Land of the Living
by James Pinard
James Pinard is a writer of books, screenplays, graphic novels and poetry. Born in Hartford, Connecticut, he currently resides in Orlando, FL where he works as a Computer Programmer for an insurance company. He has two beautiful, awesome children Michael and Ariel who inspired characters in his latest creation, “LAND OF THE LIVING.”
His past works include the short story “CREED” which was published in the PULP EMPIRE Collection Vol 1 and “DEARBORNE” in PULP EMPIRE Vol 2 by METAHUMAN PRESS available on Amazon. He is also a Writer and Creator of the Comic series “LUCID WORLD” Issues 1 and 2 published by TRAGIC ENTERTAINMENT.
“LAND OF THE LIVING” began as a labor of love on a subject matter that is close to his heart. One of his favorite subjects is time travel and his favorite decade is the eighties. After having lost both his parents and his sister to cancer, he decided to come up with a story about traveling to the 1980’s to see them again. The story just grew from there and the rest as we say is history.
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WHEN JAMES CREED WAKES UP IN HIS PARENTS’ HOUSE IN THE YEAR 1985, HE’S GREETED BY FAMILIAR PEOPLE AND SETTINGS.
THE PROBLEM IS HE REMEMBERS BEING A 50 YEAR OLD MAN IN THE YEAR 2015.
Memory told him both of his parents and the woman he loved were gone, but he slowly realizes that he’s traveled back in time to an alternate version of the eighties. President Kennedy is still alive, and the head of a secret time travel program, and perhaps the strangest thing of all – his loved ones are still alive.
He faces a challenge for which he’s not prepared, but he doesn’t have to fight his battle alone. To his amazement, his son, Michael, travels back from the year 2035 to help him discover the true reason he was sent back.
But another mysterious time traveler hunts him from the shadows, and James’ journey becomes a race to save his future existence in the Land Of The Living…
May 23, 1985: the night that changed my life forever.
I approached from the passenger side. She turned and saw me as I walked up to the door. She shot me a look with those beautiful dark eyes of hers. “Jim? What are you doing here?”
I glanced to the driver’s side and saw Tony wasn’t there. “I need you to come with me now.”
“Come with me if you want to live.” It was a line from the Terminator movie and it was all I could think of at the time. It seemed to fit the occasion.
“What? What are you talking about?”
“Look. I really don’t have time to explain right now. I need you to come with me and I mean now!” I tried to be as forceful as I could but she looked at me as if I was crazy.
“Look, Jim, I don’t know what you’re doing here, but you need to leave now. Okay?”
I looked into the car and could see all the beer cans and the look on her face. She looked afraid. Was she afraid that night? Did she want to get away from him but couldn’t? Now I knew what I had to do. My whole attitude changed and I was ready for whatever happened at that point, and it’s a good thing because that was exactly when I needed to be ready.
“Hey! What’s up, Jim? What are you doing here?” I could hear Tony’s voice as he approached the car from behind me.
“I came for Sara.” I said, turning my head to see him as he walked up to the car from the other side.
“Is that what you want?” He said to Sara who didn’t respond.
“We’re on our way to buy some pot. If you got money, you can come with us.” Tony always had a friendly demeanor; he never bullied on the surface, but he always had an agenda and I knew what his was tonight.
He walked over to me with his large six-foot-two frame and curly black hair down to his shoulders, and in one swift movement, reality set in. That’s right; this wasn’t a dream. If it were, that gun that he had in his waistband underneath his leather jacket wouldn’t be there.
“And if you don’t have any money you can get the fuck out of here, Jimmy boy.”
“Jim, go home.” Sara shot me a look like she always did when she was mad at me. It was the evil eye with a frown and a stare.
So now was the moment of truth. If I made a move and Tony pulled his gun, this whole thing could go sideways in a hurry. I looked out the corner of my eye and saw a police cruiser pull into the parking lot. It was behind where Tony stood, so he couldn’t see it.
“Here’s what we’re going to do. I’m going to take Sara and we’re going to get out of here.” I said without emotion.
Tony Mason looked me dead in the eye. “I know what you’re thinking, Jimmy boy. You think because that cop just pulled in behind me… That’s right, I saw him… I’m going to let you go, but that’s not going to happen. Instead, what’s going to happen is this. I’m going to pull out this gun and shoot that cop. Then I’m going to shoot you.”
My jaw almost dropped when he said those words and just then, the cop pulled up alongside us in his police cruiser. Sara got out of the car and stood up next to Tony.
“Everybody okay over here?” The cop said leaning out his window. He had a young face, wearing a Newington PD uniform.
“I don’t know, officer. Is everybody okay over here?” Tony said with his back turned to the officer and his hand on his gun that was strategically placed in his waistband underneath his jacket.
“Yeah, we’re good.” I told the officer as I walked closer to Tony and patted him on the back.
“No problems here.” I repeated and looked down at the gun in Tony’s waistband. I thought about making a move at that gun, and he could see it in my eyes as I glanced at his face.
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