Paperback, 260 pages
Published April 20th 2012 by Createspace
Do you believe in destiny? When sensitive Maya moves with her brother Thomas from Los Angeles to Paris hoping for a better life, she has no idea that everything is about to dramatically change. What starts as an initiation into the age-old Arakad magical tradition takes an unexpected turn when a wave of brutal murders shatters her world. Caught up in an ancient prophecy, she finds herself at the center of a ruthless battle between good and evil in which humanity’s future is at stake. When all hope is lost and she becomes the final target of a sinister clan, will Maya learn to trust herself and her own power? Or will her own fears prevail?
CHAPTER 10 — THE OLD ONE
Without saying a word, she stepped in.
It felt like being swallowed by a green monster. The wall of greenery had turned into a maze of tubes and tunnels. The sky above disappeared. As she walked deeper in, she felt as though she was leaving the world behind. She was growing distracted and tense, her legs getting scratched by the thorns. Like sharp blades, they cut through her clothes, making her bleed. The path was definitely not tourist-friendly.
After what seemed like an eternity, the narrow pathway led to an enclosure.
“Wow!” whispered Maya. “This is incredible.”
She’d finally found what she was looking for. There he was, eighteen feet tall, defying time. Looking magnificent and powerful, the Old One was standing in front of her. Maya was in awe.
“So . . . my friend was right,” said Thomas, as he arrived on the scene, “this is just an old stone!” His voice brought Maya out of her reverie.
Indeed, the Old One was a giant monolith, an ancient menhir, as they were called in Brittany. These mysterious giants abounded in this region of France and around England. No one knew who had erected them, why, or how. Some historians believed they had been set up in the Neolithic era around 9,500 B.C. Other scholars proposed they were even older, belonging to a forgotten time of legend.
“Thomas, isn’t he beautiful?” said Maya.
“Are you kidding me?” Thomas had had it. “No! This isn’t beautiful. And what do you mean ‘he’? You forced me to walk for hours in the rain and cold to see what? An old stone? And for what? Seriously, for what?” His face was flushed with anger, his eyes wide.
This wasn’t good. Maya knew that when Thomas threw tantrums, they could escalate very fast. She tried to calm him down.
“I see you’re upset and I know, I haven’t enjoyed walking around all day,” she said in a slightly contrived, positive tone of voice. “But we finally found what we’re looking for! We can stop walking. Valerie’s going to be impressed when we—”
“That’s my whole point!” cut in Thomas, “Valerie? Uncle D.? Why are you always so eager to please them? We’re not even related. They just keep pushing us around, telling us we ‘have’ to do this,” and we ‘have’ to do that. When does it stop? And why do we have to do what they tell us? The way I see it, they’re using us as distractions because they’re bored with their lives!”
“Thomas, please. You’re being unfair, it’s not—”
“Don’t you get it? I want to direct my own life!” yelled Thomas. He was in a frenzy. “I want to control my own destiny! I hate all this! I’m out of here!” He picked up a rock from the ground and threw it at the ancient monolith.
Pock! The rock hit the menhir. Thomas turned his back on Maya and left, still ranting.
Maya stood alone in silence. A cold, dark feeling began to rush up inside her, moving from her belly to her chest. Her eyes filled with tears. She held her breath, trying desperately not to cry.
As she finally opened her mouth to breathe, she burst into tears. She held her face in her hands, then looked into her pockets to see if she had a tissue. Of course, she didn’t.
“This is such a mess!” cried Maya. “I’m such a mess!” With her arms crossed around her chest, she was rocking back and forth. She sat down with her back against the monolith.
Her tears fell hot and fast down her face. Falling down . . . down . . . down . . . As they hit the ground, they splashed on impact like tiny, bursting water balloons. On a microscopic level, millions of water and salt molecules were rebounding into the air. And not far where Maya sat, at that exact moment, a dark wave broke onto the shore of the beach, itself splitting into billions of water particles. Water, salt, and earth—big and small—dancing together in one eternal dance.
The tears. The ocean. All was in perfect harmony. All was one despite the pain.
Suddenly, Maya felt a tremor in the earth. She stood up, fearing it might be an earthquake, a common occurrence back home in Los Angeles.
Next, she heard a humming. Everything started vibrating around her.
“Who is the little one crying next to me?” said a very deep voice.
Startled, Maya look around. No one.
“Who are you, little one?” insisted the voice.
As she slowly turned around, she saw that the giant monolith was glowing with what seemed to be an electric blue light, slowly pulsating.
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