Hey there people. How’s the day going? Good? I hope so.
So I know I said the first chapter of Remy’s “Fourth Day” is supposed to come up on Saturday, but I really just couldn’t wait to share with you. So I decided to put the prologue up today. The first chapter will be up on Saturday. I should warn you though, that Fourth Day isn’t in the same category/genre of writing as yesterday’s story. But if you’re one for good fantasy, I’m sure you’ll like these. I still think Fourth Day would work amazingly as a manga, but well… that’s between Remy and I sha.
So, enough talk. Here’s the Prologue to Fourth Day. Read and enjoy. Remember constructive criticism is always appreciated.
Book One: Emptiness
It once humored me that some people believe in dragons and living shadows. Now, I know they are luckier than most. Like a child who sees fire work in his home and may never see fire attempt to dominate man’s environment. There are more terrible things on the other side than an ordinary man’s mind can handle. Fortunately I was no longer ordinary a long time ago. I myself had never seen these things, but I have seen what they can do.
Guardians of the Ungrateful is what he called them. The Emptiness was the closest and shortest english translation of his name. Though for some reason beyond what I can grasp now, he represents anything but vacancy.
Anyway, as I write this note, these are not the thoughts going through my mind. Just one thought. A single, powerful, overwhelming thought. No, I’m not depressed or scared or in trouble. I’ve just seen it all. The next journey seems too far away and I have to make that leap for myself.
Even if this email makes no sense to you, I hope you agree with me that it is one hell of a suicide note. The document attached to it however is not.
If I never told you, you are one really amazing woman. I hope you always know that.
Love, Richard Lewis III
Anne French opened the attachment. It was the book that Richard had been working on. It was a project based on a series of entries by three English officers of the then West African Frontier Force. They all had encounters that seemed to form a pattern Richard spotted out; Living Shadows and men who literally lived in Light. All three had passed away sometime back, so personal interviews were not possible. Being as resourceful as he was, Richard managed to triangulate a wide area where these ‘phenomena’ were encountered. His emails were getting fewer and fewer and further apart over a period of three weeks. Richard had the annoying habit of mistaking emailing for tweeting. Of all the editors at Harrison Oldman and Underwood, she tolerated him the most, even during the times guilt colonized his face when his demands were too unreasonable. Richard not sending an email every three hours was a relief to her, but when they would come, they took on an ‘awareness’ that he did not seem capable of achieving on his own. They had a focus that at once impressed and frightened her. Richard started to age in his words, like he was suddenly awake to things even she herself prayed to remain asleep to for long time to come. He dropped his ’empty prima donna’ facade for a ‘man past the mundane’. Way past the mundane.
When his body was flown back into the UK, there was a contradiction of a man who accompanied Richard’s coffin. His hair was white, but his skin was young, his eyes were old and his look seemed to re-appreciate all that he saw. He looked slightly diminutive at his 5’10”, and yet his body language suggested someone used to being in charge.
“Hello there. You must be Ms. French.”
His voice had the quality of an ambivalent minor deity. He stretched his hand for her to shake, but she was hesitant and he noticed.
“Just like he said you’d be. Richard told me that you hated confrontation and considered all confrontation to be whatever surprised you.”
She blushed at being ‘exposed’.
“Please. Don’t be embarrassed. Richard did care very much about you and was often embarrassed at being juvenile when he could have been more, as you’d say to him, ‘More homo-sapien, less homo-stupid’.”
She laughed at the memory then suddenly burst into tears.
He left her to deal with the coffin details and went off in the direction of customs. She met up with where the coffin was being loaded on a hearse.
“Homo-stupid… suicide is homo-stupid.”, she whispered to no one.
“I’m sorry, I didn’t ask for your name.”, she said aloud with her hand out stretched.
“My names are difficult for an English speaker. You can call me ‘Sushno’.”
“Isn’t that Hungarian?”
“In a general sense, yes. But its meaning doesn’t belong to them alone. I’m sorry. It was quite a long flight and I really hope you’re not going to be offended if I ask for some time to rest? He will be buried within the week and I’m certain we will have a lot of time to speak soon.”
“Sure, of course. Where will his body be taken to?”
Sushno looked at her curiously, like one appraising a new angle of an already exhausted subject.
“Plan on joining him? He will be ready for his funeral soon. You know what? Hotel food has never impressed me. Know any good places to eat?”
It was over dinner that her mind worked furiously sub-consciously. Sushno was a Hungarian word meaning a deeper sense of loss, incompleteness, vacancy, a form of…
“Emptiness”, she said aloud.
“I was really hoping you’d come to realize this before the next morning.”
She started to tremble and he nodded in self-affirmation.
“I guess you’ve read a lot about me. Fear is the natural response to meeting with me. As far as the world knows, his last work is fiction. It doesn’t mean anything to anyone who relegates their dreams to things other than their internal troubles. I won’t harm you.”
“Can I see what you can do?”
Emptiness looked at her. It wasn’t an animal-gaze. It was from a higher function.
“You think you know what you ask, but you don’t. I took Richard to some places and he saw things that took him further from his comfort zone than he had ever experienced. It drove him to kill himself.”
“Where you there when he died?”, she asked in a flat voice.
“Yes. I was. It was the only way out for him after all of the things that he had seen. He didn’t pass away to preserve any secrets.”
“How did he die?”
“You might find it hard to believe. But it wasn’t painful or uncomfortable. He didn’t suffer.”
She sat in shock and he put his hand on hers, but she didn’t flinch. He pointed across the room and she saw a man that seemed out of place. Very out of place. He sat behind a light. It was like no one else saw him there. Like they chose to see past him.
“Why don’t you say hello?”, Emptiness suggested, but she refused.
“He will not harm you.”
As the man stood up, she realized it wasn’t that his side of the room wasn’t well lit. He seemed to will the light away from himself. He was like a living shadow. She jumped when a customer walked through him. When he sat next to her, his face became better defined. It was Richard. She started blinking rapidly as the tears started to burn their way down her face.
“Richard…”, she gasped softly.
Richard’s eyes were older, his face more at peace.
“Don’t touch me. I’m sorry. My second transition is not yet complete. It’s not astral travel or anything of the sort. I just can’t be attached to another living being until I have reclaimed my body as my own.
“It’s all in…”
“The book. I read it. It’s your best work yet.”, she said with a shaky voice desperate to be brave.
So that’s the Prologue for Fourth Day. Chapter One comes up on Saturday, and subsequent chapters on the fourth day of every month. Tell us what you think okay?