Effing Feline offers you a match #8Sunday

Photos: DepositPhotos

I, Effing Feline, laughed so hard I coughed up not one but two furballs. The joke? The Merriam Webster dictionary, which defines “summer heat” this way:

As an Arizona cat, let me tell you that seventy-six is not “heat,” it’s the overnight low. For real heat, AZ style, light a match and stick your finger in the flame.

Today I’m changing things around, snippet-wise. The snippet is still from Ed’s WIP, a near-future SFR novel titled Audra Fleeing Audra Finding, but instead of seeing things from Audra’s point of view, today we visit the head of Tal Pelletier, the hero.

Penniless and desperate, Audra has let Tal, a Kwadran construction worker, guide her to a back entrance to Kwadra’s abandoned, underground cities.  In this scene, he ponders the doors to the underground Kwadran city. He had lived there until the island “hopped” from an alternate Earth to our planet, five years previously.

There they were: the gates to the underworld; to his past.

As Tal approached the double doors, he tried to swallow, but couldn’t. His mouth was too dry.

The doors were big enough to allow a Yeo truck to carry repair supplies into the ventilation tunnel. He hadn’t thought of those clunky but indestructible vehicles in years. The gigantic Yeo Corporation had never existed on this Earth.

He had never existed here, either, but then one day he did, and his prior life had instantly become nothing more than an unreal dream of an Earth that had never been. Manon had never existed on this world, nor little Theo, exactly Roxie’s age. But their nonexistent ghosts nonetheless existed here, behind these doors. How could a guy deal with ghosts that never were?

Effing Feline here again. Let me clarify my “real heat” comment up above. I personally have never stuck my paw into a flame. It would set my fur on fire, and the resulting singe mark would be akin to tagging the Mona Lisa.

You humans, being born pitiably naked, don’t have this problem. So go ahead, use the match. 😉

After you’ve applied burn salve, check out the other writers in Weekend Writing Warriors and Snippet Sunday.

Looking for great summer reading? Rescuing Prince Charming and bunch of other very interesting science fiction romances — several by Weekend Writing Warriors — are on sale during the Solstice SFR Sale this weekend for just 99c.

Support your fellow WeWriWas! Be cheap! Take a peek!

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39 comments

  1. Interesting snippet. Sounds as if Tal has a problem.

    1. Yep. After all, he has to have a wound to overcome.

  2. I thought you lived in the Pacific Northwest!

    Anyway, I love this excerpt. It’s very moving.

    1. I used to live in the northwest, and in my heart the British Columbia Rockies are still home. Come summer, I get particularly wistful.

  3. Ghosts that never were sound more difficult make sense of than real ones. He has issues, but then, who doesn’t?

    PS – New Mexico. Way southern New Mexico. I think I spontaneously combusted earlier. And summer is only 2 days old. 😦

    1. Clearly you don’t need to use Effing’s nasty match trick.

  4. So many questions to be answered… Like how did he shift to a different reality and they didn’t? And can he get back to them?

    1. I like it when readers think of questions. Anything to keep them reading, you know.

  5. You rascal always keeping us in the dark. Ooh! that sounds like fun!!

    1. A cave is a great place to keep readers in the dark.

  6. Fascinating to learn something about Tal in this snippet, addss a whole new layer to the story! As for the temperature, well 75 degrees is a definite heat wave over here,havig said that, we are actually having a ‘summer’ this week, not sure how long it will last. Effing, I am always so struck about what a caring, thoughtful young cat you are – so kind tor recommend salve for burnt fingers. You’re all heart!

    1. I’ve only been to England once, while son #2 was on a year’s ‘working holiday’ in Reading, half a mile from where Jane Austen went to school. Not a drop of rain, even in Yorkshire, and beautiful temperatures. Based on my “vast” experience, the English complain too much about their weather. That said, I don’t know about the Welsh.

      1. Well – I think you’re right there, Ed – but at least it gives us something to talk about! As for Wales, people often say it never stops raining – a foul slander, Wales has the most beautiful weather (sometimes). Anyway, as I keep telling people, it’s what keeps it green and beautiful!

  7. I’m fascinated by his POV and memories of a life that just went poof basically. This story just gets better and better! Great snippet…

    1. I lie awake at night sometimes, thinking about how how characters feel about the situations I force on them. While I like dreaming up adventures — and they’re much easier to write than psychological stuff like this — I’m fascinated by how people think and react.

  8. Ah, yes, there is that whole pesky question of just how did they move an entire island to a parallel dimension and what exactly were the consequences? Sounds like not everyone made it? I have more questions but now I have to go stick my finger in a flame, because Effing said so.

    1. Long answer to how they hopped their island to our Earth — read Alien Contact for Idiots, book one in this series.

      Short answer: I haven’t (er . . I mean Effing hasn’t) chosen snippets that deal with my bafflegab explanation involving M Theory, the strong nuclear force, and eleven dimensions. I cribbed the bafflegab unabashedly (and incorrectly, I’m sure!) from physicist Michio Kaku’s Parallel Words. While I admire Kaku’s books, this one was rather disappointing, in that it never mentioned how one could move Vancouver Island to an alternate Earth.

  9. Author Jessica E. Subject · · Reply

    I love this look into his past, into his own tragedy!

    1. He has a rather melancholy, existential view of his old life and the wife and child who died before the hop to this world. The loss of his family drove him to drink — and now, revisiting the place where he’d lived so happily with them, he’s finally forcing himself to come to grips with his losses.

  10. Tantalizing hint at his backstory here! Arizona summers are pretty much how I picture Hell, but hotter.

    1. My brother in law, who lived here for 20 years before we moved here, used to say that northerners come to Arizona in the winter and think they’ve died and gone to heaven. If they come back in the summer, they realize they’ve gone the other way.

  11. So glad to get Tal’s POV and discover some of his back story–which was surprising. Looking forward to next week’s snippet.

    Virginia’s summers are hot and humid and even though I grew up here, I don’t tolerate heat well. So although I might visit the southwest in January, I would be able o move there. I want to retire to Ireland where 85 degrees is a heat wave. 🙂

    1. If it weren’t for grandchildren here (one of my children didn’t leave the country) I’d like to be a reverse snowbird — live in Canada somewhere near the two who are up there. Or the Netherlands, I suppose; I have a son in Amsterdam.

  12. nancygideon · · Reply

    Ooooh! This peek into his POV tells us all sorts of goodies. Can’t wait to find out more about him.

    1. Having a dead wife and child in his past wasn’t enough grief for him — I had to pile on more. Poor guy . . . heh heh heh. Aren’t us authors nasty?

  13. Oooo this is so interesting!

    1. Delighted you think so, Amy.

  14. Ghosts live in your memory, so you carry them with you. Nice peek into his reasons for helping!

    1. It has a bit of the flavor of his aboriginal ancestors of the Kwakiutl tribe, too.

  15. Interesting to move into his POV, and that last line is great.

    As for the weather … we’re currently waking to around 0 deg C every day 😦

    1. Zero C sounds wonderful! With your next comment, would you please attach some of that cool air?

      1. You can have ALL of it 🙂

      2. You got a deal. In return, I’ll send you some of our 42 degree (Celsius) air

  16. Diane Burton · · Reply

    My son said AZ heat is like walking into a pizza oven. Touching a match is a good equivalent.

    Good snippet, Ed. So far, in the books I’ve read from this series,I didn’t think about the families these people left behind. How very sad.

    1. Hopping their island is a technological triumph and a triumph of the humans spirit over adversity — but a many levels, it’s still a tragedy.

  17. Oh, that is intriguing. What an emotional quagmire for him!

    1. Not only have bad things happened to him, he hasn’t gotten over them . . . yet.

  18. Very intriguing snippet!

    I have friends visiting Phoenix this week. They said it was 106 degrees the other day! Yikes!

    1. Phoenix is the hottest city in the US. Number two is Tucson, where we live. Today the temperature here is . . . 106.

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