Have you discovered Monochrome by H.M. Jones? Looks intriguing doesn’t it? What would you do to protect your memories?
Here’s an excerpt from Chapter 2: Monochrome
[Abigail] hoped to reason with the lunatic who, for some reason, abducted her. “You’re obviously not interested in hurting me. I don’t know why you brought me here or what…”
The stranger exhaled, interrupting her. “Look, you’re not listening. You aren’t the first person I’ve led to think I am crazy,” he said, reading her tone correctly. “And you won’t be the last.”
He took a final drag of his cigarette, flicked it away and crushed the butt under a black, buckled boot. “Again, I didn’t take you here and ‘here’ is not the place you were before. This place is called Monochrome and you are here because you didn’t want to be where you were.”
Her tolerance quoted was filled. This man’s crazy talk was holding her up. She stalked toward him, grabbed his coat collar in her hands and shook him.
“Listen, asshole, tell me how to get home or, so help me God, I’ll make you wish you’d never met me.” She didn’t raise her voice. She knew the rage distorting her face was proof enough to convince him to stop playing with her.
The stranger tilted his hat up and peered into her light green eyes with eyes the color of tar. No, not tar. Tar does not glimmer. Abigail thought this man must have swallowed a universe full of stars, so that it would sparkle, deadly, in his eyes. His gaze unnerved her and made her dizzy. She dropped her hands from his collar, her arms shaking and her knees weak.
“Thank you,” he stated, unmoved, as he returned to his seat on the fallen tree. Abigail stumbled as she backed away, tripping over the same cold, hard rock she hit her head on upon first waking. She fell backwards and landed on her side.
“I hope you’re okay?” The man asked, without a hint of sympathy.
“Fine. Just a scrape on my hand and maybe a bruise on the side of my leg. But don’t get up…” She sarcastically shot at the stranger, who went back to his relaxed position on the fallen tree and was now carelessly lighting another cigarette. His face was lit behind the flash of the match, a sulfur tang stinging the air. He’s handsome, for an asshole.
She sat up from her fall and examined the damage, only to stop short. She remembered putting on a pair of jeans and a flannel this morning. She brushed dust from her side and gasped. Instead of the coarse tightness of denim, her hands slid effortlessly across a length of fabric, cashmere soft.
She stood up and patted her person, looking down in shock at the indigo velvet dress that fell from her hips. The dress bustled in the back. Black buttons dotted her from torso to neck, and black lace cuffs accented the paleness of her skin. The dress was more appropriate for a Victorian romance novel than the twenty-first century.
“Um, what am I wearing and where are my old clothes?” Abigail started. “Did you…” she flushed, “change me?”
The man guffawed, offended. “Do I really look that creepy?”
“Well, I didn’t change myself and you’re the only one I see,” she answered. “And, yes, you are a bit creepy, so…”
The stranger’s pursed his lips, amused. “You’re funny. No, I didn’t change you.”
He played with his cigarette to avoid her glare. “What you wear can reflect what you feel on the inside in this place, though most people here are cognizant enough to go through changes very often. You must feel…”
He scrutinized her dress with midnight eyes. Abigail got the impression if he examined her closely with those eyes, he could see every dark secret she bore. She shivered. “Caged. You feel caged. Lonely. Like I said, most people’s wardrobe doesn’t really change much, except for color. And it usually derives from something they owned or wore in their other life. But that dress says repressed.”
She wore a dress like this to a tea party her friend put on. It was a rental. She almost forgot about that day.
Surprising herself, she retorted, “And you feel bored and apathetic.”
She was referring to his black and grey tones, the careless, worn wool hat over slightly disheveled, mussed hair, the charcoal pea-coat over torn jeans. Every piece of fabric, every leisurely gesture, gave the impression he tried very hard to look like he didn’t care about how others saw him.
He raised a quizzical eye. “Not exactly. So, are you ready to hear about this place or not, lady?”
“Abigail. Abigail Benet,” she insisted.
The man exhaled smoke from his cigarette and nodded in greeting. “Ishmael Dubois.”
She shook her head in astonishment. “Perfect. Shall I call you Ishmael, then?”
Ishmael rolled his eyes playfully. “Yes. Call me Ishmael, and I’ve heard that before. Do you want to know why you’re here, Abby?”
About the Author
H.M Jones is the author of B.R.A.G Medallion Honor book Monochrome, being republished by Gravity, the Attempting to Define poetry series, and the soon to be released Masters of Time Anthology. Find out more on the book’s Website and check out the Monochrome trailer.