Ambrose Lincoln: One more story to tell

He was a man who possessed no fear. He was not even afraid of dying. He thought he had already died.

Ambrose Lincoln is back. In my mind, he never really left. He resides there. He’s comfortable there even when I’m not.

Ambrose Lincoln first saw the light of day in my novel, Secrets of the Dead.

He came back in Conspiracy of Lies. I thought that would be his grand finale. I was even ready to write his obituary.

He didn’t die in the novel, but my plans were to write him off and write him out

Now he was gone. May he rest in peace.

He showed up one morning. “You can’t do that,” he said.

“Why not?”

“I have another story to tell,” he said.

“You’re a disturbed man,” I told him.

“It’s not my fault.”

“Then whose is it?”

“That’s the story I have to tell.”

I studied him. He was a man who possessed no fear. He was not even afraid of dying. He thought he had already died.

More than once. Maybe he was right.

Ambrose Lincoln doesn’t know who he is. He remembers nothing about his life or his past. He is the proverbial puppet on the proverbial string.

He knows who is working the strings And he knows why. But he’s lived in the dark far too long. It was about to get darker.

So I let him tell me another story, and it was released in Night Side of Dark.

“I work for the government,” he says.

I nod.

“They say I volunteered for a top secret experiment.”

“Did you?”

“I don’t know.”

“What kind of experiment?”

“They want to control my mind.”

“Do they?”

“Someone does.”

Ambrose grew sullen for a moment. He stared out the window. The sun was shining. He sees so little of the sun.

In the opening scene of Night Side of Dark, Dr. Benjamin Wakefield explains it all to the general who needs Lincoln for a mission during the dying days of Hitler’s war in Europe. He says: “We have rearranged parts of his brain and linked them back to other parts of his brain. These parts are strangers to each other. Lincoln has been in shock. His mind will be in a very precarious position for the next few weeks.”

            “I don’t have a few weeks.”

            “You may have no choice.”

            The General stood and brushed the wrinkles out of his coat. “I always have a choice,” he said. He walked to the window and watched the sun falling toward the top of a red bald mesa just beyond a stand of cottonwood trees. “Will the subject know his mission?”

            “Lincoln never does.”

            “Will he know the players?”

            “He will recognize them when he sees them.”

            “Will he know why?”

            “No.” The doctor paused, then added in a soft voice, “But he may figure it out. He’s good at that.”

            “Will it hurt his mission?”

            “No.”

            “How can you be sure?”

            “Lincoln never knows on which side of reality he is living.” Dr. Wakefield shrugged and smiled a sad smile. “It used to bother him. It doesn’t anymore. He goes where he is asked. He does what he is asked to do. He returns. And we take it all away from him again.”

            “Is he human or robot?” The general’s face had not changed expression.

            “Sometimes it’s difficult to tell,” the doctor said.

            “And you’re the mastermind who created him.”

            “Sometimes, when I think about what we have done, and how often we have done it,” Wakefield said, “I think we destroyed a good man.”

Ambrose Lincoln had a story to tell.

It was different. It was bleak. He saw the other side of life or perhaps the other side of death. He stepped through a torn curtain in time.

Or did he?

Lincoln’s story was told. That’s it. Three books form a trilogy, and that’s enough.

We met again, Ambrose and I, as soon as the final chapter was written.

He was looking morose, but then he usually does.

“I guess this is goodbye,” I said.

He grinned. It was a sinister grin.

“Not quite,” he said.

“What makes you say that?” I asked.

He shrugged.

“I have another story to tell,” he said.

It’s called Place of Skulls.

It’s coming soon.

Please click HERE to read more about Night Side of Dark.

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  • Anna Celeste Burke

    Great cover!

    • Caleb Pirtle

      Thanks, Anna. I thought the designer caught the spirit of the novel well.

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