The Maximus Teaser
Maximus was a HUGE surprise to me, not only is he the first “child” character I’ve ever written, he also appeared out of thin imagination air and plummeted past me at maximum speed.
Hence, the name “Maximus.” (As luck would have it, the name also fit into the Ancient Greek world.)
I had no plans of giving Apollo another child in Dagger of the Sun. According to mythology, Apollo only had four children and the next, Troilus, will not feature in my novel nor any of the others who follow him. But Maximus insisted on being written in and so I eventually gave in to his demands.
Maximus is Apollo’s “secret” child – he never appears in the original mythology, but I will assume that Apollo had children who were not discussed by Homer or any of the other Greek poets.
After I wrote Maximus into my latest DOTS draft, I quickly realized how vital he is to the story. (But I can’t go into the details of his role, because that would spoil the novel. I will give you a hint though – it has something to do with the arch-villain and anti-hero, Kale.)
But now, it’s time for the teaser. Here’s a short excerpt of a scene that involves Maximus, Delphyne and Apollo, after Maximus has been caught for comitting some of his customary mischief:
“Let go of me, you son of a Macedonian goat!” The high-pitched squeal came moments later, and Apollo returned with Maximus.
The boy was hanging, Apollo’s hand firmly grasped around one ankle. Every second breath, Maximus would swing up, trying to reach the spot where Apollo held on to his tiny ankle or trying claw at Apollo’s face. With his free leg, Maximus continued to kick at Apollo’s chest, the latter of who never even flinched.
Delphyne, who remained witness to all this, was both amused and frustrated for the child who could never meet his goal, but was always so close.
On his last swing Maximus saw her standing a few feet away.
“Girl,” he said. “Help me.”
Not quite certain why she didn’t feel irritated at being ordered by a child, Delphyne merely shook her head.
At the same moment, Apollo shook his son and said, “Her name is Delphyne but you already knew that did you not.” It wasn’t a question, but a firm statement of fact indicating that Apollo would not be listening to any falsehoods from his son.
Delphyne, who had experienced that tone of voice from her own father, quietly sympathized with Maximus.
“She never told me her name.”
“It’s true, I didn’t,” said Delphyne, confirming Maximus’ claim. She didn’t want the child getting into more trouble on her account.
“The nymphs informed me he asked about my guest the moment you arrived, and they told him who you were,” Apollo told her, before turning back to his son. “Now that you’re caught, are you ready to explain your actions?”
The boy was sneaky, she’d never suspected he knew her when they’d first met. And what had Maximus done?
Now Delphyne was the one dying of curiosity.
“She deserved it, kept pinching my cheeks and telling me how pretty my hair was,” the boy complained.
Delphyne heard Apollo snort.
“You like it when the nymphs tell you how pretty you are,” Apollo said. “So I ask again, why?”
Maximus remained stubbornly silent and Apollo shook him again. The boy’s blond curls bobbed up and down with the movement and Delphyne had to admit Maximus did have pretty hair.
“I’ll speak, I’ll speak,” Maximus all but shouted.
Apollo arched an eyebrow.
“I was bored,” said Maximus. “All the nymphs kept talking about the man in the bathhouse and no one would play with me.”
“The nymph’s lover, you mean,” Apollo countered. “You were more jealous than bored, brat.”
Maximus began anew his attempts to get free.
Apollo must have realized that she was dying of curiosity, while watching Maximus swing back and forth, because he said, “He stole a love arrow from Eros and poked a nymph, she fell in love with a horse and Maximus ran away.”
Delphyne tried to contain her laughter, she truly did, but part of it spilled forth regardless.
She looked at Maximus and said, “Well done.”
Keep in mind that all of the teasers and chapter excerpts I post on this blog are unedited and will drastically change after my critique partner has gotten a hold of them. That said, however, I hope you enjoy!
And remember to read, review and rave!
(aka The Creator of Maximus)
P.S: Maximus is a blond child with pale blue eyes and his perfect real life inspiration is Matt Bomer’s son. Isn’t he adorable? (Maximus is based on the boy on the far left.)