Authors: L.L. Hunter
Book one of
The Eden Chronicles
Copyright © 2013 L.L. Hunter
All rights reserved.
Edited by Rogena Mitchell-Jones
Cover Design by Regina Wamba at
Mae I Design and Photography
fOR MY BESTIES.
don’t have much to say here so I’ll get straight to the point. This book wouldn’t have been possible if it weren’t for the endless prompting and encouragement from my best friends Libby, Alanna, Tash and Lyndsi who told me to finish Eden’s story when I became discouraged. Your persistence paid off, I finished it!
I ran so fast I felt as though I were one with the wind. I couldn’t get out of there fast enough. Eventually, my mother would track me down but until then, I’ll enjoy myself. As I entered the arcade, I heard my name.
“Eden! You escaped.”
I smiled as I saw my friends approach. “Yeah, I escaped the clutches of the evil demon.”
“You shouldn’t joke about that stuff. It could be real,” said Zoe innocently. Zoe was my best friend and still an innocent. Her boyfriend, Mike, thought he understood all. However, I couldn’t let them learn who my father was, even though they were Nephilim, too.
“It is real, Zo. If there are angels, there are demons. You can’t have one without the other.”
“Who says?” I defended as I retrieved the air hockey puck out of the slot and placed it on the table. It begins sliding around in a small circle, waiting for me to hit it.
“Says me,” Mike took the position opposite me and waited. I narrowed my eyes and glared at him. Zoe always says I do this thing with my eyes that could make every boy swoon, but I don’t believe it. How could one person’s eyes make someone swoon? As I wacked the air hockey puck, Mike seemed distracted by something, so the puck sailed straight down into my goal at his end. The electronic voice announced the score to be one nil and that seemed to break his reverie.
“Mike, what happened? You were totally out of it.” Zoe placed a hand on his bicep.
“No, I wasn’t.”
“Yes, you were. You totally let Eden win.”
“It was just a lucky shot,” I said in defence. I couldn’t let them think that somehow I had something to do with Mike’s
moment. Or did I? It couldn’t be possible. I didn’t just cause Mike to space out and act as if he and I were the only ones left on the earth. Right?
“That never happens, baby.”
“Okay, maybe this turn will be better.” Mike retrieved the puck out of the slot on his side and placed it on the table, ready to hit. I stood ready, but this time I was the distracted one. I couldn’t get the feeling out of my head that I had revealed one of my powers to him. My mother said never to do that. But was it even one of my traits? The air hockey puck sailed straight under me and landed in his goal. One-all.
“Oh, yeah!” Mike hooted, but I didn’t feel like partying anymore. I walked away from the table.
“Oh, what’s the matter, Eden, afraid of being beat?”
“No, I just don’t feel like playing anymore.”
“Oh, come on! We were right in the middle of a game!”
I walked away ignoring their pleas as the allure of the hoop game called me over. I had just pushed a token in the slot and picked up a ball when I heard my name. But it wasn’t from Mike or Zoe.
“So this is where you spend your runaway hours?” I glanced over my shoulder and saw the creep standing behind me.
“Who are you and what do you want?”
“Don’t you see the family resemblance?” he smirked.
I turned to take a good look at him, intrigued. The guy had to be about my mother’s age, maybe a little older and had the same grey-blue eyes my mother has.
“In the flesh. Now let’s get out of here.”
I chuckled as I turned back around and threw a ball at the highest scoring hoop. It went in. “I am not going anywhere with you.”
Adam clapped. “Good shot. But it’s not surprising, seeing whose blood you carry in your veins.”
“Do you mean yours and Mum’s, or…”
“Or Lakyn’s?” He finished for me. “Either way, you have so many abilities you are not even aware of yet, Eden. And some of them are quite dangerous.”
“How do you know this?”
“I was there when you were born. Trust me, I know.”
I tossed another ball in, this time in a lower scoring hoop and it went in, as well. “I’m still not going with you.” As I picked up a third ball and pushed it towards the hoops, it froze mid-air. I gasped and looked back at my uncle. He shrugged.
As he walked away, the ball remained frozen.
“Wait, how did you do that?” I asked, glancing back and forth from the ball to him.
“If you come with me, I’ll tell you.”
“My mother sent you, didn’t she?”
“She might have.”
“So what you just did, can I do that?”
“Everyone’s traits are different, but probably. If you come with me, you can find out more.”
“I can’t just leave my friends.”
“Yes, you can. You can always make new friends.”
I stopped walking and looked at my friends as they played the Daytona. Mike was showing Zoe how to drive, which was really cute. And then I looked at my uncle, waiting patiently outside the mouth of the arcade by a black town car. If I stayed, I would never know what my traits would be, and I would never learn how to use them. But I would be a normal teenager, going to school and hanging out at the arcade with her friends. If I went with my uncle, I would no longer be normal. I wanted both lives. But the idea of having amazing powers intrigued me most. In the end, I chose door number two. Looking back, I regretted leaving my friends. But I knew they would never understand. I knew deep down that I was made for a higher purpose.
“I don’t understand, Mum. Why are we here?” I asked as I stepped out of the cab. The sun was bright and glary so I had to take my Ray Bans off my head and put them on. I squinted at the towering structure before me. It was overwhelming.
“Because it’s safe, and because these people will be able to help you,” Mum told me, pulling our bags from the trunk of the vehicle. I scowled and began mumbling, hoping she wouldn’t hear me.
“But Lakyn can help me. I don’t understand why you brought me here.” Unfortunately, she caught it.
“Lakyn cannot help you. Come on, let’s go in.” Mum practically shoved my bag into my arms. Gosh, she was pushy today. Obviously, the break-up wasn’t treating her too well. We approached the building, which was mostly made of sandstone but every window and arch was coated in gold. Impressive. It looked like Heavenly gold.
“I thought these people were Human?” I asked out of curiosity, speaking aloud exactly what was on my mind.
“They are,” her eyes found what I was looking at, “but they do have a connection to our world. They have to.” She lifted a heavy looking gold doorknocker and tapped it three times. There was silence and about thirty seconds later the ornate wooden and iron doors lurched inwards and a man in robes appeared.
“Do you have an appointment?” the elderly priest asked. He was thin and his face told that he had seen a lot of the world.
“Yes, we do,” said my mother.
“And your names are?”
“I am Rachael and this is my daughter, Eden.”
“Ahh, yes. The Nephilim who are seeking refuge. We’ve been expecting you.” The priest pushed the doors open wide enough so we could enter.
I don’t know what I was expecting—a Cathedral, or maybe a mansion? But never this. It was light and airy. A crystal chandelier hung over the entry. The walls were all painted white and the floor was covered with glossy white tiles, reflecting the light of the chandelier causing everything to glimmer and glitter. Several silver mirrors were also placed strategically around the place to capture the light and give the illusion of space. A grand white staircase to the left of the doors carried you to the second level. The style was quite French but I felt I could get used to it. I had forgotten all about the priest who had let us in and it frightened me when he spoke again.
“Mother Superior will see you soon. For now, you will be shown to your rooms. This is Sister Cecilia, she will guide you.” I hadn’t noticed the young nun enter. She did so quite silently, and what shocked me most was not her lack of noise, but rather her youthfulness. She had to be around my age, if not a bit older.
“Hello, welcome.” She said, bowing slightly.
“Hi.” My mother and I said in unison. Mum shot me a look and decided to do the talking for me. I hated how she always did this. It was as if she thought I wasn’t good enough to speak and my words would embarrass her.
“This way,” said Sister Cecilia, grabbing all our bags (she was strong, I’ll give her that) and headed up the stairs.
“Mother Superior said that you were raised with the Michaelites when you were young, Rachael. Is that true?”
“Yes, it’s true. They took my brother and me in when we had no one. They were very kind to us.”
“Is that why you come to us now?” asked Cecilia as they reached the second floor.
“Yes, and because my daughter needs help.” My mother shot me a warning look, as if to say don’t speak. But I couldn’t help myself.
“I don’t need help. I’m fine, really. Anyway it’s not like this place is like any kind of rehab.” I said and waited for some offence to take place. But there was none. Instead, she just said this.
“Actually, The Michaelites offer help to all those who need it,” she paused and fixed her gaze on me before speaking again, did she know something? “Except demons and the Lucifites, that is.” I noticed Mum was tense but her shoulders seemed to relax a bit after hearing those words.
“That’s good.” We had stopped outside a door. Sister Cecilia pressed her palm up to the security pad and a blue light came on. She entered a sequence of digits and there was a two-toned beep before she twisted the doorknob and opened the door.
“These are the female sleeping quarters, while the male sleeping quarters are through that door over there.” I followed her pointed finger and looked at a door to the right of the one we were in front of now. This door was a complete mirror image of the one we were about to enter. I couldn’t help but wonder if there were any guys my age who were staying here, too. I made a mental note to investigate after lights out.
“Oh, and in case you were wondering, yes, it is against the rules to enter the sleeping quarters of the opposite sex.” My eyes must have gone wide because my mother placed a firm hand on my shoulder, turning my attention to her.
“Don’t even think about it.” She whispered harshly. I scowled and turned away. What she didn’t know won’t kill her. That was my motto. And I was sticking to my plan. I had to try to make my stay here somewhat exciting.
As soon as we entered the female sleeping quarters, I couldn’t wait to get out to explore. The walls were dull and painted a dull, plain white. There weren’t even any art pieces on them. I began to think the foyer was all a façade. The sister opened a door to the left and paused.
“This is your room, Rachael. Eden’s is down the hall further.”
“Thanks.” Mum stood in the doorway of her room and fixed me with a look of concern. I returned one to reassure her and followed Sister Cecilia down the hall.
“As soon as you get settled in your rooms, I will come get you. Mother Superior can see you in half an hour.”
“Great.” I said, giving her a small false smile. I hoped this Mother Superior wouldn’t be like all the ones I had seen in movies. We stopped when we reached the end of the corridor, which had veered to the right, and the sister opened the door.
“This is your room. I will come get you soon.” Cecilia started to walk back down the corridor when a question quickly came to my lips. I couldn’t help myself. I had to know.
“Are there any others my age here?” She smiled when she turned back around to face me again.
“Yes,” was all she said, and then she disappeared down the hallway. I didn’t get to ask if they were male or female.
I entered my room. It wasn’t large, but it was decent. I dumped my two bags on the bed. It creaked under the weight. Great, a creaky bed, I thought. That’s all I needed. But it didn’t matter tonight. I wouldn’t be doing much sleeping. Glancing around surreptitiously, I noticed there was a lot of greenery outside the window. I walked over to the window and I all I could do was gasp. There was an outstanding and amazing garden outside, with many trees, a few statues and water features—and a man. No, a guy. A
guy around my age. Maybe he was the one the sister had meant. He appeared to be raking leaves. I quickly turned and began rummaging through my bag for my makeup purse. If I were going to meet a guy, I had to look my best. I found my compact because there was no mirror in the room, and reapplied my mascara and lip gloss. Next, I checked my hair and flattened out stray bits of hair that had decided to fly away from my bangs. I now looked a little more presentable. I reached for my iPhone in my pocket, and a touch of panic set in as I remembered the priest had taken it along with my Mum’s phone. What was I going to do without my phone? It was a part of me, like another appendage. I suddenly began to dislike this place very much. I skulked towards the door and pulled it open, only to find Sister Cecilia standing on the other side.
“Sshi…vers, you scared me!” quickly correcting my almost curse.
“Sorry. Mother Superior will see you now. Hurry.” She ushered me impatiently down the hall so fast that I barely had time to close the door.
By the time I reached the office of Mother Superior, my mother and the head Nun were already talking. I only caught the end of the conversion.
“But do you think this will help her?” asked my mother.
“I think we can only try and pray for the best.”
“Try what?” I asked when I arrived.
“Young Eden. I am Sister Constance. Your mother and I have been having a good chat about your unique… ability.”
“Yeah?” I was scared of where this was heading. I slumped down in a chair next to my mother.
“We have decided that, due to the severity of your Trait, you will be put into training, effective immediately.”
I balked. “Training? What kind of training?”
Sister Constance simply smiled and placed her hands on the desk in front of her. “Why, to become a Nun of course.”
A nun? Was she serious? “You can’t be serious!”
“Eden.” My mother warned, but I ignored her. They couldn’t make me do this.
serious. This is for your own good. We can’t have you going around killing people.” Said the older Nun. The nerve of her! And my mother is in on it! She betrayed me!
I simply scoffed and crossed my arms. “Isn’t it a bit late for that?”
The Sister’s eyes widened. “What do you mean, child?”
“Never mind. I’m going to my room.”
“Training starts tomorrow morning. Dinner is at six. You will be fetched.” She said as I walked out the door and smiled to myself at the brilliance of my little white lie. I wouldn’t be in my room. I pushed all thoughts of training to the back of my mind as I set off to find the beautiful garden I had seen out my window. Hopefully, the cute guy would still be there.
I walked down the stairs to the ground floor in search of the door that led to the garden. How was anyone supposed to find anything around here? All the doors were the same. Feeling lost and about to give up, when thankfully I came across an elderly nun who was dusting.
“Excuse me?” I asked. She turned around slowly to face me.
“Yes, dear? Ahh, you must be the child who has come to stay with us.” She said.
“Uh… yes, I am.”
“What can I do for you?”
“I was wondering which way to the garden?”
“Through those doors there.” She pointed towards a set of frosted glass doors at the back of the room, which I had failed to see before.
“Thanks.” As I turned to skip towards the doors, I felt a firm grasp on my arm.
“Wait, you cannot go in there.” She warned. I spun back around to face her and to remove her hand from my wrist. The elderly nun gasped and began turning a horrifying shade of white then blue. I started to panic. Oh no.
It was happening again.
“Why can’t I go in there?” I asked. But she couldn’t answer me. It was too late. She had collapsed to the ground at my feet. She was dead. Crap. Crap. Crap! I cursed myself over and over, as I pondered what I should do. This was the second time this had happened. My second kill. I crouched down, studied the elderly woman’s lifeless grey face, and decided to leave her lying there. She looked like she simply had a heart attack anyway. I ran towards the glass doors and didn’t look back.