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The Children of Promise (Excerpt)

By Ross Chase All Rights Reserved ©

Adventure / Fantasy

Prologue

The faint light of the moon could barely be seen through the thick forest that surrounded a cozy wooden cottage. There, while the rest of the island of Sirius slept, one old woman was being haunted. Not by a ghost or a nightmare, but by a vision. Since the first night she saw it a month ago, it would not let her go.

Every minute her eyes were closed, she was forced to relive the horror of the images she saw. As she tossed and turned in her futile attempt to sleep, the images grew stronger. She hated her gift the most on nights like this. As she rolled out of bed, her mind still racing, she looked at herself in the mirror that stood in the corner of the room. Truly her best days were behind her. It didn't help much that she kept herself poorly, but faint glimmers of her former beauty could be seen if you could look past all the wrinkles. She was an old washed up soothsayer, who no one looked to for guidance on life. But she had to tell someone. Someone must believe her.

But how could someone believe her when she hardly believed what she saw herself. The days of war were well behind the people of this island. Peace had reigned between the clans for 10 generations. Who would believe that the winds of war would stir again? Who would believe that he would step foot back on this plane? As the doubt rose, the vision rose with it. Brother against brother clan versus clan with no winner in sight. Chaos would reign: She had to tell.

Realizing that a faint glimmer of sunlight had begun to peek over the mountain outside her bedroom window, she decided to get ready for the new day. Without much sleep she knew it would be another long day in the town's market. Being an aged soothsayer in most places would guarantee you success. But in Sirius, there was literally one on every corner. There were your usual cheap tricksters with their parlour tricks but most of them; fellow members of the Renol clan were reputable. Most people in town had written her off a long time ago, but she still kept at it; more for the exercise and company than the money.

She began her morning rituals the usual way; a bath, some breakfast for her and for Cliff, a wolf she adopted as a pup. As she turned the key to lock the door, a chill went through her body. A sense of foreboding came over her; as if turning the key had set off a chain of events that she would come to dread. As she turned from the door, she saw a man. He was tall with auburn hair and a scar just below his right eye. He had a pleasant face and wore a tailored black jacket, a sky blue shirt and black slacks. What she noticed more however, was the long hilt of a sword she saw peeking over his head, and a killing intent that no matter how he smiled, he could not hide.

"Good morning ma'am." The gentleman chimed in a bright voice. "Might you be Cari Renol the legendary soothsayer?"

"Yes, though I would hardly call myself legendary." Cari replied jokingly.

Reaching to his pocket he took out a small pouch. It appeared to be carrying numerous coins. "I would like to have some fortunes told to me." The man replied.

"Sure! If you'd just follow me to town I'd..."

Her sentence was cut off by the gleam of a blade's edge resting on her left shoulder.

"I'd like to do it here if you don't mind." The man replied as his blade reached closer to her neck. He flashed a wide grin; as if he was really enjoying himself.

"Th-th-that's fine" Cari stammered. "I'll need your name."

"Tharren, Tharren Baku. Shall we go inside?" He motioned the sword to the door.

As she turned around to open the door, her sense of foreboding only grew. It had begun.


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