Journal of the Forgotten - Vol. 1 - Sample

This is the sample version of a book that I am currently working on. This sample includes the prologue and first three chapters. While I have more of the book itself finished, it will not be uploaded until it is completed in its entirety......


4. Chapter 3

“Hey kid, wake up,” Atler said softly, yet commandingly.

“Ugh,” I murmured as I opened my eyes. It took me a moment to take in my surroundings. The car was stopped just outside a large iron gate. As I began to come to my senses, Atler punched a code into a keypad beside said gate. It immediately began to creak open, and as soon as it was wide enough, Atler drove the car through, and up a long driveway that had rows of oak trees on either side. As we neared the end of the driveway I noticed that it looped, and, I kid you not, there was a large elegant fountain sitting in the middle of the loop. Behind that fountain was what you might expect, given the surroundings. A mansion straight out of a movie was looming overhead.

“Where are we?” I asked.

“This is your new home, kid,” Atler replied, sounding like he had calmed down since when I had first met him.

I just sat there gawking. The mansion was huge. And I don’t mean “huge” like an elephant is huge, or even “huge” like a cruise ship is huge. I mean huge like a freaking city is huge! From where I was standing I could see that the front wall had to stretch on for at least a couple of miles in both directions. So, okay, maybe not straight out of a movie…

“Get out of the car. If I’m supposed to teach you the ropes, then we might as well get started,” he said in a tone that made me think he’d rather be at the dentist’s getting a tooth pulled.

As I got out the car, Atler pushed open the front door and I followed him in. The first thing I noticed was that everything, structure wise, was made of some sort of peach colored marble that glistened slightly in the light. The second thing I noticed was that all the furnishings in the main hall were either made out of, or at least covered in, silver and gold. As I stopped to inspect a gold-framed mirror, I got my first look at myself. I had long, ragged looking, light-brown hair, and was wearing a simple black shirt and blue jeans. Somehow, I thought I would be better looking.

“Kid!” Atler barked at me, returning to his earlier grumpiness, “Stop admiring yourself in the mirror and come on!”

I hurriedly followed him down a hallway, and out the back door. It opened up onto a small patio. Beyond the patio was a training ground, parts of which were straight out of a military movie. I could see climbing walls, tires, and those things where you have to crawl under the barbed wire, as well as a few other staples of training, all nearby. Further on, I could see wooden mannequins that martial artists use to practice their forms. Beyond those I could see bull’s-eyes at various distances that would serve as either bow, or gun targets. To the left of the initial training course, I could see an Olympic size swimming pool. I followed Atler towards a large open patch of ground to the right side of the obstacle course.

As I turned to ask Atler a question, I saw the blade of his broadsword speeding towards my neck. On sheer instinct, I ducked down at the last second, and heard the blade swish by just a few inches overhead.

“What the hell?” I exclaimed as I barely dodged a slice meant to disembowel me. Atler didn’t respond. He just continued attacking me with his sword. He’s going to kill me. He’s going to chop me up, find some starving dogs, and feed me to them. (Now, however I know that he would never feed me to starving dogs. He’d probably just eat me himself.)

Before I could finish my irrational, but completely justified, train of thought, I tripped over a log placed around the edge of the clearing, and fell back against a tree. As I sat there leaning against the tree, I could see Atler slowly walking forward, clearly in no rush. We both knew that in just a few moments I would be dead, so why hurry? Atler came to a stop just in front of me and raised his sword above his head. Time seemed to slow down, as his sword began its descent to end my existence properly this time. I slowly moved my right hand forward in front of me, in a feeble attempt to gain a few seconds of precious life. Then, I closed my eyes and waited. Hey, I’ll admit I’m not the bravest guy around, and watching a big sword coming at you in slow motion to kill you is pretty scary. I doubt you would do any better. Give me some credit though, at least my pants stayed dry…

Anyhow, as I was saying, sword descending towards my skull, life about to end, blah blah blah. You know how they say that when you’re about to die, your life flashes before your eyes? Well, interesting fact here, apparently if you only have a few hours’ worth of memories you just get a bunch of random facts flashing through your mind instead.

For example, did you know that dogs only sweat through the pads on their feet, or that statistically speaking it’s safer to ride in an airplane than it is to drive a car? As about a million facts floated through my mind in the blink of an eye, one thing caught my attention. 2 +2 = 5. An impossibility among a sea of facts. Something that could not be, hidden among a crowd of what is guaranteed. Why is that there? I wondered.

While I was focusing on that question, I felt a pressure on my hand, and knew that Atler’s sword had made contact. It was only a matter of moments before it would be over. I just sat there waiting. It would end in a moment. In just a second his sword would bury itself deep in my skull. As strong as Atler looked it would probably be buried deep in the tree before it stopped. All I had to do was wait…

And, nothing happened. I didn’t feel cold steel opening my skull. I didn’t feel the right half of my brain saying goodbye to the left. I decided to wait a little bit longer. These things might take time after all. When nothing happened after what felt like forever, I decided to open my eyes, first one, then the other. Atler’s sword was stopped just a few inches from my face. In between it and me was the source of the pressure on my hand. A long black katana was being gripped in a backwards stance in my hand, so that the tip of the hilt was close to my thumb, and the blade itself was going along my forearm.  The edge of the blade was dug an inch into Atler’s broadsword. The katana itself was solid black, and didn’t have a guard like most swords do. The cloth wrapping the hilt looked and felt like silk, but somehow wasn’t slick like silk usually is. I felt a low hum of power coming from the sword.

“Heh, a chip,” Atler said with surprise, “I think you’ll do after all, kid.”

I just sat there staring at my sword as Atler sheathed his own. My sword. I tried to get up a couple of seconds later, and collapsed back against the tree. I was suddenly exhausted, and was struggling to keep my eyes open. As I lost the battle against fatigue, I heard a feminine voice inside my head say, 2 + 2 = 5...

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