Saturday, 23 March 2013

Writing the impossible...

currently tuned in to a world where nothing is normal... how do you go about writing of the physically impossible? Answer, let your imagination do the talking.  A tiny snippet of my new novel "Enigma's Child" follows.  Am not giving anything away, but let me know how easy it is for you to suspend disbelief and get into this mysterious tale...

He flicked on the light switch in his room and splashed his face with cold water from the sink in the corner.  He rubbed his face with a towel and then pulled a comb from the shelf above the sink through his unruly dark hair.  It was then he felt something; stroking his finger across an area just to the left of his crown, Justin felt a depression in the skin, like a scar, of about an inch in length.  He couldn’t understand why he had never noticed it before.  Did they really do something to me in that place?  And my mother let them? His mind suddenly revved into overdrive; an image flashed in his brain of that scanner again, then another, of Dr Thomas Peretti, wearing a surgical gown and mask, a scalpel wielded in his left hand.  Peretti did something to me… was it to do those things he promised me?  Why me?  

Justin shook himself and stared in the mirror.  His pupils widened and he wondered if he really knew who he was at all.  Peretti could talk to him in that secret manner, but why was he so frightening when Justin’s mother and Avon felt like his friends?  Why had he not heard from the man ever again?  ‘Because you burned him, remember, with the fiery cloak?’  It was his own voice he heard; yes, of course, he had heard Peretti roar in agony as he had imagined the fire in a protective ring around him.  But is it what I did to Sam?  Like a blast of real fire?  Justin turned from the mirror and sat down on his bed.  Could he get it to work without being frightened or angry?  

He held his hands out, palms up, in front of him and began to imagine, as he had done when a child, the bright lapping flames of yellow, red and orange.  They could not harm him, only his enemies.  Justin stared at his hands, while conjuring the image in his mind’s eye, willing the flames into existence.  The harder he concentrated, the more his brain buzzed with energy until it was beginning to hurt.  To his great surprise, in the centre of his right palm, a tiny spark appeared, the sort generated by gunpowder caps from a child’s toy weapon.  He made one final effort, and the spark shot up in the air, bursting into a bright yellow flame which danced in the space just above his skin.  Justin felt a rush of adrenaline as he forced himself to believe the evidence of his eyes.  I can make fire!  Fire that doesn’t burn me, he thought.  He was entranced by the little flame, only slightly brighter than a candle, which hovered in the middle of his right hand.  But is it really there?  

Justin stood up slowly and advanced to the waste bin which was just under the sink.  In it he knew there would be paper, probably from his latest attempt to note down a tune he’d heard.  He knelt down, still the flickering flame wavered in his hand.  With his left hand, Justin reached into the bin and grabbed a scrap of paper.  He held it over the flame and watched, fascinated as the paper began to char and glow before the fire took hold of it and he let go, seeing it shrivel up and disintegrate into his palm.  The flame disappeared.

Justin looked at his hand, felt the space where the flame had been, yet there was no burn mark, nothing, no evidence other than the fragments of ash which he brushed off into the bin.  Well I never, I have nothing to fear from anyone if I can do that! He felt elated at his own power.  No wonder Peretti wanted what he had, this was beyond anything on earth that he understood.