This is the second half of the first chapter of THE AWAKENING. It is a science fiction, young adult, thriller.
Posting for this book will be a little slow because I am trying to finish up the second book of RIFTS. I am hoping to have it published by the end of the month.
Anyway, here it is. Like it or let me know what you think so far.
He finally moved, taking wobbly steps to the front door. The thought struck him that the man might still be alive. If that was the case he needed to do something. If the man was alive Jack might be his only chance to stay that way.
He tried the front door. It was locked tight. He slammed into it with his shoulder. It didn’t budge. He was too weak and the door was too strong.
The window was locked as well, but that was only a small problem.
He lifted one of the large rocks that encircled a small flower bed near the front walk. He looked away as he smashed a section of glass just above the window latch, then reached in through the gaping hole and unlocked the window. After raising the window he removed the shards of glass from the window sill and climbed into the house.
He knelt beside the old man. The blood was flowing in rivulets, making small, dark puddles on the carpet. He checked the man’s pulse at his neck. Nothing.
He reached for his phone that was usually stuffed inside his front pocket. It wasn’t there. He remembered that he had left it at the house. He had left it there on purpose. He had wanted to be alone. To detach himself from all communication. Thinking about it now maybe he should have just cut the phone off. He would have laughed if the situation wasn’t so serious.
He looked about. Surely the guy had a cell phone lying about. It took him a minute, searching the small house before he finally spotted the phone. It wasn’t a cell, however. It was a house phone and it was attached to the wall in the tiny room off the hallway. The little room contained a desk and several shelves of books. Apparently, it was used as a study.
He was lightheaded, perhaps more than when he first arrived at the house. He guessed that some of it could be attributed to the trauma of seeing a murder committed (if that was what he truly saw) in addition to the effects of the alcohol.
He punched in nine, one, one and waited for someone to answer. In a few moments a lady came on the phone. “Can I help you?” she asked.
“There’s been a murder,” he blurted out.
“What is your name?” the lady asked. Before he can answer she continued. “Are you in any danger?”
“No,” he answered. “I don’t think so.”
“And your name?”
“Uh … he trailed off.“ He was reluctant to answer. He didn’t relish the idea of meeting the cops in his condition. He could very well be charged with driving under the influence. This time he could lose his license and possibly face some jail time. He already had two DUI’s under his belt.
“Your name, sir?” the lady continued.
“Uh, Jack.” He decided it didn’t matter. He had to wait around for the cops to tell them what he saw. His conscious wouldn’t allow him to just run away. “Jack Mason.”
“And what is your address, sir?
Jack figured that the lady was just confirming the address. Surely she had to means to pull up the address from the telephone number.
“Just a minute.” He looked around the room. The desk drew his attention. He stumbled over to it and slid out the top drawer. There was a lot of loose papers of various sizes. A couple of them looked like receipts. There was also a small blue book. He fumbled through the contents until he found a receipt with an address on it. He returned to the phone and called out the address to the operator.
“Okay, sir,” the woman said. “Please stay at the scene if you’re not in any danger. Police and ambulance are on the way.”
“Thank you,” he said, and hung up.
He started to close the drawer, then stopped. The blue book caught his attention. It was about six inches by nine inches and had a hard cover. Written at the top of it in red ink was the words “The find.” He lifted the book from the drawer. He thought that a curious title. He opened it up just to see what it was about.
May 25, 2015
I was wandering through the woods today getting a little exercise, and deciding on a suitable speech to give to the Bangor High graduating class, when I ventured beyond my normal trip through the woods. I suddenly came into a wide clearing and beheld an unusual sight. At the center of the clearing was an almost perfectly round body of water. It was silver in color and only reflected the sky in small distorted patterns. It was the strangest thing I have ever seen. As I approached it it rippled as though a light breeze had swept across it, although I could feel no wind.
I thought of placing my hand in the water to feel its texture, but was reluctant because of the odd way the water looked. Instead I found a small tree branch and stuck it into the water. The water instantly bubbled, then something seemed to grab the stick and pull it downward. I fought it and was finally able to pull the stick out. I looked at the end that had gone into the water. The bark was gone. It was white, and smooth as though it had been sanded. I walked away from the pool of liquid (I could no longer think of it as simple water) not knowing what to make of it. If I can locate the owner of the property I will inquire of the strange pool. If finding the owner proves to be too much of a challenge I may take a sample of the liquid and have it analyzed.
Jack skimmed through the book then closed it. It seemed to be some kind of diary, or journal. Either way it was a strange entry, and he got the sense that the book had some importance. He guessed that he should turn it over to the cops when they got here, but that didn’t set too well with him. He didn’t trust the cops. The truth could be staring them straight in the face and they wouldn’t see it.
He could hear the first faint sounds of a siren in the distance. It would be either the cops or the medics. He didn’t have much time to make a decision.
It was crazy. It made no sense at all, but his instinct was to hide the book. To hide the book until he could come back and read it. It was utterly insane, but the urge wouldn’t let up. This book had some significance. He was sure of it.
He slid the drawer closed and ran out the front door with book in hand. He ran to the edge of a stand of trees to the right of the house. The ground was leaden with pine straw. He pushed the book underneath some pine straw. It wasn’t much of a hiding place, but he didn’t have the time, nor the clear head to think of a better place. The screaming of the siren had become loud. He had just enough time to get back inside the house.
He had only been in the house a few moments when the first police car pulled into the driveway. He knelt down beside the old man wondering if there were anything he should have done, or could now do. Perhaps he should have tried CPR. But he had checked the man’s carotid pulse and there was nothing. And judging from the blood that was issuing from the man’s mouth, eyes, and nose, it sort of confirmed that the man was already gone.
He stood up just as the first policeman burst into the house.
“Freeze!” the policeman yelled. He sounded like a commando. His gun was drawn and held in front of him with both hands.
Jack felt like he really did freeze. For a few moments, as he stared down the barrel of the gun, he was unable to speak, or even move.
“On the floor!” the policeman ordered.
Jack broke his trance and dropped to his knees. He placed his hands on his head as he had seen on numerous television shows.
Another policeman entered the house. He was a lot calmer. He walked straight over to Jack, pulled his hands down and handcuffed his wrists behind him. The commando policeman returned to his holster.
“Stand up,” the policeman next to Jack said, as he helped him up.
When Jack got to his feet he turned around to face the policeman. At once he noticed the policeman’s name tag. The name was Mike Anderson. Jack surmised that this policeman must be the one in charge.
Anderson turned slightly to look at Commando. Without talking Commando knew what the other policeman wanted. Commando dropped down to check on the old man.
“He’s dead alright,” Commando announced after a few seconds.
“What’s your name, son?” he asked Jack.
“Jack. Jack Mason.”
“Mind if I check your wallet for an ID?
“No. Go ahead.”
Officer Anderson slid the wallet out of Jack’s back pocket. He looked over the driver’s license. It seemed to be in order. He slid the wallet back into his pocket. “What happened here?” he asked.
“I stopped by here to use the phone. I … I ran off into a ditch about a half mile from here.”
“Have you been drinking, sir?” Officer Anderson asked.
“eh … a little.”
Two EMT’s in gray smocks entered the house carrying a stretcher and a bag of medical instruments, including a defibulator. They went directly to the old man. The commando cop moved back to give them more room, but he already knew that there wasn’t nothing else they could do.
“What happened?” Officer Anderson repeated.
“I stopped on the other side of the driveway a minute before coming to the front door. While I stood there I saw … a shadow …or something that looked like a shadow, coming out of the woods.”
Anderson looked at him questioningly. “A shadow, huh?’
“Yes. Just a shadow.” From his peripheral vision he could see Commando looking at him. He turned toward him. The cop looked away. Jack noted how pale the cop’s face had become.
“So did you see who was making this shadow?”
“No. Eh there was no one there.”
“No one there? What the hell does that mean?”
Jack shook his head. “I saw only a shadow. It came out of the woods and passed through the corner of the house.” He wondered if he would be telling this story –which seemed quite unbelievable even to himself --if he weren’t so snockered.
“And I guess this shadow killed the man on the floor?”
The two EMT’s had already pronounced the man dead and were beginning to lay him on the stretcher they had brought in. They paused to listen.
As outrageous as it now seemed to him he could see no way out, but to continue the story. “I went across the driveway to a dark spot where I couldn’t be seen and looked through the living room window. The man was sitting in the chair when the shadow entered the room.”
“And what did the man do?”
“Nothing. The old man apparently didn’t see him. The shadow walked right up to the front of the man and … he just kind of fell into him, disappearing. The man jumped up like he had been shocked and then fell over dead. A second or two later the shadow came back out of him.”
“That’s the craziest thing I ever heard,” said commando. “I think we need to haul his butt In and charge him with murder.”
“Let’s take a step at a time, Kenneth,” said Officer Anderson.
“I didn’t kill him! Look at him. There are no external marks on him. How would I have killed him without leaving marks?”
“If I might interject something,” began the head EMT, a tall, gaunt looking man, “it looks to me like the man died from a massive heart attack. But, of course, nothing is definite until an autopsy is completed.”
Officer Anderson nodded. “I think you’re right, but it’s best we treat it like a homicide until we know otherwise.” He looked to Kenneth, the commando cop. “Contact the Coroner and the forensic guys.”
“Sure thing, Mike.”
Officer Anderson placed a hand on Jack’s upper arm and led him toward the door. “Looks like you’re going to be a guest of the county until we can figure this out.”