Thirteen Days – A Prequel


Today marks one year since I was thrilled to announce the publication of my novella Cradle Of The Dead! It was THE MOST exciting time, and great to talk about it after all the little milestones that I hadn’t been able to share: The acceptance e-mail, the fantastic cover design, the preview copies …

I’ve been busy since then, and there are a few more things to announce that I’m very excited about, but … not yet.

I would like to take the opportunity to say Thank You to anyone and everyone who has taken the time to read the book, post a review, retweet a link or a trailer, and of course a huge thank you to everyone at Blood Bound Books, for buying it in the first place. I don’t want this to turn into some dreadful Academy Award style speech, but all the support means the world to me. Thank you 🙂

And of course, I can’t let Cradle’s special day pass without posting a teensy-tiny Amazon link:

Anyway, on to the prose. It’s a tiny little prequel to the events at Alderville on Christmas Eve. It’s different in style to the novella itself, but it was fun to get into the head of one of it’s unseen characters, a kind of literary craniotomy, if you will. So … scalpels at the ready …

Thirteen Days

From the journals of Doktor Reinhart Von Fleisher – Date Unknown

The patient is female, nineteen years of age, and prior to the craniotomy and subsequent complications was in general good health. Pre-operatively, she displayed a strong and wilful personality, which in my clinical judgement provided a sound foundation for her to both survive the procedure and also to offer a valuable and imaginative insight into the territories my work seeks to explore.

The procedure was carried out under local anaesthetic (the benefits of wakefulness during brain surgery being well documented elsewhere), and following the expected recuperative inactivity, the patient resumed full and chronic alertness.

As of writing, she has been awake for thirteen days.

This is the most protracted period of wakefulness so far, and as hoped her behaviour patterns have mirrored and then surpassed those of the test subjects she has survived. The feral traits displayed by the other patients are increased exponentially in her, and she is currently restrained following her dismantling of the cranial stitches and the incident with …

(The page is partially torn here, and the text resumes on the following page)

… right eye was retrieved from her mouth, but so badly damaged that orbital reconstruction was not considered as an option.

In addition to the feral conduct, the instances of lucidity are amplified in a fashion that far exceeds those of the other patients. She recognises familiar objects, photographs and the like, and has even displayed some elements of extra-sensory cognisance, talking of future events as if they run contemporaneous to her. She talks of “Men with guns, speaking into their hands” and “Many voices from one mouth”.

I do not believe these visions to be delusional – matters of medicine and discovery are founded upon instinct as much as experimentation, and in her bloodshot gaze I see that wilful conviction and strength that I concluded would make her an exceptional test subject. I believe she speaks the truth, that she speaks of events yet to come, and that her mental fortitude has allowed her to access those Astral corridors in which I seek to stride.

In her gaze, I believe I see gratitude, thankfulness that my hands and scalpel should have gifted her such access. I believe that I see the mad glint of an intrepid explorer in those eyes, a darkness that burns with the thrill of the chase and a steady hand at the portal to the unknown.

Sometimes, our gazes lock, just for a moment, and I believe that she recognises my eyes as the last ones she saw before the blade descended. Perhaps, above the surgical mask, she saw that crazed explorer’s spark and took a little of it with her to light up the void. Sometimes, I know she remembers me, though it has been thirteen days since she last called me Father.


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