Authors note to the reader: The anger of young Welsh teenager, Einion Morgan Alban, has spilled out, and he has fled to seek refuge in the quiet of the hill behind his house. He is about to get some sense of the intertwining nature of the three parallel worlds, Earth, Oceanlight and Forestlight.
Einion felt at home on the hill. He had claimed it as his hill. And it looked over the gray sea, the farthest extent of which he had a deep longing to explore. He stifled a yawn and realized that the legacy of jaundice still had its draw upon his body. He walked through the taller grasses for a few paces, sat down in a small swale on the hill, and then lay out in the long sedges. The calmer air in the swale was warm. The few clouds overhead lazily crossed the sky. He fell asleep, and he dreamed.
In his dream, he felt a slight and soft touch against the palm of his outstretched hand. Someone or something had come to him and placed a few beads of crystal glass—each resolutely independent and repellant of each other—in the palm of his hand. At least, that was what he thought the glass-like objects were. A small winged creature, hovering above his hand, pushed the beads of glass around his palm with the thicker end of a grass blade. It was just as he had done with mercury droplets in a petri dish, using a metal spatula, in the chemistry laboratory of his school. The beads began to disappear, and they absorbed entirely into the palm of his hand. The winged creature smiled at him and then placed a few thin, flat rings of metal in his palm, and they too disappeared. He asked her what they were, and she whispered softly to him.
These are your gifts. When the time is right you’ll know what to do with them. I’ll be your guide, young one, and together we’ll look after each other. Just tell yourself to take courage. You’ll never have anything to fear from me. I am like you.
In the dream, Einion felt the creature’s warm hand touch his own. Then she flew up, passing him to touch his ear softly, and as his head turned, she vanished. He awoke with a start, stunned, and sat up. His heart raced, and he could feel the thumping pulse in the back of his head. “What was that?” he said, taking time to look around. He half-expected to see a winged being about him, so vivid the dream had been. He rubbed his palm and examined it intently but saw no change. The dream mystified him, and feeling he could make no sense of it, he put it out of his mind.
Title: At The Sharp End of Lightning
Author: Nicholas Bates
Genre: Epic Fantasy / Magical Realism
AT THE SHARP END OF LIGHTNING. The interwoven fantastical tale of family, of loss and sacrifice, of unexpected gifts and coping with disability and new abilities set against the backdrop of climate change occurring across parallel worlds. In Oceanlight, Yalara Narika, a winged Sea Sprite, searches for her lover over immense seas only to find catastrophe and realization that her world is in turmoil. Meanwhile in the safe suburban normality of North Wales, Einion Morgan Alban, a restless youth afflicted by a disease of the blood, is nearly murdered by a man in a white suit. Yalara and Einion must discover the causes of their near-deaths and their as yet unrevealed connections as they both face upheaval to their lives and their worlds. Book One of the OCEANLIGHT series.
NR Bates was born in London, grew up in Wales, and lived in Canada and Bermuda. He shares his life with his wife and his house with seven cats, one dog and the subtropical wildlife of lizards, wolf spiders and ant colonies that seek out a better life indoors. He is an oceanographer and scientist, and has published more than one hundred and thirty scientific papers on ocean chemistry, climate change and ocean acidification. He is a Senior Scientist at the Bermuda Institute of Ocean Sciences and Professor of Ocean Biogeochemistry at the University of Southampton, UK. His novels focus on epic fantasy and magic realism, and inspired by his deep love of the ocean and environmental sciences. He has also recently published a small book of short-stories set in Paris, entitled “The Fall of Icarus (The Elevator, The Fall of Icarus, and The Girl)”.