Mar 16, 2012
A sneak peek of I Dream...
I have had quite a few people contact me lately eager to find out when I Dream... is coming out. I have been plugging away at it and decided to give you all a little taste of what's to come. It's not much, but hopefully it will carry you all through for a while.
By: Tia Harrington
© 2011 by Tia Harrington
The night was tangible. Pure absence of light imprisoned him, bound only by the inky tentacles of darkness. Jack blinked back the throbbing pain in his head and sat up slowly. His hand went automatically to the source and encountered a sticky slick of blood oozing from a gash behind his ear. Jack felt his stomach roll as pain clawed its way through his body at just the mere brush of his fingers across the wound. He tried to swallow down the sickness by taking deep, calming breaths… but the heavy air stuck in his throat.
Jack’s mind began to fight past the haze of pain as his instincts kicked in. The absolute night didn’t scare Jack... Even the pain was something he could deal with… No, it was the thickness of the air that made Jack’s blood run cold. It was unnatural.
Jack focused his senses and took stock of the situation. He reached around him and felt rocks covered in a coat of spongy moss beneath his fingers. Jack sniffed the air. He could smell pines and the faint scent of wood smoke. A soft mist touched his cheeks, and Jack identified the sound of rushing water close by. Beneath the roar of the water he heard what sounded like a very human moan. Jack hesitantly reached out his hand toward the source. His fingers grazed something, and he felt a familiar tremor of energy run up his arm. Jack’s heart began to pound wildly in his chest. “Kira?”
Kira’s fingers tangled with his, and she tried to edge herself closer to Jack. He grabbed hold of her arm and pulled Kira until her head rested on his lap. She moaned and rolled to her side, tucking her face into Jack’s shirt.
Jack gathered Kira into his arms and felt her tremble in his hands and then go completely limp. Her power ebbed from his soul.
Jack felt… agony!!! A deep, raw pain clawing at him from the inside. On a great, wrenching sob, Jack screamed out, “No!”
Jack woke in a cold sweat. His heart was thundering through his chest as he gasped for a full breath. “It isn’t real. It isn’t real.” Jack rubbed a hand over his throat and chanted the words to himself. Every fiber of his being betrayed this belief. He could still feel the warmth of Kira’s breath seeping through his shirt where her head had lain.
Jack sat up in a bed that was not his own and fought off the feeling of disorientation by blinking through the memories of his journey back to the City of Fen.
He closed his eyes and massaged his head until the memory came into focus. Jack remembered opening his back door just a week ago. Councilor Mundo stood on the steps leading to the back yard, with his back to the door, staring off into the woods. Mundo didn’t turn at the noise of the door opening, but instead greeted Jack with, “These woods do look to hold more magic than most. Don’t you agree, Mr. Morgan?”
Jack shook off the shock of seeing this particular magical being standing on his porch. Mundo looked powerful and alive with energy while he stood gazing off into the woods. His pinstriped white leisure suit contrasted against his dark skin only stood to make him stand out even more.
Jack looked past Mundo into the woods, but all he saw was the sight of Kira emerging, with the moon glistening off the ethereal dress that clung and flowed with the breeze. Her hair floating down around her. That was all he ever saw anymore when he looked into the woods. Instead of sharing that bit of knowledge Jack replied, “It’s like the woods belong to another world entirely.”
Mundo nodded and turned his head to glance over his shoulder at Jack. He asked with a casual tone, as if they were talking about the weather, rather than Jack’s entire future, “Have you made your decision?”
Jack took a deep breath and looked out into the woods. He knew the answer. He had made the decision right here less than a month ago. His heart ached with missing Kira, and he would do anything… anything to be with her again. Even leave his normal life behind and step into a magical realm where fantasy became reality and fairytales were the things of nightmares.
Jack crossed his arms over his chest and leaned back against the porch rail. He looked up into Mundo’s shadowed eyes and answered, “I have.” He paused and steadied his nerves before committing to the unknown. Jack’s jaw clenched, and he said, “I am ready to serve.”
Mundo nodded and smiled ruefully. “I did wonder.”
Jack asked, “So, what now?”
Mundo reached for the door and opened it. He swept his arm before him and answered, “Now, we get the okay from your Aunt.”
Jack blinked back his shock at that announcement and entered his small suburban home with an extremely intimidating, giant genie following behind him… to tell his aunt that he had magical powers. This was really going to go well.
Aunt Sheila was shuffling around in the kitchen, humming along to the music blaring from her antique radio sitting in the window. Her pink and yellow tie-dyed mumu swayed to the rhythm of the song. Bacon was sizzling away on the stovetop, and Sheila ducked into the fridge to grab some milk.
Jack hesitantly offered, “Um, Aunt Sheila?”
“Yes, Sugar?” She was still rooting around in the fridge.
“I, uh… well, that is…”
Sheila spun around with a carton of soy milk under one arm and bunch of green onions in her hand. “What is wrong with you, Ja…” Her eyes went large and she dropped the contents of her arms. A slow sweet smile touched her lips and she reached up to pat at her long braid hanging over her shoulder.
Jack ducked down to grab the carton that was slowly spurting milk from its top. He palmed the carton of milk and stood.
Aunt Sheila extended her hand to Mundo. “Well now Jack, are you going to introduce me to your friend?”
Jack looked back at her and was perplexed by the silly smile that somehow made her look younger. He answered, “This is…” Jack paused, thinking of how to introduce Councilor Mundo, Head Councilor of the Infriti, Tribe of Yafahi. Jack said, “This is an acquaintance of Kira’s parents, Mr. Mundo.”
Mundo took her hand and bowed over it saying, “Jelani Mundo at your service, Ma’am.” Sheila fairly giggled. Mundo looked up into her eyes and said, “If you would have a seat, I have a matter I would like to discuss with you… concerning your nephew, Jack.” Mundo pulled out a chair for her and Sheila sat without taking her eyes off the Councilor.
Jack shook his head and proceeded to remove the bacon from the heat and mop up the spilt milk with a handy towel, all the while his aunt was making eyes at a mythological creature. Jack tossed the soiled cloth into the sink, and turned to sit in the empty chair next to his aunt. He really didn’t want to see her eyes as she learned of his… magical inclination.
Mundo sat in one of the mismatched chairs and a mighty creak emanated. He straitened his suit jacket and said plainly, “I am a Jinni of the tribe of Yafahi.”