Tuesday, November 09, 2004

excerpt from my novel - A Place in the Sky

3rd book in the trilogy - Trephining

We listened, trying to hear a footfall beneath the mutter of the wind. Stood still, expecting something to happen. Dry tree branches rattled and fern fronds flailed at the edge of the clearing where a capricious wisp flashed through. Scattered petals from a yellow blossoming bush swirled to the ground like lemon snowflakes. I could hear a crow somewhere, its scolding voice carrying on the hot air.
We started along the narrower trail, gently pushing branches aside. There were several more homemade wind chimes, each with an individual harmonious sound.
I had just glimpsed a piece of rusted tin through the trees when I heard the movement behind me.
“Don’t you motherfuckers move or you die!”
He had Zac gripped with his left arm under Zac’s and his left hand behind his head, a half nelson. In the browned skin of his right hand was a long bladed commando knife, pressed hard against Zac’s throat.
Zac was staring at me. And I was staring into stainless steel eyes.
"We won’t do anything stupid. Are you Nathan Browne?”
He pressed the honed edge of the blade tighter into Zac’s throat. His features were hard to recognize because they were colored with black and green irregular spots, jungle make-up, but even then I knew right away who he was. The man I was facing was Zac’s brother. Cynthia’s brother. The resemblance was striking even though Nathan appeared much older. He wore a baggy camouflage jacket.
The steel eyes shone with hostility. “Who the fuck are you? Why you lookin’ for me?”
“We have a mission to find you,” Zac said. He was hanging limp in Nathan’s arms but twisted his head trying to look at him.
“Fuck you asshole! The mission’s over.” He batted Zac’s hat off with the long blade. There was a dark blue tattoo on the back of his right hand, the head of a fire-breathing dragon and the word ‘Khesanh.’
I said, “We have some very good news for you. Please let him go. We mean no harm.”
He only readjusted the knife. Zac’s skin was white along the crease and the edge of the blade glinted where it had been often sharpened.
Zac tried to straighten his body, raised his voice, a different Zac spoke, “It is destiny which leads me to arrive here. A destiny which commands you as well. You must carry out your own mission. Time has converged upon us, now there is none left, do it! You must slice through the softness of the man you clasp. It is preordained. This IS your purpose.”
It had to be the other Zac talking. He began pulling against Nathan’s grip.
“I’m gonna slice your fuckin’ throat in another minute.”
“Yes! Yes! You must. There can be no hesitation. Commit the act which sets us all free!”
Nathan was having a hard time controlling Zac. His eyes went wild and his hand tightened on the knife.
“You’re dead, man! I’ll slice your head off! I done it before.” Zac was trying to lurch away.
“If you do,” I yelled, “you’ll be killing your own brother!”
The steel eyes landed on me, darkened into a slate gray. His hand grabbed at Zac’s hair and pulled his head back violently. He tried to see Zac’s face without taking his eyes from mine. I raised my hands to keep them in his sight.
Zac’s eyes flashed a laser green, as though I had betrayed a family secret. I had. His incredulous look was because I knew. He was breathing in huge gasps. “You must do it! Draw the sacred blade along the devil’s skin. It must be done. I as Michael, command it!”
Nathan flung Zac to the ground in one movement, cutting the front of his throat slightly as he withdrew the blade and at the same time drawing an Army issue Colt .45, aimed it with a shaky hand.

© RC Westerholm


Post a Comment

<< Home

Back to Top
Free Tell A Friend from Bravenet.com Free Tell A Friend from Bravenet.com
Free Guestbook from Bravenet.com Free Guestbook from Bravenet.com
Online dictionary at www.Answers.com
Answers, not links