Magic is replaced with fear and desolation, and each day is survive, adapt, run, or hide. Althea remembers the time before the Immortuos, the Purple Mist, and she may be the only Healer left with the enchantments to stop it.
But in her past there is a demon. Always fear. Fear beyond the Immortuous, fear beyond the Purple Mist, fear that took her to Base Village, her Majesty’s court, and the love that consumed her and violently devoured her.
The fear is in the Never Knowing, and nothing in this world embraces anymore.
A predatory Mist roams a now-desolate world raising those long dead in its wake. Survivors are desperate for anything to break the curse that brought this horror, and their answer is the Magic of a Healer. The only problem is that there are no Healers left…save one. And she is desperately running farther and farther into obscurity to hide herself from unspeakable horrors even more dangerous than the Mist.
Targeted Age Group:: 16-45
What Inspired You to Write Your Book?
I looked into a writing contest that was requesting a story that was about zombies. I'm not usually a fan of zombie stories, but the more I gave the idea some thought, the more I realized that I had a story in me. And while the undead were a part of the story that added a constant atmosphere of danger and pressure, they were not the main conflict of the story. Thus the premise was born into my head, and I fell in love.
How Did You Come up With Your Characters?
I was inspired by many strong women in my life who were desperate for love and have been victims of emotional abuse. I have been a student of gaslighting techniques, PTSD, and the bravery it takes to overcome such hardships; I wanted to paint Althea in the vibrant colors of strength through terrible adversity.
"Well, everyone really." Galen said rather simply. Seeing that she didn't quite understand, he continued. "What do you know about the Purple Mist? If you've been away for as long as you imply…" He didn't want to insinuate that she was completely ignorant, but he couldn't be sure what she knew or even how far the reach of the Mist had become.
"I know it came about a year ago. I know that it descended from somewhere Ancient, moves with malice, and raises the dead. It's what brought the Immortuos. It is the blanket of sorrow." Her mind seemed to trail off mixed in the now and the scenes of the last year. "I know that it moves like a beast, prowls and hunts, feeding but not consuming. It doesn't seem to have a purpose to fill, and nothing stops it."
"That's what we are hoping is wrong." Galen said also seemingly far away. "No one knows for sure how or why it came. And it's true that we don't know how to stop it, but that doesn't mean there is definitely no way to stop it. The Queen on the Hill has called for a powerful Healer and the magic she may have. It is said that one Ancient Song of a Healer may bring an end to this. And that's good enough for everyone to look everywhere for a Healer to try. But as the days went by and the number of Immortuos grew, Healers started disappearing. They stayed behind with the sick and wounded, and when we came around to find that we should have been protecting those who protected others…"
Galen's words trailed off. He was filled with a guilt he owned but not entirely his own. When the Immortuos came, he ran too. Just like everyone else he ran all for himself and left everything behind. He knew his gifts would keep him safe in the Woods and even places unseen. But the Healers, they all stayed behind because their hearts and sense of duty wouldn't let them leave the defenseless behind.
"By the time those in barricaded towns and those on the run still in touch with the civilization and the castle from time to time heard the words of the Queen, that a Healer could be the answer, we finally found the courage to venture out in some numbers to bring them all back. But there were none left that we could find. None…"
This time the tears that came were from Galen, not Althea. He was so terribly ashamed of himself, of all of them. And now he found himself in front of a real-life Healer, and his shame was overwhelming. He suddenly felt not worthy to be in the presence of the Blood of the first to fall to the horrors of Immortuos. And Althea, seeing the bare purity of his heart, suddenly had no trace of doubt even after swearing long ago to never fully drop defenses again.
Althea reached out her hand to Galen's shoulders and suddenly saw a glow at the touch. Not gold in the way she was used to, but blue and soft.
Shame upon shame baring forth seeking help. Forgiveness seeking behind the oppressive chains of guilt and remorse.
Innocent Heart meet Innocent Heart.
"Please come back with me," Galen said carefully s the glow died away. "I don't know what it is you're running from, but I could escort you, keep you safe. For all our sakes, please."
Had she any right to deny the frighten cries of all the world? She was a Healer, and the entire earth may need healing. But to go back…
Althea's head started to hurt at all of her fears coming together where she couldn't run from them anymore. She had been running from them ever moment since the day she escaped. Though she told herself that day she was stronger for fleeing and disappearing away from all the pain and terror she lived, she realized now that her cowardly hiding only made her weaker. There was no denying that now. And now she was being given the chance to show true courage, to fully realize the strength that she was hoping for in herself a year ago. As much as she wanted to, and as much as the though or turning to fight truly frightened her to her core, she knew she couldn't hide anymore. There was no one else in her bloodline left. She knew deep down this day would come, where all her sins she had in running would come back to possess her soul, and the only way to free herself was to do all she could that was right.
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