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My short story The Unreal Man, really one of my oldest concepts, is finally being featured in Discordia: Stories of A World In Chaos, published by Dastaan World, whose website isn’t particularly current, but whose Facebook page is a tad more kept up.
What is Dastaan World?
In Central Asia, a ‘dastaan’ – Persian for ‘story’ – is oral history told in the form of an ornate story. Dastaan World is a platform through which you can achieve visibility, credibility, and success. Each month, we feature short stories, poetry, art, photography, and more – helping creators showcase their talent to the world. It is our sincerest hope that we can help create opportunities for success for everyone who submits their work to us. So reach out, tell us what you do or can do, and let us together explore new avenues.
Admittedly, I haven’t heard from the publisher for months. I did find out that one of the things holding up “Discordia” was the cover art. I’m pleased that “The Unreal Man” is in print at last, but I just wish the journey was a bit more “typical” of my experiences with the publishing industry.
Who is the Unreal Man?
A man wakes up and somehow knows his name is Jonathan Cyfer. He doesn’t remember a past but he seems to appear in an infinite number of places and times. He’s supposed to do something in each of them, but he doesn’t know what. But if he doesn’t do the right thing, people, sometimes a great many people, will die. He has one companion, a beautiful woman named Raven, but she seems even more inhuman than he does. How can a man become unstuck in time and yet not know who he is? The answer is both liberating and horrifying…or is it all just a dream?
Excerpt from “The Unreal Man”
Nowhen – Nowhere
She was the most beautiful woman in the world. He couldn’t take his eyes off of her. She had long, dark auburn hair, deep brown eyes, and skin the color of mocha. Her face looked vaguely Eurasian. Her lips were painted pink.
Her dress was long and it shimmered between white and pale lavender, extending to the ground and moving with a breeze that wasn’t there. He looked down and saw the dress pooled around her feet, and as it flowed toward him, it stopped being cloth and became water.
They were standing facing each other several yards apart. Rolling hills, a grassy countryside, very few trees, but a large one stood just to his right. It was night. The full moon rising behind her was impossibly large.
“Who are you?”
“My name is merely Raven, but I speak for one more important than I, someone who you have never met and have always been. He has never existed and will always exist. He walks the shadowed pathways between dreams and nightmares, inside of reality and at the edge of fantasy. His name is Jonathan David Cyfer, but there is another name that some whisper in hope and others in dread. The Unreal Man.”
He woke up, but he was still dreaming.
He dreamed his name was Jonathan Cyfer and that he was an illusion, a man who had never been, and whose very existence was impossible. Each time he woke up, he was in another dream. If only he could remember what he was supposed to do next.
“I can save her life, Raven. I can save all their lives. Please let me help.”
“You will, Jonathan. When you wake up, you will save someone’s life. There’s about to be an explosion. You can only save one of them. Please be careful whose life you save.”
Then he woke up.
Sunday, 8 September 1940 – London
A building had collapsed on them. Everyone who had taken shelter in here had died instantly except for four people. Suddenly another man, dressed in black trousers and a white, long-sleeved shirt that belonged in the 18th century, was standing in the center of what was left of the cellar.
It was dark, night, but he could see outside through holes in the debris above them. There were explosions, the relentless sound of thunder, and the ground shook continuously. The black air was shattered by bright flashes of destruction, and the drone of aircraft engines was their chorus.
Jonathan saw five important things; a man, a woman, a little boy, an even younger girl, and a bomb. The bomb had a Nazi insignia on it, and it was live.
On Amazon, download “Discordia” onto your Kindle device or purchase the paperback. Look for “The Unreal Man” in its pages. Have fun.