Looking for feedback on my book, chapter 1

Started by NerdWriter66, January 16, 2024, 01:45:32 PM

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NerdWriter66

Prologue
It was a late Tuesday night and Sophie was driving home from a dinner with friends. Even though she had not consumed a single drop of alcohol she was exhausted but would soon be in bed with her wonderful husband who she loved dearly. She looked forward to kissing her two sons good night and hearing about their day, like how Lucas did on his math test and how many goals Levi scored during breaks. The rain was patterning against the window and she thought how slippery the road would soon be from the zero-degree weather, not getting any better driving downhill. The four-lane highway was already slippery from earlier and she knew she should have taken the train to and from Utrecht and then walk the rest. Suddenly she hears a weird sound in the distance, like several violins being badly played. The more seconds that go by, the screeching sound seems to quickly come closer along with something shining up her car. Sophie looks in the rearview mirror and not far behind the car, she sees a long container truck come sliding straight towards her very quickly, fastened between the road railings. She looks at the long container which has a green logo of "Evergreen" painted on its side. The truck attached to its enormous cargo comes towards the car sliding like a massive wall of 80 tons filling the air with a deafening sound of many wheels braking simultaneously on a road impossible to get hold of. She also notices one of the truck's headlights is broken, probably smashed apart against the metal railing. As Sophie sees the danger quickly getting closer at an alarming rate she can feel her pulse going faster and she finds herself staring at the truck in the mirror. She stops staring and looks at the road in front of her, seeming unaffected by what is happening. For a moment she fights the urge to let go of the steering wheel to cover her ears, shutting out the loud, screeching sound filling the night. It all happens in a few seconds but feels like a lifetime and without hesitation, she presses down the gas pedal as hard as she can, thinking it will safely get her away from the danger faster. But due to sudden acceleration along with a slippery road, the car shoots forward and suddenly turns right and spins around like a crazy carousel. She screams in panic when the car crashes into the metal railings and Sophie is violently thrown into her door, miraculously without hitting her head. Dazed from the sudden dramatic events Sophie looks up and sees the massive container come sliding frighteningly close. While stressed looking at what's coming towards her, she tries to reverse from the danger quickly, but the wheels do nothing but spin. Tears begin to flush down her cheeks and Sophie lets out a desperate cry. Suddenly she makes eye contact with the driver for a second lit up by her car's headlights and sees an older man with a cap along with a dark red hoodie. She can clearly see that he is as scared and stressed as she is when he tries to make the big truck stop by frantically turning the wheel but ends up uncontrollably waving his arms around. Sophie aggressively pushes the door open but it's blocked shut by the metal railing and for a dreadful moment she sees the container coming closer by the second. In a desperate last attempt at getting out, Sophie desperately tries to release her seat belt in order to get out but realizes her hands shake too much to press the red button. Sophie looks at the driver again except this time she gives him a faint smile before shutting her eyes and time itself seems to slow down. In the back of her mind, she can hear a low voice telling her to stop fighting to make the horrible end, but there is something holding her back. She can't just leave her family without saying goodbye. The thought of not watching her children grow up brings tears to her eyes. She won't see Levi get accepted into his dream football team or Lucas get together with the girl he likes in school. She will never again kiss her husband or feel the warmth of his body when feeling sad, her family will be forever gone. She will never again see spring's first flowers spoiling that summer is around the corner, the memory of warm sunlight in the middle of June, or the smell of newly baked muffins followed by three curious pairs of eyes. Even the idea of feeling joy from friends, the sadness of losing someone, or anger when seeing the cruelty in the world, seems far away. A single thought echoes through her mind: how infinitely she loves her family and even though she enters eternity, they will always be a part of her. A lone last tear runs down her cheek as she feels how the container violently hits the car. Even though her eyes are shut she can see how debris from the vehicles is flying around everywhere. There is no sound but the calmed pulse of her heart rate. She realizes that death is weirder than she thought. Because she assumed death hurt infinitely much as a soul gets jerked out of its body and then goes to an unknown place, but there is nothing. No pain, just silence. Then her body gets thrown violently in all directions and only a compact darkness to which she cannot open her eyes from, follows.

Chapter 1 Rise and shine
It's the birds chirping that wakes him up, on an early Thursday morning as any other. A ray of sunshine slips through a gap in the blinds hitting him in the eyes. As Carl groans and rolls around, facing the other side of the room, he places his right hand on the unmade bed beside his. He closes his eyes and while moving the hand gently across the sheet he can feel the once warm fabric. He misses her so much he wants to fall asleep and enter a dream where only they exist, living happily forever after. Suddenly he gets snapped back to reality as he remembers going to her grave a few days after the funeral promising her to be there for the boys even though she is gone. He slowly sits up and looks at a calendar above the bedside table. There are crosses until May 7 and two weeks later two words are written: 'Sophie's birthday <3'. ''Miss you,'' Carl says and kisses the fingers on his right hand, placing them gently on the words. He stands up to reach for a pair of blue pants laying over a chair and pulls them on, almost making himself trip over due to standing up too fast. There is a white tennis shirt with red stripes laying on the floor which Carl grunting bends down to pick up. He puts the shirt on when he, a little annoyed, notices a few days old coffee stains on it and lets out a sigh. ''I have to drink less coffee,'' he thinks to himself while making his way into the bathroom to do his morning routine. Carl Braam is a 29 years old male with brown short-cut hair, he is about 1.84 tall, and he has an uneven-cut brown mustache which he has had a hard time shaving since Sophie said she liked it so much because it feels like slowly letting go of her by slowly removing the things she liked. He lives in the Netherlands with his two sons, Levi, who is 8, and Lucas, who is 10 years old. They live on the top floor of a 35-story building in the city of Utrecht downtown. Carl works at a sawmill outside of town but after the accident a few weeks ago, it has been very hard to get out of bed and drive to work. But with the help of friends and colleagues, it got easier the more time that passed. It has been hard bringing himself back to work and since the accident, they have been living on their savings and some friends' money. He and the boys went to a psychiatrist to get professional help and since then he has noticed the boys' behavior in school getting better and now it's almost back to normal. Mostly they are playing happily together but sometimes the bad comes up to the surface, and that's why they're still going to the school counselor. Carl felt no bigger difference after talking to the psychologist, but he knows that it doesn't matter. As long as the boys get better, he gets better. He turns on the tap and washes his face with cooling water. He dries his face off with a towel and picks out an electric shaver from the cabinet above the sink to shave the rougher parts of his beard a little. He reaches out with his right hand and fumbles for the light switch, his fingers touch the button but as he turns it on nothing happens. He turns it on and off several times, but the light in the ceiling doesn't light up the room as it usually does. Carl sighs and puts the shaver back in the cabinet. He walks out of the bathroom and into the living room. He reaches a hand out to a lamp switch on the wall, finds the button, and turns it on but nothing happens. ''God dammit,'' he says under his breath, annoyed. A cloud comes out of Carl's mouth and he starts to rub his arms to get warm. He looks around, confused, and that is when the lamp in the ceiling turns on, spreading its warm light across the room. ''Finally,'' Carl says. Carl feels how he slowly gets warmer and pleased goes towards the kitchen. Suddenly a strange thought that something is wrong erupts but he pushes the thought aside. What he can't stop thinking about is the sudden dizziness in his head. It feels like his brain is rolling in itself over and over and he puts a hand on his head. He stumbles into the bathroom and opens the cabinet, grabbing a box that says 'Fast-working pills for severe headaches' and 'Kept far away from children'. He opens it, takes out a map, and pops two pills into his hand. He throws them into his mouth and washes them down with water from the tap. He puts both hands on each side of the sink with eyes closed and faces down while making a faint groan. Feeling a bit better, he goes into the kitchen to make himself breakfast consisting of the kids' cereal which they only are allowed to eat on weekends. He takes out a bowl, a spoon, and the cereal package, but when he's about to reach for the refrigerator handle he almost loses his balance and then gets ahold of himself again. It felt like the floor itself moved, but he knew it was just his dizzy head. He cautiously takes out milk from the refrigerator while on unsteady legs closing the door and then sits down at the table, pours up cereal and milk into the bowl. Suddenly something colorful sparks Carl's interest and he completely forgets about the dizziness as he quickly picks up a magazine laying on the table. On the front page there is a supernova going off in all the colors with a headline that reads 'WONDERS OF SCIENCE' and with a lifelong interest in that area but especially physics it takes Carl back. He has always had a dream of becoming a scientist and working at the world's largest particle accelerator in France but he had to let those dreams go because Sophie wanted to raise their children in her hometown. He then took a job as a worker at a sawmill but Carl was also surprised by how much math there is in physics which he thought made it too complicated. A little further down on the front page there is a smaller headline reading 'Power of God' along with a quote, 'If man could harness the power of a black hole he would become God.' - (Richard Baumann, 2022). Under the quote it says 'Page 34 for more' and Carl eagerly flips through the magazine then stops on the right page the first he sees is a photo of the professor. With a pair of lively eyes and a smile that doesn't seem to have left the youth yet, the same cannot be said for the rest of the old man with a wrinkled face and short white curly hair, suggesting he is in his 70s. Around the photo there is an article which begins with, 'My name is Richard Schwarz Baumann, professor in theoretical physics, and my story begins almost 10 years before I was born during World War ll.'