Of Past And Future is a collection of twenty-two short stories, from twenty-one authors, that explore the past and the future as experienced by those who can travel there. Be it fifteen minutes into the future, forty years to meet yourself or your spouse as a child, or a thousand years into the past, traveling in time always has unexpected consequences – and sometimes that’s what the traveler is counting on. Come and experience these stories and see if you would handle the unexpected as well.
~Features Clepher’s Heart by Toi Thomas
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~The road to fiction isn’t always a smooth journey. In such a volatile time in history, people’s sensibilities are on edge and most for good reason. So many people have suffered from discrimination, racism, sexual harassment, and so much more, that finding acceptance, humor, or hope in fiction can sometimes be difficult.
A few years back, I wrote a story of brotherly love that was praised by many but has recently been ridiculed by some, due to the use of an offensive word. As a black woman in America, I try to make a point to be as conscientious as possible. Still, I recognize that sometimes, when telling a story that feels real and or sincere, words and scenarios that maybe aren’t politically correct or culturally sensitive are sometimes used, but that doesn't mean they are used lightly.
When I wrote the story of Clepher’s Heart, I drew from my own experience as a sibling as well as my association with many persons of varying disabilities. While I’m not one to use offensive or derogatory words as terms of endearment, some people do with the people they love and share a special or complicated relationship with. I'll be the first to admit, though, that even I have said insensitive things to or about people I care for, applying the adage, "no one is allowed to pick on them but me."
Clepher's Heart is a third-person narrative written from the point of view of one brother who has a complicated relationship with his sibling because of a secret he's kept. Upon the approval of a physically impaired associate, I’ve published this story to be praised or ridiculed by the masses, as it is. However, it is the end and overall message of the story that really makes all the difference, should you choose to read that far.
~Please sample this excerpt from, Clepher’s Heart.
It was one thing to be stuck in a world where he was treated like a god, but it was a nightmare for that god to be treated as the supreme sacrifice to end all suffering. If his portal didn’t open soon, his brother wouldn’t like whatever was left of him to come through. This whole ‘travel to the past and be a god’ thing was Jossef’s idea anyway. Clepher was ready to go back and was thinking about punching his brother in the face, but then, you don’t punch cripples, no matter how much they might deserve it.
Finally, as the horde of chanting natives rushed to exalt their, highly intelligent and mysterious, man-god to a splendid sacrificial death, the portal opened. The shimmering bright lights surrounded Clepher and shielded him from his subject’s failed attempts to spear him and drag him to exaltation.
Once Clepher materialized, naked, back home in their secret lab, his brother rushed up to him and covered him with blankets. Operating his hover carrier by voice activation, Jossef’s hands were free to administer a shot of adrenaline while attaching an oxygen cap to Clepher’s face. After that, Jossef laid Clepher over his lap and manually operated the hover carrier back to Clepher’s room for rest and recovery.
When Clepher woke, he was dressed and sitting upright in his bed with a tray of food resting on his desk. Soon after taking his first bite of the high protein meal, Jossef came in, anxious to hear of his brother’s latest adventure…” ~ Clepher’s Heart copyright © 2013 Toinette Thomas
Of Past and Future copyright © 2014 Douglas G Clarke
If you’d like to read the rest of Clepher’s Heart, to see for yourself just how it ends, please consider clicking the image above to purchase a copy Of Past and Future or join my email list. It's free and you get to decide what kinds of emails I send you.
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