A note from the editor
Roger A. Campos has written an engrossing modern parable about a man's spiritual descent into hell and ultimate redemption. The writing style is excellent with prose, crisp and poetic. The story moves at a rapid pace to an emotional conclusion. This Rock Novel approach, with father writing and son singing, is the first of its kind in the publishing industry. Readers will be enchanted and absorbed in both the words and the music.
Robert Broomall, Editor
A note from the record label
Roger and Jon Campos have created a whole new dimension with the addition of pop/rock music to the scenes of the story. By playing the appropriate track of the CD when it appears in the text, the reader will actually hear the music when the characters do in the novel. Jon's sensitive style of music and inspirational lyrics bring Rogers words to life.
In the story of women is the life of all men.
I am a warrior from an ancient land. My victories have been many, the battles hard fought; but now I lay on the ground, my shield next to me, my sword far from my hand. It is my father's sword, passed on to me at his death, and it has never lain so far from my side. I am not alone here. There are others not as fortunate. Their eyes gaze vacantly upward, but I, I can still see a bird soaring through a sky of blue with white clouds drifting across it. Somewhere close by I hear the labored, wheezing breath of a dying warhorse. When I try to move, I find that I can not. Some force pins me to earth, holding me against my will. I struggle to remove my armor, to tug at the leather thongs lacing it together, but I can only move the fingers of one hand and open and close my eyes.
Why was I struck down? I pray to the Gods. I made the sacrifices they asked. I brought them the offerings, the spoils of war to win their favor. Why have they abandoned me? I think of my father, who died gloriously in battle, a warrior of the first rank. I remember him telling me how at death the Gods weigh men's souls. "Truth and justice must balance one's life," he said. Were the Wise Ones weighing my soul? I did not want to die.
"Father, help me!" I cry aloud to the silent sky.
"Speak to the Gods for me. I have tried to honor you on the battlefield. I have worn your armor with pride and wielded your sword skillfully, but I am fallen before my enemies. Help me to rise."
In answer, the ground vibrates under me with the thunder of approaching chariots. I know their wheels could crush me like a small desert scorpion. My enemies are here, surrounding me, speaking in a tongue I cannot understand. They are coming closer, and I am afraid, and my fear is the fear of every man who has fallen by my hand. It smothers me, pushing down on my chest, slowing my breath to long, shallow sighs.
My enemies pass close by, like the shades of death, bringing darkness with them. They prod the bodies of my fellow warriors, plunging their swords into those still breathing, but me they pass over, and I am filled with despair. So then it is true. I am dead. The night sky above me is the vault of heaven, and I am doomed to lie beneath it for all time, and I weep for all I have never seen and all I will never see again.
In my grief I do not hear her coming, nor do I know from whence she came. I wonder who she is, this woman wandering alone among the dead, gliding from man to man, corpse to corpse. Who is this vision, glowing in white silken robes?
"Zeptha," she answers, yet I hear no word spoken. "I have been sent to warn you that there are those who wish you great harm." She kneels and leans over me, her long golden hair like the wing of a bird falling across her face. Two sea green eyes look deeply into mine. But am I not dead now?
"No. Not unless you choose it."
So this is not the end. I will live! I will survive! "How will I know them?" I ask her eagerly. "I will need your help. I will need someone to help me."
"A woman comes," is Zeptha's reply, "but it is only you who can save yourself."
"But I cannot move!" I cry, not believing she would ask the impossible of me.
"There is nothing that holds you," Zeptha says. Then she rises and walks from me, vanishing into the night.
No! Don't leave me!
But no one answers my cries for help. Only the night wind blows hot and dry across the plain. I struggle to reach the leather thongs of my armor, and through my tears, the stars tremble and flicker.
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