Drake (Book 1)

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1 Timothy 2:13-14

For it was Adam who was first created, and then Eve. And it was not Adam who was deceived, but the woman being deceived, fell into transgression.


7:11 p.m.

A geeljire and his camels trekked over the endless dunes of sand as the ghosts of the desert howled as fierce winds. His shemagh covered his face as tiny grains of sand and dust enveloped him. The camels whined as they trailed behind, attached to him only by a single rope connecting the herd. He trekked a hill where a brilliant flash of lightning struck the horizon, blinding him.

Dark clouds gathered over a single spot in the desert, striking down its purple lightning and incinerating all in its wake. Its aftermath left charred sand glowing like hot iron; some of it hardened into glass. As the dust cleared, the herder saw a monumental crater. The four horsemen stood at each corner idle.

7:13 p.m.

Sullivan patted the sand from his white suit and removed his fedora, tossing it aside. He slid down the crater into an opening in its center. Rain protested, but ultimately scoffed and trailed after him. The construction crew and armed guards patrolling the site stood perplexed, but returned to their duties.

He landed into a dark cavern, infested by snakes and scorpions that scattered as he sauntered through its first chamber. Rain followed, taking a moment to inspect the chambers, her countenance marveled at its vastness and integrity. Human remains filled the chamber, from broken skulls to mummified corpses leaning against the wall. Ancient pottery lined the walls covered by cobwebs with gold coins and silver plates.

A single tunnel conjoined this chamber to another where its darkness blinded even a monster. But it didn’t matter; Sullivan could smell her. He shared a glance with Rain. She nodded.

He plucked a torch from the wall and lit its archaic oils with a zippo lighter as he illuminated his path to salvation. Their footsteps echoed, and the tunnel seemed infinite. Sullivan noted that once they had crossed the threshold into the tunnel, the animals avoided the other chamber entirely, frantically fleeing into any open crevice.

They reached the end where another vast chamber greeted them. Towards the back, lingering over the chamber stood three statues: Set, god of chaos and disorder. Anubis, god of the dead and Hathor, the mistress of the west.

Sullivan tilted his head, but his lips curled into a triumphant smile. Rain stepped next to him and gawked, her face aloof. Before the statues rested a sarcophagus forged of iron and cast with gold, dipped into a pool of silver.

“Why are there Egyptian statues in Iraq?”

Sullivan kept his eyes on the sarcophagus. “She had hoped to never be awakened from her slumber again…”

“That doesn’t answer my question…”

Sullivan chuckled. He reached in his pocket and removed the red pearl. Engraved on the sarcophagus was a winged beast. Sullivan stepped into the silver pool which hissed and steamed upon contact and placed the pearl in a socket. However, it missed the ultimate piece; another pearl required for the awakening. The beast needed its other eye.

He stepped out from the pool of silver, the lower half of his pants seared and his legs scorched. However, they healed in an instant, and he dismissed it with a shrug.

“You know what silver does to us…”

Sullivan lifted Rain’s chin with his thumb and grazed her lips with his. “A small price to pay for the greater good,” he whispered.

He ambled past her back towards the tunnel and whistled a classic nursery rhyme: The bear went over the mountain. Rain made a face as she watched him disappear into the darkness. Then she turned her gaze back to the sarcophagus and tightened her fists.

She thought of her first meeting with Aspasia, who at the time went by the moniker Eve. It was a name Rain would not learn of until well later in her life. But a name forever embedded in her mind; her mother, who had once been known as Eve.

And the name she was first given was Aspasia… But over time, others gave her the title Eve. She, from whom all others are made…

As a child, Rain was ensnared by a relentless snowstorm, hunted by a monster. She ran through the petrified forest; dead trees that resembled the limbs of frozen giants. The snow grew deeper the further she ran as her tiny legs sunk with each step. The beast appeared behind her, a being with black skin, sharp fangs, and leather wings with the body of a bat. Its bright red eyes fueled by the furnaces of hell itself.

It shrieked like a bat, and long golden hair floated on its head. Rain fell face first into the snow and bellowed.

“Mommy! What happened to you! Why are you doing this!”

Immune to her pleas, it continued its pursuit. Its soul corrupted beyond redemption and consumed with an unquenchable rage and hunger.

The wraiths of the snow roared and consumed her with ice and wind. The winged beast pierced her shoulder with its wing and flung her frail body down a hill. She left a trail of blood before rolling down to the edge of a frozen lake, surrounded by more petrified trees.

Her heart pounded, and the child picked up her feet and ran towards the lake. Panting and out of breath, she slipped and slid against the ice. The animal that was once her mother pursued her; however, the talons on its feet failed to grip the ice, and it came to a halt. The ice cracked and spread across the lake before shattering in unison.

Rain watched her mother plunge into the icy abyss, screaming. It raised a monstrous hand from the water, still trying to consume her, thrashing and splashing. She watched the arm sink into the water and cried. Her cries were short-lived as the ice beneath her buckled and she too fell into the abyss.

The cold stiffened her body, paralyzing her as she sank. But she didn’t oppose it and watched as the light from the surface faded.

A gentle voice spoke to her and said: “RISE.”

She felt the motion to compel and beckoned her calling. Her body floated to the surface where a tender hand pulled her from the water. Rain shivered and as her vision cleared she saw a woman.

A white cloak and hood covered her body, and at first Rain thought she was a nun. Aspasia’s smile was just as warm as her grip; her beauty unparalleled and angelic. Dark red eyes stared upon her with porcelain skin and long ghoulish claws. Ink colored hair that fell to her back was tied with red ribbons and shined as if embedded with tiny diamonds.

“Are- are you an angel?” Rain stammered.

Aspasia smiled and shook her head. Rain looked around the pond where other maidens in white robes watched her; their faces shrouded. Aspasia lured her to the edge of the lake, where she cradled Rain in her arms.

“Am I dead?”

“No, child, but you will be. Your body is succumbing to frostbite…”

Rain glanced at her limbs, which were now a dark blue. She lost sensation in her body and didn’t feel cold, but warm.

“Please help my mommy… She’s in the lake-”

Aspasia placed a finger over her lips, closing them. “Hush child. As your mother had once given you life…” She dug her claws into her palms and blood flowed, falling into Rain’s mouth. “I shall do the same for you.”

Rain closed her eyes and fell into a deep sleep. After that day, she accepted Aspasia as her mother, her Eve. She never thought of her birth mother again or her life prior. After all, it was nothing more than a bleak midwinter’s day…

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