This novel is limited to 100 free copies due to its part in Inkitt’s Novel Contest.
Chapter 1- A Tale Never Told
Once upon a time, in a land far away, there lived a poor carpenter Marcelo and his wife Maria.
Maria had once been the daughter of a French Count and Countess before her father had lost his money and eventually his status, leaving him with many debts.
Losing his status drove him to depression and finally to take his own life.
Maria’s mother had died of shame and a broken heart… Maria herself had been sent to live with relatives until she could provide for her own.
When Maria and Marcelo met, she had been working as a barmaid. Marcelo had stopped by to have his one meal for the week. Usually the quiet, shy carpenter kept to himself, but at the moment he first saw Maria, she had been brutally handled by a customer who had stopped by for more than a simple meal of bread and broth.
“No…Monsieur please… let me go and I will retrieve the food that you ordered. I only ask that you let go…’
“Let you go, eh?" he laughed. "Come with me and I’ll do more than just ‘let you go’ love” he laughed again along with his comrades, each interested in more than a friendly chat….
Marcelo scowled. Women were never to be treated in such a harsh manner! Especially by such brutes as these three. Then again, what was he to do?
Then, as if his body were acting involuntarily, he motioned her over. She caught sight of him and smiled slightly, excusing herself from the three behemoths who had tried to intimidate her.
“Hello, Monsieur- How can I help you?” Marcelo was at a loss for words. Maria was a bonnie lass with auburn hair and big blue eyes... with laughter the sound of tinkling bells.
Marcelo was smitten just by gazing at her and longed to make her his bride.
“I know you don’t know me, but I love you…” his voice trailed off.
Maria smiled. Ever since her parents died she had been lonely and longed for someone to love for her own.
“P-please… know you don’t know me, and I don’t have anything to offer- but…”
Maria placed a gentle finger to the kind young man’s lips. This was a dangerous place to talk- especially about love.
She nodded, agreeing with his unspoken question.
“Yes- Please… let us speak of this later- is that alright?”
“As you wish” he smiled as he kissed her hand. She blushed and smiled as she walked away.
Marcelo grinned as she walked away. Looking over his shoulder, and glaring at the men who had been mean spirited to his beloved, Marcelo shrugged and took up his meal hath had been delivered by his fiancée; he looked forward to all of the future meals to come…
In the months to come, Marcelo courted Maria properly, and, after a year they travelled to the church and married.
As three years passed, Marcelo and his Maria longed to have a child.
Sadly, they were never able to conceive.
The carpenter was grief-stricken for his wife, and went to the church they had married in to pray.
He continued to pray and fast for seven days.
On the seventh day, when he returned home to his wife, she was weeping tears of joy. She told her husband how she had been reading when her stomach had felt strange.
She had gotten sick in the early morning, when he had left to the church.
A visit from the physician confirmed what they had always longed and prayed for- the carpenter’s wife was with child!
Nearly a year later saw the birth of the couple’s baby girl.
“She’s beautiful… just like her mother” the carpenter smiled as he looked at his daughter, so much like her mother…
However, looking deep into her eyes, he sensed something that made him uneasy… though he couldn’t put his finger on just what that was.
Marcelo laughed at himself and shooed the thought away. She was an infant after all, purely innocent and capable of no wrong…
Or so he thought…
Marcelo looked at his wife…who was fading quickly…
“N-no…Maria! NO!” placing the now fussy Rhuel’a down in the hand built wooden crib he had made for her with his own hands, Marcelo rushed to Maria’s side.
Sinking quickly to his knees by her side, the carpenter’s face was quickly covered in tears as he kissed her hands repeatedly, praying fervently that his wife be spared.
“It is no use…” Maria whispered, her energy fading quickly.
“You must be alright, Maria… you MUST!” Marcelo howled in agony.
“No, Marcelo, you must he brave now and raise her in God’s ways... I…love….you….”
Maria’s hand fell limp as she lay dead.
Marcelo wept bitterly as his wife lay dead, his infant daughter wailing from the crib.
Still weeping, he picked up the baby in his arms.
“There, there Rheul’a… All is well… Papa is here… shhh”
As the carpenter hummed a tune for his daughter, he did not see nor recognize the flash of the eyes or small coo of a smile…
So… the carpenter had not been imagining things….
Eighteen years later…
Rhuel’a LaGhorm walked down the well-worn path that lead from her father’s small cottage to the market… near half a mile walk away.
She loved her father, truly she did, but she wished he wouldn’t coddle her any longer!
As a child she had never minded the many gifts he had given her… Marcelo had gotten very popular over the years and his carpentry business had grown.
She loved the attention and receiving everything her heart desired, but she had had enough with him treating her like a child, expecting her to cook for him and constantly clean the house!
Rhuel’a decided that it was now time for her to be on her own- to have a man of her own who would give her everything she deserved…
She never knew or considered the danger of being careful for what you wish for…
Rhuel’a looked around the small village and the fair that had been set up… she casually roamed around, admiring the various booths, looking at the various people- particularly the men, trying to catch the eye of that special someone.
Surely one would be available to whisk her away from her dreadfully boring, monotonous and dull life.
She looked around at any and all until her young, haughty, ignorant eyes fell on the one man that would change the course of her life-forever…
Martin Puppeteer ho hummed as he glanced around the fair looking for another ripe victim.
His girlfriend Myra was late for one, and he was getting hungry and tired of waiting.
All they needed was another big heist and they’d be set- at least for a while.
Martin kept looking around unit he saw a good looking girl walking around, looking rather full of herself.
Martin didn’t know who the pretty girl was- except that she’d be an easy target…
“Well…well…well… and just what is a pretty thing like you doing in a place like this?
Rhuel’a gasped, turned and smiled- “well… hello to you as well-Mister…”
“Martin- call me Martin…” he looked around, noticing Myra about thirty feet away, fuming.
Shaking his head in her direction, he turned his attention back to Rhuel’a.
“So… what’s your name, sweetheart?” Rhuel’a smiled not having expected to come this far. Now that she had a man in her clutches, she wasn’t letting go anytime soon…
Six months later…
Rhuel’a screamed in frustration as she threw the tome she’d been writing in at the wall.
Martin was up to something he’d been acting very strangely of late and for the life of her she couldn’t figure out why.
Was it her imagination, or was he paying her for an idiot?
She’d financed him as many of her father’s assets as she could without her father noticing… which included some of her most expensive jewels, including a certain diamond ring of her mother’s…
And why not? It would go to Rhuel’a when Marcelo was gone… surely Martin meant to put it away for their future home…
She couldn’t give Martin anymore without her father noticing and asking questions.
Indeed as of that moment, he was still unconscious after the jolt on the head she had given him earlier after he had tried to spy on her…
He still hadn’t awakened… Not that she was very worried.
As she thought of her mother’s ring, she winced. Her father would defiantly ask questions about that ring, if not the other jewels. She absolutely MUST get that ring back before her father awoke and started asking questions…
Thinking on Martin again, Rhuel’a constantly wondered where he was and what he was doing.
Never did she realize that from the moment she saw the somewhat good looking thief she had fallen madly in love with him- or that infatuation was bordering on obsession.
Rhuel’a without a thought to check on her ailing father decided that she would find Martin and discover what he was up to.
Little did she know that her actions would change the course of her life… forever…
A near middle aged man and woman stood upon Arching’s Peak overlooking the water and laughing as they recounted their many misadventures and moments of suspense of nary getting caught.
“If only we had some sort of- assistant,” Myra suggested.
“You know….” She prodded Martin with her elbow when the man looked at her curiously.
“Someone to do our snatching for us while we’re busy with the Act” she grinned with glee.
Martin nodded as he tried to understand what her train of thought was… he’d always been a might confused on occasion…
“Yeah- like a kid- a boy… who’ll do whatever we say” Myra cackled
“Yeah… and who won’t talk back”
Martin rolled his eyes… he didn’t like girls much- nobody really- except for Myra.
She was the only one who understood him...
“Say, Myra? Why don’t we get married? Then you’n’me could have a bot and he’d do whatever we want” without really thinking about the serious question, Myra answered. “OK”
It wasn’t until Martin tried to get down on one knee and nearly lost his balance that Myra realized that he had been serious.
She gulped. What was she going to do?
Rhuel’a grunted as she was nearing the top of Arching’s Peak with its marvelous stone structure, green grass and red eaves spread everywhere.
She’d heard about this place and often longed to see it for herself.
She was just enjoying the view when she caught sight of Martin bending down on one knee in front of a woman.
She didn’t have to be a genius to know what was happening.
“Martin!” The thief’s head shot up.
Martin saw Rhuel’a and winced. Great- it was her!
He had been about to add ‘me’ to ‘Will you marry me?’ when that little pixie showed up!
“Martin! What on earth are you doing here- with her?!” Rhuel’a cried, truly devastated.
“How could you! Don’t you realize how much I love you, how much you mean to me?!”
Martin grimaced as Rhuel’a started to cry as Myra rolled her eyes. Oh Please!
“Look as fun as it’s been, I don’t love you! I love Myra I’m gonna marry her- not you- so buzz off!”
Rhuel’a, refusing to give up- for the man she loved, noticed a certain familiar ring on Myra’s finger.
Filled with rage the girl decided she’d get the ring back one way or another, as she reached out and attempted to grab Myra’s throat.
Martin, forgetting about the steep ledge off of Arching’s Point, grabbed Myra’s hand and pushed her out of harm’s way.
Rhuel’a unfortunately wasn’t as lucky as she screamed and fell-hitting the water below.
Martin and his love watched as the girl hit the water, the buoyancy of her dress and bosom dragging her down…
One day later, after Martin and Myra Puppeteer got married and left the tiny village, Marcelo LaGorm was found in his home, confused, but alive… the men hated to break his heart, so they suggested that Rhuel’a had run off with a man…
She was never seen or heard from again…
More than twenty-eight years later…
Storybrooke Maine was a small town filled with buildings, businesses, a small school, and run by an anarchistic Mayor, Regina Mills.
Not a town that everyone knew everything about everyone else, Storybrooke was still filled with lively…characters…
On the opposite side of the town from the Mayor’s Mansion, was nestled a small convent of nuns, financed by the mysterious Mr. Gold.
No one knew who he was, or where he came from, just that he…existed…and a tyrant among other things... It was also a known fact, he didn’t like nuns… why, no one knew…
As one entered the convent they would have noticed a large hallway with a large sanctuary to the right, and down the hall two rows of three doors on each side.
At the end of the hall one could see an asset of double doors open, as if by themselves…
Entering there was a combination bedroom and office with a chair in the right corner, a desk towards the wall and a queen bed by the window made neatly with dark blue covers.
On the desk there was an old book… a Bible, and a Rosary next to it.
The only picture in the room was on the desk in a small simple black frame.
The picture was of a red haired blue eyed man with glasses, hunched down next to a Dalmatian.
The picture was taken from a side view since someone else took a front view of the charming, distinguished Psychologist.
Probably that hussy from Granny’s Diner
As one walked to the closet and opened it, a little girl with long dark curly hair and wire framed glasses was holding a tiny red haired infant.
The infant was getting fussy and the little girl looked up with anger and mistrust in her eyes at their captor… her eyes slowly turning from amber to gold…
“Good evening, children” said the voice of a woman, dressed in dark blue, her hair done up smartly, opening a sand time capsule…
“I trust you both were well behaved while I was away…”
JWalker: I loved this story from start to finish! It flows at a really nice pace and the story world feels so real. The fight sequences are a treat especially when Isanfyre is training to become a warrior. I found the names really cool and thankfully easy to pronounce. Personally I have always struggled w...
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...
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