In a Flicker
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Dr. Ethan LaPierre was content in his tenure as a professor at the prestigious Oxford University, spending his days in the classroom, his leisure time with his dearest friend, Dr. Colin Bishop. An accomplished intellectual rooted in academia, Ethan had no greater aspirations and no intention of altering his current trajectory in life until an astounding discovery in the field of science captured his attention and imagination, grabbing him by the throat. His friend and longtime colleague, Dr. Anson Van Ruden would introduce Ethan to this conceptual project of limitless potential while still in its infancy. Although intrigued, he'd initially rejected the offer to join Anson's team, opting instead for the simpler life as a professor of history and philosophy, not believing an opportunity presented him would ever come to fruition. It was not until the moment a program shrouded in secrecy for years finally went public and took center stage that Ethan took notice, reconnecting with Anson and the project. Ultimately, by surrendering to his innate curiosity, wondering what it could mean for him, for humanity and for history, Ethan took a decided leap of faith. What followed is an extraordinary tale of the human spirit and mind, a divine and hellacious roller coaster ride inside a tornado of emotions and experiences that will leave the main character and the reader breathless. "In A Flicker" delves into the deepest, darkest fears of any mortal soul, what one fears of them self and likewise, the ones they love. Those who dare to jump into the chasm will emerge haunted by the ghosts who have been there all along.Undo
Ethan began delving into his backlog of papers to grade. History students tend to go on (and on) and he quickly tired of the task. Considering these young, facile minds, he wondered what adventures, what breakthroughs awaited them over decades to come. Opportunities are boundless when an imagination and curiosity collides with knowledge at an age when the mind is fertile ground and the appetite to know more is insatiable. In the reading of a few pages he determined the sad fact that some of his newest History students obviously required tutorials in English! Hunched over in his leather chair, Ethan shook his head, appalled by their linguistic foibles and ample spelling errors. "Didn't they even look at the computer screen before printing out their text? The program does the bulk of the editing work for them! Did they not notice the colorful squiggly lines?" Laboring to rise from his seat, Ethan wandered the room, worried for the future of the planet when all these hormone driven kids take over the world. He murmured to himself, "God help us. God help us all."
Having worked far longer than intended, Ethan called it a night. Retiring to his bed, the struggle persisted, the strain on his brain finally taking its toll on the eyes. His mind in flux, still reeling with recollections of an eventful eve, Ethan attempted to quiet his thoughts. Relaxing into a prone position, descending into ascension, he suddenly realized the adverse effects such a long day had on his physical form, as every single atom in his not so young anymore body screamed then surrendered to the call of a soft mattress. His feather pillow serving as an amazingly regenerative device, it was almost magical the way it enveloped his head, ushering him into the blissfully unconscious splendor of sleep. After one more habitual check of the time, Ethan replaced his pocket watch on the night table. It was never beyond his grasp, practically a part of the man. Rolling over on one side, he made a few primal sounds that are perhaps the only verbalizations still able to bridge all languages at any time in history. Moaning and groaning with the efforts required to move his aching body comfortably into position, he counted the hours remaining for him to rest before he had to begin his daily grind all over again. Closing his burning eyes, Ethan pictured the weary Sisyphus, a tragic figure condemned to rolling his rock up a mountain.
The timepiece that had controlled his life for the past six years, ever since he'd found it in an old London antique shop during one of his late night research walks, it was both a friend and a foe. Structuring each day according to its delicate features, slender arms pointing to Roman numerals he'd adhere to in his travels, it functioned as a reminder of a chronically tight schedule, sometimes doing so with disapproving overtones, the face of it glaring back at him whenever he was running late. Cordial when he was right on time, a metaphorical pat on the back seemed even jovial when he was running ahead of schedule, a rarity. It seemed Ethan was always on the run. And so was his pocket companion, right there beside him. It was as if the timepiece owned him instead of the other way around. He was a slave to its rhythm, the ticking tock of a clock in perpetual motion, as much in need of it as his own beating heart. Quickly addicted to the feel of the silver watch in his pocket, it added to his weight and measure as a man.
Ethan didn't know much about the watch because the shop owner knew little to nothing about it himself. The design was, by the cogs and clock face, French. It was pure silver, cover embossed in the likeness of a three-legged horse, breed unknown. With no inscription or family crest to divulge its origin, just the three-legged horse standing alone in the field, it was a unique, anomalous piece of craftsmanship and was undoubtedly a one-of-a-kind design, perhaps a commemorative piece in honor of a special pet. Regardless of the reason why, Ethan was instantly drawn to it. The moment he saw it in the window, it spoke to him. Tick tock. The following morning he was waiting for the owner to unlock the door. Ethan knew it was meant for him.
He associated the image on the watch cover with his time spent around horses. At the age of eight, Ethan's parents whisked him away to a boarding school where he'd spent a good deal of his time working in the equestrian stables to earn money and keep fit. (Obviously it didn't stick, the "keeping fit" part.) Even at Oxford, he seemed to link with people involved in activities such as the Polo Club or the Horse Riding Club. Observing the majestic, towering creatures trotting along a manicured track, some strapped in harnesses with someone in tow, others set free to roam in a pasture of clover, they were blissful to watch, even more splendid to touch. Some clopping along through the cobblestone alleys, only the shadow of its titan form bouncing off dimly lit warehouse walls. He came into sight, the stud, steam rushing from his flaring nostrils on a cold, moonless night, silently, but for hooves striking stone. In full view, fiery eyes glowing red with pure fury, black wings extending from his sleek body, the Pegasus of doom emerged from darkness, fulfilling his role as the harbinger of death. Ethan shuddered beneath the sheets, urgent realizations coming with an evil image, a bizarre, manipulating memory invasion from within his subconscious mind. He was falling asleep, drifting off into dream state, floating on the feathers of a pillow. He thought it best not to fight the feeling. Well past time to let go. Gone.
George R. Lopez is a military veteran, serving as an intelligence officer in the U.S. Air Force during the Cold War. Living in Europe for three years of his tour of duty, he fell in love with its history. After being honorably discharged he has since made his home in Florida. Eventually much of his training led him into the field of the paranormal where he excelled, fast becoming an accomplished, well-respected member of the community. Creator and host of his own network, as a radio broadcaster, a prolific lecturer and spokesman for positive ideals regarding investigation of the supernatural realm, George brings a much needed pragmatic perspective to this endeavor, in avid pursuit of the truth. From veteran to researcher, now author, this story blends his natural artistry with an insatiable curiosity, brewing in his analytical mind for a quarter of a century before finding its way into the world in print.
Andrea P. Perron is the author of the supernatural trilogy "House of Darkness House of Light", the true story behind the major motion picture "The Conjuring". As a 1980 graduate of Chatham College in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania with a B.A. in English and philosophy, she went on to become first an entrepreneur then later a counselor by day, meanwhile spending decades in the theatre as an actor and singer by night. Now, as a lecturer and apprentice paranormal investigator, she travels extensively, speaking on various subjects in the field from spirituality to extraterrestrial activity. "In A Flicker" is her first collaboration on a project, what she describes as a true labor of love, bringing to light an otherwise dark story with a profound message for humanity.
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