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PRISONER OF A DREAM

In an isolated village in South America, a dying man makes a prediction about his future grandson. The child will, he says, be outwardly peaceful but he will have a fire burning in his heart! The unborn child will have the task of becoming the transition point between the primitive way and the evolution of the next generation. 

Although not aware of his grandfather’s prophecy, Kauê seems on course to fulfil his missions in life as he grows up in Brazil. However when his great love, Izadora, departs for Australia, Kauê finds himself restless. 

He follows Izadora to Sydney where, although appreciating the lifestyle of this young and vibrant country, he had to fight his greatest fears disarmed from the emotional stability proportioned for the feeling of stepping where one belongs to!  

“Whether you are going back to fields where the sense of protection will bring the illusion of overcoming the misfortune of having a witch living in your spirit, or whether you are going to continue the battle until the day of your glory is a decision that no one can make for you.  Choices are what distinguishes warriors to cowards and places ordinary people far away from the greatest heroes!” The old man left written to him. 

Ultimately successful, Kauê faces a new quandary. Should he stay in the peaceful land of Australia, where he knows he can provide a secure future for his descendants, or return to the uncertainty of life in the country that he still misses so much?

In Store Price: $AU23.95 
Online Price:   $AU22.95

ISBN:   978-1-921406-56-0    
Format: Paperback
Number of pages: 171
Genre: Fiction - based on a true story
Cover: Clive Dalkins

 


Author: Rodrigo Simões
Publisher: Zeus Publications
Date Published: 2008
Language: English

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AUTHOR BIO 

Rodrigo Simões was born in July 1974 on the North Coast of Sao Paulo – Brazil. 

In 1992 he moved to Florianopolis – SC where he graduated Bachelor in Agronomy but never left the passion he discovered when he was still a little child: His enthusiasm for writing.  

He lived in Australia from 2000 until 2008, the country where he has had the most unforgettable experiences in his life, also the place where he was able to make this passion become something substantial which he offers to his readers. His most valuable creation: 

This book!

PROLOGUE

 

 

 

As the jeep stopped abruptly, dragging its tyres on the dirt road, the two young hunters leapt out and rushed up the track towards the small forsaken village in the middle of the forest.

‘Let’s go, Barreto! Hurry up, hurry up!’ urged the older of the two, leading the way at a rapid pace. ‘That family needs to be taken to the hospital in town quickly, otherwise the white flu will kill them all.’

The younger man, whose olive skin suggested Italian descent, was clearly not as familiar with the area as his companion. He settled the rifle on his back into a more comfortable position and, as if drawing confidence from its presence, quickened his steps. He stopped, however, when they arrived at flat land near the river.

‘You go ahead, Pedro.’ He stood back as Pedro approached an indigenous woman near the entrance of a wooden hut covered with palm fronds. Although unable to understand their conversation, he could see that, despite having left the indigenous village several years ago to work as a lumberjack and at breaking in horses for the European farmers, Pedro was still able to communicate in the native idiom, which was his first language.

‘He had the fever and raved the whole night. Now he is serene and calm, but the only thing he wanted was to talk to my youngest daughter, Moana. All the others have gone,’ the woman said in a low voice.

Pedro looked through a gap of the rustic hut and saw the dark man holding Moana’s hand, drawing her close to him as he struggled to talk. Turning away, Pedro hit a tree trunk with his fists. He knew what it meant in the indigenous tradition when a father wanted to have a confidential talk to his progeny. Looking towards Barreto, he shook his head in frustration.

Inside the hut, the young girl laid her head on her father’s chest. She noticed the old man’s deep breathing as he raised her chin to look into her eyes. He knew there was not much time left.

‘My daughter, my beautiful daughter.’ His voice was so low that Moana had to strain to hear it. ‘You are a very strong girl, you know? And you will be a very strong woman. You have to be!

‘I know you are too young to understand what I have to say, but you have to memorise the words. As you get older, all the things I am saying will start to make sense to you.’

He paused as if gathering his strength. Then he continued. ‘You are going to grow up and become the mother of three beautiful children. Two of them will be very successful in whatever they choose to do, and soon they will find their partners and stay together for a long time.

‘These two children will always be around you, and consequently their lives will be surrounded by protection, love, comfort and consistent peace.

‘For one, however, until his mission in his life is accomplished it will be different. This one will have the skills to do anything he wants, but he will never settle in one job and be successful.’

The young girl was motionless, her eyes on her father, paying attention to every word.

‘This one will have the energy to attract whoever he wants close to him, but he will never have a permanent partner. He will be in the deepest place in your heart, but will always be physically far away from you. This is because he will carry the spirit of the lonely spotted jaguar on his soul.

‘He will seem to be the most peaceful child you have ever seen, but he will have a fire burning in his heart. He will have an enigmatic attraction for the challenges hidden beyond the unknown.

‘You will easily know which of your children this is. The knowledge will come to you earlier than you now imagine, because he will be a very premature child.’

The old man’s breathing was becoming laboured but his voice was strong as he continued. ‘All these characteristics will be given to him for a reason. This child will have a very difficult mission in his life: he will be the one chosen to overcome the karma of his ancestors. He will have the task of becoming the transition point between the primitive way and the evolution of the generation about to come as the result of the miscegenation of our native blood because of the European invasion in our land.’

The young girl noticed her father’s voice becoming weaker as he struggled to say his last words.

‘Your son will have three tasks in his life, which will be the purpose of his existence,’ he whispered, sinking back in his hammock. ‘The first task will be the environmental karma. He will have to dedicate his life to save, recover and protect the environment. This will be a karma inherited by him from his European ancestors because of the mistakes they committed in the use of our land.

‘The second will be to open tracks for his descendants, which his ancestors never dreamed of exploring. He will have to fight against the irresistible desire to ignore his gifts, against the temptation to live the life of a son whose heart is comforted by the warmth of his home.

‘And in this journey, he will face his third and most difficult task: he will have to overcome one of the strongest and worst pains of humankind, the pain that medicine will never be able to relieve, the pain that affects the rich and the poor, people of all races and religions, young or mature, sick or healthy … the pain of a broken heart.

‘To succeed, he will have to develop a skill that has long been ignored by human beings: the ability to hear the silence … the silent voice of his own heart.’

With the last of his strength the old man who would no longer be the leader of that particular tribe in the heart of the Brazilian Atlantic Forest raised a hand towards his daughter. Seeing a paper, rolled and tied with straw, she took it wonderingly.

‘Give it to your son to carry wherever he goes,’ she heard her father’s voice say. ‘He will know the right time to unroll it. Carrying our blood in his veins he should be able to interpret the symbols. If he fails to do so, you will swear you would rather never have received the gift of being a mother. Because, if that happens, you will witness your son lose his soul!’

The girl’s gasp of horror mingled with her father’s words.

‘He would then be the eagle that can see miles ahead, but will do no more than hens do, because he would be too fearful to fly. He would be like the greatest predator on the planet, just like the white shark which, after millions of years of evolution, lives in a tiny aquarium with its survival depending on offerings from human hands.

‘And the jaguar eyes that he is gifted with to focus on his goals and purpose in life, these would not see anything but his own shadow at noon because he would not be able to lift up his head …

‘… and this, my daughter, for someone who carries a warrior soul, is much worse than death!’

 

The young girl left the hut, took her mother’s hand and went toward the track where Barreto waited.

Pedro picked a tea tree branch and placed it for a few seconds on the fire near the hut. When a thick smoke emerged from the fresh leaves he went inside the hut to bless the spirit of one of the greatest warriors that the Atlantic Forest had known.

Then he signed to his friend to take the woman and the young girl to the jeep, waited a few minutes and set the hut on fire. 

 

CHAPTER 1 (PART SAMPLE) 

AN UNEXPECTED VISITOR

 

 

Isabel loved to wake before sunrise.

Every morning she walked to the top of a hill from where she could see the ocean. Up there, she could feel the energy of the subtropical Brazilian rainforest surrounding her. Each deep breath of that fresh air filled her with the joy of being alive.

One Wednesday morning she stayed longer than usual, resting under a mass of beautiful juvenile native palmetto trees, drinking in the view of her island home of Florianopolis on the south coast of Brazil. Finally, reluctantly, she rose to return.

For a reason she never understood, she decided to make her way back by a different track, one she had not used before. All she knew about it was that it was an abandoned track made by the early farmers as they travelled through the forest to a large, flat rock on which they dried grains of coffee before it was baked and commercialised. It would be interesting to explore this new way.

As she penetrated deeper into the forest, however, Isabel found her surroundings increasingly unfamiliar. She knew she was in one of the richest forests in the world, where thousands of different species of plants could be found within a few square metres. She also knew the regeneration of the forest was at an advanced stage but, lacking a deep knowledge of the local flora, she found it impossible to distinguish the primary forest from the parts that had recovered. She was, however, amazed at the variety of plants and the exuberance of the display of bromeliads and orchids. Life, she felt, was intensively expressed in every single square metre around her.

Her exuberance mounting, forgetting her fifty-five years, she pictured herself diving like a teenager into an ocean of trees and natural water courses. It seemed a place where she could happily spend the rest of her life.

Attracted by the noise of a bird with a huge yellow beak, Isabel glanced at the canopy of a centenary tree and saw that the sun had reached its peak. With a sense of shock, she realised she had been walking for much longer than she had expected.

Abruptly, a wave of fear swept over her. Her stomach began churning as she suddenly sensed menace mingling with the beauty of her surroundings. Turning to look for the way back, she could no longer see it. She was lost and alone in the middle of the jungle.

Her energy level and confidence dropped immediately as fear took over her mind. She began to walk quickly, but without direction. As the forest became thicker, the spines and thorns left deep scratches on her body. Fighting her way onward she soon became hungry and thirsty. In desperation she began to scream for help but the sound of her voice was muffled by the leaves of the forest.

By now she had travelled so far into the forest that she could hardly see the sunlight. As it became darker she thought about the creatures that could be hidden in the dense leaf layer on the ground. Her fears grew.

She reminded herself that she had been a prisoner in Russia during the Second World War, that she had lived by herself for thirty years in one of the most dangerous cities in Brazil. But this was different. She was now facing a type of fear she never experienced. The place she had thought was safe now terrified her, because she did not know its secrets.

Unable to continue, Isabel fell on her knees and began to cry. As she sobbed, her thoughts turned to her family. Her daughter was the only person who would miss her and organise a search, but she was on a trip to the northeast coast of the country. There was nobody who would know she had not returned from her walk until it was too late.

Just before nightfall, thousands of mosquitoes covered Isabel’s body. Despite her efforts to protect herself, she was severely bitten. Through her fear and exhaustion, she remembered the many creeks in the forest that offered perfect breeding spots for bloodsucking insects. She could expect no reprieve from their attacks.

She could see nothing in the darkness of the night, but every sound was magnified. While the birds that had been singing during the day were now silent, she was aware of the humming of the mosquitoes around her, as well as various animal sounds. She could also hear the sea breeze blowing through the clumps of bamboo, making a sound like a rusty old door opening slowly.

Isabel’s drooping head jerked up suddenly as she heard what sounded like a fairly heavy animal moving through the forest leaves. Her heart pumped fearfully as the sounds came closer then stopped. She heard a strange snorting, then saw a dark shape emerge from behind some shrubs.

Frozen to the spot, trying to control her breath, she felt the animal’s nose touch her arms and hands as if trying to recognise her or to investigate her scent. Then it turned abruptly and ran away.

Through the darkness she could see enough to realise it was a hunting dog. Perhaps it could lead her out of the forest, or take her to its owner who could help her.

Desperate to follow, Isabel pulled herself to her feet and started after the dog. Almost immediately she stepped in a hole made by some wild animal and felt her ankle twist painfully as she fell.

She had lost her chance. Crawling on her knees, she dragged herself close to a big rainforest tree where she lay crying in pain until, finally, she fell asleep.

Just before sunrise, she was awakened by something licking her ears. When she opened her eyes and saw a brown dog, she recognised her visitor from the night before. As she stared at the dog it barked twice then loped off in the same downhill direction it had taken the previous night.

Isabel stood up quickly. Her ankle seemed better and she managed to follow the dog. After several metres she heard a whistle. The dog quickened its pace and disappeared into some shrubs. Guessing its direction from the movement of the shrubs, Isabel followed, suddenly aware of the smell of smoke in the air. She walked down a few more metres, pushed a scrub branch aside and saw a huge rock with an old house built on it. Set high on the hill with the sea level rock as its base, the house had a magnificent view of the Atlantic Ocean over the trees.

From her vantage point Isabel could see a narrow and very steep dirt road winding up the hill from the main street adjacent to the sand dunes. The dirt road travelled beneath the tree canopies and passed the rock before taking a loop to a land platform flush with the level of the rock. Here it submerged into the hilly land, providing access to the back door of the old house.

On the sloping face of the rock in front of the house the roots of a centenary fig tree embraced the entire rock, following its cracks all the way down to the ground. The tree camouflaged the house from the main road, allowing it to stand unnoticed on the surface of the hill.

It must, Isabel realised, be the rock where the farmers had harvested grains in the early days. At that moment, however, she was more interested in the aroma of the coffee and homemade bread she could see on the outside fireplace.

As she looked around for the house’s owner, she heard someone approaching from the nearby dense bush. A tall, strong and dark young man appeared carrying a large bunch of bananas on his shoulders.

‘I’m sorry to invade your space,’ Isabel greeted him. ‘I was lost in the forest and I followed your dog.’

The young man touched the dog’s head with his hand as if thanking it for something. He then placed the bunch of bananas on a hook close to his kitchen door and gestured Isabel to a seat.

Still without saying anything, he handed her a cup of home-baked coffee. Accepting it gratefully, Isabel watched with interest while he put some bananas on the fireplace and a handful of cornflour flakes on a plate. When the bananas started to melt and the skin began to peel off in the heat, he placed some on the plate with the flour and offered it to Isabel.

She ate hungrily, feeling the energy returning to her body.

Her companion remained silent but it was not an uncomfortable silence. His hospitable attitude told Isabel more than any words could have communicated.

While she continued eating he went into the house, returning with a large iron pot full of water. He put it on the fire, chopped a few different herbs and threw them into the water as it began to boil. He then took the pot off the fire, dipped a tea towel into the mixture, wrung it out and handed it to Isabel.

‘You can use this to help the mosquito bites,’ he said.

Isabel didn’t hesitate. He seemed to know what he was doing. She wiped her arms and legs, feeling instantaneous relief from the bites.

Now that the silence had been broken, she wanted to keep talking to him. She looked around the house, trying to think of something to say.

‘How can you live in the middle of the forest with no flyscreens on your windows?’ she asked.

‘I don’t mind. I never thought about it before,’ he replied.

Isabel pointed to insect bite marks on his legs.

‘Look at your legs, they’ve been eating you too,’ she said.

‘Yes, I know, but I don’t even feel it. I just see these blood spots on my legs at the end of the day, when I’m taking a shower. I’ve always lived in this type of environment. I grew up on the north coast of Sao Paulo state.’ He grinned wryly. ‘It’s known as one of the most densely populated area for blood-sucking insects in the entire country.’

Seeming to remember suddenly that he had not introduced himself, he straightened his arms towards Isabel and opened his hands.

‘My name is Kauê and I just want you to know that I’m very glad to be able to give you some help,’ he said warmly.

‘I’m Isabel,’ she replied with equal warmth. ‘I’m very pleased to meet you. I don’t know what to say to express how thankful I am.’ She shuddered slightly. ‘I’d rather not think about what could have happened if your dog hadn’t found me lost in the middle of the jungle.’

Kauê looked deep into her eyes and smiled.

To her surprise, Isabel realised she was about to cry. Not wanting her tears to fall in front of this young man she had just met, she asked to use the toilet.

On her way back outside, she passed a small desk on which she saw a pile of about one hundred loose sheets of writings covered by a sheet of cardboard. A wooden sculpture of a star half inside the semi-circle of a first quarter moon held all the sheets together.

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