A New Novel by Shawn O'Bryhim
The Messengers: Fire of the Gods is now available at the Barnes & Noble website as an ebook!
CEN EXPLOSION KILLS THOUSANDS
DATELINE: PURVIS, Kentucky (Reichert)
Wednesday, July 27, 2009 11:06 AM EST
An explosion at 9:00 this morning turned the national headquarters of the Christian Evangelical Network into a massive heap of rubble. Emergency personnel estimate that hundreds of people perished in the blast and subsequent collapse of the building. Despite intense efforts, not a single body has been recovered from the debris. Investigators refuse to speculate about the cause of the disaster, but witnesses say that huge columns of blue fire descended from a clear sky and converged on the CEN tower just before the explosion. The building was crowded with visitors who had come to witness the reading of a religious text recently discovered in Lebanon. Professor W. R. Dubois of Purvis University claimed that this 4,000-year-old papyrus holds revelations that will shake the foundations of Judaism, Christianity, and Islam. He is believed to have been killed in the explosion.
This event comes on the heels of the destruction of Temple Mount in Jerusalem, which observers say was leveled by a torrent of blue fire from the sky. This disaster has caused an uproar among religious groups. Jews worldwide blame Islamic terrorists for the destruction of their holiest site, while Moslems hold the Israelis responsible for the demolition of the Great Mosque that stood atop Temple Mount. Fundamentalist Christians interpret this event as a sign of the apocalypse and are preparing for a final battle with the forces of evil. As Israel mobilizes its troops to repel the Arab armies that are now advancing toward its borders, Homeland Security has raised the threat level to red. The UN is appealing for calm while an investigation into the cause of the explosion is being conducted.
The Messengers: Fire of the Gods tells the story of W. R. Dubois, an incompetent professor of Biblical studies at a third-rate university, who stumbles upon a papyrus during an archaeological excavation in Lebanon. The text it contains, a strange hybrid of Mesopotamian and Canaanite languages, is beyond his capacity to decipher. With the assistance of a brilliant graduate student, Meg Campbell, and an unsolicited grant of one million dollars from the shadowy Society for Spiritual Renewal, he makes himself a hero to millions of Christians as he gradually disseminates installments of her translation to them—for a price. Meg finds another text hidden on a leather backing that had been glued to the papyrus. This strange babble of ancient Near Eastern languages tells an alternate version of the story of the Nephelim, an race of deities who mate with humans, and their struggle against Yahweh, which culminates in the destruction of Sodom. If Meg’s translation falls into the wrong hands, it will release dark forces that have been suppressed since the dawn of the universe. Meg must find a way to thwart their plans as they bring the world to the brink of destruction.
Shawn O'Bryhim is a professor of Classics who specializes in Mediterranean religion and ancient comedy--both of which figure prominently in "The Messengers." He lives on the East Coast, but enjoys going back to his farm in the Midwest as much as possible to hone his chainsawing technique. Look for his "Greek and Roman Comedy" at the University of Texas Press and on Amazon.
The Messengers: Fire of the Gods is available at Barnes & Noble and at Smashwords.com.