From the Author
I wrote the first draft in about ten months. After feedback from critique friends and my inner-critiquer, I reworked and rewrote 5 or 6 more times before I thought it was acceptable. A few more rewrites and I started thinking "this is pretty darn good." I still remember the time I read through the last several chapters without slowing down. Obviously, I knew the plot and the characters intimately. Evenso I found myself caught up in the story and the lives of those involved.
From the Inside Flap
My mental grip slipped as I once again lost the struggle to resist the latest onset of the recurring vision:
Four men, one whom I thought I should know but couldn't remember, gathered around a small table in a dark corner of a small room. Their voices soft, almost hypnotic, spoke Latin with English or possibly Scottish accents. They discussed economic systems, political structures, social causes, theological constructs, and people groups as if they were simply pawns on a chess board.
At some point in the complex, and occasionally inaudible, conversation the words Necessitas non habet legem would rise above the others, triggering a morbid and sickening reaction in me - I wanted to throw up. I would try to look away, but the more I resisted, the stronger those words held me in their grasp and the further into the room they drew me.
Finally, they would look up at me, vacant, zombie-like expressions in their eyes, point to the empty chair, and say, 'Welcome.'"
The vision ended and, as usual, my transition to unpleasant physical manifestations began. First the cold sweats followed almost immediately by piercing pain that seemed to dance around in my skull - base of my cranium, behind my eyes, top of my head, nasal cavity, inside my ears, and then start all over again. Like every other time, the experience culminated in a single drop of dark red blood falling from my nose.
Man, this really sucks.
Ten minutes later the physical manifestations completely subsided. These episodes started when I reached puberty. After an embarrassing eighth grade incident involving my presentation on the roots of Latin and the drop of blood spilling onto the white, tile floor, I learned to detect the early symptoms and avoid further public humiliation.