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Alba, 997 AD
There had been a light rain falling for weeks over the northwestern coast of Alba. The fog from the low-lying clouds hindered visibility, covering the cliffs in a mist that swirled with the gale-force winds. On the highest peak of the ridge, a lone figure, a weathered- faced old woman, stood looking out at the turbulent sea. Waves thunderously pounded the rocky shore far below. The stone beneath her feet was wet, slippery and covered with sea foam. Wrapped in a woolen tartan, the old woman scanned the horizon. It had been two days since her message had been sent. There should have been a reply by now. The safety of her young apprentice was at the center of the worry gnawing away at her. The disappearance of the young woman had not gone unnoticed. Even now, at the inn housing the only tavern in town, rumors were taking on a life of their own. There was no way she could calm the growing unease taking hold of the inhabitants. She herself was anxious about what was to come. Continue
Chapter 1 – Liam
The mournful hoot of an owl sounded from somewhere in the distance. Inside the darkened bedroom, all was still. Silence permeated the air. The ivory laced curtains, every now and then, fluttered, as a calm breeze wafted in from the half-open window. The curtain’s slight movement lengthened and then contracted the crescent moon’s attempt to illuminate the room. In the somber bedchamber, the dusty-rose painted walls, light oak furniture and frilly accessories were a stark contrast to the occupant of the room.
Liam would cringe if he found himself surrounded by such unmanly decor. The room was awash in pinks, lavenders and fuchsias. From the nightstand, the soft light given off by the Tiffany lamp barely reached him, as he lay unmoving on the bed. His six-foot frame, with its slack yet sinewy muscles concealed much of the frilliness under him on the double bed, but not all.
The fuchsia pillowcase under his head changed the color of his shoulder-length sandy blond hair making it appear pink under the dim light. Strands of his hair fanned out like a halo around his head. The effect gave his peaceful, relaxed face a somewhat pasty complexion. Pale, with weeks’ worth of stubble on his square jaw, Liam’s full lips were slightly parted, as he breathed steadily. The serenity of his features belied what was going on inside of him.
For his entire life, spanning centuries, Liam had lived under his brother’s shadow. Aidan was to be the savior of their people. His older brother had been raised and trained for that one purpose alone. Liam’s needs, his want of love and attention, were an afterthought to their mother, the queen of Eruva. Continue
Rhea, mother of all gods, defender of the earth, watched, listened and plotted. The serene, somewhat bored expression on her exquisitely ethereal face hid the calculated, surreptitious way with which she looked forward to outsmarting her husband. Cronus, as usual, gave no thought to anyone or anything but his own importance. He presided over the proceedings, lording his position, trying to undermine all she and her daughter, Meredith, were trying to accomplish. Meredith had been barred from attending the assembly.
In fact, Rhea had no idea where Cronus held her daughter. Cronus detained her somewhere, making sure she could not influence the other gods who were present. He would not dare mistreat my daughter! Rhea tried to brush aside her worry that he might harm Meredith in any way. She knew too much of his own indiscretions, and the multitude of offspring those had spawned. Harming one of her own children would lead to direct retaliation. Rhea was not above exacting her own pointed vengeance. Continue
Chapter One – Hide in Plain Sight
Twilight came and went. In its wake, the expanding blackness of night moved steadily across the island of Manhattan. Street lamps lit up, traffic eased and pedestrians scattered. October had brought cold, unseasonal weather, an early reminder that winter was on its way. Numbing cold was threatening the overnight hours.
Exiting one of the buildings, on an abandoned avenue in the Bowery District at ten that night, something’s shadow elongated across the sidewalk. Hidden beneath a hood, its owner could not be seen. The figure stopped just outside the door, scanning the neighborhood, and upon seeing the coast being clear hurried away. In its haste, making its way across the avenue, its misjudgment caused it to bump into a parked car, jarring it heavily. The car’s alarm went off, the blaring horn breaking the quiet, sounding deafening to the ears of the escaping figure. Without a backward glance, it sped away, putting as much distance as quickly as possible between itself and the complex it had just left.
High up, on the seventh floor of that same building, the inside of a corner apartment appeared inky black. Reflected on the pane of glass, the moon cast itself in muted shades. The floors above the apartment and below it emitted light from still-awake residents. None of the inhabitants on the seventh, however, seemed to be up at that hour. An eerie stillness hung over the inside of the apartment where the ongoing car alarm penetrated its silence. Continue
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Where Myths and the Supernatural Come Alive