Allow me to emphasize that I am not rewriting "White Raven" now. I have always maintained "White Raven" will be the last novel I write. I have held off working on it. Maybe when I'm eighty-five. I'm so paranoid about that novel, that I nixed adding Greljo Satori as a character to the new novel. Some of you seeing the name Satori will think: "Ah, so that's why he uses the name Satori." Yep, Wayne, that's where firstname.lastname@example.org comes from.
So permit me to introduce Levon, not exactly as he will appear in the soon to be outlined novel, but as he appeared in the short story which ignited the novel. You'll also notice a picture of Bud Cort from "Harold and Maude". That's because I usually pick a film character for a visual which matches the character. Forgive me for not including more of the story, but I still intend on submitting it around:
“Where are you going, Levon? What, without your breakfast?” His mother surprised him as he tried slipping out the door. He flinched and mumbled:
“I’m going downtown.”
“Downtown? What’s downtown? Are you going to the doctor’s?”
Late spring sifted through the screen door; he inhaled green and yearned for the feel of dew.
“No, I’m not going to the doctor’s.”
“Are you feeling okay?”
“I’m fine, Mom. You don’t need me hanging around here feeling sorry for myself.”
“You’ve never felt sorry for yourself. I would have felt better if you had.”
Levon smiled, reaching for his mother. “I have you to feel sorry for me. Two of us would be over the top.”
He looked at his mother with youthful eyes that belied the terrible missteps he had taken over the last seven years. At thirty one, with a face that appeared barely touched by manhood, he found himself returned to his parents’ home, a survivor of a failed marriage and a ravaging illness, without savings and without employment. He wasn’t sure what he had hoped for in moving back in with his parents, but he hadn’t found it. He didn’t regret it. He didn’t regret anything in his life.
His mother studied his face and for a horrible moment he thought she would enfold him in her arms. Instead she gave him a gentle push toward the door. “Go downtown.”
He nodded. “I’ll be back after dinner.”
“You come back when you’re ready,” she said, and added: “Tough it out.”
That last phrase alarmed him. That was something she said when his life was most difficult to bear. She spoke those words when his wife left him for another man; when his employer let him go from his job after ten years; and before the cancer surgery when there was no insurance to cover the hospital bills. She intoned those words like a solemn prayer. Tough it out.
Levon remembered her at his bed side in the hospital, stroking his face and speaking to him in a gentle, worried tone. “I used to be so afraid of losing you when you were a baby. You laughed so much, and you hardly ever cried,” she said. “I was terrified I’d look in your cradle and find you gone. You were such a good child; I used to think so much goodness had to be punished. It all balances. I believe that. I keep waiting to see what will happen now to make up for all you’ve been through.”
“I don’t think life’s been unfair to me, Mom.”
“That’s what’s so unfair,” she said. “Tough it out, Levon.”