Chapter Samples

Chapter Samples

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Chapter Samples:

Soul’s Little Lie

Chapter One

Jacob Umari looked feverishly through cold case files, even the old ones that were now considered training material by the Bureau. There was one file that caught his eye: Lowell, Massachusetts. Sticking out of the folder was some old parchment paper that felt like animal skin. A tingle drifted through his fingers and down his spine as he lifted the file from the box. Looking down the dimly lit rows of shelves, he saw a shadowed figure a few shelves down aisle under a light fixture.

That case is closed. Is this what you really want?” Jacob asked calmly, lifting the heavy parchment out a little trying to read the words written in black ink that looked to have oxidized over time. Upon closer inspection he saw the words were in ancient Gaelic and Latin. Looking up from the folder toward the figure again, the only response was a slow nod before he turned away, his black trench coat trailing behind. Running after him, all Jacob saw were rows of shelves,the man seemed to disappear. Taking out his cell phone, Jacob speed dialed his friend Frankie.

Hello,” Frankie answered, inform somewhere inside his home in California.

I think I’m going to need your help on this,” slipping the file folder under his jacket, Jacob made his way to the elevator. “Could you meet me at the Commons in three days? I know it’s short notice, but I really need your help. This whole mess just got a lot more complicated. I feel her presence. She’s near.” Jacob spoke fast, almost nervous.

****

Get up, soldier!” the man demanded. “Get up!”

Carl awoke with a start seeing he had fallen out of bed, looking down at a tight woven blue carpet floor beneath him, lifting himself up he looked around to get his bearings.

Attention, soldier!” the man roared again to which Carl looked around frantically. There was no one in the room with him.

Wiping the beads of sweat off his brow, Carl picked up a white under shirt off the fabric chair, slipping it on as he stumbled around. The loud, bellowing deep male voice echoed through his ears again. Feeling disoriented, he fell to his knees. Scrambling back up, his fingers found the hotel card key on the dresser.

You’re pathetic!” another male voice bellowed.

What are you doing here?” Carl asked, stumbling a little to the bed, his hands shaking. No one answered. Catching his breath, he sighed, “What am I doing here?” Blinking, Carl looked around where he was again, “Yeah, that’s right. I need to get going, but…” he paused, slipping on his shoes, “I don’t know. Do I really want to?”

Standing before the mirror on the dresser, he wiped his face looking himself over. To the right of the mirror he saw a man sitting on the bed near the bathroom. He looked awfully familiar. Too familiar. Turning around swiftly in hopes of catching the man in the flesh, Carl found that there was no one sitting on the bed.

You know you want to. You just have to pull yourself together,” the familiar male voice affirmed.

I don’t know,” Carl breathed, his words shaky as they left his lips, “I don’t know if I can do this.”

Of course you can. We talked about it for months. For years. You have no choice. You’ll have to pick up where I left off,” the male voice trailed off into the distance as though moving through a wall.

Carl waited with baited breath for the male voice to appear again, but nothing came. Turning the small faucet in the bathroom, Carl splashed water on his face.

I have to do this. It’s the only way to get to him,” Carl said at last. Grabbing his car keys and pulling on a button up blue shirt, as he walked out of his hotel room with determination.

****

The early evening air was warm with the brightness of the half moon hanging in the cloudless sky, the glow gave a cooling effect. Everett, Washington was in the middle of spring. The cherry blossom trees that lined Rucker Avenue were just barely starting to bud fruit and what was left of the pink and white flowers on the branches barely hung on as the breeze whipped by. On the corner of Rucker Avenue and 25th street, a dark green Edwardian style house sat proudly. The converted apartment house was seated only a few blocks from the Everett Naval Station. Across the Puget Sound, the Olympic Mountains could be seen in the distance with still a hint of winter snow atop their peaks.

In apartment one, left up the stairs, a young woman by the name Vivian Warren stood before her Goddess altar. Vivian had an average body with soft hour-glass figure and an oval shaped face with button nose, silver oval framed glasses. Complete with wavy, brunette hair and dark brown almond shaped eyes.

A simple altar depicting an earthbound woman sitting on a crescent moon throne. Vivian was pagan, a simple spiritual path that she followed since she was a little girl. As for practicing this path, she did not get into it deeply until she moved out of her parents’ house at the age of twenty-three,as it was best to keep this faith quiet. Another part of these practices was the act of speaking with her spirit guide – a person who had previously lived on this Earth and could guide another through their spiritual path safely.

Simple pleasures kept her busy when she wasn’t practicing. She enjoyed taking time out to read and dance in the living room where there was more space than the apartment bedroom. Art consumed her more than anything – her table covered in watercolor paper, paints and drawing pencils. Her favorite color was purple which symbolized dreams and psychic awareness. Tonight, however, Vivian began a pagan ritual to awaken old dreams, to speak with her spirit guide more clearly.

As the young woman prayed before her alter, a calm surrounded her house until a loud knock at the door broke the tranquility. Her heart pounded in her chest as she whirled around making her large black and purple trimmed circle skirt unfold as she scampered to the door.

Here, let me take that,” Vivian politely suggested, greeting her friend Kristine and taking the heavy school bag from her before placing it on the tattered, off white recliner across the way. “What did you bring with you?”

Oh, not much,” Kristine replied as she unzipped the main compartment. “Just the basics in case you didn’t have any,”pulling out two white and two black candles, placing them gently on the floor alongside two bundles of dried sage, two scallop shells and some matches.

The women smudged the room with the sage, cleansing the air of negative energies. As a bonus, burning sage had a pleasant clean scent as it dissipated into the air calming their nerves.

Vivian then turned off and unplugged all the electronics in the house so no excess electric energy could possibly interfere with the energy of any good spirits passing through.

Once they were done with the basic precautions, the girls gave silent prayers of thanks for the blessing of the house, and lit candles on the mantel. Lighting the two white candles underneath the antique gold oval mirror, Vivian took out her ceremonial black handled dagger to call the circle which meant asking the spirits and Holy Mother and Father for entrance into the Veil. Asking in this manner would also insure protection for those participating in the ritual as the Holy Mother and Father would watch over them.

Unsheathing the dagger, Vivian held it toward the sky as both women recited in unison: “Lord and Lady, we open the sacred circle for you. We call upon you this night to watch and guide us well into this ritual of sight and learning. We ask for protection and guidance.” Taking a step back from Vivian, Kristine watched in silence. Her place in this was to observe in case of problems. “As I look into the mirror,” Vivian continued, “I seek only a man I call my spirit guide.” Putting the dagger out in front of her turning slowly around starting at true North and working clockwise, she continued to think of her guide.

Taking out a small iron cauldron, a chill swirled in the room making Vivian shiver. Pouring an incense mixture of wormwood and mugwort, which had been steeping in a closed jar for several days, the hot charcoal disk began to burn causing a wafting of gray smoke into the air around her face. Standing before the mirror on the wall and breathing the foul smelling incense slowly, but not too much, Vivian closed her eyes.

Opening her eyes, the room was dark, save for the candles that flickered. Slowly beginning her trance, Kristine watched the woman’s face for any distress. A few moments passed before she opened her eyes to peer into the now slightly darkened mirror. As Vivian stared, her reflection shifted from two separate forms beside her own. These facial forms were of her older self of Mother and Crone. This was not her imagination as she had done this twice before. She knew from previous experiences what to look for during the early stages of the trance. Moments later, Kristine gasped quietly seeing the mirror turn solid black and a few distorted hints of Vivian’s reflection change shape as an image came into view.

Vivian kept still as she watched. First it was hazy like a fogged up mirror. Then a hand appeared, wiping the fog away. Her eyes widened at the sight – the form of a man was before her with long white hair and blue eyes. Her heart was pounding. She knew who this was. The man before her looked a little closer at his own reflection then backed away wide eyed. He cleaned off more of the fog and kept looking. Vivian could see in his blue eyes the reflection of her own face. Putting her hand up to the mirror, Vivian moved forward a little, then moved back seeing a glimpse of the man’s hand touching his side of the mirror. The man kept staring and then blinked, realizing what he saw.

Mouthing something Vivian couldn’t hear, she understood in her heart what he said though. Moments later he went into a trance and so did she, their eyes closed and their hands upon the mirror. Their hands began to meld into the mirror touching in between the spaces. When they finally opened their eyes, glass from both mirrors shattered scrapping across their palms. Falling back from the blast of shattered glass, Kristine covered Vivian with the woman’s dark cloak.

What happened?” Vivian exclaimed, checking for any glass that may have scrapped her face as she sat on the floor holding her chest as Kristine got her a glass of water. “What did you see?” Kristine asked, looking at the shattered mirror. The frame was astonishingly unharmed.

Glancing up at the broken mirror, with a quivering voice, “I saw him. He was there! That was not my imagination. I know the difference,” she began to speak anxiously.

I felt a male presence in the room. It felt like…” Kristene paused, “you know that feeling when a ghost walks by?” Vivian nodded. “It felt like that, but not dangerous. I also saw his hand pressed against your mirror.”

Vivian smiled softly and shook her head, “If I tell you what else I saw, you’ll think I’m just a silly little school girl with a crush.” She began to blush and looked at her hand that was bleeding slightly from the broken mirror glass.

You didn’t see him naked, did you?” Kristine began to laugh.

No, but he was shirtless!” The women chuckled..

The two women cleaned up the mess of broken glass and closed the circle with a simple prayer of thanks for the Lord and Lady. However, it became apparent Vivian’s childhood mirror would never be the same again, even with new glass. It was quite unusual that a scrying session would cause such damage. Most often a mirror would have a crack in it having blocked the energy that was trying to invade the room. Something about this night didn’t set well with her as her mind began recalling past conversations with her spirit guide.

It had been warm the whole day of May 1st, which was also named Beltane or May Day by some, but a chill swept over the room. There were no windows open in the whole apartment. Even the main living room window had been sealed up to prevent heat from escaping due to the frame chipping apart over decades of neglect. Shivering, Vivian looked around, cocking her head to the side as she stood.

Do you feel that?” Vivian asked as she lit a black candle on the altar, the color known to ward off negative spirits or energies.

Yeah, do you think maybe?” Kristine looked around, checking every wall in the living room as though there was the possibility of an open portal.

You know what they say…” It is said spirits can walk through the walls of a living person’s home. Just then, Vivian’s cat Pooka came running down the hallway, her claws scratching the hardwood floor as she bolted past. The black cat skidded to a stop on the pentagram rug that lay before the altar then sped off again, stopping in front of the apartment door.

Pooka, what’s gotten into you?” Kristine laughed. There was a knock at the door as the girls jumped with a yelp.

Pushing Pooka to the side with her foot, Vivian opened the door with a slight smile on her face. There in the lobby stood a man that was cleanly dress – black trench coat, dark blue jeans, black dress shoes and a cream; cotton poet, Victorian style shirt with white hair down to middle of his back complete with stunning blue eyes. Vivian closed her mouth, putting her hand on her heart. The man smiled back at her with a little twinkle in his eyes. Her mind seemed to freeze as she looked at him. It was only moments before she had seen him in the mirror. How could it be that he was now standing in the lobby of her apartment building? What kind of magic was she playing with?

Vivian…” he began, “I told you I’d come find you.” They were the words he’d spoken to her through the mirror, that he would find her, but why? Hearing his voice fully for the first time, Vivian stood speechless.

Where are my manners? Come on in. This is my friend Kristine.”

Nice to meet you,” the man offered, extending his hand in greeting to which Kristine kept quiet but shook his hand in return.

Vivian, may I talk to you for a moment?” Kristine asked, nudging Vivian in the side to follow her into the kitchen. “That can’t be the man you saw in the mirror, can it?” The look on Vivian was clear as to exactly what the answer was. “Oh…my…God! What have you done?” Kristine exclaimed, an expression of full blown worry now marked her delicate features.

I don’t think I did anything wrong. For all I know, this could just be some fluke of coincidence. I might have met him before. I don’t know,” Vivian shrugged. “Let’s not be rude and just ask who he is.” The two women walked out of the kitchen and down the hallway.

Sir, I have to ask your name,” Kristine asked without missing a beat. Sensing the tension in the air, Vivian glared at her.

Fine. Here you go,” he replied, pulling out his wallet and flipping to his driver’s license. Looking it over, Vivian glanced over Kristine’s shoulder with a goofy grin on her face. The man’s name and location were exactly as Vivian had predicted. Days before the ritual she had told her friend as much as she dared about her spirit guide. This was no coincidence at all.

How did you get here?” Kristine stuttered, looking at the card for his name, “Ynycornus?” The name seemed foreign to her.

I got here by normal means. I was in the area on a business trip and thought to stop by after what happened. I felt the magic in this building from a few blocks away. I knew this was the right place. My car is right outside.” Kristine rushed outside to have a look. Ynycornus and Vivian followed. There were only two cars in the parking lot that evening – a dark red Sedan belonging to one of the tenets and the other, a black Prius, clearly belonging to Ynycornus, parked next to the red car. The state name on the plate read Massachusetts.

Happy now?” Vivian exclaimed to Kristine, looking at his car and chuckling to herself.

Don’t bark at her for not understanding what’s going on,” Ynycornus snapped.

I’m sorry. I just…” Vivian was at a loss for words.

You clearly know more than I do about magic at this point, but you don’t have to rub it in my face, Vivian!” Kristine huffed.

Ladies, let’s not get into a power struggle over who’s more this or that. Vivian is more educated in magic than most people I know, but I’m sure that doesn’t mean she’s not your friend anymore.”

I’m sorry, Kristine. I guess…” Vivian said sheepishly with her head hung in shame.

Uppity, nervous?” the man smirked. Vivian glared at him. Even though Vivian and Ynycornus had just met for the very first time, it was as though the two had been friends for decades.

Is your hair naturally that color?”

Yes. Doctors thought I was albino when I was born,” he chuckled, twirling a lock of his white hair between his fingers.

Where have you been?” Vivian smiled at him, laying the side of her head on his chest.

With you the whole time,” he replied, stroking her hair gently. “It’s good to see you in person, though. I thought we’d never meet.”

I was thinking the same thing,” she whispered, looking up at him as tears welled in her eyes.

“It’s getting a bit late,” Ynycornus offered, glancing at her left hand seeing a wedding ring on her finger. “Won’t your husband worry about a strange man visiting his wife?”

He always says I need to make more friends. He’ll be home soon though. Kristine, don’t you have work tomorrow?” The woman nodded.

Do you need a ride?”

Sure, a ride home would be good if you don’t mind,” Kristine replied to the man, as she stepped from the porch steps.

It’s not a problem. Get your things and we’ll be off,” he said, moving toward his car.

It’s none of my business, but you better watch it,” Kristine said to Vivian in a stern voice as she put her candles and books into her back pack.

I know,” Vivian admitted in an apologetic tone. ‘But I’m spiritually married to him’, she thought to herself, knowing none of her friends or her husband would ever understand.

Looking down at her wedding finger, Vivian twiddled her ring as she thought of how her husband might react to all of this when a faint lavender glow shown around her wedding ring. “Kristine!” she exclaimed.

Oh my God! It’s true!” Kristine held her hand watching as the glow grew in a full circle around her finger. “I thought for sure what you told me about the aura around your finger was a joke.”

Dan is never going to understand.” Vivian said aloud, a wave of worry swept over her.

I guess we’ll find out soon enough. You’d better be careful with this guy,” Kristine stressed.

I will. I don’t want to jeopardize my relationship with Dan. Please don’t worry,” she said as she hugged her friend. “We need to get you home.”

I’m only staying in Washington for a few more days,” Ynycornus said when he returned to Vivian’s a short time later.

I hope I’m not keeping you from anything important.”

Not at all. I came here to look into some property.”

Did you find something you like?” Vivian asked as she fidgeted with her wedding band, twirling it around her finger.

Not really. There’s too much flat land here that can easily be flooded. There’s plenty of property over the Cascade Mountains, but I really don’t want to deal with the weather.”

It’s not that bad. It’s hotter over the mountains and it does get rain, although the winters are a bit harsher than here being closer to the Puget Sound,” Vivian said happily, trying to sell the idea of him staying.

Winters back home are much worse.”

There’s no need for us to stand outside. Would you like to come in for a cup of tea?” Vivian finally asked.

What time is Dan supposed to come home?” Ynycornus asked while looking through the wide variety of teas Vivian offered.

Usually he gets home about now,” Vivian said just as she was interrupted by the ringing phone.

I’ll be home late tonight,” Dan began. “We’re doing mandatory overtime again. I might not get home until three.” His line of work kept him late most of the time as it was a machinists job that required long hours at the Everett Boeing plant.

Oh, okay then,” she drawled on in her reply. “Hey, honey, when you do have some time off, I want you to meet a good friend of mine I hadn’t seen in years. He just came into town.”

Sure, we’ll do that when I can. I’ll see you when I get home, okay?” the sound of his voice was of urgency to return to work.

Yeah, see you soon,” her tone was clear to Ynycornus’ ears. She wasn’t happy that her husband had to work so late again. It seemed to him that this happened way too often.

I love you,” Dan added as he left. Just then Ynycornus walked into the living room, making a b-line for Pooka who was rolling over on her back on the black pentagram rug asking for belly rubs.

I love you, too, sweetie.” Vivian said as a means of goodbye before hanging up the phone. “Sugar?” Vivian called out to Ynycornus only to be met with a strong sounding no thank you coming from the living room. A few moments later she came back with both their cups of tea.

Mind a game of chess?” Ynycornus asked, looking over at the chess table sitting against the main wall.

I love chess!”

Ever so often they’d look at each other but they’d say nothing. Vivian couldn’t believe how handsome he was. Even though she already knew what he looked like from years of seeing him by her side in his spirited form, it was still surprising. How could it be that someone she had known since she was a small child be sitting before her?

You’re not dreaming,” he replied, Vivian gasped, knocking over a pawn she was about to move into a bad position.

You’re telepathic?” she questioned.

Yes,” he sighed. “You already knew this. I’m here,” he breathed. “I’m alive and real. As real as I was created by my parents. I’m not a ghost. I’m not a dream to you anymore. I came here because you were ready to see me. I was ready to see you.” Vivian shook her head, covering her face with her hands. “All the years of training. All the spells. All the studying… Nothing has prepared me,” she began to cry. “I thought I could handle this. Even after writing and experiencing Mythia… But I guess I can’t.”

Ynycornus moved over to her side, putting his arm around her shoulders and gently placing his head on hers. “It’s okay, Vivian,” he said softly as she wiped her eyes.

I’ve known you for years but I guess I didn’t really think you were real,” she added.

Your dreams are real as much as you want them to be,” he replied, guiding her head to his shoulder, caressing her dark brown hair as he gently rocked her in his arms. “Everything will be all right. You need not worry about why or how. Just be in the moment with me. Don’t return to the dreaming.”

I won’t run. I promise,” she replied, wiping her eyes again.

I’d better head out. Be sure to tell Dan as much as you feel he should know about me.”

I don’t know if he’ll believe me.”

If he loves you, he’ll believe you. If he doesn’t, at least you can confirm everything through Kristine. It’s good to have a witness,” he said, winking.

When will I see you again?” she asked as he put on his trench coat.

It’s been a wonderful evening, Vivian. I’ll see you again soon.”

I hope so.”

****

Ynycornus opened the door to his room with shaky hands. He too was in shock as to what had happened that evening. Throwing his coat on the light brown comforter that covered the bed, he stood frozen as thoughts of the evening ran through his mind. ‘I don’t want to ruin this. I don’t want her husband to hate me.’ Would Dan reject Vivian? Would Dan understand where Ynycornus was coming from? Would Dan accept the friendship between the two of them? Something so ancient and sacred stood between them. There was no way this could be ruined.

Wiping away a tear from his eye, Ynycornus turned as he felt the air shift in the room. The slightly heavy room door swung open.

Carl?” Ynycornus exclaimed when his eyes met those of the figure now standing in his doorway, fear crept up his spine like an unwelcome guest.

Long time no see,” the man answered with a soft smile, his blue-green eyes sparkling.

 

© Tara B. Dobbs and tarabdobbs.com, 2017. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this site’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Tara B. Dobbs and tarabdobbs.com with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

 

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