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OMINIOUS

OMINIOUS is a fantasy/horror novel set in the paranormal that tells the story of an unassuming young man whose girlfriend is murdered before his eyes, thus setting off a brutal chain of events, including his own suicide and an emotionally charged confrontation with his despondent mother, that will lead him to that which he is destined for.  

Jonathon's blood-soaked march toward that destiny is aided by Arophious le Monticule, whose time as a Master Commander of the King's Guard serves him well as the young man's 'guardian angel'. But Arophious has his own agenda. And it's one that will see him come face to face with Jonathon in a bloody battle that only one of them will survive. 

Through it all, that which is most at stake for Jonathon is the chance to reach not only that which is rightfully his, his destiny, but also, though unknown to him at the time, to be reunited with the only woman he ever truly loved.

‘It has been said that one’s destiny can only be reached by taking one step at a time. Jonathon was about to find out how brutal and bloody each of those steps could be.’    

“In his debut novel Ominious, the author has created a uniquely dark and compelling atmosphere and filled it with interesting characters.”  

- Greg Cary of Brisbane ’s NewsTalk 1116 4BC and Channel 7’s Sunrise program.  

In Store Price: $AU25.95 
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ISBN: 978-1-921240-63-8
Format: Paperback
Number of pages: 232
Genre: Fiction/Fantasy/Horror

 

 

 

Author: Darrin J. Mason
Publisher: Zeus Publications
Date Published: 2007
Language: English

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Author Biography

 

The author was born in 1969 in Stawell , Victoria . His first job, one that lasted on and off for almost a decade, was killing cows in an abattoir in the outer suburbs of Melbourne .  

The seed that would eventually become his love of the macabre was sewn during those formative years.  

In 1992 he left Australia to live in the Netherlands , the country of his mother’s birth, for twelve months. Since his return, he has tried his hand at everything from commercial cleaning to taxi driving, all the while carrying on his love of anything to do with the left side of the brain: cartooning (for which he won an Australian Cartooning Award in 1999), painting, song writing, radio production and, now, authoring works of fiction.  

Darrin has lived in the eastern suburbs of Brisbane for most of the last twelve years and has two children.  

Ominious is his first published novel.

Chapter I (PART SAMPLE)    

Inside all of us lies the courage to be someone who, under ordinary circumstances, we normally could never be. That someone is usually brought to the surface when someone close to us is in danger, be it physical or emotional. So it was with Jonathon Reed …           

As Jonathon and Jessica strolled their way hand in hand through a darkened alley made even more so by the darkness of the night, he offered his jacket to her as protection from the cold that had closed in on the city.

            At that exact moment, Jessica fell toward him. As he caught her in his arms, he could feel the warmth of her life-blood against his hands, and the look of fear on her face shook him to the bone. She touched her hand to his face, then closed her eyes and died.

            What the fuck just happened? he asked himself. What hell had visited earth so bent on destruction as to take the life of the only woman he had ever loved?       As Jessica lay dead at his feet in a pool of crimson-red blood, Jonathon let out an anguished cry that had built itself up from the darkest depths of his soul. He then sat next to the bloodied body of his beloved, put his head in his hands and cried the tears of torment that only those who have lost a loved one can possibly cry.

            Without warning, he found himself in the clutches of two burly policemen. They were arresting Jonathon!!! And for what? He had done nothing wrong!! But his hands were covered in blood, and before him lay the dead body of another human being. The facts as they appeared to those who were so keen to restrain him were hard to close one’s eyes to.

            With the intensity of a man who would fight to the death against being arrested for something he did not do, Jonathon broke free and ran. He ran as hard as he could until he could run no more. And when he could run no more, he cried. And then, amongst the filth that littered the slum in which he had found himself, he slept.

He was woken by the peculiar feeling one gets when they know they are being watched from the shadows. There before him, in all of her astonishing glory, stood Jessica. She was as beautiful as an angel, and he was captivated.

“Jonathon, the evil that has taken my life will kill again, and only you, the one that is so pure of heart, can stop it,” she whispered.

“But how do I do that Jessica, for I am but only a man and my spirit is broken??” he replied with barely an ounce of emotional energy.

“My dearest darling Jonathon,” she said gently, “as you can see, the spirit lives on. It is only the body that breaks!!”

With that Jessica disappeared into the darkness of the night, leaving with Jonathon only her words as proof that she had returned to him at all.

As much as it pained him to acknowledge the message that Jessica had brought to him, Jonathon understood that through her he had been charged with the responsibility of bringing those responsible for the evil of that night to justice.

Such as it is that if it’s the spirit that cannot be broken, then it is the spirit that must fight. And for the spirit to fight freely it must be free of the body. And for it to be free of the body, Jonathon had to die!!

He took a deep breath and walked out to the middle of the dark, isolated main street of Ominious. Unable to tell whether his body was shaking more so from the cold or from the fact that he was about to ‘meet his maker’, he looked around at the cold stillness that was Ominious at this time of the night.

Tick, tick, fucking tick!! He looked down at his watch. The sound of its second hand ticking over was adding to the tension.

Adrenalin surged through every square inch of his body when, moments later, he saw the approaching headlights of a vehicle traveling at a mighty speed. The scenario was perfect. He closed his eyes tightly and stood his ground. He could feel his heart begin to beat harder and harder, thump ... thump ... thump, as the vehicle drew closer and closer. There was a loud screech of rubber on bitumen as the driver tried in vain to avoid crashing into the man whose destiny was about to be met.

Jonathon screamed out in pain as the car smashed into his legs, breaking them instantly. With the force of a hundred men, he was thrown violently through the air and onto the footpath, cracking his head open as he landed hard against the cold cement. With his blood trickling into the gutter beside him, he could feel his life start to fade away and the events that had made him who and what he was began to flash through his mind.

His late grandmother allowing him a piece of chocolate cake after his parents had gone to bed.

Riding his brand-new pushbike into Robson River as part of a bet with his brother who said he wouldn’t do it.

His first kiss with Jessica…

Jonathon could feel himself ascending into the cold night air, and the body that had provided accommodation to his spirit was now nothing more than a bloodied, empty shell. Though saddened at the thought of those, and indeed what, he had left behind, the young man who had already fulfilled an ambition to see the world around him knew that his greatest journey was yet to come.

As people started to gather at the scene, Jonathon began to soar through the air like a bird. He knew in his heart though, that sooner rather than later simply soaring like a bird would not be enough. He had to become a bird of prey that preyed on the black blood that pumped through the hearts of those responsible for Jessica’s death.

But who was responsible?

He had neither seen nor heard anything that night that would give him the slightest indication as to whom he should be looking for.

At that moment, like a vision from the decaying depths of Hell, the image of a man so disgustingly evil appeared before him. A spirit might Jonathon be, but spirits can still feel the cold and the image chilled him to the foundations of his soul.

Through the powers randomly bestowed on those that have passed on from this world, Jonathon had seen the man who had cold-bloodedly murdered his girlfriend…and that man was his very own father!!!

He was shattered. How could someone he trusted to do everything so right, do something so horribly wrong?

He began to feel an emotion that was foreign to him. It was one of intense hate. From the very pit of his gut, he let out a sickening roar. The bird of prey had been unleashed, and God help those that darken the path of a bird of prey.

With the darkness of the night his only friend, Jonathon began the quest that would eventually lead him to doing something that he had never before even given consideration to…bringing upon his own father, total destruction!!

Armed with the knowledge, at least, of who the murderer was, he now had to find where the murderer was. And it would be no easy task, for he knew that those who were willing to take the life of another human being, would be just as unwilling to give those that gave chase the chance for redemption.

Jonathon angrily roamed the cold and lonely streets of Ominious in search of just a single clue as to where he might find his father. After several hours had passed, something, or perhaps someone, was telling him to return to where Jessica had been murdered.

Her body had by now been removed of course, but the odor of an evil death still wafted through the air.

Through the darkness, Jonathon could see on the ground a splatter of Jessica’s blood. There wasn’t much of it, but at least there was something left of his beloved for him to hold onto…and that’s all that mattered. As he reached down and touched it, a sense of loving warmth came over him.

That loving warmth was shattered, however, when he felt the tight grip of two powerful hands around his throat. But Jonathon was a spirit, and he knew that he could be neither seen nor heard…unless, of course, it was by another spirit.

“Do you remember me, you little shit?” boomed a deep, angry voice. Chris? he wondered to himself. It couldn’t possibly be!!

“I thought…you were dead?” gasped Jonathon as he tried to loosen the vice-like grip around his throat.

I am!!!” snarled into Jonathon’s ear the man who was once his abusive, alcoholic uncle.

With a mighty blow to the body of his attacker, Jonathon broke free and fell to the ground. He tried desperately to regain his composure as he turned to face the man that had been killed in a drunken and drug-fueled car accident at the tender age of thirty-three. What Jonathon was confronted with was the horribly disfigured image of a man whose life of brutality against those that loved him so dearly had torn from him any hope of moving onto a better place.

The anger that Jonathon had felt in his teenage years for this man was re-ignited as his mind raced back in time to the bashings and beltings his late uncle had dished out with drunken regularity.

Yet as much as his heart so desired to send this pathetic lowlife spiraling into the depths of Hell, it was obvious to Jonathon that Chris was already paying a significant price for the lifetime of physical and emotional abuse of those around him. The burden of eternal torment lay heavily on his shoulders, and it was a burden that Jonathon was only too happy to see him carry.

“I fear you no longer, Chris,” said Jonathon without the slightest hint of reservation, “for the courage of a thousand strong men fills me tonight. I am already prepared to destroy one man, do not think I don’t have it in me to destroy two!!”

Realizing that he was facing not the helpless child his nephew once was, but a man who was bent on the merciless annihilation of his father, Chris took a step back, bowed his head…and vanished.

Jonathon had often wondered what became of his late uncle. And now that he knew, he could at least close the door on that sickening period of his life…and for someone who was never one to take delight in the misfortune of those around him, he took great pleasure in knowing that he could at least do that.

After regaining his composure, Jonathon returned his attention to the matter at hand. He searched every dark corner of the alley in the hope of finding the clue that would lead him to where his father was.

After finding nothing of any real substance, and near ready to give up hope, he noticed a cigarette lighter engraved with the letters R. R.         R.R., thought Jonathon. True, his father’s name was Richard Reed, but it was just as true that his father did not smoke and therefore had no need for a lighter. But his brother, who had twice before been convicted and fined for armed robbery, did smoke. And his brother’s name was Robert!!!

Yes it was possible that the lighter may have been nothing more than a coincidence, but it was a coincidence that carved itself deep into Jonathon’s mind. Now was he not only confronted with the fact that his father was involved, but also the very real possibility that his brother was involved as well.

But did it end with his father and brother? Who else that had called Jonathon ‘friend’ had dipped their poisoned pen into this dark night? He slumped against the cold, brick wall and began to weep. His tears felt like razor blades cutting through his heart as they rolled down the side of his face.

A gentle breeze began to blow and there before him, once again, stood Jessica.

“Jonathon, if you must cry, do so. But do not let those that you seek see your tears for they will see them as a sign of weakness.” And with those words Jessica disappeared once more into the darkness of the night.

Do not let those that you seek see your tears? But how could they see them, unless his father and brother were also spirits?

Suddenly, the grim reality of the situation hit Jonathon like a lightning bolt from within the darkest thunderstorm in Hell. His father and brother were dead!!!

But when did this happen? Tonight? The picture was unclear to Jonathon. Yet as unclear as it was to when it had happened, the fact that it had happened at all meant that the rules of the game had changed dramatically.

No longer could Jonathon rely on the cover of death to help him win the war. No, he had to rely on something that came from within his heart. Something that his father and his brother seemingly did not have. Total love and respect for his fellow human beings.

He knelt down on one knee to pray to God for the strength to see his way through the battle that lay before him. As he closed his eyes, he felt every molecule within him begin to race at a phenomenal speed. It was almost as if he was being transported to another place, another time.

Jonathon opened his ears to the sound of a horse galloping toward him at full pace. He then opened his eyes and found himself confronted not only by the horse, but also upon that horse a Roman Gladiator brandishing a razor-sharp sword and a small round shield. As he approached, the Gladiator lifted the sword high above his head and swung it at Jonathon.

Frozen to the spot with fear, he felt the blade pass through him. Yet he stood tall.

Unable to comprehend why he was not lying in two pieces upon the ground, Jonathon’s attention was drawn to an old man who had appeared to his right. The man was dressed in a dirtied white robe that had obviously seen better days, and he wore upon the lower half of his face a long, gray beard and moustache.

“Jonathon my boy,” remarked the old man as he placed his hands on Jonathon’s shoulders, “you are not here to die. No, you are here to be trained as a warrior. One who commands the ability, and the agility, to win the war that is being waged against the innocent people of Ominious. But be warned, to show fear as you just did is to open the door to certain defeat.”

As the old man walked away, he turned and motioned for Jonathon to follow him. Although he could not put his finger on exactly what it was, there was something about this man, dirtied robe and all, that put Jonathon’s mind at ease. So much so that he followed him without argument or hesitation.

After walking for what seemed to be many miles, the two men approached a grass hut.

“In here Jonathon, you will find all you need to prepare for your training. Rest well young man, for tomorrow morning it begins.” Having watched the old man walk into the distance, Jonathon turned and entered the darkened hut.

Once inside, he looked around. He could find only one thing, and that one thing was a photo of Jessica. Was this all he needed to prepare for his training? A photo? No, it was more than just a photo. It represented everything that Jonathon had lived and died for. It also represented everything that he was prepared to kill for. He held the photo close to his heart and took a deep breath. He lay down on the makeshift bed that had been prepared for him and closed his eyes. As he did so, he began to wonder why God had chosen for him to be the ‘salvation’ of Ominious. The young man also wondered why He had chosen for the events that had unfolded to be the stepping-stones toward that salvation.

He desperately wanted to be angry at the higher power that had led him to where he was, but deep inside he knew that that anger would be an energy best saved for his father, and very possibly his brother. Instead, he fell into a deep sleep.

As dawn broke, the old man awakened him. “Jonathon, it is time to begin your training,” he said in a soft yet commanding voice.

Having shaken the sleep from within, Jonathon followed him outside.

“Allow me to formerly introduce myself to you. My name is Arophious le Monticule and I am a former Master Commander of the King’s Guard, protectors of the King of Albanland. I have been charged with the responsibility of instilling in you those things that you need the most,” he explained. “I will teach you how to win the war with not just your hands, but also with your heart and with your mind. But to win the war, you must first learn to free your heart of the ill feelings that you have towards your father. You must also learn to free your mind of the love that you have for Jessica. But above all, you must, and you will, learn not to show your fear to those who wish to destroy you.”

“But are such things not easier said than done?” asked Jonathon.

“Of course they are. But that is why you are here, to learn how to do such things!!!” replied Arophious, matter-of-factly.

He stared deep into the eyes of his protégé and saw that he had much work to do.

He extended his right hand to Jonathon and it was accepted graciously. Like a tiger having stalked its prey, Arophious pounced and in a flash had Jonathon pinned to the ground with a forearm to the throat!!!

“The first step toward winning any battle, Jonathon, is to trust no-one. Do you understand me? No-one!!!”

Jonathon nodded his head in embarrassed agreement. He had failed once. He was not prepared to fail again.

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