This novel is limited to 100 free copies due to its part in Inkitt’s Novel Contest.
They didn't know it yet, but these were their last good-byes.
It was something that they should have seen coming. The woman was old, she'd had a good, long life, but it was over now. Surely they have to know how frail their hopes were. But it was easy to forget how blind humans could be, how determined they were to believe that they were the ones in control. I knew better.
I hovered just inside the bedroom window, toes barely touching the floor. Completely invisible. There were only two others in the room now, the old woman and her adult daughter, sleeping in a bedside chair with her head resting near her mother's hand. My job was easy: get in, mark them, get out. Still, I lingered, waiting for the daughter to wake up. Not out of compassion—the woman would die whether or not I hung around—but from curiosity. When she woke up, would she be distraught? Would she sense my presence and try to make the most of these last moments? Or did she care? Maybe she'd be one of those just waiting for her mother to die and leave behind a large sum of money. Judging by the run down state of the lamp-lit room, I was betting that this one would be a touching farewell, unmarred by finances.
The old woman sensed me before her daughter did. Her vacant stare suddenly cleared, and acceptance touched her eyes for the briefest second. She knew what was coming. Gently, she rubbed her daughter's hair, bringing her out of unconsciousness.
The daughter blinked and then started upright, searching the room in confusion. Then she remembered where she was and she rubbed wearily at her eyes. "What time is it?" she mumbled.
Her mother shrugged. "I don't know," she said in a deceptively strong voice. "I can't see the numbers."
The reminder caused the daughter's forehead to crumple. She leaned forward and read the bedside clock out loud "Eleven-fifteen," She grasped her mother's frail hand. "It's late. You should go to sleep." It always interested me, the way the roles of children and parents became reversed in the end.
The woman ignored the suggestion and again, I saw it in her eyes. She knew that if she went to sleep, she wasn't waking up. She reached her hand up and brushed her fingers across her daughter's forehead in a way that felt like a long-held tradition. "I'm proud of you," she said.
I knew it. Humans were so predictable.
The finality of the words scared her daughter. Panic flew into her eyes. "That's good to know," she said, attempting a brazen laugh.
"I'm serious," the woman scolded.
"I know," the daughter hung her head, hiding budding tears. "I know you are, you've never made me doubt that you're proud of me."
The woman laid back on her pillows with a satisfied smile. "Good."
The tears were flowing freely now. "You're the best mom, you know."
They both laughed, watery, half-hearted chuckles.
"Just do me a favor."
The daughter nodded emphatically. "Anything."
"Be patient with Tyler. I know you want to kill him sometimes, but he's a teenager, he'll grow out of it."
Her mother pointed a stern finger. "You have to learn to be patient. I did. Why do you think you survived past sixteen?"
More forced laughter.
The mother looked suddenly to the nightstand next to her, where there was a pitcher and an empty cup.
The daughter took the hint. She picked up the pitcher and attempted to pour a glass of water. The pitcher was empty.
With a frown, she stood up. "I'll fill it up." She copied her mother's gesture and ran her fingers across her forehead. "Stay here."
Her mother nodded. All of us knew she wasn't referring to staying in bed.
With the daughter gone, I made my move. I floated toward the bed and reached into the leather pouch strung onto my hip. Inside, the consistency was like very fine sand. I ran it through my fingers experimentally, enjoying the texture. Then I clasped my thumb and forefinger around some of it and withdrew my hand. Very carefully, I sprinkled the Dust over the woman. It landed on her nose and cheekbones, staining them with a glittering blue that was already starting to fade. Through it all, the woman never even flinched.
I spun in mid air and flung myself out of the window on powerful wings. She would be dead by morning, but I didn't need to stick around any longer. It wasn't part of my job description.
Jennifer Sibley Jannise: So, I originally read the book because my daughter asked me to. However, I read it in 2 days and thoroughly enjoyed it. It is well written and thought out. If the author writes and publishes any more books, I would definitely read them.
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!
Grapes Are Juicy yes!!!: I give this novel FIVE STARS ! This novel is worth reading from the beginning to the end! The plot and conflicts in this story are very smartly integrated. The language facility is a little odd , but i guess this was done on purpose, given the novel's set era. Other than that, this should definit...
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...
SandraHan1: This story is very descriptive, with vivid scenes from the very beginning, which made for a good scene setting. I love the symbolism in names, such as “Naysayers”, “Hadd”, etc . The story itself is revolutionary, intriguing, emotional and exciting. I was very pleased to see that there is a happy ...
Flik: Hi! ^.^ huge fan of yours on ff.net! When I saw the note about this contest on The Way We Smile, I couldn't help but rush over here, create an account, and vote! XD Seriously love this story and would recommend it to anyone! :D best FT fanfiction out there. Amazing story, amazing concept that wa...
ernbelle: When I first started this story I was a little unsettled by all of the information that appears in the prologue, and wasn't sure if I would continue. However, I am very glad I did. The plot was very well thought out and really interesting. There were not any page breaks or markers to acknowledge ...
catd69: Karim is a very talented writer. When I started reading his journey it took me into the book and I was in the story till the end. I've never felt this way with any other writers stories. If you want to read a gripping adventure, this will be the one book I would suggest you pick.
Bri Hoffer: I couldn't put it down!! The characters are all incredibly likable, and it's so descriptive you can see, smell, and feel thier surroundings. Great story, and very well written. I cannot wait for follow up stories. there were a few grammatical errors, but nothing that I could move right over.
Katy Rayne: i really enjoyed this book. i have to say i didn't know what to expect, but with every chapter that came something crucial to keep you reading happened. I was disappointed with the ending if this is for another book i will defiantly carry on reading the next book.
Alex Rushmer: Chapter One: Not much is happening in this chapter, but I was absolutely fascinated by the depth of your character development. I love how you just sat there with the reader and explored Eddward. Usually, that sort of thing gets boring very fast, but this was actually really cool! He's so unique ...
zoheusher20: What more can I say? The writing style and little details drew me into the book and for the entirety of the story I was Juliet. I felt her turmoil and emotions and every trouble or triumph as they arrived. This story was very different and had quite a few little but unexpected twists that made it...
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...
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...