Black Sun (an excerpt)

Satori’s eyes shine in excitement. In the half-light one seems to glow red. Star shudders. She has seen this manic look before: the look that says anything is possible. Star swallows hard. She cannot argue the point. A few hours ago she was dead. Now she lies here in his arms. Her heart beats and her lungs draw oxygen from the air. Anything is possible. That is his law, not hers, and yet her reality confirms its validity in the same way the law of gravity is confirmed by her inability to float above this itchy and uncomfortable bed. For one second she hates him for being right.

Star sits up. Her back is rigidly straight. She stares at the metal door. ‘Run? I feel that’s all I have ever done. Maybe it’s time I stopped?’

‘We’ll figure it out.’ He places his body between her and the door, smiling gently.

She strokes his beautifully pointed face and gazes into his eyes. One sparkles with deep grey brilliance. The other is damaged. She wonders when that happened. She kisses his lips and snuggles into his chest. His steady heart beat calms her.

A fluorescent strip light flickers above them like a strobe on a dance floor. Energy crackles around the room, making their hair stand on end. Star clings to Satori as freezing air whips around the cell, like a hurricane. Satori sits up and touches her shoulder, instructing her to stay down. Star feels cold and unnaturally exposed in her nakedness. The light flickers again then fails and the cell falls into darkness. The air feels thick, almost solid. It punches Star’s ears and throat and chills her skin.

‘Satori!’ she screams.

‘It’s okay.’ Satori grips her shoulders and pulls her up towards him. They sit on the narrow bed together, shaking.

Air crushes her. She struggles to catch her breath. A vortex of wind drags Star from the bed to the centre of the room. Satori’s hands fall from her shoulders. She cannot feel or see him. She stands up, alone. Air surrounds her, separating her from him. Her heart hammers and her legs shake. Wind swirls around her. She spins with it, not knowing which direction she faces when suddenly the spinning stops and she is pushed to the floor by a heavy blow. Crying out, she tries to push herself back up against the weight of air. The room stinks of blood and decay.

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