This is an excerpt from Heir of Nostalgia by Steve Muse, available on Amazon.
I’m here to tell you, the world never started out this way. It became this way through a mistake, through my pride. I created the Hell we all have to live through. Because of me, the decisions I made, the world has been earmarked for suffering. I tore the veil between life and death. I caused the great shift, the new awakening. Because of me, the world will never be the same.”
Theo Valerian’s world is one of privilege, of always having enough, of having everything go his way. Up until the moment he meets Phillip, a thirteen year old runaway.
Phillip is homeless, hungry, and heartbroken. He’s been living on the streets of New York ever since losing his family. Since that time, the only thing that keeps him going is thoughts of vengeance. He’s looking for the man he feels is responsible for his father’s disappearance, the same man that destroyed his family, a man with silver singing spurs that can walk between worlds. Will a Riot Grrl called Maggie, who claims she can talk to angels, be able to help Phillip? Will a murder of ravens masquerading as teenage thugs defeat them? Or are there stronger forces at work, dark forces? Forces bent on destroying everything in Phillips life?
No one ever said growing up would be easy- then again no one ever said it would be this hard either.
I finally located Phillip, he was with a man- but before I go there, there is something you must know, the corners of the roof, the corners of the doorways, anything at all that resembled a clear ninety degree angle of any sort; they all began to bleed darkness like a severed artery bleeds blood.
And that darkness the corners bled began to pool.
“Dad?” Not a cry, not an observation, but a plea from my son.
“Don’t worry,” I said, trying to reassure him, “everything is going to be alright.” But I was lying; everything wasn’t going to be alright, because everything felt so incredibly wrong, starting with the man lounging beside the entrance of the stairwell leading back down into Union Station, the one with his hand on the back of Phillip’s neck, the one with the smirk on his face, raven hair hanging in strings alongside a face so pale, so long, as to appear cartoonish and sinister, the one holding a small silver dagger against my son’s throat.
In the fading light of day, “I’m glad you could join us.” A voice so harsh, so painful, that simply hearing it is enough to cause headaches and nosebleeds. Gratingly low, it sounded like what dragging your fist through a box of broken glass would feel like, only in your head.
“What do you want,” I asked.
Over the man’s left shoulder, hanging low upon the horizon, Domiciles sword, the all too familiar comet, like a blood smear drawn across the sky.
The man appeared to be dressed in the rags, the haphazard clothing of a street dweller. In other words, nothing all that unique or familiar about him, in fact, he could have been anybody, but at the same time it was obvious he was more than that. From the look on Phillip’s face, the boys stance, his drawn shoulders and hunched back, the man’s grip obviously caused him a great deal of pain.
Before the man answered, he seemed to breathe in deeply, as if ‘tasting’ the very air, like a bloodhound seeking to catch the scent of his recently acquired prey, “Nothing now,” he said.
The way he said this only confirmed what I already knew, that we were in for some serious trouble. It would take more than simply staring the man down to get rid of him. If he could be gotten rid of at all.
“Is there anything I can do? Can we talk about this?” I hated doing it, bargaining with both our lives, but I’d do anything at the moment. Try as I might, I couldn’t shake the quivering of fear from my voice.
Phillip immediately picked up on my fear, because of this, any glimmer of hope in his eyes and on his face, quickly vanished, as tears began to leak from his eyes. ‘Sorry,’ he silently mouthed.
‘It’s alright,’ I returned.
“There is nothing to discuss. The only reason you two are still breathing is because, it has been such a long time since I’ve been here. My curiosity has bought you both a momentary stay of execution, that’s all.”
It was obvious, unlike the majority of bad guys portrayed in popular novels, and/or made for the TV or big screen, our ‘bad guy’ was neither stupid nor obnoxiously helpless, simply put, if dark and gruesome had anything to say about it, we were going to die.
The only real question left to answer, was when.
After meeting Frank Herbert, author of the acclaimed Dune Series, I decided the life of writing was for me. That was about 30 years ago, I’ve been writing ever since.
Heir of Nostalgia is my first published novel, and thanks to the encouragement of my loving wife Janet, is the first in a series chronicling the trials and tribulations of young man in search of his family, his country as well as his place in the world.
Here’s to the land of wonder, an air of Nostalgia, and childhood memories. May we never grow too old to dream… Got a question, comment or review, I’d love to hear from you. Simply drop me a line at: firstname.lastname@example.org.