The Merlin Manuscript

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Paranormal Investigator Mike Travis’s day is about to get way past difficult. His friend, Jack Carter, has been kidnapped, and it all revolves around an old manuscript that was supposedly a copy of one made by Merlin himself before he was magically cast into a crystal cave by his lover and student, Nimue.

Who has Jack? And where is he? The trail leads Mike to the Inquisition, alive and well on the fringes of the Vatican, with their reaches in his own neighbourhood. They want the manuscript and what it refers to – Merlin and Excalibur. And they’ll do whatever they have to, to obtain their ends.
To save Jack, Mike has to journey back through the veil to Avalon accompanied by Benjamin Lovecraft, ex Catholic Priest and Exorcist, to claim Excalibur and find Merlin. The worlds of magic and legend collide to draw Mike into a quest that leads him to find more than a magician and a sword.
Meanwhile, something scary is happening to his infant daughter Adain. And Avalon seems to hold answers for her too.

Avalon lies mirrored through the veil behind Glastonbury, a mystical land of ancient worship and magic, lost in the mists of what was called long ago The Severn Sea, and Mike must find his way there to rescue Jack and help Adain.

Why not keep him company?

Here’s the first chapter as a taster …..


Mike Travis stood looking out of his study window over the garden of their black-and-white Tudor cottage that ran down to the Mill Brook; the cottage in rural Monmouth that they had lived in for just over two years, and at the persistent rain that had soaked them and lowered their spirits day upon day. The telephone was cradled against his ear as he listened to his friend Jack’s agitation.

His thoughts wandered briefly over their time together. Jack Carter was his best friend. They had been comrades at first, both posted into the same RAF squadron after their pilot training, and then serving together in war-torn Afghanistan. Then, when Mike had been shot down, Jack had sat by his bedside waiting for the coma to lift, willing it to do so. Waiting for him to live – willing him to recover. And when Mike had pulled through, with enough metal in his leg, as he put it, to start a scrap metal business, and a livid scar that ran the length of his cheekbone, Jack was there throughout his recovery, had believed in him when Mike had discovered that he had returned from death with a strange gift; a gift that enabled him to see into the Otherworld. He could sense and see spirits. And other things. Things that were best unseen.

Since then, Jack had fallen victim to savage government cuts that had decimated the Armed Forces to less than essentials. He’d taken his redundancy pay-out and expertise, and started his own helicopter charter business out of Cardiff airport. They had stood together as civilians, facing spiritual evil together, and beating it. Jack was godfather to his two-year-old daughter, Adain, who wasas much a part of their lives as the air they breathed, and his wife, Beth, loved Jack as much as he did.
Jack’s voice brought him back from the brief reverie.

“…. and it’s not what Ben thought it was. Originally he believed it to be a run-of-the-mill treatise on black magick. You know, old grimoire, all that kind of stuff. But it isn’t. It’s more than that, much more. You should come and see for yourself, Mike. It’s important.”

Eighteen months had passed since they had faced the demon Ahriman; blissfully quiet months, when they had all passed their time in normal everyday life. Eighteen months since Ben had recovered the old documents from Rhydderch Manor, but had only recently begun to translate the Latin text.
Now, as he listened to his friend, he sensed that peace was about to become history.
“ … Mike, are you there?”

“Yep. I’m listening.” But he was distracted; something wasn’t right, something was different that morning.

He’d sensed it when he was in the shower; even the water seemed to have an unnatural stillness about it. The mist over the garden was slow to lift and the damp morning air seemed to have an echo to it. It felt as if he was standing between two worlds.

And he knew in his gut that it meant something bad was coming.

Beth’s even but insistent voice came from the sitting-room. “Mike, come here. Now.”

Her tone told him that now, meant now. “Jack, I’ll call you back.”

“Sure. Everything OK?”

He frowned. “Not sure.” He disconnected the call.

Beth was standing in the sitting room doorway, a frown of concern lining her brow. He followed her eyes to their daughter sitting on the rug in the centre of the room. Adain was chuckling gleefully, her brilliant sapphire eyes dancing with delight as she played with a small teddy bear that had been a present from Jack. It was her favourite toy which she took with her everywhere. Now she was giggling heartily, as it twirled and somersaulted in the air above her.

Mike’s heart missed a beat at what he was seeing. Adain’s chubby little fingers were pointing towards the airborne teddy, and as she wriggled them, the bear tumbled and danced in the air, causing her to chuckle even more deeply.

He put his arm around Beth. They had watched Adain carefully, watching and waiting for something like this, watching the intelligence developing too fast behind those distinctive eyes. Eyes that Mike had seen in another child. Grace. His friend Josh Hammond’s daughter.

Since he had made the connection, he had read exhaustively about what had become known as the Indigo, and the Crystal Children; children born with a vastly-developed awareness of their earthly home; born to bring peace and greater spiritual understanding to their world. Born different. ‘Gifted’ didn’t come close.

He thought about Grace. She had been diagnosed with severe autism; locked in her own world, not speaking, not interacting with any other human being for all of her six years – not even her mother. Until the day she had stood with Mike in a cave in the Sinai desert, and activated the lost Ark of the Covenant. She had spoken for the first time that day. It seemed like a lifetime ago. Grace, with her equally dazzling eyes.

Mike saw those eyes echoed in his daughter’s. He stared down at her, his heart full of something like pride, tinged with fear. The day they had watched for had arrived. He pulled Beth to him and squeezed her. The time for speculation was over, Adain’s life was going to be vastly different; and they knew that it would be full of challenges. Challenges that they would meet head on, protecting her whilst allowing her the space to develop whatever gifts that were coming her way.

Beth bent to pick up Adain. The child turned her attention to her mother, and the teddy bear fell onto the rug.

Adain looked up at them and chuckled happily. “Can I have juice please Mummy?”

Beth and Mike exchanged looks of anxiety, but they fought to stay calm at their daughter’s words, words that shouldn’t be a part of her vocabulary for some time yet. She planted a kiss on the tousled head and walked into the kitchen in a daze, with Adain toddling happily behind her.

The telephone rang, and the screen on the phone told Mike it was Jack calling again. He answered it.

“Jack. Look, something’s come up, I can’t talk right now.”

There was a silence at the other end and then Benjamin Lovecraft’s deep voice filled his head.

“It’s Ben, Mike. Something’s happened. They’ve got Jack.”

Mike took several moments to process the thought. “What did you say?”

“They’ve taken Jack. I think he’s hurt, Mike.”

If there had been any fragment of sanity left in his day, it just went south.
“I’m coming over.”

To

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