Pages Torn from My Notebook
Unpublished Prologue for
May day - A gray Witch Novel
New Adult Urban Fantasy
Copyrighted Material RR Born 2017
This is a pre-copyedited excerpt.
Please forgive any typos.
Haviland stood in the opening of the clan elder’s tent. He watched the older man pace.
Without being welcomed in, he stepped inside. “Father,” He spoke in the old language.
The man froze. Haviland knew the man never thought to hear his voice again after they exiled him more than fifteen years ago.
His father slowly turned around and held the round spectacles from his nose, up to his eyes, to look at his visitor. “Son.” The title short and clipped.
Haviland ran his fingers over the oversized silk pillows as he walked further in, but didn’t dare sit.
The older man studied Haviland’s face and sighed. “What do you want?”
“Nyah. She’s ill.”
“If she is dying, it is what the gods have decreed. Who are we to stop that?” the older man said.
“But you have the power to save her,” Haviland’s voice cracked.
“And you knew when you took a mate outside this clan, our magic would be denied to her,” his father said.
Haviland knew his father could be a bastard, but his woman was an innocent and lay dying. “Surely, those dark days of prejudice are past us now.” Haviland paced as he tried to hold in his anger.
His father stood passively like always. “She has little time left. Be with her, hold her until she moves on to the Evanesce.”
Haviland sneered. His father felt nothing for no one and he felt everything for this woman. “No! No, I will not stand by and watch her go into the Evanesce!” The last word stung like poison on his tongue. "Father, please.“
His father turned his back.
"I will remember this day." He willed the tears that wanted to fall to dry up. “It’s one thing to turn your back on me, but she’s innocent. If she dies, all that you hold dear will suffer.” Haviland said, then stormed out of the tent.
Haviland stepped into his tent and his breathing seized. Nyah’s chest had stopped moving. “Nyah. Nyah!” He could hear the panic in his voice, but he didn’t care. The moment she let out a gasp, something in him eased.
She lifted her hand towards his face, “Hav?”
He wiped the moisture from his eyes before he grabbed her fragile fingers. “Love, I’m here,” Haviland said softly. He spoke in an old form of Gaelic. He kissed each of Nyah’s fingertips gently. “I will heal you. I promise,” he whispered. He made the pledge to himself although he knew she could hear him.
Nyah’s words were like wisps of smoke, “Don’t Hav. Just. Let. Me. Go.” She gasped for air after each word.
Before she could finish the sentence, his head began to shake. He gently placed one arm under her knees and another around her back to pull her body close to his, then stood with her. He walked with haste, but made every effort not to jostle her too much. Strands of her hair tickled his nose, lilacs, she always smelled like lilacs.
“I want to try something,” he spoke in a soft voice, “stay with me a little longer.” He placed her on a pallet of pillows.
She nodded with a weak smile. He admired her strength, but could see she didn’t have long.
Haviland rummaged through a nearby trunk. Finally, he pulled out three things and placed them on a small wooden table near them. A small glass bottle with a Celtic symbol and a cork plug. Also, a ceremonial dagger on the table. The athame extended about six inches with an obsidian hilt encrusted with purple and citrine crystals.
He lit a small sage stick. When it began to smoke, he waved it back and forth over Nyah as he walked the length of her body.
Haviland circled her twice and on the third pass, he began the incantation. “My blood, your blood — always one. Your spirit, my spirit — always one. Your lifeline, My lifeline intertwine. Eternity always yours and mine.” He repeated this twice more. Then picked up the glass container and blew the sage stick smoke into it. The trail of smoke from Nyah’s body connected with the smoke in the container.
He placed the container on the table and the smoke continued to flow between it and Nyah. Haviland picked up the athame and the true beauty of the knife could be seen. The crystals reacted to the lantern light, creating sparkles throughout the entire tent.
Haviland closed his eyes as he kissed the blade of the athame. Nyah watched him, but didn’t say a word as she laid witness to his sacrifice.
He laid the dagger on his forearm, cutting till a steady stream of blood flowed. Then he laid the blade against his right palm and cut much in the same manner. The blood dripped freely from his hand and arm. He pulsed his hand over the container, his blood coated the inside and out. The smoke turned golden the moment his blood touched it, never faltering in its connection with Nyah.
“Nyah, I need your hand.” She lifted her hand slowly. When their fingers touched, his eyes closed and a warmth of love and trust washed over him. He knew he was doing the right thing. He cut her palm and the blood flowed slowly from her hand. He took the bottle from the table and pressed it against her bloody palm. The blood coated the inside of the container. The moment the smoke, his blood and hers touched — the smoke flashed blue and crackled of what could only be their combined energy.
The energy traveled out of the bottle, through the smoke and wrapped itself around Nyah. The power of the energy crackled and flickered like a small lightning storm. Haviland laid the bottle on Nyah’s chest. The energy traveled continually inside the smoke around Nyah and into the bottle. Nyah’s gasps for air seemed to calm somewhat, but her body jerked like she was in the throes of a seizure. Haviland could only watch and wait.
He laid on the pallet next to her and placed kisses on her temple as he brushed her tightly curled hair out of her face. The small lightning storm passed around his body never stopping the circuit. His eyes tightened with the memories of this woman. The softness of her hair, the love in her eyes, the smell of her skin. He knew she was slowly slipping away from him. He leaned his head to her cheek and her scent filled his nose.
“I love you, don’t ever doubt it,” he whispered.
Nyah’s body lurched out of his arms. Head and feet dangled as she levitated about six feet in the air. Haviland watched as her body bent, till he thought her back would break. Her gut-wrenching screams would haunt him for the rest of his life. He didn’t mean to cause her pain. He didn’t mean for this to happen. When she collapsed, the entire room went eerily silent.
He wanted to hold her, touch her, but snatched his fingers back. He wasn’t sure if she was dead or just badly broken. “My love,” Haviland whispered anxiously. “Open your eyes. Say something, please.”
Finally, she gasped then whispered in his language, “I love you, Always.” She wheezed, “Always.”
The last of the smoke trailed into the lightning storm of energy inside the bottle. Haviland watched through blurry eyes as Nyah’s spirit left her body. A blue transparent version of herself lifted from her empty shell and entered the bottle. Haviland knew the ritual worked. Once the last of the blue essence of Nyah entered the bottle, Haviland placed the cork in tight.
He lifted the bottle in time to see Nyah’s tiny transparent hands transform into pure blue energy. He held the container in the palm of his hands and brushed a finger over the glass delicately. He watched the storm rage inside.
"I will see you again one day.”
Contemporary Romance Novella
Copyrighted Material RR Born 2017
This is a pre-copyedited chapter.
Please forgive any typos.
Sloane MacIlnearney walked all over the Aerfort Bhaile Átha Claith, AKA the Dublin Airport. Twice. On her third pass through the domestic departures wing, a smiling airline agent took pity on her and informed her the ticket she held was to a ferry. So, after another long walk out of the airport and a taxi ride, she made her way to the ferry terminal.
Sloane thought the ferry ride would be a hop, skip and a jump, like from Houston to Galveston.
The trip from Dublin to the Isle of Man took three hours, but the taxi ride to her new home and business took less than thirty minutes.
Sloane imagined the island would be all sheep and hills, and it lived up to her expectations of a quaint town. Even a few miles in, she could still smell salt in the air. The other thing she noticed, the area didn’t lack for pubs.
The driver pulled up in front of a ramshackled building that didn’t look anything at all like what she imagined. Sloane opened her door to get out and a get a better look. The driver got out as well and moved to the rear of the car. Her eyes scanned one end of the bed and breakfast to the other and still disbelief filled her heart. “Hey, you sure you brought me to the right place?” Sloane asked.
The snow haired taxi driver pulled her luggage from the trunk. “Ai, this is the right place.” The old man’s spoke with a lilt at the end of each word.
She snatched her phone from her back pocket and scrolled through her pictures until she found it and shoved the phone in his face. “This is that place?”
He rubbed the back of his neck with a wistful smile. “Haven’t seen the ol’ girl look like that in years. That picture has to be at least thirty years old.”
“The ‘Ol’ girl’?”
He stepped onto the curb and picked up a weathered board with a faded painting of a peregrine falcon and faint lettering, “Lady Pere’s Stoop.” He showed it to her, then threw it back.
Sloane nodded, “Of course.”
He closed the trunk, “Aigh vie ort.”
Sloane wasn’t sure what he said, but she rummaged through her purse for some cash to pay him. He waved her off and without another word, drove away.
She walked with her rolling suitcase up the cracked walkway, past the sad excuse for grass and the weed filled flower boxes. The paint chipped red door and it let out a long creak when she entered. She stepped across the threshold - into a time warp. Her eyes blinked, then blinked again, but she couldn’t unsee the velvet brown couch with beige diamond stitching, that screamed 1970’s. The accompanying side chairs of orange and brown plaid might have been a failed attempt at room design. Her loud sigh filled the empty room.
The one ray of sunlight came in the form of the front desk. It had to be an antique. Her fingers moved over the grooves in the carved Celtic knotted woodwork along the top with great appreciation. When looking over the top, she was surprised to find she wasn’t alone.
“Hello,” Sloane said.
The American music magazine lowered just enough to reveal the brightest sea-foam green eyes, simultaneously destroyed by heavy black eyeliner and mascara. The girl grudgingly closed her magazine. “The place is-na open.” The same lilt on her words as the old man. Not quite Irish, not quite Scottish, but a nice mixture of the two. The girl smacked her gum, and blew a bubble.
Sloane realized she was young, much younger than the heavy makeup portrayed. “So why are you here then?” Sloane asked.
The girl’s boots hit the floor with a thud. “American?” She asked. Obviously a rhetorical question because she kept talking. “Oh, wow. You look familiar, do I know you? Of course not, you’re from America. How could I? I would love to live there. You are so lucky.” A dreamy smile came across her face.
Sloane held back a laugh, but decided to speak before the girl got her second wind. “Ummm. I want…”
“A room?” The girl interrupted, “Like I said. Not open.”
Sloane’s speech slowed to offset the girl’s speed, “No. I am the new proprietor.”
“Oh, wow. You are? Oh my goodness.” Her eyes widened as she stood. She patted her clothes, took the gum out of her mouth and stuck it on the magazine cover. “Of course you are. No one comes here voluntarily.” Her hands flew over her mouth.
Sloane’s brows went up.
Little Miss Information lowered her hands, “I didn’t mean it the way it sounded. I’m really screwing this up, aren’t I?”
Sloane wanted to nod, “Yes,” but could see the girl was a bit flustered. “It’s okay.”
The girl fiddled with the bottom of her shirt. “My name is Sophia, but no one calls me that really, so Gia is fine. The MacConmaras asked me to wait to give you this,” she opened a drawer and pulled out a large manila envelope, “and congratulations on winning this place.”
As Sloane opened the envelope, Gia pulled her messenger bag over her body.
“You’re not staying?” Sloane asked, looking around the empty space.
“Oh, no. I got band practice.” Gia said as she moved from behind the desk and a loud jingle sounded. “Here.” She unknotted the lanyard from her bag and handed it to Sloane. “The Macs said all the keys are labeled and to pick any room.” Gia paused at the front door with Sloane. “There was something else, but I can’t remember. I don’t think it was important though,” the girl mumbled as she walked out.
“When are the MacConmaras coming back?”
“Oh, wow. No, they caught a flight to Spain yesterday. Something about they couldn’t wait to start retirement.” Gia gave a wave, “Aigh vie ort.”
“What does that mean?” She called out.
The girl turned around, walking backwards, “Good Luck!”
Sloane closed the door. Quickly surmising the front door didn’t have a lock. “Looks like I’m gonna need it.”