Authors: Theresa Jones
Tags: #Literature & Fiction, #romance, #Paranormal, #Teen & Young Adult, #Science Fiction & Fantasy, #Fantasy, #Angels, #Paranormal & Urban
The Descendant Trilogy
By Theresa M. Jones
The Descendant Trilogy
Text copyright © 2013 by Theresa Jones
All rights reserved.
This is a work of fiction. Names, characters, places and incidents either are the product of the authors imagination or are used factiously, and any resemblance to actual persons, living or dead, business establishments, events, or locales is entirely coincidental.
The scanning, uploading and distribution of this book via the internet or via any other means without permission of the publisher is illegal and punishable by law. Please purchase only authorized electronic editions, and do not participate in or encourage piracy of copyrighted materials. Your support of the author’s rights is appreciated.
For my loving and supporting husband, who has stood by my side despite all the ups and downs of life. For my daughter, who saved my life on more than one occasion, and who has given me the will to push forward. For my son, who has brought even more love to my life than could ever have been imagined. And for my mother, who has always been my hero!
HOPE (The Descendant Trilogy #2) First 2 Chapters
ARISE (A Descendant Trilogy Novella) First 2 Chapters
The dark, damp air curled around me and left goosebumps on my arms as I ran, though I had no idea where, through a dense wall of cloud.
I came to a stop and tried to remember why I was running in the first place, or rather who I was running from.
His face appeared before me then, a huge man, if he could even be described as a man, with dark, almost black, shaggy hair hanging around his face, a hard jaw, and cruel black eyes. He was dressed from head to toe in deep black, as if any lightness around him would incinerate his whole being.
His eyes were the most terrifying of all his features. It felt like they were trying to tear me apart from the inside.
That’s when I remembered the feeling… the burning sensation that ran throughout my entire body the moment his eyes captured mine.
I shuddered at the remembered thought and started running again as fast as my legs would move beneath me. I ignored the small bites of pain as leaves and twigs snapped beneath my bare feet. Though I could not see where I was going, I knew anywhere was better than behind me. Anywhere was better than where he was.
Sweat dripped down my entire body. I couldn’t breathe again. Lost and terrified, I heard him gaining ground, getting closer. I could smell the awful stench that surrounded him: the smell of sulfur, or burning, or… death!
I wanted to scream – scream for someone to help me, scream for anyone – but my throat was too parched for any noise to manifest out of my mouth.
The moon emerged from behind the clouds, illuminating the leaves that glistened with dew and the trail of trampled ground behind me. To my left I saw what looked like a clearing in this god-awful, unknown place. I turned, racing forward at full speed until I saw the ground just disappear right out from in front of me. I slid to a stop and began dragging down gulps of air.
I was stuck right there in the middle of nowhere awaiting my captor. Fear surrounded my every thought. To scream now would be meaningless. And as he approached I felt my life slip away…
“Six fifteen, already?” I muttered under my breath as I reached across my bed to turn off the annoying “buzz, Buzz, BUZZ” that had apparently been shouting at me for the last fifteen minutes. Saturdays you should be able to sleep in. Yet, if the choice was more dreams like that one or work, I decided to take my chances with the early morning. Besides, no matter how tired I was, I would not be able to sleep again today, not after that dream.
I stood in front of the full length mirror, hanging on the back side of my bedroom door to examine myself. Five foot six inches tall, long dark honey colored hair with a slight bounce, slender yet not toned in any way, boring brown eyes and skin that could never boast a tan. I was the exact same creature I was the day before. I looked closely for any signs of change. It was, after all, the day before my twenty first birthday, and that should mean something.
Allison Lee Stevens, I was named after both my mother and my father. However, despite being named after him, I never had the pleasure of really knowing Lee Stevens. I always wondered what it would be like if my father had not gone out that night and died for no reason other than being in the wrong place at the wrong time. Would I be a different person? Would Mom actually be happy every now and then?
I walked out of my bedroom, the smallest bedroom in this four bedroom house owned by my mother, to the room directly across from mine. I opened the door and a feeling of complete ease and serenity swept over me. The dimly lit pink room was not too big and not too small for the precious five year old treasure that slept in the far right corner I walked across the room to her and for a brief moment remembered the day I told my mother I was pregnant.
Tears streamed down my face as I looked into my mother’s eyes. Her dark blue eyes, clouded over from years of loneliness and despair since the loss of my father, looked straight back into mine. I could see my own face there too, pale and thin from the constant flow of nausea.
“How can this be happening, Allison? You had your whole life ahead of you! How could you just throw it all away for this boy?”
“It isn’t like I did this on purpose, Mom. And he is not just some ‘boy.’ I love him!”
“You are only sixteen years old, you have no idea what love is!”
I came back to the present as I heard a soft mumble, “Mom, is that you?”
“Yes, Sammy, it’s me,” I replied just as quietly.
She rolled over, as if to try to go back to sleep, smothering her delicate face in her favorite Cinderella pillow and tossing the light blue sheets over her head. She pleaded from beneath them, “Can’t I just sleep a little longer, please?”
“No, Sam, it is already later than normal. I slept a little later than I should have,” I answered her, as I leaned forward and kissed her forehead through the material. I pulled the sheets down slightly and walked back towards the door so I could flip the light on.
Sighing much louder than she needed to, she climbed out of bed onto the soft, off-white colored carpeting in her room and sauntered off to the bathroom.
“You know where your clothes are, honey. Please try to hurry this morning, I really don’t want to be late for work today. I have a lot to do.” I shouted back at her as I headed to the kitchen for the normal routine of packing her lunch and a small snack for her to eat in the car on the way to her daycare. I was in a hurry though, so I couldn’t wait to make sure she actually did get ready.
In the distance I heard her reply, “Yes, ma’am.”
Finally on my way home, I swerved to narrowly miss scraping the side of my beat up, white Ford Focus on the bumper of an oncoming blue pickup. “Why is it that nobody seems to know how to drive anymore? It’s like they just let anyone drive these days,” I fumed to myself. I had never been a patient driver and often drove much faster than I should.
It didn’t help that I was only just on my way home after a long day’s work and the woman on the radio hadn’t stopped bleating about the possibility of World War III the whole way. With Israel and Afghanistan now both having nuclear weapons, and the British, German and French all siding with them, the United States had chosen none other than Russia and China as allies. It’s funny to think about how that came around, because both China and Russia are Socialist nations and the US has been the one nation always fighting against socialism.
None of it matters though, no one cares about socialism, capitalism, or any other ism anymore. They all just want power. Even Africa is getting involved, though they haven’t chosen a side yet. The newscaster was saying that before too long every nation in the world would be in this war. War. How could it come to this? Will anyone be safe?
I swerved again around a car that was driving so slowly a snail could have passed it. I tried to ignore adopting the feeling of impending doom the world was falling into. My concerns were with my family. That’s about it.
I turned into the familiar driveway that led to the same house that I have lived in for almost my entire life. It was an ordinary house, surrounded by trees and too many shrubs, and was the ugliest house on the street. It’s odd, how despite being so familiar to me, despite being my home for most of my life, I sometimes have the urge to run away from it. I have never been one to run away from things; I’d rather face them head on. But right now I feel almost trapped, like I have so much potential for this life but am being held captive in this house.
I made my way up the side walk and felt the warm sun on my back in the late afternoon heat. I could smell the freshly mowed lawn nearby and was surprised that anyone was crazy enough to mow the lawn in this heat.
Before I even had the door open, I could hear Sam running towards me. Like every night I work, my mother had picked her up for me.
“You’re home?” Sam asked, as if she couldn’t see me standing in front of her. “Finally! What took you so long?” she asked me before I even had both feet through the door. It appeared she would be just as impatient as me. It was my biggest fault, and it pained me that she should have to deal with it also.
“I’m sorry, Sam. Cindy was late getting to work, so I had to stay until she got there.” She knew Cindy was a friend that worked with me because Cindy has a son Sam’s age that she would sometimes play with.
She came up to me as I bent down and we held each other in a warm embrace. “I missed you, Mom,” she whispered into my ear, so close I could feel her breath tickle my skin as she squeezed my neck. I thought of how perfect the world seemed when I held her like that, and held her longer than usual, not wanting the moment to slip away.
“I missed you too. I love you, my Sammy girl,” I promised.
“Grammy fixed spaghetti for dinner tonight,” she told me as she jogged into the kitchen to finish eating. Ahh… Grammy, the woman who stood by my side through every challenge in my life. The woman who still sheltered me at nearly 21 years of age, and shelters my daughter as well. I looked over at her and smiled, showing my appreciation. My mother was slightly rounded, had very short gray hair, and was the woman that I aspire to be in almost every way; my real hero.
The smell from the kitchen was intoxicating, and I realized right then that I hadn’t eaten anything all day. We sat together at the handmade, cherry wood table, just the three of us. I was almost glad that Alex had cancelled on his time with Samantha tonight. Life here always seemed more peaceful when his negativity wasn’t around. Alex was Samantha’s father, and though we were engaged, we didn’t live together and rarely saw each other anymore. That relationship was… complicated at best.
As I helped myself to a plate of spaghetti, my mother asked me, “Did you watch the news today?”
I nodded. I knew we wouldn’t talk about it with Sam around. We tried to shelter her as best we could. Who knew what would happen if what they were saying was true. If we lost this war, we would probably get bombed – and not just the kind of bomb that destroys buildings, the kind that destroys all life. But if we won, we would probably still fall under the Russian or Chinese regimes. Neither option was good. Winning was still losing and there was nothing we could do about it.
The rest of the night went as smoothly as possible. After eating, I bathed Sam like I do every night. We brushed our teeth and braided each other’s hair. Life was normal – or so I thought.
I fell asleep before I had even covered myself up, just after my head touched the pillow. The dreams that had been haunting me so often left me miserable, exhausted, and craving rest.
My legs trembled as I tried to push myself to go faster. Despite the adrenaline that surged through me and the exertion from every cell of my being, I felt frozen. I shivered and yet was sweating at the same time. Waves of terror pulsed through my every limb.
Where was I going? Where could I go to get away from him? He knows where I am all the time, even though I have no clue as to my own whereabouts.
I slowed, just briefly, to try to catch a good long drag of air hoping it would fill up my lungs and give me strength to continue on. However, instead of the oxygen that I so desperately needed, I breathed in the rank air of pure evil. It was the same foul scent I smelled every time he was close. I could taste it on my tongue.
I could feel him closer now than ever before. Pure horror seeped in and I was running again. To where, I was still unsure.
Just as I could feel myself actually widening the distance between us for once, I slid to a stop. I had almost run into a huge wall that blocked my path. It was not quite brick, but made of reddish gray stones that were symmetrical in every way. No cracks, no breaks, no holes. A perfect wall. Dark green moss was growing up the wall in many spots, making it slightly slippery and shiny looking. I stood there wondering how a wall like this was built, or rather how it came to be here, right here in front of me, blocking my only escape.
The small amount of moonlight that had been lighting my path suddenly disappeared leaving absolute blackness and the faint smell of damp. I turned. I felt for the wall behind me now as the slimy moss caressed my fingertips. I heard him walking towards me. As if he realized there was no possible way for me to escape him now.
Then he stopped.
There was no sight now in this dreadful black, no taste, the wall was somehow no longer touching me, and if it weren’t for his atrocious smell, I might be able to think I had just ceased to exist. But it was the loss of sound that unnerved me the most. The only sound now was my breathing, the ragged gasping noise that cut through me with every breath and reminded me why I had been running in the first place.
That’s when it I felt it. I could feel it first around him, a concentrated evil that spread over the grass and through the air towards me. Like a match to a stream of gasoline, the feeling of hate and anger spread like wildfire. I felt it circling me, searing my skin and burning inside me at the same time. It took away my air. My lungs begged me for oxygen and my eyes burned as tears started to flood down my face.
When I had almost lost myself to the pain, something changed. He felt it the same instant I did. And instead of the hateful, anger-filled, death-like feeling that was surrounding me, I felt hope. It started right in the center of my chest and expanded out through my whole torso, like being dipped in a warm bath after being outside in the snow. It spread down to my toes and up to my head at the same time. A wave of pure hope, love, or… joy! I felt strong and courageous. No,
This new feeling of power poured through me and out through my fingertips, pushing away the dread and hate that had been eating at me, and straight across to the hateful man standing in front of me. I was surprised by the intensity. The force. The strength. I knew that he could feel it too, surging out of me and flowing freely wherever it felt the need to go.