Merlyn, The Re-Animator
"I've always hated bullies..."
My godson, while a student at Rutgers University in New Jersey, introduced me to a friend of his—Joe Pottackal. From day one I realized “Joey” was an exceptional teenager. He was studying neuroscience, but he didn’t select that highly complex field for fame or money. No, he wanted to learn all about it so, in some way, he could help cure his two older sisters who had lost much of their sight because of an incurable version of retinal degeneration. Joe was a very serious young man, yet he played the latest rock music on his guitar and sang like a pro, was athletically gifted, and could have you rolling with his hilarious imitations of people. But above all, Joe was and is simply brilliant, he truly does have a beautiful mind. One day while having dinner at my home I asked him this question, ‘Joey, not to embarrass you, but I’m so impressed with your intelligence. When did you realize that you were better than most other kids?’ He stopped munching on his food, thought for a second and replied rather humbly, “I’ve always been smart.” The moment Joe said that to me, “Merlyn” was created in my mind. For the next hour I was flooded with visions of my newest story character. Merlyn and my young friend Joey are different in many ways. Joe uses his gifts for only the highest level of good. Merlyn uses his genius to do, let’s say, unusual things. Merlyn and Joey, both are part of me. However, while I love and admire Joe Pottackal, I’m a little afraid of Merlyn Chamberlin.