An Excerpt from “Solitude: Disillusionment”
I’m still working on the sequel to “Solitude” – my debut novel. Here is a little treat for fans of the work. This is a segment from the book, in fact from what is currently the prelude.
Broken (July 3, 2011: St. Charles, MO)
She sat up in bed, sweat pouring down her face and chest, soaking her old fashioned flannel nightgown. Her arms were thin and the delicate skin covered in the brown stain of liver spots. The once long and slender fingers were gnarled with rheumatoid arthritis, the bony, bent fingers punctuated by swollen knuckles. She was twenty decades past menopause, and hadn’t had the night sweats in years.
Tonight was different, though.
Tonight, the past was back to haunt her.
She’d bolted straight upright in bed, awakening her husband William from a sound slumber. Bill was a snorer, something that used to bother her enough so that at times they slept in separate beds when they were younger. Now her hearing was starting to go and she hardly noticed with her hearing aids out and sitting beside them on the nightstand.
William, on the other hand, had perfect hearing, and even if he didn’t it would be hard not to hear Elizabeth screaming at the top of her lungs.
She bolted upright in bed, screaming. “No! Don’t do it, Rosie! Don’t do it!”
Her shrill shrieking roused her husband from a deep slumber, send their frightened golden retriever flying from the foot of the bed as if demonically possessed dogcatchers from hell were behind it, and prompted the couple next door to engage in a discussion of whether or not to call the police for a domestic disturbance in their quiet, gated community. Elizabeth Linden nee Winscott was now Elizabeth Norton.
When she came to consciousness, she stopped screaming, and began to weep.
“What’s wrong, sweetie?” Mr. Norton asked, putting his arm around her.
“It is just awful,” she told him, sobbing into the sleeve of his nightshirt.
“Don’t cry,” he reassured her, “you were just having a nightmare. It’s over, dear. It’s over.” He reached over to the nightstand and pulled a tissue from the box that sat there with his withered, liver spotted hand.
Elizabeth blew her nose into the tissue. She knew he was wrong. She knew that the nightmare was not over.
It was just beginning.
She spent most of her lifetime avoiding dealing with the incidents of that long ago nightmare place she went to in the 1957s, the place where she met Mark Johnson and Rosie Mauban. She had been negligent in her duties, her debt to the whole wide world, because she was so humiliated about the time she’d been deceived by the Others. But she should have been there, to protect little Rosie. Rosie must be in her sixties by now, but Liz still thought of her as that little girl.
She hadn’t warned her. She hadn’t protected her, and now Rosie had been mislead, and unknowingly let something terrible into the world. They made a miscalculation, and they were trapped. They were trapped in something that was no longer the Isolation, but another pocket in time that was even further separated from the now. And now was the time… there was no time to waste.
They had to stop Angela Sinclair from giving birth to this monstrosity. Once she gave birth, it would be harder to get rid of this… this alien-human hybrid. Once it was born, it would just get stronger and stronger, until one day no one would be able to stop it. She needed to get them out, before it was too late.
She would have gotten up and done something about it that very night, if she wasn’t a married woman who needed to keep the secret from her husband. It had been forbidden to tell anyone outside of the isolation… it had always turned out badly before. She didn’t know if the rules had changed.
All she knew was that she had to do something.
It would have to wait until tomorrow.
Elizabeth Norton was a frail and fragile creature. A two year battle with lung cancer had left looking and feeling older than her seventy three years, but she was a fighter. She’d given up the smoking habit she’d developed so many years ago, as a way to cope with the anxiety of the Isolation and her fear that somehow she might be forced to deal with all of that again.
But now that fight was over.
Elizabeth Norton would never have a chance to help her old friend Rosalind escape the psychic fox trap she had her foot caught in. The stress of the revelation that the creature that would become Adam Hanks had entered the world was too much for her already beleaguered body.
At 3:34 am, Elizabeth Norton nee Linden nee Winscott died quietly in her sleep of heart failure.