The Island Chronicles
BOOK 3: DRAGON
In Book 1, William is drawn by the Music to the mysterious woman, Eleutheria, who lives in the house overlooking Bourani Cove and the ancient lime kiln which still burns hot for those who know where to look. There, she tells him about trapping time in the old tower, inadvertently creating the Dragon, and how he must contain the monster while she searches the world for a solution.
In Book 2, William tells Lexi the story of how Eleutheria came to America three hundred years ago, eventually sailing to Orcas Island in search of ultimate freedom. He continues to struggle with the return of Nazdehda Retovna, and confronts an evil that threatens to destroy him and those he loves.
In Book 3, Eleutheria travels to Venice and learns the secrets of the nuns at Convent San Zaccaria, before going to Cambridge and discovering the last, vital piece of information she needs to vanquish the Dragon.
On the island William supports the building of a new hospital, championed by Cortland and Mary Beth Van Cleave. Their success may be William’s ruin, however, since, once again, he is forced to protect those who serve his purpose.
Finally, William learns the truth about Nadezhda Retovna, and her alter-ego Julien Darville. More importantly, he learns why she is here, now.
When Eleutheria returns the final confrontation ensues, revealing who she really is. We learn who survives. And who has been telling the story all along.
Consciousness makes it appear we are real.
But we aren’t.
That we matter.
But we don’t.
Something is happening to be sure.
But we have no idea what it is.
We are just making shit up as we go along.
Once you understand that, even for one terrifying second, it makes death look less frightening.
What good is Consciousness if we are not free? It only exposes the unending, painful realization we are prisoners. Creatures battered by the random whim of an apathetic universe.
Admission to an accusation comes with the refusal to deny it.
The Music began, like Vivaldi but an electric harpsichord, backed at first by drums and timpani, and then joined by strings. Vibrant, percussive, the sounds of sexual frenzy. It evoked both the sensual abandon of the Baroque and the lawlessness of the 21st Century. The love-child of passion and despair.
The sleek black gondola slid over the canal. Like a knife drawn through a painting, it rippled the picture of buildings perfectly reflected on the dark green water, in the fading light of a day come to meet her evening lover. Behind the gondola, the picture coalesced again, as though the silent boat had never been there.
It was a simple time, a decade before the fatalistic frenzy of the sixties, when every extreme was but a mockery of the one before it.
High water marks decorated the walls like a necklace from Neptune.
Life is a house of mirrors as well as cards.
That’s the wind that blows every crazy, misshapen, wreck of a ship from the harbor and into the word, gathering souls where it may. There is not a religion, cult, or philosophy that does not owe its very existence to What If.
That without needs cannot be controlled.
There was enough food to supply the Last Supper and leave doggy-bags for the apostles.
He did not know what he did not know and was, therefore, required to account for the unaccountable.
Trying to replace the irreplaceable. To fill a space designed for only one thing with inadequately shaped substitutes.
There is no peace in finding the Truth when it is too late to make use of it.
Don’t you think it’s time you defeated your father? After all, he’s the one who created Time for you by defining the end of it.
Time without boundaries is the Void.
That impossible things happened was not the problem. It was finding rhyme and reason for when, how, and to whom they happened.
Like Impressionism, the universe requires a lot of input on our part to make any sense of the picture.
The river is all the fish knows. All it can know. And while this pebble or that one may seem important, or pretty, inevitably, the river is going over the falls. And the fish can only go with it.
Immorality is the default of the human condition. It is kept in check only through deprivation. There is no moral or spiritual difference between the bum on the street, the middle-class housewife, the preacher in the pulpit, and the CEO in his penthouse. The only difference is resources.
It hurts to be alone. A hurt that stays with you, inside you, no matter where you are, what you are doing, or how many people you are with. It’s a drone line of pain that undergirds all the music of life. It fills your dreams, both night and day, and will not be expunged. It is as constant as the speed of light. As inevitable as death.
“Lie is such a harsh word.” The short, round man replaced the handkerchief. “I prefer enlightening fabrications. Rather like writing a book. Just because it didn’t happen doesn’t mean it isn’t true.”
At some point it becomes impossible to imagine anything worse than what you are living.
Music that came with dancing in the forest next to standing stones by the light of full moon. A song that sang of the satisfying beauty that is mystery. Not just at peace with the unknown, but its lover.