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By Jennifer Parks All Rights Reserved ©

Scifi / Adventure

Chapter 1

"Back to the future" meets "Cloud atlas" in this fantasy sci-fi adventure story. Nikolas is an aspiring writer that has fallen on hard times. A strange mysterious young shaman leads him on a journey of self-reflection and discovery through his "Past lives" simply speaking, to instill some hope into his fellow downtrodden young friend.

"No being is born. That was not born before"

Nikolas slammed the door to this apartment shut with a bang. He took his bag off his back aggressively and threw it onto the floor with paper littered all over it. His apartment was a mess. He stood with his back against his flat door breathing in and out, after a while he heard rustling and movement coming from his room and went stumbling towards it. His fiancée was surrounding by debris and clothes. A huge suitcase was half packed on his bed.

"Hey! What's going on?!" asked Nikolas trying to stop the irate girl from chugging out more of her clothes.

"I've had ENOUGH nikolas, this is the third book you have written!" she screamed in his face. Nikolas immediately regretted sending her that phone call and wanted to slap himself. But he controlled himself "But my agent, he promised Kerry, he said it was good this time"

"I don't care anymore, I am sick of coming home to this low-life apartment, being the only person here that can gather some decent money!" and with that she continued to pack.

Nikolas sat on the sofa as his fiancée walked out on him, he was in shock, he did not even feel the kiss she delivered on his cheek, as she had the decency to turn back around and give him one. The door slammed shut and he just sat there until the room went pitch dark as it turned to evening.

He began shredding old manuscripts chugging back alcohol as he did so, a few hours later in the room that he had slept in with his fiancée for many years. He had had enough, he was never going to be a professional writer and his life was officially shit. After slowly shredding a couple of sheets, nikolas frustrated tossed the rest of his new manuscripts outside. He then ordered a takeaway and went to bed.

Unbeknownst to him, a mysterious stranger had been hit on the head with one of nikolas's manuscripts. He lived in one of the flats under nikolas, a strange African man with a bald head, beady black eyes wearing a long purple cloak with decorative yellow circles on it. He picked up one of the manuscripts and started to read.

The next day Nikolas heard his alarm go off, he really wanted to stay in bed all day, go down to the pub, and get drunk and then return to the apartment. He hated his life. But he eventually got up, had a shower and went to his living area for breakfast. There was, as ever, a pile of letters by his door all with red warning writing all over it (more bills that needed to be paid, with a caution of eviction to get the message across). So even though nikolas wanted to, he could not get drunk today he had to get to work.

He hated his job. He worked in a carpet selling store and he really wanted to get out of it but because his writing was not getting off the ground he had to stick at it. The people he worked with paid him no mind, said the basic hello and goodbye, and left him to his business of being a seller. Nikolas had been thrilled when he had first started and had been a perfect salesman but now, because of his relationship crisis with his girlfriend and his books not selling well his mood and confidence had been affected. So he worked most of the time at his lacklustre job just now to make ends meet.

As he was coming home, he saw that the local pub was open and he decided to go in there for a drink. He asked for his usual beer and sat down hunched over, sipping at it. A mysterious man came over, did not ask nikolas for permission and sat down heavily on the seat opposite him. He was of the usual crowd, skin headed, red nose, hard faced.

"Hey man do you mind?! I'm sitting here" snapped nikolas.

"Shut it! I don't see your name on it" replied the hard man

"Fuck off!"

"Do you want to take this outside mate!" roared back the man

Nikolas recklessly stood up kicking the table as he did so "Bring it!"

Nikolas did not see the group the hard man was surrounded by, and he ended up getting a savage beating for his luck. He ended up limping back home, a bloody nose to boot. But he was not bothered. The drink dulled the pain in a way. As he was unlocking the door of his apartment he did not see the mysterious man from the night before looking at him from the dark corner by the stairs.

Nikolas was desperate and needed to pay off his bills and so stupidly he thought gambling might help. He visited the casinos and the bingo halls but he only ended up losing more money. He cursed himself for being bad at maths. Eviction was dooming and all nikolas could think to do was go to the pub and get into fights.

He found himself tired, walking back to his apartment after getting into another fight. He had been finally banned from the nearest pub. He knew he was building up a reputation of being a thug and a nuisance (the pub owner had finally assured him that he would be calling the police next time he got within a second of the premises).

He saw the pavement going in circles beneath him and he finally collapsed. This was it, he thought to himself, he had died, aged 25, his career had been a shambles, he could not even integrate into the society he had known since birth and he had no friends, no lover and no future. He felt hands descending on him, he thought it was one of the guys he had beat up the other day, come to finish him off. He kept his eyes closed and fell into a deep sleep.

When he awoke, there was a cold compress firmly strapped around his head, he lifted his head up and shockingly he was back in his apartment. Maybe it had been an angel, nikolas he did not know he went stumbling around his apartment trying to find out who had saved his life, finally the stranger had accidentally left something behind - A business card? It looked like the guy was one of those charlatan shamanic people; there were words on the card about spirits, guides and advertisements about "Affinity portholes" with the words "Nobody was born that was not born before". Nikolas shook his head, he was not into the whole voodoo business but he silently thanked the man who had helped him. The man had placed nikolas's apartment keys on his table by the tv as well.

Nikolas however was able to find out who the man was, that might have been the man who had helped him on that drunken night. The story went like this: he had been sifting through his mail, red letter after red letter, when he noticed that there was a letter addressed to someone else who lived in the same apartment building " Theonopolis Liddor" was the name on the letter. Nikolas knew that his name wasn't Theonopolis but he looked at the door number that the letter was supposed to go to. The apartment number was 305 so nikolas decided to drop it off there before work as soon as possible.

He locked up his apartment a few hours later (he had work) and went upstairs and came to the correct door on the correct floor of the tower of flats but it was like he had been transported into a prehistoric ancient civilisation because the door before him held many black symbols and had charms dangling off the knocker. Nikolas felt like running but he shook his head and slotted the letter through the post when he suddenly saw something. A ripped up business card the exact style and shape of the one that was found in his apartment after that drunken night. He dug out the card in his pocket and looked back at the torn one. He was so delighted he immediately knocked on the door without a care in the world, sure the dude must be into some freaky voodoo cultural thing but he was a saviour. The door opened and emitted a stone faced bright eyed African man.

Nikolas tried to get over the initial shock at the man's strange dress style and the way he was x-raying him up and down, nikolas could not distinguish the man's age, he looked slightly younger or the same age as nikolas, so nikolas said "Hello good morning, i found your card, i want to thank you for everything you did, bringing me back home, i am very grateful!"

The young man only raised a hand, nodded, and then he slammed the door shut. Nikolas continued to stand there wide eyed in complete shock, and then he threw the card to the ground and muttered "Crazy fundamentalists" and took to the stairs.

A second later the young man opened the door of his apartment and just observed nikolas as he casually made his way downstairs without a care in the world.

The next day nikolas had work so he opened the door of his apartment only to come face to face with none other than the strange African young man from upstairs.

"JESUS Christ, you have to stop doing that man!" cried nikolas jumping slightly at seeing the blanked faced man in front of him

"May i come in? I promise i won't be long" asked the young man

"Are you theonopolis then? The guy who saved my life" asked nikolas

"I brought you home, that is correct" nikolas stepped aside so that theonopolis come come inside, in the bright light of the sun nikolas noticed that theonopolis was indeed the same age as nikolas himself.

"Please sit down" nikolas motioned to the sofa and theonopolis settled himself (a little cautiously nikolas observed) on it. Nikolas sat on one of the side-chairs and they stared at each other for a few moments.

"Your – apartment is very, very different, are you from America?" asked nikolas after a while

"No, Africa, Zimbabwe to be more exact – well just outside" replied theonopolis "I came here nikolas to ask you a question, do you believe in God, in the afterlife?"

"What-how do you know my name?" Nikolas moved a little feeling uncomfortable on his chair.

"I happened to see it on a letter, when i was bringing you back home"

"No i don't believe in God, my family was religious and all that, but i never stuck at it, after i left home" answered nikolas nervously

"Both your parents left you and your brother alone in this country while they made their home somewhere else i believe"

"How the fuck – how the hell do you know that!" cried nikolas standing up slowly

"I am psychic"

"Very funny, that's funny man; i'm going to the police to see whether there is some kind of fraud going on here"

"Have you ever heard of affinity therapy? I believe i can help you in your current crisis?" asked theonopolis

"Listen here, can i call you theo? I'm a atheist man, and that means i do not, will not ever believe in this supernatural, hocus pocus or religion as you call it" explained nikolas slowly

"It's okay, i never believed in God when i was younger, but the shaman in my village went through affinity therapy with me and i heard the call from God, you don't have to believe in God for me to help you with this"

"What exactly is this crisis that i'm going through? Please fill me in because i'm certainly not going through anything" asked nikolas

"Left by a family at so young a age" began theo

"We had enough notice and i had my brother with me"

"Your relationship problems with women"

"That's going fine"

"You are staying up late, drinking, falling down drunk on the streets"

"That only happens sometimes"

"Your career is near ruins"

"Listen here" hissed nikolas, he sat at the edge of his seat "My career is just fine, i'm struggling now, but i'll get over it, i will be the best writer there is, i will succeed"

"How will you succeed if you don't know what you're doing wrong?" asked theo

"That's it OUT! I want you out, you are a nutcase!" shouted nikolas marching theo to his front door

"You can't ignore me nikolas, i can be pretty persuasive" replied theo as nikolas slammed his flat door shut

"Well you know what you can do to your persuasiveness!" shouted nikolas without opening his front door.

Theo looked up and down the corridor he was on amusedly and then returned to his apartment.

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