Velvet: an excerpt from Chapter One

I flew through the air, but being airborne didn’t frighten me. It was the moment my body hit the water that scared me half to death.

The incessant ringing of a distant church bell clattered in my brain. Freezing waves slapped my face as I slipped below the churning, black surface of the Savannah River. It raged over and around me, tossing me in the pitch dark and ice-cold water.

My body fell deeper into the swift currents. Terror hit me with a meaty fist while the frosty river pulled the last gasp of breath from my lungs.

I felt myself descend into darkness, drifting out on a retreating tide.

My ears filled with the sound of waterlogged trumpets calling out from heaven. Bright light pounded upon my closed eyelids. I gasped for air and thought for a moment that this was it.

I was dead. 

The music grew louder until I awakened and bolted upright in bed. My eyes opened. The sun stood well above the horizon and burned through my window. 

The Beatles kept singing that one line over and over and over again. “All You Need is Love.” 

It was my ringtone. I scrambled for my phone and answered it. 


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