Thursday, August 05, 2010


Despite the grime and dried blood from the wilderness, the hairs on Ulrich's arms stood.

His head had been hung, dozing, when the tickling snapped his chin up. He watched the dark wisps of hair peel clear of his skin and reach outward. He didn't dare to touch anything. The bizarre static charge felt huge. A brush from his fingertips would probably spark his entire arm numb.

Then, he noticed it.

Something deep in the ground.

A grinding, papery sound that buzzed vibrations through his toe bones.

Very, very strange.

A searing light exploded on the ridge like a fountain of lighting. The purple pillar whirled and writhed, anchored to the Earth.

Ulrich gaped.

Earthquakes could build huge static discharges, he knew that. Maybe he'd seen something like it on TV from an erupting volcano. But nothing that lasted more than an instant. Nothing like this.

A bolt sliced out and slammed a nearby tree. Wood and steam detonated in a spectacular cloud of debris. Shaken, he fell back.

Another bolt hit and rained splintered wood even closer. Rational or not, he felt like the thing was targeting him.

He scrambled on all fours. Glanced back at the fire and smoke. They twirled at the base like a surreal tornado.

To his left, a towering pine boomed. Needles and branches fluttered down.

He dove behind a rock.

The sky flashed with discharges. He cowered.

Another bolt barely missed, convulsing hard through his muscles. The current was following the roots back to where it came from.

Before it could dance closer, the pillar flashed out with a deafening clap of thunder.

He tried to catch his breath.

The Earth had stopped whispering.

(This piece is selection from my work in progress, EARTHTIDE.)


February Grace said...


That was intense!


the walking man said...

sounds more like the earth was just clearing her throat so she could whisper.

I was reading of the great dust bowl storms of the 1930's. It seems they too created a static charge so strong that if two people touched they were both knocked flat.

Look up Black Sunday 1932 to see how immense these things were,

Writing Jo Lawler said...

"The Earth had stopped whispering."

Whoa - that's saying so much in so few words. Very powerful.

I'm looking forward to reading more.

Oddyoddyo13 said...

Nice! Loved the concept-I've never heard of something like that, much like your MC. LoL

Daniel Weise said...

Very intense and powerful. I'm hooked. I want more. What happens next????

Anonymous said...

Cloudia, aloha!

Bru, a little action never hurt anyone, right?

Walking Man, I didn't remember the issue of static with the dust storms, but I did see a documentary on them once. So immense. It must have been so hellish to endure.

JoLea, thank you! The Earth plays a prominent role in this novel. Or something twisting it.... Posting these occasional pieces is a great way to get me rolling again.

Oddyoddyo13, makes you think twice about dragging your feet across a carpet, doesn't it? :)

Dan, very glad to hear that scenes like this are compelling!! I really want this novel to be a major page-turner. Some of the themes are truly massive.

JaneyV said...

I really liked the image of the hair which had been stuck to his arm with blood and grime being pulled vertical by the force of the static. It warned of the weirdness to come without revealing anything.

You really get the sense of the power of the earth here and also the feeling that she's really pissed!

Earthtide continues to enthrall!

Tabitha Bird said...

EARTHTIDE sounds really really good. I loved this. Keep going Jason.

SzélsőFa said...

this excerpt sounds really frightening. and i too, would like to read it further on ;)

Anonymous said...

JaneyV, very cool observations. :) I really like the plot and setting and dialogue to do its own foreshadowing.

Tabitha, I really, really need to buckle down and get this thing written. I'm probably 100 pages in.

Szelsofa, big things are happening as the Earth is beginning to unwind....

Mona said...

Ah! We have dust storms like that where we live! they are terrible and they rip the trees off from their roots!

Unknown said...

Very vivid. I love reading fragments like this. And the last line was beautiful.

Anonymous said...

Mona, there's probably nowhere to hide from the dust. Wow. I really don't envy you those storms.

Damyanti, thank you! I love how vignettes are little windows and we can wander among them.