The Village was the place to see and be seen in 1920’s New York. Jazz, flappers, and endless parties. Doctor Josef Norwich is a brilliant psychoanalyst but bored with his clients who see his profession as another amusement to fill their gin-drenched time.
Then there is Hyperion Walsh, an enigmatic spiritualist who has gained fame by exposing fake mediums while promoting his own authentic talents, as a showman. Once on Josef’s couch, he begins relating an extraordinary life that Josef isn’t sure is real.
As he probes Walsh, Josef suddenly begins to understand that he, himself is the subject and comes under the influence of his patient’s psychosis of being immortal—The Last Atlantean. Shared psychosis, archetypal memories? Whatever his spell Hyperion is casting, Josef is caught in the net.
“Yes,” Hyperion said. “An immortal race. But not advanced enough to overcome our frailties. The upheaval occurred more than ten thousand years ago, leaving a mark on both our histories. Before the catastrophe, Atlantis shined like a wonderful jewel but like most jewels there are flaws and Atlantis had its share.”
Josef became enthralled with Walsh’s complete candor about his delusion of immortality and exotic history. If only he could record this testament. But somehow he doubted he would forget even a single utterance or pause as Walsh continued his story. His words took on a life of their own in Josef’s head as if the spiritualist began transmitting pictures into his mind using mental radio waves.
“Yes,” Walsh’s voice inside my head said. “You are of our blood, a rare ancestor of many hybrid matings.”
“You can read my thoughts?” I didn’t speak but instead, sent the thought out across the table.
Josef downed his beer. The power this man might have over him, if he could creep and crawl his way through his brain. But Hyperion Walsh was a performer and a spiritualist without equal. As adept as reading people as any practicing analyst, Josef suspected.
“I am Hyperion Beleus, a prince on Earth unlike any born since that day,” Walsh told me. I found I didn’t need to hear him. He gave me his memories.
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Odin Alexander is the tag end of the Baby Boomers, born during Kennedy’s Camelot in the Deep South. Growing up sheltered from the civil rights movement, love-ins and all the other groovy shit that made the 60’s great, he spent his time wandering the woods, creek bottoms, fields and old plantations that dotted the landscape.
He found himself transported by books and learned to read at an early age, completing Edith Hamilton’s Mythology by the time he was in the second grade. He counts as his writing influences and heroes Truman Capote, Harper Lee, Tennessee Williams, Poe, Robert R. McCammon, Gary Jennings, Ray Bradbury, Carson McCullers, Dorothy Parker and William Faulkner, among many others.
Following a career in government service, as an environmentalist, he has turned to writing.
“The Last Atlantean” is his first a novella.