Step 1: Survive the ritual. Step 2: Protect time. Step 3: Hide in the dark forever.
It is time for the Vechey youth to earn their place as time-guardians. The near-immortal Vechey protect the universe from the devastating Manipulators—devourers of souls, mindless seekers of chaos. First, the youth must survive a mysterious and deadly ritual created by the all-powerful clan leader Eterili. Having regenerated thousands of times with the birth of each universe, Eterili is taking this one as hers and bending all in it to her grand designs.
Catha’s time-slipping skills are underdeveloped. She is time-blind—unable to see through time, unable to protect herself from the ritual. The Vechey shun her for being different. Her parents ignore her as if she were already dead.
Aithagg loves Catha unconditionally and will do anything to save her. He tries desperately to unlock the ritual’s mysteries and find a way to help Catha survive with him. Or will saving Catha enable the Manipulators to destroy the universe?
Targeted Age Group:: 16+
What Inspired You to Write Your Book?
This is the origin story of Alexander and his nemesis Yindi from Absolute Darkness. What made Alexander tick? I had to go back 40,000 years to find out.
How Did You Come up With Your Characters?
Alexander’s name originated out of the ether, as did he in my first book, Absolute Darkness. My MCs crawled through a cave. And there he was. Mysterious as ever. Yindi’s is somewhat based on the Australian aborigine name for the sun. How he gave himself that name is heartbreaking. You’ll have to read When Darkness Begins to know why. Eterili’s name comes from a Russian word for eternal. All the rest – character name generator. Thank you to its creator.
Chapter 11 – Secrets
“What you must ask is are you trying to save her so you avoid heartache? Or are you thinking about her?” Eterili took one small step towards Aithagg.
Preoccupied with indignation, he did not notice. He raised his head to answer, “I am thinking of her. Is it selfish to want to save her? Protect her?”
“Are you bound to her?” She asked quietly.
He answered too quickly, sounding like a sulking child, “No.”
Eterili raised a bony finger and pointed at the young boy’s chest. He imagined spiders must hide under her fur shawl. The gnarled finger quivered and its generous filth looked hardened. The nail was twisted, thick and dark with—he imagined—a putrid substance. The digit came slowly closer to him. He stood parallelized. Aithagg smelled her more clearly now: dirt, mud, blood, dead flesh, excrement, sweat, worms, an undertone of death—the smell of a rotting deer’s corpse baking in the sun from his youth.
Her filthy finger hovered a hair’s width from his chest and she whispered in a low voice, “I am the beginning and the end.” When she touched his chest with her dirt-stained fingertip, an electric shock went through him like a bolt of lightning. His ears rang and the whiteness, which had been around him, burst from within. Searing heat and freezing cold all at once exploded in every cell of his body. He opened his mouth to yell but no sound would come forth. Darkness washed over him and in a faraway distance he heard Eterili’s words, “It is the way.”
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