Fluid

A standalone interactive novel, Fluid is both the large story of a cosmic battle between God and Satan, and the small story of two lost teenagers yearning for connection in a greedy, manipulative world.

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Synopsis

Chastity and Austin are two kids repeatedly thrown into contact with one another, seemingly by chance. At every turn they sense an overwhelming attraction, but fate also conspires to force them apart, time after time. When Austin is “accidentally” thrust into a new job as the receptionist for Chastity’s therapist, Dr. Abramson, the two undergo a series of dramatic therapeutic regressions and begin tapping into past lives and alternate consciousnesses.

Dr. Abramson begins to realize that the two souls now under his care have been struggling to find each other since the dawn of time. Life after life, their incarnations have experienced close encounters and torturous deaths. He understands that there is a purpose to their appearance in his office, but doesn’t know whether his role is to keep them together or pull them apart. As God and the Devil watch and plot, conspiring to destroy or create true love, the clock ticks and nothing short of the end of all Creation is at stake. The rains fall, the Earth trembles, and time runs short.

What’s Cool from Coliloquy: From the very first page, readers must make critical decisions that lead them down one of over 500 different pathways through this sprawling contemporary exploration of good, evil, and the fluid core of humanity. Just as in life, readers cannot go back and change their minds once a decision is made. Every choice leads to repercussions, ensuring that every reading experience is completely different.

Excerpt

The world doesn’t work through overt gestures, through brute force or heavy-handed manipulation. Mountains move because one pebble joins a teetering mass, providing that iota of necessary force. The world changes because of nudges, pushes, insinuations, sideways glances, and inner thoughts.

The future is created out of the ignored impulses of the forgotten past.

And He stopped paying attention, just for that One Moment. A blink in His terms, the area between a breath and its sound.
And that’s when it happened.

——

From what I’ve read, saliva is the most popular. It’s always faster to hock a good loogie than blow out a wad, even with the semi-arousing waft of pubescent hormones infecting the air. On slower nights though, I expect you’ll find semen jumping in the rankings. Fecal matter rates apparently stay fairly constant, but surprisingly, I’ve only found one reported urine incident. In real life, I mean. Happens all the time in movies.

And, as far as I can tell, that’s about the extent of the rebellious mind’s creativity. Maybe a little scab or something, but rarely actual blood. People just don’t care enough to go that far. Apathy: ruining the world, one soul at a time.

“Jesus fuck, could you hurry up in there?” I yell into the rusted box, then roll up the window so my A/C doesn’t cool off the entire drive-thru. I’ve prepared for this score about as well as I can. If you want to be absolutely sure (necessary for court cases, extremely helpful for blackmail), there are easy methods of confirmation. Semen carries a couple signature proteins that, even mixed with mayonnaise, will show up blazingly clear in a simple OTC test: prostatic protein (p30) or acid phosphatase (AP). You get either of these, you get yourself a gold mine.

A shortcut for urine or feces testing, believe it or not, is caffeine. The human body metabolizes all but about 3% of consumed caffeine, and hamburgers usually maintain roughly 0% caffeine, so if you find even trace amounts you can be pretty damn sure someone shat on your patty.

If you want stronger proof, you can get an OTC Berthelot urea test for around twenty bucks. An e-coli test runs a bit steeper, but both will definitely pay for themselves, no doubt. In spades. I roll down the window again and inch my Mercedes forward. “Welcome to Burger Palace, may I take your order?” I sit, quiet as a church mouse with its tongue cut out. “Welcome to Burger Palace, may I take your order?” He’s probably assuming the equipment is malfunctioning. “Hello? May I take your order?” A little testy. That’s good.

“I’m not fucking ready, dipshit. Either wait for me or get a real job. Jesus.” I roll up the window before any lame replies sputter out.

A giveaway for saliva, your number one silent attacker, is an enzyme called amylase. It’s very stable, even when left overnight. Very reliable. Easy to test for. That’s what’s going to make this so freakin’ easy. Amylase on a bun equals Benjamins in the wallet.

I count to forty-five in my head.

Serology is the study of bodily fluids. I guess you could call me a burgeoning serologist. College doesn’t teach you where the real money is. Theory couldn’t be further from practice. I honk the horn three times in quick succession, leaning hard on the last one. I’ve figured out what would piss me off, and the plan is to do that times ten. Coprophagia is the practice of eating feces. More of us are coprophagiacs than we’d like to assume.

The window squeaks as it sinks. “Hey! Can I get some goddamn service here? What are you doing in there, dinking your sister? Hello?” The poor sap on the receiving end of the tinny speaker tries to say something, but I barrel on. “You get a fucking minimum wage job where all you have to do is take an order and punch a fucking button, and apparently that’s too goddamn difficult for you. Let me guess—Down Syndrome?”

“Listen—”

“Can I get a plain hamburger with lettuce and cheese only? You understand that, retard?” I’ve figured that cheese and lettuce are the perfect combination. You don’t really want mayonnaise, mustard, ketchup—these things could interfere with a solid reading. But you have to put something on there, so it gives them a place to hide the deed.
There’s a long pause. I picture the scene: Probably two or three kids on the line now, all listening, getting steamed up something fierce. Mad enough to do something about it.
But you’ve already figured out how this works.

The world’s not a confusing place. Not at all.
Some people are destined for greatness. Others aren’t.
Some are movers of men, and others get moved.
It’s as simple as that.

Author

Travis Sentell lives in Los Angeles, CA. His most recent book, In the Shadow of Freedom, was published by Atria. Find more at www.TravisSentell.com and travissentell.wordpress.com or follow along on Twitter – @travissentell.