No Man an Island
"No Man an Island" is an experimental novel featuring the spiritual journey of one man across time and space to find the meaning of his life, and rescue the world from demonic forces.
They followed the path. There weren’t many options as to where else they could go, and Neal hoped that maybe it would reveal a turn somewhere that headed down as well as up. Neal led the way, with Owen and Genevieve right behind. Dan and Alex carried Ethan on a stretcher that had somehow fallen from the plane (as unlikely as that seemed), while the others all bore the suitcases and duffel bags that had somehow managed to escape the plane with them.
The first thing that Neal became aware of was the silence. It was so thick it was almost a tangible thing, like a blanket muffling the world. As he untangled himself from his big duffel bag, he grunted. The sound seemed like a rifle shot in the still darkness around him, and it startled him even though it had been his own voice.
Neal stood in line, playing with his boarding pass, casting glances down the corridor while he waited to board his red-eye. He counted heads again. And again.
“Where are they?” He said through gritted teeth. He ran his fingers through his dishevelled blond hair.
“Relax, Neal. They’ll be here,” the redhead behind him in line said. He never took his eyes off the magazine he was reading, having given this advice twelve times in the past fifteen minutes.
They weren’t on the road very long before Evan Kimball fell asleep in the back seat. He curled up in his coat in the corner while staring out the window, and then that was it. Gone.
“That was quick,” Daniel Calhoun said with a chuckle. “It’s my fault really, I’ve been bugging him all day.”
“That’s why I took a nap,” Ethan said, steering through traffic.
“You’re not pissed I woke you early, are you?”
Ethan stared straight ahead, navigating a lane change.
“If I was, it’s a little late to be sorry, isn’t it?”
”I just wanted to say thanks again for inviting me, Neal.”
Neal Osborne looked over his shoulder at the girl in the backseat. “You’re welcome, Genevieve.”
He returned his eyes to the road, hands at two and ten. “Though, to be accurate, it wasn’t my idea. Alexander talked my dad into this trip. Not that I’m not glad we’re all going.”
“Because that was believable,” The red-headed young man beside Neal in the passenger seat piped up.
Had I the heavens’ embroidered cloths,
Enwrought with golden and silver light,
The blue and the dim and the dark cloths,
Of night and light and the half-light,
I would spread the cloths under your feet.
But I, being poor, have only my dreams;
I have spread my dreams under your feet;
Tread softly, for you tread on my dreams.
-W.B. Yeats, The Cloths of Heaven
There was a dragon. He reared up from the earth and spread his membranous wings across the sky, blanketing the world in shadow. His red scales glimmered in the setting sun like rubies, and his roar was as loud as thunder, shaking the world like a mighty earthquake. His snakelike yellow eyes swivelled from side to side, as if he were searching for something. The dragon reared back and sucked in his breath, filling his great yellow belly with air. He then let out a searing blaze of fire that scorched the grass and burnt up all the trees. The world was on fire.
It was white. One might have expected the ending of all things to be black and empty, yet this was not true. There was one tiny glowing life just barely holding on, and it was surrounded by white. One small point of consciousness that held tightly to its own existence. But then it let go, and for a moment saw. Saw, and understood.
Clarity achieved, reality collapsed and everything ended.
No man is an island, entire of itself;
Every man is a piece of the Continent,
a part of the main;
If a clod be washed away by the sea,
Europe is the less,
As well as if a promontory were.
Any man's death diminishes me
Because I am involved in mankind.
And therefore never send to know
for whom the bell tolls:
It tolls for thee.