This novel is limited to 100 free copies due to its part in Inkitt’s Novel Contest.
She heard the light call her. She knew that voice. She knew that name.
“Kim, honey, please talk to me!”
“She’s in shock, ma’am. Yelling won’t help.”
Kim was her name. The light was calling her name. Kim blinked open her eyes. She scanned the area for the owner of the voice.
“Diana,” Kim murmured.
A woman appeared in Kim’s view. Her brown curls bounced on her head. Orange eyes clashed beautifully with violet skin. Even when she was worried, Diana was the most beautiful woman Kim had ever laid eyes on.
“Kim, honey, I’m here,” Diana said, grasping Kim’s hand. Kim smiled at her touch.
The owner of the other voice, a man with a well-shaven face, dressed in a suit and tie, spoke again, “She’s conscious. Keep her that way until emergency services arrive.”
Emergency services? Kim thought. Memories came racing back to her.
She had just stepped outside for some fresh air when something hit her. It was black, or possibly blue, with red eyes that glowed. It left behind a trail of smoke and ashes, but Kim had been struck too soon to notice much else.
“It was a monster.”
“No, it was a car,” her therapist corrected her, three weeks later. “You were hit hard. I’m not surprised that you don’t remember things correctly.”
“I know what I saw,” Kim huffed as she crossed one leg over the other. “Why would a car be that low to the ground? It’s law that they must remain 5 meters above ground unless they’re parking, and there aren’t any parking lots near the office.”
“No,” her therapist sighed, “but you did say you saw smoke. Maybe the car was malfunctioning?”
“They still haven’t found what it was. There are markings all over the ground, but they vanish.”
He set down his notes and leaned forward in his chair. “Well, besides that, how have you been feeling? Is your memory intact?”
“The doctor said no long-term memories were affected,” Kim reminded. “She was happy about that. Diana says that I didn’t recognize her for a moment, but all other tests have proven that I haven’t forgotten anything.”
Her therapist glanced at the clock. “Well, that’s all the time we have for today. You’re going to be late for work if you don’t leave soon. I’ll bill you online?”
Kim nodded and picked up her bag from the floor. “I’ll try to remember what hit me. I’m still not convinced it was a car, but. . . maybe you’re right. It’s still really fuzzy.”
He smiled and waved her off. Kim stepped out of his office and went downstairs to the first floor. She placed her hand on the front door and released a shaky sigh. The parking lot seemed still enough. Kim pushed through the doors and ran towards the walkway.
If there was one thing that convinced her that her therapist was right, it was Kim’s newly found fear of cars. Maybe it’s subconscious? She suggested to herself. But that’s nonsense, right? I know what I saw, and it wasn’t a damn car.
Kim stepped up to the edge of the walkway. Cars weaved around the buildings hundreds of meters above her.
Besides, she thought, there’s an automatic braking system installed in every car. It’ll slow the car down at ten meters above ground, then it’ll force it to stop at five. There’s no way a car can touch the ground unless it’s near a designated parking zone. Even then, it still automatically slows down at ten meters. I couldn’t have been hit by a car.
She sighed and tugged her bag tighter around her arm. Kim marched towards the stairs to her left and followed them down. They brought her to a series of tunnels beneath the city on the main island of Agona. It was a twenty-minute walk to her office, thirty if there was still construction on the main walkway.
Why didn’t I just let Diana drive me? Kim thought, then immediately banished the idea from her mind. Not only did getting into a car make Kim uneasy, but she didn’t want to be a burden on Diana. As much as Diana insisted she was fine with helping Kim out, it still made Kim feel guilty.
Kim used her walk to clear her head. Today was a big day at the office. There was a new placement coming in, rumour has it that someone was going to be sent to one of the islands in Tibius. This was quite a shock, especially since Kim’s office was home to one of the smaller magazines in Agona. No one had expected to get such a large offer. Not to mention Tibius tended to off-limits to Agonians.
“Kim, your heart rate is through the roof!”
Kim gasped at her robotic companion's voice. She took off her backpack and unzipped it, letting Mina roll out.
“You should take the day off.”
“No, Mina.” The android was about the size of a basketball, no wider than the length of Kim’s foot. “You know how important work is to me.”
Mina only had eyes, but Kim could tell with the narrowing of the blue lights that she was upset. “Kim,” she piped, “I know how much work means to you. I know. Your father built me to-”
“To protect me on my adventures,” Kim muttered. “Yeah, you remind me every day. That doesn’t change the fact that I’m anxious, now more than ever.”
Mina hovered a little off the ground, enough to nudge Kim’s thigh. It was an affectionate gesture, Kim learned over the months she had spent with the android. “I am concerned,” Mina sighed. “I only wish to help.”
“I know. Thanks.”
Mina chirped and hopped back into Kim’s bag. She zipped it up and tugged her bag close once again.
Kim arrived at her work with a few minutes to spare. She went into the bathroom to tidy up. Her cheeks had taken on a red hue from her walk and her hair was all over the place. Kim twirled her brown hair into a bun then tied it together with an elastic. She ran her hands under cool water and splashed some over her face. The red began to fade, leaving behind her usual purple skin. Kim smiled and fixed the collar of her shirt before heading to her desk.
She bumped into Marcus.
He grinned, “Good to see ya, and on time today!”
Kim nodded and smiled back. “Yeah. I felt better today so I came in as early as I could.”
“That’s grand,” he patted her on the back. Marcus was much older than Kim. He had the wrinkles and grey hair to prove it. “Now, onto a more serious subject. We need to discuss your future at this office.”
Kim gulped under Marcus’s stare. She felt like she might puke. “Y-Yes?” she managed.
Marcus reached into the satchel that rested on his hip. He removed his tablet, a glossy, see-through glass on one side, whilst Kim was certain that the other side displayed all her files and more. Marcus glanced up, “Do you think you’re ready to take on a field case?”
Kim sucked in a breath of air. “A field case?”
Marcus nodded and turned his tablet around. On it was a map and some photos of a dig site. Where, Kim wasn’t certain, but it wasn’t from Agona since there were spruce trees in the photo.
“Am I going to another island?” she asked.
“Yes, this time in the realm of Tibius.”
All of Kim’s nerves returned. “Tibius? For real? And you want me to go? But I’ve never stepped off Agona before.”
“That’s why I asked if you thought you were ready.” Marcus smiled. “Diana certainly thinks you are. She came to see me yesterday.”
Kim felt her cheeks warm. Of course, Diana always believed in her. She must’ve spoken too highly of Kim in a one-on-one meeting with Marcus.
“Well,” Marcus said, “if you decide you’re ready, you must let me know by the end of this week. I’ll give you the files on your Com-Watch.”
Kim held up her wrist. “Alright, thanks. I’ll talk it over with Diana and see what she thinks.” A thought occurred to Kim and she frowned. “Marcus, aren’t you just subbing for our usual boss? Are you allowed to send people out? To another realm, nonetheless.”
Marcus nodded, “Don’t fret, Kim. I’ve gotten full permission from the higher-ups to send you out, and I’ve got you covered on insurance if anything goes wrong.”
“Because something might,” Kim murmured.
“No.” Marcus sighed and grabbed the charm on Kim’s bracelet. “If, that’s what this world is made of, Kim. Just ‘ifs’. We’re here to uncover those stories, right? That’s what you told me last year when you wanted a promotion. You wanted to be an Investigative Reporter so you could go on adventures and write about your story, not someone else’s. This is your chance.” Marcus plugged the charm into the top of his tablet.
Guilt clawed away at Kim’s insides. She hated disappointing Marcus. “I know that’s what I used to want, but then the accident happened and. . . I can barely drive a car, Marcus. In fact, I can’t, I get Diana to give me a ride to and from the office. Even then I feel sick. I would’ve moved from the upper levels of the city too if it weren’t for her stopping me.”
“Good!” Marcus said, taking the chip out of his tablet once the files had been transferred. “Go talk to Diana. Maybe she can talk some bravery into you. I want your ‘yes’ by Friday!”
Marcus shoved his tablet back into his satchel and marched off. Kim frowned and glanced at her bracelet. Her greatest adventure or her biggest failure could be all right there on her wrist.
CookieMonster911: The story overall was an adventure that is appealing to any age. The way the characters develop adds a more human characteristic to the novel. The writing style itself is amazing because you can learn every character's thoughts and emotions. The awkward love triangle and jerk moments adds to the ...
maewilde25: I am so in love with this story!!! captivated me till the very end, there wasn't a dull moment. Didn't particularly enjoy the lay out and some bits of info was missing along with how a 21 year old man amassed so much wealth that needed to be explained other than that and a few spelling errors, th...
ynez2005: I LOVE THIS BOOK SOOOOO MUCH!!!!Though you really need to make another book,more Princesses!!! Whoooo!!!Girl Power!!!Mabey it could even be Devona's BFF???That would make it even better!!!Plus can you pleeease make Akki come back,together with Thea and Authur amd the whole family is back!Other th...
Dru83: This is the second or third time I've read this one and I just love it. It has just about everything you could ever want packed into one scifi story. It still has some parts that are a little rough in terms of grammar, punctuation, and word usage, but it's still an awesome story. I love how detai...
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...
ArgyrisMetaxas: Thrilling story which builds layer ontop of layer. A few mis spellings every few chapters. What I found special was that it took a modern day problem and took it to its logical conclusion and plays this realism with gritting precision. I'm always on edge ready to shout from adrenaline. This is gr...
kwilliams: I am an avid reader, and I do mean AVID and few indie authors capture my attention the way you have. I absolutely fell in love with these characters and their story. I'm usually not a fan of the cliff hanger endings (be it a series or not), but this one made me download the Kindle app just so I c...
makaylakay: I love love this story! It's written incredibly and well thought-out plot! I love how it's a different twist in fantasy fiction, other then the usual vampire or werewolves. Love the romantics and drawn to the two characters so much already! This book will draw you in within the first chapter and ...
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...
Satabda Chatterjee: Each and every charecter develops during the whole course of the journey and keeps secretly love for the princess . However the way that writter expressed each situatuons that the princess faced quite relevant and keeps the suspense always at the end of the chapter. . . .which makes the reader m...
Jhiane Rabang: The story was so interesting. I loved how the story has plot twists that I can't expect. IT IS VERY HARD TO FIND A BOOK LIKE THIS so I suggest you read this book and I will tell you that it is worth every single second while you read this book. I can't wait to read the rest of the story.
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...