Week two: Of sinuses and headaches

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Hey everyone, and welcome to my weekly report on writing this book on a much too short time frame.

This week, I finally could start the writing itself. And, as is typical for moments like this, I got sick. By Monday, the headache was already present. But bearable.

By Tuesday I failed to look at a screen for longer than half an hour. Wednesday, I slept for at least twelve hours, still feeling tired on Thursday. But, I’m happy to report that I made 10.384 words this week. Even though I wasn’t able to write on two days.

It might be nothing special to whoever is reading this, but it is special to me. I’m that kind of writer that needs to keep the flow going, and the moment something stops that flow, it’s a very hard task for me to pick it back up. But, since going into therapy for a short while, and learning the benefits of mediation, that has changed.

I’ve started to use headspace.com, check it out if you have the time. It’s a service that provides meditation exercises, and one in particular caught my eye. Finding Focus.
What this teaches most of all, is that focus isn’t something you force. It’s something soft, and light. It’s something that flows and must be allowed to flow as well.

And to be honest, just that change in mindset, saved me. Focus is something that comes more easily now, which makes it much easier, combined with a big outline, to get the writing going, and actually write the number of words I have to. Or rather, that I want to.

So, if you’re curious about this mediation service, here’s the link: http://headspace.com

Also, as something I’m planning to do every week, you can read a small snippet of what I’ve written this week down below.

So that’s all for this week. See you next week, and let’s hope I don’t get sick again, shall we?

The clock on Vale’s wrist refused to chime. No matter how much he looked at it, no matter how he studied the gears, checked if the leather strap was still embedded into his skin.
It still would not chime.
A heavy weight settled in his stomach, all the pores on his body opened at the same time. But he did not sweat. All he felt, was cold panic gripping him by the throat as the walls of his room closed in on him. Pinnacle’s sub-level finally boxing him in and encasing him there, forgotten forever.
Then, the clock chimed, and every hair on his body stood up straight. Even though his legs creaked and complained, courtesy of a sedentary lifestyle, Vale ran outside the side room Gilbert had made for him, and into the Confluence itself.
The central pillar burst like a perfectly black needle trough the ceiling and into Pinnacle proper. The lake next to it pulsing a dimmed azure blue, filled the room with its colour.
Vale walked upon the lake’s glass-like cover and stepped up to the pedestal there. He tried to bring up his other arm to tear the skin of his fleshy finger, but found he’d forgotten the mechanical one. The real one lost years ago, in an unfortunate accident which Gilbert liked to bring up.
To this very day.
Instead, he brought the finger to his mouth and bit. A jolt of pain shot through him, but his body quickly filled with a cold and certain feeling, as the blood itself was changed into something more. A drop of the purest blue dropped into the bowl atop the pedestal instead of a drop of blood. As the drop made it to the lake itself, it shimmered for a short while.
The pillar pulsed for a brief moment, sending out a wave that made Vale’s eyes cross.
‘That must’ve been two hours.’ Gilbert said, long drooping moustaches doddering along as he stood next to the pool. It’s blue light illuminating the rows of fake golden teeth he’d installed. Every time Vale saw him — which was all too much entirely — he seemed to have at least some new shiny part to him. Be it his teeth, some earring, a new gizmo,…
‘Close your mouth, before I lose my sight.’
‘If you’d lose your sight, old friend, it would be because of age.’ Gilbert walked closer to Vale, tapping his cane with each step. Not that he needed one, the old buzzard was very spry for his age.
‘You’re older than me.’
‘Yet no one would believe that.’ Gilbert flipped up his cane, and tapped his own head with it. ‘Age is all in the mind, and I refuse to believe my body’s protests.’ Again, that gold fringed smile appeared. ‘But still, two hours must be some kind of record.’
‘It’s the longest time yet.’ Vale hated how much his voice trembled as he said it.
‘And it’s getting worse every day.’
‘It’s not getting better.’ Vale put his finger in his mouth, now dropping blood instead of energy. There had been a time, once, where leaving a wound open would pour out a steady stream of the energy. But those days were long gone. ‘But our calculations holds true. Pinnacle…’ Vale gritted his teeth. ‘Pinnacle will survive.’
Gilbert studied the pillar at the centre of the Confluence, already there when Vale and him had found this place. So many years ago. ‘Without you this all crumbles.’ The old man said, voice cracking.
‘But I’m still here, and I’m not planning on going anywhere yet.’ Vale still couldn’t keep the tremble from his voice.
Two hours. It repeated in his mind, that simple fact. The room pulsed again, but this time, it wasn’t because the Tapping. It was his heartbeat, pounding in his head, sending the room alight, rocking Vale on his feet. When he lost balance, he landed on a chair, and found Gilbert next to him. One hand to the floor, the other on the chair.
‘If you’re making chairs, you should make one for yourself, you old coot.’ Vale said, happy for the chair, catching his breath, spacing each word with an audible gulp of air.
Gilbert gave Vale a muted smile. ‘Just tell me when you’ve caught your breath. Because I’m thinking, that it’s time.’
‘Don’t speak such nonsense.’
‘Vale,’ Gilbert spoke Vale’s name like he was reprimanding him, ‘use your head. Feel your own body. Don’t think I can’t see that you’re panicking. What’s the first rule for inventing?’
‘Reinventing one’s self.’
‘Exactly. And what would be the most out of character thing you could do right now? The most crazy thing?’ Gilbert’s golden teeth glinted inside the relative darkness of the Confluence. A shine in the darkness, although Vale would never tell him that. He cared about him deeply, but letting him know would blow his head up until unknown heights.
There was only so much room in the Confluence.
‘Set the plan in motion.’ Vale muttered.
‘You’re going to need to speak up,’ Gilbert held a hand next to his ear with an exaggerated motion, ‘I’m growing old you see.’
Vale jumped, regretted it immediately, but powered through with a snarl. ‘We need to set the plan in motion. The fall back! The failsafe! We need to see Gregor!’
Grumbling, Vale turned before Gilbert could say anything else.
‘Gregor’s in the other direction.’ He offered.
‘I need to get my arm first.’ Vale said, entering his side room, grabbing the brass and copper arm from his bedside table, and clicking it into his empty arm socket. It hissed, then glowed azure, until it lost its glow entirely. No Bulb powered it, instead, it ran on the dregs of Vale’s very own energy. He popped out of his room, finding Gilbert returning the chair to the Confluence’s rocky floor. ‘Now I’m ready.’ Vale snarled.
He didn’t know if his pride would be able to take this.
But he had no other choice anyway.

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Nick Franck

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