Discovering this, he battles free of his family and heads to Phoenix, Arizona, with his newfound wealth to pursue his dream, stay warm, ride motorcycles, get an education, chase girls, and bid a fond screw you to his past life and fishing in particular.
For once in his life, things are looking up. Until one night, hes kidnapped but not for his money. A madman claiming to be a mage wants to enslave him to make use of Seans special abilities.
A pendulum swings both ways. So if magic is on one side and normal is in the middle, whats on the other end of the arc? Sean finds out the hard way and thus starts the ride of rescues and reabductions, fights and friendship, magic and monsters, girls and guns, clans and conclaves, bonds forged and betrayals concluded, lawyers, lackeys, and lies, oh my. Everyone wants a piece of him in one fashion or another. Everyone tells him things arent what they seem, a lesson they themselves will relearn.
Life outside the mundane is exciting, but it can be brutal and messy, only more so when its played for the highest stakes of allsurvival and possession of ones own soul.
|Product dimensions:||6.00(w) x 9.00(h) x 0.49(d)|
About the Author
Interests have included; motorcycles, horses, martial arts, firearms safety/competition/education, armored combat (SCA!!!), and other outdoor or adrenaline inducing activities.
He currently resides in Phoenix Arizona with his family and tries to remind himself that he is a responsible adult with responsibilities and should (but wont always) act accordingly.
He has a deaf Pitbull, 5 black cats (will claim they belong to his wife), and a python named Fluffy.
Read an Excerpt
The first step in recovery is in not caring that others have a problem with you.
It's a fact; more people than not believe they have to live many lives before gaining their eternal reward. As philosophies go this doesn't seem such a bad deal. However, it appears that for this go-around I'm paying off a Karmic balance that makes Greece's National Debt look like a heavy bar tab.
For instance, I was saddled with the name of Padraig, pronounced PAW-rik, and as far back as I can remember I've never been a lucky person. In fact, I once lost 57 coin flips in a row. I average around 1 win in 20, but it's not just that; Playing cards, picking ponies at the track, dice, roulette, or any other random type betting event habitually ends with me outside the winner's circle. The best way for someone to win is to bet the opposite of me, which is what many people that know me generally do. Yes, I am the guy that others with 'shit for luck' pat on the shoulder and say "Better luck next time" then laugh because they know the chance of that happening is as likely as Queen Dick sitting the Throne of England.
Honestly, this isn't a complaint, but this may partly explain why I found myself in some crazy asshole's basement; naked and tied to a stainless steel table, and covered in strange designs drawn with god knows what. As I lay there on that cold surface, the aforementioned maniac ran about the place spouting gibberish and waving a knife around while looking both pissed and confused at the same time ... I will admit that even for me, this was a new low.
"Who sent you here and for what purpose?" The madman asked me in a voice about five stops past reason as he drew the tip of his knife across my cheek. Not enough to draw blood, but enough to send the gibbering monkey part of my brain to the highest part of the tree whilst flinging Poo in all directions.
"More important and what I really want to know at the moment is how you disabled my sigils little Mageling?" When the tip of the blade started exploring the inner part of my right ear, the monkey completely checked out and the lizard part took over and held me perfectly still.
"What spell did you work to do this?" He whispered in my left ear. "Or is it some charm or talisman? Something that you have swallowed perhaps?" His words washed over my mind like a tangle of eels as the knife was removed from my ear and placed over an area where I guess he thought my stomach could be found. "I will find out you know, one way or the other. You're a fool to have come against me. However, you're efforts were impressive enough that I may apprentice you if you tell me what I want to know. Otherwise ..."
When he placed the knife on the table I thought it was a good sign, until he grabbed my head. He then put his mouth over my left eye and I could feel his tongue move over my eyelid as he began to suck. I thrashed as much as my bonds would let me and could hear this strange background noise as the pressure increased. When the pressure stopped, I realized that the background noise was me screaming. In my quarter-century of life, I've had cause to notice that new and unimagined horrors perpetrated upon me commonly have this effect. They say that self-knowledge is the key to happiness. However, this bit of personal awareness was no help whatsoever in the happiness department. 'They' can go suck it.
Even after realizing that I still had stereo vision, it took my brain a while to reconnect with the world outside of myself. Unfortunately, when it did, it wasn't any better than when I left it. Waiting for me was the grinning visage of my tormentor.
"Ahhh ... that was quite a fit. I'll assume I have your full attention now." he said as he leaned in closer to leer at me. "As I was saying, you will tell me what I want to know, or your universe will become a hot, red, sticky mess of agony." In the recesses of my brain I heard an ominous crackle, like a struck match in an empty tomb.
Again, my life being what it is, some time ago I made a discovery. There is another side to fear and I could recognize its symptoms; I could feel my heartbeat slow. I stopped sweating. My muscles relaxed. My vision became clear and sharp, and every sound, smell, and tactile sense was as if until that moment I'd been half asleep, but now I was truly and wholly awake. The terror, worry and pain was still there. Only now, they were a small portion of the whole and could be duly noted and summarily dismissed as unimportant to the proceedings at hand.
Also, having shit for luck my entire life has imparted some other interesting lessons. The first being, I know that I'm going to have to work hard to get anywhere, because the truth is that nobody is going to just hand me what I want, and many people will try and screw me out of what I already have. This work ethic is probably my best quality. Unfortunately, another effect that largely mitigates the benefit of my work-hard attitude is that I've developed a parallel sense of the ridiculous and the vocabulary to express it. Most people that experience this just call me a smartass ... if they're feeling generous. In the past, this has landed me into what the Chinese would call 'an interesting life'.
So yes, being knocked out, stripped, tied-up and tortured until I can explain to some nut-job why his 'Magic' isn't working, is the same absurd landscape that I've tread my whole life. It's just at a higher elevation than I was normally used to.
I wasn't certain what reaction he was expecting from me, but by the look on his face, laughter wasn't it. With me naked and bound, him standing there with a knife and looking anxious, only made the whole situation more bizarre ... so of course, my laughter got even louder and more manic.
Fortunately for me, laughter in the face of the bizarre has the equivalent effect to my psyche, as the 'Lowry technique' has to the inner ear while scuba diving.
"Man, I am soooo fucked" I said to no one in particular once my laughter died. I only hoped I didn't follow. I wouldn't have bet on it. As I've said before, betting and me ... not so good, but it was the hand I was dealt. May as well play it for all it is worth ... which was shit. And if you can't play the hand, play the player. So I accessed the shitty lore from movie tropes and let my inner child have fun with it.
"Okay Merlin ... you got me. There's no use in denying the truth to you anymore." I calmly said to my captor. "I'm a Nephilum thanks to dear old dad, so human magic has a tendency to misbehave when I'm around. Also, my dear sweet mum was half Fae, which gives me ties to the Unseelie, so I have that small bit of natural immunity to the workings of mere mortals and may account for your failings." The glassy look on his face told me he was seriously trying to process my line of bullshit. So of course, I fed him more.
"No no, wait ...' I said, trying not to laugh, or even smile. "It must have been that deal I made with Odin. You see, I'm his seeing-eye-human one week of the year and in return I get immunity from the powers of Douche-waffles ... or was it the deal I made with Kali? As her manicurist every third Tuesday on the months that end in Y, I receive protection from Ass-hats." I swear, the look on his face was priceless. The phrase 'Bitch-slapped' leapt to mind.
I may have been tied up, but he looked like the one on the ropes. I put on my best 'I know the secret you want' smile, switched on a saccharine sweet tone, and in my best imitation of every self-important, multi-step, self-help Guru I've ever had the misfortune of meeting, I said. "Help me out here Gandalf, which are you, Ass-hat or Douche-waffle? ... Well speak up, because I really need your help in helping me to help you. It's vitally important in your journey to discover your inner wizard that we find out why your magic wand is shooting blanks. That's assuming you can get it to point in the first place." Seeing his initial shock and confusion turn into something beyond rage, I realized once again, I may have gone a touch too far.
Oops, not smart. Smartass, Remember? Oh well ... If this was the end, I wasn't going out like a punk. "The reason your spells don't work is because MAGIC DOESN'T EXIST, YOU DELUSIONAL FUCKTARD!" This, I yelled in his face as he raised the knife in a two handed grip over me and readied to plunge it into my chest.
The thought 'Well, that should add some strength to his arms.' ran through my head as I watched the light glint off the edge of the blade. A quick death was as much as I dared hope for at that point. It would no doubt suck, but it was still better than being tortured for days and dying by inches. So of course the blow didn't fall ... 'Shit, here comes the pain.'
Only three suggestive lifetimes passed while he stood over me. The knife had been lowered as he looked at me like I was some strange fish brought up in his net. Being laid out and trussed up for processing didn't help to dispel this idea, or make the time pass any quicker.
I spent what seemed like hours watching Mister Crowley's retarded cousin going back and forth from me to several different benches, drawers, and cabinets, each time doing something weird with some new stick, stone, or gewgaw and muttering some gibberish. The difference this time was every time he failed, at least I never seen any 'Magic' happen, he didn't get angry. He got more and more excited. This was not comforting.
Why I didn't participate more in these proceedings was due to the gag he stuffed in my mouth after hammer-fisting me in the zyphoid-process; this of course, being the natural outcome of my smart-to-smartass ratio. What's more, only being able to breathe through one nostril due to a deviated septum from several previous occasions where my nose had been broken, also an outcome of said ratio, didn't help the situation any. Oxygen deprivation has a way of keeping one quiet. It's not that I can't learn a hard lesson. It's just that most astrophysicists cannot imagine a bell curve large enough to plot my position on it.
It seems that the stress dump of being abducted, low oxygen levels, and watching the world's worst wizard fail to produce a lick of magic for hours on end is a recipe for sleep. The slap that woke me up, along with the statement from my gracious host that I snore like chainsaw tossed into a sack of cats, I take as further empirical data that my hypothesis on sleep recipes was not completely incorrect.
"Thank you for sleeping." He stated. "It made many of my tests so much easier. Not to mention, the results are far more conclusive without any active resistance on your part." He reached down and pulled the rag he used as a gag out of my mouth.
My mouth and throat were so dry that my first breath felt like I was taking in flames. 'What's a guy gotta do to get a drink around here?' Said the voice in my head as I coughed and sputtered ... I wasn't going to like the answer.
Apparently, my hacking and coughing wasn't part of his agenda. Cursing, he grabbed a gallon jug of water and contemptuously poured it onto my face. It figures that the one thing I wanted more than anything when he pulled the gag out would cause me even more pain, along with a double heaping dose of panic.
No wonder the terrorists have their Lawyer/Lackeys trying to get water boarding outlawed, it's entirely too effective. Ten more seconds of this half-assed version of it and I would have given Darth Dipshit here the location of the Rebel Base. When my vision cleared, I could see him looking at me like a prized beetle he was about ready to gas and pin to his collection board.
"Do you even know what you are?" He asked me in an almost normal conversational tone. "Do you even know what a Null Is?"
"Is that some sort of term for the most unlucky person alive?" I croaked out of my damaged and drowned larynx.
"I can see how you would think so and in your case it's a fair description of the place you find yourself. But no, that's not what a Null is ... A Null is a person who nullifies magical fields and effects within a certain range of their person. Funny thing, when a Null is unconscious, the range of their effect shrinks significantly. For instance, the null area you put out while sleeping is about five meters, with an additional disruptive zone of eight or nine meters past that. Awake, that easily doubles, and could possibly be ten times that range under certain conditions. This makes you the most powerful free-range Null to be discovered in ... well ... ever. And you're all mine now, Sunshine." The smile he gave would have made Rasputin flinch.
Oddly, my first thought was 'Really? Meters?' Followed closely by 'WOW, no amount of laughter can equalize this much bug-fuck crazy.' Also, just because you know something won't work doesn't mean you shouldn't try. Besides, it's not as if I was spoiled for options. "Yeah, Okay, so I'm a Nil ..." This is as far as I got before I was interrupted with a slap.
With my ears ringing, he explained. "Null ... N-U-L-L ... Null. Not Nil, which means nothing. But Null, as in; one who nullifies magic." As he leaned in close, I could smell what he had eaten last ... pizza, with pepperoni and garlic. Damn, it made me so hungry I almost missed what he said next. "... Ignore me at your peril. Your next mistake may cost you a body part." He said this deadpan, but his eyes shone like those of an unsupervised boy with a BB-gun standing in an abandoned greenhouse.
"Umm yes, sorry. As you say. I'm a Null. So, now that we know what the problem is and the possible range of this problem, there is an easy fix. Dude, you say the max range is what? ... A hundred and fifty meters? How's this? I bugger off, you get your Mojo back, and I don't get within a hundred and fifty MILES of this place. Hell, that's easy. Phoenix is damn near in the center of the State, and the State is somewhere around three hundred miles across in both directions, so Arizona becomes my personal 'no fly zone'. Deal?" I asked, but from the sound of his laughter, I'm had to assume that the answer was an emphatic 'NO'.
"Amazing ... You may be a Null, and one of the biggest smartasses on the planet, but you are entertaining. If I were worried about your null effect, I'd just kill you here and now. No life, no effect, simple as that." He paused to rub his chin and stare off into nothing for a bit.
I always thought it would be interesting to observe the workings of a madman. I also imagined a lot more safety glass, not to mention clothes, between myself and said workings. I truly discommend the guided personal tour.
He snapped me out of my musings by running the tip of his knife across my cheek. "How to explain this to you?" He asked himself before pinning me with his madman's stare. "You've heard of the goose that lays the golden eggs, yes? ... Well my pet, you're the ostrich that drops plutonium. I don't even care that you've destroyed years of my work and cost me thousands in lost materials. Not only are you going to make me Millions, you're my ticket to power and fame amongst my kind. Not even half of those in the Conclave have their own Null slave. Although, a few are rumored to have entire guard forces, or hit squads of Nulls." he leaned in even closer, until the upper half of his face filled my entire vision.
"I am going to rip you apart, body, mind, and soul. All of your hopes, dreams, and desires are going to be mine to command. Your entire existence will be dedicated to serving me, and you will thank me for it in the end ... I promise you this my little darling; I am going to show you a world of blood and horror unlike any that you have ever imagined, and you will bathe in it."
As he stood up straight I couldn't help but stare at him as his eyes burned with the fires of insanity. Some could say he now had my full and undivided attention. Others might comment that I had an extreme case of target fixation. You could even remark that I was near to being out of my mind with terror ... this would be one of those rare cases where everyone was right.
This also might explain why I didn't pay much heed to the 'ssswhhtk' like noise, or the glint of light as something swiftly passed by him. To miss what happened after that, I'd need to be in a coma or dead.
His head came off and did a one and three quarters sideways flip before landing on my chest with his face toward mine. It wasn't there long, but I'll never forget how he blinked twice and each time he did, it looked like he was mouthing the word 'what'. Then his body fell across mine and knocked the head away. I could feel his body twitch as his life blood pumped from his severed neck onto my face. It blinded my eyes, flooded my one working nostril, and forced me to keep my mouth shut while I tried to suppress my gag and puke reflex.(Continues…)
Excerpted from "Reality Enforcer"
Copyright © 2018 James Robert Brady.
Excerpted by permission of AuthorHouse.
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.
Table of Contents
Chapter 1: The first step in recovery is in not caring that others have a problem with you., 1,
Chapter 2: Step 2: Living life by others expectations is stupid, make your own damn decisions., 25,
Chapter 3: Step 3: Recognize that if you don't create your own destiny, you're letting others do it for you, just like a slave., 40,
Chapter 4: Step 4: Recognize that bitching doesn't help, it's 'doing' that changes things., 59,
Chapter 5: Step 5: Own your shit. Take responsibility for what you say and do., 87,
Chapter 6: Step 6: Accept the facts. Particularly the ones you don't like., 108,
Chapter 7: Step 7: Work your ass off, shit isn't free., 138,
Chapter 8: Step 8: Interpret, plan, act, re-examine, and repeat., 165,
Chapter 9: Step 9: Stop using step programs to fix yourself, open your eyes and use your brain for something more than a rest stop for stupidity. Maybe then you'll see how things really are and where you fit in., 174,
Chapter 10: Truth will out., 184,