This novel is limited to 100 free copies due to its part in Inkitt’s Novel Contest.
"Celestine Melete de Saronata!" Comes my mother's voice from downstairs in our kitchen on my seventeenth birthday. Scaring me out of bed and onto the floor.
"Seriously, mother?" I yell, knowing without a doubt referring to her as mother would annoy her. "I know this is how you've woken me up every birthday but why so much louder this year?"
As I stand up and go to grad my hairbrush to tame the rat's nest on top of my head my mom's footsteps sound on the staircase and she is soon in my doorway.
She walks over and takes my brush, motioning for me to sit on the bed so she can wrestle my hair into submission. "I was louder this year because this is the first birthday you've had without your brother here," her nervous reply comes in a soothing tone.
My good mood evaporates instantly. When she finishes with my hair I glance down and realize with an internal groan my drawings and writings are still laying out from last night.
"Um, mama?" I say, scrambling for an excuse to get her out of my room, "Do you smell something burning?"
Quick as a flash I am abandoned by my mom in favor of her cooking as she cries, "Not the chorizo!"
I allow myself a quick chuckle before working fast to gather my things and hide them among the last years worth of drawings and writings.
I sigh as I stare at them all, hating that I have these abilities and have to hide them. Loathing that if it was known I had these abilities I'd be sent to what equivocates to concentration camps. No telling which one because there is one in every city across the world. The "Institutions" are where they send Inspireds, people like me who have varying abilities that stem from our creativity levels. We're tested at birth and if there are any signs we are closely monitored until the skill manifests. There's no certain age, usually it just happens. Most get taken to an Institution and if you don't submit to the government desires you're tortured, or as they like to say persuaded with varying methods.
My brother, Dean, was almost sent there last year, right after my birthday. The Erasers tried to take him but his skill was powerful enough that the group of Inspireds known as Creators saved him.
He told me about them at night after mom fell asleep. He'd sneak into my room and spin tales about a group of people who valued our talents, people who wouldn't treat us like outcasts. He'd been diagnosed at birth and with his skill starting to manifest at 18, the day he was almost take it was staged to seem like Erasers were taking him.
This is how they always do it," he told me the night before he left. We sat in the dark of my room as he explained what would happen the next day.
"Will they take me too?" I asked nervously. Dean had told the Creators about how my skill, well skills, were different and how I'd managed to not be detected at birth.
"Not until you're ready Celeste," Dean said. He looked conflicted before handing me what seemed to be a small transmitter. "Once you are ready, you hit the button on this. It will send a message to the Creators at their base and a team of them, including me, will come to take you. But only when you're ready."
That was the last time I saw Dean. I move items around in my trunk until I find the little transmitter he gave me. I've looked at it many times in the past year contemplating when. I've finally decided today, of all days, must be the day. I feel awful for my mom as I press the button before shoving it into my pocket, locking my trunk, and heading downstairs to eat one last meal with my mom.
She is, of course, very animated through breakfast. Asking me what my plans are for today, talking about what she'll be doing at work. I think about how much I love her and how happy I am it is summer so I got a little more time with her because there was no school.
Then, the knock at the door finally comes.
Sammi Chan: THIS WAS AMAZING!!! My favorite part of this story was the slow build of Merlin and Arthur's relationship. Their relationship was rlly nicely fleshed out and so good :) The way that you handled the magic reveal was super enjoyable. I rlly liked the switching POVs. Good!Mordred was cute and I'm rl...
Flik: Hi! ^.^ huge fan of yours on ff.net! When I saw the note about this contest on The Way We Smile, I couldn't help but rush over here, create an account, and vote! XD Seriously love this story and would recommend it to anyone! :D best FT fanfiction out there. Amazing story, amazing concept that wa...
Chris Rolfe: BOY!!! I sure love what Aer-Ki Jyr did with this series. IMHO he captured the essence of what stargate is all about. Thru out the Stargate stories Aer-Ki wrote Stevens and John Shepard some of the main characters in his stories are pursued by a corrupt I.O.A.. All the while Stevens is changing in...
Tiffany Thomson: This story is not something I would normally pick up and read but I'm so glad I did, I wasn't able to put it down and my husband was yelling at me at 3am to put it down and go to bed (just waited for him to doze back off before picking it back up) I really hope Natalie brings out another book eit...
MavisMcQueen: "To Live Again" is a well crafted, highly engaging, heart vibrating tale surrounding our favorite Elven King. The author will keep you engrossed until the very end and by that time you will feel so strongly for Clara and the other characters that you will never want it to end...like ever. Thrandu...
marycombs14: This is a very interesting book - mostly because the heroine is quite charming and well rounded, and has very real issues to manage in her life. Most of all,. I loved the view inside of the life of a South Asian girl/woman, the emotional self-talk, the customs and preferences, the expectations a...
TruffleQueen: This piece of writing is more than just letters across a screen. Its more than just 40 chapters. Its a different world. And in that world, you get to experience so many things. I mean, you're practically sucked in there and once you just keep reading it gets harder and harder to get out. This st...
FreakyPoet: "you made me laugh, made me cry, both are hard to do. I spent most of the night reading your story, captivated. This is why you get full stars from me. Thanks for the great story!"
Sara Joy Bailey: "Full of depth and life. The plot was thrilling. The author's style flows naturally and the reader can easily slip into the pages of the story. Very well done."