Excerpt #1

I’ve been doing research, reading other authors, trying to make my writing better and into more of something that other people will want to read. And the more research I do, the more I try to classify and refine and mold my writing, the more I’m finding I’m not any other writer.

I have a story in my head. I have characters I’d like you to meet. Some of them, I’m sure you’ll dislike, and others I hope you love nearly as much as I do.

But my story isn’t like anyone else’s. I can’t force it to be something different or even something more.

All the research has been interesting, has been thought provoking, has hopefully helped me think through how and why I do things a little more than I would have otherwise. But, I’m just me. Hopefully I’m writing something that you’ll all enjoy, even if it isn’t, or maybe even because, it isn’t like anything you’ve read before.

Excerpt #1. For your imagination and to whet your appetite.

Smoothing his hands over the paper, Edward looked up to meet the eyes of the other two men at the table.

“We must be quick.” Then to the fidgeting little man, “Can you show me on here where, as best you know, these things happened?” The man sidled closer and bent so his face was closer to the sheet and then shuffled around the side of the table, trying to find the location he was looking for.

The sheet was four feet long and four feet wide. A scale was drawn along two edges and it was gridded in a faint gray ink, tiny boxes over the whole sheet. But, when you ignored those things, the other details of the map rose from the white paper, astounding in their detail. In each small box, there was imprinted trees and paths and shrubs and hills with their elevations and the valleys with their rivers or trickles, and bridges and fence rows and houses and barns and other buildings. Along what would be the western edge was a rock wall, stretching the full width of the paper, and it was near this the man finally pointed.

Edward reached back into the small drawer and removed a stick of grey chalk. He handed it to the little man and then gestured back toward the map.

“Can you draw a circle around the areas you know the landscape has changed?”

The man’s head flew up and his eyes were wide in surprise. “You want me to draw on your map, sir?”

Nelson looked as surprised as the man, but Edward only nodded, digging in the drawer again. “You have to. I need to know what I can erase.”

Now it was Nelson’s turn to gape. “You’re going to erase? What? You’re just going to cause more damage.”

Edward pulled the eraser from the drawer and held up both hands in surrender. “No, no, listen.” He turned back to the smaller man and said, “You are sure that things on this map are no longer correct? That the landscape in this area has changed.” The man was nodding emphatically again.

“Yes, I’m sure of it. This here,” he was pointing to the page, “and here, all of this is different.”

“Then I need you to draw me a circle. Be generous; we can’t have anything on here that has changed. And then, I’ll erase inside the circle.”

The man’s eyes hadn’t returned to their original size, but he was nodding again and his hand was now hovering above the page clenching the chalk.

“You are absolutely certain I’m not going to destroy the world if I write on this map?”

Both men stared intently into Edward’s face and he let a hint of a smile escape before he replied, “I am most certain.”

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