I wanted to share a few chapters of Dark Nebula: Isolation to prepare you for its eminent release on December 4th, 2020.
Today we’ll start with the Epilogue. Now grab a coffee and a comfy seat for a short read.
Abigail Olivaw — Unknown Location
Self-doubt was a real bitch. No matter how hard she worked, she couldn’t shake feeling like nothing she did was good enough. She wasn’t good enough. Her family was broken apart, she lived to work, and she was alone. And worst of all, no amount of blood, sweat, or tears helped.
Her arms trembled and her grip was failing. She rocked back and forth on the edge of the rock-face, and adjusted her hands to wipe the sweat onto her dirt stained shirt. With her handhold firm, she stabilized her core to stop the rocking and pulled up with everything she had. Inching upward, she pushed her chin skyward toward the next ledge, but at the halfway point, her torso started swaying. Her arms burned. The voices screamed in her head.
“You’re the President, you’ve got this.”
“Not this time wimp.”
”You failed them.”
”Who’re you kidding.”
She hated the voices. She wanted to mute them all, to focus on the climb.
She knew they were an echo of her self-doubt. It’s the truth they represented that hurt the most.
Her retinal comm chimed and flashed a priority alert in the corner of her eye. Having a computer screen embedded in your eyes was humanities greatest blunder, and that alert was yet another reminder of how she’d failed. That same alert appeared each and every day. For how many days now? She’d lost count. It was like having a bad dream with aliens, but on infinite repeat.
Releasing her grip, she slid down the cliff face of the mountain. She rolled onto her side and did her best to dodge the sharper outcroppings she’d been working past for the last hour. Her side exploded in pain as the rocky surface ripped at her skin.
All her failures flashed before her eyes as the ledge approached. She had to stick the fall. That, or she’d careen off the edge into… no. She shook her head. She couldn’t think about that again.
Time seemed to slow, like the seconds after that mottled green alien bastard touched her shoulder. Why’d she even let him walk behind her? She knew better. She’d gotten smug.
Her retinal comm flashed brighter, and the chime echoed eerily. The priority alert wanted her attention. She had more important matters to deal with right now, like not plummeting to her death.
The only route she could see involved catching the edge below and trying to roll laterally. Whatever she did, she needed to break her fall and not roll forward.
The ground hit with a crushing blow and her legs contorted in unnatural ways until something popped. Excruciating pain coursed upward and the oxygen burst from her lungs as she struggled to gain control and roll sideways. She had to stop the fall, to apply force with her muscles. Her hands reached out to her side looking for something, anything to grasp.
It was all happening so fast. Too fast.
Her legs weren’t cooperating and tucking in tight. She must have broken something. The edge was close.
Shit, she hadn’t slowed enough.
No wait. That rock. She had to grab it. She reached forward as she rolled, her hand barely catching the coarse surface and squeezing with everything she had.
Her brothers’ faces flashed before her eyes as the pain surged higher. Momentum yanked at her arms. They were screaming at her, pleading with her not to let go. She wasn’t a quitter. Not now. Never.
She’d stopped moving. She’d stopped breathing. Did she make it?
The incoming message still flashed in the corner of her retinal comm.
She’d survived. The pain coursed through her, wave after wave. More intense than in the last dozen attempts to summit this blasted cliff.
Finally, she gave in. She couldn’t take the pain any longer. She didn’t want to live the whole thing over again, but she had to. Maybe she could do something different this time.
She rolled on her back and almost passed out. Blackness squeezed at the edge of her vision.
Closing her eyes, she tried to focus on breathing and slowing her heart rate. Trying to think away the pain. The beating returned to her chest and thumped like a bass drum in her ears. If she didn’t control it, she’d come out the other side too disoriented.
Counting down from ten, she hit zero and blindly reached up and tapped her ear to answer the incoming comm. “What is it?”
Light exploded and blinded her despite her eyes being closed. She brought her hand up to block it, but it didn’t help. It was everywhere.
Something wasn’t right. Like… she’d done this before.
I hope you liked what you read. This is only the beginning of the book. Look for the next few chapters to be released here soon. I’ll link them all together when they’re out.
If you want to be notified about the chapters when they drop, receive a FREE Dark Nebula: Contact novella, and get discounts on my books, then you can always join my newsletter using the form at the bottom of this page or by using the one located here.
You can pre-order Dark Nebula: Isolation on Amazon today. As a gift to my future readers and in celebration of Science Fiction Month (November), I lowered my pre-order cost to $0.99 until a few days after release. So head on over to Amazon and click pre-order to have it waiting for you in your eReader on December 4th.