I've been working on a few projects. Two of them are novels of the fantasy persuasion, and they are parts of a series. So far, there are two books in the series. I’m thinking that there may be a novella and maybe a third full-length novel, but only time will tell. I think I may have mentioned the first novel in an earlier post, but its working title is Water’s Memory. The second novel, that I’m about three chapters, or so, from finishing, has a working title of Magic’s Memory. It is clear I have a few irons in the fire, but that is not the point of this post. It feels like the world and characters I created for Water’s Memory and Magic’s Memory have become organic and alive. Some of my characters, mainly the parents and grandparents of Selah, the principal character, want me to tell a few of their backstories. So, in response, I started writing vignettes. I had to figure out why Selah could not really control her elemental powers in Water’s Memory, and it came to me one night, her grandmother, Elaine. I’m going to post a snippet of the story “Magic Bound” that came out of that night. Enjoy and let me know what you think. Until next time, hold it in the road.
Jason carefully plucked his baby daughter from her crib. The child had been crying for about ten minutes. Usually, when he held her, Selah calmed down and would coo and eventually fall asleep. This night, he couldn’t comfort his baby girl.
“Hey Sweetie, what’s wrong?” He whispered. “Daddy’s here, so you can relax. Don’t cry. I’m here.” He bounced her gently as he paced the room, then sat slowly in a rocking chair near the crib. Jason began rocking in the chair. As he held his daughter, Jason teased the baby’s lips with the pacifier until she eventually latched on and sucked. The young father watched the baby. She reached for his cheek and briefly touched it. Her cerulean eyes sparkled as she smiled behind the pacifier, and she let out a contented little gurgle.
A grin curved Jason’s lips. The baby closed her eyes in sleep. Jason followed his daughter’s lead and settled down to a relaxing, brief nap. He would put Selah back in her crib once he was sure she was asleep.
Baby Selah’s scream startled Jason awake. Ondine rushed into the nursery. She approached her husband, who now wore a worried frown. “The baby has a fever. She was fine when I sat down with her.”
Ondine nodded and pinned her long braid into a bun. “Let me have Selah.”
Jason carefully handed the baby over to her mother. “Jason, she’s so hot.”
Selah continued crying, coughing, and struggling for breath. Ondine gently bounced the infant in her arms. She undressed the baby, so she only wore a diaper. The night was cool, but it didn’t seem to offer any comfort. Ondine stopped her trek around the nursery and stared at Jason in worry. “She’s getting hotter. What do we do?”
Asa entered the nursery. The older man rubbed his eyes and put on his glasses. “Maybe she’s teething?” He asked.
“She’s too young, Asa,” Jason said.
“Perhaps it’s colic. I read that babies her age can be prone to it.”
Selah’s crying stammered, and she screamed again. When she did, rain harshly pelted the windows. An emergency bulletin sounded on the television in the den. A news anchor appeared on the screen. “We interrupt your regularly scheduled program to announce that a dangerous line of thunderstorms is coming into the area. If you haven’t yet, please find a safe place in your home, an interior room away from windows as there is the potential for tornadic activity. Our meteorologists will continue to update you on this surprising and dangerous weather phenomenon.”
Asa sighed in disbelief. “This isn’t possible. At least it shouldn’t be possible.”
Selah cried out again, and the bulb in a lamp exploded. Ondine tried coaxing the baby to take her pacifier, but she refused to be soothed.
“Ondine,” Asa whispered. “It’s Selah.”
“What? Asa, what are you saying?” Ondine asked as she continued to pace the room with Selah.
Asa sat heavily in the rocking chair. “The baby is affecting the weather. She’s sick, and it’s showing in the weather outside.” As Asa said that, a peel of lightning illuminated outside the window. “I don’t know what to do. Sarah and I didn’t have children. I can’t help the baby. If she doesn’t stop this, the Synod is going to get alerted. This activity will attract the seer, and they will send the hunters.”
“They wouldn’t kill an innocent baby, would they?” Jason asked.
“They will do what they must do to protect the enchanted from mundane humans, even if it means killing the younger enchanted who haven’t mastered their powers. Your marriage to Ondine, Jason, was discouraged, but Lavinia allowed it anyway.”
“I’m not letting anyone hurt my daughter,” Jason said. Silver lined around his mahogany irises.
“Jason, calm down. Call Elaine. She and the coven will know what to do.”
The silver outline of his irises dimmed in Jason’s eyes. “Mama? Right! She will know how to help.” Jason took out his cell phone and quickly dialed his mother.
A crack of thunder shook the windowpane when Elaine answered.
“Mama,” Jason said.
“What’s wrong, Jason? Did something happen?”
“Mama, Selah’s sick, and we don’t know what to do. She, her magic, is affecting the weather. We don’t know how to help her.”
“I can hear her. She’s hurting.”
“We can’t comfort her, and she has a fever.”
“Strip her down.”
“Ondine did that. The baby is so hot.”
“Get some cool, wet towels for her. Have Ondine sit with Selah and put me on speaker phone.”
Jason did as his mother ordered. He directed Ondine to sit in the rocking chair and she slowly rocked with the crying baby in her arms. Asa assisted Jason in getting the towels.
Elaine’s voice was an octave higher than the baby’s crying. “We’re coming tomorrow.”