Carter Spence is a 26 year-old accountant out of Boston who has an out-of-body experience following a car accident that kills his parents. He views the chaos from above the scene of the accident, then passes through the tunnel and reunites with relatives who have long been dead. A woman he does not recognize approaches him and says, “Welcome, son.” Her message to him is that he needs to be aware of his true identity and should follow signs that will lead him there. She mentions mountains, but Carter is jolted back into his physical body before she can finish.
After burying his parents, Carter heads west and meets a free-spirit named Brenda, whom he is drawn to on many levels. She becomes his travelling companion and leads him to Boulder, Colorado, and to an old white house of an old man named Martin. Diaries, hypnosis, and past-life regression reveal a bizarre connection between these three. Carter discovers that the truth to his identity can only be found by pursuing the answer to whether he is the reincarnation of his biological father in what is shaping up to be a love affair rekindled beyond the grave.
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Once the neurosurgeon strapped on his gear, preparing for last call action, Carter really wondered if he had unfinished business on the planet below. As far as he could see, he looked pretty dead, but figured the crew would stop trying when that was the case, letting him return to the clouds. But it looked very serious to Carter as he witnessed from the ceiling, but these days death proved difficult with new medicine and lawsuits. They were determined to save his life.
“I’m looking at the possibility of a brain injury here,” the neurosurgeon in charge belted out to the ICU team. “Low blood pressure. I need oxygen…gimme oxygen now. Intracranial pressure gotta come down or we’re gonna lose him. Look at the monitor. Look at…we’re losing him. Endotracial tube.”
Carter could hear the leader shouting orders to save his life, and he wanted to thank him and tell him it wasn’t necessary. After all, it was merely life on earth.
“EEG’s dyin’. Step it up…ventilator. I.V. Come on. He’s losing power…heart rate? Heart rate…heart rate!” the doctor screamed.
These workers ignored Carter, acting as if they were too busy to hear, he thought. He could only count the minutes, and his mind began to drift around his surroundings. Dust had collected upon the big operating light, but only Carter knew that. He thought of other neglected chores, while attempting to write his initials in the dust, but his fingers only passed through the lamp.
As Carter peered down upon the operating table once again, he discovered his eyes glued right down into the cleavage of one of the nurses. He broke his retinal connection, feeling ashamed even though he knew he could not be caught. Then he began thinking about how much power he really had over the other guys. Carter got lost for a bit, forgetting who he was and where he was and what was happening to him. He got lost in the valleys and needed rescuing, which came after he heard a very loud electricity charged explosion.
He slowly came to and instinctively scanned the room for the origin of the sound. He felt dazed, almost as if he was directly linked to that electrical charge. He was buzzing, but slowly returned to normal. He again rejoined the scene of watching himself on the operating table. He remembered the valleys, but he was also overcome with a feeling that he was coming unglued.
A flat tone that echoed throughout the room separated Carter’s
gawking from its target. He noticed the doctors and nurses shifting into higher gear. One of the doctors yelled, “Clear…clear,” then paddled Carter’s chest with enough energy to shock his body a foot off the table. The tone persisted, so the paddle returned, and this time Carter’s leap beat the first leap by a good three inches.
This time Carter felt the reunion. Magnetism gradually pealed him away from the ceiling, beyond his control and without his permission, pulling him back into his body, which jerked at the completion of the merger.
As the tone went haywire, Carter felt pain for the first time since the accident. From the perspective of the eye sockets of his shell, he stared idly at the ceiling that previously held his mirror image. Oh, the pain, he moaned. Never had his head hurt in such away. It made a hangover preferred. He began mumbling prayers indicating his wish to return to his last destination. He wouldn’t hurt up there.
Why did you have to paddle me that second time?” asked Carter aloud. “Things were so much better before.”
The doctors and nurses paused only long enough to exchange curious looks, but their job was to make sure that their patient remained in this world.
“And I think it’s high time ya dust up there,” Carter suggested.
The ICU crew continued their work, paying no mind to their patient’s comments out of nowhere, plenty used to such groundless banter in such a setting as the ICU.
This is a first person story about a young man Carter who is in a horrible car accident and watches everything going on as his entire life flashes before him. The so called “out of body” experience. He describes everything he is seeing and is able to flash back and forth from place to place.
Just when he thinks the end is near he is sent back with a message to head west and find himself. I have always had a very hard time with first person stories as I really like interaction and perspectives from multiple sides. So the beginning was very slow for me to get into as it really is all Carter describing everything going on, everything he see’s and does. There is minimal interaction with people in the hospital and at the funeral afterwards so I really did have to push through these parts.
Carter has several “adventures” I guess you could call them, or moments that one may not normally have in the course of their life so that did add to the book as it kept me wondering if it would eventually catch up to him. At times I wondered just how in the world did he get away with that. Was there some “force” that was driving him, keeping him on a path and from detection?
Carter winds up in Boulder, Colorado after giving Brenda a ride. A girl he met when he stopped on his travels. Something about Boulder pulled to him. Made him want to stay and figure out just what it was about the place. This is when the story picked up, there was finally some interaction, dialogue and story build up. And I finally got to where I wanted to see just what happens, what it is about this place that not only caused Carter pain but pulled him to stay as well.
Carter and Brenda seem to be on a collision with the past and the more they dig the more it is unraveled. I will say the ending is not what I expected. It was actually a much better ending than the start of the book. Slow start great finish.
Glenn Maynard has a Bachelor of Arts degree in English from the University of Connecticut, and a degree in Communications. After spending 4 years living in Denver, Colorado, he returned home to Connecticut and now resides in Wethersfield. He has a 9 year-old son named Andrew. He was a travel correspondent for three newspapers while traveling through the United States, Canada and Mexico during his one-year journey. He had a total of twenty newspaper articles published. His story was captured on the evening newscast upon his return.
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