Indigo

How much suffering can one man take before he becomes more than that of a man? Would he break, or become something more? Told through the first-person perspective of our blind protagonist Louie, his story begins seemingly at every end he’s come to in his life. Growing up in a world he can’t remember, the one he’s living in, along with the rules, keeps changing. Unable to tell the difference between dream and reality, a blind man’s dreams merge his reality. Without her, he falls deep in the eerie and disturbing cracks of life questioning the duality of love and God. Through the guidance of a shape-shifting being, he conquers his demons, leaving him that of the one thing he once feared. When he reaches Purgatory, is that what he once seeks at the end? A modern interpretation of the Divine Comedy. 

Checkpoint

“Would you deny this a dream if I told you?” When the lines between dreams and reality merge, what is real? And what would you wish wasn’t real? Told through the first person perspective of an unpredictable and suspicious narrator, Chris Brennan. The journey begins in the very near future, in a small town lost between the spaces. When things take a drastic turn, forcing the characters to abandon their rhythmic lives, they now have to fight for their lives to survive. Discovering the truth behind what appears to be World War III, at first glance, becomes something much greater beyond their control and comprehension. A modern day interpretation of the Book of Genesis.

Barnes & Noble Reader Review

Told through the perspective of a modern day Adam and Eve, our main characters are placed in a near futuristic world where their unique story is irrelevant, like the rest of us. From a rhythmic beginning, the story then takes a drastic change out of no-where that really takes you off guard and as a result the story begins to take a wicked turn forcing the main and new characters, to adapt to a war zone, from the lives their forced to leave behind. The whole story represents the entirety of humanity’s lifespan from beginning to end and how humanity ends the way it began. Bit of a snake eating it’s tail story. The whole story is told through the 1st person perspective of our modern day Adam and he has to find out what has caused what appears to be WWIII. This story tackles humanity’s struggles told through the author’s unique vision, and by the end, that no one saw coming, all the pain and questions are answered with a new ending that makes you think and question your beliefs and traditions. ~ Chatty-Patty60

Checkpoint-by-Daniel-Scuderi-5

Author Daniel Scuderi

Born and raised in Long Island NY, I over time have seen friends and family come and go like seasons. This book to me, was an escape, in that, all the books we read in school made me hate reading. Looking back at it now, I wish I could have realized the flaws in the education system while I was in school, not only in the schooling curriculum, but in society as well. From a young age, I’ve been told my whole life I was special. I knew I was special, but not in the way I was told to believe.

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Chapter Summaries, Review and Insight from the Author.

Most frequent questions and answers

The very first line; “You were born to do great things,” comes off as a quote from his father. In fact it’s actually a quote from the Contrarian at the end of the book. And you may notice that the quote at the beginning is slightly different from the quote at the end of the story, going off of the Mandela Effect, which is used heavily throughout the story. This chapter feels like a dream sequence, similar to all the rest, however the truth is revealed of where and what it is later in the story. This decision was made to express, not only the beginning of our story, but the beginning of life, ending how it began. This chapter expresses Chris’s, and all of our worst dreams after death. Isolation. Nothingness. Trapped in limbo, our souls not whole, proving to ourselves that our individual lives were pointless, and that transfers over to the fearful afterlife and all we do for eternity is chance what we can never have or feel again, a personal hell if you will. Where Chris sees his body before him, it’s to show the form he is in now is beyond his physical form, his body is only the vehicle to exist in this world. The title of the chapter, “Drowning Flame,” represents the, “hope” that comes from light or illumination. Like cutting off the oxygen to a suspended flame. The whole emotion of this chapter is describing the feeling of separation, dying with your other half not filled. The feeling of being incomplete.    

The placing of Adam and Eve in a world developed from evolution. They are placed in a modern setting, no introductions, their both just placed in a room. I wrote this chapter as if it were the beginning of a dream, where it just starts. When Chris and Camilla interact for the first time, it’s as if they are very unsure of themselves, other than their natural instincts. Like using their bodies for the first time, they find their places in this world, where they feel alien. They feel different and separated from the rest, as if they have a unique purpose, but in reality they are just like the rest that fade into the background. The two characters are insignificant. From creation in the book of Genesis, their purpose is unique and special. However in this story, where their purpose is clearly not to be the first creation, their unique story is now irrelevant, their original purpose, along with other origin stories surrounding, are not in play anymore. The music choices here are very personal to me. The songs; ‘Obstacles’ and ‘Spanish Sahara’ were songs I heard from the video game ‘Life is Strange.’ This game really hit home for me, seeing and feeling the connections between the main characters. These songs complemented their friendship and the atmosphere perfectly and I wanted to capture the emotion of those songs to speak more than words for the characters were the lyrics speak for them. It’s almost as if expressing into words of what someone means to you, the words do not exist, or putting our feelings into words, the meaning is left vague and doesn’t mean as much. Sometimes not speaking is just as, if not more, effective than what simple worlds can explain. It’s that unspoken universe between all of us that you can’t see, especially between two people that have that special connection for each other. When they emerge from the pool, described as their baptisms, they create their new world and are reborn into their new world. The universe between lovers, the unspoken world that no one sees, they are living inside of that world. At the end of the chapter, this is the first time Chris mentions quoting his mother. This quote, he thinks comes from his mother in his younger years, but for now Chris’s parents are left unexplained. Chris believes he grew up with childhood memories and experiences. But being created by (The Contrarian) “God,” Chris, along with Camilla had no upbringing. Like a dream, they recall memories but they never happened. Like a dream, you know you just got off a plan, but the dream starts after the plane ride, but you could recall it like it actually happened. The chapter’s name, “The Void,” refers to the void that’s being filled with Chris and Camilla coming together, becoming their whole selves.

Living their rhythmic lives, life continues like all the days before it. The roles of Alex and Nicole are unique. The name Alex, comes from a friend that I had in elementary school. He was my one and only friend but then, he moved away one day. His character really stayed with me all these years and using his name really meant a lot to me. Even though I haven’t seen or spoke with him since, his character was recreated for me in this story, so it’s like he never left. Nicole’s stage name, Luna-Eclipse comes from a girl I met at a club on my 21st birthday. Her character was larger than life and most certainly memorable. Her look was what really caught my eye. She was exactly how Nicole is in the story, from the character down to the hair and tattoos. For the role she plays, she was an easy choice. Alex and Nicole come off as parent figures, being the oldest in their household. Their characters represent metaphorical embodied forms of the temptations of life; alcohol, drugs, and promiscuous behavior. Alex represents the opposite of Chris, the darker side of him, which behaviors are tempting for Chris. Chris confuses Alex for having a father, illustrated in one of Chris’s dream sequences further in the story, his father having the linger of alcohol around his presence. Nicole represents the more promiscuous temptations Chris and Camilla have. Playing the role of the Lilith character, she is the opposite of Camilla’s character. Their jobs circle around their temptations, being a bar tender and a stripper. Camilla’s character not only represents the character of Eve, but of a Mother Nature type figure. Chris describes her in the previous chapter as her eyes being blue and sometimes green. This represents the planet earth consisting of land and water. She works as a florist and as a tutor. This decision was made illustrating Camilla’s true motherly character in natural and helping children. Chris’s job of being a photographer was decided in reference to his character’s imagination, in how he views the world through a different and more meticulous lens, shown in his illustrations later in the story. In describing the school scenes, it kept reminding me of me in school. Being an outcast, ever clique was described exactly how I, and how we all remember them. I never talked to anyone. I always had earbuds in and I observed everyone and everything around me, creating mini stories and scenarios, giving everyone roles to play. When Chris is not with Camilla, the world feels empty and barren, sounds and details are diluted and vague. When he is with her, the atmosphere feels more vibrant and alive. Chris’s mode changes from shy and rebellious to more open and playful. They bring out the good in each other. The band posters on Chris’s ceiling are shout outs to all the bands that inspired my over the years. If you are familiar, Chris constantly keeps referencing song lyrics, quoting them as if they were his own. In the later chapters, Chris illustrates that it’s harder to be someone of your own, which in it of itself is a lyric from the Monkee’s song, ‘Your Auntie Grizelda.’ The chapter name, “Translucent” represents the real world, explaining everyone and everything as they are. Although coming off bitter and cynical, it’s telling it how it is, real with nothing to hide. At the end of this chapter, inspirations from Alfred Hitchcock’s Psycho, quoting Norman Bates. Waking up surrounded by temptations, Chris starts to lean more towards the behaviors of Alex and Nicole. Staring into the mirror, this is Chris’s first interaction with merging reality with the unknown. He feels like he doesn’t have a full grasp on reality, especially without Camilla, and later this conflicts with later decisions. The mention of eyes keep coming up in this and the previous chapter. This was done to keep the reader in suspense, that someone is always watching, making the atmosphere seem ever so unsettling. Something as small as silence can add up to not knowing what is coming next.

This chapter is very important. This illustrates not only Chris and Camilla scrumming to the temptations from their surroundings, but is the creation of man. This sequence is the beginning of man, and this is where the story begins to take a slow burning turn. The use of the movie Donnie Darko, playing in the background, was a clear reference to probably the largest inspiration for this story. Like Donnie scrumming to life’s temptations, Chris goes through the same kind of life hindrances that break the good from the bad. Donnie Darko to me was one of those films that upon first viewing, I had no idea what it was about or what was going on the entire time, but for some reason I loved it. Studying this movie for years I’ve grown to appreciate it’s message and existence, tackling difficult subject matter, such as religious beliefs and time travel, subjects that play a big role in this story. Other slight easter-eggs are references from this film in later chapters.