Book Title: Falling Awake III: Requiem
Author: Kristoffer Gair
Cover Artist: Kris Norris
Genre/s: M/M Suspense, occult
Trope/s: Love can conquer all.
Themes: Reincarnation, friendship, sacrifice, love
Heat Rating: 1 flame
Length: 149 000 words
There are two prior books, Falling Awake and Falling Awake II: Revenant.
He will turn what is into what can be.
They targeted him before he was ever born. They will hunt him. They will execute anyone around him. They will rip his innocence away, corrupt him, and twist him into an instrument of terror. He will give the world reason to fear, fear the unknown, and he will do this lifetime after lifetime after lifetime.
Except this time, Daniel Davis hasn’t come back alone.
Four souls have returned with him, would-be protectors who’ve vowed to shield him from this fate. If they succeed, Daniel will turn what is into what can be. And if they fail, his light will dim and fade…forever.
“It’s okay, baby. It’s okay.” Amanda grabbed a blanket from the inside of the vehicle and wrapped it around Daniel, then took a clean cloth and held it up to his chin. He’d need stitches and there’d be one hell of a scar. “Look at me.” He did, still shaking.
She’d almost been a moment too late. A second of hesitation and he’d be dead. What did the intruder want? What had he been looking for? And why did he scream what he did at Daniel?
Let me see your eyes. It’s in there, isn’t it? Deep down you can feel it.
The intruder’s words. Why the eyes? What was in them? What had he looked for? And why would Daniel feel it? Why did all of this feel so familiar to her? She knew the answers somewhere in the back of her memory, just out of reach. Why couldn’t she remember?
You can’t hide from us! We’ll find you again and again and again!
This had happened before. It happened now. It would happen again. Unless…
She studied the young boy’s face, the remains of a kind of innocence now lost and something new dawning. He’d never be the same again. Ever. Nobody prepared him for this. Not this young. How did one recover? With time? Without his mother or father?
Daniel began sobbing anew, as if reading her mind about his parents, whom she was sure he already missed.
“You’re—” Her voice cracked and she struggled not to break down in front of him. He didn’t need that. He needed strength. “You’re safe, baby. You’re safe now, Daniel.”
He stared into her eyes now. Was he searching for truth, or to see the depths of her own demons compared to his?
She met his gaze with her own and peered into his eyes. Blue. The blue eyes she’d seen in her recent dreams when he’d appeared much older. Still there, but… She felt her head tilt to the side as she searched even deeper. Beyond the blue. Something else. Something new. Foreign. Fear? No. Fear was on the outside, on the surface, but below the fear in a place he couldn’t feel or know existed inside himself? Shadows. Something that didn’t belong. A blackness, a blackness that swirled around in its infancy, as if waking.
The intruder is responsible for this. He woke this thing.
The blackness stopped moving for a moment. Did it sense her? She stared at it and some part of it intuitively stared back at her. The blackness knew her. They were old acquaintances. And if the thing, this entity or presence…whatever the hell it was…could have sneered at her, she knew it would have.
Have you ever heard a child scream as if their soul was being ripped apart at the seams? Like there’s no safe place in Heaven, Earth, or in-between that’s safe.
Where did these words come from? When did she say them? Part of her understood she never had, and yet another part, the part far back in her mind, knew she had. But when? How could that even be possible? Amanda also understood Daniel’s soul was infected and this thing inside him would take great joy in ripping him apart.
“You’re safe now, Daniel,” she repeated, mostly to reassure herself, only she knew deep down it wasn’t true.
The darkness in Daniel’s eyes began its dance anew.
…it’s going to eat him from the inside out.
Her words again? When did she say this?
“You’re not going to get him,” she muttered.
The darkness found an opening and began to disappear behind Daniel’s eyes, hiding beyond the physical, beyond reach. Beyond her reach.
He’s already ours.
Daniel began to shake.
AUTHOR INTERVIEW PROMPTS
Author name: Kristoffer Gair
The film you can watch time and time again…
I have three truly horribly delightful films I can watch time and time again, and even then more often than that. I’ll narrow it down to this one, though; Megaforce. First, I can probably still quote the entire friggin’ film word for word. I remember seeing the ads for Megaforce on the back of Star Wars comics back in 1982 and wanting to see it. Unfortunately, the film bombed and was in and out of the cinema before I had a chance to drag Dad to see it.
That year, however, saw a major surge in VCRs coming into the home, and my parents bought one for us as a family Christmas gift. The very first movie that ever graced our Television screen Christmas morning? Megaforce. Motorcycles with missiles and machine guns, dune buggies with guns, missiles and lasers… This twelve-year-old boy (at that time) lost his shit.
I didn’t care that lead actor Barry Bostwick starred in The Rocky Horror Picture Show, A Woman Of Substance, or achieved comedic heights in Spin City. To me, Barry was always and will always be Commander Ace Hunter, leader of Megaforce…and those lovely vehicles. I even met Barry a decade or so ago and he signed my Megaforce film poster and Japanese Blu-Ray. So happy to meet a fan of that film, he actually gave me a blurb for my Gaylias: Operation Thunderspell back cover. Not bad, huh?
Your early recollections of writing fiction…
My mother was a voracious reader and she read to me from an early age on. I credit her for this, and for knowing books would expand my imagination and inspire me. I wrote my first puppet play in 2nd Grade, and continued writing them for another couple of years. I tried my hand an absolutely atrocious short story about a creature in the attic eating high school students—originality knew no bounds in my existence—and a horrific attempt at a novel during my last year of high school. I was the Roger Corman of the literary world, just without the expertise or talent.
Moving ahead, my best friend in college and I believed that to become a successful author, we had to write everything out longhand (a colossal waste of time we partook in anyway), our finished piece had to be a minimum of 500 pages in length, and better than anything Stephen King or Clive Barker ever achieved. Yes, our lives required a certain suspension of disbelief even back then.
The failures finally started becoming successes, and by successes I mean we started finishing entire first drafts, embracing editing, and
The philosophy that underpins your life…
A former friend used to say he tried to live his life by the philosophy “Do no harm.” I didn’t understand it at the time. The idea seemed rather simplistic, I was in my late twenties, and sometimes a little harm led to a greater good. But then he did harm, and so did I to the point we’re no longer friends.
It’s easy to take so many things in life for granted. I certainly did. Others did. Others still do. But when reality decides to rear its head and give you a hard dose of itself, you start to catch on pretty quickly. My father-in-law passed away in 2013, my mentor in 2014, a fellow author and friend in 2015, my father a month later, another friend in 2016 and in early 2018, my Grandmother in 2018, my mother 5 months later, and my best friend from college 2 months ago.
I replay conversations with these people in my head, try to remember when I made them laugh, and also realize when I made them cry along with why. Was it worth it? Was it worth the harm or the pettiness? No. So I get it now. Do no harm, because it’s the right thing to do.
The book you enjoyed planning/writing the most…
I had an absolute ball writing Gaylias: Operation Thunderspell under my old pseudonym, Kage Alan. There was an idea that kept bouncing around my head for a white/Asian couple who bickered nonstop, which would mirror parts of my marriage to my husband (who happens to be half Chinese). Unfortunately, I couldn’t quite get a feel for how to make it work, and then I heard the song Thunderspell by German metal artist Doro. Everything clicked and I wrote like a bat out of Hades.
The two main characters are spies for the Government who get assigned to work together for the first time. They’ve been a couple for years, only never worked together…for a reason. They spend most of the book arguing, trying to one-up each other, or otherwise annoy the hell out of each other every possible moment they get, and it’s fun! It was fun to write, the energy comes through, and it’s my version of a comedy. My version of comedy, by the way, is something that starts off funny, is funny in the middle, and ends funny.
Gaylias is also a story I’d like to come back to one day and finish writing the sequel. Maybe after it gets reprinted in my name since I no longer write under Kage Alan. We’ll see.
And the promo…
I started off writing comedy. Humor is addictive, especially when you hear people laughing at something you’ve written, or you receive an e-mail telling you that you’ve made a reader laugh. My mother told me many times that not everything in life is funny. I didn’t believe her. Or maybe I just wanted to prove her wrong. Then, my father-in-law passed, my mentor passed, my father and several friends passed, my grandmother passed, and, finally, my mother. Things didn’t quite so funny, and based on the sheer volume of people I was losing, suffice to say I fell into a rather deep depression.
Getting through those dark feelings and searching for hope came in the form of the Falling Awake novels. The first book, or novella, introduces us to 5 characters. Daniel wakes up in what he thinks is an airport with no memory of who he is. He meets 4 others (Tam, Alex, Larenz, and Amanda) who provide pieces of the puzzle, and Daniel realizes he is targeted to become an instrument of evil in his next life. The other 4 go back with him in order to protect him.
Falling Awake II: Revenant takes us back to one of Alex’s previous lives, and we get a dose of just what the people hunting Daniel are like, as well as what they’ll do to him when the find him again.
Requiem continues where the first book left off. We know what the group is up against. We know what could happen to Daniel. The question is whether or not Tam, Alex, Larenz, and Amanda can fulfil what they’ve promised. Are they capable of saving him? Or are they just buying him time since no one targeted by the revenant has ever been come back from the precipice?
About the Author
Kristoffer Gair grew up in Fraser, MI and is a graduate of Grand Valley State University. He is the author of 7 novels—some written under the pseudonym Kage Alan—been a part of 6 anthologies, and currently lives in a suburb of Detroit.