Here is the first chapter of The Hidden City. It is only roughly edited, and there probably will be additions later on, more detail, etc. But as you read this, leave a comment as to something you think might make this first chapter even better, and who knows. I might not have thought of it.
All material copyright 2014 John Lear.
Please don’t steal this. It took some hard with this to get where I am.
The Hidden City –
Book One Of The Re:Birth Saga
Part One – The Beginning Is Only Just Starting
Chapter One – The Surprise
ìI am the terror that will come to get you!î
Two dark figures could be seen running across rooftops in the brilliance of the dark night with the bright moonlit sky behind them casting shadows as the jump from one rooftop to the other. The first figure in lead looked like they were wearing a suit of some kind, though it was a little hard to tell. The light of the moon was reflecting off of the face and which revealed that he had a white mask that was covering his face, resembling what looked to be like an owl.
The other dark figure that was chasing the masked figure stayed in the dark shadows of the night, but the resemblance of tips above each ear on the mask that this person was wearing could be seen. The owl masked figure kept looking behind at whoever was chasing him, jumping from rooftop to rooftop to get away.
Just then, the darkness left, the moon was gone and a bright light surrounded everything with itís yellowish glow. ìWhy is it so dark in here, and what’s with the costumes?î
The nighttime sounds that were being played from a desktop computer was put on hold, the moon and the rooftops stopped moving along with the spotlight that was being used was turned off and unplugged.
Everything could be seen more clearly now with the lights on, and what was being used was contained in a fairly large size room with the windows on two of the sides blacked out. The actors playing the parts looked up to see who was there, and who had just interrupted what they were doing. The white owl like mask rested on top of the head of the person who was wearing it.
The black mask that had the pointed ears on it was pulled off quickly as it was just being held at the side. Someone wasnít happy at all. ìAww mom, you ruined it! This was the last scene where Batman was
chasing down the owl bad guy dude.î Batman, who was really Bobby Wilson, was upset at the fact this his mom had just ruined a very cool moment in his life. Bobby started to get excited once again, kind of forgetting that his mom ruined the moment, but didnít forget it all at the same time as he kept on talking. ìHe was totally going to take him down and find out where the rest of his bad guy friends are!î
Mom looked stern as she crossed her arms at the waist. ìWhat kind of movie do you think you’re making Sam?î His mother Jane Wilson had asked. Sam was sitting in the chair with his back to the computer.
Sam asked his brother along with Bobby’s friend Jake to help with the film that he was working on.
Making movies was one of the passions that he had in this life. He loved writing the stories and
creating the characters that would sometimes live in imaginary worlds that he would think up in his mind.
It’s the one thing that he wanted to do when he was older, making movies all the time. ìIt’s nothing that bad mom, Bobby’s just overreacting about all of this and being way too excited all at the same time.î It was something that he admired about his brother in the first place, the enthusiam and the drive that was
contained within the child frame of his.
ìWell it better be just that Samuel and nothing else mister. I don’t want you to be making one of those crazy slasher horror movies.î Jane still had her arms crossed in front of her.
ìThis isn’t going to be one of those stupid movies mom. Sam’s making the next million dollar blockbuster, and itís going to be huge!î
Sam roughs up Bobby’s hair and laughs a bit. ìI wish.î
Bobby looks up at Sam, with a why’d you do that? look on his face. Jane stands in the middle of the door. ìI’m sorry I interrupted. I had no idea what was going on and hearing all of that noise coming from the other side of the door and I could barely see a light on. You boys can finish what you’re doing.î
ìWe can’t,î Bobby said with a sad pout look on his face. ìJake has to go. His mom wants him back home for supper.î Jake, who is Bobby’s best friend, only lives two doors down from each other. It can be quite a challenge to get the two of them apart since it alway seems like their hanging out all the time.
Sam put the video camera down on the desk beside the computer. ìCan you come by for about an hour or so tomorrow so we can finish this Jake?î They werenít filming the scenes in order of how they came about in the film, they only could do what what they had enough time for each day.
ìMost definitely.î Jake answered with a smile on his face. ìIt can’t be in the morning though, my mom wants to cut my hair and then we’re going to the grocery store.î
ìTthatís fine Jake. Bobby will call you after lunch sometime and see if your momís ok with you coming over.î Sam talked to Jake’s mom on the phone when he asked her if he could be a part of this and before they started filming, just to let her know what was going on. ìWho knows, there might be an ice cream sandwich in it for both of you when we’re done.î
ìSweet!î Bobby and Jake gave each other a high five as Jake headed out the door of the Wilson’s two story house.
Sam really liked making movies and hanging out with friends a lot. It was one of the things that helped him not to think too hard about the city that he lived in. Ever since he could remember, he had always
wondered about the city, not exactly sure why. Everyone seemed friendly and all, but everyone also knew that the city held a secret, that the city was fenced in. It was surrounded by extremely high walls on every side that were made to look like there were no walls surrounding them at all.
But they knew.
Even high above, an artificial light source that covered the entire city, was trying to replicate the brilliance of the sun. Sometimes it didnít work so well, only rarely, and there was a slight sickness that came about due to it which didnít last long, only a day. Everything went back to business as usual after that.
The people who lived inside the concrete bubble were blinded from the outside world. Nothing from the outside ever came in through the walls.
Most people didn’t bother about the why. They liked how their life was comfortable and everything was in order. They liked how their lives were and didn’t want change. They cared about themselves and wanted to make the best of their lives. Sam on the other hand knew that there was so much more out there, so much more than life could offer him. He wasn’t sure why the city was walled in like it was, but he knew this couldn’t be it. He knew there that there was something more and the question was why it was being hushed up like it was.
Sam knew that there was so much more out there waiting to be discovered. He just needed to figure out how to approach it.
Even the local internet that the city called ëThe Netí had been created by the city itself. It was the only
digital way that Sam had that he was able to get any of his videos out to share with everyone. No one knew exactly why the city was caged in, but it was. Sam definitely had the desire and he so desperately wanted to break free of the confines of the city and see what the outside world held for him. He wanted
to know everything that was out there for him. If someone didn’t know the city was walled in like it was, they would think life was normal and they could go out and travel. There were even several higher
education facilities situated around the largely populated city. The only thing that was really different was that there was no ìWelcome toî city sign like every other place had when pages of the history books turned and they saw photographs of the past.
They weren’t even sure exactly where they were on the planet. They were always told one thing their whole lives, and quite a few people actually believed what came in through the ears. A few people in the city, on the other hand, weren’t exactly sure what to believe. They didn’t even have a sign that said
ìWelcome to Westholt.î
Westholt boasted an extreme population of around 50 million people. People say that it’s often similar to Shanghai, China from what they’ve read and learned in the history books, but much larger. As in roughly five or six times larger. The widely populated city, with a population of 125,752,842, was divided into
districts as was the official term, but people like to use the word neighborhood as it seemed more
friendly. Each district, had its own postal system, which was set up in a way that delivered letters and packages quickly and efficently.
If Sam was travelling a long distance, he’s take the city bus. The transit system that the city had put in place was top notch, everything always ran on time, and there was never a long delay and if something was stopped or needed to be fixed, extra transportation was brought right away. No one needed their own vehicle since public transportation was everywhere. The people that were successful in life, they had their own vehicle since they say they donít want to be sitting in dirty public transportation vehicles. Sam didnít think they were dirt at all, in fact, they were always kept in tip top shape.
After dinner was finished on the warm Monday evening, Sam headed out to pick up a few more things that would help him finish off the movie in the way that we wanted. It wasn’t anything like his mom thought it would, Bobby was just making things larger than life which he does sometimes. It was more of a light action movie with some comedy that was thrown in it. Life can’t always be on the serious side, a little laughter doesn’t hurt anything. ëLaughter is the best medicineí is what Sam knew from some of the old books that he read and the movies that he watched.
He had the idea of the film for the last few months now, figuring exactly all of the details such as the
characters, the plot, scenes, exactly everything down to the tiny. last detail. Sam Wilson wanted this to be the best movie that he has ever made, and was picking up some red spinning lights to resemble the top of a police cruiser.It was about a ten minute walk to the store that he needed to go to and Sam knew
exactly in which aisle and where on the self they were so he could be in and out of there in no time. A few friends said hi to him and he noticed that the cashier was the same person that he usually sees most of the times when he goes in, so he waved and said hi.
Sam walked back into the house about a half an hour later carrying a bag that had three red lights in it. He had gotten an idea of using mirrors to reflect the lights in a way that made it look like there was a lot more police cruisers than what was actually there.
He heard the sound of the dishwasher being on, swirling around dishwasher soap and water at a high temperature as the dishes were being cleaned from supper. Sam helped his mom with cleaning off the table and putting the dishes in the dishwasher before he left for the store. He could hear his father’s voice coming from the living room in the house, which was just off off the hallway as you came in from the outside. ìIs that you Sam?î
ìYes it is.î Sam turned right into the living room. It was a fairly decent sized room complete with a fireplace built into the wall that was opposite the entrance with a beautiful coffee table surrounded by two high back chairs and a couch. His father was reading one of the many newspapers that the city produced, not much good Sam thought since basically everything was about the city and not about the rest of the world, almost like city wide propaganda. It was at least something though.
His mother Jane, was sitting on the couch while she was working on a crossword puzzle. A cup of tea that
still had the steam rising from it was beside her on a side table on top of a coaster. Both of his parents had put down what they were doing and had gotten up from where they were. ìWe have something for you.î His mother announced.
ìFor me?î Sam asked. He was definitely surprised. This was out of nowhere really, he was totally surprised and had no idea at all what this surprise could be.
ìYes Sam, for you.î His father, Jack Wilson answered. ìWe wanted to give it to you a little closer to when you would be actually leaving for college, but your mother and I brought it up after you had left for the store after dinner. We discussed it and thought we would surprise you with it now so you could get you used to it.î
Sam was really getting anxious, though he was never usually like this. His parents rarely did this, but
everytime that they had in the past, it was something absolutely amazing. Maybe it was the thought of them actually telling Sam that they had a surprise for him when he went away to college but they decided to give it to him now.
They left the living room and walked down the hall towards the back of the house. At the end of the hall were the clear glass paned double doors that led out onto the deck and the backyard.. To the right was the open entrance for the laundry room, and the door to the left was Jack’s office.
His father opened the door to the office.
Sam really started to wonder why they would be going into his father’s office, thinking about what could be inside for him. He had n oidea whatsoever, and trying to think of what it could be came up with
When the door opened, his father let Sam go in first with his parents right behind. Right in front of him starting back at him was his father’s beautiful oak desk. It was something that Sam had always admired ever since he was young.Out of the corner of his eye to the right, he happened to see another desk that was exactly identical! Why would he have two desks exactly the same? Unless…
ìDo you like it?î His father asked Sam.
Was the other desk for him? If it was he was absolutely speechless. He just stood there not being able to answer for a few minutes since he tried to speak but there was nothing coming out of his mouth. His vocal chords seemed like they didnít want to work for the moment. Is that..?î
ìYes it is Sam, that other desk is for you.î Bpth parents were smiling as they knew that they had made the right desicion.
Sam was absolutely ecstatic. He went over and sat down in the comfy black chair that was placed right in front of the desk. It was the exact same as his father’s, identical in every single detail. ìWhere did you get another desk exactly like yours?î Sam slowly spun around in the chair feeling like such a little kid in the present moment.
His father was standing just inside the door with his mother right beside him. ìYour grandmother had phoned me just a few weeks ago, telling me that your grandfather had a desk exactly like the one of his that she gave me so many years ago. I had completely forgotten about it until she called. It got to a point where she didn’t really need it anymore, it was just another place for piling things on.
ìShe knew that you really liked the desk I had so when she asked if you would like to have it I immediately said yes even before she had finished asking me the question. I knew you would absolutely love it and with going away to school it was the perfect time.î
Even though the city was the way it was, the college that Sam wanted to go to was still about an hour and a half to two hours away, it wasn’t that close. ìI absolutely love it! Thank you both so very much.î He got up and gave them both a hug. He couldn’t wait to sit down at the desk and work on all of his movie scripts and everything else.
ìYour father and I decided that since it probably won’t be possible to carry it upstairs to your room, we’ll bring it into the spare room. You can have almost a study of your very own.î
He was absolutely thrilled by this. They spent the next half an hour cleaning the spare room which they used for storage to move the very heavy oak desk into. They had wheels and other things to help them move the desk because without those, who knows if they could have even moved it all.
ìThis desk seems to be heavier than the one that I have.î Jack Wilson commented trying to catch his breath.
Jane looked at her husband. ìThey’re exactly the same dear, why would this one be any heavier?î
ìI have no idea. Nothingís different about this one than the one that I have in my office.î
Sitting back down on the chair with a big enough window in front of him, Sam put his hands palm side down on the solid oak tabletop, feeling the grain of the wood and imagining it being put together. He looked it over again, and it looked absolutely identical to what his father had. He spun around in the chair to look at his parents. ìThank you again, both of you. This is just absolutely amazing and it seems like it’s too much.î
ìWe wanted you to have this Sam,î His mother said. ìYou deserved this and we both know it will be put to good use. Something that might even outlast you.î
ìThink I’m going to get my computer and bring it down here.î Sam said. His parents smiled at Sam. He still couldn’t believe they gave him a desk. This desk to be exact. He started to walk out of the spare room and go upstairs so he could bring his computer downstairs, though something made Sam pause where he was and walk back to the desk. Even though it was the same identical desk as his fatherís in every way possible, it seemed that there was something odd about it. Sam wasnít sure what it could be that started this pattern of thinking, but there was a puzzled look on his face and he parents were wondering what was going on. ìIs something wrong with it Sam?î
ìNothing’s wrong with the desk dad, just unusual.î Sam was looking at his desk, noticing a very slight and small difference in some of the decorative carvings. He knew what the difference was as soon as his eyes laid upon it since he knew his fatherís desk so very well. Upon further inspection Sam knew that one of the leaves in the pattern was out of place, facing in the wrong direction. ìOne of the leaves is wrong.î
ìMaybe whoever built the desks wanted it to be just a little bit different so they could be told apart from each other?î His mother was also curious, but playing along to get Sam’s imagination going.
ìIt’s possible, but everything else on both desks is identical down to the last detail. Why make one small detail off?î Jack commented, noticing the small detail too. ìI guess there’s just one difference in the desks Sam. Well among the fact that this one feels just a tad bit heavier.î
Sam was inspecting the minor detail difference, noticing that on his desk the small carved leaf is pointing to the right, and on his father’s desk the same carved leaf was pointing the the left.
Something was odd about it though, Sam didn’t know why and maybe he was over thinking things which he sometimes normally did when he was trying to figure out a mystery such as the one that was right in front of him. He did like a good mystery, and he really enjoyed reading the Sherlock Holmes books, staying up late sometimes to finish them before going to bed. Looking under the desk, he thought it would be fun and try and feel around for a secret latch or botton or anything like that, but it didnít seem like there was anything like that.. Thinking about how amazing it would be if there was a secret compartment hidden within, what secrets it would hold, what contents might it have contained inside.
ìMaybe you are right. Whoever built the two desks wanted this one just to have a slight difference for some reason. Plain and simple like that.î
Jane smiled and shook her head slightly. ìYou’re over thinking things too much again Sam. Sometimes you need to takes things plain and simply like they appear.î
ìSorry there isn’t any hidden surprises inside Sam.î Jack said, as he and Jane started to walk out of the office. Sam got up from the floor, putting a hand on the desk to brace himself. Putting his hand on the decorative carved leaf.
I apologize. I’m using Adobe InDesign to work on this book and when I pasted it in all the quotation marks turned into the letter i’s