Authors: Sedona Venez
A Valkyries: Soaring Raven Novel
Valkyries: Soaring Raven
Copyright © 2012 by T.L. Clarke.
All rights reserved. This book, or parts thereof, may not be reproduced in any form without permission in writing from the Author, T.L. Clarke. The scanning, uploading, and distribution of this book via the Internet or via any other means without the permission of the publisher is illegal and punishable by law.
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This is a work of fiction. Names, characters, places, and incidents are either the product of the author’s imagination or used fictitiously, and any resemblance to actual persons, living or dead, or to actual events or locales is entirely coincidental.
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Copyright © 2012 T. L. Clarke.
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Cover Design: Nimbi Design
R.C., you are truly the wind beneath my wings.
To all the readers out there, thank you.
“I AM the Reaper. All things with heedful hook: Silent I gather.”
—William Ernest Henley
The Oxford Book of English Mystical Verse
It’s true what they say….
Regardless of the numerous times that I raised a brow at their questionable antics, my parents—‘the Immortals’—will forever be known in my mind as the most diabolical geniuses of any realm.
The Others describe them as ‘powerful’ and ‘all knowing’ beings. Technically, that’s true, but I would be lying if I did not add that they’re also kinky, vain, and crazy as hell. Granted, it’s not the most flattering description of omnificent beings that have been around since the dawn of time, creating and destroying things at will in fits of all consuming waves of vanity, but it’s the truth none-the-less.
Who else could get away with shrouding themselves in vanity like a cloak while playing with the lives of humans and Others—vampires, wolf-shifters, and non-humans alike in a game of chess; manipulating and killing them at will just because they could.
Who else could pit the wolf-shifters and vampires against each other in a ruthless, strategic game changing move that incited a bloody civil war known as the
Fire and Ash
war. A war that waged on for centuries while they jokingly took bets on which Other would kill each other off first. When they got bored, they infected the Others with a virus that lowered their birthrate, thereby reducing the number of warriors, making the game even bloodier.
Who else could manipulate the humans so thoroughly that they actually believed
Fire and Ash
started over countries fighting for oil-rich territories only to end with peace and the unprecedented end of all diseases?
They were freaking brilliant at manipulation, and the game waged on for centuries. Well, until in the midst of war, the Others got smart and called a truce, finally realizing that their races were dying. That’s when they started experimenting on their genes to reverse what they called their breeding curse. This made my parents lean forward with interest, and when the first round of experiments created the cerulean virus, a virus that swept through the planet killing them and humans in droves, they clapped with glee. But when the second round uncovered they could reverse their breeding problem by fusing their genes with mutated cells in the human blood….well, you don’t have to be a rocket scientist to figure out that this discovery royally pissed off my parents because they broke the most important Immortal law….thou shall not outsmart the Immortals.
Valkyries were sent to destroy the Others, but it was a simple and direct order that was not followed. An order that lead to the subsequent fall, an error that destroyed the last of the Valkyries.
It’s true what they say….Thou shall not fuck with the Immortals……..ever.
She Who Cause
New York…Year 2101
Something was totally off tonight. I sensed it in the air as moonlight shone down on everything in its path, including the ravens that were perched quietly on the branches of a huge oak tree that cast ominous shadows.
A chilly breeze swept past, ruffling my wild, curly, jet black hair that was hastily pulled into a ponytail as I was corralled and bullied into this crazy midnight training session from hell. The chill of the fall night sunk into my bones making me shiver.
This was crazy, I was standing out here looking like a horrible fashion mess in nothing but a racer black t-shirt, leggings, and combat boots, watching my mom scrutinize the dismal darkness that wisped around the edges of the woods like it was some reality show gone awfully wrong.
Rubbing my hands together, I pleaded, “Please let this amateur Kung Fu shit be over before I die from hypothermia.”
She gave me the universal parent stare—the stare that told me to shut the hell up if I knew what was good for me. So I shut up, shivering and delirious, imagining the sordid entertainment news story tearing into my impending tragic death:
Infinity, superstar singer and actress froze to death last night at the luxury estate of her mother, beauty guru, Kara Montgomery. It is speculated that her life ended in a horrible fashion mess. Crime scene photos showed frozen, bare-faced Infinity wearing scruffy workout wear and hair pulled into an unkempt, but cute, up-do. Was this an act of an enraged stylist? Or a mother gone mother crazy? Stay tuned for an in-depth expose of the life and times of a drugged-out superstar....
Mom was stomping around, staring at the sky, mumbling like a deranged woman—something I was unfortunately use to. Her pale unblemished skin flushed as she angrily whipped her head around to glare at me with those
haunted violet eyes. “Do you feel that, Infinity?”
Should I pretend to faint, hoping that she would leave me alone? Nope, she would probably nudge me with the tip of her boot until I answered. She was stubborn like that. Exasperated, I rolled my bright emerald eyes before responding. “Mom, this is crazy. I’m standing out here freezing my ass off.”
Impatiently, she snapped her waist length blond ponytail over her shoulder. Her eyes held an intense, regal air that annoyed me at times like this, as her voice came out as a weird commanding rumble. Mom was pissed, “And you’ll continue to freeze your ass off. All night. Until you give me what I want.” My teeth chattered as I jumped up and down trying to keep warm. “Yes, okay? Something feels weird tonight, and before you ask, yes I’m opening all my senses. I really can’t tell what the problem is.”
She paced back and forth in deep thought. Occasionally she would stop and stare at the ravens that croaked adamantly as if passing on some secret Masonic message.
“Okay, mom, you’re making me real nervous with the pacing. What’s going on?” I wasn’t joking—she was making me real nervous. I could feel her tension and anxiety emanating from her like a beacon.
She stopped cold, looking at me with worried eyes. “Trouble. Trouble is coming.”
My heart stopped. She was freaking me out. “And what type of trouble are we talking about? Trouble, like my hair stylist broke her leg right before the concert and I’m reduced to having Zoe do my hair? Or BIG trouble like I might not make it to the concert due to death?”
Her gaze shifted away and back to the sky. “I can’t really tell.”
My breath evened. Okay, everything would be all right, she would tell me if it wasn’t. Then she rubbed the ink black raven mark on her inner wrist familiarly as she whispered, “Spirits, be our protection tonight. Ravens, be our veil from evil.”
Oh, here we go.
The madness begins. “Did you just cast some sort of protection spell?”
“You know that I don’t do spells. I call upon the universe.”
“See, that’s the type of crap that had me fighting every day from junior high through high school. Every day the same chant ‘You’re mother’s a witch and you are too’—do you know how much ass I had to kick? It was exhausting.”
She rolled her eyes in a dramatic kiss my ass way. “Like I give a shit what they thought about me, or about you. Today, those same people are kissing your ass for autographs and bribing their way onto my waiting list for a chance to get an appointment at one of my spas.”
I hated when she was right, which was practically all the time. “Okay but what about all the stories you told me about being a direct descendant of Valkyries? That mythology bull crap that had me running around junior high pretending to be one.”
“Please just admit that we’re witches and be done with it.”
She ignored me as she stretched her arms over her head. “You’re getting so cynical in your old age.”
“I’m twenty-two. You’re the one that’s old as dirt. Not me.”
She stopped mid-stretch with legs akimbo, “I’m still young enough to kick your ass.”
“Yeah, whatever,” I mumbled, looking at the bloodthirsty ravens who started to croak loudly like a rowdy, lunatic crowd at a MMA fight. I swore it sounded like a, ‘Fight! Fight! Fight!’ chant.
“Come on, Infinity. Stop stalling.”
“Just think, when I was ten I asked for a beautiful black and white Siberian Husky, but what did I get,” I pointed over to the tree, “A flock of stalking, bloodthirsty ravens.”
I watched in horror as one of the smallest of the ravens, but definitely the loudest, deliberately flew past my ear, slapping me with its wing and an ear piercing croak that sounded like a battle cry.
Mom actually laughed as she nodded her head. “Göll said that in our last match-up, you were too slow and that you need to get the molasses out of your ass.”
Yup, another quirk in my crazy life. Mom named the ravens like they were freaking pets. I rolled my eyes, giving Göll the one finger salute.
“Don’t you dare judge me, Göll.”
The raven mom named Randgríðr flapped its wings gently. “Thank you for agreeing with me, Randgríðr.”
Mom cracked her knuckles. “Randgríðr thinks you could do no wrong. Now Gunnr, that’s a whole other story.”
I arched a brow, “You do realize that it’s insane for us to be talking about ravens like their pets?”
She whirled around me. “Bullshit. They’ve been around since you’ve been born. Protecting, watching, and loving you.”
I scoffed. “You mean stalking me, judging me, and bullying me. Let’s not forget, making me the laughing stock of the free world for being the Superstar with an entourage of ravens. It’s not cute, believe me.”
I looked over at Gunnr, the one raven who always seemed to be looking at me with disapproval and judgment. I really hated that bird—its beady black eyes were cold, almost mocking my every move like a high school bully.
“Oh, kiss my ass, you mangy bird.”
In response, she flew off the branch, swooping over my head, yanking my hair. My arm waved, and of course, I missed because the stupid ass raven was freakishly fast, like it was on performance enhancement drugs.
She clucked her tongue, “Come on now! No fighting.”
“Will you stop defending that crazy ass bird.” Picking up a pebble, I threw it. “Bitch!” Gunnr croaked holding the note while flapping its wings with triumph. “I get it. You hate me. But guess what bitch bird? I hate you too.”
Mom quirked a brow with an amused smirk, “Hate?”
“Uh yes! Remember when
tried to pick my eye out?”
“Yes. But Gunnr apologized and was adequately punished for playing too aggressively.”
It was confirmed, mom was out of her damn mind. “Oh, fuck that. The only reason Gunnr didn’t succeed was because I finally stood up to her bullying ass by head butting her like a soccer ball.” I held up two of my fingers, looking at her between them. “Goal bitch. Goal.”
Gunnr’s croak was menacing as I pointed a finger at her. “Furthermore, the only reason I don’t call animal control is because I happen to like the rest of the ravens. But you? I’m waiting for my moment to make you animal control’s little raven bitch.”