Friday, August 9, 2013

Layla and Quinn

I've started the adventure of writing my own novel.  I've included the prologue for my story to give you an idea of what I am writing.   


The bed she was lying in a very comfortable bed.
She was conscious? 
If she was conscious, that means…  He’s alive.
She sat up and hit her head on something.  She tried to focus her eyes in the dark to see what impeding her headroom.  She was in a bed, in a box?  Oh yes, she recalled these now.  She was in a coffin.  Last time she awakened in a ditch, so she couldn’t complain. 
She pushed against the lid to see if it would move.  It was heavy but she got one side a little.  Remembering the previous times, she sat up and peeked through the crack she had made.  She was in a small elegantly decorated room filled with flowers and the lights were muted. It smelled a little sterile and it was quiet.  She didn’t see anyone, so she rose on out of her coffin.  There were heavy curtains on the windows and coffin was on a stand.  She ungracefully rolled out onto the floor.  Rising up, she searched for the door.  She needed to get out of here quickly before someone noticed that her body’s previous owner was missing. 
Luckily, the door was unlocked and the hall outside was empty.  She didn’t hear the sounds of anyone at all. She needed to leave quickly.  She was able to leave out the front door only to discover she was in an upscale neighborhood.  Dawn looked to be just an hour away.  The sign on the lawn outside read Adams Funeral Home.  She smirked to herself.  During her previous lives, funerals were held in the deceased’s home or church.  She hadn’t seen a culture with a dedicated building for the dead since her original lifetime, back in Egypt.
First things first, she needed to get as far away from this place as possible, find new clothes, and find out where and when she was.
She closed her eyes for a moment, searching for the reassuring tugging sensation that was always present in her head, and started walking in that general direction.
She was in a small city.  The roads were paved; an excessive amount of automobiles sat on the side of the road, and all the houses and businesses were tidy and close together.  The streets were well lit with an electrical street lamp every fifty feet. 
She wondered how long had it been since her last lifetime.  Automobiles didn’t look like this in 1917.  Only the very wealthy could afford electricity at night.    
After an hour of following the pulling sensation in her head, she was standing in the parking lot of a tall building.  Saint Thompson Medical Center shined in bright lights on top of the building.  The outside looked to be made of completely glass windows, at least six stories of glass.  The dawning sun reflected a deep pink off of the building’s side.  She could see uniformed workers milling about inside.  She could read the sign, so she knew the language hadn’t changed in the many years since she had last lived.  She walked up to the front door, looking for a door handle, and was surprised when the door opened for her automatically.  She caught her reflection in the glass door. 
She then noticed how she was dressed, in a short black skirt that came to her knees and a white button up shirt.  The magic that had allowed her soul to claim this body had altered it from its previous owner’s looks to be the exact replica of her original body.  The clothes hung off her small frame, like she was wearing her older sister’s clothing. 
She walked into the main entrance and a large woman in a cartoon dog print shirt and pants looked up from behind her desk where she was hitting buttons in front a flat picture frame.
She walked past her intent on her destination.
“Can I help you?”
“No ma’am.  I am just going to the birthing rooms,” she replied
The large woman blinked at her, processing her foreign accent, words, and looks.  The woman thought a moment, and replied, “Visiting hours are not until eight.  You can wait in the waiting room down the hall.  There is a coffee machine in that one and the TV’s not broke either.  The one in the maternity is stuck on Channel 9, and no one wants to watch Sports Network.  Visitation is in an hour.”
She was miffed at the interception, but she didn’t want to draw too much attention to herself, especially when she was this close to him.  She shrugged and walked in the direction the woman pointed.  She wondered idly what a coffee machine or a “TV” was.  This was the first time she had been awakened so close to him.  Usually it was far enough away that she could ignore the tugging.  She normally had time to get acquainted with the time period.  She had to build her life from scratch every time.  She would have to steal and lay low for a while, until she found a place to live and a way to support herself.
She found the empty room filled with chairs, a big moving picture, and a square metal cabinet that announced it held coffee within.  She inspected the moving picture.  This must be what a TV is, she thought, a radio with pictures.  She moved to the coffee cabinet, pondering on how it operated.  It appeared that you put money in the slot and selected the coffee you wanted.  She could use some coffee, but she didn’t have any money.
She sat in a corner and noticed a folded newspaper on the end table.  Scared that she would discover exactly how many years she had been dead, she picked it up and read the front headline.  City employee involved in a sex scandal.  At least that part of humanity doesn’t change.  Then she found the date: October 7, 2008. 
Ninety years.  It had been ninety years since she had died.    
She browsed the newspaper, assimilating herself to current events, until the clock on the wall announced it was eight o’clock. 
Choking down her anxiety, she rose and left the room in search of a building map.  There was a big, color coded sign that stated what was on each floor hanging on the wall outside of the waiting room.  She followed the pink labeled Mommy and Baby Unit signs to the elevator.  She knew what an elevator was, even if it looked a little different.
As she stepped out of the elevator on the fourth floor, she was faced with a big window with infants on display.  She leaned against the window, hands on the glass in front of her.
There he was.  Tiny, pink, and sleeping peacefully. 
There was a set of thick wooden doors to the left of the window with a number pad on the right.  They were still locked.  She turned back to the little wonder in the window.  She looked at the card on the crib to see what his new parents had named him.  They hadn’t yet.  It just said Baby Jones. 
Aw, Quintus.  They’re going to give you a horrible name, like Henry or William, she thought to herself.
She stood there enraptured with the magic she had worked that brought them back like this.  When there was magic in the world, she had tried to give them immortality, so they would never have to be apart.  She didn’t realize she was breaking a law of nature at the time.  She was too inexperienced with magic, and she didn’t know magic was starting to fade from the world too.  There must always be balance; no one can live forever. 
When she cast the spell that merged their souls, she burnt out her body, killing both herself and Quintus.  His soul goes through the process of reincarnation each time before he is reborn into the world.  Her soul, on the other hand, was denied rebirth.  Her soul inhabits the closest unaltered empty body when he is born.  The spell transforms the body to look like she did 1500 years ago, making it hers.  Quintus’s looks change during his teenage years until he looks like he did when they were citizens of the Byzantium Empire.  He never recalls their previous lives until after they meet again, while she must remember each and every day of every life.  Until her half of their soul met his half, she wouldn’t age, and it had caused some issues before.
She watched him, saddened with the knowledge that it would be many years before he would be a man again.  Then the real work of making him love her again would start.  She turned to leave, knowing it was best to only know him from afar until then, when suddenly the lights went out.  The emergency lights were instantly on and people were coming out of their rooms, their panic stricken faces looking around. 
She felt a pressure in my chest; a low rumbling sound was heard from outside.  She could feel the vibrations through her entire body.  Her hair was filled with electric.  The walls started shaking, and the babies started crying. 
Then everything went white for the span of five heartbeats.
She felt the floor give; she tried to hold on to the wall, but it was glass and it was falling too.  She will never forget the sound of a building dying – the twisting steel, the scraping and busting concrete, the shattering glass, and then the eerily quiet aftermath where the only sounds are of human pain.

She was trapped between what used to be the floor and one of the heavy wooden doors.  Her heart was beating too fast; her breathing was too short; and all of her senses were screaming from overload.  She felt it the moment the other half of her soul depart this world, a crushing and sucking sensation from inside of her.  There was no pain; her soul was leaving that body, to slip back into quiet oblivion.  Baby Quintus’s tiny body didn’t survive the collapse so her soul wouldn’t either.    

Just a Little Help

Here's where I am in life right now. Job accepted at a bigger park. 1.5 hour communte, like 60 miles away. $10 an hour. I did the math,...