Slow progress on the next book

Slow progress on the next book

But there is some progress!  I skipped ahead to a scene that will happen somewhere in the first half of the book, but probably not until chapter 4 at least.  But the scene was very clear in my mind, so I wanted to get it written down.  Here’s a little bit…


Sara is in an unfamiliar place; it’s very dark and musty.  She puts a hand out and feels rough stone; she must be in a cave.  She hears, ahead of her, somewhere in the distance, rapid breathing, and, one careful step at a time she heads towards it.

As she walks ever-deeper into the cave, her eyes begin to adjust to the very dim light, coming from no source that she can see.  Sara knows this is not her dream, but she has no idea whose it is, or what this cave represents.  She continues on and on, the sound of breathing growing louder, and the breaths themselves seeming faster and shallower as she goes.  Whoever it is that’s dreaming, she thinks, they’re not doing well at all.

The cave goes on and on, gently curving.  The only sound is the very troubled breathing, and as Sara approaches it, she sees more light in the distance; a lamp, or perhaps a torch.  She’s almost there now, and in just a couple of steps, as the curvature of the cave sharpens and she turns a corner, she’s nearly blinded.

There are probably a dozen torches blazing in brackets on the walls of a large, roughly rectangular chamber, in the center of which is a king-size bed.

A bed that Sara recognizes, just as she recognizes the man lying on it.  It’s her father, on his bed, and she knows it’s his dream.  For one moment, Sara panics, whirling around, looking for a way out; she doesn’t want to see what either of her parents dream about.  But the moment passes, and she realizes what she’s seeing.  Her father is alone; her mother isn’t here, nor is anyone else.  And he is the source of the distressed breathing. 

Even in the torchlight, Sara can tell that his color is all wrong, and, though he appears to be asleep, there are beads of sweat on his brow and his face is contorted in pain.  And – Sara blinks, and it’s still there – a fifty-pound weight, a free weight, the same kind Brian uses at the gym, is pressing on his chest. 

As Sara watches, a shadowy hand reaches up from underneath the bed, holding another weight, placing it on her father’s chest.  His breathing is extremely shallow and labored now; and his eyes open.  His right arm reaches up to his chest, but he can’t lift the weight off with one hand.  She sees him try to raise his left arm and fail, gasping in pain.  Sara can see the arm throbbing, from the shoulder on down.

Her father is trying to speak, but no words are coming out, and the words wouldn’t be for her anyway.  He doesn’t know she’s here.  He thinks he’s alone, Sara realizes.  He’s trying to cry out for help, but he knows there’s no one to provide it.

Sara knows exactly what’s going on, and she also knows she’s the only one who does.  He can’t hear her, but she calls out to him anyway: “I’m coming, Dad!”

She turns away from him and begins to run back the way she came…

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