Get Lost with Me
Sam Kane always has so many ideas jostling for attention in his mind, which leads to some pretty remarkable literary works. Have a look at his collection of writings.
The Widening Gyre
The exciting sequel to The Pilgrim's Soul is set to release in 2022. Stay tuned!
The Pilgrim's Soul
April 06, 2021
Consciousness is a door and imagination is the key that unlocks all the possibilities of the infinite. Simon Floyd, a man whose story on earth is ending, is about to discover first hand all that the human spirit can conjure. A journey full of lost souls, gravity defying landscapes, and creatures that stretch the ability of the human imagination await. Simon is given a second chance, and though he does not know it, he is about to embark upon an adventure that has the ability to reshape the universe.
Chapter II from The Pilgrim's Soul
Take Down This Book
When someone wakes after a long sleep, there is a moment when the body moves as the brain slumbers. Limbs unfold, and motion is generated. It is in these moments when true mindfulness exists. Everything has its place, all things are right because no thought has pushed its way into the clear pond of experience, muddying the image. Sharp senses react to outside stimuli and translate it into response and reaction by the body. Eyes adjust to light absorbed, and the small hairs of the arms and legs send information up the spinal column, alerting the brain to a cool breeze.
Slowly, consciousness and cognizance invaded the body, crashing into it like a wall of flame.
“My Name is Simon.”
The thought sprung from nowhere and leapt out of the man’s mouth, and it sent a lightning current through the youthful form, awakening limbs and organs with an electric pulse. Simon became hyper aware of his arms and legs, of his fingers and feet as they flexed in the light of a warm summer sun. Simon rolled his shoulders forward and back, flexing taut, lean muscle. He was standing upright, yet he had no memory of rising. Grass, about thigh-high, danced to the rhythm of a dancing breeze. Blinking his eyes into focus, Simon turned his vision outward, and felt a dizzying awe overwhelm his senses as an incredibly foreign, strikingly beautiful world stretched out before him.
A mountain range encircled the horizon, but something was wrong. They seemed to grow from the clouds toward the ground, a realization that made Simon dizzy. Must be a trick of the light, but Jesus Christ, those things are upside down! Not all of them it looks like, but some of them are definitely growing the wrong way. Do mountains grow? Simon’s eyes quickly darted away from the upside down range, searching for something more normal to hold on to. He was quickly disappointed.
A huge ocean flowed from the cloudy sky to a beautiful valley down below, complete with white crested waves and circling seagulls, or what looked like seagulls . Rivers and creeks glistened in the sunshine as they cut through the giant valley, making their way from the giant wall of water to disappear beyond Simon’s vision. Wait, the water isn’t flowing away from the ocean. It’s flowing toward it! What would have been a completely normal, if gigantic, waterfall was flippantly defying gravity and logic by flowing into the blue sky above, crashing somewhere past the clouds.
“That’s not clouds, that’s mist.” Simon said to himself. Where the hell am I? Why is everything backwards, or upside down? Simon was not allowed to process such a thought, because his attention was once again drawn to a new wonder of the strange, alien world.
To the left of the vertical ocean, sprawled over hills and valleys, vegetation blanketed the landscape. Trees of all shapes and sizes butted up against each other in one giant ecological amalgamation, with pine trees dropping their cones on palms, and weeping willows growing out of the sides of redwoods. Flowers exploded everywhere. Blooms of all varieties, hailing from different climates, nestled against each other, and created a kaleidoscopic explosion of color not seen in the organic, natural world. Yet the vegetation, the forest, the water, even the mountains growing from the sky like the incisors of a giant, gaping mouth, could not compare to the vast quantities of living things running, crawling, and flying through the lush valley below the plain where Simon stood.
Huge herds of African elephants meandered about with giant tortoises, and a pride of lions stalked after a lumbering grizzly bear. Salmon leaped out and up from inside the vertical ocean, to be caught by a giant flying lizard with a strange combination of feathers and scales. Gigantic herds of odd, four-legged behemoths ambled next to six-foot-long bugs of a shape that reminded Simon of cockroaches, causing a visceral shudder to snake its way up his spine. Hey, that felt pretty good. I feel, I feel amazing! Simon looked from the madness of the new world around him and looked down. Dear God. Now we are talking! He let out a whoop that he immediately regretted, in case one of the strange creatures decided he would be a tasty snack, but he could barely contain his glee as he crouched down and brought his hands up for a closer look.
What had once been an old, faded memory of a body was replaced by a young and fluid organic machine. Eyes once dim now took in with sharp clarity the physical specimen Simon had not seen for many decades. He had sturdy, wide hands; strong arms; legs that did not wobble every time movement was required. Young fingers touched the top of his head, to discover that his bald, liver-spotted dome was once again full of thick, sandy hair that stuck out through his fingers. Familiar old blue jeans covered his young legs, and a long sleeved flannel shirt stuck to his chest. The jeans were soaked through, and the shirt and pants were covered in mud. Everything was the same as the moment of his memory, even the blood…
Jerking himself to the present, Simon used his revitalized grey eyes to search his surroundings for somewhere to hide. The pragmatic side of him that had served him so well for all his years as an officer was screaming for him to find shelter and warmth immediately. Simon raised his head to just above the waving grass and looked around for any form of shelter. What is this place? Was Father Michael right after all? Is this heaven? I sure hope it isn’t the alternative.
This world, whatever it was, seemed shockingly familiar and simultaneously the most foreign concept ever perceived by a human mind. It was as if thoughts and images had been flung onto a canvas by a child, with little regard for form, structure, or the concept of gravity. The world had become a museum come to life, an art exhibit hit by a tornado, a lunatic’s ramblings. Simon could not help but disappear into its weirdness.
He was so engrossed in the scenery, in the different forms of life that butted up against each other in this new world, that Simon did not realize that one of the more aggressive creatures of this world had taken an interest in him. Gazing about, drinking in his new surroundings, he did not see the swishing tail, the powerful muscles and bundles of sinew gliding through the high grass behind him. Had Simon turned, he would have seen powerful haunches, taut and ready to spring, with golden eyes locked on a piece of pink flesh unprotected by claws or teeth. The high grass swayed, and a powerful form slid through it, ever closer to its prey, deadly purpose set on its features. Fur and claws and teeth almost seemed to swim in the swaying steppe, so liquid was its movements. It drew its back legs to the ground and tightened its corded muscles, ready to spring.
Simon stood, attempting to look further into the valley in the hopes of finding some kind of civilization or shelter, and as he did he felt what could only be a sharp vise driven by a truck collide into his shoulder. White-hot pain shot through his entire body, and he screamed as he was thrown to the ground. Quickly he turned to face the creator of such pain, and grey-green eyes locked onto golden ones. Simon threw his one functioning arm in front of his face just in time for it to be crushed by a giant vise-like jaw. Pain as he had never felt erupted from his forearm as the bone within made a sickening crunch. With a growl, the giant lioness sunk large teeth into Simon’s forearm and began jerking him about.
Kicking, fighting for breath, for space, Simon slid his bare feet under the chest of the giant cat and heaved. Timing and a shred of luck sent the predator spinning away from him, giving the man time to turn and wildly glance about for a weapon, a rock, anything. Both of his arms flapped uselessly at his sides, as he desperately looked for a defense of some kind. Finding none, Simon felt nearly overwhelming terror shoot a blazing dart through his brain as he tried to scurry away from the deadly feline. Not to be dissuaded from her prey, the lioness collected herself and ran toward Simon with breath taking speed. Looking over his shoulder, hands flopping at his sides, Air was punched out of Simon’s lungs as giant paws forced him to the ground, driving his head into the dirt. Simon screamed into the earth.
The crushing weight of the lioness was suddenly lifted from Simon’s back, and he rolled to his side to see the fierce feline thrashing and biting at what appeared to a new appendage sticking out of its side. Snapping at this new pain, the lioness attempted to attack the wooden arm protruding out of its golden fur. Mewing and bellowing, Simon completely forgotten, the giant predator fought this new adversary, never quite able to reach the shaft. Simon watched, transfixed, as the thrashing slowed to small spasms, and the fight bleed out from the animal’s side. The lioness laid down slowly, panting with its tongue out, utterly spent. It locked eyes with Simon as its lifeblood stained the ground, and with another giant shudder, the giant cat lay still.
Adrenaline rushed out of Simon like an uncorked barrel, matching the pace of the red fluid slipping out of the large cat in front of him. Dizziness made the world swim, and he flopped onto the dusty earth, laying numbly on the rustling grass. Breathing heavily, eyes slipping in and out of focus, he peered at his ruined shoulder and useless arms. Somewhere deep inside his mind, a voice in Simon’s head was screaming in agony, but the only sound that slipped past bloody lips was a pitiful grunt. He closed his eyes.
“You are dying and cannot be saved. Do you wish to remain or shall I end it?”
Confusion crossing his face, Simon opened one eye and craned his neck toward the sound. A man stood over the carcass of the lioness, the spear hanging loosely from his right hand. Dark, curly hair coated almost his entire body, jutting out of corded muscles. To his dim surprise, Simon noticed the hairy man was completely nude. His voice sounded like whisky over gravel as he stepped forward and repeated his question.
“Can you, not put that in my face?” Simon’s words were choked and ragged. The hairy man looked down at Simon’s broken body with an unreadable expression. Simon forced himself to make eye contact, to try to make sense of those eyes, dark brown and caring, but firmly set to a purpose.
“I got bit … by a lion. Please…”
“Your clothes are foreign stranger, and they are a style that I have never seen. This must mean that you have just recently come to our land.” The man crouched so that his deep brown eyes, sunken into his large face, were level with Simon’s. He smelled of musk and blood. Simon cringed slightly as the naked man bent closer. “I know this is strange, and, judging from your wounds, painful, but I can assure you what I do next is for your own good. You will come back, strong and healthy. I bid you safe Return .”
The man’s arm twitched, and the spear lashed out. Simon felt the searing light of pain blooming from his chest and looked down to see the dark, blood-coated tip slide out of his rib cage. Disbelieving, Simon stared up at his murderer, head cocked quizzically to one side.
“You stabbed me.”
The man simply looked at him, dark eyes locked onto green, refusing to look away. “You will be back soon, my new friend. A new life awaits, one without your organs residing on the grass.”
“Why would you?” Simon managed to mumble, but the world seemed suddenly very far away. I’m really sleepy. Simon’s head lolled on his rubbery neck and darkness, held at bay briefly in the corners of his vision, came rushing in like a flood, and Simon faded away.