Heres a portion of the first chapter. THIS IS UNEDITED!
I know I’m asleep, but that doesn’t stop the panic that’s flowing through me. I’m dreaming again, and lately my dreams have taken a nasty turn. Sometimes my dreams are so pleasant I want to stay asleep forever, just so that I may escape the cruelties that surround my life. At other times, I pray to God for deliverance from my trance so that the voices of the dead will leave me be. Right now, I can see the many faces of my deceased family all crying out to me with tongueless mouths. Some are missing their eyes and stare blankly ahead with empty sockets. Yet, even in their blindness, I still know that they are “looking” at me.
Those dusty corpses that still maintain true vision, are peering at me through Nebu Khet eyes. Their eyes are no longer the plain browns, greens, and grays of normal humans (Sapes), but are the dazzling shades of silver, gold, and emerald that appear when our energies are at their peak. I am backing into a corner of my old child hood home while at least thirty family members move towards me with outstretched hands. My mother is leading the pack and as soon as she is no more than four feet from where I cower, I hear her voice. Even though her tongue has long ago been ripped from her mouth, she somehow manages to communicate as if there is absolutely no reason that she should find any difficulty in doing so.
“Hey baby, don’t be afraid. It’s just me…mom. You remember me, I know you do. You look just like you did when you were still my little boy.”
You can hear a note of joy in her tone. Hearing her long dead voice brings tears to my eyes, but I don’t believe it’s truly her. She reaches out to me and I cower back from the touch of her long elegant fingers. “Oh, hun. You know I would never hurt you, hell I can’t hurt you. Sweetie, I’m dead, and actually, that’s why I’m here. Kalin, you remember how me and everyone else here died. You were there, I know you were young, but you were there hiding in the debris and I know you remember.”
I did remember…
My family had been genetically stronger than any other Nebu Khet, aka “Khet”, clan since the beginning of our remembered history. That pretty much meant we were considered royalty. See, Khet Politics are quite different from Sape Politics. There are none of those boring elections, or legislative guidelines, and so on. Nope, the Khet are ahead of the game. See, when we think a new power is needed to keep our best interests in mind, we politely ask the ruling family for our desired changes. If this fails, we begin a search for the strongest families within our communities and then…we kill the royal bloodlines. Works like a charm.
I guess you can pretty much guess where this is going. My family was the ruling party fourteen years ago. For the most part, the American Clans were content. Everyone was treated fairly. My family always tried to work in the best interests of our people, but there was one major event that had ripped through the foundation of our society ten years prior to the most pivotal point in my life.
A Nebu khet female had fallen for a Homo Sapien. This isn’t to say that something like this never happened before. The difference that this case threw at us was that the khet girl was pregnant. Not only was she pregnant, but she was in her third trimester. See, usually when a khet girl gets pregnant by a Sape, she miscarries sometime within the first month. The same thing happens if a khet male gets a Sape girl pregnant. This time it was different, everything was going just as it should through the pregnancy. BIG PROBLEM.
The Sapes out number us six thousand to 1. Take into account that in the past, the Sapes burned us at stakes and called us witches, they slaughtered large numbers of their own in response to their hysteria and prejudices. They are notorious for fearing what they don’t understand. Obviously we had the upper hand in these battles; using our abilities, but the homo sapiens had their sheer numbers. They caused our population to plummet significantly. Many people within the court saw this pregnancy as a stab in the back and as a means to an end for our species. Many saw this unborn hybrid as a weakening of our bloodlines. My family, The Moshire’s, saw it as a way to merge our world with that of the sapes and unite our two subspecies. With our family trees tied together by a common relative we would ensure that the slaughters that happened to us in the past never happened to us again. We would ensure that our two branches of humanity eventually merged back into one. As one race, there would be no need to fear one another.
A few clans across the U.S. decided that our vision made perfect sense, however, some thought of our ideas as heresy, but eventually the turmoil that had grasped our communities faded and died off… at least that’s what my relatives thought.
At the time of all this confusion I was only eight months old. By the time the hybrid child was born into this world, I had reached my first year of life. My mother was adamant about ensuring that this frail half-breed child survived into adulthood. She truly looked upon his tiny little form with utmost consideration, she saw him as a way to mend the gap between the World’s majority and minority populations.
The child was named Shane by his ever-adoring mother. With large eyes always wide and wondering, he would constantly stare at the world around him as if he expected it to show him something entertaining at any second. Shane and I were like opposites; He, with his pale complexion, dark hair and light eyes, me with my fox red hair, olive complexion and brown eyes. Yet from my earliest memories I always thought of him as my sibling.
My family moved the infant and his mother into our home and guarded them. They pretty much became our extended family. We were always with one another, and we always defended each other whether in school or around our people. Around, our eighth and ninth years we found out why my mother had taken so many precautions with Shane and his mom.
It was a beautiful, warm, summer night and my mother had just walked me up to the third floor of our house to lay me down to sleep. Our home was a beautiful, three story, colonial inspired piece of art. A huge mansion. This was the safe-house of our clan. With over 20 bedrooms throughout, anyone who was in need of a safe-haven was welcome. Windows were present on every side of our home and the summer breeze would filter through their open panes to cool us in our sleep and carry the sound of the singing cicadas to our listening ears.
I still remember the way I had curled up in my bed under my sheets, all the while listening contentedly while my mother hummed an ancient Nebu Khet hymn. I remember staring at her face, seeing the way her eyes reflected the light of my bedside lamp, with their odd shades of green and gold tones. Her hair was a mane of gold, orange and red tones that hung past her waist. She smelled of freesia, and happiness radiated from her. As she leaned down to kiss me goodnight I felt the air around me grow heavy with power. Her eyes instantly morphed into liquid fire; red swirling with orange and yellow. I remember her reaching down and grabbing me by the arm and then lifting me as if I weighed nothing. She placed me on the ground beside her and ordered me to run down stairs and out the back of the house. I froze, unable to make my limbs respond to my thoughts. “RUN KALIN!”, she yelled, and that’s when she was flung from my side and slammed into a wall ten feet from where she had been.
I screamed for her and attempted to run to her side, that’s when I myself became airborne. My world had suddenly become a blur as I spun through the air and hit the side of my bed. I tried to cry out but the air had been knocked from my lungs. As I inhaled between ragged coughs I started to crawl to where my mother lay on the floor. Burning tears blurred my vision, and blood ran from a shallow cut on my scalp. Before I could reach her I felt an iron grip tighten around my neck and lift me from the ground. I kicked, and I swung blindly at my assailant with no success. The tree trunk-like arm then swung me around to its owner’s face and I froze. The face belonged to Michael Twymkowski, one of the strongest of all Nebu Khet leaders. The Twymkowskis originally descended from Eastern Europe and had married nebu khets with African decent. Their family had a well known hunger for power. Twice my family had fought them and failed their attempts at claiming the throne, but my family hated violence and had refused to follow standard customs which called for the death of the challengers. Apparently the Twymkowskis held grudges.
He smiled as if he was the nicest man in the world. “Hello little one. You’ve gotten so big since the last time I saw you.”
He reached up with his other hand and wiped some of the blood from where it was trickling onto my forehead, then he raised the blood to his face and sniffed. A questioning look crossed his face that made his brow knit together with a look not unlike worry. “I can smell the power in you little one. It is good that we came when we did, in a couple more years you would have been a force to reckon with. It is unbelievable how one family has become so well bred, just as it is unimaginable how that same family with its strong genes, and ultimate authority would be content to allow mongrels to fill ranks within our society.”
A sound came from behind me, and I knew it had to be my mother. “It is also ashamed that a creature as gorgeous as your momma could be behind such atrocities.”
With that he took a step toward where she had landed. I had never made the change before; Most Nebu khet children didn’t make the change until their eleventh or twelfth year, but on rare occasions some make the change before they reach puberty. Apparently I was one of those rare occasions. I even think I caught Michael off guard. One moment I was staring at my “would be killer” with fear, the next moment I was filled with a rage like no other I had known before.
I sensed the change more than felt it. My vision became so clear that it was like nothing that could be explained. The shapes and colors took on such a detailed aspect that I felt as if I was looking at everything from beneath a microscope. My body prickled as if static electricity had gathered all around me. I was suddenly aware of every living thing within the vicinity. I could see in my mind’s eye all of the people that were on the property. I could ‘feel’ the power levels of every individual. Some were incredibly strong. In my mind they glowed with power.
All of these changes happened in a fraction of a second. Michael spun around to look at me with a kind of horror. It was as if he was playing hot potato and got caught with the potato sizzling into his hand. With the hand that was holding me he reached back as if he was throwing a football and prepared to hurl me into the closest wall. I instinctively reached out my own hands toward his face and grasped each side with more strength than I should have had. I then reacted like a cat on a scratching post and dug into the soft tissue of his face; feeling the bones start to give under the pressure I was exerting. He roared with rage and anguish and tried desperately to pull me off of himself, but it was like pulling gum from hair. Suddenly his eyes started to brighten in color and I knew from experience that this meant he was beginning his own phase.
I pulled my feet up and placed them against his chest then pushed off as hard as I could, launching myself backwards away from his rising power. I landed in a debris pile next to my mother’s prone body. I was terrified; all of the anger that had filled me with molten fire sizzled away to an icy spear of fear as I felt his phase take over. “Apparently, I was wrong-
your pedigree has allowed the change at a much earlier age than usual. You cut me up pretty badly little one.”
He let out a low menacing chuckle, using the front of his shirt to wipe the oozing blood from several deep lacerations that showed the gleaming white of his facial bones. “To think, you and your mother, are some of the strongest blood I have ever beheld, what a waste of potential.”
He walked slowly towards me shaking his head from side to side as if in disappointment; razor sharp claws were slowly extending from his hands, turning them into murder weapons. When he was but only three feet from my spot on the floor he flexed his fingers wide apart and said, “Sleep now child.”
Quicker than I could react his talons were whistling towards my face, but they never met their target. For a moment he stood shocked, unable to process what had stopped his strike, then he took notice of the slender hand that had his arm in a powerful grip. My mother was still laying on her stomach but was holding the front of her body off of the ground with her right arm in a sort of one armed push up, while holding Michael’s wrist in her left hand. Her eyes were the color of the pits of hell and her energies made the air smell like ozone. “Next time you intend to kill someone, make sure that your deathblow has done its job Michael.” Without moving any other part of her body she flung him by his arm to the left side of the room like he was nothing more than a rag doll. No sooner than he hit the floor was he back up on his feet, but so was my mother.
She let loose a guttural growl that made the air vibrate with angry energy. She moved towards Michael with a malice that was very apparent. Her movements reminded me of those of a leopard; her walk was like water rippling over rocks in a stream. He lunged himself at her aiming his deadly claws at her throat. She easily caught his hands before they were close enough to do any damage, and with a powerful tug yanked his arms down to his sides. It was odd seeing my mom’s willowy frame effortlessly keeping Michael’s bulky body from moving beneath her hold, almost like restraining a child throwing a tantrum. He snarled at her and jutted his face towards hers with his teeth bared trying to use them as a weapon. With a loud snap his jaws closed just fractions from her nose. She laughed like she was enjoying a good joke, the sound was eerily cheerful considering the circumstances, and then she cocked her head to the side while staring at Michael with a pitying expression. It was like a painting of a Greek Goddess restraining Hercules.
“You know, I wanted to ensure that our people could be guaranteed a future in this ever-changing world. I tried to help us adapt to the modern times, but you and your clan have never understood the importance of the Sapes, your family acts like homo sapiens are less than yourselves; then again so does a vast majority of our kind. Yet, all advances in our sciences have proven that the Sapes and the Nebu Khet all stemmed from a common ancestor. Now, when the inevitable has finally happened, instead of understanding the importance of the child’s birth you try to snuff it out. I can’t let you do that Michael.”
She said this last part with narrowed eyes that held nothing but promises of pain if he dared to contradict her on her wishes.
“And you know I can’t let you live Shara.” Hearing him use my mother’s name sent a cold chill down my spine.
“For too long you and your husband have done nothing but try to ensure the extinction of the pure blooded Nebu Khet.”
“And I suppose that your European clans have tried to ensure the vitality of our species by forcing your subjects to inbreed and produce generation after generation of weak, short lived children. Almost every nation under your control has a life expectancy of merely one hundred years of age, while here our clans still live to be five to seven hundred years old! It’s not uncommon for a Sape to reach the age of one hundred now Michael, and they don’t have a third of the immunities and healing abilities that we do. What kind of hypocrite are you to say that my family is ‘weakening the gene pool’ when in reality we are killing two birds with one stone: 1) stopping any future prejudices against our people by the Sapes, and 2) strengthening the bloodlines that you have diluted down to nothingness.”
The hatred that rolled off of Michael was thick enough to take your breath away. He started to shake with anger and slowly I began to feel power wash through the air.
“What do you think you’re doing Michael?”
“Ending your reign, your majesty”
All of a sudden my bed lifted off of the ground and flung itself in my direction. Before I knew it a scream ripped from my body and I ducked my head waiting for the impact that never came. I opened my eyes to see my mother holding the bed up off of the ground. She looked over to where Michael was half submerged into the drywall of one of the room’s walls; she must have thrown him at the same time that she came to my aide. She hurled the bed at Michael but before it could crash into the spot where he’d been standing, he had already moved. Faster than I could follow, she was across the room grappling with him accompanied by a lot of growling. They moved so fast that you could barely keep track of their positions in the room. They became blurs of motion that left red stains on the walls and floor where ever they went.
My mom was notorious for being one of the most powerful of all known Nebu Khets. What this meant to Michael was a certain yet obvious defeat. Every time the blur that was Michael would back away, you would see a red puddle left in the spot he had been in. He was bleeding really bad.
After a couple more attacks, Michael fell to the floor, panting and oozing crimson on to every inch of floor within a two foot radius of his kneeling position. He looked up at my mother with alarmed eyes, almost like he couldn’t believe she had wounded him so bad. “You know I will hunt you down and kill you Shara! I will cut you open from belly to sternum while you’re alive, and I’ll set your insides on fire while you scream in agony waiting for death!
“You are weak, if not physically then mentally. You won’t take my life, you’ve had similar chances in the past and you’ve always failed when it came to the deed. I will get you, you bitch! I will get you and make you watch as I tear your sweet little boy limb from limb!”
Thick strands of saliva flew from his mouth as he raged at my mother. She approached him with a sneer on her face and squatted down in front of him with a grace that I’ve only seen in our race. “You know what’s sad Mikey boy? You are so arrogant that you don’t even know when to admit you’ve lost. Babes, you’re not leaving this room alive. He tensed to lunge and before he could even get an arm up to attack, my mother back handed him across the trashed room. He would have flown straight out of the window but his right leg got gouged on a large, protruding piece of wood coming out of the window’s frame. He was hanging by that one leg over a patio made of flagstone that had been built by my father three years ago before he died. Mother glided over to his location and leaned out of the window, lifting him back in by gripping the back of his neck.
The shocker was that she didn’t just drop him back on the ground, but instead smashed his face several times into the wall next to the window he had been dangling from. She then held him out at arm’s length and looked at him with her lava filled swirling eyes. She tossed him slightly into the air and before he had time to think to react she side kicked him back across the room where he ended up landing in the same debris pile that she had crawled out of earlier.
“Life is precious to me Michael; that is the only reason I let you live for all of these years. You tried to rally against me, you tried to kill me, but you had never attacked my child…that was your biggest mistake. I am old, older than you by far. I have walked this earth for over 700 years, and I have only had one child. I am well past the normal life expectancy for most nebu khets, and honestly didn’t take too much offense to you and your family’s petty tantrums, but what you did tonight, this is not excusable.”
She clenched her fist and you could hear every knuckle crack like a branch breaking in a storm. She walked towards him slowly, one foot in front of the other, like a stalking lioness. Slowly, large claws started sliding out of her finger tips replacing her nails. “You attacked a child Michael. You tried to slaughter an innocent child, my innocent child.”
You could literally feel the energy ripple across your skin as she slowly approached the bleeding khet. The colors in her eyes were practically swirling with malevolence, and every muscle on her arms and bare shoulders rippled taught beneath her pale skin. Her hair started to stir in an invisible wind created by eddies within the energy emanating from her being. She was as gorgeous as she was horrific. An angel of death if ever there was.
Michael moved to make the first strike, a large dresser flew towards my mother, she didn't even move. Once the dresser got within the range of her aura of power it simply shattered into millions of splinters. “ I had often times found myself wondering if you had a heart Michael, I guess now is as good a time as any to find out.”
Quicker than the strike of any snake she moved to where he was standing and plunged her hand into Michael's chest. All you could hear was the cracking of bones as her arm slid into the cavity up to her elbow. Without removing her arm she leaned in towards Michael's shocked face until their foreheads touched. Any other time and you would have mistaken this seemingly intimate display as kind and loving. She smiled the most vicious smile she’s ever worn.
Suddenly she retracted her arm as quick as she had plunged it in, simultaneously ripping out Michael's heart. She leaned back and sat in a one knee kneel in front of where he had fallen. She brought the still beating heart up right in front of his face. He stared, gawking as the light in his eyes slowly began to dim.
“Who would of thought, there was a heart in there. Maybe you should have made better use of it while you still had the chance.”
Standing, she tossed the now still hunk of muscle into the dead man's lap and wiped her hands against her now torn and filthy t-shirt. She looked around the room seeking me out amongst the debris and blood. Carefully making her way over to where I cowered in a corner she slowly knelt down to my level, all hardness and anger that had sculpted her face instantly melted away into the kind, loving expression I was accustomed to.
“Honey, we have to go, right now. Do you understand?” I nodded my head once while looking her in the eye.
“There are more people here who want to hurt us baby. We have to go find Shane and his momma and get to safety, ok?”
Another nod from me. I'm not sure why I didn't cry. I would like to say that it was because of my knowledge that it wouldn't help with the situation, but in reality it was most likely because of shock. I let my mother gently pull me to my feet, and lead me out into the main corridor of the upper levels of our home.......