For the past 5 months I've been writing a Psychological/Supernatural Suspense novel called, 'Intervasion'. I've written a first draft, and I'm currently working on the second draft - in terms of editing/re-writing and general tidying of the overall work. I feel I'm ready to show a snippet of the opening scene of the book, and would be genuinely interested to see what people make of it. Thank you in advance.
The elderly man’s voice said: ‘It’s not what you expected, is it?’
The question had been directed at no one…or apparently no one. The replying voice was younger; the crackling edges of the previous voice smoothed out and softened:
‘No – no, not at all.’ A cautious pause, then: ‘So, this is –?’
‘Guests will be arriving shortly.’
The younger man cast a disembodied gaze over the stirred scene below, beginning to quiver into focus:
From above, it looked like a polished porcelain sculpture, light licking at its edges, highlighting the vast array of exotic colour that’d been applied with a fine brush. At such a high vantage point, it was only possible to visualise the broad strokes of the piece. The marble chessboard floor, black squares veined by fracture lines of white and white squares by splinters of grey. Yet this particular chessboard was sat outside in the open, perched upon a cliff top of jagged limestone and peering over the sea and, sprouting from a rocky outcrop and tattooed against the salt-scented sky, a bonsai tree. The bonsai, however, had grown beyond its parameters and towered twenty feet tall. Despite this, the bonsai still possessed the intricate structure of its branches and an elongated s-shaped trunk. The leaves of the tree were boat-shaped and appeared rubbery.
Sat in the centre of the chessboard floor and covering most of it, save its two outer most rows, was a long, rectangular table. A white linen tablecloth, hanging off the edges in triangles, covered it. Six bamboo chairs, two each side and one at either end, each accommodating plump cushions of gold silk and tassels. Measured and perfectly formed on the tabletop were selections of different items: Pieces of silver – knives, forks, spoons, teapots and serving platters, engraved with serpent decorations. Champagne glasses were positioned optionally beside each porcelain plate, all of which had gold rims and elaborate insignias in their centres.
Glinting with the same array of colours as a Paua shell, the sea here was not entirely blue. Waves, delicate ripples, as if guitar strings had been plucked deep beneath the sea bed, rode to the land in sequential lines, barely caressing the cliffs with a faint fizz, before sighing graciously in retreat.
Snaking away from the marble chessboard floor, a white seashell path threaded its way through dense gardens of teal green, interspersed by crimsons; lilacs and whites, winking like dim bulbs between taller trees. The seashell path arrived at a pine house: dark, dusty shingles, diamond paned windows illustrating no curtains and featureless interiors. The house consisted of only two floors, three large windows on the upper floor, the middle of which were doors that opened onto a balcony. Beyond the house, a dense carpet of trees, spreading to the very peripheries of sight, and whose impenetrable canopy glowed emerald green.
It was impossible to consider where in the world such a place could’ve been artistically excavated from the earth. The contradictions of inclining hot or cold, was left undetermined, a richly textured schizophrenic set-up. Only a plaque on the oak front door of the empty house teased a possible explanation:
The younger voice, closely watching the settling scene, remarked, ‘This is not what I’d prepared for –’
‘Of course not.’ The edges of the elderly voice crackled like electricity. ‘There’ll be a distinguished guest.’
‘It’s impossible to tell you at this time. It’ll come to you. When all of the guests are assembled on the plateau, we – you – will know. Then it can begin – ah! Our first guest has arrived…’
The guest was a man, light brown head bowed as if in prayer, seated at one end of the table.
‘Before you greet him, you must take care of the man waiting inside the house…’
The elderly voice laughed hoarsely. ‘You’ll know who it is,’ he said. ‘More importantly, however, he will tell you who you are. I suggest you wait with him until we have a full compliment at the plateau. He’ll bring you up to speed. Only then will you understand and Intervasion can begin…’