Second Lives (Paperback)
When four patients spontaneously regain consciousness after being declared dead, their loved ones are ecstatic and words like "miracle" and "miraculous" begin to float around the hospital. But the jubilation is short lived when the patients neither recognize their families nor answer to their names. Each one vehemently claims to be someone else, someone who lived, and died, in the past. When it's suggested that all four are suffering from fugue states, one of the doctors says that he recognizes a name and verifies he not only knew the girl but was there when she died in 1992. It soon becomes obvious that the bodies of the four patients are now inhabited by the souls of people long dead. A frightened little boy killed in 1956 cries out for his mother from the body of an 81 year old Alzheimer's patient, the soul of a spinster killed in a Suffragette rally wakes in the body of a new mother; an orthodox Jew, murdered in 1922, opens the eyes of a gay suicide and a teenage girl wakes to discover she's now in the body of a 45 year old woman. The hospital psychiatrist, after talking with them, dubs the four "The Travelers" and believes they are proof of the transmigration of souls. They are more than just lost souls, he tells the grieving families, they are completely alone and terrified, displaced into bodies that aren't their own and trapped in a world they can't understand. If they are to survive they'll need help and to this end the doctor asks the families to make a supreme sacrifice and do just that: to help these strangers assimilate into society and their new lives. To care for a complete stranger who looks like the loved one they just lost is a hard thing to ask of people. The families have the right to say no, they are under no legal or moral obligation to help; but they do. Spearheaded by the elderly woman whose husband's body now holds the soul of a frightened child, but still with reservations and not a little anger, they finally agree to accept the strangers wearing their loved ones bodies, and will do everything they can to help "The Travelers" make as smooth and gentle a transition into their new lives as possible. FLAME TREE PRESS is the new fiction imprint of Flame Tree Publishing. Launched in 2018 the list brings together brilliant new authors and the more established; the award winners, and exciting, original voices.
About the Author
P.D. Cacek has published over a hundred short stories and five published novels. A past Guest Lecturer at the Odyssey Writing Camp, Cacek's horror, fantasy and science fiction stories have appeared in numerous magazines and anthologies since going professional in the late 90's. She is also proud of the book she recently co-edited, with Laura J. Hickman, the charity anthology, Now I Lay Me Down to Sleep, with all proceeds going to The Jimmy Fund of the DANA-BARBER Cancer Institute. Cacek holds a Bachelor's Degree in English/Creative Writing Option from the University of California at Long Beach and is a certified Wilderness Survival Instructor. A native Westerner, Cacek divides her time between Arvada, CO - which looks own on the Mile High city - and Phoenixville, PA - only a short walk from the Colonial Theater where the famous "Run Screaming From Theatre" scene in THE BLOB was filmed. When not writing, she can often been found with THE PATIENT CREATURES, a group of costumed storytellers. AWARDS: Bram Stoker Award for Short Fiction 1996 (Metalica) World Fantasy Award for Short Fiction 1998 (Dust Motes)