Just a quick update for everyone!
I wanted to share the cover of Purpose as I just had it completed today. I should have the formatting done in the next couple weeks for the official release of Book 1 – of The Wanderer Trilogy.
Stay tuned everyone!!!
I don’t remember how I got here. Where is here? Where the hell am I? An island. Somewhere.
Danica lifted her head off the coarse sand and looked around. Her vision was still hazy, but she was able to hear the lapping waves against the shoreline, the birds behind her where the treeline divided the beach from the forest, and another, unfamiliar noise. At first, it sounded like the wind. But then, as she craned to listen, the sound shifted to a soft, cold, shaking breath. Was it her own breath? But it did not match up with the rising and falling of her own chest.
What is that?
A feeling of fear shot through Danica’s body like she had been struck by lightning. It was so sudden that she thought something had stung her while she lay on the beach. Quickly, she jumped to her feet, surprised at her ability to move, and raced into the foliage. But still, she felt like she was being watched.
How did I get here? What is this place? So many questions rushed through her head. She hid in the brush, but could hear something moving around her. It was large and snarling. Danica was frozen in fear and could not turn around. Whatever it was, she could feel it’s breath on the nape of her neck, warm and moist. Then, she heard a voice.
“It’s time to stand and face your destiny,” the man’s voice said. “Danica Redvayne, I challenge you. Your throne and your life.”
Queen Redvayne immediately recognized the voice and spun around. Her family’s longtime enemy, Drannen Willowspear, had killed every one of her kin. If she died to his hand, he would assume her throne and govern the entire continent. She was young and naive, but had dabbled in magic as a child. It was unpredictable but it was the only weapon she had. And Drannen knew that.
Calm. Remain Calm Danni, she told herself.
Drannen dismounted from the large blank panther he was riding and pulled out his staff. Without a doubt, he was much more skilled in the arcane arts, but her abilities were unknown. There was a chance she could defeat him.
She raised her hands to release a column of fire, but only sparks sputtered from her palms. Run was the only word that arose in her mind.
She took off, running barefoot down a dirt path. Low hanging branches clawed at her face and caught her hair, tearing through flesh. Her body was numb. Drannen and his pet were right on her tail, but the brush was so thick that it was difficult for him to hit her with any spell.
Soon, his magic will be depleted, she reassured herself. I have the upper hand. My people can run faster than anything Drannen can ride… and I can run forever.
Another spell exploded over her head, breaking a large tree limb from above, missing Danica’s head by inches. Splinters shattered the ground, one embedding into the Queen’s calf.
She screamed in pain. If I can cast a Stoneskin spell, that shard will get pushed out of my body. It’s the only chance I got to keep going. Otherwise, I’m done for.
With one deep inhale, she tried to calm herself amidst the chase. It was just enough for her to speak the incantation correctly… Well, enough to have half of her body start transforming into a thick, hard skin. Lucky for her, it was the half that had been injured. And just as she had planned, the large splinter squeezed out from it’s wound and onto the ground behind her.
Even though Danica could run without fatigue, the island was rather small. She had traveled up a steep hill and was met with a straight drop down to jagged rocks and the sea below. When she scanned the treeline behind her, no trace of Drannen or his pet were to be found.
She capitalized on the moment of silence and hid in a small cave near the apex of the hill. The sound of her own breath was calming until she realized that even the birds had stopped chirping. For a moment, she thought of each funeral that she had attended in the previous year. Every single family member, murdered in cold blood by Drannen and his evil kin. He who controlled the throne, ruled the continent. It was only natural for someone to attempt to overthrow it.
But the Willowspear family had not always been enemies with the Redvaynes. In fact, their bloodlines were bound by marriage eons ago. But one betrayal sent the families into an endless feud. Assassinations and wars followed. In fact, the Willowspear family had been the family who held the throne for a millennia. When Radgar Willowspears wedded Elsiin Redvayne and mysteriously fell ill. He died shortly after their wedding, giving Elsiin absolute rule. Since then, the Redvaynes hold the the throne.
Drannen Willowspear had made it his life’s duty to wipe out the remaining members of betrayal. Up to this point, he had succeeded in massacring every member of Danica’s family Only she remained.
“You can’t hide forever,” he taunted from the shadow of the forest. “Danica. I will end your miserable life and take what is rightfully mine. My family shall speak of this day for all time.”
She wanted to cry, but no tears came. I. Have. To. Try.
With a forced exhale, she stood up and revealed herself. Her enemy, once again, dismounted the massive black cat and slowly walked towards her. She backed up until her ankles crumbled against the edge of the cliff. There was no where she could hide. No where she could run.
She would either stand and fight or stand and face her death.
Just as Drannen lifted his staff and pointed it at her, she put her hands out and mustered all of the magic energy that she could. The light from the connection of the two energies, light and dark, blinded the entire region for a single moment.
I hope you liked this one! I wanted to leave it on a cliffhanger 🙂 Enjoy this writing prompt I came up with!
It was storming when my mother left us on the doorstep of the orphanage. My little brother and I. Our tears mixed with the rain as she disappeared into the taxi, never to be seen again.
I was sixteen. My brother was six.
His night terrors would wake up the whole floor. The headmistress would scold us. Beat us. Our mother used to sing to him until he calmed down, but I guess she couldn’t take it anymore. Maybe that’s why she left us. She never did say. Even through the bruises from the belt, I was able to keep a smile for my brother, Lucas.
“Something is wrong with your brother, Aaron,” the headmistress always used to tell me. She would pull me aside and dig her long, crimson-painted nails into the skin in my arm. My name is Alex, but whatever. I was going to be out of this horrible place as soon as I turned eighteen. She would be stuck with my brother anyway.
I never wanted to leave him, but the more nights I spent awake, cradling his wailing silhouette, the less I liked my brother. There were countless times that I wanted to smother him. Put him out of his misery. But I never did. Something always stopped me, and it wasn’t the fact that I was his older brother. It’s hard to describe, but it felt like a force was pushing me as I neared him.
Every. Single. Night.
Two years later, I was out of that god-forsaken place. Just like my mother, I left at dusk. It wasn’t raining at first, but a strong storm exploded out of the sky. Out of nowhere. My brother stood on the porch and watched me disappear into the taxi. Something was off, though, as I turned back to meet his gaze. His face was different. By the time I realized what it was, my ride had already entered the highway.
Unlike my mother, there would be a time when I saw Lucas again. But when I did, he would be on the news with a “WANTED” sign above his photo.
I almost didn’t recognize him. I was twenty-eight, he had just turned eighteen. He grew a beard and his nose had been broken at some point in the twelve years that I hadn’t seen him. Did someone finally try and kill him but failed? My body found itself nearer to the television while the story unfolded before my eyes.
“…Unknown threat,” the female news reporter stated. “Reynold County Police asks that you do not approach the subject. He is considered dangerous. But from what we understand, he does not carry a single weapon.”
“What?” I breathed. The news reporter’s peer spoke the same question simultaneously. “How is that possible?”
“We have no more information than this,” she said. “The Investigators just ask that you contact them immediately if you see Lucas Smith.”
I made a split second decision. “I have to find him before they do. He must have just left the orphanage not too long ago. He could be looking for me.”
Once I turned off the television and locked the door, I heard a familiar crash of thunder. A barrage of rain pelted down onto my garage as I backed my car out into the driveway. Why did it storm so often? As I looked up into the graying clouds overhead, I saw a bolt of lightning scatter across the sky, but it was the shape of a forked arrow, pointing North. Something drew me that direction, so North I headed.
Hours later, I found Lucas in a deserted foundation of an old building. He was sobbing violently on his knees. But the weirdest thing was the bubble that formed around him. It looked like an invisible umbrella stood over him, keeping the weather from touching him.
“What the hell is going on?”
“Oh good,” a familiar, but more baritone voice said. A sullen smile spread across his face as he turned to me with tears in his eyes. “Alex… You followed my lightning.”
“YOUR lightning?” I said and took a step backward. A gust of wind pushed me closer to my brother. “What the hell is going on?” I repeated.
He stood up. “You’re drenched, brother.” Suddenly, a bubble similar to his formed over my head.
“Lucas…” I put my hands up. “What is going on? Tell me.”
“I’m a monster,” he whispered, barely audible to my own ears. “Alex… I. AM. A. MONSTER. And I can’t control it anymore.”
“What do you mean anymore?” I was panicking. I had no clue how to respond. Was my little brother truly controlling the weather? Were these horrible storms a result of an unknown ability that he had?
A shaky breath and Lucas explained why the weather was so dangerous overhead. “Mother sent a note to the orphanage. She left us because she was like this too. Says its some stupid gift or some shit. But NOTHING in that letter to say how to control it. I… I can’t. It’s too late for me. I can’t anymore…”
“I’ll take you to my home,” I pleaded. I thought I knew what he was planning, but he shook his head.
“I’m going off by myself,” he said. “To find mom if she is still alive. Perhaps you will see two storms colliding soon. But you should not be standing here anymore. It’s about to get deadly dangerous.”
“What are you talking about?” Part of me still refused to comprehend the situation. How could both my brother AND my mother have these otherworldly powers and I not know anything about it. And how was I so normal?
My brother did not respond at first. When he did, it was only three words. “Run, my brother.”
Another gust of wind nearly knocked me off my feet backwards. I wasted no time. By the look on his face, he was about to unleash havoc from above. Sirens wailed in the distance, closing in around him. Black veins crawled across his face and blackened his eyes as he let out a heart-stopping scream. It was the most terrifying thing I ever experienced.
I had just gotten back into my car when I saw it. A massive bolt of lightning careened down from the darkest cloud to the very spot where Lucas had stood. The explosion was so loud, it shook my car violently. I could feel the electricity through the hairs sticking straight up on the back of my neck, all down my arms, and into the floor. At first, I thought that I had been struck, but it couldn’t be. I was untouched. When no one appeared on the horizon, I drove home, shaking from the ordeal.
Every time a storm rolls in from the bay, I watch it pass through my city, hoping to see Lucas again. Sometimes, I can hear him screaming like he had all those years ago. I picture a taxi, leaving us in the rain. An Orphanage. A crimson-nailed headmistress. I wonder if my brother ever found our mother… and if he did, who won?
I hope you enjoyed, as usual! 🙂 Enjoy a Writing Prompt of my own making!