Sunday, November 6, 2011

[Excerpt #1] "Number 181" - Prologue

A few years ago, I decided to put to paper some thoughts I'd had on a story that had been rattling around in my head. It's been laid out in fits and starts, but I've finally seen the light at the end of the tunnel. It's up to about 350 pages now, and I expect to put the finishing touches on and format a complete draft by June. Below is the prologue to start it off...

6 weeks ago...

Shawn Kidd had never died before. That went without saying for nearly everyone, but, in truth, he had never even had brushes with death in his 29 years. In fact, other than his recent broken finger, he had relatively few injuries given his active lifestyle.

So, he had nothing to compare with as his senses blurred and heart strained to keep his broken body alive. His heart had its own scars, though, and Shawn sensed the inevitable.

As he knelt, the soft snow enveloping his legs and welcoming him, the needles of pain that lanced through his body drifted to quiet numbness. He absently wondered how much of that was the frigid air and how much was due to the simple decision to close a door and not care to ever open another. He had reached the end of one of life’s journeys, and found himself not wanting another. He was done.

He stared down at the motionless form below him and felt nothing except the flow of warm blood down his face. The gore was obscene, and the crimson river gave drastic contrast to the dark night and virgin white snow. The majority wasn’t his, though. It belonged to the monster below him, a monster whose neck Shawn had slit in such a way that the small clearing they occupied was awash in carnage.

He slumped, his shoulders sagging forward. His soul was shattered and wrecked, but his body was no better. The wound on his bandaged hand had reopened and soaked the days-old wrapping in blood. He didn’t even want to think what damage had been done to his back. The sickening stench of melted fabric, metal, and flesh was only now becoming bearable, but steam and smoke continued to rise from the back of his vest where the flames had engulfed him. Countless cuts and bruises throbbed, but he felt none of them. He waited for blood loss to take him, for shock to set in and for what little life remained in him to settle into the snow.

The edges of his vision blurred as the blanket of snow seemed to rise and engulf the clearing. His mind registered the movement to his right, but he didn’t react. He didn’t care. And, when the bullet slammed into his temple, he welcomed the end.

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