MATTEO DALL'OMBRA

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Prologue

November 24th, 2014

We are now less than a month away from the release of my new book “From Here To There And Back”. I’m now in the polishing stage, making sure that the story flows and it’s easy to follow. Below you can read the Prologue to the story, a small teaser for what’s coming!

A Regular Life

Walking on Guildford High Street, Mark slowly reached the top of the hill past the Major House. From up there you could always enjoy a view of the entire street, watching all the people going on with their business, small like ants at the bottom of the street.

It was one of the first cold days of autumn, with leaves on the trees already turning brown and branches exposed to the swift wind. The sun was still shining in the mid-afternoon but it wasn’t really that warm anymore. It was that time of the day when you’d better retrieve in a coffee shop.

Mark knew exactly the place to go. Just in front of the Major House, past the big arch, on the way to the Castle. At the end of a small road with just a couple of small shops there was one of the best coffee shops in town. Small, friendly and with a nice sugary smell in the air, this place was for Mark like going home. Over the years he became a “regular” and so just by going through the door his order was already on the way.

“Medium cappuccino with cinnamon on top!”, the barista half-shouted toward Mark. “Thanks Mike! You’re the king of coffee, you know it right?” This very same conversation happened every time, but it never got old.

The real reason why Mark always came to this very spot was that when sitting by the main big window and looking out, he could see his favorite landmark: the Guildford Castle.

To this day if asked, Mark couldn’t really give a satisfying answer on why he was so obsessed with that place. It was probably because he grew up with a fascination for all things medieval, having King Arthur and his Knights as his childhood heroes. Or perhaps it was because that crumbling tower was a proof of the passing times and how strongly we human beings always wanted to leave behind a sign of our presence and power on this earth.

Either way, the Castle and its gardens were frequently visited by Mark, a personal ‘sancta sanctorum’ of some sort, where he could collect his thoughts and where many times in the past he went to reflect on important decisions about his life. It was there where he met Joanna for the first time.

It was through the window of this very same coffee shop that he saw her walking down the road and into the Castle ground. Maybe a sign of the destiny, he followed her to the base of the Tower where he then very tentatively walked up to her to start a very awkward first conversation.

For Mark it wasn’t easy to look back at those times, especially not after that terrible night that took her away from him, leaving him stranded and without a purpose on this planet. Or so he thought. Destiny wasn’t done with Mark just yet and possibly the biggest adventure of his life was just around the corner.