Eternus Excerpt-Cliff Hanger

This is a short excerpt from Eternus, Book 1. I hope you enjoy! 

Eternus on Kindle

For hours I sat there, holding on, trying not to slip forward with the natural slope of the rock. The muscles in my back, arms, and legs had grown weak with the continuous straining to hold onto my precarious perch. The wet clothing, slightly warmed from my body temperature, now started to feel like the cold water in which I had recently been submerged. My body tired and my mind numbed—I wanted only to sleep and have this nightmare disappear into calming dreams. But now, as the sun disappeared, tears of defeat wet my slightly dry shirt.

I cried out loud. With complete dark around me, I did not think I could hold myself together, let alone the ledge. There came no response. Still alone.

My grip hardened on the rocks, as sobs loosened inside me. Desperate. How long will it take for my ability to cling to dissipate? Should I just let go and get it over with? How hard will it be to fall to my death? How long would it take to hit the bottom and not have to remember? I imagined the inviting release of all my muscles. The rushing of the wind along my face would feel refreshing. If I waited until full dark, I would not even see the ground coming. I could imagine myself bungee jumping until the end. It would not be so bad.

Another sob broke from my throat. It would be bad. It would be the worst, and I knew I could never do it.

By the time I had no more tears to give, exhaustion hit me. The sun had gone. The chill crept into my skin and settled into my heart. Dark. Not even the moon had risen into the sky. I began to shiver. As my already tired muscles quivered, I could feel my pants moving over the grains of sand under me like ball bearings in oil.

My damp clothes feeling like ice cubes, and the cool of the night, coupled with my inability to move my limbs freely, made it unbearable. My body convulsed with shivers—my teeth chattered, sounding like a woodpecker in my head. With the blackness around me, it became hard to discern when my eye lids grew heavy enough to close. I would catch myself as my head bobbed to the side and the ledge seemed to move from under me as though the rock giant had decided I had overstayed my welcome. I jolted myself awake more than once.

Talk to yourself. Keep yourself awake, Rhi.

The only comfort that came to mind was a prayer from my childhood. “If I shall die before I wake, I pray the Lord my soul to take.” I paused. The irony of the words made me laugh which caused me to slip a little. “Geeze, Rhi. Could we choose something a little more up beat here? Do you think?” I reprimanded myself as I resettled on the rock.

“Okay. So where to go from here? Uhhh.” I needed to find some mental place where I could challenge my brain enough to remain awake. “The rocks. Yes. The rocks I am sitting on are old. Very, very old. Probably jutting up through the earth from some plate tectonic things, that crashed into each other millions of years ago.” I paused and thought about what I had just said.

“That sounded so intelligent. Maybe I should take a class on geology some time.”

“No actually, I do not think I would be interested enough to take a full semester of geology.”

“Well, then maybe we can just rent a DVD about the rise of mountains.” I auditioned different voices as I conversed with myself.

“Yes, Rhi, I think we could do that. Like the one we watched in history class. Remember, it talked about how the earthquake had caused the culture on the island place… Where was it again?”

“I can’t remember.”

“Oh, anyhow, it changed their culture. They believed it had been their gods’ doing. It had such a profound effect that the society is still changed from it.”

“Yes, profound. I know something else profound. Like my life. My life had been normal. Completely teenager. Pulled this way and that, wanting to be unnoticed, but loved by those close to me. Free to be me. Yes, free. That is what I miss most. Not stuck to a cliff. Not locked in the gaze of blue eyes. Not seeing him everywhere I am. Not aware of him in class with every breath I take. Not smelling him and having that weird serenity surround me as though I am in church, for gosh sakes. How about when he touches me?” I fell silent again. I knew that intensity.

“Not making my body swoon under his touch. I swear my loins have a mind of their own when he does that. And the dreams. When I am fully unconscious, it would be nice to not dream of him.”

“My normal life. Slipped away. Can I go back to it… if I survive this cliff?”

I thought about Leone. I had done a good job of waking up my mind. Alert now, my senses piqued. My body tingled imagining his touch. My breathing intensified as I remembered when we were in the water and he had leaned in to kiss me. I knew I desired it as much as my entire body needed it, even though my mind put the brakes on. If I had known tonight would be my last night, I might have indulged myself with those perfect lips. I would not have regretted it. At least I would die knowing what a true kiss felt like.

Eternus on Kindle


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