20.Gwen: Historian

No Man an Island

We lost six men yesterday. I started keeping this journal so that there would be a record, just in case anyone needed to remember someday. In case there were once again children taking history classes. I would want them to know what happened. I would want them to know that yesterday, Steve Fischoff died trying to defend my sister. I would want them to remember that Mike Jost sacrificed himself to keep Alex alive. I want them to know that Willis Mulder and Allan Dalton and Matthew Vark defended the left flank when the ambush hit.

Chapter 2: Comedic Relief

The Surprising Life and Death of Diggory Franklin

I sat on the sidewalk and tried to stop my hands from shaking. I had witnessed something utterly incredible, in the oldest sense of the word: I could not believe it. Calla Wiley had been sitting with me one moment, and the next receded away from me at tremendous velocity, to disappear from sight almost instantaneously.

I got to my feet and found my legs were wobbly. I began to stumble towards home, trying to make sense of what I had seen.

Chapter 1: Damsel in Distress

The Surprising Life and Death of Diggory Franklin

I stared at Calla’s door for a moment, committing every detail of our first date to memory. I turned and walked down the street, whistling to myself and strolling at a leisurely pace. All was right with the world, for the moment.

I passed a few houses, and saw someone duck into the alley. They failed to do so gracefully, and knocked over a garbage can with a resounding clatter. I glanced down the darkened gap between houses, and was astonished to see Calla, wearing jeans and a shirt.

“What the…”

Book 2: An Irregular Action Hero

The Surprising Life and Death of Diggory Franklin

Having met Calla Wiley twice, once as a passionate supposed "time-traveller," and once as a promising young graduate student, Diggory Franklin finds himself smitten with both her incarnations. However, her strange story and presence in his life has proved distracting.

In the midst of this minor upheaval in his personal life, Diggory has had to deal with a possible terrorist explosion at work, the disappearance of his father, and his mother's increasing alcoholism. It doesn't help that his friend Matt the Pimp has been playing pranks and trying to get him to become more social.

Book 1: Not Your Average Love Songs

The Surprising Life and Death of Diggory Franklin

In the first volume of "The Surprising Life and Death of Diggory Franklin," our protagonist meets the mysterious Calla Wiley, who predicts his death and romances our hero. And that's just the start of his adventure...

Chapter 53: Ice Cream

The Surprising Life and Death of Diggory Franklin

Calla and I snuck out of my mother’s penthouse like giggling teenagers, whispering a little too loudly. We rode down in the elevator, giddy with freedom: neither one of us seemed well suited for the rarefied air on the top floor. I’d never felt at home amongst my mother’s peers, that’s for sure.

The lovely Ms. Wiley leaned against my arm, and I looked down into those magnificent grey eyes. We rode down in a wonderfully intimate silence. I felt more comfortable there than I had any other time in my life.

Uprising: First Strike

No Man an Island

They rode all night long. Alexander led the way, making sure the path was safe. Zoë came next, fearing the uncertainty of their future. Genevieve and Gwen rode on the same horse, as the young girl was too tired after weeks on the road to even sit upright. Her elder sister held her close to keep her from falling out of the saddle while she slept. Alex directed their steeds down the darkened streets of the city, and out into the countryside.

Uprising: Voices in the Dark

No Man an Island

Zoë awoke in the middle of the night with a sense of foreboding. She was certain she had heard something, and had the horrifying sense that she was not alone in the dark. She held her breath, listening for some sign, and could only hear her heart pounding in her chest. She strained to pick up any sound, her fingers clenching on her blankets as fear coursed through her body.


No Man an Island

Zoë hugged the tiny child and handed him a loaf of bread. She gave him a wave and a smile as he rushed off towards home, able to help feed his family for another day. Zoë continued down the muddy alleys between houses in the slums of the city, occasionally stopping at doorways to drop off food from her basket. She went to needy mothers, to the sick, finding the homes where elder brothers had to provide for siblings because the parents were dead, the places where hope was needed most.

Chapter 52: Cosmic Genesis

The Surprising Life and Death of Diggory Franklin

Our little financial conversation was interrupted a moment later as a waiter announced dinner. We joined the rest of the guests in a short walk to the dining room, with the decorative chandelier. The long table was adorned with centrepieces, orchids floating in water. Though, can you say “centrepiece” when there are a half dozen and they’re not in the centre of the table?

My mother sat at the head of the table, and placed me on her right, with Calla facing me on her left. The servers brought out soup and wine, the first course.

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