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First pages

CHAPTER ONE

“I don’t know what I’m doing up here!”

“I don’t know what I’m doing!”

A lone somber figure stood in a remote corner of a majestic brick building near the edge of the world and shouted. He gazed out at the night before him and all he could see was darkness, the blackness that envelopes the soul when the sun disappears and all hope seems lost.

Millions of lights in the cold night were invisible to him, the lights that signified the living had faded long ago. All he could see was emptiness, the drug that never lets go. He felt it deep within him. He was a young man lost amongst the confusion that is the impossible. A reed tall figure shattered by the many pieces of his life, the puzzle of his existence always fell just out of reach. Fractured he could not continue, so here he stood on top of the world all alone. One with nothing.

He could feel nothing. Emptiness. He had reached the bottom of his short life, the end of a beginning. No one understood him anymore. No one could. He was on top of the world, all alone, so lonely that he could barely breathe. For a time, his mind blurred everything before him, he couldn’t focus. Lost within himself he struggled to find his truth, a truth that he never could find.

He took another deep drag of his twisted cigarette as more of him vanished, another gulp of a cold whiskey flask that tore at his throat, and drowned his hopes, with each painful swallow. All of it, everything, reminded him of the damage done, the walls torn down, the hidden tears that plagued his very soul. The lost pieces of a lifetime that he could not recall, seared at his very core, like a hot iron upon a cold ragged piece of cloth.

“There is something wrong with me damn it!” He cursed at nothing and no one, for no one could hear him. No one ever did.

“Screw it!” He lurched forward and then pulled himself back. He wanted to let go. He did. He needed to. The pain was too great. But he couldn’t, something inside him kept him here, something he had grown to hate. Three feet of stone separated him from his eternity. Three feet that stood between him and his afterlife. Thirty stories up, people were invisible to him. Within the cold darkness, he felt nothing at all.

“I’m done. I’m done being me. I can’t take me anymore!” He took another deep breath upon his only true companion piece, a man-made parcel of paper that wrapped up a bioengineered drug, one that tore at his very existence, with each breath a piece of him was destroyed. A solitary tear fell from his half-closed blood shot eyes upon his pale cold cheek, not quite an adult, his eyelids and forehead were clear of the ravages of time, his jaw and neck devoid of all hair, he was just a child not so long ago; yet he felt like he had lived a thousand years in someone else’s life, a stranger in his own head, a prisoner of his drugged mind.

Could anyone see him? Did anyone notice that he was no longer there? A figment of their imagination plastered throughout the world, pictures taken devoid of light, text written without any true meaning. Millions of followers, strangers who hadn’t a clue. Internet friends who cared only of the image, his image, not him. Did anyone care at all?

Minutes earlier no one seemed to notice as he walked past his entourage toward the elevator. Had they not realized that he was gone? They were all no one without him. No one. Plastic smiles covered up false concern. Wax figures without true emotions. Mannequins within his life surrounded him daily with noisy news of nothings that stripped away at his very existence. No one ever spoke to him with meaning, their eyes diverted, their hearts empty, many, just out for a piece of him until there was virtually nothing left, a shadow that resembled the young man that he was, the young man that he could have been.

“Stop!” He screamed out into the night, his cold breath revealed to him, in a lingering wisp of grey air that swooshed from his nose and mouth, that he was still here. He held his head within his two hands and jerked it about, until he staggered, almost fell, then stood, only to take his final whiff of pure government magic, the cure that would certainly kill every ounce of him ever so slowly, until only a ravaged man remained, devoid of emotion and thought, his body sickened by the constant drip of death that he inhaled, or drank, or snorted or sniffed.

He couldn’t stop his demons. No matter how hard he tried. Deep within his very existence they lived, they thrived upon his emotions, upon his anger, they multiplied, until this very day. Until now. Here atop this frigid structure stood a microscopic piece of the universe that struggled to find his way home. A young man torn to pieces by the world that he wanted so much to be a part of.

Had he known that his path would bring him here, would he have continued?

“Leave me alone!” He shouted at no one. For no one ever heard him. No one that truly cared. He just wanted a normal life. Was that so hard? A normal life, a family, love, real love, not purchased, or borrowed, or stolen, was this impossible?

The movie version of a happy family.

He just stood there, atop that three-foot wall devoid of any cigarettes or bottles, just he and the wind that whipped around him. He closed his eyes and still he could not remember her, the woman most important in any child’s life, her voice eluded him even now, her touch, her gentle words, her loving caress, lost within a mind stolen from him so long ago.

Did she ever exist? He wondered. How could she? Why did she leave? Left alone with only cardboard cutouts, he struggled to find her, his dreams ravaged by his distant memories of a life he never could remember, a myriad of memories, buried so deep within his very core, that only death could give him answers, only then, would he find peace.

He stumbled forward, and then struggled to regain his stance, not ready for the final curtain of his very last performance. How would they remember him? He wondered. The very masses that called out to him just moments ago. A year from now would they even care? Ten years removed, mentioned still, then twenty, just a distant memory, a faded picture, a forgotten melody.

“Why?!” He shouted out to the empty sky now devoid of stars, to the clouds that shook at his very soul with the threat of ice rain, that began to fall from the sky, that tiny piece of him, the fragment of a child once loved, gave him hope despite the darkness, and this young desperate man, still just a boy, jumped back down to the ground below, dropped to his knees and sobbed.

Fortune and fame could not fix him. Time didn’t heal all wounds. The emptiness that stole his happiness grew stronger. He stood up despite the pain and rubbed his eyes. He turned and watched again, the very dark clouds that menaced the earth this night were as real as his nightmares that menaced his very soul.

A flash of light from an opened door behind him forced him to turn around.

I will tell my story, as if the person I am writing about, is not me, just someone else, someone that I used to know, someone that I used to be. I will let you in.

“What the hell are you doing up here?” My so-called father, yelled out to me, as I watched him watch me from afar, his hairy, stubbled face hid his squinty stingy green eyes. “Don’t you know you were supposed to be friggin’ out there like twenty minutes ago? Huh? Huh?” He continued, his voice rang out and pierced my ravaged subconscious.

“What the hell is wrong with you?” he neared. I stumbled. He approached, like a frightened child still, I trembled just enough to let him see.

“Well?! What the hell! Are you gone? Again? What have you taken huh? Are you trying to destroy me? Everything that I have built for you, huh? Huh? You are nothing without me, do you hear me?!” He grabbed me up by the collar and shook me. “You are gonna go out there! Ya here me son! You are going to do what you do best and then you’ll see what tomorrow brings, cause’ I’m through, you here? I’m locking ya up until you are sober! You hear me?!! This time you ain’t gettin’ out!” He wagged his middle finger at my face like he had done so many times before, a blurry reminder of his contempt for me. I hated when he called me son, for he was not my father.

“Aren’t ya going to say something huh? No lip this time? What?” his vodka tinged breath made me want to puke.

Another flash of light and she was there, the woman that lived with him for the past eight years, that’s all she was, really, that woman, the woman that shared his bed at night, always afraid to say anything that mattered.

“What?” he turned to face her. “What are you doing here?”

Her dyed blonde hair had streaks of black at its base, once his latest muse, she was now the survivor, the only woman that he kept around for longer than a year and she knew it. She seemed to have a hold on him that no one understood, no one but him, that is; a dark secret that kept this angry pair together and tore me apart.

“I’ll talk with him. You go back down,” she offered, her wrinkled lips ravaged by daily cigarettes, her teeth distorted by the grey smoke that stained her very soul.

“Why?” he raged.

“Just go back down Cap, he’ll follow in just a couple,” she insisted, her eyes intent upon his, her voice commanded him to obey.

He huffed and grumbled and walked off loudly before he disappeared into the elevator, his tall beefed up body, clad in form fitting clothes, disguised his true age, only the wrinkles that multiplied with each passing day of abuse, told his truth.

She turned to face me, the woman that pretended to care, even though she never learned what the meaning of that word was, her eyes looked upon me like she always had, half interested, half not. I was the prodigal son, once the little boy, that she could hide away in a room when they needed their privacy. She just managed me. She tried to be a mother but she failed miserably. She wasn’t my mother. Dawn was no one’s mom. She couldn’t get out of her way long enough to think about anyone else.

“So, what is it this time Mace? Huh? Feeling sorry for yourself again? Huh? Poor me! I gotta shitty life. No one cares about me.” She mimicked my rage. “Does all this sound familiar? Huh?” She circled me like a cat its prey. I didn’t answer. I couldn’t. I wouldn’t be able to control myself if I had.

“It must be tough being you huh? The whole world knows your friggin’ name. Girls throw themselves at you. You’re drowning in dough. Oh, poor me! Just shut the frig up! All that’s because of your father and me, you know. We pushed, yeah and we pushed hard, but it was worth it! We took your little talent and dragged your little ass to places very few people ever see. You’re a star! You’re at the top of the game! You are the best! You little shit!”

“I’m tired of playing your game!” I had to say something, this repetitious garbage made me want to puke.

My stepmother, her facially reconstructed nose seemed lost amongst her blown up cheeks, which puffed out like a blow fish, upon her heavily made-up face. She nailed me with her strong grip, her hand grabbed up my wrist hard.

“Look Mace, I’m tired of your shit, ya here me? Huh?” Her stern crap brown eyes stared into mine with a piercing glare, “You are going to get out there and give the performance of your goddamn life, and then I don’t care what you do after that! Screw twenty girls, get so effin’ high that you can’t feel the ground, I don’t give a damn! Fifty thousand fans are out there chanting your name, ya hear me, your name! Ya want us to leave you alone, then go to effin’ work!”

She was a jerk, a callous bitch who never wanted children of her own, but she was right in a way, even though her breath nearly killed me, she was right about my freedom. I’ll get four days off after this last gig, and I can’t wait. I need it. I guess I’ll have to give it my best shot. I’ll have to. But that’s all, I’m done. I’m done.

I walked toward the door. She followed. I put on my trade mark big dark glasses, my trade mark black contacts, no one in the public has ever seen my face, not really, just my long hair and glasses, my body, my fake eyes, that’s all they care about, that and the music. That’s why it’s all just an act. I’m never out there. Not me. It’s never me. It’s him. Mace Walker. He’s not me. Damn it! I hate him!

Mace Walker, at times, I feel like that isn’t even my name. Mace isn’t the kid who wrote these songs, he is not the one who blasted out these melodies on his keyboard, or guitar. Mace isn’t the one who mastered the very art of the Martial Arts, a trait stolen from my biological father’s obsession. I have learned from the best, I am the best for a kid my age. Belt after belt, tournament after tournament, I learned the skills necessary to win, the mental skills necessary to survive. I could kick the living shit out of anyone if I wanted. I just can’t, I won’t. There is someone holding me back. He lives inside of me; he is the real me.

I don’t remember him anymore, the kid that I used to be. I think that I have nightmares about him but I don’t remember my dreams. He’s a stranger living within my mind. At times, I think I just made him up, but I know that when I awake some days, I am not Mace but him, that part of me that keeps me sane. The real me that I can no longer remember, he is the real reason that I am still here. He wrote these songs of rage, angered by what happened, trapped in the past, he screamed to get out.

I walked down the concrete and steel steps toward the elevator in a fog. She entered first and watched callously as I followed. She pressed the number to the level that we needed to get to, to enter the stage. She didn’t speak another word to me. She didn’t have to. She had accomplished her task. That was enough. There wasn’t a hug from her, or some words of concern; I believe she was incapable of such things.

I was dressed in my usual attire, my thick rich black hair, flowed down in waves near my shoulders, my pale tight skin, wrapped my body so close, that no fat could ever enter. My crystal blue eyes concealed by dark contacts, and then by darker glasses still, for I needed to become Mace, this was my way of separating him from me. I honestly don’t remember the last time anyone in the public saw my true self, the last time that someone gazed into my blue eyes, my real face, except me and the people in my inner circle.

Mace always wore tight jeans, black sneakers, and an opened white shirt, his torso rippled by years of studying under the greatest masters of the Martial Arts. All of this a façade, for slowly, internally, Mace’s body, his mind, was being destroyed by almost any tainted chemical he could get his hands on. I was lost within him now. He was winning.

Mace walked out of the elevator, she followed; he, my biological father Cap, just smiled at her, that look of a job well done, as a wave of people approached Mace, they pulled at him in every direction. Who wanted to place a mike, who needed to fix his face, who was worried that he didn’t rehearse enough. Who yelled at him for his tardiness, and reminded him of his obligations. Who asked him if he needed anything.

Mace just needed to get out there, like he had so many times before. It was time. As he approached the stage, he could feel his heart beat faster, adrenaline surged from his brain throughout his body. This was the only place that he lived, on that very stage. That was where he felt loved. Here was where he could escape. Trapped within a life that he did not recognize; the stage was where he came alive. Mace Walker lived once more.

Mace walked out onto the stage, he felt the energy. Thousands chanted his name. “MACE! MACE! MACE!!!” Tens of thousands strong. The bright lights all focused upon him. Mace greeted his band mates, fist bumped and hugged them, and then just stood there at the edge of the stage, and drank it all in.

There were so many of them. They clamored for this moment alone with him. Body guards and security teams kept the more rabid fans at bay, but he only wanted more, he needed more. He raised up his arms and the crowd went wild.

Gone was the kid on the ledge. Diluted were the effects of the damaging chemicals. Mace Walker was here and his fans knew it.

Mace Walker was back.

Since he was fourteen years old this was his home, the stage. He was nearly nineteen now. Five years and hundreds of millions of dollars later, thousands of performances after, his very first show, Mace Walker was still alive. His followers numbered in the tens of millions, his performances sold out throughout the world, his singles hit the number one mark every time and he was on the top of his game.

The rooftop beckoned no more, the chemicals faded, the power that enveloped him upon that stage overwhelmed everything else.

Maybe it was the secret that he kept inside that made him stronger. Tomorrow he would let them know.

A secret that would change his life forever. Every day he felt that tomorrow would be the day. It never was.

Mace Walker had no idea that this night would be unlike any other. He had no idea what his future would be.

No one did.

No one could.

He could never have imagined that…

Nothing would ever be the same again.

Nothing.

CHAPTER TWO

Seated at the piano, a hush came over the massive crowd. Mace pounded the keys as few could, his mastery of the piano was partly taught, but mainly inherent. Once begun, his music was unlike any other, he and the sounds that he created seemed to become one. He was indeed one with the instrument that he played. His vocals were deep and penetrating, heartfelt and sorrowful.

When the skies tear at your house

They take away your dreams

Everything you’ve ever had is gone

You find you’re all alone in the shadows of your mind

Your deepest darkest secrets exposed

Your heart is broken, shattered still

Until

What’s left is

Life

Another breath

Another heartbeat

Another day

To live

 

Rise up

And fight

We will take our life back

Fight

Stand up

And scream

It’s the only way

To get our life back

No voice, no justice, no life

Rise up

And fight

We have the might

To take our life back

To take our life back

 

Violence only hurts

It never heals

Destruction breaks the bond

Of all the deals

Only Peace will light the way

Its path is paved with dreams

Of children hoping for a better day

We must believe in peace

It’s the only way

Find your escape

To another day

Where life is better still

Better still

 

All of the love

Disappears within the lies

The hidden truths

That keep us captive

Hold us hostage to tomorrow

They take away our lives

Piece by piece we disappear

Until we are no more

Until we are no more

 

Rise up and fight

We will take our life back

Stand up! Fight!

We have the might

To take our life back

To take our life back

 

End the violence

Stop the wars

Before it is too late

To change

 

Through strength there is a chance

For hope

That

We can change

The future

Before it is too late

What man has created

Is not what God had done

We can make a difference

When the skies tear at your house

They take away your dreams

Everything you’ve ever had is gone

You find you’re all alone in the shadows of your mind

Your deepest darkest secrets exposed

Your heart is broken

Shattered still

Until

Until

There is nothing left

Nothing left

Nothing left

Still

You must fight

Rise up and fight

We must take our life back

We must take our life back

You hear me

Rise up and fight

We must take our life back

Take our life back

Fight!

 

“Good evening everyone!” I announced amidst the noise of tens of thousands shouting the word, ‘peace’, over and over again.

“Thank-you. Thank-you. Thank-you!” I exclaimed to a resounding, deafening round of applause.

“I can’t thank-you all enough for being here, without you, I am not possible.”

The chants for the next song rose above the sound system and overwhelmed the arena. I sat back down and began the melody that started it all for me, and the audience went wild. My band joined me this time.

This song began my journey and I had come to find it most difficult to sing and yet I needed to, my fans demanded it. The music was quiet and all consuming, the vocals soft and yet so difficult.

You couldn’t show me

Because you’ve never been shown

You couldn’t hold me

When you’ve never been held

You couldn’t see me

When all you could see was yourself

You couldn’t believe in me

Because no one believed in you

But that doesn’t explain

Why you couldn’t

Love me

 

I just wanted you to know

That’s why I’m writing this all down

Before I go

And leave this god forsaken’ town

That I just wanted to be needed

Is that so hard to believe?

Just needed to be needed

And not feel so alone

When everyone is here

And

No one is home

 

You couldn’t show me

Because you’ve never been shone

You couldn’t hold me

When you’ve never been held

You couldn’t see me

When all you could see was yourself

You couldn’t believe in me

Because no one believed in you

But that doesn’t explain why you couldn’t love me

 

No one is home

Even when the house is full

No one can read the writings on my walls

No one can see me even when I’m standing here

No one is home

No one cares at all

No one is home

Even when the house is full

No one can read the writings on my walls

No one can see me even when I’m standing here

No one is home

No one cares at all

 

I plug into my universe

And cut out all the noise

I listen to the sounds

And play with all the toys

Where imagination sets me free

And fantasy lets me be

Do not enter while I’m here

For you will not find me home

 

You couldn’t show me

Because you’ve never been shone

You couldn’t hold me

When you’ve never been held

You couldn’t see me

When all you could see was yourself

You couldn’t believe in me

When no one believed in you

That doesn’t explain why you couldn’t love me

 

I don’t remember happiness

I can’t remember it at all

The music of my life is too loud

To hear

The whispers of my past

In my head

Too distant to me now

To hear

The whispers of my past

You forgot the words

To my song

The words you never sang

I’m broken

Once more

 

I pray to God

That He forgives you

For what you couldn’t do

May He have mercy on your soul

When you must answer for your sins

You didn’t seem to understand

That just because you can’t

Just because you didn’t

Just because you wouldn’t

It’s all because you couldn’t

Love

I left because you couldn’t love me

You couldn’t love me

You just couldn’t love me

 

There was a quiet when the last chord of music was played. I fell silent for a time. It seemed lit candles surrounded my piano before I spoke up, at last. I think my audiences knew me best, they seemed to sense me now. I drew my strength from their silence. I felt alive in their presence.

“I want to say something,” I began into my mic. I stood and walked over to my guitar, and placed it around my arm, to great applause. “I hope that everyone here tonight has a great time! You are all my family!” The cheers overwhelmed me as I strummed the chords to my next song into my wooden companion beneath my chest.

 

It takes a special someone

To open up your eyes

To see the beauty of a love

That’s pure

The wonder of your face

The magic in your eyes

The softness of your lips

The strength of your embrace

The joy that I feel

Every moment

Of every day

I need you more than you could ever know

I miss you more when you are gone

I cherish you

My first true love

I love you

I love you

Always

Always

I will love you

 

You taught me what patience was

You taught me to be kind

You taught me what it means to love

When no one else could find

The answers to my questions

You taught me about this love

To want to be together

To never be apart

You taught me that I didn’t have to be alone

Even when my world came crashing down

You picked me up again

 

It takes a special someone

To open up your eyes to see

The beauty of a love

That’s pure

The wonder of your face

The magic in your eyes

The softness of your lips

The strength of your embrace

The joy that I feel

Every moment

Of every day

With you

I need you more than you could ever know

I miss you when you’re gone

I cherish you

My first true love

My first true love

I love you

Always

I will love you

Always

 

I cannot forget the days

The nights that we spent together

The way that you took care of me

When no one else could

The way I felt in your arms

The feel of your caress

The wonder of your smile

The sparkle in your eyes

The way that you spoke

The magic in your voice

I cannot forget

The first day you let go

The worry in your face

As I disappeared from view

The happiness I felt

When I saw your face anew

Can you ever understand

How much I care for you

For you were always there

Even when I

Just before I

Knew

How much I loved you too

 

It takes a special someone

To open up your eyes to see

The beauty of a love that’s pure

The wonder of your face

The magic in your eyes

The softness of your lips

The strength of your embrace

The joy that I feel

Every moment

Of every day

With you

I need you more than you could ever know

I miss you when you’re gone

I cherish you my first true love

My first true love

I love you

Always

I will love you

Always

Even though you’re gone

 

I stopped strumming my guitar, my band finished just in time, everyone stood up and cheered. I bowed my head within the light that shone so bright upon that stage. I felt the need to tell them things that no one knew but me.

“I have never said this before to anyone,” I began quietly, the crowd hushed, my voice cracked, “But I’m going to tell you all a secret about that song. I know that a lot of you play it, but I have never spoken about why I wrote it to anyone before….” I quieted, a part of me struggled to continue, to tell them the truth, “Well I mean that I have been asked about that song so much, one that I wrote so long ago,” I paused again, “Who is it about? You may not believe me, that I would write a song about a woman that I barely remember,” I stumbled and stuttered, “That song is for you Mom wherever you may be.” I fell silent. My head bowed down in pain. I felt a sorrow that I hadn’t since the day that I first put those words to paper, a loneliness, a sadness, an emptiness that never left, I felt it now.

The majority of the crowd fell silent. Some finally clapped, some called out my name, then others stood, I hadn’t realized that their quiet was a sorrow that they felt for me. I looked into their eyes and some wiped away their tears. I needed to speak. I liked to talk with my fans.

“I know that we’ve all been through bad stuff in our lives,” I began, “We each have life’s book bag that we carry, for some it is much heavier than most.” The audience responded positively. “I hope that in some way my songs help with that burden. I love you guys!”

The masses went crazy and then chanted for another song. I raced over to my electric keyboard complete with everything you could ever want. I startled myself with the loud music to my next song. The crowd howled out my name.

 

You came into my house

And stole my life

Without even thinking

You took my heart

And ripped it out

Without emotion

 

You are the poison

That kills men’s souls

You are poison

Poison

The kind that makes your skin crawls

You pretend to love

But all you do is hate

You’re poison

Poison

Once inside

You never get out

Poison

Watch what you say

Be careful who you let in

Evil is here to stay

 

You pretend to love

But all you do is hate

You’re poison

Poison

Once inside

You never get out

Poison

You came into my life

And pretended to care

Every day

That we were together was a lie

You never needed me

Like I needed you

You never wanted me

Like I wanted you

You are poison

The kind that makes your skin crawl

Watch your back

Don’t get too close

Sometimes a smile

Is really a curse

Even when you’re happy

No one is left behind

All it takes to see the truth

Is poison

You pretend to be

But all you do is hate

You’re poison

Poison

Once inside

You never get out

Poison

 

Everything you touch

Everything you say

Everything you do

Every life you touch

Is poisoned too

 

You’re poison

P O I S O N

P O I S O N

P O I S O N

You pretend to love but all you do is hate

You’re poison

Poison

Once inside you never get out

Poison

Everything you touch

Everything you do

Everything you say

Is poison too

Poison

You’re poison

P O I S O N

 

“Hey I know you’re all thinking! What the hell right!!!!” I shouted as I stood and pounced upon the stage. “Where is my head today? Right?” The audience stood up and chanted my name over and over again. “Yeah, I was in a dark place, I was in a very dark way. You guys know what I’m talking about right?” They responded in a resounding, “YES!!!”

“Get me my electric guitar, huh Rulle!” a band mate brought it over to me. I grabbed it up and began to play it in a crazy kind of loud way. I tried to take out all of my aggression, all of my pain, with my fingers on this shiny instrument within my hands. My audiences always loved it when I played like this. The band eventually joined in just as another song began.

 

Hey Hey Hey

I shouted out to my fans, and they shouted back the same.

Hey Hey Hey

They chanted, in response to me another five times.

Yeah!

I played the guitar so hard that I forgot the song.

 

Don’t dog me!

I just need to be alone!

 

I shouted into my mike.

 

Don’t tell me what to do!

Screw you!

I hate your guts!

Yes you!

You’re a sorry ass!

A broken sheet of glass!

You’re no one to me!

You never gave a damn!

Get lost!

You’re nothing to me!

 

I played the hell out of my guitar in unison with some of my band.

 

Where were you?

When I needed you the most?

Where were you?

When I was lost

Where the hell were you?

When my life had broken down

When I felt that I could drown

Hey! Hey! Hey!

Yeah You!

Don’t dog me


AUTHOR Q&A

About me

Robert De Cristofano is the author of six previously published works of fiction: FAITH HOPE IDENTICAL GUARDIAN GUARDIAN LOST and NICK SAINT. Discover them at robertdecristofano.com, on Amazon, and on Kindle. Please visit and let me know what you think. Thank-you. Writing is something that I've always enjoyed. Reading takes me on a journey, and lets me experience things that I could never alone. Thanks to all the writers for everything, and thanks to all the readers for making it possible.

Q. What is the inspiration for the story?
A.
Young people today seem lost, trapped in a world where life is electronic. They struggle to find themselves, to find their place in the world, to find their real identity. Mace Walker had success and money and yet he was lost too. He discovers what is most important in life, friends, family, love.
Q. Why do you write?
A.
Writers live in a special place, a world where words are created, characters come to life, a very special place where anything is possible, and everything is written. Sometimes I live there too.
Q. Is there a message in your book that you want readers to grasp?
A.
What matters most in life is not how famous you are, how connected, how much money you have, what matters most are the objects that you cannot buy, love, a caring family, good friends, an ability to give of yourself to help others. Mace Walker forgot this truth, lost, he struggles to find it again.

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