Novel #1 Excerpt #3
I felt like I slept for days. Truthfully, it was almost a full day. 22 hours give or take. I woke up only long enough to use the facilities and for a glass of water. The sound of the heater turning on is what woke me. It is so strange how the smallest yet distinct sound can catch your attention. The click of a heating system as it kicks on in the middle of the night. The sound of the warmth moving through the air ducts above. As my body woke, my eyes stayed shut taking in the sound. Imagining being the heat moving through the aluminum, swaying from one side of the piping to the other like an inner tube on a crazy water ride. Then out through the vents it soars. I open my eyes. The sun is retreating behind the almost barren trees. I look at the clock. It is 3:08 pm. I lay there thinking of the events that have come about over the last few days. It seems like a distant, crazy, insignificant set that I can chalk up to being sleep deprived; hallucinations and paranoia. Feeling energized I head out for a run. Mom always said that running brought me to my center. It helps me clear my mind. It definitely helps me work things out it my head and sets things in order. I leave the apartment and head northwest toward the foothills and
. It is a good distance, about 9 miles round trip. It was a familiar trek though. Dad and I used to hike near the lake and running it reminds me of the fun and comforting times with him. The concrete turns to gravel. I begin the climb. Gravel turns to small rocks, then boulders. I then descend into the more wooded area; mulch and leaves. The sun is shimmering on the fallen leaves. The cool air hitting my face and legs is much appreciated as the expedition taxes my body. I focus on my breath, on the ground, on the music, on the movement of my arms and legs in synchronized motion. Lake Lanier
All of a sudden, I hear the familiar hum again. Then twigs breaking close by. I stop and look around; my heart pounding both from the run and anxiousness. I see a dark flash out of the corner of my eye. It was upright not low to the ground like an animal. I turn my music down just to be more in tuned with the environment. I turn and run; picking up the pace a bit; the adrenaline is running higher in me. My legs begin to take larger strides, faster, becoming stronger, unnatural. My vision and hearing is fine tuned to the point of hearing crumbling green leaves under my feet as I run. My arms work quickly to eliminate shrubs, twigs, twine in my path. I sense something; a presence coming up on me. Pulling me back into it; closing in. As I glance behind me, I see a black smoke-like entity creeping behind, gaining quickened movement on my around every tree, every log, every shrub. A clearing is ahead. I think it must me the lake and put more power into my stride, with every stretch I’m soaring. The sunlight becomes less sparse as the trees open their canopy to unleash me from the woods. The pulling releases me like a rubber band and my body is in the sunlight. I come to a stop and turn to look into the wood. Nothing. Just rustling leaves on the rocky ground. I slowly pace in front of the opening to the wood looking, watching, and waiting as I catch my breath; I guess expecting something to reveal itself. The humming is diffusing quickly. The vibration is minimal compared to my raising heart.
I turn and look to the lake. Mr. Kahn? My freshman year astronomy professor is in a boat staring at me curiously. I felt my cheeks get redder than they already were from my run. Thinking now, I probably looked pretty ridiculous soaring out of the woods at indescribably speed.
Jesca, “Hi there Mr. Kahn.”
Mr. Kahn tipped his fishing hat to me, “Jesca Gershon? You ok?” ( he remembered me.)
Ezra Kahn was the most interesting professor I have met yet. I ran in to him, literally, last semester before my class with him. He is the reason I decided this year to pursue coursework dealing with cosmology and astrophysics, quantum physics. Yes, it sounds boring by title, but the content is mind boggling.
Jesca, “Yes, It’s Jesca. Hey Mr. Kahn have you seen anything or anyone odd running around before I came out of the woods?”
Looking more concerned for me now, Ezra says, “ Yes, I did see a young man heading into the woods about 10 minutes ago. Is everything alright? ”
Jesca feeling her nerves heighten again, “Yeah, yeah, everything is fine. Well, it was nice seeing you. I better be heading back. Nice to see you.”
Ezra smiled, “You too. Be careful heading back, alright?”
I waved from behind me as I ran along the exterior of the woods to enter from another trail head. I headed along the edge of the wood. My anxiety had calmed since seeing Mr. Kahn; I know, weird. I fell back into my normal pace. I couldn’t help thinking that I have randomly seen Mr. Kahn around town lately, not just on campus. I wonder what his life outside of campus entailed. Did he have a family? A wife? Does he live alone? Divorced? He seems like a nice enough man to have a family and maybe a couple of children. Contemplating Mr. Kahn’s life freaked me out a bit, but it passed the time perfectly to get me home without too much thought on what I just experienced.