A River in the Ocean isn’t a sci-fi book by any means of the genre. But there are some interesting scenes that have elements of fantasy because Chris and Krista share vivid imaginations.
After coming out of his nine-year coma, Chris has amnesia and has to learn about his life all over again. He doesn’t have much to go on but gentle urges that fight through his memory impediment. One of these urges is painting. In his former life, he was an art dealer after becoming bored with corporate investigations. His love for art finds a way into his psyche, where he is led into town one day to buy paint supplies.
While starting with the basics of painting mountains and other rural scenery, his imagination soon sparks the creation of a little girl he eventually begins calling Angel. She becomes so real to him that they start having actual conversations. His paintings begin to reflect these interactions, but he doesn’t include those works with his other scenery. He hides them in a secret room where he keeps them only to himself.
Krista is his daughter he doesn’t know is out there somewhere fending for herself. Fate had a way of finding her a home with Maggie and Gilmer, a quirky couple with the best intentions, but they’re figuring out how to raise a little girl as they go. Gilmer is like a kid himself, and Maggie simply tries to do her best to keep the both of them in line in her own sweet, little way.
When Krista catches a fever, Maggie has no idea what to do after it goes on for several days. She tries everything while worrying day and night if her little girl is ever going to come through. But Krista is in a battle for her life, and nearly crosses over.
Krista was lost in a dark world. She was walking on cold stone in her bare feet, a long winding path through emptiness. Water started splashing with every step she took. She looked down at the stone underneath her feet and the shallow water surrounding her. That’s when she noticed light coming from underneath a heavy wooden door in front of her.
“Do you think you’re ready,” a calm, but strong voice spoke from the dark.
Krista turned around to see who had just spoken to her. She could only see a silhouette of a man, who for some reason had an umbrella. It wasn’t raining. It was just wet on the ground. Krista did not know the man, but she was not afraid of him. There was something familiar about him.
“Ready for what,” she asked.
“To find out,” she heard the man answer.
“To find out what?”
“The secret no one knows,” the man’s words echoed through the vast darkness surrounding them.
“If no one knows, how do you,” Krista asked as she cocked her head with sincere curiosity.
“Because doors have a way of hiding things,” were the words that floated heavily over the silence of the room.
Krista turned and looked at the door again. She was drawn to it, but hesitant about approaching it. What secret? Was it a good secret? Or was it a bad one?
As she cautiously stepped closer, she reached out her hand and grabbed the knob. She took in a deep breath and with that, she found herself entering a house she never knew existed. From just being in the dark to entering a room full of light, her eyes needed to adjust until she saw them. They were across the room at an island in the middle of the kitchen. She did not know the man, but she knew the girl who was sitting across from him. It was her.
Who is that man?
To her right, the staircase caught her eye. She looked up to see windows at the top of the steps. Then, she looked to her left where the front door was open to the porch on a beautiful sunny day. What a nice house, so pleasant and welcoming.
When she looked back toward the kitchen, they both were staring at her. In creepy unison, they said, “It’s time for you to go back now.”A River in the Ocean
The themes that run through this book are obviously what a river means to it, but also what the doors are about and the silhouette with the umbrella. The rest of the dream reveals more about what it means to her and her life, but to talk about it goes further than a spoiler should.
Exploring the connection that Chris and Krista share was an amazing challenge for me to write. I loved working through his life with Angel and the paintings that came out of that while mirroring Krista’s life with Maggie and Gil. I also loved working through this dream sequence and what it put him through while she was fighting for her life.
A River in the Ocean – He didn’t know he was looking, and she didn’t know she needed found. The book is currently available on Amazon!