While change is in progress in James' life, terrorists give just 48 hours to agree to their demands. Is it too late to stop them?
The Shaw family have experienced insurmountable tragedy in their lives culminating in the sons’ mother wasting away from cancer and the father committing suicide because he can’t bear life without her. Whilst the son James is undergoing counselling, he too is confronted by another death which leads him to examine the meaning of life, and in total despair, he attempts to take his own. Whilst building the courage to do so, he is visited by an entity who encourages him to help save the world, which is rapidly destroying itself though pollution, climate change, over-population, and war.
The boy agrees, and progressively encourages the world leaders to participate in this change, sometimes by force, but not before he has to thwart terrorists who attempt to disrupt the inaugural conference of the world leaders, and then threaten the United States with nuclear warheads they have stolen from a Russian facility, giving them 48 hours to agree to their demands. The chase is on as the FBI attempt to locate these terrorists before the warheads are detonated. They travel half the globe to find them, but is it too late?
There is a hint of anger in the Russian president’s face, although James can’t read his mind.
‘I don’t care whether you want to help or not. I don’t give a shit, but I’ll give you three possibilities on how this will go down. I can make you a puppet so that you appear a fool in front of everyone. I kill you now and encourage your replacement to help, or you do this willingly. Which is your pleasure?’
‘I’m not going to be made a fool of, and I’m not going to help you.’
The president opens the right-hand top drawer of his desk, finds nothing, and opens the drawer below. He reaches inside, pulls out a PSM pistol, and holds it to his head. The president’s eyes widen. He can feel his index finger beginning to press the trigger.
‘Wait, stop,’ pleads the president.
James let the president rest the gun on his desk.
‘OK, I promise I will help you.’
‘I am completely baffled as to why you are totally against helping change the world for the good of mankind. I understand that the majority of your people love and worship you, but everyone else hates your guts. Others think you’re an arrogant tyrant, a liar, and a lowlife. Wouldn’t you rather be remembered as the greatest saviour of the world? A leader with the foresight and the passion to help his fellow man? I don’t care whether you take credit for the contribution you will make in helping the world but as long as you do it for the right reasons and not take advantage or manipulate those who are vulnerable and are trying to help.’
‘Yes, I understand what you are saying.’
‘I hope I can believe you because we will have no further discussions. If you lie to me again, I will not give you another chance to plead for forgiveness. You will cease to be. You may consider this a threat, but I call it giving advice. Agree willingly, contribute positively, participate completely, and help change the world, and humankind will live a long and peaceful life, including your family, for generations to come.’
‘I still don’t understand why you are doing this. What’s in it for you?’
‘Nothing, nothing at all. I’m not in this for fame or gratitude, and I don’t want to be mentioned outside the group. I’ve had a happy life, but I’ve also experienced great sorrow, so much sorrow that I wanted to end my life. The majority of the people on this planet know nothing but sorrow and hardship until they die. On the other hand, very few of them enjoy wealth and power and sometimes greed to the detriment of the poor and the environment. But no more. I want those people like you, with wealth and power, to contribute and help everyone and everything on this planet for its long-term survival and happiness. You may think that I’m a fool, but I know what’s coming even though you don’t believe it. The destruction of this planet will not come in our lifetime, but it’s not that far away. In two, three, or maybe four generations, we will have contributed to our own destruction to the point where change will not make a difference. We need to start changing now before it’s too late.’
About the Author
Robert Scollo lives in Melbourne, Australia, and has just turned sixty. The Meaning of Life is this first book, and he hopes that it inspires people to help one another.
The author says, "Frustration. We are constantly frustrated when we hear how badly we treat one another. We whine and complain. We turn our backs when people ask for help, or we ignore famine and prosecution, or we abuse the environment and leave it barren and toxic, or we slaughter animals to extinction, but no one does anything about it because we’re a single voice in the wilderness. Apart from one impossible thing occurring in this novel, everything else is achievable. We just need enough of the right people to listen."
Robert hopes that more people than not will enjoy the book, and if they do, the main character James will return in a second novel.