Thursday, December 12, 2013

New Radio Show

I know this blog is for my writing but check out this new podcast that my friends and I have been working on! It's called Fitness On Smash.

You can check it puts every week right here on my blog or on Sound Cloud!


http://soundcloud.com/pncradio/fitness-on-smash-11-24-13
















- Posted using BlogPress from my iPhone

Thursday, September 5, 2013

SMALL BEGINNINGS: PREVIEW CHAPTER 3 GIANT KILLER



SMALL BEGINNINGS:

CHAPTER 3 GIANT KILLER...

By Bryant Perkins


INTERLOGUE
The Lost Book of Enoch – Ethiopic Enoch:
1 Enoch 7:4
…And when men could no longer sustain them, the giants turned against them and devoured mankind.

Chapter 3: Giant Killer

There are men living in this often terrifying and unpredictable world, who are possessed of Herculean resolve, whose emotions are atrophied, and who think in brilliant flashes of cunning and malice. Tomas Al Bashir is such a man, a man, hungry for greatness, and above all else…power.

Presently Bashir holds the rank of “High Assassin” within an ancient and clandestine order, known only by those who are aware of its existence, as “Veritas.” But he does not purely kill for sport and pleasure, as he would put it, he has yet a “higher purpose.” Bashir coldly views killing as merely a means to an end and he knows his odds of achieving that “end” grow steadily with the flawless completion of each passing mission.

With the latest mission completed, he took his temporary leave of the order to bask in some much needed vacation time, choosing to spend a large portion of it jetting between the slighter eastern European countries. The total time off would take two months, more than enough time to recharge, reassess, and reset his goals.

Long had the assassin’s life consumed his every step and Bashir very much looked forward to spending his weeks amid the joys of fraternization and inebriation. However, this first week was to be a fairly tranquil one, as he had made no plans to indulging himself in the famed nocturnal atmosphere of his first vacation stop, Amsterdam.

So, that very Monday when Bashir landed in the city, he had no intentions of receiving, or answering any kind of correspondence that might concern work or work related topics. He quickly signaled a taxi upon emerging from the airport. Three short minutes later he was jumping into a sporty Japanese sedan with his two custom-made leather carry-on bags.

Bashir hissed only a direction and an address at the driver making every attempt to display his disinterest in any further conversation. The black sedan was soon off, snaking its way through winding streets and over bridges crisscrossing murky canals. Finally, the car ceased its meandering, coming to rest alongside one of the many classic wooden houseboats crowding the watery canal ramparts. 

The assassin paid his transporter, exited the confines of the vehicle, and headed for the brightly painted yellow door of his temporary quarters. Bashir fed an old-fashioned skeleton key into a slightly corroded lock. A quick turn of the polished knob and through the portal he strode. Waiting for him was all that he delighted in; a bottle of Palmer Margaux, a bed, and much needed sleep. Four half glasses later and Bashir was sleeping as blissfully as a baby.

Three hours drifted by before he awoke from peaceful slumber, his floating sanctuary still tenderly rocking as it does atop the inky surface of the canal. All seemed peaceful within his existence, a luxury uncommon in a life so heavily burdened with the tasks of ending lives.

 It was not to last. As Bashir left his abode that same afternoon heading for his favorite cafĂ©, amid the hushed streets south of Amsterdam’s world-renowned Red Light District, he received a text message. Something unknown, some quire feeling pulled at him to draw his mobile from the back pocket of his jeans and chance a quick look.

“Damn,” he mumbled to himself in low audible protest to his own incessant “need to know.” The message was from an old mentor and teacher, the one who had first introduced Bashir to Veritas.

Turning the phone away in disgust and then back around so as to make out what was coming through the dim light of his mobile screen, he saw a coded message. But this code was not in any style known to the going public or any military communications unit.

As to say, this was not a code with CIA, FBI, MI6, Al-Qaeda, or Russian intelligence origins. The type of coding now being scanned by Bashir’s rapidly moving pupils was in the order’s typical style of repeating numerical lines that, when translated, produced anagrams which had a special meaning within Veritas and specific to Bashir’s position as an assassin.

He promptly decoded the message in his head. This mission seemed strange indeed. No covert attempt to end a life would be required?

Bashir’s mind raced over the message again. His assignment would merely involve relic recovery. “But this is something reserved for lesser men of the order,” a confused Bashir mouthed silently to himself. “They are contacting me for this?”

He scanned further; the message revealed only minuscule details concerning a small metal box needing to be tracked down and brought back to his mentor. It referenced nothing more about the relic, only facts and location coordinates that would lead towards possible places where it might be, and in whose hands it might rest.

“What is going on?” Bashir said through clenched teeth and an exasperated breath. The killer thought long and hard on this strangest of missions, eventually coming to the conclusion that given the added secrecy surrounding it, this particular assignment could be the catalyst needed to propel him beyond his current status within the order. Secrecy always equated to “power most sought after” among his Veritas brethren. Bashir was always cognoscente of the fact that his current rank, although high, would in no way shape or form allow him the freedom to pursue his lofty ambitions.

These brethren of this most furtive underworld maintain a strict code and an even more intricate hierarchy that is almost impossible to ascend. Veritas is comprised of scientific men, the predominant men in their respective fields, all bound eternally by an oath proclaiming them the sole carriers of knowledge, and through this knowledge, the sole carriers of power. Bashir is of their yoke, a man equally committed to study, sacrifice, and scientific works.

However, he did not arrive at his current station in life by accident, chance, or stumble. Quite the opposite was his road towards the shadows and hidden world of power hungry knowledge seekers.

His Algerian parents, a father who was the authority on nanotechnology at the most prestigious university in the country and his mother, a UN translator, abandoned him, when he was but 4 years old, into the hands of Muslim extremist bound for the wild border lands between Afghanistan and Pakistan. The love his parents shared for each other and the child spawned from their ensuing passions was forbidden in a country ruled by Muslim law where such things did not transpire amongst couples who where not married.

It was there, among the dusty expanses of towering mountainside cave systems that Bashir was first educated in the ways of extreme Islam, small arms weaponry, construction of remote detonation devices, survival, and above all else…a smoldering hatred for the west.

A quick study, he became a valuable weapon amid his fellows in the Jihad against the infidels. But Bashir had higher aspirations. He wanted more than to just brutally dismantle his adversary’s physical presence in his land. So he pled to the local chief to transport him to India where he could enroll in school, work his way up the ranks of his peers, and thus garner a coveted spot on the incredibly short list of foreign students who would travel to the United States or Europe to further their education. 

Yes, from an early age, Bashir desperately sought to become a leader amongst his people. But how to accomplish this, how could he assume the mantle of power and leadership? He worked out a plan; he would show them just how easily he had dispatched their adversaries from behind enemy lines, not with guns, but with suits, ties, and cunning. He would learn the ways of western business, finance, and politics. The end result would be the unraveling of those blasphemous nations from within. He need only excel in his academic pursuits to initiate his coup. The success of his mission would earn Bashir the admiration of his people across the land and securely place him atop the remainder of the throng who where mostly still scratching out a living from deep within subterranean strongholds. Or so the young killer hoped…

Bashir got his wish; he was granted admittance into one of the top primary schools in India, and in no time far surpassed his peers. In due course, he earned his spot on that short list, and chose to advance himself within the UK academic system. So at age 16, he packed what little he owned along with his well-worn copy of the Koran, and was off to Oxford University to study under some of the greatest minds in the modern age.

It was during his unforgettable years at Oxford that he would meet… her! It was she who would turn his mind on end for countless hours as they conversed about everything from food to religion to politics.

Bashir had never before known women to be anything other than subservient, mindless, things who did not speak unless spoken to. But this woman was everything. She was funny, smart, insightful, and her beauty cast a light upon him that he delighted in during the many days, weeks, and months of their ever-growing friendship.

However, one day, the light would be abruptly taken away. The library where they usually met during his midday lunch break did not ring with the joyful sound of her soft greeting, which always consisted of her clearing her throat, followed by, “Bash…over here.”

He knew she only sat in the same three spots; the small desk tucked under the iron spiral staircase in the far corner of the hall, the east facing side of the large oak table in the center of the room, or on the wooden floorboards just to the right of a large rolling ladder used to stack books on the highest shelves of the monstrous bookcases surrounding the room.

Unbeknownst to Bashir at the time, he had subconsciously developed a habit of pretending to be completely oblivious as to her whereabouts, walking into the room with his head down, seemingly entranced by whatever book he pretended to be reading. Bashir performed the entire farce simply to elicit that greeting he loved so much. Later, in his adult life, he would come to understand that he was just in love with the way she whispered his name, “Bash.”

But now she was gone, the victim of a completed semester, and Bashir would spend the remainder of the year alone. It was more of the same during his remaining years at university and by his third year the loneliness Bashir felt, after spending much of his free time with such an enchanting woman, was increasingly becoming unbearable.

He thought about leaving the university during a particularly low point in his now strictly academic existence. Bashir’s contemplations began shifting more and more towards going back to the mountains, back to what he knew. Often times he found himself just needing to get away from the pain and leave the loneliness far behind him, buried deep beneath the flooring of the library where “they,” where he was once happy. But, one man would lead him away from such a dismal path. One man would persuade him to forget all about the loneliness, the pain that he felt, and inevitably guide Bashir back towards his ultimate destiny and original aspirations.   

At the age of 20 in his last year at university, Bashir’s professor of Theoretical Physics, Hemile Guevara would introduced him to the order of Veritas. Guevara was, himself, a decades old member of “the order” and the residing Grand Dominus (Head Master). He observed the gifted student’s potential and took Bashir under his wing, grooming him for a life of death, discovery and retribution.

The teaching was extensive, the life lessons cutting edge, and every word out of Guevara’s mouth intrigued, educated, and ultimately shaped Bashir the boy into Bashir the man, and more importantly…Bashir the killer!

Bashir eventually graduated at the top of his class, establishing all the connections he would need to become the “suited and polished” terror of the western world. And with the help and tutelage of Guevara, Bashir was well on his way to furthering his second desire…becoming the leader of his people and obtaining power unchecked. However, deeper still, was yet other desire, a desire to be with her…

Unfortunately, she would have to wait. There was a bigger mission at hand and Guevara taught twice as much subsequent to Bashir’s graduation. The results of his professor’s guidance enhanced Bashir’s personality, manufacturing all new layers of complex emotions, feelings, and thoughts. His outward self was now deceptively polite and agile, able to conceal his now much more menacing physical prowess.

Yes, gone was the child Bashir knew. Now, staring back at him in the mirror were powerful muscles and thick bones, which combined to produce a flawless six-foot frame, that looks to be in perfect harmony with the surrounding environment with every focused step of his walk. 

Loose dark brown curls have replaced the well kept close cut main of his youth and are combed neatly away from dim grey eyes and a chiseled face. The remaining locks of hair roll down the back of his neck, stopping just before the tops of his powerful shoulders, but not before concealing the signature tattoo of the order to which he belongs, a “double serpent V” inked at the base of his skull.

All assassins of Veritas are tattooed with black and red serpents intertwined at the tales with open mouthed, yellow fanged heads ascending away from one another to form the letter V.

(The red serpent symbolizes the blood scarifies needed to ensure that power always remains within the hands of the brotherhood. The black serpent symbolizes the darkness that the world would plug into were it not for the order’s calculated interventions and the yellow fangs symbolize the light of truth, which Veritas injects into the world via their very existence.)

Ears, that some say can hear a pin drop into a cup of baking flower, hold back any stray curls cascading down the sides of Bashir’s head, and thick sideburns bleed into a well kept five-o’clock shadow which serves to complete his almost runway model look. 

What’s more, Guevara’s tutelage trained Bashir to know not the feelings of hesitation, fear, or failure. Now, ten long years later, his education completed, he stalks the dark shadows. And so total is the man that the luxury and wealth he’s acquired are but dwarfed by his constant mind splitting aspirations for power.

However, Bashir grows tired and impatient. The last five years of his grim dance with death and assassination have been spent surrounded by the decay of western society and its purveyors of greed and corruption. Something must change, something will change, and he will have his freedom from the barrage of thoughts emanating from a mind driven to be great. 

And with a long look up through the haze of the morning sky, Bashir allows another most dangerous thought to escape from the recesses of his tightly wound conscious; a thought of “what if,” what if he can be with her again as well.  


DON'T MISS CHAPTER 4 "DEAD OF NIGHT..." SCHEDULED TO BE RELEASED AT THE END OF SEPTEMBER!!



ABOUT SMALL BEGINNINGS:


Assassins working for an ancient and secret organization of scientists are hunting a wisecracking antique dealer (Enoch Smalls) and an uncompromising anthropologist (Katherine Assoui) who just happened to stumble across the wrong relic at the wrong time.


Pursued by shadowy enemies from all corners of the globe, with no one to trust and with very few places to hide, the unwilling pair seeks to keep their wits about them as they scour a crumbling biblical past in an attempt to, unlock the riddles of this ancient relic. Their path is marred with danger as they fight to stay alive as well as keep the mysterious object from falling into the hands of inhuman genius killers.

There is much at stake, as this relic could either propel the world towards a new era of technological advancement or plunge it into chaos and darkness. Faced with this ultimate challenge to humanity’s survival, will Enoch be able quell his own demons within and rise to the occasion as man’s savior, or fall beneath the encroaching darkness…? 

ABOUT THE AUTHOR:

Bryant Perkins originally began his writing career as a news reporter, writing dozens of articles for The New York Times Student Journalism Institute, Xenia Daily Gazette, and Lancaster Eagle Gazette. However, it was his love of Science Fiction that lead him to write his first short story - Where Gods Go - in 2001, a story about what happens when alien prisoners have to clear their names after being wrongfully convicted of genocide.


Saturday, August 10, 2013

AUTHOR UNDER STRESS

HELLO EVERYONE!

I AM SO SO SO SORRY I HAVE NOT PUT UP CHAPTER 3 "GIANT KILLER" OF MY NOVEL "SMALL BEGINNINGS."

PLEASE FORGIVE ME. THIS MONTH HAS BEEN VERY VERY HARD WITH MOVING BACK TO MANHATTAN FULL TIME.

PLEASE CHECK BACK NEXT MONTH FOR CHAPTER 3 AND POSSIBLY CHAPTER 4.

THANK YOU SO MUCH FOR YOUR UNDERSTANDING

BEST,

BRYANT PERKINS

Monday, July 1, 2013

SMALL BEGINNINGS: PREVIEW CHAPTER 2 WHEN A MAN...


SMALL BEGINNINGS:

CHAPTER 2 WHEN A MAN...

By Bryant Perkins



INTERLOGUE
 The Lost Book of Enoch – Ethiopic Enoch:
1 Enoch 1:2
…And he began his story saying: Enoch a righteous man, whose eyes were opened by God, saw the vision of the Holy one in Heaven, which the angles showed me, and I heard everything from them, and I saw and understood, but it was not for this generations, but for a remote one which is to come.

Chapter 2: When A Man

There are simple moments in a man’s life when that man is completely and utterly at peace. For some men, it’s when their long awaited child finally arrives into this world and they are able to hold that child for the very first time. For other men, it may be when that troublesome project is due on the desk of their demanding boss, and they have just crossed the last “T” and dotted the last “I.”

In that moment all troubles, fears, anxieties, and worries harmlessly float towards some unknown destination in the mind and melt away like a snowflake would as it lands upon a warmer surface.

For me, it is that brief moment as I’m leaving the tranquility of sleep, but just before I arrive at the train wreck, I call my life here in the conscious world. Just before my eyelids open, but just as I’m aware that they’re closed…that’s where I’m most at peace.

I was there this morning but I also had the added pleasure of a dream or at least the fleeting tail end of what I could remember of a dream.

I was dreaming about what life would have been like had I been adopted. What upstanding family would have showered me with praises, support, wisdom, and above all else, love?

No, again I had to wake to what is my reality. I am 30 years old, living in New York City alone, and in one of the sketchiest studio apartments in China Town. What do I do for a living…? Drum roll please…I’m an importer of rare antiques (stolen crap from other countries that I pawn off on others as antiques), a father (don’t ever really see my kid), and a womanizer.

I think that about covers it.

I have no idea who my parents are or were. I have never shared a truly intimate moment with anyone, and don’t even ask me about the four-letter-word that we all know causes more headache then joy. 

Yes, that is the dismal life of Enoch Smalls. I laugh to think of anyone else on earth that has been through as much as I’ve been through.



“And who is laying next to me…?” I have to keep myself from asking out loud as I awake to what’s left over from my previous night’s adventure.

Ah yes, I believe that’s mystery girl number one peacefully curled up into the fetal position, adjacent to my own scantily covered form, which is stealthily attempting to escape the clutches of the futon (as well as her).

“E?” When she utters that single letter, a landslide of memories from the previous night rumbles away from my subconscious and comes crashing down onto the forefront of my mind.

Her name is CJ, I think, and I met her at the bar inside Hero. Hero is a little nightclub down town, on the boarder between the Meat Packing District, and Chelsea.

The line to get in usually extends for about a block or more. The people standing shamelessly in it are New York’s best and brightest; your over achieving businessman who is on his way towards the best one night stand ever (or so he hopes), the underpaid receptionist who is out with her friends whom she secretly hates, and…lets not forget…Brooklyn is in the house. I don’t think I need to comment any further on the last one.

The inside of the club is split into two, what I call, Class Levels. The people on the first level know they have no money, and are there to have a good time. The second level, the upper level, is full of people who think they have money, are not there to have a good time, but are defiantly there to be seen looking like they are having a good time.

The first level has a very elaborate Japanese themed entryway complete with Japan’s red sun flag flowing down from a low hanging ceiling, and walls covered with white Hiragana and Kanji letters in repeating horizontal lines.

The entry way opens up to reveal the same low level “nightclub” lighting and worn out, center dance floor that you would see in any New York hot spot. Accompanying the dance floor is a small stage to its right, which is usually empty, and an always crowded bar situated just to the left of everything.

The upper level is nothing special. Patrons can ascend the club’s pre-war, spiral staircase to a mahogany landing with a few polished tables, and high-backed-chairs. Red silks appear carelessly draped throughout the rafters and hang down with tasseled fingers for added decoration.

So the whole club is perfectly laid out, allowing people to enter, get drunk, and dance the night away.




She was standing alone, or so I hoped, waiting for some kind of girly “Sex and The City” drink.

“Hello,” I shouted over the bass heavy Asian-techno-music playing in the background. “I’m about 12 inches!”

“Whaaaaaaat!?” I remembered her screaming back.

“I said I love your additions!” as I pointed to the tiny hand carved jade necklace and earrings she was wearing. I loved getting away with that.

“Oh thank you. I got them while I was in Peru!”

“Wow, I really don’t care!”

“What?” She reeled around towards me with angry eyes locked upon my own innocent gaze.

“I really love your hair!” I said as I threw my hands up trying my best to look startled and shocked at seeing her threatening stare.

Ha, got another one in. I usually don’t get away with two of those in one night, at the same place, with the same person. Things were looking up! 

She timidly ran her fingers through her shoulder length locks. “Thank you. Hey, you want to get out of here?” she shouted as she slowly interlocked the fingers of her left hand with my right. “I live just around the corner!”

“Sure!”




I had managed to get my favorite pair of Gap jeans on before she was finally roused out of her sleep by the absence of my body next to hers.

“E, when a man wakes up before a woman he’s supposed to cook her breakfast,” she said, rising up from the black leather futon, and meticulously wrapping its sheets around her.

“Well…?”

“Baby, when a man wakes up there’s plenty of things he’s supposed to do,” I said walking over to the futon then crawling on top of her, “but making you breakfast is not one of them.” 

Throwing me to the side and clobbering me with a pillow, she let out a loud, half frustrated, half entertained sigh. “What am I gonna do wit ‘chew?”

“I’ll tell ya what I will do…I’ll go get us coffee. How about that?”

She motioned seductively, with her index finger, for me to come even closer, “yes…do that,” she said, finally grabbing my wrinkled shirt and pulling me back in for a kiss.

“I shall return my lady!” I shouted over my shoulder.

I headed out the door, snatching up my army-green sport coat that had been tossed upon the hardwood during our night of passion. Walking down the hall, I couldn’t help but notice how fucked up the hallway was. “Damn,” I thought, and continued to make my way down the five flights of busted, third world stairs, which I’ve labored up and down every day for the past three years.

The same sarcastic thoughts fired into my head and exploded out of my mouth as I emerged onto my cozy little section of Bayard Street, “come on NYC, whatta’ya got for me today…?” 

Nothing…as always, so I headed off, pulling my coat tight around me in an attempt to block the crisp fall breezes that whip up and down these asphalt corridors.

For coffee, I chose my favorite place to get anything and everything, the 69 Chinese Restaurant. I always love coming here because my best friend and part time mentor, Pritchett, lives, and works right above the run down corner store. I’ve always loved making time for an uninvited visit.

Pritchett taught me everything I know about the antique business, and has owned and operated his shop, Trinkets, for about 30 years or more. I’m always amazed at how much business the old man gets because the shop is actually just the dusty front living room of his ancient two-bedroom apartment.

I quickly crossed the street, heading towards the door to Pritchett’s building, situated just to the left of “69.”  With a leap, I floated over the broken concrete threshold and through the entryway, which had long since been missing a door.

Making my way up a single flight of stairs, that looked to be in far worse shape then my own raggedy landings, I rapped casually on door 2A.

Pritchett opened the door as cautiously as he always does, first throwing back the 50-year-old deadbolt, but then leaving the corroded chain attached. Lastly, he cracks the door open just enough to make out whoever is standing before him.

“Open the door old man, you have nothing that anyone wants, and I’m not asking for any money this time.”

“You really should call first, you know that right?” he said sternly. “I have a lot of valuable stuff in here. I just can’t have people runnin in n’outta my house.”

“Sorry, could you let me in. I have time to kill but not much time.”

“When you gone leave dem girls be E? You know, when a man gets to be as old as you are they should tend to lead towards bein more settled.”

How did he always know I was either going to meet a girl or had just left one?
‘Wow, I think you mean, “lean,” and could you let me in already…damn?”

He opened the door as far as it could go, and it didn’t go far seeing as how he had pilled about 20 years worth of old New York Posts behind it. I made my way through the living room and towards a cream-colored flower print couch that seemed surprisingly cleaner than its surroundings.  Settling back into my seat, I began to take it all in.

Being at Trinkets always managed to put a Kool-Aid smile on my otherwise expressionless face. Relaxing into my surroundings, I instantly recalled fond memories of Pritchett and I pawing over ancient pieces of junk from every period of history any time I’d drop by.

The whole place looked like “pop’s” house on the old television show Sanford n Son. There were old books, nick-knacks, jewelry items, cloths, and appliances strewn all about.

But don’t let this place fool you; he has amassed quite a bit of valuable stuff. He was not kidding about that.

Pritchett has been supplying “black market” antiques and artifacts to New York City museums for over 30 years. Two years ago, he sold a 600-year-old hand carved ivory comb to the American Museum of Natural History.

I don’t know where he gets things from, how he gets it, or who gives it to him but he gets it!

I can only imagine how much money he got for that stupid comb.

“Hey old man, where’d ya go?” He gingerly backed his way out of the kitchen holding two, half glasses, filled with ice, and some kind of brown liquor.

“Quit your shoutin boy. Here, drink up. Without any hesitation I took the now chilled glass, guessing it was Johnny Walker, because that’s all the old man ever drank. A single quick sip did wonders to diminish the slight chill I was feeling from my walk over.

“Ah…ole’Johnny.”

Glad you’re here because I have some good news.” The smile on his now sandpaper textured face spread wide, and curled under his thick white mustache.

“You know when a man gets to be as old as you are Pritchett Sampson, any news is good news because you are still alive to hear it.”

“Fuck you boy. Now listen and look at what just dropped into my lap!”

He disappeared again, down a slightly curved hallway, leading towards the back bedroom.  I heard the warped floorboards creaking as he drifted further and further away. Pritchett’s most valuable items were always kept in the back of the house, far from the prying eyes of even me, his most trusted apprentice. 

When he reappeared again in the front room he was carrying a very old dull looking metal box in both hands. The box was the width of two iPhones laid out side-by-side and about the height of a 12 oz. can of soda.

The oddly square thing was covered in row after row of hieroglyphics in vertical relief. There was no shine to the mysterious looking object and it looked as though it was crafted out of one piece of metal. However, I saw no clear signs that any earthly tool had manipulated it.

Strange little thing I thought to myself, there were no visible scratch marks, scuffs, or color differentiation as a result of heating. I mean to get something to look like that, as smooth as that, and with as much detail…one would have to assume that the craftsman had to heat the material…?

Pritchett was paying no attention to my cross-eyed inspection of his trinket. He was trying to hold it so carefully that his withered 75-year-old hands were trembling more than they normally do. He gazed longingly down at it.

“So what is it?” I said, between slow sips from my glass.

My question must have startled the old man because he almost dropped the box.

“Dam it! Don’t be shaken me like that boy. Do you know what this is?”

“Do you know what that is?” I shot back with a quick laugh.

“No I don’t and that’s just it. I don’t know what it is and the man I bought it from don’t know what it is neither.”

“So…”

“So, before I bought it from him, I do what I always do for any artifact I buy. I take it up town, to the museum, and have one a dem eggheads look it over.”

“The American Museum of Natural History…?”

“Yes boy!”

“Do you know anybody there by name or do you just drop off your mystery packages at the back door, take your envelope of cash from “Deep Throat,” and slink back into the shadows from whence you came?”

I always loved teasing the old fart.

“Boy, as much black market stuff as they buy and with as much stuff as I’ve sold them, I’ve gotten to know just about earyone’a’dose curators,” he said proudly.

“Ok, ok, so you take the box and then what…?”

“Took’em bout three months to get back to me with the results and they said it shouldn’t exist!” The excitement in his voice was unmistakable. He really and truly felt like he was on to something, or someone had made him feel like he was on to something. I hate it when people take advantage of old people.

“What, shouldn’t exist…?”

“Just shut ya mouth son, and listen. See the box is steel but it’s also ancient Egyptian…”

I was then given a long drawn out lecture on how the curators determined that the box must have been crafted during the “Early Dynastic Period” based on the hieroglyphic markings covering it. But the only thing ringing through my tiny mind was “old means money!”

“So…?”

“Don’t you know nothing boy!”

His voice elevated so fast and so loudly that I almost spilled what was left of my watered down spirit.

“Egyptians in the first and second dynasties didn’t have steel at the time that this here box is dated to. Steel didn’t come along until hundreds of years later!”

“Wow, he was right,” I thought to myself. This much I knew…during the building of the Great Pyramids the Egyptians only had access to copper and or copper alloys from which they fashioned various types of tools…not weird little boxes. “Why didn’t I think about that before…?”

“Ok, so the box shouldn’t exist but does, that should make it worth a lot and that would make whatever’s inside the box even more valuable, right?”

Pritchett shot back, “That’s another thing…”

He began to tremble even more, but with an unmistakable child-like excitement this time. Gently cradling the box from underneath with one hand, and rapidly tapping the top of the box with the other, he said, “We don’t know what’s in the box…can’t open it. And, and there ain’t a x-ray or scan able to see inside!” 

“Ok, now things are getting a little strange. How’s that possible?”

“Well they said that although the outside of this box is steel, which shouldn’t be there anyway, the inside must be lined with something like lead or something, something that blocks radiation!”

Now, I am on the edge of my seat looking down just as longingly at the box as Pritchett had been.

“So we have to open the box!” I blurted out, putting my drink on the smooth wooden arm of the couch, and standing up quickly to meet my mentor.

“You really don’t listen boy…can’t…open…it,” he said, jabbing his wrinkled finger into my chest with every word. “It’s sealed on all sides and has no seems, but you can tell it’s not solid by the weight of it. Feels kinda hollow you know.”

“I was going to run up town, to the museum again, and see if they could open it.”

“You’re young and obviously have nothing better to do today; outside of what’s probably still in your apartment, why don’t you take it up there for me?”

“I will, but not because you asked me so nicely. Give me something to put it in though. I don’t wanna be walkin the streets carrying a priceless ancient Egyptian mystery box.”

He reached behind a rickety chair in the far corner of the room and produced an old, navy blue backpack, which looked to have a small rip in its left side.

He carefully positioned the box in the bottom of the bag, zipped it up, and handed it over.

“Here, take it; take the box, and just tell’em Pritchett sent ya!”

Looking back, had I known those were going to be the last clear words I would ever hear from my long time friend, I would have been thinking about more than money in my pockets as I departed that day.

But none of us knows the future and I never could have imagined that this little metal box would eventually hold sway over the lives and deaths of so many.

Because when a man holds something like this in his hands, he maybe wonders how much it’s worth, not how many lives it’s worth to keep it safe.

BELOW IS A QUICK LOOK AT CHAPTER 3 SCHEDULED TO BE RELEASED AUGUST 1ST! DON'T MISS IT...


INTERLOGUE
 The Lost Book of Enoch – Ethiopic Enoch:
1 Enoch 7:4
…And when men could no longer sustain them, the giants turned against them and devoured mankind.

Chapter 3: Giant Killer


There are men living in this often terrifying and unpredictable world, who are possessed of Herculean resolve, whose emotions are atrophied, and who think in brilliant flashes of cunning and malice. Tomas Al Bashir is such a man, a man, hungry for greatness, and above all else, power. 



Come back AUGUST 1st for the release of Chapter 3: GIANT KILLER...!

ABOUT SMALL BEGINNINGS:

A secret organization of scientist are hunting a New York City antique dealer (Enoch Smalls) and a female anthropologist (Katherine Assoui) who just happen to stumble across the wrong ancient artifact.
With no one to trust and very few places to hide, the reluctant pair must comb through the pages of antiquity and a crumbling biblical past in an effort to keep the artifact from falling into the hands of cold-blooded genius killers.
There is much at stake, as this ancient relic could either propel the world towards a new era of technological advancement or plunge it into chaos, and darkness.

About The Author:

Bryant Perkins originally began his writing career as a news reporter, writing dozens of articles for The New York Times Student Journalism Institute, Xenia Daily Gazette, and Lancaster Eagle Gazette. However, it was his love of Science Fiction that lead him to write his first short story - Where Gods Go - in 2001, a story about what happens when alien prisoners have to clear their names after being wrongfully convicted of genocide. 
In "Small Beginnings" Perkins hopes to create a Sci-Fi world out of a modern day existence and ensure that every page is filled with action, adventure, love and hope.