Not Natural

Excerpt from OldEarth NEB Encounter—coming this summer 2018.

Earth @3000 BC

Only flickering flames of a campfire held back the blanket of black night.  An owl hooted in the distance as the crowd huddled close.

Neb’s gaze rolled from the stiff figure of his grandson to the shuffling clansmen before him. “Listen to me, my people. I am Neb, your leader of long years and the father of Serug and the grandfather of Neb, son of Serug. I declare that all gifts bestowed on me shall be given to my grandson and that when it is his time to serve, you will follow him faithfully. I have seen a new land. You will depart from these woodlands and live on the edge of a mighty river. Your greatness cannot be measured. Your hands will reach out, and you will take for yourselves the power to rule all others.”

His gaze returned to his grandson. “I bestow the mighty bear spirit on my grandson, young Neb. And you will worship the god of horns, which Athaliah has made known to you. If you obey—you shall prosper. If you do not, a curse will fall upon you and future generations down to—”

A crash broke through Neb’s cavernous tones. Crackling, a great tree limb broke free and began its weighty decent from the upper regions. It fell through lower boughs crashing and tumbling. A message from the black sky landed in front of the startled crowd.

Neb stood glowering in silence.

Serug stared wide-eyed—nothing of this nature had ever happened before. Always, nature assisted his father. Though he had to admit, the flying locusts of old had dismayed them both. He brushed that thought away as he stood frozen—his mouth hanging open.

Young Neb had no such qualms. The youth strode up to the massive limb and tugged it while the crowd watched, mesmerized. As the smaller Neb hauled the branch to the fire, everyone at once understood. They reached out and began tugging it, thrusting it into the flickering flames. The ancient limb caught quickly, and the fire grew in fierce exuberance.

Old Neb smiled. He had forgotten what it was he was going to say, but it didn’t matter now. The incident only made his point that much clearer.

In a gesture not unlike the one he had used to the People of Seth on the night of their defeat, he motioned for his people to commence the meal. There were no more ceremonies. The future was set. Neb could leave the Earth, and his spirit would live on in the grandson who bore his name. He would never die.

Serug watched his clan set to the feast. His father had undoubtedly prophesied correctly, and he would lead his people to a Great River. But how long before his son felt the need to rule? Old Neb had thrust his father aside when he felt the urge. As he stood staring into the flames, Serug wondered just how much like his grandfather his son would be.


*Ingoti, from the planet Ingilium are large beings, ranging from six to seven feet tall. They are never seen outside of their bulky techno-organic armor and breather helms, leading some to believe that they are in-fact cyborgs and that the “armor” is built directly into their bodies. 

Ledgerut tugged on Kinrus’ arm, a glowering gleam in his eyes. The two Ingoti scouts slipped away from the primitive scene and made their way back to their hidden vessel.

“Blast that idiotic Gerrog. If he hadn’t played up the whole ‘They’re a threat to planetary security’ thing, we’d never have missed the Collective Symposium. I was looking forward to reconnecting with some old friends.”

Kinrus shrugged good-naturedly. “I’ve got to admit, I can’t see what the Magisterium was worried about. Babes—that’s what these beings are. Babes in the wild.”

The two tromped through the dense woodland in silence until they came to a cliff edge. Tapping a metal plate on the back of his hand, Ledgerut signaled their ship. Soon, a small spacecraft rose from the depths and hovered in space before them.

Kinrus frowned. “Bring it in a little closer. I’m not jumping that distance.”

Ledgerut tapped the plate again and watched the shuttle door slide open about three meters from land. He straightened his shoulders and glanced at his companion. “You’re worse than a Cresta hatchling—so timid!” He stepped to the edge of the cliff and settled into a leaping position. “You know the rules—no footprints leading to the spacecraft—ever.”

“You could bring it in a little closer—higher—and I’ll jump up.”

A tromping, crunching sound thrashed through the foliage and froze the two in their tracks. A tusked wild hog broke through the underbrush, snorting in fury.

With a graceful bound, Ledgerut leaped the distance and landed just inside the doorway. He extended his hand. “Hurry up or you’ll—”

The wild boar charged.

Kinrus skittered forward and tripped.

Before Ledgerut could reach his companion, the bore had ripped into Kinrus’ exposed neck and clamped on, snarling and snorting.

Whipping a Dustbuster from his arm pocket, Ledgerut jumped down and ended the brief struggle.

Kinrus’ arms flailed as Ledgerut shot a stabilizer into his arm and wrapped a thin strip of auto-healing fiber around his neck.

With calm, systemic motions, Ledgerut drew the ship closer and heaved his mate on board. When they were both settled in comfortable seats, Kinrus’ half closed eyes rolled over to his companion.

“Maybe I was a little hasty.”

Ledgerut scanned the directional console on the chair. “How’s that?”

“Perhaps they aren’t such babes after all.”

Ledgerut grunted. “So they deal with fierce animals. So what? No species survive without a few natural trials.”

Kinrus groaned as he turned his head to stare straight at Ledgerut, his eyes red and haunted. “But they’re not natural. That creature’s eyes glowed with evil—like the human.”

“You mean the old man—the one called Neb?”

“No, the child—the one who’ll take his place.”

Ledgerut’s hand hovered over the panel. He shivered.

Kinrus nodded. “Yeah. Me too.”


Novels by A. K. Frailey

Science Fiction

Last of Her Kind

Historical Fiction

Melchior—Vengeance Is Mine

Coming in 2018…

OldEarth ARAM Encounter (In production)

OldEarth Ishtar Encounter (In production)

OldEarth Neb Encounter (In production)

OldEarth Georgios Encounter (In production)

Children’s Book

The Adventures of Tally-Ho

Inspirational Non-Fiction

The Road Goes Ever On—A Christian Journey Through The Lord of the Rings

2018 Short Stories

I don’t have a complete list yet of my 2018 short stories, but here’s a peek into what’s coming each Friday from January to May. 

My newest science fiction novel Newearth—Justine Awakens is slated for publication in early 2018. Many of the characters from my short stories really “come alive” in the Newearth books.


January 5th

Winter Irony

January 12th

Now I See

January 19th

A Beggar’s Choice

January 26th

Intercept Course

February 2nd

Live Again

February 9th

Outlast the Ages

February 16th

Ol’ Diablo

February 23rd

Edge of Life

March 2nd

You Don’t Look Dead To Me

March 9th

Not Natural

March 16th

Don’t Miss a Day

March 23rd

The Great Wall

March 30th

My Love Is Strong

April 6th


April 13th

So Blind

April 20th

Wait and See

April 27th

Alternate Universe

May 4th


Readers’ Choice

Neb on AmazonReviewed By Karen Pirnot for Readers’ Favorite

In Neb the Great: Shadows of the Past, author A.K. Frailey offers the last in the Deliverance Trilogy. Not having read the first two books of the trilogy, I did not feel at all disadvantaged in reviewing this book on its own. The book is beautifully conceptualized and developed and was easy for this reader to follow. Gizah and Ammee are expecting their first child. They have asked Ammee’s aging father to tell the tale of his ancestors so that the history might be passed to their own child. And this begins a saga which encompasses six generations. But don’t be overwhelmed by the complexity of the book. It eases the readers into the various generations. The names are easily associated with beautifully-defined characteristics which make each of the characters unforgettable. I particularly loved the characters of the oldest generation of Hezeki and his children Enosh, Kenan and Eva. Their decision to leave the oldest brother, Neb, was instrumental in a series of choices throughout the generations. Inevitably, the choices were primarily those of good and evil.

There are so many moral and ethical lessons to be learned in Neb the Great that readers will find themselves pondering their own life choices. But perhaps the greatest moral dilemma of all is faced in the dying moments of Neb the Great when author Frailey has the man review his own life and come to terms with the evil he has taught and practiced. To see that evil in generations he has tutored is one which graphically stays with the reader. One of the most thought-provoking moral considerations is that of what one does with the limited time on Earth. Readers who love hidden messages will love to find the ones in this book!

Thank you, Readers’ Choice!

Hollywood Book Festival Review

Neb on AmazonI am happy to announce that Neb the Great made Honorable Mention in the 2014 Hollywood Book Festival in genre-based fiction.  This means that every book of The Deliverance Trilogy has won something.  ARAM won runner-up for an Indie Publishing Contest.  Ishtar’s Redemption made finalist in the Tuscany Press Writing Contest and now Neb the Great has won this Honorable Mention in the Hollywood Book Festival. Also, ARAM and Ishtar’s Redemption has won the Catholic Writers Seal of Approval while Neb the Great is under review for that.  What a great way to start a Monday!


The Scholar's ChallengeThere are very few books I would strongly recommend to Christians across the board but The Scholar’s Challenge qualifies. I found this book to be interesting as well as
vastly informative. It is really two books in one. Both are told from a servant’s point of view but the first is focused on Origen, the great third-century Christian thinker and philosopher who did wonders to organize early church documents into a coherent whole. He did some serious speculating which put him into serious trouble but he was obedient to the Apostolic Tradition and bowed to church authority. The second book focused on Jerome, another early Christian thinker, who did a great deal to carry the message of Christ and the teaching of the church to the next generations, albeit, not always without controversy. I am not nearly as good a scholar as Julian Bauer so I can’t pretend to outline all his points but I found this book to be very insightful, well balanced, and engaging. I learned a lot from this book, though I’d need to read it over a few more times to pass any serious quiz. I have already put this on next year’s reading list for all my high school students. I can’t imagine a teacher who wouldn’t want to buy and share this book with inquisitive young minds. Wonderful job!

Reviews for ARAM

Cover for ARAM 2013Two recent reviews for ARAM:

If you like religious fiction and fantasy novels, you’ll love the Deliverance Trilogy by A.K. Frailey. I had a chance to interview her about the books, and she does a better job describing them than I. I really enjoyed the first two books, and I’m looking forward to reading the third! It’s a very family-friendly book for older readers, a series that parents don’t have to worry about their kids reading. What was the inspiration behind the Deliverance Trilogy?

The Deliverance Trilogy began with ARAM as a simple story which told about a man’s search for the one true God in a world of chosen evil. It was basically a revelation (man coming to know the mind of God) as in the prayer the Shema:
“Hear, O Israel:
The Lord is our God
the Lord alone. You shall
love the Lord your God
with all your heart,
and with all your soul,
and with all your might.”
But Aram was born before Israel was in existence…before there was a united people of God. But I have always thought that in order for any man to do any great thing God prepares the way generations before with other faithful men and women who were open to the will of God.
IshtarCVBook two, Ishtar’s Redemption – Trial by Fire, simply continues the conversation that ARAM started. Humanity is broken and prone to sin. Ishtar is a man who falls not just once but repeatedly and it is in his weakness that he finally finds the answer we all need – that we are not strong enough to go it alone against evil and death. We may insist that we have good hearts and clean minds but the powers of darkness are too much for any man to struggle against alone. As both Ishtar and Obed learn, it is not enough to want to be good, or to be learned, or to be strong…one needs a real living God or one becomes lost in a maelstrom of horror which insidiously overtakes our souls.
            Book three, Neb the Great – Shadows of the Neb_Cover front cover onlyPast, was written at the request of my children. They wanted to know how the Neb got to be the way he was. It was a worthy question and one I could not run from. In looking back on the forces that formed Neb the Great who was the grandfather of Ishtar’s father, thus his great-grandfather, I came to realize, in considering my own family history, how the sins of the past do follow down through generations and how it takes a special grace to break free from those chains of bad habits and overreaching pride. Neb the Great made choices and those choices led him to a certain end….but there is hope because Ishtar made very different choices and the book ends not with Neb but with Ishtar’s grandson.
2) When you started writing, did you anticipate it being a trilogy?
No, not really, it just grew into one. I wanted to write a story large enough that it would be capable of delving deeply into the human experience as we journey together on this earth, but I couldn’t accomplish even a semblance of that end until I had written all three books.
3) What do you consider to be the main themes explored in the books?
The main themes would be the search of man to discover the answer to his soul’s deepest longing.  Also the consequence of chosen evil. The hope of redemption and the release from generational sin. Finally, the undying hope that God instills in the human heart for God will never abandon His own.
4) Who are some of your favorite authors to read?
No surprise that I enjoy reading J.R.R. Tolkien’s The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings since I have written a book about the Christian themes in his books. And I admire his attempt to reflect a splintered fragment of the true light, eternal truth that is with God.  I also enjoy G.K. Chesterton’s works.  From a man who said: “Fairy Tales are more than true. Not because they tell us that dragons exist, but because they tell us that dragons can be beaten.” I definitely feel a kindred spirit. I also have enjoyed reading Kristin Lavransdatter by Sigrid Undset for her grand medieval landscapes and large family interaction. For fun, I like to read anything by Jane Austen.


Deliverance Trilogy, #1

I thought that this book was going to be about Aram, however, it was about the people that Aram led and the people that he affected. There was a really good paranormal twist in the book and I also loved the clan loyalty as well. This is the first book in a trilogy and I cannot wait to read the rest. I hope that Aram made the right decision at the end of this book. I liked the end, but like I said, was it the best choice? The family dynamics in this book were interesting and I definitely felt for Aram’s loss. The beast threw a wrench into Aram’s plans and as his past comes back to haunt him he is faced with the most difficult choices of his life.

I was really involved in this story and there was a lot of action. I am giving this book a 4.5/5.

I was given a copy to review from Night Owl Reviews, however, all opinions are my own.