Characters from Book One, Heir of Nostalgia, A Gathering Darkness

Phillip-as described by Theo upon meeting him for the first time.: ‘Standing this close to him, I could smell the street all over him, a mixture of car exhaust and stale cigarettes- there was something else as well, and this something reminded me of the words wicked and wild. The cold, wet scent you bring in with you, right after you come in from playing outside on a cold winter’s day. All of this wrapped up in a threadbare corduroy jacket, ratty red-tailed gloves, and a tousled mane of the blondest hair I’d ever seen.’

Maggie/Magpie-Theo meeting Maggie for the first time outside the Majestic Theater: She must have been all of sixteen going on thirty, slender as a reed, dressed in scuffed and torn blue jeans, same sort of coat as the boy had on- second-hand times ten -gloves, a gold cross around her neck, and a dirty blue and white stocking cap pulled down over a chaotic mess of reddish blond hair, chunkily cut and spiked. She too was pale, like the snow falling around us. Her eyes, way too big for her face, hugged the shadows beneath her brows for protection; her lips were drawn and thin. She either disapproved of everything or was considering a pout.Emo Bratz or Riot grrl??

Theo Valerian- introducing himself to Phillip and Maggie- inside Leo’s Diner: ‘I’m forty-one; and I work as a Design Engineer for Clearinghouse- an instate Engineering firm -which means I get paid a lot to draw pictures on a computer. At the moment I live alone, except for Thumper my Scottish terrier. Oh yeah, and I also like to take long walks on short beaches while reading poetry…” (not really on that last one.)

Thumper- Theo’s Scottish terrier: When he gets excited he doesn’t wag his tail from side to side like most dogs, he ‘thumps’ it up and down on the floor like a club. Get it, Thumper?

Lycan- as described by Theo: The current owner of Leo’s. Leo’s owner was tall, built hard as steel and thin as a rail. Perched on the top of his head was a crown of bushy auburn-black hair, which often times drifted down over his left eye. As if his lady-killer good looks weren’t dangerous enough, he was also blessed with one of those year round tans, the kind that generally ticks off the rest of us ‘rice white summer people’. The only other distinguishing mark about him would had to have been the pale blue image he had tattooed on the right side of his neck, the one that looked like a giant bird rising from a pile of fiery ashes. He called it a Phoenix.

Kaelynn Carroll: Curator of the New York Museum of Art. Fiancée of Theo Valerian. 31 years old, auburn hair, brown eyes. The love of Theo’s life…

Feathers- as described by Theo upon his first run-in: ‘I turned to face our assailant- who was nothing more than a boy himself, maybe sixteen, with wild black mane for hair and deep dark eyes set in a long pale face. At first he appeared to be wearing nothing more than rags, like the others before him. The entire time he was talking he just stood there with his mouth hanging open as if gasping for air.’

Aaron- Theo & Kaelynn’s neighbor: My next door neighbor was at least six and a half feet tall, setting a little over two hundred and eighty pounds, with salt and pepper hair and forearms the size of tree branches. Add to this his menacing looks, and a nose that seemed to meander back and forth across his face like it had been broken a bit too many times, and here was a man few would argue with.

Fallon- a man hanging with Lycan at the Diner. Theo’s frist meeting.: The man with him, the one who chose to remain standing, was average height and build, hair running thin, with a face only a mother could love. In fact, the only thing that truly stood out about him, other than his ‘blandness’ was his demeanor, he reeked ex-military.

The woman in Red: Her eyes, one a pale watery blue, the other as black as night, worked their way up to mine. Her hair lay in matted clumps about her head; it had once been blond, only now appeared gray and streaked, darkened in places with grime and old sweat. The clothing she wore, mere rags, patched and faded in countless places, strewn and torn. She wore a combination of coats and old blouses, as well as the remains of, what I swear to this day, was an old ballroom dress, a fancy thing, lace and stitching… pearls, the whole nine yards. Though the last time anyone would have worn anything even close would have been about a century ago.

Sir Fredrick Henson- Director of Antiquities and the Curator: Henson was a short, balding man, whose bushy gray eyebrows easily overshadowed his hazel-green eyes. He also seemed entirely out of place, in his dark flannel slacks and overly-sized gray wool sweater, especially amidst all the brightly clothed tourists and leather clad ‘soccer hoodlums’ hanging about. Like most Englishmen his age, he seemed to be on the verge of a perpetual glare of displeasure, his forehead creased deeply in a frown… as if there was nothing left in the world to be happy about.

Nicholas Hilliard: 16th Century painter who had lived in London during the time of Mary the First and Queen Elizabeth. For the better part of a century, Hilliard’s works had only been shown in Buckingham Palace, and then, only to the royal family. His panel portraits of Queen Elizabeth I, known as the ‘Phoenix’ and the ‘Pelican’, both dating back to the late 1570’s, are perhaps two of his most famous works, commissioned by Queen Elizabeth shortly after her defeat of the famed ‘Spanish Armada’.

Master of the Hunt- Neit: “You fool,” hisses Neit, drawing inward upon himself, twin arcs of brilliant coldness by his side, his swords. In the ever present brilliance of the cadre he seems but a slip of a shadow, like a splinter in God’s eye. “You dare challenge me, I have walked where you have feared to tread, I have swallowed such light, and been cast from the heavens, banished in chains- you think you can stand between me and my prey. I will crash down the heavens and burn paradise to the ground before giving way to the likes of you.” He pauses then, his eyes narrowing, “You cut your own wings away in despair and rebellion, and still you think you have power over me? Know despair-” And in that instant Neit suddenly grows larger than the night, and in a shape reminiscent of that old beast, that fell dragon, he falls upon the angels assembled before him, crushing out their light, bearing them to the ground.

Shadow Mastiff’s: 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.Once the pooling darkness on the roof was complete, a howling began. Simple at first, it quickly gained precedence and volume; in fact, it continued to spiral upward in strength, even as the darkness of the pools began to take shape, forms starting to materialize from within that night into long lean hounds with course dark fur, blood red eyes and with mouths full of long sharp teeth. As a pack, their backs and hackles were up; their tails tucked down.

Blair: Off to the north, above the wail of sirens, a large dark cloud separates itself from the ground and quickly approaches, wheeling through the night on a collision course with destiny- a thousand, thousand raven and crow. In one fell swoop they fall upon the stranger, cawing, spinning, merging. When the darkness of their arrival passes, only the stranger remains.Raven and crow are gone.“And you thought Neit and his hounds were bad…”

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Author: S.M.Muse

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. I am pleased to present it here, for your reading pleasure. I truly believe in the gift and wonder of reading, I hope you do as well. 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: heirofnostalgia@gmail.com

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