Hello Everyone! This is my completed manuscript, For Love of the Unknown. This is the result of countless hours of effort. I decided to start sharing it to get feedback. Please, please, if you see ANY editing errors, or something doesn't make sense, be it a sentence or a scene, let me know. I want this to be the best as possible so you can help me get this story published by pointing our any errors. :) Thanks.

For Love of the Unknown

Chapter 1:


There are rules in this world. They are what we value most. Green means go, one plus one is two, and blue and red mixed together create purple. These are known. They are as porcelain dolls, lined up in China cabinets for safe keeping. Once locked behind the one-way reflection of glass, only the most earth-shattering of forces can touch them.

But the mind is not static. Rules are bent and broken; new rules take the place of old ones or are built upon. Lives change and houses turn to buildings, which turn to skyscrapers, and we are forever reaching for that blue, blue sky.

But the sky was never meant for land-dwellers. Transfixed, we reach upwards even though we are yet perpetually stuck to the ground. Birds are plucked bare, pillows stuffed with down and earlobes are decorated with these stolen treasures. Envy drives us to make a mockery of fragile feathers. Is it flight we crave, or simply a different perspective?

For humans are good at getting stuck in the mud. We get so stuck that we stay right where we are, turning clay to walls, and walls to roof to in turn block out the sun, eventually convincing ourselves that we feel at home inside of boxes.

But there are cracks even in expertly crafted structures, and these fissures are gifts, for they let the light in.

Love breaks us, as time does. We fall in love with sandcastles, doomed to fall. Yet it is not the object of our love that matters, but what it inspires inside of us. This insight gives us the ability to look at life through new eyes. Only love, only light, push us to step outside of artificial dwellings, and into the sky.

Kaitlin's pursuers were enshrouded in darkness. She tried to call out, but her voice had dried and died within her throat. Her footsteps rang on the cold linoleum, the sound etching through her nerves as she sprinted through the maze of hallways. Just as she began to wonder if she was doomed to run in circles for eternity, she found herself at a dead end. A door stood at the end of a long hallway.

A warm copper light radiated off the door with the undeniable glow of salvation.

Movement flickered in her periphery and she knew she had mere seconds before the deep talons of her pursuers sank into the exposed flesh of her neck.

She watched with dismay as the hallway appeared to lengthen. With every step forward, the door was two steps away. The hyena laughter of her enemies was cold and hollow behind her. With a will she did not know she possessed, she sprinted to the door. Claws reached from behind, yearning to tear into skin, when she at last grasped the smooth silver handle of the door. It was oddly cool and comforting, like the hand of a long lost friend. She threw open the door and everything was eaten away by a blinding white light.

Kaitlin sat up in bed, gasping. The same perspiration of her dream drenched her body and sheets. She kicked them off, cursing, and covered her face with shaking palms. She stayed curled up until her breaths became less ragged and her heaving chest calmed.

"It was just a dream," she murmured to the moonbeams. For the past few years, she had only had nightmares about her mother. Tonight had been the exception to the rule. Yet Kaitlin pushed away the dream, just as she did any feeling she could not logically explain. That dream could make friends with the other shadows locked away in the dark room of her heart.

Time passed without her realizing. As she peeked between thin fingers, she noticed that the sun was rising-that sneak. It sent her silhouette stretching along the floor and set the usually green walls aflame in russet orange. She jumped as beeping sliced through the morning calm. Slipping from her bed with a groan, she silenced it.

A pair of denim skinny jeans that were clean enough were accompanied by a white spaghetti-strap, a yellow cardigan, and black ballerina flats. Her fingers fidgeted with the delicate daisy buttons, biting her lip with the urge to leave the top two unbuttoned, yet deciding against it.

She set her expression for the day and found herself in the private bathroom attached to her room. You're not nervous. There's nothing to be nervous about. She peeked sheepishly into the mirror at her long, honey-blonde hair, mussed from sleep, and the makeup smudged from the night before. She had fallen asleep reading. Again. She brushed her hair and teeth and washed her face, which she did in that order every day. The routine calmed her nerves. The dream slipped from her conscious mind like a fish sinking back into the murky depths of a lake.

Her nose met the mirror in her discovery that her freckles had again refused to disappear in the night. They stood out like a smattering of stars across the sky. And that, my friends, is what cover-up is for. She pulled out her makeup stick with the flurry of a very old and intimate personal vendetta. Braiding her long hair to the side, she embellished the end with a small black bow.

Sans freckles, she could not deny the uncanny resemblance to her mother that stood before her. A moon face with pointed chin, round cheekbones and full lips. Ultramarine eyes looked out beneath full lashes. A jolt tore through her heart, but she swallowed it down. Every day she was reminded of the face she would never see again.

Kaitlin emerged from her bathroom ready to start the day, glancing at the badge hanging from her necklace tree. Her brand new clearance badge.

Her eyes trailed to where her Comport sat upon an oak desk, a thin, pink, metallic bracelet which served as a portable computer, cell phone, -and with the technology of two thousand twenty seven, whatever else she might possibly need. She snatched it up and put it around her wrist, looking in the mirror at herself.

She took a breath and consciously pulled her shoulders back. I can do this, she thought, and turned to greet the tantalizing smell of bacon floating in from the kitchen.