First Page – MTK Sewer Rat by Delinda McCann

             When young Jake Jaconovich lived with his parents in Wulfton, the industrial area of the city, Emperor Vanderholm had no idea that the person who would one day overturn his power and set the whole country on its tail lived and breathed the foul air of the slum.
            Jake’s earliest memories are of the death of his sister and his beloved mama’s illness.  He remembers fleeing to the coast to live with Mama’s family.  He will never forget the smell of rotting fish in the northern fishing village.

 Jake was five when his family returned to the city where Papa worked for the railroad.  They moved into an apartment in M’TK, the worst slum in the city.  Jake remembers how he soon became aware of other young children too drunk to play with him.  After he got beaten-up the first time, he began the study of martial arts under Mr. Wu, the most powerful crime boss in the city.
            Jake’s life changes again when Emperor Vanderholm orders the army to burn M’TK.  Once again his family flees their home.  While Jake stood on a ridge outside the city and watched as the army burned the slum, Emperor Vanderholm was still unaware of Jake’s existence.   He could not know that his own actions intended to weaken owner of the railroad, Mr. Rouseff, have moved Jake one step closer to bringing about the demise of the empire.  The burning of M’TK brings Jake and his family to the attention of Mr. Rouseff, who will do anything to thwart the Vanderholms.
            Jake grew up to become a charismatic young man.  After attending university under false credentials, he started his career as a lowly prosecutor, charging and fining drunks and prostitutes week after week.
            The murder of a fisherman’s daughter in a northern village catapults Jake to the center of the political arena when the local fishermen ask Jake to prosecute the case against the emperor’s cousin Leon Fortenac.
            The Fortenac case becomes the catalyst for change when the courts rule that the nation must adopt a constitution to reflect the true demographics of the country.  

M’TK Sewer Rat: End of an Empire

 In my earliest memories the sky was yellow.  I could see a sliver of it from our window.  I lived with my

parents in the industrial area of the city.  The borough was called Wulfton.  Both of my parents worked in the factories.  I stayed with an old woman while they worked.  I called her Nanna, but I didn’t think she was my real grandmother. 

             Nanna lived in a one-room apartment just like ours.  Her apartment was one floor down near the toilet.  We didn’t have a toilet on our floor.  Mama said that was good because she didn’t like the smell.  Several children stayed with Nanna. 
             I don’t remember much about Wulfton because I was young.  I remember when my sister was born.  I stayed with Nanna the day she was born.  Mama stayed home for some time because of the new baby. 
             I remember looking at my sister.  She was bald and wrinkled.  I said to Mama, “Not pretty.  Will a man love her like Papa an you?”
              Mama laughed, picked me up, and hugged me.  “All babies look like that.  She will grow up to be very beautiful and smart and she can have her pick of the men.” 
             My sister didn’t grow up.  She got a cough.  I got it too.  I remember being sick.  I remember staying on my pallet on the floor all day long.  I remember when my sister stopped coughing.  I remember how Mama cried.  Most of all I remember my Papa.  Big tears ran down his face and he blamed himself, using words I’d never heard before for not keeping his family safe. 
             “How do you keep us safe from the sickness?”  Mama asked.  “It is everywhere.  You cannot see it but it is here, everywhere.
             “You are wise.” Papa looked around him. He looked out our window at the small piece of yellow sky.   “Yes it is everywhere around us.  We can smell it.  It makes the sky yellow.”
            I knew I could ask Papa questions.  “I thought you said God made the sky.”
             My Papa picked me up.  I thought he was a big man.  He was very strong.  “Son, God made the sky blue.  Men have turned it yellow.  It is a sick sky.  They have made even the sky sick.” 
             I could tell he was angry, but he acted gentle with me and treated Mama like a precious piece of glass.
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3 thoughts on “First Page – MTK Sewer Rat by Delinda McCann

  1. Delinda, You should feel so very proud of M'TK-Sewer Rat: End of an Empire. Your first page and blurb hooks the reader to want to find out more. Congrats! Thanks, Trish, for providing this forum.

  2. Delinda, what a deep and touching story beginning! Thank you Trish for sharing her work here on your blog. It is wonderful that you are so supportive of amazing authors like Delinda!

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