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Liora

Snippet of Book 2: Missing Her Homeland

The book rested heavily on her lap while she flipped the pages revealing the pictures drawn by the talented hands of her people. Caldor had come by her room in the morning with a trolley full of books. The old sage had heard about the strongly worded discussion she had had with the Steward the day prior. Caldor hadn’t asked her about it and she was happy he didn’t try to fix it with one of his antidotal sayings or matter-of-fact statements.

Caldor had done what Caldor usually did in situations that were beyond his emotional comprehension. He found books that related to the subject and gave them to her to study. He assumed with the comparisons she had made to her people that she was missing Morza, and as a result he had collected every Morzi text he could find.

His method of trying to mend her melancholy appeared to be working. Having the chance to read through the collection of Morzi texts, Liora couldn’t help but feel the connection she had been missing. These books helped her remember her time in the mountains. She missed the mountain city, and the people there. She missed their common language and traditions.

If Morza had survived the massacre they would have been preparing the gardens and shrine. The hunters would be setting their traps, Naygu would have made a list on the herbs she needed restocked, and Rebin – the Warden – would have been preparing for the assigning of the new dragons.

Liora missed those parts of her life, and the simplicity of her people’s lifestyle. She missed the music, the food, and closeness.

The Dermite were different. They were one people but lived separately. Families were small units like Foe, Marcia, and Druce. Family wasn’t the whole community. Everyone had separate jobs or roles here. In Morza everyone shared the tasks to make things run smoothly no matter who they were.

Liora’s Second Gift: Part 2

If you haven’t read PART ONE click HERE

“Come on, Li,” Cáel called disappearing around the corner of the stables. Hoping the girl wasn’t too far behind him.

The wind tussled her hair, as the cool grass of the garden sent chills up her legs. She could hear her heart pounding in her chest, while she watched the boy walk around the corner of the stables. What was the reason he wanted to bring her to the stables?

Walking up the steps, Liora slowly moved around the corner to see the boy standing with his arms crossed before one of the middle stalls. Cautiously she moved to stand beside the boy, as he wore a large grin on his face.

The stall was empty from what she could tell, although there was plenty of hay covering the bottom. The water trough had been filled and there was a smaller trough set up for food.

“Cáel,” Liora didn’t know what the boy was so happy about, “thank you for the… stall?”

“What?” he turned hearing the uncertainty in her voice. “No, I didn’ get yah a stall. Well… I did but there’s somethin’ in there too.”

“Right…” Liora looked over the hay but still didn’t see anything. There was no movement, no noise, nothing. “Unless you got me the very elusive and rare imaginary gryphon… I’m not seeing what you apparently are.”

“Believe me I tried to find an imaginary gryphon, but I settled for a real one instead,” Cáel stepped towards the stall, leaning over the gate.

“Wait, what? When? How?” Liora shook her head, before hurrying to look over the stall. “You hate gryphons and I can’t own one… unless your father has allowed it.”

“We’d have better luck defeatin’ Sydrin than doin’ that,” Cáel  jested.

“Fine, so it wasn’t your father, meaning you got the gryphon. Why? How?” Liora asked.

“Me da’ suggested I’d have better luck learnin’ to enjoy ridin’ if I got my own beast, so he asked Foe before yar name day to take me to the nests. Since yah were upset about not goin’ to the nests, Foe and I agreed to wait a bit. After a week we ran into the issue of their breedin’ time, and so we had to wait a couple more. This mornin’ Foe took me to the nest, and this afternoon I brought it home. Foe says it’ll be able to ride by summer’s end.”

Cáel climbed over the gate and jumped into the hay before he started kicking it with his feet. Liora cringed, as she crawled over the gate and gently lowered herself on the other side.

“Stop kicking, you might hit him,” Liora ordered, watching Cáel stop mid-kick, “or is it a her?”

“A him,” Cáel said.

“And does this him have a name?” Liora knelt to the ground. The hay smelt fresh while it crinkled under her hands. It picked through her dress, as she continued to feel for the little beast.

“Nah,” Cáel shrugged, slowly moving the hay around with his foot, “I didn’ think I’d need to name him.”

“He can’t just be called him or it for the rest of his life, Cáel,” Liora retorted, sitting up for a moment to look at the boy who was looking down at his feet. “He needs a name.”

The boy shrugged. Liora sighed.

Her friend could learn so much if he only applied himself, but his laziness got in the way of him completing any of his goals. All he cared about was his lute, but that wasn’t going to help him run a country or win a war. Even getting a gryphon – a living creature – appeared to not push him to apply himself.

Liora patted the hay harder feeling a warm lump close to the back left corner. She dusted away the hay, uncovering the small lump of downy white feathers. As she removed more of the little creature’s coverings she noticed the white and grey speckled feathers along his side where his wings were, and a set of large red eyes.

The youngling growled, but she paid no mind as she tucked her hands under his belly pulling him onto her lap. He was soft like dandelion fluff, while she picked the hay out of his frizzy mane. His hind legs were mainly white while grey spots were all the way to the end of the creature’s thin cat like tale.

“He’s a snow tail!” Liora giggled, hearing the creature coo as she rubbed behind his ears. His face was like a snow owl while his body resembled that of a leopard. Snow tails were known to live in cold climates and loved flying in higher elevation. The little guy would love living in Derlin since the capital had both requirements. “He’s big for a babe.”

“Yeah, that’s what Foe said,” Cáel leaned against the dividing wall of the stall.

“How about Blizzard?” Liora suggested; hung up on the fact the little guy didn’t have a name yet.

“That’s a silly name. He deserves better. Somethin’ powerful… somethin’ with meanin’,” Cáel  stated.

“Har – the Dermite that flew over the mountains. Then there’s Evrin. He was a Morzi explorer that climbed to the highest peaks of the western mountains. We called him the snow master because he was said to have the power of predicting the downfalls,” Liora explained.

“I like Evrin,” Cáel smirked, watching how quickly the little creature had fallen asleep in the girl’s lap. “He likes yah.”

“I’m warm, that’s all,” Liora ran her fingers through the soft downy feathers of the creature’s back while Evrin purred. “End of summer and he’ll be able to ride?”

“Yeah, Foe said that.”

Dragons took a year to be a suitable size to ride. Of course they were smaller and spent the first three years with their parents in the crevasses of the mountain. Gryphons were different since they grew faster and gained independence from their parents before they were a year. That’s what made gryphons easier beasts to use and train.

“You should be doing this – not me. You need him to bond to you,” Liora picked Evrin up off her lap. The little ball of white fluff growled, not making her fear him what-so-ever.

“Na, I was thinkin’ he could be ours. Yah ride him and I ride him,” Cáel beamed with his idea. That had been why he had wanted to surprise her. He wouldn’t be able to handle the beast all by himself and the girl had wanted her own bird-lion. This was the best option for the both of them.

“Yes but that’s not how it works. From what I’ve read a gryphon should only bond to one person… it’s a lifelong relationship,” Liora stated, moving the little beast back to her lap as it kneaded her dress with its paws.

“Well I don’ care what the books know, ‘cause I know this. That lil beast likes yoou and me. So let him bond to the both of us. That way yah can ride him when yah want… which honestly will probably be a heck of a lot more than I ever will,” Cáel spouted, crossing his arms.

“But girls aren’t supposed to ride gryphons alone. The rules say –“

“The rules are dumb. Do yah know there is a rule that yah can’t eat cheese at sunset because it was believed to attract fleas?” Cáel spat, lifting his arms. “There are so many rules in that book that aren’t bein’ followed anymore and I choose not to follow ones that doesn’ have real good reason behind it. Evrin’s ours and that’s that.”

Liora liked the sound of that. Foe hadn’t been so open-minded, and she knew Charn would sooner chop her up into carrion than bend a rule for her. It was nice that Cáel was different.

“So, it’s settled. I name yah Evrin,” Cáel pointed to the creature, as the little beast opened his beak to give a big yawn before setting his head back down onto the girl’s lap.

The boy waded through the hay and slid down the wall to sit beside Liora. He patted the little beast on the head before leaning his head back and closing his eyes. His ginger curls fell over his eyes, while his usual crooked goofy smile was plastered across his face. The boy hadn’t needed to be so nice as to share his gryphon. She would have been upset, sure, but that wouldn’t have ruined their friendship. She had understood the rules, but thanks to Cáel she wasn’t so afraid of breaking them.

Maybe change wouldn’t happen immediately but in time, Derm would change for the better.

 

Liora’s Second Gift: Part 1

Brief introduction:

This is a piece from book two.

Liora didn’t have such a good birthday. With a sudden panic attack brought on by the party Foe had thrown for her, the poor girl spent most of the evening lock in her room. Cáel had planned on giving her two gifts for her birthday, but unfortunately one of the gifts had to wait until a later date.

Now, a couple of weeks have passed and Cáel finally has the chance to give the girl the second gift he had been patiently waiting to give her. So, here we go.

>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>

The sound of shattering glass tore him out of his thoughts.

“Oh Gods damn it,” she spat. Her fingers quickly tucked the white strand behind her ear as she knelt before the broken vile on the floor. The black liquid seeped between the stone before Liora began dabbing it with the bottom of her apron.

Cáel hurried to assist her. He didn’t need her cutting her hands on the glass. That wouldn’t have been the best lead up to giving her the second gift.

“Cáel?” Liora looked up at him, surprise in her voice. He reached for the glass. “Don’t!”

“Why not? I don’ want yah cuttin’ yarself,” he muttered lifting his hands.

“Never touch something you don’t know,” Liora stated. Removing her apron, she placed it over the glass. “I’ll ask Caldor the best way to clean that later.”

“What is it?” Cáel heard the girl sigh.

Her hands rested on her lap. Her fingernails stained dark purple from the plants she had been working with. A smudge of the same purple was on her cheek.

“I was trying to make my nana’s sleeping bitter. It helps people suffering from insomnia,” Liora explained, standing up to close her grandmother’s almanac. “It’s supposed to help suppress bad dreams.”

“Ya’re still havin’ that dream?” Cáel had no idea. His friend hadn’t spoken about it since she had first experienced it the night of her name day. “Do yah think it’s a vision? Like one of those seein’ thin’s yah get.”

“No…I mean…I don’t think so,” Liora stuttered, “normally I have a trigger like holding someone’s hand or touching an item that belongs to them. I’ve even begun to get less random flash images and can control what I want to see. I don’t believe this is a vision… at least it’s no vision I’ve ever had before.”

Cáel scratched the back of his head. He wanted to help her, but he honestly knew nothing when it came to what was going on with her gifts. He knew what she told him about it. That’s what he had always been there to do; to listen to her and maybe help her figure it out.

“Maybe…” Cáel didn’t want what he was going to say to cause problems.

“Maybe?” Liora pushed. “Cáel, be honest, tell me.”

The corner of his mouth twitched at hearing those words.

“Maybe yar powers are growing… changing?” Cáel suggested. “I mean, sure ya’re a seer but what if as yah grow yar powers do to. Like when yah first woke up in Morza yah had images and then yah could read people’s memories… then the healin’ thin’s happened. What if dreams are a new part of it? A new level to yar gifts?”

The girl looked at him for a moment before looking down at her fingers. She picked at the purple on her skin, while she stayed silent. Maybe he shouldn’t have said anything after all. Liora looked so defeated by hearing what he had said. She had told him how much she wanted to be normal. She had shared with him how she didn’t like the attention her powers brought. All Cáel could do was try an empathies, but he couldn’t imagine what the girl was feeling.

“I…” Cáel took a deep breath, “I know this is bad timin’, but I came down here because I wanted to give yah yar second gift.”

“What?” her head shot up and her brow winced. “You already got me my dagger weeks ago. I don’t need a second name day gift.”

“All ‘ight then…” Cáel rubbed his neck, “how about a make yar day better gift? I can’t take it back and I’ve been waitin’ weeks to give it to yah… and I really thought ya’d use it… and yah know I poured my heart and soul into–”

“All right I get it,” Liora cut him off, “quit guilting me.”

“Awe but I wasn’ done explainin’ how I had to climb mountains and fight trolls,” the girl giggled, covering her mouth with the back of her hand before looking away. A smile grew across his lips when he saw hers begin to appear.

“Give me the gift then,” the girl chimed, putting out her hand.

“Actually… I want to give yah the gift somewhere nicer than here,” Cáel muttered, “follow me?”

He headed for the door, taking a deep breath to keep himself calm. The girl hurried to keep up with him as they made their way towards the garden.

Continuing to walk towards the stables, he watched the girl stop to look at him. Her head tilted to the side.

To be continued in PART TWO found HERE!

Snippet from Book 2: Emery and the Keepers

book2snip.jpg

WARNING: Before reading this I would like to let you know that this has not gone through the editing process. This may change when going through the final review of the book before publishing. May edit this later when I’ve gotten some sleep. With that said, I really like this part of the book and I hope you will enjoy it.  🙂

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Walking down the uneven wooden steps leading down to the rocky shore, Liora made her way to the rushing white water. The current was strong. No doubt it was powerful enough to wash away a tree yet alone a person with no issues.

It was hard to keep her balance on the uneven ground but after getting her footing flat atop two rocks she crossed her arms, taking a breath to admire the view. The dam was no longer in one piece. The center of the large wall had collapsed. A pile of uneven pieces were along upper level of the shoreline. There were no fishermen on the plateaus. The only people that seemed to be part of the village were those behind her carrying on their days.

“You!”

Liora spun around to see the white haired girl two paces away. Her lavender eyes were wide, her jaw a jar.

“Me?” Liora was unsure why the girl sounded so shocked.

“You can’t be here… you can’t be real… you – you’re a dream,” the girl stuttered.

“I assure you I’m as real as you are… although I should be the one surprised since I saw you in my dream,” Liora stated, noticing the girl’s light brow wince. “Then again… I’m starting to get used to strange things in my dreams… since I’m a seer.”

“Seer?” the girl’s face scrunched at the word.

“A northern word for – you know what never mind… I’m here to help you,” Liora waved her hand before taking a step towards the girl who took a step back.

“Help me? I don’t even know who you are,” she snipped, looking around again, “you shouldn’t even be here… yo…you need to leave. Now.”

“Hey, I just got here. I’m here ’cause you asked me for help,” Liora stated. The girl shook her head.

“Again, I don’t know what you’re talking about. I didn’t ask for help. I don’t know who you are. You have to leave now before they find out you’re here!” the girl hurried towards Liora, turning her around before pushing on her back towards the other set of stairs leading to the bridge which led back to the forest.

“No, wait!” Liora resisted.

“No time!”

“Yes, time,” Liora spun to the side, watching the girl stumble forward catching herself as she gave Liora a glare. “What’s your name? Who are they? Why is there no time?”

“Do you always ask questions at inconvenient moments or are you being difficult because you just don’t like taking orders?” the white haired girl snipped, crossing her arms.

“That’s not answering my questions,” Liora glared.

They stood there for a moment in silence. The strange girl was taller than Liora had first expected her to be. Almost half a head taller than she was.

“Emery,” she sighed, looking to the side, “my name’s Emery.”

“See, now was that really that hard?” Liora asked, giving a smirk. “I’m Liora – but people call me Li.”

“Well, Liora, as much as I’d love to discuss in full and complete detail as to why you’ve decided to come here, you need to le–“

There came a rumbling of thunder as Liora turned in the direction of the dam. The dam was gone the water was low, there was no risk of the flood she had dreamed of. The sky was clear and there didn’t look to be a storm rolling over the mountains.

“Damn it…” Emery leapt, grabbing Liora’s hand. “They know you’re here– if they find you.”

“They’ll kill me?” Liora asked, watching the girl peer back.

“If you’re lucky!” Emery pulled Liora up the steps back towards the bridge leading into the city from the forest.

Halfway up, Emery halted, moving down one step at spotting who stood above them. There were two figures dressed in robes. They had been the people from her dream.

There was a woman on the left whose blonde hair escape the hood of her robe. Her eyes were shadowed but there was a smile on her lips that made Liora’s skin crawl. Beside the woman was a man, who chose not to hide his face from them. His brown eyes and messy hair reminded her of Pellar – though this man was better dress sharing a similar unnerving smile.

“Em, always trying to be the hero,” the woman said, while wagging her finger. Her black eyes were dark night as they peered down from the steps above.

“Pointless, pointless,” the man gave a full toothed grin.

Emery let go of Liora’s hand before glancing back. There was something in her lavender eyes that made Liora’s stomach flip.

“Run!” Emery shouted, charging the two adults before them as Liora tore passed.

The figures toppled to the ground as Emery lay on top of them, keeping them pinned. Liora took the steps two by two and when at the top she looked back down.

Emery was gone. The two figures were starting to stand as Liora bolted for the bridge. Liora wanted to turn back and question them but she couldn’t stop herself from running. Emery had wanted her to run and that’s what she was going to do.

Just as she reached the other side of the bridge her body shook as she toppled backwards onto her back. What had she hit?

There was no wall. There was nothing before her.

Standing, Liora put out her hand as she watched the air ripple like water before her. There was something there but she didn’t know what it was. It was like the air had turned solid… but that wasn’t possible. Such a phenomenon couldn’t exist. Unless…

“We won’t let you leave girl,” the man hissed.

Liora clenched her fists before turning to face the two standing, now in the middle of the bridge. She couldn’t run passed them. There was no other way around them either.

“Where’s Emery‽” Liora growled, taking a step towards them. “Where is she‽”

“Safe, I assure you,” the woman muttered, lifting a hand.

“And me… what are you going to do to me?” Liora’s voice wavered, as she forced down the tears welling up in the corner of her eyes. Her nails dug into her palms distracting her from the fear and worry that bombarded her mind.

“Such a tone – you’re going to be our guest. It’s been a while since we’ve had one. We’ve wanted some entertainment for a while now,” the woman licked her teeth like a snake tasting the air.

Entertainment? Liora’s stomach churned at the sweetness in the woman’s voice. The way she had said it made Liora’s skin crawl and hair stand on end.

“I’ll leave. You don’t have to do anything,” Liora bartered.

The two strangers laughed.

“Nonsense, you’re one of us now,” they looked at each other, smiling ear to ear, “you will never leave.”

Liora turned back to the translucent wall, hitting her hands against it in hopes it would break open. Upon her second hit she heard a snapping of fingers from behind as the world faded to black.

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