Wednesday, April 15, 2009

A Pause in the Action

For those of you who love beautiful photography, make sure to take a look at the blog of Beth Fish Reads. Every Wednesday she posts a beautiful photo. Today's photo is a church in Bremen, Germany. The rest of the week, she finds and reviews books.

Monday, April 13, 2009

Chapter 7, Post 2: The Man Who Does Not Exist

Flames leaped from the impact. Dirt, limbs, gravel and bark cascaded onto the hood and roof and window of the SUV, blocking the last tunnels of visibility not covered by snow. The wiper zipped across, flinging just enough dirt off the window for Elizabeth to see a large Douglas fir plummeting toward the car.

She stomped on the gas. The engine revved. Wheels spun against the slippery white froth, before churning through to asphalt and grabbing hold. The Jeep shot forward and the tree crashed down, grazing across the back door and ripping away the rear bumper.

As the cold rush of adrenaline washed over Elizabeth, she had just enough time to marvel that she was unharmed when a large mule deer shot out in front of her.

Friday, April 10, 2009

Chapter 6, Post 2: The Man Who Does Not Exist

A rivulet branched from the bolt’s main tributary and grabbed him. It fused the quadrants of his skull, vised his teeth and sheared the tip of his tongue. Though he resisted, it pried his fingers apart and the music escaped once more into the storm.

Spitting pain and blood, the man tracked the bolt across the valley and watched it explode at some point far beyond the distant peaks.


Wednesday, April 8, 2009

Beth Fish Reads

A quick break from The Man Who Does Not Exist to acknowledge the beautiful photography, see example below, and great book reviews of the blog, Beth Fish Reads. If you're looking for insight into some interesting book finds, make sure to check out her blog.

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

Chapter 3, Post 10: The Man Who Does Not Exist

Elizabeth believed she was just a mile or two from Route BB, which seventeen miles later would connect her to Forest Service Road 8244. From there, it was a simple right turn and thirty-eight bumpy miles to the proposed mining site and the meeting with Bridger Coal’s science team.

If she’d known the truth, that she was more than twenty miles and two turns removed from where she believed herself to be, she might have been all right. Her concern, not of the storm, but that she might fail to make her appointment, might have been enough to make her turn back and seek directions.

“Those mountains can be a hazard.” The hotel manager had said when she checked out. “Where ever it is you’re headed, you know how to get there?”

“I’ve got a map. Directions. I’m prepared.”

“That’s not the same thing,” he said, but, anxious to be on the road, Elizabeth had barely heard him, his voice lost amidst the slamming of the office door as she exited.

Elizabeth rolled down the driver’s side window, clearing the worst of the accumulated snow. Seeing its opportunity, the wind stole a few precious notes of the music drifting from the CD player and carried them out into the wilderness.

Pulling onto the road, Elizabeth steered the wheel toward the 12,700 foot apex of Weeping River Pass, in exactly the wrong direction.


Thursday, April 2, 2009

Chapter 3, Post 3: The Man Who Does Not Exist

By way of distraction, she glanced at her watch. It read 5:51 a.m. Although she did not tolerate procrastination in herself, in this case, she would make an exception. Looking out the window could wait a moment.

Elizabeth’s fingers had begun to shake. To give them something to do, she dug around inside her purse until they clasped the plastic corners of a CD case. The title, Violin Music for Your Soul, made her skin crawl. The music, however, she loved.

Though it took intense concentration -- the shaking was getting worse -- she held down a small black button until a red digital six appeared on the radio display.

A pause gave way to the delicate pluck of harp strings so faint they faded in and out between the growing gusts of the storm. In her mind’s eye, Elizabeth saw the right arm of virtuoso Sarah Chang ease her bow across the violin strings, while the fingers of her left hand vibrated at the wrist to produce the airy first note.

Elizabeth’s love of classical music was a gift she inherited from her father. It always calmed him and normally it had a similar affect on her.

Chapter 3, Post 2: The Man Who Does Not Exist

But there had been no warning. No squeal of tires. No kick of gravel against the undercarriage. The steering wheel had not so much as bucked in her hand.

The rear tires fishtailed. The SUV spun. Then, as if Elizabeth had intended it all along, it shushed to a gentle stop on the shoulder of the road. The engine had not even died. Everything was fine. Everything was fine.

Everything was fine. Yet, Elizabeth did not want to look out the driver’s-side window. She knew she needed to, but she would not like what she saw there.