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The Kingdom of Archer Book I: Bloom

By J.Rose All Rights Reserved ©

Fantasy / Scifi

Blurb

Bloom the first installment of The Kingdom of Archer tells the story of Lyric Mason and Prince Parker Archer. Caught in the middle of a world where human males can transform into hybrid animals known as Novas and the world is divided in two. The Kingdom of Archer, a fair ruling kingdom and Cray; the kingdom of poverty and dictatorship. When Lyric is found to be the soulmate of not only Prince Parker but the evil Prince of Cray, Max. Lyric is caught in the middle of a tug of war and love.. Can Lyric, who has a painful past she wants to forget fit the role of queen an overcome her past demons and insecurities? Will love triumph over all?

The Way We Began

(Lyric)

There it was again that feeling in the pit of my stomach. The same feeling that never fades away. My heart feels like it’s drumming in my ears in slow motion. This world wasn’t made for people like me. The fragile, the weak, people who break. Maybe if this was back then, years before the great Nova outbreak things would have been different. Maybe I could have fought back. The sad truth was I was always weak.

The SuperNova outbreak happened long before I was born. Years and years ago before any of our parents, or our grandparents and great-grandparents were born. It happened at night, there was no scientific way to explain it.

The stars all aligned, the sky clear, the moon shone bright and then a comet hit earth. It was unlike anything earth had seen. It glowed with blue light. Its size half of earth. People waited to die. Instead, it was like it became part of the world. Repercussions followed soon after...

Superhuman males began to rise. They were called Novas. Hybrids born from the collision. Animals. The first to rise, a wolf named Alexander Archer. Not long after more males transformed. Tigers, Lions, Bears, Hyenas. The list goes on and on. Women, on the other hand, stayed the same.

When the Nova outbreak first happened, there did not seem to be any explanation as to why men were the only ones that changed. As the years went on and resources around us changed. Medical science advanced it was proven that all males had a gene that women did not carry known as the NV gene, that allowed them to change. While women did not change, nor were we affected by the change of earth around us. In a way, it was something to be proud of. Women had been strong enough not to evolve in order to survive. We don’t transform into super beings. We don’t have super speed. But we are needed.

Mating or imprinting was the term used in the times of the ancestors. They were connections with a male Nova and a human woman. This connection, this bond was so strong. It was the closest thing to true love. It was said the stars in the sky could link you to your one true love. Your soulmate, as we now called it. For any girl, it may sound romantic, and it is. Everyone that finds their significant other lives on cloud nine. You love each other so much that you die without them. It’s an intense attraction, Love, lust, friendship all wrapped into one. Before, in the times of our ancestors, it was all determined by the heart.

You would go out into the world hoping to find that true love. That speck of wishful thinking, wanting to find someone to love you unconditionally. Of course, that was back then. Now everyone does it by having their DNA samples sent to our NOVA Research lab. Out of everyone in this huge abnormal world, there is only one other DNA that can be a match to yours, your mate. Everyone is destined for someone, everyone deserves love… Everyone but me.

“You’re going to be late for school, you stupid girl!” My father yells opening the panic room. The light hits my face and I squint. My eyes sting while I prop myself up on my elbows trying to get up. Before I can say anything my father is already downstairs pulling me out of the panic room and all I can do is lay there unable to fight. My legs feel like jelly and I can’t get up. How long was I in there? Two days? Maybe a week? I don’t really know.

“I said get up!” My father yells, his tone filled with so much rage that it makes me cringe. Before I know it I’m being kicked in my side. I don’t cry out only let out a small whimper hoping he doesn’t hear. The worse I scream the more punishment I receive. I don’t ask for my mother because I know well that she herself is trapped here. I stand up and my legs begin to shake while I try to find my footing.

I’m so weak and hungry but I need to get ready for school. With weak legs, I make my way to the bathroom across the hall holding on to the wall. One foot at a time taking slow little steps with shaky feet. Finally, after what seems like hours but I know is only minutes, I manage to get to the bathroom. Slowly, I move to the shower and turn on the hot water. Allowing the steam to fog the bathroom and give me warmth and a comfort which I needed. Taking my clothes off I avoid my reflection as I stand in front of the mirror. Even without looking at myself, I know how badly bruised I am. Both my arms, my stomach, my legs I can still see all the colors. Blue, green, yellow, purple I know it should hurt but I feel numb.

I no longer feel the physical pain anymore. I’ve learned to tolerate it, I can almost ignore it without complaint or even without crying out. Inside, however, inside I feel so hurt. That heart and soul that I have, that I am, is nothing but shambles. A shell of something that could have been. Stepping into the shower I let the warm water relieve the pressure on my back. My muscles feel sore from being in the same sitting position for so many days. My neck burns and I can hardly swallow my own saliva. He likes to choke me until I pass out. I know his handprints are on my neck but none of that pain compared to all the hurt he’s caused me deep in my soul. I close my eyes trying to relax, to bring some sort of peace in me just for a few seconds because I know my nightmare isn’t done yet. I can’t, I can never hear my own thoughts, not with my father’s voice in my head. His angry face looking at me and those angry yellow piercing eyes glaring, Worthless, Pathetic, Ungrateful, and Useless. Over and over those words circle in my head and no matter how hard I try there never is an off button. Maybe because it’s the way I feel.

“Sweetie you will be late for school,” I hear my mother say. Her voice groggy, and I know she’s been crying. I don’t reply but I turn off the shower and reach for a towel. Wrapping it around myself I wince because the fabric seems too rough on my bruised skin. My feet seem to have awoken again because I can now move them without wobbling as much. When I open the bathroom door, my mother is standing there her eyes red and puffy and her face covered in black and blue. I don’t say anything, not because I don’t care but because I never know what to say to her. There are times when I’m angry at her for keeping me here with them, for not saving me. Then I remember she can’t do anything to save us. She herself is trapped here except I can leave for school and never come back and she can’t. In the end, I always come back not because I am afraid, but because of her.

“Your neck,” My mother says. Although she tries to reach out to me I cringe away. I know she’d never hurt me but still, I can’t bear anyone’s touch. They’d be tainted, cursed.

“I’m fine.” I manage to say, and for a moment my mother just looks at me her brown eyes searching for something I can’t understand.

“Okay.” She says, her voice barely above a whisper. There’s quiet again and there’s not much I can say or do that will make her or I feel better. Instead, I nod silently and head toward my room. The basement.

My room is big, but there’s nothing much there. The walls are coming apart. The paint is long gone from the wall you can almost see the wooden material of the house. There is a washer and dryer to the left. No posters, no pictures, nothing that says someone lives down here other than the small little mattress on the floor. My clothes are neatly piled on one side of the floor and my books are all stuffed in my backpack. Reaching for something to wear I grab an ugly puke green turtleneck sweater and a pair of faded blue jeans.

Everything in my wardrobe I get at the local church because my father never buys me clothes. When I was little my mother and I would go down to church together to get clothes for her and I but now I had to go by myself. Being older meant I could do things on my own and it meant my mother had less freedom and right to go out according to my father.

Getting dressed was always a hard task for me. Lifting my arms, moving around in general, caused my bruising body to ache. Finally, after I was done, I gathered my old brown backpack and walked back upstairs. Before reaching the top I could already see a piece of toast placed on a napkin. Taking it, I stood on the steps for a few seconds securely wrapping it in the napkin and then stuffing it in my pocket. I knew that if I got caught, I’d be in trouble so I simply made my way out of the house.

From outside, everything seemed normal. The house looked like any other house on the block. White, green grass, beautiful roses at the front. Picture perfect for everyone to look at.

“Going to school Lyric?” Mr. Able from across the street asked. He was a nice old man who mostly kept to himself. He’d lived across the street from our family for years. His wife passed away a few months ago, but he seemed fine though people knew it would only be a matter of time before he too passed away.

“Yes Mr. Able, have a nice day.” I manage to say, and though I try to smile it seems neither of us really has the strength to do so. Instead, I make my way to the bus stop 2 blocks from here and I sit on a bench to wait. Like always, I lean my hair to the front allowing myself to shield my face. Though there is no bruising there I still feel the need to hide.

When the bus finally arrives, I get in paying my fee and sit at the back quietly. No one ever talks here. Not that anyone really rides the bus. Mostly women and the occasional senior Nova who can no longer shift. Somehow the area around me feels like doom. It’s bitter and hollow matching the gray sky that has seemed to hover above my head. Closing my eyes, I try to relax knowing what is about to come my way. What always comes my way when I go to school?

“This was life,”

*Bump, ba-bump, bump, ba-bump*

Even before the bus comes to a halt, I can feel it in my chest. My stomach seems to drop and I find it hard to get up. Somehow I manage to find my footing and all I can do is make my way to the door. I don’t want to. I hate school. High School is always hard for anyone. But when you’re new, nerdy, and at a prep school for the rich? You might as well carry a sign that reads “Hit me.” on your back all day. But I guess I didn’t really need one. Walking down the hallway I can’t help but keep my head down. The whispers are always there, the snickering, the staring it never seems to stop.

“Lyric. How was your weekend?”

I can recognize the voice simply because she’s one of the two people that speak to me. At least, one that wasn’t rude to me. Out of everyone in school, she’s the only one that’s different. I don’t know why she talks to me. Crystal Mane is by far one of the most popular girls in school and the prettiest. With her piercing blue eyes, silky beautiful blonde locks and a kind smile. She looks like a beautiful model the way she looks and how tall she is. Offering her a small shrug she smiles at me and continues to speak. I don’t really listen simply because I’m afraid of what happens next. What always happens next…

“I’ll see you in class okay,” Crystal says, her blue eyes lighting up before she walks away. This always happens not because she wants to but because circumstances make it happen. Her locker is on the second floor, mine is on the bottom floor, therefore, she can’t follow me around everywhere. She can’t protect me all the time.

*Bump, ba-bump, Bump, ba-bump*

Each step that I take I can feel the knot twisting further and further in my chest. I keep my head down trying to protect myself as much as I can. Though I know it doesn’t help, it makes me feel safer. I can hear him first. Parker Archer. His laid-back cheerful voice. He’s wearing a black leather jacket and a white shirt, his blue jeans hanging loose across his long legs and a pair of black boots on his feet. His dark hair falling just below his eyebrows. For a moment I see him tense his back going rigid for a second and I know he senses I’m here too. He stops talking, the relaxed expression in his face gone I assume. I can hear him shift his body toward me. Immediately I look down and avoid eye contact my heart still racing.

Even in Super Nova life, there is always going to be someone on top. Our world is mostly at peace. No one really fights and there aren’t many wars. Two kingdoms divide this planet which we call home. The Kingdom of Archer and The Kingdom of Cray. The Kingdom of Archer is peaceful, King Thomas is the fair King, Father of Spencer Archer and Prince Parker Archer, my tormentor.

“You know it’s not Halloween yet. Or are you late for the graveyard shift?” Parker says his voice loud and confident wanting everyone in the hall to listen to him. Though I can feel myself shrinking, I try not to let it faze me or at least not show him that it did. I never understood why Parker Archer always made me feel disarmed. Laid bare for all to see. It was as if he could see all my faults, all those flaws, all the ugly that I really was. For that reason, I could never look him in the eyes too afraid of what he might see, what he might confirm. I could always mask my emotions around him, around everyone. Pretending had become a necessity to survive, and I was an expert. Still, the longer I stayed here in front of him the more I feared he would know. Trying to keep my composure I continued to ignore him opening my locker shifting my backpack toward the front in order to take out my textbooks.

“Why do you come here?” Parker asks. His question causing me to still. There’s something different in his voice, an edge to it that has never really been there when he insults me. Usually, he only makes fun of my clothes or makes jokes about the way I look. This time. I can feel it in my chest again. This is different.

*Bump, ba-bump, bump, ba-bump*

“Why do you come here?” He asks again but I simply finish emptying my books in my locker, only taking my math book and closing my locker.

“Don’t listen to him. Don’t listen to him,” My head and my heart both chant together. My stomach tightens a knot twisting inside and I try to walk away but his words stop me.

“Everyone at this school hates you.” He says, his words twisting that knife inside my heart further with his words. Though I’m shaken I don’t want him to look at me, for the most part, I’m glad my back was to him. Still, he continues to speak.

“You show up every single day. Why? You’re just a joke.” He says and with those words, can feel the hall silence. The whispers have stopped and every single head is looking between us, waiting. My ears go mute to the outside world because now I can no longer hear anything. Anything that is, but my father’s own words ringing in my head over and over like a scratched CD. My chest tightens, and the air begins to lessen in my lungs making it hard to breathe.

*Bump, ba-bump, Bump, ba-bump*

“Parker leave her alone,” I hear someone say, though the voice sounds familiar it fades behind me too.

*Bump, ba-bump, bump, ba-bump*

“Do us all a favor and disappear. The world would be a lot better if people like you weren’t in it,” Parker says. Faster and faster my heart thumps. My father’s voice is now screaming in my ears. I can’t breathe now. There’s no air. Not a single ounce of peace.

*Bump, ba-bump, ba-bump, Bump, ba-bump, ba- bump, Bump, ba-bump, ba- bump, Bump, ba-bump, ba- bump*

My heart is racing now loudly in my ears, wanting to jump out of my chest. No one is saying anything and all I can hear is my own heartbeat.

“You son of a bitch!”

*Bump, ba-bump, ba-bump, Bump, ba-bump, ba- bump, Bump, ba-bump, ba- bump, Bump, ba-bump, ba- bump*

Like an explosion or a large wave, the silence is suddenly broken by Crystal. I can’t hear what she’s saying anymore my racing heart is too much. I can’t look up and I can’t move it’s only when I feel Crystal take my arm and pull me away that I react. She doesn’t say anything to me and takes me to the bathroom. She’s coddling me like a small child talking to me gently but I don’t understand why. The panic in her eyes confuses me. It’s only when she hands me a tissue that I realize tears are silently falling down my cheeks.

*Bump, ba-bump, ba-bump, Bump, ba-bump, ba- bump, Bump, ba-bump, ba- bump, Bump, ba-bump, ba- bump*

My heart continues to tick almost like a bomb with a timer. Waiting to explode. Waiting to break.

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