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Jim Miller Jim Miller
Recommendations: 29

Shandril - Book 1 - Chapt. 1: Chi

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Under the Double Star - Chapter One

Have you ever encountered a thing so wondrous that you dare not tell another, because it would not be believed?  Then imagine that you were invited to play a role and live your life as part of that thing.  Your life as theirs.  Making history for you as well as for others.  Sound too far-fetched to be true?  Such is the case in this book, Shandril.  What do you think of the opening chapter?

     The black, late-model Ford slipped effortlessly through the darkness as it transported its occupants.   One was headed for a life-changing rendezvous, and the other was already stuck in a life that would not change.  As the man maneuvered the car off the main highway and onto a narrower frontage road, the woman became noticeably agitated.
     “Where are we going, Jack?” she asked, voice unsure.

     “Oh, I’ve got this special place that I want to show you.” He replied casually . . . too casually Chi decided as a strange half grin crept slyly across his face.

     He turned the car off the frontage road and onto a seldom-used road, though the term road was really an exaggeration for it.  As the car descended the two parallel ruts Chi began to panic, though she masked it well.  “Find the door locks.” She silently instructed herself.  “Know where the door latch is in case things get ugly.” She felt for them in the darkness, trying to hide her movements from him.

     Jack parked the car in a thicket.  Shutting it off, he spat out, “I did you a favor by waiting for the second date!”  His grin was a full-grown leer; his malevolent intentions were clearly evident.

     Chi no longer made a pretense of covering her panic.  At first she had thought, “Rape!”  But something even more sinister was displayed in his eyes.  “You’ll be in big trouble if anything happens to me!” she threatened.  “Asians stick together!”  She was no longer stealthily exploring the door for an exit, but was now flailing and beating upon it.
      “Kind of hard to find something that isn’t there isn’t it, Little Girl?” he mocked her.  “I removed the door handle before I ever picked you up!  You’ll have to check that out next time.”  His hellish grin intensified and spread across his entire face.  “But I’ll tell you this, Princess; I definitely do have a thing for Asians!  And I’m going to release it all just for you!”

     Chi was proud of her intellect, but this wasn’t a time to call upon it. Instead she unbuckled her seatbelt with her left hand while delivering a punishing palm hand thrust to Jack’s nose with her right.  Normally that would have discouraged anybody, but Jack was caught up in his fury.  The blow delayed him, perhaps a second, and then he was upon her.  He was too heavy, too strong, and too crazed, and the quarters were too cramped for her to fight back effectively.  He hit her over and over again with fists and elbows, and seemed to grow stronger and more brazen with every blow.  Then from some unseen location, he produced a knife and held it up for her to inspect.  It looked wicked and Satanic to her---all black and chrome, and soon, she trembled in terror with the realization, to be red with her blood.  He put it to her throat, “You wouldn’t deny a guy his fun first, would you, Chi?  Now just be quiet!”  He began ripping her clothes off.

     Suddenly Chi felt a most unnatural calmness.  It was as if she existed only in the immediate moment, and whatever happened next really didn’t matter. Her intellect was of little help, and she couldn’t beat Jack physically, so, for her, there was only one recourse.  “Oh, God.” She began.

     “No praying!” Jack ordered as he pushed the knife tightly against her throat, “or I’ll do it right now!  I swear!”

     She was dead if she did, and dead if she didn’t, she reasoned, so she would rather die praying.  “You have always been my God since I was a little girl.”  Her voice was steady and matter of fact, as if she prayed with a knife at her throat every day.  “I know that You love me, no matter what happens.”

     “Shut up!  Shut up!!!”  Jack screamed in maniacal defiance.  He raised the knife and smashed the pommel directly into her face.

     “Odd,” thought Chi, “that should really have hurt.”  But instead it was as if the pain of the blow were radiated out of her body and placed directly in the hands of God.  “I ask that You protect me and help me through this, whatever happens.”

     “I’ll show you what’s going to happen!” Jack raged as he flipped the knife in his hand.

     “And I ask that You forgive Jack and help him.” She finished.

     “I’m too far gone for that!” Jack wailed as the knife quickly descended towards her jugulars.

     She watched it come.  It was as if she were an unbiased reporter rather than a young lady about to have her life ended.  The deathblow was arcing for her throat; Jack’s malevolent eyes were also full of pain.  She saw it all with utmost clarity.
     And then she saw the hand.  It grabbed Jack’s hand and stopped the sharp edge of the knife just inches from the softness of her skin.

     “How are you doing this?  How are you doing this?!” Jack demanded incredulously.

     “I’m not.” She replied.

     “Then Chi thought she caught the glimpse of a non-corporeal face behind that of Jack’s.  There was a freshness in the car like she had never known, and a light, pure wind that seemed to emanated from everywhere at once.  The latch-less door opened behind her of its own accord.

     “Get out, Chi.  Get out now!”  It was a woman’s voice, the urgency of which she could not deny.  “Run!  Flee!”  Chi pulled free of her stunned tormenter, tumbled out of the door half-clothed, and ran into the rushes and cattails of the nearby marsh.  She hunkered down in the cold, slimy water behind a thick stand of cattails and waited.

     “Damn it, Chi!”  I don’t know how you did that, Jack bellowed in her general direction, but if you ever tell anyone what happened tonight, I’ll kill you for sure next time!  Remember!  I got a thing for Asians!”  And with that, Jack slammed the car doors, cranked up the music, and sped off into the night.

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