I'm writing again...this time it isn't about wolves. Although I have been working on a sequel to I AM WOLF. I can't share that though because it will give too much away about the novel and I don't want to do that. So...here is a fantasy I'm working on. Along with an off the wall romance that will follow.
Chaos and the Beltane
When the time of Beltane plays
At midnight hour it is the power
Unto a ritual it is for told.
Seek hallowed ground
From dirt that’s old.
To hide from sins and thoughts that dwell
Let all the ghosts sleep from this spell.
Now the Seeker can not glean
All the trouble that follows thee.
There is magic in the air tonight.
A wave of song and mystic light.
The Seekers Prayer
“Strawberries, I want strawberries,” she said. Her big blue eyes were so innocent to all the ways magic could harm. In her little hands, with her small excited voice, Isabelle could do no wrong, and Nicolai couldn‘t help but grant her small desire. He placed a rose in her hand.
“Cover it with the other hand and close your eyes,” he said to her.
She smiled with joy when a warm sensation flooded her hands. The curiosity was almost too much to bare and so she squeezed her eyes as tight as she could.
Nicolai gave her a quick peck on the cheek, “You can open them now,” he said.
With wondrous surprise, she opened her eyes to see the most beautiful red strawberry she had ever seen in her life. She raised it to her nose and inhaled the sweet scent, then took a bite from it. “It’s real,” she exclaimed.
“Of course it is. What did you think it would be, a rock of some sort?” He laughed.
She looked at him with a glittering light in her eyes. “Are you going to the Seeker today?”
“I don’t know. I haven’t decided. Why would I want to know what I’m going to do in the future if I don’t know what I’m going to do today?” He asked.
“When my coming of age is here, I can’t wait to see what the Seeker says,” she smiled. She picked up a handful of grass and tossed it on her brother’s head then raced off to the house.
The hanging fire was lit for the two of them and a note sat on the table. “Off to the market. Fresh bread in the cupboard. Mind your brother.” Ma.
Though it was unusual for a woman and a peasant at that to be able to read and write, their mother was taken in by an old woman a long time ago who wanted a maid but couldn’t pay in coins. Instead, she gave their mother a gift that lasted for generations. It was the gift of knowledge. What more could a curious young woman want when she had no husband nor any thoughts of children? Knowledge, she knew that would take her places. She accepted the offer and stayed with the old woman long after her contract was up, because of this, when she passed, the old woman left their mother with a dowry fit for any noble woman. There was only one small request, her children had to be taught the old ways. So it was written and so it was done. Little did she know then, that her children would be blessed with innate gifts. Some how she knew, the old woman must have known.
Nicolai watched his sister’s eyes light up with glee. “We can go to the Seeker tonight,” she said.
“I already told you. I don’t know if I want to know,” he said.
“Please, there isn’t anything else to do. Besides, I want to see if any of my friends are there. Most of them have already reached the age and you, you’re way past it. I want to know,” she said.
Nicolai contemplated while he watched his sister plea. She was right, he was two years past the age of knowing and still hadn’t stood in the line. “I don’t want to hear a single word about it if it turns out that I’m nothing more than I am right now. Got it?”
She jumped up and down for joy. “Yes!” she said.
She packed a small bag of food to take with them in case they got hungry. A little bread and cheese and even a little of the smoked pork. She carried the small bag around her waist and raced towards the door, then stopped. “Wait. We need the fee. You can’t see a Seeker without the fee,” she said.
She’s just like mother, she doesn’t miss anything. I’m not going to get out of it this time. he thought.
Nicolai could tell it was just late afternoon because the sun was sitting just to the west. He knew they wouldn’t reach town for another hour and still that gave too much time to stand in that awful line. It wasn’t so much the line itself that bothered him, it was the way the Seekers looked. Seekers were born of the Crystal Vale. They didn’t look like they were from here. They all had ivory white skin and pointed ears. Their eyes looked like a cats and their fingers looked longer than normal. They either had silver hair or black hair, nothing else. Nicolai didn’t know much more than that, their robes hid everything else there was to hide. He did hear they all had some sort of weird tail, but so far, that was just a rumor. As rumors went though, that one made him the most leery to enter the line. The Vale had what most called innate magic, where as most Walkers, as the Vale called humans, weren’t born with innate magic. Nicolai and Isabelle were special. Neither of them knew their father and still, it didn’t seem to matter. They were Walkers, that meant they may have been poor, but they were still a leg up on the Vale.
Some how though, none of that bothered Nicolai, it was the tail that bothered him the most.
The two of them could already hear the sounds of the market even before they crossed over the hill. Flutist played while a juggler juggled fire. All the market was alive with people trying to get their wares noticed. All accept their mothers booth. Hers was always busy. Men and women came from all around to get some of her soaps and pretty fragrances. They were legendary across the Four Corners. Nicolai watched his mother carry herself with more grace and elegance then some of what you would call the upper class. Her smile was radiant and her curly hair was put in a lose bun. A light wisp of her hair had fallen out from the soft breeze.
Nicolai watched his sister race up to her and jump into their mother’s arms. He laughed in spite of wanting to yell at her for interfering with their mother’s business. He waved when Isabelle pointed him out. He could tell she was telling their mother about him going to see the Seeker after all this time. Their mother smiled at him and waved him over.
‘Here we go.’ He thought.
Nicolai walked over to his mother’s booth and smiled at her. He couldn’t help but notice when she looked to see how short the line was for the Seeker.
She’s going to make me go this time. I just know it. The time of the Beltane is rising and now I have no choice but to face it.
Hesitant of standing in the line, his mother excused herself and walked over to her son. “What’s the problem. It’s long overdue. Come on, you have the fee. No more excuses. Go see what life is going to give you,” she said.
As much as it pained Nicolai to admit, he was a little curious about what he should and would be doing with his life. He knew he was going to miss the everyday surprise life had to offer. The closer he got to the line, the more his stomach weaved into knots. He couldn’t see the Vale because of the curtain door, but he knew without a doubt the Seeker was there. When he stepped closer to the front of the line, he realized why he was afraid.
He was afraid of what the Vale would think of him being an innate Walker. Those are rare indeed and he and his sister were both innate, born with powers they didn’t understand and even worse, couldn’t always control. Such a thing could be used for the wrong reasons. Even Isabelle was old enough to understand that.
“Who is next?” the voice called snapping Nicolai out of his thoughts.
He walked into the curtain and sat down at the table. The Seeker came forward and looked him in the eyes. She was the most beautiful creature he had ever seen. All the rumors of tails and what not, were nothing more than that. Her deep marble blue cat eyes had a since of wander and wisdom. She stood about a foot smaller then Nicolai and had a soft sweet voice. Nicolai felt enamored by her and couldn’t help but do what she said. He was sure if she would have said go rob the booth next to him, he would have.
There was glowing soft light from the hole in the center of the table. Hanging fire glittered along the walls of the tent without catching it on fire. The magic that was in the air made him feel even more powerful inside.
“You’re innate,” she spoke.
Nicolai held his breath. “I am,” he said.
“An innate Walker. That’s a rare find. Guard your power well,” she said.
The Seeker closed her eyes and took his hands. She brought them over the hole in the center of the table. Sure he was going to be burned, Nicolai was surprised by the cool sensation that came from the hole in the table.
“What is that?” He asked.
“That is nothing more than a crystal taken from the Chaos past the wall where all Vale are born,” she said.
“Chaos, is that why you look different. Because you were born so close to the Chaos?” He asked.
“It is. You are a curious boy who catches on quick. That is going to come in handy in the days to come. Your sister is also an innate Walker. Be careful of the Priory. He is looking for the two of you,” she warned. “That is why the old woman was sent all those years ago. She was sent to teach your mother so that she could teach you. Take all that you know and keep your wits.”
Her face squirmed a little and her eyes filled with pain. Nicolai didn’t know what she was talking about but could tell there was something she wasn’t saying. “What is it?” He asked.
“There is going to be a death. Someone close to you. I can’t see more. You can stop this though. That’s all I see,” she said.
Nicolai’s heart dropped. He couldn’t understand who would want to kill anyone he knew. He was a poor kid from a poor home.
The light from the day passed, taking with it all the bold beautiful colors. Nicolai was thankful for that. At least the worry on his face would be hidden from all the Seeker said. The tower of the Beltane rang in the distance, letting everyone know it was time to pack it in for the day. They all gathered around the bonfire and danced and sang, sharing food and wine from the days trade. Music played in the air and a few of the people headed for the Goddess’s Tower to ask for protection from the coming of the between. The time when all the long dead spirits of those who you have wronged can come back and take what they deem is theirs.
Nicolai sat and watched his mother dance with his sister. To him, they were the only two people who mattered in the whole world.
A young woman about his age sat next to him. She had on a long purple dress with silver bead work that glittered in all the right places. Her long wavy curly red hair and fair skin made her look like something from a story. He looked at her, just a glance was all it took. She was beauty beyond compare.
“My name is Nicolai,” he said.
“I’m Jocelyn,” she said.
The thoughts of the day were gone along with the warning from the Seeker. All he could see before him was the fair lady, Jocelyn. She smiled at him and he blushed a little.
“I have been sent here to find you,” she said.