Sneak Peek at The Dying of Bobby Mars
I started working on The Dying of Bobby Mars about six months ago. It all began with an the idea of how shitty I thought it would be to have to watch your life flash before your eyes. But not just the important events like your wedding, graduation, playing catch with your dad or anything like that. No, I thought about having to relive your entire life in complete totality–to see, feel, hear, taste, and smell everything all over again from birth, to be awake through everything even while your past-self sleeps. Sounds like Hell, right?
Anyway, this idea came to me and completely stole my attention from other projects I was working on. I’m currently going through the edits on the first draft.
Hope you enjoy this uncorrected sneak peek:
There’s a light at the end of the darkness. A pinhole of light only inches from my face, yet it feels so far away. So far away and so very alien. It shines beautifully. The light calls to me, but there’s a breathless terror in my chest.
I can’t breathe!
I struggle to pull air into my lungs. Nothing happens and…for some reason, my lungs aren’t burning. I don’t feel the compounding agony of suffocation.
A horrifying feeling inflects me like a bump of cocaine cut with baby laxatives.
I rocket towards the light in sputtering jerks. There’s voices. Several voices. I can’t understand them, but I hear them. Muffled voices—some calm, others panicked.
What are they saying?
I jerk forward; the voices become louder.
Another jerk forward. The light floated up and out of my sight. There’s only darkness now. It takes hold of everything. A wet pulsating darkness. I feel my head splinter, but it’s not painful. Simply weird. To feel your head fracture like tectonic plates, feel this darkness force my skull into a point.
What is this? Am I hallucinating?
A cool air graces the top of my head. The wetness of my flesh sends chills down my spine. I jerk forward once more, but barely move. I’m stuck. I try to move my legs, my arms, attempting to crank my neck to get a better view…but nothing moves. My body is being crushed by a spongy warmth and—worst of all—not listening to me.
Slowly I press through into the light by no will of my own.
I’m in a hospital?
“What’s happening?” I scream, my heart racing, but more words don’t come out. Instead, I cry…a baby’s cry.
Everything is blurry, difficult to see or even understand. I feel massive hands lift me up and then a face comes into view. It’s a doctor. His hands look like they belong to the Incredible Hulk only not green. Too big to be real.
Why’s he so huge? I wonder panic and calm swirling inside me, but after a few seconds the calm wins. This isn’t the first time you’ve hallucinated, Bobby-boy…
I see a smile form behind his mask as he turns me around and thrusts me towards a blurry blo—
“Mom!” I call out reflexively.
She’s laying in a hospital bed. She’s sweating profusely and her curly blonde hair is plastered to her forehead. She stares down her beak at me, smiling. She cradles me, an alien feeling. My eyes dart over to another blob that without my say so. My father comes into view wearing a forced smile, but there is relief in his eyes.
“Hey there, little guy.” He says.
“Hey dad,” I say, but no words come out of my mouth.
My eyes dart back and forth between my parents as if confused on how to focus. I can’t control them, but that’s the deal with seeing things that aren’t real. Nothing you can do.
They look so happy. I think. I haven’t seen my father in almost ten years… And my mother—well, I ain’t seen her ever. I sure as shit don’t remember them happy.
“Would you like to cut the umbilical cord, Mr. Mars?” Says a voice behind me. The doctor holding me reaches down, grabs a fuzzy looking rope, and hands my father a pair of scissors, I assume. Can’t tell for sure. My eyesight is shit.
But I see my father nods.
“He’s not crying one bit,” A strange voice—is that what my mother sounds like—says. “Not one bit. Just looking around like he’s in charge.”
“Too tough to cry, are you?” My father says.
My father takes the scissors, cuts the cord freeing me from my mother, and I see tears welling up in his eyes. I look again to my mom and find a smile shining.
Why am I hallucinating about being born?
“Little Robert Mars. Our little Bobby…,” she says voicing trailing off, exhausted. The bags under her eyes contrast the bright shine of the joy she has in her eyes.
My mother hands me off to my father who looks down at me with smiling eyes. “You’re handsome, aren’t you? Going to drive all of them girls wild.”
Choking back a cry, remembering my father’s death, I say, “I miss you, Dad.”
I haven’t thought about my father’s death in years…but seeing his face, so full of life and healthy, it’s hard to suppress those memories.
After a long while, my father reluctantly hands me over to a nurse, I think, and she takes me away to a room filled with babies crying—the newborn nursey.