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The Eternals Book One
BY NATHAN PARKS
Vampires, demons, and angels are all things myths and legends? Eve never gave them any thought. As a tattoo artist, she felt the only time she needed to devote to such stories was the time spent inking it on skin. She had always tried to discover who she was and find a way to belong to something. She never could have imagined that her past would actually come find her. When it found her would humanity be able to survive the choices she would make?
Join Eve, Alfonso, Leah, and others as the door to The Eternals is opened. This is more than just a battle of good and evil. It is a chance for all to discover that our choices affect more than just us, they affect even those who may never see us.
The Eternals Book One
BY NATHAN PARKS
The nights were actually the days to so many of the city’s residents. Eve had often considered having The Broken Tear, her small, but well-visited, tattoo parlor, open throughout the night. She was sure that it would bring a completely new face to her customers; but then, again, she wasn’t willing to work those hours.
It had been raining earlier, but now the dark cover of clouds overhead had given up its last sorrowful droplets of liquid and left, instead, small mirrors for those whose heads hung low enough to look down into them. With all the potholes, the puddles were not hard to find.
This was her city, and Eve loved it. She loved the “caverns and valleys” of it all. To outsiders, it may seem overwhelming; but to those who had been born here, grown up here, and most likely one day would die here, it was home. One carved out their small niche in it all and never worried about the rest.
The nights here were truly different from the days. In the evenings, many feared walking the streets. It was true that shadows could hold unwanted dangers, but it was part of the territory, and one lived or one didn’t—it was their choice.
The lights from all the night diners, clubs, and retail stores offering things of lesser moral value all blended together for an iridescent glow that lit her path through the maze. A taxi would honk here and there; however, she paid no attention. Tonight she really was enjoying the walk, and she wasn’t even sure yet where she was going.
She wouldn’t say that her soul was troubled tonight, but tonight . . . well, she could say that tonight was just one of those nights when she really could go for a corner booth at Alfonso’s Café and some strong coffee, topped off with solitude. Demons haunted her mind, and she needed to discover some peace before she would even consider going home and turning in.
At 27, Eve was a strong and independent woman. Beautiful? Well, she knew she was eye-catching, but she was far from conceited; popularity was something she never found time to pursue. Of course, growing up as an orphan, one didn’t worry about frivolous things such as who was popular and who wasn’t; if one was an orphan, they weren’t popular. No, instead, they were only a quick welfare check for someone in authority who was considered fit to be their foster parent. Who cared what happened to the child behind closed doors? Whoever compared it to hell . . .well, there was nothing to really think about. That was all locked into its own filing cabinet, and the lock didn’t need to be broken into. One learned very quickly how to survive and how to live by instinct.
Alfonso’s Café was on the corner, coming up on her right; and she felt a slight sense of peace as she caught sight of the familiar neon glow of the steaming cup-of-joe sign that hung in the large window. It wasn’t a yuppie coffee joint or even a trendy chain café. It was . . . well, it was Alfonso’s. The inside of the café was decorated with raw, red brick walls and small lights placed here and there, accentuating small, Italian, café-style tables and chairs.
There were one or two booths toward the back out of the soft glow of the lights, which allowed a simple solitude of sorts. In fact, this had been where the now graying Alfonso found a younger Eve hiding one night at closing. Instead of reprimanding her or sternly insisting for her to leave, he simply smiled and brought a mug of hot chocolate to her. He didn’t bombard her with a whole bunch of questions that night, but had simply gone about his business of closing the place down and letting her be.
He had allowed the scared, but strong-willed, little girl to stay as long as she wanted that night. He had acted as though he had many other things to do, giving Eve the time to muster the needed courage to face the darkness that awaited her at home. Finally, she got up and walked out. They had not exchanged a single word that night, but that would change over the years. Now, almost 20 years later, he was the closest thing she had ever had to a real, caring father. He still knew enough to discern when she needed to be left alone and was wise enough to say just the right thing when she needed that word of encouragement.
Tonight the place actually had several customers, and not too many of them Eve recognized. She nodded at Maria as she headed to her back corner. Maria started working at Alfonso’s not too long after Eve had wandered in. She was not as old as Alfonso, but was old enough to be Eve’s mother. She had never taken up as much of a position in Eve’s life as the elderly proprietor had, but she did care very much for the young woman. Fortunately, the place may have many unusual patrons tonight; but her normal haven of escape was not filled, so she quietly slipped into the familiarity of her surroundings.
“The usual tonight, Eve?” Maria called out from behind the counter.
“No, I don’t feel like hot chocolate tonight. Let’s make it a double espresso.”
Maria gave out a long whistle as she went to work on the order. “Not planning on getting any sleep tonight, I take it,” a fellow at a small table to her left stated.
Eve was cordial with a weak smile, but in her eyes a message flashed that stated, “This is not your lucky night, Man. Find someone else.”
She looked around at her “safe haven.” A young couple who looked to be on a date were sitting near the front window, a business man with a magazine sat toward the middle of the store, and then there was her “would-be” acquaintance sitting just a couple of feet away from her. A few others dotted throughout the café looked to be finishing up.
She leaned her head back and looked up at the old photographs from Italy that she had blown up and framed for Alfonso. She would always cherish the day that she surprised him with these gifts. He loved Italy, and he would always bring out old photographs and talk long into the night about the past and the things that meant so much to him. It had taken careful planning by her, Maria, and Megan, another castaway of sorts whom Alfonso had unofficially adopted, to get the photos carefully out of the albums and to a special frame shop. They had chosen old-style frames and had even gotten an electrician all lined up to come in after hours one night, once Alfonso was gone, to hang the special lighting. Alfonso had wept.
Eve smiled at the thought. The photos now embraced her when she needed an escape. She would leave the little café behind in her mind and travel to the streets pictured within the photos.
Maria dropped off the dark brew of insomnia as she made her way toward another table. Eve called out to her, “Hey, where is Alfonso tonight?” as it dawned on her that she had not seen her mentor nor had heard his jovial voice.
“Went home early—not feeling good,” Maria stated over her shoulder as she dropped off two dark chocolate mochas for the couple toward the front of the café.
“Alfonso your boyfriend?” It was the “I don’t have a clue” guy from her left again. “He truly must be a lucky guy.”
“And how would you know that?” Eve asked, sarcasm oozing thickly from her lips as the first sip of her espresso poured down the back of her throat. “I mean really? You don’t know anything about me, and I could be the next closest thing to a serial killer; so he actually wouldn’t be very lucky now, would he?”
Author Nathan Parks has been described as a refreshing new voice and imagination. His writing covers everything from motivational, fantasy, and general.
Links to Nathan’s website, blog, books, etc.
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