Issiryth's Curse

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CHAPTER TWENTY-TWO

Together Again

Within in the bliss of their extraordinary energy, I found myself comforted. My precious boys were once again in my loving arms, back where they belonged. The white light filled my senses as I fully embraced them. It washed us out completely, tossing away the sensation that I was holding them in my arms. In desperation to hold on, I tossed and turned about, finding myself a bit uncomfortable, yet still wrapped-up. My arms felt heavy and restricted. The white light darkened as I found myself falling down into a black hole of nothingness.

Soon, I could feel pain creeping up like the high from a drug. It shot through me all at once, attacking my side with a stabbing pain. I trembled about, yet I was paralyzed. I no longer had the sensation of the boys in my arms, but a painful darkness that surrounded me. I wanted to scream, but I couldn’t. My eyes fluttered about within my head, struggling to pry themselves open. I was rendered speechless and motionless, yet trapped within the depths of my mind. I had just experienced losing my kids, finding them for a small moment, then releasing them again to a white light that had no rhyme or reason. How would I find them now? There was no man directing me to a portal, or mermaid to change into. I was simply released into a black abyss where nobody could see or hear me. Perhaps this was my true hell and I really was dead in every way except to experience the pain of a failed existence.
“Son of a bitch,” I heard a voice say. “Looks like she’s waking up.”
“No, I don’t think so,” said the other voice. I felt cold hands on my wrist as if to check my pulse. “They do that sometimes. It doesn’t mean she’s waking up.”
I trembled again beneath what felt like a stretched cloth that was covering my body, yet I was still unable to move. I forced my eyes to open, screaming within the depths of my mind that I had to live. I wouldn’t allow myself to die or experience hell. I told myself that I had to fight for the beautiful life I had with my boys. The coaxing of my consciousness pushed me further like a high school football coach, telling me I’d be damned if I didn’t sit up and make my presence known. With no other alternative, I reached my hand out to touch a nearby forearm, as I screamed out for my boys. In my vision, I could see two young women standing over me in red scrubs. One was holding on to me and the other was scrambling about the room.
“Sweetie, calm down you’re waking up,” she said in disbelief.
“Where am...” I tried to muster out, but the words wouldn’t come.
“Don’t try to talk. Amanda, go get Dr. Russel,” she commanded, motioning for the other girl to leave the room. I tried to sit up in my panic, but she kept a strong grip, holding me down.
“Where am I?” I asked again looking up at her.
“You’re safe now Liza. You’re at the hospital. Everything is fine,” she said.
“How long have I been here? Where are my kids?” I asked.
“I’m going to answer all your questions, but I need you to save your strength okay? You’ve been in a coma,” she said.
“A coma?” I asked in disbelief. “How is that possible? What happened to me?”
“Shhhhh,” she said placing her hand on my shoulder. “Not now sweetie.”
I was frustrated, to say the least to have found myself laying in a damn hospital bed, waking up from a coma. I didn’t even know how I could have gotten into a coma. It didn’t make any sense at all. As I lie there, waiting for the doctor to arrive, I looked up at the nurse with a puzzled look on my face. A tall man with salt and pepper hair wearing a long white coat and stethoscope around his neck entered the room. He looked me up and down, prodding me like a science experiment. I intercepted his hand when he reached for my gown to lift it up.
“I don’t really care who you are. You’re not looking under there,” I stated.
“Fair enough,” he said raising his hands in front of him.

“I’m Dr. Russel,” he said offering up his hand for me to shake it.
“No thanks. Just tell me what’s going on,” I resisted.
“You’ve been in a near-fatal car crash. I know you don’t recall details now, but things may start coming back to you. You’ve been in a coma for about four days. We need you to stay here so that we can observe you over the next few days. If all your tests come back normal, then we’ll release you. Also, I just wanted to congratulate you,” he said. I began to cry, coming to the realization that I had been very close to death’s door. Had I not awoken, would I have gone to hell? Despite my still perplexing outlook on my circumstance, his offer of congratulations piqued my curiosity.
“Congratulate me? For what? Being in a car accident or waking up from my coma?” I asked. He laughed.
“I’m glad to see you haven’t lost your sense of humor. No, neither of those things. You’re pregnant. The baby seems to be okay despite the trauma. It’s quite a miracle actually,” he responded.
“Excuse me? Pregnant. I’m sorry, but there must be some kind of mix-up. I can’t be pregnant,” I responded not believing him at all.
“Well my dear, if you’ve had unprotected sex which I suspect you have, then you absolutely can be,” he said smiling.
“But I wear an IUD,” I responded dumfounded.
“It didn’t show on your ultrasound,” he shrugged. “Do you have any more questions for me?”
“Um...no, I guess I don’t,” I said looking down at my hands.
“Very well then. Nice meeting you Liza,” he smiled and left the room. The nurse was still messing with the IV bag.
“Mam, do you know where my children are?” I asked.
“I’m sorry. I don’t usually work this wing of the hospital. I can ask one of the other nurses when you’ll be expecting visitors,” she said.
“Okay thank you,” I said as she left the room.
In the pit of my stomach I felt a knot that clenched up like a tightrope. I didn’t remember being in a car accident. Were the boys with me? Had they met their demise and nobody wanted to tell me what had happened? I found myself faced with the cruelty of my real life and I questioned if it was preferable to the life that Blane had offered me. At least with him I had the illusion that they were safe and sound on a forbidden island. Now all I had were questions of whether or not I would have to face forever without them. As I lie there in that hospital bed imagining all the possible consequences of this accident, a familiar sound grabbed my attention. I could hear the screeching of sneakers as they grazed the floor along with high-pitched voices competing with one another. It was the most comforting and soothing sound to my ears.
“Jameson! Noah!” I yelled at the top of my lungs. “Jameson! Noah!”
“It’s mom. She’s awake!” I could hear Jameson exclaiming from down the hallway. The screeching tennis shoe sound became more thudding and brisk against the hard hospital floor. Tears of joy began to flood my eyes. I wanted to get out of bed, but I wasn’t certain that my feet worked. So,I stayed still, hoping they would follow the sound of my voice.
“Noah! Jameson!” I yelled again. Their bright little faces peered in through the door at me, bounding into my hospital bed for the biggest, sweetest hugs I had ever experienced. I hugged them, planting rapid kissed all over their faces.

“I’m sorry guys. I’m so, so sorry.”
“For what mommy?” asked Noah.
“For not being there for you. For not always being a good mom. I love you guys so much. I’ll never leave you again,” I sobbed.
“What do you mean mom?” inquired Jameson. “You’re the best mom in the whole world.”
“Yea,” Noah chimed in. “You do stuff like take care of us, make our dinner, and buy us shoes.”
“I love you guys so much. Were you scared for mommy?” I asked, still crying and holding them as close as possible.
“No, we weren’t scared. We knew you’d wake up,” said Jameson.
Soon, following behind the boys, Syble’ beautiful face shone from around the door. Relief and joy pulsated throughout me simultaneously as I knew she must have been helping to care for them.
“Well aren’t you a sight for sore eyes,” she beamed. “Welcome back sweetheart.”
“Syble!” I exclaimed reaching out for a hug. She sat next to me on the bed, as I hugged her with tears in my eyes. Her warm hug felt comforting, but something within the way she looked at me felt as if the tragedy was still ongoing.
“Have you been taking care of the boys while I was out?” I asked.
“Yes, they’ve been staying with me,” she answered.
“What about Wendy? Was that even a real house I dropped them off at?” I asked.
“Of course it was a real house,” she laughed. “When I heard you were in the accident, I made arrangements to get them. There was nobody else to take them.”
I felt a strong feeling grief seeping into my body. It finally occurred to me that I did remember being in a car crash. Soon, flashing before me, I saw the green truck coming for us, but as I remember it playing out, we were never hit. Perhaps I had been jolted into an alternate universe because none of this felt real. I questioned why on earth Syble was the only one to care for the boys in such an event. My mother certainly would have done it, unless of course, she was also in the accident. Then, it dawned on me that she was, she was driving the car even. This realization brought a horrible, sick feeling all over me.
“What do you mean the only one? Mom can take care of them. Where’s mom?” I asked. Syble’s face turned somber.
“She’s not well Liza,” she responded.
“Not well? What do you mean not well?” I asked.
“She’s in a coma. It seems like she’s not doing as well as you are,” she said
“But she’s going to be okay right?” I asked. Her eyes welled with tears as she looked away from me.
“We don’t know yet, but we’ve been keeping up hope. Gary’s come to visit you a couple of times,” she said. Suddenly the relief I felt in seeing my boys again, faded away into despair. My stomach churned. I pressed my arms into my belly as I began to rock back and forth.
“No, she has to be okay. She has to Syble! I’m going to kill that guy in the green truck,” I said.
“Shhhh,” she said comforting me. “It’s going to be alright. It’s going to be just fine.”
We sat up there in bed while the boys swiped their fingers across their tablets. Her arms had a snug grasp on me while my body rocked back in fourth. The material of her shirt began to soak in my tears. My mom had been my rock and my everything through all of this life I had as a single mom. She had been there to look after the boys for me and dried every tear when a man was breaking my heart. I couldn’t live without her. I didn’t know how. With all of my heart, I knew I would have to encourage her to wake up from the state she was in. Moreover, I would ensure the man who did this to us would pay for his mistake in causing such a horrific accident.
“Well, did they catch the guy who did this to us?” I asked her.
“I don’t know the details, but I think he’s been in the hospital too. His family has insisted the accident was your mom’s fault,” she said.
I was stunned as I knew my mother couldn’t possibly be blamed for such a thing. I looked at her in astonishment. I could tell she was trying to keep me calm by giving as few details as possible, but she never faltered into dishonesty. She rubbed her hand down my right arm trying to comfort me in the same manner my mother would have. I could hear footsteps from down the hallway. They slowed as they neared my room. When I looked over to see who it was, Gary peeked his head in to look at me. His face lit up like Christmas lights in December at the sight of me. I would be lying if I said it didn’t bring me a great deal of joy seeing his reaction. I could see Syble tensing up in frustration at the sight of him as she slunk out of the bed and walked over to play with the boys.
“Hey baby, I’ve been worried about you,” he said kissing my forehead and seating himself next to me in the bed.
“Hey guys, can I talk to Gary alone please?” I asked looking over at Syble and the kids. Scowling at him, she gathered up the children and left the room. I looked at his icy blue eyes and it was as if he’d never left me. The warm, fuzzy feelings returned to me like a boomerang.
“I’m so glad you’re okay Liza. I was worried about you,” he said, rubbing my arm.
“Me too,” I smiled in remorse. I regretted pretending a pregnancy to make him stay with me, but now it wasn’t a lie. I wasn’t certain if telling the truth was a good idea.

“Gary, I... I thought you were breaking up with me. I mean it sounded like it before you left.”
“No babe, never. I’m not leaving you. I was just being a jerk. I’m so sorry,” he responded.
“You told me if I was pregnant I had better damn well take care of it,” I cried. He held me close, rubbing my back.
“I’m sorry. I’m so, so sorry. I didn’t mean it okay?”
“You know, you made it very clear that you find my life beneath you and think I have bastard children,” I went on.
“Liza, I’m sorry. I promise I’ll be there for you more. This car accident gave me a scare. I want us to move in together and be a real family. I love you,” he said.
“Well, I’m pregnant Gary and the baby is yours. The doctor just told me. You know, I didn’t even think it was possible. I never told you I was using an IUD because I always wanted you to feel the burden of being stuck with me, but I don’t care anymore. The only people I care about are Mom, Noah, Jameson, and this baby that’s on the way. I didn’t deserve to be treated the way you treated me. You took me for granted and used me. I’m fairly certain you cheated on me as well. I gave you everything, all my love, time, and compassion. You just rolled over me like a steamroller.” He quieted my lips with his finger.
“Things are going to be different now. I promise,” he said. “I’m not going to abandon you and the baby. I’m going to be a father just like I am to my other children.”
“Save it for someone who cares Gary because I don’t. Not anymore. I’m going to care for the baby alone just like I have the boys. You can walk out of my life just as every other man has and I won’t bat an eyelash or lose a single wink of sleep. You know why? Because I have me, Gary. I’m all the security I need. If I can walk away from a handsome, rich man on paradise island, I can certainly walk away from the likes of you. Now, if you’d kindly leave, I’d die a happy woman never looking upon your face ever again.”
My strength even surprised myself. After what I’d been through, I felt motivated to stand up for what I really wanted and that wasn’t him anymore. Gary was shocked by what I had said. His eyes widened as his mouth stood ajar at the words I had uttered. It had never been within my character to greet him with such intensity and confidence. I had always allowed him to walk all over me, taking any piece of me that he’d like.

I found myself now pregnant with his child and not giving two shits about my future with him. This position was empowering indeed, but where would it lead me? It seemed as if apathy would be my constant companion in dealing with him from now on. In both my power and pride I stood, not shedding one tear as he left. Without another word from his lips, he moved out of the room, defeated by his puppet. He hit Syble’s shoulder with his as he left in a rush. She was angry as she furrowed her brow at his huffing departure.
“What’s his problem?” she asked.
“I left him, Syble,” I said.
“What?” she asked. “You left him? What do you mean you left him?”
“I left him. I told him I don’t want to raise a baby with him and I’d do it alone,” I shrugged.
“Baby? Are you?” she asked. I nodded. “Oh, Liza! I’m so excited! I hope it’s a baby girl this time!”
“Me too,” I laughed, joining in.
“So, the doctor thinks you should only be in a couple more days huh?” she asked.
“Yes, he said they have to run a few more tests. Then, I’m clear to go as there is apparently nothing else wrong with me. What about mom though? Do you know how she’s doing?” I asked.
“She’s stable,” she said looking down. “That was a terrible accident you know?”
“I don’t really remember. To be honest, that’s not what I remember happening at all,” I responded. “She’ll wake up, won’t she? Just like I did?”
“I don’t know honey. I really hope so,” she said. “I ought to get the boys home. It’s getting late and they have school tomorrow.”
“Oh, now you’re sounding like me,” I laughed. “Okay, ya’ll go on then. Noah, Jameson give mom hugs and kisses. Aunt Syble is taking you home for bed now.”
“No mommy, we don’t want to leave you,” Noah whined as he hugged my neck.
“Go on now honey, I’ll see y’all tomorrow,” I commanded, sending them off.
As she gathered them up to leave, a sense of sadness brushed over the depths of my emotion. What if all of this islands of Sedania stuff were real? Were Blane or Issiryth around the corner, waiting to take my children again? I wasn’t sure which was up, down, right or left in this boggled mind of mine. I was all alone in that hospital bed, wondering where I had really been, what I had really done, and if I would ever see my mother alive again. I really couldn’t bear the devastation of losing another parent so early on in my life. In some ways, I had wished Blane was real because I knew he’d be more than willing to render aid in the desperation of my current circumstance. I must have loved my delusional fiction of the islands and love affairs, as my mind had found cause to create it. How could it have been fabrication though? My feelings for him were so real and the intricacy of my interactions was incomprehensible. I couldn’t fathom not knowing any of those I met on the islands. How could my mind have produced such an elaborate network of relationships?
I was caught up in a whirlwind of ifs, ands, or buts, circling around like a cyclone on the path of destruction. I wasn’t sure how much energy I could put into my troubles at the present moment with my head spinning. I was unable to stabilize it enough to keep it from sinking into the pillow like quicksand. I had managed to deteriorate my emotional strength over a very short period of time, leaving me helpless there on that hospital bed. As I drifted away to sleep, I wished for a short moment that I would remember to wake up. The fear of never returning was too daunting a thought after the turmoil that I had endured. My wish alone would not be enough, I would have to master the will to live. For, it is in the will to carry on, that I was able to persevere despite the odds stacked against me. I would wake up because I had to. I knew my boys were alive and well, hoping that mommy would find her way back home to them.
At this point, I knew I was facing more challenges, but nothing could describe the joy and relief I found having these boys back. Love, passion, and romance paled in comparison to the beauty that I found in the life I lead with my children. As I awoke from my nap, a sense of satisfaction found itself tucked beneath my chest cavity next to my heart, because I knew I could keep the promise I had made to myself that I would wake up. Time and time again I would, finding the struggle a little easier each time.
A tray of dinner had been prepared and put on my bedside table. It was reminiscent of my time with Blane and all the meals Leila would bring to me. A bit put off by this bittersweet familiarity, I pushed the tray back, away from my line of sight. As it slid past my vision, something caught my eye and I wasn’t inclined to look away like I should have. Sitting there next to the cup of chocolate ice cream was a small off-white envelope with gold lettering. It was addressed to me. I snatched it up off the tray table and carefully opened it. As I read the words, it was apparent that my journey was far from over.

—The End

***Did you enjoy this read? Don’t miss-out on Book 2: A Pirate’s Bargain. Follow Liza as she continues her fantasy adventure with the evil Blane. https://www.amazon.com/Islands-Sedania-Pirates-Bargain-Book-ebook/dp/B07MC3GVWD/ref=sr_1_fkmrnull_2?keywords=the+islands+of+sedania&qid=1557359995&s=gateway&sr=8-2-fkmrnull

Grab your free copy of Stane, The Islands of Sedania Prequel, when you sign-up for LC Owen Books Newsletter.

What happens when the psychiatrist gets sucked into his patient’s insanity?

A steamy fantasy with a psychological twist

Stark was a mediocre psychiatrist. Blane was a young man struggling with mental illness. An eerie feeling comes over Stark when he meets Blane for the first time, realizing he’s met his match. Blane seems to know more about Stark than he should. When Blane’s mother Izzy tries to intervene, Stark cannot explain why he’s so taken with her beauty rather than paying attention to the red flags. Taken down the dark road of insanity, Stark finds himself trapped in a dream world of his patient’s making. As Stark tries to navigate through Sedania, he desperately hopes to fit all the puzzle pieces together in order to treat Blane’s mental illness, but Blane has a different agenda all together. Will Blane’s world pull Stark into the abyss of no return? Will Stark be able to fight his lust for Izzy long enough to escape? Anything can happen on the islands of Sedania.

This is a prequel to The Islands of Sedania series. It can be read as a stand alone book, after reading the series, or before reading the series. You might like this book if you enjoy sci-fi, fantasy, paranormal romance, or psychological thrillers as it has aspects of all these genres. People who like this book also like steamy romance novels where the villain is sexy, yet evil. Please be advised this books is for mature audiences. 18+ is advised.

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