Greetings, Loyal Reader!
I decided to take a “break” between Noble Cause and Royal Crush to write something new and different–I’m calling this book-in-progress Dash: Into Space! I’m not giving too much away when I say it concerns alien abduction. (Fear not, Jason Cosmo fans, I’m actually working on Royal Crush concurrently. But since it is a revision of Royal Chaos it isn’t entirely “new”.)
I have a rough plot in mind for DIS, and a cast of characters ready to appear. I know it will be an adventure-comedy, but in a science fiction mode, rather than fantasy, like my previous books. Well, science fantasy might be closer to the truth. No one will mistake this for hard SF. Believe me–I won’t be calculating any orbital equations. I just want to write a silly, fun, entertaining story. But exactly where I will set the Sillymeter for this one will emerge in the course of writing it.
I’m ten chapters into the book at present. This is a first draft, so any or all of what I’ve written so far may get scrapped. Or, indeed, I may shelve the whole book if I don’t feel it is working. But, hey, Loyal Reader, I’ll let you help decide the fate of Dash: Into Space! by sharing some excerpts of this work in progress. Here is (the first draft of) Chapter 1. If you got this as a preview on your e-reader, would you want to read more? Let me know what you think!
Chapter 1: Into the Light
There is light.
A brilliant white light. Brighter than the sun.
So bright it should blind him. But it doesn’t.
It doesn’t burn. He doesn’t blink.
The light surrounds him. The light holds him, lifts him.
He rises. He is floating. He feels weightless.
He can’t move.
His body moves, moves up into the light.
But he can’t move his body.
Not arms, not legs, not fingers.
Can’t turn his head. Can’t blink.
He tries to open his mouth. Whether to speak or to scream he isn’t sure. It doesn’t matter. He can’t move his mouth.
This sucks, he thinks. This sucks donkey balls.
Time passes. Or not. Where is he? He doesn’t know. How long has he been here? He doesn’t know.
The white light is gone. There is a new light. Different. Softer. Muted. He still can’t move. He floats, but not in light. Now he floats in something wet. Wet and sticky. Like he is suspended in Jello. Like he is submerged in a giant tube of aloe vera.
He is not alone. He senses a presence. Several presences. Watching him. Observing. He sees three distorted figures.
They are not human.
A chill runs down his otherwise paralyzed spine.
No, not human.
Not human at all.
But humanoid. Small. Maybe four feet tall? It is hard to tell through the distorting tube of sticky goo. They appear to wear tinfoil bodysuits. They have round, lipless, sucker-shaped mouths. Rubbery-looking gray skin. No ears. No nose. Big, black saucery eyes the size of dinner plates.
What is happening? he thinks. It seems this thought takes hours to form. Where am I? Asking himself this feels like it takes a week. And who are those freaky little dudes?
They stare at him. Is it for minutes, hours, months? Time stretches like a rubber band. He feels distorted, distended, dizzy. Like a balloon animal about to pop.
Something else looms into view. Close beside him. Disturbingly near. With excruciating slowness he moves his attention from from the freaky little alien dudes to the new shape.
With horror he recognizes it.
Oh, my God.
It is the blank, vacant, empty, staring, disembodied head of a cow.
Or tries to scream. No sound comes from his throat.
Only thick gurgling bubbles.
One of the freaky little dudes leans toward him.
Everything goes black.
More time passes. Or not. He cannot tell.
He is awake again, aware. Still floating in Jello. The three strange figures are gone. The cow is gone. He is alone.
Shouldn’t he be hungry? Thirsty? Wearing clothes?
He is none of these things.
He tries to remember who he is.
What is my name?
It comes to him.
Dash. My name is Dash. Dash Garnet.
And I think I’m in big, big trouble!
And…scene! More to come! [Go to part 2]