Introducing The Europa Playlist Series

Music is a huge part of my writing process. That’s why I decided to put together a new series of playlists to pair with sections of my novels and short stories.

First up will be the Europa series.

In the coming months, I will be releasing a series of playlists on Spotify along with a matching excerpt from each chapter of Europa

Today is Europa Playlist 1, featuring Active Child, Son Lux, James Blake and others.


Europa, Chapter 1:

He tried to scream at her. He wanted her to run, but with a collapsed lung, he could only mutter like an infant. The wave would come soon and she was trying to save him instead of finding shelter. While he babbled, with blood dripping into his eyes, she knelt by him. She held his head in her lap and her palms were smooth and cold like the inside of an Abalone shell. Her hair, naturally a vibrant red, looked ablaze with the sun low behind her. She smiled down at him and it was the culmination of every good feeling he knew. He would never let go of that image, that moment just before it hit.

The wave did not drown him too. That would have been a kindness. It washed him out of the rubble and laid him gently on a grassy hill, nearly on the spot that Red-Cross set up camp after the water receded. The Earth itself did not want him to die. Nor did it want him to forget the terror on Emma’s face as it took her away.

Doctor Janovic?” the host's voice cut through his thoughts, polite but commanding.

Luka shook off the memory. “Sorry, what? I didn't hear the question.”

Someone in the audience chuckled but the host leaned closer. She was careful with her expressions, practiced as an actress, but she held her head a little higher and that was her tell. She caught a scent that she liked.

“I asked what it was like when you woke up from the coma. What was your first thought then, was it of the mission?” she asked.

Luka froze.

“No, it wasn’t. I can see that. You thought of Emma first, didn’t you?” she said.

The cameras closed in on him. He watched them zoom on a stage-side monitor. Suddenly, he was aware of the sweat beading in the crook of his back, and the tingling in his fingertips as muscles wrenched his spine.

“Waking up from a coma isn't like waking up from a nap. I had no thoughts. I was dead,” he said.

“Hum. Interesting that you chose that word—dead.”

She held the clicker of her pen to her temple and looked down at a notepad in her lap like she needed to brush-up on her line of questioning.

“Do you feel like you are a different person now than one The Committee selected years ago? I mean to say, did her death change you?” she asked.

“I'm not sure I understand,” said Luka. It was a plea. He knew they both understood her intent perfectly well.

“Well, there have been a lot of questions as to whether or not you are still fit for this mission, doctor Janovic. I don't mean that as an insult to your intelligence. You are undoubtedly the most intellectually qualified. It’s your physical health—more so your emotional state—that some in the public are concerned about. I guess we are all wondering, are you up to the task?”

His nostrils flared and the veins in neck throbbed as he spoke, “I am aware of the rumors regarding my health and it is not the media's role to make these determinations. The Committee selected us, all of us, and they alone are qualified to make such a judgment.”

Her pink lips curled into a smirk. It was a fleshed-out version of the excitement she held back earlier. “Let me say it this way, are you unhappy doctor Janovic? Are you possibly hoping for a way out?”

His mind choked on a glut of words. He wanted to say too much, so nothing came out. He stared at her incredulously for several seconds and watched satisfaction wear through her veneer of professionalism.

“Fuck you,” said Luka as he stood.