In Dreams... The Solitary Road
Date of Publication: October 1, 2013
Number of pages: 206
Word Count: 45k
Cover Artist: S.I.Hayes and Eri Nelson
Dumped in a treacherous Arctic land, Amara Dagon must master her spell craft if she is to survive a year in exile, but fear, doubt and the loss of her family threatens to take hold. Can Amara gain control of her magic or will she succumb to it leaving her people in the hands of a dangerous tyrant?
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At the end of the docks, Amara found the only thing she would need, a map of the town, showing where Inns were located, and food could be found. This was a typical fishing town, and as the night rolled in the trawlers and other boats were coming to dock for the night, unloading their hauls. At the first Inn, she could find, she found above the check in desk, another sign:
Forms of Payment.
Work or Flesh.
We prefer Flesh.
Amara immediately turned tail and exited, in this case the first choice is not always best. Exhausted, she found another, where her coins were happily taken. She paid for three days and disappeared into the room.
After a few days of exploring the town, she found that her short list of skills would do her little good. The town was not in need of another seamstress, and everyone did their own hunting, so her proficiency with a bow was unhelpful. If she wanted to stay here there was little work to be found that did not require her to take her clothes off, and she knew nothing of boats, so she picked up and moved along. This was not the place for her.
Following a days walking she noticed the clouds, their shape and plume signaling to her that clearer days were to be soon behind her. She would have to pick up the pace, in hopes of reaching the next town if she wanted to get out of the weather. Luck was not on her side, for as she ventured through the forest the temperature dropped and the first flakes of snow began to fall. She pushed onward, through the thickets and found herself at the highest point of a hill. In the distance some three or more hours walk, she could see fires. Their flickering on the blankets of snow like stars on the night sky. If she could manage to get down the hill safely, and the snow did not fall any harder, she was sure she could seek refuge among those fires even if she had to pay. So drawing in a chilled breath, she secured her pack, pulled her blue-green cloak hood down, and followed the edge of the hill, hoping to find a spot where it sloped down at a better grade.
Walking the hill took more than two hours, now she would have to circle back, if she was going to keep her intended destination, the snow fell in large heavy flakes, and the wind pushed against her. This was only the second time in her life that she had ever experienced weather harder than a hot shower. De’ Corlen was in a tropical environment, and although prone to the occasional heavy rain, it never saw temperatures below sixty-four degrees. Kenrik had been more temperate, but the size of the metropolis and the high mountains kept most heavy weathers at bay. Here she should have been freezing, but this was not the case. Perhaps it was her driving ambition to reach those fires, which now seemed to tease her through the white out, falling and rising as she moved through the limb chilling slosh. Over the sound of the wind gusts and the echoes in her ears of her own heavy breath, she could hear howls. The sounds seemed to come from all around her, but with the snow in her eyes, she could not see their source. She pushed on, her mind racing, she would not be fodder for animals of this strange, and arctic world in which she had put herself. This was not to be her end. Or maybe it was her secret hope, that she would simply succumb, that she would be reunited with her family.
Whatever the reason, she would not lay down and let it come, she would at least try to survive. Drawing her sword she stopped, waited, the howls died away, and then came the snarls, from the back left, and right, she could hear the animals as they closed in on her. They had been following her for sometime, only now as she was beginning to slow from the height of the snow did they reveal themselves.
Amara stood her ground; using her sword to help her level an area around her. There was no time to start a fire, and even if there had been, everything was too wet from the snow. She tried to summon up the flames as she had on the Isle, but nothing happened. Her sword was heavy in her hands and the pulsating of the stinger in her arm was going to slow her down. The wound, she realized, suddenly, it must have been what alerted them to her; why else would they have bothered.
She could see them now, as they hunkered down, long lean, grey bodies, with tails wagging back and forth, as they watched her with stops and starts. They formed a semi-circle in front of her, snapping their powerful jaws, some snarled, as Amara tried to catch her footing in the ever-deepening snow. Her mind raced, not knowing how the animals would attack.
On the Isle, there were no predatory creatures that hunted in packs. She had only the stories told by others who had experienced such problems to work with. Two came dashing low, teeth bared, but Amara managed to fall backward, so only her cloak tail was grabbed. Instantly she kicked and screamed at the animals, causing the pair to startle, even as the other two closed in. Her sword swung violently, catching one of them broadside. Not making the cut, but still causing the animals much distress. They backed off. With clenched teeth and eyes she flailed, the ground around her being cut by the sword, the snow evaporating as a ring of fire surrounded her. She could hear yelping over the roar of the white-hot flames. She opened her eyes to find that she stood upon scorched earth, as she watched what was left of the pack fleeing in a quick retreat.
Heart racing, her knees gave out, her body burned from the inside, just as it had when she decimated the hives. As the fire burned around her, she shoved her hands into the warm earth, as though by instinct. As the burning in her body ebbed, she recited her charm, and slowly drifted into the black solace of forgotten dreams.
I am the Co-Author to Awakenings: The Wrath Saga, a paranormal drama likened to Big Brother meets The Real World, of the Preternatural.
I'm currently working on the sequels to In Dreams... Due for release in 2014.
I have a mind that is easily distracted and prone to wandering. Tangents are my forte, and if you think my characters are going to fit a cookie cutter shape of any kind, think again. They live, they love, they eat, sleep and fuck. I believe that people are inherently sexual creatures and my characters be they human or something all together else are no exception.
I don't adhere to a single genera, I toe the line on several and wouldn't presume to be a master of any. So I suppose you could call me jack-of-all-trade-paperbacks.
I am a truth seeker, in my life, in my work. I’d apologize for it, but I kinda can't help m’self. It's my best and worse personality trait, well mostly, being Bi-Polar I guess you could say that is the worse. But I believe that the disorder has made me, well... Me.
I have taken this life and twisted, carved, shaped and molded it in to the worlds of my characters. Albeit with a chainsaw, and it has made all the difference