Authors: Rene Folsom
** This is the complete set of Soul Seers novellas all in
one paperback. **
Throughout her entire life, Ella has heard voices. Voices
inside her head. She’s never given much thought as to why she has this gift… or
this curse, depending on which way you look at it. It’s not until she meets the
mysterious Jonah that she begins to question her inherited abilities as a Soul
Seer. Learning to deal with loss and love, Ella manages to live a seemingly
normal life… or so she thought.
Jonah has never experienced a woman more stunning than the
beauty that haunts his dreams. Making his way through life, Jonah’s love of art
becomes his outlet. His talents prove to be the only way to recreate his
dreams. Her beauty is his constant.
In life, a happy ending is something you only find in chick
flicks. Yet no matter how often they are left with disappointment and struggle,
Ella and Jonah still strive for their happily ever after.
Copyright © 2013 Rene Folsom
All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be
reproduced, distributed, or transmitted in any form or by any means, including
photocopying, recording, or other electronic or mechanical methods, without the
prior written permission from Indie Style Press or Rene Folsom, except in the
case of brief quotations embodied in critical reviews and certain other
noncommercial uses permitted by copyright law.
This book is a work of fiction. Names, characters,
places and incidents are products of the author’s imagination or are used
fictitiously. Any resemblance to actual events, locales, or persons living or
dead, is entirely coincidental.
Voices of the Soul
, the First Novella in
Soul Seers Series
Originally Published in
Paranormal Anthology with
by Cynthia Shepp
Editing Services Provided by Cynthia Shepp
Cover Created by Phycel Designs
This is an Indie Style Press Publication
I have to give a huge thanks to my editor and freak
cyber-twin, Cynthia Shepp. Without her, not only would my inspiration for this
story be non-existent, but the first stepping stones into the world of self
publishing would have been very slippery. She is my life raft and has kept me
afloat more often than she realizes.
Cynthia, thank you for bringing me balance and keeping me
from falling flat on my… face.
I would also like to give a shout out to my family: my
sister, Michelle, for constantly putting up with my writing ADD and character
addictions, my brother, Jayson, for illustrating Jonah’s drawings, my husband
and kids for leaving me alone when I so desperately needed the quiet time, and
my favorite authors for fueling my reading addictions.
Lastly, I want to mention my online family for all their
support: Amanda Phillips, Natalie Idrogo, Shannon Dearing, Jayce Grayson, and
even the douche, Jason Brant. I also can’t forget my lovely street team. I’m so
glad y’all haven’t gotten sick of me yet.
tantalizing title, captivating characters, and inspirational imagery are all
hallmarks of this first installment of the Soul Seers Series. Rene Folsom puts
a new twist in the concept of 'soul mate', taking our romantic notions to an
eerily-desirable level of love, lust, and—quite
— Jayce Grayson
Xianne: A Comedy of Cultures
takes us on a captivating ~ mind blowing journey. The end leaves you breathless
and in need of more. Our minds are left reeling from the insanely raw emotion
Rene brings to the Soul Seers series. Knowing that this is the first portion
being served up to us ~ is deliciously unique."
— Natalie Idrogo
NarlyNut’s Book Lovers,
"The twist at the
end of this story left me absolutely stunned and desperate to find out what
happens next! This story was gut wrenching and sweet, exciting and really left
an impact on me. I can't wait for the next one!"
— Terri Kinckner
Indie Addict Book Blog,
“The best and most beautiful things in the
world cannot be seen or even touched. They must be felt with the heart.”
– Helen Keller
Throughout my entire life, I’ve
heard voices. Voices inside my head. I’ve never given much thought as to why I
have this gift… or this curse, depending on which way you look at it. At least,
not until a few days before my fourteenth birthday.
My mom and I were out shopping.
She always made sure she handled every detail of my birthday herself with
loving care. She enjoyed planning and, most of all, making me happy. She always
used to say, “A happy Ella makes a happy mama!”
Corny, I know. But the words
always tugged at my heart.
On our way home, we were listening
to music and singing when they say a large truck hit us. I don’t remember
anything about the accident. I just remember I broke both of my legs and wasn’t
allowed to see my mom afterward, the latter being the most painful.
Then one day they wheeled me into
my mom’s hospital room. I don’t remember how many days had passed since the
accident, but it felt like forever since I had seen her. All the machines made
it seem like it wasn’t really her. My dad couldn’t talk to me through the tears
that stained his face.
I didn’t cry. Not right away
anyway. Actually, I was a bit confused at first. Maybe in denial. I didn’t know
why I needed to cry until my aunt explained, in a rather roundabout way, that
my mom was no longer living. Machines had been keeping her alive because her
body couldn’t any longer.
I could hear the voices… the sad
voice of my dad murmuring
I love you
don’t leave me
sobs. My aunt’s voice saying how much I need my mother. Another man’s voice,
I’m assuming the doctor’s since he was the only other person in the room,
saying we should end the inevitable. Several other inaudible words and voices,
confusing my brain and making me dizzy.
Curse. It was definitely a curse.
Grabbing my head and massaging my
temples with my thumbs, I squeezed my eyes shut and wished for all the voices
to stop. I pretended these voices were just my screwed up brain imagining what
people were thinking. I knew I was cracked. As much as I suffered, I never
wanted to be labeled as the crazy girl who heard voices. So, I kept my madness
Suddenly, through all the banter
whirling inside my head, I heard the most angelic voice. The voice seemed to
cut through all of the muddle, speaking to me with such love it made my heart
Orella, darling. I need you to know how special you are.
You have a gift. You have my gift. I’ve known all along just how unique you
A gift? Pfft.
I looked around at my dad and my
aunt. I knew they couldn’t hear her, but I still needed to see if they had any
reaction to her voice echoing inside my befuddled brain.
Come closer, Ella.
I’ve never known the voices to
speak directly to me. But she was. She was speaking to me. She was saying my
name and beckoning me to come to her. Was this really happening? Or was this
some sort of brain damage caused by the accident?
I could feel the excitement
bubbling up in my heart at the possibility my mom was actually speaking to me.
Oh God. I hoped she really was speaking to me. Because if this was just a new
development of my dementia—I was sure as the sky is blue that I would not
survive the heartache.
To avoid odd stares from my other
family members, I tried my darndest to keep my emotions in check.
Face like steel, Ella.
Slowly, I used my bruised hands
against the cold bars of my wheelchair to make my way over to my mom’s hospital
bed and battered body. My aunt tried to help me, but I dismissed her with a
wave and a small smile. Gently, I placed my fingers on top of my mom’s limp
hand. Her hand was cold. Ice cold.
Yes, I am cold. My body is no longer a part of me, so I
cannot feel the chill that courses through my skin.
My hand reacted and jerked
back—completely startled she just answered my thoughts. I opened my mouth
and hesitated. I didn’t know what to say.
Don’t speak aloud, Ella. All you have to do is speak to me
in your mind.
I closed my eyes and bowed my
I’m confused. I don’t understand.
How can I hear you?
You’ve always been able to hear me. You can hear anyone’s
thoughts. But thoughts have the most strength when directed at the recipient.
Which is why, at the moment, my thoughts are the loudest voice in your mind.
Looking up at my mom’s face, a
face covered in tubes and pads to monitor her brain activity, I saw no
reaction. No light. No life. Not even the monitors showed activity.
No, darling. My body will not respond. This is why I’m
speaking directly to you now for the first time. They need to let me go. Your
dad knows I do not want to be kept like this. I’ve instructed him in the past
to let me go if I were ever in this state.
A tear trickled down my face as I
But, you can’t leave me
may have been acting selfishly, but I couldn’t bear to lose my mother. I needed
her. Especially now that she’s telling me I’m not a total nutcase.
I don’t want to leave you. I know how much this will hurt.
But, I’m not here. Not really. My lungs won’t inflate. My heart won’t beat. My
mind is barely a whisper. You… you are the only one who I am even able to say
goodbye to. I needed you to know of your gift and how much I truly love you.
Remember, the best and most beautiful things in the world cannot be seen or
even heard. They must be felt with the heart.
My mom always used that variation
of Helen Keller’s quote, but it didn’t occur to me why she changed the words
until now. Now I knew her variation was deliberate. She wasn’t just a mother
who couldn’t remember the famous words. She was insightful—and I knew
deep down that losing her would break me.
A thought came to me as she said
Does Daddy or Aunt Sybil
know? Do they know I can hear you? Do they know I can hear them?
Daddy knows nothing of our gifts. I worry it will make him
nervous or he may not understand. I have told Aunt Sybil, but she does not
share the same gift and is skeptical of my sincerity. She does not know you
possess the same soul-seeing abilities as I do.
I asked, unsure of what she was actually telling me.
You are a soul seer, Orella Hugh. Your clairvoyance makes
you exceptional. There are not many like us, who can read thoughts, read the
souls of others…
“Miss Hugh, are you with us
today?” the booming voice of my art teacher interrupted my memories, bringing
me back to the present.
I looked up and nodded quietly,
unable to keep the sorrow from my face. My mother’s death may have been nearly
six years ago, but the pain—the searing hole in my heart—made it
feel like I was losing her over and over again. Instinctively, I wrapped my
arms around my waist in a desperate attempt to hold myself together—sure
as shit I would fall apart at any moment.
I’ll teach her to daydream in my class
, Mr. Burns thought as he asked out loud, “Well, Ella? Can
you give your opinion on Degas’ painting of the Absinthe Drinker?”
God. Really? Why would he think it’s helpful to call me out
I mentally rolled my eyes in an
attempt to express my irritation without him noticing.
Looking up at the projected image,
I spoke confidently, explaining the image I already studied in high school and
hearing my mother’s voice echo the answer in my head. “Some say the L’Absinthe
painting is a representation of the increase in social segregation during the
fast-growing stages of Paris. The woman in the painting is an actress and the
man is a bohemian painter, although I do not remember their names. The café…”
As I droned on, the classroom door
opened, saving me from continuing.