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All Is Lost

Novel By: D0C VEGAS

The cruelty of day to day life can be a hassle for anyone, especially someone as unlucky as Marcus Kessler. Marcus has been left by his girlfriend, fired from a mediocre job, and kicked out of his house. Just as the thought of suicide hits his middle-aged mind, a letter came for him. A letter from a distant relative, informing him that he, the artistic failure and chronic drinker of his rather successful family, had inherited the Ever-Pine Inn from his great-uncle. Packing his meager possessions and hoping for a new start, Kessler enters the wilderness of Washington State, leaving the city behind him. But his isolation proves to be life-changing, as the weeks he spends in the confines of the inn leave him cut-off from the world. Something has changed, and the cities are not as they were; stillness has descended upon the world and malicious wondering figures populate what was once Seattle…
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Submitted:Jan 22, 2012    Reads: 25    Comments: 2    Likes: 0   

Chapter 1
"GO TO HELL!!" Amy screamed for, as far as Marc was concerned, the last time. She threw his last box of clothes and a few of the last remaining things he hadn't sold in a desperate attempt to make rent. The box lay overturned on the wet concrete, its contents soaking in the fresh puddles. Marcus could do little but stare, he had earned this. He had ruined the last thing he had in this world, his relationship with Amy. That last drink had been too much. That last hit the last one.
"Idiot. You damn, idiot." He breathed, speaking only to himself. He picked up the now soggy, and even more unappealing flannel shirts from the sidewalk, and turned to the mail-boxes beside him. Might as well take this before they end up in the sewer. A crack of thunder signaled the start of more rain. Marc quickly opened the mail-box, shoved the mail in the pocket of his worn leather coat, and hurried for the nearest dry spot. Finding an empty bus stop, he sat, placing his box and his suitcase beside him. The rain beat loudly on the sides of the plexiglass structure, but the white noise was good for Marc's concentration.
Flipping through the same envelopes of debt notices and check bounces, he threw them all into the lonely street in front of him. All of it was such a triviality, but a necessary one. That life should revolve around green pieces of paper with faces on them, and within computer screen with numbers showing on them. Rage boiled within him, but he had no one and nothing to direct it at.
Anger had always been Marcus' issue. He never could keep a job, had only a few friends, and Amy was the first real relationship he ever had. But that was gone now as well.Picking up his box, Marcus took off in the direction of the nearby law office building, his last hope was within, and he knew it. Wet, and even more pitiable in appearance, Marc entered the building. It was new, elegantly designed, and spacious. Marble floors adorned with beautiful rugs and sculptures, it was one of the greatest spaces Marcus had ever been in. His gut was roiling with nerves as he ascended the stony staircase to the open alcove of the firm. Peaking in to the small yet open offices, he saw people discussing their issues. Issues of money, more than he would ever see, mostly. He stopped in on a young woman who was crying a quiet sob into her hands in the presence of a slightly older man who was banging his head up against the fine wood of the table.
Marcus, trying to be as subtle as he could be, coughed into his hand as he set his box down. The man, wearing a fine suit and an apparent lack of sleep on his expression turned to see the drab figure of Marcus at the door. Turning to the woman, the man said, "Ms. Roahan, I need to have a word with my associate here. I'll be back in a moment." The woman, Ms. Roahan, simply kept to her balling, despite the fact that no one was listening. True sadness. Truly sad.
Marcus gave an apologetic look, "You seem busy, sorry to burst in Jake-"
"Don't give me that. I am busy, you know I'm busy. I haven't slept soundly in weeks, so just tell me what you want." Jake said leaning up against the wall of the hallway. Marcus looked down at his feet, trying not to seem like the mooch that they both knew he was.
"Amy kicked me out," Marc grumbled, "I was wondering if-"
"No, Marc. Just, don't." Jake raised his hand, as if to signal stop. "I can't do this anymore. We've been friends for years, but I cannot deal with this anymore." Jake reached into his pockets and produced two sets of keys. One was a nearly pristine house key, the other a grimy and overused key to an old Ford. "Go back to my place, grab the crap I've been holding for you, take a damn shower, then get your car out of my garage," he said, tossing the keys to Marcus, "Give me a call when you get a handle on your life." With that, Jake turned and walked back into the room with the crying woman. He said something in a desperate attempt to comfort her, but Marc paid no attention. Marc lifted his box in his arms and walked the stairs again. The doors opened to him once again, and he reentered the dreary cityscape.
Turning the key swiftly, Marc pushed himself into the door of the apartment. The interior could be more likened to a luxurious hotel more that a Seattle apartment, which led Marc to wonder exactly how a man as apparently uninspired as Jake Brenner could achieve this level of success.Marc closed the door, and placed his belongings on the leather sofa. The room was an odd mix of darkness and mysterious beauty; the drawn curtains blocked out the rain drops, but allowed the grey-blue light of the sun to filter into the space. Strange shadows cast off the furniture, making Marc feel a touch nervous. Marcus tossed his coat casually onto the sofa, but as the fabric touched leather, a strange noise resounded; paper, the crinkling of an envelope. Marc stopped for a second, making sure the noise was not just a figment of his imagination. Retrieving his jacket, Marc reached into the inner pocket and, sure enough, he produced a letter from the interior. The envelope was old and had a musty smell to it, as though it had been ready to send for years, but never got it's chance until now. The letter was heavy and made an annoying crinkling noise every time the contents shifted. To avoid further annoyance Marc quickly looked at the return address.
"Phillip Dunlam…" Marc said out loud. Uncle Phil? Great Uncle Phil? Marc thought deep for a moment, trying to hone in on exactly what his distant relative could be asking of him. The envelope peeled open very easily. Reaching inside, Marcus' hand was now filled with eight, one-hundred dollar bills, and an old hand written note. His eyes open wide now, Marc set the letter's contents on the counter and unfolded the note.
Dear Marcus,
It is with my dying hand I write to you, my nephew. I understand you never knew me all too well, but understand I do this for your benefit.
Surely you remember the old inn, the Ever-Pine? I have taken care of it for my entire life, and it has guided me on my path even into the grave. I have enclosed directions, and some money so you may make the journey.
The Ever-Pine is a cleansing experience and an inspiring locale, and I hope it enriches your life as much as it has mine.
My assistant care-taker will meet you at the location.
----Uncle Phillip
Marcus set the letter down on the counter. Mulling over the text, a sense of relief welled inside of him; a new beginning.


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