Looking for Dei
David A. Willson
Publication date: March 23rd 2018
Genres: Fantasy, Young Adult
Fifteen-year-old Nara Dall has never liked secrets. Yet it seems that her life has been filled with them, from the ugly scar on her back to the strange powers she possesses. Her mysterious father refuses to say anything about her origins, and soon, she and her best friend must attend the announcement ceremony, in which youths are tested for a magical gift.
A gifted youth has not been announced in the poor village of Dimmitt for decades. When Nara uncovers the reason, she uses her own powers to make things right. The decision sets her on a path of danger, discovery, and a search for the divine. In the process, she learns the truth about herself and uncovers the biggest secret of all: the power of broken people.
Whether community settings or school-related functions, Nara often got stuck with the grunt work, but she didn’t care for the company of the other girls, anyway. Something about their prim and prissy ways didn’t feel honest, as they gossiped about boys or other girls, never saying what they were really thinking. As much as she tried, she couldn’t fit in. A certain kind of discretion was required to blend with the other kids, a skill in subtlety that Nara couldn’t get quite right. Saying the wrong thing, or saying too much, she would often embarrass herself. A desire to share her own heart or to connect intimately with someone often had the opposite effect, pushing them away. Was there something wrong with her, at some basic level? Even Mykel knew when to stop talking and when to give people their privacy. And he knew when not to trust people—a skill Nara had never mastered.
“A shame,” said Bylo. “You’re the best young cook in the whole village. Your mashed potatoes are divine!”
She entered the front room of the cottage. “Are you out of ink again?”
“How did you guess?”
The cottage was mostly dark, lit by a single lantern. Still, the inkwell on his little writing desk was obviously empty. She turned to him, raising her eyebrows in disbelief, then reached for a new well from the cupboard. Bylo was a simpleton sometimes. Amazing that a wise man, so educated and traveled, could be such a silly goose when it came to obvious things. She looked about, seeing an empty sink and no dishes on the counter.
“Did you eat?”
“Um, I think so,” he said.
“Been working all day again, I see.”
The papers on his desk were stacked high, multiple iterations of carefully inked runes on pages, evidence that he had been practicing for hours.
“Did you get any new ones to work?” she asked.
Bylo merely grunted, betraying a lack of success in his efforts as he busied himself with preparing dinner. Nara grabbed the ink in her left hand, then dipped her right index finger into the well. Closing her eyes, she reached inward with her awareness, tapping the presence that she had felt for so long, that glowing energy inside her. She poured some into the liquid as if exhaling a long, slow breath.
It amazed her to think that nobody else felt their own energy like she did, tapping it to do wondrous things. The first few times she had imbued ink, she gave too much and exhausted herself. With practice, she learned that ink required very little energy to be useful for Bylo’s work.
And such things he did with it! Rocks became heavy, and he could make paper fly around the room by itself, which fascinated her when she was younger as she chased it about. The fun always came with admonishments from Bylo to keep it secret. She never told.
David A. Willson has worked as a restauranteur, peace officer, and now, author. Taught by his mother to read at a young age, he spent his childhood exploring magic, spaceships, and other dimensions. In his writing, he strives to bring those worlds to his readers.
Much of his material is inspired by the “Great Land” of Alaska, which he has called home for over 30 years. He lives there with his wife, five children, and 2 dogs. He is passionate about technology, faith, and fiction—not necessarily in that order.
Looking for Dei is Willson’s debut novel, set in a land where many more adventures will take place. Stay up to date with his ongoing efforts through the Looking for Dei Facebook page or visiting the website at davidawillson.com.
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