Sunday, August 19, 2007

Fiction by Matt Shaner

The Offer
By Matt Shaner

I woke up to the alarm fading in the background. A white light dimmed into sunlight. I swung my feet over the bed and put them down, cringing when I felt sand. My eyes focused onto the waves lapping in from the ocean. I turned and the bed was gone.
Cliffs ran the length of the shore to my back. Heat came down from the sky. A slight breeze ushered gulls across the wave tops. I started to walk. After an eternity of walking, the scenery did not change. I spun around, expecting to see the bed again but it had not returned to take me. In its place, a man walked. In a split second, he appeared three inches from my face.
His eyes burned with fire inside white. His hair flowed like the tide around his face. His skin radiated the atmosphere. He spoke.

-I’m here to make you an offer.
-Who are you?
-Power. I know your longings. You wish to remove your past. This is your chance. Just say the word and, when you wake, it will be gone.

The water caressed my feet. It was warm enough to vanish inside. It tempted. I knew, somehow, that I could not escape this man. If I walked to the bottom of the ocean he would appear at my side with his fire eyes and his smile. My mind pulled up memories. It played events I did not recognize; fights, yelling, hatred, abandonment, betrayal. It painted the truth in large Technicolor strokes. I witnessed the carnage of the past in a three dimension movie screen. I sighed and focused. The man now stood behind me.

-You will wake in two minutes. What is your choice?
-It will all be gone?
-All of it.

The pain came through again. My anger rose out of the sea in a ball of blackness. Water flowed away from us and into the ball. It started to pull the sand at my feet. Rocks from the cliffs broke off and flew past my head. A gull fell out of the air.

-What’s happening?
-Your greatest fear. If you yield to me, you lose control.

The wind ruffled through his clothes. He put a hand on my shoulder. The power knocked me to the ground. The sand drew past my knees to the blackness. The water vanished from the horizon. I cried.

-Make your choice.
-Will they be gone, those who hurt me?

The darkness pulled on my body. The man stood still but I began to lean in against its force. I felt myself lifting off the ground. The man removed his hand from my shoulder.

-You have chosen.

I screamed.

-Give me another chance.

I flew into the darkness. The alarm blared. I opened my eyes. The new day crested on the horizon of existence.

Author bio:

Matt is a writer from outside of Philadelphia who spends his days at a financial company and his nights in the world of fiction. He is influenced by any writer with the courage to show the world the truth of its existence. He has finished two novels and it in the process of finding an agent. Matt has a publication in issue 257 of Bewildering Stories and in the August 07 issue of Twisted Tongue Magazine.

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