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Greenwich: The Final Project

Excerpt from a book penned by a local author.

by Stephen Goldhahn

Ye gads, I’m back on Ye Greate Street!” John exclaimed. “What next?”

Looking around, he appeared to be at the center of a small farming village, but there were no immediate signs of human activity. Sunday morning, everyone was probably in church, or sleeping in. All he knew was he needed to find a doctor. At this point he figured his best bet would be to head back to Bridgeton, where he remembered passing a hospital in the center of that town. But which way to turn? He decided to go right…

…The buzzing in his head had returned and the migraine was getting worse, bringing with it a strong feeling of nausea. He threw open the car door and ran to the ditch on the side of the road and began to vomit, bringing up a mixture of bile and red juice that burned his throat. That made his stomach feel a little better, but now the dizziness and vertigo set in and his neck was beginning to throb where he had been bitten.

Looking south along Bacons Neck Road he saw that he wasn’t far from the marshes where the road passes over a small tidal creek, the same route he had taken less than sixty minutes earlier. It seemed so peaceful and inviting then; now, it was ominous and threatening.

But there was something else this time. A great swarm of flying insects had appeared over the marsh, hovering, growing larger and darker like a gathering storm cloud. The cloud began to move, slowly and inexorably, as a single entity with purpose, up Bacons Neck Road, heading straight toward him. He was feeling sick, now, weak and heavy, his legs no longer capable of holding him up. Dropping to his knees, John tried supporting himself with outstretched arms to keep from falling altogether, palms planted face down against the rough asphalt road surface. The buzzing in his head grew louder but was now mixed with the real buzzing sounds of the approaching swarm. When he looked up again, there must have been a zillion greenhead flies blocking his view of the road. Strange thoughts began to swim through his head. He knew he was losing it. The small white spot now reappeared at the center of his vision; the buzzing became deafening. Gathering all of his remaining strength, he raised his head and opened his eyes. The great swarm was all around him, now, eclipsing the sun, enveloping him in a cold twilight.

“I’m at the eye—the green eye—of a fly storm!” he muttered incoherently.

But strangely, the flies did not attack him. Instead, they simply hovered about him, keeping their distance. John’s mind began to drift in and out, the small white spot grew larger, and he now had the sensation of being entombed—entombed in a swarm of flies! But it was now an almost…pleasant, warming sensation, like they were trying to protect him, somehow. Perhaps more cocoon than tomb. By now, his entire field of vision was consumed by the white light, his body seemingly warmed by that same light, when suddenly, in a flash, his arms gave way and—everything was gone!

A process engineer by profession, Goldhahn holds a MS degree in chemical engineering and has spent the major portion of his professional career consulting for the biopharmaceutical manufacturing industries. Greenwich offered him the opportunity to combine a love of history and writing with career experience in the biotech consulting field. He is working on a sequel to Greenwich which will take the reader deeper into the critical role New Jersey played in our nation’s struggle for independence.

Greenwich: The Final Project is available on in printed softcover and Kindle e-book formats. Printed copies may also be purchased through Barnes and Noble or your favorite local independent bookstore. Goldhahn recommends Words Matter Bookstore in Pitman (52 S. Broadway). Signed copies are also available at Willow & Main Market in Greenwich (941 Ye Greate Street).

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