As I continue battling through the query trenches (for about 30 minutes every morning – the rest of the day is spent working on my next project), I’ve been getting a lot of lovely questions regarding the status of my recently completed book.
Just to string everyone along further (is this nice? mean? idk), I thought now would be a fun time to share the first 2 pages of the book. For anyone that’s interested in a flap-jacket style synopsis – you can find it here in the ‘My Stories’ section.
So, without further ado, here we go:
I had failed again, and I woke up drowning.
Water ran down my throat to fill my chest, clogging my lungs, making it impossible to breath. The salt of it overwhelmed me. It stuck to my face, my skin, my eyelashes. A huge wave crashed over my head and submerged me completely. It pulled me down until, with the incredible sound of a jet engine passing overhead, the water withdrew and my head broke the surface.
I coughed violently and fought to free myself from the icy fingers of panic. Liquid came out of my lungs in spurts, then all at once, and I drew in my first heaving breath since waking up. Air came in hot and harsh.
I scrubbed the salt from my lashes with a wet hand and opened my eyes.
“What the hell…?”
If you’ve ever woken from a dream in the middle of the night unsure of where, when, or even who you are for a few seconds, you will understand a small fraction of what I felt at that moment. Except this time it wasn’t the middle of the night, it was late afternoon, melting quickly into evening, and soft light bathed the beach before me in a surreal glow. I expected my disoriented feeling to go away, to vanish like a bad memory swiftly suppressed, but it refused to let me go.
I stumbled out of the surf and tried to figure out where I was.
It took me a few seconds to discover that I had no answer to that question whatsoever. Thinking hard, I didn’t even know how I’d gotten here. The realization hit like a sledgehammer against my chest.
“Okay, okay. No need to panic, Ollie,” I muttered.
Ollie, I repeated in my head. Oliver. That’s right. My name is Oliver.
Slowly, with great effort and a thousand aches and pains, I dragged myself to my feet and out of the water. Sand squished beneath my bare toes like coarse mud. I trudged forward with eyes downcast, taking each step carefully. I was soaked to the core but the day was warm. Finally free of the waves eating away at the beach I managed to look up.
Where are you? I asked myself.
The sight that greeted me was so confusing that a sense of vertigo threatened to knock me back off my feet.
A thin layer of clouds obscured the sun and cast an eerie sort of light down onto the world. Pristine white sand stretched off in either direction, unmarked by chairs, umbrellas, or even footprints. Directly ahead, perhaps 100 feet in front of me, a straight, unbroken line of trees rose out of the dirt that took over at the edge of the beach, towering above everything like a row of sentinels blocking the way forward. My gaze immediately flashed above them, searching for hotels, houses, any sort of man-made structure.
I turned left, straining to see down the beach, but it curved away inland and disappeared from view. The sand stretched on to a seemingly infinite distance in the other direction.
“How did I get here?”
First things first, I had to remember where I was and what was going on. Did I get hit in the head somehow? Everything upstairs felt a little loose.
A boat, I thought, a boat must have dropped me here. That was the most logical conclusion. For a brief moment I was taken aback at how turquoise and clear the waves behind me were, but the feeling was immediately overshadowed by the fact that there were no boats visible between myself and the horizon.
Okay, I thought. There has to be a logical explanation for this. If I can’t remember how I got here, what is the last thing I can remember?
I thought back. Nothing from earlier in the day. Nothing from yesterday, either. Or… or the day before. Or the day before that. I cast farther and farther back, a fisherman trying his luck in an empty lake.
A small lament escaped my lips…
And that’s all for now, folks! Just when things were about to get good, too…
Hopefully much more to come very soon 🙂
As always, thanks for reading!