Looking for Dei
David A. Willson
Publication date: March 23rd 2018
Genres: Fantasy, Young Adult
Fifteen-year-old Nara Dall has never liked secrets. Yet it seems that her life has been filled with them, from the ugly scar on her back to the strange powers she possesses. Her mysterious father refuses to say anything about her origins, and soon, she and her best friend must attend the announcement ceremony, in which youths are tested for a magical gift.
A gifted youth has not been announced in the poor village of Dimmitt for decades. When Nara uncovers the reason, she uses her own powers to make things right. The decision sets her on a path of danger, discovery, and a search for the divine. In the process, she learns the truth about herself and uncovers the biggest secret of all: the power of broken people.
Jimm Aragos had good days, and he had bad days. As a young man, their father had apparently been happy, strong, and full of life. A member of the Shem tribe, he came from a moderately prosperous and proud people, masters of the southeast lands. Pop had taught Mykel to fish and hunt from an early age. But when Mykel’s mom had died birthing Sammy, Pop’s drinking turned him to anger—anger that sought an outlet.
Mykel carefully cracked the door and crept into the cabin, hoping Pop was still asleep. A loud, bitter cough alerted him to the contrary.
“Bring me anything to eat?” Pop asked.
“Um, Sammy trapped two coneys,” Mykel said.
“Well, why are you standing there? Cook ’em, boy.”
Mykel started a fire in the small iron stove, then placed a wide-bottomed pot on top. Behind the thick cloud of smoke coming from his pipe, Pop sat in a chair in the corner. “Announcement tomorrow?” Pop asked.
“You gonna ditch? Cowards always ditch.”
The insults were so common, they no longer stung.
Mykel shrugged. “I’m going. I have to. I’ll be eighteen before the next one.”
“No point to it,” Pop said. “Dimmitt is cursed. No gifted here. That idiot priest is wasting his time and yours.”
After pulling the last few potatoes from the root basket by the stove, Mykel quickly chopped them, then threw the pieces into the pot with a spoonful of lard. What he would have given for a bit of salt, but the few traveling merchants who passed through Dimmitt always wanted more coins than could be spared.
Sammy finally came in with the coneys, which were clean and ready for the stove. Mykel peeled the raw meat off the bones, cut it into small strips then tossed it in with the potatoes. Pop released another puff of his pipe, and Mykel tried not to choke on the smoke.
“Don’t cry like a baby when they do it. Aragos men are tough. Hunters and builders, all of us.”
Mykel was tired of the rant. “Built anything lately?”
Silent looks passed between Sammy and Mykel.
Pop gritted his teeth. “You got a smart mouth, you ungrateful rat,” he growled, then took a deep puff and glared at Mykel.
He would never have tested Pop when younger, but the man wouldn’t dare hit him now. It had been more than a year since they last tangled. When that battle ended, however, Pop was the one left bleeding.
“And what should I feel grateful for?”
“Grateful I didn’t drown you at birth, you ugly wretch.” Pop moved to the small table. “Your momma was a beauty. I do not understand how she spawned the likes of you.”
Some folks told Mykel that before his momma died, Pop had been a gem of a man. Mykel wished he could remember, but that was more than a decade ago, and he recalled nothing. And nothing of his mother. Her absence produced an emptiness that could have been filled by the affection of a loving father, but there was no such person in sight.
David A. Willson has worked as a restauranteur, peace officer, and now, author. Taught by his mother to read at a young age, he spent his childhood exploring magic, spaceships, and other dimensions. In his writing, he strives to bring those worlds to his readers.
Much of his material is inspired by the “Great Land” of Alaska, which he has called home for over 30 years. He lives there with his wife, five children, and 2 dogs. He is passionate about technology, faith, and fiction—not necessarily in that order.
Looking for Dei is Willson’s debut novel, set in a land where many more adventures will take place. Stay up to date with his ongoing efforts through the Looking for Dei Facebook page or visiting the website at davidawillson.com.
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