Remember when I said I might feel a tad adventurous this week? Well, here is the opening of book two in my Alan Quinn series. Don't read if you would not like the ending of Book one completely spoiled for you!
Don’t let anyone lie to you. Traveling by portal sucks. When Lathon dragged me through the door, I didn’t hear any fancy sci-fi noise. Glowing lights didn’t blind my eyes. There wasn’t a barrage of stars floating over our heads because we were journeying at warped speed. It sucked.
It was equal parts underwhelming and painful. Not the quick kind of painful, either. A pins and needle sensation spread its way over my body. My heart caved in on itself as if Lathon had wrapped his hands around it. Take the feeling of a syringe being pounded into the small of your back and times it by two hundred because a demon was doing the bidding.
When we made it to our destination, I fell over from exhaustion. Wherever we were, Lathon jumped out of my head with the energy of a small child at Christmas time. I was fighting for breath. He was screaming for joy.
As the blur that clouded my eyes faded away, the room came into view. I was lying face to face with a baby angel statue. Bronze. It bore a curious expression. Current events led me to believe it might become animated. That was enough to convince me to sit up.
The statue was part of an elaborate fountain fixture. A golden gate opened up to a stone basin. Five more bronze angel statues surrounded the basin, streaming water out of their horns as they played them from their lips. The water, for whatever reason, was purple. I was resting on the large circular wall that made up the outer layer of the fountain.
I studied my surroundings. Four massive pillars held up the structure. Each one led up to a dragonhead. Above the dragonheads was a stone roof. It reminded me of something historic: The Parthenon. Everything inside was grand and made of stone. My sense of wonderment was brief. I had, after all, watched a man near and dear to me get ripped from this life. The culprit was flying around the room. It was a game to him.
LeCarre had made eye contact with me just before it happened. His eyes were apologetic. His arms reached out for me like he had so much more left to teach me. He would never get the chance. Lathon had defied odds and survived our attack on him, but how?
Andrew Lathon rested his shadowy body in the mouth of one of the dragon pillars. He said, “You are going to have to try this before we leave.”
My head perked up. “Leave? You mean this isn’t it? This isn’t Draio?”
He slapped his hands against the stone, “Nope. Draio is a touch more—what is the phrase?—open ended.”
If I had the energy, I would have climbed up the pillar and punched him right through his smoky face. First, I’d have to regain all of the feeling in my legs.
My back ached. It was all I could do not to tumble into the fountain. The week’s defeats were taunting my body and me. Lathon would continue to be the painful reminder. The one solid factor. The constant.
Lathon chimed in, “Do not worry, kiddo. We are a hop and a skip away from the local that you seek. There you will be able to reunite with Jessica and Gerry. I sense a melodrama in my future. You will say, ‘Your fake father is dead.’ Jessica will say, ‘Well, why did you, like, not fake save him?’ It may seem trivial to the likes of me, but it will be no doubt an Oscar winner to you.”
Thomas William Shaw is an author and stage actor from Birmingham, AL. He lives with his wife, Lauren, their children, and their cats in a quiet place. Occasionally he will post about it.