Nicholas Oldman goes to bed after his fortieth birthday party, and
wakes to find himself alone and naked in a vast, sun-scorched desert.
Taken away from his family and his friends, he must face a new life of
solitude in a world where man has never been.
‘What if?’ Those two little words have been a part of mankind’s evolutionary growth since the dawn of time. ‘What if?’ is the question which defines our ideas and actions (and mistakes), it is our way of questioning the world about us. But there are some ‘what if’s’ which simply cannot be answered, time-travel is one of them and being the only one of your kind is another. The idea of Nicholas Oldman came from such ‘what if’s?’
I have always had a passion for psychology, especially early development psychology, the way we grow and mature from infant to adult is quite amazing. We are blessed (or cursed as some would have it) with a very complex range of emotions, we are driven to all forms of glory and madness by them and are even able to influence the emotions of others just by being around them. So, what if there was no one around to present your emotions to? Would we still be emotional in the same way as we perceive and use emotions today in our modern lives? I once had to dismantle my lawnmower and rebuild the engine, I was outside by myself, my daughter was at school and I had no visitors. Completely alone.
After struggling with a particularly stubborn bolt, I decided to use my hammer to chisel the thing around slowly and ended up whacking my knuckles quite hard. With blood dripping down my hand and arm, I ran through to the kitchen to sort it out under the relief of the cold tap. And as I stood there bathing my wounded fingers, I realised I hadn’t said a single word, not one, single, tiny expletive or yell. Nothing. Now I am not suggesting that I am a complete ‘bucket mouth’ and would normally have turned the air blue, but I am pretty sure that had there been an audience, I would have made a right old fuss.
So, what if a man were to find himself as the only one of his kind in a place where man had yet to set foot? How would the emotions of such a man re-develop to cope with his ‘new world’? How would all of the hidden, primitive and dormant aspects of his mind deal with his situation? And more importantly, how would he evolve emotionally to cope with the loneliness, how would he deal with the need to express himself to his peers?
In Nicholas’ journey, I wanted to try and take us right out of our comfort zone and gives us a tiny insight into the ‘Nicholas’ inside of us all, that incredible drive we have which allows us to adapt so quickly to radical change. I can think of nothing more radical than being alone in prehistoric times.
Michael G Atkinson
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About the Author
Michael Atkinson lives in Lincoln, UK. and works for a specialist cancer care hospice. He has written many short stories for an animation company and The Diary of Nicholas Oldman is his first.novel. Writing is at the top of Michael's list of interests and he plans to become an established author. He has recently started a blog at http://mgatkinson.wordpress.com/ and can be found on Facebook and Twitter