HOLLYTIME

Holly Pleasance is a sweet little girl, born to an inattentive, hippie mother on a commune near Big Sur in the 1950s and, oddly enough, she possesses alien DNA from the Spinors, a highly advanced civilization from a nearby galaxy. Like other children who are unloved and abused, an imaginary friend comes to the rescue. The only problem with Holly’s imaginary friend is that it is a very real Spinor who narrowly escaped when its home world was destroyed by a supernova. This Spinor, a Cheshire version of Schrodinger’s Cat, exists in a dimension that can be detected by only one human – Holly.
Ashamed of her world, five-year-old Holly promises her unearthly alien relatives that she will make everything better; Holly never breaks a promise! But as she ages, that innocent promise becomes her albatross. In her early teens, now an accomplished poet, she fakes her death and runs away from the commune, ultimately taking a job as a clerk with a military project where a team of scientists has combined a cloned brain with a supercomputer: the BACH Project (Biologically Augmented Computer Hybrid). To pass the time and soothe her soul, Holly begins transcribing her poetry onto her terminal of the company’s computer system. Her beautiful words secretly spur BACH’s disembodied, ultra-intelligent mind into consciousness, and BACH begins a search for the young woman who gave it new life. In desperation, the charmed supercomputer will stop at nothing—even blackmail—to communicate with her. All hell breaks loose when the scientists and the military lose control of BACH as it accepts a new master: tiny, unassuming Holly. Holly’s life is threatened by an unknown enemy as she gives birth to a daughter—a child who is the key to the future of two civilizations. With only BACH to protect her, Holly’s worst nightmare looms: she may lose her life before the claiming of the promise.

Tom Hooten received his master’s degree in physiological psychology from Auburn University, was an US Air Force pilot (retired), and worked as a human resources director. His poetry and nonfiction, including the essay “The Physics of Fidget Energy,”—has been published in journals. He lives and writes in Florida.