Excerpt: The Sojourner Part 3

In advance of the publication of The Sojourner on September 30, here is a short excerpt:

I am sitting alone on the deck of our lodge, legs propped up on another chair, looking down the ridge at the river valley and the towering mountains on the other side, when a car pulls into the main yard by the office building. A man and a woman get out and linger by the door, which is locked. Neither of them speaks, though they share glances. They do not appear to notice me, and I go very still, blending into the background of the cedar planking on the deck.

Michael, the proprietor, appears on an ATV five minutes later, all smiles, no doubt having seen them arrive. He brings the couple inside the office, and I use the opportunity to slip inside our chalet, watching intently from behind the blinds of our kitchen window. My self materializes beside me, a blank look on my face.

Go away,” I say, not glancing at me. My self heads to the door to go out to the deck. “Not outside,” I say before the door is opened. My self turns and goes back to the living room, no expression crossing its face. Continue reading

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Excerpt: The Sojourner Part 2

In advance of the publication of The Sojourner on September 30, here is a short excerpt:

In my dream, I am Joseph Aurellano. Not the Joseph Aurellano who lived in the Vancouver of Aeida’s universe under Meredith’s supervision. Some other Aurellano. Though Aurellano never existed. He was a construct of the Acolytes, a simulacrum of a person, intended only to keep me imprisoned and hidden. I remember almost nothing of his thoughts, what he did during those months when I was imprisoned there. Only a few glimpses, shadows of things, came to me, usually when I was lost to myself, in battle with Aeida for command of this body and mind.

Those times I managed to return during my imprisonment, Aurellano was already gone. Aeida returned, though without his memories, which made him pliable. How many times did I come back and surreptitiously make contact with Morris, before being thwarted by Meredith? I never dared ask him that. Never asked him how long it had been since I was exiled. Though it hardly matters now; it is something I don’t want to know.

In this dream—for they are all different, these dreams of Aurellano—I am in what appears to be a small colonial town. Spanish, if I had to guess, though it could be Portuguese. I am near a square with a large Catholic church. Facing it is an official-looking stone building. None of the other buildings nearby has any of the impressive size or permanence of those two. They are all made of bamboo or other trees, with thatched roofs, some on stilts. There is salt on the air and the smell of fish pervades everything, but there is no sign of the sea anywhere. Continue reading

Excerpt: The Sojourner

In advance of the publication of The Sojourner on September 30, here is a short excerpt:

The sound of birds chirping outside my window awakens me. Sparrows or swallows, or some other tiny, dull species that covers the globe in endless numbers. I sit up carefully, having made the mistake earlier in my stay of forgetting how close the ceiling is to the loft bed. Several painful mistakes, actually. But then I am always forgetting where I am. It takes effort to remember, to fight through whatever happens to me when I sleep.

At least I am certain of who I am. That part of me remains stable. Aeida is gone. Suon assures me I have not taken to wandering and plotting in the night. I trust her, as far as that goes.

It seems she did not betray me when I was with her at Osahi’s fortress, and she was not lying when she said she loved me. She does, though I cannot fathom why. I am a lost and broken soul in a foreign body. A pitiful thing who has done terrible deeds. The evidence of my failures is still with us: Ana and my self. It is Ana’s presence that provides the window to allow me to finally see the truth of Suon’s feelings for me. She is jealous of Ana and how much I care for her. Continue reading