Authors: Kim Richardson
Tags: #ebooks adventure fantasy paranormal kindle young adult childrens fiction award winner free ebooks angles and demons readers favorite awards
The guardian turned around and kneeled
before Kara. She spoke with concern and urgency.
Kara! What are you doing
here? You’re supposed to be on the 8
plane and safe.”
Kara couldn’t speak.
She stared into big brown eyes like
her own. Even wrinkled in worry, the face was smooth and uncommonly
beautiful. Her naturally red lips were pursed tight.
Finally, Kara found her
On the move
om!” Kara screamed. She jumped to her feet and wrapped her
arms around her mother.
Her mother squeezed back, but released
Kara gently. “Kara, how did you get through? The demons destroyed
the elevators—the connections are lost—any chance of traveling back
and forth from the mortal world is impossible. How is it that you
are standing here?”
Kara’s mother looked over her shoulder
nervously. They couldn’t stand here for much longer.
We took an elevator from
the eighth plane.” By her mother’s bewildered expression Kara knew
she had to explain a little further. “It was an old elevator, a
really old one—built thousands of years ago. And Lilly let us use
it to get here.”
Her mother shook her head. “But your
bodies would have been ripped apart? It’s impossible—”
It was a risk, we knew,
but we were determined to warn the Legion. We figured out what
Asmodeus was planning … part of what’s happening is
fault. I had to warn
But how, Kara? How are you
responsible for this?”
Kara looked at her boots.
“I’m not like you and the others, mom. I’m different. And I used
that part that’s different.” She looked up and met her mother’s
eyes. “I used my
part to keep us together on the elevator. It
Who’s us? Who’s with you?”
Kara’s mother looked over her shoulder again.
Kara sighed. “My friend David. He was
with me when we landed in the eighth plane. We came here
That was reckless, Kara,”
said her mother, her voice suddenly hard. “You could have died …
and David too.”
Kara looked at her fingers. “I know.
But we didn’t. We thought we had enough time to get to Horizon
before the attacks started … guess we were wrong.”
It’s okay, my darling
girl,” said her mother gently. “You did what you did because you
felt it was the right thing to do. It was crazy—but I understand
why you did it. I probably would have done the same.”
Kara gazed into her mother’s face. She
felt so many emotions at once. Her mother’s soul had survived. She
was safe, and standing before her as a guardian angel. Questions
filled her mind. She wanted to know about her mother’s life as a
guardian, how it felt. But mostly, Kara wanted to know how her
mother could have fallen in love with Asmodeus.
Mom … how could you
Kara!” David rushed
towards them. “Are you crazy? What’s the matter with you?” He
pushed himself between them. His voice was loud with anger, but his
eyes were soft with concern. “You could have been killed!” His face
was inches from Kara’s. Her mother raised her eyebrows and looked
over at Kara with the hint of a smile on her lips.
Kara took a step back and raised her
arms. “Well, I’m fine, as you see. Thanks to Danielle, my
Your mother?” David stared
open-mouthed at Kara’s mother. His eyes moved up and down,
inspecting every inch of her body. At last, David raised an
eyebrow. “You never told me she was a babe—ow!”
Kara’s mother grabbed them both by the
elbows and turned them towards her.
Now listen, both of you.
We can’t stay here. We’re sitting ducks if we stay in Operations.”
She looked over her shoulder and spoke with more urgency. “Michael
and Gabriel have moved what remains of the Legion to level three,
Miracles Division. The demons haven’t been able to break through
the mountain … for the moment. But it won’t last forever. For the
time being, it’s headquarters. Missions are being deployed from
there. I’ll explain things more in detail once we’re
Danielle passed soul blades to both of
them. “Take these. Let’s go kids.”
Kara watched her mother sprint over
flaming debris and ran to catch up to her. For a woman in her early
forties, she moved faster than Kara and David. Goes to show that
mortality has no effect in Horizon, Kara thought to herself. Age
has no meaning here.
The trio ran side by side, up and down
the sandy slopes. The skies had become darker. Black clouds raced
across the remaining grey sky, sucking out the light. Soon all
would be consumed in darkness. Kara wondered if her mother knew
where she was leading them. From what Kara could see between the
sand and the ashes, there were only more rolling hills ahead of
them and out into the distance.
A deafening wail rose up around them.
Danielle lifted her hand and motioned for them to lie low. Kara
kneeled beside her mother. She felt David on her right. Kara peered
out into the dark desert. A twister of sand and ashes rolled across
the dunes. She couldn’t see beyond the thick windstorm.
A shadow moved about two hundred feet
in front of them. Kara strained to see. The thing was massive and
low to the ground. The creature squatted and tilted its head, as if
it were following a scent in the air. Its four legs carried a body
covered in sharp spikes from head to tail. It took no heed of the
three of them as it scuttled on. Grunts escaped the creature, low
at first, and then it howled. Suddenly the demon charged. Kara
lifted her head to see what the demon was about to assault. An
elevator shaft stood above a mound of sand with its doors open. The
operator cowered in a corner. He covered his head with his hands.
Kara could see him shaking with fear. The demon galloped towards
him, slashing at the ground as it ran.
Kara stood up—
Suddenly, a beam of white light flared
and caught the demon in the chest. The creature wailed and was
thrown back a hundred feet. It landed hard on the ground and
skidded to a stop, its body coated in red sand. After a second, the
creature struggled to its feet. Its body sizzled and popped, and
Kara saw scorched flesh fall to the ground. The wind carried the
smell of burnt flesh. The demon limped towards the elevator. It
opened its large maw in an angry deafening roar.
Another beam of light hit the demon.
The creature was hoisted in the air and hovered for a moment. A cry
escaped the creature as it fell limply to the ground. It didn’t
Take that, you beast!” An
oracle rolled into view. His giant crystal blazed in white flames,
illuminating the oracle and the sand around him in a circle of
bright light. He stood on his crystal ball, hands on his hips. He
raised his fist. “There’s plenty more where that came
Come on.” Danielle led
Kara and David towards the elevator. The oracle spotted them, and
rolled his crystal ball with his feet to meet them. He looked
relieved to see them.
Thank you, oracle,” said
Danielle. She bowed her head slightly. Her long braid rolled off
her back and dangled by the side of her face. “You have no idea how
much you’ve helped. Without this elevator, we can’t reach the other
levels. I think this may be one of the last working
The oracle seemed pleased with the
compliment. “We oracles might be ancient, but there’s still a
fighter in each of us. We won’t let our world be infected by filthy
demons.” He rolled his beard around his fingers
Kara... David... quickly
now.” Danielle shot a quick glance around the desert before hopping
inside the elevator. “There’s not much time. We must go.
Kara thanked the oracle and followed
her mother inside the elevator. She leaned against the polished
wood panels, her mind racing. A musty smell lingered in the air,
just as she remembered. David pressed his back against the back
panel next to her. Their eyes met. David gave her a reassuring
smile. Kara didn’t smile back.
Level three, please.
Miracles Division, and hurry,” called Danielle.
Kara heard a whimper and looked down.
The elevator’s operator was huddled into a tight ball near the
bottom right corner of the control panel. His black fur glistened
as he shivered. He looked up at her. His brown eyes were wide and
wet. Kara heard clinking sounds, and she realized it came from his
chattering teeth. The poor creature was terrified. He reminded her
of chimp 5M51, only slightly smaller. Before she knew what she was
doing, she knelt down beside him. She reached out and stroked him
gently on the arm.
You’re safe now. It’s
going to be okay. What’s your name?”
She felt sorry for the chimp. No
creature deserved this, especially the primates. They weren’t
trained fighters. This was unknown territory to them. “We need for
you to be strong now. We need to get to level three. Can you do
that for us?” She knew she could just press the button herself, but
helping this poor creature made her feel better, even if it was
The chimp blinked up at Kara. And for
a while, he didn’t move. And then he spoke. “Ch—chimp 2M24.”
Slowly, the chimp rose to his feet. He stood about as tall as
Kara’s middle. Although still shaking, he looked more in control of
his fears. He lifted a shaking finger, and pressed the number three
button on the control panel.
Level three! Miracles
Division,” said the chimp. The doors slid shut. Chimp 2M24 slumped
against the wall, relieved.
With a jolt, the elevator came to
life. Kara felt pressure on her head and shoulders as they lifted
to a higher level. She wondered what to expect once the doors
opened. Would they be in the heart of another battle?
There was a sudden violent jerk, and
Kara and the others were thrown against the opposite wall. Kara
reached out and held on to David. She feared they wouldn’t make it
to the next level. Surprisingly, the doors opened, and Kara stared
out onto a beautiful lush green valley.
Danielle was the first one out,
followed by David. Kara stood by the door and looked down at the
chimp. He was still shivering, but he looked more composed. Kara
thanked him and jumped out.
Let’s hurry. We don’t know
what lurks in the forest.” Danielle drew out a blade. It gleamed in
the sun and reflected golden streaks on her face. “Many have died
protecting the mountain. We can’t linger here. Come on.”
Kara and David exchanged a look and
took off after her.
Miracles Division was just as
beautiful as Kara remembered. She looked up into the scarlet and
orange sky that topped the thick forest. A light breeze carried the
smell of pine trees and damp earth. Something caught her eye. A
guardian leaned against a large tree, his body hidden in the
shadows. He gave a nod as they rushed passed him. Kara noticed many
others, well hidden in the dense forest. They wore long green
cloaks, and Kara thought they looked like wood elves.
Kara followed the others up a dirt
path. Soon the forest cleared, and she looked out across a valley
to a mountain that rose high above and was lost in the clouds. At a
run, they reached the base of the mountain within minutes. Black
marks scorched the stone walls of the buildings that lined the main
entry. Smoke coiled up and around the front. A large group of
oracles and guardian angels poured water on small fires around the
base of the buildings.
Danielle led them through a jungle of
winding and turning walkways to a large wooden door. She pushed it
open and walked through. They stood on the threshold of a large
chamber. Sunlight spilled through square openings at the top. Kara
recognized it instantly as one of the many healing chambers. A
dozen guardian angels in blue lab coats worked feverishly mixing
and measuring elements in glass containers. There was a sudden cry
of alarm. One of the guardians ran past Kara holding up a glass
bottle of orange liquid and dashed out the door. It looked a lot
like the orange sticky substance from the
Two exceptionally large men sat at a
wooden table at the far end of the chamber. Their heads were bent
in conversation and a bundle wrapped in a shiny golden cloth lay on
the table. They pushed back their chairs and stood as the group
entered. Kara recognized them immediately. The archangel Michael
stood a head taller than Gabriel; his silky brown hair framed his
perfectly chiseled face. He wore a silver and golden robe that hung
snuggly around his muscular shoulders. He looked puzzled. Clearly
he felt like her mother—Kara and David weren’t supposed to be here.
His hazel eyes were fixed upon Kara. She looked away.
A beautiful Asian-looking woman,
draped in white linen with jet-black hair that spilled all the way
down her back, rushed towards them with her arms
Kara! David! What in the
souls are you doing here?” The archangel Raphael grabbed David and
Kara and squeezed them tightly against her. Kara was sure David was
enjoying this. He always acted strangely when the stunning Raphael
was in the same room. Finally she let them go. Kara noticed a
stupid grin on David’s face. “I have no idea how you managed to get
here, but I’m very happy to see you both safe … and in one