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Authors: T.A Richards Neville

Falling Awake

BOOK: Falling Awake
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Falling Awake

 

Book one

In the Falling Awake Series

 

 

By T.A Richards Neville

Falling Awake

 

Cover Design:
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Kindle Edition

 

Copyright 2014 T.A Richards Neville

 

All rights reserved. No part of this book may be used or reproduced in any manner whatsoever without written permission of the author.

 

This book is a work of fiction. Names, characters, places and incidents are either a product of the author’s imagination or are used fictitiously. Any resemblance to actual people living or dead, events, locations or organizations, is entirely coincidental.

             

Prologue

 

 

S
avannah ran desperately through the dense woods of the Makah reservation. The hammering of her heart thundered in her ears and made it increasingly difficult for her to hear the closeness of her attacker. She charged through the evergreens, her hair snagging on stray branches that protruded from the enormous moss covered trunks, causing her to cry out in pain.

Exhaustion mixed with the cold damp air, created an explosion of pain in her lungs and hindered her breathing significantly. But regardless, she could not stop or risk slowing down.

The weight of her full belly was growing more and more uncomfortable under each step she took, the nine-month-old foetus kicking her hard every time her foot slammed down onto the ground. She stole a glance behind her. He was close. A few more steps and he would be able to reach out and grab her.

Suddenly, the trees broke and silver moonlight flooded the horizon. She halted abruptly near the edge of a steep cliff with a sheer drop that plunged directly into the depths of the vast Pacific Ocean.

She turned to face her attacker. Pain seared in her chest with every deep ragged breath she inhaled. She could see him clearly now he was out of the black shadows of the damp dreary forest. Every harsh angle of his face carved out in the silver glow of the moonlight. Her eyes widened in disbelief and her hand flew to her now gaping mouth.

"No,” she gasped. “It can’t be."

The images of the past few months replayed in her mind, peeling off one after the other like a reel of film. The break-in’s at the house, the threatening letters, the fire, the always knowing that someone was following her. Her oldest friends, slain mercilessly on the Reservation, and the perpetrator had been under her nose this whole time.

How had she not seen this coming? How had he gone so unsuspected under the radar? The answer was simple, and it pained her to acknowledge it.

She had never in her life, expected him of all people, to do something so cruel and unthinkable to her and the ones she loved. Yet here she was, faced with a beautiful stranger she thought she had known better than herself, and the ugliness in him pained her.

He merely laughed at the revelation, enjoying the effect his new identity was having on her. He put his hands to his waist, breathing hard, trying to regain some composure.

"You always were naive Savannah," he said, in-between gasping for breath.

"Too involved in your silly magic tricks to see what was really going on in the world. Some advice? You need to pull that pretty little head a'yours out of the ground and take a good look around you. But I think we can safely say, it's a little too late for that now. Wouldn't you agree? Anyway, didn't see me coming did you?"

He smirked at her. "I think it's about time you invest in a new crystal ball."

He advanced on her, and she quickly backed up farther to the edge of the cliff.

"Oh, gonna jump now are we?" he said viciously, laughing at her.

"Such a brave girl. Yes, very brave and heroic. That's you all over isn't it Savannah? I mean yes, you are also a dirty little whore, but I’m not really here to pass judgement. I have much more pressing matters to attend to. So tell me where the lance is and we can be done with this already."

A look of boredom washed over his once handsome, but now sharp menacing face. Savannah's slender frame shook violently in the cold damp mist that swirled in from the ocean, but it wasn't the cold that made her body shudder so aggressively. Pure anger cursed through her veins at the realisation of how she had been so viciously betrayed. Any earlier feelings of fear eradicated and replaced by a burning hatred that pulsated deep within.

"Why are you doing this?" was all she could muster in response.

"Oh, so many questions." He waved his hand in dismissal.

"Why, why, why…why does anyone do anything?" He took another step closer to her, his heavy black boots crunching over the loose stones. "I have my reasons. I can’t say any of them concern you, and you know what they say-" A sly grin spread across his red thinning dry lips. "Curiosity killed the cat, and my grandmother- oh she had the most darling cat. It really was adorable. I wish you could have seen it," he said, clapping his hands in over exaggerated excitement.

"It's funny because it was also called Savannah." He shook his head in sudden sadness. "It died the most horrific death. They found it tortured and gutted. Who could do such a thing?" His eyes burned into her. "Funny story that, wouldn't you say?"

Savannah took a small step backwards and held her arm out signalling not to come any closer.

"Enough of the theatrics you monster!"

An explosive gust of wind blew in and swooped up long dark tendrils of her hair, blowing it vigorously around her head. Her attacker dug his heels into the rocky terrain in protest to the gale threatening to force him backwards into the forest they had just emerged from, and threw up his hands to protect his exposed face from the icy blast.

“Mark my words," Savannah shouted over the noise of the turmoil. “You will never get away with whatever evil you are planning, do you hear me? She narrowed her eyes. “I make you this promise now, that over my dead body, will you ever get your filthy hands on the lance. I will move heaven and earth, until your soul is where it belongs, burning in hell for all of eternity.”

A silver bolt of jagged lightning scorched the ground in between where they both stood, leaving a large black burning hole in its wake. Savannah didn’t falter or recoil from the threatening weather; she stood and she let every last ounce of her hatred, pour from her soul into the atmosphere around her, until at last, she felt calm and weightless.

A loud clapping of thunder boomed through the sky. Large heavy droplets of rain followed, pounding down on to their bare skin, leaving a painful sting before the next one hit.

“What you have done to me is unforgivable, and I curse you for it, but this was just the beginning wasn’t it? You are a monster.” A single tear rolled down her cheek as she turned her back to him, and cradling her stomach lovingly, she apologized to her unborn child and threw herself off the jagged cliff edge, and into the thrashing black waves below.

The night once again turned still and humid as the thunder and rain dissolved back into the departing black clouds. The inhuman piercing cries slicing through the night air were the only sounds to be heard for miles.

Caleb

 

 

 


S
o, what can any of you tell me about angels?” Mr Kelly, our religious studies teacher asked us excitedly.

“That they don’t exist,” a cocky voice called out from the back of the room, sounding pretty pleased with itself. Mr Kelly glared in the direction of the offender. “Anyone else? Someone with a little bit more enthusiasm please?”

I glanced around the room avoiding any eye contact with him, knowing full well that my name would be the next thing to come out of his mouth. I wasn’t shy or anything. I just always seemed to be his student of choice when he couldn’t get a satisfactory answer from the rest of the class, and even though I enjoyed religious studies, partly because Mr Kelly was such an animated character- angels really weren’t my forte.

“Pria.” His blue eyes settled on me. “What are your thoughts on angels?” I could honestly say that I had no thoughts on angels. They were the last thing I would choose to think about, but I answered him regardless.

“Well sir,” I said, concocting the rest of the sentence in my head. “I think that they’re a nice idea. A symbol of comfort, that there could be an unseen presence watching over us, keeping us safe.” He stood watching me with interest, his arms crossed over his crisp white shirt.

“But that’s all I think they are sir. Make believe and bedtime stories.” I wasn’t totally sold on the idea of God and heaven. It wasn’t that I didn’t believe, or thought it was all a load of crap. There just wasn’t enough evidence for me to base my core values around a practically mythical creature. It was like the angels. I would like to think that there is something greater than just us, but I needed hard solid proof, and not in the form of the bible.

“Okay,” he said thoughtfully, pacing the floor with his jaw cradled in his hand and his eyes cast down to the floor. “That’s a valid point. So what would you say to the idea of fallen angels?”

“Considering I don’t believe in flying angel’s sir, I definitely can’t get my head around the idea of a fallen angel.” I shook my head. “Uh-uh, that’s just not real life.”

He smiled perching himself on the edge of his large wooden desk, and studied me curiously. “So, Miss Jensen, can I ask what you would consider to be enough evidence to prove to you that angels and fallen angels might actually have habitat on this earth?”

“The obvious sir. I would have to see one with my own eyes.” The whole classroom was quiet. Everyone was either seriously engrossed in this mild debate, or they had all fallen asleep from boredom.

“And tell me how you would know you have seen one?” he asked me, slightly amused now.

I pondered this question for a few seconds as I thought about the answer. How would I know? I asked myself. I wouldn’t know unless I was presented with the well-known image of a heavenly being with golden hair, a blazing halo, and glorious white wings, wearing a billowing white curtain of a dress. I could safely rule out that if they did exist, they probably WOULD NOT look like that.

“I don’t know sir,” I finally said, feeling a little defeated.

He smiled. “Just as I thought.” The bell sounded signalling the end of last period.

“Okay class, get yourselves out of here. Go on.” He shooed us away with his hands as we all piled out of the classroom in relief, ready to leave this school as far behind as possible; which wouldn’t be that far, considering the whole of the town was walkable in an hour tops.

Friday Harbor was a small town on the east side of San Juan Island, which was part of San Juan County Washington. A big part of the population was thanks to the swarms of tourists, who came mostly for the whale watching, which I myself had never done. But you know what they say; you always take for granted what’s on your very own doorstep. A scenic fishing port and marina ran the length of the island, and that very marina was anyone’s means to a way off this Island and onto the mainland by ferry.

I walked out into the warm air and the sun beamed down on my face, making my spirit instantly lift. I didn’t hate school, but Friday Harbor High definitely had a way of making itself feel like a prison.

My IPhone vibrated in my jeans pocket and I pulled it out, revealing I had a text from my best friend Mellissa Parry.

What r u doing tomorrow night?

Mellissa had cut school the last two days and spent probably most of that time with her current fling Drake. I’d never met him yet and probably never would. Mellissa went through guys like nobody’s business. What started as the potential love of her life, always faded into nothingness when she quickly became bored with them.

Drake was an out of towner, which could make him Mellissa’s longest relationship yet, considering he had the air of mystery in his favour. That is a massive plus when, in such a small town, you already pretty much know everything about any future potential boyfriends.

I was yet to meet a single person I would like to become seriously involved with, which is why, much to my best friend’s dismay, I have never actually had a real boyfriend. I refused to settle, when I knew as soon as I graduated high school, I would be free of Friday Harbor and off to college far, far away, where there would be plenty of guys to eventually choose from. And right now, I was in no rush.

I quickly sent a text back telling her I had no plans, and asked if she wanted to hang out.

Driving home, I wondered briefly whether I should pick up dinner for my dad, but quickly decided against the idea. He would probably be working all night again at the garage. It was a very rare occasion that my dad was home before ten o clock.

He owned the garage and therefore treated it as a second child. As well as fixing cars, he salvaged them and sold them on at a profit. This was too small a town to rely solely on break down’s and changing tyres. There just wasn’t enough people.

As I pulled my Fiat 500 into the empty drive, I was glad I didn’t stop to pick up food. I very rarely ate a meal when I was the only one in the house. It somehow felt like too much of a chore cooking for one.

I locked up the car and headed inside, throwing my bag onto the stairs and kicking off my shoes by the front door. I wandered through into the living room and slumped down onto the oversized cream sofa.

Relaxing immediately, tiredness overtook me and I put it down to the sleepless nights I’d been having. Every night for the past year or so, the overwhelming sensation of someone watching me, pulled me from sleep, leaving me wide awake. The first night it happened, I woke abruptly in a cold sweat, and I could have sworn someone, or something was hovering over me, but I was alone. After checking my bedroom window, there was nothing and no one there. The night was still and soundless, the house just as quiet. I’d thought it was just my imagination, but from then on, the feelings only intensified. Even through the day, I sometimes got the odd feeling that someone was following me or staring at me. Of course, there never was anyone there, and I slowly started to try to ignore it, but I could never quite get rid of the eerie feeling.

I closed my eyes briefly and thought about religious studies. Images of angels laying around on green fields dotted with daisies under a bright blue sky, hidden partially by fluffy white clouds flitted through my mind and I smiled to myself.

Religion was something I knew was close to Mr Kelly’s heart, which was why he taught it with such passion, and why I enjoyed his class so much. He had a way of drawing you into his lesson, making you want to be part of what he was teaching, and making you want to believe it just as much as he did.

I opened my eyes what felt like a few minutes later, and I was surprised to see it was actually 6:50. I’d slept over two hours. I must have been more tired than I thought.

I headed upstairs to my bedroom and swapped what I was wearing for black yoga pants, matching crop top, and my pink sketchers. A run was what I needed to get rid of that just woke-up grogginess that now clung to my body like cellophane.

I piled my dark hair on top of my head in a messy bun with a few loose tendrils escaping around my face, and grabbing a water bottle from the kitchen, I left the house.

***

I’d run down Spring Street which was the main strip in town, and I was now running along the Marina, the cool night air welcoming on my hot sweaty face. There weren’t many people on the marina, aside from a few couples with their dogs sitting on the white wooden benches enjoying the sea view, and I sped up leaving them behind.

A tight burning surged through my chest and I pushed through it, as if I was running for my life. Once I came to Warbass Way, I took the steps up the grassy embankment two at a time until finally, I reached the top.

I came out at a gravel-filled clearing leading to my dad’s garage. The modest brick structure sat nestled from view flanked on either side by enormous amber maple trees. The only thing to signal the garage’s existence was a small standing tent sign advertising Jensen’s Autos. There was of course the back entrance which led out onto Cherry Lane, but I always took the scenic route unless I was driving.

I doubled over, resting my hands on my bent knees and fought for my breath for several minutes before taking a swig of my water. I straightened up and still gasping for breath, walked over to the garage to where my dad’s legs stuck out from under a metallic red Ford Verve Sedan.

“Hey dad,” I said. He rolled himself out from under the car.

“Pria, what are you doing here?” He looked surprised to see me. “Is everything okay?”

“Yeah everything’s fine. I’ve just been for a run that’s all. So I thought I would come see you, see if you needed a hand with anything,” I said, still trying to regain composure of myself. I sometimes came up here to help out when I was bored, or if my dad was crazy busy, and because of that I loved cars and I knew a quite a lot about them. More than most guys anyway.

He stood up, wiping his greased hands on a yellow rag that hung from his jeans pocket. “No I’m fine here, but stay and hang out if you want. There’s pizza in the office. Go and get some.” He nodded towards the garage. I was hungry now he’d mentioned pizza. “That sounds great. I’m actually really starving.” I started in the direction of the food, wiping the sweat from my brow.

“I think I’ll just get a ride back home with you if that’s okay?” I turned back towards him. “I’m totally beat,” I confessed, still feeling the sting in my lungs.

“Sure thing. I’ll be finished here in about an hour,” he said, and pulled his way back under the car.

I angled my way past a second car parked inside the garage, a Volkswagen Saberio pickup, and walked into the ageing office.

The small space was furnished with a wooden desk and leather chair. An old black TV sat on a metal rack protruding from the top right corner of the wood panelled walls, and an old faded red couch sat directly under the glass window that looked out into the garage. The large pizza box lay open on the desk, and I grabbed a piece, dropping down into the leather chair as it shifted under my weight. The pizza was still hot and cheese strung from my mouth when I took a bite. God that tasted good.

I finished it quickly and ploughed my way through another slice. Feeling satisfied, I pulled out a celebrity magazine that I kept stashed in one of the desk drawers. I skimmed over the pages, only really taking note of the pictures, wishing I had one of the many perfect bikini-clad bodies, when out of the corner of my eye, movement from outside the office caught my attention.

I stood up and walked over to the Saberio expecting to see a customer, but instead, someone stood leaning over the opened hood of the truck.

“What the hell do you think you are doing?” I demanded. The intruder, clearly surprised by my voice straightened up abruptly, banging his head on the inside of the hood in the process.

“What the-” He put his hand up to his head and turned toward me. His mouth was set in a tight, firm line, and my breath caught in my throat as I took him in. He held his hand on top of his dark blonde mussed hair that rested just above his broad shoulders. His eyes were the colours of the river; deep green flecked with light grey, and right now, bore serious holes into me. As I struggled to find my voice, my eyes raked over his long lean body, which was clad in low rise stone wash denim jeans and a grubby white t-shirt smeared with black grease.

“Sorry…I…Didn’t know anyone else was here,” I said pathetically, my brain struggling to turn thought into words. Still looking at me angrily, he dropped his hand and turned his attention back to the truck, burying his head under the hood. I stood there stunned. I could do nothing but watch as his toned bronzed arms roughly worked the engine. This guy knew his way around a car that was for sure.

“So, uh, who are you?” I asked, now slightly annoyed by his blatant rudeness.

“I work here,” he said bluntly.

“Since when?” I asked a little too loudly.  My dad never mentioned hiring anyone, and I pretty much knew everything when it came to the garage.

“Since your dad hired me.” His voice was thick with boredom.

“How do you know it’s my dad?”

“Lucky guess.” He shrugged, grabbing a spanner off the tool rack that hung off the wall to his right.

“He never told me he had someone working for him.”

“And that concerns me how?”

I had no answer for that, but his attitude was bringing out the worst in me.

BOOK: Falling Awake
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