Imagine finding what you believe is proof that a known comet may hit Earth in the very near future. And imagine that proof is partially based on the writings of a man, who 500+ years ago penned what he believed were predictions of the future. What you’re left with is a desire to tell “someone” while knowing it’ll be met with skepticism and ridicule.
Enter “The Manifest. This work of fiction weaves real data about a known comet and correlations to the works of Nostradamus (all factual) into an intriguing conspiracy that involves an astrophysicist, the untimely demise of a former love interest, mysterious men in dark suits and the Vatican. Spoiler alert…the latter is fiction. Or, so I think.
The story begins when astrophysicist, Dr. Solomon Knight receives a cryptic email from a beautiful and highly intelligent Italian colleague. While reaching out to her, he discovers the worst.
Upon arriving on Rome, Sully is met with mystery and unanswered questions surrounding her demise. From there, the story takes him on a journey of unexpected twists and turns ultimately leading him to the truth of it all. Truth so unsettling, it brings with it death along the way.
Below is an excerpt from Chapter One…
“She saw only shadows. Then the other hand closed around her throat. She froze for just a moment, until the reality of it came in a rush. Then she was motion, her body struggling against the arms, against the finality of what was happening. She twisted and pushed, rocking forward then back. From somewhere inside came sounds that sounded like growls through the filter of the hand pressed between her teeth. She felt strong fingers contract around her throat, could feel a fire kindling in her lungs. Tears came, fast and hot down her cheeks.
Her foot came up, then down on his instep. A slight loosening of his grip. She pushed herself backward, driving him into the door, and all of a sudden, the room was filled with light. She blinked against it as she drew a quick breath but the hand closed tight again before she’d had her fill. He held her tightly, pressed against him, his back to the door. She could no longer move, his grip seeming to tighten with each beat of her heart. The fire in her lungs was a searing flame now but she could feel it starting to gutter out, its fuel near spent.
Out of the corner of her eye she could just see the bathroom mirror, could see herself. She looked so still, quiet. She saw his arms, the striped shirt. A shadow of dark pants. Then her entire world was shadow. Then nothing.”
From Chapter Six…
“He saw it first as little more than a blur—some nagging thing at the edge of his vision. Something easily ignored by a man deep in thought. But on a nearly deserted street, any movement at all was worthy of notice. He was halfway across Via di San Valentino before he turned to look, before he registered the dark sedan coming toward him much too fast, before he glimpsed a man in a dark suit.
For just a moment Sully stood frozen, as the car made its approach, as time seemed to compress, bringing the car to a crawl that, try as he might, he would never be able to outrun. Then, as with the breaking of some spell, Sully moved. The car was only feet away when he threw himself forward. The fender caught him just above the knees, tossing him into the air, the thing happening too quickly for him to register pain. Then he met the windshield, the impact stealing his breath. Then the car was gone and the ground was coming up to meet him. Then all was darkness.”
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