Authors: Marie Hall
Sable (Chaos Time Series: Book 1)
When Sable Ray sings, people die. She’s spent most of her life locked away to protect others from her curse, abandoned to an insane asylum and the monster in her own head. Lately, though, she’s been having dreams of another time, another life – one where she’s free. Where her power isn’t a curse, but a blessing. And just when she’s sure things can’t get any weirder, she’s confronted by a stranger with eyes as blue as the hottest flame He swears she’s not crazy – in fact, she’s the key to saving the world.
Sable: A Chaos Time Series, Book 1
Copyright Nov. 2013 Marie Hall
Cover Art by
This is a work of fiction. All characters, places and events are from the author’s imagination and should not be confused with fact. Any resemblance to persons, living or dead, events or places is purely coincidental.
All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced in any material form, whether by printing, photocopying, scanning or otherwise without the written permission of the publisher, Marie Hall, except in the case of brief quotations embodied in the context of reviews.
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The author and illustrator have asserted their respective rights under the Copyright Designs and Patent Acts 1988 (as amended) to be identified as the author of this book and illustrator of the artwork.
Published in 2013 by Marie Hall, Honolulu, Hawaii, United States of America
Part 1: The Gathering
I am born.
I open innocent eyes and take in the beauty of a world with infinite possibility. I am
. I am the start. And the end. I’m birth and death.
Then I meet him.
I love him.
But he takes too much.
He strips me.
I am naked.
I am nothing.
Nothing but hate and vengeance.
He must die.
I am Phoenix, and he will burn.
Chapter 1: A villain is born
The mother gripped her child's hand tightly, unsure and yes, very afraid that she was doing the wrong thing. Aleric looked so tiny and frail hooked up to all the hospital wires. A machine breathed for him. His tiny rib cage inflating up, then down with each manipulated breath. His hair had fallen out weeks ago; the chemotherapy had been extremely hard on him. It was difficult seeing this new child she didn’t recognize. She traced the bald contours of his head, shuddering at the softness of the flesh.
He was dying. That was obvious; his small body could no longer fight the cancer. Heather couldn't believe she was here, that this was really happening. It'd only been twelve weeks ago that he'd complained of headaches and began having awful nose bleeds. When she took him to the doctors she'd expected them to say he had a sinus infection, not stage four brain cancer. And the way it had spread. Her heart flipped, and not for the first time she fought the almost crippling churn of a stomach ready to heave its meager contents. He was only seven. It wasn't fair.
She had few options at this point, but something, call it mother's intuition, instinct...whatever, something made her ill with foreboding.
"Ma'am, I do understand your reluctance," the doctor said gravelly, "this is not a light matter. And I would never try to sway you one way or another."
She bit her bottom lip and brushed her fingertips over his bald brows. She heard what the doctor said, but it was the look, the gleam of desire snapping through his eyes that told her the truth. He not only wanted her to sign the final bit of paperwork, he was anxious she do it quickly.
It felt wrong. Any mother should be thrilled at the possibility of a lifesaving surgery, even one in its trial one, but she wasn’t. Heather wanted to yank Aleric out of the bed and run far, far away. To a place where evil couldn’t touch him, where things like cancer didn’t exist. But Neverland existed only in books, this was real life, and the choice was killing her.
Aleric would only be the second candidate to receive the cerebral cortex infusion. She still wasn’t even sure what that meant. She rubbed her forehead; pain bloomed at her temples. "I don't understand."
His shoulders stiffened and she could tell he bit back a loud sigh. Anxiety riddled her soul. One wrong word, one wrong move and she’d bawl. The wet heat lingered behind her eyes, ready to come crashing down her face at the slightest provocation. Her husband was stationed in Korea, they were using every channel available to bring him home, but the process was slow and everything was caught up in red tape. It was like trying to run through a bog to get anything done.
This was all on her, this decision, this moment; what if she was wrong? This wasn’t like buying a car and then realizing you preferred the other model instead. This was life or death. Nothing could prepare someone for this. Nothing.
And yet here was this doctor acting like she was a moron for trying to make sense of a world she no longer understood.
"What don't you understand, Mrs. Delacort?" his tone was condescending.
"I'm sorry,” she snarled, “this isn't your son strapped to a bed and dying is it?" Her breathing was hard.
She was so angry. So pissed. This shouldn’t be happening. She curled her fists, wishing she had the guts to punch him. To make him feel in some small way the pain she felt. The pain that ate her insides, sapping her of life, of any type of joy she’d once known. Those days seemed an eternity and another lifetime ago.
His lips thinned and he muttered a low apology. "We haven't much time. It is imperative that if this surgery is to take place we must get the serum into his body while he is still strong enough to handle it. His white blood cell count is right at the verge of being too low. One more day, heck,” he shrugged, “one more hour will probably be too late."
"But how can you be sure this will work?" she asked, her words breathless with grief and laced with that awful hope that could kill as surely as any disease when it didn’t pan out.
He shoved his glasses up his nose, tucking Aleric's medical records under his arm. "I wish I could tell you that we're certain, that this is a sure thing. But you know as well as I do that when you agreed to come here it was only because we’ve exhausted all other avenues. It’s a trial procedure. There is no data. There are no words of comfort I can give you. Only that we hope to succeed."
So in other words if they succeeded it was a feather in their cap. Glory in the annals of medical history. If they didn’t...well, he was dying anyway. Aleric was the perfect candidate for their Frankenstein tests.
Her lower lip trembled and she fought to pull it together. She stared at the morphine drip and wondered how much pain, if any, he was in. She kept waiting for Aleric to sit up, to look at her with a mischievous twinkle in his eyes and laugh it off. Tell her he was fine, that it was all a bad nightmare.
The machine beeped and his chest expanded. Was this really it? Seven years over.
Dr. Mathis laid his hand on her shoulder. "I won't sugar coat this, I'm not in the business of doing that. There's a very good chance that even with this treatment he won't survive. But there's a hundred percent chance that without it, he won't."
She snatched the red pen out of his pocket, startling him. Heather didn't want to think anymore. He was right. He would die. Soon. She had to take the risk. She loved him too much to let him go. Her hand shook as she signed the waiver form and then handed it back to him.
"Do it," she said, "save him."
Heather peeked her head inside her son's door. He sat on the floor, his Erector Set scattered all around his rainbow colored rug. He was building something, connecting this and that metal part to each other. She'd always seen those commercials on T.V. where people created amazing structures from those things, but she'd always secretly thought them impossible. She certainly couldn't create a mousetrap with functioning parts from a few pieces of metal. Yet here he was, doing just that.
Since the surgery two years ago Heather had noticed changes in her son. Small ones at first. He'd stopped playing ball outside with his friends. Even his choice of T.V. programming had changed, where before he’d lived for Saturday morning cartoons, now he was more likely to be found watching the evening news.
And then there was his friend. James. Aleric was always talking and playing with James. Which would be fine, except for the fact that James wasn’t real.
At first she'd attributed it to fatigue from a crippling illness, but that once his body realized the miraculous healing that’d taken place he'd quickly get back into the groove of things. But then he'd become more withdrawn, introverted. Not shy. Just lost in his own private world. Then he'd started asking for things like telescopes and puzzles.
For a while she'd been thrilled to see him becoming more studious and taking an interest in books and learning. But soon he'd begun raiding the public library for books on gene therapy and genetic splicing and HeLa cells, and her head hurt thinking about it all.
She'd called the doctor for a follow up, explaining to him that her son no longer felt like her son. That the joyful little guy had become moody and anti-social, and if he played at all, it was with an imaginary friend.
Weeks of psychiatric evaluations followed, one doctor after another said not only was he well, but Aleric was officially genius status now. He'd tested off the charts for spatial and cognitive reasoning. His math skills were easily doctorate level and that she should be thankful to the surgeon’s that not only did she have her son back, but he was better than ever.
There was an evil in him that grew deeper and darker every day.
"You're hovering," his small voice made her jump with a guilty start.
"I'm sorry, Aleric, I came to see if you'd like lunch now."
He looked at her, small hand shoving a blonde cow lick out of his dark brown eyes. "Why do you always ask me stupid questions? If I was hungry I'd go find you. I'm here, ergo—"
She swallowed hard and gave him a tight-lipped smile. "Of course, you're right. Well, it's made if you want any."
Aleric flicked a switch next to his foot and the building block tower came alive. A crank turned, sending pulleys into motion and beams swayed in and out. There was a pop, then a whoosh and a small cage slammed down.
"We need a mouse. We cannot see if this really works unless we have one," he muttered and reset his device.
“Is James here with you?” she asked, holding her breath.
“Of course he is.” He pointed behind him. “But he’s shy today. He’s hiding behind the bed.”
She nodded and turned to go. "I'll ask your father to stop by the pet store later. I'm sure they sell them there."
His brow rose in a sharp peak. "See that you do."
Michael moved the bunny ear antenna’s around until he finally got a decent broadcast signal for the nightly news. With an audible sigh he came back to the bed and Heather curled up next to him. “
Today, July 9, 1962 at precisely 9:00:09 the Starfish Prime test was successfully detonated at an altitude of 250 miles
Michael scratched his head. “Can’t believe they actually did it,” he mumbled, wonder in his voice.
He glanced askance at her, but quickly returned back to the screen with the image of the tiny woman dressed in tweed. “Shot off that nuke.”