Today I have an excerpt for you from the novel Joshua N’Gon Last Prince of Alkebulahn by Anthony Hewitt as part of the blog tour hosted by Neverland Book Tours.
Joshua N’Gon is a Fourteen year old foster child from Africa. He has grown up in a loving home in north London and for all intents and purposes he was an ordinary teenager. The reality though could not be further from the truth. Joshua is a mystery wrapped up in an enigma and he is beginning to understand he has a destiny that is far beyond what he could ever have imagined.
On his tenth birthday he receives a mysterious package from his birth parents. He is given articles of technology that even his young mind realized were so far beyond what he knew and understood that they were almost magical. Joshua straps on a tribal hierloom of obvious alien origin – a miraculous multi-tool he calls his RCT– Real Cool Tool that bonds with his arm and is irremovable. And so begin his physical changes too, the headaches, the flashes of genius, the visions and the amnesia.
With his friends Brick and Mina they slowly help him to unravel the mystery of who he is. In the meantime dark corporate forces are gathering in the horizon as Joshua’s talents and his interest in finding his family has piqued the curiosity of powerful people. Soon as his life and the life of those he loves are threatened he must come to grips with his gifts and the miraculous alien technology that founded his people.
17 Asimov Street, Wharnton Estate
Kenneth pushed the white checker on the board with a self-confident flick of his index finger and looked up at Joshua with his game face on, his spinning checker settling on a white square. Joshua nodded and moved his black checker diagonally. A cunning smile unraveled on Kenneth’s lips. He jumped three of Joshua’s players, destroying any chance of his brother saving face in this impromptu draught game.
Kenneth leaned back in his chair and shook his head.
“For someone as smart as you bruv, your rubbish at Checkers.”
“Dad was good at it. He said he used to play it in Jamaica a lot as a kid.”
“You’re not Dad, champ. Take my word for it.” Kenneth grinned.
“I can’t be good at everything, bro. What are you going to be good at if I keep winning?” Joshua quipped.
Kenneth glared at him and shook his head
“Chillax bro, I didn’t make you win. You did that fair and square.”
Kenneth eyed him appraisingly, gauging his truthfulness then brightened.
“One more game?”
“Nah, got some school work to do.”
Kenneth leaned back in his chair. It creaked.
“You’re on holiday, and they still have you on a leash. They not teaching you how to survive in the big bad world are they. They want you to be a follower. School is a waste of time, man.”
“Don’t let Mum, hear you saying that,” Josh said. “She believes we never should stop learning.”
Kenneth’s laugh sounded like a sarcastic bark.
“Mom wants you to go through this school ting. Me, on the other hand, had plans for my life from day one.” Kenneth became more animated; it was obviously a passionate issue with him. “Dad wanted me to get a trade too, and I think they knew before I even knew college wasn’t my route. They left that for you.”
“Why do you always make it seem like Mum is against you and for me.”
“It’s true though,” Kenneth said. “Ever since you came on the scene, the baby gets it all.”
“That’s not fair, man. Mom and Dad treat us both the same.” Joshua protested.
Kenneth sat up a bit straighter.
“You know what I can’t help thinking sometimes? What it would be like to be an only child, living in a house with no secrets. Would Dad be still here and not in prison?”
Joshua’s eyes blazed.
He stood up from his chair and loomed over his big brother, his nose flaring, his lips pulled back as he forced the words through his lips.
“You keep talking like that, and we may need to have words outside.”
Kenneth knew more than anyone that Joshua would do anything in his power to have Fredrick home and to believe otherwise was like spitting in his face.
“Is that a good idea bruv? I’m nineteen.” Kenneth said evenly.
“It won’t matter.” Josh’s voice deepened.
Both boy’s eyes met and locked.
Kenneth felt his brothers anger and felt his cheeks warm at the memory of being beaten by Josh when he was seventeen.
He may have pushed him too far.
“It stings, doesn’t it?” Kenneth asked, looking away from him. “The truth I mean.”
Joshua points to his brother’s head with an accusing finger.
“What’s wrong up here bruv. Always talking but saying nothing.”
“I’ve got eyes little step brother. I’m not stupid; you were different even as a baby and even then, I wasn’t important enough to be told everything.”
“Yeah, I know my story, so what?” Joshua said. “You were young, what did you expect them to say.”
“I couldn’t put my finger on it as a kid but growing up I saw it. And the funny thing is Mom and Dad still kept me in the dark.”
“How do you explain something you don’t understand yourself?” Joshua asked.
“They whisper about your gifts, your family, your friends,” Kenneth said.
“Not secrets,” Joshua corrected. “Mysteries.”
“You saying I know everything I need to know about you?” Kenneth asked.
“Do I know everything about you, Kenneth? Tell me that. We all have secrets.”
“Maybe I felt, I wasn’t the focus of attention again. I had been replaced by this strange kid who could walk and speak at ten months.”
Joshua shook his head.
“You don’t get it, do you. When you were stressing about me, I wanted to be you.”
“Me?” Kenneth asked shocked.
“Yeah. How many times do you have to explain who you are to your friends?” Joshua’s voice raised a pitch. “How many times?”
Joshua’s smile was sardonic.
“Your name is Taylor; Dad’s name is Taylor and so is Mom. What am I? N’Gon.”
Joshua kept going.
“I have to be constantly fronting about my birth parents. Now it’s out there, that I’m a foster kid, I have to deal with all the crap that comes with it.”
Kenneth was quite for a while then said.
“I didn’t look at it like that.” He said somberly.
“Why should you.” Joshua said, “It didn’t affect you bruv. I had to deal with the bullying and rumors.”
“What rumors?” Kenneth asked.
“You know.” Joshua snapped. “The same ones you heard and maybe even helped spread.”
“Me!” Kenneth spat.
“You want to get real, brov. Let’s get real.” Joshua snapped
“You think I’d do that?” Kenneth asked.
“I dunno would you? Feeling like a G with the bangers on the estate could be easier than sticking up for your brother.”
“I didn’t spread any rumors. I just heard the stories. What could I do?” Kenneth asked.
“What did you do? Did you back my corner? Nah, you started believing that I had something to do with Dad betting banged up.”
“It wasn’t like that. I just didn’t know what to believe, what to think.”
“I’ll tell you. Mum’s got threatened, Dad took justice in his own hands, things got out of hand, and some of the gang got hurt.”
“You were seen.” Kenneth insisted.
“By How High Hughie, really?” Joshua asked. “You taking the word of a bre whose always drunk over mine. Family sticks together, man. Mum and Dad taught us that.”
Kenneth nodded, solemnly.
“Ok, ok the things they were saying were bonkers, and I should have stood up against them.”
“I would for you,” Joshua said
Josh stood up, turned away and headed out of the kitchen.
“Hey, Josh!” Kenneth called after him.
Joshua stopped and looked back.
“The next time you call me out, I’m going to take you up on the offer. Then we will see who can take who.”
Both boys grinned.
“Yeah, we’ll see, fam, we will see,” Joshua said.
Book website: www.thelastprince.co.uk
Thanks for reading.