This novella grew out of a short story that eventually spanned 5 parts. I thought it worthy of its own slot under the Short Fiction section of my blog.
Ground Fall poses the question of what would people do if all the roads and paths we use every day suddenly vanished? How would people react? Would they band together to help search for survivors or fight one another for essentials like food and water? Amidst the chaos and fear a young boy and his family struggle to survive and overcome a terrifying fate that is rising out of the dark depths where roads used to be.
It took mere seconds for that beautiful Saturday afternoon to plummet into chaos. Lee felt the ground shake and saw the alarm on the faces around him as clouds of dust and smoke belched across the park. H|e heard someone yell out that bombs were going off all over the city. Like an insane Mexican wave, people began screaming and running in random directions. Lee had a stocky muscular build but he struggled to keep from being pushed over by the crowds. Leaves fell like confetti as trees rocked back and forth; their roots broke through the soil and whipped into the air.
The hobo pointed at the bottle in Tom’s hands and smiled. “Like Gandalf says t’Frodo, keep it secret, keep it safe. Ye got hope an’ salvation in there, don’t go wastin’ it on ye thirst.” He pointed to the kiosk on the other side of the park. “Get yeself a bottle o’ Cola if ye thirsty.”
Caroline struggled against this dark power, her heart raced and she could feel sweat rolling down her face. Thoughts of strokes and blood clots vanished from her mind, this was something unnatural and it was focussing its attention on her. She strained against its will but she knew the black mass would eventually consume the car and then her.
As he searched the debris of the park for Tom he realised that he had been thriving on his adrenaline rush. He had kept his feverish energy bubbling beneath the surface when he rescued the group from the column. But as he worked his way across the park he had a sense of urgency that bordered on panic, to a point where all of his senses were on fire. The last time he had felt so in tune with his body and mind was the night he started painting Grabhorn.
Lee pulled and her head and shoulders emerged into the sun light. Maybe Tom was right after all, Lee thought, it just thinks it can hurt people but it can’t. It was a crazy idea but he was sure muscles were bunching up over the fog. Then he lost his grip. There was no scream or sound, the fog lumbered back away from the bridge and dropped back into the hole. Lee stared at the teenage girl’s hand grasping at the air until it was out of sight.
If you have read both Ground Fall and Arcane Insane you’ll see there is a strange crossover with the plots. The entire saga started with a short story called Trespass and the deep valley of Grabhorn. This dark brooding place later found its way into a painting by Lee in Ground Fall. During the course of writing Arcane Insane I found the characters moving from Arcane Town, through the Cog where they ended up in the same park that had been devastated in the story Ground Fall.
Whilst the characters don’t quite interact with one another, the stories are connected in many ways. This wasn’t planned at first but characters have a way of bending the plot tracks to suit their own purpose. An unexpected turn of events but most enjoyable to write.