The Lengths People Will Go to Discover Authentic Love
Book Cover & Preview Text
The Killing Options.
“You can feel the sun on your skin like it’s burning impressions into you.”
This is how he would begin writing, if he survived.
The jungle is thick, though its canopy does little to offer relief from the sun. Heat seems to rise off the ground and even the plants are prone to sweating.
The jungle is a world of its own. Smells are different. Taste is unnatural. Hearing becomes amplified, sight - diminished. Touch is a lifeline.
Creation makes a gesture of empathy towards the fools who trespass here, knowing well the inevitable destruction they must pay as the toll for entering this place.
The cost is not the same for everyone. Some pay immediately, with their life or limbs or health. Others think they got out easy, only to find themselves stalked by cyclical demons of paranoia and sabotage through countless attempts at rebuilding life away from this place.
The jungle is a jealous lover. If she can’t have you, she won’t let anyone.
About 100 feet from where you stand is the ocean, maybe 200 feet. It doesn’t matter what direction, just pick one. The important thing is not to doubt yourself. Whatever pops into your mind ought to be right.
The waves crash on themselves, stretching their wake onto white sands, like a deceptive picture implying paradise.
That thought is not in the present. It is something you are imagining - maybe even remembering, yet somehow you know that what you are seeing in your mind’s eye is that beach - the one two hundred feet away, with crystal blue water washing up polished lava rocks on a sun soaked mirage of tranquility, until the tide once again relocates them.
The sound of a bird brings you back. Was it a bird at the beach, one from the jungle, or did it resonate from a distant memory? It is hard to tell and makes little difference. You are back. Back to the heat and the smell of your own sweat and the relief that comes with knowing the journey has to end, sometime. The tide deposited you here. The crashing waves in the distance taunt, “you can never go back.” And you know it is true. The white sand as forbidden as a virgin, the water beyond - leading anywhere, may just as well be across a great chasm for which no bridge exists to take you to the other side. Within that chasm lie booby traps and landmines and snakes and killing options. There are neither trees big enough nor vines long to help you cross over. Besides, you know which direction you need to keep walking.
As if responding to the very thought in your head, the trees seem to bend at eye level, revealing a hill in the distance. It is further in front of you than the ocean is behind, and as quickly as you glimpse your destination the trees resume their original shape. There is no path for you. You must forge your own through trees that bend and sweating plants and ground that gives off heat.
It could take hours, and life - especially life in the jungle, rarely follows a straight line, but somehow you know that you will be there before the sun sets.
You are in the dark. You try hard to picture something - anything; a tree, moss, rocks, running water. You are not even able to do that. What is happening? You look around you. You look down at your hands and can’t even see them, but you can feel them. You form a fist, then stretch your fingers wide. If you can feel your hands moving but not see them, you must be blind or in the dark.
The physical you - the one with flesh and bones, is still alive. It’s a place to start. At least you aren’t dead.
The sensation of awareness travels up from your hands, through your arms and shoulders, before emptying into your chest. You become aware of your breath; the rhythmic inhale and exhale.
Now you are certain you are really here, surrounded by darkness.
But where is here? You have no memory of arriving in this dark place.
How are you feeling? Scared. Panicked. The words come fast and effortlessly.
What is your life’s purpose? Escape.
What if you woke up in a different reality? In an alternate version of you? And when you next close your eyes and open them, you are in yet another alternate version of yourself?
Regressions tells the story of a man caught up in such a journey. A journey through the timestreams. A journey he is unable to control.
As he begins to map out these adventures, patterns emerge which suggest the choices he makes in one reality have consequences in the rest. If he can figure out why this is happening and what he is intended to learn, he may be able to end it. He can settle down in a nice, cozy seaside cottage with his love, the giant dragonflies, and all the peace and calm and panic he could ask for. But which reality is home?
“Regressions is a work that reaches far beyond the realm of storytelling. It is a return to an ancient form of spiritual philosophy, a tool to assist the workings of the soul; the first step of realignment to the natural order of being—living through your authentic voice.”
—Benjamin Pearson, from the Foreword
About the Author
Mark W. Allard is a lifestyle therapist and psychosomatic practitioner. He’s traveled the world as a freelance journalist and musician. He founded Visceral M[usic] F[ilm] I[deas] in 2010 and performs as part of AF SATORI. He lives in Calgary, Alberta. Regressions is his first “largely autobiographical” offering.