This novel is limited to 100 free copies due to its part in Inkitt’s Novel Contest.
The Spirit Warrior
By Myra Stephens
Once upon a time in a land not so far away an entire kingdom wept. They had good reason to weep, for the most beloved warrior of their tribe, Vena Cava surrounded by family, friends and other warriors, lie propped on feather pillows, wrapped in satin blankets on the finest bed in the tallest tower of the castle.
The kingdom of Memphiflora was known far and wide as was her valiant knight and warrior, Vena Cava. Of all kingdoms, Memphiflora stood apart, mostly because of their valiant knights and for the grace, beauty and multitude of the wildlife in their enchanting forests. One could barely set foot in the kingdom without encountering glossy, golden-haired Airedales, black and brown mottled Muttbreeds, curly-topped, pug-nosed Sharpoodles or Many-breed Whatevers, not to mention the thousands of cats-large and small, birds, assorted reptiles, and zoo-rescues, which just happened to be a specialty of the Knights of Memphiflora.
The kingdom’s knights were not warriors in the sense of jousting, swordplay and war-craft, though they were all adept at each of these occupations. The knights of Memphiflora were warriors and champions for all of those, but particularly animals, who had been thrown away, left behind, locked away, maltreated, abused, plundered and destroyed. The bravest and most noble of all of these was the warrior and knight, Vena Cava.
Her name said it all. From the time she was barely six apples tall the girl was finding and bringing home grasshoppers with broken legs, birds too young to fly who’d fallen from their nests, puppies too small to suckle who were barely alive and once even a baby piglet who had his tiny foot stepped on by a pony. She brought all of them and more home to nurse. Most made it and some didn’t, but she nursed and cared for every one of them as if she had birthed each of them herself and cried herself to sleep when one didn’t make it.
The whole kingdom knew she would be a knight and warrior even before she did. Thus when the sword came down upon her right shoulder and then her left bestowing upon her the honor of ‘Warrior Knight’ it was not a surprise that the Queen gave her the name Vena Cava, in the language of Memphiflorians – ‘the largest heart’ of all. There was no envy on that day for all of her sister knights loved her, for the light inside of her shone so brightly that it could bring joy to even the darkest places.
Now after so many rescues, so many daring escapes, so many lives saved, the life of the great Warrior Vena Cava drifted to the edge of the other side held only tenuously to the kingdom by the need of all of those who so loved her. She felt the pull of both sides, wanting to stay but that great curiosity yearning to know what was on the other side of the veil. The moon was full and cast a great shimmering light across Vena’s already pale face. Her eyes opened, she looked about the room and then she nodded and closed her eyes. For those in the great tower room the weeping had just begun, for the great Warrior Vena was gone.
For Vena the great Warrior the adventure was just beginning. She opened her eyes and found that she was standing in a field of flowers. Not only was she standing but pain seemed to be something that belonged to someone else, somewhere else in some other lifetime, but certainly not here, not now.
And flowers? How could this be real? Peonies, poppies, creeping jenny, pink ladyslippers, there were Amadeus roses and dahlias, fuschia in every color, purple creeping thyme, allium, clematis, snowdrops, bluebells, if she tried to name them all she would be naming flowers until the end of time, but they were so beautiful it didn’t matter.
She heard a sound behind her and turned and now all around her were animals, young, old, in-between and she knew all of them-each and every one, from when she was a child. She was a child? When was that? It didn’t matter. They were there and she knew them. The puppies were kissing her and rolling and jumping and she was on the ground rolling with them and it was love, everywhere it was love. And then there was light.
There was light all around her and a feeling of crackling energy. She stood up and felt a warm, loving glow-inside and out. It was excruciatingly amazing-like an orgasm, but less intense and slower so it could be analyzed and thoroughly enjoyed. She felt or heard a voice in her head. It said, “The universe is yours. Be anything. Do anything. It’s yours. Anything.” She had never felt such peace, such love.
She looked down at herself for the first time and gasped. She was wearing a long, shimmering, silver gown cinched at the waist with a wide band that peaked at the bustline. From the band hung delicate silver chains and from the chains hung tiny silver stars and a crescent moon. The jewel neckline was cut deep and was encrusted with silver stones and the sleeves hung to the ground. She turned her head and could see that there was a small train at the back. Her hair wasn’t gray anymore and it hung loosely to her waist.
She looked at the sleeves again and thought ‘Anything’. Instantly the sleeves began to shimmer and move, she felt her neck elongate and she lowered her back, and tightly blinked her eyes-she was airborne. Her arms in the long flowing sleeves had become beautiful feathered wings, the train of the dress her tail feathers. She looked down and saw all the animals playing far below her and she soared higher and higher, and then as she dipped closer to the ground her mind caught the idea of one of the big cats and by the time she hit the ground, she was running with the pack, ears back, tail flying, running at top speed with the rest of the cheetahs.
“Be anything. Do anything. The universe is yours.” She loves. She runs. She flies.
Giuliana Cassetta: My face is full of tears, I never cried like now with a book or even a movie. I loved every single chapter. I truly don't know what to say, I'm out of words and my eyes hurt from crying. Such an bittersweet story, it's so wonderful. One of my favorites for sure. Keep it up!
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...
Ayesha Shaikh: I love the twists. 😆I like how the writer describes everyone's point of view and the character development. I'm gonna read all the books by this author (current and upcoming). She's one of my favorites now. The spelling mistakes are normal no big deal, the amazing plot makes up for it. Thank you ...
Jason Phang: More, I want MORE! Your stories are keeping me from games and (gasp) even sleep! Each chapter brought fresh hooks that I willingly wolfed down (pun intended) and I just couldn't bear going to sleep not knowing what happens next to Lindsay and Wayne. I also loved how the epilogue was done. Excelle...
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...
Alex Rushmer: This was not what I expected, but I enjoyed it a lot Malfoy was always one of the characters that I liked a lot, so I like that a lot of this happens between him and Colette. I read the first couple chapters, and I enjoyed your writing style and am excited to see where you take this story. My com...
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 ...
maryahbeebe66: OMG I fell in love with the story and how the characters fall into place. I'm really excited to read more into the story and hope there's a sequel to it. My fav characters are Dylan and Laila. Your doing a great job keep it up 👏🏾
mullikin902: Do not start reading this book unless you have enough time to finish it in one sitting, because you will not be able to put it down! Superlative! Addictive! Deliciously wicked characters you can't get enough of. Impatiently waiting for the sequel!
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...