Reflections (Book Excerpt)
by Neil Charles Cladingboel
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Book One of The Erebus Equilibrium
Copyright © 2000 Neil Charles Cladingboel and
Virtualbookworm.com Publishing Inc.
The Watcher had learned to be patient. Centuries of exile roaming from one
stolen life to another, waiting for opportunities so often missed that still,
after all these eons, he had not fulfilled his all-consuming desire.
He had been cast out for so long now, he often wondered if his gods would
ever return him to Erebus and the throne that he hungered to regain. Banishment
and perdition had only served to feed his wrath; determined always to defeat
usurpers and regain control of all that was once his. He had fallen to the dark
side yes, but he believed his reasons had been pure of heart and his expulsion
was a constant reminder of the losses he had suffered. Perhaps then it was only
fate, divine or otherwise, that had allowed him to escape his incarceration in
Tartarus? It had been the beginning of a quest through countless lifetimes in
search of vengeance and retribution.
He could remember the sequence of events as if it were only yesterday, when
in fact, numerous centuries had passed. There had been rumours of fire demons
falling from the sky for some time. Stories told of huge, anvil-like rocks with
flaming tails streaking across the upper worlds causing phenomenal changes to
climate and weather. Deluges of rain usually preceded the coming of these
anvils. Ferocious storms, floods, then massive earthquakes when the flaming
monoliths finally crashed to the earth itself.
History told of the strange events that followed the coming of the anvils.
Although the Watcher could only guess that divine powers were at work, he was
patient to wait out the firestorms, safe in the prescient knowledge that no
would come to himself or his fellow Titans, so cruelly banished to the
Underworld. He believed it then to be a time of change, it certainly had been
from that time on, though by now of course he knew the anvils by their modern
names: Comets and Meteors. Nothing more than discarded rocks from the gardens
the gods, yet able to wreak havoc on humanity with devastating aftermath of
And so he watched then, as he does now, the stolen glass he had secreted
Erebus before his confinement, waiting for a sign from these gods. And when at
last the heavens became silent, the gods had come to him in the form of white
light and searing flame leaping forth from the surface of his mirrored glass.
The flames had engulfed him totally yet he remained unharmed, curious that he
had not been instantly incinerated. Instead, he found himself staring at the
disappearing vision of blinding light and fire, not from the bowels of
but back on Earth, in an overcrowded market place flooded with crowds of
panicked villagers, fleeing the torrents of water from the torrential rain that
had preceded the latest falling of the anvils.
Freedom from perdition yet still exiled from his kingdom. Doomed to suffer
eternity of immortality among the living until the gods showed him a way to
regain his rightful place in Erebus, as guardian of the dead.
Century after century he had watched and waited for the signs. Long ago he
had mastered the secret of the light in his glass. From then on, the glass
always foretold the coming of the anvils, feeding him with its unearthly power
of fire and light. Showing him the faces of the Chosen Ones, the mortal keys
that could one day unlock his passage back to Erebus. Countless times he had
tried and countless times he had failed. Other forces were afoot and so newer
tactics were always required. Lately, he was fearful his immortality was
The gods had not yet decided to renew his weary human host and perhaps the next
chance would be his last. Soon though, he knew the One would come. The
undisputed key to his immortal destiny.
Copyright© 1999, 2000, 2001, 2002 Neil Charles Cladingboel, sffworld.com. All rights reserved. No part of this may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the author.