Welcome everyone to a special post of the Writer's Revolution. I am your host, the author of The Phoenix Blade, Andrew Hess. Today I wanted to share a little bit of my book The Phoenix Blade.
Bright white lights. It was the first thing I noticed when I opened my eyes.
“Just relax Mr. Lancaster,” a stern woman’s voice said as she laid a hand on my chest; forcing me back to the bed. “You’ve been through a major ordeal and need rest.”
I tried to push myself up on the bed, but found my arms tied down with restraints.
“What’s going on? Where am I?”
“Relax, you’re in good hands.”
I craned my neck to look through the window on a solid door. I thought I saw a woman with short brown hair. She looked familiar. I continued to fight the restraints. I was always claustrophobic and being pinned to a plain white bed didn’t help that feeling.
“Mr. Lancaster, you need to relax.”
My eyes cleared; allowing me to see a tall heavy set woman dressed in white standing over my bed. Her surgical mask told me something was off. I struggled to get free, but was locked in too tight. The woman reached for a syringe and placed it into my IV.
“This should calm you down.” My vision blurred and my body felt limp. The woman’s voice sounded like she was yelling down a long hallway. “He should be out any minute.”
“Good bring him downstairs,” a stern male voice said. My eyes closed as I was wheeled out of the room forcefully.
When I awoke, I was back in my parent’s old house; sprawled out on the old brown living room carpet. The TV clicked on and recaps of last night’s baseball games were playing. I looked up and saw a teenage boy lying on the couch with the remote in hand.
“Steve,” I asked while pulling myself off the floor. He didn’t flinch or respond when I called his name. His eyes were fixated on the TV and wouldn’t budge.
I sat down on the love seat and wondered why he couldn’t hear me. A woman’s voice could be heard coming down the hallway. A short woman with shoulder length blond hair entered the room with a slightly chubby sixteen year old boy.
“Now Andrew, you’re in charge while I’m gone. Make sure your brother doesn’t get into any trouble and no rough housing.”
“Yes mom.” I looked at the boy and realized it was a younger version of me.
“Hey mom,” Steven said from the couch. “Can you bring us home lunch?”
“What’s wrong with what’s in the fridge?”
“I’m sick of having soup and making sandwiches. Can you bring us home something different?”
“Fine,” she reached into her purse and pulled out a twenty dollar bill and placed it on the fireplace mantle. “Order yourselves a pizza and try to save me some. I’ll be back in two hours.”
I watched the teenage version of Steven and I waive to our mother through the window as she approached her car. I knew what this was. I dreamt it every night. I stepped through the front door to stop her from leaving. The house was gone, and then found myself standing on the side of the road. A handful of police, fire, and rescue trucks had it blocked off trying to put out a car fire.
“MOM,” I shouted while running towards her overturned car as it burst into flames. Tires, bumper fragments, and glass littered the highway. Police tried to keep everyone away who attempted to get a glimpse of the wreckage. I ran to the car; knowing I couldn’t be stopped.
I pulled the car door open and walked into a funeral home. A long line of people stood along the wall; waiting to pay their respects. There were colorful combinations of flowers lined up around the casket and two large cardboard displays filled with pictures. The younger Steven and Andrew were standing next to the couches; accepting their guests’ condolences. I walked past the line of people; wanting to see my mother one last time.
I looked at the pictures as I made my way to the front. My left hand rested on the kneeler as I looked into the casket. I jumped back immediately; trying to catch my breath. I wanted to scream, but somehow lost my voice. I wasn’t staring at my mother. The body lying in the box was mine.