{{ contest.story_page_sticky_bar_text }} Be the first to recommend this story.
Get Free Copy

100 free copies left

This novel is limited to 100 free copies due to its part in Inkitt’s Novel Contest.

0
Free copy left
You can read our best books
Shannon Mayhew would love your feedback! Got a few minutes to write a review?
Write a Review

Raised by Keepers

By Shannon Mayhew

Fantasy / Drama

Chapter 1

The boy kept his eyes downcast as he followed the hooded man through the streets of The City. He didn't know where they were going, but if it meant he wouldn't have to starve to death, Garrett had to follow. This was his last chance. The youth kicked a pebble nervously as they walked. He glowered at the coin purse still fastened around the hooded man's waist.

It was so odd. He'd never had trouble before-not like this. The closest he'd come to being caught was several weeks prior. A young woman with bright blonde hair had been parading through the market with her suitor. Whilst the two were lost within each other, Garrett had taken a grab at her purse.

Being larger than the usual coin purses he was used to, the boy hadn't compensated for the extra weight. As such, she had felt it leave her person. She cried out and shrieked for the nearest guard, hollering that she'd been pickpocketed and sobbing while her beau searched the surrounding alleyways.

But the quick and agile street urchin had already fled into the darkness.

That had been close. But still, Garrett had never been caught. Until today.

He looked up at the man again when he stopped and turned around.

"We've arrived." He spoke in a deep, wisdom-filled voice.

Garrett squinted his eyes and blinked as he observed the large rounded building before them. The place was enormous! That's when the boy noticed that the building was lacking a most staple feature.

A door.

"Excuse me sir? This can't be right!" The youth protested.

Without responding, the hooded man began to trace the sides of the large stone wall. Garrett gasped in shock as thin blue lines began to corporealize against the dark grey bricks. He could hardly believe what he was seeing, and gawked up at the strange man once more.

Of course I couldn't pickpocket you! You're a taffing mage!

His astonishment was only multiplied tenfold when a rectangular portion of the wall gave way to reveal a deep, almost beckoning passage. The hooded man turned around and faced the gaping, hungry expression of the boy he had just rescued.

"Follow me, young Garrett. Your new life, is about to begin..."

************************************************

Raised by Keepers

The inside of the 'wall' was dark, the scent of smoke and trepidation cutting through its blackness like a scythe. Garrett remained huddled behind the robed man, unsure and ill at ease.

"Well now. About time you returned to the fold, Artemus." A scolding, bitter voice sounded from amidst the shadows. "What kept you THIS time?" First Keeper Xaiver sneered down from his podium like a ravenous hawk.

The boy was now riddled with droplets of sweat, his face contorted in fear. He wanted to run, but his legs had betrayed him. They were now as frozen as the horror locked within his eyes, the hooded man just mere feet from his frail form. Garrett now felt extremely foolish for having followed a complete stranger into this unknown place.

Garrett had heard of such men before; those who wore long dark robes, and thick hoods to conceal their face from the ever watchful eyes of The City's bluecoats. Before he'd wound up on the streets, his late father had cautioned him about such people. The boy could still remember the hot, unwavering sincerity within his old man's grey irises-intermingled with the cautionary intimidation that only a concerned parent could ever exhibit.

These ebony-clad hunters, would lure anyone who they could find into a state of irreversible , and unending tribulation. The horrid state of being dead, yet never finding the only reward that was associated with ones final breath. Peace.

The urchin was in short, terrified. He had no choice but to stand in that dark room, with the two hooded men; and hope that whatever they intended was good. Hands quivering, the lads hazel eyes scanned the seemingly exitless room, hoping, that perhaps there was some place to flee to, should their intentions be anything otherwise.

That's when his questionable escort spoke.

"I was met with the unexpected." Artemus then stepped aside, exposing Garrett to the First Keeper.

"Oh gods no..." Xaiver's eyes narrowed in disgust at the sight of the boy.

"He shows promise. Have I ever been the sort to waste your time?" Artemus persuaded.

"This isn't a question of your reliability, Artemus! You cannot bring home a child to us like he's a lost puppy! What will his parents think?!" The man's voice rose, betraying a very real aggravation. "This is not what we're here for."

"The boy is an orphan."

The moment those words had been uttered, there was nothing but silence. The air in the vicinity grew thick with uncertainty, and the boys heart began to pound ever faster within his chest.

At long last, First Keeper Xaiver began to speak again, his decision reached.

"Very well. As a Keeper, you do have the right to take on a novice. If you truly wish to take responsibility for this waif, so be it. But he is to be your charge, Artemus. If he steps out of line, it will be on your head!" The imposing man threatened.

Artemus, bowed his head, accepting the First Keeper's decision.

"So let it be."

He then turned to Garrett, and smiled. By this point, the boy was spastic, petrified. Seriously pondering whether or not he'd merely traded one bad situation for another. But that sudden smile upon Artemus's worn face, perplexed him. It wasn't creepy, nor malicious. It was a genuine, very kind, smile.

"You shall begin his training immediately. If the lad wants to eat, wants the comfort of a warm bed, he must prove this 'promise' that you speak so surely of." Keeper Xaiver instructed, his tone level and cold. "We are not a charity, Artemus. We are Keepers. And as such, we cannot allow ourselves to be swayed by such mindless pity."

"Yes, I understand." Artemus bowed his head in acceptance.

Garrett found he could no longer tear his gaze from the intimidating First Keeper. There was something almost empty about him. As if his mind had given over to a higher power of some sort. There wasn't a hint of sympathy emanating from his intense glare.

It was then that Garrett realized; even if he had been taken in by these strange people, his new life wasn't about to be an easy one.

Continue Reading Next Chapter
Further Recommendations

Grapes Are Juicy yes!!!: I give this novel FIVE STARS ! This novel is worth reading from the beginning to the end! The plot and conflicts in this story are very smartly integrated. The language facility is a little odd , but i guess this was done on purpose, given the novel's set era. Other than that, this should definit...

Alex Rushmer: Chapter One: Not much is happening in this chapter, but I was absolutely fascinated by the depth of your character development. I love how you just sat there with the reader and explored Eddward. Usually, that sort of thing gets boring very fast, but this was actually really cool! He's so unique ...

Alex Rushmer: This was not what I expected, but I enjoyed it a lot Malfoy was always one of the characters that I liked a lot, so I like that a lot of this happens between him and Colette. I read the first couple chapters, and I enjoyed your writing style and am excited to see where you take this story. My com...

christylynnr5: This was beyond amazing! I loved this book. The characters seemed so real. It was amazing how the author let Zak and Kaylees personalities slowly change. This story was very sad and eye opening. It could teach some people a very worthy lesson. It was a great combination of romance, mystery, and a...

spooky jedi: Love your story!I really hope more people read this story!Its amazing!! The plot is very unique and different, which is very good to have in a world full of stories. You have very complex and intellectual plot line, with your many loveable character and that hint of 'will they, won't they' is ju...

mullikin902: Do not start reading this book unless you have enough time to finish it in one sitting, because you will not be able to put it down! Superlative! Addictive! Deliciously wicked characters you can't get enough of. Impatiently waiting for the sequel!

Stephen Warner: To start off, I am thoroughly impressed. The writing style is somewhat unique, and the plot seemed to move at a nice and steady pace. However, I was not expecting this to be a vampire book! I am usually not one for novels about vampires, but I was pleasantly surprised! You wrote with such grace a...

tsolaidowu: I want a continuation dammit....I loved this book and the 1st one. I can't believe this is it. I'm not ready to say goodbye to Jeff and Lorie; and the gang. Great book and storyline. You're a genius Madelyn.

Hudson: Your story was fantastic Erin! The Rising Sun was one of the first stories I read on Inkitt, and I have to say I don't regret the three to four days I spent pouring through the story.Probably the biggest strength I see in your writing is your characterisation of Eliana, Oriens, and the rest of th...

More Recommendations

Erin Crowley: The concept here is really strong, but the execution is definitely lacking. Tenses, grammar, etc are all off, with at least one or more errors per 'Page' on my phone. The writing style is almost broken- sentences move into each other awkwardly, and are filled with an excess of "filler words", lik...

genlynne2379: I read the other review of this book and I must say that I disagree with it wholeheartedly. I do not believe the author put the apostrophes in the names just to be unique, but because the characters are supposedly of a different race than humans. They are Anmah. They should have different names a...

Lauren Sanby: This is an excellent story. Very gripping and keeps your attention throughout. Hoping the author is writing a sequel because I'd love to read more about Rhi and Andreas and find out what else Rhi is able to do with her powers.

Jade Niday: This book kept me interested and wanting more. I fell in love with the characters and the plot. This book never has a dull moment. It has action, suspense and even love. Can't wait to find out what happens next

Laraine Smith: You are a true artist! You should do this for a living! I love the imagery here! It is magical! You are magical!

Sandra Estrada: I loved every minute of it and I thank my lucky stars that brought me to the story, it's been a whirlwind of emotions, plot twist after plot twist but I never got tired of them. Abby and Kade's story is a hard one to understand but once you're submerged in their story and love, you can't help but...

About Us:

Inkitt is the world’s first reader-powered book publisher, offering an online community for talented authors and book lovers. Write captivating stories, read enchanting novels, and we’ll publish the books you love the most based on crowd wisdom.