TBAM – Prologue: A

So, I’m finally posting the novel that gave this blog its name. I’m (doing a lot of) editing as I go. I’m thinking of updating this every Friday. Might increase the frequency when exams are over.

“Are you a vampire?” The question had been burning in Levi’s mind for the past half hour, since he’d seen a man fall from a four storey building, land face-down with a sickening thump, and jump to his feet as if nothing had happened. He glanced at the porcelain coloured face of the woman who had dragged him into this grubby café after he had witnessed that incident, not daring to inspect it too closely. He did not want or need any further confirmation that there was something very unnatural about this lady.

“I think someone has been reading too many Twilight novels,” she said, smirking. “I’m not a vampire, no.”

“And the guys you were chasing? The ones who fell from the roof? They weren’t vampires either?”
“No.”

“Who were they?”

“Just bad guys. You really don’t need to know the details. You won’t remember them, anyway.”

Daring to steal another glimpse of her face, Levi saw that she looked severely bored. He did not know whether that was good or bad.

“I don’t think I’m going to forget anything that you tell me, not after… what I’ve seen.” Levi paused in the sentence after realising that it might be a dangerous thing to say. Amusement seemed to play around the corners of her mouth.

“I didn’t say you were going to forget.”

The waitress came within earshot and Levi fumbled for the drinks menu, which stuck to his fingers as he picked it up. Staring hard at the printed letters, Levi tried to grab at some of the questions that were dancing around his brain. Which one would she be most likely to answer? He couldn’t trust himself to look at the teenage girl who had come to ask for their order. She gave a small cough to break the nervous silence which had settled over their table.

“Two black coffees, please,” Levi heard his companion say. He never drank coffee at this time, but he wasn’t about to disagree with her.

He guessed that it was between six and seven at night, but it felt later than that. Levi looked out of the grotty windows at the dark street outside and saw the orange glow of the street lamp illuminating the litter on the pavement. Inside the café, there was only one other customer, a woman with thick make up and peroxide blonde hair. She had been too absorbed by her phone to even notice them come in.

When the coffee arrived in grimy mugs, Levi ignored his and stared at the graffiti on their greasy table. Keats covered it with her elbow.

“What was I saying before?” She paused. “Ah, yes. I’m going to erase your memories. Tomorrow morning you’re going to wake up like this never happened.” She smiled as if this was something Levi had been waiting for.

“What if I don’t want my memories erased?” Levi eventually replied. Her expression changed to one of pity.

“Okay. So if I don’t erase your memories, you’d be perfectly okay with living the rest of your life knowing that people like me exist, that stuff like the things you just saw can happen, and you’d be fine with that? No. You’d go insane. Trust me on this one.”

Levi didn’t really know how to respond to that.

Taking Back The Crown – Part Sixteen

“Do you think she’s any closer to waking up? It’s been weeks.” Sonya heard Orika’s voice, but couldn’t open her eyes. Her body seemed to be made of pain. She paid for every breath with agony.

 “She sustained serious internal injuries, especially on her brain. Even if she wakes up soon, it will be months before she fully recovers without a properly trained healer.” Linden replied. “We need to go. It’s time for another patrol.”

 After both Linden and Orika had left the room, Sonya finally managed to lift her eyelids. When she’d almost gotten used to her aching limbs, she pulled herself out of the bed she was in. Once stood, she felt heavy but delicate. Most of all she felt defeated, and she could think of only one place to go, of one person that she wanted to be with.

 Using energy she didn’t know she had, she warped to the Natetic training ground. She ended up in the upstairs corridor and stumbling towards Seta’s room. It was empty, so she went inside and ended up sitting on the floor, her back against the wall. She didn’t have to wait long. She heard voices outside in the corridor.

 “Elder, I don’t understand why you want to see my room, there’s nothing in-“ Seta’s voice suddenly stopped as they opened the door and saw her. Sonya had never seen an elder before. “Who are you?” he abruptly asked. Her heart sank. How could he not recognize her?

 “Seta, you must leave us alone while I talk to her.” the elder said. Seta reluctantly obeyed.  The elder watched him leave then turned back to Sonya. “I know who you are. I know why you’re here. We are not interested in your wars or agendas. We won’t tolerate you coming here ever again.” He turned on his heel and left.

Summoning all of her remaining strength and swallowing back tears, she warped back to the camp.

Taking Back The Crown – Part Thirteen

If I’m completely honest, writing this part made me a tiny bit emotional. Also, I may not get around to posting tomorrow as I’ll be out all day.

 

 “Who is he?” Seta asked. He was sitting on the floor in her room. He’d clearly been there for quite some time. Sonya had warped in fifteen seconds ago, and now stood in front of him, unable to move or answer. To let him think that she had been visiting a boy was unbearable, but if he knew the truth…

 “If you won’t tell me where you’ve been, then I have to assume the worst, Sonya.” Seta’s lips were turned down firmly at the edges. It was clear he found the whole situation unpleasant. “Sneaking out at night, the way you’ve been distracted… I suspected what was going on, but I really didn’t want to think it was true. Give me any explanation…” He was almost pleading.

  Sonya couldn’t even look at him. The shame burned her chest and eyes.

 “I know the rules are strict but, in the end it’s your choice to stay here… You’ve really disappointed me. I can’t ignore this deceit. I have to tell the Elders.” He walked out of the room, leaving her drowning in the sense of her own disgrace.

While he was gone, Sonya made up her mind. She quickly searched through her room for things she wanted to take with her, but realized she never really kept any personal effects here. Taking a deep breath, she transported to the camp and went straight to Linden.

 “Back already?” he asked, looking concerned.

 “I’m back for good. I’ll be staying here permanently until we take back Litia.”

Taking Back The Crown – Part Seven

“You hesitate too much. You’re thinking, that’s a good thing, trust me, I didn’t think at all when I first started training. I’d just lash out and my mentor would walk circles around me. But you are thinking too much. You shouldn’t need that much time to make judgements, trust the first one that comes to you.”

Sonya stood on the opposite side of the combat room, a sweaty layer forming on her back, trying to take Seta’s advice in. Part of the problem laid in the fact she constantly had to scale down her true power. If he realized how strong she really was, they might figure out who she was and not let her stay. Besides, she might end up killing Seta in the unlikely event that she actually landed a blow on him. Power wasn’t everything. Seta was extremely fast, elegant and he made controlling his strength look easy. Even if Sonya wasn’t holding back, she wouldn’t win.

She supposed that was why they’d let him become a mentor early. Normally, a student did not become a mentor until they were thirty. Then again, Sonya was a year younger than all the other new students. She was also much more female. They had all stared at first. Some still did. She didn’t know what they thought of her. Students here did not socialize much with each other. Everyone travelled around in their mentor/student couplings.

Seta was a good mentor to her. When Trin or Naria had escaped the “abyss” the Rutilus had put them in, she’d be ready to fight with them.

Taking Back The Crown: Part One

This series is based on one of the back stories within TBAM. It’s split into nineteen parts and I’ll be posting each part daily, bar a couple of days when I’m away. I really loved writing certain parts of this story. I felt that Sonya’s character wasn’t explored a lot in TBAM, but this series should hopefully show how she became such a ruthless leader, and you’ll get to see her softer side. Be warned, this series is a bit more violent than my other work on here.

Blood, bone and brain matter were suddenly dispersed across the ornate circular table. The bang that had preceded this had come suddenly, in the middle of Naria’s speech. She’d been about to give a toast, to Sonya, congratulating her on reaching her tenth birthday. Not that reaching your tenth birthday is much of an achievement when you’re almost immortal, but it meant that Sonya’s official training would begin. She’d already done combat exercises and developed her magical abilities, but she’d never used them against real enemies. She’d never seen anything like this, or felt anything like Naria’s still-warm flesh splattered across her face.

There were shrieks and cries and everyone rushed towards the ballroom’s exit. Ladies tripped over their brightly coloured gowns in their attempts to escape. Windows smashed and tall, red Rutilus appeared. They poured in through the window frames, dropping down into the chaos. Another group of them must have waited outside to ambush those who ran through the ballroom doors. Party-goers were silenced mid-scream as the Rutilus used their magic to cut throats. Scarlet pools gathered on the stone floors and streaks appeared on the marble pillars. Trin was trying to fend off five at once while Sonya looked on, numb and shocked, at the senseless violence.

Suddenly, Trin grabbed Sonya’s arm and she felt the usual warm sensation as they transported. When the darkness lifted, a heavy drizzle was falling on them both. Water on the ground reflected the moonlight.

 “Sonya, wait here. I’ll come back for you when this is over.” Trin said quickly. “Don’t go back to the Palace until I come for you!”

Before Sonya could even reply, Trin had vanished.