The Sword and The Prophet (A Syren Novel) (5 page)

BOOK: The Sword and The Prophet (A Syren Novel)
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Sometimes she felt that death would be better than the constant misery she’d subjected the children to. She knew that there was little time to spare. It was only three weeks until the moon passed it’s sixth cycle of the twins fifteenth cycle of life. She pushed aside the debris that was laying on the floor against the east wall in the basement and stood in front of a low break in the wall. Florida homes did not have basements for a reason. The elevation was far too low. The basement was dank, dark, and reeked of the sea. It had been created solely for one purpose; to conceal her escape pod. The ultra sleek pod was in the hidden room behind the break in the wall. She started to cry as she pushed through the opening. Her heart was full of regret for the last fifteen cycles of her life, but she had no one to blame but herself.

The pod gleamed, and she sagged in relief as she came near. Pressing her palm on the top of the dome she stepped back as the top lifted. She caressed it, and closed it to wait until full darkness before leaving. She sat there next to the pod for the entire day.

When she was sure that it was full dark outside she climbed in and prayed that it would not take long for her to be off this world and back on her own.

The top of the dome slid closed. “Welcome, Princess Asrah. What is your destination?” The automated voice of her star guide was a welcome comfort.

“Home. Take me home to Amatia

Prime,” she gasped out.
“As you wish, your Highness,” came the
reply.
The craft shuddered as it came off the
ground and moved upward. Within the confines
of her pod she was as invisible as the pod itself.
Its design made it virtually impossible to detect.
As it rose through the house Asrah closed her
eyes. Tears seeped unchecked from under her
lashes as the pod easily tore through the roof.
When it cleared the trees it shot into the galaxy
at light speed. Asrah sobbed as she felt the
weight of her captivity coming to an end. She
knew that she would never be able to forget
what she’d done to Lily and Tyler, and she
hoped one day to petition for their forgiveness.

T
he sound of water woke me. It was different; abnormal. I’d always been woke up by

Mama turnin’ on my bedroom light and tellin’ me to hurry up in the mornin’. She’d given us precisely thirty minutes each mornin’ to shower and dress, make our beds, and clean up after anything that she’d messed up durin’ the night, or before we got up. I wasn’t used to this slow pace of bein’ woke up. My eyes drifted open, and I saw that it was still dark outside. I’d gone right to bed as soon as Tyler left my room the night before. I knew it couldn’t be more than three or four in the mornin’. I pushed the blankets back and shivered as my feet touched the cool wood floor. I was still dressed in the clothes I’d worn at dinner. I hadn’t wanted to put on anything different, fear keepin’ me ready and dressed just in case anything happened.

I put on socks and my sneakers, and slowly opened my bedroom door. I looked left and right in the hallway and didn’t see anything. I saw the stars outside the window at the end of the hallway, and I eased out into the emptiness of the hall and inched my way towards the staircase. I’d never been outside after dark, and the pull of the moon was somethin’ I’d always felt. Ever since I was little I’d wanted to go out at night, but Mama’d kept shutters closed tight over all the windows, so I never even got to really see the stars, except in my imagination.

I knew that Evelyne and Michael’s bedroom was on the second floor, and there were two more bedrooms on the other side of the staircase on this floor. There was another bedroom on the fourth floor, and the sun deck as well. I knew it probably wasn’t a good idea to be sneakin’ around this late at night, but I was wide awake, and needed to get out of the house. I wanted to feel the night around me. I needed to know what the night knew that Mama didn’t want me to know. I felt it callin’ to me tonight, and I just knew I needed to say hello.

I reached the staircase, and prayed that none a the steps would creek as I went up. In a house as old as this one was there was bound to be some loose floorboards somewhere. I put my weight on the first step and luckily the stair didn’t groan and protest as I stood all the way on it. I inched up the rest of the stairs until I made it to the fourth floor. With my heart thuddin’ hard in my chest I reached for the handle of the door to the sun deck. Steppin’ through I passed quickly under the roof, and directly out into the moonlight.

My skin sizzled under my sweatshirt, and I started to get warmer. I fell to my knees, my hair hangin’ ‘round my face as the full force of the moon hit me. I’d never felt this way my entire life. It felt like I’d just got hit by a truck. My hands were in front of me and I sucked in a deep breath as moonlight pierced through my soul. I felt the pure intensity of the power thread through me and I swayed. My body was weightless. I raised my hands up, and I reached for the moon. I wanted to curl around the sliver in the sky and hold it against me. I tilted my head back, and with my eyes closed I raised my hands higher, and tried to cry out but nothing came. I was drunk on the power of the moon. My heart ground out a frantic crescendo, and I pushed to my feet. I stood on my toes, and I pointed my fingers towards the sky. The lights around me dimmed, and I felt heat crawl into my fingertips. The heat laced its way through my hands, down my arms, over my shoulders, and into my chest. The immaculate pureness of the moon surrounded me, consumed me, and I spun around out of control. I smiled, thrilled, exhilarated as I flung my sweatshirt over my head. I lifted myself up. I seemed to float in mid air as the fire consumed me. I was changin’. I could feel myself swellin’ up like that balloon Tyler was talkin’ about earlier. I felt bigger. My hair was on fire as I watched it swirl around me. I could feel my face tightenin’ and I smiled. I opened my mouth and inhaled the scent of the night around me. I laughed. I felt my blood singing through my veins. This was why Mama didn’t want me to go outside. The night was full of power; full of magic. I felt different. I felt overwhelmed by the intensity of the feelings inside of me. I could feel my body changin’, and there was nothin’ I could do to stop it. I didn’t want to stop it. I fet more alive in that moment than I ever had in all the years I’d been alive. The lights went out completely, and I shattered. My breath left. I bowed backwards under the assault of the moon, and I finally collapsed back onto the deck. I was filled, whole, renewed, and changed. I felt tears seeping from my eyes, and a happiness flowed into my heart that I’d not experienced a day in my life. I had never felt this whole. I sobbed, no fear, no hurt, no pain, just the overwhelming feeling of finally being completely whole.

My ragged breath brought my
surroundings back into focus, and I heard the sound that had originally woken me from sleep. The sound of water called to me. I could smell the salty stench of the ocean, and realized that there was a fine dew on the boards that I was layin’ on. The slickness of it soaked through my jeans, and I quickly jumped to my feet. I felt heavy. I felt full of somethin’. I didn’t know what it was, but it was wakin’ up inside of me.

I looked around and saw my sweatshirt hangin’ off the top of a potted plant, and I walked over to get it. It wasn’t the best place for me to have tossed it, but in the moment I wouldn’t have cared if it had sailed over the side of the roof. Might a been hard to explain in the mornin’, but the power in me was all consumin’. I staggered some, still feelin’ drunk off the power of the moonlight. I flexed my hands, and it felt like beams of liquid heat stroked through them. I turned toward the water and looked up at the moon.
What do you want from me
I wondered.

“What are you doing up here, Lily?” I froze. Michael’s voice captured me. I had my back to the door and hadn’t heard him open it and walk out onto the deck. Icy tendrils of danger sprang up inside of me and raced into my heart, yet there was no fear.

“I just wanted to come up and see the moon. The sound of the water woke me up.” Instead of feelin’ fear, like I had at dinner, I felt a peace surround me. It was so unexpected that I trembled slightly. I turned towards him and saw his shadowed form underneath the roof coverin’ the back portion of the deck. His hands were in his pockets, and he was barefoot. He had on pajama pants, and a t-shirt that said I’m a Gamecock. I wondered what a Gamecock was.

“Don’t you think it’s kind of dangerous for you to be out here alone?” He was subtle, but I could hear the disapproval in his voice. He didn’t move, merely leaned up against one of the thick pillars supportin’ the roof. I looked at him, lazily holdin’ up the pillar with his shoulder, and I felt the power in me swell. I couldn’t look directly at him so I turned my face to the side, and looked at the door he’d come out of.

“Why would it be dangerous for me to be up here?” My voice felt thick, different. I wanted to know what his answer would be. Did he think I was some country idiot unable to stay away from the edge of a four story roof? I might a gotten out a control spinnin’ around earlier, but I didn’t think he’d seen me doin’ my crazy air ballet. I hadn’t felt in danger. It was infuriating to me that he’d stand there talkin’ to me like I was some type of moron.

“You never know when someone could get too close to the edge and fall.” Now that felt like a warning. His face was still shrouded in darkness, but as I glanced over at him his eyes seemed to glow with an intensity that left me breathless. “Why don’t you come back inside, and you can come back up here tomorrow when it’s light outside. I worry that since you’re unfamiliar with the deck you could step too close to the edge, or lean too far over and fall.”

“I’m not a child,” I whispered. “There’s a rail around the deck. It’s safe enough, but thank you for your concern. I’ll come right in.” That was as much arguin’ as I’d ever done in the last six years right there. I’d actually talked back to an adult, and he wasn’t raisin’ his hand to beat me down for not sayin’
yes sir
the moment he’d told me to do somethin’. I walked towards him, and he put his hand out for me to take. I slowed as I passed him by, and even though I didn’t want to touch him somethin’ told me to take his hand. I felt like I needed to. I reached over and grabbed his fingers, and he started back toward the door.

I felt it then. Blackness, pain, smoke, and fire. They consumed me and I coughed. I tore my hand from his and held both of my own up to my mouth and doubled over. I coughed hard. Michael came up to me and patted me on the back. I shrugged his hand off of me. I couldn’t stand it. It felt like the inside a me was rippin’ apart. I wanted to gouge his eyes out right then and there. I could actually feel myself leaning towards him to tear his neck apart when I struggled away from him.

“Please, I’ll be okay.” I rushed past him through the door. I grabbed onto the banister as I flew down the stairs back to the third floor. When I reached the landin’ I ran to Tyler’s room, and flung the door open, closin’ it hard behind me. I turned the lock. Tyler was there in an instant. His face was creased where he’d had it smashed up against the pillow, and his hair stood out in wild clumps of wheat on his head. I tried to walk over to his bed, but stopped short and fell to my knees. I put my hands on the floor, and tried to fight the blackness that overcame me, but I couldn’t. I felt myself falling. It felt like there was a bottomless blackness waiting to wrap its arms around me, and instead of feeling afraid, I embraced it back.

Legions of men stood before me. They were dressed in battle gear like I’d never seen before. Their bodies were fit, tall, and strong. There were too many for me to even count. I stood on the top of a high wall, my hair streamin’ wildly back behind me as I raised my hands to the moon. It was the darkest of night. I looked up and saw dual moons waxin’ through the sky and I let out a piercin’ scream. The soldiers yelled after I did, and raised their shields up. The metallic gleam of their ocean of shields gave me an immense sense of
satisfaction, and I howled again. We were surrounded on all sides by arid desert, and I could feel the powerful heat seepin’ into me, and givin’ me strength. I felt the sweat pourin’ down my back, and absorbed the emotions from the legion of soldiers arrayed in front of me. I could feel their fear, and I could taste their courage. I could feel their heartbeats as though they were a part of me. I could barely contain myself as I howled in the night, my voice not even soundin’ like my own. Who was I? Where was I? I felt a light breeze caressing my face, and I threw my head back and again uttered a battle cry fiercer than anything I’d ever heard in my life.

At once I was back in myself. I didn’t know where I’d gone, but I’d been somewhere. I’d never seen a place like that before; not in any of the books I’d read in the library.

“Oh my god, Lily! What’s going on?” Tyler’s concerned face floated above mine. I realized that I was flat on my back on the floor. My body was wound as tight as a bow, and I was clawing at the floor with my fingers. My breath hitched, and I struggled to sit up, but it felt like I was bound to the wood of the floor. I couldn’t move.

“God! Lily stop it!” He screamed at me. He picked me up in his arms, and I was weightless. I sagged against him as he pulled me to his chest.

“Where ever we shall run, where ever we shall go, in our heart we will always trust, that two is greater than one can be, in each other we shall believe,” Tyler repeated our prayer again, and again. I welcomed the words, and mumbled them from lips that felt bruised and stretched.

“You’ve gotta see this. Come on, you gotta stand up!” He helped me into the
bathroom, and I rested my forearms on the sink, and hung my head. I felt like I’d had the skin peeled back from my bones. I felt raw and exposed.

“Look in the mirror,” Tyler’s voice was commanding, brutal in its tone.
I looked up, and my mouth opened in horror. My skin was pale as cold glistenin’ milk. The scar my mother had given me when I was seven had vanished, and in its place was smooth perfect skin. My hair flowed away from my head in perfect waves; silky, blonde and silver, all the way to my waist. It sparkled as I stared at it. It looked as though thousands of tiny stars had landed in my hair and attached like diamonds. The strands moved on their own; as if they were alive. The eyes that stared back at me weren’t my own either. They were black as night, fillin’ my whole eye. As I watched in horror the black slowly faded, and my pale blue eyes were starin’ at me once again. My jaw hurt. I opened my mouth and saw twin incisors slowly pullin’ back into my gums. Fangs. Like a vampire. I looked at Tyler in the mirror, and I smiled. I didn’t want to eat my brother so I couldn’t be a vampire. I didn’t think that’s what I was. I thirsted, but it was for vengeance; not for blood.
I wondered why Michael hadn’t said anything.

BOOK: The Sword and The Prophet (A Syren Novel)
11.26Mb size Format: txt, pdf, ePub
ads

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