This novel is limited to 100 free copies due to its part in Inkitt’s Novel Contest.
“You can conjure yourself a milkbone if you want to, Goose, but I’m not settling for anything less than three pieces of bread, dipped in egg and fried on a greasy stove. Pulling that out of thin air just never works. We’re not going to die of hunger.” Wiz and his canine companion stood at the intersection of Innes and Main Streets in Salisbury, North Carolina on a cool Saturday morning. Their stomachs growled, though out of habit, in united protest for making them wait so long for breakfast.
Goose had whined as they walked past half a dozen chain restaurants and fast food places between the motel and downtown. Wiz didn’t mind the big restaurants but preferred the cozier atmosphere of a Mom n’ Pop greasy spoon.
“I’m sorry, Goose. I thought for sure we’d find one by now. Hey,” he said, pointing his head toward a shop with a steaming coffee cup on the window, “there’s a coffee shop. Will a muffin suffice until we can get some real breakfast?” Goose breathed an acquiescent sigh, waited for the crosswalk sign to turn, and then, began to walk across the street. “I’ll take that as a ‘yes’.”
As they approached the café, Wiz looked at the easel sign on the sidewalk in front of it. “’Spill the Beans – Salisbury’s place for a warm cup, a friendly chat, and a comfortable place to sit.’ Doesn’t sound half bad. Wait here while I make sure it’s okay to bring you in.”
Goose sat patiently beside the sign as Wiz went inside. After a few seconds, Wiz came back to the door and held it open for Goose. Behind him were a young man and two people who looked to be his parents. They smiled at Wiz as he held the door for them as well. The young man’s arm brushed up against Wiz’s as he walked by. Wiz was instantly bombarded with a vision—fire, burning flesh, dozens of ravens. The flood of images was interrupted when Goose started barking and carrying on at the feet of the young man.
“I think I’ve made a new friend,” the young man said.
“I think you have,” Wiz said, his eyes wide with astonishment.
“A mocha, right?” the man’s father asked him.
“Yeah. That’s fine, Dad.” His father took his mother’s hand and they went to the counter to order their drinks. “What’s his name?” the young man asked Wiz.
“Goose,” Wiz said, his eyes studying the man with disbelief. Could it be?
“Goose, huh? Strange name for a dog, don’t you think?”
“Yeah, well… he had a run-in with a grumpy Canadian when he was a puppy. He bit off a little more than he could chew and then the goose bit him on the butt.”
“It makes sense now.” The young man chuckled as he crouched and began to scratch behind Goose’s ears. Goose seemed to be in Heaven. “My name’s Stew,” he said, standing and offering his hand. “Stew Kasey.”
Wiz took his hand, but not before taking control of the visions he knew were to come. He had to force himself to file away any new images to go back to later when he wasn’t in the presence of the subject. “Nice to meet you. I’m Wiz.”
“Cool. Nice to meet you, too. So,” Stew continued, “I’m not entirely sure why I’m being so chatty with a complete stranger because that’s just not me, but… it just seems… I don’t know…”
“Like we should know each other?” Wiz offered.
“Yeah, like we should know each other. Exactly.”
“Perhaps we met in a past life.”
“Ha! Maybe you’re right,” Stew replied, though not as though he meant it. He was brought up in a Christian household and just didn’t know much of anything else other than what he saw in the movies and he didn’t give any weight to that. “Do you live in Salisbury?”
“No. Just… passing through. You?” Wiz returned quickly, not giving Stew the chance to ask where he was from.
“My parents live here. I grew up here, but now I live in Charlotte. I’m just here for the weekend.”
“Here you go, Stew,” Stew’s dad said, handing him his drink. His mom shuffled past her husband and son to get to the couch, keeping a careful eye on the dog and as much room as she could get between her and Goose.
“Thanks, Dad,” Stew said. “Wiz, this is my dad, James.”
“It’s nice to meet you, sir.”
“Same here,” James replied. “That’s quite a nickname… Wiz.”
“Yeah, well… that’s what friends are for, I suppose.”
Stew gave Goose one last pat on the head and stood up. “Well, it was nice talking to you, Wiz. It’s my birthday today and I don’t get too see my parents as often as I used to, so…”
Wiz nodded in understanding but silently wished he could have more time, even knowing he would not be able to talk to Stew so soon about their past together. He showed not an ounce of recognition and personal questions would only make Stew think he was a loon or a stalker. “Happy birthday, then. Perhaps we’ll run into each other again sometime.”
“You never know. Bye, Goose.”
“Take care, Wiz,” James said as he sat down next to Mrs. Kasey on the couch.
Goose whined as Stew turned toward his parents and sat down in the chair next to them. “Come on, Goose. Let’s go.” Wiz led him out the door without even getting coffee or muffins. Goose let out a mournful whimper—not so much for leaving without food as for leaving without Stew.As they walked down the street, Wiz felt tears run down his cheeks, overwhelmed with immense joy at finally finding his brother. At the same time, he also felt the cold, bitter tears of sadness mix with the rest, filling him with a pulsating desperation. He had never felt so helpless, but he had also never felt so alive, because he had one thing he didn’t have before—hope. He was right after all. His brother was not gone.
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 ...
Usagi Kita: This story is emotional from beginning to end. You get to watch the characters struggle and grow, maturing in different ways so that they come to be the people they are meant to be. Inea is insanely adorable, and his antics made me laugh more than once, and Kaedon is perfect for him in so many wa...
Alex Reltin: This is a great story! I love how well you go into detail and emotions of Capri, and Mel. You have amazing dialogue and overall it's just a thrill to read!The only critique I could find is that some of the paragraphs should be separated. For example:-"If Nia would have just let me take the car an...
Alice Liu: Whoa! I've been wondering how would the Maurauders react to Harry's life and here we go! YOU ARE THE BEST! All the characters are consistent with their personalities shown in the book! I love how you compare Lily with Molly and it's definitely true for her being a mother! I wish Peter comes have ...
summerstone: Seriously this is one of the best books I've ever read. The plot is intriguing, I love the narrative style. Its very descriptive and unique, with minimal cliches. It makes for a great read and the sequels are amazing. Totally worth reading. ^^ That's me trying to be professional. But in all hones...
Lauren Suzmeyan-Raine: I'm so glad you found a place to post your stories. I was horrified when I saw yours had been taken down, they are definitely the best 'reading' stories I've ever read. And I've made it my business to read every one I can. Well done.Lauren
Ben Gauger: Kudos go to the author of ''Equinox: Into the Clouds'' for originality in character development as well as scene execution and in addition plot development, A truly original story if I do say so myself, though the spelling in and of itself could use a little work, but other than that a truly orig...
Warchief: The biggest problem with the Harry Potter series is that it's all from his point of view. So we never really get to see or understand events from other peoples perspective. I think that they would be more than a few people that want to know what happened at Hogwarts during that last year.As far a...
Nymeria: Really can't get enough of this story. It flows well, it captivates the reader from page 1, and throws you into such a well-written, well conceptualized world that you'll believe it's real. Everything in the book is meshed together really well. From character backgrounds to plot twists, you can t...
FreakyPoet: "you made me laugh, made me cry, both are hard to do. I spent most of the night reading your story, captivated. This is why you get full stars from me. Thanks for the great story!"
Sara Joy Bailey: "Full of depth and life. The plot was thrilling. The author's style flows naturally and the reader can easily slip into the pages of the story. Very well done."