Introduction to The Final Requiem

Last night I self published my novel The Final Requiem to Amazon for Kindle. It is the first book I’ve ever published. I’m both excited and terrified to see what people are going to think about it. I thought it would be best to do a blog post as a brief introduction to my story so people can get an idea of whether or not they want to read it before they buy it.

Don’t worry if you don’t have an eReader. You can download a Kindle app that will let you read the book at this site.

http://www.amazon.com/gp/feature.html?ie=UTF8&docId=1000493771

You can buy the book itself at this site.

http://www.amazon.com/The-Final-Requiem-ebook/dp/B00FSBWOP0/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1381504889&sr=8-1&keywords=B00FSBWOP0

Here is the description of the book.

Michael is a normal guy that has been thrust into an overwhelming situation. An eternal war is being waged between Angels and Demons. The Angels have assigned Michael the task of going on a treacherous journey to close the gates Demons use to travel between Hell and Earth. Somehow, even though Angels have been visiting him in his dreams since childhood to tell him something was coming, Michael finds himself unprepared, and in the middle of it all.

One way or another, everything will change.

and here is the prologue and first chapter…

Prologue

His legs quivered and shook as if incapable of holding his weight. A dark figure loomed in the distance. As the figure drew closer, quivering turned to trembling, which turned to something very closely resembling convulsions. The boys legs’ finally succumbed to the pressure and he crashed backwards onto the cold, unforgiving ground. He began to sob uncontrollably. The room felt very cold, harsh, and distant to his plight. He looked all over to find reassurance, but the figure in the distance was the only thing noticeable and it was getting closer with each foreboding step.

It was not long before the figure was standing directly over the crying boy. The boy looked through squinted eyes at the man standing over him and began to sob even more violently. Dressed in a fine white button down shirt, black dress slacks, and brown Italian loafers, there did not seem to be anything unusual about the man. Striking red hair flowed from the man’s head, across the pale, nearly translucent skin of his face and down to his shoulders. The man ran his long, almost claw-like fingers across the side of the boy’s face as he picked it up and held it in his arms. Desperately the child craved warmth and comfort, but all the embrace had to offer was a harsh, cold chill that spread to the depths of his bones.

​“Michael, Michael, Michael, even in your dreams you lack the strength to stand on your own. I would think by now that you would not react so strongly to my visits.”

The air became cold and vacant as the adult Michael looked upon the childhood image of himself. Every night during youth he was visited the same way; however, the dark figure had not visited his dreams for well over ten years. He could remember those dreams as if watching them through a window.

The dreams had never changed. They were the same as they had been when he was a child and they would always be the same. Something always drew him back to relive that interaction. He mouthed the words, knowing word for word everything that was going to be said. A long claw-like finger came from behind him and brushed his cheek, sending chills down to his very core.

“How sweet of you to remember our times together Michael.”

​“What do you want?”

​“What do I want? What do…I…want? Why the need to be so short and abrupt? It has been such a long time. I would think you would want to spend some time catching up on the good old days.”

​“There were no good days Azrael, we both know that. You have not come to visit in fifteen years; why are you here to visit me now? We both know I am too old to be within the scope of your corruption.”

“That is true Michael,” An evil grin crept across the face of Azrael like a crack spreads across ice. “You are beyond my reach of influence. Oh, how deliciously gratifying this is going to be for me! Gabriel and all his fellow angels reveled in their glorious might when they kept me from corrupting your immortal soul.” A loud bustling laughter erupted from the belly of Azrael.

“I have news for you, Michael. You never were the target. We wanted Gabriel and the rest of the archangels to believe that you were the target. It is too late now. Our plan has been set into motion. The last protector of the one we truly seek has fallen. Our time is now!” Azrael disappeared, and Michael woke up with nothing but questions on his mind.

Chapter 1 – The Collapse of Antonius

The veil of light crested and flickered on the crystal blue water. Antonia Borresca lived in a small area of Venice and had long been a respected member of the community. Her unexpected death sent shock waves throughout the city. The entire gathering had retreated to the chapel dining area for a brief after-funeral celebration of her life.

Antonius, her son and only surviving kin, was weeping and crumpled into a ball next to the grave site. Antonia had been his everything, his very reason for living. Antonius, having very little memory of his father, had moved with Antonia to the big city of Venice when he was very young. She comforted him when he had nightmares, when dark things came to talk to him in his sleep. However, Antonia was a very busy business woman and was often not around. Her absence led to many nights that Antonius would spend alone.

The mind of man is a strong and resilient thing, but even the sturdiest of minds has its breaking point. Antonius’ mind and will had been tested throughout every turn of his life and the only things that had been constant were Antonia and the figures that visited him in his dreams. Over the years, the figures began to have increasing control of his thoughts.

The day quickly turned dark as clouds came out of nowhere and blocked out the sun. Thunder rolled like menacing laughter, and the sky threatened rain, but there was none. The cloud cover offered no respite from the unbearable heat of the summer’s day. Sensing the pending rain, the outside help started putting things away.

Amidst the hustle and bustle of putting up chairs, rolling up carpet, and taking down flowers, Antonius continued to lie there motionlessly. He hoped that he would wake up to find that the whole thing had been a dream. There was no way that could happen. He knew he did not have dreams like that. The only dreams he had were the ones where the figures would come and tell him what he was to become.

The dreams always worried him, but his mother possessed the ability to ease his mind whenever she was around. That was not the case anymore. Had the figures been telling him the truth when telling him what his role was to be? Antonia would no longer be around to tell him otherwise. He knew the figure would visit him in his dreams that night. Then he would be able to talk to the figure about his destiny.

A short man timidly walked up to Antonius and placed a hand on his shoulder. “I’m sorry son; we need to lower the casket. Maybe you should go inside and spend some time with the rest of the people. Talking to the others about the good things that happened during your mother’s life might make you feel better.”

“No, there is nothing that could make me feel better right now! This should not be happening! She should still be alive.”

“I’m sorry son. There’s nothing we can do. We have to lower the casket now.”

“No!” Anger started to rise through Antonius like he had never felt before. It began as a mild irritation, but it was not long before he was completely infuriated. Who were all these people? Where had they been all of his life? Where were they when he had no company other than the figures in his dreams?

No, none of the people knew him. They had all met his mother during her many business travels. They were clients, coworkers, and bosses. None of them knew or even cared about his lot in life. None of them approached him to express their condolences. They were all there for the perceived obligation that walks hand in hand with the passing of a colleague.

He knew his purpose. He had no doubts about the way he felt. Clarity enveloped his mind. He stood up and pushed the small man to the ground.

The smug looks on the faces of the attendants burned in his mind like a wound being exposed to acrid water. The sudden impact against the cobble stone path rendered the small man unconscious. Antonius stepped over the body and walked towards the dining area. Several other workers tried to subdue Antonius, but he had developed an unnatural sense of purpose. He sidestepped them and threw them out of his way.

The chapel dining hall was a shining beacon of everything that the city of Venice had to offer. A large building, it loomed over the rest of the town. One set of doors served as the only means of entering and exiting the building. Modern safety codes had not existed hundreds of years ago when the building had originally been erected.

A single phrase echoed through his mind as he approached the door. “No way out, there will be no way out. There will be no way out. This structure shall be cleansed with the fires of righteous damnation. There will be no way out.” No one paid any attention as he approached the dining hall. They were too busy tending to the men lying unconscious on the ground.

Antonius stood in front of the door, and an inkling of doubt began to creep through his mind. The entrance was composed of two heavy, white wooden doors. Each door arched upwards and had a small silver cross perched at the upmost tip. There were heavy stone benches and columns with various assortments of flowers set to either side of the doors.

The benches and columns had been placed on rollers so they could be moved easily. The benches weighed several hundred pounds each. Each column weighed nearly a hundred pounds. The people inside were oblivious to what was going on as he pushed the benches and columns in front of the doors.

Soon, one of the people in the building realized what was happening. They gently tried to push the door open. The door grazed against the hard, unrelenting bench, but it did not budge. Casual attempts to open the door turned to frantic and frenzied ramming of the door. It was not long before other people in the building began to notice what was going on. Mass hysteria spread from person to person.

Every scream, every shout, every pound on the door out of sheer desperation made the flame in his eye seem to gleam brighter. A fire doesn’t start without a spark. The spark had been created the moment the figures started talking to him and had grown to a roaring fire inside his soul. There was nothing left to do but to release that fire upon the world. Without hesitation, he grabbed a lighter from his pocket, lit the door on fire, and walked away.

There could be no looking back now. He had made his decision. There could be no changing it. He knew there would be no going back. There could be no getting out. The world would need to be cleansed by the fires of righteous damnation. He was near his flat when the sound of sirens became audible throughout the city. He could not help but let a sick, sadistic smile cross his face. Part of him felt horrified while another part of him thought that it was hilarious.

It wouldn’t take long for word to travel. He needed to find a place to stay. The building he lived in was unusually quiet. Being almost in the middle of the city, all traffic went through the area in one way or another. It was a flat that anybody in the city would have given vast amounts of money to live in, and normally he would not have been able to afford it, but his mother had bought it for him as soon as he was old enough to move out on his own.

A lady his mom worked with lived across town. She had been at the funeral. He took a sick bit of satisfaction in knowing that she would not need her place that night. He decided to sneak across town and find a way in. He would stay there until he could come up with a plan.

The journey across town didn’t take as long as he thought it would. It was no surprise to see that the city had returned to normal. It was as though the occurrences of the morning had never happened. He knew the city wouldn’t be in mourning, but seeing everybody so happy and joyous made him sick to his stomach. It started with a simple knot in his stomach and evolved to the point that he felt violently nauseous.

The world started spinning, and everything turned red. Each heart beat pounded and resounded with his foot steps. Thud thud, thud thud, thud thud…it was no longer his own personal actions carrying him. Pure inertia and gravity were moving him towards his destination. He arrived at the building seemingly without anybody noticing that he was there.

Luckily for him, but not for the lady that owned the flat, the day of the funeral had been an unusually hot day, and she had left her back window open. The fire escape led directly to her window. That gave him a perfect way of being able to get in. He would be able to stay there long enough to make contact with the figures in his dreams.

It was not far into the night, but Antonius only had one thing on his mind. He wanted to sleep. He closed his eyes, and darkness enveloped his line of vision, but he wanted it too much. Was it necessarily that he was not tired? That did not make sense. It had been a long and exhausting day.

Thoughts swirled around his head. He recounted the actions of the day. He had gone from being at the lowest point in his life to the newfound resolve and purpose that he now had. Sleep, however, would not come. What could be done? The level of activity circling through his brain would make it impossible for him to achieve any level of rest.

The flat was a sizable one. There would have to be something in it that would make it easier for him to sleep. Every thought and every memory rang in his head like a loud reverberating chorus that refused to be quiet. It seemed to grow louder and louder with every moment he continued to be awake. The conductor in his head was on the podium. The orchestra was primed, and they were crescendoing and surging to a level where any ability to think had ceased to exist.

Fumbling, reaching, searching, he looked through the flat for alcohol or sleeping medication or something that would help; something that would bring silence to his mind. A bottle of sleeping pills seemed to be the only sign of possible solace. He grasped it, held it tightly, cracked it open, tossed a couple pills in his mouth and washed them down with a nice healthy gulp of red wine.

“Hello Antonius.” A man wearing a white button down shirt, black dress pants, and brown Italian loafers walked up to Antonius. “You have done well. You have done very well. I am glad to see you have finally decided to accept your role. We knew that you eventually would.”

“There was nothing to hold me back.”

“There never really was anything to hold you back Antonius, other than your own self conceived personal boundaries. Boundaries are a false concept created by the limitations of the human mind. The more the human mind is developed, the further the boundaries of possibility are removed. I am sure that you have plenty of questions for me. I will answer your questions in due time, but that time is not now. A war is coming, and there is much that needs to be done to prepare for it.”

“I am not safe here. They will eventually find me.”

“It is very true that you are not safe in your current location. Even as we speak, there are people looking for you. There were people that noticed you on your way here. If we had not already had a plan, you would have been found by the morning.”

“You already have a plan?”

“Oh Antonius, Antonius, Antonius, we have had all of this planned out well before you were even born. These times have been prophesied for several millennia. The angels do not know the role you have to play. We have kept that carefully masked from them. They are too busy tending to what they think is their chosen one to pay any attention to what we have been cultivating in you. You are being taken care of as we speak. You will wake up in the custody of some; well I guess you could call them friends. They will explain what is going on, and tomorrow night I will answer any questions that you might have.”

“They are already handling me? I will wake up in their custody? What does any of this mean? You have been visiting me in my dreams for so long, but I don’t even know your name.”

“You have so many questions. I knew you would, so I do not fault you for that. This is a large amount of information for any mortal to absorb. Trust me. You are being handled by people who are amenable to our cause. They will have many of the answers that you seek. Ah, but there is one question I am able to answer. I am mostly known by the name Azrael.”

I hope you like what you’ve read so far. You can get the book to read the rest at this site.

http://www.amazon.com/The-Final-Requiem-ebook/dp/B00FSBWOP0/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1381504889&sr=8-1&keywords=B00FSBWOP0

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Picking an Excerpt

I’ve been spending a lot of time thinking about what would be the best excerpt from my novel to post. It’s turned out to be a lot harder than I thought it would be. You don’t want to post too much, but at the same time you don’t want to post too little. You don’t want to post something that will give too much away, but at the same time you want to post something that will be worth reading. I thought about posting the beginning, the prologue, that seemed like a pretty obvious choice, but I wasn’t sure if that was really enough…or maybe it was too much…AHHHH!!

I’ve been wavering back and forth between two different excerpts, one being the prologue (yeah I know…even after the previous internal dilemma) and the other being a small excerpt from the first chapter. I think I’ve decided to post an excerpt from the first chapter. Please bear in mind that this is a work in progress…otherwise I would be self publishing it right now. 😉

This excerpt does not really give you a great feel for the plot of the novel, but it lets you get a glimpse of the writing style I used when developing it. I hope you enjoy.

The dreams always worried him, but his his mother had possessed the ability to ease his mind whenever she was around. That was not the case anymore. What if the figure in his dreams had been accurate about what his role in the world was going to be? Antonia was not going to be around anymore to tell him otherwise. He knew that the figure would visit him again in his dreams that night and he thought then would be the best time to attempt a conversation about his destiny.

A small man walked up timidly from behind him and placed a small hand on his shoulder. “I’m sorry son, we need to lower the casket now. Maybe you should go inside and spend some time with the rest of the people that are here. It might make you feel better to talk to people about the good things that happened during your mother’s life.”

“No, there is nothing that could make me feel better right now. This should not be happening. She should still be alive.”

“I’m sorry son, there’s nothing we can do. We are going to have to lower the casket now.”

“No!” Anger started to rise through Antonius like he had never felt before. It started as a mild irritation, but it was not long before he was completely infuriated. Who were all these people? Where had they been all of his life? Where were they all of the times he had spent alone with no company other than the figures in his dreams?

No, none of the people knew him. They all had been people that his mother had met along her many business travels. They were clients, coworkers, and bosses. None of them knew or really even cared about his lot in life. None of them even approached him to express their condolences. They were all there for the perceived obligation that walks hand in hand with the passing of a colleague.

He now knew what his purpose was. Talking to the figures in his dream was going to be a formality. There was no doubt about the way that he felt. Clarity enveloped his mind. He abruptly stood up and pushed the small man to the ground.

The smug looks on the faces of the attendants burned in his mind like a wound being exposed to acrid water. The sudden impact of his head against the hard cobble stone path rendered the small man unconscious. Antonius stepped over the body and began walking towards the dining area. Several of the other workers around the area tried to subdue Antonius, but an unnatural sense of purpose had developed in him. He simply sidestepped them and threw them out of his way.

The chapel dining hall was a shining beacon of everything that the city of Venice had to offer. A large building, it loomed over the rest of the city. One set of doors served as the only means of entering and exiting the building. Modern safety codes had not existed hundreds of years ago when the building had originally been erected. Antonius knew that one fatal flaw of the building all too well.

A single phrase echoed through his mind as he approached the door. “No way out, there will be no way out. There will be no way out. This building shall be cleansed with the fires of righteous damnation. There will be no way out.” No one paid any attention to Antonius as he approached the dining hall. They were all too busy tending to the men already lying unconscious on the ground.

Antonius stood in front of the door and for a brief second an inkling of doubt started to creep through his mind. The entrance was composed of two heavy, white wooden doors. Each door arched upwards and had a small silver cross perched at the upmost tip. There were heavy stone benches and columns with various assortments of flowers on top set to either side of the doors.

The benches and columns had both been brought in for the funeral. They had been placed on rollers so that they could be moved easily. The benches themselves probably weighed several hundred pounds each. Each column weighed close to a hundred pounds. The people inside were completely oblivious to what was going on as he pushed the benches and columns tightly against the doors.

Soon, one of the people in the building realized what was happening. First they gently tried to push the door open. The door grazed against the hard, unrelenting bench, but it did not budge. Casual attempts to open the door turned to a frantic and frenzied ramming of the door. It was not long before other people in the building began to notice what was going on. Mass hysteria spread from person to person.

Every scream, every shout, every pound on the door out of shear desperation made the flame in his eye seem to gleam brighter. A fire doesn’t start without a spark. The spark had been created the moment the figures started talking to him and had grown to a roaring fire inside his soul. There was nothing left for him to do but to release that fire upon the world. Without hesitation, he grabbed a lighter from his pocket, lit the door on fire, and started walking away.

There could be no looking back now. He had made his decision. There could be no changing it. He knew that there would be no going back. There could be no getting out. The world would need to be cleansed by the fires of righteous damnation. He was close to returning to his flat when the sound of sirens became audible throughout the city. He could not help but let a sick, sadistic smile cross his face. Part of him felt horrified while another part of him thought that it was completely and uncontrollably hilarious.

That’s it for now. I plan on posting more excerpts in the future.