Okay. I know I’ve got one serial novel already – that is, Perspective – and I’ve already got Black Ice planned as the next one, once Perspective is done on November 28th. In December, though, when I finish writing first semester finals, maybe I can start to post some of another novel. I need to do some major editing to it and probably won’t have time until December anyway, but I thought that I would share the first little bit to you (like I did with Black Ice) to see if anyone likes it. Please feel free to leave feedback as it is always helpful.
The novel is called Lost Worlds: Horizon and is a sci-fi/survival kind of novel. If you read my story Dark Sister, Dark Skye, which you should have (come on now), you may notice some similarities. The reason is that I wrote the first draft of Lost Worlds many years ago, and then I needed to write a suspense story for a contest I was entering and I couldn’t think of any ideas, so I stole the first paragraph from my Lost Worlds as well as the characters – but the rest of the story is completely different. Granted, there is an exploration to an unknown world called The Sister, but the similarities end there. Lost Worlds is not a suspense/horror story, but a sci-fi/action/adventure type of story. So, I hope you don’t mind the redundancy of the first paragraph. I think it might actually be slightly different because I revised Lost Worlds and wrote my second draft, what I’m posting now, a year or two after I wrote Dark Sister, Dark Skye.
Sometimes, as a writer, you really like an idea so much that it clouds your vision to other ideas and, when this happens, you end up being very unimaginative and unoriginal. Sometimes, you even copy yourself and end up with a novel and a short story about the same thing (but just tweak one so it’s slightly different). I much prefer the novel to the short story, probably because I’m downright rotten at writing short stories because I just talk and talk and it takes forever for me to get anything out at all. So, I need the comforting length of a novel because I get to go on about whatever I want for however long I want – all in the interest of relevancy to the plot, of course.
Needless to say, if you read Dark Sister, Dark Skye and didn’t care for it, please give Lost Worlds: Horizon a try. Go on and make my day, because apparently my life is that dull.
Well, now, it’s the moment we’ve all been waiting for since this post started (please agree with me, even if it’s a lie):
Lost Worlds: Horizon – A Preview
The horizon was a huge set of beautiful colours; deep oranges, soft reds, tranquil pinks, tantalizing purples and then the faintest of august blues all around the glorious edges of the whole vista. In the center of it all sat the magnificent sun slowly sinking deeper and deeper in the horizon, taking with it the cares and worries of the day and leaving behind the cold serenity of night.
And that was exactly the reason why Corazon loved sunsets. She was sitting on the balcony of her royally huge house which overlooked the ocean, glistening in the various colours the sunset provided. She watched with unrestrained eyes until the sun sank below the edge of the world, and the ominous moon rose into the sky, the soft moonlight falling on her body and washing away all of her stresses from the day. She bathed in the hushed moonbeams and the resplendent starlight until she finally felt the nip of the night’s chill on her face and decided it was time to leave the balcony and return once again to her life.
Colonel Corazon Santiago had served in the United States Military for over fourteen years now. She lived life at a fast past, and at the age of thirty-four she had absolutely no intention of slowing down. When she was twelve, her family moved from Spain to America and Corazon spent the rest of her adolescence wanting to be a teacher. But, by the time she finished high school, the military also appealed to her greatly. After two years of debating, Corazon put her fading aspirations of becoming a teacher away, and finally joined the military at the age of twenty where she quickly moved up the ranks to colonel.
She was a tall woman and walked with assertiveness and grace at the same time. She was stunningly beautiful with chiselled cheeks and a perfect nose. She had a strong jaw and confident face. Her eyes were a light brown and shimmered under the effervescent stars in the night sky. And then there was her hair; long, dark, straight and mysterious.
Her house was majestic and elegant, with antique paintings and swords hanging on the walls. Corazon stepped inside and slid the glass balcony doors closed behind her. With strong hands she pressed a small panel beside the handle and locked the doors. “House secure,” a mechanical voice said with a beep.
Corazon nodded and turned back around, walking deeper into her house. She walked down a narrow, carpeted hall and at the end she was greeted by a set of beautifully carven wooden doors. She placed a hand on the handle and pushed the door open. Inside was Corazon’s bedroom. It had high, chambered ceilings with a massive, glistening chandelier hanging in the center. There was another balcony, but this one faced away from the ocean and towards the city.
Hanging on one wall was a huge mirror and across from it was her bed. Corazon leaned over and slipped off her black military boots and as she slowly walked towards her bed, she slid out of her uniform and set it beside the bed. In a tank-top and loose pants, Corazon collapsed on her bed and as soon as her head hit the billowy pillows, her striking eyes were closed and she had slipped off to sleep.
In the same fashion that it had set before, the sun rose with a dazzling array of colours which peaked through the curtains hanging in front of the balcony in Corazon’s bedroom. With a yawn, Corazon opened her eyes and slowly sat up. Despite the curtains, the light from the sun had already flooded and filled the room.
In an hour’s time, Corazon had showered, pulled on a fresh uniform and was walking towards her expensive and particularly ostentatious red, convertible car, parked in front of her house, which looked just as stunning on the outside. She climbed into her car, slipped on a sleek pair of sexy sunglasses and drove off, her loose hair blowing in the wind.
The military barracks was a fenced off area with a large building at the front and training grounds at the back. The high voltage electric fence parted at a gateway as the small, red care drove up and Corazon showed her identification to the gatekeeper. The road led to the side of the building where it dipped down into an underground parking facility.
Corazon pulled into her designated spot, number twenty-seven, and stopped her car. The door swung outwards and Corazon’s prestigious boots landed on the newly paved ground. As she stood up she reached to her face and removed her sunglasses, shaking out her hair as she did so. She set the sunglasses in her car and then walked towards the elevator.
On the main floor of the building the elevator doors parted and Corazon walked out and up to the front desk. A pretty woman with glasses was sitting behind a computer and smiled when she saw Corazon walking towards her. “Good morning, Colonel,” she said in a pleasant voice. “How are you today?”
Corazon returned the woman’s smile with her own as she set a hand on the edge of the desk. “I’m good,” she said in a voice that matched her beauty and confidence, yet with a clearly defined Spanish accent. “What about you?”
The woman nodded and looked at her computer. “I’m good, thanks,” she said, bringing up Corazon’s file on the computer.
“Any messages?” Corazon asked with curiosity.
The woman nodded. “Yes. General Giles wants to see you as soon as you get in this morning.”
Corazon smiled again, taking a step back from the desk. “I guess that’s now then. Thank you, Rachel. You have a good day now.”
Rachel nodded and closed the colonel’s file on the computer. “You too, Colonel.” Corazon turned and headed back to the elevator; the general’s office was on the second floor. She stood in front of the doors and they opened via motion detectors. She stepped in, pressed the second floor button and the doors slid closed and the elevator started to move.
It was a quick ride to the second floor, and Corazon stepped out into a hall with many more people in it. Various secretaries and attendants walked around, holding clipboards or files, as well as uniformed officers. Corazon nodded to some of them on her way to the General’s office.
“The military wants to make you a proposal,” General Giles began, hands clasped on the surface of his antique looking wooden desk. He was an older man, with a larger build and wide shoulders. He was wearing a uniform similar to Corazon’s, but his was decorated with the various medals and commendations he had received during his time and service in the military, which was impressive to say the least. His face was aged with war and experience. His hair was thin and gray, his eyes a light grey-blue and his face was wrinkled. But he looked strong, confident and held himself with pride and dignity.
Corazon had already shook the general’s hand, then taken a seat across from his desk. Her tough face was edged with curiosity and her even lips parted smoothly. “What proposal would that be?” she asked formally.
The general set his elbows on the hard surface of the desk, and leaned forward. “For reasons of secrecy – but mostly anal-retentive paranoids I take orders from,” he said with a joking smile, “I cannot disclose much information to you at this particular time or place.”
Corazon smiled and let loose a light laugh. “Then how will I know to accept or decline?”
The general nodded, understanding what she meant. “This is a top-secret project, at the moment,” he told her. “All I can say is the excelling high-quality of your service to the military, and your experience, is why you have been chosen. As per request, you shall attend a meeting at the White House in Washington, D.C., where you will learn about this project, what it entails and why you were chosen.”
A look of scepticism swept over Corazon’s face and she paused for a moment. “Can I ask what this top-secret project involves?”
The general slowly shook his head. “The government, as well as the military, believes that until underway, no aspects of this project should be revealed. If anything leaks out and is somehow interpreted in the wrong way, it could mean the cessation of this project.” He leaned back in his chair. “That is why I cannot give you any details. All I can tell you is that you should be honoured that you were one of the select few chosen out of the entire United States military. I suggest you attend this meeting; in fact I’m making it mandatory. After you learn about the project, whether you decide to sign on or not is ultimately up to you.”
Corazon nodded briskly. Of course it was mandatory. Well, whatever this was – mandatory or not – it had her intrigued. “When is the meeting?” she asked the general, not wasting anymore futile time talking about the actual project, because she knew it wouldn’t get her anywhere, and the General would definitely say no more about it.
The general smiled at her unabashed conciseness. “The meeting is one week, and we leave tomorrow.”
That settled that, except… “We, Sir?” she asked. She wasn’t aware the general would be going with her.
“Yes, that’s right,” he confirmed. “I am one of the project’s administrators. Naturally, I’d be at the meeting, and so will my secretary, Miss Franks.” Corazon knew he was talking about Rachel. “We leave tomorrow. The rest of the information will be ready for you when you leave today. Dismissed.” He passed her a curt nod.
Corazon stood up. “Thank you, Sir.” She saluted to him, out of respect rather than tradition or regulation, and then turned and walked towards the door.
The following morning, Corazon found herself on a plane, heading off to the nation’s capitol. It was a small, obviously private plane – owned by the General. The seats were leather and extremely comfortable, and the entire ride was smooth. Across from Corazon sat General Giles and beside him, naturally, was Miss Rachel Franks. The plane was fast and the flight was short. Soon enough, it was landing on a private runway with a black government car waiting for the three of them.
They were greeted by a man and a woman, both of the same height and wearing black suites, who showed them to the car. It all seemed very formal to Corazon. Well, she was in the military, but this seemed too formal. She assumed it had to do with the secret project they were working on.
Without delay, the three of them were taken to the White House where they were greeted formally by none other than the President himself. After that, they all had dinner together, and then were shown their accommodations. The day seemed to drag on very long, as Corazon hated formality, and she was glad when she was finally able tog et some rest.
The next morning, she was awoken by a knock on her door. Quickly making herself decent for whoever was knocking, she headed to the door to find out. General Giles greeted her, wearing an expensive suit. “Good morning, Colonel,” he said with a curt nod.
Corazon extended her hand to the room. “Do come in, General. What can I do for you?”
The General smiled. “I don’t think you’ll like it very much,” he said, handing to her a plastic clipboard, with a large stack of papers attached to it. “You’ll need to go through these.”
Corazon took the clipboard and took a quick glance at it. The first page seemed to be a profile of someone. At the top of the page, in bold letters, was the name ALL, LAURA. Right below it was a picture of a young African-American woman with dark eyes. Below the picture to the rest of the page was a brief overview of what seemed like this lady’s entire career. Corazon looked back up at Giles. “Who is this Laura All?”
“A scientist,” the general answered. “One of the best in her field.”
Corazon glanced back down and read a few short lines, which talked about this Laura’s work and achievements. She flipped the page over, discovering a second profile. This one said ARCANE, DAVID and showed a picture of a younger blue-eyed, brown haired Caucasian man. A quick glance told her that this man was a medical doctor. She started flipping to random pages. “Edge, Darren,” she said, reading some of the names she saw. “Green, Ellen. Praxis, John. Weaver, Joel. Zen, Travis.” She looked back up, still confused. “Who are these people?”
Giles smile dropped and he got just a little more serious than before. “They are thirty eight other people, like you, who have been chosen and have accepted to take part in this project.”
Corazon shrugged. That made sense. “Do I get to meet them, or is this all I need to know?” she asked, holding up the clipboard.
Giles nodded. “You’ll need to acquaint yourself with these people. Read their profiles; get to know their careers and accomplishments.” He stood up. “Until the meeting next week, you probably won’t see any of them.”
Corazon gave him a cynical look. “You’re giving me homework?”
“We’re not in school anymore,” Giles said as he headed for the door. “It’s part of the job.”
Not The End
So, what did you think? Please let me know!
Thanks for reading,
- A New Serial, Dystopian (whatistheobject.com)
- Writing short stories is a long process (michaelmcmullen.wordpress.com)
- What If It All Means Something – Part 1 (allmeanssomething.wordpress.com)
- Dark Sister, Dark Skye (allmeanssomething.wordpress.com)