Today Im thrilled to welcome back K.C Neal, a previously featured Saturday Spotlight author. K.C's novel Pyxis has made its way around the blog world with more than stellar reviews. So I asked her if she would be a part of this fun event and of course she obliged me by writing a superb guest post!
Pyxis and Dreams
by K.C. Neal
Did you ever have a dream that seemed so real you’d almost swear it was a glimpse into another universe? Corinne, the main character in Pyxis, learns that there is a whole other world, called the hypercosmic realm, that our minds enter when we sleep. In the story, she first realizes things are not what they seem when she discovers that she and her friend Mason are having the same haunting nightmares of a dark, consuming force. In this excerpt, Corinne encounters this force for the first time.
When my tired eyes finally closed, the cove materialized before me. The bonfire blazed high into the night, but I stood alone on the beach. Twilight rainbows of every color raced across the sky, one after the other. The effect was dizzying.
A low rumbling echoed off the mountains, and trying to locate the source of the sound, I turned toward the lake. My breath caught at the sight of a dense, dirty-looking wall of fog billowing over the water toward me at an alarming speed. Panic surged through my veins as I imagined the fog overtaking me, filling my nose and ears, creeping into my lungs, soaking into my blood, and eating me from the inside out.
My heart pounding in my ears, I whipped around, desperate for some way to protect myself. I turned to the bonfire, thinking the heat of the flames might stave off the fog. But the fire ring was dark, and Mason stood in the center of it.
“Mason? When did you get back to—” I started to ask, but he grabbed my shoulder and pushed me behind him, shielding me with his body.
He held me with one arm and lifted the other arm, palm out. A burst of blue-white light swelled out from Mason’s hand, and for a second, I could make out the silhouette of a person in the fog before I squeezed my eyes shut against the painful intensity of the light. When I opened them, after-images bounced around in my vision. Both the fog and Mason were gone.
I tried to sit up in bed, groggy and struggling against the sheets twisted around me. I untangled myself and groped around for my pillow, which I’d pushed onto the floor. Nestled back in bed, I took a deep breath, and blew out slowly.
I knew it was just a dream, but it clung to me. My mouth felt gritty, as if I’d tasted the sooty fog, and the smell of Mason’s shampoo filled my nose.
I reached for my jacket, which was hanging on the back of my desk chair next to the bed, and pulled out the pinecone I’d picked up at the cove. I cupped it in my palms and inhaled its woody, resinous smell, and some of the tension melted from my body. Curled into a ball, with my blankets pulled tight around me, I stared at the window and waited for the gray light of daybreak.
Corinne learns she is destined to protect the fragile gateway between the waking world and the hypercosmic realm. But her grandmother, who was to teach her everything she needed to know, is dead, and now Corinne must find out who her grandmother really was. In her quest to unravel her family’s history, she races to find the answers she seeks before her nightmares break free.
Pyxis is available on Amazon, and the sequel, Alight will be released this summer.
Thanks for stopping by K.C!