Opening Excerpt | copyright ©2014 Barry Huggins All Rights Reserved
Simon slouched over his desk and stared hypnotically at the dark film of pollution that coated the outside of the window. The clouds had been threatening all day and when they unleashed their storm it fell like black rain that carved streaks of charcoal rivers through the dirty glass. He forced himself out of his reverie and glanced at his watch for the fifth time in as many minutes. It was nineteen minutes past four. Just one more hour to go. He knew checking his watch repeatedly did not hasten the passage of time, but the activity calmed his mind and distracted him from the tedium of the present moment and the expectancy of what was to come. This was the most anxious time, as the evening drew near. Since it first happened it was difficult to concentrate, but especially in the closing moments of the working day when the anticipation grew with the sweeping hands of the clock.
He looked around furtively at his work colleagues; did they notice? Was there a change in his behaviour? They busied themselves in the illusion of the importance of their tasks but he could feel their eyes resting on him, probing, asking questions he could never answer, not because he was evasive, but because the answer was beyond his comprehension. What was happening to him was an enigma, the magnitude of which defied his rational thought. He wondered in the silence of his self imposed isolation if he was truly unique, or were there others in some remote corner of the world who had lived through the same experience, if not in his lifetime, then at some time in the past, hundreds, even thousands of years ago? It was difficult to believe that at least one other living soul had not been through the same sequence of events that were now taking over his life.
Although he had no control of the situation, he was not attempting to resist it; why should he? This inexplicable happening was the most exciting thing he had ever experienced. It felt like a blessing in answer to an unconscious prayer; he was being rescued and extracted from the mundanity of his life and into the realm of his deepest desires. But why? If it was a response to an unconscious prayer, was there a price to pay? The thought touched him with a tinge of fear that tarnished the joy and left him uneasy. This was not how life developed its complex stories. Fortune and happiness were never served up indefinitely and certainly not so liberally. There was always a cost and life always collected on its debts; one way or another. Ths sudden change of life events seemed too poetic, too contrived. He felt like a stooge, an unwitting victim gorging on the candy of life while those who devised the plot hid among the shadows and waited for the moment when they would end the game and demand payment. But the possibility of a price to pay was academic because he could not stop what was happening to him, even if fear, wisdom or some other latent virtue desired its end.
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