Write a summary of the book you’ve always wanted to write for the back cover of its dust jacket.
For me I sat and thought which do I want to , I have several premises for stories including my most recent NANO addition, I opted to go for last years Nano attempt, which is stuck at a little over 5k, but hoping to pick up again in the next 6 weeks, all being well and that.

A relationship in its early stages?  A desire for survival and ones true love?  Yet somehow your world is turned upside down?

You can see them there, you can hear them there but you can’t touch or interact?

What is happened

The story of true love, devotion, life and death but which will win out and how do we survive after such a traumatic ordeal.  Can any relationship survive the traumas which will befall them or will it quite simple be a death to all.

 

To help give you a fuller flavour of the story, I thought I would insert the first chapter a small sub-section of the story below for you to enjoy

Ghost in the Machine

I lie there on the bed, paralysed, and unable to move.  I want to sit up but I can’t.  I want to turn but I can’t.  I can hear all that is being said but for some reason my mouth wont form the words.  I try blinking my eye lids to get their attention but nothing; it is as if I am not there.  I’m no longer sure if my brain is sending out the message.  I suddenly feel very lost, alone, frustrated, and a burden on all.  I no longer know what to do.  Part of me wants to scream, I open my mouth but nothing comes out.  A silent tear rolls down my cheeks which they don’t seem to notice

My partner has hold of my hand and raises it against his cheek.  His eyes look full of concern, anxiety and stress.  He mouths the words I love you as he kisses my hand and then lays it down by my side.  I go to pull him back but I can’t seem to reach out and pull him back to me.  I want him to stay.  I always feel safer and more at peace when he is nearby, but I can’t bring him back.  All I want is for him to wrap his arms around me and tell me that everything is going to be all right, but something in his demeanour and his eyes tell me that this is not going to be the case.

I feel like such a failure at this moment in time.  This is ridiculous, what does he see in me, when I can’t even manage to do such a simple thing as reach out and touch his hand and tell him I love him too.  Inside my heart is breaking.  But I am determined to find a way to reach out to him, to tell him I love and I am sorry for being a burden and a failure.

The lights are then dimmed and I’m left alone in the darkness.  No one is there.  I am so alone and scared, I feel like a child, and even more humorous Jill Tomlinson’s’ character of a Poppy barn owl, as I recount the tale in my head, and a smile crosses my face at the simplicity and effectiveness of the story.  However behind me and to the right I see a shimmer of light but I can’t see from which room it is coming form; I know they are talking about me, from which ever room they are sat in.  Don’t know they know it’s rude to talk about someone behind their back.  My heart screams out, I am hear you know, I know you are there and talking about me, but something tells me it is useless.

Then as quickly as the light appeared it disappeared and there was complete darkness.

Was I asleep?  Was I dreaming?  Was this some dark dream to foretell of frantic loss?  What was my sub-conscious trying to tell me?  However, no matter what I tried to convince myself was happening, I knew the opposite was true.

I knew I wasn’t sleeping and yet something told me I wasn’t dreaming either.  So why could I not see anything; move any part of my body; reach out to anybody to hold them; speak to them; touch them.  Panic set in.  My short hyper-ventilated breaths bounced back at me, warm onto my face.  I’m trapped.  Oh shit.  My mind raced through endless scenarios, but ultimately I kept coming back to the fact that I was trapped.  But how?  Why? Where? And then there was nothing.  My conscious state blanked out as I faded into a deeper state of unawareness.

The sun is shining outside of the window.  I grab one of my partners T-shirts, slip on a pair of flip-flops and wander out onto the decking, where a waft of fresh ground coffee greets me.  I smile quietly to myself, I can see and smell.  The waves are lapping against the shore line, and I hear the sizzling of bacon coming from the kitchen.  I can hear.  I knew it I think to myself it was only a dream, only a dream – not quite sure why I am trying to convince myself of this.  As I am lost in thought; looking out across the beach and into the horizon; a warm breath of air passes my ear and whispers I love you.  I jump with surprise; as two strong arms wrap themselves around my waist pull me in and around and kiss me.  I kiss him back with an unfulfilled desire that I never knew I felt. “I love you too” I whisper into his ear, as a tear trickles down my face.

“What’s wrong? You’re crying?”

“Nothing.  I’m just happy” I say as I let out a contented sigh, and that was the truth.  I was there, I could hold him, touch him, tell him I loved him and he responded.  He pulls me further into him, our kisses more urgent.  He runs his strong hands under his T-shirt that I’m wearing and I feel him stir with desire; as we fall back into the bedroom to make love

No sooner have we finished and we were snuggling up into each other than the smoke alarm detonates breaking our trance-like reverie.

“Shit, shit shit” we both shout as we jump out of bed; I grab a t-shirt en-route; and run out of the bedroom, down the parquet floor to the open plan kitchen.  “Well I think it is safe to say that bacon is off the menu this morning.” I giggle.  He turns off the griddle pan and gives me a raised eyebrow, followed by a cheeky smile.  I lean across to him and land another kiss on his lips before padding barefooted onto the decking.  “Cold coffee and Toast?” I call back into the kitchen

“Yum” comes back the sarcastic answer as I pour us both a cup of black coffee and place a slice of dry toast in front of each of us.

If life could always be this relaxed and simple, what a pleasure it would be.  But I remember all too well he horrors of my dream; I am fearful for the day ahead and what was now in our immediate future; and if we even had a future now

As we eventually sit down to enjoy our cold breakfast.   I pull my leg up and place the heel of my right foot onto the end of the wooden picnic chair and nuzzled my head into his upper body.  I close my eyes to feel the rays of the sun glistening of my skin and a contented smile crosses my face.

I opened my eyes expecting to see sun, sea and breakfast, but there was nothing.  I was surrounded by blackness again. “No. No. No.” I screamed out.  This can’t be; I try to reason with myself.  Again my body felt frozen and solid.  I listened intently once more to see if I could hear anybody that I might be able to reach out to whom could possibly help me.  I suddenly heard what sounded like the rustle of autumn leaves outside; or maybe it was a breeze rustling through the long grasses.  No it can’t be, I thought to myself, it is, I convinced myself, it’s muffled voices.  I strained harder to listen to what they were saying.

“Get up.  Get up. Get up.  Come on we don’t have all day”

“Are you talking to me?”

“Well who else would we be talking to?  I don’t see anyone else round here?”

“You can hear me?”

“Why wouldn’t we?” the voice questioned “So come on get up!” The voice now sounded irritated at having to repeat the basic statement so many times in short concession.  I got the impression that it was not used to being questioned or disobeyed for a want of a better term.

“I can’t” I said, sounding exhausted. “I have tried”.

“Yes you can, you just have to try harder”

“Where are you?  I can’t see you?”

“We are here besides you”

“But I can’t see you” I said sounding startle;  thinking who else is in this torment with me, teasing me, making fun of me.  “I just want to die” I sniffled pathetically. “I’m useless. I’m a burden and a failure.  And I have let everyone down”

“No you’ve not”  Came the response.  “And besides we are here.  You…. Owwww”

“What was that for?”

“You Know”

“I just wanted”

“I know what you just wanted and you know”

And then silence followed

“Hello?  Are you still there?” I asked.  But nothing followed, only silence.  Great I am going crazy now I think to myself.

“We can’t until you have got up” and then nothing

I am sure somewhere I hear the words “grounded still and not ready and there are no mistakes”, and then all was still, quiet and dark again.

“Hey, Earth calling; Earth Calling” I shudder as tears roll down my face uncontrollably.  I can’t explain it, something is not right as I pull myself deeper into my partners upper body and his arms wrap around me protecting and comforting me, like they have done so many times before.  This feels nice I think to myself.  “What’s wrong?” He asks

“Nothing” I lie.  I lie as I don’t know what to tell him.  I’d sound crazy if I tried the truth, that I am feeling all at sorts because of what I think is a dream.  For God’s sake I think I am going crazy with this thing. ”Nothing, nothing at all “I re-iterate.  Not quite sure whom I am trying to convince, I am just happy I say as I pull away and smile and look up into his eyes with all the love, lust and desire I can muster and show; in what must have been the most weak and unconvincing smile of assuredness ever.

 

Once more I closed my eyes, but this time it was more an attempt to block out the world and the continuing feelings, of something not being right and of feeling displaced within this moment of time.  And somewhere deep inside I knew when I opened my eyes, I would no longer be within my partners’ arms.  I wondered if all this surrealism would ever stop, and could we ever truly be together again; as I seemed to drift away into another sleep once again.

Something told me I didn’t need to open my eyes to know where I was.  Maybe it was the warm fresh wet breath reflected back onto my face; or maybe the sensation of being locked into something and closed away from the world.  Perhaps it was the hearing and feeling of my blood coursing through my body; or was it that clammy sensation that I was feeling on the inside of my palms?  The whole feeling of being entombed and imprisoned was so strong and overpowering here, it was both overwhelming and terrifying.  Yet somewhere deep inside of me, something had changed.  The fear was no longer of this encasement.   It was as if, if I were to break free from not just this nightmare I currently found myself in, it would also mean the end of the life that I had once known.  This though paralysed more than the other, for the sadness that I felt that I may never say my future husband again terrified me.  Right now, it was this thought and this thought alone which kept me paralysed in thought and motion.  However all the time I was lying there, all I could hear was: ‘you can move if you want to.  You just have to’, as a slow silent tear rolled down my cheek.

Before I could act on anything though I needed to focus and control my breathing.  Deep slow long breaths, in and out, in and out I commented to myself.  If my breathing was steady then and only then could I focus on the task in hand.  It would also help me to control the nerves as I was extremely unsure as to what I would find.

 

I slowly moved my hands out to the side to assess where I was, to see if I could feel where I was.  The surface to both sides of me felt solid and smooth with what could only be described as a grainy texture to the touch. ‘You can move if you want to’ I mimicked to myself. ‘How the hell is that possible.  I seem to be trapped inside some wooden box’.  I giggled maniacally to myself.  Then outside I heard the muffles of voices again whispering “You can do it.  You can.”  I was losing focus and concentration.  So I slowly brought my hands up onto my chest; to help and monitor the breathing.  ‘Deep Breaths’ I said to myself.  ‘In and out.  In and Out.  That’s right’ I told myself as I brought my breathing back under control. ‘Well it looks like I have finally flipped’ I thought to myself. Still the nerves rattled through me, as my breathing maintained a shallow edge.  Concentrate, I thought to myself; just concentrate and focus.

Time to find out what is in front of me I think.  I slowly raised my hands in front of me, with my palms faced upwards; and slowly extended them away from my body.  What I was expecting to feel was the same smooth grainy texture, I had encountered when I had placed my hands out to my sides.  The reality however was very different.

My arms climbed upwards from my body as my breathing remained a very deep and controlled breathing.  My arms continued to reach out in front of me slowly and controlled echoing the movement of my breathing.  It was only as my arms reached a three-quarter length extension that I realised that I had not come into contact with anything solid.  My movement upwards was un hindered or so it appeared to be.  Something was not right; it just did not feel normal.

Normal – what a word, I thought, what the hell was normal, especially what I was going through lately.  I felt around to see if I could feel anything solid, but the only sensation was not that of air as I had expected but a mushy grainy sensation.  I started to panic again.  Cool beads of sweat formed on my brow.  My hands were covered in a film of sweat and clamminess.  My breathing was erratic and restless and short and full of hyperventilated breaths.  I quickly withdrew my hands and laid them shakily by my side.  I closed my eyes as uncontrolled tears once more rolled down my cheeks and I emitted noiseless sobs from my mouth.  I was panicked and freaked and no longer understood what was happening to me.  The inability to talk, to reach out to my partner and then the ability to do so and now this, I just wanted to understand what was going on.

“Please God.  Help me” I cried out between the sobs

“Please” I begged trying to leave pleading out of my voice, but failing miserably.

“I’m scared and frightened.  I don’t know what to do or where to turn.  Please just make this STOP” I cried out in anguish.

“Get up” said the muffled voices again.  It was the same ones that I had previously heard.

“We can only help if you get up. “

“You were nearly there.” Said the voice or voices.  I was no longer sure if there were multiple voices or just one as the tone seemed to alter with every speech the voice made.

“But I’m scared”

“I know.  Everyone is.  But it is the only way” the voice said soothingly.  It was the softest I had ever heard it respond to me.  Usually it was reproachful, or as if telling of some insolent child who would not listen or behave.

“What do you mean everyone is?”

“That does not matter” the tone sounded sharper now and angry again.  I was not sure if it was angry with me or itself for giving more information away than it had intended to

“It will all become clear.  Once you get up“

I had failed to realise that whilst this conversation was going on, my sobbing had eased and an immense sensation and feeling of calm had over taken me.  I suddenly felt very much at peace with myself and everything around me; this was something that I had not felt for some time.  Somewhere deep inside I knew this was only the beginning if I could just get up.

“Concentrate” I said to myself “Just concentrate”. I thought to myself as I formed long deep drawn out breaths.

Once more I reached out in front of me.  My fingers started to brush and get swallowed up against something smooth, silky and rippling.  It was the very same sensation that one gets when being wrapped in warm rippling water, lapping gently against the skin.  My fingers continued to pass through this sensation into something that then became much coarser, with a much more defined grainier texture – as if they had plunged into deep wet sand or a bag full of sawdust, or some very strange concoction of the two.

As I stretched my arms put further and straightened them, I could feel the woody sandy grainy texture against my skin.  It irritated me like a ton of little splinters digging in for a bite.  My hands however were now emerging into a gloopy, sticky, claggy mixture of wet mud ‘ Urrrghhh ‘ I said to myself and out loud, wanting to wipe the dirt off.  Then I remembered I had nothing to wipe it on, or against as far as I was aware.  So I kept pushing forwards.

Suddenly, and without warning, a cold chill ran across my hands and I knew then they were free.  I placed them either side of where my body would technically be, if it were in the same position as my hands were now.  My fingers felt moisture between them and the softness of dew on morning grass.  I tried to push down to help raise myself up, but I could not.  I felt my hands sinking back downwards into the mud. ‘AAARRRGGHHH!’ I screamed in frustration.

‘This is both useless and ridiculous’ I said out loud to myself

‘Focus, you are nearly there.’ Said one of the muffled voices but clearer this time, clearer than all the other times I have heard them- this time it was as if they were sat right next to me

And I know deep inside of me they are right.  But I am so tired, drained and exhausted; all I want to do is sink; sink back down into where I currently am.

My breathing was now heavy and laboured due to the exertions of pushing through these unknown layers.  But I knew I couldn’t  give in and sink back down like I wanted to.  I knew I must continue.  I knew that once I managed to break through that everything would be okay.  However I also knew that everything would be different too; and this I did not want to acknowledge – not even to myself.

Once more I raise my hands above the mud and place them softly onto what I can only describe as grass next to me and then pushed softly but gently against it to raise myself up.

There was something wrong.  Something was very wrong indeed.  As I pushed myself upwards, my head felt connected my ankle;  my legs were wrapped around my neck;  and my torso – well I could not even seem to find where that was at the moment.  My nose then started to twitch as if I had dust in it “ Ai.  Ai.  Aitchoo” I sneezed throwing  my head back and then forwards with the force of the mini-explosion.  “Well – at least that is something” I thought to myself; “I have now found out where my torso is; it seems to be at the bottom of my feet .“ “Excellent – not.  What the hell is it doing there”.  Then I smiled and giggled to myself; and thought when I got out of here I was going to look a right mess.  I mean even more than normal and that was quite impressive even for me.  My arms – I had no idea now what they were connected to, as it definitely was not my torso.  My head was somehow connected to my ankle.  My legs were around my neck, which reminded me of the time when,  as a child, I was trying to show my parents how flexible I had become since going to gymnastics.  What had happened was, I had managed to get my legs around my neck easily enough, but getting them back out from around there proved to be a different matter entirely.  And now to finalise this, this new fancy body of mine, meant I was somehow supposed to use my torso has some sort of a board to get about on.  The image had me letting out a loud laugh; which was then followed by a major coughing fit, as a result of the inhalation of dust from the laughter.  I’d hardly noticed all the dust before, until my nose had started twitching and wanted to sneeze.

Nevertheless I had to get out of here.  So I continued to push gently down on what felt like grass; trying to continue to elevate myself from whatever and wherever I was.

After what felt like forever, a sudden cold rush of air flew across my face – as if someone had thrown a bucket of cold iced water in to it.  I struggled to catch air into my lungs. It was almost as if I had forgotten the most basic of things; like breathing, which I had taken for granted for so many years – well as far as an asthmatic can take these things for granted.  I grabbed at the air around me and pulled it into my lungs heavily and rapidly, fighting to regain control of this most basic of functions.  As my breathing settled, I continued to push myself up and out of where I was and into that cold splash of air which was around me.  I was surprised to find that,  as I did so,  I unfolded with my head connected to my neck;  and all body parts unfolding into their correct positions; despite the sensations of disjointedness from earlier on.  Although this was very much a relief,  it was also strangely disappointing as I had, in my own head, constructed an image of me looking like some dysfunctional crab.  I pushed myself completely out of where I was and stood, albeit feeling wobbly at the side of the hole.  I felt like what could only be described as a newborn foal, trying to find its legs, for the first time.  This was feeling more and more like I had forgotten the basic functions, of how to breathe, see and walk. This idea and sensation was silly.  I thought I had gone blind, and I realised seeing had to be included in this list, has everything around me was pitch black I could not see a thing.  I was no longer sure, given how I was currently feeling, whether this was because it was black, or I had also lost the ability to see.

“I’m free.” I said

“See, Told you, you could do it” Said the voice somewhat smugly.

“Come with me”

“How can I?” I asked

“I can’t see you.”

“Open your eyes” a voice said

“What?”

“Open your eyes”

“They are open, and I can’t see a thing, apart from what looks like some twinkles”.  These twinkles looked more like the flashing, chasing light ropes that people put around their windows at Christmas.

“Just follow the light then.” said the voice

“Of course” I muttered sarcastically.

“Just follow the lights.” I suddenly felt like Dorothy in the Wizard of Oz, but instead of the yellow brick road it was rope lights. Real exotic, I thought to myself.  Nonetheless I followed the lights obediently.  As I chased the lights, there appeared to be a tear in the fabric of the darkness as a glow appeared, growing in size and brightness the further into the darkness I went.

The light emanating from this brightness reminded me of that sensation you get after being sat in a cinema for 2 hours before walking out into bright sun shine.  It was blinding; dazzling and momentarily disorientating.

As I approach what appears to be the dividing line between the two opposites. I asked out loud if I should continue.

It was like one those moments you get in cheap car crash movies , where it looks like a dividing line down the middle of the screen; one side is all black and the other is all white – and one will be consumed by the other depending on which side you choose to stand on.  “Yes keep going” said the voice, with only the smallest hint of excitement , and so I continued on blindly; not questioning, but having faith in what they said to me.

Crossing over from the darkness into the light was an odd feeling.  My body had the sensation of pure weightlessness.   I felt as light as a feather and I no longer felt weighted down with unknown pressures of stress and or anxiety.  I felt limp and relaxed  as if nothing mattered anymore,  but this was enforced with a strength and clarity of thought that had never been present before either.

I blinked my eyes several more times to adjust to the light and the brightness that was around me but it still took what felt like another few minutes before things really started to come into focus so that I could see where I was, and what was about me.

The grass under foot was lush and green; a real luminous green of freshness and colour.  Just to the right of me and out of my line of vision was a tree, with its’ bark so wooden and thick and tall and strong-looking.  Around the tree was a wooden bench for sitting and getting shade from its leaves. Around the edges of the garden, were a variety of willows and elms.

This was a place of reflection and quiet contemplation.  Not a sound could be heard; no birds singing; no rustle of the wind through the trees; no sense of any intruding noise; despite the fact that people busied about in the garden and birds flew about quite happily flitting from tree to tree.  Despite this three was a true calmness to the air that I had never experienced before, not even in a graveyard, where the quietness and serenity was unnerving; it was one which you could not quite relax into for fear of making some noise.  Here it was different- it could be said – it was, quite literally, just something in the air.  It was serene and tranquil; almost like a hidden retreat which you would find in the mountains of Switzerland or the Italian lakes.  I let out a deep sigh of exhaled air and smiled.

“I can see why he loved you” The voice said.

“What?” I said as I shivered and shuddered at being awoken from my reverie that this place had invoked within me. “I just said that when you smiled, just then, I could see why your partner fell in love with you”.

“Oh, all right” I spoke almost dismissively, and sharply, although this was not the intention.  It was just this place; it just had a distancing affect on you.  My mind drifted to him, my love, my partner, my future husband and a tear rolled down my face.

 

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