Destiny Reclaimed

By Kathryn Heaney

Action & adventure, Fantasy, Paranormal, Romance, Young adult

Paperback, Hardback, eBook

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4 mins

Destiny Reclaimed - Prologue

“Here it is! Hot off the press.” Mandy Dixon barged into the kitchen waving a soft covered book overhead.
“Let me see!”
“No, me! I wanna see.”
Two pairs of bright blue eyes looked up at her from the kitchen table.
“Aunt Mandy can read her book to you later after the kitchen’s all cleaned up,” Laura Evans declared as she looked at her eager babies. She sighed. They weren’t really babies anymore; they were very grown up fraternal six-year-old twins who were fascinated with the tales she and Mandy told about another dimension called Anandria. Of course they thought the stories were just fantasy, but the grownups knew they were all too real!
“We want you to read the book, Mom,” Diana demanded. “You drew the pictures.”
“Yeah, and you get that scared look on your face when you talk about Lucifer, Dience or the gargoyles,” David said.
“Yeah, you shiver too. It feels neat when we sit next to you,” Diana added.
“But Aunt Mandy wrote the graphic novel. She should tell the story,” Laura protested.
David hopped down off his chair, walked over to Mandy, looked up at her and said, “You can start the story, but let Mom read the scary parts.”
Mandy raised her brows as she made eye contact with Laura. “She does get all tense and shivery like she’s been there and done that,” Mandy agreed with a twinkle in her eye.
“Yeah!” Diana added with relish. “And she gets mushy too when she tells us about our dad.”
Mandy winked at Laura. “I guess all those paintings you did of Anandria have finally paid off. My agent was hinting that there might be an option for an animated feature length film. The novel was a bestseller, so they’re expecting this graphic novel version with your artwork to sell out tomorrow when the bookstores release it. I hear some of the top executives love your visuals!”
Laura grinned. “No more starving artists, Mandy. Think of that! I could give up my barista position, and you could quit that crummy job with the paper and become a true novelist. We might actually make a bundle.” Her eyes went all dreamy as she contemplated
a life where bills no longer dictated their spending.
“Maybe,” Mandy hedged. “We better not count our chickens before they hatch.”
David took his plate over to the counter. “Done! I’m done! Hurry up, Diana. I want to hear Aunt Mandy’s story and look at the pictures.”
Diana stuck out her tongue. “You’ve seen all of Mom’s pictures. They’re all over the loft. And we know Aunt Mandy’s story.”
“Yeah, but now they’re all in a book. So hurry up!”
“What about Jeff?” Laura demanded.
“He’s on his way. He said he wasn’t missing the release of our new book for some stuffy lawyer party.” Mandy grinned wickedly. “I bet Moira’s pretty pissed about that.”
“Mandy! Language,” Laura warned nodding at the twins who were listening with wide eyes and ears.
“Sorry, Laura.” She turned towards the two grinning children. “Did you two hear anything?”
“You mean about Jeff and Moira?” David asked innocently.
“Nope! Nothing!”
A garbled laugh escaped Laura’s throat as she tried to stifle her amusement. “Mandy I think we need to have a talk...”
Diana focused her piercing blue eyes on her mother. “You’ll talk after the story, right?”
Laura nodded and swept Diana’s plate off the table. “Go help your brother pull up the armchairs so they’re by the couch, then as soon as Jeff gets here we’ll start the story.”
Both women watched them scamper up the stairs. “Wonder what they’d think if they knew it was all real?” Mandy mused.
“Well we’ll never know, because neither one of us is going to tell – unless I suddenly disappear one day...”

Destiny Reclaimed - Chapter 10

He had grossly underestimated time, distance, and the endurance of his scorpion ride. He had forgotten how vast the Badlands were. Where the hell had he been dumped in this forsaken land? And wasn’t that ironic? The forsaken falling into the forsaken land. Ha, someone had a sense of humour... If it were not so arid, he was sure his temper would have been exposed by a show of thunder and lightning. Almost a week in the desert and he had come to
realize it could be several more. Thankfully, he was immortal!
His stomach grumbled reminding him energy had to come from somewhere despite his immortality. Without sustenance his powers would be diminished considerably when he hit civilization. So far, the only half decent food he had ingested was the vile scorpions. The little beasts had endured only half of the first night before they had collapsed from exhaustion. He had made a quick meal by thrusting their carcasses into the sand and superheating the grains to roast them. Just like lobster, he cracked open their hard exteriors and extracted the meat inside. What he wouldn’t give for a scorpion now. The last few nights he had managed to capture a few insects. Hardly tasty or filling.
Forced to walk, he had removed his sneakers, tied them together, and draped them around his neck. Sand caused blisters inside shoes, and he had to conserve energy – making repairs to his body was out of the question. Damn! Walking used up too much energy.
A sharp movement on top of a dune caught his eye. Food! A large desert rat! Patience, he thought holding still. It wandered close to investigate. When it looked up, Lucifer stared it down. His power swirled weakly, but it was enough to mesmerize the beast until he decapitated the rodent with a knife he had conjured, days ago, from the metals in the sand. The repugnant rat would give his body needed protein and water. Thank God, they grew to the size of footballs!
Wait, I’m thanking God, now? I’m close to becoming delusional. A wry grin tipped the corner of his mouth. This meal would restore his depleted energy. He’d be able to create more shelters from the blistering sun by burrowing into the sand and melting the grains together to form strong walls for underground caves. Without the rodent, he would have become dehydrated and helpless, both magically and physically, until some other fool found him and lent him assistance. He was grateful that that had not happened – yet. People might think him vulnerable if that had happened. I will not let that happen! I will survive, become well fed and rested, and then I will hold the universe in the palm of my hand. Only Laura can prevent me from reaching my full potential.
He sighed and plunged the rat’s carcass into the superheated sand. It would take about thirty minutes to cook, five minutes to eat, and then he’d be off for a couple more hours until the sun broke above the horizon bringing its unbearable heat. His powers would be boosted by this mini-feast, so he decided to fashion a backrest out of sand, moulding it for comfort before he solidified it magically. Thirty minutes of rest. Thank G... Hell! You’d think my old boss’s name would never cross my lips.
He lay back and tipped his head up. Since his arrival in the desert, he had been continually scanning for one of his dragons. Not one crossed the heavens here. Even they didn’t want to be caught over the massive desert with no shelter in sight. The Badlands had conquered many fools. With another sigh of resignation, he closed his eyes and relaxed.
When he finally pulled the rat out of the sand, a shadow flickered over his face. His eyes snapped up. An owl soared on silent wings. Protectively Lucifer hunched over his kill. Delight skittered up his spine. His desert journey was close to ending. An owl could not survive in the middle of this habitat. Eagerly he sank his teeth into the rat. Hot juices ran down his chin. Oh how the mighty have fallen, he thought grimly. There’s that irony again. First I fell from grace, then I fell back into Anandria leaving all my Earthly luxuries and lackeys behind. He’d had a sweet deal back there, and there were definitely aspects of his life on Earth he would miss. His lip curled. Here... Well, I’m reduced to eating vermin. He licked greasy fingers and contemplated all that had happened, and all that might happen. Life could only improve if the blasted desert ended. It might still be one or two days before he hit the coast, but he felt buoyed by the prospect. It couldn’t come soon enough. Amen to that.



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