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Welcome to Free Fiction Friday! Every week, I’ll be posting a scene or two (in order, of course!) from my book, Jivaja. If you want to read along, just come on back every Friday!
Some scenes will be shorter, several hundred words. Some will be a thousand or more. Read them in order though, otherwise none of this will make sense!
Follow along as Mecca, a young woman with a Gift for manipulating human life force, runs head-first into a shadowy vampire-like society that discovers her power and wants to use her.
If you missed any parts, head over to the Jivaja Table of Contents to get caught up!
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Chapter Eleven – David, Part One
“But how do you know how to do this if you don’t have the Gift?” Mecca looked at him with her big, chestnut eyes. Teresa’s eyes. Sorrow stabbed him in the gut. Theresa had been gone almost two years. He didn’t think he’d ever be used to not having her around.
“I helped my dad when he trained Ken, remember? I spent so much time letting him suck the energy out of me, I started feeling like a gas pump!” He grinned and was rewarded with Mecca’s ringing laugh. A fleeting feeling of deja vu slid over him.
Her hand rested on his arm. They were doing what his dad had always called Aura Exercises. It didn’t have anything to do with visual aura. It referred to the energy aura he knew Mecca could feel around him. He kept himself tightly shielded so he wouldn’t seem different from any other person. Difficult, but he’d been accomplishing it well, he thought.
“Okay, now draw just a little from me. Not much. Just like a sip of water.” He opened a tiny hole in his mental defenses so she would have something to draw from. He felt the tug of her energy, pulling his own out like liquid through a funnel.
“Is that right? I can feel it. Wow.” The small voice she used reminded him of what she’d sounded like as a very young girl, not a girl who’d just entered her teens.
“That’s it. You’re doing it exactly right. Now, slow down. Feel it almost stop. Just a trickle. Good girl. Now stop altogether. Excellent. You’re getting better. Now tell me what you felt.”
Mecca leaned back in her chair, breaking contact with him. Her chest rose and fell quickly, from the energy rush. He knew from experience that it took a while to learn how to integrate the energy so it didn’t feel like she’d just touched a live wire. She’d get the hang of it.
“I could feel you. Like you know how clothes can feel static-y when you take them out of the dryer? All sticking together and stuff? I could feel that around your skin when I first touched you.”
“Then I just imagined myself pulling at that.”She grinned at him, her smile wide and beautiful. “I could feel your energy coming into me. And now I’m really hyper.”
He laughed. “Okay, go on outside and run it off. It’ll be good practice for the track tryouts. Just be home before dark.”
From the bay window in the kitchen, David watched her head toward the trees. The back of the house bordered on a small, wooded area with running trails. Mecca, sprinting in that direction, looked back and waved. Foreboding gathered in David’s gut like a stone.
Something wasn’t right.
The day darkened, but Mecca ran on, her dark ponytail bouncing side to side. The sun disappeared.
Too fast. It shouldn’t be dark yet.
The sense of familiarity that had persisted suddenly broke. The yard’s floodlights flashed on, illuminating the backyard. But light never touched the entrance to the woods. Sick panic snaked through his veins.
“Mecca!” He raised his hand to the window.
She kept jogging until she reached the mouth of the trail that led into the blackness. He saw the vivid green of her jogging suit in the bright lights. Without warning, three shadows tore out from the woods and enveloped her. She screamed—screamed for him.
David crashed through the window and ran toward her. The trail at her back warped and shifted and became a tunnel. His legs felt heavy and slow, like he moved through water. He watched, horrified, as she struggled beneath the shadow-forms.
Her wiry legs kicked out, but she never made contact with any of them. One pulled her ponytail backward, arching her back and exposing her neck. Wheeled around, she faced the house, and he could see the caramel color of her soft skin before the largest of the figures smashed his teeth into her neck.
Her scream rang out and then withered into a sharp gurgle. The shadow-monster ripped upward. Where there had been the beauty of his daughter’s neck, now was only bloody gore punctuated by wet, choking sounds.
Something yanked at his ankle. Or maybe he just stumbled. He skidded on the grass. His chin hit the ground with a brain-rattling snap of his jaw. He wanted to pull himself up, but his limbs wouldn’t cooperate. It was like the earth held him tight and wouldn’t let him go. He couldn’t get to her. He could only lie there and listen to Mecca’s watery, sucking breaths.
It took only moments for the sounds to peter away, leaving the gentle chirrup of crickets. He lay his forehead on the ground. Sobs raged from his throat, rumbling out of him like a bullet train.
When he quieted, many tears later, he realized he’d been hearing a rustling up ahead for some time. The soft scrape of something dragged through grass. He thought about just lying there. Staying and letting whatever it was have him. He had no idea where the vampires were—certainly they were vampires—but he no longer cared.
Mecca was gone. Nothing mattered.
That rustling again. Irregular, but constant.
His head felt heavy, but he lifted it, raised his gaze to see what made the sounds. The world had settled dark and hazy, but he made out her shape, moving along, close to the ground.
Bile rose in his throat.
She dragged her torso along. He saw the grisly wound in her neck. Blood glinted scarlet in the dim light from the house. It covered her lips and chin, dripped from her mouth, from her neck. The grass below her became stained with it as she moved.
He looked into her eyes and saw nothing he recognized. She was no longer the thirteen year old girl he’d been teaching just minutes ago. Fully grown, her shirt had been ripped open, exposing her small breasts as she pulled herself along the ground toward him. Her eyes twinkled with animal need, her lips upturned in an utterly grotesque smile. Her canine teeth had grown long and pointy.
He backed away on his hands and knees. Fear pricked through his veins, and his belly jumped in protest. He barely turned his head in time—vomit spewed from him with such violence, it seared his throat. He wiped the back of his hand across his mouth.
She still came toward him. “Daddy—I need you, Daddy. Come, let me touch you.” That voice, low and guttural, carried a promise that made him want to puke again.
Within four feet of him now, the thing that could not be Mecca scrambled closer.
David’s limbs wouldn’t work. Panic brushed the edges of his mind. Losing control—even insanity—seemed almost welcome. He held it all at bay as he pulled his knees under him and crawled backward.
The world shifted, and he was on his feet with Mecca standing before him. Her hand extended toward him, and he recoiled. He backed away until a solid wall blocked his path. How did he get so close to the house?
She pressed her body against his. The coppery smell of her blood engulfed him. He convulsed with a dry heave.
“Mecca,” he whispered. “Please.”
She smiled and flicked her tongue over one of her teeth. “I love you, Daddy,” she said in a lilty, quiet voice, wholly unlike the one he loved.
She turned his head to the side. Her sharp teeth pressed against his skin. His mind tripped, and his heart broke. A strange mix of sadness, dread, and inevitability whirled through him.
She’d set the path. He could only follow.
As her fangs broke his skin, he shot his energy out, straight into her and zeroed in on what remained of her life essence. He clamped his arms around her and drew her tight as she embraced him.
Without hesitation or second thought—he couldn’t allow himself that—he ripped it from her. He pulled her energy toward him as if he reeled in a marlin. Her head jerked away from his neck. She screamed, pain and terror in the sound. She stared at him with huge dark eyes, stained with agony.
Her skin pulled taut against her bones. She tried to yank away from him, but he clutched her tight. He wouldn’t let go. He couldn’t.
Her muscles weakened beneath his grip. She whimpered as her knees buckled, and she slid down. He went with her, still pulling, feeling the energy break away from her like a popped rubber band. Her face grew leathery and the gaping hole in her neck had browned and shrunken.Her muscles weakened beneath his grip. She whimpered as her knees buckled, and she slid down. He went with her, still pulling, feeling the energy break away from her like a popped rubber band. ~~ Read #Jivaja now! Click To Tweet
“Daddy.” The words came in a dry croak. “Please, don’t. Please…”
Grief and regret stabbed him. Tears coursed down his face, and he squeezed his eyes shut, no longer able to watch as he destroyed his own daughter.
She cried beneath him, her body frail in his grasp. He willed himself not to listen as her energy finally tore free and slammed into him.
He staggered and fought for control as it rocked his soul. He rode it, and when it finally finished with him, he’d fallen to his hands and knees beside the withered husk of his daughter-turned-monster. He forced himself to look at her once beautiful face.
As he did, he realized it wasn’t Mecca’s face at all.
It was Sara’s.
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