There is no magic, only Ka’uun—the energy of creation—provided by the planet’s spirit; the urKa’uun are its users. Caught in the angst of being a teenager, Bartholomew Fix rails against what he perceives to be a pointless and mundane existence, craving some sort of adventure. He gets more than he bargains for as he is infected the bite of the Wandering Bug and compelled to seek out an agent of the Universe who transports him to another planet in need of his off-world energy. He awakens in the home of a great urKa’uun and becomes his apprentice where he learns how to use Ka’uun and none too soon for the thousand-year king is dying before his time, causing the realm to be on the brink of war. They have fought each other for ages under the slave yolk of the Perq, recently chased out of their world. The king, the one empowered with enough Ka’uun to stop the five kingdoms of men from warring with each other and keep the fearsome Urilok at bay, needs the answer that the Scrolls of Udanadar may hold on its pages. The boy is sent out with the urKa’uun’s other ward, a skilled girl born of the wild-wise Duvar, to bring back the Scrolls of Udandar, containing the instructions creating the king and the kingmaker device, which can find the successor. But a simple mission is never so simple, and soon the two find themselves on a quest spanning the realm to find these items and stave off war. The adventure is at times humorous and other times fraught with danger as they face bandits, pirates, evil spirits, and an ancient enemy that rears its head. These trials force Bartholomew to grow from a naïve boy concerned with the little things in his world, into a brave hero learning what is to sacrifice in order to achieve a higher goal.
The seeking soul, the unquenchable yearning soul, the wandering soul, is a restless soul. It is a beacon calling out for rescue; a ship with no port. For those of this malady there is a cure; a place to wander away to for adventure and satisfy the hunger. It lay at the end of a misty, dark road; at the end of Apple Orchard Way. But if one were to approach closer, it could be seen that all was not dark, that little flecks of light danced a firefly ballet, lighting the mystical gloom; a beacon for wandering souls. Such is a place of the whispering sort, the subject of townsfolk behind veiled, covered mouths, and furtive glances, quick darting eyes. But the wandering type, they know where to go- to the porch, to the hearth, to be taken in by one who is known as Thomas O’Thomas McQuinn. Now Thomas O’Thomas, as he liked to be called, was an Irishy fellow on the short side of tall. He had a fiery-red beard from his chest to his chin, with sparkly green eyes and a fierce, friendly grin. The townsfolk knew when they came through the town; the wandering ones, walking as though they knew where to go. And they did, in a mystical way, a calling like no other for their adventurous hearts. Quietly they went without stopping a bit, not for a meal at Mrs. Tuttleby’s, known five counties wide for the tastiest of fare anyone could eat; not even at Killebrew’s, a quaint coffee shop right on the corner, an unavoidable stop where could be had a gooey-type pastry and fresh Java Jolt. Thomas O’Thomas knew, sitting there sometimes on his porch, or sometimes by the fire, rocking patiently. He knew- something in the wind told him, maybe a bug. At those times he would have a big pot of steaming stew, bubbling lustily on the stove, and a fresh loaf of homey bread- warm to the touch; the hearty, stew mopping kind. As it happened one night when the lights were all down, with the sun tucked away in its nightly repose, and the moon for some reason wished not to be shown, the wandering bug flitted into O’Thomas’ very own town. It was a cozy town, not far from the big city, but far enough for those who commuted daily to get a breath of fresh air, suiting O’Thomas just fine. The bug moved through the night with purpose and direction; it knew where to go, what to do, who to see. A soul calling out for adventure was the irresistible scent, going from one to another, always searching for the next hungry heart, fulfilling its eternal purpose. The wandering bug darted over the roof of Mr. Mulberry’s grocery store and across the town square where it startled the Lattimer’s cat as it was about to pluck one of the town’s prized koi from the central fountain; a gaudy thing that nobody liked but were too polite to say about it what they really felt. Next, it sped down Thistle Creek Way until it came to the Great Oak of Dandybrook about which was said that it once saved the town. Nobody knew for sure what the story once told, but it had something to do with acorns, or so thought the town librarian, Mr. Binder. Nobody even knew why it was called the Great Oak of Dandybrook, since Dandybrook was not even the town’s name. From there, the bug turned down Cottonwood Lane and headed for the open bedroom window on the second story of the third house on the right from the end; the blue one with the broken porch light. In through the window, the bug silently slipped, passing neatly between the thin metal wires of the screen and dipped down to the boy sleeping fitfully on the bed by the door; his covers in a confused mess by his feet. He dreamt of wondrous things and exciting places, yet they were only his dreams. The wandering bug landed softly on a spot just behind the boy’s left ear, and ever-so-gently… bit him. As simple as that, the boy was on a path that would forever change his life. Its job done, the little bug, the peculiar bug, the bug of extraordinary purpose flitted out the window on a course for its next adventurous soul.
S. Cameron Roach has been writing for most of his known life for school publications and family Christmas letters where his talent as a wordsmith became luscious fruit on the family tree. Once married and realizing the terror of supporting a family, he joined the U.S. Army and begat two Army brats enroute to 24 years of service to his country in the Military Intelligence field. He has a BS in Intelligence (no really, he does!), served in Desert Storm and both recent ventures in Iraq and Afghanistan. S. Cameron Roach is currently living in Texas with his lovely and dedicated wife of 25 years, Kelli, and three boxers, Anja, Kaiser and Phineas. Now he is looking to begin the next stage of his life in retirement as an author bringing smiles, laughter and adventure to avid readers.