TWO PATHS TO FOLLOW

 

A Novel

ADAM L.H. ARLIT

 
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TWO PATHS TO FOLLOW
 

Jonathan James is a man haunted not only by the murder of his wife, Violet, but by the idea of having to move on after finding her body in the alleyway behind their apartment. Impatiently waiting for the lead investigator, Det. Eric Murray, to give him the answers he wants, Jonathan finds himself wrestling with the limits of his own mental isolation.

Meanwhile, as Eric uncovers certain truths about the case, he finds himself becoming obsessed with the very lives he's investigating. As he struggles with the exploration of the mind's neurotic nature, he discovers the disturbing, undeniable reality of human behavior and the truth about Jonathan and Violet James.

Set among the vast, dry cityscape of Los Angeles and reaching to the rural forested countryside of California's central coast, Two Paths To Follow permeates the loneliness among the overpopulated, dives deep down into the human psyche, and changes how we perceive our true selves.

 

 
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We search for answers before thinking about how we will handle the truth.
 
 
 

Two Paths... ushers an eerie darkness into even the brightest of days, making you reevaluate your own self and the very person you thought you were.

 

It plays with human obsession from the most tedious events to life altering occurrences.

 
 
 
 
 
Excerpt
 

Prologue

Summers by the Beach

 

...

It went on like this for a couple more hours until the landscape glowed from the moon’s white light it cast over the beach. The wind had settled down. I felt cold as goosebumps covered my arms and legs sitting there not knowing what to do. With random chance, a car’s lights pointed down the road that led to the beach and further on to the lighthouse and I forced myself up and ran towards the break in darkness. My legs hurt and felt weak from the hours I sat clutching them like I was confined to some small space unable to stretch them out even though the world lay before me. My breathing deepened as I tried keeping track of the trail that led to my mother’s car.

Bend after bend, passing the small pools formed from the rain days prior, I finally came to some familiar shape of the vehicle we had left earlier that day. I went just beyond it and stood there on the road just as the headlights engulfed my body, brightening as they got closer.

I imagined what the driver must have thought coming across a small boy, face distraught and red from crying and breathing heavily.

As I stepped back as the car neared, it slowed to a stop and the window rolled down. It was a woman near my mother’s age and I guessed it was one of the daughters she had spoken about when she told me about who owned the land.

I remember still feeling sad after seeing who was in the car but also remember feeling a sense of safety and comfort. I didn’t say a word. I just stood there quivering as the lights now cast a harsh shadow over my face. For hours I had been alone and called out for my mother to no reply and in that moment were the words spoken to me that I would never forget.

“Are you out here all alone?”

 

Chapter One

...

Her arm was pressed up against her face as it hung out the top of the rolled up sheet. Her hand laid on the cold, wet ground disrupting the flow of a polluted stream that formed in a fracture between the poorly asphalted lane. Her dark, emerald green painted nails, a color she knew Jonathan liked because it made her eyes look brighter when she rested her head on them, were suddenly now the most desirable and animated detail. They reminded him of late nights spent sipping on wine between casual conversation, talking of trips that would now go untaken and times of notable happenings from random nights out.

Those moments were Jonathan’s favorites. He liked how the simplicity of a seemingly insignificant connection between two people could weigh so heavily on a person’s memory and how it affected their daily routines and thoughts. But now, all of that halted as he trudged forward towards his wife’s lifeless body, scared, thinking of what had happened and the whole consciousness of such an event he could never prepare himself for, causing an entirely unknown emotional reaction. The falling rain failed at masking the tears he fought back, and he gulped down the moist air, causing his breath to seem unfamiliar as his wet, now heavy clothes stuck to his chest and shoulders.

He stood over her body in shock before bending down, shaking as he took her into his arms, having a hard time holding her as she slumped through his hands like a large, loose bag of sand. He clutched her intensely repeating her name over and over pulling the sheet down from over her face. He revealed her cold, lifeless eyes which laid wide open unwavering from the droplets of rain that fell overhead. Her eyes, once associated with warmth and life, now stood for something so much worse and something he would never forget. Eagerly, he hoped for a sign of life to pass through her frozen body, knowing he wouldn't find any while trying to revive her. He lied to himself thinking she was still in there and would show herself the harder he tried to call out her name. But she was gone and had been for many hours now, and Jonathan knew who he had lost and how special she was to him.

 
 
 

TWO PATHS TO FOLLOW

ADAM L.H. ARLIT
 
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