His debut exhibit features the transformation of his high school friend, Sarah, as she went from a shy, soft-spoken girl to a Child of Nostradamus–an individual gifted with extraordinary abilities. Living in a society where the Children of Nostradamus are captured by the government, Conthan’s exhibit draws attention from officials and protesters alike.
A government psychic may be dead, but that doesn’t stop her from manipulating the future…
The deceased White House aide is only remembered for her failed assassination attempt on the president decades before Conthan was born. Foreseeing her own death, she scribed letters to bring together specific Children of Nostradamus on a mission that will change the world.
On the night of the gallery exhibition, Conthan receives one of those letters…
Whispers from the past direct him to visit Sarah, the subject of his paintings, who like many Children of Nostradamus, is being detained in a government research facility. It’s there he finds himself aligned with a rogue group of Children on a mission to prevent a dark future.
As a dark future unfolds, there’s only one hope to stop the destruction of the world…The Children of Nostradamus.
Targeted Age Group:: 18-40
What Inspired You to Write Your Book?
When I was younger I used to work on a comic book with my best friend. We wanted to be great comic book authors when we grew up. He would do the drawing and I wrote the plot lines. Eventually it got put away and decades later I decided to rummage through a folder and stumbled across the concept. I thought it would make for a great novel and with the height of superheroes, I wanted to tell this story while people were knee deep in the concept.
How Did You Come up With Your Characters?
My characters are based on people I’ve known in some loose form. The main character resembles my past in a story concept. I think this allows them to be grounded in reality and helps give a certain amount of life to them. There are some that are unique creations that were needed to fill the slots, but I always try to make sure there is human qualities unique to each character.
She sat at her desk, silent, running her hands along the smooth surface. In such a large room, filled with historic monuments to one of the greatest nations, it was the desk that always captivated her. Her fingers rested on a spot where the varnish had worn thin and she could feel the memories etched beneath her fingertips. Decades earlier, a man had sat at this desk and helped fortify the nation. His hands had rested in that exact spot, beginning the weathering of the mammoth structure. Years later, a less virtuous man would place his mistress on the desk and ravish her in an attempt to exact revenge on a bitter bride.
She let out a sigh as the memories wove themselves into her thoughts. An image flashed across her mind, a mistress being taken by her lover. With a startled gesture she pulled her hand away from the spot and pondered the realness of the images. They were always the same, and if she left her hand there long enough, she would eventually begin to feel her brow sweat as she made stately decisions or her body tensed up in the throes of passion.
She reached for a crisp white glove on her desk and slid it over her delicate, aged hands, pulling them tight on her thin fingers. She rested her hand on the spot again and this time the memories were distant, as though if she focused, she might be able to remember. The gloves, while perfectly sculpted to her hands, were the thin layer of fabric between her right mind and losing herself to a distant past.
“Excuse me,” came a young man’s voice.
The woman turned in her chair and could see an intern standing at the door. “Please do come in,” she said in a wispy voice.
“You asked to see me, Ms. Valentine?”
She could tell he was nervous in her presence. Despite her warm invitation, he waited at the door. He looked at her but averted his eyes to one of the various larger-than-life paintings that lined the walls.
She had grown accustomed to the averted gaze of the young people in the office. She waited patiently for him to test his bravery and enter. She rested her hands in her lap, one on the other, in the most delicate manner she could muster. In the years that she had worked there, she had learned to make herself the least threatening individual in the room.
He could see that she wasn’t going to continue until he moved closer. He lowered his head, focusing on his feet, and took several steps in her direction, but left at least ten paces between them.
“Don’t be afraid, son,” she said with a slight smile. “I won’t bite.”
He tried to speak but his voice was caught in his throat. He adjusted his pristine tie, loosening it slightly, and tried again. “I apologize, Ms. Valentine,” he said quietly, “it’s just that…” He trailed off.
“You’re new here,” she said calmly, “and you’ve never been around somebody like me.”
“Did you just…”
“The sweat on your forehead,” she said with the slightest laugh. “I’ve been here for a while, Mr. Davis. A lady doesn’t get to my age without learning to be observant.”
“I’m sorry, ma’am,” he said, his southern accent slipping into his speech.
“Please, call me Eleanor,” she said with a slight nod of her head. “And please don’t be nervous.”
He let out a deep breath and she could see his entire body relax. She wondered if he had been expecting a scary old woman, or perhaps somebody who resembled a villain in a children’s book. She often felt that she should be insulted, but dismissed it. She was fond of the interns and their prim and proper ways.
“You asked me to come to your office Ms. Va—” He paused. “Eleanor.”
“Oh yes,” she said, standing slowly as if not to startle the young man. “I need you to deliver several letters.”
She was well aware his eyes followed her closely as she walked toward one of the large paintings on the wall. She pulled the painting away from the wall, arcing it outward like a door to reveal one of the most well-guarded safes on the premises. She found it humorous the painting hid the safe since everybody knew it was there. She punched a few numbers on the keypad and leaned forward against the safe as a blue line scanned her eyes.
Finally she turned to look at him. “The code changes daily,” she explained. “The numbers are randomly generated and only I know the code.”
“But what if…” The smile on her face stopped him mid-sentence. Eleanor couldn’t hear his thoughts, but she couldn’t ignore the waves of nostalgia washing over him as he compared her to his grandmother. She would give him that same smile, which revealed nearly a century of wisdom but the temper to keep the knowledge to herself.
“Thank you,” she said, pulling the handle of the safe open.
“Did you just…”
“Yes, I did,” she said.
She pulled out a handful of envelopes from the safe
and then returned it and the painting to their original places. She walked toward him. “I need these to be mailed.”
He raised an eyebrow at the request. “Why not ask the mail clerk, Ms. Valentine?”
“Eleanor,” she corrected. “And because you were the one who had to mail them.”
He didn’t argue. She was well aware people in the lounge would whisper about her cryptic words. She knew he would do the same, telling them about his experience with the psychic.
She was within arms’ length of him and she held up the envelopes. “There will be trials and tribulations, Mr. Davis,” she said matter-of-factly, “but it is extremely important that these be mailed.”
“They’re all postmarked for…” He looked at her soft smile.
“I know,” she said calmly, “but I must repeat this.
It is of grave importance that you deliver these by hand today.”
He nodded as she placed the envelopes in his outstretched hand. She closed his fingers around the envelopes and stared at him without blinking. “What is it you want to ask me, Mr. Davis?”
He averted his eyes. “This is the first time I’ve ever met a…”
“I know,” she said. “Be calm, Mr. Davis. I am merely an old lady, doing her best to make the world a better place.”
He looked back at the envelopes. “What is in them?”
“That is only for the individuals meant to read them,” she said.
He took several deep breaths and met her eyes again. It wasn’t often, but with the young man standing before her, she felt every day of her age. His youthful exuberance contrasted with her tired eyes. Standing before her was a young man with a lifetime ahead of him, and she had several lifetimes slowly fading from her rearview mirror. For a moment she smiled, and she knew her crow’s feet and laugh lines were deepened, the price for living a full life
“They say you can…” He paused. “You know.” She nodded. “Can you…” His voice trailed off as she placed her hand on his.
She could feel his body stiffen at the benign gesture. She could feel his muscles twitch and then eventually relax. She stared into his eyes, not blinking.
Like the spot on her desk, she ran her fingers across the tops of his knuckles. Unlike the desk, she could feel her thoughts moving forward. The hair on her neck reacted as if she were running and she could almost feel the breeze wash across her skin.
Her mind was filled with images of the young man in front of her. She could see him as an adult, with children of his own and a wife, and even standing at the grave of his beloved. She let her mind become overwhelmed with the flashing vignettes of his future and finally she gripped his hand a bit tighter, giving clarity to her visions. She could see him and his father visiting a sickly, bald woman in a hospital bed.
She closed her eyes and took a steadying breath. She opened them to the sensation of tears running down her cheeks. She looked at the boy in front of her, his eyes quivering, afraid of what he might hear.
“Are you sure?” she asked. “Of anything I can tell you, this is what you want?”
He sniffed deeply, nodding his head.
“Mr. Davis,” she said quietly, “your mom will be okay.”
He began crying.
He pulled her in close and wrapped his arms around her small frame. “Thank you,” he sobbed.
She hugged him back and his sense of relief washed over her. She could see the images come back to her. Unlike before, the picture was clear, projected as if she were standing in that moment. She could see him embracing his little sister, telling her that their mother was going to survive. When his sister asked how he knew, he replied, “An angel told me.”
He pulled back, looking at her. “Why did you ask?” He wiped away the tears. “You knew, didn’t you?”
He straightened himself and smoothed out his tie. He looked at the envelopes and back at her. “I’ll go right now, Eleanor.”
“Thank you, Mr. Davis,” she said softly. “Take care.”
She watched as the young man turned and walked out of her office and down the hall. She took off her glove and wiped the tears from her eyes, careful to avoid her makeup. She slid the glove back on and went back to her massive desk.
Sitting down in the chair, she reached for the bottom left drawer and opened it slowly. She pulled a wooden box from the drawer and rested it on the top of her desk. She closed her eyes for a moment and then opened it, revealing the small handgun inside. She could feel the history of the gun as she looked at it.
She quickly picked it up and put it into her purse. She closed the box and returned it to the drawer, and then closed the clasp on her purse. She had been taught how to handle a gun when she first arrived and had even been given special permission to keep one in her office. While she could handle herself, she hated having to touch the piece of metal.
Eleanor took a deep breath and stood up, pressing the blazer of her powder blue dress suit against her body, smoothing out the wrinkles. Pushing a loose strand of white hair behind her ear, she picked up her purse and draped it over her shoulder. Looking down at her white gloves, she clenched her fist and made her way to the door.
As she worked her way through the winding halls, she began to think about the events leading to this moment. She had become increasingly alarmed by the actions of her boss over the last few months. It was nothing the woman did or said, but her mannerisms were ever so changed. The simple way she looked at Eleanor over the edge of her mug while she sipped her morning coffee had felt off.
At first she had brushed it off as the stress of the job. Even Cecilia’s husband was unaware of the changes. Eleanor had subtly brought it up over afternoon tea and he was completely dumbfounded. However, over the past few months she had been experiencing changes herself.
Eleanor Valentine was one of the most trusted associates of her boss. Her insight into the world had made her indispensable. For the last eight years she had been treated like family, and when she chose to speak, her boss listened to her words. She would like to think that she was doing her duty to all of mankind.
Orphaned at a young age, Eleanor felt it funny that only in her twilight years she would finally be able to refer to somebody nearly half her age as family. She could sense the guards in the hallway as she walked toward the infamous doorway. Two men stood there in black suits with earpieces nestled firmly in their ears.
“Ms. Valentine,” one man said, “how are you today?”
“Quite fine, Mr. Connors,” she said with a smile.
He put his finger to his ear and waited for the next command to be fed to him. She had grown so accustomed to the burly men she kept company with. She knew that her twilight years made them see her as harmless, never as a threat in the building. While the guards were explicitly told not to banter with their charges, she could often find them in their private break room talking. On more than a few occasions she had brought them her infamous chocolate chip cookies.
“You can go in,” the massive man said.
“Thank you,” she said as she took a step forward. “Wait, Ms. Valentine,” he said, pointing to her clutch. “I will need to check your purse. I apologize for the inconvenience.”
“For you, anything,” she said, holding out the bag.
As he reached for the clasp, she could sense the alarm as he saw the glint of metal in her handbag. She quickly spoke firmly in her head, “Everything is all set, Ms. Valentine.”
“Everything is all set, Ms. Valentine.”
She found it unsettling how easily her body had acclimated to the sensation of pushing her will onto another human being. Her heartrate had barely elevated. She took another steadying breath and reached out for her purse.
“Have a splendid day,” she said, aware that he handed the bag back to her in a manner that would avoid physical contact.
“You too, Mr. Jacobs,” she said to the other guard.
Mr. Connors reached for the doorknob and opened the door for Eleanor. She gave a slight nod of her head as she passed through and waited for them to shut it behind her. She took several steps until she was in one of the most recognizable rooms in the civilized world.
She understood the pomp and circumstance, and that every object in the office was there for either historical or public relations reasons. She could accept nearly all the décor, but each time she saw the ugly carpet imprinted with a large eagle, she shivered a bit. She had mentioned it time and time again, but alas, to change even that had the potential of creating an international incident.
“Eleanor,” said the woman behind the desk, “I’m glad to see you.”
“Likewise, Madame President,” Eleanor said with a minor curtsey.
She waved her hand in dismissal. “Only for a few more months, and then I can spend my time at charity events and talking about the glory days.”
Eleanor sat down on the couch. “Shall we begin with pleasure or business?”
The president let out a long sigh. “Pleasure will have to wait, my friend,” she said. “There are monumental decisions to be made today.”
“We shall save the world first,” Eleanor jested. “Then we can talk of this retirement.”
The president was forty years her junior, her hair only beginning to show the faintest of white. In her suit, she was as intimidating as any man Eleanor had ever watched. She stood up and moved to the couch with several stacks of papers in dark folders. “Before we begin, I wanted to let you know that the young girl we discovered has been given a new home.”
Eleanor sat up straight. “Really? You convinced them to take her out of the program?”
The president nodded. “I believe in the program, Eleanor. These mentalists have so much potential for the world. But a young girl should be given a choice. She’ll be approached when her powers begin to flare, but until then, she has been given to a couple who work in the Library of Congress.”
“Thank you, Cecilia.”
“I promised you that we wouldn’t let this project become a scientific prison. I want them to contribute under their own free will. I only hope that her powers are able to be tempered.”
“I agree,” Eleanor stated. “It is such a shame what happened to that young boy.”
They both took a moment of silence to commemorate the boy who died after he decided to use his gifts for something of a more sinister nature.
Eleanor pulled her gloves off, folding them and resting the article of clothing on the coffee table in front of them. She picked up the first stack of papers and looked at the sticky note that read “Classified.”
“I find it amusing that your classified folders are merely labeled with sticky notes. You would think with the number of these that cross your desk, there would be a business of making official labels.”
Cecilia laughed. “I’m sure there are some of them around here.”
Eleanor let her hand rest on the folder. She felt the cool paper against the tips of her fingers. A jolt that came with her gifts surged through her body. She never needed to see the contents of the folder; she would never have understood the contents. Her eyes were open on the room, but phantom images emerged across the office. She felt herself jump from one moment to the next. She could see the timeline connecting each of the moments, splintering into “what ifs” and “what could bes.” Small lines of light tied each moment together. She began to choose and pick which ones she would follow.
On several occasions she worked backward and then forward again.
The images washed away and a slight breeze touched her skin ever so lightly. In the matter of seconds in which she looked at the folder, she had witnessed thousands of possibilities.
“Do not sign it,” she said flatly. “It will result in defunding thousands of hospitals around the country in the next decade. Tell them that you will only sign if they agree to massive health care reform.”
“That will be quite the upset,” said the president.
“Your popularity will drop, but you’ll be potentially saving millions of people.”
Eleanor nodded. “Too many decisions influence the future to predict the outcome. But this gives the best chance for that to never happen.”
“Done,” said the president, taking the folder and setting aside.
“Do you ever question what it is we do here?”
Cecilia shook her head without hesitation. “You are one of my dearest friends, a confidante and a genuinely good soul. I also find that nearly all your decisions are supported by data, a think tank of advisers, and my gut.”
Eleanor took the younger woman’s hand in hers. “Thank you,” she said.
Before the president could respond to the contact, Eleanor’s hair began to stand on end. She waited for the images to fill her vision, but she couldn’t use her gift when she focused on her longtime friend.
“No future,” she whispered.
Eleanor focused on the hand tightly gripped in hers. Instead of walking forward, she felt as if she was falling, moving backward. Where she couldn’t foresee the future with Cecilia, she could recall the past.
It began with her movements this morning, and as Eleanor pushed harder, she could see events that had happened weeks ago. Finally she saw the woman standing at the door to this very office and what she saw shocked her.
Eleanor let go of the woman’s hands. She had never felt such a dark and cold sensation envelop her body. She could feel it sinking into her bones. “Who are you?”
Cecilia stood up, gasping at the sensation of having her entire life played out. “You’re only a precog,” she gasped.
Eleanor pushed away from her on the couch. While she had felt fine when she walked into the room, fear started to wash over her body. She grabbed her purse and continued to scoot back from the woman.
“You’re not Cecilia,” Eleanor said calmly.
The President swung her hand, her knuckles hitting Eleanor with enough force that it knocked spit from her mouth.
“How long have you been Psychometric? How long have you been able to see my past?”
“Long enough,” Eleanor said, trying to keep her composure and not let the fear take control of her body.
“You will be…”
Cecilia froze in mid-sentence. Eleanor could sense the woman’s muscles struggling against her will, but she stayed paralyzed.
Eleanor could sense the wildness in the woman in front of her. The fake president was right, these gifts were new to her. She had been able to see the future her entire life, but only in the last year had she been able to see the past and touch another person’s mind. A year wasn’t enough time for her to master these gifts.
Eleanor grit her teeth as the woman resisted her compulsions. She could feel the headache beginning just behind her eyes. It would only be moments before the nosebleed followed, and if she was unlucky, she would pass out from the strain. Her frail body betrayed the immensity of her mind.
She reached into her purse and held up the gun, flipping off the safety. “You will not continue.”
“We did everything…”
“To avoid this?” Eleanor could feel her mind losing its grip on the woman in front of her. “For humanity,” she whispered.
Her finger squeezed the trigger and a loud bang sounded throughout the room.
The breeze rushed along her body and the images began to overwhelm her. The event in front of her was creating a new path into the future and her gift was attempting to show her the repercussions of what she had done. While she had spent months examining each possibility, hours spent in a trance trying to unravel destiny, she had known any attempt to foil the president would result in her demise. She realized that her actions were not the catalyst that her gifts had shown her. The dark future still obscured her visions. Her actions today would not lift the turmoil on the horizon.
The bullet penetrated her chest, pushing through her lung and sending her small frame to the floor. The shadows of the future washed away and she was aware she was in the present, grasping the plush carpet, staring up at the ceiling of the Oval Office. The woman she had shot stood above her. The bullet hole in her white blouse was apparent, but where she should have been bleeding, there was nothing.
“I’ve won,” said the president.
Eleanor could feel her vision beginning to slip. “Only the handmaiden of destiny,” she whispered.
The president’s brow rose at the ominous statement. “You can’t do anything now,” she said, leaning over her, pretending to cradle her dying friend.
“But I already have,” whispered Eleanor.
Links to Purchase Print Books
Buy Nighthawks Print Edition at Amazon
Buy Nighthawks at CreateSpace
Buy Nighthawks Print Edition at Barnes and Noble
Buy Nighthawks Print book for sale at other booksellers
Links to Purchase eBooks – Click links for book samples and reviews
Is this book in Kindle Unlimited? Yes
Have you read this book? Tell us what you thought! All information was provided by the author and not edited by us. This is so you get to know the author better.