• Prologue The burning in my arms grows stronger, bringing me back from the brink of unconsciousness – back to a
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  • My eyes were still locked on Magic Mike. Everything else faded away, as though a misty veil was blocking my
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Reading Sample

Reading Sample (2)

In this category you will find some samples and excerpts.I hope you enjoy reading it and will be ready for more. The Prologue Prologue The burning in my arms grows stronger, bringing me back from the brink of unconsciousness – back to a… Read More First Dream My eyes were still locked on Magic Mike. Everything else faded away, as though a misty veil was blocking my… Read More

First Dream

by

My eyes were still locked on Magic Mike. Everything else faded away, as though a misty veil was blocking my view. A slight tickling on my cheek broke my transfixed gaze. A tear, freed from my eye, slowly trickling down.

What’s wrong with me? Everything feels so weird, so surreal,
Was it that terrible nightmare?
Eventually my pulse began to slow down It was a pleasant, feeling, and I was sure Magic Mike had a lot to do with it.

Thanks, Magic Mike!
Engrossed in my thoughts, I asked myself what that strange dream meant.

It was more than I could process.
Did it mean anything at all, or was it all just nonsense? Whatever it was, it was Kay-Ky and totally insane.

My thoughts circled around and around what I couldn’t stop thinking about it – it scared me.
I tried to calm myself down and kept telling myself it was just a dream. Jittery, searching for proof, I rolled my sleeve up –looking to see if anything was amiss, but there was nothing out of the ordinary No pain, it looked fine. I took a deep breath and felt assured it was indeed a dream, my mind playing tricks on me. . But what I didn’t know yet was that my life was about to change forever.

My breathing matched the rhythm of my still racing heart. All of a sudden, I noticed that things started to go hazy even Magic Mike – otherwise clearly a good-looking man – looked like enveloped in a fog. An unpleasant feeling swept like a wave through my whole body; goose pimples appeared on my skin, breaking into a sweat my thighs burned, and my legs started shaking.

Kay-Ky! What’s happening now, what on earth is wrong with me?
From nowhere I felt my stomach cramp, crippled with pain. I closed my eyes, hoping it would go away, but it had the opposite effect. Everything began to spin. Anguished tears welled up in my eyes. They tickled my nose as they ran down my face. I opened my eyes and blinked the tears away. My senses hadn’t lied; everything was truly spinning around my bed, like a mini tornado.

Kay-Ky, what’s the matter with me?
Fear was choking me, just like in my dream. My attempts to scream for help resulted in nothing more than a whimpering sound. With difficulty, I gasped for air like a fish on dry land, hyperventilating. Instinctively I pulled my knees up against my stomach waiting for the next cramp to hit – not a good idea. The pressure pushed bile up into my gullet. It burned horribly, aware that I was about to throw up; I ignored the cramps and left off the bed, lurching towards the bathroom. Every step burned as if I walking on scorching hot coals. Despite the bathroom being only a few feet away, the effort took every last bit of energy I had.

You’re almost there, I told myself.
If there’s one thing I know how, is to achieve my goals. As I finally reached the door, I struggled to desperately keep the contents of my stomach from spewing all over the bathroom floor. I did this by strategically placing my hand over my mouth and holding it there as if my life depended on it.

Shit, this is bad!

In order to contain the mess I was about to make, I kneeled next to the toilet bowl and hugged it. I puked my guts out and emptied everything I had eaten in the last few hours. Feeling as though my stomach took an eternity to recover, I looked down at my artwork, a brownish lumpy collage of soggy muesli. The stench of vomits engulfing the bathroom. Just as I started to feel better, I heard someone pound on the door.

Claire, it’s Claire at the door, it can only be Claire!
I kicked the bathroom door with my heel, but before it closed shut, I heard Claire’s voice calling out for me.

“Sophie, Sophie are you in there?”
Why now? I forced myself up on my feet and tried to lock the door. But I couldn’t – I didn’t have enough strength to turn the key. Pushing my weight against the door to keep it shut, Claire became suspicious.

“Sophie, is something wrong? Do you need help?”
If she only knew, I thought to myself and cleared my throat trying to alleviate the burning caused by stomach acid Coughing and wheezing, I forced my voice to sound normal.
“Everything’s ok, Claire, I just got really sick that’s all – otherwise I’m fine. Just give me ten minutes and I’ll come find you.”
“Okay – but this isn’t the first time, Sophie – is there anything I should know about? You’re not…?”

This can’t be happening! First I have a nightmare I don’t understand, then I puke my guts out, and then my BFF comes up with a completely apocalyptic explanation for the whole situation. What’s going on today? Has the whole world gone crazy?

There hasn’t been an immaculate conception since the Virgin Mary. And bees don’t have anything to do with human procreation either. I can absolutely and definitively rule out pregnancy – ridiculous, typical Claire. Preoccupied with my chaotic thoughts, I collected copious amounts of toilet paper and proceeded to clear the path of destruction I created. Feeling unstable and weak, I struggled to turn on the tap, as I did this I watched the water move towards the drain as if drawn in by magic, disappearing into a black hole. I interrupted the flow by holding my hands un-der the stream of frigid water. I bent down and took a long drink I never imagined water could taste this good, my coarse throat feeling smooth once again. The shock of cold water splashing on my face jolted me back to reality

Minutes later I brushed my teeth, and rinsed my mouth out, feeling like a normal human being again. But could I show myself in front of Claire in this state? Claire, was thy type of girl who looked as if she had been born with perfect hair and make-up, she never left the house without at least a 30-minute three-step Claire beautification process. Her usual line was: “Man, you look pale,” or “Why don’t you get out and get a little sun?” this obviously meant that more work needed to be done on my appearance.
I straightened up and peered into the three-piece mirror on our simple bathroom cabinet. It was standard equipment here in the dorm; all the rooms had the same furniture and the same bathroom cabinets. “Bargain basement chic,” as we called it. When I looked at my face, I immediately noticed a dark shadow in the middle of my forehead. Squinting, I tried to sharpen my blurry vision, but it didn’t change what I saw.

I picked up a facecloth and placed it under the dispenser, squeezing out about a week’s worth of soap. I scrubbed my forehead until a mass of white foam materialized. Once I rinsed my face, however, I was totally floored – the spot was still there, and even more obvious than it had been before. I looked closer, and I couldn’t believe what I saw.

What I saw resembled a cross. It stood out smack bang in the middle of my forehead as though someone had painted it in various shades of grey. I spat on my finger and rubbed the cross like a maniac hurting myself in the process. One thing was clear: this wasn’t dirt, and it wasn’t paint I could simply wipe off. It was something else, similar to a tattoo. Shocked I lost all strength in my legs; I staggered backwards gradually, slipping against the bathroom wall, overcome by fits of tears. I huddled on the floor and wept uncontrollably.

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The Prologue

by

Prologue

The burning in my arms grows stronger, bringing me back from the brink of unconsciousness – back to a painful reality. I cautiously open my eyes, expecting to see something, but there’s nothing there. Dried tears feel like glue.

Where am I? What’s happening to me?
Thoughts flash through my mind faster than I can grasp them, battering my weakened awareness. With effort, I open my eyes and feel a throbbing pain. To my despair, I can only see darkness. A pulsing in my arms grows quicker and quicker until it feels as though it’s on fire.

Someone is trying to control my body and mind. I resist, convulsing.

Stay strong, Sophie – you have to stay strong – I try to motivate myself.
Dad’s words of wisdom were the only things that kept me going – no matter how annoying they once were – thanks, Dad. An intense burning in my arm distracted me from trying to take in what was happening. I slowly turned in the direction the pain was coming from. Something was holding me down – my attempts to twist away only increased the pain. It felt as though boiling water was running through my veins and exciting from my right arm. I closed my eyes and clenched my jaw. My groans drowned out a grinding sound trying to escape from my pursed lips. For a moment, I believed the burning was subsiding. I concentrated on the pain radiating from my arm, tears collecting in the corners of my eyes.

Dammit, what the hell is going on?
Very slowly, I turned my head a little farther to the right. My eyes had gotten used to the darkness by now, but I could only see shadows. The muscles in my arm contracted in an attempt to lift it up. This only intensified the burning sensation – without success I tried pushing my arm against the bed until I realized some-thing was holding it back. In a panic I tried moving my limbs to no avail – I was paralyzed. A feeling of helplessness cocooned in endless terror.

Someone tied me to this, and something was causing a hellish burning pain in my right elbow. Why am I so helpless? So tired … where am I?
I could hear it clearly. I didn’t imagining it – someone was calling my name, again and again, louder and louder.

I have to answer. Somehow – I have to answer.
All attempts to cry out were fruitless. Fear is choking my voice; I envisioned manly hands clutching my throat. Squeezing without mercy. The harder I tried to scream, the harder it was to breathe. I heard nothing – everything was still. All I felt were tears streaming down my face.

You have to overcome your fear, Sophie. Now is the time to be strong!
How often had I heard that from Dad – how often had I thought… That’s it! Dad had taught me a little trick on how to act in dangerous situations - and so I took a deep breath, held it and started to count. He used to say it was a sign of strength. Essentially it was a silly game, designed to help me overcome my fears. Sixty-one, sixty-two. My lungs screamed, begging for air.

Don’t give up. This is just the beginning.
Ninety-three, ninety-four. My thoughts slowed, the pain subsided, and I stopped crying. My surroundings became blurry.

Keep going Sophie, I told myself, you can do it – you’ll set a new record! One hundred twenty–two, one hundred twenty–three, one hundred thirty–three, one hundred thirty–four. Against my will a reflex I could no longer control to open my lips and forced me to take a deep breath. My lungs filled with air as though it were the last breath I would ever take. I had outwitted my fear through my own will to survive. My breathing and heartbeat racing along at the same speed. The burning sensation was back, my arm, pulsing I screamed as loud as I could, giving voice to the pain gripping my body. A piercing cry filled the room, allowing some of the fear to escape with it. As the cry fell silent, I heard someone open the door and call my name out loud “Xama!”
The voice sounded familiar – there was something warm and protective about it, and it came at just the right time.

I’ve heard this voice before– hope began to return.
Vertigo overcame my senses, as though the bed was spinning – or perhaps it really was? I heard my name again, nearby right in front of me. A hand began moving next to my head removing something. I cried again, but this time they were tears of joy. A piercing, gleaming light struck my eyes, driving away the all-consuming darkness. Engulfed by a brilliant light, I was blinded once more. I couldn’t swallow, and my throat began to restrict – fear returned. When my eyes had adjusted to the light, I saw a face and heard someone call my name. I knew the face and the voice.

I tried to recall who that face belonged to – who was it?
In a flash, everything turned blurry as if someone had snapped the lens on a camera all the way till it couldn’t go any further. The voices, still calling my name, faded away and seemed to recede. I wanted to say something, but my body wasn’t responding. My eyelids became so heavy I could hardly keep them open.

Tired, I’m so tired! Everyone just go away, leave me alone. When I wake up, everything will be over.
It will all be over. Darkness spread, and I could feel the last bit of strength slowly abandoning my body. It seemed as though all my strength – everything I had left – was spilling over the bed, spreading across the room. Even my thoughts were fading, and a feeling of inner peace came over me. No more pain, nothing to hold me back from simply falling asleep and resting, forever.

Is this what it’s like to die?
But there were still people there … I could hear faint, faraway voices. They came closer, then receded again. With every breath I took – each one could be my last – the voices sounded clearer. They were speaking in unison, chanting. Three words I had never heard before… words that will forever be engraved in my mind:

“Communitati – vis – nostrum
communitati – vis – nostrum
communitati – vis – nostrum”

The voices faded into the background but left something behind – the will to live. My breathing deepened and life returned to my body. I can’t explain what happened. Next. It’s as though a life force had collected in one corner of the room, then made its way towards me until it seeped into my body shaking off the suffocating exhaustion that enveloped me like a heavy blanket.

“Xama, wake up, you can’t fall asleep!”

Someone was talking to me – I could still hear the monotone chanting in the background. The voice was clear and vibrant, and it breathed new energy into every cell of my body. I recognized the voice.

“Wake up, Xama.”

I cannot go to sleep now, do not go to sleep, Xama! My fingers clutching at the sheet, slowly balling into a fist – desperate to stay awake.

No pain?
Again, I strained to pick up my arm. All of a sudden, it began to lift with ease. A warm, soothing feeling was radiating through my entire body – an unstoppable force of life. This thought kept me from being still, so I moved my left arm. Then both legs – I smiled – I was free!
The voices became clearer and more distinct. I opened my eyes to a startling scene. A group of men looking down at me, singing: »Communitati – vis – nostrum« As they sang, they moved in a circle around me. They covered part of their faces with their hand, each resting his left arm on the man standing beside him making a chain - there was some-thing else … something very odd – inexplicable. They were all pressing their right thumbs onto the forehead of the man next to them. Once again, a deep male voice interrupted my racing thoughts.

“Xama, close your eyes.”

It sounded like a command, but it felt more like a protective reflex – so as not to witness what was coming next. Memories from my childhood surfaced. Back then, when I was afraid, I used to keep my eyes closed, believing that if I couldn’t see anyone, then nobody else could see me either. Why couldn’t things be that easy now? Seconds felt like an eternity. Suddenly my arm felt as it had fallen asleep – like it didn’t belong to me anymore. Hadn’t I just moved it a couple of seconds ago clenching it into a fist?

Silence. Where have the voices gone?
Feeling both curious and anxious, I carefully opened my eyes What I saw next took me by complete surprise I was somewhere else. The bed, the chanting, and the faces had all disappeared. My arm was perfectly fine. Only my heart was racing, pulsing all the way down to my fingertips. I saw a figure in front of me ¬– one I recognized immediately. Channing Tatum, from Magic Mike, was gazing down on me, from a poster at the end of my bed. He’s sexy yet tender smile totally gorgeous and somehow protective. He wasn’t real, just a poster at the end of my bed. But that didn’t matter. Reassured me that I was back in my room, in my own bed, safe and sound. It was all just a …
Kay-Ky – Kay-Ky – Kay-Ky, what was it, anyway?

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