The Curve in the Road

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Cooper Jackman can’t forget, move on or escape... Imagine remembering every fact, feeling, person, event and detail of your life in perfect and instant recall. Would it be a blessing or a curse? Cooper Jackman hides his hyper memory to maintain a normal life. He deliberately fails at school and seeks solace in sports, using his photographic memory in his career as a professional ballplayer. When a crushing injury, a horrific tragedy and a decade of struggle derail his life, he must learn to cope with the reality that he may never be more than a bored, divorced, middle aged has-been with a dead-end job. Haunted by a secret from his childhood, harassed by a mysterious messenger from a first love long ago lost and gripped by a painful memory so intense it threatens his sanity, he must escape from the events that fill his mind so intensely as if they happened yesterday. He must either come to terms with the loss of his first love or dare to reach back into the reality in his mind to try and right the wrongs of the past. Can he find a way to use his perfect recall to recreate his own past, revisit his worst memory and change for the better? Can he do all that and keep a grip on his present-day life, career and family? Cooper must figure it out before the tragedies of the past overrun his ability to live in the present and ultimately destroy any hope of a positive future.

Drama / Scifi
Greg McLaughlin
4.8 12 reviews
Age Rating:

Chapter 1

The summer air cooled as the evening mist hovered faintly above a dark New England wood. An unlit back road curved and pitched downward under a starless sky. A light breeze jostled the blood red leaves next to the street and filled the air with white noise, while the rustling of tree branches harmonized with the uneven sounds of frogs and crickets, croaking and chirping in the surrounding wetlands. Tree trunks and telephone poles whisked by like dark horizontal brush strokes against the moving backdrop. The rhythmic slapping of new running shoes paced across the damp pavement, blending with the symphony and growing louder as the figure approached.

In the distance, starting as a faint rumble and a dim light in the haze, a large grey truck rolled down the road and approached the bend just as the runner stopped to catch her breath and adjust the headset that piped late 80s rock and roll into her ears.

The truck veered slightly to the left and right as the runner stepped off the curb to continue her workout. But as she did, the truck lurched toward the breakdown lane. The jarring screech of the breaks sliced through the night, echoing off the trees and down the narrow road as the fender of the semi struck the runner in the hip. Upon impact, the mass of the vehicle snapped her head back, breaking her back instantly. Her limp body flew through the air and landed face down in the mud at the bottom of the ditch off the side of the road.

The fog lingered. Quiet returned to the scene, punctuated only by the restless wind-blown tree branches. The frogs and crickets fell silent. The truck twisted and stopped, laying frozen in time and crooked across the road into the breakdown lane. The rumbling idol of the engine at rest replaced the sounds of her breathing.

A door opened. Worried footsteps scuttled across the street, around the grill of the semi to the edge of the road. The headlights blinked as the figure passed in the dark. No other cars appeared. No other sounds echoed through the lifeless night. Time passed.

Soon after, the headlights blinked again. The door slammed closed. The red brake lights flashed, and the engine heaved. And then, almost as quickly as it had appeared, the truck disappeared into the darkness.

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Breacon84: I read the story in Galatea and was hooked from the first chapter. The story is well written, lots of action, drama and romance. It kept me waiting daily for the next chapter. installment

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