Wecome to Christine Falk - Pen in Hand

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Unremarkable in Light

About The Book
Unremarkable In Light

Do you believe the old adage that whatever does not kill you will make you stronger? 
Earl believes this but his belief has never been put to any challenge until now.  This is Earl's story of resiliance and recovery.  He is a grown man now but as a child Earl's abusive step father came very close to ending his young life.  The abuses and long healed scars that Earl and his mother suffered then still haunt him today more than thirty years later.
This is the story of how even the most quiet voice has a story of triumph to share.
From those dark days of his youth until now Earl has lived a simple and solitary life.  He lives alone, has a few good friends, and has always worked his same job with quiet diligence.  Earl’s quiet and undisturbed life is about to take a turn.  Family friend Ben is having some very troubled times of his own. 
Ben is the son of the woman who salvaged Earl’s own childhood so many years earlier.  Ben has no choice but to turn to his friend Earl for help.
Is Earl strong enough to be of help to Ben?   Can his own childhood and adult experiences guide him to help Ben and Ben’s young son James through this turmoil that they are now facing?  Can he let go of his deep want for seclusion in his isolated lifestyle and let them in?
Earl and Ben and James boldly forge a new future together and find comfort through past shadows that have brought them to this uncertain present.  Only from their darkest moments are they able to find strength and to envision the remarkable future they may have ahead together.
This is a story of recovery from the unseen scars of childhood which can last long into adulthood. More than that it is a story of the whispered triumph of the love that binds people together to become family.

The following are excerpts from the novel "Unremarkable in Light" published by Author House Publishing and available online through Chapters and Barnes & Nobel and on Amazon.com in 2011.
“I don’t talk much. I’m not a talker.”
“It’s O.K. uncle, he’s not the chatty kind.”
“I like things quiet. I’m used to having peace and quiet. He shouldn’t be too chatty.” The voice is gruff and rasping, low. He sounds older than his forty years.
Ben speculates inwardly if leaving his six year old son James with his uncle Earl is a big mistake. The man has always been somewhat inept socially; sheltered, solitary, and unsocial. His behaviour always appears to Ben to be more suitable of an awkward introvert teenager and not a forty year old man. In Ben’s point of view Earl provokes a fond image of bumbling awkwardness. Still he trusts this man implicitly, loves him like a brother, and know his son will be in caring hands while he stays here.
Ben’s child, James, slight and pallid, has experienced an exceptionally hard year. He seems overly reserved and closed off most of the time. Ben feels that it is very untypical of a six year old to be so reserved, definitely not chatty. On the other hand, Ben reasons, these two are a lot alike; quiet, thoughtful, humble. Besides, he tells himself, he can’t allow himself to think of it as a mistake when it’s his only available option.
“Thought they were all chatty.” Earl is gruff but warm as he slurps large sips from a nearly empty beer can. “Don’t all kids chatter?”
Ben examines Earls appearance as he considers this question. A mass of dark curls tangles up from beneath the blue ball cap and hangs low enough to curl against a worn denim shirt collar. Dark round eyes appear somehow innocent and yet guarded, veiled by sweeping dark lashes. Earl’s expression is often stern but always a warmth exudes in his eyes and at the corners of his mouth. Even in light-heartedness Ben see a hidden sadness behind Earl’s infrequent smiles. Earl has been sad for as long as Ben can remember. It was never so much a statement as a attachment that followed him where-ever he went.
“No uncle, not this one anyway. Mom always said he has an old soul. She said she could see it in his eyes.”

     Earl knows what they are getting at with their gentle questions. That is to say he understands the individual questions, but they are like puzzle pieces that don’t fit together. In the late day heat and the blinding sunlight, standing on the burning asphalt driveway, Earl is suddenly clammy and sickened with the chill of understanding. The puzzle pieces fall together and the picture they create is blistering and repulsive.
     Every question fitting into the next, every word of her note connecting to the accident on the radio news. The picture producing something far too glaring and too intense for Earl to clearly identify in this given moment. He feels like he is falling in slow motion into a long dark hole. Like the reality of what has taken place is softly and gently luring him in the way a hunter lures his prey.
   Today will be a haze of what happened, what didn’t happen, what might have happened.. . The if only. Everything is colliding in mid air until the captivity of grief fully takes its hold. The appreciation of what has been left unsaid now speaks volumes. Today will be followed by deep emotional poverty, an emptiness engulfed by dry winds through his soul like a howling hurricane that rises up on a dry, hot, sunny day.
     More than anything his sudden suffering leaves him blinded and breathless. His only actual frame of reference of this magnitude of pain is the menacing searing that rips the air from a boys lungs when his body is pushed into an icy cold bath. He can feel the icy white chill beneath the burning sun. It feels just like a plunge into the kind of cold that would stop his heart from beating.
    “This he tells himself , feels exactly like that”.
     The officers help Earl to the door and guide him inside his home, out of the burning sun. Then they wait by Earl’s front door until Grace arrives.