20 January, 2022

Read an #Excerpt from The Living Light by Maria Isabel Pita - #ScienceFiction #Contemporary @MariaPita99

The first attempt to travel at the speed of light has been successful. Transported thousands of miles in seconds, the two young astronauts, Rose and Alex, are on their way to explore Proxima b, a candidate terrestrial planet in the Alpha Centauri System 4.2 light years from Earth.

Burning through space faster than any humans in history, they realize the launch into light speed created black holes in their memory, and that all their most recent experiences have vanished without a trace.

A long journey stretching out before them, they focus on getting to know each other again. And as they begin falling in love, they also discover strange and marvelous things can happen to people living in the Light.

Traveling at the cosmic speed limit is full of surprises, and Rose and Alex soon learn they are not alone on their fantastic voyage as the divide between science and faith vanishes.

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Read an Excerpt from The Living Light

Our home solar system is already so far away, in my mind's eye it appears as small as a bracelet. I didn't notice the moment it slipped away, but now I regret its loss as with every heartbeat I feel how precious it is to me. It doesn't help to know it is still there since I may never see it again. Yet that one special Sun which gave me life will always be a part of me, and when I look down at my wrist, I actually see its various planets strung on their invisible ellipses like gemstones. This vivid feeling that the earth's solar system belongs to me like treasured jewelry is mysteriously reassuring.

I never imagined one of the side effects of living in light speed would be the magical quality of my thought processes, so that poetic concepts feel not merely plausible but real, as in true. While traveling at the speed of light, the connection between my reason and my imagination seems as vital as the inseparable relationship between my brain and my heart.

I wonder if Alex is as surprised as I am that being launched into light speed had felt so normal. I was sitting with my eyes closed—breathing slowly and deeply in an effort to calm my racing heart as I braced myself for the transcendent but potentially fatal transition—then I was sitting with my eyes open and nothing had changed, except for the fact that Alex and I were already thousands of miles from earth.

What had been deemed impossible happened instantly and smoothly, but approximately an hour later (during which the ship traveled 669,600,000 miles) I recalled a sensation. Wanting to know if Alex felt something similar, I say to him as we sit facing each other in a spacious cockpit resembling an upscale Penthouse lounge, "I know this sounds strange, Alex, but I experienced something when we when we entered light speed that was a physical sensation but also more... Honestly, the only way I can describe it is to say that it felt like taking that first sip of a really cold and dry martini, except I didn't just taste it with my tongue; I experienced it with my entire body."

He stares beyond me for a moment, then meeting my eyes replies in a quiet, sober voice, "Yes, I felt it, too."

I realize then the earth isn't really far away as Alex's blue eyes evoke its shining seas.

"All the natural stress and anxiety of wondering if we were about to die," he goes on, "suddenly transformed into an intense sensation of relaxation but, as you said, it was more than physical. I'm very glad you told me, Rose, because the truth is, I feel like I drank that entire metaphorical bottle of Vodka in a split second. And now I'm suffering from a peculiar hangover which is affecting my memory."

"Your memory? Which memories, exactly?"

"Well, to begin with, I can't remember what we're supposed to be doing, exactly." He looks around us, then back at me, but not at my face. "I don't recall ever seeing you wear that bracelet. I thought we weren't allowed to bring anything with us. The Sun at the center looks like it's made of solid gold. I've never seen animated jewelry before."

"Alex, if you can see it, too," I join him in staring down at my left wrist, "that means it's real, and yet it can't be, I mean, I was sure I was only imagining it..."

Maria Isabel Pita was born in Havana, Cuba. Her family moved to the U.S. when she was eight months old, and she grew up in Fairfax, Virginia. Reading, writing and history have been her abiding passions ever since she can remember. In college, she majored in World History, and minored in English Literature and Cultural Anthropology.

Before her lucid dreams led her back to the Catholic faith in which she was raised, Maria wrote erotic romances. She has presented at two International Association For the Study of Dreams conferences, and is a featured contributor to the Lucid Dreaming Experience Magazine.

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