TITLE: White Lies
GENRE: Thriller (psychological)
KBC anchor Fletcher Hannigan loved reporting the news until the day he became it. Waking injured and alone with a three-month hole where his memory used to be, Fletcher battles accusations of treason and his own crippling fears to reconstruct the story he chased into Afghanistan and uncover the fate of his missing crew.
I have dreamed of many things these weeks, but never sunlight. So when I open my eyes to a sky streaked with pink, a sea of rolling hills and damp grass and snow-capped mountains in the distance, I am fairly certain it’s real. There is hope in this, but also fear—where am I, and why have they released me? Did I escape? Are they coming to drag me back?
I need to hide, find help, but moving is agony. Just getting to my feet takes several tries, and for many moments after, I’m not sure which way is up. The sun rises in the east, and the sky to my left is still a dusky blue, which means that up is . . .
Some reporter you are, Fletcher. Can’t even puzzle your way through gravity.
Dew seeps through my trousers as I stumble through the grass. It feels strange, almost clumsy, to be wearing anything at all after so long spent without, but I am no less exposed for it now. A lone goat passes me by, the bell around its neck clanking as it dips its head, rips up a mouthful of grass, and meets my eyes.
“Thaaaaaaaaat way!” it bleats. My gaze follows its over the rise. More mountains. No sign of Them; no sign of anyone. Maybe they’re really not coming. I can’t quite believe that, but hope is a funny thing, a cockroach, surviving even when all else is lost.