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By Nash Carlisle All Rights Reserved ©

Other / Drama

A First

“Don’t look over the edge! There’s nothing there but bodies. You’re just endangering yourself and everyone else.”

“Shut up. I’m trying to see if I can find another light. Mine’s going out.”

“Then relight it.”

“I don’t have a match.”

“Then suffer through it. We’re almost there.”

“That phrase means nothing anymore. You keep saying that, and yet all we ever do is keep walking. There’s nothing for us. We’re gonna keep going until we fall down and die.”

“You’re assuming natural causes will get us before those?”

I look with everyone else to watch a massive shape with skin that looks like fur if it were also scales and feathers and something that looks a lot like syrup if it were also lava and, somehow, purple as it moves through the wall of watery black smoke-ink like a shark in an aquarium… if both of those things were from the corner of Hell where nightmares came from. No one makes any noises of surprise, mainly because we’ve all seen them so often they’ve become something akin to a travel companion. Like a hitchhiking serial killer in your backseat.

“I can hope, can’t I?”

“And how often has that saved a man?”

“About as often as it damns him.”

“Synonymous. Indistinguishable. Let’s move on.”

“But I still need a light.”

“Just keep an eye on the sides. There’re plenty of bodies and plenty of lights; you’ll find one eventually if you’re quick enough.”

“Well, I’m planning on it. We’ll see how well that works out.”

And the line moves on. Unceasingly, it moves on. Tireless and unfeeling, with the empty slots of every person that was incapable of keeping up, it travels down the narrow pathway defined on each side by a short but steep drop into a crevice filled with rotting corpses that follow alongside the path. There are some rocks and imperfections on the otherwise smooth black surface--of which there exists no laconic comparison, although oatmeal comes to mind for no reason--that catch bodies and their lights so that others more fortunate may continue their journey for a while longer before they too succumb to the personal death that ever lingers behind them--fingers a breath from the neck--poised to spring at any moment from rest to pierce the soft flesh and rip from within it the sweet and glowing life that propels the mounds of muscle, bone, and flesh forward. Or worse, they could be taken by the things that swim in the shimmering black that encases all we know like a tunnel through a mountain. It is rare, but always terrible. Like a plague. Ungodly in its wrath, yet tempered in flair and flash of execution. Like the dropping of a bomb upon innocents below. Every empty clasp in the line of chain that connects and binds us all reminds us of our inevitable fate by flash, flop, or fury.

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rajastreet: I enjoyed this piece! I loved the treatment of time and the premise! Some of the wording seemed a little out of place, but easily overlooked for a good a plot.

Melderise: This is just an amazing novel that teaches you how to break the bonds of reality. It shows how the most fascinating story can start from the most regular environment and then leading the reader to the dream destinations...

Ben Gauger: Kudos go to Liz Aguilar, author of To Have And to Hold a fast-paced, gripping, adrenaline rush from start to finish, one of perhaps the finest pieces of writing I've ever read, in particular because of its' telenovela-like feel, May she continually find success as an author. Bravo my dear, bravo!

ernbelle: When I first started this story I was a little unsettled by all of the information that appears in the prologue, and wasn't sure if I would continue. However, I am very glad I did. The plot was very well thought out and really interesting. There were not any page breaks or markers to acknowledge ...

Janaki Sundararaman: The frame of the story has a beautiful structure on which the narration is spun with twists and turns tolook forward with lots of expectations about the coming chapters.There are many characters in the story line,all woven into intricate style to speak the story in its own way.The protagonist is ...

ianwatson: The comedy is original and genuinely funny, I have laughed out loud many times reading this book. But the story and the plot are also really engaging. The opening two or three chapters seem quite character-dense but they all soon come to life and there is no padding, filling or wasted time readin...

M.L. Bull: Hello, Aalia!Your story compelled the emotional pain and struggle of a teenage girl very well.. The imagery was also convincing and well-written, showing the different personalities of your characters and their actions. However, I do think that many of your sentences are too lengthy and could use...

aeratheninja: Interestingly enough, this story touches on different psychological states and was very informing, on top of being a solid story. Although somewhat predictable, I thoroughly enjoyed reading this; I could feel the fear and the frustration of the characters, and was happy when they were happy.Even ...

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Jessie: I wrote a review on fanfiction but I thought it would be fitting to write on on here too :) This story was honestly stunning. I am a budding writer myself and to read this- to FEEL this- reminded me of why I am honoured to have this passion and drive for a craft that is just so raw and beautiful.

Ashley Stryker: So I'm writing this review, keeping in mind that this is a work in progress and it's part of National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo), so my "deeper" critiques will be saved until it's all finished up.+ Chapter One: A stewardess would not talk to anyone quite like that, particularly a clear minor...

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