The Journey Is Now
This is an excerpt from the novel that a friend and I are working on together. This has been a work in progress for the last year. Another friend told me tonight that I need to start putting up excerpts of my work, and Silver and I intend to publish this together under our own publishing label, Lost Dimensions 37. At this time it is untitled, but it is a work in progress. This started out as a text based roleplay, but quickly the idea of a book caught on. Tonight we crossed our 70k word mark, moving into the category of novel.
Joshua C Dansby
Copyright © protected by Lost Dimensions 37, May 8, 2023
By the time the sun was midway in the sky, they had reached Crescent Ridge. Colton led Agatha down into the ravine that was seated between both of the crests. He had seen it when he had been on his way into the city.
Colton stopped the horse right next to a peaceful brook that ran through the ravine. There was green grass all around with a few smaller trees that could still get enough sunlight in the shadows of the crests. Colton had realized almost immediately after finding that place the first time that the ground was hallow.
He looked at Agatha and smiled as he dismounted. Quickly he took off his boots and his socks.
“The ground here, if you cannot feel it, is hallow,” Colton said quietly as he took Agatha’s hand to help her off of her horse.
Agatha took Colton’s hand and slid off of her saddle. She knelt down and slipped off her boots and stockings as well.
“This is a beautiful area.” She smiled at him and squeezed his hand. “I never knew that this place was here…”
She pushed back her red hair and looked up at him. Agatha could feel the energy of the earth course through her as soon as her feet touched the lush grass. She closed her eyes and took a deep breath to take in the fresh air. She leaned in close to Colton resting her head on his chest.
Colton could smell the earth, and the brook, and Agatha… He breathed it all in. He wrapped his hands around her waist, and swayed softly in the light breeze. He had not danced in years, and he wished that there was music playing, but he knew that music would be out of place. He also knew the sounds of nature could be just as exhilarating as music and was just as musical in their own way. They were the original music. The music of the gods. He swayed back and forth to the rustling of the grass in the breeze and to the sounds of the bubbling brook.
It was peaceful. Even knowing that there were men on their trail. Men that would sooner kill them than look at them.
“The truth is that there is only one way to find this place, and it has to be of dire need. I needed this place to clean my wound when I was shot… But I marked it with an old Indian marker… It isn’t a physical marker, so there is no risk of anybody finding it. I wanted to bring you here before we continued on. Do you eat fish? They will turn their bellies up when I go into the stream, and I can catch some for dinner… If that is okay with you. And there are berries on the trees… You can go pick some berries, if you’d like.”
Agatha looked up to Colton as they danced in nature and smiled up at him.
“It’s absolutely stunning,” she said in barely a whisper before resting her head on his chest once more. She listened to him talk and nodded. “Fish are fine.” She pulled back from Colton. “I will gather some berries, and I will see if there are other edible plants around that we can add to our meal.”
She reached up a hand and placed it on Colton’s cheek before stepping back and looking around them to take in the surroundings.
Colton pulled her back to him quickly for a swift kiss. His lips melted into hers. Colton did not want to let go, but knew that they were still on a time frame. He made a note to bring her back some day. It was her scent and her warmth and the way that she held onto him that drove him crazy. He pulled back from the kiss before he was unable to let go.
“Yes, go look, I’m certain you will find what you are looking for,” he said. He turned to go to the brook.
The trout and bass that swam deep in the brook would play dead after his entry into the brook. He had witnessed it the first time that he had been here. They offered themselves as food for the weary traveler. He pulled his pants up to his calves and waded into the shallows. Almost immediately the fish started to present themselves.
It was then that the sunshine flooded into the area, and it was brighter than he had ever seen. Colton looked up in time to see a bright white light pass across the ravine. It was so fast that he nearly missed it. As it passed it left a long trail of what looked like electricity in the blue sky.
If bitterness isn't my friend
Who will be there in the bitter end
And if you don't like it then I have to ask twice
Burning down this house made of ice
The righteous side will make a sacrifice
Don't even pretend like you are nice
I once wasted days like a troll
It felt like I'd never get out of the hole
Now these days I'm rolling with the role
There are desires of my lifestyle that I despise
Can you distinguish the truth from the lies
Words immortalized are often made ambiguous
That's why my efforts are continuous
With every word I spit
I make the world pay for the bullshit
I gotta keep going to get ahead of the train
I gotta keep moving to get out of this rain
Life is not always what it seems
Some days are surreal like you're lost in your dreams
Then you start to wonder what is the true disguise
The dreams inside your head or when you open your eyes
Trapped in hindsight they say vision is twenty twenty
Most days I open my eyes to having plenty
But the craving for more is always stuck in my heart
I thank God above for giving me art
Every time I reach out to try to touch the truth
I have to feel that everything that I've done is approved
One day I pray that it will help me pay the bills
But today is the day that it gives me many thrills
I used to indulge in cocaine and alcohol
It was like I was living one big ball
I knew soon death would be marching down the hall
God himself knew I didn't want to answer that call
Can you distinguish the truth from the lies?
Can you see past the illusion and through the disguise?
I gave it all up for a life surrounded by family
My momma never left she was always right beside me
But it was bloody hard for me to see
I don't think she ever appreciated my art
But I know the woman loves me from the bottom of her heart
The ramifications of the addiction were pretty simple
Jails and hospitals became the devil's temple
So I looked above for the answers to my every problem
God reached down and pulled me up from the bottom
He gave me a hope, a dream, and a plan
In the devil's presence I'll make my last stand
One of these days for my words a demand
So I pray on this day
I'll slap that bitch across the face and call him Lucy
I'll cut him down until he's bleeding out and juicy
Fuck the haters, right
Let your ways always follow the light
And never surrender to the darkness of night
Everything is all right
Can you distinguish the truth from the lies?
Can you see past the illusion and through the disguise?
"Like I'm Losing"
This is titled "Like I'm Losing". I just wrote it in the last thirty minutes or so. I am greatly considering actually doing some rap videos, but I don't know if I got what it takes or not. Let me know what y'all think, and please comment if you feel like you have anything to say! Constructive criticism is appreciated.
Toxic words are here to stay
Wishing hell would go away
Every fucking day a bitter deal
Like some sickened images in a movie reel
Do you want to live or die?
I am so sorry that together we can't fly
No remorse for such a bitter life
Should I swallow the barrel or just slip the knife
But I always find myself writing a rhyme
You don't even answer your phone half the time
It wouldn't be a problem to swallow a bottle full of pills
This is how I'm feeling when I'm down in my ills
It's a goddamn shame I gotta deal with the pain
Can you hear the chilling sound of the rain
The escape of reality shouldn't be so fucking hard
I just want to give up when dealt that final card
And even though I play my part
I will never be able to get you out of my heart
Mr. Grim has a flush, but all I have is a pair
Like I really wonder if anybody really care
I can't figure out where I'm going from here
Can I get your attention or just catch your ear?
If you misunderstood the words that I said
By now you're probably thinking that I'm already dead
But I'm not
I'm searching for answers in unlikely places
Has me suspicious of all the unknown faces
Are they out for my blood or are they all benign
I wake up in the morning feeling like the number nine
The final completion of these things left unsaid
The feelings in my heart make me wish I was dead
But never let this be the final goodbye
And for me my greatest fan you should never cry
"The One Who Got Away"
“The One Who Got Away”
I wonder if you're an angel sent from above
But when I look, I see no halo, only horns
My love for you reminds me…
That every rose has its thorns
So long ago, we could have been more
But now you're the best friend I ever could have had
It is the most bitter pain to know you I adore
But the most bitter pain can make you feel glad
For you I crave only the best
Whatever is your heart's intent
I pray you will find it until you're content
My dear, you can always put me to the test
I long for things I cannot express
The curves of your body
To the floor falls your dress
The want for these things make me feel naughty
For you I long only to love
But you're married, so my love goes unrequited
But to my heart, you're forever knitted
Even if you're not MY dove
"Trials of Time"
“Trials of Time”
Creeks and rivers flow endlessly through the continuum of space
They cut through time like bands of steel sharpened on the stone
Time is an illusion, a paradoxical enigma splattered on God’s face
Time sifts through the hands like grains of multi-colored sand
Every grain a different picture, techno-colored memories of a life
Many different graces presented, make not a moment bland
Time remembers every heart ache and each and every smile
Life is meant to be enjoyed like a gift from God above
Time spreads out forever, breathing in aromas beautiful and vile
Not a moment should be wasted within so short a person’s life
Seize every moment by its horns and hang on for the duration
Living a life with pleasure does not mean there will be no strife
Sometimes that strife may be a blessing in the simplest little way
A lesson learned, a virtue gained, or a simple truth unfolds
Time has so much to give, so much to say, if only in a day
Okay, so it just occurred to me that I have no idea what my audience really wants to see. This post is not long as it has one specific question: What do you want to see more of? Poetry, prose, short stories, theosophical discussions? More excerpts from my novels (sorry, but I can only publish so many of these without revealing the entire plot of these works; but as I have several different novels in progress, I can bring excerpts from the ones I feel most people will be interested in). Tell me what you want to see more of in the comment box, and I will make it my agenda to bring this content to you!
WITH LOVE AND GRATITUDE,
New Content Daily
Okay, I took a week’s hiatus for some reason. I don’t know if I was discouraged because of a lack of funding, or if I was just overwhelmed with all of the stuff that I’ve been doing for my parents here lately (that’s a story in itself, one that I’m not exactly happy about due to certain matters that I will not discuss here), but I’ve got to keep going no matter what obstacles befall me. Today I received my tax refund, and I was able to upgrade my website to the professional edition and buy my own domain name. These two things made me extremely happy. My dream of having my own professional website as a writer was finally actualized. This is eleven years worth of dreaming finally coming true!
I am ahead of myself for what I want to do with this website. I am going to be posting original creative content on this page, titled “The Journey”, and my page focused on the more divine subjects that I am interested in, titled “The Divine.” I'm going to work diligently to bring content to both pages on a daily basis from this point on, and I'm not going to look back. Trust me, there’s nothing in my rearview mirror that I really want to see other than some of the poetry and creative works that I will soon be placing on a page with the specific function of being my marketplace. So if you want to go on a wild ride (some of this may be literally revealing of my days on the carnival), keep coming back.
Later today I will be posting a short story that I wrote for my creative writing class while attending college with a major in English and a minor in history. I have no idea what I was intending to do with such a degree other than writing, and God only knows that to date I have played the benevolent part of the starving artist. Writing, to me, is divine in and of itself. If I had a chance to go back and finish my degree, I would probably double major in theology and English Lit.
I intend to bring many pieces of work to you, including poetry, prose, divination readings, theosophical discussions, blog posts, and maybe even videos related to all subjects, not excluding the divine.
New content coming later today!
WITH LOVE AND GRATITUDE,
Tougher Than Iron (Excerpt-chapter 35; second draft)
Bobby awoke with bright light flooding in through the opened windows, and a chilly breeze blowing in through the cracked door. Bobby wondered for a moment who could have opened the door, or if someone had forgot to shut it. He didn’t feel tired when he fell asleep. Noticing that he and Lillian both lay naked, he assumed that they had fallen asleep in their passionate throes. Thunker snored loudly in the bed next to his, and Bobby reached into the floor to pick up his combat boot and throw it at his comrade’s head. Thunker stirred, but did not wake.
The door opened, and two soldiers that Bobby recognized as military police stepped inside. They carried in two duffel bags, dropped them on the floor, and gave Bobby a nod. “We’ll be waiting with transport as soon as you’re ready. I suggest that you hurry.”
Bobby threw his feet over the side of the bed, and reached down to pick up one of the duffel bags. Unzipping the duffel bag, he found a pair of brand new gym shoes, a grey ARMY sweat shirt, a pair of grey sweat pants, and some under garments. He stuffed the clothing back into the duffel bag, and reached over to shake Lillian awake. “Baby, wake up.”
“Wh-what?” She asked, stirring to pull the blanket up over her head.
“Wake up, babe,” Bobby spoke. He gave her shoulder another gentle shake.
Lillian looked up at him with sleepy eyes and blocked the sunlight with the back of her hand. “Muh-yeah?”
Bobby reached over and grabbed the phone that sat on the nightstand. Dropping it on the bed, he turned towards the shower. “Order some breakfast. Me and Thunker have to get moving soon. I’m going to take a shower.”
Bobby gave the foot of Thunker’s bed a hard, straight kick, shaking the bed. Thunker grunted and looked up to see Bobby still standing at the foot of his bed. He rolled over and looked up at the ceiling before reaching to his nightstand and picking up his pack of cigarettes. Content that the soldier was awake, Bobby disappeared into the bathroom.
Stepping into the shower, he pulled the curtain closed behind him. Cold water washed down over him, waking him from his fitful sleep. Humanity will benefit from whatever I’m doing today. I can take this mantle. The cold water washed away the crust from the previous day’s exertions as Bobby cleansed his thoughts. Finally, warm water washed down over him, ceasing the ache in his muscles. Solace will come after this mission is complete. First I work. Stepping out of the shower, he dried off with one of the hotel’s white towels and pulled on the sweat suit that had been brought for him. I want to be as respectable looking as is possible. Trimming away the ruggedness from the days prior, he stared into the mirror. Sharp.
Lillian looked up at him from the bed and shook her head. “They don’t have room service, honey, but they said that if you wanted some food, they have an all you can eat breakfast buffet. Why don’t we grab a bite while Thunker gets ready?”
“That’s alright,” Bobby replied. Sitting down on the edge of the bed, he pulled on the socks and gym shoes that had been provided for him. “We’ve got to get moving soon.”
“I need a shower,” Thunker spoke. “Might as well go get something to eat. Would you bring me a plate?”
Bobby thought for a moment of reprimanding Thunker for making a request of him, but decided that it would not be in his best interest. Until last night, the two had been almost equal in rank. He didn’t understand why Thunker had only been promoted to Sergeant, while he had been promoted to a Master Sergeant. Both soldiers had been through the same tasks and drills, and both had made it out of Nashville alive. It doesn’t make sense, unless they already know of my leadership capabilities. Of course, that’s a given with the fact that I led Charlie Company.
“No problem,” Bobby replied as Thunker disappeared into the bathroom
Bobby stood up and glanced back at Lillian as she wrapped herself in a white hotel robe. God she’s beautiful, even when she first wakes up. He’d always heard the sappy songs about a woman’s true beauty, especially after having just woken, but until then he hadn’t realized just how true this was.
“I’ll go down and have some breakfast with you, and fix your battle buddy’s plate,” Lillian spoke.
The morning air was cool as the sun came up over the horizon. Summer time shouldn’t be so cold. Not here. Bobby noticed the TMP waiting in the parking lot and waved at the two military police who drove the vehicle.
“Where you going, Sergeant Warner?” One of the military police shouted.
“I’m going to have some breakfast,” Bobby replied. “Thunker is still taking a shower. We have time.”
“Hurry!” the military cop shouted back, rolling up the window.
Bobby led Lillian into the foyer of the hotel. The fresh scent of bacon wafted down the long hall past the reception area. Bobby’s stomach gave another rumble as the aroma of food found his nose, leading them down the long hall into an open dining area. Several older couples were enjoying their food, and a few old men sat around a round table sipping coffee. The scene reminded Bobby of the diner that his grandpa had taken him to several times when he was still in school. Thank God he did so much for me. If he hadn’t, I wouldn’t be who I am today.
Half of the long buffet table was overflowing with breakfast food; the other half was loaded down with cold cereals and fresh fruits. Bobby picked up a plate and started loading it with bacon, eggs, grits, toast, and a bunch of grapes. Glancing at Lillian, Bobby smiled. “It looks good.”
“Let’s hope.” Lillian returned Bobby’s smile as she loaded her plate down with fresh fruits. “I can’t imagine you going off to war on an empty stomach. I’m already so giddy about letting you go. I know you know what you are doing, but I love you.”
“I love you, too, babe,” Bobby replied.
Bobby pulled Lillian’s seat out before sitting down at the table. The food smelled even better closer up, and the bacon tasted delicious in his hungry mouth. Bobby dug through the food quickly, packing as much into his growling stomach as he could. God knows when I will be able to eat again. Bobby took a sip on his coffee and looked up at Lillian as she nibbled on her food.
“You eat so fast,” Lillian spoke, taking a bite of a soft buttermilk biscuit. “I don’t remember you eating that fast before…”
“I didn’t,” Bobby replied. “It was the training that I received in the military that made me eat this quickly. You either ate fast or you didn’t eat enough.”
The television set in the corner caught Bobby’s attention. The news showed a full map of the United States. The Ma’Qualians had landed another brutal blow on the nation. The television reporter was inaudible due to the television’s mute. Soon live footage broke through the image of the map, showing the devastation caused from attacks on an unknown location. Bobby lamented the fact that it looked like almost half of the nation had already been invaded by the Ma’Qualians. And people still go on like nothing at all is happening. This whole world is bizarre. Sipping on his coffee, he frowned.
“I know that you don’t like me going through with something that we know nothing about.” Bobby dropped his voice and lowered his coffee cup. “I don’t like it, either. But you know that I have to do it. If I don’t, we will have no world in which to live. We’ve started something that I want to see to the end, baby.”
“I know,” Lillian whispered.
Thunker came in dressed exactly like Bobby, but not filling his sweat suit the same. Glancing at Bobby, he quirked an eyebrow. “What’s up?”
“Nothing,” Bobby replied. “Then it’s settled. I’ll be leaving you this morning, you will stay here at the hotel. When we return, I will return to you. If we don’t… I want you to know that more than anyone else, I love you.”
“I love her, too.” A broad smile parted Thunker’s narrow lips. “That girl wants to meet as soon as I get back from my mission. I told her that I’m going to be a real American hero.”
“What did you say to her?” Bobby asked.
“I just told her that I am important and that I have been selected for a top secret mission,” Thunker replied. Swallowing a mouth full of food, he glanced up at Bobby. “Whose she going to tell?”
He has a point, but he still disobeyed orders. Information is crucial. It can be used in manipulation or subterfuge. And it could destroy this mission. “That was fucking stupid, Thunker.”
Thunker threw his fork back into his plate and took a large gulp on his creamy coffee. Glaring at Bobby for a long moment, he stood up and walked back outside. Bobby had no choice but to follow him. Bobby took another long sip on his coffee, kissed Lillian on the forehead, patted her shoulder, and chased off after Thunker. The chilly morning air hit Bobby hard in the face as he caught up with the soldier. Climbing into the TMP behind Thunker, he snorted. Whatever. Let’s do this.
A New Heart
“A New Heart”
So much rain back in my day
Heart pounding, head thumping, going insane
For the sun, I longed for its ray
And so many days, I felt nothing but pain
I couldn't think straight, all I could hear was my breath
It felt like nobody loved me, not even God
I felt that the deception would last til my death
The thought of being forgotten didn't seem odd
I prayed for a reprieve from the hollows of heart
Prayers for love were so often common place
I prayed that God would let me get lost in my art
And to see into the beauty of an angel’s face
I managed only one day at a time
The bottom of a bottle became my best friend
Watching those around me, I hoped for the sublime
I wondered, if for the bitterness, there would ever be an end
One day forgotten, the closure of heart
I prayed, once open, it would last for a while
The bottom of of the bottle became death like my art
But once my heart opened, I found my smile
I found peace so very immeasurable
Love for my family was finally at hand
The art I wrote down was so very pleasurable
And for the bottle, no more demand
Once I found God, I knew that He loved me
All that I wrote was the dearest of friends
For my heart, the divine made their plea
With my family were finally amends
Today I look back and see all that I went through
And I thank God for my heart made anew
250 Followers Contest
Welcome to the madness of Lost Dimensions of Time: The Journey!
It is my great pleasure to present to you the 250 followers contest for my personal Facebook page:
Lost Dimensions of Time: The Journey
The rules for this contest are quite simple. I am trying to reach 250 followers on my Facebook page. The prize is a new short story posted on my blog available on my website:
(A personal domain for this website will be coming soon. I will make known the new URL before I transfer this website to a new domain. I will also throw in a new tarot spread for those who come to my website for that purpose; they can be found on a separate page from my primary blog entries.)
The rules are straightforward. They are as follows:
1. To vote for a new sci-fi story, hit the love ❤️ button on my Facebook page (Lost Dimensions of Time: The Journey) and share both this website (through the social media button at the bottom of each page) and my Facebook author page.
2. To vote for a fantasy short story, hit the angry 😡 button on my Facebook page (Lost Dimensions of Time: The Journey) and share both this website (through the social media button at the bottom of each page) and my Facebook author page.
3. Last, but definitely not least, click the follow button on my Facebook page to help me get to the 250 needed followers for my Facebook page Lost Dimensions of Time: The Journey.
With much love and gratitude to all of you! Happy reading!
This is my art, my friends
Poisonous tentacles wrapping
It has so many ends
My creative wings are flapping
Cutting through the shadows
Let my imagination soar
My many awful woes
Will soon be out the bloody door
Like the birds, my mind drifts
So many stories go untold
And the hourglass just sifts
Very soon my life will fold
So many stories up in my head
Now to finish before I am dead