“Now to the last award of the night. The Publisher’s Association gives the best comeback writer of the year award to Joshua Theodore Killen’s new novel, “Dark Nights”. The innovative new plot captured the attention of the nation and is set to be a bestseller across the world. We’re proud to have such a talented writer in the country.” Killen approached the stage to accept his award. As his hands touched the award, there was a deafening applause, a standing ovation. He saw all but one member of the audience applauding his achievement.
Only a small boy was still seated, his hands in his pockets. Isaac Norman Killen didn’t applaud his father. His father had been a hero to him. He had been proud to call him as his mentor, but that all had changed. A few months back, his father was being called a failure, a one-hit wonder not having written a novel since his bestselling debut, Chants. Desperation was getting to him as the world chose not to sweeten their words. Eager to still write, Isaac had left his father to his thoughts and plotted his own novel.
“Vagrant” was the title he chose. Words came to him seamlessly, as he drew on his inspiration. He spent his holidays to finish his first draft, and then only did he let his mind waver to other things. One day, when he returned from playing with his friends, he noticed his dad was intently writing again. He was happy to see that. When his father was done, and the publisher read the draft of Dark Nights, there was a certainty that it would be his comeback. The publisher and his editor guaranteed it.
Expectations weren’t let down, as even the critics appreciated his plot. Praise came from all quarters. Isaac was the happiest when his father gave him the first book, signed inside. “To my son, Isaac… my inspiration for this novel” The dedication was to him. He started reading with a smile. As he read on, the smile waned. The writer he held in such high regard was dead to him when he was done reading the novel.
Line to line, word to word, the novel was the same as the one Isaac had written. The only change he had made to the plot was to change the name of the characters. Isaac knew the world would hail his father as a great writer. There would be more expectations of his father to bring out another bestseller, but to him, he would be a thief. He didn’t want to be associated with his father’s name. When he returned home, he had decided to sit at his desk and start his next novel, one he wouldn’t let anyone steal. As the room broke into applause as Joshua accepted the award, he pictured himself writing the title: “Traitor, by Norman Isaac”.