Sorry I haven't really been posting anything besides teasers lately. I think my next non-teaser post will be about clichés. Hopefully that will magically appear in the next few days.
Since lately I've been depressing you to death with my teasers, here's something from Edge. I've probably brought it up before, but it's a sci-fi I wrote … ehhh … a year and a half ago? And I just finished writing Jump (the sequel) not that long ago––like, two months ago or something. So here's a fun little part from the beginning-ish of Edge. I need to edit it, sooo I know it's not perfect. But ahh well. For the record, Max is my favorite character. Like, ever. (Of my own characters, that is)
By now, the sunlight had diffused through the sky, bleaching it with pale gold. The city almost looked beautiful – in a sad, disturbing kind of way.
I walked the deserted streets, without knowing where I was going. But at the same time, I didn’t feel lost. In fact, I felt confident that I was going in the right direction. That didn’t mean I wasn’t still afraid and bewildered; I still felt like I was striding through some unreal, nightmarish world. It simply meant that I had a feeling that I was doing what I was supposed to be doing – or what the voice wanted me to do, anyway. It seemed to have some kind of power over me; that is, it could not only speak into my head, but it could also control my physical actions, to a certain extent.
I hoped that it was trustworthy.
Everything was still, making prickles go up and down my spine. I kept expecting someone to jump out and attack me, kept hearing the voice’s ominous words: “Most of the ones left are your enemies.”
Speaking of which, the voice hadn’t said anything for a while. In a weird way, I sort of wanted it to come back. It was the only company I had, the only thing I could depend upon.
“Still there?” I tried, cautiously.
“We’re always here.”
“Right,” I croaked, and then didn’t know what else to say. “Um … So, I’m guessing you’re not going to tell me who you are?”
“We can’t do that.”
I rolled my eyes. “Didn’t think so.”
“But you can trust us.”
“Yeah, yeah. You’ve already told me that.”
The voice fell silent, and I actually started to feel bad that I had gotten so impatient. Of course, it’s not like it wasn’t expected that I felt impatient. Anyone would have been, if they’d found themselves in my unimaginable position: wandering through some post-apocalyptic world, without a clue as to who I was or what I was doing, with no company but the voice inside my head that wouldn’t answer any of my questions. It was a little frustrating. Just a little.
“Look, I’m sorry,” I sputtered, “but you’re kind of driving me crazy. You keep saying that you can’t tell me anything, that I’ll find out all the answers soon, but I need some answers now. Why can’t you give me one hint?”
“What sort of hint did you have in mind?” the voice asked, surprising me.
I frowned. “I – I don’t know. About anything. About who you are, about who I am, about what my purpose is.”
“You may want to be more specific,” the voice advised. “And start with something simple.”
I breathed out a long sigh, and tried to keep my patience. “Okay … How old am I?”
“You are eighteen years old.”
Okay, so I had guessed correctly on that one. “So, how old was I when I … fell asleep?”
“You were seventeen. It was about half a year ago.”
Half a year. That wasn’t so bad, I told myself. It could have been worse.
But why did I even care? It’s not like I could remember what I had left behind in that time. It’s not like I had anything or anyone to worry about, except for myself. So what did it matter? I could have been asleep for a century, and it wouldn’t have made a difference.
The thought irritated me, for some reason, filling me with bitterness. I kicked a piece of broken brick as I walked, watching it skip ahead of me on the littered pavement, over and over again. It was like my mind, my memories: right there, right in my reach, and yet always getting away from me, always a step ahead.
“Okay,” I said again, realizing that I hadn’t spoken for a whole minute. “So, you keep telling me that I have some special ‘destiny’ or whatever, all this save-the-world crap. Right? So, I assume, then, that I have some sort of … abilities, to help me with that.”
“Clarify,” the voice instructed.
“Fine, fine,” I exclaimed. “I know this is a stupid question. But I guess what I’m trying to ask is: Do I have superpowers?”
The voice paused. “Something like that.”
“Yay,” I said, with no enthusiasm. “What can I do, then? Can I fly?”
“Shoot lasers from my eyes?”
“Uh … Do I have telekinesis?”
Darn. Telekinesis would’ve been cool.
“Can I turn invisible?”
I was running out of ideas. “Can I drink an entire gallon of milk without puking?”
The voice’s tone remained serious, impassive. “Why would you want to do that?”
“I wouldn’t!” I exclaimed. “But you’re not really helping me out, here. Are you going to tell me what I can do or what?”
Right then, I got that feeling again: the feeling like I was losing control of myself. I stopped, suddenly, and looked at the ground. I saw the piece of brick that I had been kicking, and felt compelled to pick it up, which I did. I felt its rough edges, its coarse texture, its weight in the palm of my hand.
Then my fingers curled around it, lightly at first. I narrowed my eyes, and a strange, blank emotion washed over my thoughts. At the same time, an irresistible adrenaline shot through my veins, tingling at my fingertips. My fist grew tighter and tighter, closing around the solid object I was holding.
In the back of my mind, I wondered what I was doing. I wondered what I expected to happen, or what the voice expected to happen. Nothing was supposed to happen … Right? I was squeezing a piece of rock – or whatever brick was made out of. Big deal.
Only, instead of resisting, the piece of brick gave way. When I should have stopped, unable to close my fingers any more, they kept going, closing, crushing.
Then the only thing left in my hand was a crumbled mess, a dull red gravel that slipped through my fingers and fell to the ground.
I stared and stared, coming back to my senses with a jolt. “Oh,” I said.