Manuscripts Burn


"Manuscripts don't burn"
- Mikhail Bulgakov

Hi, I'm horror and science fiction author Steve Kozeniewski (pronounced: "causin' ooze key.") Welcome to my blog! You can also find me on Facebook, Twitter, Goodreads, and Amazon. You can e-mail me here, join my mailing list here, or request an e-autograph here. Free on this site you can listen to me recite one of my own short works, "The Thing Under the Bed."

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Eternity Burning: Chapter 1, Part 7

"He seems so peaceful when he's asleep," Dina reflected.

His nose was whistling with each breath. That little whistle was like a metronome; Dina could've set a watch to it. It was less annoying than snoring, but more annoying than silence. At least, that was how it seemed when Dina and Victory had first started dating. Now it was a familiar and comfortable noise. It was funny how someone's foibles can change from unattractive to attractive over time, as you get to know them. She sighed and stood up.

She was a professor of psychological history at Temple University. It was a somewhat new area to teach, one which had been denounced by many critics. Psychological history explored the ideas and emotions which caused historical events to occur. It tried to determine what was going through the minds of leaders and the populace while history was being made.

How did insanity affect leaders? How did mob mentality overcome normally sane people's scruples? What inspirations and influences affected any given chain of events? How did thinkers, and speakers, and philosophers change people's outlooks? These were the questions that she and others in her field tried to answer.

To put it simply, as she usually told her classes at the beginning of each semester, "Where history analyzes actual events, psychological history analyzes the causes of those events."

Her lecture earlier that day had been about a generally accepted series of events which led to mass persecution. It could be applied to The Spanish Inquisition, the Holocaust, the Salem Witch Trials, the early Roman persecution of Christians, slavery in America, and dozens of other cases.

She was young, vibrant, and full of life. Most professors grew crotchety and resentful after teaching for too long. Dina, though, still loved her subject, and loved to try to make her student's eyes light up with knowledge. She even loved the way most psychologists and historians treated her like a sandals-and-candles revolutionary. It filled her with happiness to think she was teaching something new and exciting which stodgy old experts frowned upon.

She was smooth, delicate, and beautiful, and her gleeful disposition only enhanced her beauty. Her lovely flowing locks of buttery golden hair seemed to jump for joy every time she moved her head, and her august turquoise eyes were round and bright. There was a feline grace and nimble quickness to Dina Sharp that didn't seem to make her stand out as a professor.

Dina was a very sharp contrast to her boyfriend Victory. He had about the same grace and poise as a sick rhinoceros. He was indeed handsome, but where Dina's general love of life heightened her appearance, Victory's gloomy and generally sullen disposition heightened his. He was stark, strong, well built, and down to earth. Victory had short jet-black hair and terribly dark eyes. His daily shave never seemed to work because he always had a halo of stubble that seemed to enhance his gritty appearance. Victory was "dangerous" attractive; Dina was "lively" attractive.

Victory didn't really care about his job. He worked at HealTech, sending off shipments of pharmacopoeia all throughout Pennsylvania. It wasn't particularly exciting, but the pay was decent and the benefits were good. He didn't care so much about what job he was doing, but he liked to do his job well. He was the kind of guy who got things done. Victory wasn't powerful or high paid, but he did his work. She sometimes felt really proud of him for that. She loved to teach, but he did his job because he had a serious work ethic.

All this went through her head just watching him sleep.

"Vic," she said, and prodded his shoulder.

Nothing happened.

"Victory!" she said, and shook him violently.

"What?" he grumbled.

"It's Saturday."



"Too early. Come back later."

"Too early," she laughed, and pulled the blanket off the bed, "Unless you were drugged last night, you've overslept. Come on, we've got to go. If we don't leave soon, we'll be late."

"Where?" he said, now coherently.

"Dad's farm."

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