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New World

This is the start of a book I am working on, chapter 1. The breeze, soft on his face stirred him from sleep, his eyes fluttered slowly open. On his side, face turned towards the grass, he took moments to begin focussing on his situation, first through his senses, touch, smell, sight. He was lying in grass, somewhere probably outside, that much he realised immediately. How he got there and exactly where that was, well that would come to him once he got his brain working. His first confusion came when he realised that the grass against his face felt soft, smooth and had a sweet fragrance unlike any grass he had ever known, this immediately made no sense to him. Bringing his hand up to move the grass away from his eyes he noticed that it moved easily, as if reacting to his touch, it just felt different, something was odd about it. He moved himself slowly, turning and sitting in one slow motion; unsteady and still quite groggy he began to take in the scene around him. He was half sitting, half laying on the side of a hill, that was obvious, but the ground, the grass, the breeze were, despite being familiar, were almost unbelievable in their touch and the temperature, something about the temperature, it should be cold - but it isnt. His eyes were beginning to clear, his mind starting to put thoughts together in an orderly fashion again. He rubbed his eyes lightly, stroked his hair back from his forehead and looked out across the vast expanse surrounding him. He could see trees, well they looked like trees at first glance but again, something different, something not quite right, they swayed gently, flowers blooming, fragrance being stolen by the slow steady breeze which wound through the branches, and yet.. Again he rubbed his eyes slowly, trying to clear away any remnants of the night before where he had, without doubt, gone slightly overboard with one or two substances. He closed his eyes and relaxed back into the grass, maybe a few moments like this would give his brain time to come home. He tried to re-construct the night before in his mind, he had gone to a party of sorts, all the usual; girls, drink, drugs and music, but one girl in particular, with eyes that held him, a face he couldnt get out of his mind, what was her name?

He remembered he had downed a lot of drinks in the first 2 hours as well as trying several different concoctions made with powder of all kinds, hell, his brain had taken several flights before his feet even left the ground. He remembered speaking to people, laughing and acting the fool, falling over the balcony, twice, but he also vaguely remembered speaking to the girl. God, the night must have been a disaster in the end, he must have made such a complete ass of himself that they took him somewhere and just dumped him, and why wouldnt they? every guy in the room must have wanted to talk to her. What an idiot. Now what? He had no idea where he was and his brain was still somewhere east of nowhere. He opened his eyes again, this time to look at his watch, it was 11.36. pm! This cant be right. Looking around he could see everything, everywhere, no way its 11.30 at night. I have to be dreaming. He shook his head and again rubbed his eyes. He felt the presence before he saw it, something behind him, studying him. His heart rate increased just for a moment, sudden fear that almost immediately subsided. His head shot around, a scurry of movement, the grass ruffled and a glimpse of soft red before it disappeared into the waving, almost hypnotic motion of the surrounds. It took a few seconds for him to realise that his hand was touching something; it was cool against his skin and somehow relaxing. He looked down to find a small dish-like object in which a liquid, slightly bluish in colour and yet clear, moved against his hand. This is all just too fucking weird. A dream would not feel so life-like, the smells, the colours, the breeze, something was wrong here but he couldnt figure out what it was. If it was indeed night as his watch indicated, then why is it so damned light? He looked up, expecting to see the sun, daylight, something, but what he saw made his heart race again, this time, the fear became reality. Hanging there in the sky was a moon, not the moon as you would expect to find on any normal night in any normal field, this moon was a soft but brilliant gold, not as bright as the sun would be but. Off to the left, and what seemed to be back a long way, was a second moon, this one red, not as bright but shining nonetheless with an intensity which explained the colours around him. The two objects in the sky above shone together, creating an eerie but amazingly beautiful light, bathing everything and highlighting the colours. Around these there seemed to be millions of stars set in a pitch black void making the entire scene unreal, fantastic, yet unbelievably beautiful. A soft touch of breath on his face made him turn with a start, his eyes met the face of what could only be described as an animal, very much like a young deer but with expression. The colours in its coat were vibrant, alive, made even more stunning by the light. His sudden movement this time had not frightened it, it stood there looking at him, not 6 inches way from his face with an expression in its eyes he could only describe as concern. The animal looked down at the container holding the liquid, leaned down and took a single small drink before lifting its head and looking into his eyes again. He could sense something

in these eyes but he didnt know what, they were almost human in expression and showed urgency, understanding, agitation. It took him a few moments to realise that this animal was trying to make him drink, intelligence in an animal, concern, gentleness, maternal instincts? For some reason he could not explain, he picked up the container, lifted it to his lips and took a small drink. The taste was unexpected, sweet, smooth, cool, wonderful. He drank more. It was then he saw the others, all the same as this first one, hundreds of them lifting their heads from the grass, showing themselves. An odd sensation began to move through his body, his nerve endings tingled, his skin began to prickle gently and his eyes got slightly cloudy, just for a moment or two, before the colours intensified around him. He could not explain what was happening and yet, for some reason he was not afraid or troubled by these things. He noticed some hurried movement around him, these animals, if thats what they were, seemed to be agitated about something and were scurrying around and gathering into small groups. The one individual animal, the first one he had seen, nipped softly at his shoulder, motioning him to stand he thought. He stood, unsteadily at first and noticing that it was hard to do, his legs seemed to be weak. It took him some time to gather his senses and even longer for him to realise, as he struggled to stay upright, that he seemed heavier than he should. Again the animal tugged at him, almost herding him it seemed, towards a large patch of what could only be described as overgrown vegetation, the others were already scampering and disappearing into this area. The fear returned. He cast his eyes upwards as he was hurriedly guided closer to the patch of vegetation, fear growing as he watched the 2 glowing orbs in the sky above beginning to fade from view. Intense light began to flood the sky, so intense that it hurt to keep his eyes open. Blackness and stars faded, steadily being replaced by brilliant white-hot light. The animal now pushed him with an almost aggressive manner towards the vegetation, something was causing fear in them and he wasnt about to argue. He tried his best to make his legs move faster but every step became more painful, several times he fell, the animal waited, helped him, encouraged him until he got back to his feet and moved on. The light, growing in intensity, was stinging his eyes, he felt pain he had never known before. Within moments he found himself surrounded by the vegetation and the pain in his eyes began to ease, the intensity of the light diminished by the plants. Where he now stood seemed completely alien. The brilliant colours were gone, replaced by a darkened reddish hue all around, the leaves of the vegetation surrounding him were soft, brownish but with a sour fragrance. Small hairs grew across the entire surface of every leaf and seemed to reach for him. The animals were rapidly disappearing deeper into this patch, he followed as quickly as he could, trying to keep up with them. His legs were hurting, badly as he tried to maintain the pace, he felt as though he had worked out too much and strained every muscle. Just short of the darkest patch he stopped, he could run no more, it didnt matter what happened next, his pain controlled him. Suddenly he found himself being pushed forward and losing his balance, falling forward to end up lying across something, it was soft and strong. He felt himself being lifted but he didnt care, every muscle in his body was now on fire and he was finding it difficult to even breathe.

One of these animals had crouched down and another had pushed him over its back. He was lifted in this way and carried deep into the darkness. On his back he could feel heat, it felt like fire burning into his skin, yet there was very little light in this area. He no longer cared about fear, he no longer cared where he was or even what it was, dream or reality, it just didnt matter any more. The ride was bumpy and he tried to hold on as best he could, vegetation slapped against his face and the air became progressively cooler as they moved deeper into the patch. The pain in his legs had eased, his entire body relaxed, his eyes closed as he began to fall into an exhausted, involuntary sleep, his mind racing, images flashing, until the blackness brought him the peace of unconsciousness. How long he slept he had no idea, only that he had, and deeply. As he began to wake his mind was examining everything, every sound, every smell, every glimmer of light filtering through his lids before opening them. It had to have been a dream, it just had to be a dream, he would open his eyes and they would all be smiling at him. His friends would be there making jokes about him talking in his sleep, he would probably be laying flat on his back where he collapsed somewhere during the party, that was his usual trick, most likely in the middle of the room in plain view. There was noise, lots of it, but not close, muffled as if it were in another room. Maybe they threw him on a bed to get him out of the way. He couldnt have slept for too long if the party was still going, that had to be what the noises were, but somehow this didnt feel right. This was no bed, it was too hard, like he thought hard, it was rough under him, bumpy like rock yet, as if a thick blanket had been laid over it, and it had a smell, sweet, almost sticky. The fear came back, opening his eyes seemed out of the question, if he did - and he didnt want to - what would he find? It was a voice which finally had his brain brought back to reality, a voice he recognised from somewhere, yet it wasnt in his ears, he wasnt hearing this voice, it was within his mind. Are you all right? I know you are confused but its all right really. He heard the voice, he struggled to make sense of his thoughts, clamped his eyes shut even tighter, every muscle in his body straining to stifle the scream that wanted to escape. You must open your eyes slowly, dont be afraid, what you see may confuse you but you mustnt be afraid, everything will become clear soon. Now he was convinced he had taken that final step into insanity, he knew that one day the abuse of his body would see this happen but he hadnt expected it to be quite so soon. Oh god, if I open my eyes and see that damned animal again Im stuffed, it had to be a dream, it just had to be. Shit! Shit! Shit! What the fuck do I do now? Relax, think about this, your mind is playing tricks on you. This shit can happen you know, too many snorts, too many constant drinking sessions have to play havoc on your system at some point. You did it, you finally took one too many and now youre paying the price. Think, think for gods sake, what can you smell, what can you hear, what can you feel? What was it Michael told you? Before you open your eyes in the morning, listen, smell, touch, move your legs, if you can do all those things THEN open your eyes, if you can see you should consider yourself a lucky man and today is a good day!

His thoughts were again interrupted, this time by the gentle touch on his face, almost featherlike, soft, smooth, as though something had floated gently down and brushed against him. Again his body tensed, his defences on alert as his hand moved slowly towards his face. He had moved the hand about half way when he felt the breath, warm against his skin. He jerked his hand back involuntarily and slapped it against something, immediate flurry of movement, strange hissing sounds, bumping, scuffling. He had no idea what was going on but he was very much afraid and very tense, anything that came near him from this point would feel his fear as he struck out blindly. His eyes sprang open, he had no choice as fear took control. He rolled and threw his feet down, ready to fight, run, scream, fall flat on his face, he had no idea what he was going to do, he just knew that he had to do something - right now! He stopped dead in his tracks, his brain could make no sense of what he was seeing, this couldnt be real, this couldnt be happening to him, it just couldnt be real! Everything had stopped, not a single thing moved, frozen in time almost, except for the soft sound of breathing surrounding him on every side. The eyes, hundreds of eyes looking at him, examining him, not hard or frightening the looks were engaging, even admiring but they were all animals of some kind, all the same deer-like creatures he had seen before. But there, in the centre of all, was a girl, the same girl who had been at the party. She was the most beautiful girl he had ever seen with eyes that just stopped you in your tracks and held you there, mesmerised. Nothing in all of creation could have made him look away, life itself could stop right there and he would not regret a single moment, the pain wracking his body, the thunder in his head, the burning on his back, none of it existed at this moment. The room they were in, if it could be called a room, it was more cave-like than anything else, had walls on all sides which were covered with a mossy substance, golden in colour and seemingly producing its own light. Small outcroppings of what looked like rock dripped a smooth bluish liquid, which was harvested in the same containers he had seen earlier. The fragrance in the air was sweet, sticky and strangely intoxicating, he had the tingling feeling all over his skin and his eyes felt oddly relaxed and cool. The ground was also covered in a carpet of what appeared to be grass, it was almost like an overgrown bowling green but absolutely smooth. The colour of this grass was different, bluish but with a hint of red buried deep within it. Like the leaves on the vegetation earlier, it seemed to reach for you, caress and protect you. All this was flooding into his mind as his eyes remained lost in hers, it was as though he could see with his mind, feel with his soul while all the time drawing strength and power from her. Finally she moved towards him, slowly. His heart began to race, no fear was left just this incredible lust to have her near him, to touch him, to bury him in her, in her, he had no idea what it was he wanted to be buried in, no idea what this power she had could be. He didnt care what she looked like, how she felt, he just wanted those eyes to take him and possess him forever. John - the words hit him like a hammer in the head, shaking him back to reality. John there it was again, her lips hadnt moved but that voice was so strong. His head shot from side to side, looking for the voice, looking for some-body who was speaking. I know you are confused, I know you must be afraid right now

Afraid? Afraid? No, scared shitless would be a better way to describe what he felt right now. John, he shot his gaze back to the girl, it was her speaking. Her mouth wasnt moving but it was her, of that he was now certain. She stood not 2 feet from him now, those eyes, gentle and soft showed the most amazing concern he had ever seen. Her hand was stretched towards him slightly, almost pensive, shaking. Please dont be afraid John, I know you must be feeling all kinds of emotion right now but please, I will show you everything you need to see, I will tell you everything you need to know He had taken a faltering step backwards, falling slightly as his legs started to give way under him. One of the animal creatures had moved in to support him and he was startled. She looked into his eyes, deeply, and he felt a strange sense of comfort. John, you must trust me, your body is adjusting and your muscles are strengthening, but for a short time you must allow us to help you. Still her mouth had not moved, the sound of her voice was there, he could hear every word, but her mouth was not forming them. There was some movement, her lips quivered just a little as a person on the verge of tears might do, but that was all. What the fuck? His words were there, but he had not spoken them. The girl reacted with a smile, the other creatures also reacted, looking at each other, moving their feet and shuffling. What the fuck? Shit! Fuck! I cant, who the fuck? Where the hell? FUCK!! Her hand touched his, she held on as he automatically tried to pull away, she held him and his entire body began to relax, his thoughts screamed at him, his heart raced, his legs felt weak and his eyes filled with tears. In one instant all his fear and emotion came to the boil, he cried uncontrollably, tears gushed from his eyes, his legs gave way and she caught him in her arms. Like a baby he collapsed in them, bawling, gushing as they fell to their knees in the grass. He stayed in her arms for what seemed an eternity; all his emotions rushing out and soaking the ground around them, he could not stop. As they knelt there, his back and shoulders jerking with the release of emotions, her arms cradling him, comforting him, the other creatures moved away and about business he could not even begin to understand. Soon they were alone, his cries fading into sobs, his head on her shoulder as she held him there, a soft gentle smile on her lips as her hand tenderly touched his face. She lifted his head slowly until their eyes met, wiping the tears carefully from his face her lips parted and she spoke, slowly, deliberately. John, you must trust me, you must allow me to show you, to explain to you what has happened. You will not understand at first but you must know the truth, you must see, you must.

He was no longer listening to her words, the voice coming from those lips was the most wonderful sound he had ever known, calming, relaxing and reassuring. He heard the sounds but not the words. His mind began to wander back to the party, back to the girl, back to the world he knew. The sound of her voice faded as he slid once again into a deep sleep.