enough to risk termination from the Team,” I said. “You and I both know it.”

     “Yes, I do. The haunted house is right over the ridge, so let’s get out of here! I don’t know what’s going on, but Jackson obviously needs us,” Rachel urged. Then she stopped. “Maybe we should get Brandon.”

     I hesitated. It’s hard being the leader because everyone looks to you for the answer to everything. Getting Brandon seemed like a good idea, so I pulled out my phone and called him. Like usual, he didn’t answer his phone, because it was dead.

     “You’d think he’d be able to keep his phone charged, seeing everything else he’s accomplished,” Rachel muttered. “We don’t have time to run home.”

     I don’t know why I listened to her or anything of the sort—there was always time to check and double-check and get backup just in case. But I did listen to her. (Note for later: Never listen to Rachel.) “Okay.”

     She dropped her backpack in the bushes. “These algebra books weigh a ton!”

     I smiled and did the same. Then she was bounding up towards the ridge. I followed.

Jenny

I opened the door of my cousin’s house. My nose was still runny from the cold I’d had, and I hadn’t been able to go to school, which was fine with me. Staying with my cousins for a week shouldn’t be ruined by that horrible (though needful) drudgery.

     It was really sunny outside, and I instantly felt happy. I closed my eyes and let the sunlight land on me. I was listening to a wren when I heard the distinct crunching of tires on gravel. I opened my eyes and spotted a large truck pulling in.

     I squinted, and then hastily retreated inside. After all, I’m a very shy and somewhat paranoid person. And after the recent kidnappings on the news…

     Once the truck had pulled away, I decided maybe I should go for a walk.

     “Aunt Marybeth?” I called.

     “Yes, sweetie?” she answered from upstairs, as a door slammed above my head. I could hear her walking towards the top of the stairs.

     “I’m going to go for a walk,” I called.

     “Okay, just don’t stay out late; Jackson and Julia should be home soon. And also, don’t go in the woods,” she warned. “You’ve seen the news, and homeless people sometimes camp out there. One of these days we’ll take them some sandwiches…anyway, no woods.”

     “Yes, Aunt Marybeth, I won’t,” I promised, as I pulled on my sneakers and opened the back door.

     I dashed out the door, forgetting not to slam it, but I knew Aunt Marybeth would understand. She was just that sort of person who was like a grown-up kid. (Which I guess all adults are grown-up kids because adults start out as kids.)

     I ran across the backyard and onto the sidewalk. I figured I’d jog for a little way, because I love to run, and it was a nice day.

     I’d been running for a while when the same truck pulled up alongside me. I felt my heart beating faster, and I scolded myself for being paranoid. Stupid, it’s nothing.

    I was wrong, obviously. The door opened, and a very large man jumped out and grabbed me.

     “Where are you taking me?” I demanded. I sounded brave, but inwardly, I was really, really scared. A thousand thoughts of all the awful things he could do were running through my head at that moment.

     “None of your business, precious,” the big man answered. He still had me by the neck as he shoved me into the truck, and gunned the engine. The truck lurched forward, and since I didn’t have a seatbelt on, I banged my head on the dashboard. I closed my eyes and didn’t bother to open them until the truck finally stopped, and he pulled me out. All the while, I was thinking about how different things would have been if I had taken the dog with me, or taken my knife…

     I screamed. He clamped a meaty hand over my mouth and whispered fiercely in my ear, “Don’t try anything of that, ya hear? I could break your neck like a toothpick, okay?”

I didn’t doubt him, either. I nodded as well as I could, with his arm wrapped around my neck from behind.

     “Okay, then,” he said, letting go.

     I gulped in fresh air, almost choking on his foul breath.

He pointed a stubby pistol over under a tree. “Sit under that and no funny business, okay?”

      I nodded and sat down under the tree and waited. I mean, what else do you do when you have a guy who weighs four, almost five, times more than you, has a whole lot more muscle, and a gun to boot?! The answer is nothing, even though that was a rhetorical question.

 

     He looked over the ridge once and stood there for a moment or two, and then came back over. “Good, your cousin heard you. Now, let’s get you up in that old mansion.”

     “No! Jackson!! Julia!!” I screamed, not sure which cousin he was talking about.

     He wrapped his hand around my neck and pressed on my pressure points. “If you weren’t as important as bait right now, I’d kill you here and now.”

     I knew he wasn’t kidding. I shut my eyes to keep the tears from falling. He unwrapped his dirty hand from around my neck and grabbed my wrist. Pain shot up my wrist all the way up to my shoulder.

     “Ouch,” I muttered as he jerked me across the flat ground over a tangle of vines in what probably used to be a very nice garden bed. “There is a path, you know.”

     “Yes, I know, but I wouldn’t use it unless you want to be killed on the spot, precious. Have you ever heard of booby traps? Yeah?” he spat.

     I understood what he was saying now, and didn’t answer as he dragged me around to a vent in the side of the house. I let my hair fall in front of my face as I gulped in air and looked wildly around for some escape. It was wide and open, and I was pretty sure I could run faster than him. But I couldn’t run faster than a bullet.

     I finally realized he was doing something, so I turned back to look at what he was doing. He was on his knees, fiddling with something I couldn’t see. I moved a little for a better view. He pulled the rusted metal hunk off the vent. Now was my chance. I kicked him in the back and he fell forward. But he recovered quickly and I hadn’t even made it five feet before he had the gun on me. I froze.

     “Stop, get over here, and get through that hole,” he ordered.

     I nodded, mutely, and walked back towards him. Before I could even think, he shoved me through the narrow hole.

     There was no way he was fitting through, I realized with a rush of joy. Maybe I could…I scratched those plans away right then and there because already, another pair of hands was wrapped around my wrists and dragging me down a tunnel.

     I banged my head on something and yelped, the pain making my head spin.

     “Shut up, you stupid wretch,” someone hissed ahead of me, “or we’ll gag you. Hunch over, dummy.”

     I obeyed, my heart pounding as we made our way down the dark and narrow tunnel. I’m a blonde, so maybe I’m not the smartest, and maybe I’m one of those really dumb blondes because my hair is so blonde it’s almost white. But I already knew two things: I was just bait, and they wanted my cousin. I didn’t know how, but I did. I also knew they’d been watching us for a little while, to know who my cousins and I were, what school they went to, and when they’d be coming home.

     I waited until we were at the end and light was at the end of the tunnel. It was a faint, dim blue type of light, and I could see my captor more plainly now. It was an older woman, probably in her forties. With a quick jerk, I had my right arm free. She obviously hadn’t been expecting it, and I had caught her off guard; she didn’t even have a chance to react. I kicked her with all my might and wrenched my left hand free, whirled, and raced down the tunnel.

     My breathing was quick and short, and I could hear my heart beating, so loud it was deafening me.

     It all looked the same—curving tunnels, metal doors, dim cold blue lights, and spider webs. Some went up, some went down, some had stairs, and some didn’t. But it didn’t matter. I just needed to get out. This was my worst nightmare, and there didn’t seem to be a way to escape it.

     I was panting and exhausted by the time I reached another flight of stairs. I slowly walked up them to the top, where a metal door stood. I pulled on it, and it swung open on noiseless hinges.

     I stood at the top and looked around. The floors were half rotten with dust, grit, and glass all over. I cautiously took a step forward, and the floor creaked, making me shudder.

     “There you are!” a voice said, and I felt hands reach for me.

     I screamed, whirled around, and shoved at the woman, desperation making me rather strong. I slammed the door shut behind me and raced across the floor as fast as I could, the thought that the floor might collapse still in the back of my head.

     Arrows shot over my head and landed in a door post. Four knives dropped behind me as I raced through what must have been a dining room. And then I stopped perfectly still because I remembered what my first captor had said about booby traps. I knew I shouldn’t go any farther, if I wanted to survive, anyway, that is.

     That wasn’t the only reason, though. A blue, elliptical sphere seemed to be suspended in midair in front of me, and this squidish thing seemed to rest in it, eyes shut. I suddenly forgot what I was running from and why I was scared. My eyes fastened on that blue orb, and I stepped tentatively forward. I could feel this other being’s presence in every fiber of my body, as I stepped forward. In fact, it was as if the very air around me was vibrating.

The surface of the sphere, which seemed to be made of water, rippled gently, and I stopped, staring at it. I was really confused and slightly freaked out by it, but also very curious.

     A gentle humming came from within it, and I took another step forward. I didn’t feel afraid anymore.

      “Hello,” I said, softly.

      The eyes didn’t open, but the creature stirred a little.

     “I’m Jenny,” I continued.

     Still nothing.

     I don’t know why I did it, but I did. I reached my hand out as far as it would go. A tentacle moved towards my hand. I paused, not really scared, but just…curious what it would do.

     I placed my hand on the surface of the sphere, and it touched the tentacle.

     Nothing happened at first. Then, slowly, at first, ripples spread out from where my hand had been and spread out across the surface of the sphere, increasing in distance and speed.

     A split second went by. The eyes of the creature within snapped open and focused on mine.

© Copyright January 2017 Abigail Burchwell

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Written by chainedinshadow in portal Sci-Fi
Chapter 1: 90411 Red

Note: Please keep in mind as you read the chapters from this book two things: (1), This book is written for the age range of 12-18, though older than that may enjoy it, and (2) This is a trilogy, so some things will not be explained until book two, or even book three.

Chris

I slung my backpack over my shoulder and waited for my friend, Rachel, to catch up with me before I walked out the door. Because her brother and my sister had to stay after school to work on some science project with their teacher, I was walking Rachel home. We’ve known each other for two years, ever since they moved here from Indiana when her dad got a promotion. Although she hadn’t been the most thrilled about it (she’d actually been a real snot during the first two months), she did come to like it here. Though, of course, the Team had helped with that.
     
     “I hope Abigail doesn’t, you know, get terminated from the team,” Rachel said softly as she picked up her books. “I know what this means to her.” She paused to pull her hair back into a ponytail and added, “I know what it means to me.”
      I nodded. “Yeah, I know.”

Abigail is my sister, and the Team is not something you probably know about, which is okay. I’ll explain. The Team was started by Brandon because of his uncle, Dr. Oswald. There are plenty of bad people in the world, and Pleayus and his half-brother are the worst, if there is a worst. That’s why Dr. Oswald cut connections with them, became a Christian, and started his own elite team made up of trained teenagers to stop them. Because who would expect teenagers to stop someone? So that’s why we were created, because you can’t be everywhere at once, no matter how hard you try or how big you are (I don’t mean weight wise, I mean as in how big your corporation is.). We haven’t had any real missions yet, but if we do, Brandon may not let Abigail go.

    Rachel didn’t say anything else as I held the door open for her and we walked out of the Christian school and towards her house.
     “Let’s go the back way,” she said at last. “It takes longer and I just need some time to think. It’s nice having a baby sister, but sometimes Ashley is just too much. Literally, all she does is eat, sleep, and poop. And breathe,” she added. She shook her head and yawned, rubbing her still blood-shot eyes. Apparently, she’d been up until three in the morning because Ashley had started teething.
     “I’m glad I don’t have a baby sister,” I laughed. “The one I have used to be hard enough!” I paused. “But now she’s training all the time, so she’s not that bad anymore.”
I actually kinda miss my sister. I don’t see her that much anymore because, like I said, she’s so busy training. It’s like that’s her life.
     “Yeah right! You were complaining about her just yesterday, actually,” she responded, laughing. She walked ahead of me. “Peter’s not that bad. He always was such a dirty rotten snitch, but I broke him in. Or so I like to think. I’m not sure if it was the other way around, however.” She smiled slightly and gave me a quick sideway look. That’s what Rachel does when she’s trying to figure out what mood you’re in. She’s really good at that.
I didn’t really feel like talking anymore, and Rachel wasn’t expecting me to, either, which was fine for both of us. She rattled on about her brother and Ashley, and I tuned her out as we walked through the woods and then knee high grass.

     “Chris!” she said at last, so urgent I snapped too with a jolt.
     “What?” I asked, startled, looking around, expecting a fire or someone pointing a gun at us. When I didn’t see anything like that, I turned back to her. “C’mon, what’s the reason for yelling like that?”
     She didn’t even answer me, just shoved her phone at me. I saw it was a text from another member of the team and one of our friends, Jackson Carson. He’s a cool dude, but sometimes his stupid pranks go way too far. And I mean way too far (like the time his sister swallowed a pencil and had to have surgery to get it removed from her stomach.).
I opened it up and it read my cousin literally is being held for ransom. need help @ haunted house.

     I laughed. “That’s a good one. Of all of his pranks, that’s a really good one!”
     Jackson’s been pulling these pranks a lot, where he’ll make it sound like he or someone else is in really bad danger, and we’ll come rushing to the location he’s given us, only to find out he’s laughing his head off. He’s like the boy who cried wolf.

     I grabbed the phone and texted back, Good one Jack! not fallin 4 it this time.
     Rachel shook her head, disbelief and disgust written all over it. “I can’t believe he’s still doing this after Brandon told him not to. You’d think he’d actually learn, even though he’s so smart. But then again, it’s not that hard to be smarter than me.”
     “I know,” I agreed, then hastily added when she glared at me, “Not you, him. Sometimes he can be so stupid, you know?”
     “I know,” she laughed. Then she frowned. “I didn’t know he had a cousin. But it’s not like he and I are besties- not since that prank I pulled on him.”
     “Yup, her name is Jenny and she’s fifteen too. She’s coming here for a week. I think Brandon’s eyeing her for on the Team. He says she’d be a good fit with some decent training. She’s already being taught karate and she’s the star track runner.” I paused and thought about what Brandon might possibly have in mind. I just didn’t want to say it.
     “You don’t think maybe she’ Abigail’s replacement?” Rachel asked softly, echoing my thoughts exactly. Then she rolled her eyes and smiled, obviously trying to avoid any further conversation regarding the matter. “Maybe she’ll be Jackson’s? He’s gonna get himself terminated if he keeps it up! You’d really think he’d learn!”

     Her phone beeped, and she pulled it out and looked at it. Wordlessly, she shoved it at me, her eyes wide and her face pale.
     I took the phone and looked at the text. It read 90411 Red. Then I knew he wasn’t lying. See Brandon knew when there was actually trouble, we wouldn’t know if it was really for real. So he had given this code, 90411, with different colors to signify how bad the danger was, with Red being the worst. Anyone who used this code for anything except for the intended use would be terminated from the Team.

      “Jackson may be hardheaded, but not enough to risk termination from the Team,” I said. “You and I both know it.”
     “Yes, I do. The haunted house is right over the ridge, so let’s get out of here! I don’t know what’s going on, but Jackson obviously needs us,” Rachel urged. Then she stopped. “Maybe we should get Brandon.”

     I hesitated. It’s hard being the leader because everyone looks to you for the answer to everything. Getting Brandon seemed like a good idea, so I pulled out my phone and called him. Like usual, he didn’t answer his phone, because it was dead.
     “You’d think he’d be able to keep his phone charged, seeing everything else he’s accomplished,” Rachel muttered. “We don’t have time to run home.”

     I don’t know why I listened to her or anything of the sort—there was always time to check and double-check and get backup just in case. But I did listen to her. (Note for later: Never listen to Rachel.) “Okay.”
     She dropped her backpack in the bushes. “These algebra books weigh a ton!”
     I smiled and did the same. Then she was bounding up towards the ridge. I followed.

Jenny

I opened the door of my cousin’s house. My nose was still runny from the cold I’d had, and I hadn’t been able to go to school, which was fine with me. Staying with my cousins for a week shouldn’t be ruined by that horrible (though needful) drudgery.
     It was really sunny outside, and I instantly felt happy. I closed my eyes and let the sunlight land on me. I was listening to a wren when I heard the distinct crunching of tires on gravel. I opened my eyes and spotted a large truck pulling in.
     I squinted, and then hastily retreated inside. After all, I’m a very shy and somewhat paranoid person. And after the recent kidnappings on the news…
     Once the truck had pulled away, I decided maybe I should go for a walk.

     “Aunt Marybeth?” I called.
     “Yes, sweetie?” she answered from upstairs, as a door slammed above my head. I could hear her walking towards the top of the stairs.
     “I’m going to go for a walk,” I called.
     “Okay, just don’t stay out late; Jackson and Julia should be home soon. And also, don’t go in the woods,” she warned. “You’ve seen the news, and homeless people sometimes camp out there. One of these days we’ll take them some sandwiches…anyway, no woods.”
     “Yes, Aunt Marybeth, I won’t,” I promised, as I pulled on my sneakers and opened the back door.

     I dashed out the door, forgetting not to slam it, but I knew Aunt Marybeth would understand. She was just that sort of person who was like a grown-up kid. (Which I guess all adults are grown-up kids because adults start out as kids.)
     I ran across the backyard and onto the sidewalk. I figured I’d jog for a little way, because I love to run, and it was a nice day.
     I’d been running for a while when the same truck pulled up alongside me. I felt my heart beating faster, and I scolded myself for being paranoid. Stupid, it’s nothing.
    I was wrong, obviously. The door opened, and a very large man jumped out and grabbed me.

     “Where are you taking me?” I demanded. I sounded brave, but inwardly, I was really, really scared. A thousand thoughts of all the awful things he could do were running through my head at that moment.
     “None of your business, precious,” the big man answered. He still had me by the neck as he shoved me into the truck, and gunned the engine. The truck lurched forward, and since I didn’t have a seatbelt on, I banged my head on the dashboard. I closed my eyes and didn’t bother to open them until the truck finally stopped, and he pulled me out. All the while, I was thinking about how different things would have been if I had taken the dog with me, or taken my knife…

     I screamed. He clamped a meaty hand over my mouth and whispered fiercely in my ear, “Don’t try anything of that, ya hear? I could break your neck like a toothpick, okay?”
I didn’t doubt him, either. I nodded as well as I could, with his arm wrapped around my neck from behind.
     “Okay, then,” he said, letting go.
     I gulped in fresh air, almost choking on his foul breath.
He pointed a stubby pistol over under a tree. “Sit under that and no funny business, okay?”

      I nodded and sat down under the tree and waited. I mean, what else do you do when you have a guy who weighs four, almost five, times more than you, has a whole lot more muscle, and a gun to boot?! The answer is nothing, even though that was a rhetorical question.
 
     He looked over the ridge once and stood there for a moment or two, and then came back over. “Good, your cousin heard you. Now, let’s get you up in that old mansion.”
     “No! Jackson!! Julia!!” I screamed, not sure which cousin he was talking about.
     He wrapped his hand around my neck and pressed on my pressure points. “If you weren’t as important as bait right now, I’d kill you here and now.”

     I knew he wasn’t kidding. I shut my eyes to keep the tears from falling. He unwrapped his dirty hand from around my neck and grabbed my wrist. Pain shot up my wrist all the way up to my shoulder.

     “Ouch,” I muttered as he jerked me across the flat ground over a tangle of vines in what probably used to be a very nice garden bed. “There is a path, you know.”
     “Yes, I know, but I wouldn’t use it unless you want to be killed on the spot, precious. Have you ever heard of booby traps? Yeah?” he spat.

     I understood what he was saying now, and didn’t answer as he dragged me around to a vent in the side of the house. I let my hair fall in front of my face as I gulped in air and looked wildly around for some escape. It was wide and open, and I was pretty sure I could run faster than him. But I couldn’t run faster than a bullet.

     I finally realized he was doing something, so I turned back to look at what he was doing. He was on his knees, fiddling with something I couldn’t see. I moved a little for a better view. He pulled the rusted metal hunk off the vent. Now was my chance. I kicked him in the back and he fell forward. But he recovered quickly and I hadn’t even made it five feet before he had the gun on me. I froze.

     “Stop, get over here, and get through that hole,” he ordered.

     I nodded, mutely, and walked back towards him. Before I could even think, he shoved me through the narrow hole.

     There was no way he was fitting through, I realized with a rush of joy. Maybe I could…I scratched those plans away right then and there because already, another pair of hands was wrapped around my wrists and dragging me down a tunnel.

     I banged my head on something and yelped, the pain making my head spin.

     “Shut up, you stupid wretch,” someone hissed ahead of me, “or we’ll gag you. Hunch over, dummy.”

     I obeyed, my heart pounding as we made our way down the dark and narrow tunnel. I’m a blonde, so maybe I’m not the smartest, and maybe I’m one of those really dumb blondes because my hair is so blonde it’s almost white. But I already knew two things: I was just bait, and they wanted my cousin. I didn’t know how, but I did. I also knew they’d been watching us for a little while, to know who my cousins and I were, what school they went to, and when they’d be coming home.

     I waited until we were at the end and light was at the end of the tunnel. It was a faint, dim blue type of light, and I could see my captor more plainly now. It was an older woman, probably in her forties. With a quick jerk, I had my right arm free. She obviously hadn’t been expecting it, and I had caught her off guard; she didn’t even have a chance to react. I kicked her with all my might and wrenched my left hand free, whirled, and raced down the tunnel.

     My breathing was quick and short, and I could hear my heart beating, so loud it was deafening me.

     It all looked the same—curving tunnels, metal doors, dim cold blue lights, and spider webs. Some went up, some went down, some had stairs, and some didn’t. But it didn’t matter. I just needed to get out. This was my worst nightmare, and there didn’t seem to be a way to escape it.

     I was panting and exhausted by the time I reached another flight of stairs. I slowly walked up them to the top, where a metal door stood. I pulled on it, and it swung open on noiseless hinges.

     I stood at the top and looked around. The floors were half rotten with dust, grit, and glass all over. I cautiously took a step forward, and the floor creaked, making me shudder.

     “There you are!” a voice said, and I felt hands reach for me.

     I screamed, whirled around, and shoved at the woman, desperation making me rather strong. I slammed the door shut behind me and raced across the floor as fast as I could, the thought that the floor might collapse still in the back of my head.

     Arrows shot over my head and landed in a door post. Four knives dropped behind me as I raced through what must have been a dining room. And then I stopped perfectly still because I remembered what my first captor had said about booby traps. I knew I shouldn’t go any farther, if I wanted to survive, anyway, that is.

     That wasn’t the only reason, though. A blue, elliptical sphere seemed to be suspended in midair in front of me, and this squidish thing seemed to rest in it, eyes shut. I suddenly forgot what I was running from and why I was scared. My eyes fastened on that blue orb, and I stepped tentatively forward. I could feel this other being’s presence in every fiber of my body, as I stepped forward. In fact, it was as if the very air around me was vibrating.
The surface of the sphere, which seemed to be made of water, rippled gently, and I stopped, staring at it. I was really confused and slightly freaked out by it, but also very curious.

     A gentle humming came from within it, and I took another step forward. I didn’t feel afraid anymore.

      “Hello,” I said, softly.

      The eyes didn’t open, but the creature stirred a little.

     “I’m Jenny,” I continued.

     Still nothing.

     I don’t know why I did it, but I did. I reached my hand out as far as it would go. A tentacle moved towards my hand. I paused, not really scared, but just…curious what it would do.

     I placed my hand on the surface of the sphere, and it touched the tentacle.

     Nothing happened at first. Then, slowly, at first, ripples spread out from where my hand had been and spread out across the surface of the sphere, increasing in distance and speed.

     A split second went by. The eyes of the creature within snapped open and focused on mine.

© Copyright January 2017 Abigail Burchwell

#scifi  #fiction  #adventure  #mystery  #YA 
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Written by RobinHmmYum

Interruption More Love Creation

Interpretation Of Creation we live day to day fighting and crying.

How did our democracy get to be so lying?

Too many people are dying of cancer we need our Godly light.

Hey, the world gets more complicated and we grow like roots and plants we nurture ourselves to be alright. But you need to step up and fight.

Recalling all the specific things to collect like a picture perfect. To feel the image what do we expect?

Everything is unfolding we need a stronger grip. How confident she looks strutting her hips. How many times your husband tell's you to quiet down and just with his finger tell you to zip. I would like to see Trump up Gentleman with his fingers showing love, not his stocks. Just a nice kiss towards my back.

Interpretation of the creation we need to focus more on our mission.Getting some help let's see if he would help me a little help from my friends or the stars he cares to point his fingers at me a smile talking communication to pull up my zipper?

At times wouldn't it be nice to go to a secluded place with him looking at the eyes of the stars were born to explore what we interpret-ate 3,000 stars at night wicked concert dipper. I don't think so? He's like a day tripper big Beatles Mania.

The Sports Super Bowl the Brady football perfect Giselle soul.More fruit for the soul. Every little thing we cannot dwell over to control.

Psychology of love

*** *** *** ***

Mutual understanding shared love respecting one another and intense emotion how it builds to sexual attraction. That interpretation of love. Heavenly bliss above.

On a spiritual aspect, the analogical symbolic interpretation Afterlife pedagogical innovative methods scriptures how out life revolves around ancestress pictures something sacred and traditional.

"Love Creation Divinity"

Divine Revelation God what's gifted through our lives person to person how intimate relationships they get to be stronger love.We have a variety of different feeling also beliefs interpersonal how affection and needs come into our life pleasurable times someone like a creation how you form into his life. It made the love French kiss connection.

The love of family how it builds and feel's so sacred like a plethora that is all in an Interpretation of love.

The creation of the sky blue hues it shows different emotions like a storm of clouds in the sky how Vitamin D Sun makes you feel live so energetic to run. But things do get unbearable in the midday heat but it changes things get into a biblical sense "Egyptian of the Gods" the saying is a metaphorical to understand the world creation of myths bow before me listen to your conviction. Even if they are absurd to your reason.

Are we so countable for everything Amazonian planet we do? How he is tied around your one specific body part your ankle. Can anybody help me do you get the picture help I need somebody help, please? He just won't get loose. Like going fishing at the lodge his head looks up to see the moose.

I rather do some dirty Patrick dancing foot loose. Like a "Forest Gump" peace Woodstock hippy running in a race for pleasure box. Doing his Mantra thing. How Mama Mia always told me everything is better with sex when you get a box of chocolate. Too many people could turn into Jenny.

Our minds subconsciously we are always thinking. Walking like a Sequin Peggy Sue Mr. Holly moving onto the next best technology.

How I love you. Products get contagious like a new creation disease. Can you ever say no or please? You're the traveler counting up all your broken hearts. He's polluting up your mind like no other kind. Sometimes we lose our patience go way out of our box obnoxious. But going out with a friend is a blessing that comes delicious.

How many times your husband tell you to zip. Are we so countable for everything we do? On the ebb remembering a time E= M C energy and mass how it speeds the Godly light square eating caviar by far looking up at the stars. What is next to those Egyptian treasures being on the web those specific things said... How he is the writer and you became the fighter he has the pen in his writing hand one of a kind creation he holding your mind. Like a Forest Gump running in a race for his hankering minds subconsciously like the ship of fools of shrimp.

Always more time season of all characters like the sand of time how it lit up thought to be fit what we see the next best interpretation to technology. The sharper image the day and night vision laser we all became misers or Robots of a different nature or night and day you are the one that song continually goes on.The time of the travel sleep sound machine now its have gun will travel.

The robot blue tooth speaker or the divine Got Alex-a fun gadget product. All the Presidents men must have their smart watches.What a smart curve to the ending Miss Marilyn Monroe Happy Birthday to the Presidents.

Products so in need like sex contagious like a disease. Can you ever say no or please? He's polluting up your mind like no other kind.

Just wanting to go into the City Central Park roots of the trees where we were born became a TV show like the Park of Recreation, hearing the sounds of Robin's rambling soothing tweets. How could we ever help this planet when were dead on our feet.

He became so tightly tied around your one specific body part your heart of creation. Finding a balance Presidential Trump high and mighty tower in a park of recreation all the Presidents men recalling a familiar face. Our minds subconsciously we are always in meetings and too much thinking. Be careful what you choose when you're socially drinking.

Those antique hot cars and comedians and coffee with Seinfeld. Going to the big City for a wedding dress the next best technology.

What Mama told you don't get married he's already tied around your ankle.Wedding only cost a bundle. Do products get overwhelming but a good story so lifted and compelling gets me in tune contagious like a Full Moon disease?

Can you ever say no or please? You're the traveler counting up all your broken hearts.He's polluting up your mind like no other kind. What's next please don't believe everything you hear out of. context...

A season with no purpose but wait our lives have a purpose. How we love all our seasons Those fall for me creations Autumn leaves loving someone so much teardrop forms on your sleeve.We need the full moon fun and rapture

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Written by RobinHmmYum
Interruption More Love Creation
Interpretation Of Creation we live day to day fighting and crying.

How did our democracy get to be so lying?

Too many people are dying of cancer we need our Godly light.

Hey, the world gets more complicated and we grow like roots and plants we nurture ourselves to be alright. But you need to step up and fight.

Recalling all the specific things to collect like a picture perfect. To feel the image what do we expect?

Everything is unfolding we need a stronger grip. How confident she looks strutting her hips. How many times your husband tell's you to quiet down and just with his finger tell you to zip. I would like to see Trump up Gentleman with his fingers showing love, not his stocks. Just a nice kiss towards my back.

Interpretation of the creation we need to focus more on our mission.Getting some help let's see if he would help me a little help from my friends or the stars he cares to point his fingers at me a smile talking communication to pull up my zipper?

At times wouldn't it be nice to go to a secluded place with him looking at the eyes of the stars were born to explore what we interpret-ate 3,000 stars at night wicked concert dipper. I don't think so? He's like a day tripper big Beatles Mania.

The Sports Super Bowl the Brady football perfect Giselle soul.More fruit for the soul. Every little thing we cannot dwell over to control.

Psychology of love

*** *** *** ***

Mutual understanding shared love respecting one another and intense emotion how it builds to sexual attraction. That interpretation of love. Heavenly bliss above.

On a spiritual aspect, the analogical symbolic interpretation Afterlife pedagogical innovative methods scriptures how out life revolves around ancestress pictures something sacred and traditional.

"Love Creation Divinity"

Divine Revelation God what's gifted through our lives person to person how intimate relationships they get to be stronger love.We have a variety of different feeling also beliefs interpersonal how affection and needs come into our life pleasurable times someone like a creation how you form into his life. It made the love French kiss connection.

The love of family how it builds and feel's so sacred like a plethora that is all in an Interpretation of love.

The creation of the sky blue hues it shows different emotions like a storm of clouds in the sky how Vitamin D Sun makes you feel live so energetic to run. But things do get unbearable in the midday heat but it changes things get into a biblical sense "Egyptian of the Gods" the saying is a metaphorical to understand the world creation of myths bow before me listen to your conviction. Even if they are absurd to your reason.

Are we so countable for everything Amazonian planet we do? How he is tied around your one specific body part your ankle. Can anybody help me do you get the picture help I need somebody help, please? He just won't get loose. Like going fishing at the lodge his head looks up to see the moose.

I rather do some dirty Patrick dancing foot loose. Like a "Forest Gump" peace Woodstock hippy running in a race for pleasure box. Doing his Mantra thing. How Mama Mia always told me everything is better with sex when you get a box of chocolate. Too many people could turn into Jenny.

Our minds subconsciously we are always thinking. Walking like a Sequin Peggy Sue Mr. Holly moving onto the next best technology.

How I love you. Products get contagious like a new creation disease. Can you ever say no or please? You're the traveler counting up all your broken hearts. He's polluting up your mind like no other kind. Sometimes we lose our patience go way out of our box obnoxious. But going out with a friend is a blessing that comes delicious.

How many times your husband tell you to zip. Are we so countable for everything we do? On the ebb remembering a time E= M C energy and mass how it speeds the Godly light square eating caviar by far looking up at the stars. What is next to those Egyptian treasures being on the web those specific things said... How he is the writer and you became the fighter he has the pen in his writing hand one of a kind creation he holding your mind. Like a Forest Gump running in a race for his hankering minds subconsciously like the ship of fools of shrimp.

Always more time season of all characters like the sand of time how it lit up thought to be fit what we see the next best interpretation to technology. The sharper image the day and night vision laser we all became misers or Robots of a different nature or night and day you are the one that song continually goes on.The time of the travel sleep sound machine now its have gun will travel.

The robot blue tooth speaker or the divine Got Alex-a fun gadget product. All the Presidents men must have their smart watches.What a smart curve to the ending Miss Marilyn Monroe Happy Birthday to the Presidents.

Products so in need like sex contagious like a disease. Can you ever say no or please? He's polluting up your mind like no other kind.

Just wanting to go into the City Central Park roots of the trees where we were born became a TV show like the Park of Recreation, hearing the sounds of Robin's rambling soothing tweets. How could we ever help this planet when were dead on our feet.

He became so tightly tied around your one specific body part your heart of creation. Finding a balance Presidential Trump high and mighty tower in a park of recreation all the Presidents men recalling a familiar face. Our minds subconsciously we are always in meetings and too much thinking. Be careful what you choose when you're socially drinking.

Those antique hot cars and comedians and coffee with Seinfeld. Going to the big City for a wedding dress the next best technology.

What Mama told you don't get married he's already tied around your ankle.Wedding only cost a bundle. Do products get overwhelming but a good story so lifted and compelling gets me in tune contagious like a Full Moon disease?

Can you ever say no or please? You're the traveler counting up all your broken hearts.He's polluting up your mind like no other kind. What's next please don't believe everything you hear out of. context...

A season with no purpose but wait our lives have a purpose. How we love all our seasons Those fall for me creations Autumn leaves loving someone so much teardrop forms on your sleeve.We need the full moon fun and rapture
#fantasy  #romance  #adventure 
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Best Hook: It should dazzle the soul's curiosity with an earnest yearning for resolution.
Written by chainedinshadow

Generations: Eve Neverdream (Excerpt)

The steady whoosh whoosh of the pursuing dragon almost deafened Eve as she frantically zig-zagged through the dense woods. How the dragon knew exactly where she was through this impenetrable layer of leaves, vines, and branches, she didn't know.

Each breath hurt, and her legs burned. She could feel blood trickling down her left temple and some more on her right side from Anvil's blade staff.

I hate that man, she growled mentally. If only she had a weapon, she would kill that dragon with such pleasure.

The thought surprised herself, actually, but she didn't have time to even think longer on it.

She screamed and ducked as the dragon swooped down with blinding speed through a break in the foliage. She fell, headlong, as she tripped over a rock. She could its rough edges cutting open her ankles, and her face was shoved into the ground. The dragon flew a mere inches over her head, talons extended.

Eve was frozen there, even though her mind was screaming for her to get up and run, as the dragon was doing a sharp turn and coming back for her again.

Right as it got ready to swoop, her mind finally jolted into action, and she half-ran, half-tumbled over a log, scraping her palms and knees. 

Please, please, don't let it get me! she prayed silently.

The dragon's talons scrabbled at the log, digging deep gouges into it. Eve cringed, imagining those talons ripping into her flesh...

I can't let Anvil get this staff from me, she thought frantically, her thoughts scattering like the chaff on the wind. If only I knew how to use this, I could kill this stupid dragon, maybe even Anvil himself...

"Stupid Elders," she growled to herself. "Thinking they have to keep all the secrets of the Staffs to themselves...Ahh!"

She took off running, her sides burning, the staff still strapped to her back so it wouldn't fall off.

"Eve, you can't outrun my dragon," Anvil called out from his comfortable position astride the dragon.

She gritted her teeth. He sounded so calm, so confident, so in control...and she hated him even more. "Don't be so sure!"

Anvil laughed, then growled, "Give me the Staff!"

"Not a chance," she snapped back, and decided not to talk anymore--it was wasting her breath, and she needed every precious one.

"Alrighty, but remember, you brought this upon yourself!" he warned calmly, a smirk playing across his handsome features.

Eve's brain completely froze up. her body kept running out of instinct, but she was so frozen mentally with fear.

Anvil was right--this was completely over. He was going to...

Everything went black.

©Copyright 2017 Abigail Burchwell

All Rights Reserved.

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Best Hook: It should dazzle the soul's curiosity with an earnest yearning for resolution.
Written by chainedinshadow
Generations: Eve Neverdream (Excerpt)

The steady whoosh whoosh of the pursuing dragon almost deafened Eve as she frantically zig-zagged through the dense woods. How the dragon knew exactly where she was through this impenetrable layer of leaves, vines, and branches, she didn't know.

Each breath hurt, and her legs burned. She could feel blood trickling down her left temple and some more on her right side from Anvil's blade staff.

I hate that man, she growled mentally. If only she had a weapon, she would kill that dragon with such pleasure.

The thought surprised herself, actually, but she didn't have time to even think longer on it.

She screamed and ducked as the dragon swooped down with blinding speed through a break in the foliage. She fell, headlong, as she tripped over a rock. She could its rough edges cutting open her ankles, and her face was shoved into the ground. The dragon flew a mere inches over her head, talons extended.

Eve was frozen there, even though her mind was screaming for her to get up and run, as the dragon was doing a sharp turn and coming back for her again.

Right as it got ready to swoop, her mind finally jolted into action, and she half-ran, half-tumbled over a log, scraping her palms and knees. 

Please, please, don't let it get me! she prayed silently.

The dragon's talons scrabbled at the log, digging deep gouges into it. Eve cringed, imagining those talons ripping into her flesh...

I can't let Anvil get this staff from me, she thought frantically, her thoughts scattering like the chaff on the wind. If only I knew how to use this, I could kill this stupid dragon, maybe even Anvil himself...

"Stupid Elders," she growled to herself. "Thinking they have to keep all the secrets of the Staffs to themselves...Ahh!"

She took off running, her sides burning, the staff still strapped to her back so it wouldn't fall off.

"Eve, you can't outrun my dragon," Anvil called out from his comfortable position astride the dragon.

She gritted her teeth. He sounded so calm, so confident, so in control...and she hated him even more. "Don't be so sure!"

Anvil laughed, then growled, "Give me the Staff!"

"Not a chance," she snapped back, and decided not to talk anymore--it was wasting her breath, and she needed every precious one.

"Alrighty, but remember, you brought this upon yourself!" he warned calmly, a smirk playing across his handsome features.

Eve's brain completely froze up. her body kept running out of instinct, but she was so frozen mentally with fear.

Anvil was right--this was completely over. He was going to...

Everything went black.

©Copyright 2017 Abigail Burchwell
All Rights Reserved.
#fantasy  #fiction  #adventure  #dragon  #elf 
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Written by CSMacPherson in portal Fiction

Character Flashback

“You can keep your shoelaces, but I’ll need your belt, your phone and the charging cord, if you have it.”

“Sorry?”

“Your belt.”

“Oh, yeah. Of course. That makes sense.”

“No cell phones, tablets, laptops, narcotics, prescriptions, alcohol, cords, plastic bags, jewelry – except watches and rings, in the ward. During the daily breaks you can have your cell phone, and we can keep it charging in here when you’re not using it. If you give me your bag now, I can go through it while Janelle gives you a tour, and shows you your bed.”

“Um, yeah, ok.”

She was being efficient, but had a warm smile and was patient with me, in her colourful hospital scrubs, behind the glass of the nurses' station that went from the top of the counter to the ceiling. My head seemed to be running two steps behind, and I couldn’t quite catch up with conversation or understand what was happening until it had already occurred. I looked at the security guard who had escorted me from the E.R. and then put my electronics, charger and belt in the drawer and pushed it back through to her side of the glass partition.

“Just leave your bag there and I’ll grab it when we let you in.”

It was unnerving, and I was lost. I felt like my mind and awareness had been divorced from my body. Defeated. In full surrender. I walked through the door holding up the waist of my pants with one hand and noticed the large print sign: “Secure Ward. Keep Door Locked at All Times.” It felt like my entire identity was gone, left on the other side of that door. All the basic assumptions I had about who I was as a person seemed gone. I should have worn better fitting pants I thought, but really, who would plan for that?

Nine hours earlier I had walked into the E.R. looking confused, with glassy eyes after not sleeping for three nights, and walked up to the reception desk with no idea what to say.

“Um, I need to see a doctor,” I mumbled through the partially open plexi window, as I fumbled with my wallet looking for my health card.

The young clerk didn’t even look up from her computer, “do you have a health card?”

My hand was trembling when I handed it to her.

“And what seems to be the problem today?” She started typing my card info into her computer and scanned the magnetic stripe on the back of the card before she finally stopped and looked up at me. She arched her eyebrows waiting for me to answer.

I froze. I was terrified. The answer stuck in my throat. I knew that by telling the truth I would be surrendering my freedom to choose, and admitting something to a stranger that I had never admitted to anyone. It wasn’t until that morning I had finally admitted to myself that I was going to kill myself and began assembling everything I needed to do it painlessly and not leave a mess to clean up. Once I say it out loud, I thought, it’s official. It’s written down on the record and I will officially be, “crazy,” and that label would follow me through the rest of my life.

But, as I had sat on the bench at the front door at home, with my shoes and coat on, holding the address of the store where I could buy helium I needed, I was either going to die today, or get help.

I looked around the emergency waiting room, terrified that someone would hear me, that alarms would go off and I’d be rushed inside. “I’m going to kill myself if I don’t get help today.”

She was unfazed, “Ok,” she actually said, “ok,” “just have a seat over there and someone will call your name. Is anyone here with you today?”

“No. No, I’m alone.”

“Is there anyone we should call? An emergency contact?”

“No, there’s no one.”

I took a seat in the uncomfortable chairs in the waiting room, and waited. I would re-live the horror of admitting to a complete stranger that I was going to kill myself six more times between that chair and the bed where a hospital psychiatrist would finally see me. It would be months before killing myself was not the first thing I thought of when I got out of bed every day.

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Written by CSMacPherson in portal Fiction
Character Flashback
“You can keep your shoelaces, but I’ll need your belt, your phone and the charging cord, if you have it.”

“Sorry?”

“Your belt.”

“Oh, yeah. Of course. That makes sense.”

“No cell phones, tablets, laptops, narcotics, prescriptions, alcohol, cords, plastic bags, jewelry – except watches and rings, in the ward. During the daily breaks you can have your cell phone, and we can keep it charging in here when you’re not using it. If you give me your bag now, I can go through it while Janelle gives you a tour, and shows you your bed.”

“Um, yeah, ok.”

She was being efficient, but had a warm smile and was patient with me, in her colourful hospital scrubs, behind the glass of the nurses' station that went from the top of the counter to the ceiling. My head seemed to be running two steps behind, and I couldn’t quite catch up with conversation or understand what was happening until it had already occurred. I looked at the security guard who had escorted me from the E.R. and then put my electronics, charger and belt in the drawer and pushed it back through to her side of the glass partition.

“Just leave your bag there and I’ll grab it when we let you in.”

It was unnerving, and I was lost. I felt like my mind and awareness had been divorced from my body. Defeated. In full surrender. I walked through the door holding up the waist of my pants with one hand and noticed the large print sign: “Secure Ward. Keep Door Locked at All Times.” It felt like my entire identity was gone, left on the other side of that door. All the basic assumptions I had about who I was as a person seemed gone. I should have worn better fitting pants I thought, but really, who would plan for that?

Nine hours earlier I had walked into the E.R. looking confused, with glassy eyes after not sleeping for three nights, and walked up to the reception desk with no idea what to say.

“Um, I need to see a doctor,” I mumbled through the partially open plexi window, as I fumbled with my wallet looking for my health card.

The young clerk didn’t even look up from her computer, “do you have a health card?”

My hand was trembling when I handed it to her.

“And what seems to be the problem today?” She started typing my card info into her computer and scanned the magnetic stripe on the back of the card before she finally stopped and looked up at me. She arched her eyebrows waiting for me to answer.

I froze. I was terrified. The answer stuck in my throat. I knew that by telling the truth I would be surrendering my freedom to choose, and admitting something to a stranger that I had never admitted to anyone. It wasn’t until that morning I had finally admitted to myself that I was going to kill myself and began assembling everything I needed to do it painlessly and not leave a mess to clean up. Once I say it out loud, I thought, it’s official. It’s written down on the record and I will officially be, “crazy,” and that label would follow me through the rest of my life.

But, as I had sat on the bench at the front door at home, with my shoes and coat on, holding the address of the store where I could buy helium I needed, I was either going to die today, or get help.

I looked around the emergency waiting room, terrified that someone would hear me, that alarms would go off and I’d be rushed inside. “I’m going to kill myself if I don’t get help today.”

She was unfazed, “Ok,” she actually said, “ok,” “just have a seat over there and someone will call your name. Is anyone here with you today?”

“No. No, I’m alone.”

“Is there anyone we should call? An emergency contact?”

“No, there’s no one.”

I took a seat in the uncomfortable chairs in the waiting room, and waited. I would re-live the horror of admitting to a complete stranger that I was going to kill myself six more times between that chair and the bed where a hospital psychiatrist would finally see me. It would be months before killing myself was not the first thing I thought of when I got out of bed every day.
#fiction  #adventure  #mystery  #culture 
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