Lucian is a novella of some 46,000 words. It concerns a man by Lucian Ferris, and features certain aspects from his life.
Lucian believes that he is the son of Lucifer Morningstar, and that it is his destiny to inherit the world. He is not a particularly nice person; and there are questions over whether he commits crimes as his life progresses. The novella only features certain extracts; it does not detail the entire minutiae of his life.
This novel was another idea which just popped into my head; within a few days I had the rough layout of the novel mapped out in my mind. I knew what was going to happen, and how the novel was going to end. Once you have that you can begin writing, filling in any little details as you go.
Some chapters are left a little vague; this is deliberate, and the reason for that is explained at the end.
Like many of my novels, there are genre elements in this novel, dealing with magic and religion.
Extract from Lucian
“Don’t you just love sunsets?” Lucian purred. “Red sky at night, shepherds’ delight. That’s what they say, isn’t it? But a sky like this does not make me think of shepherds. No, it makes me think of murder, a wound leaking out, the redness being the blood, to be followed by the eternal night of non-existence. That is what sunsets make me think of.”
“You’re strange, Lucian.” Julie said. But Lucian did not answer. He stared up at the sky, how the light of the dying sun turned the underside of the clouds pink. Little fluffy pink blobs of cotton wool, desperately trying to soak up the blood spreading across the sky.
Julie turned to look at the sky, as well. It didn’t look like blood to her, though. Blood was nasty, while the sunset was beautiful.
“Red sky at night, shepherds’ delight.” she said, echoing Lucian. “Why do they say that?”
Lucian smiled, but did not answer her. He would never have admitted that he might not know something. He was the sort of youth who claimed that he knew everything. But he did not know the origin of that saying. So he quickly changed the subject.
“See those wispy clouds, really high up, the ones which, under the light of the dying sun, now look like orange tendrils? Those are cirrus. They are the highest of the clouds. Those ones lower down are altocumulus. We don’t have many of those today. They are in the middle of the clouds, as far as height goes. That lowest cloud, that really big one, which is pink nearest to the sun – that is a stratus.”
“We should be getting back.” Julie said. She did not have a watch on. But she sensed that it was getting late. It was sunset, after all.
“There is no hurry.” Lucian said. “We will go once the sun’s set. I will walk you home. I will take care of you. I promise you I will take care of you.”
They were sixteen years old. But sometimes Lucian acted as though he was a lot older than that. They could have a lot of sunsets together. But, somehow, Julie did not think that it was going to work out that way. Just an instinct that she had. She felt sure that something would go wrong, although she had no idea what it would be.
But, for tonight, she decided to put those thoughts out of her mind, and simply be with Lucian.
She slipped one of her small hands into Lucian’s. His hand felt cold, but not clammy. His hands were always cold. What was it that they said, though? Cold hands, warm heart.
She did not speak. Despite the fact that she wanted to get back home she was happy at that fragment of time. If she spoke she might break the spell and the happiness would face, like ice melting in the summer sun.
“You know Robert is not my real father?” Lucian said, giving one of his trademark strange little smiles. It was he who broke the silence. “He has not told me so, but I know that somebody like that could not possibly have fathered me. That is why I call him Robert.
“No, I think that I know who my father is, but I could not possibly tell you, because you would not believe me. Maybe one day I will tell you, when things have changed and it doesn’t matter anymore.
“I am not sure if Pam is my real mother, either, even if the birth certificate says that she’s my mother. I like to imagine that it was forged, and that they found me in a basket on their doorstep one morning, and decided to adopt me. I would rather have been a foundling.
“They did not choose my name, either. That would have been on a little tag attached to my swaddling clothes. My father gave me my name. Not them. They would never have called me Lucian.”
“How do you know all this?” Julie asked. “Did they tell you?”
“No, of course not.” Lucian said, scornfully. “They would never say anything like that to me. All through my younger years they did nothing but peddle lies to me, about God and Father Christmas and the rest. I can’t believe that there was actually a time when I believed that Father Christmas was real. But if they were prepared to lie about that, then what else have they lied about to me?
“I know things. I can tell what the truth is. I know all sorts of things which they don’t realise that I know.
“Did you know that, in the past, people used to believe that the faerie folk used to abduct children and replace them with changelings? Of course nobody really believes in faeries any more. But Sir Arthur Conan Doyle did. He was the creator of Sherlock Holmes. It was the case of the Cottingley Faeries. The pictures had been faked by two girls.”
Julie had never heard of the Cottingley fairies before.
“They faked pictures? Of fairies? Why?”
“Perhaps simply to get people’s attention. Or perhaps it was nothing more than a game which got out of hand. The two girls, Elsie Wright and Frances Griffiths, were not that old. One of them was under ten.”
“But how did they manage to fake the pictures if they were so young?” Julie asked. She did not understand it.
“It is possible that they simply cut out paper fairies and arranged them to be photographed. A slight breeze would have made it look like the fairies were moving. But I think that there was something in the adults which wanted their really to be fairies in the world, some lightness to take away the darkness. Sir Arthur Conan Doyle allowed his sceptical faculties to be put aside; in the same way that he accepted such things as spiritualism. He wanted to believe.
“Britain had only recently come out of the First World War, out of that terrible war. Conan Doyle, I think, wanted there to be some counterpoint to that slaughter. He found it in the fairies, and he wrote in support of the girls, with an article in the Strand Magazine, and even a book. The Coming of the Fairies, it was called.
“All lies, of course. I can sense them coming from a mile away…”
Lucian is available as an e-book on the Amazon Kindle store.