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BF4L: Old Habits Die Hard • London Calling ||| CIMZ: R.E.M. ||| Cloud: The Way BackThe Shadows FallBattle the DarkThe Fourth LifeThe End of BlameDiamond in the RoughHope from the OceanFailings of the FathersChasing the Monsters (in progress) ||| Karena: To Journey's EndPort Charles ChroniclesTodd's SagaMemories Unlocked (in progress) • The Mysterious Samuel Toddman (Reissue) • Who's the Real Todd? (Reissue) • Thomas Lord: Cloaked (Reissue) • Enigma (in progress, reissue) • Don't Shoot the Messenger (Reissue) ||| MONICA ANN: Dance with the DevilThe Devil You Know ||| MARIA: Spidey Sam


Sunday, January 29, 2012

The Way Back: Prologue

Premiering Tonight, the real Todd Manning

Waiting was never easy, but after 8 years, he could face a few more minutes apart from her. Standing behind the deep maroon curtain and looking in, he spied his family. Starr, beautiful in her floral dress, with her hair upswept like her mother had worn it on occasion; Jack standing tall and oh-so-grown in his suit; and Blair, beautiful Blair, his wife, in white. In his mind, he had always pictured her in white during the long years of pain and torment. In white. A white nightgown with a lace overjacket; a white wedding gown with gold threads interspersed; a white halter top and long wrap skirt; a black pencil skirt and a white puff shoulder top with her beautiful swanesque back exposed. Every single thing she had ever worn he could picture, down to the last detail. He had spent 8 years studying it all and running it over and over in his mind. And, there she was, in white. Again. Stunning even after all this time apart. His wife.

He waited for the opportune moment to make his appearance. After all, it was his premier. Don't expect much, Manning. They're going to be surprised - heck, they're going to be damn shocked. Go slow. Don't push. He ran everything over in his mind, just the way he had practiced it. He knew exactly what he wanted to say and why he wanted to say it. He was here. He was back.

The last weeks were blurring more and more, but his memories were becoming perfectly intact. It had taken a while, having been muddled with electrical currents, but he was certain now, of everything. Each memory, sound and sight, was embedded back into its special location in his brain. No one was going to take any of it from him, he had promised himself. Every time Baker made his way toward him with electric cables, syringes, ropes, cords, long carpenter nails heated until glowing red, and other assorted "toys," as he called them, he'd start reciting his mantra. His family, their names, and who they were to him. When he came close to losing his mind and never coming back, he would play over a day, from start to finish, in his mind. The day he met Blair for the first time (again, her blouse was white); the sledding expedition (her smiling face, her slim figure bundled in her white winter coat); their almost wedding when he found out Jack had actually been his (she in a white satin pants suit). He marveled at how some things changed but others just hadn't. He had been counting on that for 8 years.

So, this was it. This was the moment he let them all know the truth. Of course, he counted on something else. He counted on Tomas Delgado not being able to keep his mouth shut about The Impostor. Todd was pretty certain that Tomas wouldn't be able to keep quiet long. Too much had happened and Tomas was not in the dark, at least, not as much as he pretended to be.

He watched as Tomas pointed across the room to The Impostor, saying, "That man is not Todd Manning."

He parted the curtains and walked into the room,
and, fixing his tie, simply said, "I am."


  1. Hot diggety Hope this means we're going to get to see this story played out the way it should have been. Good start, waiting anxiously for the next installment

  2. Replies
    1. Thanks! So good to see someone starting the original book over again!

  3. Yay! I remember! I look forward to reading more.


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