Walking down to his grandfather’s unit, Peter reflects upon Beverly’s propositions. Maybe his grandfather will have further wisdom on the subject, he muses as he enters his pappy’s room. A single room, as the restlessness of his dreams has precluded his peaceful cohabitation with another elderly patient. His grandfather is slightly elevated in bed, with an oxygen mask over a nasal cannula, indicating he is under duress. “Pappy, how are you today? Needing a little more oxygen this morning?” Taking off his mask, Pappy, a bit short of breath, says, “Peter. My boy. A little late today, aren’t we?” “I was talking with Dr. Fontaine about a new project she’s working on.” “Oh, the good doctor. Why can’t I have her as my physician? She’d be so much better than that Dr. Elephant. She’s so much more compassionate and understanding.” “So I gather, Pappy. You two have been spending some quality time together.” “I was simply trying to get her to understand how best to provide me comfort.” “So, I’ve heard, Pappy. How was your night? Anything clearer?” “The same, Peter. The same. What I would give for a peaceful night. Peace. Even the partial peace your grandmother provided. It isn’t so much to ask,” Pappy groans. “As always, I awake knowing I dreamt something very important, but I cannot piece it together. Ninety-three years of this. Ninety-one, if you don’t count the years I couldn’t speak. And what about you? Can you remember anything?” Scratching his head, Peter stares out the window. “The same agony of not being able to put my finger on that important something.” He turns and shivers. “A darkness. An emptiness. A void. The same vagueness, but nothing specific. That is, except for a gun.” Pappy lurches up, very focused. “Peter, my boy, this is very important. This moment. Tell me more.” Peter moves closer to Pappy and helps him lean back to rest. “You know how it is. Everything is so fuzzy. I’ve never remembered anything from these nightly torments. But strangely, the past two mornings, it’s different. Maybe a gun, and a woman. Dark hair?”
“Yes. Yes! Gun and dark hair, Peter,” Pappy gasps. He puts the oxygen mask back on. “I’ve waited. Thirty years. For you and me. To have the same dream. And you needed to save her.” Shaking his head, Peter stares down at his pappy’s aged hands holding his mask on. “I’m afraid I can’t save anyone. Even in my dreams.” “Everything changes now that I know you and I have dreamed the same images,” exclaims Pappy. Peter pauses, processing that new fact. “Pappy, I was just down the hallway with Dr. Fontaine, discussing the psychology of dreams. But she explained things in such a simple way that I now understand how these theories might relate to our disorder. She says ours are anxiety dreams. That we, our minds, are acting out some repression. Freud would say it’s repressed lust for our mothers that drives our dreams. Jung says it’s a sign that we’re trying to transform. We’re driven by something that happened to our prehistoric ancestors.” Peter stares at his grandfather. “What repressed conflict are we seeking to resolve? What transformation are we seeking?” Pappy takes Peter’s hand. “Peter, all we have is our family tradition to guide us. Please, repeat it for me. Our only peace is in our faith in our tradition. That is the so-called repressed conflict of Dr. Fontaine…and of Freud.” Peter gulps. Putting on a very serious visage, he says, “The long-tailed star came from the sky, and our lands became ice, and winter became forever. Only the giants of the reindeer dominate. The bright star that never sets will be your guide. Watch for the long-tailed star.” “Good, my boy. The second part, now.” “And be wary of the giants, the Reindeer People, for when they arrive, you must flee and seek the mountains.” Pappy, assuming the patriarchal appearance that has commanded Peter’s and his father’s lives, says, “The third part.” Nervous, Peter continues, “Follow the black object, for this will guide you as you search for your new life.” With deepening aggravation, Pappy gasps and admonishes Peter. “Boy, you must. You must. You must not change anything. We have recited this from the beginning of our line. As far back as my great-grandfather, and he said as far back
as his great-grandfather, we have passed down these oral traditions. We must preserve them.” Pappy gasps again, and Peter helps put the mask on him. From under the mask, Pappy mutters in slow, broken phrases, “Follow the vision. And words. Of the black object. For this will guide you. As you seek your new land.” He stops and waits for the oxygen to rebuild in his blood, then nods for Peter to continue. Peter mentally rehearses and finally recites, “Fourth part: Man and woman. Only as the two together can you find peace. The object can save. You might see in sleep, might hear.” Pappy rests his head back and gasps. After several tense minutes, he removes the mask. “Peter, forgive an old man if he repeats himself every time you visit. But I find that if I don’t keep repeating myself, at my age I will begin to forget. And as I do to you, my grandfather pounded into my head that we should never forget.”
Title: The Matriarch Matrix
Author: Maxime Trencavel
Genre: Science Fiction, Adventure
The Matriarch Matrix – A speculative fiction novel of origins, faith, passion, and the pursuit of peace.
It was always his destiny to save her. It was always her destiny to die. The fate of the world hangs on their choices…
The past foretells her future…
What does it take to change a loving child of peace into an assassin for a dangerous and powerful oligarch? Zara Khatum knows. Once a fighter for her Kurdish people, the memory of the atrocities inflicted by her captors has Zara seeking one thing: vengeance. But the voices of the ancients call to Zara. In the past, in another life, she knew the secrets of the artifact…
Twelve thousand years ago…
She is Nanshe, revered matriarch of the family she led away from the monsters of the north. In the land that would one day mark the treacherous border between Turkey and Syria, she created the temples at Gobleki Tepe and founded a dynasty, heirs to a powerful object. For millennia, Nanshe’s descendants have passed down the legend of the artifact: “The object can save. But only a man and woman together can guide the salvation of others.”
Heirs to destiny…
By fate or destiny, Zara is thrown in with Peter Gollinger, a quirky Californian from the other side of the world and the other side of everything she believes. But he, too, is heeding the voices of his ancestors. Joined by Jean-Paul, a former Jesuit priest, these three people—from wildly different religions and cultures—must find a way to work together to solve a twelve thousand-year-old mystery of the powerful object that spawned a faith. The world teeters on the precipice of war. The outcome depends on them. And one of them is living a lie.
The Matriarch Matrix is a rich and deeply layered epic story – a spiritual odyssey with a heartbeat of an action adventure. It may make you think, ponder, reflect upon where we came from and where we are going. It blends our past with a speculative future of things that are not so far-fetched. It blends the drama, the comedy, the romance, the tragedy of three protagonists with different cultures, traditions, and beliefs – a Sufi woman, a Jesuit priest, and an alien origin believing atheist. Their journeys separately and together will be a test of their respective faiths and their inner search for personal and family redemption.
Maxime has been scribbling stories since grade school from adventure epics to morality plays. Blessed with living in multicultural pluralistic settings and having earned degrees in science and marketing, Maxime has worked in business and sports, traveling to countries across five continents and learning about cultures, traditions, and the importance of tolerance and understanding. Maxime’s debut novel was written and edited in diﬀerent locations in Belgium, including the Turkish and Kurdish neighborhoods of Brussels, in South America, and on the two coasts of the United States.
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