Tuesday, September 30, 2014

FIRST CHAPTER: Black Abaddon by Sasha Hibbs #YA

Black Abaddon

(Vulcan Legacies #2)

by: Sasha Hibbs


Vulcan Legacies, 2
Ally Watson struggles to live with the choices she made, the worst of which resulted in her soul mate's death. Michael’s sacrifice to save the girl he loved may have reversed the Apocalypse, but not the permanent damage inflicted by living with his loss.  

Ally begins a journey where she soon discovers that death is not always the end, but sometimes the very beginning. With old friends, she journeys to the Nosferatu Nation where she meets with new alliances willing to help her in her quest to defeat the Devourer.  At every turn, Ally unearths secrets that threaten to destroy those she loves.

The second installment of The Vulcan Legacies series will put Ally to the ultimate test, forcing her to face her fears and the true destiny she will fulfill as Azrael, the Seraph of Death. 


Sasha Hibbs Copyright © 2014

 ~ Chapter One ~ 

It was abnormally cold for a southern summer day. The raindrops pelting against Ally chilled her to the bone. She stood in His Eternal Garden. It was the only cemetery in Snow Creek, North Carolina, and also the final resting place of Michael’s mother, Lilith Blackwell. Today, His Eternal Garden was gaining another member of the Blackwell family. Uncle Argyle decided to break the horrible news to Michael’s grandmother. Telling someone their only grandchild died wasn’t the kind of news you delivered via phone. He went to Florida only to find an empty shell of what once was Grandma Blackwell. She had progressive dementia and had been moved to an assisted living facility. Uncle Argyle came back without even telling her. Ally wondered if Grandma Blackwell would have been able to even register what Ally had done, and thought that maybe her debilitating neurological system was a blessing in disguise.
“Ashes to ashes, dust to dust….” Ally heard Belle Crow say, as the High Sons of Nashoba stood on either side of Michael’s long shiny black coffin waiting to lower him into the ground.
A slide show of the last several weeks played through her mind as she waited for the cold ground below to swallow up her beloved Michael and take him away from her forever. Ally graduated from Mitchell High. She and the twins, Jessica and Dave, had plans mapped out of attending North Carolina State University. She hated to leave the farm and her uncle, but she yearned to taste life through a normal college experience. And then all hell broke loose. In the course of a few days she had been introduced to necrosapiens, also known as the evil undead, Seraphs, Nosferatu, The High Sons of Nashoba, and Gypsies. 
She had been overloaded with prophecies, predictions, and manipulated by what she was supposed to do. Instead of listening to her heart and following her feelings, she had allowed herself to be like clay on a potter’s wheel, and Marik—The Devourer incarnate—had been the one to shape her into his version of Azrael, the Seraph of Death.
Ally was so blinded by his cunning words, it had cost her Michael. Ally had been put through the sacrament of love—a test designed by the Authority—one where she could tip the scales towards preventing the Apocalypse or be the cause of it. All she had to do was choose correctly. So simple. But Ally didn’t. She made the wrong choice even though the right one had been in front of her her entire life, and Michael paid the price for her, for the whole world, with his life.
Ally looked around. Michael had no family here. In the end, Ally, Dave, Jessica, Elizabeth, the Ravenscraft sisters, Belle Crow, the High Sons, Lucy, Uncle Argyle, Parthenia, and Brandi were the only ones attending Michael’s funeral.
Belle Crow finished her sermon, a mix of Gypsy and contemporary tradition, as the High Sons lowered Michael’s coffin into the ground. Uncle Argyle and the High Sons began shoveling dirt into Michael’s grave. Large clumps of dirt reverberating off the casket was the only sound heard. All was silent.
Ally looked up. Tears ran down Jessica’s face. Dave’s chin quivered. Brandi and Parthenia’s eyes were downcast, their faces a mask of sorrow. Her beautiful black German Shepherd, Miss Elma—the guard chosen for Ally from the Gates—lay beside Michael’s grave. She was in pain, too. Ally could see it in her sad hazel eyes. Griselda and Irini Ravenscraft walked up beside Belle Crow. As their eldest sister Denaulda began humming in her soft sweet voice, Belle Crow tapped her staff, glittery purple light shooting out into the air. Each purple spark sizzled out as they collided with soft drops of rain reminding Ally of Michael’s essence: his light had been extinguished too.
Denaulda’s soft tune soon turned into a heart wrenching melody as she lifted her voice. Ally could deal with silence, but Denaulda’s tune wrapped tightly around her heart, so tight Ally felt it would burst. Her knees buckled as Uncle Argyle came up behind her, catching her.
“I’ve got you,” Uncle Argyle said.
Ally looked into his eyes. Words weren’t needed at a time like this. He clung onto her as she looked back to the High Sons shoveling the last bit of earth over Michael’s grave. Hot tears streamed down her face. When all her tears finally dried up, she would still weep inwardly. Time would never erase the missed opportunities she should have had with Michael. Time would never ease her guilt at the events that led up to that horrific night on the beach when Michael paid for her sins. And time would never remove that moment, that one moment in time when Ally first realized it had been Michael her mother had saved all long. It was as though Ally was still in that hospital room with Michael, the recognition of those arctic blue eyes staring back at her. She could never scrub her memory clean. Those stains were there permanently.
Ally hid something, too. When her mother forced her back into the present, some things, some pieces of her, were left behind.  She dared not question why, but her wings were gone, as though clipped. Maybe it was a small punishment for her choosing the Devourer, like the Authority himself had cast her from the Gates as he did Vulcan all those years ago. She felt different, too. She didn’t know how long she could conceal the black vein-like patterns spreading on her skin. Since waking into the present, it was as though her body had physically been altered. What did her mother do to her when she grabbed her dreamcatcher? It was as though her immortality had been spilt down the middle. Ally could feel this nameless change in her soul. She wasn’t the same. And the biggest secret was her fire had diminished into nothing more than her palms glowing. It was like she was dying. But yet here she stood, half of what she once was and still drawing air into her lungs.
“Let’s go home,” Uncle Argyle said, hugging Ally’s shoulders.
Ally let him lead her in whatever direction he chose to go. She was too numb to do anything other than be led around like a lost lamb.
The group followed behind Ally and Argyle. As they stepped through the entrance of His Eternal Garden, Belle Crow froze in her tracks. A growl reverberated from Eli as Jeb and Solomon looked behind them.
Ally leaned into Uncle Argyle as she turned around to see what had them spooked. The rain died to a drizzle. Ally could see nothing but the rows of head stones His Eternal Garden housed within.
“Mom, I feel something…” Dave said, his words cut off by Elizabeth.
“Shh. I do too.” She held up her hand to silence him.
Eli closed the gap between him and Jessica. Brandi and Parthenia, however, wore looks of astonishment and pain.
Belle Crow struck her staff on the ground, the purple stone erupting in fire. The blaze shot out into the distance, the purple globe spreading out as though trying to ensnare something in the air.
At once, her mystical globe burst into small shards of glass, raining down on them as Silva swooped low to the ground. Her mother’s guard—an ivory white pelican—flew towards them. Landing on the ground at Ally’s feet, Silva looked up to Ally. Silva had somehow managed to live, although Ally’s mother, Laurel, the Seraph of Faith, had died years ago. Heavenly guards and their Seraphs did not exist without the other, but Silva somehow did. And she had tried to take Ally to the truth. Silva managed to show up at the oddest times, in the strangest places.
“Silva….” Brandi said, visibly shaken.
“This guard was our sister's. There is no danger…” Parthenia said as Eli cut her off.
“Yes, there is. It’s not the guard, but those that follow her that is dangerous,” Eli said.
Silva’s wings twitched as though she were growing anxious.
“She’s trying to warn us,” Brandi said.
“No, I don’t think so,” Belle Crow said.
“She brings someone with her,” Denaulda said.
“Not someone. Nosferatu. I can smell them, two, maybe three,” Eli said, his guard still up.
Ally looked beyond the hill behind His Eternal Garden. As she did, the rest followed her gaze, waiting to see who Silva led to them.
A figure came into view, then another and finally a third. Small, petite. They were female Nosferatu. Ally couldn’t see their faces for the black veils that covered them.
“It’s still daylight. Will it not burn them?” Dave whispered.
“It’s overcast. The veils are to protect them against any rays of light,” Jeb answered. Since Dave’s transformation into a Nashoba, Jeb had taken him under his wing. His girlfriend Lucy began teaching him their ways and history while Jeb instructed him on instinct, tracking, and control.
“Who are they? Why are they here?” Jessica asked.
“Silva led them here,” Ally said, mechanically stating the obvious. She strained to see them through her red and swollen eyes. As they came closer into view, Ally briefly thought of Marik. He was the only Nosferatu she met and nothing good came from that introduction. What became of him? Was he still imprisoned within the Devourer? While the Devourer masqueraded as Marik, a prince of the Nosferatu Nation and Michael’s brother by blood, was there any consciousness that remained of Marik? Did he even know the Devourer used him physically to kill his own brother?
The three Nosferatu stopped a few feet away. Ally noticed the two on either side of the Nosferatu in the middle. They each rested a hand on the hilt of what Ally believed to be swords, as though protecting her. The Nosferatu in the middle stepped out away from the other two.
“Why have you come here?” Belle Crow took a few steps towards the Nosferatu.
Silva flew towards the one that singled herself out. She gracefully landed, perching herself on a shoulder as though indicating there was no harm meant.
The Nosferatu eased her veil up, long blonde hair spilling out around her shoulders. She tilted her head up. Her voice was soft as she said, “My nation has been attacked by necrosapiens. This creature saved us and led us here. We come in peace. But there are questions, many, many questions I have, and I’m hoping someone here can answer them.”
“We are in mourning. Who are you to show disregard for our dead?” Eli said, the hostility in his voice clear.
She lifted her veil then, exposing her icy blue eyes, irises that were a mirroring image of another. 
Ally froze in disbelief.
“I am King Vladamant’s daughter, Mariah. And with one brother missing,” she looked back sadly at Michael’s grave, “and my long lost twin brother dead, I assure you, we are in mourning too.”

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