1. For the next quarter hour, Giles listened to his friend spill his problems, but only with half an ear. He’d been considering turning his novel into an audio book ever since he released it, but there were too many obstacles in his way. First and foremost, the cost was prohibitive. If he had the funds, he would love to have multiple voice actors do the various characters. It was a nice pipe dream, but not doable at this time. In fact, he couldn’t even afford to hire a female narrator to do the heroine’s part. If he did this project, he would have to provide the voices for each character. Although it wasn’t uncommon for a narrator to perform both genders, the book would be much better with two distinctive voices.
2. He opened a new file, then jumped up from his seat and ran into the booth. Gripping his hands into fists to help control his excitement, he slowly called out to the entity. “Who are you? What is your name? Where are you? How come you’re able to read from my script, but you’re not here recording with me?” He forced himself to give several seconds’ worth of pause between each question, and not run everything into one long demand. Hurrying back into the editing booth, he hit playback.
3. He chuckled. “Giselle, this whole thing is beyond belief. So why is New York now called New New York? And why the rigmarole with the calendar? Why would you want to start with Year Zero?” Unless… A chill went through him as he waited for her reply.
4. The place was busy, despite the lateness of the hour. Fortunately, the owner’s wife recognized him as a regular, and led him to a small table for two. After giving the woman his order, he whipped out his phone and went to the internet. For some reason, the need to check the news seemed paramount, and he typed in approaching meteor storm in the search box. Several headings popped up, but the one from some science research academy interested him the most. He pressed it, and when the page opened, he stared at the caption. But it was the second headline that blew a cold internal wind through him.
5. “His touch was an electric shock from her neck to her toes. Just as she felt her knees start to buckle, she saw him open his coat and wrap it around her, enclosing her tightly against his frame. A feathery kiss lit on her neck, then her cheek, her eyelids. His breath tickled her ear as she found herself being lifted off the cold floor and carried into the bedroom. Laying her gently on the bed, he brushed the hair from her face.”
6. She lost track of time as she climbed the remains of what used to be a majestic range of tree-covered peaks. Like everything else on the planet, they had sustained massive damage. What the meteors didn’t obliterate upon impact, the resulting chain reactions nearly did. Huge tidal waves smashed coastal cities, flooding towns sometimes as far as a hundred miles inland. Some meteors triggered earthquakes, or caused volcanoes which had been dormant for hundreds of years to suddenly start erupting. She gazed up at the current landscape. Here it was evident this place had seen rockslides. Whole sections had collapsed, until the mountain range was reduced to rolling hills. Yet, her faith remained strong. She trusted Giles had found an area where he’d least likely be affected. At least, she wanted to think he had.
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