Authors: Jamie Magee
Copyright © 2013 by Jamie Magee
This is a work of fiction. All of the characters and events portrayed in this book are fictional and any resemblance to any real people or event is purely coincidental.
All rights reserved, including the right to reproduce this book or portions thereof in any form. No part of this book may be reproduced in any form or by any means without the express consent of the publisher and author, except where permitted by law.
Other Books by Jamie Magee
All series mingle at some point creating a “Web of Hearts and Souls”
Insight (Book 1)
Embody (Book 2)
Image (Book 3)
Vital (Book 4)
Vindicate (Book 5)
Enflame (Book 6)
See (Book 1)
Witness (Book 2)
Synergy (Book 3)
Redefined (Book 4)
Rivulet (Book 1)
Imperial (Book 1)
’s nowhere you can be that isn’t where you’re meant to be...”
― John Lennon
For Lem…the soul made of mine.
Table of Contents
. That was the sound my palms were making against my thighs as I stared forward at this beast of energy.
. A sound that I made without thought as I gazed at the emerald sea before that beast, The Fall. The Fall that cradled the enigmatic star Sirius. The Fall that stood as a barrier between two realities, one dark and one light. This was my charge. My guard. The fallacy I must endure until my time of slaying comes.
I dread that time. It doesn
’t feel right. Nothing has ever felt more wrong. Honestly, in my existence nothing has ever felt right, so that says a lot.
I am one of The Selected, one of the few that bear a crest upon our souls, visible only by the touch of fire.
My crest is far different than the others. In fact, there are only five that I am aware of that have a mark similar to mine. Until recently, they kept us apart, sequestered; they had us train on our own. Even now, I
’ve only worked with two of the other guys, Guardian and Cashton.
I honestly think that decision was made because there was no other viable alternative. Not only do I see through The Fall—the lives of those on that side, the evil they must fight—but it has always been my charge to guard it, to command my men in that never-ending battle. The first and last defense keeping evil and darkness from reaching our world.
The others, the four that I am aware of, have what you might call normal lives. They live with their families, move from moment-to-moment ignoring that burden branded onto their backs. I wonder if that would make it easier, if because they didn’t spend every day prepared for a fight, they had figured out why we were different.
I asked Cashton once what his take on this was. The members of his family, all of them, were gifted in some way, precognitive at the very least. Back in the day, his father had traversed this Fall often; so had his mother. Though I was the one teaching Cashton the ropes on this travel, I knew he was more aware of what was waiting on us when we reached that side, what fate had in store, how that lined up with what I could feel building in my own reality.
He looked me dead in the eye and said, “Man to man, buddy, let me just tell you this is a war of hearts and souls. If we don’t stand up when we are called, the second we are called, there will be nothing left to stand up for.”
That call can or will come out of anywhere. It could be a dream, a pull, or our guides telling us the time is now. Cashton may have been fighting for some heart, but not me. Nope, my job was to stop an evil soul; it
’s a job I didn’t want, would never have asked for. Who could look someone in the eye—someone who is identical to them—and destroy them? I don’t know that I’ll be able to when the time comes which is why I’m so bitter about the entire deal.
I never got more out of Cashton about what he knew, what he
’d heard about what was before us. I was told to spend more time with Guardian, that his time would come before all of ours, which made no sense at all. He wasn’t even born a Selected.
’s linage is from the Falcons, those that lived just before us, the family that serves as a barrier between us and the other realms. Those realms don’t care to think of this Fall, of the lessons behind it, or the balance it breathes into us. Light and dark side by side.
Sadly, the dark has become darker, wretchedly vile, which is the battle cry that those in the Hermetic Realm bellow each time they state this Fall must be sealed, closed forevermore, forbidden to pass.
Some believe that the reason so few are born with the crest, so few feel the yearning to leave, stems from the evil I see drowning the souls on the dark side. More times than not, those that do pass and return, at least in past generations, have come back listless. Damaged. That is why only the chosen go now. You must bear the crest, you must possess an open mind, and you must actively seek balance. Of course, that is the unspoken rule of this event. The Selected’s unspoken rule.
If the rest of the world knew our limitations, it would cause an uproar. They have already found reason to blame us for the few hardships we do endure in this bright reality.
The crest is vital. It reflects the whole, what both realities look like from the outside. Rings surround these worlds; four of them. Within the rings, the crest will vary with a life plan. The crest will even expand as your life plan approaches its apex.
My crest is unique in the way that it clearly states that I will endure a
‘time of compromise.’
And that compromise, apparently, has everything to do with slaughtering my twin image on the other side of The Fall.
At my birth, an Allurest—a seer who can comprehend your path—told my parents that I was but half. That was unheard of. Well, at least it was never openly spoken of in the Hermetic Realm where I was born.
Not long after I reached what they call adolescence, my mother sent me here. Not as an outcast, but because she saw her father in me. She saw Tarek in me. My grandfather leads this guard of The Fall. He leads The Selected, and he has done so for an age beyond eternities.
That’s right. Time here is measured, if measured at all, by eternities. Once our bodies claim adulthood, we age slowly, extremely slowly, unlike the dark reality.
I was welcomed with open arms to this palace, this border. The Allurest here neither agreed nor disagreed with what my parents had heard, nor the interpretation of my crest.
Basically, they said I had a twin image. I was light—he was not—and I would stop him from destruction.
was never specified, but as far as I was concerned that was merely semantics. I would have to stop my twin before I could ever think of having a life of my own. I had to strip the bond between us. That would end my ‘time of compromise.’
The time that will or should occur is unknown as of yet. I watch him, though. I have seen him do horrid things. I can
’t explain how hard it is to witness your image bringing hardship and pain to others and not intervene.
That pull, that urge that says the time is now, I must go–that gaze from the Allurest that agrees—has yet to come. So, I wait. I teach. I help others move through this barrier. I make sure they return, and I destroy the evil that tries to pass through with each opening of The Fall.
The Fall used to always remain open; there was a constant current of souls moving through, a constant balance and lessons learned. Then The Fall began to close for a few hours each day. That was long ago. Now, normally it only opens every twelve hours. We only pass through or send others through when the sun and moon are in balance; that is the safest time.
That time is fast approaching. Dawn is not far from the horizon.
Seneca, the Allurest that stands at my grandfather’s side, told me once that lavender waters will awaken my mind and bring forth thoughts of trepidation and that I will seek to appease that emotion on an epic level. Nothing promising there. I have no choice but to believe her, though; her name, in effect, means river. She’s named well because without a doubt, even at her youthful age, she can see the rivers of all life, more so than most Allurest.
I stare at these emerald waters every day, watching the gleam of light, wondering how literal Seneca had meant to be, if that would be my sign that life was about to begin. That I would charge the agony head on and find bliss on the other side.
“Are you ever going to finish that beat?” a smooth baritone voice said.
I glanced to my side to see Guardian standing there. The glowing emerald sea had cast a shadow over his luminous blue eyes.
“Ah! My favorite little Allurest,” I quipped.
He offered a smug grin in response. Allurest were all female. I only jested because of the visions he had confided to me. He could read intent, or something like that. Basically, he could tell you where you were heading, and unless you changed your path on your own free will, he was
“Takes one to know one,” he shot back.
It was a fair blow. The reason this was my post, the reason I was selected to train him was that I could read tracers—lines of energy attached to the souls. I saw where they had been, what they had learned. I could also gaze forward and witness time at a backward pace in the dark reality. I saw the effect, then the cause, which in a roundabout way taught me to worry long before there was a need. It’s not fun knowing the ending first, seeing the pitfalls that bring souls to that end.
If I really focused—or, well, cared to look—I could see the pasts of those around me, too; their perception of it anyway. I heard through others that all five of us that had this specific crest had a gift along the same lines. Apparently, it varied a bit from person to person, but all in all it elevated us in the eyes of our people, put us up there in the way the Allurest were seen. When we trained, we not only worked on using our energy and strengthening our souls, but also honed in on that additional sense.
I liked Guardian Falcon. He was the type of soul that I would think anyone could get along with in some fashion. He came from a strong family, strong views and values. He’d been in my charge for the last few moons. He was about to pass through The Fall, which was nothing less than out of the ordinary. He was not born of The Selected, but even we were wise enough to listen to the Falcons—not to mention the boy had a crest. Unheard of.
I think that alone made me trust him instantly, made me want to make sure he was ready for this crossing. Even though I was teaching him, I knew that in the end he would teach me what this crest we shared truly meant.
Apparently, Guardian had a strong desire, and dreams to back up that desire, to move through The Fall. Our most trusted Allurest, Seneca, only gave my grandfather Tarek one nod when the Falcons stood before his throne and asked for permission and guidance. Guardian was given a pass of three days. That is an ungodly amount of time on the other side. In some places on the other side of The Fall, that could equate to millions of years, countless lifetimes. Time moved so fast over there. Then again, time moved really slowly here; our days stretched on and on.
Like I said, here we do not measure life by years, but by eternities. I had not seen my first, and neither had Guardian. We were young. We
’d barely attained the age of twenty years and would remain in this image until we passed through our first eternity. My grandfather himself had yet to reach the age of forty. In my world, youthful images hid the depth and wisdom of our minds.
“You still have time to back out,” I said with a glance at Guardian. The thing was, when he moved through The Fall he was signing up to bear death; several deaths in fact.
Over there, he would die and transition into new lives as quickly as moments moved here. To return home, he would endure a sudden, painful, unexpected death. Right now, he was aware of that, he knew that in the end he would be fine, home. But when it happened, he wouldn’t; he would be blind to the cosmic reflection of existence. That notion would make the bravest of souls hesitate.
Guardian was staring at The Fall. More than once, the look in his hungry gaze had caused me to question if he, too, could see the dimensions in the distance, the humanity crumbling before our very eyes.
Very few of those souls even sought to cross The Fall any longer. Those that did at times, we would have to send back, for they were drenched in malice—infected, if you will, the famished shells of evil.
We chose this time of day because the sun and the moon mirrored each other across the horizon, formulating a perfect triangle with Sirius. That formation was mirrored in the dark reality. That was the safest time to move through The Fall, for the soul would descend within the protection of a virtual pentagram. The time of their return varied, all based on what the Allurest saw in their life plan.
I may be young, but even I can sense the turmoil lurking during this age in which I exist. Each day, I stand here gazing at a distant war whilst feeling one at my back that my people, The Selected, chose to do nothing about.
’s brow creased, and an obvious anger waved over him as his gaze melted into The Fall. “I passed the point of no return the moment I spoke my dreams to my father.” His anger left him, and a clever smile emerged as he glanced at me.
I envied him on that front. He came from a family that embraced change. Though I had long ago come to see my grandfather in that fatherly role, it hurt to know that my father—maybe even my mother, too—was not proud of the course I was given. I knew I was a flaw in my father
’s eyes. His loss.
“I still do not understand why you need as much time as you asked for.”
“I asked for a moon,” Guardian said with a maddening grin.
If there was one thing I had figured out about Guardian, it was that he was audacious.
“A moon,” I repeated.
He shrugged. “I knew if I started with a month, by the time they reached a couple of days they would feel as if they had the heavy hand. That I had backed away.”