Read Tomorrows Child Online

Authors: Starr West

Tags: #adventure, #fantasy, #dreams, #magical realism, #postapocalypse, #goddesses, #magic adventure

Tomorrows Child (10 page)

Phoenix whacked
him with the back of his hand. “We’re fine, Psyche. I thought you’d
be worried by now.” Phoenix carried a large, hessian sack that was
weighted with something… the heart of the beast.

Phoenix called
to Libby and his mother and put the sack on the ground, away from
the house. He opened the bag, “Do you really need to look?” he
asked and the women paused, then nodded and looked into the bag.
They stood silently for a long time, then Libby looked up
first.

“Did it
bleed?”

“Yes, but the
blood was as thick as molasses, cold and almost black.” Thick,
black blood covered both boys, creating a gruesome scene. Navarre
had tied a piece of leather around his injured arm to slow the flow
of his blood. His arm hung limp at his side. The red blood soaked
his shirt and was dripping from his fingertips, but he didn’t seem
to notice.

“And the heart
is hard, like stone. Phoenix had a hell of a job cutting it out.”
Navarre couldn’t hold his tongue any longer; he had to describe the
grossness. “You should have seen it, it was crazy mad, wild and
snarling, drooling… all over the place… he almost chewed off his
own leg… they were like dinner plates…his feet were… I’ve never
seen anything like it… and Phoenix… he was just the coolest… he
stabbed it with that knife, but it didn’t die, it just got mad…
screaming like the devil had it by the balls… but the binding had
it buggered. It tried to attack Phoenix, but he just drove the
knife in right to the hilt and slit it from top to bottom… or
bottom to top… whatever… it was so cool.”

I didn’t want
to listen, but couldn’t resist, no one stopped him, so he just
continued. When he finished, my mind was filled with images of the
beast and the thick, black blood. I could see the devil red eyes
and hear the screams as the creature choked on its final
breath.

Phoenix and
Navarre had run all the way. Navarre’s arrows had taken the beast
to the brink of death and Phoenix ended its life. By the time the
men arrived, the beast was dead and its heart removed. Jalani was
safely ensconced in her brother’s arms. The men had already heard
the story several times, but there was something mesmerising about
the way Navarre told it. Over the years, it would become a legend
and in the telling and retelling, it would become even more
fantastic and more terrifying. One day, it would be the story that
scared children into bed and drove women to lock their doors. For
me, that time had already arrived.

“Navarre, your
arm! Let me look at it.” Tahinah said, she just realised her son
was still bleeding.

“It’s fine,
Mum, really. It’s probably just a scratch.” Navarre still smiled as
he looked down and saw his blood-soaked shirt. A moment later,
Navarre swayed and buckled at the knees, falling to the ground in a
pool of his own blood.

 

Chapter 9 ~
REVEALING SECRETS

It was dawn
before I crawled into bed. Waiting for the men to return had been
agonizing. The truth about the beast was terrifying. But it was the
continuous flow of coffee and caffeine that coursed through my
veins, pushing sleep away and making my mind race.

The sun was in
the western sky when I woke and the house was empty. Libby had
placed two jars of dried petals on the bench, chamomile and St
John’s wort. This was her form of gentle persuasion. I’d consumed
copious amounts of both after Mum died because these herbs were
supposed to relieve stress and depression, as well as ease
hysteria. I’m not sure they work.

I heard voices
and took my tea into the garden. Tahinah sat on the wooden bench
beneath the fiddlewood tree and Jalani played beside her.

“Good
afternoon, sleepyhead,” Libby greeted me with a smile. She wore
garden gloves and held a fine silver sickle. Bundles of herbs had
been laid carefully in a basket at her feet. My head whirled from
the smell of fresh herbs mingled with the sweet fiddlewood. The sun
was hot on my skin and forced me to move into the shade.

“Greetings,
Psyche,” Tahinah smiled, Jalani appeared to have suffered no
damage. “How are you today?”

“I’m fine, but
how is Navarre?” Navarre had fainted from the loss of blood and I
wondered how it affected his warrior pride. The three gashes in his
arm were deep and needed stitching, which Ruben did while he was
out cold. Running through the forest had made the blood loss much
greater than it should have been.

“Much better,”
said Tahinah. “He was up for a while this morning but he’s sleeping
now.”

“I would like
to see him, if it’s okay. Maybe tomorrow?” I wanted to see him
today, but Libby planned to spend some time discussing the prophecy
and he obviously needed rest.

“You should
have woken me earlier so we could work on the prophecy.”

“You’re still
too tired to concentrate, but you probably learnt more in one night
than I could have taught you in a week. Practical magick is so much
better than theory.”

Tahinah
continued Libby’s line of thought, “And to keep with the spirit of
practical magick, we intend to spend some time on protection spells
and charms - for everyone.”

“It’s seems
obvious that whatever or whoever was responsible for the attack
last night had a specific target, but is unafraid of attacking any
of us.” Tahinah was more certain now that I was the target.

“It’s what we
were discussing when you arrived,” Libby said, her brow furrowed
with the gravity of the matter. Until last night, I hadn’t really
taken magick seriously. Now I was at the centre of a brewing storm
and if a lightning bolt of magick struck, I would be standing
directly in the line of fire.

“Good, then
talk because I don’t understand what’s going on.” I was so tired,
tears welled in my eyes, “I’m so lost, I know that I have something
to do with all this, but I just don’t understand. If I’m creating
all this danger, then I should leave. If something had happened to
Jalani last night and that thing really was after me, it would have
been my fault. I couldn’t live with that.” I took a deep breath.
I’d said it; now they would have to tell me the truth. A hand
rested on my shoulder and gripped lightly; it was Phoenix.

“Hi, Phoenix,”
I said without turning; both women looked at me. They didn’t say a
word; their expressions didn’t change, nothing, they just looked.
“What! Don’t I have the right to know? You make comments without
explanation. You start sentences you don’t finish. What am I
supposed to think? I’m not a child anymore, but I can’t figure this
out while you keep so many secrets.” I shrugged Phoenix’s hand off
my shoulder, turned, and ran into the house… like a child. I should
have drunk more tea.

They didn’t
follow and I was glad. I didn’t get angry often, but today I had a
reason and I had to get some answers. I walked to the shelves that
held Libby’s books. Some were recently published, others were older
and some looked ancient. A few leather volumes seemed to contain
answers about something… but the gold-embossed lettering that ran
down the spines were rubbed, faded and unreadable. I could spend
all day deciding which book was best suited to my quest, but I
didn’t have all day. I wanted answers and I wanted them now.

What were they
talking about? Ancient magick… beasts with mysterious origins… a
prophecy… they spoke in riddles and half facts, I couldn’t decide
where to start.

I spied a small
paperback
Beasts from Myth and Legend
. That’s fairly
straight forward, I thought as I removed the book from the shelf.
It didn’t look as old as some of the others and I wondered if I had
chosen well. I flicked through the yellowing pages to catch a
glimpse of something relevant.

“…
there is some
evidence that the beasts from myth and legend, found between the
pages of fiction are, in fact, real… what happened to these beasts
is unknown. Many theories prevail but few, if any, are based in
fact...”

This book
didn’t appear to hold any evidence; the author was talking about
storybooks. I flicked over a few more pages.

“…
dog-like creature
with thick, wiry, black fur and blood red eyes are distinguishing
features. Some eyewitness accounts estimate the animal to stand as
tall as a man, while others say it’s only half that height…

“…
fiction writers
often refer to it as the hellhound, but it is more than that. The
beast both possesses magick and is able to be possessed by
magick…What is certain is that a ‘hellhound’ is seldom seen unless
called… able to do the bidding of its master… Reports date back to
the sixth century, when witches were seen to ride upon their backs
or lead packs of beasts on darkened nights.

“…
Fortunately, if
the legends are correct, it is another of the creatures trapped
behind the veil or in some other place, not within our own
dimension.”

Did this
creature actually exist? The author didn’t offer any proof, but it
did fit the description. The crazy question was why this hellhound
was after me? And who was its master?

I tossed the
book on the table and scanned the shelves for more. Another book
caught my eye
Earth’s Energy and the Veil that Protects Us
.
This book was much older, the cover worn, the pages yellow and the
print very small. The type of book I would normally avoid, although
I needed to read it, I doubted it would make good bedtime reading.
As I reached to place the book back on the shelves, it fell to the
floor and opened to a page titled “
When a loved one
dies
.”


When people die,
they move beyond the veil. In a way, it’s as if they walk into the
next room. They stay near those whom they loved while on earth.
Most souls understand what has happened to them when they die, but
some don’t. Guides, guardian angels and family members wait on the
other side to explain the process and greet the newly arrived
spirits. They haven’t crossed over yet; they need time to accept
what has happened… These spirits are still attached to their human
life, the emotions and the physical possessions of humanity. They
need time to deal with death and detach… Initially they may have
cravings and needs, as if they were still human. These desires are
strong and there is nothing that will satisfy them.


Some spirits find
they are eager to cross over, while others are quite reluctant.
There are others still who don’t understand or realise they are
dead. They ignore their guides and can’t comprehend why family and
friends are ignoring them - they just don’t get it. This usually
happens either because they are extremely attached to their
humanity or because their death was sudden and/or tragic. These
spirits, lost between two worlds, see people more easily and
communicate with a medium better than their own guides.


Once a spirit
crosses over, they are able to heal, to remove themselves from the
attachments of life and understand the reason and purpose for their
lives. They never lose the connection to those they love and many
spend time assisting their earth families. There are rules though,
and these must be adhered to….”

I tried to
absorb what I had just read; I never thought much about death
before Mum died. It simply wasn’t an issue. Now here were some
answers, answers to questions that had haunted me for months. I
remembered Libby saying that Mum was with us, but I didn’t listen.
At the time, I thought she was just patronizing me, trying to
pacify me by saying what she thought I wanted to hear.

I turned the
pages and looked for more. I wanted to believe this writer. It was
crazy, but I trusted books, and I wanted what she said to be true,
but I had to know more. I flicked over a few pages.

“…
there was a time
when magick was available to all humanity and people only used it
for good. This ancient magick was used to heal the sick, grow
crops, and work with nature…


They didn’t realise
they had a choice, but the people had been given free will… Over
time, they discovered that magick had two sides - dark and light.
The dark magick didn’t automatically mean that it was evil magick;
it was just a balance, like night and day.


It was the desire
in men’s hearts that created evil… It was the intention that caused
evil, not merely the presence of darkness, but the intention behind
the magick. This was a choice made by mankind.

“…
evil grew to a
point where a few possessed all the power and humanity was almost
extinguished. Darkness without light…


Naturally, animals
possessed more magick than people and this caused a new type of
jealousy … magickal creatures were slaughtered to capture their
magick or manipulated to carry out the wishes of a master…some
became creatures of the night, evil beasts unable…


The creatures could
only exist on earth if the magick remained… the magickal creatures
needed the light while the beasts needed the darkness…


A veil was
necessary to protect humanity… trapping the ancient dark magick
would require capturing all the magick, thus leaving humans without
a connection to the earth and without access to magick…


There were many
disadvantages. The creation of the veil meant that entering souls
would pass through it and lose their connection to the creator
thereby forgetting their origins.


Despite knowing the
problems the veil would produce, there was no choice - the veil had
to be created…


In time, it became
obvious that this created a time of great darkness. Without magick,
there was no connection and little reason to live. There was no
dark magick but there was also no light… so the veil was modified,
allowing some of the magick to filter through, just enough to give
hope back to humanity. It was not enough, however, to enable one to
abuse with dark magick, or so it was hoped. It wasn’t obvious at
first and no one knew that a new energy existed on earth. Some
still had memories of the time before the veil and told stories
about a magick that once existed.

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