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Tuesday Tales: Endless Doors Part 3

The Tuesday Tales feature continues with a new story this week. The previous story was Shadow of the Beast  To read the story, click on each link: Shadow of the Beast Part 1Shadow of the Beast Part 2Shadow of the Beast Part 3

This story is a a departure from fantasy for me and into a bit of science fiction where the science is more setting and the fiction is nuanced with it. Click this link to read Part 1 | Part 2

Endless Doors

by P. H. Solomon

Part 3

The shuttle arrived at Shady Oaks with a soft landing. The engines hummed during cool-down like a choir ended a song. Passengers exited whenever their cards signaled for them.

Archangel Lassitter’s card flashed in his hand and he disembarked. He almost searched for bags. He cleared his throat and shrugged at the lack of his possessions. Nothing to carry. He inhaled and released his breath, feeling like it was his first taste of fresh air in years. The lack of belongings left him invigorated.

More light led him to an attendant who stretched her arm toward an entryway. “Welcome to Shady Oaks. Your resting place is this way, Archangel.”

Jake wet his lips. He hesitated at the black tile line marking the room boundary. “It’s what I requested isn’t it? The, er, coffin?”

The attendant pecked her projected data interface. She smiled. “As you requested. It’s just inside. A military design.”

Jake swallowed the lump in his throat. It would be over soon. He entered the room where soft light illuminated the container mounted on a platform tilted for his ease. An old man’s ease. He allowed himself a grimace. “Such a small room. I expected a large one for all of us at once.”

“We’ve found everyone needs privacy in these moments.” The attendant handed him a smock. “Change into this and place your ID in the pocket. When you’re ready…” She motioned toward his coffin.

“I wore my best uniform for this.”

“The smocks are best but we’ll make sure it’s handled appropriately.”

Jake changed into the smock behind a screen. He laid the uniform out neatly and patted the garment. He frowned. It was his last comfort.

“Archangel? It’s time.” She took the ID from his hand and slipped it into the pocket at his chest.

Jake shuffled on bare feet to the container. He climbed in and leaned back.

From Myriams-Fotos via Pixabay.com

The transparent lid slid over him. A recording initiated. “Archangel Lassitter, welcome. You are about to be sent to The Afterlife. Do you confirm these instructions?”

“Yes, The Afterlife.” Jake’s heart lurched and his breathing accelerated.

The coffin tilted toward horizontal. “When the light changes to green, close your eyes and breathe deeply.”

He nodded to the instructions. Jake resisted pounding on the lid or screaming but he trembled. He hated closed spaces.

The light changed to green after extended moments. He inhaled fast and squeezed his eyes shut. His breathing calmed. His thoughts staggered into nothingness. Archangel Lassitter left his world.

Thanks for reading today. For more information about my writing, please see the page about my epic fantasy series, The Bow of Hart Saga, which includes two award-winning books.

About the Author

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Tuesday Tales: Endless Doors Part 2

The Tuesday Tales feature continues with a new story this week. The previous story was Shadow of the Beast  To read the story, click on each link: Shadow of the Beast Part 1Shadow of the Beast Part 2Shadow of the Beast Part 3

This story is a a departure from fantasy for me and into a bit of science fiction where the science is more setting and the fiction is nuanced with it. Click this link to read Part 1.

Endless Doors

by P. H. Solomon

Part 2

Photo by Stefan Kunze on Unsplash

The light guided Jake along the length of the hall. He passed several doors – all closed – until the guiding illumination stopped him at a door. The door parted from the center and air brushed his face. A projected screen and audio flickered from a darkened corner. “Jake was a good man. A man’s man with exemplary military service.”

“Come in, Mr. Lassitter. Please have a seat.” A young woman with dark hair pulled into a bun stood beside a simple desk of mahogany.

Jake walked into the room and sat.

“I’m Mrs. Walker.” She extended her hand.

“Can you end that.” He pointed to the projection where the speaker droned on about his life. Mona wept.

Mrs. Walker shrugged. “Most people like to view their end, but as you wish.” She tapped the projected interface on her desk and his service flicked into silence.

“Thanks.” He hated seeing Mona cry. He held back the hitch in his throat but his chin quivered. Watching was vain.

“Mr. Lassitter, I’m here to–.”

“Jake, call me Jake.”

Mrs. Walker cleared her throat and her lips pressed into a line. “Ah, these are hard enough without, uh, first names. I have a few instructions for you before your, uh, departure.” She placed a card on the desk. “This is your ID, keep it with you at all times.”

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Jake chuckled. “The toe-tag.”

The young woman paused and cleared her throat. “Yes, well. Please leave all your personal belongings with me. Through this door is the escalator to the shuttle to Shady Oaks.”

He chuckled again. “All this is so humorous.”

“Mr. Lassitter, ending your life is a serious matter. Now, if you are ready please proceed to the transport.” She pushed the card toward him.

Jake discarded all his belongings, glanced at his new ID, and read the label: Archangel Lassitter. He stood, took the ID and headed for the door.

“Goodbye, Mr. Lassitter. I hope your journey is peaceful.”

Sunlight blazed into the room as the door hissed open. Wind whooshed around Jake and he stepped outside. He swallowed the lump in his throat.

“Mr. Lassitter?” Ahead another woman beckoned him toward the escalator into the shuttle.

Jake shoved the ID in his pocket and trudged into the wind. They were all so politely aloof. He reached the other woman who looked like Mrs. Walker’s sister.

“You’re the last. Hurry, there’s a schedule.” She took him by the arm and herded him onto the escalator that carried him off the ground.

Jake’s shoe-sole scraped on the door-runner’s seal. Other people his age waited in the cabin. Some of his fellow passengers glanced at him. No one offered greeting and no one looked him in the eye. He sat in the first empty seat. He recognized no one, so which seat he chose mattered little.

Minutes later the shuttle lifted into the sky toward the sun. Jake left who he was.

Thanks for reading today. For more information about my writing, please see the page about my epic fantasy series, The Bow of Hart Saga, which includes two award-winning books.

About the Author

Interviews With Tordug Part 1: The Bow of Destiny

The following post is a fictitious news report based on events from The Bow of Destiny, Book One of The Bow of Hart Saga:

The Auguron Wind-Times
Brazen Troll-Attack Near Marston’s Station

Date-line: Marston’s Station, Auguron Forest
By Rowigan Skaulter, Roving Reporter

This evening was disturbed by turmoil around Marston’s Station which roused this reporter from sleep. Reports are coming in this evening of a troll attack when travelers approached this very way-station. Events are unclear at the moment, but trolls becoming so bold as to attack as far as the station are ominous.

While rumors of other attacks much further east have not yet been confirmed with the rangers guarding the roads, this reporter has been able to substantiate these local claims of fighting.

When I descended to the common room, I found the entire number of overnight visitors roused amid a storm of confusion. I saw one young woman brought in by a giant, an unusual sight in these parts, to be sure. The woman seemed wounded as her arm was covered in blood.

What follows is my interview with a dwarf who seemed to have been part of a scuffle, judging by the blood-spatter on his clothing.

Rowigan: “Sir, you look like you’ve been in a fight. Can you tell us your name?”

Dwarf: “Uh, Tordug.”

Rowigan: “Mr. Tordug, do you-”

Tordug: “Just Tordug.”

Rowigan: “Do you mean, Tordug the Just?”

Tordug: “No, Tordug.”

Rowigan: “Oh, I’m so sorry, it’s so loud in the tavern now. The men seem to be celebrating about something. Tell us what happened, Tordug.”

Tordug: “Well, some travelers arrived, shouting about trolls attacking on the road, just east of here. They said the brutes shot arrows at them. Then they said they were missing two of their party. So a bunch of us grabbed our weapons and ran off along the road to help.”

Rowigan: “I see, so there were trolls? What did you find?”

Tordug: “We got there just in time. There was a young woman astride a horse and a young ranger fighting alone against a pack of trolls. The moon rose back east and shined on the woman so she glowed like silver.”

Rowigan: “I heard mention of this woman and saw a human female brought in by a giant. Is that the same person? Was she wounded?”

Tordug: “Well, we fought off the trolls and found she was wounded but the ranger had only a few minor scrapes.”

Rowigan: “So there were trolls who were driven off into the night and one wounded in the fighting. Is that correct, Tordug?”

Tordug: “Yes, we drove them away. But the Withling healed the woman, her name’s Limbreth, I think. But she lost blood so she passed out anyway. Had an arrow-wound.”

Rowigan: “Withling? There’s a Withling in Auguron? Now that’s news, indeed! Can you point her out? I’d like to interview her.”

Tordug: “Uh, I don’t see her around just now. But she was there, I’m certain.”

Rowigan: “So the young woman is this Silver Lady, these men are talking of in all this celebration?”

Tordug: “Yes, it is. My friend and I will be composing a dwarven verse about her bravery on the road. She rode back wounded for the ranger.”

Rowigan: “That’s is a deed worth a song. And this giant, do you know his part in the tale tonight.”

Tordug: “He was with the Withling and the others that got attacked.”

Rowigan: “What? The Withling was attacked too? And this giant was with them? You’re sure of the details?”

Tordug: “Yes, I saw them when they arrived.”

Rowigan: “Well, Tordug, it was fortunate for this Limbreth, and the ranger, that you and your friends responded so quickly. Thank you for sharing your account tonight. Auguron owes you a debt of gratitude for your quick and decisive response to the danger.”

Tordug: “That’s what we dwarves do with trolls.”

And there you have the full account of the attack as this reporter has discovered directly from someone who fought in the altercation not far from Marston’s Station this evening. I’ll work to obtain an interview with this Withling and the blessing of such a rare appearance in Auguron Forest. We’ll have more to report from all across Auguron regarding the rumored, and troubling, incursions further east as we travel west toward Auguron City. Look for more reports in the coming days. Troll attacks can only mean trouble for our elven forestlands. This is Rowigan Skaulter sending by pigeon.

Look for more of these fun reports about the series. If you are interested in The Bow of Destiny, An Arrow Against the Wind or the newly released final edition, The White Arrow, please click the appropriate link for the book-page. Following are direct links to find The Bow of Destiny at Amazon (available in Kindle Unlimited):

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