A. L. Buehrer What I Write and Why

Wednesday, April 3, 2019

Lightwaste Excerpt

So, I promised you an excerpt. Here it is. it comes from Dronefall Two, Lightwaste, chapter Four: A Maze of Questions. She has been back at her old school campus, the place where she was raised, seeking answers to the mystery of her inaccessible legal identity files. Her success has not been great, and she is now bound back for District Three Point Five. She's being careful that no one traces her back to her new neighborhood and has just jumped off a train and landed in an embankment that turns out to be alongside an old churchyard.

The song she sings to herself is part of the same song Reveille is singing in the end of Dronefall. Without really meaning to, I've introduced a new verse of this song with each new Dronefall book. We'll see if it actually turns out to be five verses long.

Anyway, here's your excerpt:

A black wrought-iron fence materialized from the crisscrossing shadows of the branches and she paused to stare beyond it. At this point, she realized she was in a graveyard. She could see the ancient monuments outlined in the orange light like the skyline of a sleeping city. There was no good way to climb or vault the fence, so she made her way around it, eyes always inward toward the silent garden.

“Oh, would you stay awake and watch with me, ‘til we hear the trumpet sound?
You’ve always been my faithful friends, is there faith left to be found?
You know those weary wanderers you’ve been putting underground?
They’ll all be up and watching, when they hear the trumpet sound.
They’ll be back up and walking….”

  She stopped and her eyes anchored on the silhouette of a cross: a crucifix, two meters high. The church looming in the background had been ravaged and purged. “Faith is for everyone,” said the sign on the door. That meant all the ancient Christian art and distinctive features had been torn down or sealed in glass cases with a lot of commentary alongside so as not to hurt anyone’s feelings. But not here in the cemetery.

  “It meant something to those people,” she remembered her tour guide saying in the Second Stage History of Western Religion fieldtrip. So did the church, she imagined. Times had changed, the guide said. Humanity was beginning to mature. And the old spiel would begin: at first man believed everything was a god, because they couldn’t make sense of the world any other way. Slowly, it evolved to more specific deities, then to one god—and this strict dogmatic view had a strong hold on people fearful of death and damnation, and had many negative effects on history and human relations. Now, at last, we were beginning to see the truth, and one day, we will live in harmony.

  And we will leave the body of Christ in the graveyard where we wanted it in the first place.