The story follows five Legacy Members that are tasked with maintaining the human race’s privilege of inhabiting the planet. Each member is uniquely different, with tragically different circumstances, but these circumstances begin to interconnect and “pollute” one another’s abilities to fulfill their tasks.
These five individuals represent a Legacy that is repeated every one-hundred years. The Legacy was installed by Helios, God of the Sun, to protect Earth from human abuse. There is an Original (Ellen) who must complete the Legacy before she dies, to ensure the survival of the human species. This will be accomplished once Ellen is convinced that humans deserve to survive, despite a life lived full of manipulation, abuse, and lies.
As the species evolves down the path of abusing the planet, though, this task becomes more and more difficult as humans destroy the Earth and treat one another without compassion or care. This story is the descriptions of the difficulties of completing the Legacy to save the human race, peppered with tragedy, loss, and split-second decisions that cause relationships to cross and intersect.
Targeted Age Group:: 16-45
What Inspired You to Write Your Book?
I am a high school and college English teacher, teaching students how to write for academia. I have always wanted to become a fiction writer and I have had the idea for this book in my head for years. I would sit down and write a few pages and then not return to it for another year. One day, earlier this year, I decided to just write it, and I didn't stop until it was done!
How Did You Come up With Your Characters?
My characters needed to be certain ages, so it was really easy to create them around this idea. I actually changed the protagonists and the antagonists after I started writing. It is as though they wrote themselves! I was totally surprised by that!
Greek legend dictates that Aether, Primordial god of the universe, separated its vastness into galaxies to maintain order and balance. Hera, the powerful goddess of our galaxy, the Milky Way, and queen of all gods, organized her expansive domain into Solar Systems and each system was granted a great burning Star, to rule and provide life. Helios, the powerful god of the Sun and ruler of our Solar System, designed each unique planet and presides over them. Helios was charged with the origination of life, in which he molded Gaia, the Goddess of Earth, to keep life safe and provide it with a suitable and thriving home, the only life granting planet in our solar system. Gaia's diverse ecosystems of life were eventually borne from the careful and methodical evolution of all living things. She granted humans the great intellect of mind, the intricate and complex composition of physical bodies, and the knowledge to prioritize the life of the planet, and of one another. These gifts of life were meant to aid humans in the protection of Gaia and of themselves.
Helios is protective over each of his planets, but must ensure that his life-giving planet, the Earth (Gaia), survives and maintains Aether’s plan of a universe of balance. Helios is concerned for Gaia and will do anything to protect her. So begins the Legacy.
Chapter 1 – The Legacy Members
“But, it’s too soon!” Finn said to himself in a hush so that Katherine wouldn’t hear him.
“It’s only August 8th!” Katherine heard his remark and Finn locked eyes with his wife as she tried to keep him from seeing her fear. His loving, large brown eyes always looked at his wife with the greatest sense of adoration and Katherine could always use Finn’s eyes as an indicator of his emotions.
She had a lot on her mind as she began the labor process a few short hours ago, prior to their impromptu ambulance ride to the hospital. Katherine shrieked in agony, realizing she wasn’t experiencing the normal labor pains of a woman about to give birth with no complications.
They had been shopping for a baby’s crib when, all of a sudden, Katherine lost her balance and fainted. "You were quite conscious before you fell,” she was informed by Finn as they carefully drove home from the store, but she had no recollection of the day’s events up to beginning labor on the cold, hard tile of their bathroom floor. Katherine was only a few days into her seventh month of pregnancy, and with this being her first child and only just barely noticeably showing, they were already on edge about the arrival of the baby. Katherine was very slight in her physique, so most people who met her didn’t notice that she was expecting.
Everything in their life was always thoroughly planned, as was their first date, engagement to be married, wedding, and renting their first, very modest apartment.
“How could this have happened? Do you remember having a successful night?” Katherine asked Finn while facing him, holding the home pregnancy test.
Finn responded with a great deal of embarrassment, “Of course, I…I think it was that time after dinner near the pier…I had wine that night, remember?” Finn was a tall, attractive young man who always saw himself as virile and capable. His inability to perform now that he was married was a complete mystery. He loved Katherine and wanted to share everything with her; it was as if his body was rejecting their sexual intimacy.
Katherine didn’t remember that night being successful, at all. In fact, she remembered it being quite unsuccessful. That didn’t matter to her, though, because she was deeply in love with her husband and they were both very inexperienced.
“The baby wasn’t planned, so what? No one needs to know that small detail of our lives,” she recalled Finn flippantly commenting. She tossed her used pregnancy test into the waste can and tried desperately not to fall to pieces in front of the young husband she so adored.
Katherine stared up at strangers while feeling the most intense pain of her life, in the back of an ambulance ping-ponging down a busy street during the height of the summer tourist season in Brighton. Katherine and her unborn baby's lives were in jeopardy, and the young couple’s fears about the unplanned pregnancy just became their stark reality.
Li Jie sat on the side of his bed and thought about living the last one-hundred years, from 1935, beginning with the entirety of WWII and every conflict and major global event to follow, to the current year, the age of extreme modernity, convenience, and massive losses to the natural world. He prepared himself for bed and unfolded the starch-crisp, white bedsheets from their fixed and tucked ensemble. His face was still quite youthful in appearance, with the lines of a life well-lived, despite most of it being marred with sadness and tragedy. With the bustling activity of the busy Beijing streets below his apartment, Li Jie finished the letter he had begun writing many years ago, placed it within its simple, clean envelope, and closed his eyes for the very last time.
Eleven years ago, on his eighty-ninth birthday, Li Jie received a letter and his life changed forever. He suffered from a heroin addiction that ruined his relationship with his son and depleted much of the retirement savings he worked so hard to collect throughout his working years. The night he was approached with the letter, Li Jie was going through a difficult withdrawal to try and end the destructive cycle of his potentially deadly habit.
There was a heavy knock at the door. “Who on Earth could that be?” Li Jie asked himself as the sweat rolled down his face, soaking the sheets under him in his bed.
The knocking, as it went unanswered, turned into banging, then what sounded like kicking, and finally, the door was forced open by a tall, young man. The man stepped out of the way to reveal a less intimidating but much older woman, who paid the man then slowly moved into Li Jie’s small, dark and stuffy studio apartment.
The woman handed him a letter and instructed him to read it and take every word of it very seriously. She touched his clammy, pale face and apologized for her delay in delivering the letter, gently kissed his forehead, and exited the apartment through the door now hanging wide open.
As she passed through the damaged door frame, she stopped, turned around to face him, and said, “Li Jie, you must believe in, and act on, the instructions in the letter, for the sake of us all.” The old woman slowly turned back to the hallway and continued to walk away.
Li Jie would have chased after the woman but he was weak and quite sick and had absolutely no strength to stand, let alone walk or run after her, though she was many years older than even he.
Li Jie’s hands shook as he opened the folded letter to read its contents, each word seemingly written specifically to him from someone he’d never met. The letter discussed how his mother died in childbirth (during Li Jie’s delivery), and that his father suffered a deep depression for most of his young life and eventually committed suicide when Li Jie was only fourteen years old, forcing him to raise himself from that point to today, his final day on Earth. Li Jie, beaten and scarred, as the letter discussed, was his birthright and the intended outcome of his entire existence was the ability to see the beauty in humanity, an outcome that was eventually realized.
At the exact moment that Li Jie’s eyelids closed, Katherine pushed so hard that she felt her organs shift, her bones crack and her breath grow shallow. Katherine knew exactly what had happened and what was about to happen; she understood that her newborn daughter had done irreparable damage to her delicate frame. Katherine looked down at her baby being cleaned, looked at Finn’s doting eyes changing before her very own as he noticeably became aware of her fatal condition. Katherine was gone before she was able to hold her daughter and before she would ever learn her baby’s name. Finn called for his wife as the light dimmed from her eyes while he held their newborn, premature, baby girl, and the air was completely sucked from the room. Finn named her Ellen, Katherine’s middle name.
Clayton woke with a jolt. He was having the most vivid dream of shadowy figures laughing and celebrating. In the dream, Clayton would try to interact with the figures, but they would not materialize, almost as though he was seeing a group of blurred ghosts. The figures all rushed into a huddle, frantically shouting as the celebration shifted from jovial to alarming. Clayton was confused and lost as the figures in the dream panicked. The trauma of the dream must have caused a great deal of teeth clenching as Clayton’s squarely shaped jaw was throbbing in a heavy, dull pain.
Today was an important day for the ambitious, bright-eyed nineteen-year-old, as he was beginning a new chapter of his life. A conversation with his mother several weeks ago helped Clayton decide it was time to act on his future rather than continue to look to a past barely remembered.
“I know this may be hard to talk about, but what would you say if I decided to go to culinary school, maybe be a chef, like dad was?” Clayton carefully asked his mother.
This question, from the son that she adored, stopped her in her tracks as she was setting the table for dinner. “I think that would have made your father very proud, Clayton,” she responded and started to cry, sat down at the dining room table, and stared at the wedding ring on her left hand.
“You know, he was the best, and everyone knew it.” She looked at Clayton while she spoke with tears running down her high cheek bones.
Clayton’s father was a successful chef that served the privileged in Sydney, often cooking in exotic locations that included elaborate yachts and sprawling estates. His family lived on the southeastern coast of Australia, near the breathtaking views of the harbor where the rich and famous would entertain, host clients as well as throw lavish parties.
“I wish I could remember more about him, mah,” Clayton said, acknowledging her sorrow.
“You were so young, Clayton, make your own memories of him, they’re just as real,” she replied, trying to make him feel better about being so young when his father left the house for the last time.
Clayton didn’t know too much about his father, Jim, other than he was tall and thin, like Clayton. Jim mysteriously disappeared when Clayton was very young. He would often stop by the large photo of Jim that hung above the mantle in the living room and look into his father’s big, trusting, brown eyes. This was the only father figure he really ever had, a portrait of a man he didn’t remember ever meeting in person.
Clayton’s mother would, every so often, retell the story of her husband’s strange disappearance. The story seemed to help her get through times when she needed him most, especially these times of change as Clayton grew up and could have used his father’s advice.
She always started the story the same way, “A few days after your fourth birthday, your father left to spend several days at sea on the yacht of a young heiress, the daughter of a world-famous jeweler, Frederik Faberge.”
She hated the young woman that employed him during his final job, the job that took him from her, and she never described her in a positive light. Her name was Sonia Faberge. It would continue, depending on the severity of his mother’s grief at the time, varying in length, detail, and tone, but the general story was always the same.
First, the biting remembrance of Sonia, “Sonia Faberge was a woman who dripped of self-assigned entitlement and a selfishness that was so engrained in her personality that she seldom realized when she was being unreasonable. Sonia was beautiful, but the kind of beautiful that only wealthy people were able to be, the kind of beauty that money could bring someone that was otherwise simply attractive.” Clayton loved watching his mother tell this story and he could see how therapeutic it was for her to relive the events.
The night the yacht left its slip, Jim called his wife to tell her that the trip was underway, and he was preparing the menu for the next day. As expected, he expressed his frustrations with the never-ending list of demands from his most particular employer, a woman he often described as rivaling Narcissus, the Greek god of narcissism.
“Nothing seemed unusual about that day…” Clayton’s mom, Sandy, would say, “…except for a feeling of slowly developing worry that I just shrugged off.” Her words were shaky by this point in the story. “If only I had known, Clayton, if only I had paid closer attention.”
Before Jim disappeared, Sandy was always worried when Jim left on the Faberge yacht, due to the terrible way he was treated and expected to serve Sonia and her friends without any room for his own thoughts and feelings… or dignity. To be completely honest, Sandy was also quite jealous of Sonia, as Jim was able to experience the polished, finer things in life while in her presence, even if he was just serving them and not actually experiencing them.
The rather large, and rather new, Faberge yacht disappeared on the second day of its voyage. Sonia had been very well-known in Australia, and her disappearance was immediately newsworthy. The search for the yacht was extensive but the boat was never recovered, despite it being one of the largest and most famous yachts in Australia. Sonia moved through a group of people that were all very similar to one another; they took advantage of their place in society and had little regard for anyone who didn’t know their way around a super-yacht. Needless to say, this particular voyage was meant to celebrate Sonia’s engagement to another of Sydney’s elite, a young real estate mogul with a face only a mother could love. He was given a financial boost by his uber-wealthy father and Sonia couldn’t help but fall head over heels in love with that kind of money. No two people were better suited as they rivaled one another in superficiality and arrogance.
The yacht hosted eighteen well-dressed, well-connected, and valuable up-and-comers, and its unexpected disappearance rippled through the news cycle for many months. Clayton’s mother mourned while no mention of her husband’s name was ever uttered, until, that is, it was all anyone could talk about.
After the rumors began of a cook caught stealing from Sonia Faberge a year prior (an accidental oversight of paying double for a monthly food order), did the headlines begin to insinuate foul play, with Jim as the main player.
It was August 8th which marked a day that Clayton dreaded, as it was the anniversary of his father’s disappearance. Each year, this anniversary would thrust Clayton back to his childhood, and he would relive those confusing feelings of chaos to a four-year-old, the only thing he could remember from that time in his life.
Today was also the first day of his choice to honor his father and follow in his footsteps of being a chef. Clayton was required to buy a chef’s coat for his technical skills classes and had been studying how he looked in it, in the mirror, feeling proud of his decision but also hesitant of its emotional toll. The fifteenth anniversary of Jim’s passing was not only difficult for him, but also for his mother.
Today was bittersweet for Clayton and his mother, “It’s the bitter that comes before the sweet,” Clayton’s mother always told him when things weren’t going his way. “Your father used to say that whenever I needed to hear it,” his mother would remark each time.
The grief that came with the loss of his father seemed to only strengthen year after year. It was odd, but Clayton never accepted his father’s death as a reality, almost as though he expected him to walk through the door, even after all these years.
Today, it was Sandy that needed the pep talk, so Clayton decided to check in on her before heading off to class. Clayton had a gentle way with his mother, she relied on him as much as he relied on her. Clayton provided a comforting solace that she couldn’t describe in words, but she always felt the persistent connection between mother and son, especially this connection that was forged out of tragedy. There was another young man, many miles away, for whom Clayton would share an unknown kinship of early grief.
Ameer was also nineteen years old, but, unlike Clayton, lived with his father. Ameer was seven when his mother was taken from the modest family home, and he remembered that day through the filter of his emotions. There was panic, anxiety, fear, anger and confusion all swirling through the house and this rush of emotions was felt by himself as well as his father.
Ameer remembered the day his mother was taken and he held onto his memories, trying desperately to never forget. His father was taken to be questioned at the police station. It was most common for women to be sold by someone close to them, such as a spouse or an older male child. When his father returned from his interrogation, after being gone for the entire day, he was in no mood to comfort the little boy, desperately trying to figure out what happened to his mother.
His father seemed to be keeping something from Ameer, but to this day, he never asked for the complete story of his mother’s disappearance. Ameer knew she had never told him that she was leaving, and always wondered why a mother would simply abandon her son. He knew that his father was both violently angry and woefully grieving at the same time and Ameer spent most of that day hiding from his father. In the end, the story that was given to Ameer from his father and his extended family, was that his mother was kidnapped and assumed dead.
Ameer was very much like his father, stubborn and assertive. Every time he would attempt to ask further questions, his father would change the subject in a choked up and erratic episode of impatience and extreme defensiveness. Ameer assumed that it was just too difficult for his father to revisit that day, and he shared that pain. There was a hole in Ameer’s gentle heart, and he wished he had the answers to bring him peace about her mysterious disappearance.
Ameer hated that he was like his father in so many ways. As the two men grew further and further apart, Ameer became a fierce and brave advocate for human rights due to his mother’s believed abduction from the family home, which enraged his conservative father. Ameer shared the strong brow that masked as confidence, on both men, and as Ameer’s father grew older, the look wavered with his burdened, sad eyes.
Clayton and Ameer were thousands of miles apart but shared an important relationship that only two people on the planet would ever share, together, at the same time. Most importantly, though, was that only one of these young men would ever discover their connection existed at all.
“What’s the plan for tonight?” Sarah’s mother attempted to catch the attention of her daughter before she spent another day upstairs hiding from her parents.
It was August 8th, in a suburban neighborhood of Baltimore, Maryland, where the lawns are groomed, the bushes are trimmed, the Smiths know the Millers, and they both know everyone else. Sarah had only a few days left of summer break before she would go back to school and finally get out from under the oppressive and nagging thumb of her opinionated mother.
Tonight, was the annual end-of-summer family gathering and it was entirely expected that she be in attendance. Sarah was only eleven years old, but her eyes looked as though she had lived many lifetimes, and she carried this weight on her shoulders each day, completely alone. Sarah was tall, very pale and never felt connected to other children her age, due to her melancholy as well as her looks.
She couldn’t remember ever being young and carefree like her classmates. She would sometimes wake up and greet the day with promise and gratitude, then, just as suddenly, sense a mind-numbing sorrow. These extreme shifts in mood had been diagnosed by many doctors as acute bipolar disorder.
“Of course, it is very uncommon to have such a severe case in a child,” muttered the last insensitive doctor her mother dragged her to, to get what seemed like the one-hundredth opinion.
Sarah didn’t care what it was labeled, and she didn’t have an explanation for anyone who asked, as her mother so often did. She did know she was wildly happy at times and tragically mournful at others. She would be frozen with worry one moment, and then immediately loose with the feeling of the greatest security, the next. This was her life at the young age of eleven, so she decided to be alone to shield herself as much as possible from any outside influences that could trigger her. Sarah felt as though she was destined to live a life of extremes that would develop at the drop of a hat and disappear just as fast as they began. The only small indicator for the quality of her days was her dreams.
Many nights, Sarah would silently sit in her room and spend hours documenting her dreams and her mood swings in a private journal. She would try to detect patterns to her behavior in an attempt to prepare for the periods of self-imposed isolation.
Sarah’s dreams, when she could remember them, weren’t like her mood swings at all. In fact, on nights when her dreams were relatively mild and uneventful, her days were wracked with the manic highs and depressing lows that plagued her life.
Sarah would dream about many things, but there were some recurring situations. There was a woman that Sarah often watched in her dreams who was always running away from something. Sarah would be above her, looking down, watching this woman cry alone in a dark room illuminated only by the thinnest sliver of moonlight. She would sometimes see the woman running in fear, constantly looking behind herself as she flailed and stumbled while she ran. This woman was sometimes joined by a boy who looked similar to her. He would reach for her, but she would only turn and run from him as well, looking fearful.
There were others that Sarah would see in her dreams; a young man would also see Sarah as she observed him. He would just look and smile at her, sometimes mouthing words as though he was talking to her, but she was never able to hear him. Sometimes the young man was joined by a little girl who was very sad but had the most radiant green eyes though they were often bloodshot from crying.
Sarah began to detect the patterns to her conscious behavior; when she remembered these dreams or visits during her sleeping hours, she knew her day would be manageable. She knew she could bury her thoughts long enough to talk to her mother and smile through most of her interactions with adults at school and at home. Eventually, Sarah began to feel as though the people that she could see in her dreams were real, and she looked forward to them coming to her. She felt as though she needed them, and perhaps they needed her.
Sarah’s mother didn’t understand her daughter’s issues, no one could, not even Sarah. Sarah’s mother was very focused on her appearance and frustrated with Sarah’s stringy hair and sallow complexion. It would seem logical to look up her behavior in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM) and compare the signs of Sarah’s behavior to a clinically defined illness, but that had proven to be an exercise in futility. The counseling, the medications, the frustrations, had all proven ineffective. Sarah was unaware that thousands of miles away in South Africa lived another who would understand her struggles. Someone who had lived far longer with these issues and had let them permanently change her.
The sun was slowly making its way across the horizon as it inched closer and closer to presenting another day to the planet. Johanna feared the new day, and each day this fear grew more and more unbearable.
Johanna would often use this time before sunrise to take a long look at herself in the mirror. Her face showed the weather of her life on it, even through her smooth, caramel colored skin. Her eyes were surrounded by dark circles created by the stains of years of sleeplessness and exaggerated by the long and heavy, unmanaged black hair on her head.
Johanna had been living a mostly nocturnal life since she reached her mid-thirties, when she realized just how difficult it was to be awake with the majority of society. She noticed that her emotions were far more unpredictable during the day so each morning at sunrise, she would take her daily dose of Xanax with a bourbon chaser. Melatonin used to be enough to settle her mind. Soon after, it was over-the-counter sleeping pills, which then led to a prescription from her doctor, and now, even that was almost totally ineffective on its own.
Her dangerous cocktail of opiates and alcohol was a relatively new strategy, but it was working. Johanna would find that watching dreadful morning television as her mind and body started shutting down from its forced poisoning, was calming to her. There were a few minutes before unconsciousness that she actually felt human; it was after the beginning warm buzz but before the almost comatose drooling stage of the daily sleep ritual. She clung to that feeling, as she knew it was the only time in her entire day that she would be at peace. As of now, this brief moment of hope was the only thing keeping her alive.
Twelve years ago, Johanna was found wandering around the streets of the Nyanga neighborhood of Cape Town. She had no memory of her life prior to the weeks she spent recovering from severe dehydration, malnourishment and what was explained to her as repeated and violent sexual assault. As she laid in her hospital bed, Johanna recalled images of a small child and a place that looked different from her current surroundings, but those were really the only clues she had to remind herself of who she was prior to being in the hospital.
“What is your name, dear?” a pleasant voice with a kind, round face muttered to her once she regained consciousness.
“Uh-well, I…I just don’t remember,” she said in response with a startled look on her face. It was the first time she had spoken since she regained consciousness. Johanna felt as though she had her entire life on the tip of her tongue, but just couldn’t say the words; her memories were locked behind a door of self-protection.
She was surprised when she heard her voice — it was different from the nurse’s voice with whom she was speaking. She had a very pronounced accent, but it was new to her, and so were the words in her mind. She would sometimes think in a different language and also began using those words in her speech. The doctor (who was a second-year resident at the hospital) told her she was speaking in Urdu, a language found primarily in Pakistan and India. He also explained to her that she had the complexion and features of someone from that part of the world. This information was both helpful and frustratingly puzzling for Johanna, bringing even more questions of her former life to the forefront of her mind.
Johanna was admitted to a hospital where trafficked women were brought quite regularly. There were several staff members, Johanna’s nurse as well as her primary doctor, who helped victims of trafficking receive new identities and safe places to live in South Africa through connections they had to government employees.
Johanna watched many women come and go through the hospital during her stay, from the mildly sick with a virus or infection, to extreme cases of abuse and murder. There were girls as young as nine years old crying out for their parents, and older, weathered women who had been living on the streets for longer than they could remember.
They arranged new identification numbers, applications and approvals for disability pay to help the women get on their feet once they were discharged from the hospital as well as pay for their medical care, which helped to keep the hospital functioning. The essential documents, such as passports and birth certificates, were also provided so they could begin again with a new identity, or simply get back to where they were living prior to their abduction, as long as it was safe to do so.
The hospital received more trafficked women looking for refuge and medical care than any other type of patients. It was located just outside the region where Johanna was found stumbling, barefoot, wondering where she was, where she had been and how long had she been there.
The hospital was inconspicuous, within a building that contained a storefront as well as several apartments. The store was converted into a large room that held many beds and the apartments were equipped for surgery and other procedures that may be needed. The neighborhood in which the hospital was located was littered with trash and was a hotbed for gang violence and drug trafficking. The houses that surrounded the hospital were barely dilapidated huts with far too many people living in each of them.
Through this neighborhood of oppression, though, was this hospital that operated on the fringes of society, that helped women erase trauma from their lives and removed all traces of abuse, which often included abortions for those who were pregnant by their attackers.
When Johanna arrived at the hospital, she was pregnant. The child had died in the womb, most likely from malnourishment. Johanna was very thin and weak; it was obvious that she hadn’t had anything to eat or drink for a very long time. She had a broken left cheek bone and bruises covered her thin body.
The young doctor explained to her that victims of such severe trauma often suffered amnesia that eventually subsided, and her memory should eventually return. He also told her the facial injury she received may have contributed to the memory loss, that perhaps the blow was powerful enough to inflict brain damage.
Johanna developed a friendship with her kind nurse, who was always speaking to her with a gentle, warm tone that brought her comfort when she needed it most. Her nurse would sit with her, hold her hand, brush her hair and tell her stories of how she had seen many women come and go from the hospital and live long and productive lives. “I just know you are special, dear,” she would tell Johanna, and Johanna would smile, desperately wanting to believe her.
Over the weeks of her refuge from the trauma which she had since forgotten, Johanna was still and calm in mind and body as she regained her physical strength. Her memory would never fully return while she rehabilitated, and the images of the young child disappeared almost entirely from her thoughts as she focused on setting herself up with a new life once she was strong enough to leave the hospital. On the day of her discharge from that bleak, yet fondly remembered hospital bed, she was given an identification number and a new passport with the name of her beloved nurse, Johanna.
Sarah heard the commotion of the family reunion downstairs. She always felt so different from her parents but found small comforts in some of her extended family. Sarah was the natural child of her parents, but her extended family members were not blood related. Her parents described a life in which they were both raised in military families (all four of her grandparents now deceased) and developed their slight accents, that Sarah just couldn’t quite place, during these extended stays in different parts of the world. Sometimes, she would hear her parents talking in a hushed, thicker dialect, but she never asked her parents to explain; it was something she’d been hearing her entire life and really didn’t think to go to the trouble of asking.
“Sarah, your family is asking for YOU!” belted her mother from the bottom of the stairs. “They think you’ve gone missing or something,” she continued, hoping for a response from her daughter.
“Don’t make us look like criminals and kidnappers, young lady!” was added in an afterthought with a much sharper, demanding tone.
Sarah wasn’t having a bad day and her thoughts were actually quite calm, so she made her way downstairs to greet the family that she, for the most part, was happy to see again.
Just as Sarah was making her way downstairs, she stopped a few steps from the bottom. She was hit with a sorrow so intense it almost made her physically ill, as if her body received a sudden injury and her mind an instant shock. She had a brief vision of woman crying, holding a pistol to her head. The woman was alone in the dark, with the exception of that familiar sliver of moonlight illuminating her face. The vision was short, but so intense that Sarah could actually see the lines on the woman’s face and the cold, reflective steel of the gun. As soon as the vision came to her, though, it was gone. It was a brief vision, something she had never experienced before, but it was palpable, and it was frightening.
In a state of unfamiliar shock, Sarah made her way to the backyard patio where her family cheered her arrival (the family was just talking of making it a point to boost Sarah’s self-esteem with her all too public issues). While she stared blankly at them, hearing only muffled sounds and then seeing them swirl and dance around her, she fell upon herself like a marionette puppet whose puppet master had cut her strings. The family stood silent, dumbfounded, before erupting in frenzied calls to 911 while bending to tend to the limp pile of Sarah’s lifeless body. Sarah’s parents stood there, motionless, glancing at their daughter, then at each other, and back again to where she lay. Sarah’s mother covered her face with her hand before coming to her senses and pulling her husband to the side of their unconscious daughter.
Links to Purchase Print Books
Buy The Legacy Print Edition at Amazon
Links to Purchase eBooks – Click links for book samples and reviews
Buy The Legacy On Amazon
Have you read this book? Tell us what you thought! All information was provided by the author and not edited by us. This is so you get to know the author better.