silverbirch robert kaay novel audiobook

Chapter 01

A tear in the fabric of the night sky

Read along while you listen to Chapter 01
CH01: A Tear in the Fabric of the Night Sky
CHAPTER 1
I HATE THE RED LIGHTNING BOLT

You can only control a person when they are not in control of themselves. This is the most important rule.
When you’re drunk, on drugs, in a fit of rage or sleep deprived you do things you wouldn’t normally do. You’re not yourself and often have memory blackouts. You wake up and wonder where you are and how you got there.
Who is this person pointing a gun at me?
How did I end up in this position?
You’re told you did something bad to someone, but you can’t remember doing it. You said something you shouldn’t have. You started the fight but you don’t remember how.
Did you throw that punch or was someone else controlling you, making your mistakes.
It is not just a simple case of autopilot with no memory.

My hand is as red as her lipstick. It’s holding my shoulder, which is bleeding profusely due to a bullet that very recently passed through it. I’d be in terrible pain right now, if I wasn’t numb from my current disbelief that every little thing that has happened in my life has come down to this. Still, I’m pressing hard on the wound, hoping to prolong the inevitable.
Hayley is a tall and beautiful twenty-something brunette. She looks more like a model than a killer. She’s towering over me clenching a large smoking gun, which doesn’t suit her at all, and she’s staring straight into my eyes.
I know it’s not the real her.
Behind Hayley is an office table. On the table sits an empty bottle of Jack Daniels. Still pointing the gun at me she walks behind the table, opens one of the drawers and pulls out a small plastic bag. She drops the bag next to the empty bottle then resumes her position in front of the desk.
Hayley’s attention shifts to a huge shattered window behind me, where red velvet curtains are being sucked outside the building. We’re on the top floor of a ten-story office complex in Encino, Los Angeles.
I’ve been here once before.
The last thing I remember is the Silver woman on the edge of the cliff, pointing her finger at me . . . everything after that is a blank canvas. That’s what happens when you have a memory blackout, things change but you don’t remember why.
“You’re going out that window,” says Hayley, still aiming the gun directly at me.
She uses her free hand to pull a little mushroom out of the plastic bag on the table.
“Eat this right now and then jump out of that fucking window,” she barks again as she throws the mushroom at my chest.
I don’t budge and the mushroom hits the ground.
Noticing my lack of cooperation, Hayley squats in front of me and targets the gun at a part of my body that distinguishes me as a man.
I can smell the alcohol on her breath. If only I had a match I’d have an escape plan.
“You wouldn’t happen to have any tic-tacs handy, would you?” I say as I hold out my hand.
Hayley picks up the mushroom and places it neatly in my palm.
“This is supposed to be your revenge, right,” I say, as I study the mushroom.
Underneath the head of the mushroom, naturally built-in to its black-gilled underbelly, I notice the red lightning bolt.
I hate the red lightning bolt.
Trying to think of a way out of this mess I poke my tongue out and drop the mushroom in my mouth. I know what happens when you swallow one of these things so I push it into the side of my cheek.
“You’re not a fucking hamster,” she says. “Swallow!”
“You can’t blame any one of us for what happened . . . you did it to yourself,” I mumble, with the mushroom still floating around in my gob.
Hayley cocks the gun, which still doesn’t suit her.
I swallow the mushroom, the one with the red lightning bolt.
She says, “Either way, you’re entering Silverbirch tonight so I can deal with you face to face. You can enter on your own once the mushroom kicks in or I’ll make sure your body is never buried after I shoot you in the head.”
There’s a good reason you’re buried when you die.
My face tingles as the room begins to swirl.
She paces around the table for a few minutes and glances at me periodically, while-we-wait.
She looks more like a wax version of herself.
And then the mushroom kicks in.
Hayley looks as if she’s melting. Her lips are dripping like red paint down her body and legs until they blend in with her lipstick red high heels.
She backs away with an enormous grin that can’t be her own.
I feel euphoric, but not in a relaxed flying way, more like in a the-plane-is-about-to-crash kind of way.
I told you, I hate the red lightning bolt.
I don’t know if you’ve tried drugs before, but this is a different high, this high is not just brain altering, its soul shifting.
Another level.
“Walk to the window, Nudge,” says the melted version of her.
With my back still at the window I crawl to the table and use it to help get me to my feet.
“How did you get her to drink the whole bottle?” I ask.
“I didn’t,” she smiles, still melting. “You did.”
Nothing is clear to me. This doesn’t make much sense.
Who is this person pointing a gun at me?
How did I end up in this position?
This is exactly what a blackout feels like.
I turn to face the window. The room is warped and the red velvet curtains almost seem alive. They’re as red as her lipstick, as red as my hand. It’s as if they’re coaxing me to jump, inviting me to make the change.
Things that shouldn’t be melting; are.
It’s getting windy in here, thanks to the mushroom with the red lightning bolt. I’m not completely certain if it really is windy, or just part of the effect.
What looks to be a gateway emerges a few meters outside the missing window, directly between the two sides of the living thick red velvet curtains, ten stories high.
“You’re going to love Silverbirch, Nudge,” says Hayley. “Just make sure you jump far enough to actually make the gateway.”
I stare at Hayley . . . well . . . the warped version of her.
The girl I miss already.
She means so much to me, even in this ridiculous moment, and I regret how we let outside forces influence our relationship.
I regret leaving her, instead of sticking it out.
“Hayley, wake up! I have a plan,” I yell at her.
“You’re too late,” she says.

Chapter 02

That evil day when we were kids

Chapter 03 (Part 1)

You found one of those mushrooms?

Chapter 03 (Part 2)

You found one of those mushrooms? (continued...)

Chapter 04

A deer with a bag of money?

Chapter 06

You're supposed to be the smart one

Chapter 08

Can you please look after these?

Chapter 10

Use a coaster, motherfucker!

Chapter 11

I'm sick of being a calm little flower

Chapter 12

The simplest form of hypnotism

Chapter 13

I admire the sand in this guy

Audio Chapters 14-23 from the first Silverbirch novel coming soon…

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