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A Door of Shadow and Breath

A Door of Shadow and Breath

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A Door of Shadow and Breath

Länge:
97 Seiten
1 Stunde
Herausgeber:
Freigegeben:
Mar 19, 2019
ISBN:
9781386497806
Format:
Buch

Beschreibung

A shadow vanishes and a breath fades. What lies behind a locked door will change everything.

A lonely dirt road. A locked metal door out of place. Something or someone has to be behind it. Is it the help Anton needs? Or is it something more ominous?

Lost and injured, he searches for answers amidst the fog. As the mysteries of his past begin to unravel the details aren't quite what he remembers them to be. Anton soon discovers that whatever exists on the other side of the door beckons his very soul. Is he ready to face the truth of his actions? Or does fate have other plans?

Herausgeber:
Freigegeben:
Mar 19, 2019
ISBN:
9781386497806
Format:
Buch

Über den Autor


Buchvorschau

A Door of Shadow and Breath - Tim Sabados

Sabados

1

The drab gravel and damp crumbs of earth’s regurgitated grit crunched under the weight of Anton’s dress shoes. Scuffed leather. Dirt-impacted soles. They somehow softened the blow of each concrete laden step. A burdened stride that Anton managed to rhythmically plod into another and another after that. He slowly inched forward, shuffling his way toward the top of the hill.

Anton’s head sagged. Spine bowed. The dull ache that infiltrated the soft flesh of his back had long ago frayed the ligaments that held the tower of bones upright. A tower that still had a couple of months before reaching its thirtieth year of existence. He glanced over his drooped shoulder. Noticed the way the dirt road bent to the right like an arthritic finger. Watched how it quickly disappeared into the fog’s chilled cataract eyes.

On either side of him the dark umber tree trunks pierced the heavily stitched blanket of mist. Their deathly still canopy shrouded the road in a forlorn shadow. An occasional blotch of gray light filtered through a random hole in a clump of leaves, only to be greedily swallowed by the slight shift in view given to him by his next step. Somewhere up there, high above the oatmeal thickness, the warm sun glowed. That cheerful radiance wasn’t reaching here. It wasn’t penetrating the dense layer of fog. Wasn’t burning away the cool dampness that coagulated the air, making it thicker and thicker.

The sogginess seeped into Anton’s chest. Refused eviction when he blew out a breath. Instead his moisture-burdened lungs hung listlessly from the sagging bones of his ribs and collar bones. He struggled to inflate them. Struggled to get them to accept the air his body desperately craved. There were choices though. Stop and catch his breath or endure the momentary panting and keep moving up the hill without losing his momentum.

It wasn’t an easy decision. The choices were heavily influenced by the vast silence that crept all around Anton. The echoing quiet had taken residence in the dense bark of the trees and curled around the veins of the young green leaves. It was lost in the way the moisture seeped into the dry layers of the dirt road and submerged itself under the dark and smooth surface of the pond he had passed a few minutes ago. It hid beneath the dead leaves scattered across the forest’s floor and clung to the tiny droplets of dew imbedded in the fog’s cloak.

The gasp of Anton’s breath, the crunch of gravel under his shoes, the ruffle of cloth when he swung his arms, the swish of his jeans as they scraped with his stride, the disjointed chatter swirling through his mind; all of it managed to keep the silence at arm’s length. It prevented the quietude from seeping through his skin and pouring its unnerving toxin into his veins.

Anton loathed the friendship of silence. Held no desire for its companionship. There was something about it that made him shiver when it tried to whisper into his ear. He slept with the whirl of a fan or the voices from a television. A radio was always within an arm’s reach. The chatter of a bar with its clinking glasses, the hiss from a beer bottle with the twist of a cap, the music, sports channels, the casual conversations, were all music to his ears. The office was the orchestral accompaniment of clacking keyboards, ringing phones, the ticker of the stock market zipping across the screen of his computer. Silence meant static. Motionless. Stagnant. Nothing productive happened when things were at a standstill.

The choice was made. Anton wasn’t stopping. Wasn’t going to give silence an opportunity to gain recognition. He kept moving up the hill, gladly grinding the dirt and pebbles beneath the soles of his shoes.

Anton’s hand reflexively rubbed the front of his thigh. Of course any decision always came with a price. The embers of pain were glowing brightly, like those beneath the layer of a campfire’s ash. They slowly had become hotter. Sharper. He kneaded his fingers deeper into his flesh, hoping to douse the crackling ache. A sigh. Damp mornings seemed to be the fuel that fed the soreness. Allowed it to swell with honor. This wasn’t a badge of remembrance he wanted to pin to his chest. If only he could forget that it had ever happened. But the pain was a persistent reminder that attached itself to his consciousness. It wasn’t going away, no matter how much he willed it. No matter how much he tried to extinguish it with an occasional libation.

The walk in these hard-soled shoes wasn’t helping. His thigh bone wasn’t a shock absorber. The thump of each step sent a jolt of agony vibrating through the calcified matrix. Sloshed the marrow, causing it to writhe in torment.

Anton glanced over his slouching shoulder once again. His car was well out of sight. Back somewhere beyond that bend in the road. Somewhere buried behind the thick curtain of fog. Off on the shoulder of an entirely different road. He scoffed, then waved in a manner as if to purge the frustration away.

He had paid a hefty price for that car. It had been worth it though. All those looks. Nods of acceptance. Sneers of jealousy. It helped create the image he wanted to project. Impressed his clients when it was needed. He would have never landed that deal with…

Of all times to betray him though, why now? Anton grumbled with disappointment. And to think no one was willing to stop to help. Shook his head. Then again, maybe he had been too hidden by this damn fog?

Anton pulled his cell out of his pocket. Pressed and held the circular button at the bottom. Hoped the result would be different than the one from a few minutes ago. Different from the one several minutes before that.

The screen was still dark. His reflection stared back. A faint image of eyes smoldering with irritation. The purple-tinged bags beneath them and the wilting crease at the corners of his mouth whispered of a long, stressful night. Spoke of the need for sleep. If only he could lie down. Drift away into the pleasant realm of slumber and delete this night from his memory. But he couldn’t. What he had been through and where he currently stood wouldn’t allow it.

A frustrated sigh. Maybe if that car had performed the way it was meant to. If only his cell weren’t drained of life. If he had never gotten into that damn argument. If only someone happened to pass through the fog and stop. Lend a hand. Make a simple phone call. Maybe then he wouldn’t have to go out and search for help on his own.

Somewhere on the paved road he had left behind, the smooth cadence of tires rolling across concrete passed through the fog. An engine purred. Anton looked over his shoulder once again. Hope poured into him in the same way water fills a glass. Within a second or two the container shattered. The car drifted farther and farther down the road until the mist swallowed any last remaining clatter of its existence.

A silent huff.

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