In light of the recent solar eclipse, the following excerpt from my second novel, Ghost of Eden, seems an appropriate share...
“When I was young,” Uncle Xander began again, without lifting his head, “only eight years old, there was a solar eclipse. I was excited because even then I had an intense interest in stars and space, in things wondrous and greater than myself. My father did not understand why I was so eager and interested, but I begged him to let me go up on the roof of our house so I could be as close as possible to the phenomena. He reluctantly agreed to set up the ladder for me, but my mother said it was too dangerous, said that I needed a special scope to look at a solar eclipse without damaging my eyes. So I sulked quietly in my room until my parents were distracted and then snuck outside and climbed up the house. I tiptoed carefully across the roof so my parents wouldn’t hear me, and took up a position on top of the protruding chimney. When the eclipse began, I took short, furtive glances as the moon became a dark blot over the sun, then the sun became a crescent, then a sliver. When the moment of complete eclipse arrived, I turned fully to look upon the fiery ring of light and I remember laughing to myself. I remember laughing with complete joy at seeing something so rare and amazing.” Uncle Xander sighed. “Then the world went black.”
Kayla watched her uncle slide his pipe from his lab coat. In an instant it sparked to life and those lightly bearded lips drew deeply on the slender instrument.
“I was blind. All was blank. Then, slowly, a face began to coalesce in the dark, ghostly and half formed, but I could still distinguish her features. She was young—my age—but I already knew what she would look like when she was older. She smiled, looked at me. I felt strange, like I was seeing something I shouldn’t. I was warm suddenly, even though the air was brisk and chilly on the roof. I was in a forest and there were other faces watching me, but mostly all I could see were their eyes, reflective and glowing. Then the vision was gone. I blinked my eyes, but still my sight would not return. I groped from my perch upon the chimney and slid to the roof. I began to panic; I called out for my mom; I rubbed my eyes frantically; I lay on the roof and I cried. When my parents found me, I was in such a state they couldn’t be angry with me. My sight returned a couple of hours later, but I haven’t looked at anything the same way since.”