My name is Icarus Fell. I am a harvester.
The archangel Michael brought me back to collect souls and help them on their way to Heaven–that’s what a harvester does. If I get enough of them before the bad guys do–if I do a good job–I can have my life back. Now people I knew in life are dying, killed by a murderer’s knife, their bodies defiled, and the cops think I’m the killer.
I’m not, but I think I know who is.
But how does a dead man, a man who no longer exists, stop a psycho? I’m not sure, but I’m going to stop him before everyone I know is dead.
I have to stop him before he gets to my son.
I was alive, then I was dead, now I’m stuck somewhere in between.
What if it’s all real?
A deep breath shuddered hesitantly into my lungs but did little to settle me. Nothing to do but treat it like bad-tasting medicine–get it over with. I went through the door into the closet-sized entryway which smelled unsurprisingly of sweat and old shoes. Signs tacked to a corkboard announced times for pilates classes and schedules for boot camps and other fitness activities in which I’d never partaken. Directly across from the bulletin board, a bald man sat behind a counter, his impossibly large muscles stretching his tee-shirt to the point it might snap like an over-used elastic. The plexi-glass partition must have been more for my protection than his; I wondered if he turned green when angered.
“I said can I help you?” His tone suggested he didn’t care much for helping me, probably didn’t enjoy working the night shift, but his bouncer-like qualities made him the ideal candidate for the job. I, for one, wouldn’t screw with him.
“Um, I’m looking for a place to work out.”
“Sorry, this is a shoe store.” A dry chuckle struggled out of his mouth.
“Do you mind if I have a look around?”
“Whatever. Don’t touch nothing unless you pay the drop-in fee.”
“Right.” No more threat needed.
I left the muscles from Brussels perusing a magazine and went into the weight room where I found more people punishing their bodies with weights at ten forty on a Tuesday night than I expected. A moment of panic nestled in my gut. How would I know Alfred Topping?
I wandered past weight racks and worn benches a decade beyond their best days. The odor of sweat multiplied in here, every piece of equipment and hard-working body exuding it like an air freshener gone horribly awry. A few patrons glanced at me and I was thankful for my new jacket covering my skinny arms and less-than-Conan-like pecs. I quickly realized evenings must be the favored time of the hard core guys: no one in the room possessed biceps smaller in circumference than my thigh. Even the woman doing squats alone in the corner made me look like the skinny geek whose face she would have kicked sand in.
Despite the warm, thick air in the room sticking itself to me like a band-aid, a line of cold sweat trickled down my spine. Minutes remained until I’d know the truth of my circumstances. All those years railing against the church and the idea of God might come to an end. If it did, I didn’t want to let my new employers down.
Three men gathered around a fourth in the bench press area raised a cheer. I looked over but couldn’t see through the forest of tree trunk legs, so I moved closer. The man lying on the bench pushed a barbell skyward with so many plates on each end you’d need a math degree to figure out how much weight it held. The bar bowed slightly in the middle as he pushed upward, the other men urging him on.
“You can do it.”
Alfie: short for Alfred.
All the muscles in my limbs tightened as I watched Alfred grunt and strain, legs bouncing with the effort, purple veins standing out in his neck. The man standing near his head put his hands under the bar, spotting him, but Alfred shook his head and huffed a quick breath; the man stepped back. The bar rose until he locked his elbows, then he lowered it again, bouncing on his chest, and pushed up once more. Halfway to the top, he stalled out.
I felt sweat on my forehead but made no attempt to wipe it away—I wasn’t sure my arms would work.
Nothing is going to happen. Nothing is going to happen.
Seeing the way his veins bulged, I expected a heart attack to take Alfred’s life, if anything, and either thrust me into my new profession or send me packing for the mental hospital. It surprised the hell out of me when the bar slipped from his grip.
It surprised everyone else, too.
“If you’re tired of all the run of the mill angels that are all sweetness and light, then you’ll love Bruce Blake’s angels. Icarus Fell is officially my new favorite anti-hero…Not just my just my favorite Kindle book of the year, but one of my favorite books ever.”
– Terrie Turner
“This is just, simply, amazing. Icarus is one of the best characters I’ve ever ‘met’, chock full of virtues and faults and doubts and worries and a simple humanness that comes through so clearly, I almost expect to run into him around the next corner…This gets one of my highest praises…I don’t want to finish it.” – Jennie F.
“Blake’s writing in this novel is dark and gritty, with elements of horror, but not every character is painted with a dark brush. The author can bring out the voices of lighter characters, which helps to make the make the story interesting. I look forward to reading the next book in this series.”
Bruce Blake lives on Vancouver Island in British Columbia, Canada. When pressing issues like shovelling snow and building igloos don’t take up his spare time, Bruce can be found taking the dog sled to the nearest coffee shop to work on his short stories and novels.
Actually, Victoria, B.C. is only a couple hours north of Seattle, Wash., where more rain is seen than snow. Since snow isn’t really a pressing issue, Bruce spends more time trying to remember to leave the “u” out of words like “colour” and “neighbour” then he does shovelling. The father of two, Bruce is also the trophy husband of burlesque diva Miss Rosie Bitts.
Bruce has been writing since grade school but it wasn’t until five years ago he set his sights on becoming a full-time writer. Since then, his first short story, “Another Man’s Shoes” was published in the Winter 2008 edition of Cemetery Moon, another short, “Yardwork”, was made into a podcast in Oct., 2011 by Pseudopod and his first Icarus Fell novel, “On Unfaithful Wings”, was published to Kindle in Dec., 2011. The second Icarus Fell novel, “All Who Wander Are Lost”, is scheduled for release in July, 2012, with the first book in the four-part “Khirro’s Journey” epic fantasy coming soon after. He has plans for at least three more Icarus novels, several stand alones, and a possible YA fantasy co-written with his eleven-year-old daughter.
Find Me on The Web Links: