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AN ANGEL IN THE MAKING

 There had been a ‘Change’ and now only one third of Earth’s original inhabitants remained on the original Earth. These were the ones who truly cared for each other and their planet and for whom the very idea of hurting any living creature was totally abhorrent.

For the rest a new and duplicate Earth had been created in another place. These people still believed in violence and hatred to some degree and having the Free Will which all living creatures possess were allowed to follow their own path but with the full expectation that eventually all would raise their spirituality and rise above their situation.

 Unfortunately the plan went horribly wrong right from the start. Now Michael and Alana find that they and their family have become cut off from their friends on Tranador and their mentor the magnificent and loving Being known as Jonathon.  They are trapped forever in a world consumed by a war that can never end and not even death itself offers a release.            

In Store Price: $AU27.95 
Online Price:   $AU26.95

ISBN: 978-1-921406-22-5  
Format: Paperback
Number of pages: 288
Genre: Fiction/Speculative Fiction

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Cover: Simone Dumbleton

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AfterLifeNovels.com

By the same author: 
Millennium's End

Raised as an Angel

Author: Gary J. McCleary
Publisher: Zeus Publications
Date Published: 2008
Language: English

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Author Biography 

Gary J McCleary has worked as a Mathematics teacher since obtaining his Science Degree majoring in Mathematics and Physics from Sydney University in 1970. More recently he has been a Head Teacher of Mathematics with TAFE NSW and a part time university lecturer in Engineering Studies. He retired in 2004. 

He has always had an interest in works of science fiction and more recently has undertaken research into spirituality with particular reference to the ‘Near Death Experience’. Since retiring he has tried to explore both of these themes in his novels ‘Raised as an Angel’ and the sequel ‘An Angel in the Making’.  

Read a sample:

Shantara stood on her small wooden veranda and surveyed the ploughed fields situated among the many dwellings which housed her extended family. Her husband, Wolf, was the dominant male of all the Canines in this group and she was his senior wife. When he left The Compound he had charged her as the matriarch of the family with the full weight of leadership and authority over the group. Since then the full cycle of the seasons had come and gone four times and she was starting to feel worn down by the extreme weight of the responsibility which had been given to her. Also her loneliness and sense of loss were threatening to overwhelm her more and more as each day passed. She and Wolf were a matched pair who had lived together through countless lifetimes on many different worlds. Each was the better half of the other but when separated it seemed to her that each was as nothing.

Shantara, like all the Canines here on Tranador, had evolved well beyond the creatures that they had been on the more primitive worlds. The Canines that lived here were still covered with thick fur and most maintained their long tails but now they walked upright on their hind legs and all had developed their intellect and powers of speech. However, they were still simple and faithful creatures at heart, who relied almost entirely on the Beings for survival and for what little technology they were able to use. Here in this place the Beings at least treated them with dignity and respect, which was vastly different to her memories from some of the more primitive worlds which existed beyond the Barrier. Still it did not please her that she and her kind were forced to rely so heavily on the Beings who she personally neither liked nor trusted.

The crops they had planted were doing very well this year. Their yield of corn, wheat and other staples augmented what was supplied to them by the Beings and gave them at least some small sense of self reliance and dignity. Also it kept the younger males occupied in strong physical labour and therefore less likely to challenge Shantara’s authority. So far, in Wolf’s absence, she had managed to maintain her authority over her extended family but it was something that she had to constantly work at. She was not physically as large as Wolf but even so she was larger than any other member of her family. Also she had the same thick brown fur as her husband and her tail was nearly a match for his. She rarely made any effort to beautify herself and her fur was often in a knotted and dishevelled state. Wolf always called her affectionately his ‘Old Fur’ which sometimes annoyed her. Now with no end in sight for Wolf’s extended absence from her, she just wished that she could hear his gruff but loving voice calling for her.

As she surveyed the scene before her she noticed the small black creature in the distance and quickly she beckoned for her to come over. She was the one bright spot in Shantara’s lonely existence but she tried very hard not to show favouritism to her, at least not in front of any of the others. Beatrice was Wolf’s youngest wife and she had matured somewhat during Wolf’s extended absence but she still carried herself with the exuberance and vitality of youth. Her slim body was covered almost completely in jet black fur which was of the texture of the finest silk. Her tail barely reached to the back of her knees when she walked but her long black ears reached down her neck and swayed from side to side as she moved. She had a single white star of silken fur in the centre of her chest.

Beatrice came up to Shantara cheerfully. “I see you Shantara.”

Shantara felt a strong urge to reach out and embrace the young creature and to try to draw some strength from her but she restrained herself for appearances sake, at least in public. “I see you too, Little One.”

Beatrice sensed the loneliness and sadness that was evident in the older Canine. “It has gone on too long hasn’t it? It has been far too long.”

“Yes Bea, far too long. Time passes slowly here. A lifetime spent on one of the outer worlds does not amount to that much time here. Wolf has been gone more than four summers. The Beings are often away longer than that when they undertake a life on an outer world but our kind does not generally lose that much time here.”

“You are starting to fear that his absence may be permanent.”

“Yes Little One, that is my greatest nightmare that something irretrievable may have happened to our Wolf.”

Bea placed a gentle paw on Shantara’s furry shoulder. “You have never told anyone why Wolf left us all that time ago. I have never questioned you about it but I guessed the truth from the very beginning.”

“I gave Wolf my solemn promise that I would never tell anyone why he left us and this was for a very good reason.”

“I know the reason Shantara and I promise you now that I will never leave you as Wolf did.”

Shantara looked into Bea’s young eyes and she realised that yet a new depth had been added to their relationship.

“There is only one reason that Wolf would have left you and the rest of us, only one. Michael.”

Shantara’s fur bristled at the mention of the Being, Michael. “I have never felt any affection or even trust for any of the Beings. However, I know that to Wolf and to you also, this Michael is a godlike figure who you both adore beyond belief.”

“I was there on that awful night.”

“What?”

“I was there hiding in the shadows on the night when Michael brought Wolf back to our Compound. Something had terrified him beyond anything imaginable and he was totally convulsed with fear.”

“I had no idea, child, that you knew about that.”

“Wolf realised that something terrible was about to happen to Michael and so he set off in pursuit to try and help him. I seriously thought back then of going after them myself, but I soon realised that I would be of little help to Wolf in that way, and that I may even be a hindrance to him. I came to see that Wolf would either be successful or he would not. If he were not to be successful in his quest then he would need backup and long ago I determined that I would be that backup if required.”

“You never fail to amaze me, Little One, with your understanding and your logic. However, I do not see what you or I or indeed any of our kind can do to change the circumstances of one of the Beings. I tried to tell Wolf this before he left but he refused to listen to me.”

“We can make a difference. Even on the primitive worlds in our primitive states of existence we were able to have a big influence in their lives.”

“Not me, I never made a difference to anyone except Wolf. Still if you have a plan, Bea, I am willing to listen. I would do anything if it would bring Wolf back to us.”

Bea looked hard into Shantara’s face. “We cannot do much alone that is true. We need to seek help from some of the Beings.”

“How do propose to do that, Little One?”

“Michael had many friends and I know of one in particular. His name is Gelf. If we can contact him he may choose to help us.”

“The Beings occasionally visit us here in The Compound when it suits them but what means do we have of seeking one of them out?”

“The Keeper will listen to you. He knows that you are the leader of our group now and he has become used to dealing with you.”

Shantara exclaimed “You want me to talk to Bruce! You want me to ask the Keeper of our Compound to arrange contact for us with one of his fellow Beings? He will more than likely pat us on the head and tell us to go and lay down somewhere for the afternoon.”

“No doubt that would be his reaction if I was to approach him on my own but I think he will listen to you, Shantara. It is worth a try is it not? I will come with you.”

Together they walked across their own paddocks and then across the paddocks belonging to some of their neighbouring clans of Canines. They received some friendly greetings as they passed and Beatrice experienced noticeable attention from some of the younger males of these clans. When they reached the edge of The Compound they saw Bruce the Keeper sitting in his office near the main entrance gate.

Shantara tried to display some authority as she marched up to the door of the office and pressed the electronic device attached to the outer wall. Bea stayed close but well out of the way.

Bruce the Keeper soon appeared in the doorway. He was a rather large and imposing individual with a slightly extended waistline and a receding hairline. He was dressed in overalls and large rubber boots.         “Hello my furry friends, what can I do for you today?”

Shantara said in a rather stern voice, “We have a matter that is greatly important to us and we wish to discuss it with you.”

Bruce answered rather patronisingly, “I am sure you do but I am rather busy today and I have no time for games.”

Shantara deliberately softened her approach.  “It is no game, sir, we have a request for you that is all.”

“If it has to do with your supply of simulated meat and protein products I can tell you that there has been a small delay but I can assure you that you will receive your supplies tomorrow.”

Shantara smiled her most engaging smile. “No kind sir, that is not a problem for us as we have a more than adequate accumulation of those products.”

“Well what is it then, Sweetie? As I said I am quite busy today.”

 Shantara bristled at the name ‘Sweetie’ but she continued. “We wish to make contact with one of your fellow Beings who lives in the great city by the ocean.”

“What did you say?”

“His name is Gelf, and he is the best friend of the Being Michael, who I believe you would know of.”

“I think everyone knows who Michael is after what he has done.”

Bea shuddered when she heard her Michael being spoken about in that way but she kept her silence.

The Keeper asked rather stiffly, “What do you want with this Gelf?”

Shantara smiled sweetly again. “We have some information, kind sir, which may be useful concerning the Being Michael.”

He hesitated for a moment as he tried to think what possible information these creatures could have concerning the criminal Michael. In the end he decided that he had better try to facilitate the contact as he did not wish to be seen as blocking any evidence which might be forthcoming about Michael’s great crime. “Alright leave it with me. I will make contact with this Gelf, and if he agrees to see you I will let you know shortly.”

Shantara replied kindly, “Thank you, Mr Bruce. I knew that you would help us.”

Shantara and Bea walked back towards their own paddocks, and when they were far enough out of earshot, Shantara spat a great blob of saliva onto the ground and with it the name ‘Sweetie’. “I am not his Sweetie,” she said and she spat again onto the ground.

Bea laughed and she put her arm around Shantara. “You did extremely well. You had just the right amount of authority and just the right amount of friendliness. If you keep it up Bruce may choose to adopt you and then you too will have your own private Being to care for you.”

Shantara started to growl at that last comment but then they were both seized by a fit of laughter and they sat down on the ground and laughed until the tears ran down their faces.

It was only a couple of days later, when Bea and Shantara were busy in Shantara’s kitchen preparing some of their favourite corn cakes, that one of the very young offspring came running unannounced into Shantara’s kitchen. In his young squeaky voice he announced, “Grandmother Shantara, Grandmother I have something for you.”

“Slow down, young fellow, you know better than to come charging in here like that.”

“But it is important. It is from the Keeper. He gave it to me himself and he told me to bring it straight to you.”

At the mention of the Keeper Bea and Shantara looked up from their work and Shantara said gently, “Bring it here, son, and thank you for being so swift with your task.”

The young fellow handed her a small wrapped parcel and in return she gave him one of the freshly-baked corn cakes. He immediately raced away with it being careful not to be seen by any of his siblings as he went.

Bea watched as Shantara set the parcel down on the table and carefully unwrapped it. They saw that it contained three items. Two of them were identical square plastic cards with numbers printed on them. They each had a dark metallic strip down one side. The third item was a small metallic box with what appeared to be a glass screen on one side. Underneath this screen was a single large button.

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