They said that it was just a story. 'Just', I could almost feel the italic contempt dripping from the word. I have never much cared what 'they' thought, but at this comment I took offence. Personal commitment, perhaps; this is, after all, my story.

There's a strange thing about them, stories I mean. Although they have their own immediacy and their own characters, they can be happening at any time, to anyone, in any place. That is why I found their dismissal so offensive, that is why I am sharing this story here, now. This isn't just my story.

I'm merely the one who is telling it.

I, Apostle

Apostoli is a story that follows a life experience of four temporally separated characters. It is planned in the form of an overarching 'primary' story, told in the first person, which is interspersed by fragments of the three other stories, which are all linked together in their progress.

The characters are not related to one another in any sense other then they all undergo experiences that are, to their own cultural and personal perspectives, revelatory in sense of ethics and meaning. The primary story, told in the first person, is perhaps the most commonplace, with the revelation being conveyed through the musings of the speaker. The other three deal with the notion of Faith, or Belief.

The four characters who live out these experiences are as follows:

1. 'A', a man in his late fifties/early sixties, living in the modern day - circa 2005/2006. He is reflecting upon the human condition in the context of the time and in his memories.

2. Antiokles, a cousin of the philosopher Socrates. His story will consist of both dialogues and episodes relating from the immediate arrest of Socrates (a conversation immediately prior), the imprisonment of the philosopher, and his death. Will talk about the dignity and choice of Socrates, when he dies for his beliefs despite the plan of his students - into whom Antiokles has been interspersed - to set him free.

3. Taliesin, druid of Wales. A 'historical' interpretation of the Merlin legend, advisor to Arthur Pendragon. This segment focusses on two things, the betrayal of Merlin by Morgaine, and the death of Arthur (road to Avalon). Faith again tested, in life, and in death.

4. Cardinal 'X', a member of the Roman Curia, overseeing the Sistine Chapel painting by Michelangelo. Argues with the Pope about the 'pagan' symbols and paintings in the mural, and is 'promoted' to Patriarch of Venice and moved from Rome in order to stop him hindering the painting continuing. Returns to the grand unveiling, and has several revelations about the nature of Faith - that all paths lead to the one God.

The novel is essentially a message about faith and ethics, hence the title - 'I, Apostle', being of course 'I, Messenger'. Meaning? Let's see what people get out of it. :)


This piece and all related material are © 2006 Ben Thomas. All rights reserved.