This week was one of those sublime coincidences that, as I like to say, happen only in real life and great fiction.  And being as how a large portion of my life is a work of fiction, well, we’re dead-on this time.

You see, this minimalist page coincided with a very important trip I had to take.  I’m not actually in my command bunker this week.  As a matter of fact, I am, as we say in the United States, Out West, on the edge of the Empire so to speak, attending a very remote wedding for the real Captain Santelli, who is not really a captain, nor does he wear a suit of powered armor.  Not to my knowledge, anyway.  However, this page was one I planned since the start – a subdued, minimal, but, I hope, expressive moment – the moment at which the atomic bomb detonates.  This is what all that tension led to.  I knew from the start how I wanted to present this one – it’s why every other page has that black background.  And it displays, in my mind, the enormity of what’s just happened.

I know I lost some readers building this up so much, winding the story so tight for so long.  And I know some people may quibble with the minimalism of this presentation.  But look at any film or photo of an atomic detonation, and the moment it happens – it really does look like this.  And in a way I feel good that I stuck to my guns on this one (no pun intended), as to rush into a scene that culminates in an atomic bomb detonating… well, it just didn’t seem right to me.  Every other way I tried to pace this out, it came off like one of those stories children often write, ending with “I’m running out of paper now, so this is the end.”  An A-Bomb is a major thing, and it deserved to be framed as it is.  Doing it, I thought “People aren’t going to wait for this.”  But sometimes you just have to follow your instinct and forge ahead.  And here I am.  After all.

So I’m weathering the downturn in readership, drawing the chapter to a close, and still managing to make a three-thousand-mile trip through the Great Plains.  Sometimes, you really can have it all.  But to you hard-core readers, let me take this opportunity to really, seriously, totally thank you for bearing with me as I wade my way through this artistic and literary experiment of mine.  I know it is hard only seeing one page a week, and I know that is kind of a turn off to the casual reader.  But all the votes, all the emails, all the comments, even the ones that may seem abstract or nitpicky, poke holes in my plot, or anything, are an enormous joy to me, and are enough to make me feel like a rockstar – and to get me to the drawing board after ten hours in my office!

So all the best to everyone!  And next week, the penultimate page of the chapter.  Until then, may a bomber not drop an A-bomb on your house!