Back to work!

Hey guys, I’d don’t know if you remember, but a while back I’d finished my fantasy story… I was so pleased having written a book from start to finish and also having a good plot for book two and three. But there was a problem!

I’d written it in third person and come to realise I didn’t like it! 😱 So guess what, I began to change it to first person… BIG JOB I know!

Anyway, I’m back at it, having only got to chapter nine, I still have shot loads to do! So I guess I need you to wish me luck or send some good vibes my way, I’m gonna need it! Ha!

Well I’d like to share a little bit with you, see what you think?

Lace Unveiled- Pangea chronicles

BREN

Hollowdale, Pangea

Chapter one

I stood at the edge of the Forgotten Forest and watched a trio of Shifter, Fae and Elf, who were once equal, once friends, crush themselves between law and love. Now, my father included, wore times shadows in their every crease.

I was too young to have the memories of the rebellion but it wasn’t difficult to believe the loss within their hearts. The hope long since faded. They were battered and bruised by law and as they hid amongst the salty bones of trees and driftwood, their secret reunion was only for grief, loss and pain.

I couldn’t feel the same pain as they did. My father, Arlow and his friends. I haven’t lived through the changes like them. It’s anger that sits heavy in my heart. Hate for the Emberbound Fae and their laws. The laws that have divided many and the very reason my own fathers light had dulled.

My lip curled and I hissed as I watched Saul, Emberbound Fae, drop to his knees in front of Ester. I still couldn’t wrap my head around my father socialising with… him.

“Bren, now is not the time.” I looked up to see my fathers dulled out eyes on me, taking a deep breath, I squeezed my hands into fists and snarled.

“Fine.”

Though I knew they had a past, all I saw was Fae. Brutal. Ruthless. Winged Beasts.

“Ester, please.” Sauls age roughened voice broke into a plea. He almost sounded caring.

“We mustn’t draw attention.”

Ah, there it is, worried about his law breaking! I growled and felt my fathers eyes burn into me once again.

Ester crouched down, mud seeping around her knees and as the rain streamed down her face, it mixed with the tears that drowned her.

All the hate swelled deep in my gut as I witnessed Esters break down. The old Shifter, who had helped and healed all didn’t deserve this pain. She was the backbone of Pangea, loved by not just her fellow Wavebound Shifters but the Terrabound Elves too. And of cause, went unnoticed by the Fae, well, except a certain white-haired Fae.

“I…I can’t take this pain again!” She screamed between ragged breaths. Grasping and clawing at her chest, like she could rip the broken fragments of her heart out of her rib cage.

I know what I’d do with those fragments. I hissed again as my eyes landed on Saul. I imagined taking the sharp, broken pieces of her heart and driving them into his chest. Maybe then he’d see, see the pain, see the destruction of the laws.

It was funny seeing him on his knees. Mud covering his Fae armor. It was satisfying. Though my heart sank as my eyes drifted over to Ester.

As fast as the rumble beneath my boots came, her eyes, in a frenzy began to shift. Deep, dark slits dilating, shifting into yellow wild cats eyes. Then in a blink, the eyes of owls, large, round and still. Then finally they turned ice blue, reflecting Sauls own Fae features.

“Arlow, Bren!” Saul called in warning, “take cover!”

I ducked as the roots under my feet quaked.

Between the ground and the sky, the rain slowed. Completely motionless, unnatural crystals hung like chandelier jewels or deadly daggers.

“Shit.”

Ester slammed her fisted hands into the wet earth, unleashing all the agony trapped inside her chest. The caged fragments released and came plummeting down around us all. Slicing through the night air and like pins, they stung my skin, washing the midnight sky silent.

I raised my head and wiped the water from my face, Esters long silvering hair glowed faintly beneath the moonlight and for a second I almost believed the pain in Sauls eyes, as he took her hand.

“Ester?” He asked.

“They’ve done it again.” Her words nothing more than quiet sobs.

“First my daughter, now my son, taken from me… by your kind.”

The bitterness in her words rang true to my own feelings. Her old grief made fresh.

Does he even realize what his fellow Emberbound have done? What they’ve become?

“My son Saul! And for what? Stepping out of turn?” Rainwater sprayed from her as she shook her head.

“No! For the same sins of his sister all those years ago.” She jabbed her finger into his chest. “For the stupid Bound Laws propping up your damned masters!”

I fought the urge to applaud that.

“My poor girl, my poor Ev. She only wanted to love, to belong. And in doing so she brought their wrath down on us all.”

Stood by my side, my father scooped back his wild, greying hair. Wrapped in leather and twine to tame his disheveled mane. Bowing in understanding, he must be feeling the divide that had so effectively separated him from his old friends as keenly as ever.

It’s said that twenty years ago, Everlyn Willenshore, Esters headstrong teenage daughter had been the reason for my father’s removal from the council. Terrabound Elves had allowed the Shifter girl through the Gateway, into the human realm. My fellow Elves treated her kin like equals and not like the animals most of the Fae called them. We’d shared with the Shifters the same freedoms both Fae and Elves shared.

But we also shared in the blame soon to come and the backlash had been severe and brutal.

Twenty years on and we as Elves were still punished, no more to govern alongside the Fae; but to be governed. Now Sauls kind ruled all, his fellow Law Watches enforcing that rule with the fire at their fingertips, that could costume all and using the Bound Law as their excuse.

My father had told me once that Saul had been proud when he took on the mantle of Law Watcher and revealed in the fact he was part of something bigger and better. But the name Law Watcher now meant corruption and struck fear into most Pangeans.

They were once respected, I remember that much, as a young Elf of eight years old. We were fascinated by their beautiful wings that hung from their shoulder blades, the blue sparks at their fingertips, and their crystal eyes. Others admired their strength. Yet now they are seen as weapons of the law, they’ve cut deep into everyone’s fear as easily as a feather to a blade. And their once beautiful faces could be mistaken for masks, hiding the hideous beasts who enforced ruthless laws. Could we still believe in the corruption of the individual? I’m doubtful. I’ve watched my father battle with that doubt, reassuring himself over the years, knowing full well the Bound Law was important, it was keeping the humans in the dark after all, but was it there to protect? With the hurt it had caused? The more I thought about it the more my anger peaked.

“Saul?” Esters voice broke me from my own thoughts and I stared at the Fae in front of her.

“You May Be Fae and Law Watcher at that, but you know it in your heart Saul, or at least you once did,” he flinched as she pressed her palm to his chest, “ the Law isn’t protecting us. It’s only hurting us, all.” He frowned then, but Ester continued.

“I know you think I’m just grieving over my child, my children,” she corrected herself with a whimper. “But I’ve seen it Saul, a Boundless.”

“What?” I breathed, unnoticed.

A Boundless, a beast out of control. It wasn’t possible…

My father stood up straight and Sauls’ eyes widened.

“Oh, if only you weren’t so blinded by those damn Laws! You would see how full of shit this all is!”

This changed things. My father stepped closer to them, his gruff voice breaking the tension. “Ester, what do you mean, you’re not making any sense.”

I looked from Ester to Saul and back to my father, but her eyes stayed locked onto Sauls and slowly the words began to escape her lips.

“Open those beautiful eyes of yours, Saul. My daughter, Everlyn, she was yours!” Shock waved through all of us and Saul caught her as she collapsed into him. I imagine the release of a secret that huge would do that. I felt like I shouldn’t have heard that, it wasn’t my place, my time to know the secrets of their past. But the word Boundless meant a whole lot of trouble in my eyes, yet here I stood, hidden with forbidden friends and a secret that could cause the collapse of our world.

But still I didn’t know Everlyn but I knew she was no beast. The story was she had broken the laws, all of them in fact. But she was no monster and not at all what I’d imagined a Boundless to be.

What haunted me the most, was that she was killed for the same crime that Saul and Ester had managed to conceal, long enough to conceive a baby as well. Had he known?

“You damned stubborn, beautiful woman,” he cupped her face and gently lifted her gaze, “why didn’t you tell me?”

“I had no clue what you’d do,” she sobbed, “you’re so faithful to the laws.”

Not that faithful.

Sauls brow twisted, “is that what you think of me?”

I felt invading now, as I looked over towards my father who had the same awkward look on his face. Saul kissed Esters tear stained cheeks and she sobbed louder.

“I’m here now, am I not? Breaking the laws for you again.”

I hissed at that then my father was behind me again, he held my shoulder. One rule for all, apparently, I thought.

“That’s not all…” Ester nuzzled into Saul and as we backed off, to give them space, I heard him say, “tell me everything.”

Lace

Chapter two

“It’s been a long ass year.” I mumbled as I dragged my fingers through my tangled dark hair, thanks to the humidity my curls didn’t look like I’d done much with them, not that I minded. I wasn’t one for spending hours in front of a mirror.

“I can’t believe we’ve actually graduated.” I leaned against the wall outside Lou’s, a dingy bar where we always ended up. Getting my friends attention for second. There was a wave of nods and smiles until they turned back to their drinks.

This could be the last time I prop myself against this wall.

I couldn’t help the smile that pinched my lips as I spotted Lou and his large round belly bobbing to Britney Spears from behind the bar.

The outside was larger than the inside, with bulb string lights that decorated the seating area. Even though Lou insisted on playing all the cheesy pop music, we hadn’t minded. This place had been refuge to many evenings studying, drinking and fixing broken hearts. Lou had become a friend to us all and also made a mean pop tart in our hours of need.

He waved at me, his kind smile greeting his customers and the cheesy music blared through the open doors forcing my body to sway. My friends knocked back another shot of sticky liquid and cheered.

I nudged Dee, “I mean, this is it, right? You guys have your adventures ahead of you and, well, I’m kinda…” I shoved my elbow into Dee’s side, “you’re not even listening!”

“Chill Lacey-Lou.” Dee moaned, unfazed by the elbow that had just dug into her ribs.

“Just have another beer girl, and stop worrying.”

Dee slid a bottle towards me, ignoring the scolding look on my face and I rolled my eyes. “Fine,” I said as I took the beer.

“Besides, I thought you were like going to look for family, or something?”

Ugh, family or something? Cheers Dee. One of the most character-forming parts of a persons life, that’s completely nonexistent in mine and she just blurts it out like it’s nothing.

I quickly masked my annoyance with a smile and tilted the bottle to my mouth. Because what’s the point. I’m the orphan, none of my friends are, so how would they know what it’s like. It’s not their fault. So, does it bother me? Maybe? I have always been well looked after, the lucky one, apparently. But I’ve been in foster care up until I could fend for myself and well, it could have been worse I guess. The absence of real family drove me to take the good path, I’ve always worked and studied hard…

“Hey hey ladies,” Jack slunk an arm around my shoulders and slapped a wet kiss onto my cheek.

“Ew, cheers Jack, did you have to drool on me?” I moaned as I wiped my face with the back of my sleeve.

“You weren’t complaining the other night.” He teased with a wink, “I’m gonna miss that sweet ass of yours.”

I rolled my eyes at him and giggled. “Man whore.”

“What does that make you then?” I thumped him in the arm and he wiggled his brow at me.

“Joking.”

I drained the last bit of beer from my bottle and pushed off from the wall. “Okay, you guys,” I stumbled backwards as I raised my hands to wave. “I’m going to call it a night, grown up shit to do.”

“Oh baby, please,” Jack clutched his chest dramatically, “don’t leave me.”

I giggled as I backed up, “you’re such a loser.”

“That’s why you love me baby.”

“Dream on Jack.” I blew him a kiss and he reached up, caught it, and slapped it against his face.

“Keep in touch weirdos.” I called, hearing a mutter of curses and okays. I spun on my heel and headed back to my dorm. To be honest the beer wasn’t going down that great and I’d felt a little dizzy this morning. So I revelled in being alone, with the breeze in my hair, it soothed my skin and I watched the beautiful display of pinks and purples mix together as the night came in pretending all was well in the world and I wasn’t worried about the future, much.

I was hit by a gust of wind, it twisted round me and I stumbled falling to my knees. I looked up and just past the wild flower beds, I noticed a tall man heading towards the faculty deans office. He strode with purpose, closing the distance with menacing elegance. I stood and brushed my knees down and continued to my room.

As I pulled out my keys, I paused, peaking over my shoulder before I turned the lock. The breeze stilled and a shiver ran down my spine. Feeling a little unnerved, I slammed the door behind me and took a deep breath. “Strange.”

My dorm room looked odd, half packed and half scattered with the remains of my life. Just like my head, bad feelings packed up with my bouncy curious self, scattered around like the damn sprinkles on a cupcake.

“Okay, think like an adult…” I twisted a curl around my finger, standing amongst my organised chaos.

“Pizza.” I reached for my phone and ordered a really large cheesy pizza and slouched down onto my bed.

“Ugh, I’m not going to miss this.” I struggled to get comfortable under every spring that was digging into me.

I scrunched my nose up and kicked off my vans. My friends were all facing their next step in life and I was undecided on everything, except pizza.

Journalism had been an afterthought for me, chosen on the grounds that I was curious, even if my friends laughed and insisted it was more like I was nosey. The memory made me smile. Though deep down I knew that the burning desire to find my real family may have swayed me that much to sign up. I battled with my abandonment issues, though they only won on the odd occasion, it was enough to guide me in that direction.

Because I’m strong, most of the time.

To say I was frustrated, was an understatement. Up until now, I had always had my next step mapped out; work hard at everything, wherever you are, whichever foster family they send you to. Finish school, go to college and turn the tragic story of a foundling into a success. It was easy, it was a plan.

But with graduation done, the paths I knew how to walk had ended. Still, my next route should be easy, right?

I worked two jobs though my studies and managed to save a small amount. This meant I could take any one of the internships I’d been offered.

I huffed and kicked an empty bottle towards the trash can. My head was a crazy jumble and I didn’t even know if I could even apply myself to any of the internships like I’d need to. Which gave me my inevitable problem. I rolled my eyes, I needed a distraction. I thought about Jack, his sweet blue eyes and not so sweet mouth. He was a friend, really, a player, he loved the chase and that was exactly what I didn’t want. After our first drunken night together I knew I was just trying to patch up my wounds that threatened to open, filling the empty void in my heart with his flirtatious grin and cheesy chat up lines. It didn’t work then and sure as hell, wouldn’t work now. Nothing seemed to work.

At my graduation ceremony, there had been a line of foster parents to congratulate me, there’d even been an newspaper article about my success story back in my hometown. But missing from that lineup were the people I wondered about most. Much to my annoyance.

I gripped my bracelet, the only constant thing i had in my life. It had expanded and grown with me, slowly opening to fit my adult wrist. My eyes burned with unshed tears and before they could fall, I yanked open my chest of drawers and began to rummage around trying to decide on what to pack next.

“Damn it,” I sucked in my bottom lip, the taste of blood ached my heart more than my lip after biting down too hard on it. The memory I attempted to stop from emerging flashed through my mind. All the faces who had cared for me over the years, but the last face remained an unknown blur. Anxiety pounded against the numbness in my chest, with the memory just out of reach. I grasped my bracelet once again, desperate to escape the torment that always left me feeling slightly winded. My finger instinctively traced the engraved pattern on my bracelet. It was pewter in colour, thin all the way round except for a flattened round disc on one side.

I was told it had been found on my wrist, in a crib laid on the steps of a police station along with a simple note. I held on to the note, reading it over and over, until I knew it off by heart.

My name is Lace, I’m six months old and I have been very loved by my family, but they cannot look after me, or keep me safe any more. Please keep my little teddy with me, it keeps me smiling, and my bracelet was made for me by my Grandma. It isn’t worth much to anyone else, but to me, it is a very special reminder that I was a perfect and special little baby who was dearly loved.

The bracelet had helped me remember that I was loved, a token to stop me from feeling less important and that it wasn’t my fault. I’d met so many kids with guilt over the years, like it was their fault they’d been abandoned.

I was not one of those kids. I’ve always been confident and bubbly. I looked down at the engraving, so maybe it had worked but…

I rubbed it again, as conflicting anger welled up inside me.

The trinket was small and nothing compared to actually fighting through whatever hardships there must have been in raising your kid yourself. What had made them give me up?

The few times I’d taken it off in anger, I’d felt, well wrong, somehow out of whack, so I’d suck it up and squeeze it back on. I hated weakness, especially when it came down to an unknown family.

Knock, knock, knock.

“Whoa, pizza dude, leave my door on would you.” I skipped over and yanked the door open, eager for the cheesy goodness, but instead of a hot pizza, a tall, suited man looked down at me. The suit was well fitting and he wore a long grey coat over the top. He had silvery hair and neatly trimmed stubble and a serious gaze. Jewel like eyes stared into me, not too dissimilar to my own, though more at home on his pale features. He was a picture of sartorial elegance even with his deep set frown.

I pulled the door closer towards me, “you’re not the pizza guy, can I help you?”

His board frame looked over me, his jaw tight and I could see the muscles twitch as he clenched his teeth together just before he spoke.

“Miss Jones?” He cleared his throat and raised his chin. He looked uncomfortable as he fidgeted with his tie.

“I’m hoping you can help me with something of importance.” The crispness of his voice was coated with official seriousness that seemed to echo in the long, empty hallway.

I went ridged under his glaring crystal eyes. He dripped with tension and I struggled not to cower under his gaze. My skin prickled and palms went slick, but still, I stood my ground and stared back, hearing him out.

“Have you had any contact from Mrs. Ester Willenshore recently?”

I squared my shoulders, feeling the tingle in my skin rest with that and with one hand on my hip and my best bitchy tone I answered the stranger.

“Firstly, I don’t know any Ester Willenshores, secondly, there are at least four other Miss Jones’ on campus, and thirdly, did you happen to see a pizza guy on the way up here?”

“Please, this is important.”

I raised a questioning eyebrow, this guy needed to lighten up, I thought as I leaned against the doorframe.

“You are Miss Lace Jones, correct?”

Okay, he had my attention. I put my beer head and hungry tummy on the back seat. I’m sure he realised this as his shoulders dropped a little easing his own building tension.

“My name is Mr. Higgins and I’m from a company called Estates & Lawson. We specialise in tracking unusual entitlements, even if the beneficiaries are difficult to find. Could I check a few details with you? I understand you’ve grown up in foster care?”

I blinked, my mind working over what he’d just said, focusing on the words ‘entitlements’ and ‘beneficiaries’. Weren’t they the words said to people who had family? people who had things to pass on and receive?

This wasn’t a conversation for the hallway of my dorm.

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