Destiny: Divinity’s Finale, Feedback

 

Hello all,

So now that the book posted for all to see, if you have read it, please let me know what you think in the comments below! I’d really be interested in any feedback you may have.

Thanks everyone!



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

Note:
If you have read my books, PLEASE log into Amazon and post a review. I really love to hear everyone’s thoughts and constructive criticisms. Reviews help get my book attention and word of mouth is everything in this business!

Thanks friends!

Catch you on the flip side!

-Jim

Advertisements

Destiny: Divinity’s Finale, Chapter 3

III

 

A creaking noise roused Melisande early the next morning. Hoping to avoid a lecture from Sister Mary, she got up and got dressed quickly. Once again, she threw open her windows and peered out. To her amazement, the sun had barely peaked over the horizon. It was earlier than she was used to waking up.

Melisande was about to go back to sleep when she noticed that the tide had receded around the abbey. She didn’t know how much time she had until the bells woke everyone up, so she quickly turned away from the window. Without a thought to the consequences, she opened the door as quietly as she could, and tiptoed down the steps. She moved slowly and noticed that her hands were shaking. She couldn’t understand whether or not it was the fear of getting caught, or just anticipation of being able to finally escape the abbey.

It was not the first time that Melisande had run off and she had never been caught previously, but she still had to be careful. It wasn’t long before she reached the kitchen and took a left turn down another corridor that led her to a familiar tunnel. The ground was damp as she made her way out of the area.

Melisande’s feet carried her quickly along the stone floor. Once she reached the door at the end of the tunnel, she slowly pushed it open and ran outside. She once again found herself in the courtyard.

As the sun came up over the horizon, she ducked down behind a tree and slowly made her way toward the main gate. A series of trees and bushes were her only cover from the watchful eyes of the guards. Sneaking around had dirtied her clothes, but she did not care. This was her one indulgence, and if she was to get in trouble for it, so be it.

Melisande knew exactly when the guard shift change happened and waited until they moved apart. Once the guards were out of sight, she slipped past them and made her way out of the abbey. She was as quiet as possible, as she knew that the guards were ready for anything. The abbey wasn’t a military installation, but the church had become very protective of its grounds following the protestant uprisings.

Melisande found herself standing at the top of the stony hill leading down to the beach. She was only wearing sandals, so she had to be extra careful to mind her footing. She did not want to riskfalling and either getting hurt, or making enough noise for the guards to find her.

It took a short time for Melisande to reach the sand below. Her feet skidded every few moments as small stones gave out underneath her feet. It was a slow and treacherous climb, but her feet finally touched the damp, coarse, soil of the beach. She pulled off her sandals and let her feet dig into the sand. Her toes pressed down hard as though she would float away if she released them.

Melisande looked around for a few moments, enjoying her newfound freedom, and then, without warning, darted out towards the water, running as fast as she could. She turned and ran even faster along the shore line. She didn’t want to stop, but after ten minutes of running, the muscles in her legs began to ache in response to how hard she pushed. Finally, she gave her legs a break, let the waves caress her toes, and took in a deep breath of fresh air. Her eyes watered as the clean air filled her lungs. She was in Heaven.

Smiling, Melisande turned back and looked at the abbey. From outside, it was quite beautiful. The massive castle stood high above the water, completely covering the small island where it had been built. Nature was its main defense as any invading army would need to wait for low tide before trying to enter.

Melisande stood with her back to the ocean for a few more moments as the breeze passed over her skin. Euphoria had almost taken her when a noise in the distance made her jump. She turned quickly and noticed two ships on the horizon. They were miles out at sea and she was unable to tell what was happening. There was another low noise that sounded like distant thunder, and another, and another.

As the ships came closer, Melisande noticed that one of them had been badly damaged. They were both small ships bearing different flags with several colors. One ship had a black flag, while the larger, more damaged, ship appeared to have a white and red flag. Smoke poured from the sides of both ships.

It was at that moment that Melisande realized that the two ships were fighting. She watched as the battle unfolded. Her heart raced in her chest as the larger ship began listing to port.

The ship tried to turn away from her attacker, but it was a useless effort. The smaller ship was faster and more maneuverable. Melisande watched in amazement as a final blast from the smaller ship’s guns struck the larger one’s hull. The shot quickly pierced through a layer of wood and struck the powder magazine. The powder sparked causing the ship burst into flames.

Melisande’s eyes widened as the ship tore itself apart from the inside and large wooden splinters littered the water around it. The massive explosion rocked the coastline as Melisande watched. Her heart was in her throat as she had never seen anything so exciting in her entire life.

Within a few moments of the explosion, there was nothing left of the first ship. Melisande looked on as the second ship picked up cargo and survivors from the water. She lingered for a few minutes to see if anything else would happen before turning away and starting her long walk home. Her feet carried her slowly over the sand towards the castle walls and felt like she was dragging a weight behind her.

Once Melisande was about half way back, she stopped and looked at the ship slowly disappearing on the horizon. Then she turned and looked at the castle again. The morning bells broke the silence and she realized that she would never make it back to her room before Sister Mary. If she went back now, it would mean punishment and demerits.

As Melisande looked over her lifelong home, she was filled with a sense dread. The idea of her having to spend another day living in such monotony was unbearable. She had secretly contemplated running away, but she knew that she’d have the guards on her in no time. Sister Mary would have the entire abbey out looking for her. Her only chance would be if she were to make it to the nearest town and somehow board a ship.

The battle she had just witnessed opened the flood gates to her desire for freedom. Her chest pounded as she thought of her life, and everything she was missing out on. She knew there was more to her story then what the nuns had told her. Her family or whatever was left of their story was out there waiting to be found.

Where is my real family and who were they? Why am I here now? In Melisande’s mind, she knew that these were questions that she’d never be able to answer while living in Mont St. Michael. Still, should she just up and run away? No doubt a lot of people went through considerable effort to shelter her and she still didn’t know why.

Melisande’s mind filled with questions and wrestled back and forth with the idea of leaving. She didn’t want to hurt those who took care of her for so long, and leaving most likely meant never seeing them again. Sister Mary, as strict as she was, did take care of her and Papi was the closest thing she’d ever had to a father.

Thoughts of them worrying about her made Melisande’s heart ache even more. What should I do? She thought to herself. I love them and I don’t want to hurt anyone… but I can’t live like this. I’m not a stable girl, nor am I a maid, that’s not the life I want. I’m certain I’ll die if I have to do this much longer.

Melisande fought through her emotions as she made up her mind. With tears in her eyes, she made her decision, she could not go back. The only way she was going to find out about her past was to escape this life and discover her adventure. The desire for freedom had been seeded in her mind and there was no going back now. It hurts, but I can’t do this any more, it’s not right.

Melisande quickly made her way back to the castle and was able to duck under a large cart delivering supplies while the tide was still low. Once it stopped moving, she wandered out and hid behind a tree, listening to the people nearby. A monk came out to meet the driver, “Peace be with you sir, I see you have brought our supplies.”

The man nodded, “Yes, yes, come on, we need to get these unloaded before the tide starts coming back in, I need to be on the road for Granville well before then.”

Melisande’s heart jumped, Granville is nearby and it’s a port city! If I hurry, I might be able to catch a ride!

She quickly raced up to her room and grabbed a bag. She quickly filled it with everything that she cared about and threw it over her back. She was about to leave when the corner of her eye caught the glimpse of reflected light. She looked up to see that the blade of one of her family’s swords had caught the sunlight. This was odd as the blades had almost no luster left to them. It was very odd, but to her, it almost seemed like the swords were asking to come with her.

How could I forget you? Melisande thought to herself. She quickly grabbed the swords of their wall mounting, wrapped them in a blanket, and placed them under her arm. With her free hand, she grabbed her old cloak, wrapped herself in it, and pulled the hood up.

The moment she was ready to go, Melisande quickly peaked out into the hall to make sure that Sister Mary wasn’t around. This whole adventure would be for nothing if she got caught. Knowing Sister Mary the way she did, she’d probably be locked in her room for days.

Fearing that the carriage was about to leave, or that someone may see her, Melisande raced back down stairs. She was relieved to see that the cart had not left yet. The monks were just finishing loading up the empty barrels from the cargo. She hid behind the bushes and waited for the right moment to jump in.

The hair on the back of the young woman’s neck shot straight up when she heard a familiar voice from behind the monks, “Brother Georgio, have you seen Melisande?”

Melisande jumped as an annoyed-looking Sister Mary appeared on the scene. The monk shook his head, “I’m sorry sister, no.”

The old nun shook her head, “Where could that troublesome girl be? She’s not in her room and no one has seen her.”

“I do not know.” The monk replied.

“Very well, Brother Georgio,” she replied, “if it’s not too much trouble, once you are finished here. Please assist me in locating her. The abbey is too big for me to search on my own.”

“As you wish.” Brother Georgio replied as he got back to unloading the cart.

Once they were done, the driver secured the back of the carriage to keep the barrels from rolling and bowed to the monk, “Thanks for the help, brother. We’ll see you again soon.”

The monk nodded, “Farewell to you sir.”

Melisande saw her chance to escape when the monk turned his back. She darted out quickly and jumped up onto the back of the cart. To prevent being seen, she quickly covered herself over with a leather blanket in the back.

Melisande huddled up next to the barrels and remained perfectly still as the driver cracked the reigns. There was a sudden jolt as the carriage began to move. It was anything but smooth and Melisande found herself getting bounced around as the carriage moved. She grabbed on to one side to steady herself and keep from getting banged up.

Melisande watched quietly as the cart moved away from the abbey. In her heart, she wished that she’d left a letter explaining what she was doing and where she was going, but she’d had no time to write one and she didn’t want to risk tipping them off as to where they could locate her. She decided that it was perhaps best to arrange a letter for them when she figured out where she was going.

The cart began to pick up speed as it departed Mont Saint Michel. Melisande kept getting bounced around and it was hard to keep from hitting against the barrels. It was a rough start, and she was most likely going to see some bruising from the ride, but she was excited to start her new life and had no idea where it would take her.



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

Note:
If you have read my books, PLEASE log into Amazon and post a review. I really love to hear everyone’s thoughts and constructive criticisms. Reviews help get my book attention and word of mouth is everything in this business!

Thanks friends!

Catch you on the flip side!

-Jim

Destiny: Divinity’s Finale

Hello All,

So for those of you that have read Divinity and/or Damnation, first off, THANK YOU and I hope you enjoyed it! Well… you may be interested to know that there is a third novel that’s been on the back burner for a very long time. I’ve been going back and forth on putting it through editing and publishing, but never really came to a final conclusion.

So I did this once before and didn’t get a response, given that my blog was still fairly small. So I’m going to try again with my current following which is substantially higher. I’m going to start posting chapters from the book over the next few weeks.

I would ask everyone to withhold judgement until the final chapter comes out, at which point, I would ask that you leave a comment either supporting or opposing adding ‘Destiny’ to the Divinity universe. Keeping in mind, this is a very rough draft. If it finds favor with people in its current form, it will go through editing and several rounds of polishing. So what you’re seeing isn’t the complete and final product.

Thanks friends, appreciate your feedback, critiques, and criticisms!

Jim



 

Destiny

A Novel by James Harrington

Printed and Bound in the USA

Copyright © 2015 by James Harrington

All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced, distributed, or transmitted in any form or by any means, including photocopying, recording, or other electronic or mechanical methods, without the prior written permission of the publisher, except in the case of brief quotations embodied in critical reviews and certain other noncommercial uses permitted by copyright law.

This is a work of fiction. Names, characters, businesses, places, events and incidents are either the products of the author’s imagination or used in a fictitious manner. Any resemblance to actual living persons is purely coincidental.

 

A note from the author:

Hello and welcome! I hope that you will enjoy your journey our characters as they embark on their adventure. Before you begin, I just wanted to clarify a few things.

You encounter many characters, both fictional and historical. The fictional characters are just that; fictional. Any resemblance they bear to real people is purely coincidental.

As for the historical figures that appear in the pages ahead, I have done the best I can to portray the historical characters as accurately as possible, based on the information availavle on each. However, please understand that I am exposing them to fictional situations. It is impossible to predict definitively how one might have actually reacted in these events, so again, this is based on what information is available.

Lastly, I would just like to note that this story in no way should be taken as a criticism of the beliefs of any denomination of Christianity. As a catholic, I acknowledge that the leaders of several denominations weren’t always the most upstanding of people and that is what is reflected in my writing, but that does not invalidate anyone’s belief in God or the teachings they follow.

I hope that you will enjoy this work of fiction for what it is; a work of fiction. Thank you and God bless!

Jim H.

 

Prologue

Venice 1585

Black clouds choked out all light from the sun as a dark, ominous, day turned into a black and violent night. As the remaining light vanished from the skies of Venice, the water became extremely choppy and rain hammered down on any poor fool still outside at that late hour. Boats tugged at their moorings as the wind beat down on them. It was as though the world had transformed into something malicious.

The small fishing village was no stranger to rough weather, but this night was different. The wind coming in off of the water bore ill tidings from afar. Even people possessing little to no awareness could feel the evil around them. Many instinctively closed the shutters on their windows as though the town were about to fall under attack.

Federico watched from the safety of his house near the harbor, as the waves picked up. The water poured over his private dock, and he wondered how long his boat would last. It was his livelihood and had been in the family for generations.

At the moment, however, this was the least of Federico’s worries. He knew what was approaching, and what this meant for his family. As he peered out the window, his vision was obscured by the amount of rain water pouring down the glass. It was as though he was standing behind a small waterfall trying to peer through, but he still had enough clarity to see the black carriage with lanterns on either side break through the night.

Two mighty brown horses pulled the old carriage right to the door of the house. Federico breathed a sigh of relief as the carriage stopped just outside of his door. The waterlogged driver jumped out of his seat and pulled the carriage door opened, allowing three people in black robes to step out.

The fire in the stove fought to stay alive as the door opened and a gust heavy wind penetrated the room. It was as though opening the door had allowed something evil into the house. The three cloaked figures entered the room and, once sheltered from the rain, removed the drenched cloaks that they had been wearing.

Federico fought against the heavy wind to get the door closed. Once it finally connected to the lock, he breathed a sigh of relief before turning to his guests. As the cloaks came off, they revealed two young priests and a nun. The priests wore red and black robes and each had swords sheathed on their belts.

“Welcome to my home,” Federico said with a relieved look, “I appreciate your quick response to my letter. I take it that you know what is going on?”

The nun turned to Federico and nodded. Her face had deep creases, indicative of someone who had lived a hard life. Her face was twisted into a scowl as she spoke, “We came as soon as we heard. I am Sister Mary, where is she?”

There was a sudden flash of light and a winged woman appeared behind them. Federico brushed back his light brown hair and nodded, “Lailah will take you to her.”

Sister Mary bowed, “Blessed Angel, we are here to carry out the Lord’s bidding as you commanded.”

Lailah returned the gesture with a smile, “Please follow me, Sister. It won’t be long now.”

The two women disappeared into the next room and closed the door behind them. Federico shook his head as he turned to the priests, “I had prayed that this night would never come. I was told about the prophecy from childhood, but had hoped it would pass my generation by.”

The older priest placed his hand on Federico’s shoulder, “No one who faces these dark times would choose to bring it on themselves or the ones they love, my son.”

“But how could God let this happen?” Federico asked. “If he knew… it was possible.”

The priest shook his head, “I somehow don’t think that even he foresaw this during certain events in your family’s history.”

Federico lowered his eyes and spoke in a defeated tone, “Padre…  just promise me that she will be safe. Don’t let this all be for nothing.”

“On my life,” the priest replied as he touched his sword, “she will be safe and she will live comfortable life. That is our mandate and it will be carried out as long as we draw breath.”

Federico was satasfied with the priest’s promise. It appeared that everything was going according to how it had been spelled out in the prophecy. It was little comfort to him though as he could feel danger approaching.

“Padre…” Federico finally said softly with tears in his eyes, “Would you be so kind as to give me my last rights?”

The priest’s eye’s narrowed, “Of course my son, but why?”

“Please Padre,” Federico insisted, “I have a very bad feeling that our time is growing short.”

The priest didn’t understand what Federico meant, but he had not been given all the details of what was about to transpire. Sister Mary was in charge in this case, by official order of the bishop. His job was simply to see to her saftey. Having no other choice, he finally agreed, “Very well, my son.”

**

In the next room over, Sister Mary, led by the angel Lailah, encountered a woman lying in a small bed. She was covered in sweat and breathing rapidly. Her dark brown hair was matted to her head and she was clearly in pain. Sister Mary spoke in an emotionless voice as lighting struck outside, “It has begun.”

The woman’s stomach was bulging as Sister Mary took a seat at the edge of the bed. The old nun adjusted her robes to prevent them from being soiled and spoke in an emotionless voice, “Cecca, I’m Sister Mary. I am here to help. It is almost time, are you ready to start pushing?”

Cecca struggled to brush her matted hair back from her face and nodded. She was in so much pain that she could not move anything else. Lailah folded her wings, tied back her curly, light brown, hair and knelt down near Cecca’s head to wipe the sweat from her brow, “You can rest easy. I will be here with you to the end.”

“Bless you, angel.” Cecca forced out between breaths. “Bless you.”

Sister Mary took hold of Cecca’s legs and bent them up at the knee. She watched and waited patiently for a few minutes. Cecca’s breathing was becoming eratic as her whole body shifted.

Finally, when Sister Mary decided that the time was right, she looked up at Cecca, “It is time, pray to Almighty God and push.”

Cecca closed her eyes and screamed as she pushed with her entire body. Sister Mary nodded as the woman’s arms and legs quivered, “Good, good, again.”

Federico listened desperately as his wife struggled in the other room. He wanted to be there with her, but the elderly nun would not have allowed it. This was one time that he needed to remain out of the way. An hour went by as the young man listened helplessly as his wife’s agonizing screams shot through the house. Her voice suddenly fell silent and a new one appeared.

The scream of a newborn child shattered the dark aura in the room. Federico’s faced lightened up as he turned away from the door and back to the priest, “Do you hear that? Do you, it’s clear as day!”

Both priests nodded as the older one smiled, “Congratulations my son. The baby sounds healthy.”

A short time later, Sister Mary came to the door, pale white, with a look of fear in her eyes. She stood for a moment looking at Federico, and then over to her escorts, “Our worst fears have become reality.”

The two priests stepped past Federico and into the room where Lailah was holding the child. Lailah looked at them both solemnly and nodded, “As the Most High feared, the prophecy has come true, look.”

She held the child out to them and uncovered its face. Miraculously, the newborn’s eyes were wide open. Her pupils looked almost identical to those of Lailah. She giggled as she looked up at the priests.

Cecca sighed as her eyes began to close, “Little Aralyn…”

The younger priest’s lips twisted, “I still don’t understand, blessed angel, would you not be better suited to keep her safe?”

Lailah shook her head, “That is outside of my mandate. I have already done more than I am supposed to.  Priests travelling hallowed grounds will have a better chance of keeping her hidden and safe from the dark one’s eyes than a lone angel flying around. The dark ones will not be able to trace you like they can me.”

The priest sighed as Lailah handed the mystical child to them, “Very well.”

At that moment, one of the windows crashed open, shattering the glass. The wind ripped through the room like an invisible wildfire. The thunder became even louder as Federico struggled to put a plank of wood over the opening.

Sister Mary turned quickly to the preists, “The storm is getting worse, we must go now or we will be trapped here!”

At that moment, Cecca came to life on the bed, “Wait, please, just a few minutes… won’t you please let me hold her?”

Sister Mary looked at the child stoically and shook her head, “I’m sorry, there is no time.”

“Please, no, you can’t take her, please!” Cecca pleaded with the old nun as she tried to get up. “My baby!”

Federico heard Cecca’s frantic cries and ran into the room to confort her, “I’m so sorry my love…”

Cecca buried her head in Francesco’s arms, “No… It’s not fair… why us?”

Federico looked up at Sister Mary, “Is there no way?”

For the first time in years, a look of sympathy came over Sister Mary’s features as she shook her head, “If there were, I would allow it. As it stands, there is not. We must leave if there is to be any chance.”

Federico sighed and closed his eyes, “Then go, now! Leave this place… keep her safe…”

The priests obediently turned and began to leave. The older priest looked back sympathetically, “Peace be with you, my children. For what it’s worth… I am sorry.”

Federico, remembering a promise he had made to Cecca, suddenly shot to his feet, “Wait, Padre!”

“My son, we have no time!” The old priest responded sternly.

“I know,” Federico replied apologetically, “but I have something for you.”

He quickly went to the closet and came back with a staff-like object draped in a red cloth. The priest saw that the cloth was protecting two very old swords. He looked at them oddly for a moment and then back at Federico, “My son?”

“Please take them.” Federico insisted. “They belonged to my great grandparents. Make sure she receives them when she is old enough… “

“You want us to give your daughter weapons?” The priest asked in disbelief.

“I understand that it may not make much sense to you Padre,” Federico replied, “but these swords have protected my family for generations. Please take them.”

The priest eyed him oddly for a moment. Federico’s expression became despirate under the priests eyes, “Consider it the last wish of a dying man.”

The priest sighed and took the swords before turning back to his party, “Oh very well.”

Once they were ready, the group bid farewell to Federico and left him to tend to his emotionally shattered wife. The group exited the house and boarded their carriage with the child in their care. They knew that they had to move quickly in order to get her to saftey.

Lailah followed behind them, “Keep that child safe, at all costs.”

The elder priest turned back to her, “Blessed Angel, what will happen to them now?”

Lailah turned back and looked at the house. She brushed her long brown hair from her eyes and let out a defeated sigh, “I did the best I could to shield the family from the evil that is hunting them… but it proved to be too much for me. They aren’t safe anywhere now.”

She turned back to the priest with a reassuring look on her face, “Don’t worry Padre, my sister has seen to it that her kin will be taken care of. You need to focus on your own part.”

“What hope do we have against such power?” The younger priest demanded.

“Leave that to me.” Lailah replied. “Just go while you still can.”

The driver took his seat without another word and snapped the rains. The horses whinnied as they charged forward. The priest looked back as the carriage sped away, “Peace be with you, blessed Angel.”

Lailah closed her eyes for a moment and muttered a prayer under her breath. At that moment, a white aura appeared around the carriage and then vanished. She nodded, confident that they were now safe from harm.

A moment later, Federico came to the door with a look of sorrow on his face as the carriage disappeared from view. Lailah turned to him, “They will be safe now.”

When Federico’s expression didn’t change, she became worried, “Federico, what is it?”

“My wife…” Federico replied. “The stress of the pregnancy was too much for her.”

Lailah closed her eyes for a few moments. When she reopened them, a sharp pain entered her heart as tears fell down her cheeks, “Federico, I am so sorry…”

Federico’s jaw tightened up as he stepped away from the house and stood beside Lailah, “Tell me that this has all been worth it. Tell me that she’ll survive.”

Lailah nodded, “Your daughter has a long struggle ahead of her, she will not know who she is and may never know her family, but she will survive to adulthood.”

“What about after that?” Federico demanded.

Lailah closed her eyes for a moment and shook her head, “I don’t know. Her future is clouded even from my eyes.”

Suddenly, out in the distance, an unearthly moan emanated over the waves. Lailah began breathing heavily, “They are coming…”

Federico ran back inside his house, grabbed his sword from behind the door, and rejoined Lailah out front, “I’ll kill him myself.”

Lailah smiled, “You have your ancestor’s heart, but that won’t protect you this time. You are no match for this creature.  I would suggest you go back inside.”

“I don’t think so.” Federico replied adamantly. “You have watched over me and my family as we waited for this day. There is no escaping now and I’ll never see the two people I love the most again. I have nothing left and you are the closest thing I still have to family. My soul is prepared Lailah. You’re not facing him alone.”

Lailah nodded, “Very well…”

The two looked at each other hopelessly as a deep moan emanated from the black water. Lailah went pale and took a step forward, “He approaches.”

There was another flash of light from the sky as a formless black entity appeared in front of them. It was little more than a cloud that quickly took the shape of a human, but had no features at all. It was little more than a silhouette in the darkness.

Two bright yellow eyes appeared on its head. It stepped forward and spoke in a dark, inhuman, voice, “So many years since we’ve been able to walk the lands of this world… Where is she?”

Lailah stared into the creature’s malice-filled yellow eyes, “Safe.”

The creature’s eyes began burning bright as they took a menacing shape, “We are giving you one chance to give us what we want. Do this, and we’ll let you live… for now.”

Lailah shook her head, “The Most High won’t negotiate with the likes of you.”

“The Most High is a part of us!” The creature shot back.

“Why resist us?” It asked. “We only wish to take back what is rightfully ours from that deceptor, Lucifer.”

“Because Lucifer isn’t a threat to us,” Lailah replied, “you are.”

The yellow eyes narrowed, “If you won’t help us willingly, then we will rip the answer from your corpse!”

“Never!” Federico shouted as he stepped forward. “You will die first!”

Before he could say anything else, a sharp object burst through Federico’s chest and he was elevated off of the ground. A small imp appeared behind Federico as his body fell limp. Lailah was unable to react in time, “No!”

The entity cackled, “We think not. We did not wait eons to be stopped by a child race.”

The imp pulled the blade from Federico’s back as he fell to the ground. Blood mixed with the puddles of water that had pooled on the beach. Federico lay on his side as his eyes began to flutter. He looked up at the sky and reached out with all his strength, “Cecca…”

Within moments, Federico’s body went limp and his eyes closed. Lailah spoke through a clenched jaw, “Federico was an innocent! He never hurt anyone and he was of no threat to you! If you want to retake the underworld, then by all means do so, but leave these people out of…”

Lailah stopped mid-sentence and found herself unable to draw breath. She grabbed her neck as the entity raised a clenched fist from its side. Lailah’s body began to levitate off the ground as though she were being hanged.

The entity moved even closer until Lailah could feel its hot breath on her face. Its eyes suddenly went from yellow to red, “We do not take orders from you! Be gone, pathetic insect!”

The creature flicked its wrist and released its grip on Lailah. In response to its hand motion, the helpless angel shot backwards through a window. The glass shattered all around her, ripping into her skin as she landed in Federico’s kitchen. The entity began laughing hysterically as it waved its arm.

At that moment, the entire house burst into flame as though obeying his command. The flames filled the dark sky and lit up the town like it was daylight. The heat inside was so intense that any human would have been horribly burned had they been too close.

Inside, Lailah tried to protect herself from the inferno by covering herself with her wings. When the flame hit her, it incinerated her feathers. She screamed out in pain as the skin of her wings seared and began to blister.

There was nothing Lailah could do now. Knowing that she was near death, she closed her eyes and began to pray, “Oh Lord Most High, let this fate pass me by. Take me into thy loving hands. Spare your loyal servant this pain…”

Lailah received no answer as the skin of her wings began to turn black. She clenched her eyes shut and tried to fight the pain, but she was losing control of her mind as the agony took over. Looking at her wings, she knew she wouldn’t be able to fly again, if she survived.

Outside, the entity raised its hand again and squeezed its fist. Lailah was elevated by her neck once more and tossed through another window. Her clothing was scorched and all but burned away, her skin was badly scarred, and her wings were completely crippled. She landed on the beach away from the burning house.

Steam poured off her skin and the agony was destroying her mental stability. She trembled as her memories and reason gave way to madness. She rolled on her back as the remains of her clothing disintegrated.

The entity slowly made its way down to her to avoid being seen by the crowd of people coming out to fight the flame. Lailah saw it coming and didn’t even bother to try to cover herself. Her mind was almost gone and she barely even knew who she was.

The creature looked down at her, “You are now powerless and no one is coming to save you. There is no escape, tell us what we want to know and we’ll grant you a quick death!”

Lailah breathed in as deeply as she could, but refused to speak. Even in her state, she was not about to give the creature any satasfaction. The entity saw this and nodded, “We understand… despite the fate which lies ahead of you, you still protect such pitiful creatures. We admit that we did not think his servants had such iron.”

From her hands and knees, Lailah looked up at the entity with a defiant yet fearful look in her eyes. Her mind was scrambled and she had a hard time just putting words together, “Wh… what you go… do with me?”

The entity laughed at her broken speech, “Nothing I can do to you would compare to the horror that awaits you at the hands of these creatures… or your own mind. We are going to leave you here for them to find. What happens to you will be up to them.”

Lailah gasped as the entity turned away from her. She closed her eyes and rested her head on the cold sand as her sight left her. The rain and the damp ground were her only comfort as she waited for death. The imp that had accompanied the entity landed nearby, “I live to serve you my lord!”

The entity clenched its fist, barely paying attention to the small creature, “Where did they take the child?”

“I don’t know my lord.” The Imp responded nervously. “The humans appear to have been protected from our site, we couldn’t track them.”

The entity clenched its fists as it turned away, “It would appear that even in her weakened state, the angel’s powers were more than enough to help them evade you… you’ve failed us yet again… We want you and your minions to begin searching everywhere! Search for a lifetime if you have to, but we want that child found! Fail, and it will be your last!”

The imp bowed, “My life is to server you, Legion.”



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

Note:
If you have read my books, PLEASE log into Amazon and post a review. I really love to hear everyone’s thoughts and constructive criticisms. Reviews help get my book attention and word of mouth is everything in this business!

Thanks friends!

Catch you on the flip side!

-Jim

Destiny: Divinity’s Finale, Chapter 3

III

 

A creaking noise roused Melisande early the next morning. Hoping to avoid a lecture from Sister Mary, she got up and got dressed quickly. Once again, she threw open her windows and peered out. To her amazement, the sun had barely peaked over the horizon. It was earlier than she was used to waking up.

Melisande was about to go back to sleep when she noticed that the tide had receded around the abbey. She didn’t know how much time she had until the bells woke everyone up, so she quickly turned away from the window. Without a thought to the consequences, she opened the door as quietly as she could, and tiptoed down the steps. She moved slowly and noticed that her hands were shaking. She couldn’t understand whether or not it was the fear of getting caught, or just anticipation of being able to finally escape the abbey.

It was not the first time that Melisande had run off and she had never been caught previously, but she still had to be careful. It wasn’t long before she reached the kitchen and took a left turn down another corridor that led her to a familiar tunnel. The ground was damp as she made her way out of the area.

Melisande’s feet carried her quickly along the stone floor. Once she reached the door at the end of the tunnel, she slowly pushed it open and ran outside. She once again found herself in the courtyard.

As the sun came up over the horizon, she ducked down behind a tree and slowly made her way toward the main gate. A series of trees and bushes were her only cover from the watchful eyes of the guards. Sneaking around had dirtied her clothes, but she did not care. This was her one indulgence, and if she was to get in trouble for it, so be it.

Melisande knew exactly when the guard shift change happened and waited until they moved apart. Once the guards were out of sight, she slipped past them and made her way out of the abbey. She was as quiet as possible, as she knew that the guards were ready for anything. The abbey wasn’t a military installation, but the church had become very protective of its grounds following the protestant uprisings.

Melisande found herself standing at the top of the stony hill leading down to the beach. She was only wearing sandals, so she had to be extra careful to mind her footing. She did not want to riskfalling and either getting hurt, or making enough noise for the guards to find her.

It took a short time for Melisande to reach the sand below. Her feet skidded every few moments as small stones gave out underneath her feet. It was a slow and treacherous climb, but her feet finally touched the damp, coarse, soil of the beach. She pulled off her sandals and let her feet dig into the sand. Her toes pressed down hard as though she would float away if she released them.

Melisande looked around for a few moments, enjoying her newfound freedom, and then, without warning, darted out towards the water, running as fast as she could. She turned and ran even faster along the shore line. She didn’t want to stop, but after ten minutes of running, the muscles in her legs began to ache in response to how hard she pushed. Finally, she gave her legs a break, let the waves caress her toes, and took in a deep breath of fresh air. Her eyes watered as the clean air filled her lungs. She was in Heaven.

Smiling, Melisande turned back and looked at the abbey. From outside, it was quite beautiful. The massive castle stood high above the water, completely covering the small island where it had been built. Nature was its main defense as any invading army would need to wait for low tide before trying to enter.

Melisande stood with her back to the ocean for a few more moments as the breeze passed over her skin. Euphoria had almost taken her when a noise in the distance made her jump. She turned quickly and noticed two ships on the horizon. They were miles out at sea and she was unable to tell what was happening. There was another low noise that sounded like distant thunder, and another, and another.

As the ships came closer, Melisande noticed that one of them had been badly damaged. They were both small ships bearing different flags with several colors. One ship had a black flag, while the larger, more damaged, ship appeared to have a white and red flag. Smoke poured from the sides of both ships.

It was at that moment that Melisande realized that the two ships were fighting. She watched as the battle unfolded. Her heart raced in her chest as the larger ship began listing to port.

The ship tried to turn away from her attacker, but it was a useless effort. The smaller ship was faster and more maneuverable. Melisande watched in amazement as a final blast from the smaller ship’s guns struck the larger one’s hull. The shot quickly pierced through a layer of wood and struck the powder magazine. The powder sparked causing the ship burst into flames.

Melisande’s eyes widened as the ship tore itself apart from the inside and large wooden splinters littered the water around it. The massive explosion rocked the coastline as Melisande watched. Her heart was in her throat as she had never seen anything so exciting in her entire life.

Within a few moments of the explosion, there was nothing left of the first ship. Melisande looked on as the second ship picked up cargo and survivors from the water. She lingered for a few minutes to see if anything else would happen before turning away and starting her long walk home. Her feet carried her slowly over the sand towards the castle walls and felt like she was dragging a weight behind her.

Once Melisande was about half way back, she stopped and looked at the ship slowly disappearing on the horizon. Then she turned and looked at the castle again. The morning bells broke the silence and she realized that she would never make it back to her room before Sister Mary. If she went back now, it would mean punishment and demerits.

As Melisande looked over her lifelong home, she was filled with a sense dread. The idea of her having to spend another day living in such monotony was unbearable. She had secretly contemplated running away, but she knew that she’d have the guards on her in no time. Sister Mary would have the entire abbey out looking for her. Her only chance would be if she were to make it to the nearest town and somehow board a ship.

The battle she had just witnessed opened the flood gates to her desire for freedom. Her chest pounded as she thought of her life, and everything she was missing out on. She knew there was more to her story then what the nuns had told her. Her family or whatever was left of their story was out there waiting to be found.

Where is my real family and who were they? Why am I here now? In Melisande’s mind, she knew that these were questions that she’d never be able to answer while living in Mont St. Michael. Still, should she just up and run away? No doubt a lot of people went through considerable effort to shelter her and she still didn’t know why.

Melisande’s mind filled with questions and wrestled back and forth with the idea of leaving. She didn’t want to hurt those who took care of her for so long, and leaving most likely meant never seeing them again. Sister Mary, as strict as she was, did take care of her and Papi was the closest thing she’d ever had to a father.

Thoughts of them worrying about her made Melisande’s heart ache even more. What should I do? She thought to herself. I love them and I don’t want to hurt anyone… but I can’t live like this. I’m not a stable girl, nor am I a maid, that’s not the life I want. I’m certain I’ll die if I have to do this much longer.

Melisande fought through her emotions as she made up her mind. With tears in her eyes, she made her decision, she could not go back. The only way she was going to find out about her past was to escape this life and discover her adventure. The desire for freedom had been seeded in her mind and there was no going back now. It hurts, but I can’t do this any more, it’s not right.

Melisande quickly made her way back to the castle and was able to duck under a large cart delivering supplies while the tide was still low. Once it stopped moving, she wandered out and hid behind a tree, listening to the people nearby. A monk came out to meet the driver, “Peace be with you sir, I see you have brought our supplies.”

The man nodded, “Yes, yes, come on, we need to get these unloaded before the tide starts coming back in, I need to be on the road for Granville well before then.”

Melisande’s heart jumped, Granville is nearby and it’s a port city! If I hurry, I might be able to catch a ride!

She quickly raced up to her room and grabbed a bag. She quickly filled it with everything that she cared about and threw it over her back. She was about to leave when the corner of her eye caught the glimpse of reflected light. She looked up to see that the blade of one of her family’s swords had caught the sunlight. This was odd as the blades had almost no luster left to them. It was very odd, but to her, it almost seemed like the swords were asking to come with her.

How could I forget you? Melisande thought to herself. She quickly grabbed the swords of their wall mounting, wrapped them in a blanket, and placed them under her arm. With her free hand, she grabbed her old cloak, wrapped herself in it, and pulled the hood up.

The moment she was ready to go, Melisande quickly peaked out into the hall to make sure that Sister Mary wasn’t around. This whole adventure would be for nothing if she got caught. Knowing Sister Mary the way she did, she’d probably be locked in her room for days.

Fearing that the carriage was about to leave, or that someone may see her, Melisande raced back down stairs. She was relieved to see that the cart had not left yet. The monks were just finishing loading up the empty barrels from the cargo. She hid behind the bushes and waited for the right moment to jump in.

The hair on the back of the young woman’s neck shot straight up when she heard a familiar voice from behind the monks, “Brother Georgio, have you seen Melisande?”

Melisande jumped as an annoyed-looking Sister Mary appeared on the scene. The monk shook his head, “I’m sorry sister, no.”

The old nun shook her head, “Where could that troublesome girl be? She’s not in her room and no one has seen her.”

“I do not know.” The monk replied.

“Very well, Brother Georgio,” she replied, “if it’s not too much trouble, once you are finished here. Please assist me in locating her. The abbey is too big for me to search on my own.”

“As you wish.” Brother Georgio replied as he got back to unloading the cart.

Once they were done, the driver secured the back of the carriage to keep the barrels from rolling and bowed to the monk, “Thanks for the help, brother. We’ll see you again soon.”

The monk nodded, “Farewell to you sir.”

Melisande saw her chance to escape when the monk turned his back. She darted out quickly and jumped up onto the back of the cart. To prevent being seen, she quickly covered herself over with a leather blanket in the back.

Melisande huddled up next to the barrels and remained perfectly still as the driver cracked the reigns. There was a sudden jolt as the carriage began to move. It was anything but smooth and Melisande found herself getting bounced around as the carriage moved. She grabbed on to one side to steady herself and keep from getting banged up.

Melisande watched quietly as the cart moved away from the abbey. In her heart, she wished that she’d left a letter explaining what she was doing and where she was going, but she’d had no time to write one and she didn’t want to risk tipping them off as to where they could locate her. She decided that it was perhaps best to arrange a letter for them when she figured out where she was going.

The cart began to pick up speed as it departed Mont Saint Michel. Melisande kept getting bounced around and it was hard to keep from hitting against the barrels. It was a rough start, and she was most likely going to see some bruising from the ride, but she was excited to start her new life and had no idea where it would take her.



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

Hello all,

Since starting work on Soul Siphon, I’ve been unable to decide whether I wanted to green light the third and final installment of the Divinity Saga. An adventure/romance fantasy story called ‘Destiny.’

This story takes place years after the events of the first two novels. In any case, instead of putting it to publishing, I’m submitting it to all of you in it’s raw form. If you like it and think I should publish it, PLEASE let me know. I have my email listed at the bottom of each chapter, so please let me know.  There is still a lot of work that would need to go into it, but this is the basic story. Please note, it will be posted over the span of a few weeks, given the massive size of the file!

Thanks friends, appreciate your feedback,

Jim



 

Destiny

A Novel by James Harrington

Printed and Bound in the USA

Copyright © 2015 by James Harrington

All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced, distributed, or transmitted in any form or by any means, including photocopying, recording, or other electronic or mechanical methods, without the prior written permission of the publisher, except in the case of brief quotations embodied in critical reviews and certain other noncommercial uses permitted by copyright law.

This is a work of fiction. Names, characters, businesses, places, events and incidents are either the products of the author’s imagination or used in a fictitious manner. Any resemblance to actual living persons is purely coincidental.

 

A note from the author:

Hello and welcome! I hope that you will enjoy your journey our characters as they embark on their adventure. Before you begin, I just wanted to clarify a few things.

You encounter many characters, both fictional and historical. The fictional characters are just that; fictional. Any resemblance they bear to real people is purely coincidental.

As for the historical figures that appear in the pages ahead, I have done the best I can to portray the historical characters as accurately as possible, based on the information availavle on each. However, please understand that I am exposing them to fictional situations. It is impossible to predict definitively how one might have actually reacted in these events, so again, this is based on what information is available.

Lastly, I would just like to note that this story in no way should be taken as a criticism of the beliefs of any denomination of Christianity. As a catholic, I acknowledge that the leaders of several denominations weren’t always the most upstanding of people and that is what is reflected in my writing, but that does not invalidate anyone’s belief in God or the teachings they follow.

I hope that you will enjoy this work of fiction for what it is; a work of fiction. Thank you and God bless!

Jim H.

 

Prologue

Venice 1585

Black clouds choked out all light from the sun as a dark, ominous, day turned into a black and violent night. As the remaining light vanished from the skies of Venice, the water became extremely choppy and rain hammered down on any poor fool still outside at that late hour. Boats tugged at their moorings as the wind beat down on them. It was as though the world had transformed into something malicious.

The small fishing village was no stranger to rough weather, but this night was different. The wind coming in off of the water bore ill tidings from afar. Even people possessing little to no awareness could feel the evil around them. Many instinctively closed the shutters on their windows as though the town were about to fall under attack.

Federico watched from the safety of his house near the harbor, as the waves picked up. The water poured over his private dock, and he wondered how long his boat would last. It was his livelihood and had been in the family for generations.

At the moment, however, this was the least of Federico’s worries. He knew what was approaching, and what this meant for his family. As he peered out the window, his vision was obscured by the amount of rain water pouring down the glass. It was as though he was standing behind a small waterfall trying to peer through, but he still had enough clarity to see the black carriage with lanterns on either side break through the night.

Two mighty brown horses pulled the old carriage right to the door of the house. Federico breathed a sigh of relief as the carriage stopped just outside of his door. The waterlogged driver jumped out of his seat and pulled the carriage door opened, allowing three people in black robes to step out.

The fire in the stove fought to stay alive as the door opened and a gust heavy wind penetrated the room. It was as though opening the door had allowed something evil into the house. The three cloaked figures entered the room and, once sheltered from the rain, removed the drenched cloaks that they had been wearing.

Federico fought against the heavy wind to get the door closed. Once it finally connected to the lock, he breathed a sigh of relief before turning to his guests. As the cloaks came off, they revealed two young priests and a nun. The priests wore red and black robes and each had swords sheathed on their belts.

“Welcome to my home,” Federico said with a relieved look, “I appreciate your quick response to my letter. I take it that you know what is going on?”

The nun turned to Federico and nodded. Her face had deep creases, indicative of someone who had lived a hard life. Her face was twisted into a scowl as she spoke, “We came as soon as we heard. I am Sister Mary, where is she?”

There was a sudden flash of light and a winged woman appeared behind them. Federico brushed back his light brown hair and nodded, “Lailah will take you to her.”

Sister Mary bowed, “Blessed Angel, we are here to carry out the Lord’s bidding as you commanded.”

Lailah returned the gesture with a smile, “Please follow me, Sister. It won’t be long now.”

The two women disappeared into the next room and closed the door behind them. Federico shook his head as he turned to the priests, “I had prayed that this night would never come. I was told about the prophecy from childhood, but had hoped it would pass my generation by.”

The older priest placed his hand on Federico’s shoulder, “No one who faces these dark times would choose to bring it on themselves or the ones they love, my son.”

“But how could God let this happen?” Federico asked. “If he knew… it was possible.”

The priest shook his head, “I somehow don’t think that even he foresaw this during certain events in your family’s history.”

Federico lowered his eyes and spoke in a defeated tone, “Padre…  just promise me that she will be safe. Don’t let this all be for nothing.”

“On my life,” the priest replied as he touched his sword, “she will be safe and she will live comfortable life. That is our mandate and it will be carried out as long as we draw breath.”

Federico was satasfied with the priest’s promise. It appeared that everything was going according to how it had been spelled out in the prophecy. It was little comfort to him though as he could feel danger approaching.

“Padre…” Federico finally said softly with tears in his eyes, “Would you be so kind as to give me my last rights?”

The priest’s eye’s narrowed, “Of course my son, but why?”

“Please Padre,” Federico insisted, “I have a very bad feeling that our time is growing short.”

The priest didn’t understand what Federico meant, but he had not been given all the details of what was about to transpire. Sister Mary was in charge in this case, by official order of the bishop. His job was simply to see to her saftey. Having no other choice, he finally agreed, “Very well, my son.”

**

In the next room over, Sister Mary, led by the angel Lailah, encountered a woman lying in a small bed. She was covered in sweat and breathing rapidly. Her dark brown hair was matted to her head and she was clearly in pain. Sister Mary spoke in an emotionless voice as lighting struck outside, “It has begun.”

The woman’s stomach was bulging as Sister Mary took a seat at the edge of the bed. The old nun adjusted her robes to prevent them from being soiled and spoke in an emotionless voice, “Cecca, I’m Sister Mary. I am here to help. It is almost time, are you ready to start pushing?”

Cecca struggled to brush her matted hair back from her face and nodded. She was in so much pain that she could not move anything else. Lailah folded her wings, tied back her curly, light brown, hair and knelt down near Cecca’s head to wipe the sweat from her brow, “You can rest easy. I will be here with you to the end.”

“Bless you, angel.” Cecca forced out between breaths. “Bless you.”

Sister Mary took hold of Cecca’s legs and bent them up at the knee. She watched and waited patiently for a few minutes. Cecca’s breathing was becoming eratic as her whole body shifted.

Finally, when Sister Mary decided that the time was right, she looked up at Cecca, “It is time, pray to Almighty God and push.”

Cecca closed her eyes and screamed as she pushed with her entire body. Sister Mary nodded as the woman’s arms and legs quivered, “Good, good, again.”

Federico listened desperately as his wife struggled in the other room. He wanted to be there with her, but the elderly nun would not have allowed it. This was one time that he needed to remain out of the way. An hour went by as the young man listened helplessly as his wife’s agonizing screams shot through the house. Her voice suddenly fell silent and a new one appeared.

The scream of a newborn child shattered the dark aura in the room. Federico’s faced lightened up as he turned away from the door and back to the priest, “Do you hear that? Do you, it’s clear as day!”

Both priests nodded as the older one smiled, “Congratulations my son. The baby sounds healthy.”

A short time later, Sister Mary came to the door, pale white, with a look of fear in her eyes. She stood for a moment looking at Federico, and then over to her escorts, “Our worst fears have become reality.”

The two priests stepped past Federico and into the room where Lailah was holding the child. Lailah looked at them both solemnly and nodded, “As the Most High feared, the prophecy has come true, look.”

She held the child out to them and uncovered its face. Miraculously, the newborn’s eyes were wide open. Her pupils looked almost identical to those of Lailah. She giggled as she looked up at the priests.

Cecca sighed as her eyes began to close, “Little Aralyn…”

The younger priest’s lips twisted, “I still don’t understand, blessed angel, would you not be better suited to keep her safe?”

Lailah shook her head, “That is outside of my mandate. I have already done more than I am supposed to.  Priests travelling hallowed grounds will have a better chance of keeping her hidden and safe from the dark one’s eyes than a lone angel flying around. The dark ones will not be able to trace you like they can me.”

The priest sighed as Lailah handed the mystical child to them, “Very well.”

At that moment, one of the windows crashed open, shattering the glass. The wind ripped through the room like an invisible wildfire. The thunder became even louder as Federico struggled to put a plank of wood over the opening.

Sister Mary turned quickly to the preists, “The storm is getting worse, we must go now or we will be trapped here!”

At that moment, Cecca came to life on the bed, “Wait, please, just a few minutes… won’t you please let me hold her?”

Sister Mary looked at the child stoically and shook her head, “I’m sorry, there is no time.”

“Please, no, you can’t take her, please!” Cecca pleaded with the old nun as she tried to get up. “My baby!”

Federico heard Cecca’s frantic cries and ran into the room to confort her, “I’m so sorry my love…”

Cecca buried her head in Francesco’s arms, “No… It’s not fair… why us?”

Federico looked up at Sister Mary, “Is there no way?”

For the first time in years, a look of sympathy came over Sister Mary’s features as she shook her head, “If there were, I would allow it. As it stands, there is not. We must leave if there is to be any chance.”

Federico sighed and closed his eyes, “Then go, now! Leave this place… keep her safe…”

The priests obediently turned and began to leave. The older priest looked back sympathetically, “Peace be with you, my children. For what it’s worth… I am sorry.”

Federico, remembering a promise he had made to Cecca, suddenly shot to his feet, “Wait, Padre!”

“My son, we have no time!” The old priest responded sternly.

“I know,” Federico replied apologetically, “but I have something for you.”

He quickly went to the closet and came back with a staff-like object draped in a red cloth. The priest saw that the cloth was protecting two very old swords. He looked at them oddly for a moment and then back at Federico, “My son?”

“Please take them.” Federico insisted. “They belonged to my great grandparents. Make sure she receives them when she is old enough… “

“You want us to give your daughter weapons?” The priest asked in disbelief.

“I understand that it may not make much sense to you Padre,” Federico replied, “but these swords have protected my family for generations. Please take them.”

The priest eyed him oddly for a moment. Federico’s expression became despirate under the priests eyes, “Consider it the last wish of a dying man.”

The priest sighed and took the swords before turning back to his party, “Oh very well.”

Once they were ready, the group bid farewell to Federico and left him to tend to his emotionally shattered wife. The group exited the house and boarded their carriage with the child in their care. They knew that they had to move quickly in order to get her to saftey.

Lailah followed behind them, “Keep that child safe, at all costs.”

The elder priest turned back to her, “Blessed Angel, what will happen to them now?”

Lailah turned back and looked at the house. She brushed her long brown hair from her eyes and let out a defeated sigh, “I did the best I could to shield the family from the evil that is hunting them… but it proved to be too much for me. They aren’t safe anywhere now.”

She turned back to the priest with a reassuring look on her face, “Don’t worry Padre, my sister has seen to it that her kin will be taken care of. You need to focus on your own part.”

“What hope do we have against such power?” The younger priest demanded.

“Leave that to me.” Lailah replied. “Just go while you still can.”

The driver took his seat without another word and snapped the rains. The horses whinnied as they charged forward. The priest looked back as the carriage sped away, “Peace be with you, blessed Angel.”

Lailah closed her eyes for a moment and muttered a prayer under her breath. At that moment, a white aura appeared around the carriage and then vanished. She nodded, confident that they were now safe from harm.

A moment later, Federico came to the door with a look of sorrow on his face as the carriage disappeared from view. Lailah turned to him, “They will be safe now.”

When Federico’s expression didn’t change, she became worried, “Federico, what is it?”

“My wife…” Federico replied. “The stress of the pregnancy was too much for her.”

Lailah closed her eyes for a few moments. When she reopened them, a sharp pain entered her heart as tears fell down her cheeks, “Federico, I am so sorry…”

Federico’s jaw tightened up as he stepped away from the house and stood beside Lailah, “Tell me that this has all been worth it. Tell me that she’ll survive.”

Lailah nodded, “Your daughter has a long struggle ahead of her, she will not know who she is and may never know her family, but she will survive to adulthood.”

“What about after that?” Federico demanded.

Lailah closed her eyes for a moment and shook her head, “I don’t know. Her future is clouded even from my eyes.”

Suddenly, out in the distance, an unearthly moan emanated over the waves. Lailah began breathing heavily, “They are coming…”

Federico ran back inside his house, grabbed his sword from behind the door, and rejoined Lailah out front, “I’ll kill him myself.”

Lailah smiled, “You have your ancestor’s heart, but that won’t protect you this time. You are no match for this creature.  I would suggest you go back inside.”

“I don’t think so.” Federico replied adamantly. “You have watched over me and my family as we waited for this day. There is no escaping now and I’ll never see the two people I love the most again. I have nothing left and you are the closest thing I still have to family. My soul is prepared Lailah. You’re not facing him alone.”

Lailah nodded, “Very well…”

The two looked at each other hopelessly as a deep moan emanated from the black water. Lailah went pale and took a step forward, “He approaches.”

There was another flash of light from the sky as a formless black entity appeared in front of them. It was little more than a cloud that quickly took the shape of a human, but had no features at all. It was little more than a silhouette in the darkness.

Two bright yellow eyes appeared on its head. It stepped forward and spoke in a dark, inhuman, voice, “So many years since we’ve been able to walk the lands of this world… Where is she?”

Lailah stared into the creature’s malice-filled yellow eyes, “Safe.”

The creature’s eyes began burning bright as they took a menacing shape, “We are giving you one chance to give us what we want. Do this, and we’ll let you live… for now.”

Lailah shook her head, “The Most High won’t negotiate with the likes of you.”

“The Most High is a part of us!” The creature shot back.

“Why resist us?” It asked. “We only wish to take back what is rightfully ours from that deceptor, Lucifer.”

“Because Lucifer isn’t a threat to us,” Lailah replied, “you are.”

The yellow eyes narrowed, “If you won’t help us willingly, then we will rip the answer from your corpse!”

“Never!” Federico shouted as he stepped forward. “You will die first!”

Before he could say anything else, a sharp object burst through Federico’s chest and he was elevated off of the ground. A small imp appeared behind Federico as his body fell limp. Lailah was unable to react in time, “No!”

The entity cackled, “We think not. We did not wait eons to be stopped by a child race.”

The imp pulled the blade from Federico’s back as he fell to the ground. Blood mixed with the puddles of water that had pooled on the beach. Federico lay on his side as his eyes began to flutter. He looked up at the sky and reached out with all his strength, “Cecca…”

Within moments, Federico’s body went limp and his eyes closed. Lailah spoke through a clenched jaw, “Federico was an innocent! He never hurt anyone and he was of no threat to you! If you want to retake the underworld, then by all means do so, but leave these people out of…”

Lailah stopped mid-sentence and found herself unable to draw breath. She grabbed her neck as the entity raised a clenched fist from its side. Lailah’s body began to levitate off the ground as though she were being hanged.

The entity moved even closer until Lailah could feel its hot breath on her face. Its eyes suddenly went from yellow to red, “We do not take orders from you! Be gone, pathetic insect!”

The creature flicked its wrist and released its grip on Lailah. In response to its hand motion, the helpless angel shot backwards through a window. The glass shattered all around her, ripping into her skin as she landed in Federico’s kitchen. The entity began laughing hysterically as it waved its arm.

At that moment, the entire house burst into flame as though obeying his command. The flames filled the dark sky and lit up the town like it was daylight. The heat inside was so intense that any human would have been horribly burned had they been too close.

Inside, Lailah tried to protect herself from the inferno by covering herself with her wings. When the flame hit her, it incinerated her feathers. She screamed out in pain as the skin of her wings seared and began to blister.

There was nothing Lailah could do now. Knowing that she was near death, she closed her eyes and began to pray, “Oh Lord Most High, let this fate pass me by. Take me into thy loving hands. Spare your loyal servant this pain…”

Lailah received no answer as the skin of her wings began to turn black. She clenched her eyes shut and tried to fight the pain, but she was losing control of her mind as the agony took over. Looking at her wings, she knew she wouldn’t be able to fly again, if she survived.

Outside, the entity raised its hand again and squeezed its fist. Lailah was elevated by her neck once more and tossed through another window. Her clothing was scorched and all but burned away, her skin was badly scarred, and her wings were completely crippled. She landed on the beach away from the burning house.

Steam poured off her skin and the agony was destroying her mental stability. She trembled as her memories and reason gave way to madness. She rolled on her back as the remains of her clothing disintegrated.

The entity slowly made its way down to her to avoid being seen by the crowd of people coming out to fight the flame. Lailah saw it coming and didn’t even bother to try to cover herself. Her mind was almost gone and she barely even knew who she was.

The creature looked down at her, “You are now powerless and no one is coming to save you. There is no escape, tell us what we want to know and we’ll grant you a quick death!”

Lailah breathed in as deeply as she could, but refused to speak. Even in her state, she was not about to give the creature any satasfaction. The entity saw this and nodded, “We understand… despite the fate which lies ahead of you, you still protect such pitiful creatures. We admit that we did not think his servants had such iron.”

From her hands and knees, Lailah looked up at the entity with a defiant yet fearful look in her eyes. Her mind was scrambled and she had a hard time just putting words together, “Wh… what you go… do with me?”

The entity laughed at her broken speech, “Nothing I can do to you would compare to the horror that awaits you at the hands of these creatures… or your own mind. We are going to leave you here for them to find. What happens to you will be up to them.”

Lailah gasped as the entity turned away from her. She closed her eyes and rested her head on the cold sand as her sight left her. The rain and the damp ground were her only comfort as she waited for death. The imp that had accompanied the entity landed nearby, “I live to serve you my lord!”

The entity clenched its fist, barely paying attention to the small creature, “Where did they take the child?”

“I don’t know my lord.” The Imp responded nervously. “The humans appear to have been protected from our site, we couldn’t track them.”

The entity clenched its fists as it turned away, “It would appear that even in her weakened state, the angel’s powers were more than enough to help them evade you… you’ve failed us yet again… We want you and your minions to begin searching everywhere! Search for a lifetime if you have to, but we want that child found! Fail, and it will be your last!”

The imp bowed, “My life is to server you, Legion.”


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

Magnifica: The Last Enchanter

“I don’t know about this, sister. Are you sure?”
“Yes Roselyn, their story needs to be told.”
“I doubt many will believe us.”
“I know that, but we owe our friends as much. If it wasn’t for them, our world might not exist anymore.”
“Ariel … I hope you are right…”
“Let’s begin.”


Chapter I

“Toby, get up! You’re going to be late for class!”

Toby’s eyes shot open and he sat up quickly without thinking. His head impacted against the top bunk, making a loud thud, “Ow, f…!”

He slammed his fist against the bed frame before glaring at the person who had roused him. His roommate stood at the door pointing a stubby finger at the clock on his wall, “Come on man, it’s 8:45! You know how Professor Arias reacts to tardiness.”

Toby shook his head as he fixed his dark brown hair, “Gishan you’re a dwarf, don’t you have a stone somewhere to bang?”

The stubby teen crossed his arms, “Oh funny! Because all dwarves are miners, right? At least we live more than a measly hundred years.”

“All right, all right,” Toby sighed, “I’m sorry.”

Gishan smiled as he shook his head in disapproval, “What would you do if you didn’t have me around?”

“Find a less annoying roommate!” Toby shot back.

Once the pain went away, Toby stood up and looked around. His dorm room was a mess. Clothes and empty beer bottles littered the floor, the posters were falling off the wall, and the beds looked like they hadn’t been made in months.

Toby could have cleaned things, but he was used to it being this way. He quickly grabbed a shirt off the floor and threw it on over the wrinkled jeans he had been sleeping in. He then grabbed a pair of sandals and slid them on his feet.

“Really,” Gishan scoffed, “sandals in February?”

Toby looked up at his roommate as he strapped them around his ankles, “How warm has it been out recently, 60 degrees?”

Gishan shrugged, “Still too cold for me…”

Once Toby was ready, he grabbed his books and joined Gishan at the door. He easily towered over the dwarf by at least 2 feet, “Okay I’m ready, let’s go.”

“I think it might be time for a laundry run.” Gishan sighed as he scratched his chin stubble.

“Too much trouble,” Toby replied, “besides, weren’t we just at your parent’s house?”

“Yeah,” Gishan chuckled as he turned to the door, “well… we could always do it ourselves?”

Looking at the piles of laundry that were almost completely covering their floor, Toby had a sudden change of heart. He hated having his roommate’s mother help him with laundry, but the pile had grown to the point where their small washers wouldn’t do the job. Plus he knew his uncle would never help him out with it.

“Fine…” Toby replied in a defeated tone. “Why don’t you give your parents a call and see if they would like a visit this weekend.”

Gishan laughed, “Thought you’d see it my way.”

He then turned to the door, “Come on, we’re going to be late.”

Toby followed his roommate out the door and down the hallway. Unlike their room, the hall was almost sterile with beautiful carvings of heroic figures on the walls and newly polished hard wood floors.

The building was quite old as was evidenced by the musty smell and the old style steam heaters that lined the hallway. Most of the residents had lost count of how many times the clanking and hissing of those heaters had kept them awake.

Toby had been known to spend hours inspecting the carvings on the walls trying to determine who they were of, but there was no time for that now. The two friends raced down the hall, flew down the front staircase, and found themselves in the main courtyard.

It was another unusually warm day at Arcanus College in North Boston. The sun shined down over last remaining piles of snow from a pre-Christmas storm. It had been the only snow they’d seen that year.

Various students, both dwarven and human made their way to various engagements and classes across campus. Everyone was dressed as though it were spring weather. Most had on jeans and t-shirts, but still kept jackets with them just in case.

The main building was almost a quarter of a mile across campus, though it seemed longer than that to Toby. By the time they reached the building, their classroom door was already closed. They were late.

Gishan shrugged, “Well we could just chalk this up as a sick day?”

Toby shook his head, “No way, today we’re learning about the second war of the Alliance. It’s the big one, and I don’t want to miss it.”

“Fine,” Gishan replied, knowing that there was no point in arguing, “but I never got what you loved so much about these fairy tales. They happened thousands of years ago. Hell, we don’t even know how much of these stories really happened and how much is mythology. Why did we even take this class? What does ‘Survey of Pre-Western Civ.’ have to do with either of our majors?”

“It’s one of the last core requirements I need to graduate.” Toby answered only half paying attention. “You can go back if you want, but I’m going in.”

Gishan shook his head, “Whatever dude, right behind you…”

The two of them slowly opened the heavy wooden door in an attempt to sneak in unnoticed. They proceeded into a lecture hall with over a hundred students in attendance and tried to find open chairs in the back of the auditorium. Their plan failed however, when a gruff voice from behind made them jump, “Ah Gishan Nemog and Tobias Arrigan, so glad you could make it.”

The two friends turned to see that Professor Arias had been watching them the entire time. The man towered over the two boys with his arms crossed under his black robes. His white hair was indicative of dealing with students like Gishan and Toby a little too long, “That’s what now? Three times you’ve been late to class? We haven’t even been in session two weeks!”

“Sorry Prof,” Gishan replied, “we um…”

“Were up drinking rock salt vodka all night.” Arias interrupted, finishing his sentence. “If you lay off that dwarven swill, you might actually make it to class on time.”

Soft chuckling could be heard around the room as the professor turned back to the board, “That’ll be a five page paper, typed, single-space, due on Friday for the two of you. I want you to examine the significance of the Second Alliance War with emphasis on the Ulium Plague.”

“The Elven plague.” Toby whispered to Gishan as they sat down.

“I know!” The dwarf spat back. “Believe it or not, I do pay attention.”

The professor glared at them both, “Glad to hear it. Now if you two don’t mind, I have a class to teach.”

Toby nodded, “Sorry professor, it won’t happen again.”

Professor Arias rolled his eyes as he turned back to his board, not believing a word of anything they said, “All right open you books to…”

“Excuse me…” A faint voice chimed in from the back of the room. “I’m very sorry I’m late.”

The whole class turned to see who had spoken. The professor’s eyes followed the voice to the back of the room. Standing at the door was a young woman with fair skin, big bright hazel eyes, and long blonde hair. Her bangs were partially braided and tied around the back of her head to keep her them out of her eyes.

Toby’s eyes widened as he saw her standing behind him. Her slender body and beautiful face made it difficult for him to turn away. Then he noticed her pointed ears that stuck out on either side of her head and were only partially covered by her hair. He quickly turned back to face forward. No way…

An air of disgust came over the room as Professor Arias looked at her with scornful eyes, “Ah this does seem to be the day for tardiness… Well, who are you?”

The girl spoke with a light accent that wasn’t recognizable to most of the class, “My name is Lia’na of the White Water Clan. I just transferred to Arcanus this spring and signed up on the last day of open registration.”

She walked down the aisle to the professor and handed him a piece of paper. He took the sheet and only half-glanced at it, “Oh very well… Looks like I’m going to have to have a few words with the people at registration… take a seat Leena.”

“Lia’na, sir.” She said softly.

“Noted.” The professor replied. “Take a seat so we can get started.”

Lia’na emotionlessly nodded, “Lien ni, Professor.”

She turned to look for an open seat and spotted one near the back of the room. The moment she sat down, the students around her moved away or turned their desks so that she couldn’t see their faces. She looked down at her books and pretended not to notice.

Toby couldn’t believe his eyes, “Are you seeing this, Gishan, an elf, here at Arcanus.”

Gishan snorted, “Not many of those sharpys left. Wonder what brought her out of the woods?”

“No idea,” he replied, “but what’s up with that name man, sharpy?”

Gishan grinned, “Yeah, sharpy, as in they have pointed ears? Their ears are sharp, get it?”

“Yeah I know what it means jackass,” Toby replied in an annoyed tone, “but what’s your damage?”

“Elves and dwarves have never gotten along. Do I need a specific reason?” Gishan shot back.

“Whatever.” Toby whispered, not wanting to drag this out. “I thought elves had their own colleges.”

“Well she’s here now.” Gishan said with a growl. “Just keep her eyes off me. I’ve heard they can bewitch you.”

Toby shook his head, “Oh relax Gishan, I don’t think she’s going to come anywhere near you. Where do you get this stuff?”

“Let’s just say that historically, elves haven’t been too kind to my people.” Gishan replied.

Toby chuckled, “I thought you said that you didn’t know how much of those stories were actually true.”

Gishan didn’t reply opting to eye Lia’na for a few moments before turning back to Professor Arias as the lecture began. Toby was mystified by Lia’na’s appearance. Even though she dressed like any normal girl in their early twenties, her fashion sense was quite elegant and what most people had come to expect from an elf. She wore a white blouse that had short, puffy sleeves, a square neck, and seemed to drape down over her stomach like a dress. Her black jeans had odd, stitched-on, designs going up the legs that seemed to shimmer in the sunlight.

Lia’na noticed that Toby was looking at her and returned his gaze. He quickly turned his attention back to the front of the room, hoping Lia’na hadn’t seen him staring at her. She smiled and went back to straightening out her books as class continued, looking up every so often to see if she could catch him staring again.



Hope you enjoyed the first chapter. The rest of the book can be purchased here.

  • Paperback: 330 pages
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0615827683
  • ISBN-13: 978-0615827681


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

A good view on characterization!

Cassidy and Lloyd differ from most of my other stories because they aren’t part of an ensemble cast. They’re a duet with neither character having a true claim to the main protagonist role. Some chapters have Cassidy doing more than Lloyd and others have her along for the ride. Typically, we have a main hero […]

via Partners in Fiction: Writing Duos of the Dynamic & Non-Dynamic Variety — Legends of Windemere