It is my best recollection that this dream occurred about 11 years ago. I had fallen asleep while watching one of those marathon television programs on World War 2 and the Nazi concentration camps. Something startled me, I awoke in a permeating sweat. I had dreamed a haunting tale. The television was still on, the house was still, dark and quiet. I was very uncomfortable, scared. I clearly recall the television was now transmitting the disturbing story of the Auschwitz camp. Inside my head my story swirled. Nothing like this had ever happened to me, never a dream so clear. I rushed into the other room, pulled out a large sheet of sketch paper and began the task. The story was already getting a little foggy. Over the next 30 minutes I scurried to map out the time line, the central characters, the places, the time, the place, the plot. The story stuck with me, it played in my head over and over, but fading as all dreams do. Frantic, circles, lines, arrows, subplots, subcharacters, places, timelines, faster, faster ! I couldn't forget a piece of this tale.
A few months later I was in Colorado visiting my great friend Ivo and our mutual friend Paul, affectionately referred to as Uncle Paulie. We always had deep conversations, great eats and laughs. These are not your average guys, these are special people, genuine, wise, brilliant, creative, and funny. We sat down and had a wonderful dinner at Ivo's home in the mountains that night. We feasted, we laughed, we drank top shelf tequila, the really good stuff, no worm. After a few drinks the story came out. They were silent, listening. I had no idea what to think, they were quiet.
We went skeet shooting the next day. We talked and laughed some more. We left the weekend on an exciting note. We would begin writing this novel, but with a twist. I would write the first chapter, then pass it onto the other two. One would decide to take up the pen, write the next chapter and then pass it onto the third. By the time the pen came back to you, the story had changed, twisted, taken a different path than you had expected or intended. It was both frustrating and exhilarating at the same time. We were each writing a broader story that we were simultaneously reading and experiencing for the first time. Round and round we went for weeks, a chapter a week took form.
That is the story behind the story, the unfinished story of Jonah. I recently obtained permission from Ivo and Paulie to present these chapters, perhaps to re-stimulate the threesome and finish the story. Who knows what will happen, time will tell, perhaps you will be left hanging, things unfinished. The risk is yours.
Chapter 1: "The man in the woods".