Magnifica: Tears of the Fallen Revised!

Hi All,

I’m happy to announce the Magnifica Tears of the Fallen has been revised, a few small changes have been made and is in the process of being re-released. Hope you all enjoy the improved book!

Thanks!
Jim

Book info:

ISBN: 978-0615942612
First Printing: December 2013

Cover Art by Helder Olivier

Editing By Meghan Harrington

Copyright © 2013, James Harrington

Amazon Listing.

 

Sample Chapter:

|

“Ariel, what is it? What has happened? Our world…”

“Oh my God… why… this was not supposed to happen!”

“Ariel, I don’t understand. It’s like an outside influence affected them.”

“Yes Roselyn, I can feel it, the ebb of time. There was an inter-dimensional shift… something terrible has happened.”

“What should we do, sister?”

“I have a feeling I know what caused this… I think it’s time for us to check in on our friends.”

“Ariel… you know the laws…”

“I know sister, but it’s a risk we have to take. The influence of our kind is what sent their world into chaos in the first place. We have to see…”

|

 

Chapter I

 

Come on Toby, get up!”

Toby groaned as his dream world gave way to a light blur. His eyes opened as he spoke, “All right, I’m awake…”

Lia’na glared at him with an annoyed look, “Ever since Hawaii you’ve been getting lazy! Come on, we’ve got stuff to do today.”

Toby shook his head as he sat up, “Yes… I know, don’t remind me.”

“I already did. We’ve got to go check on your uncle’s house to make sure that the lock was repaired and the cleaning crew did their job, and then you promised that you’d take me somewhere fun.”

“I know…” Toby replied. “I guess I’m just dreading it. I haven’t set foot in that house since before… well you know.”

“Yeah… look if it’s that big of a deal, I can just go and look for you.”

She crawled onto the mattress until her face was right in front of Toby’s, “I’m sorry. I guess I’m just anxious. Classes start on Monday and I know we won’t be able to go out much when things pick up.”

Toby turned to the side and put his feet on the floor, “Don’t worry about it. I know we need to get this done at some point. It might as well be now.”

Toby looked Lia’na over as he stood up. She was once again sleeping in his Red Sox jersey instead of the pajamas he’d bought for her. The white shirt complimented the tan on her skin from the weeks they’d spent in Hawaii.  Her hair was a mess and her braids were coming out, but she didn’t seem to care.

Toby liked this look on her much more than when she got all dressed up. He took it as a sign that she was comfortable and relaxed around him. Why she preferred his jersey to cotton pajamas was anyone’s guess, but the one time she wore the pajamas he got her, she tossed and turned all night.

Lia’na smiled as he pulled himself up, “All right, shower time.”

She grabbed his hand and led him into the bathroom. Toby followed close behind and shut the door. He quickly turned the dial and activated the fan in the bathroom to prevent the moister from building up.

Lia’na reached down to the bottom of the uniform and pulled the end up over her head. All she had been wearing underneath was a pair of white bikini bottoms. Toby watched her undress as she got ready for the shower. It was something he’d seen several times before, but he never tired of it.

 

Lia’na noticed him staring and slowed down a little with a coy smile on her face. The moment Toby realized what she was doing he stopped watching her and quickly stripped off his own t-shirt and boxers. Once they were both ready, Lia’na stepped into the porcelain tub and bent down to turn the water on. It took her a moment to find a comfortable temperature, but once she had, she pulled the level and activated the shower head.

Toby got in behind her as the water poured down her body. She stood up straight, closed her eyes, and released a deep sigh as the heat caressed her skin. The water made her skin shimmer as Toby pulled her close and let the water fall around them.

Lia’na nuzzled her head into Toby’s chest as he squeezed her and wrapped her arms around him. She was breathing deeply, allowing the water to sooth her nerves. Her back arched as Toby put his hand over her spine and her skin broke out in goose bumps.

Toby’s body began to glow and little wisps of light appeared around them in the shower. Lia’na looked at them with worry, “Spirit embers… this is the third time in two weeks.”

Toby nodded as he looked at his skin, “I know. I don’t understand it either. The radioactive properties of the Lux Mundi are gone. By now, the residual energy should have worn off. Shouldn’t my powers have at least weakened by now?”

“I don’t know, ta arshana. From what I know from elven tradition, when the Lux Mundi was destroyed, enchanters saw an immediate dip in their powers and over time they became more and more like regular people. You powers haven’t dipped at all though. In fact, it feels like they’ve gained strength! We need to figure this out… and soon, otherwise you’ll become a target.”

“How do we figure that out?”

“Masarabi might have been able to tell us, but we’re not allowed to go back there. I checked every historical piece I could find on the Lux Mundi online, but they didn’t have anything either. Maybe when we get back to campus the library will have something.”

“All right.” Toby replied. “Then we’ll check the library when we get back. For now though, can we just not worry about it? It’s been bothering you since we got back from Hawaii and I would just like to have a day or two where we don’t worry about things.”

Lia’na nodded as the embers slowly vanished and gave him another squeeze, “Deal.”
Getting out of the shower was agonizing for both of them, but they had a long day ahead of them and knew they had to get started. Toby would have been okay with staying in the room and relaxing, but he knew that Lia’na was still getting used to her new home closer to the city, so he decided to do things her way.

Lia’na slowly rinsed herself off by turning around a few times under the water. Finally she stepped out from under the shower and wiped the water from her eyes. She smiled as her eyes met Toby’s.

They stayed in the shower for a few more minutes before Toby twisted the handle and turned it off. Once the last drops of water had fallen from the shower head, Toby reached out from behind the curtain to the rack above the toilet and grabbed two towels. He handed the first one to Lia’na and wiped himself down with the second one.

Toby quickly brushed his teeth and hair and left Lia’na to tend to her own hair. He headed over to his dresser and grabbed a clean black shirt out of the drawer with a decent pair of khaki shorts. Unlike college, his underwear drawer was full of clean shorts, so finding a decent pair was easy.

Toby dressed quickly as Lia’na worked on her hair in the bathroom. When he was done, Toby quickly went through the closet he’d given to Lia’na for her clothes. He found a nice pair of flats and a black dress that he had bought for her, but she had yet to wear. He went back to his own drawer with her clothes in hand and grabbed a black collared shirt and a pair of longer pants from his drawer. Now’s my chance…

Once Toby had everything he wanted, he snuck out of the bedroom, through the living room, and down to his bike in the garage. He moved quietly, hoping Lia’na wouldn’t notice he was missing.

A familiar purr came from the garage as he opened the door. Toby shook his head, “Shh…”

The bike quieted down as Toby slid the clothes into the leather side bags on the motorcycle. He quickly threaded the straps back together, concealing the bags’ contents as he looked at the bike’s headlight, “Don’t say anything okay? I’m taking Lia’na somewhere special.”

Vroom!

“Thanks buddy. I’ll be right back.”

Toby quickly made his way back upstairs to the condo. He opened the door, walked back into the bedroom, and sat down on his mattress. Thankfully, Lia’na was still in the bathroom. He was about lay down when his phone went off. The loud music made him jump as he turned to his nightstand. The display was lit up and a horrible picture of his dwarven friend appeared.

Oh God… what does he want? Toby asked himself as he picked up the phone, “Hey buddy, what’s up?”

“Nothing,” Gishan replied, “just checking in. How you guys doing?”

“We’re fine. Lia’na’s pretty much all healed up. The Ulium is gone and the emotional damage seems to be going away as well. She seems to be getting more used to living here.”

“That’s good… really good.”

Toby rolled his eyes, “Seriously dude, this is the fourth time you’ve called in a few days, what’s going on?”

“Ah I don’t know.” Gishan’s voice replied. “I guess I’m just bored. Giselle is out of town for another few weeks and God only knows where she is.”

“Comes with the job, you know?”

“Yeah I do… Doesn’t make it any easier.”

“I didn’t think it would.” Toby admitted as Lia’na came out of the bathroom. “Don’t worry about it though. We’ll all be on campus in another day or so.”

“Yeah I know. It just won’t be the same having to share my place with a new roommate.”

“Matteus is a good guy. You’ll do fine.”

“Did you get all of your crap out of the room?” Gishan asked.

“Yeah. We rented a van a few days ago and got both mine and Lia’na’s stuff before turning in our keys to the office.”

“Don’t seem right dude…” Gishan said softly.

“I know Gishan. Look, if it gets that bad, you can always come here and shack up in the spare bedroom. You’ve got a key, you know?”

Gishan’s voice perked up a little. “Yeah I do. All right thanks Toby.”

“Don’t mention it. I’ll see you on Monday.”

“Looking forward to it, see ya man.” Gishan said as he hung up the phone.

Lia’na turned and looked at Toby as he put the phone down, “Gishan again?”

“It’s a big adjustment for him. This will be the first time we’re not living together in a while. I guess he doesn’t like having to let go.”

Lia’na rolled his eyes, “He doesn’t have to, you know? He can always move in here! Now that you’ve bound me to you, I don’t mind giving it up. I never sleep there anyway.”

“I know, I offered it to him… but he’s stubborn. I’m sure after a few weeks with Matteus, he’ll come around.”

“I hope so. I don’t think Giselle likes the idea of hanging out on a college campus now that she’s not posing as a student.”

“Probably not. Come on; let’s go out for some breakfast.”

Lia’na’s eyes lit up, “Oh, the Tumble Inn Diner?”

“Why not?”

“All right!” Lia’na cheered, “Give me a minute to get dressed.”

Lia’na quickly threw on a pair of black bikini briefs and a matching bra, jean shorts, and a green lace top with spaghetti straps. It was still warm out, so she thought that would be sufficient. She quickly looked at herself in the mirror and nodded in approval.

Once Lia’na was convinced she looked presentable, she turned to Toby, “Okay I’m ready! Let’s go!”

The couple left Toby’s condo and headed down to the garage. The moment the door opened, Lia’na was startled by the loud roar of a motorcycle engine. Toby’s bike was powered up and ready to go.

Lia’na shook her head as she looked at it, “I still don’t understand how she still has powers. That’s a little worrisome.”

Toby frowned with a hurt look on his face, “I like it. The bike is much more fun with a personality, though it can be a little too pushy at times!”

Vrrr…

“Aw, Toby, you hurt her feelings!”

“And how do you know it’s a girl?” Toby demanded.

Lia’na ran her fingers across the seat as the bike’s engine purred appreciatively, “Women just understand each other, Toby.”

Toby’s eyes rolled as he sat on the bike, “Oh whatever, let’s go!”

 

 

 



Readers,

Do you have a question about writing, publishing, my stories, etc? Please feel free to post a comment or email me.

jimthewritingwizard@gmail.com

I’ll use those comments to select my next blog post.

I have been writing for several years, have 4 published works, experience with publishing and independent work, so I can hopefully be of assistance.

Please note, I only do one of these a day and will do my best to respond to everyone, but it may take some time.

Also, feel free to check out my works of Fantasy and Historical Fiction, Available on Amazon and where ever books are sold. See the link below:

http://www.amazon.com/James-Harrington/e/B00P7FBXTU

Thanks friends!

Catch you on the flip side!

-Jim

 

 

Destiny: Divinity’s Finale, Book 6, Chapter 3

III

 

Gilles took the helm as Baltazar was lifted off the deck, “Alright men, you heard the general! Our people need a diversion to get them to Paeles, it’s up to us to make sure they get it. Mr. Morgan, run up the guns and be ready to fire as soon as we’re in range!”

Morgan nodded and ran to the gun deck while Gilles turned the ship to port and brought it closer to land. The wrecked city grew in the distance and the waved became choppy as they drew closer. Gilles held the Black Vengeance steady as she rocked him back and forth. The crew could hear the screams of the imps flying through the air as they drew closer.

Finally, when Gilles couldn’t stand their shrill screams anymore, he called to Morgan, “High elevation!”

Morgan responded, “Already done…”

Gilles nodded, “Good… ready on my mark…”

He pulled the helm to starboard to bring the guns to bear. As the ship turned, Gilles kept one hand steady on the helm and raised the other one above his head to signal the deck gun crew. After a few seconds, he dropped it to the wheel, “Fire all!”

Morgan turned quickly to his gun crews, “Fire!”

The port side cannons unleashed their loads with a mighty boom with simultaneous flashes of light that resembled lighting. The shots flew into the massive black cloud of imps. The shots cut massive holes in the cloud, vaporizing several imps in the process.

An imp on the edge of the cloud pointed down at the ship and screeched. A sudden black wave shot out from the cloud and poured down toward the Black Vengeance. Gilles nodded, “Here they come, reload!”

He turned the wheel hard to starboard to bring the ship around to starboard while the port guns crews worked quickly to reload. There was also a man on each swivel gun on the fore and aft castles. They provided only a small caliber shot, but it was still enough to knock a few of the leading imps out of the sky. Gilles kept the wheel turned over as much as he could until the starboard broadside cannons were ready to fire. He looked up nervously at the approaching wave of imps, “Fire, fire, fire!”

Once again, the entire deck was covered in smoke as the starboard battery unleashed its payload. More imps were vaporized by the cannon fire, but the overall horde kept coming. Gilles nervously put a brace on the wheel and picked up his sword and pistol, “Hands, to arms, prepare to repel borders!”

As soon as he gave the order, out of the clouds came multiple glowing entities that shot through the massive black wave slicing apart countless numbers of imps. Once the glowing spheres emerged from the other side, they took shape. Gilles recognized Xaphine, along with Ariel and Roselyn at the head of a large army coming out of the clouds. The Choirs had kept their word and were now cutting down the numbers of imps attempting to attack the Black Vengeance.

The crew of the ship cheered when they saw thousands of angels drop from the clouds and join the fight. They were all the Choirs could put together to fight. Most of them were wearing bright silvery armor that shined even with the lack of sun. They came out brandishing swords, spears, and staves of flame. Xaphine twirled her sword around, severing the head of one of the imps, when she heard a whispering on the wind, “Xaphan…”

Xaphine turned and faced the whirlwind. She could hear Legions voice echoing in her mind as the battle raged on, “I remember you well… I have you to thank for everything. The time we spent in the cave together… the pain, the violation, and the violence… it was all so stimulating.”

Xaphine shook her head, “You already failed to kill me. You’re voice no longer troubles me, and soon, your words will cease to echo in my head. I will see to it you meet your end.”

She was suddenly startled by a voice behind her, “General Xaphine!”

Xaphine turned, “Yes Ariel, what is it?”

“The plan isn’t working,” Ariel replied, “The imps are still trying to attack the ship.”

Xaphine clenched her jaw, “Stupid beasts… they probably think Aralyn is still on the ship.”

She watched the formations of angels come down from the clouds and continue to hammer the waves of imps as they neared the Black Vengeance. Xaphine scoffed, “I knew this wasn’t a good idea. Okay, Ariel take two battalions and attack the main force head on. Try to split their forces so that they will be unable to bring anyone else against the ship.”

Ariel nodded, “Understood.”

She turned back and disappeared into the clouds. Xaphine turned back to her own forces, “Form ranks, defend the Black Vengeance!”

      The angels did the best they could to prevent the imps from reaching the ship, but it proved to be inevitable. There were just too many imps for the angels to handle and they were eventually overwhelmed. The imps touched down on the deck and attacked the crew. Gilles raised his sword, “Everyone to arms!”

Much to the surprise of the imps, the human crew of the Black Vengeance fought back with great skill to defend their ship. The imps weren’t impervious to their blades and pistols resulting in them taking heavy casualties.

Gilles stayed near the helm and fought to protect it. The moment an imp came flying down at him, Gilles aimed his pistol and shot the creature in the face, causing it to explode in a cloud of black smoke. A second one dropped down and attacked him with a black spike. Gilles fought back and drove the creature off the edge with a sword. He then looked around to see his crew fighting for their lives. They were putting up an impressive defense, but they were slowing getting beaten back. Even after being joined by several angels, Gilles could see that they stood a good chance of losing the ship.

Gilles fought down to the main deck where he joined his men. Within a few moments, he was surrounded by imps that seemed determined for him not to make it to the main group of pirates. Gilles waved his sword around to fend off any imp foolish enough to attack, but he fully expected to be dead within a matter of minutes.

Suddenly, there was a flash of light behind him followed by a loud thud. Gilles watched in amazement as three of his attackers dissolved. He turned to see an angel standing behind him wielding a flame staff. She looked like an eastern flame dancer as the staff spun in her hands.

Once all of the imps had been destroyed, the angel stopped spinning her staff, nodded and smiled. She turned to face Gilles as she brushed her light brown hair out of her face and back behind her shoulders. She was unbelievably beautiful, like nothing Gilles had ever seen before. He returned her smile with a relieved look, “Thank ye, didn’t know how much longer I could have held out.”

She laughed, “My pleasure, I don’t know whether to consider you rogues brave or foolish, but either way, we stand with you.”

Gilles nodded and extended his hand, “First mate, my name be Gilles.”

“Gavreel,” she replied, “Pleasure to meet you.”

“Likewise,” Gilles said, “That be some swift moves ye did.”

Gavreel shrugged, “War isn’t really my thing, but all angels are taught how to defend themselves.”

“Still,” Gilles insisted, “With fighting like that on our side, this should be over with before we know it.”

*

The wind began to pick up as Aralyn touched down and released Baltazar. Lailah landed next to them as Baltazar looked back at his ship. Aralyn saw the glum expression on his face, “What is it?”

“I have a bad feeling that I won’t be seeing my ship or crew again,” Baltazar said quietly, “I just hope they’ll be alright.”

“They’ll be fine,” Lailah replied, “Don’t worry, Xaphine is the best general the Most High has. She’ll keep them safe.”

Baltazar wasn’t totally convinced, but decided that there were more important matters at the moment. He turned back to look at Paeles. The city was pitch-black and there was an eerie mist on the ground. Faint sounds of wailing could be heard in the distance, and a sense of dread came over Baltazar. He felt chills travel down his spine and the speed of his breathing increased slightly.

Baltazar did the best he could to ignore it as he knew that his love’s safety was dependent on him. It became easier to bear when he felt Aralyn’s gentle touch on his arm. It was as though her touch sent the chills fleeing from his body. There was a heavy wind emanating from the streets of the city. Lailah raised her hand over her eyes for protection, “We dare not try to fly any further, the wind is too much.”

Aralyn nodded, “Agreed.”

Baltazar drew his sword and stepped forward. Lailah placed her hand on his and shook her head, “Put it away, you’ll do more damage to yourself in there then you would to anything attacking us.”

“Then how do we defend ourselves,” Baltazar asked.

Lailah frowned, “Where we’re going, the creatures will attack our minds, not our bodies. They will draw upon your memories, your desires, and your love. Once they have what they want, they will turn everything against you. You can’t really hope to defend yourself. Your only hope is to resist the temptations and try to keep a clear head.”

“And if you fail,” Aralyn added, “I will be here to pull you back.”

Lailah nodded, “That will be absolutely essential to our survival. Baltazar, the two of you must be there for each other, and I will be there for the two of you.”

“And we’ll be there for you,” Baltazar replied.

“Stay close,” Lailah said softly as the wind picked up, “It only takes a few feet of separation for them to isolate us.”

The three friends proceeded down the first street. Buildings had been smashed, blood was spattered everywhere, and any sign of life was long since gone. In his mind, Baltazar could still here the sorrowful voices in this place, they grew louder as the group kept moving. Baltazar looked around, “Where is that coming from…”

Aralyn nodded, “I hear it too… there are people here… and they’re in trouble.”

“They are the trapped souls of those who built this city,” Lailah replied, “Even in death they refused to give up their hedonistic ways. The Most High forced them to remain here. At first, it didn’t seem to bother them much, but after a few thousand years… they’ve become tormented and bitter.”

“Great…” Aralyn replied, “So we’ll have to face off against spirits with a grudge against our creator.”

Lailah took point and lead the group even further down the path. Within minutes, the group came to a clearing that appeared out from behind the buildings. It looked as though something had completely leveled any structure that had once still in this large area that now took on the appearance of a courtyard. Aralyn stepped away from the group and saw naked bodies frozen in perverted poses as well as heads, limbs and internal organs strewn about the area.

She covered her mouth with her hand, “This… what in all of creation?”

“This was one of their pits,” Lailah replied, “I wasn’t speaking falsely when I said that these people were hedonistic, but even Sodom and Gomorrah could not compare to this wicked land. These people would ritualistically participate in group encounters… that were of a sexual nature… but more grotesque then most people could even imagine. They would tear each other apart, violate one another, and desecrate each other’s bodies for sport, for pleasure, and because they believed that it would lead them to immortality.”

Aralyn nodded, “I see now why God chose to destroy them… this is sickening.”

There was silence behind her. Aralyn turned to see that her comrades were not moving. She turned to Baltazar and waved her hand in front of his face, “Hello?”

It was like he was frozen in time. Aralyn breathed frantically and turned to Lailah, “Hello?”

A distorted voice that was barely a whisper appeared behind her, “Aralyn…”

She turned quickly and scanned her surrounding, “Who was that? Who calls me by name?”

Suddenly, the bodies came to life and began their grotesque rituals. Aralyn stepped back, startled, “What is this?”

White spirits began to rise out of the mist and surround her, “Join us Aralyn… come, partake.”

Aralyn drew her sword, even though she knew it would most likely do her no good, “Never, stay back!”

The spirits ignored her and flew around her. They wrapped ghostly tentacles around her arms. The sensation caused her to drop her sword, “Get away from me…”

More spirits approached her, flying through her legs, “Join us…”

Waves of emotion and sensation rushed over her body, “I… I…”

Aralyn’s eyes began to turn black. Her skin broke out in sweat and her breathing became labored. The spirits sounded joyous, “Yes… join us.”

Aralyn’s mind was filled with confusing images of eroticism. They mesmerized her and made it difficult to focus. She stretched out her mind and reached out for something, anything, which could break this hold on her.

Suddenly, the image of Baltazar’s face appeared in her mind. Her eyes blinked and the blackness disappeared. In its place was a white glow. She clenched her jaw as her body once again resisted these evil creatures. She could feel her entire being begin to vibrate as her power built up inside of her, “I said get back!”

She unleashed a loud cry as a wave of energy shot from her body, knocking back any spirit that came near her. A large one attempted to connect with her again. She saw it come and thrust her hand forward, “Get back!”

A white hot beam of light shot from her fingertips and vaporized the demonic entity, “Back!”

Once the threat was gone, Aralyn’s eyes returned to their original color and she collapsed. Lailah and Baltazar suddenly reanimated. Baltazar’s eyes narrowed and he turned to Aralyn, “What happened…”

Then he realized that Aralyn had fallen, “Oh my God, Aralyn, are you okay?”

Baltazar reached for her, but she slapped his hand away, “Don’t… please don’t touch me.”

“Wha…” Baltazar was very confused, he had no idea about what she had just experienced, “Aralyn, what is it? What ‘s wrong?”

“Don’t,” she replied.

Lailah knelt down next to her, “What happened, what did you see?”

“They violated me,” Aralyn said in tears, “I felt their power flowing throughout my body and…”

She looked up at Baltazar and placed her hands between her legs, “I’m so sorry Baltazar…”

Baltazar looked at Lailah, “What is she talking about?”

Lailah shook her head, “The spirits of this place are perverted, even in death they still take pleasure in the most extreme of emotions. They could have done any number of sickening things to her.”

Baltazar placed his hand on her arm. She winced and backed away as though his touch caused her pain, “Don’t!”

“I won’t hurt you,” Baltazar replied, “Please trust me.”

She stopped trying to back away, but was still unable to look at him in the eyes, “I know you won’t, you never would… but I fear I have betrayed you.”

“What happened was not your fault,” he replied, “Those spirits drew you into an illusion, nothing more.”

“How do you know,” she demanded.

“Because it’s the only way I can explain how they succeeded,” He replied, “You are much stronger than that.”

“It was real, Baltazar,” she insisted, “I felt the waves of pleasure overwhelm me. It drew me in…”

“Enough,” Baltazar said, cutting her off, “You didn’t do anything wrong. What was forced on you is not your fault. I know it’s difficult, but just try to put it out of your head.”

Baltazar lowered himself under her left arm and helped stand her up. She looked at him with a nervous expression, “How can you forgive me so easily.”

Once she was on her feet, he looked her in the eyes, “One, because I don’t see that you did anything wrong, and two, because I love you. That’s what people who love each other do, they learn to forgive.”

Lailah nodded, “It’s one of the greatest gift you humans were ever given. You can forgive so easily if you so decide to.”

Aralyn threw her arms around Baltazar and held him tight. Baltazar closed his eyes and squeezed as well. Lailah allowed them a few moments of tranquility before speaking up again, “I hate to break this up, but we are not safe here, we need to keep moving.”

Aralyn nodded, “Of course, you are right, let’s go.”

 



 

Readers,

Do you have a question about writing, publishing, my stories, etc? Please feel free to post a comment or email me.

jimthewritingwizard@gmail.com

I’ll use those comments to select my next blog post.

I have been writing for several years, have 4 published works, experience with publishing and independent work, so I can hopefully be of assistance.

Please note, I only do one of these a day and will do my best to respond to everyone, but it may take some time.

Also, feel free to check out my works of Fantasy and Historical Fiction, Available on Amazon and where ever books are sold. See the link below:

http://www.amazon.com/James-Harrington/e/B00P7FBXTU

Thanks friends!

Catch you on the flip side!

-Jim

Destiny: Divinity’s Finale, Book 5, Chapter 3

III

 

There was a loud splash and suddenly the world came back into view. Their boat was only a few feet away from the entrance to the cave. Papi and Baltazar rowed the boat back out into open water. Where, to their misfortune, the galleass was waiting.

The Le Terrible’s captain had apparently seen them go into the cave and hidden his ship off to the side in an effort to ambush them when they returned. Baltazar could see a group of men tied up on the deck. He also saw Jaspart standing next to the captain with a malicious grin. It looked like they were the only survivors from the Black Vengeance.

The guns on the Le Terrible let loose a horrible barrage. Large plumes of water formed around the boat as the shots got closer and closer. One hit from their cannons would destroy the boat and kill everyone onboard.

Baltazar turned to Papi, “Come on, get us back into the cave!”

Papi nodded as they rowed. They got within a twenty feet of the cave when a cannonball hit the rocky cliff over them. Rubble poured down next to their boat as they tried to avoid getting hit. One large piece came down right next to Baltazar, cutting up his hand and shattering his oar. Baltazar looked at his friends and shook his head.

Without saying a word, he pulled the pistol from his belt, loaded it with a double charge of powder, took aim at the Le Terrible with his good hand, crossed himself with a silent prayer, and fired the shot. The musket ball flew through the air toward the forecastle of the Le Terrible.

The captain was standing between two gunners and Jaspart as they prepared to fire another round. He was barking out orders until he suddenly fell backwards with a large hole in his chest. This startled Jaspart as he did not think that they were close enough for these ruffians to do them any harm.

Jaspart sneered, “I’m taking command here. Lower the elevation, and pepper them with fire!”

The first mate approached him, “Monsieur, you are not a naval officer, what right do you have to claim command.”

Jaspart pulled a sword from his belt and pointed it at the mate, “If you dare challenge me for command, draw your sword.”

Nervous, the mate stepped back and nodded to the gunners, who promptly lowered the cannons.

Aralyn saw how badly the hand of her love had been damaged. She admired his bravery even if it was a futile effort. Papi looked like he was certain that he was about to die, and Lailah had a look of failure on her face. It was more than Aralyn could stand. She turned, stood up in the boat, and glared into Jaspart’s eyes as he readied their guns, “Stop!”

Jaspart raised his hand as he returned her gaze, “Kill them all… fire!”

The ship disappeared behind a cloud of smoke as all the weapons the ship could bring to bear fired. Aralyn clenched her jaw, “You bastard, no!”

Her insides suddenly felt like a volcano about to erupt and she began to shake violently. Baltazar tried to grab her, but an unseen force prevented him from touching her. Her eyes flashed white and began glowing like a pair of bright stars, just as they had previously.

Once again, the Le Terrible opened fire. Baltazar closed his eyes, expecting the worst. Aralyn thrust her hands forward and screamed just as the cannons fired, “I said, stop!”

A white spectral wall appeared in front of her. The projectiles hit it and turned to dust. Aralyn clenched her teeth together as a harsh breeze from the cannon fire passed through her hair. Baltazar opened his eyes to see Aralyn struggling to stand her ground. He tried again to reach her, but still there was an unseen force blocking his path.

In a panic, Jaspart left the forecastle and ran to the main gun deck, “All guns, fire everything, now!”

As the Le Terrible unleashed its second barrage, the spectral wall began to flicker. Aralyn’s eyes glowed even more fiercely then before as the wall collapsed. A horrified look could be seen on the faces of every man aboard the galleass. The first officer hesitated for a moment before ordering his crews to reload and prepare to fire.

Aralyn brought her hands up to her face while her eyes remained locked on the ship. Her fingers began to vibrate and glow the same colors as her eyes. She screamed as her hands once again thrust forward. This time, instead of a wall, her hands unleashed a massive beam of light. Everyone else on the boat was knocked backward by the force of her power. The beams sliced through the air and struck the forecastle of the Le Terrible.

The entire forward section of the ship burst into flame and splinters, killing all five men standing there. The beam slowly faded, but the glow on her hands got stronger and spread to the rest of her body. The light was almost blinding.

Jaspart’s eyes darted back and forth, desperate to end this quickly, “Come on boys, reload those guns or it will be the death of you!”

Aralyn bent her knees and balled herself up for a moment as the glow began to pulse. A second later she shot up and straightened herself out, causing her skin to glow even brighter. She let out a high-pitched, blood-curdling, scream as her body glowed even brighter and a massive beam of white light shot straight up into the sky.

Baltazar could no longer even make out his love in the light. He called to the other side of the boat, “Lailah, what is going on?”

“Her powers,” Lailah replied, “they’ve being lying dormant for so long that something like this was bound to happen… I just didn’t know she was this powerful! This might not be a good thing…”

“What?” Papi demanded. “What do you mean?”

Lailah looked at her, worried, “If her powers overwhelm her and she can’t regain control of them, she could destroy herself… and everything in the area.”

Before anyone could reply, a pulse shot up the beam of light. Suddenly, the water off what was left of the starboard bow of the Le Terrible began to bubble and churn where the remaining planks and debris from the battle were still floating. A huge plume of water shot high into the air and then dropped like a massive curtain. To everyone’s amazement, the Black Vengeance emerged from the falling water. There was no sign of the damage from the Le Terrible at all.

Baltazar smiled when he saw his ship. His joy was interrupted when an unearthly voice emanated from the light, “No more!”

**

In France, the damage to Mont Saint Michel slowly became undone and the abbey was restored to its original splendor. The bodies of those who were being gathered up for burial suddenly came back to life as though nothing had happened.

In Venice, the Patrisi house began to repair itself. The rubble began to form back into the foundation of the old house. The ashes turned back into wood and a moment later, the house was once again standing. The shipwreck on the rocks of the harbor also pulled itself back together and moved itself back to the dock. A large crowd of locals looked on in shock as the house that had been destroyed almost two decades ago, stood once again.

**

Once Aralyn’s work was done, the beam of light began to fade until all that was left was the large orb in the middle of the longboat. The crew of the French warship scrambled to load their cannons as they also fought the fires coming from what was left of the forecastle. None of them knew what was going on, but they could sense that they were in great danger.

Jaspart’s breathing became more rapid as he realized that they now had to worry about two targets, the ship that they had already sunk, and this powerful demonic creature near the cave entrance. He turned to the crew on the port side of the ship, “Guns at the ready, we’re going to need them. Do it you dogs!”

Baltazar got to his feet again and fought hard to try to get through the light to Aralyn, but Lailah put her hand up, “Baltazar, stop, you’ll only hurt yourself.”

At that moment, the orb faded and left Aralyn crouched in the middle of the boat. As she stood up, large white wings appeared on her back and spread as far as they could. Baltazar’s eyes widened, “Aralyn you… you’re…”

“An angel.” Lailah replied with a satisfied smile. “It’s about time too.”

“But how?” Aralyn asked. “I was born of human parents.”

A sudden shout from the Le Terrible prevented Lailah from answering. Jaspart’s men had successfully reloaded the cannons in record time and were preparing fire another broadside. Aralyn had a worried look on her face. She knew that she wasn’t strong enough to defend them against another attack. Her powers were still manifesting themselves and she didn’t have full control over them.

As the cannons were pushed forward, she knew that she had to try. The fate of the world may be resting on her survival. There was no other choice.

The first mate aboard the French warship signaled to Jaspart, “Ready to fire!”

Jaspart nodded and raised his hand, relishing the moment as, with any luck, he would now see the end of Captain La Fuente, “Goodbye, old friend.”

Aralyn stood ready to try one last time to raise the spectral wall, when all of a sudden, each of the galleass’s cannons exploded. Miraculously, no one on the ship was wounded, but their main armaments had been completely destroyed.

Overhead, there was a loud boom and the clouds parted. Three large orbs shot down through the mist and hovered a few feet over the deck of the Le Terrible. They were as bright as Aralyn had been just a few moments ago.

Jaspart looked on as the crew scattered, grabbing muskets, swords, and anything else they could use as weapons. A few of the more startled men opened fire on the orbs, but the musket balls shattered as they struck the pulsing lights.

As the Le Terrible’s crew reloaded, the orbs began to fade, leaving three winged women in their place. Two of them had four glowing red wings on their backs while the one in the middle had a single pair of white ones that shimmered gold as they flapped in the breeze. Lailah’s eyes widened when she saw them.

Papi looked at the angels oddly and turned to Lailah, “Lailah, do you know them? They are unlike any angel I’ve ever read about.”

Lailah nodded and smiled happily, “Yes, I know them very well. The two on the sides are seraphs. They are more powerful than the average angel. The one in the middle… she’s an archangel, one of our strongest.”

The archangel glared at the Le Terrible’s crew as she brushed a strand of her long black hair from her face, “By the eternal grace of the Most High, the next man here who makes an aggressive move will meet his maker a lot sooner than expected.”

Jaspart clenched his jaw and began to growl. His eyes turned a bright red and his face darkened. He spoke in a deep, inhuman, voice that was not his own, “You…”

The archangel looked at him in surprised, “Legion… so you’re here too…”

Jaspart smiled and thrust his hand forward. Black smog shot out of his fingertips and struck the archangel’s arm. She cradled her limb and looked down as the wound quickly disappeared. Once it was gone, she turned her gaze back to Jaspart and smiled, “Not this time, Legion. I’m far more powerful than when last we met!”

The archangel thrust her hand forward, “Begone!”

Beams of lightning shot from her palm and struck Jaspart, disintegrating him instantly. Jaspart screamed in agony as his body turned to ash and blew away in the wind.

Once he was gone, the archangel let out a sigh and turned to the remaining crew of the Le Terrible, “Do you wish to meet your end as well?”

The first officer stepped forward and dropped to his knees, “Forgive us, blessed angels… we didn’t know… We were following our orders!”

She frowned and shook her head, “That excuse is used to justify too many crimes. The Most High commands you to cease your pursuit of these people immediately.”

A shocked look came over the first officer’s face, “Am I to understand that the Most High is condoning acts of wanton destruction and murder, committed by these pirates? They ransacked an abbey filled with the lord God’s servants! Are we to just forget about that?”

“Do you think we haven’t been watching?” She fired back. “Do you think we don’t know what has happened here? Mont Saint Michel was destroyed by the very demonic force you were using as a guide! These pirates, as you call them, were the first on the scene, and the only ones to render any sort of aid. Had you bothered focusing on the preservation of life instead of seeking revenge, you might have noticed that.”

The first officer lowered his eyes, “Forgive us, blessed angel. We are God’s humble servants… we will do as commanded.”

“That’s better.” She repied with a satasfied grin. “The lord Most High demands the release of the people you have captured. Once that is done, you are to return to France, and I promise you, you will be brought to judgment for you crimes.”

The first officer sighed, “As you wish blessed angel…”

Without another word to the Frenchmen, the angel turned back to her comrades. “Ariel, secure the release of the prisoners and see to it they get back to their ship.”

Ariel nodded and snapped her fingers. The shackles on the crewmen’s arms and legs shattered in response. As she went to work, the archangel spoke to the other seraphim, “Roselyn, tend to the longboat, get them back aboard their ship, and tend to anyone there who may need help.”

Roselyn looked over at the boat. Seeing Aralyn standing there, staring at them, she smiled, “Understood, General.”

Ariel approached the captured crewmen, “Is everyone okay? Are there any injured.”

At first, no one spoke. The crew was mesmerized by the beauty of this creature standing in front of them. Her skin had an aura of gold and her eyes were piercing as though when she looked at them, she peered into their souls.

Gilles appeared from behind the group, “We’re okay, but we’ve lost a lot of people.”

Ariel nodded, “You needn’t worry, it is being dealt with.”

She turned to the first officer of the Le Terrible, who was standing off to the side with his own men, “Lower a longboat for these men, and be quick about it.”

He nodded, “As you wish.”

The French crew quickly did as were told and had a longboat ready to go in record time. Ariel helped get the crew of the Black Vengeance into the boat, attached a rope to the bow, and once everyone was onboard, towed it over to their ship.

Roselyn hovered over to the small group near the cave’s entrance. Her long brown hair flowed behind her as she moved and, like Ariel, her skin had a golden aura. She first turned to Baltazar, “Give me your hand.”

Baltazar stood up, looked at his wounded hand, and then back at Roselyn. She nodded, “It’s okay, trust me.”

He put out his hand, covered in blood. She placed her own hand over it and caressed it gently. There was a momentary sting, but when she let go, his hand was totally healed.

Baltazar looked it over in amazement, “Thank you…”

Roselyn nodded as she turned to face Aralyn. The two regarded each other for a few moments before Roselyn spoke, “You look so much like her, it’s almost hard to believe that you’re not. “

“You know Adaline?” Aralyn asked.

Roselyn smiled, “Very well. She is amongst my closest friends. My name is Roselyn, I looked at her as a sister, and I know she is very proud of you.”

Aralyn lowered her eyes with an appreciative smile as Roselyn turned to Lailah, “It has been a while, old friend.”

Lailah looked at her sternly, “Longer for me having been confined to a cave for over ten years.”

“I’m sorry, Lailah,” Roselyn replied, “but your injuries made you difficult to locate. Many of us thought Legion had killed you.”

“No need to apologize,” Lailah said with a smile, “I understand.”

Roselyn placed her hand on Lailah’s chest and closed her eyes. A bright aura surrounded Lailah for a few moments. It pulsed and then faded, leaving behind a fully healed angel. The group looked in awe as once again, Lailah had been restored to her original form, this time permanently.

Once her work was done, Roselyn nodded, “Alright, let’s get you back to your ship.”

The longboat looked as though it was ready to sink, so Roselyn put her hand out to Papi. He looked at her for a moment hesitantly before taking it and being lifted into the air. Papi gasped as he was lifted high of the boat.

Roselyn smiled, “Don’t be alarmed. I won’t let you fall.”

Papi calmed down a little as he looked around, “Lead on, angel.”

Lailah turned to Aralyn, nodded, and took to the air following Roselyn back to the ship. Aralyn looked over at Baltazar with an apologetic expression, “My love, I don’t know what to say. I know this isn’t what you expected. I can’t say I saw it coming either.”

Baltazar stared at her for a few moments, unable to speak. Her eyes now glowed brighter than ever and her white wings added a majestic appeal to her appearance. Other than that, she was still the same person. When he didn’t say anything, tears began to form in her eyes, “I’ll understand if this is more then you can take. I won’t blame you if you decide to take your ship and sail away.”

Baltazar let out a deep sigh as he put his right hand to her cheek, “You are so beautiful… I should have expected something like this. You were always so different from any other woman I’ve ever met. I was drawn to you in ways I couldn’t even understand. It all makes sense now, only an angel could have accomplished such a feat.”

Aralyn gasped as Baltazar’s touch electrified her skin. She placed her hands against his and smiled, “I love you. Neither wings, nor will any celestial army ever change that.”

Baltazar smiled, “And I you… once all of this is over… if you are willing… perhaps we could… ”

“What?” Aralyn asked.

Baltazar lowered his eyes, “Perhaps consider a more permanent relationship?”

“Yes.” Aralyn replied as her heart raced. “Once this is all over, we can definitely try.”

Baltazar grabbed Aralyn and hugged her tightly. She tried to make the moment last as long as possible, but the boat was about to sink out from under them, and they needed to move. Still in the tight embrace, Aralyn quickly reached one hand under Baltazar’s legs and picked him up. Her wings spread and she pushed off as hard as she could.

This surprise startled Baltazar, “Hey wait a minute, what are you doing?”

Before Baltazar knew what was happening, they were airborne. Aralyn flapped her wings and gained altitude quickly as the longboat disappeared below the waves. She pushed her wings with hard thrusts against the wind and climbed even higher into the clouds.

Baltazar looked down and gripped her tightly. Aralyn could sense his nervousness, “Don’t tell me the legendary Captain La Fuente is afraid of heights?”

Baltazar shook his head, “The legendary Captain La Fuente has never flown before! The highest I’ve ever been into the sky is about 4 mast-lengths lower than this, and no I don’t have a fear of heights, just falling from them.”

“Can I tell you a secret?” Aralyn asked with a devious look. “I’ve never flown before either!”

Baltazar nodded, “I know, that’s what troubles me.”

She soared through a cloud, feeling the moisture on her skin, and began to descend towards the Black Vengeance. The ship’s red sails came into view as Aralyn flew lower. Finally, she circled around and touched down on the deck of the ship. The crew applauded and cheered as the two came into view.

Gilles and Morgan stood in front of them. Baltazar turned and hugged them, “Men… you’re alive?”

“Aye,” Morgan replied, “I was certain I had died when the ship went down, but your friends here pulled me back.”

Baltazar had tears in his eyes as he turned to look at his crew. They had all been rescued or revived and were awaiting his orders. Baltazar nodded, “Men, I don’t know what to say… words cannot begin to express my joy to see you all alive and well.”

The men’s cheering got even louder. Aralyn noticed Lailah, Ariel, and Roselyn standing off to the side, both smiling. Off in the distance, the Le Terrible had come about and was heading back to port.

Aralyn noticed what looked like a large bird leave the deck and fly towards them. It let out a shrill cry as it gained altitude. Once it neared the ship, the creature’s features came into view. It was the archangel that had appeared with the two seraphs aboard the Le Terrible. She gracefully flew towards them and touched down on the deck, landing on her left knee.

As her foot touched the deck, she stood up and smiled at Aralyn, “You have done very well. We were worried that you wouldn’t realize your powers or even be able to come to terms with them when you did.”

Aralyn nodded, “I had help… miss…”

“Xaphine Lorenzi,” the archangel replied with a smile, “General Xaphine Lorenzi of the Most High’s Choirs of Angels.”

Aralyn’s eyes narrowed, “I know angels have rather unearthly names; Gabriel, Lailah, Ariel, Roselyn, and Adaline… but Xaphine Lorenzi… that sounds like a human name.”

Xaphine frowned and twisted her lips as though she was nervous, “It would take too long to explain.”

Papi stepped forward, “Forgive me, milady, but I have read about the greatness of the archangels… I have never heard of you.”

“Does the name Xaphan sound familiar?” She asked as she turned to him.

Aralyn gasped, “You… you’re the traitor! How do you now claim the title of general?”

Xaphine lowered her eyes as Roselyn stepped forward, “After Michael was defeated, we were left leaderless. Xaphan was the most skilled leader next to Michael, but she was a revolutionary. However, she later realized the error of her ways, changed her name, and fought to protect one of the Most High’s children by sacrificing herself. She was that man’s…”

“Roselyn, that’s enough.” Xaphine interrupted. “I’ll be happy to explain all of this at a later time. Right now, all I can say is that I spent a long time repenting for my crimes, was forgiven, and have spent the years since in the service to the Most High. He saw fit to make me his general and I have served with honor ever since. Does that quell your fears?”

Aralyn nodded, “I apologize for the outburst, I didn’t hear that much of your story.”

“You were curious.” Xaphine replied. “An apology isn’t necessary. There is no dishonor in asking questions.”

Baltazar stepped forward, “What about Jaspart?”

Xaphine smiled, “That fiend will not bother you again.”

“That’s a relief.” Baltazar said as his voice relaxed. “So I take it now you’re here to help us in this fight?”

“We’re not staying.” Ariel replied. “We need to get back in order to rally the rest of our forces.”

“Might not be a bad idea.” Baltazar replied. “Besides, we’ve got Aralyn and Lailah with us. That should be enough to deal with any situation that arises.”

Xaphine nodded, “And they will remain with you for the time being, until this crisis has passed.”

Xaphine’s words sent a chill down Baltazar’s spine. What did she mean, ‘for the time being?’ Was he going to lose Aralyn at some point? Or was she just referring to Lailah? For the first time ever, Baltazar was too afraid to open his mouth. Instead he shrugged and put it aside for the time being, “Where are we go to now?”

Xaphine shook her head, “We… don’t know. Legion hasn’t been easy to track. Since he gained enough power to shatter the seal I placed on the entrance to the underworld, he’s been running amuck like he did in ancient times.”

“What are we supposed to do?” Baltazar asked. “We have no idea where he is or where is going to be.”

“But we know where he’s been.” Xaphine added. “Legion and I have a… connection. I was the angel who entered his cave… and I was the one he stole enough power from to begin manifesting his own. Since then, I’ve been periodically able to detect his movements. It would appear that he has taken a liking to his old dwelling and has returned to the east. He appears to be trying to suck as much of his old power out of the region as possible.”

Baltazar did not like this idea at all, “Where are we supposed to go?”

“Tyre.” Xaphine replied. “Proceed far east, Lailah will guide you.”

Morgan stepped forward, “General… with all due respect…”

Xaphine nodded, “Please speak your mind, we are all friends here.”

“And most welcome,” Morgan replied with a nod, “but one don’t simply sail to Tyre. The land be the possession of the Ottomans. Matters be even worse, there be corsair ships in that area that would love to pick us off.”

Lailah stepped forward, “That’s why you have us. Aralyn and I are here to help you. Preferably, the Most High would rather us be involved as little as possible and try to keep out of sight, for obvious reasons. That said, if a problem arises that is beyond your ability to handle, then we can intervene.”

“Unacceptable,” Aralyn shot back, “these men are my family, my friends… I won’t stand by and let them fight my battles for me until they’re overwhelmed. I fight side by side with them, as I always have.”

“Aralyn,” Xaphine responded, “you are too important to our cause, it’s a risk…”

“I fight side by side with them, as I always have.” She repeated in an extremely stern tone. “You are going to have to deal with that.  These people mean more to me than the rest of the world put together.”

Xaphine crossed her arms, “Such insolence…”

Roselyn smiled, “Yes, but I remember a certain soldier being the same way a long time ago.”

Xaphine glared at Roselyn for a moment. Her angry stare quickly turned into a relaxed smile. Finally she turned back to Aralyn with a sigh, “You know, you are as headstrong as your ancestor, my sister, and I remember it got her into a lot of trouble.”

Aralyn’s expression didn’t change as Xaphine’s smile widened, “Almost as much trouble as I got in when I recklessly followed a revolutionary… I don’t agree with this in the least, but if your personal honor will be satisfied, then stand by this… family of yours.”

Aralyn nodded, “Thank you.”

“You’re welcome,” Xaphine replied with a smile, “just remember that the next time you decide to be insubordinate.”

Aralyn smiled, “I will try.”

Xaphine turned to the rest of the ship, “Do your best as you have been. Protect your adopted family member and we will win the day. I promise you that your efforts will not be forgotten.”

She then turned and beckoned to Ariel and Roselyn, “Come, let us depart.”

Ariel and Roselyn stepped forward as the three of them turned back into white orbs. As they began to ascend into the heavens, Ariel called back, “Remember, we will be watching you so do not fear.”



Readers,

Do you have a question about writing, publishing, my stories, etc? Please feel free to post a comment or email me.

jimthewritingwizard@gmail.com

I’ll use those comments to select my next blog post.

I have been writing for several years, have 4 published works, experience with publishing and independent work, so I can hopefully be of assistance.

Please note, I only do one of these a day and will do my best to respond to everyone, but it may take some time.

Also, feel free to check out my works of Fantasy and Historical Fiction, Available on Amazon and where ever books are sold. See the link below:

http://www.amazon.com/James-Harrington/e/B00P7FBXTU

Thanks friends!

Catch you on the flip side!

-Jim

Destiny: Divinity’s Finale, Book 5, Chapter 1

Book 5

The Churning Tides

I

The sound of activity on deck roused Baltazar from his slumber. He got up carefully so not to wake Aralyn. He opened the door and went out on deck. To his surprise, the crew was back onboard early and preparing the ship for the voyage ahead.

Gilles turned to see a near shirtless Captain La Fuente walk out on deck, “Captain, good morning.”

Baltazar rubbed his eyes, “Good morning Mr. Gilles… what is going on around here.”

Gilles smiled, “The crew doesn’t want to wait anymore. We’re all anxious for adventure, and no Romagna wenches are going to quench our thirst.”

Baltazar smiled, “Is that a fact?”

“Aye.” Morgan said, coming up behind him. “Whenever you’re ready Captain, we’re ready to save the world.”

“All right then.” Baltazar replied confidently. “Is everyone onboard?”

“Aye sir.” Gilles said, looking around. “All crewmen are accounted for.”

Baltazar nodded, “Very well, cast off the mooring lines, set the topsails, and let’s get this ship moving.”

He turned to Gilles, “Mr. Gilles, take us out.”

“Aye sir,” Gilles replied as he manned the helm.

The topsails came down and the Black Vengeance started to pull away from the dock. It took about ten minutes to leave the pier, but she pulled out into open water and cleared the harbor quickly. Baltazar breathed in deeply as he felt the wind catch the ship, “Full sail, Mr. Morgan,”

Morgan nodded and moved forward, “Aye sir, full sail!”

He then turned to Gilles, “South, southeast, if you will, Mr. Gilles.”

Gilles nodded and turned the ship to the south, “Aye sir.”

In the cabin, Aralyn could feel the ship moving under her body. Her eyes opened and she sat up. She quickly changed into her normal clothing and ran out on deck.

Baltazar was standing near the helm. She joined him as he stood watching the horizon, “My love, what is going on?”

Baltazar wrapped his arm around her back and smiled, “The crew was restless for adventure. So we decided to set sail early.”

“Was the ship ready?” She asked.

Baltazar nodded, “Aye, we had all the provisions ready to go and we’re still fully loaded in terms of the ammunition.”

Lailah appeared on deck a few moments later as well. She joined the group on the aft castle, “Where are we?”

“We’re on our way to Taenarum.” Baltazar replied. “It shouldn’t be any more than a day before we arrive.”

Lailah shook her head, “I don’t know how you humans do it. You spend half your life travelling from one place to the next. Especially you sailor types, do you know that when you actually reach the destination you spend so much time getting to, you spend very little time there in comparison?”

“Such is the life.” Baltazar shrugged. “We don’t all have wings to take us everywhere.”

Lailah frowned, “Do these look like they’ll carry me very far?”

Gilles looked over at her, “Yeah about that… how is it you’re hurt, I thought angels were incapable of such things?”

“To be honest,” Lailah replied, “I’m not entirely sure. You are right in that we’re not supposed to capable of being hurt.”

“What happened?” Aralyn asked.

“It was so terrible…” Lailah said softly fighting back tears, “I watched your family die… and was powerless to stop it. Then Legion tore me apart in ways that ripped through my body and into my mind. He burned me alive. I don’t know how, but his fire was the physical manifestation of all his rage… even my immortality couldn’t protect me.”

She flapped her wings weakly, “He took my flight away from me and severed my connection to the Celestial world. Once he was finished, he left me here, crippled and broken hoping that I would be found and killed.”

“But you weren’t.” Gilles added.

“No, I wasn’t,” she nodded, “I used what little strength I had left and managed to escape. I spent five years wandering around until I found that small rocky island… that’s where I stayed… for a very long time.”

Aralyn lowered her eyes, “I am very sorry for you…”

“Don’t be,” Lailah replied, “you’re here now, and you know the truth. If we succeed, then it will all be worth it.”

**

The ship sailed on for hours without the crew saying much to one another. They each tended to the ship in their own way. Papi continued preparing food for the men about to come on or go off duty. Aralyn had to delegate her time between the galley and tending to whatever injuries arose. Baltazar stayed on deck, watching the horizon as the ship continued on course, and Lailah continuously prayed for the safety of all hands onboard.

As afternoon fell over the ship, the lookout called to Baltazar, “Land ho, Captain!”

Baltazar looked out in front of them and saw a steep rocky pass. Lailah nodded, “This is the place.”

Baltazar shook his head, “It’s no good, we can’t land here, there is no place to bring up the longboat!”

“Sail further south.” Lailah replied. “The cave we’re looking for is in the water, you’ll be using the longboat to get in.”

Baltazar nodded to Gilles, “You heard the lady.”

Gilles held the ship on a southern course, but kept his eyes open for the cave that they were looking for. Sure enough, ten minutes later, the Black Vengeance sighted a cave cut into the side of the rock wall.

Morgan looked at the cave oddly, “I figure that didn’t form naturally, did it?”

“No,” Lailah said in a low voice, “there were outside forces at work in creating this cave.”

Baltazar turned to the men on deck, “Drop anchor, bring in the sails, lower the longboat, and order Mr. Clement to the deck.”

Morgan nodded, “Will I be coming with ye this time Captain?”

“No,” Baltazar replied, “I won’t risk anyone unnecessarily. Only the people who need to be there will be. Papi has known Aralyn since she was little, so I doubt I could stop him. I want you to stay and help Gilles manage the ship.”

Morgan saluted, “Aye Captain.”

The longboat was lowered as Papi climbed on deck. He looked out and saw the cave, “By the grace of God… This is something I hoped never to see.”

“You and every other man alive.” Lailah replied. “Don’t worry, as long as we keep our wits about us, we should be safe. I know what to look out for.”

Once the longboat touched the water, Lailah and Papi climbed over the side into the boat. Aralyn followed close behind. On deck, Baltazar nodded to his men, “Gilles, Morgan, you two are in charge until I get back. Keep a close watch on things.”

Gilles nodded, “Not a problem, Captain.”

Baltazar nodded and turned toward the longboat. As he went over the side, he looked at the deck one last time. Gilles saluted as Baltazar disappeared, “Luck, Captain.”

Morgan looked over the side as Baltazar sat next to Papi and manned the oars. They began to row towards the cave as Lailah guided them from the front. Morgan waited for them to get clear before turning back to Gilles, “Longboat be away!”

After about ten minutes of silence, there was a horrified call from the lookout, “Sail ho!”

Gilles looked around quickly, but saw nothing, “Where away?”

“Directly to starboard,” the lookout replied.

Gilles picked up the spyglass and looked to starboard. It took a few moments for him to pick out the ship, but once he had a good shot of it, his eyes went wide. Morgan watched him go pale as he lowered the spyglass, “What is it, lad?”

“No…” Gilles said in a defeated tone. “Not now…”

Morgan turned to face him with a worried, “What is it?”

“The Le Terrible…” he replied, “she’s found us.”

Morgan’s jaw dropped, “How be that possible, we lost them in Viana do Castelo.”

“I don’t know…” Gilles replied, “but it doesn’t matter, weigh anchor, set top sails and get us moving!”

Morgan looked out at the longboat as it drew closer to the cave, “Gilles, what about the longboat?”

Gilles shook his head, “They’re on their own for now. It would take us too long to get them back onboard. We’ll draw the warship off and hope they’ll follow us.”

**

On the longboat, Baltazar saw the terrifying scene unfold in front of him. Panic broke out across the deck of his ship as he watched, “What is going on?”

Then he saw it, a lateen sail appeared on the horizon, “No, it can’t be!”

Aralyn followed his gaze, “The Le Terrible…”

Papi tugged on his oar, “We have to get back to the ship! You should be there!”

Baltazar shook his head, “There is no time. They’re weighing anchor now and the sails are coming down. By the time we get back onboard, the Vengeance will have no time to get away.”

An angered look came over Baltazar’s face, “Bastard sail maker, I knew he couldn’t be trusted. I have it in my mind to go collect a refund.”

He took another look and lowered his eyes, “Row for the cave, we need to get out of sight.”

A worried look appeared on Aralyn’s face, “What about the Black Vengeance?”

Baltazar sat down and manned his oar, “Gilles is a smart man, he and Morgan have dealt with worse. With a little luck, they’ll get away.”

**

Once the ship began to move, Morgan turned to his deckhands, “Men, we could run, and probably get away, but we need to make sure our captain completes his mission. Therefore, we’re going to draw the Le Terrible and hopefully lose them in the heat of battle. Run up the guns, full charge of powder all around!”

As the men worked, Morgan backed up and stood next to Gilles on the helm, “Gilles, if ye be a praying man, now be the time.”

“Aye.” Gilles agreed.

Baltazar watched from a distance as the Black Vengeance pulled away from the cave and met the Le Terrible in open water. He watched a deadly exchange of cannon fire between both ships. The Black Vengeance only got off one broadside and instead relied on their fore and aft guns in a game of cat and mouse.

At first, Baltazar’s ship managed to outmaneuver the Le Terrible and avoid getting hit by her cannon fire. Gilles brought the ship around a couple of times to alternate between the aft cannons and the starboard broadside. The Le Terrible were unable to keep up.

This seemed to work well for him at first, but this was short-lived as the French warship brought her massive forward cannons to bear. The first shot missed the ship completely, but the second one struck a devastating blow. The shot ripped through the rigging and struck the fore-mast.

There was a loud crackling sound as the mast began to lean to port and collapsed over the side of the ship. Baltazar eyes widened as the battle unfolded, “No…”

The group watched helplessly as the now-crippled Black Vengeance struggled to defend herself. They quickly reloaded their cannons and tried to fire off another broadside. Baltazar could see that they were firing at the waterline, hoping to deal a quick, crippling blow. This proved futile and the Le Terrible began to pick up speed. The loud grunts of the oarsmen could be heard even at their distance.

Within moments, the massive ram impacted on the starboard side of the Black Vengeance. The entire ship jerked violently to port from the sheer force of the blow. Loud snapping noises shot through the air as the hull cracked. It was as though the ship had been forced out of the water as she was driven back.

Even from their extreme distance, the group could see that the Le Terrible had dealt a deathblow to the Black Vengeance. Her hull was split in half and the ship was sinking. Gunshots could still be heard from the deck, but they were slowly becoming few and far in between.

Baltazar fell backwards into the boat. He would have fallen over the side, but Papi was there to catch him. Aralyn covered her face with her hands and began to cry, “No… Morgan, Gilles… the crew… please, no! We have to thelp them!”

“We can’t…” Lailah replied as she clasped her hands together while watching the Black Vengeance sink. “Most High, save them…”

Papi shook his head, “This can’t be happening…”

Baltazar straightened out and realized that they were still in danger, “We need to get going. I don’t know if those French bastards saw us or not, but I’d rather not stick around to find out.”

Lailah nodded, “I agree, let’s make sure their sacrifice was not in vain.”

“They shouldn’t have been sacrificed at all.” Aralyn replied through clenched teeth. “They were my family… the only one I know.”

Baltazar took the oar and started rowing again. He refused to utter a single word. Lailah turned back to face the angered Aralyn, “You are absolutely right, they shouldn’t have been… but that is not for us to decide. The Most High has a plan for everyone… it’s not for us to understand why and it never was.”

Aralyn felt the rage build up inside of her. She folded her legs and jumped over Papi’s head, landing in front of Lailah, “Who the hell are you to say that? They were my friends, my family. How dare you… they had to be sacrificed so that we could make it to the cave? What madness is this?”

Lailah sat back defensively, “Stay your anger, you’re going to sink the boat!”

Papi grabbed Aralyn by the shoulders and held on. She fought to get back at Lailah, “How many more sacrifices do I have to make? Mama, Papa, Sister Mary, Morgan, Gilles, and the crew! How many more? If the Most High can just sit by and let it happen, then maybe I’m fighting for the wrong side!”

Lailah was about to respond when she saw Aralyn’s eyes begin to glow red, “No… Aralyn, stay your anger, now!”

Baltazar noticed the look on Lailah’s face and turned to look at Aralyn. When he realized what was going on, he touched her cheek, “Aralyn… please calm down. I know how you feel, but this won’t solve anything.”

Tears fell from her eyes as she turned to Baltazar, “Who is next, you? Am I expected to give you up as well?”

“I’m not going anywhere.” Baltazar replied. “The devil himself will never be able to rip you from my arms. I promise!”

The redness faded from her eyes and she lost consciousness. Baltazar placed her on the back of the boat and allowed her to rest. The boat entered the cave and, to everyone’s surprise, began moving without the use of oars. Baltazar and Papi placed the oars in the boat and secured them. Once the work was done, Baltazar looked back at Aralyn, “Mr. Clement, see what you can do for her.”

Papi nodded and slowly pushed himself to the back of the boat. Baltazar turned and looked at Lailah, “I think it’s time you and I had a talk.”

Lailah nodded, “It does seem unavoidable.”

“What’s happening to Aralyn?” He demanded. “Why does that keep happening to her eyes? It’s like when she get’s angry or upset, she becomes possessed.”

Lailah’s expression didn’t change and not even her eyes moved, “That’s pretty much exactly what’s happeneing. The one you love walks on a narrow precipice between good and evil. If she sways even a little, it allows Legion to move in and attack. When that happens, her mind may abandon any sense of reason. If Legion gets to her at her most vulnerable point, he could easily twist her mind to his will. “

Baltazar’s jaw dropped open, “So that is why you were questioning my intentions…”

“Exactly.” Lailah replied. “I know that I come off as harsh, but I bear no ill will towards you. I had to be absolutely certain that you weren’t going to hurt her. Anger, sadness, fear, pain, and sorrow… they are all negative emotions. In their most extreme form, they can lead a person to madness. In her case, it would wear down the mental barriers that were put in place to protect her long ago.”

“What can I do?” Baltazar asked. “I won’t let her fall.”

Lailah smiled, “What you’ve been doing and continue to do so well… Love her, protect her, and do everything you can to prevent her from feeling pain.”

“That’s a tall order.” Baltazar replied. “With the loss of the Black Vengeance, and everything else she’s been through, keeping her happy is going to be near impossible.”

“It will be…” Lailah admitted. “I can sense that you care for her… but there may come a time when you have to choose between her well-being and her happiness.”

Baltazar looked confused, “Aren’t they one in the same?”

“Not always,” Lailah replied.



Readers,

Do you have a question about writing, publishing, my stories, etc? Please feel free to post a comment or email me.

jimthewritingwizard@gmail.com

I’ll use those comments to select my next blog post.

I have been writing for several years, have 4 published works, experience with publishing and independent work, so I can hopefully be of assistance.

Please note, I only do one of these a day and will do my best to respond to everyone, but it may take some time.

Also, feel free to check out my works of Fantasy and Historical Fiction, Available on Amazon and where ever books are sold. See the link below:

http://www.amazon.com/James-Harrington/e/B00P7FBXTU

Thanks friends!

Catch you on the flip side!

-Jim

Destiny: Divinity’s Finale, Book 4, Chapter 4

IV

 

Melisande ran to the forecastle and leaned over the side. It was getting dark and most of the crew wasn’t paying attention to her. She suddenly began to vomit as tears fell out of her eyes. Her lungs ached as she tried to draw breath and regain her composure. She continued to lean over the side until her lung cooperated. When she was finally able to take in breath again, she cried out, “Why?”

A voice appeared behind her, “I asked myself that very same question long ago.”

She turned to see Baltazar looking at her sympathetically, “When I was told that I was the bastard of a family that had caused unspeakable suffering, imprisoned thousands, and even laid waste to the city of Rome.”

“How did you handle it?” She asked with tears in her eyes. “How could you?”

Baltazar pointed at her, “The same way you are. I was angry, sad, and confused all at the same time. Every fiber of my being hurt and I couldn’t escape what my blood line was responsible for. That’s when I abandoned everything I knew and took to the sea.”

“I don’t think I have the choice to run away.” Melisande said sorrowfully.

“Says who?” Baltazar asked. “You belong here with us, if running away is what you want to do, the Black Vengeance will be your chariot to the ends of the Earth. If you want to cast this aside, then stay with us and we’ll go back to plundering.”

She forced an appreciative smile, “No, Baltazar, it’s not that simple. Legion will find me eventually. He almost took me at my family’s home. If it weren’t for you…”

She lowered her eyes. Baltazar put his arms around her and held on, “You’re welcome.”

“Baltazar,” she said slowly, “I… I need you. I would never have made it this far without you. I know I’ve been rough around the edges, but now I am asking for your help. I need you at my side. You helped pull me back from the edge once… I may need you to do it again.”

Baltazar’s heart skipped a beat, “My lady… my ship, my sword… and my heart, are at your disposal… if you can do one thing for me.”

“What is that?” She asked.

He smiled, “Tell me, who are you.”

“Huh,” she asked in a confused tone, “what are you talking about?”

“Do you remember what I told you?” He asked, “What you are…”

She nodded, “… is not nearly as important as who you are, I remember.”

“Right,” he replied, “well now you know what you are. You know where you come from and you know about your past… so the question is, now that you know what you are, who are you?”

“I…” She struggled to find the words as her mind raced to answer the question. “I am Aralyn Patrisi, I am the descendant of a great angel, I am the heir to a good family, but I am also my own person… and I care for you deeply… Baltazar De La Fuente!”

Without another word, she raised her face to his and kissed him. Baltazar was surprised by this, but he closed his eyes and held her as they kissed. The eyes of the entire crew watched the scene play out on the forecastle. Cheers and applauding could be heard from the masts and deck.

Papi and Lailah exited the cabin and saw the two of them. Lailah remained emotionless, but Papi had tears in his eyes, “My little girl is grown up.”

When the two of them released one another, Baltazar smiled, “I care for you too, Melis… um…”

She smiled, “Aralyn… Aralyn is my birth name, please call me by it.”

Baltazar nodded, “As you wish… Aralyn Patrisi.”

Aralyn smiled as Baltazar stepped away from her to call to Morgan on the aft castle, “Morgan, call all hands on deck, we have much to discuss.”

Morgan nodded and rang the bell next to the helm, signaling all men to report on deck. Sounds of clamoring footsteps could be heard from below as the men scrambled to the deck. They grouped together on the main deck and turned to face the forecastle when they noticed that Baltazar was standing there.

As soon as all of the men were assembled, Baltazar addressed them, “Brave crew of the Black Vengeance, our mission is over. Melisande has discovered her past and thus her true identity has revealed itself. Three cheers for Aralyn Patrisi, the finest cabin server and healer this ship has ever seen.”

The crew responded in unison, “Huzzah… huzzah… huzzah!”

Aralyn smiled and bowed to the men appreciatively. As they finished, Gilles spoke up, “So how be it then Captain? Are we going back to pillaging and plundering Spanish ships?”

Baltazar sighed, “I wish I could say yes, as I’ve already asked so much of you men, and you have delivered in every way.”

He lowered his eyes, “Men… there is an evil out there hunting Aralyn. It threatens to destroy everything we hold dear. If it finds her, the effects will spell doom for us all. At this moment, the only thing standing between that evil, and her, is us.”

The crew looked at each other with worried expressions. Baltazar saw it and nodded, “This is a very heavy burden for any man to bear… too heavy for me to order it. Therefore, I once again offer you a way out. Any man, who does not wish to stay, will be set ashore in Ravenna and can make their way home from there. I won’t blame anyone who chooses to leave.”

“Make a liar out of me, will ye Captain?” One of the men yelled. “I told ye that I’d follow Captain La Fuente to hell and back… looks like we be putting that to the test!”

Gilles nodded, “Aye, no one knows how to handle the ship like I do, I’m staying on too.”

The men cheered as they all agreed unanimously that they weren’t going anywhere. Aralyn had tears in her eyes as she listened to them, “I don’t know what to say… thank you all!”

“Half of us wouldn’t be here now if it weren’t for you,” Morgan yelled back.

“Hail young Aralyn.” Another man called, “We’ll follow Captain Del La Fuente into the gates of hell, and follow her back out!”

Aralyn smiled and laughed as she realized that, although she had lost her birth family, she had found a new one in this gang of ruffians. She realized that at long last she had found what she was truly looking for.



Readers,

Do you have a question about writing, publishing, my stories, etc? Please feel free to post a comment or email me.

jimthewritingwizard@gmail.com

I’ll use those comments to select my next blog post.

I have been writing for several years, have 4 published works, experience with publishing and independent work, so I can hopefully be of assistance.

Please note, I only do one of these a day and will do my best to respond to everyone, but it may take some time.

Also, feel free to check out my works of Fantasy and Historical Fiction, Available on Amazon and where ever books are sold. See the link below:

http://www.amazon.com/James-Harrington/e/B00P7FBXTU

Thanks friends!

Catch you on the flip side!

-Jim

Destiny: Divinity’s Finale, Book 4, Chapter 1

Book 4

Dark Revelations

I

The next morning, Melisande woke up on the forecastle, once again sleeping on Baltazar’s shoulder. The last time this happened, her heart jumped and she panicked. This time, she didn’t move. She was comfortable and more relaxed. Baltazar was roused by her movements and smiled, “Good morning.”

“Good morning, though I wish it wasn’t so overcast.” she replied without moving.

Baltazar moved his legs as though he were preparing to stand up, “Forgive me, my lady… I should have put you back in the cabin last night. I’ll leave you be.”

“If you want,” Melisande replied softly, “but you don’t have to…”

Baltazar looked down at her, “You sure?”

She nodded, “I’m more relaxed right now than I have been in days. I know this has to end, but I would like it to last a little while longer… if you don’t mind of course.”

“I’m happy to oblige.” Baltazar replied. “Rest as long as you need to.”

As she nestled her head on Baltazar’s chest, she could hear the heart in his chest race when she closed her eyes. She was warm and completely at peace. It only lasted a few minutes, but it was all the time she needed.

The two were jolted awake by the grunting sounds of hung-over sailors returning from their night of debauchery. Baltazar stood up and smiled, “On deck you drunken pigs! We shove off at eight bells.”

Gilles put a hand to his head, “Please keep your voice down, Captain! My head be hurtin bad.”

Baltazar gave him a devious look, “Your ass is going to hurt a lot worse if you don’t man your station, Mr. Gilles!”

Gilles gave a sloppy salute as he headed for the helm, “Aye aye Captain…”

The rest of the men slowly boarded and headed to their posts. Baltazar shook his head, “No rest for the weary, men! All available hands to the braces, set top sails until we clear the harbor!”

The crew sluggishly came to life and got the ship moving. Within a few minutes, the cool sea breeze sobered them up and they worked like real seamen. The ship pulled out of the harbor and back into the Adriatic Sea. Baltazar nodded, “Full sail!”

He then turned to Gilles, “Thirty degrees to port, steer us north, northwest.”

Gilles nodded, “Aye sir!”

Gilles turned the wheel and the ship slowly responded by coming about. The wind hit the crimson sails hard as the ship pushed northwest. A few more hours passed as Baltazar watched Melisande up at the bow. If he didn’t have to worry about his ship, he would have been up there with her. There was an eerie silence covering the ship as they sailed closer to their destination.

Every eye on the ship was open, searching for some sign of the place they were looking for. Suddenly, the lookout called down to Baltazar from his post, “Land ho, directly ahead!”

Baltazar opened up his spyglass inspected the land that had appeared on the horizon. Papi had heard the signal and came up on deck. He saw Baltazar heading forward and followed behind, “Sir, I’ve sailed these waters before, a long time ago.”

Baltazar nodded, “Can you tell me anything about the land ahead?”

“Yes sir,” he replied, “It’s a narrow inlet, which runs all the way to the capital city. You might say it’s a barrier between the Adriatic Sea and the Laguna Veneta.”

“What do you suggest?” Baltazar asked inquisitively.

Papi took the spyglass from Baltazar and looked at the specific piece of land, “I would hold your course and pass through the barrier at the opening just south of that inlet. From there, navigate north, three degrees to starboard.”

Baltazar nodded and called to the back of the ship, “Gilles, hold your course. Get us through the pass into the Laguna Veneta.”

Gilles nodded, “Understood sir.”

Gilles held the ship steady on as she passed by the narrow inlet. Once they had cleared it and were safely into the Laguna Veneta, Baltazar looked back to Gilles, “Get us on a course, three degrees east.”

The wheel moved slowly as Gilles pushed it into position. The Black Vengeance turned and proceeded northeast. They held their course for another half an hour until the large island where the capital city was located appeared. Several small ships, mostly fishermen, could be seen on either side as they sailed into Venetian waters.

Baltazar stood next to Melisande on the forecastle and put his arm around her, “Welcome to the Kingdom of Venice.”

She smiled and was about to say something when they heard a cry from someone off the starboard bow. It appeared that one of the fishing boats was in distress. The man was calling out in Veneto, which no one onboard spoke, “You there, please, we need assistance! Please save us, our boat is taking on water.”

Baltazar shrugged, “Does anyone here speak Veneto?”

The crew all looked at each other sheepishly. Suddenly, Baltazar heard Melisande’s voice speaking it fluently, “We hear you, please be patient, we’ll come alongside!”

Both Papi and Baltazar looked at her strangely. She turned to him, “They need help. Their boat is sinking.”

Baltazar nodded, “Strike the sails, and bring us alongside.”

The Black Vengeance circled around them a few times to slow down before coming alongside the distressed fishing boat. Quickly, the crew pulled two waterlogged fishermen, including an elderly man, from the water. The first man nodded, “Thank God, you stopped. We could have drowned out here.”

Baltazar looked at Melisande, “What did they say?”

She nodded, “He said thank you.”

She turned back to the fisherman, “What happened to your boat?”

I regret,” the man replied, “Our boat has seen much neglect. The fishing around here has been somewhat poor for a while now.”

Baltazar noticed the old man staring at her oddly, “Melisande…”

When she turned her attention to him, Baltazar gestured toward the old man. Melisande noticed it and nodded. She turned back to the first fisherman, “Who is this elderly man out here with you?”

“Oh, he is my grandfather,” the fisherman replied, “His name is Venerio and he’s been out this way for years and no matter how old he gets, refuses to stop fishing.”

Melisande turned to Venerio and knelt down next to him, “Is there something wrong, good sir? Do you know me?”

Venerio looked at her with his aged brown eyes and fought out one word, “Adaline…”

Baltazar’s eyes narrowed, “Melisande, what is going on, who is Adaline?”

“These two fishermen didn’t have the money to fix their boat, which is why it was taking on water,” she replied, “and I have no idea who Adaline is…”

She turned her attention back to the old man, “Who is Adaline, good sir?”

“Forgive me,” he replied, “you look exactly like someone I knew when I was a boy.”

“Who,” she asked, “Who was it?”

The man hesitated for a moment before responding, “Just south of the capital city, there is a small fishing village, where I grew up. It was a fairly poor area, but we all got by. I remember there was this one family… beautiful people they were. Always willing to give whatever they could and then some to help those around them. The woman of the house, Adaline, she looked exactly like you. I probably wouldn’t have even remembered until I saw your eyes. She had the exact same ones.”

Baltazar had a confused look on his face, “What is he saying?”

“Shh,” Melisande responded sternly, “I think I may be on to something here.”

“Please Venerio,” she replied pleadingly, “Whoever these people are, they may hold the key to answering questions about my past. Who was this family?”

The man thought for a moment, “The family name was Patrice… no, it was Patrisi, I’m certain of it.”

Baltazar recognized the one word ‘Patrisi’ and turned to Melisande as she sat back, “Do they know them? Do they know the Patrisis?”

“Yes…” she replied, “he knows them…”

“Well that’s great,” Baltazar said, “will they help us find it?”

Melisande turned to him, “Offer a spare longboat.”

“What?” Baltazar scoffed, “That’s a high price for a seaman.”

“These people are in distress!” She insisted. “If we just bring them ashore, they won’t be able to fend for themselves.”

She looked Baltazar in the eye, “You keep saying you want to repay the damage your family has done. Please don’t disappoint me by stopping at words.”

Baltazar sighed, “Fine, make them the offer.”

Melisande’s eyes lit up and kissed him on the cheek, “Thank you!”

She then turned back to the two fishermen, “We’re prepared to offer you safe passage to land, as well as a boat in exchange for guiding us to their home.”

The two fishermen looked at each other and then back at her, “We would be fools to reject such an offer. We would have taken you there for a lot less, but we are grateful for your aid.”

The two men stood on the aft castle with Melisande and Baltazar as they guided them to the small community on the southern tip of the island. The Black Vengeance rounded a rocky cliff. On the other side, a small harbor came into view. There were multiple small personal docks, as well as a large one for the town.

The elderly man pointed to a rundown looking one far to west, “There… that is where you will find the Patrisi home…”

Melisande nodded, “Thank you… I am grateful for your help.”

Before they left, Melisande remembered one last thing, “Forgive me, but might I trouble you for a little more information?”

“Of course, milady.” The younger fisherman replied. “What do you need to know?”

“Have you ever heard of Night Island?” She asked.

Baltazar thought he recognized the words ‘Night Island’ but he wasn’t sure. The fisherman nodded, “I don’t know why you would want to go there, but it’s directly south from this cove… be wary of that place.”

“Why?” she insisted.

The fisherman hesitated for a moment, but responded, “The sun never shines on that island, hence its name. There are also rumors that an insane monster lives there.”

Melisande nodded, “Thank you for your help.”

“Farewell,” the fisherman replied, “I hope you find what you’re looking for.”

The men jumped into the boat that had been readied for them as it was lowered over the side. Once, the fishermen were clear, Baltazar turned to his men, “Bring up all sails except the top sails. This is a rocky area, I don’t want us running aground.”

Melisande joined him, “They told us how to get to Night Island too. It really is good fortune that we found such helpful people.”

“Good fortune…” Baltazar sighed. “I’ve always been told to be careful of such things. Often, they turn sour very quickly.”

Melisande frowned, “Don’t be such a cynic.”

**

Once the Black Vengeance disappeared from view, the younger fisherman turned to his grandfather, “You have done well old man, and I thank you!”

Venerio buried his face in his hands and wept. The younger fisherman smiled, “Thanks to you, my friend is getting closer to her destiny. Soon there will be no turning back.”

Slowly, the man knelt down behind Venerio, “Unfortunately, you’ve outlived your usefulness…”

Quickly, the young fisherman pulled a dagger out of his jacket, grabbed Venerio by the chin and stretched out his neck. In a quick flash, the man stabbed the knife into Venerio’s neck and cut along his throat. Blood spewed out in every direction as the old man fell limp.

The younger fisherman looked up, revealing bright red eyes that glowed as he looked towards the Patrisi home, “Soon my young friend… soon.”

Without another word, he vanished in a thick cloud of smoke.

**

The Black Vengeance rounded another formation of rocks. At the center of the small port the fishermen had sent them to, was a large rock formation poking up out of the sea. To their horror, when they got closer, Baltazar pointed out what appeared to be the wreckage of a large fishing boat. The hull had been smashed against the rocks and all that remained was a portion of the aft cabin.

At seeing the wreckage, Baltazar made up his mind, “No further, I won’t risk the ship, we row in from here. Drop anchor and lower the longboat.”

The crew went to work quickly to lower both the anchor and the boat. The sails were quickly tied up and the ship slowed to a halt. The crew got the longboat in position and lowered it into the water.

Baltazar climbed down the side taking Papi, Melisande, and Morgan with him. As they shoved off, Baltazar called back to the ship, “Take over, Mr. Gilles, you’re in charge until I get back.”

Gilles nodded, “Aye Captain.”

The men rowed slowly towards the shore. Melisande watched the boat on the rocks until the shore came into view. There was an old rickety pier that looked like it would collapse any day, at the end of which stood what looked like a lot of rubble. The overcast weather added a drery tone to the scene in front of her. She felt like she knew this place. It was something familiar to her, but it was also a source of sorrow. Waves of anguish rolled over her and she couldn’t figure out why.

As the boat neared the beach, she blacked out. Images flew through her head and shot in front of her eyes the moment the world disappeared from view. There was an angel with bandages wrapped over her eyes being questioned by a group of well-dressed men who were heavily armed. The tense scene was then replaced by an elderly priest, and a second angel with black wings.

More and more images flooded her mind. Images of people, who looked familiar to her, until suddenly she saw a large house that was in exactly the same place that they were approaching, explode into flame. She could hear the screams of at least two people echo in her mind and it finally brought her out of her trance, “No!”

Melisande fell over the side of the boat into the water. Her feet barely touched the ground as she pushed herself towards the shore. Baltazar jumped in the water after her, “Melisande!”

She continued to push with her arms and legs until she emerged from the water with a big splash. Not thinking, feeling, or hearing anyone, she ran towards the rubble. The look on her face was of complete panic.

Baltazar struggled to reach the shore and get to her. He could see her running frantically around the rubble, unable to make any sense of it. Tears were falling from her eyes as though she had just seen someone she loved get cut down right in front of her eyes.

Baltazar ran out of the surf and grabbed her, “Melisande!”

She fought back, kicking and trying to beat her way out of his grasp. The look on her face was of sheer panic, “No, mama, papa… please! God… please… not this.”

She collapsed in the sand crying. Her screams of agony were unlike anything he’d experienced before. He quickly dropped to his knees and held on to her as tightly as he could.

When Melisande finally regained control of her senses, she grasped a hold of Baltazar and would not let go. Baltazar could feel her fingernails digging into his flesh, but he did not care, “What is it Melisande?”

She sobbed for a few more moments before looking up at Baltazar. Papi and Morgan pulled the boat up on the shore and then Papi ran to her side, “Messy, are you okay?”

Both Papi and Baltazar were shocked to see her eyes turning bright red, “I… I can feel myself slipping away… the darkness is taking over. Stop it… please help me!”

Baltazar turned to Papi, “What is this, what is happening to her?”

Papi shook his head, “I don’t know… I’ve never seen her like this before.”

Melisande began to foam at the mouth as her eyes glowed brighter red. Baltazar shook his head, “She’s burning up!”

Desperate, he took off his wet shirt and dabbed her forehead to cool her down. She began shaking and the foam continued to drip from her mouth. Without thinking, Baltazar wiped her mouth and glared at her, “Melisande, stop this!”

He quickly crossed himself and kissed her. Her eyes closed and she stopped shaking. Her body temperature began to drop and her breathing returned to normal. She reached up and grasped the back of his neck, holding him in place.

Papi watched the whole thing and waiting with his heart in his throat. God…

Finally, the two released each other, allowing Melisande to take in a deep breath. When she opened her eyes, they were their original bright blue, but there were still tears falling. Baltazar took another breath and looked at her, “Are you okay?”

She grabbed a hold of Baltazar again, “I… I was born here. I saw the whole thing play out in my mind.”

“What happened?” He asked.

“Something…” She said with a shudder. “Something that can only be described as the physical embodiment of evil appeared and did this…”

Morgan looked over the rubble, “Whatever did this was thorough, ye wouldn’t be knowing this was a house just by looking at it. It be so badly demolished that no one bothered to rebuild it.”

“There was no one left to rebuild it.” Melisande replied. “It killed Mama and Papa… they were all that was left… it killed my family.”

Baltazar looked over at Papi, “Did you know anything about this?”

“No.” Papi insisted.

“Mr. Clement,” Baltazar replied sternly, “I’ll ask you one more time…”

Papi glared at him, “On my life, I had no idea that the church knew about this. I never would have kept it from her if I had. I was a simple cook at the abbey! Sister Mary never told me anything.”

“Enough,” Melisande yelled, “no one knew about this with the exception of Sister Mary and other people from the church. Most of whom are probably dead now, so there is no point in fighting about it!”

Baltazar helped Melisande to her feet, “Now there can be no doubt about it… I am the last of the Patrisis… that is my family name.”

Baltazar nodded, “Nice to meet you, Lady Patrisi.”

Melisande forced a half smile and looked up to Baltazar with a pleading look in her eyes, “I want to leave… there is nothing left for me here. I want to go and never come back…”

“Not a problem.” Baltazar replied. “Where do you want to go?”

“I… I don’t know.” She replied. “The fishermen warned me of an insane monster living on Night Island. It could be the one that killed my family. Would I be foolish to want to avenge them? Would it be wrong to risk subjecting myself to further tormet?”

“It is totally up to you.” Baltazar said in a calm tone. “If you want to go back to raiding ships, we can. If you want to go to Night Island, I will take you there, and no matter what you find, no matter what you have to confront, I will remain by your side.”

Melisande was touched by his words, “You really mean that, don’t you?”

Baltazar looked her straight in the eye and nodded, “Yes.”

Melisande threw her arms around Baltazar and kissed him. When she finally let him out of her grip, she smiled widely, “That, Baltazar, is what works for me.”



Readers,

Do you have a question about writing, publishing, my stories, etc? Please feel free to post a comment or email me.

jimthewritingwizard@gmail.com

I’ll use those comments to select my next blog post.

I have been writing for several years, have 4 published works, experience with publishing and independent work, so I can hopefully be of assistance.

Please note, I only do one of these a day and will do my best to respond to everyone, but it may take some time.

Also, feel free to check out my works of Fantasy and Historical Fiction, Available on Amazon and where ever books are sold. See the link below:

http://www.amazon.com/James-Harrington/e/B00P7FBXTU

Thanks friends!

Catch you on the flip side!

-Jim

Destiny: Divinity’s Finale, Book 3, Chapter 3

III

 

The group rushed out of the sanctuary and down to the small rocky beach where their boat was waiting. It bobbed up and down as they jumped in. Papi and Melisande climbed in while Morgan and Baltazar pushed the boat back out.

Once it was safely in the water, the two men hopped in and manned the ores. They put their backs into rowing and within minutes came up alongside the Black Vengeance. Smoke was still pouring from the cannon that had been fired.

Baltazar helped Melisande onto the deck. Morgan and Papi followed close behind them. The rest of the crew quickly tied up the boat and, using the attached pulley’s, brought it out of the water.

Baltazar turned away from Melisande and walked over to the bow where Gilles was standing, “What’s going on?”

“Sorry to cut the trip short sir,” Gilles replied, holding up a spyglass, “but we’ve spotted a sail on the horizon.”

“Spanish?” Baltazar asked.

Gilles shrugged, “I don’t know, Captain, she’s not close enough to tell.”

Baltazar took the spyglass from Gilles, “Where away?”

“Two points to port.” Gilles replied.

Melisande joined him on deck as he scanned the horizon. Through the looking glass, he saw the massive flag on the back. It was blue with a gold fleur-de-lis in the middle.

Baltazar shook his head, “Not Spanish, they look to be French.”

Papi nodded, “No doubt dispatched by King Henry to investigate what happened to Mont Saint Michel.”

“Probably.” Baltazar agreed as he examined the ship. “They got here pretty fast though…”

He strained his eye to pick out what he could, “I’m seeing two really large lateen sails… ores… and a massive ram up front.”

He lowered the spyglass from his now-wide eyes, “It’s a galleass… and it’s heavily armed.”

“Great,” Papi sighed, “and here we are, a pirate ship with her guns loaded.”

“And the French be known for shooting first and investigating later,” Morgan added.

Baltazar nodded, “No doubt they’ve seen us… and even less doubt they’re thinking exactly what Papi is.”

“But we didn’t do this!” Melisande insisted.

“Try explaining that to their guns,” Baltazar replied.

“I figure we’ve got an hour before they be in gun range.” Morgan said, watching the ship.

“Less than that I think.” Baltazar replied as he turned back to his crew. “Weigh anchor, hands to the braces, I want full sail in ten minutes!”

He then turned to Gilles, “Take the helm, steer us a course west.”

“Aye sir.” Gilles said as he turned and headed for the helm.

The crew scattered to bring down the sails and get the Black Vengeance moving. Papi disappeared below deck to one of the cannon positions. Within ten minutes, the ship was moving away from Mont Saint Michel.

Baltazar kept his spyglass trained on the French warship as she approached. Melisande and Morgan stood on either side of him. The ship drew closer and came into view of the rest of the crew. To their horror, it changed course, moving away from Mont Saint Michel, towards the Black Vengeance. Morgan shook his head, “Captain, they’re coming about! It looks like they want us.”

“I don’t believe it,” Melisande said in shock, “they’re not even stopping to render aid to the abbey? There could still be people in there who need help!”

“Like I said,” Baltazar replied, “shoot first, investigate later.”

Morgan watched as the ship turned, “That thing has us completely outclassed. She be faster and far more heavily armed.”

“And her crew numbers in the hundreds,” Baltazar added.

He could hear Melisande begin breathing rapidly, “What are we going to do, how can we outrun something like that?”

Baltazar smiled, “Fear not, that ship may have us in terms of speed, but we have two advantages.”

“And what be those, Captain?” Morgan asked.

“Galleasses are famous for their top speeds, but they can only hold those for as long as their men can row, after that, they are completely reliant on those small sails.” Baltazar replied.

“What does that mean?” Melisande asked.

Baltazar turned to her, “It means that while they may be faster, we can cruise at our top speed much longer than that ship can. Also, the design and sheer size of that ship makes it difficult to maneuver. We can turn a lot quicker then she can, we’ll lose them.”

*

Aboard the galleass, the captain watched through his own spyglass as the Black Vengeance got underway. He lowered the spyglass with an angry look on his face, and turned to his mate, “Bring our guest up on deck.”

The man nodded, “Oui mon capitaine.”

The man immediately disappeared below deck. A moment later he returned with Jaspart, who looked like he was trying to dry off. The captain smiled, “Ah Monsieur Jaspart, how good of you to join us. It would appear you were correct about the pirate attack on our abbey.”

“Captain Jaspart…” He replied in an annoyed tone. “Those pirates stole my ship. I overheard them talking about ransacking the abbey. It looks like we got here too late.”

“Truly a shame,” the captain replied, “It seems your information was of little use. You best have something more valuable to keep you from being chained to one of my oars.”

Jaspart sighed, “I already told you, my letter of marquis is on that ship. We need to take it for me to show you, but it is authentic.”

“Not good enough Monsieur,” the captain sneered, “I am not fool enough to trust the word of a pirate.”

Jaspart nodded, “Then how about this, I know the ship and I know Captain La Fuente’s tactics. If you ever hope to keep on her trail, you’ll need my help.”

“For now.” the captain replied as he turned back to his mate. “Give me flank speed!”

“Oui mon capitaine.” The mate replied as he turned to the drummer keeping the rowing beat. “Flank speed!”

**

As the Black Vengeance pulled away from Mont Saint Michel, the French galleass became larger in the distance. Baltazar moved to the back of the ship with Melisande close on his heels. He leaned over the starboard side, extended the spyglass, and peered through it at the galleass again, “They’re gaining on us… from the looks of their ores, it looks like their Captain has ordered all ahead, flank speed. Fool… he won’t be able to maintain that for very long.”

Melisande watched as the ship got closer, “What is that spike on the bow?”

“That would be the ram.” He replied. “You want to steer clear of that, any ship that thing hits is doomed no matter what.”

“And right now it’s pointed at us.” Melisande said fearfully.

Baltazar sighed, “A few hours ago, you asked me to trust you. Well now I’m asking you for that same courtesy. Trust me, we can hold our speed a lot longer than they can hold theirs. We will lose them, I promise you.”

Melisande turned to face Baltazar with a confident look in her eyes, “I trust you Baltazar… more then you know.”

Baltazar smiled as he turned back to look at galleass again. He was about to look through the spyglass when he heard a loud boom, “Everyone hold on!”

Two cannonballs flew towards them and hit the water on either side of the Black Vengeance’s aft castle. Melisande gripped the railing hard, “We’re in gun range!”

“No we’re not,” Baltazar replied, “they’re just trying to scare us. Those shots would have just barely grazed the back of the ship. They’re pot shots.”

He turned to Gilles and nodded, “Keep us steady on, as long as we have the wind, we’ll be fine.”

Gilles nodded as Baltazar then turned to Morgan, “Let’s show these Frenchmen that they aren’t the only ones with cannons that fire straight, run up the aft cannons with a double charge of powder!”

Morgan nodded as he disappeared below deck, “Aye sir, we’ll give em what’s for!”

Within minutes, small ports opened up on either side of the rudder. Long but narrow cannons poked through the holes as the crew worked to get them ready. Baltazar waited for the signal to come as kept his eyes on the approaching galleass.

Finally, the signal came, “Guns reporting ready sir!”

Baltazar nodded, “High elevation, I want them knowing we have range on ours too!”

He waited a few moments as he calculated the distance in his head. He wanted thier shots to be a close call, at least. Melisande watched and waited. Then out of nowhere, Baltazar hollared down to the gun deck, “Fire!”

The deck shook as the two cannons unleashed their ammo. A pair of cannonballs shot through the air towards their target. The first one passed over the galleass’s deck and blew a hole in the forward lateen, while the second one hit the iron ram on the front with a loud clank.

Baltazar went wide eyed, “Wow, expert shooting men, that should rattle their cages a little.”

Melisande smiled for a moment before two more shots came from the galleass’s guns. The first missed completely while the second passed dangerously close to the Black Vengeance’s rudder. Gilles shook his head, “That… was too close. If they knock out our rudder, it’s all over for us.”

Baltazar didn’t respond. Instead he kept his eyes trained on the galleass and waited. Finally, the moment he was counting on had come. The oars began to slow down.

Baltazar cried out in an excited tone, “We got them, they’re slowing down!”

Cheers echoed all over the ship as the French galleass began to shrink into the distance. Melisande joined in the celebration, “You’re incredible!”

Morgan smiled, “Of course he is! He be Captain La Fuente! There be not another captain like him!”

Melisande nodded, “I’m actually beginning to believe that. As unbelievable as that is.”

Baltazar shook his head, “It’s not over yet. We’ll gain some distance, but we won’t lose them, not quickly anyway.”

“So what do we do?” Melisande asked.

“We wait.” Baltazar replied. “For now we’ll hold our course, and hopefully we’ll lose them long enough to change direction.”

He lowered the spyglass and turned to Melisande, “The question is, to where? Where are we going?”

Melisande reached into her blouse and pulled out the piece of parchment that was given to her by Sister Mary. She opened it and looked at what was written. Her eyes narrowed and a look of confusion came over her.

Baltazar placed the spyglass down on the table and stood next to her, “What does it say?”

Melisande shook her head, “It’s just a list of names… Venice, the Night Island, and…”

She paused for a moment, staring at the piece of paper. Baltazar’s eyes widened slight out of curiosity, “What is it?”

She looked up at him, “I… I can’t explain how… but this last name sounds familiar to me…”

“What name,” he asked.

Her eyes darted back and forth between the parchment and Baltazar, “Patrisi…”

“Patrisi,” Gilles asked, “who is that?”

“It sounds more like a family name than a person.” Baltazar replied. “Melisande, could that be your family?”

Melisande thought about it for a moment, “It’s possible I guess. The name is familiar to me, but I don’t understand why.”

“So it be Venetia then?” Morgan called out. “It seems like that’s where parchment says to go.”

Baltazar shook his head, “We can’t go anywhere until we lose that galleass nipping at our heels. Mr. Gilles, hold your course for now.”

Gilles nodded, “Aye sir.”

Melisande moved to the port side and watched the galleass as it did the best it could to keep pace with the Black Vengeance. She closed her eyes, crossed herself and clasped her hands together, “Lord God Almighty, watch over us, please. You have guided me this far, don’t let our story end here.”

She stood on the deck in complete silence for a few moments, waiting for something to happen, but nothing did. Tears formed as she closed her eyes. She felt the wind blow through her hair and caress her skin which only provided her limited comfort.

Suddenly, Melisande felt an odd surge of power flow through her body. Her eyes snapped open, revealing her pupils were once again glowing bright blue. She kept her back turned to the crew, trying to hide whatever was happening to her. Her eyes always seemed to have an unusual glow about them, but they were never this bright. As she hid herself, she heard a startled voice appear behind her.

Gilles pointed towards the bow, “Captain, look!”

Baltazar turned to face the bow. Right in front of them was a thick wall of fog. Baltazar scratched his head, “I don’t get it, the sun is shining and there wasn’t a cloud in the sky, where did this come from?”

Gilles held the wheel steady, “Orders sir?”

“Steady as she goes, Gilles.” Baltazar replied. “Get us into that fog.”

Gilles nodded, “Aye sir.”

Visibility in front of the Black Vengeance faded down to nothing as they passed into the thick cloud. Baltazar nodded, “This is exactly the good fortune I was waiting for.”

With a smile, Baltazar put a hand on the wheel, “Gilles, hold us steady for another hour. Then, if the fog holds out, steer us thirty degrees to port and bring us to a course south, southwest.”

“You got it Captain,” Gilles replied.

Baltazar gave Gilles a confident nod as he turned to see Papi reappear on deck, “Ah, Mr. Clement, it seems we have a need to sail for the Republic of Venice. I need to know if we have enough supplies for a weeklong voyage.”

“Aye, Captain.” Papi replied as he once again disappeared into the hold.

Morgan looked nervously at Baltazar, “I suggest caution sailing through those waters, Captain. Political unrest be the norm in that region these past years according to the latest news. We don’t want to end up in the middle of a warzone.”

“No we don’t,” Baltazar agreed, “but the Venetians have a firm grasp on the region for the time being. I’d be more worried about us coming under fire from that barge behind us.”

“Ye really think we have a chance at outrunning it?” Morgan asked.

“Aye, definitely.” Baltazar replied with confidence. “With this thick fog, give it an hour, and we’ll never be standing in their shadow again.”



Readers,

Do you have a question about writing, publishing, my stories, etc? Please feel free to post a comment or email me.

jimthewritingwizard@gmail.com

I’ll use those comments to select my next blog post.

I have been writing for several years, have 4 published works, experience with publishing and independent work, so I can hopefully be of assistance.

Please note, I only do one of these a day and will do my best to respond to everyone, but it may take some time.

Also, feel free to check out my works of Fantasy and Historical Fiction, Available on Amazon and where ever books are sold. See the link below:

http://www.amazon.com/James-Harrington/e/B00P7FBXTU

Thanks friends!

Catch you on the flip side!

-Jim