THE BOOKS OF SOULS
Zec is a sixteen year old teenager, who is worried that his results won't be good enough for his dream to become an airline pilot one day. He is in love with Lea, the prettiest girl in the school, who won't even deign to look at him.
So everything is normal until the day, or rather the night, that changes his life: wings start to grow on his back. Then Zec soon learns that he comes from a planet called Cheberith that has vanished into the ether because of the Ingurgitator of Worlds, and his mission is to bring it back to life. Helped by Eden, a young girl with wings like him, Zec has to find the three World-Books, hidden somewhere on Earth, in which have been registered the Souls, the Places and the History of this lost world. But this quest is likely to become highly dangerous because the Ingurgitator has decided to finish what he began...
THE BOOK OF TIME
The Ingurgitator of Worlds is on Earth and has found Zec and Eden, who have meanwhile learnt that the second Book of World is hidden in the Saint Jacques Tower, an old church steeple in the heart of Paris. Aware of the danger threatening them, they go there all the same to find out that the tower has been completely renovated and the book is no longer there. They find it on eBay, put on by Lenny, a building labourer, who had been working on the site.
So, at the end of a frantic race against the clock to get the Book of Places back, Zec and Eden are confronted with two opponents: the Ingurgitator and Lenny.
THE BOOK OF PLACES
The teenagers leave for Peru to find the third Book of Worlds and, helped by other Cheberians, they manage to enter the vortex leading to the location of the planet Cheberith in order that it may be recreated. This is where the Ingurgitator of Worlds joins them for his final attack. Luckily, the saviours of the vanished world have planned everything, but not, however, without huge sacrifice and loss.
This series was awarded:
PRIX DES INCORRUPTIBLES 2010
PRIX LITTERAIRE D’ISSOIRE 2010
PRIX IMAGINALES COLLEGIENS 2009
THE QUEST FOR THE WORLD-BOOKS
Book 1: THE BOOK OF SOULS by Carina Rozenfeld, L’ATALANTE, Nantes
A BLOG THAT ZEC ZAGS!
A new super-hero: Mosquito-Man!
Music of the day: “I Believe I Can Fly” by R. Kelly. To listen to it, click here!
Here’s the news!
[A rotten day — you sure you really want to hear about it?]
This morning, I woke up to this music and ever since, it’s been stuck in my head, so I’m sharing it with you in a way! It’s beautiful isn’t it? At the moment, it gave me a little boost, so things went alright until lunchtime. — —>
This afternoon, a huge nose dive. Humiliation of the century. Once again, the fault of that biiiip Lea. Why do I keep hoping for something from her? She’s been snubbing me for so long, it’s a wonder I’ve got a nose left at all. And I should get it by now. Luckily, Louis is always there to lighten things up. I don’t know what I’d do without him! ;–)
And tonight, this pain in my back is killing me. I told you about my mutant mosquito bites, right? Well, they’re still bothering me! The bumps are incredibly itchy! I just want to rip off my skin! Hey, who knows, maybe I’ll end up like Peter Parker! He was bit by a genetically modified spider and he became Spider-Man. Well, I feel like I’m turning into Mosquito-Man. If that ever happens, you will, of course, be the first ones informed of it.
But one of my blogofans will have to make me a costume (not too ridiculous), because I am totally lame at sewing, and I certainly don’t want to look like a clown wearing tights.
So, summary of the day: completely, totally rotten. And now, the words of the song mentioned above come back to mind (I’ll give them for those of you not listening to it in the background). Oh, to be able to fly, I dream of it. Hasn’t that ever happened to you?
It has for me, and that’s why I decided to become an airline pilot (I’ve already talked about that on my blog here, so I won’t repeat myself. But today, the reason I want to be able to fly is to get far, far away from here! I need a change of scenery, I need to air out my mind, all of that!
Anyway, I’m about ready to have a nervous breakdown… Actually you should thank me for this. As I’m a lightning-rod for misfortunes, I attract them all to me and spare you guys the misery. By the way, I expect your eternal gratitude!
Okay, I’ll end my delirium on this note. Rather than get all teary-eyed, I’ll go take a run. That should calm me down. I compiled a special song-list to blast on my iPod while I’m jogging, and I’m excited to test it out on my favorite run.
Have a good evening, dear readers, and I’ll be back soon with the new adventures of…Mosquito Man!
Zec clicked on the button, “Publish your post.”
For once, he didn’t re-read his post before publishing it. Too bad if his phrases would make his English teacher blush with shame. Too bad if his words didn’t make much sense. He really hadn’t felt like talking about what was driving him crazy tonight.
This was the first time he hadn’t found the motivation to write, after posting on his blog regularly, every day in fact, for the last four months. Today, he’d done it by habit and because he knew that he had faithful readers. But he felt his post was empty and uninteresting.
He watched as it finished uploading. That did it -- his post of the day was online. He shut down his computer and stood in the middle of his room to stretch, not seeming to notice his unmade bed and the covers rolled into a ball. His school backpack gaping open, next to a pile of books and notebooks on the floor. The clothes thrown over the back of the chair, one of the many posters covering the walls flopping down limply because one corner had torn off. Indifferent to the big mess, he took off his jeans and put on shorts, and then his new pair of running shoes. In the last few weeks, he’d grown so much -- by two whole sizes, and that sudden growth had earned him a pair in the very latest style. He executed a couple of high jumps in his room, to feel how the air cushions would absorb the shocks of running. He stood there admiring them.
“These shoes are too cool! I’m going to rip it up!’ he declared, satisfied with how they looked on him.
He went into the kitchen and looked through the ‘goodies cupboard,’ as his mom called it, took out a bar of chocolate and broke it in quarters. On the refrigerator was a magnetic chalkboard, decorated with little fruits and vegetables made out of clay. He’d made it in primary school for Mother’s Day. It was still useful eight years later, even if the little carrot had broken off the first year. It was empty of messages, so Zec took the piece of chalk that was always attached to its frame and quickly scribbled, “I went jogging, be back in an hour.” That way, his mother wouldn’t worry if she got home before he did.
He ate the four squares of chocolate in big bites, stuffed his iPod earplugs into his ears and went out, slamming the apartment door behind him with a bang that shook the hallway. But he didn’t even notice. Already, music filled his head, pulsating bass notes into his veins.
Zec had a born sense of rhythm, which helped him make up his play lists according to the paths he would take. This first song would accompany him down the stairs and through his warm-up. He never took the elevator when he was going running.
Leaving the building, he took the road into the park that bordered their street and then accelerated. He had done this route so many times that he could do it with his eyes closed. He quickly settled into his cruising rhythm, and adjusted his breathing to the tempo. Zec could run for hours without getting tired, as his endurance was exceptional. And he loved jogging along shrub-lined paths, through the woods, close to the canal. Accompanied by his music, he could either let his thoughts lose themselves in the dull thumping of his soles hitting the dusty path, or if he had a problem, he could concentrate more easily on solving it.
This evening, in spite of himself, his worries filled his mind. First of all, he started thinking about Lea. Her again, always her... He’d first noticed her at the beginning of junior year, even though she was in a different class. For the first time in his life, he’d felt his heart leap at the sight of this pretty girl. Lea was thin as a vine, and with her long blond hair and blue eyes, she resembled an elf straight out of Lord of the Rings. When he saw her, he felt as awkward and timid as a little boy, even though what he would’ve preferred was to be a superhero in her eyes! He’d spent months trying to attract her attention. He had even sent her a poem he’d written, after managing to get her email address from her best friend. But she’d never responded. Worse, she acted like he didn’t exist: her eyes seemed to look right through him, her lovesick young man. After the poem, he had tried flashing charming smiles and starting conversations that went nowhere. He’d pretended to ignore her, and even flirted with one of her friends, hoping to make her jealous. But the beautiful girl had remained absolutely indifferent, and that made Zec crazy.
He shook his head to chase away these despondent thoughts. Lea can go to hell!
But now another thought, more serious, brushed away the love problems: the class council. It would take place tomorrow, and Zec was worried about how it would go. He knew he would advance to senior, but were his grades good enough to get him into the honors class, so he could take the honors science courses? Just thinking about it made his stomach tighten up in knots. He absolutely had to get into honors-level science to become an airline pilot. He was not about to choose another academic direction, and he certainly was not eager to repeat his junior year!
All during his run around the little lake, Zec kept sighing. He had the feeling that the more he “aged,” the more complicated things got. He would have to start facing the adult world that was opening up to him now, and he found it hard, at times even frightening.
He’d already done three-quarters of his route, and was about to begin the last loop, when suddenly the bumps on his back began to itch fiercely. At first he tried to ignore the disagreeable sensation by concentrating on something else. He figured his brain would eventually forget those painful spots. But instead of diminishing, the itchiness got worse and worse until it became unbearable. Zec stopped running and tried to scratch the two prickly spots on his shoulder blades. But of course, they had to be just where he could only reach them with the tips of his fingers, and that wasn’t enough to relieve the itching.
He looked all around to see if anyone was in view, then headed to a chestnut tree, where he made like a bear and rubbed his back against its bark. He hoped no one could see him in that weird position (especially no one from school!). However, instead of calming the painful itch, the rubbing increased it.
“What is this? It’s insane,” he groaned. “And super painful!”
Zec stopped scratching. His shoulder blades felt like they were on fire. Hesitatingly, he touched the bump on the right side. It had tripled in size! He slid the other hand across his back and realized the bump on his left side had done the same.
“I’m going to seriously flip out here,” he murmured in an anguished voice.
He turned around, in a state of disbelief, and started running with long strides. The next song had begun, the one he’d downloaded right before leaving the apartment. “I believe I can fly, I believe I can touch the sky,” whispered the singer in his ears. More than ever, he wished he could simply fly off, fly away from his life, and escape this body he could no longer control.
It had all started about five months ago. Zec, who’d always been the smallest boy in his class, had abruptly started to grow. His legs and torso had lengthened, and very quickly he’d ended up taller than all his friends. His parents had been relieved to see their son finally growing bigger, as they had been worried about his size, and had even seen a specialist to look into growth hormones for him. Zec had been delighted at first, but then he’d started to wonder about something else: all his friends were shaving now, but he’d never seen the shadow of a hair on his cheeks or chin, or anywhere else on his body for that matter.
And now, there were these two bizarre bumps on his backs, growing bigger and bigger. They had appeared a week ago, and because they were itchy, Zec had persuaded himself that they were simply the first bug bites of the season. He hadn’t bothered to tell his parents, thinking it would pass. He was not very comfortable with his body in general, and he avoided having people focus on the subject. But this wasn’t going away. On the contrary, it was definitely getting worse!
Zec decided to cut short his run and go home right away. He could feel the two protuberances under his tee-shirt starting to burn and throb to the rhythm of his pumping heart. As he ran, he thought, “If this doesn’t disappear by tomorrow, I’ll let my parents know.” This idea reassured him a little. He slowed down his pace as he left the park. His song of the day had ended without him noticing, lost as he was in his thoughts. He pushed the back-button on his iPod, and put it on again.
“I used to think that I couldn’t go on,
And life was nothing but an awful song.”
Once back home, he went straight into the bathroom, took off his shirt and looked at his back in the mirror. What he saw made him gasp: the bumps had become two enormous growths, one on each shoulder blade. Rubbing them against the tree had abraded his skin and it was bleeding. He noticed his stained tee-shirt. Frenetically, he started rinsing it in the sink. His mother better not see the spots of blood — she would be so worried! He added liquid hand soap and rubbed it harder, and the stains disappeared.
Relieved, Zec turned around to look in the mirror again, trying to understand what was happening to him. The two lumps were truly frightening. Besides the bloody streaks, the base of the swellings was purplish, the skin stretched tight over the bumps, and in the middle, two big white spots popped out, like two enormous whiteheads.
He breathed a long sigh of relief. Maybe it was just some acne, after all! Ok, some particularly impressive acne, but only acne! A real first for him, who'd always had perfectly clear skin. He took a long, scorching-hot shower. The water running down his back was painfully hot, but he bore with the pain without complaint, convinced that it was going to help clear away the bizarre bumps he was the victim of.
Finally, he turned off the water and reached for his robe. With the palm of his hand he wiped the steam off the mirror and inspected himself. Long lashes as black as his hair shaded his eyes. One of them was green, one blue. His face was long, with high cheekbones, a square chin, and thin but well-defined lips. He ran his hand through his wet hair and smoothed it back. There were no other visible signs of acne, neither on his forehead or his cheeks. Luckily, this current bout seemed to be limited to his back. At least for the moment…
Zec gathered up his dirty clothes and tossed them straight into the washing machine so his mother wouldn’t look at them too closely. Then he dried off and put on clean clothes. He turned on his computer again, and connected directly to his blog. Should he recount what had happened? No, he was afraid his readers would tease him or take him for a lying hypochondriac. Better keep to the story of the giant mosquitos.
There were already four comments online:
Posted by LillyFrog at 7:48 pm
Too bad Zec, I’m worthless at sewing too! Otherwise I’d be happy to make your Mosquito-Man costume! I’ve been searching so long for a pretext to meet you. Hey, maybe I’ll take some sewing classes!
Good luck, and if you want to talk to someone, you just have to go online!
Sending you kisses all over (even on the back)!
Zec smiled. LillyFrog was one of his most faithful readers, and always the first to leave a comment. She loved the photos of him that he uploaded from time to time, and she was never timid about expressing herself. Too bad she was already 19 and lived 300 miles away.
Posted by DarkFairy at 7:51 pm
Uh oh, Zec! I see you’re down in the dumps. I know why — you told us your class council was tomorrow! You’re in my thoughts and I’m crossing my finger and my toes. For sure you’re gonna make it to senior honors and for sure you're gonna be able to become a pilot! In any case, I’d bet my life on it!
Hugs and kisses and keep us posted on what happens tomorrow!
Behind the pseudo DarkFairy was Zec’s cousin. They were only two months apart in age, and for many years, when she lived in the south, they had spent their vacations together. Now, she had moved and lived just down the street from Zec. They no longer went on vacation together, but they saw each other a lot more often.
Posted by Louis14th at 7:53 pm
What’s up, guy? In a free fall? You need a joke about blondes to help you relax? I told you already a 1000 times, let it slide. LET IT SLIDE! Look what you did — you made me yell! As for your bumps, if you ever turn into Mosquito-Man, you won’t have to become an airline pilot to get up into the air, so stop panicking about the class council! :–)
Zec chuckled. Louis was his best friend. They’d known each other since pre-school and had been in the same class year after year. Plus, Louis lived in the same building, two floors up from him. Nevertheless, they spent hours texting each other on their computers or phones.
Posted by Eyver at 8:01 pm
Dear Ezekiel, I know that this period is not easy for you. You do not know what your place in life is. You have the feeling that it’s not providing you what you expect of it. Maybe you even feel more and more different from your friends. All that is perfectly normal. You will soon have all the answers. As for your little back problem, I advise you to take some painkillers before you go to bed,
as you might have a very rough night tonight.
Zec frowned. Who was this Eyver person? It was the first time he’d ever left a comment. Only his parents knew his full name, Ezekiel, and even they only used it when they had something serious to say. He couldn’t remember if he’d ever, even once, disclosed his first name on his blog. And the guy was not exactly wrong: Zec felt more and more at odds with his own life. He figured it was just part of adolescence. But even in the very midst of this difficult period, he was sufficiently self-aware to be conscious of what he was going through.
And what was, “You will soon have all the answers,” supposed to mean? Answers to what? Why did this Eyver tell him he was going to do have a bad night? That remark sent a jolt of fear shivering down his spine. He had just succeeded in calming his anxiety by persuading himself that the bumps were acne, but Eyver’s words disturbed him, reawakening his itching and his anguish.