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powers of Influence


powers of Influence

Jordan Arey H om e b ound publications

Independent Publisher of Contemplative Titles


published by homebound publications powers of influence Copyright © 2012 by Jordan Arey All Rights Reserved. Without limiting the rights under copyright reserved above, no part of this publication may be reproduced, stored in or introduced into a retrieval system or transmitted in any means (electronic, mechanical, photocopying, recording or otherwise) without the prior written permission of both the copyright owner and publisher, except for brief quotations embodied in critical articles and reviews. For bulk ordering information or permissions write: Homebound Publications, PO Box 1442 Pawcatuck, Connecticut 06379 United States of America All characters appearing in this work are fictitious. Any resemblance to real persons, living or dead, is purely coincidental. All occurrences in this work are fictitious. Any resemblance to actual events, past or present, is purely coincidental. Visit our website: www.homeboundpublications Visit the author at: www.powersofinfluence.com and www.jordanarey.com first edition ISBN 13: 978-1-938846-02-1 (pbk) book design Front Cover Image Attribution: © Andreas Kermann | istock.com Front Cover Image Attribution: © Jokerpro | Shuttershock.com Interior and Cover Design: Leslie M. Browning

Library of Congress Cataloging-in-Publication Data Arey, Jordan, 1983Powers of influence / Jordan Arey. -- 1st ed. p. cm. ISBN 978-1-938846-02-1 (pbk.) 1. Identity (Psychology)—Fiction. 2. Self-realization—Fiction. 3. Suspense fiction. 4. Fables. I. Title. PS3601.R466P69 2012 813’.6--dc23 2012035773 10 9 8 7 6 5 4 3 2 1


Chapter 1

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t first it seemed as though it was all a dream, or some faint memory surfacing through the abyss of a deep sleep. Though it must have come only once, the voice echoed through my thoughts several times before I realized that it was borne from a world outside my own mind. It was a voice of pure innocence, and it came with a tone of child-like curiosity. “Is he dead, Mommy?” I heard through the darkness. I slowly, almost involuntarily, opened my eyes to the light of the sun coming from behind the round face of a blue-eyed little girl. She had bright blond hair that was pulled to either side and fastened above her ears, and it glowed like gold with the aid of the piercing rays. She had a look of slight concern on her face while peering down at me, but she hovered over my head without the slightest reticence. I tried to sit up but was unable to do so. I felt stiff and numb. I blinked repeatedly to ward off an immense fatigue that was hanging over me, and I noticed then that my whole body was nearly paralyzed. “Nope, he ain’t dead at all. See, he’s movin’!” the little girl exclaimed. Despite her excitement, I paid very little attention to her now. The strange circumstance in which I found myself commanded all my focus, and it was beginning to cause me to worry deeply.

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The next thing that came to my realization was the feeling of sand beneath my hands and the sound of waves crashing a short distance from me. A slight breeze ruffled my clothes and carried a salty scent of ocean past my nose. I closed my eyes tightly and tilted my head to the side, straining to move my neck even the slightest degree. When I opened them, I saw another person running toward me from a distance. “Susan, you come over here and give that man some room,” her voice rang. “I told you not to run ahead of us, didn’t I?” I watched as a matured yet pretty-looking woman came to her side. She appeared to be what I would consider middle-aged, but as far as looks could tell, she seemed to maintain in her demeanor some unrelenting hold on youth. “Yes, Mommy,” Susan whimpered as she turned her head to the ground. Soon a third individual came into view, shading my face from the sun with his broad shoulders. From what I could make through squinted eyes, he was rather tall and about the same age as the woman crouched at my side. His face looked callused and drawn as if from years of hard labor in the sun, but his eyes were kind and sympathetic. “Is he moving at all?” he quickly asked. I slowly attempted to sit up again, trying to support my weary frame with outstretched arms, but all my efforts were to no avail. I blinked several times again to better focus on my surroundings. I attempted to speak but nothing came. “He looks as exhausted as all the others.” “Loot, he’s tryin’ to say sometin!” Susan shouted. My failure to talk was as unexpected as my impaired movement, and I was growing increasingly frustrated with my limitations. Though my mouth functioned, it only barely did so, and I was incapable of forming any sounds of articulate speech. Though my limbs moved, it was minimal. I wasn’t able to direct them as I wished, nor was I able to summon any considerable strength from them.


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A sense of near panic started to well inside of me. I began to feel helpless in my motionless and speechless state. If this wasn’t enough to cause desperation, the next realization was. Despite the two unfortunate facts that were presently causing such anxiety in my heart, there was an additional reality that struck me as far more unsettling. It was at that moment that I realized I had no idea where I was. Far worse than this was that I wasn’t even sure of my own name. I couldn’t picture in my mind any event, except what I had just seen, and I soon came to find that I had no recollection of anything at all. “Are you alright, Son?” the man asked. The woman gave him a strange look. “Thomas, you know he can’t speak,” she replied, a bit bewildered. “Besides, they never remember anyway,” she added, “none that we have ever seen.” The man’s expression took on a defeated look. “I know, but why not try? One day someone might show up that actually remembers something.” While listening intently to their conversation, I quickly tried again to conjure any memory I could, but my mind remained as blank as my stare into the clouds above me. Helplessness and frustration returned as I lay verbally and physically disabled in front of people I knew nothing about, without even a sense of my own identity to calm my pulsing anxiety. “It’s been a long time since any have washed ashore,” the woman continued as she looked at me with concern. “You’re right, Martha, and it’s a good thing we were here to find him,” Thomas replied. “Can we take’m home?” Susan asked, turning toward her mother. The woman expressed an immediate interest in what she had said, looking her in the eyes and then turning her gaze toward me. “Yes, Dear, he certainly needs our help.” She looked at me again and delivered a sympathetic expression. As her eyes met


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mine, something unexpected happened; peace filled my heart as suddenly as panic had filled it earlier. Something about her was comforting and helped to assure me that I was going to be alright. “Come on, Son. We’ll take care of you,” Thomas affirmed, reaching down to scoop my languid frame off the sandy shores. My mind, which had once raced with anxiousness, was now beginning to feel calm after such seemingly-charitable individuals had come to my assistance. Though I knew nothing about them, I could easily sense that they were genuine and kind. “Is he goin’ to be my new brudder, Mommy?” Susan inquired as she skipped alongside her parents. Martha and Thomas returned a smile without saying anything more as we hurried from off the beach and into the rolling hills and tall grass that stood swaying in the ocean breeze. A short time later, we came upon a small carriage that sat behind a large brown horse standing calm and still as we approached. Susan scurried up to the back of the carriage where her mother helped her into a pile of cloth that lined the base of the wooden frame. I soon found myself being wrapped snugly in a blanket next to her while her eyes remained fixed on my own. “Do we have any water left?” Martha called. Without a word, Thomas reached for a leather bladder in the carriage and passed it to her. The water she offered was no longer cool but was enough to quench my thirst. “He needs something to eat, I’m sure. He looks famished.” “Let’s not waste any time getting back then,” Thomas said. With no delay, he and the woman took their seats and cautioned Susan to remain seated as well. Thomas made a clicking noise with his mouth while flicking the reins over the horse’s back, prompting the animal into a steady gallop. My eyes soon began to grow heavy again as I sat perched on the padding in the far corner of the bed. The exhaustion I


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felt when first I came to consciousness on the shore started to weigh on me once more while I watched my surroundings rock to and fro over the horizon of the carriage walls. “Do you think he’s alright?” I heard Martha ask. “I hope so,” Thomas replied. Most others seem to end up just fine. I think he’ll be much better after he gets some rest.” After that, I heard nothing more.

I

woke to the same eyes that had peered down at me on the shore, and they were very near my face again. They remained still and focused, so close that I could see my reflection in them. Susan said nothing for a while but just stared at me as if she was trying to place the first time she had met my familiar face. “Whana see my shea shells?” she finally asked, holding up a small leather bag that was bulging at the seams. Next thing I knew, she was dumping its contents into a small pile in front of me amid the rumbling of the carriage. I looked upon a jumble of large and small shells mixed with several rocks of varying sizes. “Dese are my rocks fer my cllection,” she said, picking them out of the cluster and placing them back into the bag. “I’m goin’ to mate a netlace out of da shells.” My eyes scanned the variations in front of me. Some were very dull, while others were rather intricate in color and design. “Dat’s a pretty netlace you got,” Susan said, opening up a small white box that she held in her hand and pulling from inside it a brilliant shining band of white metal. “It was in yer potet, bout to fall out.” “Susan, please don’t bother him,” Martha pled as she turned around from facing the direction we were going. “He isn’t feeling well. Please, let him be.” “I not bodderin’ him. I jest lootin at his netlace.” Martha’s face moved toward her daughter’s tiny hand where the necklace laid gripped between her fingers.


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“Yes, it’s pretty, isn’t it?” she affirmed. “Can you put it back where you found it?” Susan lingered for a moment in indecision, then, almost as if she could feel her mother’s glare, she yielded to her wishes. “Yep, it jest goes right here,” she replied, stuffing it back into a pocket in my shirt. “I still goin’ to mate a shea shell netlace.” I did all I could to smile in return, one of the few things I was able to do. Despite the rushing uncertainty of the passing moments, I felt at home around little Susan, and her adorable nature was endearing to me. My mind thought back to the shore, my stupor, and my physical inabilities. Perhaps the owner of this necklace would have answers to my present situation, which also begged to question why I was in possession of it, being that it was clearly the necklace of a woman. I started again to feel overwhelmingly uneasy after this thought, and I began looking all around, hoping that some element of my surroundings might trigger a memory. My heart began to race, and my face must have expressed my fears well, because Martha spoke to me as if she could sense all my worries. Her sympathetic stare met with my restless eyes, and she looked as though she was experiencing all my inner turmoil along with me. “It’s alright, Dear; we’re going to take care of you. It won’t be long now.” I got the feeling, by the way she spoke to me, that I was much younger than she was, which made her assuming role as a motherly influence seem all the more fitting. Our course continued with a sense of urgency. We lumbered along an unpaved road that wound onward through clusters of large trees while at one point crossing over an old bridge that spanned the gap between the banks of a small river. All the while, Susan kept me occupied with a one-sided conversation about her mom and dad and brothers and sister, cheerfully informing me that I could be her newest brother.


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I was glad to see that she was warming up to me so much, and her carefree tone helped to soothe my nerves. Martha turned back to check on me every so often and continued to advise Susan against bothering me, affirming that I needed to rest and be left alone. Time seemed to move as rapidly as the ride itself. Before too long, we came upon an opening in the trees where the road rolled down a grassy hill toward a small house that sat amid an open meadow. The carriage rumbled at a quicker rate than before, drawing nearer to the cottage with each sway and bump. Susan had taken to kneeling just behind Thomas and Martha, grinning from ear to ear as we moved down the slope toward her home. “Dere, dat’s my house, John,” she said excitedly, pointing her small finger in the direction of our course. “You get to meet my brudders and zister!” “John?” Martha asked from behind a smile that quickly melted away, as if she felt reproach for having allowed herself a moment of humor under the current circumstance. “Yep, dat’s his name,” she said, gesturing toward me. “I named him John.” As we neared the house, two young children came into view. One of them appeared close to the age of Susan while the other seemed somewhat older. Upon seeing the carriage, the young girl turned to the little boy, and both started running toward us.


About the Author Jordan Arey

F

rom his earliest years, Jordan wanted to understand who he was, why he was, how things worked, and for what purpose. He passed through a childhood stage of eager questioning, riddling his parents with countless inquiries”. He can remember the repetition of a certain phrase from his father as a child: “Why all the questions? Are you writing a book?” he would ask. Well, he wasn’t then, but he can see now that all his questioning was preparing his mind to do so later. After high school, Jordan turned to further studies in his faith and attended an institute of religion from which he graduated. During this time, he practiced writing essays on varying subjects to establish his style and voice in the written word. A short time later, he left on a two year ecclesiastical mission that lent greater insight and understanding to the subjects of his work. After returning, he began his college studies, married his wonderful wife, and took to writing with more focus and determination than ever before, completing several short stories and his first novel Powers of Influence.

www.jordanarey.com www.powersofinfluence.com


H o m e bo u n d publications

Independent Publisher of Contemplative Titles

Going back to go forward is the philosophy of Homebound. We recognize the importance of going home to gather from the stores of old wisdom to help nourish our lives in this modern era. We choose to lend voice to those individuals who endeavor to translate the old truths into new context. Our titles introduce insights concerning mankind’s present internal, social and ecological dilemmas. It is the intention of those at Homebound to revive contemplative storytelling. We publish introspective full-length novels, parables, essay collections, epic verse, short story collections, journals and travel writing. In our fiction titles our intention is to introduce a new mythology that will directly aid mankind in the trials we face at present. The stories humanity lives by give both context and perspective to our lives. Some older stories, while well-known to the generations, no longer resonate with the heart of the modern man nor do they address the present situation we face individually and as a global village. Homebound chooses titles that balance a reverence for the old wisdom; while at the same time presenting new perspectives by which to live. w w w. h omeb ou ndpu blicat ion s . c o m


Powers of Influence Chapter 1  

Preview of Chapter 1 of Powers of Influence by Jordan Arey (Forthcoming November 25, 2012 / Homebound Publications) When John wakes on the...

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