I’ve decided to post the book I’ve written. The working title here is “The Syllogy of the Universe” but I’m not quite happy with that. I began writing this book in 2013 and spent a few years writing and editing it. I’ve spent the last few years sending it to agents to see if it’s publishable, but I have decided to back off of that goal for the time being. However, I would love for people who would like to read it, to do so. I ‘ll be posting it here, section by section and we’ll see how it goes! Please enjoy, and feel free to like my page on facebook, subscribe to this blog via email or wordpress, and share this story if you enjoyed it… because if you did, then other’s might too!
Each new section will post at 8am every other day (meaning “Chapter 1. Part 2.” will post on February 12 at 8am.)
Without further ado, here is the beginning of “The Syllogy of the Universe.”
THE SYLLOGY OF THE UNIVERSE
CHAPTER 1: MY NAME IS NICHOLAS
Hello. My name is Nicholas.
In twenty-first century English I go by Nick and Nicholas and for members of the forty-third century Scorstavian race it’s Nikkolash. I am writing this account in twenty-first century English because it is your native tongue. I’ve translated most of the clichés, measurement units, and phrases common to other times and places into those with which you will be more familiar. In most places it’s a paraphrased translation of my original excursion. I tried to keep my words as close to the original as possible, but in some instances updating the syntax was preferable. This is all in an attempt to help you understand the story as easily as possible.
In the time and place that our story begins, I was by all accounts as average as possible. I was five feet nine inches tall, nineteen years old, with a downright plain face: not ugly, but certainly not handsome. I had a knack for boats and a penchant for planting, but by all accounts I was a pretty average guy. At least, that was how I viewed myself at the time.
I had dark hair, brown eyes, and lightly olive colored skin, the type of person you would be unable to classify by ethnicity no matter how hard you tried. I was a citizen of the great city of Athens, living the middle class life of the soldier with a mid-sized olive orchard behind my mid-sized home. To be more specific, at the beginning of this story I was in the middle of deserting the great army of Athens, so I suppose I was a citizen of nowhere. Which is fitting, because nowhere is exactly what I found myself in the middle of. My name is Nicholas Alexander, and this is my story.
— — —
The Great War in Troy quieted behind me as I crept toward the beach. The fighting was done for the day, and the Trojans had returned to their fortress. I heard the cries of men dying. Screams of pain and loss hung in the night sky around me, each memory of the death of a friend was brutally branded in the blood-soaked sand. All around the camp, men were putting out their torches for the night, the look of desolation on their faces. Whether or not Helen was beautiful enough to launch this crusade, she certainly wasn’t beautiful enough to merit its continuation. I had reached the end of my rope. I had no companions left, no hope left, and I had an unusually average amount of courage to begin with, all of which was gone. It was replaced with fear and cowardice after three years of gut-wrenching war.
The sky was clear and the light shining from the stars ladled itself out onto every movement in the camp on the beach. My feet felt the first touch of icy cold water and the sheer pleasure of it increased my resolve to get away from this moral wasteland. Two-hundred and thirty-seven of our ships had been destroyed by Trojans sneaking aboard and setting them ablaze, and the debris from the last fifty still clung to the shore. I searched among the wreckage looking for a piece large enough to board as a raft, and found one only lightly suctioned to the sand. It was obviously the curved siding of a ship only just big enough for me to stretch out across it in every direction. I flipped it into the surf, hoping it would stay intact. If I could just circle around the bay, there were bound to be Trojans on the outskirts of the city who would help me.
The ship’s detached siding held together and I clumsily clamored into the bowl of the makeshift boat. I rowed with my hands away from the shore as quickly and quietly as possible and looked into the sky hoping that the gods were not watching as I deserted my duty.
It wasn’t until thirty minutes of rowing away from the shore that I chanced a look back at the camp. Only the flickering lights of torches not yet extinguished marked the Grecian presence. The remaining ships were anchored close to the shore, or run aground on the beach and their massive shadows blotted out much of the shoreline.
I gazed around trying to determine which side of the bay I should head towards to have the best chance of survival when suddenly the stars disappeared. It was as if the gods had blown them out and their light had been replaced by a thick swirling cloud.
Thunder rumbled within the cloud and flashes of lightning crackled from one inner edge to another, but no strikes ever extended past the surface of the dense mass. I whirled back around to get a glimpse of the shoreline, but all trace of it had disappeared. The only things that existed anymore were the boat, the endless ocean, this deafening cloud, and me.
Gradually, a man emerged from the cloud, which peeled away from his body. His flesh was shimmering and bright, so bright that I had to squint in order to take in his appearance. It looked like his entire body was made of lightning. It was as if a single bolt of lightning had the exact form of the most wonderfully proportioned man I had ever seen, but the surface of his skin had jagged bits sticking out a fraction of an inch. It’s difficult to explain without seeing it for yourself, but it was as if he were both a man and a bolt of lightning at the same time.
He wore a white knee-length tunic with a braided gold rope securing it around his waist and no other clothing. His hair was a flash of metallic colors, at one moment bronze, the next gold, and the next silver. The cloud arced around his body creating a pocket for him to stand in, and as casually as a man asking for the time he said the most frightening thing I have ever heard in my life.
“I will ask you one question. If you answer correctly, you will live. If you answer incorrectly, I will strike you from existence. There will be no memory of you on this earth, and those you have loved will forget they ever knew you. Refusing to answer will result in the same. No one has ever answered correctly. The question is this: What is the purpose of human life?”
I stared at him a moment. He was absolutely motionless. I tried to ask a question, but he was immovable.
I closed my eyes. So this was it? My life depended on me figuring out why I wanted to keep it in the first place. The terror instilled in me by this man overwhelmed me. I thought of trying to run away, but the intensity in the man’s eyes dissuaded me. I would have to find the answer. With great effort, I relaxed my body, laid back in my little boat, and thought. What were my options?
Want to keep reading? Go to the next section! >>> “Chapter 1. Part 2.”