I am super excited to announce my manuscript is due for developmental and line editing next Friday. As you may have guessed it, I am typing my fingers off! I hope you enjoy this excerpt. Please comments (suggestions and questions).
Covered with the bodies of innocents are the once famous streets of New Orleans. Without a fighting chance, a monster had its way with them. Hands trembling, I climb over, reaching the street where it all began. Looking up, I see him. The monster, and next to him a female with an obscured face. Both turned to a black dragon with lavender eyes.
My hands begin to burn as he lifts from the top of the dome coming for me. It is as my feet are dug into the ground or a spell befalls me. Landing, he takes my hand towards his mouth and blows. They become an inferno I cannot control. I scream, incinerating my beloved city.
Opening my eyes, I see Jessup leaping as my hands are stretch forth and lit ablaze.
“Kalera!” He calls out.
“Kalera wake up!” He screams.
My body is awake but my mind sees him. “Destroy him.” I think. Then without warning Xavgon’s long neck protrudes into the tent and he blows a frost over me.
Startled, my conscious mind resurfaces and I fall to the floor. Xavgon wants to wake the others, but I beg him not to.
“Xavgon, she will be alright. I will look after her. Please.” Jessup assures.
He lifts me from the floor as Xavgon pulls away.
“Are you alright?” He asks.
Staring at the ground, “I could have killed you.”
“But you didn’t.” He answers.
“Xavgon is confused for I was able to block him from my thoughts. Our bond is unbreakable unless we both allow. I don’t remember anything.” I say.
“Should I wake Hiddard, Donegal, or Ton?” He asks.
“No. I would rather them not know about this.” I respond.
“You have my confidence.” He replies.
“Thank you.” I respond.
Walking to the make ship bed, we both sit. I stare at the group as he carefully brings his hand to my face.
“My gifts are yours. I was born to serve you. Let me serve you.” He says.
“You will all have your chance.” I reply.
“Now.” I speak to Xavgon.
“Xavgon is waking the others as I am calm. Join him.
I rise grabbing my garments as Jessup looks upon me then walks away.
Exiting the tent, I find everyone standing in the ruins of Bram. As I approach, they surround me in a circle kneeling. Ordering them to rise, I look upon them. Walking to Molly and Donegal and embracing them for their loss.
I look to Hiddard who has been inconsolable since Molly and Donegal arrived. Not a tear in his eyes as he holds Molly’s hand. Donegal eyes his girls as Xavgon watches over them.
“This path we are on has become more treacherous and is no place for the children.” I announce.
Maliki steps forward.
“My Queen, There are a few scattered Kale clans beyond our borders. Maybe we can take them there.” He says.
“Maybe you should take them there.” I counter.
“I need to be with you.” He says.
“You are wise, strong, and brave. Come Maliki.” I say.
I whisper in his ear.
“Donegal, Ton, will you allow him to bring the girls to safety?” I ask.
“I didn’t think I would see them nor my son ever again. But because of you, they are both safe. Yes.” He answers.
“No objection here as long as I am with you, my Queen.” Ton chimes in.
“My friends, Ager will do whatever he believes will give him some form of control over the realm including serving Boilos who we now know wants more than the eggs. So it is as Donegal ask me moons ago. We must take them to Mount Mahar. What I ask of you, may cost you your life. So I offer all of you a choice. You may take a sack of gold and head south if you choose, or risk your life serving the realm and your Queen.” I announce.
Everyone swore fealty to me.
“Then it is settled. We head south” I respond.
Through the ashes of the Dark Forest, we take to the Shalaman road to Port Cye.
After one moon, we arrive to find it almost abandoned save one ship that had just docked. A single man exits and approaches us.
“What has happened here?” He asks.
“Death Claws.” I answer.
“Ha. Ha. Ha. You must have been smoking Dred Weeds.” He laughs.
“I am afraid I am not familiar with such weeds, Sir.” I reply.
“Your face is quite serious my lady.” He says.
Molly and Ton approach.
“She is no lady. You stand in the presence of Kalera, Palera Dawn reborn.” Molly says.
“Ha. Ha. Ha. A Dawn. I think I believe in the Death Claws.” He says as Xavgon barrows down upon him.
“Do you believe her now?” Ask Molly.
His face sinks as he is taking in the sight.
“I have no time for you to feel. Can you sail us south?” I ask.
“South.” He responds.
“Yes. To Grayler.” I reply.
“Grayler?” He asks.
“I would not go back south for a sack of gold.” He replies.
“How about two sacks.” Donegal interrupts.
“Tomas Donegal.” He announces.
“Crabs!” Donegal replies.
“It is so good to see you alive. My father waited for you, but he never told me why.” He says.
“Where is Krake now?” Donegal asks.
“He is dead.” He says.
“I am sorry Crabs.” Donegal says.
“He died a free man and that’s all he wanted.” He says.
“This is the one true Queen. We have gold and two extra meres.” Donegal pleas.
“What are we waiting for?” He asks.
We board the ship.
“She isn’t much. But she has survived many calamities. She will get us to Grayler.” He announces.
“Well dam!” He says when he looks upon Kooloan.
“This light keeps getting better and better.” He laughs.
Kooloan and Jessup try coaching the meres onto the ship but they refuse.
They sound as they try turning back.
I move towards them.
Closing my eyes, I run my hands under their chest and they calm.
“All they needed was a mother’s touch.” I say.
I look to Xavgon, giving him permission to stay above the clouds. He would rather me fly, but I cannot risk us both being open to attacks. Kooloan, Ton, Donegal, and Jessup lifts the anchor while Crabs raises the sails.
Two lights had come and gone and yet the Green Sea remains calm. Xavgon dives below the clouds into the water like a bullet.
“How many of those creatures are you going to eat my child?” I ask.
“Just a few more.” He responds.
Smiling at him, I think about how lonely this world must be for him. He has me, but none of his kind. “Do not worry for me, mother.” He says. And he is right, I should not, but as any mother would, I worry.
As he soars beyond, I see Crabs lower mandible drop.
“He takes some getting used to.” I say.
“Yes. He is incredible to see.” He says.
“Thank you.” I reply.
“For?” He asks.
“For your ship.”
“Well, you know your dragon kind of had something to do with it.” He smiles.
“Your father was funny when he could afford to be.” I reply.
“You knew my father? He never mentioned you.” He questions.
“Well, this is going to sound a bit odd, but …” I say.
“After what I have seen, I am sure I can handle it.” He interrupts.
“I met Krake, your father, in another dimension of time and space. It was Zaylen, but different. In that Realm, I met your father during a desperate time. He pledged his army and his sword to a young woman who had no idea who she was. As first in command in my council, he helped me form an alliance with Micah. Without him, I would have never have met Tomas Donegal, nor had the tactical advantage needed to best Ager.” I said.
“This man sounds much like my father.” He says.
Lighting erupts as the sky opens and the waves crash against the ship like stones. “Man overboard!” I scream. It happened so fast, but Crabs is gone. Donegal and Kooloan try running over as they are forced against the walls and wooden planks. Closing my eyes, and seeing a light, I whisper, “Shenan.”
“I see him. There.” I whisper.
Xavgon’s dives sending a wave over the ship as his massive claws scoop Crabs. Hiddard and Molly make for the anchor as they see a magnificent sight. The waves are frozen in time.
“I am not sure how long, I can hold.” I announce.
Help stands behind me as Jessup sends bolts into to me powering my shield.
Instantly, from the sea, six gigantic black creatures with long tentacles, white eyes, and serrated teeth appear. With Xavgon at the stern and the creatures looping knots around the hull, they pull. He blew a breath moving forward as they steadied and pulled until the sun illuminates the crystal, clear, waters.
I turn my palms inward then outward raising the water several feet into the air then back from whence it came. After lowering my arms, I immediately sink to the floor. Jessup lifts me as I look into his eyes.
“You are what Xavgon said you are, special.” I whisper as I close my eyes to the realm, while I rest his arms.