Here’s a tidbit from “Released” — on sale Friday, April 12.
Sometimes one must take drastic measures when their own survival is at stake. People are always going on about wanting to travel and see the world, but let me share something I once heard from my mother – be careful of what you wish for because it might come true…
When I was just knee high to a grasshopper it seemed that grass was always greener in someone else’s pasture. I wanted to go to faraway places and live a life of luxury. But that was before I met Sultan Shahryar and agreed to be his queen back in 1706. Talk about the honeymoon phase ending quickly. It ends up my life in that Persian palace lasted only 1,001 nights, before my stories ran out and the Sultan lost interest in me. The only way I could save myself from beheading was to end up here – shrunk to the size of Thumbelina and hidden away in a dusty bottle, floating through oceans and seas to land in 2013 on the shores of Malibu.
So, I survived, but was it worth trading my life for this kind of…existence? Every time I enter a new realm, I find myself wondering: what was I thinking?
# # #
As usual, my thoughts were reeling with images of people and places, while songs I had yet to learn pounded my psyche like a surreal music video. It happened every time I entered a new Realm — my mind played catch up, preparing me with visions of major events. Atrocities mixed with celebrations, joy along with sorrow. The visions came in flashes and snippets–two planes hitting New York’s twin towers, the U.S’s first black president taking the oath of office, and to my surprise, Queen Elizabeth II celebrating 60 years as Britain’s monarch.
I rested within the confines of my home, a cobalt blue bottle encrusted with a diamond butterfly. I intuitively knew that my release was imminent, but something was different about this time. The voices I heard today were those of two eighteen-year-old girls from unremarkable backgrounds.
I closed my eyes and concentrated on their voices, willing my mind to see them. A delicate hand turned over my bottle and traced a finger against the faint lines that bore my name…Suzette. But it was impossible to tell which girl had held my bottle in her hand. Just as quickly as it arrived, the vision altered and my mind’s eye drifted more clearly to the girl called Samantha. She was thoroughly absorbed in her shopping, browsing through racks of other people’s discards with purposeful intent, plowing ahead with determination. Every once in a while, her green eyes would twinkle with life as she would flip a wave of gorgeous red hair over her shoulder, letting her friend know that she was on a mission.
The other girl, Charlotte, observed her with serene patience and simply shook her head in the negative each time her friend held up a dress. Undeterred, Samantha moved quickly, bouncing from one rounder to the next, believing the perfect dress was waiting for her. Charlotte seemed the more grounded of the two and willed the ordeal to be over.
This mundane shopping expedition hardly seemed like a vision worthy of my talents. I struggled to focus my mind on who would become my next Releasor, but it was useless. Their conversation and gossip flooded my mind as if the volume had been turned up. It was all I could focus on and the image of the two of them was the clearest vision I’d had in months. Although I had yet to be released, I could observe them from within my bottle, much in the same way they watch television.
Stay tuned for more from the Romani Realms series…