Tangent is a story of Alan; a man who travels back into our present era from the not-too-distant future. More than most time-travel stories; Tangent has a strong literary flavor and lovingly explores the strange rituals of modern life. Alan encounters many interesting characters who all serve, in one way or another, to unlock the mystery of his fate. Tangent also explores our perception of reality and the struggle to gain solidarity and peace in a world governed by quiet subversion and unchecked greed. The reader is left to ponder the possibilities that Alan discovers through the course of the novel.
Here is an excerpt from Tangent:
“Now,” Mr. Montgomery says, his features losing all trace of amusement. “I have to warn you that this procedure involves a lot of intense pain staggered in short intervals. I cannot medicate you, for that may interfere with the integrity of the data I can get from your mind.”
Well, that was a change of pace… I think to myself.
“We can begin as soon as you are ready.”
My heart starts to race. The surge of adrenaline I feel at these words is astounding. This is absolutely the most afraid I have been in my life. It is a strange situation indeed when one is in charge of beckoning the commencement of an event that will most certainly change their life in a devastatingly effective way. Death may become of such a powerful verbal ushering. I can feel the seconds drag by as if weighed down by the universe itself. It feels as if my entire existence has been leading to this singular moment in time. Tears begin to gather of their own volition, as the sheer emotive state slowly renders my mind catatonic. Before I let my fear overcome me entirely, I force out the single most important word I have ever spoken in my life:
Bright, searing pain invades every fiber of my being; agony I cannot believe the human body is capable of experiencing. I am unaware that I am screaming until the sensation passes, and before I stop the dreadful experience begins anew. I lose my awareness of anything but the singular paroxysm tormenting every last nerve.
A terrible rhythm emerges as the suffering stops just before I can pass out in overwhelmed agony, then starts anew right before I can regain focus. I try and force my eyes open, but am greeted with burning white light that stings like a thousand suns. Somehow I can momentarily hear the leather restraints straining under my thrashing limbs before I lose concentration once more. Vivaldi reaches my ear in broken fragments between convulsions. There is no possible way I can continue enduring this torture.
I feel an unnatural heat permeate somewhere around me, and it sounds like my screams have gotten louder.
I can no longer feel my body.
Thin rivulets of purple and crimson sparks slither in a liquid dance around me as pulsating grey clouds of viscous matter seep ribbons of velvet blue.
I am disembodied. Time is now, and not at all. Here is nowhere and everywhere all at once. Whatever I am transformed unto floats here, barely held together with sharp cords of golden light. Arching tones of shrill treble permeate the rippling liquid skies above me, tracing obscure patterns that I cannot follow with my meager makeshift sight.