Pareidolia: Chapter Fourteen

I’m publishing my science fiction novel Pareidolia in slow motion. A new chapter will be published every week. The premise is available here.


BALERO

Society Hill, Philadelphia | Sunday July 30th, 2000

It’s weird to be back here. So quiet and empty. I’m back on one of the leather couches in Willow’s library. There’s no fire in the fireplace, no butlers, no party, no guests.

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Pareidolia: Chapter Twelve

I’m publishing my science fiction novel Pareidolia in slow motion. A new chapter will be published every week. The premise is available here.


LEAH

Northwest Philadelphia | Sunday July 30th, 2000

There isn’t any moisture left in my head but somehow I’m still crying. Vicky, a neighbor two doors down, dragged me into her house and now we’re ducking under a living room window in case there are more shots fired and keeping an eye on whatever’s happening outside. Her son is in the kitchen, about to call the cops. I explain that under no circumstances should the police be involved, but I’m having trouble speaking. I’m trying to get it out between sobs that Dad’d never actually shoot anyone, and that anyway the gun was full of blanks. Vicky doesn’t understand me, or she does and she still isn’t going to risk it, and so we crouch between a La-Z-Boy and an end table. The trail into the woods is barely visible across the street and off to the left. Vicky is hugging me to her body. Her son has hung up the phone and is crab-walking back to the window.

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Pareidolia: Deleted Chapter (Zeke In Portland)

(At some point I decided to cut the first 30k or so words to keep things tight. This chapter was part of the carnage. It was good practice and good world-building, but less dramatic action than moving plot points around on a chessboard. The idea was to show how Zeke met Cory, the man who ushered him into Holcomb’s inner circle. It was written before I changed the whole thing to first person present tense. This was also before I realized chapters didn’t have to be 20 years long.)


This was not the Portland Zeke signed up for. So fucking drab. Was there time to make it downtown? Just for an afternoon? There was not. The airfare and hotel room alone had destroyed his annual trip budget, but he was still determined to go. Even if it meant crossing the country to stay in a suburban hotel, like, by-the-airport suburban: surrounded on all sides by freeways and business parks and chain restaurants and sadness. Everything seemed to be either one or both of the same two shades of tan and grey, even in the summer sun. They could have flown him to Toledo or Kansas City and he never would have known the difference.

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Pareidolia: Chapter Eleven

I’m publishing my science fiction novel Pareidolia in slow motion. A new chapter will be published every week. The premise is available here.


MARCUS

Northwest Philadelphia | Sunday July 30th, 2000

Leah’s distracted as she walks up the steps to her door, doing the backwards walking like her father. Something across the street has her attention. I look but don’t see anything. She asks if I brought anyone else with me.

“Christ, I hope not.”

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