So, under the “better late than never” category! …
I promised this last week and got buried again, but here is the first couple of pages in Dare’s next adventure, titled Abandon Hope.
Abandon Hope, Tales of Uncertainty Book 2
I’ve never been a big fan of Westerns.
Oh, I’d seen some good ones. Val Kilmer was awesome as Doc Holiday in Tombstone. I also remembered hearing Tarantino was doing one later in 2012, which I’m sure would have been interesting, but Bob had showed up and my life changed just a bit after that.
Experiencing a Western first hand had not helped my appreciation of them.
A bead of sweat trickled down my cheek as a relentless southern New Mexico sun baked my uncovered head. Kim had dumped me into a blistering June day in 1889, to investigate a minuscule insertion she had discovered. The thing was so small, she’d only been able to pinpoint it to a half hour block of time. With me in the thread, she said she’d be able to isolate it. So, I’d been crouched near a parched sage brush, doing my impression of a baked potato minus the tin foil, for the past twenty minutes. I was pretty sure I was done.
“Anything?” I said, wiping my forehead with an already-wet T-shirt sleeve.
“Don’t you think I would have alerted you if I had detected the insertion?” Kim’s acerbic voice said in my ear.
“I think you enjoy seeing me suffer.”
“It’s only midmorning at your current position in the thread. The temperature in the area won’t peak for another four hours and sixteen minutes.”
“What’s the forecast for today? Searing to partly broiling?” I said as I adjusted my position in the sandy soil. Dust rose in slow motion from my movement, adding to what had already settled around my nose and eyes. “I’m going to look like a lobster before we’re finished.”
“Your complaints are ceaseless. I can easily repair any damage to your precious carcass once you return.”
I blew out a breath and bit back a retort about the only ceaseless things here being the heat, dust and boredom. Recent memories of M’sang Tah chastising me for my lack of patience replayed in my head. If I hadn’t known better, I’d have guessed this to be one of their “teaching” simulations.
I did, however, know better. My intuitive feelings — or more likely my ability to recognize them — had become sharper over what I guessed had been a span of three or four months. Hopping from thread to thread and, in between, existing in an isolated workspace, completely removed from time itself, well … I tended to lose track of the thing it had become my job to protect. Funny how that works. But Kim and M’sang Tah had been unable to trick me again with a simulation after my inglorious Abraham Lincoln episode. Even though Kim piped the information directly into my brain and everything looked, smelled, and felt real, some little corner of my mind wasn’t fooled. On their last attempt, a few weeks before, it had taken me less than two minutes to realize what was happening. The two hadn’t tried since.
“I have it,” Kim said. “Directly ahead of your current position. Thirty-four point six eight feet.”
What’s that? You want more? Hm. I’ll have to think about that. Be good, tell all your friends, and maybe I’ll post some more next week 😉 Thanks for stopping by and I hope you enjoyed this little taste!