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Why Friday the 13th

There are many thoughts on why Friday the 13th is considered bad luck. I don't honestly believe in bad luck. Since I was born on the 13th, I've taken it to mean good luck. Plus I've had black cats, and I'm still alive. (grin)

One prominent idea on what darkened the doors of Friday the 13th has to do with Knights Templar. As has been discovered in Tome of Tubal-Cain, one of my characters, Richard Strand, is a Templar. How is that possible if he's walking around in modern day and bothering Jamie Poole. Don't you believe in Time Travel?! (grin)

Here is an excerpt from Tome of Tubal-Cain that introduced Richard's identity. Note that this book and all my books are currently available in your local Amazon store. You can also get autographed copies from me or purchase them through my preferred vendors, Dartmouth Book Exchange and Cape and Cowl Comics and Collectibles.

From Tome of Tubal-Cain:

His name hadn’t always been Strand. He had assumed it centuries ago in a desperate desire to stay alive. This desire inevitably had led to his death or, more accurately, something worse than death. In his present state every century, every year, every night became the same: Memories of what had become of him that fateful night tormented him, and solid things like his four-poster Victorian-style bed faded into meaningless vapors. It was impossible to avoid the memories.

In the upscale apartment he shared with Abdul-Aziz Akkad, he left a television on in hopes the noise would drown out the memories. Still they came once his mind grew idle. An ordinary person might have been frightened, but long ago he’d lost the ability to feel emotion.

Seven centuries ago he’d been tricked into drinking a mysterious elixir. His life should have ended. Instead, he had been preserved in some perverse imitation of living. Because he wasn’t really alive, it was the memory of fear that plagued him. Sensing the ghost of emotion was worse. For seven hundred years, he hadn’t felt happiness or peace. He couldn’t feel love. He was left with the tortured memories of anger, and frustration, and the inability to resolve them. Had he realized the cost of escaping execution, he would have chosen death over what he had become: the fragmented immortal remains of a man tortured by lost emotions and an insatiable hunger to express them. Anything would be better.

When the memories enveloped him, he returned to the year 1307. He was forty-two years old. Born in Paris to a noble family, Strand had been a member of the Knights Templar along with his older brother and father. The position had brought prestige and wealth. Then came that fateful Friday, October 13. France’s King Philip IV, also known as Philip the Fair, was deeply in debt to the Order of the Knights Templar. Trying to alleviate his debt by any means possible, he decreed every member be arrested at precisely the same moment across Western Europe. In days before speedy communication like email or telephone, he managed to orchestrate a coup against an unassuming enemy. History recorded that all members of the Templar Order, including Strand’s brother and father, were captured, imprisoned, tortured, and later burned at the stake. His brother and father had admitted to worshiping the Devil. False, forced testimonies. He shuddered at what it must have taken to extract such admissions.

That should have been his fate; however, due to a freak

coincidence, he had been away on an errand known to only his sister, for it involved her and a man she secretly

courted against their father’s wishes. Had his father or brother known his whereabouts that would have been

captured too, but they hadn’t known, and he’d been overlooked. Unaware of the King’s coup, he returned home

the night of October 20 to find his mother in bed under doctor’s care. His sister recounted how family valuables had been stolen while the women looked on helplessly. Their mother, she said, had lost her mind with grief. A doctor had prescribed heavy sedatives, and she had not awakened in seven days. His sister begged him to flee. Her pleas, spoken long ago, rang fresh in his ears. “Go, brother. Hide!”

Shifting onto his back and pulling the covers to his chin, he imagined he felt her tears staining his shirtfront. Gathering a few personal possessions overlooked by the soldiers, including an ancient leather-bound book which he religiously hid, he hastened away in the dark of night. Impulsively his sister forced into his palm a heavy purse stuffed with jewels. A knightly fortune. His family had been good at concealing their most valued possessions, a trait followed by many Templar Knights. “Please, take these.” He thanked her and kissed her brow before fleeing into the night. He intended to be gone no more than a year.

“Do not worry about Maman or me. We will be fine.” His sister had thrust her lower lip bravely. He left knowing there were loyal servants to look after the remains of his beloved family. Briefly that had eased his heart’s heaviness. More than anything, he wanted to remain, but that would have been suicide. He would return as soon as he could. To this day he wasn’t sure what drew him to seek passage on a ship bound for Alexandria, Egypt. All he knew was he needed to escape the long arm of Philip the Fair. Where else was there to go but away from Europe?

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