Christian Young Adult Fantasy
Date Published: November 2023
A vanishing boy, human-animal hybrids, and the grisly murder of one’s peers are a lot to handle. Existing in two worlds, being hunted by your town’s killer, and nearly dying every day doesn’t make it any easier.
For 15-year-old Stephen Benson, all of this has become normal, managing one life as a town outcast and another as a fantasy land hero. Hopeless and depressed, will he overcome his inner demons and the outer evil hounding his spirit? Will he listen to the child-penguin fairy? Will he save the girl he loves and prevent the slaughter of more teens?
The Savior of Norfolk is set in the not-too-distant future when America has been divided by political and ideological hate. It is a fresh take on understanding the purpose of existence and suffering and wrestles with a spiritual understanding of reality.
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About the Author
Nathan Edmundson has lived in many states throughout his lifetime but is currently residing in Tyler, Texas and hopes to stay put. When not writing, he works as a psychologist and enjoys nutrition and fitness, traveling, spending time with friends and family, serving with his church, and eating at restaurants he hasn’t yet visited.
Excerpt from "The Savior of Norfolk"
I decided I would die in the next three days.
It seemed we were in the final months before America’s next
civil war, or the peaceful divorce as many hoped. Violent clashes between the
political parties had escalated to a degree not seen in the country since 1865.
Norfolk had remained at peace, not succumbing to the rest of America’s
destruction by political hate. However, there were now rumblings, and the signs
were becoming impossible to ignore.
Even so, we tried.
Casey lift ed the amber-filled Jack Daniel’s bottle to his
lips and took a sip. Neither of us had said anything for the last minute as we
sat on the dirt, our backs resting against the red brick of George’s Grocery.
At the rear of the store, we were safe from the eyes of others. Norfolk’s moral
standards had definitely decreased over the years, but it hadn’t yet become
acceptable for two fifteen-year-olds to skip school to get drunk.
“Man, I love alcohol,” Casey said with eyes closed and a
half-smile as he lowered the bottle to his lap. “What a great way to escape.”
Escape. That was what I wanted, and that was what I
would get – before the end of the weekend. Escape from political BS, escape
from social unrest, escape from the meaninglessness of existence. For much of
my life, I had wanted to die, but over the last few weeks the desire had been
stronger than ever before, and there was no indication of it lessening.
“Imagine how much life would suck if we didn’t have booze,”
Casey said, turning his face toward me. “Seriously. All the ridiculous,
useless, stupid crap they fill our minds with and no way to kill off the brain
cells? How could we survive?”
Killing off the brain cells? Though it was unlikely Casey
was thinking about death, his words made me think of nothing else. He continued
to talk, but I was only partly listening. Remaining quiet, I kept my sight in
the distance, staring absently into the trees of Norfolk Grove. Beyond the
field of unkempt dying grass and weeds ahead of us, maybe 150 feet away, was a
collection of oak trees, Norfolk’s idea for a forest. Their green leaves and
thick branches had provided protection from the summer’s blazing sun, and
seeing them I was reminded of how they had often provided escape, not just from
the sun’s heat but from the reminders of what life was like outside the grove,
a life in which rational thought was diminishing by the day. Though the sun was
just as violent as any other August day, and escaping to their covering would
bring a respite from the sweat that drenched our bodies under the open sky, I
had little desire to move toward the trees as I was reminded of the teen not
much older than me hanging by his neck from a rope attached to such a
The photo had been all over the internet. His eyes were
partly open, his face lightly blue. There was also a video recording, which was
worse, depending on who you asked. Those who had done it, the ones who had
beaten the kid to near death, the ones who had bound his hands behind him and
strung him up, laughed and shouted, their heads covered by black ski masks,
their voices suggesting youth not much different in age. The boy, supposedly a
religious freak, was said to have had different social and political views than
the rest. He was apparently intolerant and, because of this, he was killed by
the tolerant who couldn’t tolerate him. Funny thing, though I didn’t believe in
any religion or weird fantasy stuff, my views weren’t much different from his.
As I watched the scene unfold in my mind, the boy’s hanging
body was replaced with mine – my lifeless eyes, my face blue, my body unmoving.
Had I lived somewhere else, the boy could have easily been me. In Norfolk, it
was still safe, but I didn’t expect that to last long. The heat between the
political parties was rising, and it would be no surprise if it soon rivaled
that of our summer sun. But I wasn’t afraid of dying. No, I wanted it. Maybe
not hanging by a noose, but by some other means, some way of escaping the
futility of life that was worsening by the day. Our high school had taught us
that life’s meaning was found in having success, being happy, and changing our
world for the better. Anyone with a functioning brain cell could tell you this
was all relative. Success had no end, and everyone defined it differently. What
determined a change for the better was also perceived differently, evidenced by
the hanging boy. And being happy? What was the point? To live out our lives
with less pain, waiting for death as the world went to hell?