Today I’m posting an excerpt from the quarter point of my SF/futuristic novella, LIGHTNING STRIKES, the second book in my Other World series.
What else? Dennis could’ve got to the ship fine, but the comm-unit there could be affected just the same way by the storm. Oh God, the lightning! I’d never seen lightning so forceful before in my life. I’d only been thinking of it affecting the comm-units, but the ship! Fuck, it could be interfering with the ship’s operation.
“Damn, damn, damn!” Swearing didn’t help, except it made me feel better, releasing my anger. Stupid really; as a scientist I should be ashamed of not thinking of something that obvious before this, but sometimes you can’t beat the lowest common denominator!
Wait, what was that?
Crap, my head felt as if it was full of cotton wool…cotton wool with one of Matthew’s rocks inside. Matthew? Is he hurt, too? What the hell happened? Can’t think, can’t remember. God, what was that noise? Sounds like the sea pounding against cliffs. Don’t remember the sea. Water…rain…the storm! What… Oh, I fell. Damn, and now I’d remembered that my side was hurting like hell. Fuck!
“Josh, can you hear me?”
Matthew. I tried to speak, but I couldn’t seem to get the words from my brain to my mouth.
“Damn it, Josh, open those gorgeous eyes of yours!”
“Matthew.” Well, that sure didn’t sound like me.
“Thank God! I’m here, Josh.”
“Pain,” I muttered. Didn’t seem to be able to get any power into my voice.
“Where? Your head?” His voice was higher than usual. He was stressed and I knew it was for me. I longed to reach out and touch his cheek, to bring his face down to mine so I could kiss him, but I could hardly lift my eyes, let alone my hand. He must have known, though. I felt him grab my hand and bring it up to his lips. Oh, the feel of his lips on my skin gave me such comfort.
In a voice shaking, though not from pain, I said, “A little, my side…hurts.”
“Worse than your head?” he asked, worry clear in his voice as he fumbled in his pack for the pain pills.
“It’s all right, Matt.” I had to stop to catch my breath and I wondered if perhaps I had broken a rib after all. “It hurts, but I’ve had worse. I’ll be fine when you get me back to the ship.” I smiled, though I wasn’t sure how I looked because Matthew’s return smile was more of a grimace. He gave me two pills and water to wash them down. I got more relief from the feel of his hand on my neck supporting me and the scent of his aftershave as he leaned close to me.
“Matthew…” I wanted to say more, but suddenly I couldn’t put it into words.
He must have understood then because he smiled, a real smile this time, and said, “I love you, too, Josh.”
Damn, what now? The discoloration along Josh’s side was darker, and I was pretty sure it was swollen, not much, but I didn’t think it was like that earlier when Dennis examined him. Perhaps Matt was hurt more than Dennis thought, which could explain the pain he was now feeling.
It was obvious there was something wrong or Dennis would have been back by now, but where did that leave us? Josh was clearly deteriorating, slipping into and out of consciousness with increasing frequency and the swelling on his side had me worried, let alone the concussion, which was probably causing the lapses of consciousness. I wasn’t versed enough in medical matters to be of any real help. Josh needed proper medical help…
I was desperate with the need to do something and, as there was little I could do here, perhaps I should go for help. The storm was still raging outside and I wasn’t stupid enough not to realize if Dennis couldn’t make it I had little chance, however I would never forgive myself if I sat idly by and Josh died. I knew it was also possible Dennis had made it to the ship, but couldn’t get help if the storm was affecting its operation. It could just be the comm wasn’t working properly and he was forced to wait for the storm to reduce enough to be able to get help. However, I couldn’t stop the voice saying: Or the ship could have sustained a precise lightning strike and be damaged beyond repair.
I needed to know.
If you want to read the full story, the book – and others in the series – can be purchased here
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