View Full Version : 5 pages from The Reckoning of Prophecy (Part 1 of the first book in a planned series)

12-17-2008, 04:26 PM
Part One
The Reckoning of Prophecy

And trudged to Rome upon my naked feet. --Dryden.

The Diplomat raced across the edge of the darkness of Rome, New York, in search of the Elder.

The ground was a scorched waste land. Plant life had all but ceased to grow out here, not by choice, but because it simply couldn’t make its habitat on Earth work any longer. And the air could not be breathed in if one was not already accustomed to the conditions.

The roads were barren, and there wasn’t a single street sign intact. The smaller signs that constantly instructed the drivers of the vehicles that used to be on the roads, had all been knocked down, or torn apart by wear and tear. Some had, for some reason, ended up several tens of yards away from the edge of the road, by some random chance that most likely would go forever unexplained. Maybe they had been physically moved by officials of the government. Or perhaps it was the Elder’s doing, in a clever ploy to catch the Diplomat’s interest.

The Diplomat was already interested, and with no help from any of the broken or otherwise damaged signs strewn across and thrown far from where they should have fallen. The Diplomat would have felt fine with whatever the case really was. The world had been distantly drained of its vitality now.

The world had gone awry and he knew every bit of its dismal truth. At times he pitied every bit of the disgusting land. Other times, he wanted nothing more than to save it and cradle it in his poor man’s arms. The world was in fact a pale blue version of a state of catatonia.

A bird squawked in the distance.

It made him realize how alone he truly was. More so than the graveyard he saw a couple miles back.

The deafening buzz of the otherwise actualized true silence was insane to the Diplomat and everyone who chose to covet its maddening warmth.

The grassy plains to the north and south of the main highway were motionless in the atmosphere of the gusting winds above, which were abysmally bland. Much thicker the air had been in its new state of neutrality than it was in the Previous Incarnation.

The Diplomat took a cautious, but deep breath. He continued walking along the highway, which was somehow riddled with dense air hovering low against it.

He heard footsteps treading along the tar of the road, kicking up some residual dust and tossing around some small rocks. He turned around, his heart thumping rapidly. Then he wrapped and locked his hand, a balled fist now, around the butt of his weapon. His tight grip was made even tighter as the footsteps grew louder. He didn’t turn around for fear that the person(s) behind him would be able to open fire quicker than he.

He idled his hand when their faces came into view. It was two dwellers taking a walk as if it was a stroll in the park. The woman was wearing a dress that featured soft colors, and large frills at the bottom. She had an umbrella above her head, which was at least one intelligent decision.

The man was wearing (though somewhat sloppily) a black coat and black slacks. He had on a small fedora hat and a rag constantly against his forehead, wiping the residue that inched its way out of his pores. These people made him think of some of the more prim and proper people he had no choice but to be polite to as a younger man.


The world had been archaic, torn down from what it used to be in the Previous Incarnation...until the very last days of the third millennium. The government of Rome had convinced its people, however, that this Incarnation was the only true embodiment of Earth there had ever been.

It had been this way all the time as a result of this newly devastated world, a future separated from the earliest days of the Diplomat’s life. He remembered a time, beginning from his youth, when he experienced days that stretched a long time, but not as long as they did now.

Time was less desperate, more lax...though humanity had been in a desperate way, worse off than it had ever been before in history. It was innocent when he thought about it now. He still didn’t like it. Even in the Previous Incarnation, there was less to feel so haunted about.

He began to jar his memory for songs that used to comfort him as a child. He couldn’t remember the words to any of them, but he did remember their tune. He did not hum the melodies to them--though they were catchy and comforting--out of respect for those who still had their ignorance...that knowledge was almost joyful to him.

The Diplomat’s head was spinning with confusion now, and he needed something to eat. He figured he could manage that last one, though. When he realized he couldn’t be sure where exactly he was at this point, he was sure to keep calm and not try to take any drastic measures. What would he have been able to do anyway? The only sign was the disease of knowing that he was still merely in New York.

Specifically, he was in or somewhere near Rome. He knew this because the one sign that he could see had half of the name visible, but it was small enough that it would not have been the sign welcoming all to the city. The most it would have made reference to Rome was to say that the city was close by. He used the rules of common deduction to figure out the rest.

In one village he approached, the dwellers seemed to be happily ignorant, as normally he’d come to expect. He figured they must have had little more than a vague understanding of the world around them, of the world that had been. They used to be part of the world before what it had become; now it was forgotten to them, and the rest of the Citizens.

The Diplomat never knew that world.

He was born after it had already experienced the end of that Incarnation. But that was okay, because he had a duty--and whether or not he understood it fully didn’t matter, because he knew that the world deserved that second chance. All things deserve a second chance, he thought.


Feel free to tear this apart, to be as critical and specific as you want to get...or to give it as much praise as your blessed little soul desires.

Seriously though, if you guys could give me as many suggestions as you can think of, I would greatly appreciate it. Whether it be grammar, flow, pacing, lack of this, that or the other, too much of one thing or another... anything. I just want this to be satisfactory.

Thanks so much, guys! :excited:

02-28-2009, 05:54 AM
Alright I'll bite. Read it once back in Dec. and just got too busy to come back and post. My fault, really. Just kinda forgot to. :( But now I'm gonna. I know that when you wait for some feedback and get none you think "Oh man. These guys really think this sucks so bad they won't even tell me!"

Anyways, I like it. It has enough of a "teaser" about it to make me want to see where it goes, who the Diplomat ends up being (as in what quest is he on, why, and where he came from). I personally like the post-apocalyptic tales, as most of mine are. And this one comes with a bit of a different angle, which is a good thing. I like the descriptive nature here. It lends the reader just enough to visualize without being boring, which can be difficult sometimes. You hint at the "previous incarnation" enough for us to assume that it could have been our times, before the world became what it is in this moment. Or maybe it was an actual period after our version, but before this one. Interesting.
Anyway, I definately want to read more. Who knows, it may be the spark of inspiration I need to get back to the tale spinning myself! :P But seriously, keep it coming.