Genre: Adult SF/UF
Word Count:106,964 words
He stared into the face of a young boy with two large gray orbs where eyes should've been and an impossibly wide and toothy grin. The abomination became a more horrific visage backlit by arcs of electricity dancing only yards above them. This was the last thing Jeff Sanders, a twenty-something refrigerator salesman, remembers seeing before he inexplicably awakens in an unforgiving, godless parody of the world he left behind. Lost and alone, he is forced to chase a demonic trickster through bizarre and dangerous worlds that all seem to be linked by the World Between. With his only guidance coming from a young boy that appears in his dreams to deliver cryptic messages, Jeff must struggle through lies and rationality to either find his way back to the life and love on the world he knows, or discover a future darker than Hell ever promised.
I had that dream again. It was the one on the mountain top. The boy stood a little ways behind me as he always did, casually observing my reaction to the chaos below. The world was burning against a backdrop of stars and I only stood watching it with the same dull expression that the boy had; an expression that suggested it wasn’t my world at all, or at least not one worth saving.
All of it seemed so real. I could feel the wind cooling my body, hear the crackling of fires and the occasional explosion of combustion accompanied by a flash of light between the steel and glass towers now crumbling atop each other. Eyes beginning to sting as the burning ash and smoke irritated my nose, I turned my head away from the scenery and back to where the boy stood. He was the most real of all, or perhaps his eyes on me.
He couldn’t have been older than 12 or 13 years, but he held himself like a man, standing firmly and almost defiantly amidst his surroundings. Dark brown hair that matched the color of his eyes swayed loosely in the breeze. Beneath a green jacket that reflected the red and orange hues of the fires around us was a faded gray shirt bearing an eagle mascot and the name of an elementary school partially hidden beneath the flaps. Both articles seemed slightly too small for him, tight against his meager frame and barely coming…