Twelve Mondays, book 1 excerpt...
MAYBE THEY WERE flashing lights, but how was Emma to know for sure? One minute she’s sitting in her Mercedes, wet-faced, and runny-nosed from crying, and the next she’s standing against that awful bright light, calling her to attention. She flinched, then shielded heavy eyelids that concealed brown eyes, swollen from tears which made it difficult to see clearly. Feeling detached from her body, Emma tended to her legs, which were weightless but intact. The same with her arms, undamaged, albeit languishing limply at her sides.
The light before her rose and fell; it swelled and then collapsed like a beating heart. Raising an arm over her eyes, the light would decrease. Lowering her hand, the glow increased again. She played peek-a-boo with the rays until frustration replaced her curiosity; and then gratification, realizing a diminished sensitivity to the light. When she was able to see, Emma admired her surroundings.
Pristine-white walls towering above seemed to scold and admonish, saying, "Wash your hands before touching anything!" Turning her palms up, she checked to make sure there was no residue of dirt—or bloodstains. She twisted a wad of material from her shirt in her fists, a trick she’d learned to do in first grade that calmed her nerves. She was probably dreaming or maybe sleepwalking after crashing on some random person’s couch. It was something she’d done before, usually after a night of partying and drinking.
Maybe after crying and binge drinking last night, she had found a late-night party somewhere in North Jersey; that’s where she was headed when she left her apartment yesterday. Sighing, Emma thought about her promise to get sober and was disappointed with her apparent relapse. Closing her eyes, she quickly silenced that inner voice that liked to tell her how ‘Stupid’ she was. That's when the glow returned and resumed its playful exchange, rising and falling again, until her eyes adjusted once more.
She had an urge to explore but looked to the white walls first which seemed to whisper another command, "Clean your feet before taking another step!" This seemingly subliminal request directed her attention to the floor beneath—Gold? Looking again at the spotless walls and back down at the glistening gilded floor, her apprehension was fully realized. Emma suppressed her breathing out of a newfound reverence for the immaculate quarters; the light, still rising and falling, was a reminder to breathe.