GtPGKogPYT4p61R1biicqBXsUzo" /> Google+ Horror Author Francis H. Powell: Why Write a Book About Death? + giveaway | I Smell Sheep

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Wednesday, March 11, 2020

Horror Author Francis H. Powell: Why Write a Book About Death? + giveaway

By some freaky coincidence, a theme that runs through my latest book is happening for real in the world, with the news centered on this dreadful coronavirus outbreak.

My book is called Adventures of “Death, Reincarnation and Annihilation. “

The theme of world annihilation is covered obviously, with the idea of one human or being surviving catastrophic events.

Somebody recently asked me “Why write a book about death?”

I suppose it is something that has always fascinated me as well as frightening me.

In my first book “Flight of Destiny’ I had a story called the Duke, about a man condemned to death, but treating his own impending demise, with disrespect. I have often had thoughts about the death penalty. It is unmanageable to think your life is due to end at an appointed time. The clock ticking until your life is switched off like a light.

If an author or anybody reads the news, or watches the news on TV they can find themselves thinking the world is facing impending doom.

In 2017 people could imagine the end of the world was upon us as Planet X was to due crash headlong into the world according to "Christian numerologist" David Meade, amongst others.

Thankfully this never came to pass. There must have been some people looking through their telescopes, however. It makes me recall the film “Melancholia” by Lars Von Trier.
This Rumanian Baba Vanga, was a woman who got into the news and scared the living daylights out of me. A woman who disappeared in a storm returning blind as well as full of predictions about forthcoming events Brexit, 9/11, the rise of ISIS and the Boxing Day tsunami.

The world according to Baba finally coming to a sticky end in 2341, as the earth becomes uninhabitable. I think 2341 might be a bit optimistic. The human race is incredibly destructive and in one of my stories in my book The “world there after” talks about a world that is so polluted it is uninhabitable.

The world was on its final journey towards being obsolete, humans with bodies were now an unnecessary inconvenience in President Tube’s eyes. The world had become unsustainable.

A vast catastrophic event had seen a previously undetected “super volcano” erupt and now a dense cloak of ash shrouded the world. Large areas were bereft of sunlight, causing an eternal winter. Nothing grew now. All animals had died, in a short period of time. Famine and disease had spread and the world was now the most meager of existences, threadbare and barren.

In my book, I make the point that the world is fragile and needs looking after.

All of this kind of thing in newspapers and on websites can play heavily on an author’s mind.

My book is not all doom and gloom, there are also elements of wit and there are plenty of quirky happenings and bizarre characters to stop the reader falling into some melancholia.

Somehow, despite crackpot leaders, megalomaniacs, unethical businesses, pollution, weapons of mass destruction, the world keeps on turning. Long may it do so.

Adventures of Death, Reincarnation and Annihilation 
by Francis H. Powell
December 13, 2019
163 pages
Genre: Horror, Fantasy, Scifi Short Stories
What if the human race was considered irrelevant and then each being was just uploaded then locked away on hard drives called "brain pods" ?

What if a sub species was to come into fruition, then the human race turned on it, hunted it down before trying to annihilate it? Imagine you found out you were an ancient soul, who is reunited with another being from your former life?

Set in different times in a variety of settings and time periods, the past, the present and the future, the book explores the inevitable unknown that lies before us all "death". Death can arrive in a multitude of forms. Each part of the book explores different themes. There are characters who following their demises have to face up to their lurid pasts. There are some who face annihilation and others who are in a crazy pursuit of world destruction. We are living in an age in which it appears that the doomsday clock is ticking ever faster, as we teeter over the edge of world destruction. The book aims to contain some ironic twists. Even as young children we build up nightmare visions of what death involves. The reader is often left to distinguish between what is real and what is not, as stories reside within stories and the storytellers can never be fully trusted. Not all the book is doom and gloom, there are Elsa Grun's bizarre encounters with men and Shellys' hapless husband Arnie.

From secluded beach houses, to obscure motels, to visions of heaven, which takes the form of the Hotel Paradiso, to the world of the future death is always a wild adventure.

Part one
The strange goings on in the life of Amos Toft. 

We had found her face down on the sand, as the tide closed in. The moon shed silvery light and there was a soft gentle off shore breeze that glanced our faces. We’d run out of our house, having seen torch light. They had left as quickly as they had arrived. There were sounds of horses, leaving at speed, shadowy figures, hooded, dressed like soldiers, soon fading into the horizon. We presumed she was dead and were relieved when she spluttered and coughed and fought for breath.

“Let’s get her inside” my wife said urgently. She was totally naked and had no possessions. 

“Are you all right?” I demanded. She did not respond. I repeated myself again, there was just the sound of her heavy labored breathing.

“She appears in terrible shock” my wife said, as we helped her up. We draped one of her arms over my wife’s shoulders while I propped the other. We struggled along the sand and then headed towards our small house, which looked over the large bay.

“What’s your name?” I asked, expecting by now she was in some kind of condition to speak. Again no response, her eyes were fixed on the ground, she made no attempt to speak.

We got her back to the house and sat her down on a couch.

What had happened? Why had she been left naked on the sand, as the tide came in? What was going through her mind? My wife got a towel and offered it to her to clean her and cover her naked body.

“She will have to stay the night, it is late, at least she will be safe here,” my wife said before searching for some clothes. I hardly dared not look at her. She was evidently young, very beautiful, with long flaxen hair that cascaded down her back.

“Water” I asked, “do you want some water?” Again there was no response, she did not even look at the glass of water, her eyes never veering away from the ground, as if she was locked in a trance. My wife returned holding a white night dress. It was far from a perfect fit, the woman was far taller and a different shape from my wife.

“Put it on” said my wife, holding out the night dress. The woman took it slowly and slipped it on. I explained to my wife that I had tried to offer water; my wife suggested perhaps she was hungry. My wife said softly “Food, do you want food?” There was again no reply to this latest offer.

“Perhaps she has had an accident” said my wife with a sigh, “perhaps she just wants to sleep, she has been traveling possibly on a tiring journey.”

“What naked!” I said dubiously.

“Yes that is a bit unusual” agreed my wife, adding, “and those men on horses holding torches, who were they?”

“I have no idea,” I replied, “but to leave a naked woman on an empty beach, is not normal!”

My wife turned to the young woman, with a face of desperation in search of some kind of response.

“Can you explain, who you are, what you are doing here, who those men were?”

I added, some words of comfort “you are safe here with us, we won’t hurt you.”

The young girl was doubled up on the couch, her arms tightly holding her legs, posing as if she was protecting herself.

Her head did not even turn in either the direction of my wife or me. Was she deaf or mute? Or perhaps she came from foreign lands.

My wife realizing our efforts to aid the girl were fruitless said,

“I suggest we leave her and let her sleep, perhaps in the morning she will be ready to speak.”

My wife got some blankets and we left the young woman still in the same position, presuming at some point she would settle down and get some sleep. I bolted the front door and blew out the candles, leaving the room shrouded in darkness.

Both my wife and I called out a cordial “goodnight” as we went upstairs to settle down for the night.

We felt assured that the young woman would not take flight in the middle of the night. After all we lived in such a remote place. This was our choice. We did not want too much contact with other people. We were self-contained, in our rather insular world. We had a field at the back of the house, where we kept a few farm animals, goats, pigs, and chickens, we grew a lot of vegetables, other than this the sea provided for most of our needs. We rarely strayed from our home, sometimes we would take our cart and buy things at the market of the nearest town. We had lived in this remote house for about ten years.

It had belonged to my parents. They were relatively rich and used this house as a kind of summer retreat. I recall spending a number of idyllic summers there, until tragedy struck when my father never came back from a fishing trip, having been swept away into a raging sea. My mother never recovered from this and her love for this house, turned to bitterness.

About the Author:
Born in 1961, in Reading, England Francis H Powell attended Art Schools, receiving a degree in painting and an MA in printmaking. In 1995, Powell moved to Austria, teaching English as a foreign language while pursuing his varied artistic interests adding music and writing. He currently lives in Brittany, France writing both prose and poetry. Powell has published short stories in the magazine, “Rat Mort” and other works on the internet site "Multi-dimensions." His two published books are Flight of Destiny and Adventures of Death, Reincarnation and Annihilation.

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