I’ve been doing a lot of writing on my two days off, and as of today, submitted two pieces to different anthologies. My WIP (one of them) right now is a Novella between 20,000 and 40,000 words long. I’m in Heaven, well, sort of. I’m around the 13,600 mark for the first draft and hoping I can tell a story that makes sense. My normal tale is anywhere between 3,000 and 7,500 words in length.
Decided that since I’ve been posting mainly book reviews and self promotional stuff lately, and too little of my actual writing, that I’d share this Novella length WIP, well, a small part of it. Keep in mind, you’re coming in late in the game, so a lot of the character and situational details have already been covered.
This is deffo a work in progress, a diamond in the rough, so no doubt it will undergo a lot of editing prior to submission. Assuming it’s accepted, it will likely be edited again, so what you’re about to read isn’t anywhere near “polished.” You have been warned.
Let me know what you think. Oh and alert…”language.”
The ship was violently ejected from its temporal womb. No lights, tumbling like a badly aimed bowling ball. The red gel baths held all of them, and without their alien cushioning, they each would have been splattered into chunky salsa.
Metal was rent and torn, screaming like a banshee being disemboweled slowly by dull blades heated in a blacksmith’s forge. The world came savagely apart around them, the sound too impossibly loud, punctuated by light and shadow, random forms and substance. Hysterical, murderous forces reduced the saurian space vessel into unrecognizable wreckage spread across hundreds of meters. And with the ship, so too would the seven of them die.
Except they didn’t.
“What the fuck!” Spencer grabbed the lip of his still upright tub, now exposed to an iridescent luminescence, pulled up and to the right, and then spilled over the edge onto dirt and gravel. On his hands and knees, he puked the meager remains of a meal he’d had over twelve hours ago. His dark brown skin was wet and cold. He’d somehow managed to lose his cap. Where the hell was that light coming from, and why did he have a screaming hangover?
It was nearly too bright to see, but then he made out the shadows against the light. They were at the edge of the effect, part of the debris, the bone yard of ships, planes, and the rest of history’s junk deposited along the edge. It was eternity’s landfill.
The air stank like a thousand thunderstorms, like the inside of a power plant. The hair on his arms, what was growing back on his head, all stood on end.
“Is…everyone alive?” It was Everett’s voice off to his left. He was one of the shadows, his tub on its side. He staggered to his feet, leading the Merc to believe he could get up, too.
“Crap, Doc. How the hell are we alive? The ship…”
Left and right, and then down the hillside leading away from the effect…it had to be what was left of the spaceship, but it looked more like his old Uncle Billy’s junkyard in Jersey, the mortal remains of every car he’d ever heard of made and broken across fifty years.
A shadow over gathering shadows. Clark and Bell came from behind him, Lynn and Aiyana from behind Everett. Vasnev came from the direction of the Ka’ala field as if he had remained within while everyone else had been heaved out.
Each blade on the three propellers was twice the height of a man. Left, right, and center, they were mounted on a vast triangle of welded steel plates. The whole mass was leaning slightly to port, it’s starboard side facing the cracking effect’s discharges. Sometimes there would be a dozen electrical arcs between the hull and the coalesced field.
“The Titanic. My God.” Carson looked upward in reverence as the aft section loomed over them like a colossus, or a god of the sea.
“We’re too close. My head is screaming. Let’s get out of here.” Lynn stumbled under the port side propeller, tripping over her feet and dropping to her knees. Both hands were pressed against her ears against some terrible noise only she could hear.
“Yeah, she’s right.” Spencer started walking toward her, but Clark rushed ahead of him. He looked back at the Gunny defensively. “I’ve got her, if that’s alright with you.”
“Perhaps the young lady has a point. We need to get away from the effect. No telling what prolonged exposure will do to us, and…”
“We’ve got other problems, Everett.” Bell had wandered further away from the field than the rest, staring west. “It was dark when we took off. Why is it daylight now? We couldn’t have been unconscious that long.”
“Never mind that, Bell. What do you see?”
“Oh, not much. Just our carnivorous saurian buddies, a couple of thousand of them, circling this side of the effect waiting for us, just like when we left them.”
“We apparently are not leaving in that direction, my friend Bell.”
“No, we’re not, Vasnev.” Bell’s voice carried a note of finality, if not fatality.
The ground quaked as if a giant had taken a step right next to them. This time, everyone flew to the ground like stunned pigeons.
“Would you tell this place to stop having earthquakes,” Lynn wailed, clutching at Clark’s dark wool sweater, and then pushing back when she realized what she was doing.
“It’s not a quake.” The Professor looked around and then up. “The ship…the Titanic’s tilting. Run!”
Spencer, pressed down with one foot, his thigh muscles bulging as they lifted his weight. Then the ground beneath them all, beneath the Titanic, beneath the wreckage of the spaceship, beneath twisted antique aircraft, and centuries old wooden sailing ships, fractured and then shattered like glass.
The air went white set against tiny flecks of onyx, the seven human beings cascading downward with everything and then nothing, falling downward into the Ka’ala effect and beneath it into dazzling brilliance for time without end.
When it did end, there was darkness, and for Leon Spencer, it was frightfully familiar. He could hear their breathing. This time, he wasn’t alone with the dead. But still it was the same as before. They were all buried alive, trapped again underground, and there would be no one to save them.