“You should go back to sleep.”
“You have to be joking! ‘Hey Joshua, my dog who was murdered is alive because you brought her back but it’s no biggie so go to bed.’ No one could sleep after that!”
Dominic doesn’t say anything for a long time. “You’re a human with the power of a creature from the in-between. You didn’t grow up with this. You were never meant to have it. I don’t know how it came to you. But I do know the power is yours and you don’t know how to control it. If you’re very scared, if you’re very angry, it’s going to manifest. When you’re dreaming you’ll have even less control.”
“Then shouldn’t I stay awake?”
“Yes, of course, just never sleep, why didn’t I think of that?” Dominic deadpans. “Your being exhausted isn’t going to help anything. Do you meditate?”
“Now’s a better time than most to start.”
“But…could I hurt people with this power?”
This weekend I went to Fresno for a wedding. Between that and being sick, I haven’t had the time/energy to post. I mostly seem to be down to a cough and I’ve caught up on my finances tonight (rent is obscenely expensive) so I thought I’d continue Red:
“Were you dreaming?” Dominic asks he’s own question instead of answering Joshua’s.
Joshua tells him.
“She’s alive because you brought her back.”
“What!? No, I didn’t. How the fuck would I bring her back? Back from where?”
Tsubasa returns her attention to Dominic, nosing against his hand. Dominic finally greets her, scratching behind her ears and petting her snout. “It’s good to see you, Tsu. Sorry about the ambush.”
Tsubasa barks once, wagging her tail.
Joshua sighs. Loudly. Exasperatedly. “You know I don’t talk to exercise my voice, right?”
It may not seem like it but I have been working on my blog the last several days – small functionality updates that took way too much time because WordPress and PHP are pains. I’d planned to get back to Red today but last night I had my worst night since February 20th and I’m exhausted. Also (minorly) sick. The good news is that these kinds of nights used to be more frequent. It’s pretty amazing that it’s been since February. I’ll feel better about that tomorrow after more sleep.
I’m going to leave you with a favorite part from my favorite current poet and the first poem I ever read/heard by him:
And if you can’t see anything beautiful about yourself
Get a better mirror
Look a little closer
Stare a little longer
Because there’s something inside you
That made you keep trying
Despite everyone who told you to quit
– Shane Koyczan, “To This Day”
“Joshua!” It’s Dominic, shouting from the doorway of a room Joshua doesn’t recognize.
In less than a blink, Dominic is next to him. “You need to calm down.”
The low-pitched gentle words catch Joshua off guard.
“Breath in. Hold it. Breathe out. Come on, breathe in. Hold it. Breathe out.”
Closing his eyes, Joshua matches the pace of his breathing to Dominic’s words.
“Breathe in. Hold it. Breathe out. Good.” Then after several repetitions, “Okay, open your eyes.”
Joshua does. The red light is gone. That’s all he notices before something large and black comes between them. It’s Tsubasa, and she’s wagging her tail hyper fast and licking all over Dominic’s face. When she turns to Joshua he instinctively tries to shrink away but she’s faster, nosing against his hands. She feels…normal. Just like a dog.
“Dominic, how is she alive again?”
Dominic doesn’t answer. He’s gone completely still, watching Tsubasa.
Joshua wrenches himself awake, gasping for breath. He’s drenched in sweat and…the light. The red light. It’s coming from him.
I have a friend visiting so my posts this weekend will be brief.
It starts with a nightmare that’s spikes and flashes. Tsubasa knifed, whining as she dies. Breaking glass. Wings and sharp teeth. Red light. Screaming. Screaming. Screaming.
Suddenly, Joshua realizes he’s the one screaming.
Joshua is asleep by the time they reach the safe house. Since it was only a 20 mile drive that Dominic took at well past the speed limit, this only increases Dominic’s worry. He’s never heard of a human surviving power infusion from a creature of the in-between. Not once.
Parking the car in the garage, Dominic reengages the security systems – both supernatural and technological. They will be well hidden here from all who would seek them, no matter what kind of being they are.
He carries Joshua inside, placing him in the larger of the two available beds, leaving all the lights off. He doesn’t need them.
“I’m so sorry this happened to you,” he whispers on his way out of the room.
Dominic hides Joshua behind the bushes off the side of the road and tells him to wait there. Joshua does, peering through the branches and leaves as the man makes his way to the center of the road and simply stands there. It’s hard to see in the dark but that’s what it looks like to Joshua.
They wait. Joshua isn’t sure for how long. Eventually, a car approaches with its headlines turned on. It being night and an unlit road, the driver doesn’t see Dominic until the headlines hit him. There’s the screech of slammed brakes, a swerve to the left. Simultaneously, Dominic jumps straight up in the air and lands next to the car with speed a human wouldn’t be able to match.
Joshua can’t see what happens next., the car blocks his view. A minute later, Dominic emerges carrying a woman in his arms. He sets the woman on the dirt next to the wreck of their own car, turning the headlights on so that the next driver will see the accident and presumably call for help.
“Get in!” he calls to Joshua, jogging back to the running car that’s still sits diagonally across both lanes.
Joshua hastens to comply.
On Friday I finished getting my edits and notes from my last read through into the computer. On Saturday and Sunday I battled the novel’s timeline – by which I literally mean the amount of time that passes between events. When I first wrote the novel it took place in a much shorter time period – less than a year – and now it takes place over almost four years. There were still references to time that were from the original timeline. I figured it out but it honestly sucked and was probably the least amount of fun I have ever had working on this novel – meaning I didn’t enjoy it at all.
Since I’ve been working pretty exclusively on my novel the last two weekends, I took the time this evening to get caught up on my finances and do some laundry (I’d really rather be working on the novel – now that the timeline business is taken care of I can have fun again). However, clean clothes are good and knowing how much money I have left to spend this month is, you know, the responsible adult thing.
All of that said, I have no creative blurb for the night. I will get back to that tomorrow.
I wasn’t able to post yesterday because my website was partially down – some people could access it but I couldn’t. <sarcasm>Yay for changing domain registrars without updating the DNS.</sarcasm>
Finished getting my edits and notes for Part Two in tonight. Once I get Part Three in, I have several things to fix. I think I’m going to start with the timeline. Originally this novel was going to take place over much less time than it does. It’s been extended, but not everywhere so there are still places where it talks about months passing when it’s been over a year. It’s not going to be difficult to fix but it is going to be tedious. I love my writing app but I can’t just tell it to find every single reference to the passage of time. Maybe someday.
Moving on to some Red fun:
“What the hell does that mean?” Joshua demands.
“Creatures from the in-between have tremendous power.,” Dominic explains. “That power doesn’t die with them, it gets released. If they die in the in-between it gets reabsorbed into the balance. If they die in your world, it finds the nearest compatible host.” He frowns. “You shouldn’t have been compatible.”
Joshua can’t help but think of software and hardware. The comparison doesn’t reassure him. “Why not?”
“Humans are weak. The power would burn most of them.”
“I… So I’m strong for a human?”
Dominic opens his mouth, shuts it, and nods. “Yeah,” he says eventually. “We’re not safe out