I’ve made a habit–like most authors, I assume–of retaining everything written. Perhaps the intentions are good: save for later. Perhaps they are egotistic: this is so good I can’t delete it. Whatever the reason, I have a hard drive full of retentions, removals, snapshots of words.
I was considering a post today about the Native American influence on fantasy, but I’m debating several elements in that line of thought. So, rather than spew forth incoherent words–incomplete thoughts–I’ll let you in on one of those snapshots mentioned above.
The novel this excerpt comes from is not complete. Its precursor novel (A Difficult Mirror, the first of a trilogy) has been through 328 revisions and I don’t know if I will ever release it. I haven’t decided. Tentatively titled Exhuming Eddie, the second novel was to be more action-packed than the first, set in the same two worlds, and embedded with all things theological.
Honestly, it’s that theology (the world-building part of fantasy that’s probably the most difficult) that’s holding me back. It’s not complete.
Anyway, here’s an unused bit of something…that may be released someday.
Eddie looked out across the green sea. There was no way across and he knew it. For all the pain he’d been through, for all the cuts and bruises and broken bones he should have had while being in this place–a place he still didn’t understand–he should be lying in a ditch, dying. Something kept him alive, and it wasn’t fair.
The mosque. How he hated that place. Why didn’t they cut off his head when they had the chance, when he expected it? A year of wandering a desolate land had left him broken and hopeless. He’d been scared into making that leap of faith into a pit of . . . of . . . nothing. Hell, it was nothing but a hole, though it took him by surprise, wrapped him up inside of some sick cocoon and left him here. Why? And why was that thing after him?
Eddie turned and walked back toward the hills on the other side of the rock beach. He’d made his plea, and try as he might to get Tigger’s attention, it probably made matters worse. Tigger wasn’t stable when they were both together, but now he was a wreck and Eddie felt responsible for it. If he hadn’t turned off the main road, if he hadn’t swerved to avoid a soccer ball, if he hadn’t hit a ditch and flipped the Humvee, they would both be serving time in some other godforsaken location on the face of the planet.
Anything would be better than this.
The rocks gave way to a gently rising hill of strange grass. Each blade was multicolored, like a rainbow vomited wheat on an empty field. It waved in the wind, back and forth. There were times–perhaps to explore boredom, perhaps in utter amazement at the strangeness of it all–Eddie would sit and watch the colors change. It was as close to dropping acid as he thought he’d ever get.
The hill was normal to him now, and he’d spent too long trying to make sense of what he saw. When he first entered this world, he made it a point to look around, try to find a way back to what he knew as real, even if that meant dropping into the mosque and revisiting the horror he escaped. The farther he walked, though, the more he came to realize that very little made sense. From the green sea to the psychedelic grass hills to forests of giant trees, this world was a strange and uninviting place.
Not to mention, empty. He had yet to find another soul to talk to, to ask questions, to pry for knowledge.
Eddie Martin was alone, and no one knew where he was.