I’ve just finished a second draft of a book I hope to have out soon: iii – invasion. In it, Ryan tries desperately to save his hand, his life, and his best friend from a dimensional portal, a dimensional portal that doesn’t take you to another place. It creates whatever’s in your mind.
Batman? Consider him real. Dinosaurs? No problem. Flying ghosties that suck your soul out? Done.
In addition to the first novel (which is done) you can also read an offshoot story, ifrit, which is appearing in UnCommon Origins on June 15th.
Here’s a sample chapter from iii book one – invasion.
Chapter 1- like in the movies
Ryan stumbled over Whitney’s body in his hurry to get away, and skinned his knees going down. The dust and the resulting sneeze weren’t as bad as the scorched air smell up here. Or the terror. He moaned Whitney’s name, then started to scramble to his feet.
“Weak,” Ryan heard. “Very weak.”
A crackly, lightning-infested spear point settled in front of his eyes, painting everything cerulean.
“Wait,” the leader said. Boot steps lazily carried the leader towards where Ryan lay paralyzed, near the edge of the roof.
“We can’t just kill him. Totally against the way the movies go.”
Derek ignited his lightsaber, which somehow had an ashy black color.
“First we give him the Luke treatment. Now you say ‘You’re not my father!'”
“Don’t, Derek, this isn’t—”
Ryan didn’t even feel it, to be honest. He heard the familiar, famous voomph sound, and an Arctic blast of shuddery cold swept over him. If his hand made a sound as it rolled away, Ryan didn’t hear it. On the other hand, he definitely felt the kick to his ribs and then the open air. He flew out into space, off the wrecked building.
In his mind, Ryan got to about ‘I’m going to die—’ before something felt wrong. No rushing wind roaring in his ears. He opened his eyes and saw a girl directly in front of his face.
“That doesn’t look good,” the girl said.
Ryan stopped his high, squealy-type scream and stared. He said nothing, because the girl was chuckling at him, and in looking around he discovered they weren’t falling after all, but floating in midair about ten feet away from the building, still about fifty feet up.
Around them stretched the campus, a whole lot of spring emerald, and sprays of spring blossom. A storm roiled around the building, the type of thing the world had only ever seen in a movie. Or half a dozen movies, really, if you’d seen a lot of movies.
“So…” the girl said.
She was a high school goddess of porcelain skin, brown hair, and Asian features, from the eyes and high cheekbones to the slight build. That she was wearing a pair of track pants and a top that showed her midriff wasn’t the strangest part, but the thick gold bands around her wrists definitely gave her a strange feel. Along with the fact that her chin was propped on her hands like she was lying in bed on her stomach instead of suspended in mid-fall.
“If I do it, you can just as easily let me die,” he said.
Her playful expression didn’t change.
“Or I could wish to be back on the ground, whole and unharmed.”
“And that’d be the last one,” she said. “You’ve seen the movie. You know how it goes.”
“I could also pull a ‘most powerful wizard in the world’ and—”
“And probably have it backfire on you when your newfound powers didn’t actually allow you to fly,” the girl told him.
“You’re not supposed to advocate against the use of wishes,” he said, and winced. The pain was beginning to catch up with him, a melting agony. He still hadn’t looked at his new stump, and didn’t have any intention of doing so now.
Now she smiled.
“Okay, okay, listen…” He thought about what he’d say next. In the movies, you weren’t supposed to muddy up the dramatic sequence with all sorts of sit-down conversation. These were the rules. You could second guess yourself until you were blue in the face, but sometimes you had to just put some trust in people and take the plunge, figuratively while at the same time literally.
“I’m listening,” she said, and batted her gorgeous eyelashes at him.
“Genie, I…” I don’t really want to die today, he tried to say.
Now her stare intensified, and little suns burned where her eyes had been.
“I wish you to be free, Genie.”
And then he resumed falling.
He slammed down… into a chair.
All around him he found a mess of golden metal, graceful majestic curves, with some kind of panel in front of him. It was a confusion, rather than a mess, of buttons and levers, suggesting it had been pulled out of a museum, or directly out of the past.
He let out a shaky laugh, but that stopped as soon as he got a look at his right wrist. It was… more than he wanted to deal with. Looking at it brought with it the pain, melting him from wrist downward.
“Oh… that looks horrible,” he said.
“We can get it taken care of,” the girl said, “later. Right now we need to get you out of here.”
She looked up, and Ryan followed her gaze up to where Derek and henchmen were staring down at them. From down here, they were only visible by their energy weapons. Derek’s darksaber rose up in a smooth arc, and then he flicked it forward. It began flipping end over end down at Ryan.
She pulled one lever down, and adjusted a series of white tumblers on the panel before him, until it read APRIL 1.
He couldn’t stop himself. “What?”
The darksaber continued to flip downward, straight toward him. It would carve through this ancient machine with sparks and molten metal, and then cut him in half like a hot lightsaber through a droid. Bad simile for a bad situation.
“Pull this lever,” she told him, and winked out of existence.
He reached all the way over his body with his only hand and pulled on the handle at the top of the lever, then wrenched the lever itself back. It wouldn’t go all the way, so he had to wrap his cauterized stump around his functional hand and yank.
The electric blue field enveloped him, and the darksaber sank into the parking lot’s concrete with the sound of hideous reverb, throwing up sparks and turning the sone molten red. Then it powered off, rolled for about half a second, and it zipped back up into Darth Derek’s outstretched hand.