As you may or may not know, my blog was deemed suspicious by Google last week and taken (sort of) offline. Bummer.
Even more of a bummer is that my blog actually was suspicious, my WordPress account having been hacked and some suspiciously suspicious code being inserted into the main website (though not the blog itself, strangerly enough). So, if you’re computer crashed or developed malevolent sentience over the past week, it’s probably my fault.
My friend Brendan (find his lovely blog here) fixed everything, and now were just waiting for Google to properly give the all clear so the warning no longer comes up (saying THIS BLOG MAY BE HAZARDOUS TO YOUR HEALTH).
But all of that is done and past. Today I’m gifting you with another excerpt from my work-in-progress, this one following directly off of the last. There was a chapter break in there, somewhere, but that’s hard to translate into a teaser, so you’ll have to make due with knowing that some time has passed after Joseph was dragged into the open trapdoor by the searching arms.
Joseph was surrounded by arms. They blanketed the floor around him. They stood at attention. They curled on the ground like snakes, twined about each other in friendly embrace. They were all different colors and all different shapes: black, white, olive, tan, fat, thin, flabby, scarred, and corded.
But what caught Joseph’s attention the most were the hands. They were constantly moving. The arms talked to each through some form of sign language mixed with sounds made by clapping the hand shut or snapping or tapping or scraping fingernails along the chalkboard floor. Watching the hands at play was like watching a fire or the ocean, or a field of flowers where each flower danced to its own peculiar wind.
He had been scared at first, but now was fascinated. It was like the time he found an ant nest next to an uprooted sapling, the inside of the nest open to the air. The ants were rebuilding steadily, but without the frantic pace caused whenever Joseph had dug into a nest to get at its inner workings. He studied them. As his mom would say, there’s no point worrying about your situation when you can’t do anything about it.
The arms encircled him. The nearest were only a few inches away. When he’d first awoken, he’d been laying down, but the arms adjusted when he sat up cross-legged, molding around him like water. He’d been bleeding then – his head still hurt and his hand and shirt were stained with his blood – but the bleeding had quickly stopped, though a pool of his blood was slowly drying nearby.
Joseph had no idea where he was or how he hurt his head or what exactly had happened. The arms had grabbed him and taken him to this place, that’s the only thing he was sure of. His memory of what occurred after being dragged into the hole consisted of fragments. There was darkness, and then the darkness was broken into light and he saw room after room, all different kinds, made of wood, stone, cement, brick, and straw, the walls covered with stucco or wallpaper, the floors carpeted or parquet or marble. At some point, his head was battered and he slipped into unconsciousness. Before that happened, he remembers his whole body being carried by the arms, but that his arms were free at his side, as though his captors expected his arms to help in his abduction. In fact, the first thing Joseph was aware of after his abduction was that something was tugging on his arms. The arms around him were pulling at his own arms as if expecting them to leap joyfully from his shoulders.