Thursday, May 24, 2012

Author Extra: Lost in my Waking Dream by Charlie Cochet

Lost in my Waking Dream by Charlie Cochet

George Fitzpatrick is a troubled man and former soldier from the Great War.
Ever since his return fifteen years ago, George has been hearing another
man’s voice in his head, causing him to question himself and his reality.
His engagement to his fiancée has steadily been going from bad to worse, and
with every passing day George is finding it more and more difficult to deny
his long-buried urges and the feelings brought about by a man he's never
laid eyes on. Is it all in George's head, or is there something more behind
Noah Baxter, the man whose soothing voice invades George's dreams and his
heart? 

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Author Extra:

"I have to go," I blurted, getting quickly to my feet and doing my damnedest
not to let Ann see my trembling hands as I removed a couple of bills from my
wallet and threw them onto the table. 

"Is it--"

"Yes," I interrupted, not needing the reminder that I was defective. A
broken toy soldier. "I'm sorry. I'll call you." I managed to give her cheek
a peck and got the hell out of there before I embarrassed the both of us. 

The street was worse. Every little sound was a cacophony of almost
unbearable proportions. People ceased looking like people. They were blurs
and shadows of muddy colors and shapes, eyes and mouths sinking into black
voids. My heart pounded fiercely, my brow beaded with sweat, and I struggled
for breath. Soon everything would fade. I didn't want to black out on the
sidewalk. 

You can make it, George. Come on, one foot in front of the other. Breathe
deeply. I'm here with you. 

I smiled. Despite everything, I smiled. Doing as instructed, I put one foot
in front of the other and managed to hail a taxi. There was very little I
recalled about the journey home, but in a matter of minutes I was back at my
bachelor-apartments hotel, in my bedroom, curled up on my small bed.
Somewhere along the way, I had removed my hat, coat, suit jacket, and shoes.
I lay on my right side with my hands under my head, staring at the blank,
beige-colored wall across me. I was so exhausted, yet couldn't sleep. It had
been so long. 

Close your eyes. I'm here. Close your eyes and sleep. You're so tired,
George. You haven't been sleeping again, have you?

"No," I whispered. "You weren't here."

I'm sorry. Please, try not to worry. Close your eyes. That's it. Would you
like me to tell you a story?

I nodded, and before I even knew what story was being told, I was fast
asleep. For the first time in days, I slept soundly. It always happened that
way. It had become my addiction. One whose grip was so profound, I had
trouble functioning without it. For a long time, my dreams -- or nightmares,
rather -- had been saturated with terrible images. Memories of a time when I
truly believed I had been plunged into the very depths of hell. I had no
right being there. I had been so young, as so many of the others had. One
day, their faces began to fade away, each day more and more, replaced by
something warm and safe. Safe… I had forgotten what that word meant. To
think, all it took was one man to remind me.

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