*Click HERE for the PROLOGUE
The Encounter Blog interview with Etta Castle Teague
HL: Let’s begin with the simple question. What motivated you to do what you’ve done?
ECT: The ordinary. Everything is ordinary. Things are as they have always been. There are Cities and Yards. People live normal lives, working, going to school, marrying, living and dying. Kids play in the street. Soccer mom’s drive minivans. No ripples in the sequence. It will always be this way…This is mostly true. Here is what IS true. Everything is unordinary. Things are NOT how they have always been. There are Cities. Junctions dictated by Them, the ones we are never to speak about. We weren’t even supposed to know They exist, but I do. My dad did. Mr. Albert or “grandpa” taught me about Them. I call them the T.O.W.E.S. –The Ones Who Enslaved Us. And there are Yards, the places the Towes have conditioned us to take and leave our loved ones behind, the ones the Lotus have selected…they are never seen again.
* * *
(Greenwich Pass, Present Day)
Etta stared out the window from her 10th-floor apartment, watching the rain come down. She bobbed her head “yes,” in answer to Baldwin’s questions. They had been in conversation all morning long. Yes, the Lotus were still preparing for the ascension.
She hated the Lotus. They were the fingers of the Towes, greedy scavengers, caught between some kind of unearthly, white opalescent metal, and cold fleshy material, made up of wasted human biomatter. Most of the time the Lotus were dormant, giving off the appearance of streamlined lamppost, stationed throughout the city of Greenwich Pass and all over the world, but not today. They were active today, more active than they had been all month, a constant low beam blue light cast from beneath them and over every person who passed by.
Etta bobbed her head again. Yes, it’s still raining. Can’t you tell? Yes, we are going to the shop today. We have a lot of work to do. Yes, I have gotten what you asked me to get.
She managed to answer all of Baldwin’s questions with a simple nod of her head, silent answers, but it was his last statement, about his cousin Jørn, she couldn’t help but respond out loud, not at all caring to mind the irritation that had so suddenly risen up inside of her. She couldn’t even fathom why he would ask a question with such an obvious answer. It had been almost ten years and Jørn hadn’t changed, not in this, not that she had seen.
“Yes, you know he will—”
“Yes, you know he will, what?”
Etta turned around just in time to still her lips. She hadn’t heard Jørn come home. Clearly neither had Baldwin. She glanced at her watch. It was nearly a quarter past ten in the morning. Her husband was slightly late arriving, but she knew why that was. She clinched her fist risking a hard glance at the bag tucked inside the flap of his leather biker’s jacket, before schooling her desire to comment.
Jørn set the brown paper sack on the table and slipped off his coat. His green scrubs were damp and so was the sack. Condensation and rain had made the paper bag look sad and weak, just as sad and weak as Etta thought Jørn was at times like these. She didn’t understand it, she didn’t understand him.