The 777 Writing Challenge, Or a Peek into an Untitled Sequel . . .

When Sherri Matthews invited me to participate in the 777 Writing Challenge, I was honored–as I always am when anyone in the WordPress community invites me to join in on a blog hop.  But with Sherri, it was even more special, as she has been a supporter of The Eye-Dancers almost from its inception, two and a half years ago.  Sherri is a fantastic person and writer whose blog should not be missed.  Be sure to catch her on her wonderful website, A View From My Summerhouse.

The 777 Writing Challenge is very simple:

‘The 777 challenge requires you go to Page 7 of your work-in-progress, scroll down to Line 7 and share the next 7 lines in a blog post. Once you have done this, you can tag 7 other bloggers to do the same with their work-in-progress.’

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As those of you who have read some of my other blog hop posts know all too well, I am a rule-breaker, and proud of it!  The same will hold true here, as I fudge (quite!) a bit on the sample size of the excerpt and also nominate nine bloggers rather than seven!

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The excerpt I am selecting is from the sequel to The Eye-Dancers (still, sadly, untitled!), the events of which occur five years after the conclusion of the first novel.  Page 7 of this work-in-progress lands near the end of the Prologue, where Monica Tisdale, the “ghost girl” from The Eye-Dancers, learns the hard way that she is able to tap into other dimensions, other realities, and experience those places through the eyes of her alternate selves.  The problem with this?  She is bombarded with sights, sounds, images, memories, as she experiences the onslaught of an infinite number of shared lives.

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Here is the excerpt (far longer than just the seven lines requested!), beginning on page 7, line 7, and then, after omitting several paragraphs, picking up again and carrying on to the end of the Prologue . . .

******************

She closed her eyes. She remembered feeling a powerful surge, as if struck by lightning. She remembered the screams and the cries and the unending echo of voices upon voices, filtering through the tunnels and tributaries of existence. There were layers of her that extended without end.

What she did not know, and did not remember, was which Monica Tisdale she was. She was all of them, all of her. She was a single storehouse for an infinite number of lives. Their consciousness was her consciousness. Their joys and torments were hers.

And she dreaded the next onslaught, the next deluge of images, of pain and laughter, tears and jubilation without end. It was too much. Far too much. . . .

 

Monica squirmed, violently, as if having a seizure. The nurse rushed out of the room, calling for assistance. In a moment, a doctor would come in, probe, prod, examine her like an alien specimen in a scientist’s laboratory. It didn’t matter. Nothing mattered.

She was in so many places, undergoing so many things . . .

From somewhere, a universe away, and yet inside herself, she heard the buzz of a dentist’s drill, and the dull, thudding pain of its tip as it bored into her upper front tooth. She shouldn’t have felt anything, but the dentist hadn’t given her enough Novocaine.

Somewhere else—she heard laughter, taunting, jeering, as a handful of bigger girls pushed her into a mud puddle. “Get up, you little freak,” they said, and she felt a wet glob of spit land on her face.

Somewhere else again, she was in a gloomy, shadow-filled room, thin streaks of sunlight filtering in through the gaps of brown window slats. She stood up, tried to open the door, but it was locked. In the hallway, beyond, she heard a man’s loud, angry voice, and then the smack of his hand striking flesh. A cry, a scream. Another slap. And a sense of utter helplessness, entrapment, no escape.

“No!” she yelled, from that locked room worlds away, and from the hospital bed where she thrashed and jerked and spasmed. How could she shut off the images and sounds and feelings?

“Please. Please . . . stop . . .”

Mercifully, it did. Her mind went blank for a moment, and then, she was only here, in this one room, this one place. But for how long? When would the next episode occur? And when it did, would she be able to stop it? Or would she remain, simultaneously, in an infinite number of worlds forever, without respite or reprieve?

She didn’t want to think of that. She just breathed a sigh of relief that it was over, if only for a moment. Outside her door, she heard the approaching footfalls of doctors and nurses. She could read their thoughts, know what they were going to say before they said it.

If only they could help her. It didn’t seem possible, but maybe . . .

She shook her head. She was past that now. “Maybe” wasn’t good enough.

She had to contact those others, those boys. But who were they? Where were they from? She had to remember. She concentrated, blocking out the rush of thoughts all around her. A picture formed in her mind. At first it was blurry. Then the colors and lines and contours took shape. Yes. She had done it—she knew them. They were from another world, a world where she herself did not exist. She’d been in trouble (once, somewhere), and had called out. They were the ones who heard. They were the ones who helped.

She did not know if they would want to help her again. But it didn’t matter. The decision wasn’t theirs to make.

It was hers.

************

The following bloggers, talented wordsmiths all, have fantastic websites, and I hope you’ll pay them each a visit and delve into their imaginative and captivating worlds.

I also hope they will take up the 777 Writing Challenge . . .

https://africolonialstories.wordpress.com/

https://jkmarsh12.wordpress.com/

http://gentleandquiet.com/

https://awriterslifeformeblog.wordpress.com/

https://vashtiqvega.wordpress.com/

https://theywalkthenight.wordpress.com/

http://ipunablack.com/

https://jemsbooks.wordpress.com/

https://sonyasolo.wordpress.com/

Thanks again so much to Sherri for including me!

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And thanks so much to everyone for reading.

–Mike

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