Around two years ago, I began writing this story and then, just like GRRM, I lost momentum and everything went on the back burner. Unlike GRRM, it will be nowhere near his calibre of literary achievement but I’ve decided to start posting it a chapter at a time with the hope that this will force me to finish it.
I’d describe it as YA science fiction (I have shared what was intended as the prologue before) so I realise it won’t be everyone’s cup of tea. But any feedback, good or bad, would be appreciated! Thanks (in advance) for reading… I guess I should go and write some more installments!
‘Seismic activity continues this morning around Mount Ludlow. Reports state that readings on the Richter scale ranging from 2.2 to 3.8 have been logged, following tremors throughout the night. Emergency services were called to several residents in Romanside after the largest tremor, occurring around 1.15am, dislodged a communication tower, causing it to crash through the roof of a neighbouring apartment block. Casualties include a young woman who was trapped beneath debris for a number of hours. She is now recovering in St. Austen’s infirmary and said to be in a stable condition. No further injuries were reported, but many residents have been treated for shock. We go now to Ben Danton who is at the scene in Romanside…’
“I felt it.” Iris bounced onto the sofa, tucking her feet underneath herself.
“The tremor, it woke me up. It was like I’d been shifted sideways. How did you not feel it?”
“Because we are over hundred miles away, I was mid-way through my date-dream with J-Law, oh and you’re a total loser who imagines things!”
“You’re such a dick Cooper. I didn’t imagine it. You know I’m in tune with the environment. That’s why I get headaches before a thunder storm!”
Cooper noted his sister glowering from beneath her fringe, hurt and defiance all mixed together into her statement pout. He knew he was a dick sometimes, especially to her, but prodding Iris’ emotional buttons came so naturally that he often failed to see why she felt so wounded.
His sibling audibly exhaled and headed to the kitchen. “Where’s Mom?” she asked, her tone still clipped.
“Already in bed. Rough night in admissions apparently.” Cooper flicked off the TV, following her to make his second mug of tea.
Brightening, Iris forgot her anger. “Ooh, because of all the tremors?”
“No you weirdo, in fact Mom never even mentioned that woman from the news. No, some freak was picked up on College Street banging on about ‘fire water’ and ‘demons of the sky’. Police brought him in after he looked like he was having a seizure in the cells. Anyway, they tried to sedate him and he was having none of it. Grabbed one of the orderlies and took a chunk out his ear!”
“Jesus! Is he okay?” Iris’ eyes widened, something that always amazed Cooper. His sister had huge eyes and seeing them visibly enlarge transfixed him – he secretly still believed one day they would fall out.
“The orderly or your mate the freak? They finally managed to pin him down and he’s under police custody until they can transfer him to the nut house. Mom had to give statements and yes, the victim will live. He just might not hear too well.”
Iris returned to her cereal, her brow furrowed. “Poor Mom. She’s seen worse though. What do you think it all means?”
“Huh? What does what mean?” Cooper suspected something far-fetched was hatching in Iris’ little head and quite frankly, it was too early to deal with her imagination.
“The fire water and sky demons. And the tremors. Mount Ludlow has been dormant for almost fifty years. Maybe that man had a vision and he saw it erupt, that could explain demons in the sky and the fire water reference. Maybe it’s an end of days thing. You know there was an eruption about two hundred years ago and there were loads of unexplai-“
A commanding index finger to her mouth cut her off.
“Hush now my dear little sister, who reads too many books and has never stepped into the real world for more than a minute a day.” He adopted his ‘superior’ tone, the one he knew annoyed her the most, rendering his sibling speechless except for some pointless insult. She could never argue with him.
“What it all means is that man had a skinful at O’Rourkes, likely mixed with a myriad of meds and was found wandering the streets spouting nonsense, a bit like yourself. His level of crazy had obviously gone past redemption. However, I still hold out hope for you. Now eat your cereal, little one, you’ll be late for class.”
The glower had returned. “Cooper you’re such a…”
“Fabulous brother who talks many a word of truth and wisdom! Don’t go on about this at school if you want to keep the few friends you have. Although, it might give you and your brainiac buddies the allusion of being more entertaining than your regular discussions on the beauty of Trig equations. Just remember to communicate in Morse Code if you want to keep things on the down-low!”
Cooper ruffled her fringe, turning towards the door as a bleeping escaped his back pocket.
“I’m off, shift starts at eleven, but I told Jenna I’d swing by and help her out with something. That was probably her.”
Iris rolled her eyes. “You do realise she’s just using your intelligence? God I hate having to admit you actually have some. You ignore the fact she’s a user because you’re ruled by your penis demon.”
“Many a brave knight has sacrificed his penis for the greater good – I am dedicated to the cause. See ya!”
With a flourish of his hand, Cooper bowed then spun on his heel. Grabbing his bag, he shoved in his earphones, shutting out any retorts his sister cared to throw his way.
Credits: All words copyright of Aloada Bobbins. Image via LATimes.