NEXUS - (March 2016)

DARK SEAMS - (Early 2016 in print)

I’m writing a new novel and taking some chances. Here’s a pivotal scene. At this point, even I’m not sure how things will turn out. Love is complicated, with a bit of Stephen King thrown in. The passage...

“Their soul shows them things. Future things. Past things. Good things and bad things. Reaching across the divide.”

The shaman smiled. He had the look of a small boy, amused by something he had just uncovered in the dirt.

“Everyone wants answers,” he said.

The group arrived silent and nervous. Simon had been unaware of the passing time. It was probably the gathering clouds, but it seemed to him that nightfall was coming on with unnatural speed. Wind moved the tree tops. Leaves spun down like wayward anchors.

The three Swiss girls were quiet. Each wore a long sleeve t-shirt and baggy green cargo pants. The outfits made them look like boys. Annika had her hair tucked up under a baseball cap. The Aussies nodded to him soberly.

Annika sat down beside him so that their elbows touched. She smelled like oranges. Simon remembered the pre-trip information, warning them against deodorant and perfume, which acted as elixir to mosquitos.

They drank the ayuahusco together. The sound of the rain on the corrugated roof was like thunder. The world smelled of fecund dampness.

Crouched and retching, Simon was unaware of his slipping away. Sounds came to him in gusts. He heard his own rasping breaths, and possibly the chanting of the shaman. Images swirled in his head; lashing scorpions, bleeding trees strangled by vines, greasy, milling liquids, not quite like a river, not quite like oil, colors that bunched and swelled, birds, pinwheeling and screaming.

At some point he walked through the sluicing rain to the shaman’s home, Annika by his side. Inside there was a single lantern. Marielle and Rahel were there too. He watched them undress in a beautiful dance, the thatched roof absorbing half the rain’s drumming.

Annika came to him first.

Author / Speaker