Beyond The Moon was written entirely in Katie Kelly’s point of view. That means we never stepped into Glen’s world except when he spoke of it to her. The following is something he did not tell her. I’d like to share with you a moment in his life, written originally as a prologue in his point of view, but left out of the book after much consideration.
He coiled into a fetal ball, terror distending his skin until it crackled and ripped apart. Harsh light violated his hoarse bellow and he scrabbled across the bare, cold floor. In his blindness, he felt for the comforting shape of the M16.
It was nowhere. He’d lost it.
For a while he whimpered, then grew silent. Listened.
A deadly quiet thumped at his ears like the rhythm of a failing heart. A dim glow pulsed from the four walls. The droning of a machine kept him alive. Filling his space with oxygen, conditioning him to an abhorrent existence. When all he wanted to do was die, he could do nothing but struggle to live.
He had something to accomplish. A final killing before he could surrender to that inevitable death.
He must have slept or drifted into his other world, for the whoosh of the door opening, the thud as it closed, awoke him. He peered at six pointed and shiny black shoes coming toward him, padded soles whispering and squeaking on the waxed floor. A mixture of aromas ─ cologne and alcohol, disinfectant and toothpaste ─ tumbled over him from their hovering, indistinct shapes.
The walls tightened, leaking streaks of blood. His blood, slashed by shiny blades, the incessant shout of his tormentor, over and over, branding him with a pain he could not long endure, if not for the bitch who’d betrayed him.
In and out of the dirty water, swinging high in the trees, the bars held him for an eternity, an agony that would never end. Blinding him, slicing his skin off in strips. A yearning for death that would not come, would never come. Morphed instead into this new world where men came to peer at him, prod him, question him, when all he wanted was to coil back into that ball and remain forever neither dead nor alive.
A specter appeared, a chart in the crook of one arm while working a hypodermic with the other hand. Glen couldn’t fight, couldn’t utter a cry while they restrained him right there on the floor. He scarcely felt the burning pinch in his arm. Held his breath as if that would save him from the long dark spiral to pseudo-death. A preview of things to come. Soon perhaps he would be unwilling to climb back out. But he couldn’t let the final killing go. Not yet and not this easily.
End of Excerpt
Hard to imagine, isn’t it? Being subjected to such terrors. I assure you, it happens, continues to happen to our warriors sent home from terrifying battles. We like to think of them as so brave nothing touches them, when in reality most are marked for the remainder of their lives with the memories of those killing fields. They are brave beyond measure, but that doesn’t protect them from the suffering of post traumatic stress disorder.
Beyond The Moon is the story of a woman who will not give up in her efforts to help the man she loves more than life itself. Their strength makes this a hopeful and touching love story.
What readers are saying: “OH, MY God I couldn’t put your book down. You have told our story. We are the wives of the vets who returned damaged. There is always hope that our love will be enough. We, the silent women who have walked this story, know Katie ‘s world.”
“It’s no wonder this book was nominated for a Pulitzer Prize. Great read.”
“Brotherton’s storytelling and character development skills set her high above many better known authors.”
Join us Saturday, Dec. 6 from 1-3 at the West Fork, AR Library Annex at 210 Garland for a Christmas celebration of the release of Beyond the Moon and Rowena’s Hellion, the story of a veteran of an historical war that shows how wounded warriors were perceived in an entirely different time period.
I’d love to meet you. There will be door prizes, book giveaways, refreshments and books galore for your Christmas shopping. See you there.