Return To Violet
by Ron Mattos
Return To Violet is Ron Mattos' debut novel. Visit the author's website for some photos to accompany your reading experience.
Imagine if someone offered you millions of dollars to solve a simple secret code. Would you try to solve it in your spare time or postpone everything in your life until you figured out the solution?
Brock Manion, a talented graphic artist living on the Southern California coast, is faced with just such a dilemma. After graduating from UCSD, his life is fueled by two dangerous passions - surfing big waves and racing a 300-mph jet dragster. Among the male members of his family, the courage to perform death-defying acts seemed to be genetic - something built into their DNA. The allure of danger led them to take risks for the sheer reward of an adrenalin rush. However, possessing an extra Y-chromosome does not provide the type of courage needed when confronted with a spiritual dilemma.
Return To Violet illuminates the power of forgiveness and reveals how it affects the hearts and lives of those who least expect it. The story provides readers with suspense, adventure, humor, passion ... and perhaps even a bit of enlightenment.
"In the beginning…no, wait a minute. It was long before that. It was a god-zillion years before the beginning, back when the I AM was the only personality throughout all infinity. The infinite mind of the I AM conceived a new idea. Then the I AM visualized a mental image, a picture of this new idea, and was well-pleased because this new picture was good. Actually, it was better than good–it was perfect. Then, in the blink of a third eye, the Infinite Mind expressed the thought of the I AM, and the cosmos were astir with the initiation of the Big Bang."
And so went the inscription that Brock Manion was reading from the graduation card his grandmother had sent him in June 1997. The inscription continued:
"This sequence of thought-word-action, which resulted in the Big Bang, might be compared to a Polaroid camera. The deafening roar of the Big Bang can be likened to the sound of the camera's shutter, and the blinding light of creation was like the camera's flashcube. The stupendous shock waves generated by the Big Bang were comparable to the mechanical vibrations of the camera spitting out the piece of film. The dense, gaseous clouds left in the wake of the Big Bang were the emulsion on the film, and the white borders around the edges were the boundaries of time and space.
"This description is a feeble attempt to describe how the I AM can know the end from the beginning. Even though the picture isn't yet completely developed, the I AM knows the end result will be a picture of perfection because the I AM saw what was in the viewfinder. It's just a matter of time as the emulsion on the film goes through a long series of changes. The entire cosmos, including every personality therein, is slowly evolving and developing towards perfection. However, during that process, the image may seem blurred, confused, and meaningless.
"Because the I AM knows the end from the beginning, it knew that you'd be reading these very words...at this very moment.
"Living in a world of constant change is a challenge unto itself, so the trials and tribulations we face make it all the more frustrating. For you, Brock, the tragic accident that happened seven years ago was 'suffering heaped upon suffering'. If I were to be granted one wish–just one–I'd wish that you stopped blaming yourself because what happened was an ACCIDENT!
"The Buddha once said, 'To understand everything is to forgive everything.' If we had the luxury of seeing the big picture, the God's-eye-view of the world, everything would make so much more sense. However, we don't have that perspective, so we fumble through life searching for answers, all the while trying to make sense out of this life. Unfortunately, the accident you were involved in has complicated your search even further. Just try to remember that it wasn't your fault, and that you have to forgive yourself, but that's difficult for you because you don't understand the meaning and value of divine forgiveness.
"No matter who we are, divine forgiveness is free for the asking, and it's free to everyone across the human spectrum, whether they're a witchdoctor in the Congo or an atom-splitting scientist in Switzerland.
"There is one catch: when you accept divine forgiveness for your misdeeds, you must become a conduit of forgiveness before you can experience it in your soul...you must allow its redeeming powers to flow through you to others.
"As the saying goes, 'To err is human, to forgive divine.' Mistakes and accidents have been around since the times of Adam and Eve. We live in an imperfect world where such things are bound to happen, so don't allow unfortunate incidents to ruin your life because of the associated guilt and shame.
"Brock, you're my only grandson and you know you mean the world to me. Now that you're graduating from college, please take my words to heart as you move on to the next phase of your life, like a butterfly emerging from its cocoon. I apologize for writing this little sermon in your card, but I needed to express my concern for your well-being. I don't want anything to stop you from actualizing your tremendous potential, because I've always believed that you're destined to make this world a better place. I have faith that it will all come to pass if you're guided by Truth, Beauty, and Goodness."
After Brock finished reading his grandmother's tiny, elegant lettering, he took a pen and pad from the bedroom dresser, sat on the bed, and wrote the following:
"I, Brock Manion, leave all of my worldly possessions to my mother and father, Marina and Troy, the world's greatest parents. You've devoted 25 years of your lives to me, and you did it with love and understanding. I've tried to make you proud of me, so I hope this doesn't ruin it. I'm also hoping that you'll never have to read this."
Over the years, his father had always told him to take a minute and think before acting, then ask yourself if you'd want your actions written on your tombstone. His father's words inspired him to add the following to his note:
"P.S. Here are the words I want on my tombstone: 'Cowards die many times before their deaths; The valiant never taste of death but once'."
The words were from a quote that had always stuck in his mind after hearing them in a literature class while studying Shakespeare's Julius Caesar. The words were from a quote that had always stuck in his mind. He'd first heard them in a literature class, when they were studying Shakespeare's Julius Caesar.
He was reading over what he'd just written when he heard the sound of a flathead V-8 revving up in front of the house. The engine revved a few more times, followed by a sputtering sound as the exhaust passed through a pair of glasspacks before spitting out the tailpipes. He placed the note on the dresser in his old bedroom, where he'd been sleeping the past few days while house-sitting for his parents, then set his wallet and keys next to the note and headed down the hall for the front door.
When he opened the front door, he saw his ride waiting for him at the curb. It was a primer-black 1950 Mercury 2-door sled. Inside the long, lowered coupe, were silhouettes of six heads, barely visible through the tinted glass. Three heads up front and three in the back. Brock walked to the passenger-side door and crawled into the back seat, where he and the others were crowded as sardines. Once Brock was inside, the passenger who was riding shotgun slammed the door; then the driver dropped it in gear and they drove away. The owner and driver of the car was a lifelong friend named Bob Roberts. He looked in the rear-view mirror at Brock and warned, "You might want to rethink this, bro. The forecast was revised and now the waves are supposed to get up to 20 feet tonight. If you change your mind, nobody will think the worse. In fact, it'd probably be a relief to everyone if you didn't go through with it. Do you wanna think about it?"
There was a moment of silence and then Brock calmly replied, "I think you should step on it."
As the old jalopy sputtered away, a chromed, car club plaque with the name BobSled was visible in the rear window; and on the rear bumper, there was an oval, white sticker with the black letters WWJD? Below the letters were the tiny words that read: What Would Jesus Drive?
Brock leaned forward and made a song request to the guy sitting shotgun. The windows were rolled up, so they cranked up the volume. A few seconds later, the sound of the song "Walk" by Pantera was thumping inside the car as it went down the road throbbing like an elongated pig heart. The metal trim inside the car vibrated, buzzing with each note of the bass guitar. The seven heads inside the car were bobbing in unison as if they were at the Wailing Wall. When it came to the main words of the song, they all yelled along, "RE...SPECT...WALK!!!"
The long 2-door coupe rumbled north from Newport Beach, and headed up the Coast Highway to Huntington. They were crossing the bridge near the Santa Ana River jetties when the song ended. When the driver rolled down his window, the car quickly filled with the smell of salt air. Brock took a deep breath, and then asked to hear the same song again. Without hesitation, the driver rolled up his window and restarted the song from the beginning. As they continued towards their destination, each and every request made by Brock was instantly fulfilled by his friends: they were behaving more like prison guards, catering to every detail as they prepared the final meal for a condemned man.
By J Rock
A wonderful Southern California adventure and a sweet love story all tied together with universal wisdom. There is something for everyone to like in this one from jet dragsters, lovable grandmas and grandpas, scary dudes, and a search for infinite wisdom. I was transfixed by many scenes and the author kept several interesting story lines going. Loved Booda and you will want to hide from Zane Cross!
Definitely worth a read, and you might learn something about forgiveness and not jumping to conclusions. Lots of interesting tidbits woven throughout too.
About the Author
The author is a native Californian living in North County San Diego, a graduate of Chapman University and employed by California State University San Marcos. Return To Violet was inspired by the desire to write a mystery-adventure story that was entertaining, humorous, and that contained elements of truth, beauty and goodness. He hopes this book will give readers around the world some insight about life in Southern California’s fast lane.