An entrance into the Underworld
When I was a child, I suffered a life-altering at age 2 1/2. So indelibly etched it was upon me that I have some memory of it. When children experience PTSD, they will often suffer dreams of unrecognizable content. I went through night terrors. Years later, I see the connection between these somnolent horrors and the triggering event.
My night terrors were irresistibly powerful experiences. I lay down in a chamber of immense proportions. So vast it was that it overwhelmed me with its openness, its vacancy. I’d wake screaming, mom and dad rushing to my bedside, asking what was wrong. I couldn’t tell them a thing. I didn’t know. I had no words for what welled up from a place within excavated before words were acquired. They call these preverbal memories, and children cannot talk about them.
In other nocturnal images, floating musical notes – translucent, ephemeral – held the psyches of children. Innocent souls drifted, lighter than air, down the sidewalk in front of our house. Light trapped in matter. Without warning, a vast, immeasurable weight, embodied in a stellar material heavier than the densest objects on earth, crushed the notes like boulders splatting bugs. The weight crushing my chest. I couldn’t breathe. Woke clutching my ribs, finally able to emit a silent gasp, which came finally within the range of human hearing, a child’s scream. Mom and dad come rushing again to the bottom bunk where I slept below my brother.
With episodes like that, I developed insomnia by age 6. My ribcage racked by a great weight. Oppressed by a vast, unfathomable space. They seemed like memories from before birth. Yet, a few years before, I’d been strapped to an operating table in a surgery that seemed to a two year-old the size of a cathedral’s knave. The weight of the straps my chest strained against. The smothering darkness of a black rubber anesthesia mask which pressed like the weight of a million g-force.
A horror novel released June 1st, The Mind Altar, is ultimately about these nightmares suffered by a child. Containing elements of mystery and science fiction, The Mind Altar covers the poltergeist experiences suffered by a group of seven misfits who must venture into a labyrinth excavated beneath a desert mountain far removed from civilization.
As diurnal creatures, we fear the darkness. Most of us turn instinctively away from caves. Who wants to be cut off from air and light? The Mind Altar deals with such interments while we’re still alive. The expedition is stalked by abyssal creatures in the formless depths. These are the elemental admixtures which the expedition must encounter as they are tasked with determining why no one in a subterranean supermaximum security prison has survived.
It might keep you up at night to read it, who knows? Like it kept my eyes anchored to the post of the waking world when I was a just a child. Yet just maybe, you’re plagued by the same fears, and by exposing yourself to them with your adult self as a guide, you can make peace with your shadows. Available through amazon. Just click https://authorcentral.amazon.com/gp/books/book-detail-page?ie=UTF8&bookASIN=B07DF6RVHK&index=default
To read an except, click https://justmikejust.com/excerpt-mind-altar/