July 29th thru August 2nd, Steam Drills ebook will be available at HUGE discounts to celebrate Author Rivera Sun’s Birthday Countdown Sale. Enjoy! https://www.amazon.com/Steam-Drills-Treadmills-Shooting-times-ebook/dp/B00B41B1T8/


CHAPTER ONE: The Front Line of Birth & Death

It begins.

The world is sleeping. Solitude sinks down around the contours of the mountains. Silence dusts the city. Daybreak’s bustle threatens to fling night back against the sky, but for now a quiet settles on the earth, quivering.

Two things happen:

A child breaks through his birth-waters and gasps for air.

Two lovers cry out together as their baby is conceived.

So it begins.

She is darkness tucked in darkness passing midnight through her legs. Her mother midwifes the laboring of the daughter.

“Push,” the older woman says. “He’s almost here.”

Henrietta pushed so hard her soul slipped out her skin. Stars and light lanced the empty blanket of her body and threw her last vestiges of childhood up against the night. Memories of girlhood billowed softly and floated back. Henrietta’s mother looked up. She was a veteran on the front line of birth and death. The head was in her hands, her grandson’s heartbeat in her fingertips, her daughter’s insides pulsing out. The descending parachute of the past threatened to shroud the future of her daughter.

“You can’t go back,” the mother stated. With one hand, she released the baby’s crown and swept the past aside.

Henrietta screamed.

A shower of stars flung across the sky. The dawn of new life flooded in the room. The mother of the mother caught the babe one-handed.

So it begins.

Precarious, life is. A flying leap. A sweep of hand. A star flung across the night. A lucky catch in a whirling circus act.

The grandmother placed the infant in his mother’s arms. Both were raw and wet from turning inside out. Smiles grew like sunrises across the dark skin of their faces. Daybreak hurled the city’s nighttime stillness up into the sky.

So it begins.

On the same day, in another corner of the awakening world, a man murmured,

“I’m late.”

“So?” his wife whispered back to him. “Even the sun doesn’t always rise on time.”

Her heart was quickening in the drumroll of desire. Pale pinks and rosy fleshes met and tumbled in the sunrise. Her blonde strands of hair laced with his short and stubby wheat stalks. Contours slid and shuddered against each other. An earthquake rippled through them. A little gem formed in the secret caverns of the woman. Trembling surfaces rose and gently fell with air and breath and life.

“Jack?” she breathed, catching his darting eyes in the sky blue of her own. “I love you.”

So it begins.

The full roundness of the day stroked its kiss across the world. The sun released the lip of earth and blazed in a proud moment of nakedness.

Then the sun slipped into a cloudy suit of gray. The promises of dawn snuffed out. Curling smoke pinched the sensual aromas from the world. The time of soot and smog and ordinary work arrived. The whole world groaned and went to work.

The new mother did not get up. She stayed naked in her newborn skin of motherhood. Her infant curled against her breast. The veteran mother -grandmother now- sprawled across a chair. All three, exhausted and wide-awake, watched the sun dive upward into the clouds.

“Such courage,” the grandmother said to the sun, and to her grandson, and to her daughter, who was, today, a mother.

Such courage . . . so it all begins.


Watch! Author Rivera Sun read this chapter at a bookstore!