One of my pieces that is ready for publishing is from a novel called Perceptions. Reality is not objective, and those who think they know what’s happening may be in for a surprise. Can one powerful magician and his cult will reality into whatever he desires, is he the one hallucinating, or are his victims the ones making all of this up?

Evan walked in silence, and I knew it had to be because he was tense, too. He was normally talkative, though, even when he was nervous. Sometimes, more so.

“You’re acting weird,” I finally said. “You’re not yourself.”

He looked over at me, as if he didn’t know who I was.

“This land is poisoned,” he said flatly.

“I felt that, too,” I answered, putting my hand on the butt of my gun. For some reason, that actually made me feel better. More in control. Safe.

“How do I know I’m still me?” He asked suddenly. “How do I know anything? How do I know terror?”

I wasn’t sure what to say, so I was silent for a moment. “We live in an infinite universe,” I finally replied, “and that is terror enough.”

Evan started to laugh. I swallowed down the bile that was catching itself in my throat, my heart beginning to really race this time. Evan broke into a run toward Dubbs House.

“Evan!” I shouted. “What the fuck are you doing?”

“The princess is in another castle!” He shouted back. I would have laughed had the situation been any different. But he wasn’t acting like himself, and was being even more strange than normal. Normal for Evan was always a bit off, but this was abnormal, even for him. I took my gun out of the holster, barely realizing what I was doing. It just seemed automatic, as if I were reaching for a security blanket.

We ran to the house, Evan much further ahead of me. Well, at least we were getting somewhere.

He disappeared into the house, first. Right through the front door, and that was it. He just disappeared.

I went in behind him, but more carefully this time. I was in through the door, but I didn’t say anything. I was being more cautious than Evan. I didn’t want to shout because I didn’t want to alert anyone that there was more than one person in the house, intruding. Evan pretty much blew our cover, but I tried to salvage it as best I could.

I didn’t see where Evan went. He just sort of disappeared, but I wouldn’t call out for him.

It was as if the house ate him, I thought randomly. I was starting to sweat, and a sickly feeling was washing over me.

The house was enormous, and had a front desk, like a bed and breakfast or something. Everything was clean, polished, and not what I expected. I guess I expected some run-down, tattered old house, but it wasn’t. Everything was well preserved, as if it had been restored to its former glory.

Though Perceptions is not yet set for publication, I wanted to share this with you as a gift. I enjoy playing with subjective realities, and hope that you enjoyed reading this glimpse into a world where nothing is as it seems, except where it’s exactly as it seems.

Happy reading.