James Pearson is about to discover things about himself that he has tried to hide since childhood. A link to his past will come back to haunt him.
Laura Kane is a sign language interpreter, struggling to run an agency, whilst coming to terms with a personal tragedy. After meeting a journalist on assignment, she makes a connection she is not even aware of, thus setting off a series of events that will make her question the very relationships she holds dear.
Nicholas Carey is a man with a secret. It is eating him up inside, but he cannot share it with the one person he needs the most, because it has the potential to tear them apart.
The Conduit is the story of a group of people, inexorably connected to one another. From the freelance writer, who is communicating to someone he doesn’t even know, to the bereaved interpreter who has guidance from someone she has never met. When their paths finally cross, the events that follow will change their lives forever.
James Pearson is a man who lives by his emotions – he has no choice since he feels everyone else’s.
Born with the gift of detecting and interpreting the unique energies of those around him, he must come to terms with these abilities if he has any hope of conquering them.
Discovering his friend is in trouble sets off a chain-reaction. It begins with a series of nightmares; dreams in which he is saved by a woman he longs for even in his waking hours.
With the support of his friends, he faces the kind of darkness he once shied away from and which he must now conquer if he has any hope of surviving.
James thrashed wildly across the bed, gripped by a nightmare so powerful he was no longer in control.
Something cold and slick coated his body, squeezing the life out of him. In that moment he felt nothing but the growing pressure, not even his own skin.
Then sensation tore through him. The air backing up in his lungs burned across his chest. It spread as quickly as the fear and panic, because he couldn’t breathe. He could barely even move.
The darkness was everywhere. It closed around him like a giant fist, sealing off the last of his hope.
The hard mattress beneath him became the stone cold ground. His sheet, like a silken snake, wound itself around him, restricting his movement.
He knew if he gave in to panic all would be lost, and though the sharp edge of his fear was like a blade through the heart, he fought to control it.
The valiant effort to hold himself still was evident in the taut contours of his body. His muscles strained until his arms broke free of their bonds and shot into the air, protecting him from something far greater than silk.
In one world his hands searched desperately for escape, scrambling in the dark confines of his nightmare. In the other he was a drowning man, praying for solid ground.
Then, quite suddenly, he stilled. The horror marring his handsome features vanished; leaving behind a look of serenity some would have called peace.
He opened his eyes and watched the woman shimmer before him; her image a remnant of the dream.
Even when he could no longer see her, her face lingered in his mind. He was reluctant to let go.
Perhaps it was this desire that had him stumbling out of bed towards his computer. The need to keep her close that allowed him to go with instinct, even as he was pulling up the blog. He was, after all, a man who lived by his emotions.
His fingers raced across the keyboard until they were but a blur of movement.
I had the dream again.
It was worse than before. The physical element alone was enough sensory recall to last me a lifetime.
It felt so real I still have a dull ache in my chest, though that could be down to her – my very own dream-catcher. This time she sucked me out of the nightmare and left me floundering in the aftermath.
How can you long for someone you’ve never met?
The real question is – who is she? Why does she appear only in my nightmares; a shield against the horror of being trapped in the dark.
There’s something I’m missing, some small detail I’ve overlooked. But every time I try to connect the dots, she’s all I see. My chest feels tight just thinking of her; I doubt any man could look at her without their heart contracting a little.
He’d been dreaming of her for weeks, and from the very first he was hooked. He saw her even in his waking hours. He ached for her. The nightmares left their toll on his system, but they were worth it just to get a glimpse of her. It didn’t make any sense. There were a lot of things that didn’t make sense, not least the dreams themselves.
His hand hovered over the delete button. He had little new to say, and that meant only one thing. He could either remove the entry or commit and share the one thing he’d been avoiding for weeks.
The blog had a strong following. He had faithful readers who were interested in his extra sensory abilities, even more so because those abilities didn’t normally lend to dreams.
He’d collected a lot of data over the years, though most of his knowledge came from one source. Barry was his brother in arms, his walking encyclopaedia on all things. The fact he had an eidetic memory didn’t hurt, but it was Barry’s own experiences that had proved invaluable.
James’ dreams were emphatic, which made sense since he was sensitive to the energies around him. Barry’s were slightly different and tended towards the prophetic, or telepathic since he often shared another person’s thoughts in the dream world.
James had only experienced that type of dream once in his life, and he still felt the scars.
Even before the idea had fully formed, his hands were moving across the keyboard again. He’d made the decision to share Jacob with his readers, and there was no time like the present.
I haven’t dreamt this way since I was a child, and a friend showed me the freedom of his death. I wish now that the messages were as strong as that night, though it’s hardly surprising a part of me still wants to hide. I punished myself for not being able to save him, burying my abilities so deep I’m surprised they resurfaced at all.
It never occurred to me that I couldn’t help. What’s the point in these connections if not to make a difference?
Even now, years later, I still remember what it was like to feel the darkness living inside him; the desolate, aching emptiness sucking away at his strength. I feel that darkness again, only this time the origin is unclear and that scares me most of all.
Jacob Spear had been the closest thing he’d had to a best friend in college. James had feared him almost as much as he’d respected him.
When Jacob had taken his own life, he’d sealed both their fates. Knowing and recognising the darkness in his friend and not taking steps to do anything about it, gave James the reason he was looking for to deny the connection.
For a long time he wouldn’t even allow himself to grieve, because, when people asked themselves why such a fun-loving boy would take his own life, James knew the answer. He’d seen beyond the physical.
It took a conscious effort, but he pushed Jacob from his mind and allowed his fingers to do the talking. He described the messages he’d received just before the dreams began, and for the first time, shared the letter he carried with him wherever he went.
His abilities had evolved over the years. A connection could take place in a number of ways; he could pick up a strong emotion just by passing someone on the street.
Then there were the times it began with an affiliation through writing; ironic considering his flair for the written word.
There was no way of knowing when a connection would take place, or why. He was simply a conduit, a vessel for those who had something to impart.
This time the message was too personal, too close to home, and since the dreams felt part of the whole, he’d been wrestling with it and his conscience for weeks.
It took him ten minutes to check through his entry, and even longer to pluck up the courage to post it.
For the first time in days, the saviour of his dreams hadn’t dominated the text. She was still in his mind. He didn’t need to close his eyes to conjure her image; all that flowing ebony hair against pale skin.
He hadn’t missed the symbolism. Her very presence was a physical representation of light and dark. It was the reason Barry had taken to calling her Snow White.
She was important. He knew that with absolute certainty. He just had to find out how.