Before the War Ends

“You will die before this war ends. Are you sure you want to fight this fight?”

I looked at the floor and considered his question. Moans from the wounded nearby hummed through the makeshift healing house. The moss blanketed cobblestone was stained with the blood of the fallen and those who took refuge during the few breaths of peace that a small victory created. The cursed arrow that struck me three days earlier had been replaced by a blackened scar. I could pinpoint precisely where it pierced my flesh, on my right side, just below my lungs. The healers tried to help, but they were not as skilled as the elves in their magic. For me, a half-elf, my aura was unknown to them. I would not survive the journey to any of the Elven Kingdoms without facing an onslaught of enemy forces. Deep down, I understood that I would not heal from this wound. The necromancer who shot me had been slain in battle and even the man sitting across from me knew that the only cure would have come from someone who now lay dead. My back ached as I felt the fiery pain spreading across my ribs. It was difficult to breathe, but it would all be over soon.

“If I was human, this would have killed me already,” I said, attempting a smile but nothing more than a wince fell on my lips. “But because I’m still half-human… I’m faced with mortality.”

“Are not we all?” my friend responded. He rubbed his tired eyes as the sound of battle lingered in the air. It was far in the distance, but that did not mean it was over. In fact, it had just begun.

Magic was no longer enough in this war. Necromancy had become the stronger tool and even our best mages could not stop their advances. Each causality was simply more ammo for our foe. It was only the specially trained Demon Hunters, like myself, that stood a chance at vanquishing them entirely. We sold our souls to walk the line between the living and undead, good and evil, dark and light. A beacon for good, but at a price. When this curse finally consumed my mortal body, I my soul would spend eternity in the Nothingness – a barren wasteland for lost souls and the Demon Hunters, overseen by the Goddess, Cazadora. She spends eternity battling the Demon Hunters against one another to appoint a Champion, but she is never satisfied. Even in death, I will fight for the rest of existence, but anything was better than this pain I now felt.

“There are so few of us left Nadir,” I explained. “I simply cannot abandoned those who stay and fight. After all we have trained for. The vows we took to protect the world from this dark magic… If it may be the end of me, then I will gladly accept my fate. However, I will not take my final breath until I vanquish Mirdra.”

My thoughts faded as the curse tried to take ahold of me again. Mirdra was one of the Necromancers who started this war claiming that she had been cast aside for too long. But little did her cult of followers know, she was once a Demon Hunter. Only a few of us who had lived long enough to remember her still knew this secret. She delved into Necromancy when age began to take a toll on her skill in battle. After numerous warnings from my kin, they finally banished her and revoked her vows in an ancient ritual that had seldom been used. Even my friend, Nadir, was too young to remember these events.

I stood up and shook off the haze of darkness as the curse settled just below my heart. Sunrise was when the winds of death would take me, so I had to be swift. I knew that Mirdra would meet me on the battlefield, so I would not waste another minute in the healing house.

“You are leaving?”

“I am returning to battle.”

With a nod, I left behind the small town of Kamin for the final time and entered the scorched earth only moments later. My silver blade was drawn as I summoned a protective shield against the evil that tainted the land. I would use some of my remaining strength to summon Mirdra from whatever depths she was hiding. A few of the ancient spell, but no one who had a chance at living another day would use it.

A single word will call upon your enemy and drag them into view, read the ancient text. Price to pay for the Hunter will be steep. A hunter turned prey in the eyes of the gods, someone who does not have the discipline to stalk their foe.

“If I use this, I will be prey for the Cazadora in the mortal world,” I whispered while striking down the corpses that tried to break the ranks of good. “But with my time so limited, I will be her prey soon enough.”

A deep breath and a knee to the ground, I placed my hands upon the blackened earth and spoke the word to summon Mirdra.

Nagade.”

Suddenly, the earth began to quake at my feet. I felt the connection between me and my enemy as she neared. Just as I opened my eyes, the Necromancer rose out of the ground in a plume of black smoke. The evil smile on her face was filled with familiarity.

“Dara,” she said. “You look a little worse for the wear, don’t you?”

“Hello, old friend.”

“I can heal you from this curse,” she said. “And not just the one placed on you by my men… The curse of mortality. Cazadora will never have you if you join me.”

“You know that isn’t true after summoning you here. Face me and accept your death as I have accepted mine.”

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HI EVERYONE! I hope that you enjoyed the past holidays and have a safe Holiday season upcoming. I wanted to throw in a little writing prompt to keep with the theme of darkness as the days are getting shorter and colder here. I am three chapters into the first draft of Prowess and am very excited as to how it’s coming along.

A great way to take some time for yourself with the upcoming days off could be reading Purpose and Preservation! 😉 Or, perhaps, you are trying to check off a few people on Holiday gifts? What better gift than the gift of imagination. Click on the Bookstore tab above for links to purchase it! All of your support is greatly appreciated and helps me get one step closer to realizing my dream of becoming a full time author. And please, if you have read any of my books, go onto the Amazon page and rate it 🙂 Each review really helps me out.

Writing Elation

Hi everyone!

I hope you are all doing well! I am happy to finally announce that Amazon has finally accepted the hard copy of Preservation! After numerous edits by the kind woman who formats my book covers, the sizing finally fits the print. I cannot describe how much elation I feel seeing the word “Live” next to my next novel.

Click here for a direct link to purchase Preservation. Amazon has both Hard Copies and eBooks available. The more condensed copies of Purpose are also available here at a lower price! And please, if you do me the kindness of purchasing and reading any of my books, reviews are greatly appreciated! Any feedback that I can take in future books makes me a both better writer and helps get my name out into the industry. One review from each book purchase can skyrocket my career as an author to help me realize my dream of being able to do this full time. And if that happens, it means more books for you, my amazing readers! 🙂

Each and every person who supports my dream has a special place in my heart! Thank you so much for everything!

A Surprise for Your Patience

Happy evening to everyone! I am happy to finally announce that Preservation is in Hard Copy via Amazon within the next 72 hours (currently pending review). I will be posting the link on the Bookstore page as soon as it goes LIVE.

As with any craft, I am learning to format my books properly. While the cover formatting software has changed on Amazon since Purpose was released, I have spent a number of extra hours to try and make the 2nd book as close to the 1st as possible. Self-publishing and a tight budget really restrict options, so it isn’t the ‘perfect’ final draft that I always envision. My hopes and dreams of becoming financially stable as a full-time author will only be realized by continuing to write and release books. Everyone who supports me truly takes a place in my heart as each sale gets me one step closer to achieving my goal. I deeply thank you! 🙂

As such, I have decided to reformat Purpose and re-release it in both eBook format and Paper Copy at a discounted price. I changed everything to ‘single-space’ with a space between each paragraph, so that has drastically reduced the amount of pages for each book. As long as the woman who formatted the cover isn’t terribly busy, you can expect it very soon! If you don’t already own a copy, get ready to purchase a cheaper version than the original edition.

Now that Book 2 is complete, you know what the next steps will be… writing Book 3! I am very excited to wrap everything up, bring everything together, and fill it will suspense and plot twists that will keep you on the edge of your seat! Once this is complete, I will be working on my next projects (a small book of short stories *possibly* or the beginning to the outline of a fantasy series).

Again, I appreciate your support from the bottom of my heart! Please check back for an update on Preservation‘s official release date along with a link on the Bookstore page.

July Writing Prompt

She wore her scars as her best attire.
A stunning dress made of hellfire.
Phoenix wings decorated her soul,
Spreading out as chaos unfolds.
Waltzing through the brimstone and pain,
She smiled and welcomed her old friend.
Like a dream, a reverie, she dances
Past those who would not pass her second glances.
For now, they suffer, entombed by the pain,
She looks at her scars, for they were not in vain.
Born in chaos, she learned and battled to grow,
Unlike those who are consumed, for that is all they know.
In life, each strike, another layer to her armor
Tears shed and blood bled, her soul became darker.
But one day she lifted her head and smiled,
Her strength was no longer frail and mild.
Battle ensued inside and around her fire,
She passed through, untouched by the pyre.
Ashes fell and she was reborn,
A hellfire dress, a gift, was adorned.

A poem for you this month! I deeply apologize for the absence again. As usual, I’ve been juggling a lot and haven’t had much time to post on here. I’m waiting on the book cover for Preservation to be completed and then I will be adjusting the format and publish it soon! I hope everyone is as excited as I am! I can’t wait for you to read it!

WordPress is Back, and So Am I

Four years ago to the date. I remember where I was that day. I think we all do. There are just certain events that you can just immediately recall who you were with and what you were doing. June 2nd was one of those days.

I woke up and hopped out of bed, a few minutes behind, as usual. Snooze is the best and worst invention in the world. Needless to say, I was probably going to be late for work again. My cat, Einstein, was meowing in the kitchen as I threw on a clean outfit and rushed to feed him. Food spilled all over the floor and that little turd of a cat tried scarfing it down as fast as he could while I tried to clean it up. Now he’s not going to eat dinner for as much as he ate for breakfast. I’m already stressed at this point and now the clock says 7:47. I have thirteen minutes to get to work. THIRTEEN. Usually, if there isn’t any traffic, it takes me twenty minutes to get to work.

But I would never make it to work that day. Everyone was standing outside as I was rushing to the car. I nearly made it to the highway before I noticed that the sky had darkened. Complete daylight had vanished. Everyone on the road had stopped dead in their tracks, exited their vehicles, and turned their heads to the sky. I did the same. My palms started sweating and my heart was racing so fast that it felt like I had just run a marathon. And I wasn’t even sure what I was looking at.

It was so large that it had completely eclipsed the sky. Well, at least the city. As far as we could tell. But once it ‘landed’ it just hovered there. I could feel the people around me, waiting for what would come next. For the next hour, we all just watched. No one moved or said a word. A few whispers and the radio talk shows talking about this thing buzzed over the crowd. Slowly, people began to return to their homes, the traffic died down, and I went back to my cat. Work, obviously, wasn’t going to say anything about my absence. Not with this ship or whateverthehellitis in the sky.

Around 9:00PM was when things began to get weirder. The few family that I still had already called to make sure I was okay. They only saw the stories while I was living in this moment. It was right above my head. There were news outlets all around the city, asking rhetorical questions that no one knew the answer to. And then, the damn thing began to glow. But it didn’t come from lights. It pulsated like veins – scattering like lightning across the sky. This vessel was somehow alive. First it was an eerie red, and then green. I could hear the screams in the streets. Fear.

But, despite what I may or may not have told my family, I wasn’t afraid. I was more intrigued than anything. My neighbor and I just sat on our porch and watched the events unfold. Was this the end of the world? Maybe. But even if it was, we couldn’t stop it. So why worry?

An hour had passed before the middle of this thing opened and the otherworldly beings began to float down to Earth. These things, wherever they came from, were the most wild-looking things I had ever seen. They were human-like, but extremely tall and sheet white. Even their attire, which resembled robes, were the very same color. Some people in the streets called them angels, but that was doubtful. How do I know? One landed on my porch.

My neighbor ran inside. The more I thought about the possibility of an invasion, the more fearful I became. But this thing was so beautiful. It couldn’t be harmful, could it?

“You have been chosen,” it said in perfect English. This race must have learned our language before coming here. Or maybe I was just hearing it in my head. “You are a survivor. Your past pain will be rewarded. We have been watching.”

***

And that was the last that I remember. From what the others have told me – the other survivors – they grabbed up a few of us and brought us onto the ship, adorned us with their clothing, and enslaved the rest. First, it was the state, and then the entire West Coast, then the United States, and slowly but surely, the world. Each time, they would descend and choose their survivors, and then the warriors would take over.

There are so few of us. Maybe a few thousand or so. We stand watch over our areas and act as messengers from these creatures. If we fail or retaliate, they kill us. So many have died and I once cried for them. But now, I just do as they say with little thought. At least they let me keep Einstein. He’s the only thing that keeps me company anymore.

Four years ago to the date. I remember where I was that day. I think we all did. Well, those of us who are still here.

***

I’m so so sorry for being gone for so long! I was having issues with WordPress not wanting to work on my computer, but I’ve figured it out! 🙂

Quick Update: I’m almost done with the final edits of Preservation so be on the lookout for the release!