A sample from the novel, ‘The Hero.’
Chapter 1) In the Beginning, There was … The Darkness
It was as if this world had become something else. It was morphing into some form of supernatural thriller written by a young aspiring Hollywood screenwriter named Chris, and that was the thing he disliked about it all, his life was now so coming of age. It was important he listed what was happening to him, which he did, upon his desk in the dark of the night beside a paraffin lamp— one he lifted from the garage years back. On the list included the usual bullshit: being bullied in school, never kissed a girl, victim to the stereotypical older brother, bla-di-fucking-bla. It was all… a… cliché – like his nickname—or was it now his real name? Fiction, non-fiction – it had—morphed. What was real after all? It was a weird energy these days. Energy—that’s a word Hero was beginning to understand more than in his earlier life: not that he could articulate what he was thinking in terms of energy, especially now, during… ‘the moment’.
The moment was something he had to call it – cause otherwise—what the fuck was it? Something a fifteen-year-old boy was too immature to comprehend that’s for sure… but Hero was not your typical fifteen year old – he knew what it was, he just wasn’t ready to deal with it… yet. A type of flow where time seemed to stand still and a man was now capable of anything in ‘the moment’, anything at all. That’s what it felt like to this boy. Was anyone else able to do it? Feel it? He recalls only two other times in life when ‘the moment’ came, it was one of those things you don’t forget – like the first time you eat raspberry trifle, the first time you walk through a meadow and smell warm daisies – when the wind is cool on your legs and it is magic hour in the sky, or the first time the sound of a girls voice touches your ears in that way – like Jennifer White did last spring even though I was too much of a pussy to tell her. ‘The moment’, it was something he attempted to describe to his best friend Gary Matsumoto, but only once. That’s what started the bullying – how ironic, Hero thought. He failed then, but he knew it wasn’t to do with ‘growing older so he’d then be able to understand it’, in fact, he despised it when his parents would tell him to grow up, or that he’d understand this and understand that when he was ‘older’, as if he wasn’t able to see it all in front of his own eyes now. Kids are fucking smart you know?!! But he would never say it… Hero would never say much.
‘You’ll understand when you grow up Hero’, Mum would say.
No Mum, it’s just Dad still hasn’t grasped your cycle yet, and he doesn’t know that it’s at this time that the movie star impersonations make you cringe the most – it’s what keeps your one eye on Uncle Jerry, and your wild woman going there. Haha! But Hero wouldn’t say that either, he wouldn’t say a damn thing these days, he’d just observe, absorb, invert, and eventually – slow down time: not that he knew that that’s what he was doing. He was Hero. It was not his birth name, but it was his name from now on, in England, in this year… which was 2001.
‘How the f….’
Mum was at the kitchen door, and she was looking at Dad with those eyebrows again. He’d seen them before and rather enjoyed over imagining what they looked like. In this case raised and diagonally angled as if she had just morphed into an angry cartoon witch, it was her telling off face in which he could see purple lines and a hiding long tongue. Dad knew how to deal with it, the same way you deal with all sorcery, with a smile.
‘How did you do that? How do you…’ Dad asked.
‘My coffee, you saved it, you moved so… quick.
Dad was a tall man with dad hair and dad trousers. It was all so insignificant in style and yet somehow managed to muster that omnipresent energy of a father. Hero didn’t know how old Dad was exactly, but he did remember him having a 50th birthday at some point, it’s when Jerry was over last – he remembers because that was when the voice spoke to him — no games — it was a voice that would say such things: like an entity had come into him to help, when he was focusing on anything that his mind was trying to make matter. No games was the most recent a commandment he had added to his list, of which there were more to learn. ‘The Voice’ was (Hero had decided), a voice behind the voice (the one that would give him goose bumps and this was the sign) and the list so far read in pencil on white tracing paper folded in his wallet:
Do the right thing (if you don’t know what that is – then listen to the quiet voice behind the voice – you’ll know when you hear it – because you will have goose bumps).
No lies to others or to yourself.
No games (don’t strategise over people’s emotions) – be yourself.