Authors: Marie A. Harbon
Tags: #Speculative Fiction
Seven Point Eight
The First Chronicle
© Marie Harbon 2011 All Rights Reserved
Edition © Marie Harbon 2012 All Rights Reserved
The right of Marie Harbon to be identified as the author of this work has been asserted by her in accordance with the Copyright, Designs and Patents Act, 1988.
This book is sold subject to the condition that it shall not, by way of trade or otherwise be lent, resold, hired out, or otherwise circulated without the author’s prior consent in any form of binding or cover other than that in which it is published and without a similar condition, including this condition, being imposed on a subsequent purchaser.
Published by Magnetic Lion Productions
Magnetic Lion Productions logo by Blue Harvest Creative
Cover by Richard Crookes
Photography by Gryphon’s Egg Productions
Model: Monique Candelaria
Prelude to Odyssey – Room 104
Part One: Genesis of Genius
Part Two: Kismet
Part Three: OOBE
It is said that a long time ago, our ancestors lived in a remarkably different
from the one we inhabit today. We understood the language of the Earth, the stars, and the sky people, and we knew of the Number. Life was sacred, and we lived in harmony with nature. This was a
known as The First Time.
Although over the centuries, we forgot all of this and began to feel separate from the Earth and the stars. We became lost souls, without direction, and
was replaced with fear and distrust. The wisdom of the
we wandered from our true selves and
, we actually became more
We walked through life asleep, ignorant of the truth.
memory of everything that we ever were. There lies within us hope that one day, we can re-connect with the language of the Earth, the stars, the sky people, and the
of the Number. The moment has arrived for The Second Time.
It is time to wake up
Prelude to Odyssey
underground was a sinister place to be when being followed, especially for a woman travelling alone. Whoever stalked her always seemed ambiguous, amorphous, and at times almost inhuman, often fading into shadow.
Ava caught a train on the Victoria Line and instantly felt safer in a crowd, being surrounded by a heady concoction of commuters, tourists, and Londoners going about their daily business. The smell of sweat and perfume accompanied them, and their ignorance allowed her to feel anonymous. Trying not to appear shifty, she hid among them, focusing her eyes dead ahead.
Everything’s fine, no one can jump me here.
The busy hour meant a full train though, and she felt the bodies of the commuters press against her, some radiating formidable body odour. As the train rapidly accelerated and decelerated, Ava tried to maintain her balance. She distracted her worried mind by glancing over at someone’s book, attempting to ascertain what they were reading.
After the carriage rocked and screeched in the dark tunnels, making five stops along the way, she finally reached her destination. Pushing through the crowded station, she slid her ticket through the slot at the barriers and exited, wondering if her stalker had followed her.
I’m in a public place, so no one can kidnap me here.
The Tube station opened onto a main road, and she felt more exposed and vulnerable here. Glancing around, she crossed a street full of terraces, following her usual route. Often, she caught the scent of flowers at this point in the journey. A classical-looking matriarch with long, dark hair watered hanging baskets at the front of her house. She always smiled, giving Ava a pleasant reassurance, even though they didn’t know each other. Once or twice, there’d been children at the door too: a few in their teens and a younger boy who hid behind the mother, unsure what to think.
As Ava walked through a park, she encountered the same Afro-Caribbean man playing football with his two teenage boys. They were involved in a vociferous tackle, although generally they just dribbled the ball towards two trees, which were the goal posts. In the same park, an elderly gentleman walked a multitude of dogs. He normally tipped his hat to her. Finally, the same forty-something man sat on a bench, watching her intently, contemplating whether or not to approach, and perhaps afraid to initiate conversation. Always curious, he either partially hid behind a book or sipped tea from a polystyrene cup. Vague memories plagued her, suggesting she’d encountered this man before, but she couldn’t recollect where, when, or why.
He appraised Ava, this lithe young woman who often looked troubled, yet projected a quiet dignity with an introspective demeanour, as if internally preoccupied with some grand secret or purpose. She possessed an inviting sensuality, coupled with a compassionate aura. Untamed, golden hair shone in the autumn sun and cascaded down past her shoulders. With an olive tint to her skin, she looked a little
, and her face had a soft, oval shape. A young student with spiked hair gave her a second glance as she walked past, but she paid no attention to him, being too consumed with the purpose of her journey. For a moment, she locked eyes with the man on the park bench, and noted the hint of affection in his eyes.
He’s too old for me,
she thought, relieved he wasn’t too creepy though.
Did it comfort her, or was it just downright spooky that she encountered the same people on each journey? Were all these people actually acknowledging her, or was it just her imagination? She didn’t want to be extraordinary or to stand out; she merely wanted to contribute something extraordinary, something that stood out. In the near future, Ava would become involved in a critical project unprecedented in contemporary science, but how would these people know that? They wouldn’t. It had to be her imagination, surely?
As she drew closer to her destination, a disheartened emotion took over. She arrived at an austere building, which loomed over her like an architectural vampire, bleeding the positive energy from her soul. Even the design resembled fangs and it exemplified sobriety, bearing down upon the miniscule human ants that swarmed around its base.
This institution catered specifically for people with severe psychological problems, who’d been sectioned because they were a danger to themselves and to others. Furthermore, it housed a number of inmates who were certified as criminally insane. The fact that one of Ava’s relatives was a permanent resident here seriously unhinged her.
The place amplified her feelings of being watched and every fissure, every crack in its stone structure seemed to haunt her, harbouring some presence or aftershock of a catastrophe. Walls appeared to have faces, which were stark and non-human. Corridors felt active with amorphous people passing through as if it were a busy high street, even though the corridors were, in fact, empty. Light seemed to have a life of its own, dancing a cosmic waltz in a sinuous fashion, entwining with the dark shadows. Was it the people here or the place itself that was insane? Did its aura drive sane people crazy in insane places?
She reached the reception, where a matronly woman recognised her.
“Hi, I’m Ava Kavanagh, and I’ve come to see Maria Martinez.”
She signed into the visitors’ book, and the matronly woman escorted her to the low security wing. It sat at the end of a long corridor, illuminated by garish fluorescent lighting. Errant luminosity twisted acrobatically across the walls, as if projected by car headlights, and Ava focused ahead, ignoring the strange activity in her peripheral vision. She didn’t want to attract undue attention to her erstwhile grasp of reality.
The route to Maria’s room passed some rather unusual residents and each visit, Ava glanced through the windows in their doors. She noticed a dark haired man, who always surrounded himself with reams of paper and this time, Ava felt a strong desire to enquire about him.
“Is he a writer or something?”
Her escort reacted with surprise at her interest, and replied curtly.
“We call him The Scribbler, as the only way we can manage his behaviour is to give him access to paper and a pen. He writes constantly but it’s all gibberish, rows and rows of symbols.”
Ava gave him a lingering look, feeling a sense of sadness regarding his predicament. What a waste of human life.
They passed another character, a blonde haired woman with an intense and seething stare. This time, she wasn’t restrained although she crouched on the bed, bearing a menacing expression on her face. When she saw Ava, she snarled.
“What’s wrong with her, if you don’t mind me asking?”
Her escort acquiesced to her questioning again.
“Schizophrenia… she hears voices, which she claims instruct her to do evil. Because she enjoys inflicting pain on others, we have to isolate her.”