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About the author:
Born on an island in the middle of nowhere, Jedaiah comes from a cinematic background, utilizing all form of media to deliver work that isn’t just artistic or entertaining, but deep and challenging, new and bold with an emphasis on humanity as a whole. The unknown is the fun and the adventure never stops.
What inspired you to write your book?
Here is a short sample from the book:
A middle-aged man walked into the dimly lit interrogation room, moving coyly as he made his way in. He pulled out one of the chairs by the table and sat casually, knowing backup’s just behind the glass window. A cold gaze beamed out of his steely eyes as he stared down the other, younger man in the room.
Something happened to the younger one. He’d done some things that caught the interest of certain people in certain places, and because of that, his life suddenly became so worthless that it was no trouble to them to destroy it. So, in comes this other guy, the older guy – that sneaky agent-type who’s up to no good with an offer you’d be stupid to refuse.
“It’s either this or you die.” The older man snarled.
“I had no idea I was such a threat.” The younger man felt flattered.
“You also had no idea the world doesn’t allow your kind to walk freely.”
“So what’s your decision?”
A defeated yet courageous indifference struck the younger man. There would be another time to fight. Another time to let the rebel out. At that point, he had to give in.
“Fine.” A bitter taste left his mouth.
“There’s a good lad.”
Being talked down to, in addition to signing your life away was not the easiest thing to stomach, but the truth is, the older man held all the cards. The decision at the end of the day was that the young lad dies or he signs his life away to ‘Specialized Interests in Psionic Research and Technology.’ Hell of an offer! Especially when you have no clue what Psionic Research is. Nevertheless, it’s either that, or you die.
So, which one would you choose?
“Wait.” The younger man reached for the older agent who was already at the doorway on his way out – “What about her?”
The agent stopped dead in his tracks, slightly cracking open the door so the light from the hallway came in blindingly.
“We’ll take good care of her. Don’t you worry about a thing.” He smirked – “After today, who you are, what you were – none of it matters. All you have to know, is that you, are now Bliss One.”
Two years later
“Today is the day.” J was talking to himself, using the mirror in the bright bathroom as his audience, “I know you can see me. I know you can hear me, and I know that you will find me. Today is the day I put all of it to the test.” He didn’t plan on stopping there either. He kept staring at his reflection, like it would eventually give him some kind of standing ovation or compliment on how awful the bags on his eyes were getting from the obvious lack of sleep. The thought also crossed his mind about how much of a handsome, dark-skinned devil he was, but the gravity of the decision he was about to make, easily trumped any positive reinforcement.
Dressed in some slender, form-fitting jeans with a blank tank top and a black hoodie on top of it, he was all set. Ready to go see the world with new eyes. Prepared to ship off somewhere new. Explore! Yet he was still bothered. Something just didn’t add up. He had the perfect life, why was he trying to leave?
‘I don’t know’, he’d say to himself. ‘Out there is what I need. Not here. I just know it.’
He’d find the balls to leave the comfort of his bathroom, grab his backpack and get ready to hit the door. That is until he was stopped by his house companion. The loving, caring, adorable, sweet and ever-serving, Betty – the house robot.
“Going somewhere?” She asked, curious about his strange behavior as of late.
“Betty…” J looked at the floating mechanical ball that had a heart sign drawn on her side and makeup sketched on her camera – to give her a kind of ‘eye’.
“Do you think that sometimes, all of this, is, kind of, too good?”
“Is that a rhetorical question?” Betty quirked.
“No, no, no! I’m being pretty practical at the moment. Some things in this town, just seem engineered. Seems like we’re being ran by something. Like, we’re mice, maybe or hamsters on a wheel. Does that make any sense?”
J’s face dropped. He was really hoping she’d get it.
“I’ve been concerned about you lately. You haven’t been resting.”
“There’s just a lot on my mind.”
“Would you like me to arrange an appointment with the doctor?”
“Ugh, no. Please do not do that.”
“Okay, is there anything else I can do for you then?”
“Um.” J looked around his small home, carefully thinking up an answer. It was a very clean, modern home. The kind that had those marble kitchen countertops and the white oak flooring. The couches were small and the chairs were either black, red or white. Everything had a simple hue to it and it was very efficient.
“No.” He didn’t have much interest in making Betty worry, “I’m off to the park. Think I need some fresh air.”
“Ouh! The Park! This is a good choice. I like it.” Her robotic vocal tones pitched up excitedly, intent on getting J to cheer up in whatever way possible. The Park was a usual place he’d go to whenever he had to clear his mind, so he figured Betty wouldn’t ponder too hard on it. Besides, it was the truth. He wasn’t quite ready to skip town without saying goodbye to his imperfect little heaven on earth. J stepped outside his home and took a good look at his neighborhood.
What a perfect little world. The sky was blue, soothing with only few clouds in the sky and the temperature was enjoyably cool. Not too cold to have you shivering but enough to have you throw on a comfy coat. He thought about how well the grass was always groomed and how clean the streets were. The other houses down the road were similar to his with only a few subtle differences. They were either green or lime hued and some had satellite dishes while others had a modest fence.
The street’s name reflected the general ambience of the community. It was very quiet. You could hear the chirps of the birds, or the sounds of cars passing by a solid five streets over. J didn’t really mind that though. He loved the quiet. Allowed him to stay at home and work. Getting paid doing the things you love, even if it’s behind a computer – well, who could complain about that kind of life? J didn’t. At least, not up until recently.
“Morning neighbor!” The older gentleman from across the street waved with a smile so fantastically large it was about to burst out of his mouth. J gave him a friendly face and waved back. Then another neighbor did the same thing, and then another, and then… another.
Soon, everyone in the community had practically greeted each other ‘good morning’ in some way or another – using waves or gestures. All smiles, no frowns. It’s another day to feel good in Quietville and anybody who thinks differently should be watched suspiciously. J was good at keeping up a smile, that is, of course – if he wanted to. There were times he distinctly wanted to let the world know he was pissed off, but in the situation he was about to get himself into, he figured the ole, ‘less is more’, would more than suffice.
And with that, he shifted his body to the right and began marching toward the park, but barely outside Quietville and he noticed something strange by the street sign.
How’d that get there? He wondered, Doesn’t look natural here.
He stooped down to observe it better. It was a flower.
Oddly enough, not the kind of flower that grows nearby – it had to have been foreign.
Nevertheless, J shrugged it off. He figured it was only coincidence, so he continued his agenda to go to the park. On his way there, things were already starting to get a little bit strange. And no, it wasn’t the cool air brushing gently against his face. For one, the streets were empty. There were some parked cars around, but nobody outside. The nearer he got to the park, he didn’t see anyone there either.
Must be really early, He thought.
A flock of birds flew off into the distance, migrating, symbolizing trouble brewing.
Okay, that’s a little weird.
He tried his best not to pay any attention to the little signs around. He figured it’s only his paranoia and all he had to do was sit and rethink what he was really about to do. The Park was a medium-sized habitat. The grass was well-groomed and shimmered bright green. There were a few semi-tall oak trees around, acting like sun blockers for the perfect picnic. A small pavement led into the park like a walkway. In the middle was J’s favorite part. The swings. He came to the conclusion that bouncing on them like a little kid would do him well. It could ease the tension off his mind. Sounded like a solid plan.
A small gush of excitement dashed into his innocent heart and he felt warm, especially since no one was around to see him. He could do whatever he wanted. He walked right into that park and he didn’t care who saw him.
Then his faced dropped. Again. J saw someone else. Someone he was sure he’d never seen before, and to take that a step further – she was the occupant on the swings today, being the kid he wanted to be. The closer he got to her, the more he was able to identify some of her features.
She had long, blonde hair that covered her face half the time she swung back and forth with milky white skin. She wore a black cardigan, some skinny jeans and a black tank top underneath. She didn’t seem that much younger. If J was 25, she’d be about 23.
Well this is unexpected.
His hands found warmth in his hoodie’s pockets while he twiddled his thumbs trying to figure out what to do. He wasn’t really a fan of people watching him while he had fun at the park and generally speaking, he’d avoid the place if it was crowded. Today was just one person, so what’s the big deal? After some inner contemplation over the consequences of possibly telling her to get the hell off would end up being a bad idea, he decided to take a seat, close his eyes and relax. Let the sunshine shimmer through the shady trees and feed him some vitamin D.
Just a few more hours…
Although he made twists and turns about his plan, in reality, it was really simple – leave. That’s it. Nothing complex. J wanted to leave the town. Where was he off to? He wasn’t sure. How would he get there? He wasn’t sure. The only thing he was sure about, is that he had to go. In his mind, there’s no way he’s about to stick around any longer. He had the wanderlust, itching through the fiber in his bones, begging him to stop the same old, same ole and get going.
When he finally decided to reopen his eyes after a couple deep breaths from the laughably pathetic attempt at meditation, he’d be surprised to see his coveted swings were open for business.
Where’d she go?
J looked left. J looked right. She was gone.
There was no girl there anymore. Even the swing wasn’t swinging.
“There’s no way.” He silently whispered to himself, double-checking if Betty had accidently slipped some hallucinogens into his previous meals but he knew better. At least, he hoped she didn’t. He was very sober, and after a solid gaze at the girl – enough to identify a few features, he was pretty assured he saw someone and he was not going crazy.
Are you sure about that?
“Yes, I am very sure. I know I saw someone there.” He belittled himself in thought and voice, “Oh well. Whatever.” It wasn’t the time to be self-conflicted. He was on a schedule you see. He had to make sure he hit the swings hard and get out all the tension, all the ‘this is bullshit’, ‘I’m not sure if I should leave’, and of course the classic – ‘How did I end up here, again?’
He moved cautiously toward the swing, still having a deepened sense of paranoia if he was losing it or not. There was no one on it. It was all his. J cautiously sat on the swing, still eyeing around trying to find her. Nothing.
He pressed his feet into the floor and arched up, using the force of his weight to start the ride. He didn’t go too hard. It was a gentle, light swing. He held on with one arm while the other remained in his hoodie’s pocket. This was his last moment of peace before it was time for him to leave. And once he was gone, there’s no coming back.
“Where will you go?” A quiet voice called to him from the side. J didn’t look over. He was far too dazed from the swing, daydreaming about his plane ride to care.
“I don’t know.” He silently responded.
“You’re leaving, but you don’t know where you’re going?” The obvious voice of a girl caught his attention abruptly and the moment he spun around to the side to find out who the heck it was – he’d be both relived and horrified that yes, he wasn’t crazy, and yes, she was real. Very, very real – on the swing right next to him kind of real.
The first thing J noticed before he leapt away, yelping like an idiot was her teary blue eyes. She was nothing short of beautiful; cute and tender, with an inside innocence that somehow managed to shine past those tragedy-filled eyes.
“And you are?” A slight sarcasm left his lips, trying to downplay his embarrassing gesture of instinctual fear.
“I’m nobody.” Her saddened face dropped as she made eye contact with the ground.
J looked around. He blinked his eyes a few times too. She was still there.
“Okay, ‘Nobody’.” He raised his eyebrow, wondering if he’d found some random stalker,
“How do you know I’m leaving?”
“I can sense it.”
“Sense it, huh? What are you? Some kind of telepath?” He jeered.
“Sure.” Her response came way too sober. She was serious in believing the wild claim. All J could do was stare at her, wondering what type of crazy he’d got himself involved in. Still, it was his nature by default to be drawn to the curious, the unknown and even, the dangerous. This was no exception. Inside, it was pumping his blood the right way.
She looked up, fluttered her eyelashes and gazed at him deeply.
“Why do you want to go this time?”
“Why do you want to know?” He retorted with folded arms.
“I asked you first.” She teased, getting all cheeky with him.
The sudden playfulness caught J by surprise.
He wasn’t sure if he should smile back or run away.
“Alright.” He took up the challenge, “You wanna’ know why I wanna’ leave?”
“Because there’s nothing here. Everything’s the same. Pre-programmed, pre-conceived. The meals we eat, the shows we watch, the times we sleep, the work we do and boy, oh boy, don’t you just love how everyone’s always happy?”
“I don’t understand.”
“Come on. I know I’m not the only one who thought about this…”
He was hoping she’d get it. Instead, she kept staring like he was speaking some foreign language – “Okay then.” He realized it was going nowhere, although he was undeniably attracted to her, he decided to take the safer route and walk away.
Just another madcap in a nutbag town.
“You won’t get far.” She remarked.
A lightning shot down his spine. It was like she crossed that line – a trigger point that had him stop dead in his tracks and ready to confront her again. For a moment he hoped she’d disappear, but part of him wanted her to be there. He liked the challenge.
“And what about you, you satisfied here?” He snarled.
“Don’t know.” She hazily stared at one of the oak trees nearby, “I feel exhausted doing this over and over again.”
“Sounds like you’re giving up.”
“Sounds like you’re running away.”
The two stared at each other for a solid moment silently. It couldn’t be denied. J felt a strange, almost magnetic pull to this girl but he wasn’t alone. She felt the pull to him too. He shook his head, still trying to convince himself that maybe it was an illusion. Then, he looked over on his right. A cop car pulled up at the edge of the park, followed by two others driving in low-speed, scope mode.
Are they looking at me?
“What’s your…” J looked back to the girl, but she was gone, “Name…”
Great, so maybe it was an illusion. Either way, J had another matter to attend to. For some reason those cops weren’t looking at him too friendly and he wasn’t sure if he should stand there or run away. The latter would make him suspect and he didn’t need any additional worries. So he decided to calmly walk away as if he were another simpleton leaving the park. If those cops were to follow him, he’d deal with it in a peaceful, civilized manner. That was the plan.
As he neared the entrance, one of the police cruisers stopped right next to him. J looked at the cop, who was, more or less a typical, bald dickhead with shades that acted like hater blockers carrying an ego the size of Nevada.
“Hello officer.” J greeted him warmly.
“Hello citizen.” The officer’s tone was neutral.
He got out of the car, fixed his belt and briskly stomped toward J.
What the hell is going today?
“Sir, I’ll need you to put your hands up.” The cop got all serious.
“Um, why?” J couldn’t understand the reason for being profiled. Sure, he did have every intention of leaving the town, but what’s so illegal about that? He was a good person. He did his duty, he contributed to society, in whatever way he could and he was quiet. Not the type to cause trouble. Not openly anyway and not every day. On J’s left, another cop was closing in and on his right, another. Soon he’d be surrounded by them in a few seconds.
What the hell?!
“Sir, we’ll need you to put your hands up.”
“I didn’t do anything! What the heck is this?” J was very annoyed.
The bald cop radioed something in gibberish and from the looks of it, that was probably his queue. Once J tried to decipher the meaning, it was too late. The lightning pain of a thousand deaths came flushing into his heart. He was shot; wrecked by a taser dart right in the chest. The extreme sensation of the voltage unleashed the weirdest yelp he’d ever done in his life, and in the heat of the moment, he found himself on the ground, rolling around repeatedly asking – why?
“Sit down! Relax pal!” They told him.