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Posted: April 19th., 2008
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Magical Fantasy Novel: an excerpt
Proclaimed by: Theresa Chaze
Proclaimed from: Traverse City, Michigan
Dragon Domain--Book Two of the Dragon Clan Trilogy (978-0-9798406-1-6) Cheyenne and Celeste came to Coyote Springs to save a child; instead, Cheyenne found a home. With the help of their new friend, Jane, they created a spiritual sanctuary. But when Celeste stopped running, her past caught up with her. Dominic arrived with promises of love and passion. Instead of love, he reawakened Celeste’s dark side, turning her against those she loved the most. With the aid of the dragons, Cheyenne was barely able to ward off their first attack. With each soul they bound to them, Celeste and Dominic’s greed and hatred grew until they would not settle for less than totally destroying Cheyenne and all she loves. How do you protect yourself from someone who knows how to steal your soul?
Cheyenne cut up the beef liver and mixed it with the dog food. She deliberately kept her mind blank. Splitting the contents into equal parts, she dumped it into the smaller dishes. She just stood for a moment, looking out the window. Thoughts whirled around; she refused to be caught up by them. Other people’s thoughts and emotions blew around the cabin like leaves in the fall wind, only her shields kept them from permeating her safe haven and disturbing her already thin sense of peace. Aries and Mercury sat patiently at her feet, waiting for their dinner. Littermates, the half wolf, half-Shepard pair had more patience and intelligence than most people she knew. Picking up the dishes, she placed them on the floor in front of them. Neither animal moved. Gliding her open hand downward from her forehead to her stomach, she signaled for them to eat. Simultaneously, they attacked their dinner.
Leaning against the counter, she folded her arms across her chest. She really should eat something. The feast was still hours away. She planned to tell everyone after dinner. Most of the celebration would be over and there would be very little left for her news to spoil.
Whereas during New Moon, problems were shared and solutions sought, the Full Moons were always joyous occasions of singing, dancing and sharing blessings. Tonight would be a mixture of both. Everyone was going to miss Jane. Cheyenne was especially going to feel the void. But in her heart, she understood. An image came into her mind. Jane was walking westward into the sunset, only it was more than a sunset it was a sunrise. Without breaking stride, Jane was joined by others. Together they were transformed into beings of light, which filled the horizon with golden brightness. The light from their hearts poured out and encased them. Where there was once three, there was one. Closing her eyes, Cheyenne allowed the peacefulness to wash away some of her confusion. Jane would be safe. But would the farm?
Yes, came the reply. The others will come.
Opening her eyes, she ran her fingers through her hair. She’d have Jenny even the ends tomorrow, hopefully without too many questions. There was so much that needed to be done. All she wanted to do was sleep, to drift off into the dreamless void of total separateness. But it was not to be, least not today and tomorrow wasn’t looking good either.
Aries finished his dinner first and sat back on his haunches. Mercury licked his dish clean; the pressure of his tongue slid it across the tiles, bumping it against the counter. Realizing there was no more to be had, he also sat back and waited for the signal. Smiling, Cheyenne reached forward and scratched them between the ears. Their tails waged. There were some places the darkness would never be able to penetrate for the love shone too brightly. With the wave of her hand, the dual raced out the open back door. She followed more slowly, stopping at the archway. Each dog took their familiar direction, inspecting their fenced in turf and lifting a leg to mark it. As always they crossed in the center of the yard beneath the red maple, continuing in the direction the other had just come. Completing the circle, Mercury crawled into the hammock, stretching out so his head hung over the side. Aries lay down beneath the lilac bush, its drooping branches nearly concealing his presence. He was on alert. Later in the afternoon, the roles would be reversed and Mercury would guard the home turf. She didn’t teach them; it was a routine they independently developed as pups. She had learned to trust their instincts. If they allowed a person to approach without too much fuss, they were allowed to enter. If they verbally told her they didn’t trust the person, the closest they got was the bottom step of the porch.
She leaned on the doorway. In the mist of the sunshine and sweet summer breeze, she felt drained of hope for the future. It was not a safe place to be emotionally; it could be very easily turned and used against her. Her dry eyes burned for the lack of tears.
A robin landed on the fence and called to another. It was considered the bird of hope and new beginnings. She saw only a dark path in front of her. It continued to sing. Cheyenne looked down at the wooden floor of the porch. She wished she could cry and get it out of her system. A creeping numbness spread up from her feet, quickly racing past her knees. She leaned more heavily against the frame, slowly sliding downward. She landed knees first with a thump. The vibration, closely followed by pain, radiated up her torso. She knelt half in, half out the doorway. She no longer had the energy to stand.
Aries barked and wagged his tail. Mercury lifted his head and half barked. Neither moved from their position.
A few minutes later, a chocolate colored hand reached down and lifted her to her feet. Her weight rested primarily on the other. She was led to the living room and draped over the sofa. Gently her feet were lifted, pillows propped under her knees and her feet placed on the softness of the sofa. Her eyes drifted upward.
Lilith sadly smiled down at her; her aqua-green eyes shone with love.
Cheyenne tried to explain.
A dark finger crossed Cheyenne’s lips. “Shush. Sleep. We’ll talk later.” The finger moved from her lips to the brow between her eyes. The room spun around her. Her eyes closed, taking her into the darkness of the protected sleep.
She didn’t understand. The dragons had cleansed her of the darkness. Why was she suddenly so weak? There was no logic behind what was happening to her. Everything was done properly. Her thoughts tilted and swirled. Opening her eyes only made it worse.
“Don’t fight it.” Lilith gently commanded. “Let go. I will catch you.”
Again, she felt the pressure between her eyes, only this time sleep quickly took her to a place of rest.
Slowly she awoke. Time had no meaning. Her body felt stiff from the lack of movement. She shifted her weight. It helped a little.
The floorboards creaked. Dishes clicked against one another. Footsteps approached the sofa. “Cheyenne...” Lilith whispered. “Wake up. You need to eat.”
“No.” She murmured.
“Don’t be stubborn. You need nutrition.” Her voice was gently but firm, leaving no room for doubt that she would have her own way.
Cheyenne opened her eyes and tried to sit up. Her arms felt heavy and numb.
“Open your mouth.”
Without question, Cheyenne did as she was told. A spoonful of warm tomato soup past her lips and slid down her throat. Wordlessly one spoonful followed another until the bowl was empty. Lilith took the bowl back to the kitchen. Water ran. Moments later, she returned with two dishtowels. She rolled up the first into a tube and slid it around the back of Cheyenne’s neck. The other she folded and draped across he eyes and forehead.
The towels felt cold and damp against her skin. For the first few moments, it was uncomfortable, but quickly the discomfort became a cooling kiss, which banished the fever she hadn’t known, was there.
“Sleep little sister. You’re safe now.”
Cheyenne wanted to thank her. As she formed the words, her body relaxed and she drifted back into sleep. The sounds around her faded away, becoming muffled and distant. She didn’t know if she was moving away or if everything else was. Quickly she chided herself; of course, everything else was standing still, she was moving into the land of sleep and dreams. She tried to control her path to dreams, sometimes she could, sometimes she couldn’t. Either way she felt no fear. She directed her imagination to conjure a scene from the tropics with hot, sandy beaches, lapping waves and dolphins swimming off shore. For as long as she could remember, she had wanted to swim with dolphins. No images came. Instead, she drifted in the serene darkness within the embrace of a warm, soft pillow. No visions. No visitations from the beyond. Just quiet, peaceful rest. Her expectations melted into acceptance. Releasing control, she found herself floating on dark waters, knowing she was completely safe and protected. Sighing, she sank deeper into sleep; she knew no more until her eyes fluttered open with a will of their own.
The sun had followed its path across the sky. It now shone through the cracks in the curtains of the western windows. Cheyenne guestimated that it was close to six. The stiffness in her body told her she hadn’t moved much in her sleep. There had been more than tomatoes in the Lilith’s soup. Scanning the room, she found her sitting in a chair across the room, reading a book. “What did you give me?”
The corners of her full lips curled upward. “It was just a little something I cooked up to teach little angels of light that they need to stop and care for themselves.” She closed the book. “How do you feel?”
“Stiff. But emotionally better.”
“Why didn’t you call me sooner?”
“What time is it?”
As quickly as her numbed mind and body would allow, Cheyenne sat up, trying to remember what still needed to be done.
“You’ll regret that.”
She was right. Pain flashed between her eyes, spreading across her forehead. She lowered herself back on the pillows. “There are about a hundred twenty people headed this way, expecting food, drink and entertainment. Practically nothing is done.”
“Not your problem.”
“Not this time. I found your notes on the desk and called the main house and told, someone-I think her name was Jane-that you couldn’t do it.” Leaning forward she looked directly into Cheyenne’s eyes. “You took a heavy hit, little sister. Why didn’t you call?” Her hand chopped through the air between them, emphasizing her point. “Not only can’t you do it on your own; but you don’t have to.”
“I’ve done it before.” Cheyenne refused to admit weakness, not even to herself. “Besides who could I call?”
“Me! Raven, Selene--”
“Not far. But that’s not the point.” Lilith sat back in the chair, dropping the book on the floor. “You never ask for help. It’s going to stop.”
Slowly Cheyenne slide to a sitting position. “You do what you have to.”
Lilith right eyebrow arched. “So what happened?”
“The sh*t hit the fan.”
“I really don’t feel like talking about it. Can’t we pretend everything is okay?’
“We can. But it won’t change anything.” Lilith crossed her legs and settled into the chair. “And the elephant in the living room will still be there whether we talk about it or not.”
Tears welled up in Cheyenne’s eyes, threatening to spill over. “It hurts too much.”
“That’s good. You didn’t shut yourself down again.”
“Oh great! Some accomplishment.” Cheyenne wiped away the falling tear and snuffled. “It doesn’t solve anything and clouds the issues.”
Shaking her head back, Cheyenne brushed the hair from her face. Its length still surprised her. “I told Celeste and Dominic to leave. They both crossed the line. There’ll be a problem separating Celeste’s possessions from ours. “
“Fighting over trinkets is silly.”
“I don’t care what little stuff she takes as long as she takes everything she brought into the house. I don’t want there to be reason one for her to come back.”
“It’s a big change.”
“Too much has happened.”
Lilith nodded. “What else?”
“Jane is leaving.”
“Did you ask her too?”
Cheyenne shook her head. “It’s something she feels she needs to do. She doesn‘t know where or how long.”
“It’ll be two against one.” Lilith leaned on the arm of the chair, resting her chin in her palm
“Wrong.” The aqua-green eyes twinkled. “It’s two against all of us. It’s big house with many empty bedrooms. I want an eastern view.”
“What about your house? Your clients?”
“I’m an accountant. My computer is my office. The house is rented.” A sly smile crossed her lips. “Besides, there is someone I want you to meet. I’ll bring her to the gathering tonight.”
“But you said--”
“I’ve changed my mind.” A long finger waggled in front of her face. “I’m genetically entitled.”
Cheyenne was confused. Lilith had long proclaimed she wanted nothing to do with the rest of the members of the farm. “Why?”
“Never mind.” Lilith paused. “If you’re lucky, you understand by the end of the night.”
Cheyenne weakly smiled. “More of your secrets?”
The sparkle in the aqua-green eyes shouted the humor she was unable to hide. “It’s what keeps me interesting.”
“No, my dear sister. It’s your zest for life and you ability to make a story out of plain white wall.”
“Nothing is ever plain or white. Everything is just shades of gray.” The corners of her mouth curled upward, revealing almost unnaturally white teeth. In many ways, she was a series of contrasts. Nothing every seemed to disturb her. Tension was eased with a joke or a diversion. Yet, there was still an underlying current of focus and intensity.
Cheyenne’s mind detoured on its own tangent. It occurred to her that most people on the spiritual path seemed younger than their actual years. The children were still children, yet they had an understanding and maturity level beyond their age. She remembered reading somewhere that in Nirvana everyone was thirty. She wondered if it was true.
“Enterprise to Cheyenne. Enterprise to Cheyenne.” Lilith waved her open palm in front of Cheyenne’s face. “Do you read me?”
Rapidly blinking, Cheyenne snapped back. Smiling, she snatched the hand and kissed the palm. She put on her best Scottish accent. “’eye Cap’an. I hear’ya. Beam me back.”
“Did you find any intelligent life?”
“’Eye. I did. But they’d be too involved with their own lives and with’a helpin’ others to be givin’ much information.”
Cheyenne gazed into the smiling eyes. The love in them reached out and embraced her, making everything all right. Her hand came up, gently tracing Cheyenne cheek. Lilith leaned forward and kissed her forehead as a mother would a child. Cheyenne did feel like a small child who had just woke up from a nightmare only to find a loving protector already chasing away the bad dreams. It was love without strings or conditions. It was still a new experience for her. For a moment, Cheyenne became part of Lilith and together they became part of all living things. The birds sang. The squirrels chattered. All of life swirled around them and in them. Slowly their energy separated. The moment ended. Once again, they were individuals.
Standing, Lilith shook back her hair. “I should say something.” She hesitated. “But I can’t think of a thing.”
Words had deserted Cheyenne as well. The energy that passed between them was more intimate than sex, yet they had not touched. What she felt was more spiritual than physical. It was almost as if they had reinforced their own womanhood. Cheyenne had been taught, true bonds were only possible between men and women. But she suddenly realized that women, who are strong within themselves and their femininity, were bonded first with all women. That is how it was meant to be. In primitive societies, all the women celebrated their moon time at the same time every month. It was this commitment to each other that made them strong. It was only when the commitment was sacrificed to men did women become weak and dependent. It was knowledge that came from her soul. She knew it to be true. Licking her lips, Cheyenne wanted to share the information, but she didn’t know how. It just didn’t seem to be the correct time to be speaking of philosophical insights.
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