Today I have an extract from When Darkness Begins, courtesy of the author and Rachel’s Random Resources.
About the Book
If you could change time to save your first love—even if it meant turning your back on the universe—would you?
It is time for the Vechey youth to earn their place as time-guardians. The near-immortal Vechey protect the universe from the devastating Manipulators—devourers of souls, mindless seekers of chaos. First, the youth must survive a mysterious and deadly ritual created by the all-powerful clan leader Eterili. Having regenerated thousands of times with the birth of each universe, Eterili is taking this one as hers and bending all in it to her grand designs.
Catha’s time-slipping skills are underdeveloped. She is time-blind—unable to see through time, unable to protect herself from the ritual. The Vechey shun her for being different. Her parents ignore her as if she were already dead.
Aithagg loves Catha unconditionally and will do anything to save her. He tries desperately to unlock the ritual’s mysteries and find a way to help Catha survive with him. Or will saving Catha enable the Manipulators to destroy the universe?
Book Links ~ Paperback US | Kindle US | Paperback UK | Kindle UK
Chapter 11 – Secrets
“What you must ask is are you trying to save her so you avoid heartache? Or are you thinking about her?” Eterili took one small step towards Aithagg.
Preoccupied with indignation, he did not notice. He raised his head to answer, “I am thinking of her. Is it selfish to want to save her? Protect her?”
“Are you bound to her?” She asked quietly.
He answered too quickly, sounding like a sulking child, “No.”
Eterili raised a bony finger and pointed at the young boy’s chest. He imagined spiders must hide under her fur shawl. The gnarled finger quivered and its generous filth looked hardened. The nail was twisted, thick and dark with—he imagined—a putrid substance. The digit came slowly closer to him. He stood parallelized. Aithagg smelled her more clearly now: dirt, mud, blood, dead flesh, excrement, sweat, worms, an undertone of death—the smell of a rotting deer’s corpse baking in the sun from his youth.
Her filthy finger hovered a hair’s width from his chest and she whispered in a low voice, “I am the beginning and the end.” When she touched his chest with her dirt-stained fingertip, an electric shock went through him like a bolt of lightning. His ears rang and the whiteness, which had been around him, burst from within. Searing heat and freezing cold all at once exploded in every cell of his body. He opened his mouth to yell but no sound would come forth. Darkness washed over him and in a faraway distance he heard Eterili’s words, “It is the way.”
About the Author
Tina O’Hailey is a professor in animation and game programming, caver and occasional mapper of grim, wet, twisty caves (if she owes a friend a favor or loses a bet), whose passion is to be secluded on a mountain and to write whilst surrounded by small, furry dogs and hot coffee. Tina was once struck by lightning. She has served as an artistic trainer for Walt Disney Feature Animation, Dreamworks and Electronic Arts. Any movie credit she has is minimal and usually found in the special thanks section. The meager credits do not account for the great honor it was to teach talented artists who worked on numerous feature films and games. She has authored animation textbooks “Rig it Right” and “Hybrid Animation” published by Focal Press and the Darkness Universe novels “Absolute Darkness” and “When Darkness Begins” published by Black Rose Writing.
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