After releasing that excerpt from Whisper yesterday, I realized the prologue itself would make a nice excerpt to release. So, without further ado, the prologue to Whisper!
A man named Godfrey Wilde once told me that there is something latent inside everything. Some sleeping quality just waiting to be awakened. As dormant trees draw from their roots again in spring, so does this ‘thing’ turn green in its own season. It spreads forth, unfurls with a breathless realization. Sometimes, it may be so sudden that it comes as a shock, and may even wreak havoc on its very own host.
This was the case with the earthquakes.
Godfrey Wilde was a horse whisperer. A man of a lost art, in our evolving society that boasted more horsepower in its ecosystem than any of the live beasts that he preferred. For a long time, I did not understand the implications in Godfrey’s words, but I suppose ‘understanding’ was the latent quality inside them. I see that now. At the time, it took the earthquakes to inspire the budding of my belief in his theory. The great fits of the earth that exploded from within, a nasty dual personality emerging when no one was prepared to ride such a thing out. We had thrived upon what no one suspected was the cocoon of our planet; only the earth itself knew when it was ready to evolve.
The renditions were devastating.
We, revealed simply as the parasites to a much greater beast, were left in those days seeking desperately some new piece of homeland, and some new way of life itself, to latch onto. Thus was born our age of wreckage, of picking up the pieces of a ruptured society. As technology failed and roads crumbled, the people reverted to the ways of the horse.
If Godfrey had survived the quakes, he would have been in heaven. As it was, he was one of many that went down that day, lost beneath the rubble.
He was right, though – about his theory. Years later I would understand that his knack with the horses was the latent thing he had sheltered inside him, awakened and in its place.
It wasn’t until I was caught unprepared in a canyon frequented by wild horses – caught there when they descended like a dam breaking and thundered through that gulley, and the dust cleared and I was left standing – that people began to realize I had it, too.
Me, Godfrey Wilde’s daughter.
A horse whisperer.