Author’s Bookshelf: Starlight and Time

My reading time took a blow this last week, as I had writing projects to catch up on and not a lot of time to do them. So, I sacrificed reading to catch up. (And mostly succeeded!)

Consequently, I only read one book this week. Starlight and Time by D. Russell Humphreys. I read it on the recommendation of a dear friend. (The same friend with whom I’ve been buddy reading The Lord of the Rings.) Though published in the late 90’s, I found it a truly fascinating discussion regarding the scientific possibilities of Creation Week. I had never imagined anything quite like this theory – I had actually never really revised the my toddlerhood vision of how God created the earth. I found it all rather wonderful and the science seemed possible. I would rather like to do some research to discover whether more work has been done on the theory in the last twenty years.

I haven’t worked on anything else yet, though I’m thinking it may be time to reread The Betrayal.

What are you reading this week?

To the KING be all the glory!

Café Chocolaté: Chapter II

Chapter II – Ginger Thomas

Ginger Thomas had been employed at Café Chocolaté for a year. When the explosion occurred, she had been trying to please her most persnickety customer. Again. The complaining woman jolted with everyone else, then spun away from the counter, screaming over and over at the top of her lungs.

Ginger couldn’t move. Her feet froze in place, yet her legs shook like jelly. “What was it? Louder than anything I’ve ever heard. What was it?” No one paid any attention to her mutterings or her shaking hands. She leaned against the counter in an attempt to steady her limbs.

The other woman changed from mere screaming to wailing a repeat of the same sentence over and over, bringing Ginger out of her haze. She glared at the woman, her normal dislike reaching new heights.

“You’re not the only one startled and frightened, Mary Dill. Stop acting so self-centered.” She crossed her shaking arms. “Too bad I won’t say it loud enough that she can hear me.”

Instantly self-conscious, Ginger looked around to see if anyone had heard her. No one seemed to have even looked her direction, much less noticed her speaking. Eddie, her fellow employee, had bolted from behind the counter to help a gray-haired woman on the other side to her feet. No one else stood anywhere near her. Ginger pouted a bit in the direction of the young man by the window, but he didn’t notice her either.

She sighed and glanced around at the café patrons. A few had phones out, chatter arising as the phones appeared to lack service. Ginger raised an eyebrow.

She could just hear bits of the conversation by the door. Not enough to satisfy her, but enough to assure her that they wouldn’t be getting out for help.

She watched the young auburn-haired woman with the puppy dog eyes head toward the window. Ginger uncrossed her arms and tucked a brown straggler into her ponytail.

If she can go talk to him, so can I. She hurried around the counter.

Neither the man nor the woman seemed to notice her until she stood directly behind them. Timothy and Anna. Ginger knew everyone’s names.

No two people could look more different; he with his caramel-chocolate hair and pale blue eyes, and she with her auburn curls and bright green ones. Even Ginger couldn’t help noticing the contrast.

Anna’s voice shook just a little. “Mine wouldn’t go through. It didn’t even ring.”

“Mine doesn’t work either.”

Ginger crossed her arms again. “It doesn’t sound like anyone has a phone that’s working!”

She saw Timothy’s eyes widen just a bit. “Landline?”

Ginger shrugged, enjoying just a little of what she could see of the growing panic in Anna’s bright eyes. “It quit working yesterday.”

Anna took a shaky breath. “We have no phones at all?”

That’s pretty much what we just said, dearie. She silenced her internal dialogue before it could make its way to her tongue.

“The electricity appears to be out as well.” Timothy didn’t look at Ginger when he spoke, and it annoyed her.

“Which means all of our communication is cut off and we can’t leave with the door blocked either.” Anna’s voice still shook, but not as much. “What are we going to do?”

Ginger shook her head, dropping her arms. “No one got hurt. So, what do we need to call out for?”

Anna fully turned around this time, her eyebrows raised in astonishment. “To find out what is going on? To let others know that we’re all right?”

“We’ll find out soon enough, I imagine.”

The young man looked at her this time. Ginger smiled.

I know that his name is Timothy. Though I doubt that he knows my name. He’s never asked. She almost frowned at a new thought. Suppose he could have read my nametag though.

Timothy turned back to Anna. “Do you know of anyone that’s hurt?”

Why did he ask her? I just told him.

She shook her head. “No. It’s just that my father will want to know that I’m all right. I’m supposed to be heading over to meet him. If I don’t show up and I don’t answer my phone, he won’t know what has happened to me.”

“Does he know where you are?” Timothy asked.

Ginger frowned, but hurried to hide it when Timothy glanced her direction.

“Probably.” Anna shrugged, glancing back at Ginger and then up at Timothy again. “I’m usually here on Tuesday mornings, while he’s at his Bible Study.”

Ginger sniffed. Weird time of day for a Bible study.

“Then, he’ll probably figure some of it out.” Timothy sounded reassuring. His eyes strayed toward the useless windows. “We’re not the only ones who heard and felt that explosion. We’re probably not the only ones affected by it. It’s on the news or will be soon. Someone will figure out that we’re here and get us out.”

“Dad might get more worried, if he hears about the café. I’m sure there are others who have anxious family members on the outside too.”

Ginger opened her mouth to speak, but Mary Dill’s wails reached an ear-splitting decibel.

“That man! That man in the corner! He’s dead!”

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Author’s Bookshelf: Elves, Detectives, Battles, and Boxing

I actually spent a good bit of reading time in study this week; studying writing, publishing, etc… I did find time to read other things though.

After months of buddy reading with a dear friend of mine, we reached the end of Tolkien’s Return of the King. (We began with the first book months ago!) I can honestly say that I loved the entire series even more this time than after my first reading. Faramir and Frodo are my favorites, but I love many of the characters in The Lord of the Rings. The way Mr. Tolkien portrayed good vs. evil and the ultimate triumph thereof is honestly beautiful.

On the recommendation of a friend, I read my first Louis L’Amour book, Off the Mangrove Coast. I thought it an intriguing collection of short stories. Detectives, boxers, cowboys, and sailors, adventurers, actors, and an insurance man. The stories had quite a mix. Some stories I liked, others not so much. I wasn’t very fond of The Diamond of Jeru, but I rather enjoyed The Unexpected Corpse. I won’t give an order of all the stories and what I liked least to most, but it was a good mix.

I haven’t finished it yet, but I’ve also worked on Starlight and Time by Dr. Russel Humphries. I expect to complete it soon.

What are you reading this week?

To the KING be all the glory!

Café Chocolaté: Chapter I

Chapter I – Timothy Teller

Timothy Teller pushed through the entrance of Café Chocolaté, barely noticing the mug of hot chocolate painted on the etched glass of the door. He’d seen it so many times that it hardly registered anymore.

He adjusted the strap of his laptop bag hanging from his shoulder and ambled to the counter, shivering as he acclimated from the clouds and wind of the outdoors to the warmth of the café. He tapped his fingers against the strap while the waitress spoke to a rather loud woman, who didn’t like her how her order turned. He stared at the wood flooring and rubbed his shoe against a scuff on the polished surface.

“Sorry about that. She always comes back about something. What can I get you?”

Timothy raised his eyes and nodded in response. “Black coffee with a shot of chocolate, please.”

The waitress bounced in sync with the bell over the door and took his cash. Her ponytail bobbed as she put the money into the register. “Will that be all Timothy?” She gave him the smile that always made him shudder.

“Yes, thanks.”

He waited by the counter until his drink appeared at the hands of another employee. The one room café smelled mostly of coffee with a hint of chocolate; the dark brown wainscoting and the deep crimson walls had long been permeated with it. One might wonder if the wooden tables and the dark chairs with their crimson cushions had undergone the same treatment.

Timothy barely avoided brushing against the loud woman on her way back to the counter and frowned at his usual corner booth. The only seating in the narrow area between the end of the counter and one of the front windows, he preferred that seat to the rest of the café. He didn’t recognize the middle-aged gentleman with graying hair and square face who sat there, intent upon a tablet.

I’ve never seen anyone else sit there before. Timothy shook his head just a bit. Oh, well. I can work somewhere else for once.

He found an open table across the café, set down his laptop, and opened the lid. The screen began glowing, but it never got any further than a glow.

An eruption, louder than anything Timothy had ever heard in his life, split through the air, shaking the café and everything in it. Timothy jumped, knocking over his coffee and drenching his laptop. The screen went dark with a spitting sizzle. He hardly noticed. The café darkened, several people screamed, and glass shattered.

The sound drifted away and with it, most of the screams. Only the woman he had heard complaining when he came into the café, continued to keep up a ruckus. Timothy leapt to his feet, hurried passed the woman in screaming hysterics, and reached the doorway. Neither the glass door nor the two windows on either side had broken or even cracked.

Timothy shook the door, but it refused to open. He pulled down the handle and pushed with all his might. Nothing happened. Straining to see through the etched glass windows, he could just discern a foggy haze of rubble. He thought he saw a tree branch, but he couldn’t be sure.

Who thought etching the glass on all the windows would be a good idea?

“Can you see what’s going on?” a deep voice behind him asked.

Timothy glanced up at a man, over a head taller than himself and wearing business attire. He shook his head. “No. I can’t see much of anything. The door is blocked by something; I can’t move it.”

“Let me try.”

The woman’s screams had dissolved into a continual repetition of the same sentence. She pulled her arms up and down with each exclamation, her eyes wide and staring at the ceiling. “What happened? What happened? What happened?”

Timothy winced. A tall brunette, very with child, had her arm around the hysterical woman trying to calm her. She didn’t seem to be making any headway.

I don’t think she’s even hearing her.

He turned to help the other man push against the door. It still didn’t move.

The man finally stepped back. “I don’t think we’re getting anywhere.”

Timothy agreed, finally allowing his gaze to drift across the room, noting the number of frightened faces. Faces that he vaguely knew, but could barely identify.

“I’m sure the police will be here soon. They’ll get everything taken care of.”

Timothy looked up at the tall man beside him. “I’m sure.”

The patter of rain began to tap against the glass and Timothy realized the cause of sudden darkness, as his companion walked away.

The electricity is out. Something took out the electricity and the door is blocked. He scratched his head. Does that make sense for both to happen at once? I suppose it depends on what caused the explosion and where.

“You have a phone, don’t you?”

Timothy turned back toward the voice of a young woman. She stopped just next to him, her bright green eyes filled with worry.

He nodded, pulling the device out of his pocket.

She stared at it for a second, as if confirming that it was, indeed, a phone. “Does it work?”

Timothy looked from her to the phone and then back again. “Work?” he repeated.

She nodded, tugging on several strands of her auburn hair, her eyes trained on his face.

Timothy typed his pass-code into the phone. He could see nothing amiss. “Do you mean can I call anyone?” He looked up again.

The young woman nodded once more.

He clicked through a screen or two, dialed, and put the phone to his ear. He waited. Silence.

“Mine wouldn’t go through. It didn’t even ring,” the young woman said.

Timothy waited another ten seconds, before dropping his arm. He shook his head. “Mine doesn’t work either.”

The young woman sighed.

The waitress who had taken his order spoke from behind her. He hadn’t noticed her walk up. “It doesn’t sound like anyone has a phone that’s working!”

“Landline?” Timothy asked.

The waitress shrugged. “It quit working yesterday.”

The young woman twirled away from the waitress, her auburn curls swinging, and looked back at Timothy. “We have no phones at all?”

Timothy finally felt a pang of dread. “The electricity appears to be out as well.”

“Which means all of our communication is cut off and we can’t leave with the door blocked either.” The young woman glanced around the cafe, her gaze lingering on one of the patrons for just a moment. Her eyes narrowed slightly, before she looked back up at Timothy. “What are we going to do?”

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