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Author William Fripp

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Ad Perpetuam

The sequel to Ad Infinitum is about halfway finished. Here is a sample:


Aaron was standing in a field of tall yellow flowers with stems as thick as his thumb, with long, spiny leaves and a bright lemon yellow blossom that sported numerous, long, thin petals not unlike a sunflower, with a deep saffron center disc nearly two inches in diameter.


While no botanist, he knew that these flowers, though beautiful, were alien in origin and that he was, therefore, not in his version of the world. A strong wind swirled across the field, the strange sunflowers bending and twisting in its thrall, as though some colossus brushed them with its fingertips. Aaron’s clothes were pressed back against him and his hair was flattened back as the current of air swept across the field and over him like the breath of God. He felt refreshed by it, cleansed of the stress that had been building in him since he first had the dream in which a dead priest had summoned him to a dangerous task he in no way wanted any part of, but that he could not, in good conscience, shy away from, a task that would plunge him headlong back into a place in his centuries old line of incarnations that each time frightened him worst than the last.


He had seen those other places, felt them full force as though he, Aaron, had actually been there, though he knew he hadn’t. Not physically, at least. It had been during his training with first Indira and then with Father Declund Coe, when he was being instructed on how to enter the slipstream at will, and, more importantly, how to anchor himself in the waking world and find his way back out of the world of dreams and nightmares. In the beginning, with Father Coe there to steady him, Aaron had intuitively picked right up on the instructions he was being given, had found the transitioning between dimensions a simple thing. Then, without warning, Father Coe had been blasted out of existence, obliterated by a power so terrible and so strong that Aaron himself barely escaped with a whole skin. He knew in the secret place in his mind that he kept from all others, that place where no lie could live, that it was the aged priest who had saved him in the impenetrable dark of the Void, been his tether to the world he knew and had anchored him there.


And now, if Indira Singh was right (which he knew she was) the Other had been set free, and Aaron’s heart trembled at the prospect of facing it without the aid of Declund Coe because he knew, in that secret place, that he would not survive it.


The wind had passed, and now the flowers waved languidly on their stalks, beckoning to him, inviting him into the field; all was serenity and light in the field and, overcome by the harmony they offered, Aaron staggered forward, a willing zombie in thrall to the song of the sunflowers as they brushed together, whispering to him that all was quiet and still there with them there in the field, that peace of mind was his for the taking, all he need do was give himself up to the wondrous peace they offered.


Aaron walked slowly, hands out to either side, caressing each brilliant yellow flower that he passed, and he passed, each flower he touched emitted from its center a fine mist of pollen, puffed outward and into the air, and where each flower's seed landed, another flower, full and intact, sprang up and crowded into the space behind him, unnoticed by Aaron, who, under the influence of the siren sunflowers, was oblivious to all except the overwhelming need to touch each and flower in the vast field.


He smiled as the perfume from the alien plants began to overcome his senses. He was oblivious to what was befalling him, had no other care, no desire other than lying down in the vast field of pretty yellow flowers and soaking in all they had to give him. His arms had turned yellow with dusty pollen; his face was caked with it. He could push no further through the field, so thick had grown the plants, so he leaned heavily against the foremost group and they gently gave under his weight.


As he lay down on the loamy earth, the flowers spewed forth a thick cloud of pollen that obscured him from view completely, a vague goldenrod lump on the ground. As content as he had ever dreamed he could be, he breathed deeply and became one with the instrument of his demise.


More to come later...