Getting Into the Flow...
So I feel like I am starting to get the rhythm of writing, editing, editing some more, then having my peers edit the work, which then brings (surprize) more editing.
I would be lying if I said I always enjoyed my work being picked apart. I tend to write on the longish side and I usually cringe a little when I'm told that certain parts need to be cut. However, when I do pull the trigger, I'm nearly always left with a stronger, smoother and more engaging piece. That being said, sometimes I just can't bring myself to cut certain parts. So, if you find certain parts just do not mesh well with the rest of the story, then feel free to blame me, not my editors haha!
From here on out, all of my chapters for #worldlongsundered should already be fairly edited. There may be the occasional errors still, so let me thank you for your patience in advance.
If anyone is interested in getting some quality editing done by the awesome Discord community, click here for more info. Its a great place for writers to network!
As always, I welcome anyone to share their thoughts in the comment section, positive or negative.
A World Long Sundered -- Chapter 3
I remember this day, projected Riggs, although not entirely sure to whom he directed his thoughts. At first, it was difficult to tell whether he spoke aloud or within his own mind. He looked down upon the broken body of himself with a sense of otherworldly detachment. The boy’s unseeing gaze, like his own yet different by an age, stared unblinking in return.
A reply formed from somewhere,
“Indeed, that is the purpose of this exercise. The more data you recollect on your own the better.” Auryn Riggs only heard the one voice; none of his other captors responded.
His body had fallen just shy of two small adjoining streams. The boy’s head lay inches from the water, ruby tendrils snaking into the shallow side forming a reddish cloud in the water.
His gaze drifted downstream. The water wasn’t just slow; it wasn’t moving at all. Continuing his examination of the surroundings, he saw it was the same with everything. Nothing moved. Leaves were frozen upon their branches, many of which were caught in mid-sway by an unmoving wind. Birds hung motionless in mid-air. He reached out to grasp a falling blossom that had halted its downward journey. Half expecting his hand to pass through it, he was surprised when he was able to pluck it out of the air. He even caught a faint whiff of lavender. Was he reliving his childhood? It didn’t really feel like it. Rather, it felt like experiencing it from a whole new perspective. An amazingly detailed perspective.
“How is this possible? How is that we are here?” His voice sounding calmer than he had anticipated.
There was a slight, pause before the voice responded.
“We are not here, at least in the way you are referring. This is a representation of the past largely based upon information gathered from your own mind, Riggs.” The voice discontinued, seemingly ignoring his other question.
“A representation, huh?”
That made sense. He could almost remember the bugs dragging him off to distant memories as they sought his insight, plying him for explanations about whatever topic they found interesting at one point or another. At least for now he didn’t have to taste the stale recycled air pouring into his lungs.
With difficulty, Riggs pulled his eyes away from his younger self and looked up. Just as he expected, his sister’s form perched from the same fateful branch above, arm still reaching for her brother. Black hair and shadowed face reminded Riggs of some dark angelic form grappling downward for his soul.
He fought the urge to reach back. A thought welled, flashing through his mind—What became of you Kyn? The thought surprised him. For with it came a vision of fire, of flames shooting toward the sky. As quickly as it came, the vision fled. He closed his eyes, trying to chase more memories to surface through sheer force of will.
Kneeling beside his younger self, he placed a hand on the boy’s chest—his chest. Resigned, apologetic, he found himself mouthing the words, I’m sorry. Such pity he felt for the boy, for what the future held for him, but he was unable to understand why. No vision came this time.
Gathering his strength, Riggs stood and walked over to a low hanging branch of the R’leigh Bo. Reluctantly, he plucked several of the hand-sized leaves, remembering his mother’s warning.
“Surely this warrants the need mother.”
Careful to avoid injuring the boy worse, he began to pack the leaves onto the back of his broken skull. This may not be real, he thought, but he felt he needed to do something. At this point, however, the leaves were more of a benefit to his older self, rather than the younger.
“I would advise against that, Riggs.”
Riggs paused momentarily and then continued applying leaves on the back of the boy’s head. Despite his best efforts, blood was staining his hands and clothes.
“Why the hell not?” His voice came out a lot less angry than he was beginning to feel.
“This is a representation of the past, not the past itself. Your actions here will not aid the denizens of your memory.” There was almost a note of pity in the voice.
At first, he rebelled against the callous statement. Maybe helping the boy wasn’t the point. Did the possibility of unreality change the way he should act? Don’t lie to yourself. You know very well that your actions are not for the boy’s benefit, but for your own.
“Why bring me here if I can’t do anything?” he spat back.“What would you have me do...?”
“We would have you watch and remember. At least as much as you are able. However, trying to alter your own memories in order to assuage the guilt you feel from your past is pointless. We would not have you confuse reality, there is too much at stake.”
Maybe they actually did understand more than he realized.
“Alter my memories? Confuse reality?” He pointed to his head with a red-stained hand. “There’s nothing up there to confuse! You and your friends ripped it away chunks at a time.” His hand gestured in a wide arc over his head as if indicating his entire surroundings, “If anyone’s been altering my mind, it’s you!”
“Please calm down and consider the matter, Riggs. You own words emphasize our point implicitly. In your mind’s fragile and fractured state, do you think it wise to alter your own memories? True, this may only be a representation, but without a proper foundation to compare it to, how will your mind tell the difference? At the moment, you may not care about such a difference, but I assure you that it is essential that you regain a very firm grasp of reality as soon as possible. No, Riggs, leave the boy be. Stand up and pay attention to what comes next. We have much to accomplish and little time.”
Something in their tone assuaged his frustration, not only had the hint of pity returned, but an underlying note of concern had manifested. Perhaps after all these years they had finally gotten a firmer grasp on the intricacies of human communication. He doubted it, however, and even if they had, it definitely wouldn’t manifest in an emotion almost akin to compassion. Even with his state of mind, he could sense something different. He almost voiced his curiosity, but then thought better of it. It might be better to wait and watch.
He despised his captors, but there were too many empty spaces and blank pages in his mind. It was hard to keep one’s anger burning without fuel to throw on the fire. Besides, he did understand what they were saying. He didn’t know why, but a small part of him felt he could almost believe what they were saying. Even if they were behaving odd.
The puzzle pieces of his past were slowly snapping together. Memories they had shown him so far were triggering flashes of others as well, not many, but a beginning. He figured they probably had some other ulterior motive unbeknownst to him, but for the time being he was more interested in restoring his mind. A tiny voice within muttered, You sure about that? He ignored it for now.
He stood and braced himself for whatever came next. “Now what?”
“Before we proceed Riggs, do you remember anything further after the fall?”
“I’m not sure, but I think the next thing I remember is of waking up at home on the farm. I think my mother and sister said I’d been unconscious for days.”Hard to believe he could recall that much. Seeing the forest again after so many years seemed to be doing some good.
“There is more.”
No surprise there. And with his memories all jumbled, he was in no position to argue. However, something didn’t quite add up.
His gaze went once again on the boy and drifted back up to his sister. Patches of golden light pooled around him. The occasional blossom suspended in the air barely reflected a violet light. Even his sense of smell gathered up fragrances of the forest. Smells that he had never expected to experience again. All so real, almost more so than he remembered.
“You were able to produce all of this from my own memory, every single detail?”
“Even in the best of times, I doubt that I could remember all of this.” He plucked another blossom out of the air.
“You may be surprised at how effective the human mind is at storing information.”
“So, all this really is from my own memory?”
There was another familiar pause, as if the voice was considering how to respond,
“For the most part, what you see now is rendered from your own mind.”
There it was. For the most part... Feeling like he was getting somewhere he continued, “So what part of this is not from my own memory then?”
“As previously stated, there is more.”
“More? You mean after I fell unconscious?” No, that didn’t make sense. “But how is that possible? How can you know what happened after I fell all those years ago? I was unconscious. There would be no memory for you to pull from.” This time his prodding received no response. Damn... Unwilling to drop the issue he asked, “Why should I believe anything you show me if you won’t even answer that?”
The silence continued. He stifled his irritation. Not much of a point in arguing with them, but he filed the question away for later. Wanting to waste no more time, he continued,
“Fine, show me what comes next.”
Copyright © 2017 by David Kottas. All rights reserved
- A World Long Sundered -- A Description of My Novel In Progress
- A World Long Sundered -- Chapter 1 PART 1
- A World Long Sundered -- Chapter 1 PART 2
- A World Long Sundered -- Chapter 2 Original
- A World Long Sundered -- Chapter 3
- My Other Works
- A World Long Sundered -- Chapter 1 Original Version -- Note: This version was edited and broken into the 2 parts of chapter 1 above. Some might like to compare.