The opening of my now out-of-print book, The Rest is Illusion.
Suddenly, a great steel clamp seemed to twist inside of Dashel. He gasped, and his body contorted. The pain was immense. Unrelenting. He fell to his knees, using the chair to steady himself as he grabbed at his gut. He tried to raise himself, but fell with a carpeted thump back on the floor. His arm struck a large stack of papers and they tumbled down over him into an avalanche of disorganization.
On his back, the pain traveling up his entire body, he gasped again. His hands tensed and crumpled some of the papers that had fallen about. Hands drawing up in the pain his father had known. His father’s hands. And his father’s tears of torment flooded from his eyes.
He rolled over onto his stomach, trying to regain footing. Trying to get to the bed. To writhe on a softer pallet. But another sweeping spasm hit him, and out of his mouth came a stream of red. Bright red. Red, like when Wilder had hit him with the ice and snow. Red, like the blood on the dinner table after his father’s first attack. It spread out onto the white sheets of paper, soaking them. He saw the blood pool spread before his eyes.
Realizing then he would not make it to the bed, he rolled over onto his back with his arms held outstretched, his hands still inflected in ineffable anguish. He stared up at the ceiling, his eyes wide in the pain his mouth could not find the strength, nor words, to utter.
But then the room became nebulous. Frosted with a dream-like vapor. The ceiling vanished, or was lifted away, and above was a beautiful blue sky. A veil was lifted and everything else around him evolved, shifted, into a greater use. Colors more vibrant. Life more vivid.
He was flying now, and down below was a great river…