Prologue – Would You Read this Book?

This is one fucked up way to end the holidays.

Those were the words that entered his mind in that moment.  If he had believed they might be the last words he ever thought, maybe he would have something else to say about everything, but as it was, it seemed a fitting enough way to sign off.

No more words.  No more deeds.

As a boy, he had never been able to open his eyes underwater, but somehow he was looking around without any burning. All around was murky, muddy water, shady and blue. If he couldn’t save himself, he would breathe it all in, filling his lungs. The world would darken around him, and he would sink into the quagmire at the bottom. He would have to act quickly if he wanted to live.

Only, he wasn’t sure he wanted to live.

No more dreams. No more nightmares.

And to think. . . I actually shaved for this.

He had had enough of this world, and it seemed to know he thought so. After all, it was the earth that was trying to kill him.

Bubbles rose from his nostrils as he looked up at the thick sheet of ice above his head. He couldn’t see a break to the surface, but he knew if he looked hard enough, he’d find the opening his body had made that landed him in this silent, frozen hell.

No more debts. No more harassing phone calls from creditors.

Where’s my left shoe? I don’t remember losing that.

There was no telling how long he had been in the cold water, but he knew there couldn’t be much more time before everything would start happening. Already, his fingers and toes were numb. Already, his chest and stomach were crying out for warmth. Yet he found serenity in it all. Maybe it was God’s hush bringing this calm. Yeah, maybe that.

Or the head wound.

No more tooth decay. No more hair loss.

Did I remember to pay the waitress?

Blue hands hung in front of him. They reminded him of the limbs of a tree, blown lightly by a passing summer breeze. He knew they were his, but he couldn’t feel them anymore. It struck him funny that this was all there was left. Just to float. And then to die. No fanfare. No trumpets or a flickering film of his life passing before his eyes. Just this.

Just water and cold and pain and death.

No more sunrises to break the dawn. No more stars burning overhead.

I wonder if they’ll ever find me down here.

He forced himself to recall the events of his life, to the moments that led to his demise. He conjured the faces of those he loved into the dusky bog. It almost made him feel criminal to do that; to bring them down here with him. So he closed his eyes. Life had just one last lesson for him:

How to let it all go.

No more fading memories. Just. . . no more.

Wait a second! I wasn’t the only one that fell in!

Book Cover 01

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4 comments

  1. Very, very good Dave. I was hoping that it wasn’t only going to be a set-up for flashbacks to tell a story and it wasn’t only that because you left off at a great moment. The definition of drama! HOWEVER, I am nit-pricky, and this stuck out for me, “If he had known they might be the last words he ever thought, maybe he would have something else to say about everything, but as it was, it seemed a fitting enough way to sign off.

    No more thoughts. No more words.”

    It’s cheating somewhat to then have him have more thoughts because these are things the (as far as we know) omniscient narrator claims. AND, his last thoughts (that we see) are the most dramatic thoughts we see him having-yet he already had his last thoughts, know-what-I-mean-Vern?

  2. I’ve had the same thought. Do you think the wording works though with the “might be” and “maybe” aspects of it? I had originally intended to remove the sentence, but I reconsidered. My thoughts on keeping that was that it seems to sets up the situation fairly well and also adds a bit of suspense, since in my mind tends to show that even the narrator isn’t sure what’s about to happen.

    I don’t know. What do you think?

  3. It struck me when I first read this-the point I made above-but after re-reading it, I noticed that ‘might be’ & ‘maybe’ made it acceptable. So, that part is fair, certainly. However, ‘no more thoughts no more words’ is the voice of the narrator-who, if the reader can’t trust-what’s that saying? Because the narrator is You, the author. It just stands out more starkly when the actual final thoughts (that we can read at this point) are as dramatic as they are. I’ll put it this way, other than being confusing and unnecessarily so, what is gained by having that part being confusing and I’d argue, wrong? ‘Only, he wasn’t sure he wanted to live.’ Is that really so? Can we trust this or other claims the narrator tells us? Believe me, I’m not just trying to rip this up, it’s just something that jumped out at me glaringly, and it’s a really good piece of writing, truly. I’ll call you-

    1. I made some minor changes to address the issues you brought up, Cinemikem. Really appreciate the feedback.

      Also added concept art for the cover.

      Let me know what you think.

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