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About the author:
Jeff Fuell was born in Dallas, TX and currently resides in Los Angeles, CA. He first began to feel the desire to write when he was a teenager and started writing short stories. He is also an actor and member of the Screen Actors Guild/America Federation of Television and Radio Artists (SAG-AFTRA) and has been busy throughout the years involved with numerous theatrical productions, commercials, print work, industrial films and independent films. Besides writing and drama, his interests also include music, fitness, and, of course, reading and collecting books. His books include The Perfect Woman, Across Time, Earth Angel, WAR – Horseman of the Apocalypse (Love Blooms Eternal), Beethoven’s Immortal, The Goatman, Transference, TITAN: From Earth’s Past A Hero Rises, IMMACULATE: The Second Coming of the Christ and The Empath, the Warrior & the Wind Rider. His writing spans genres such as science-fiction, time travel, adventure, romance, humor, theology, paranormal and young adult/coming of age. Two of his previously published works are the short story “Birds,” published in The Armchair Aesthete Issue 7, and the poem “A Dark Place,” published in the collection The Colors of Life.
What inspired you to write your book?
I have always been intrigued about the mystery of the “Immortal Beloved,” and saw this as a great opportunity to turn this into a romantic time travel story revolving around music and the magic of love.
Here is a short sample from the book:
“So, you said you were from Vienna?”
“Yes. Please forgive my manners. I am rather flustered, as are my parents. My name is Markus. This is my father Rudolph and my mother Emma,” he indicated each one as he introduced them. They each nodded when introduced. “They do not speak very much English and I am hardly what you would call fluent.
“You sound fine to me.”
“Thank you. You are very kind,” he said as he continued to look at her in wonder.
“Um, are you going to keep doing that? It’s freaking me out. I feel like a goldfish.”
“I am sorry,” He blinked and shook his head. “This is just… very strange.”
“Well, this may sound like an odd question but, have you ever been to Vienna before?”
“Well… why… why do you ask?”
“Well, we think,” he said as he reached into his pocket and Stephanie immediately started backing away. “Oh, I am sorry. I did not mean to frighten you,” he soothed apologetically. “I only meant to show you this. Does this belong to you?”
He opened his hand and Stephanie immediately recognized it.
It was her cell phone.
“Oh, my God!” As she took it, she noticed that the silver on it was duller than she remembered. But other than that, it appeared to be in perfect condition.
“Where… where did you find it?”
“My father had an accident and they found it hidden behind a wall. It had been placed there in a box. It was a miracle that it had been found. If not for his fall, it would still be there.”
Stephanie opened it and looked at the screen. She immediately began to caress it as she realized that something that she had purchased just a few months ago was now hundreds of years old. The fact that it was even working was incredible.
“When they found it, it did not have any power at all. Fortunately, my mother has the same kind of phone and was able to charge it up. Still, it is amazing that it still works,” he said with wonder.
Stephanie thought the same. She could only assume that the Circle had something to do with it. Somehow it had transferred some of its power to the phone knowing that someday… now… it would be found and returned to her once again.
“My parents immediately called me and demanded that I come over. Once they explained what they thought it was, I said that it was impossible. It simply could not be,” he said with wonder. “But, here you are standing before us. Once the phone was powered up, I wanted to call you to see if such a thing was possible, but my parents, my mother in particular, insisted on meeting you. Immediately. And my mother… can be insistent,” he said as he looked at her lovingly.
“Meeting me? Why? I… I don’t even know her,” she said looking at her.
“Well, this is what is the strangest thing, even stranger than the phone. You see, my mother’s favorite musical artist is Ludwig Van Beethoven.”
Stephanie felt herself instantly getting dizzy, the words hitting her like a hammer. She eventually recovered enough to be able to stay on her feet.
“I’m sorry. This… this is all coming as quite a shock.”
“I am quite sure it is. The reason that my mother, my father, all of us, really, are so bewildered is because we have seen you before.”
“You’ve… seen me? Where?”
“The pictures in your phone. I apologize, but my mother was only trying to find out who the phone belonged to. That is when she saw the pictures of you, an older woman, a beautiful woman with dark hair… and who we believe to be Ludwig Van Beethoven.”
Stephanie looked at her phone, her hands shaking, and then back at him.
“Tell me… is it him? Is it really him?”
Stephanie licked her lips as a thousand thoughts were racing through her mind. Everything she knew told her to say it wasn’t him, to come up with some kind of story, to try to cover up the adventure that had somehow happened to her… but the evidence was right here. There was no way to deny it. It all added up. Three people from a world away had found out the truth and there was no explanation that she could think of to get out of this. She looked at the three people before her. They seemed like nice, generous people, especially the old woman who had a kind, tired face. All they wanted was the truth… and, at this moment, she could not think of one solid, good reason not to tell them so.
“Yes, it is him,” she finally said and the old woman immediately started crying again, the answer to a momentous question at last revealed.
“I… I do not understand how such a thing is possible,” Markus marveled, “but it obviously is true.
“Yes, it is true. I… knew Ludwig,” she said sadly.
“Yes, I can see that. I can also see that you loved him dearly. You appear to be the same age in the pictures as you are now. I assume that… this was a recent event? Whatever it was that made this possible?”
“Yes. In fact, I just… arrived back home yesterday.”
“Arrived back home? Ah, I see,” he said nodding. “It must have been a difficult to leave a man you loved so much. I am sorry for the pain that you are feeling.”
“Thank you,” Stephanie said starting to cry. She reached over behind her and pulled a tissue from a box that was sitting on the counter and began to dab her eyes with it.
“I think I have something that will make you feel a little better,” he said.
“What?” Stephanie said, sniffling.
“This was also in the box with the cell phone,” he said as he pulled an old envelope in a Ziploc bag from his pocket. He opened it and pulled out a couple of pieces of paper, unfolded them, and gave them to her.
Stephanie took them and looked at them. It was two pieces of sheet music with writing on it. It was a composition that appeared to be only partly completed and, at the top of the first page, was written “For Stephanie.” She immediately remembered that Ludwig had composed a piece of music for her and… apparently, this was it.
“Oh, God,” she whispered. “Ludwig.”
“It is an original work,” Markus said. “An original Beethoven work.”