Just think, that is over 4,600 people reading about my book and learning more about Vancouver and its history.
So today I am going to finish Chapter One.
Suddenly it was daylight and Julie was no longer sitting on an apartment balcony. She was standing on a wooden plank sidewalk and she could hear the crackling and roar of a large fire. It seemed so close that she could actually feel the heat. The smoke and heat burned the inside of her nostrils. She knew she was in danger but fear froze her in place.
Julie felt like she was in an old time horror movie. All around her people were running to escape the flames. Chinese men and women in traditional garb not usually seen in this century outside of China Town, in quilted jackets with old fashioned frog fastenings worn over loose pants, their feet encased in slipper-like shoes, ran screaming past her, the men’s long braids streaming behind them. A babble of languages assaulted her ears as people yelled at one another. Their voices rose in response to the increasing roar of the fire. This wasn’t the Vancouver that Julie knew. What was going on?
She choked and coughed. Tears were starting to run down her face as the smoke inflamed her sensitive membranes. She couldn’t see. She knew she had to move but was frozen in place, watching those around her trying to escape the devouring flames, trying to find safety.
Julie knew she had to move, had to flee, but her feet wouldn’t budge. An overwhelming fear engulfed her. She had to move or else she would die. The fire seemed so much closer; she could actually see a building in the distance being devoured by the greedy flames. It hadn’t stood a chance. She tried to wipe the tears from her eyes so that she could see but the liquid just kept coming. Someone grabbed her from behind and started dragging her away. She felt herself getting lost in the crowd.
Just as quickly as it had begun the vision ended. Julie was back on her balcony shivering in the cool air. She glanced west again and was happy to see that the sky looked normal. No fire.
“I wonder what that was all about?” Julie questioned aloud. Logically Julie knew that the fire was something from the past, a long time in the past, but this had never happened to her before. At least not that she could remember.
Julie’s visions usually came to her in the form of feelings or dreams. Never had she been transported back in time like that; never had she been so much a part of a vision. Usually, especially in a dream, part of Julie knew that it wasn’t real. Part of her knew that she could wake up at any time and that whatever she was experiencing wasn’t really happening to her. This time was different though.
She rubbed her eyes, still feeling the effects of the smoke. Tears were trickling out of the corners and Julie wanted to wash her eyes out with water. Her throat was raw; the now lukewarm tea did little to soothe it. She looked down at her body wrapped in a robe and was astonished at what she saw. A fine layer of soot lay on the cloth.
Too weird! Julie quickly headed for the shower to wash away the soot and to think about what had just happened.
There you go. That was Chapter One of my breakout novel, Missing Flowers. Don't you want to read the rest? Today is the last day you will be able to get it free!
Karen Magill, Vancouver, Free eBook, history, Missing Flowers, British Columbia Black Friday, Canada, Cyber Monday, four, Chapter One