Malthael is one of them.
hasn’t awoken yet. Malthael knows it will one day and from then on
her life will forever be altered. Malthael isolates her from outside
world as much to protect everyone else as to safeguard her. It is all
he can do to delay the inevitable.
From her perch in the lush green tree, Elisabeth looked over the outer stone wall that surrounded her family’s property. The sounds of children yelling in the street as they played with a small leather ball filled her ears. She loved to watch all the activity and pretend she was with them. As she hid from the heat of the summer sun in her favorite place in her new home, she swung her legs back and forth, the tip of her toe scraping against the top of the barrier. At the base of the tree, a Netherhound named Duke slept soundly. She peered down and smiled at his sweet, fox-like face. His twin, Nathan, was somewhere else on the sprawling property.
The great house sat back from the road—far too much space for four people and two dogs as far as Elisabeth was concerned. Her papa, Malthael, was the Gate Guardian for Ashlad, a position that Elisabeth understood was very important and had been the reason they’d had to leave their home in the south. But that didn’t mean she had to like it. It wasn’t as though she’d had any friends there either, but at least she’d liked their secluded house on the seaside. Just thinking of Asilla made her miss that peaceful beach home.
She didn’t have any friends and didn’t try to play with the children she was observing because she was a very dangerous young girl — or at least that is what Malthael told her. It wasn’t as though she’d ever hurt anyone. But Malthael insisted that she could and should, therefore, be kept away from people until she was older. Elisabeth didn’t like it, but she loved her papa and didn’t want to make him angry.
“Elisabeth!” her tutor, Milo, called.
Sighing, she leaned forward as he strode across the grounds, searching for her. Milo’s black hair had been smoothed back multiple times in irritation, no doubt at her tardiness. Duke sat up, his ears primed forward as he listened to Milo beckoning for her to return. Lifting her legs up into the safety of the trees boughs, she decided she wasn’t ready to return to her studies. Duke’s deadly triple bladed tail shifted away from his boar-shaped body. Elisabeth eyed the nick in his ram-like horns and wondered for the hundredth time how it had happened.
“Elisabeth!” Milo yelled louder, catching the attention of the children beyond the wall.
Duke vanished. She wondered where he went when he disappeared like that—to another dimension or even the Netherworld? The children scattered, screeching about a monster in the mansion.
Elisabeth giggled because they were so wrong. There were three demons living in the mansion and two Netherhounds, but no monsters!
“Hello?” a voice called out from the other side of the wall.
Elisabeth froze. She heard grunting, and an instant later, a head popped over the top. A young boy with filthy brown hair smiled at her. One of his front teeth was missing. Elisabeth stared, her mouth ajar; she’d never talked to someone her own age without Malthael or Milo present. Elisabeth hesitantly smiled back.
“Hi,” Elisabeth managed, despite the lump in her throat.
This is against Malthael’s rules, she thought. Another part of her mind whispered, But only if he finds out.
young writers conference, she has pursued writing ever since. She
maintains a blog creatingworldswithwords.wordpress.com that is about
writing and her novels. She was born and raised in the last frontier,
the great state of Alaska.
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