This is an excerpt from the first chapter of my book-in-progress, The Song of Kate Elizabeth.
From “The Well”
I feel as though I’m walking in a completely different, flat outdoor space, breathing completely different air; this never gets old. Yet here, in this, the calibration zone, or the “calzone,” as it’s starting to be called in the forums, which really bugs me, it is even foggier than usual. So very foggy that I can only see the ground that I step on, as well as my feet, of course, or my shoes, to be precise, and my trench coat, which is flapping around below like a slack sail. If I’m not mistaken, this is the very same coat that I used to wear back in my 20s. Why am I even wearing this old thing? I suppose it’s fitting, as I might have worn something like this when I saw her last.
What I have to do now is concentrate, and take the specific number of steps in the proper order, to engage the runtime. Or else I’ll just end up right back where I started. Must remember to move with the breath. Consistency is key. Place the foot. Breathe. Step. Shift, breathe, and… step. I’m trying not to imagine what this might look like from the outside, as if I’m performing some sort of elaborate rain dance, or martial arts ritual; must focus on performing the steps.
Now I can just make out a horizon line, which is broken by a dark mass, so I believe very strongly that I must have performed the steps correctly. As if in direct response to my last thought, the wind kicks up, the first clear sign of the runtime environment. It’s a lot windier than I thought it would be, though of course the weather will change over time. But this here is one crazy-making wind, first blowing from one direction and then the other, willy nilly.
The fog is exhibiting blueish spots where the sun might actually be breaking through, and I think if we get a little more sun and the wind settles down a bit, it will be warm enough for the occasion. I’m fairly nervous about that occasion, actually, which is seeing my sister for the first time in ages.
I mentally tick off some of the more momentous events since we last spoke: Getting married; having a kid, who’s now nine; Mom dying, Dad re-marrying. On her end, I just can’t imagine what her world has been like, and what she experiences on a day-to-day basis. How would we even begin?