When you resurrect a Druidess...
If you're unfamiliar with the Jamie Poole Books series. This blog is for YOU!
If you have not read the blog on my first book, The Isle of Osiris, please do so unless you enjoy spoilers. This blog introduces you to the second book, which begins immediately where the first left off. If you are interested in my book series, here are the first pages of the second book, Resurrection of the Druidess. Let's get to it, shall we?:
I lean back in my chair, remove my glasses, and regard the last line I wrote. I regard it longer than necessary. I nibble at the tip of my pen. Come with me, Dear Reader…
What an antiquated phrase. “Dear Reader.” I consider drawing a line through it, but I can’t think of a better phrase. How do they phrase it these days? Sometimes I forget how old I am. I’ve forgotten a lot of things. They say I’m a Millennial, yet I have no idea what that means. I love old books more than I love my cellphone. I don’t have a lot of friends to chat with anyway. Call me weird. Or antiquated.
I replace my glasses, twirl the pen, and stare out the window at the mountains. I’m unsure the time of day. There are shadows. Sunrise? Sunset? Come to think of it, what is today? Monday or Saturday? Time feels suspended. Am I the only one who feels this way? There is no one to ask.
As this is my second Diary, you have certainly become familiar with my story. At least the beginning of it—before I fell into the abyss. Surely you realize that I have experienced far more than a typical Millennial. Perhaps I shouldn’t be hard on myself if I forget a thing or two. I’ve already recounted where my journey began and filled a diary with as much honesty as I could summon. I resurrected a Druidess, and everything changed. In my defense, that was an accident. I stand by that statement. Regardless, everything continues to change. There’s no going back—there’s no undoing what has happened—even if I wanted to.
That isn’t an option. Not for me and certainly not for her. Now that Eliyana has been restored to life, her
journey begins. Or it resumes. It depends on the perspective from where you’re standing.
She tried to escape her destiny. It followed her through death and across Time. There is no escape. That I know only too well. It is why I feel as I do. Suspended…
While I was out finding food and purchasing this second diary to write in, I tried to call my cousin, Margie. The number I have no longer belongs to her. It belongs to a stranger. Margie and I were as close as sisters when we’d been young. Now I don’t know where she is. She certainly hasn’t moved away from Alexandria. When we were young, she’d been pretty enough to be a model, clever enough to be an actress, but she married a farmer’s son. She became a farmer’s wife, and I couldn’t imagine a better future for her. By now they might even have a couple children. I can only guess. There remains no one to ask.
I envy her and her uncomplicated life.
The label “uncomplicated” no longer belongs to me. Did it ever? Briefly I wonder what sort of label belongs. My path was charted as soon as I discovered who my dad was. Don’t blame him for what happened, even if by finding him, my fate became sealed. Regardless, my fate—the abyss awaited. It has always been waiting, even when all this started, and I could call Margie day or night. Then I found Eliyana. Any path I’d chosen would inevitably have brought me to her. Or her to me. Again, it depends on perspective. There is no escape for the daughter of Brett Poole, the most enigmatic man I know. I continue to sit alone aside from this diary which contains a few, scant lines ending with: Come with me, Dear Reader…
It’s an invitation for you to join me…if you dare. This is just the beginning. There is still so much to tell. So much has happened. So much is yet to happen. I’m stuck somewhere in
the middle. I’m stuck in a timeless “present.” The idea of
timelessness is like the ouroboros chasing its tail. Sunrise, sunset, sunrise…
It hasn’t always been this way. Once I lived everyday like everyone else, but that was before I resurrected the Druidess. As I said, that’s when everything changed. It was subtle at first. I didn’t notice the changes when I was young. Now, the changes are unmistakable.
I study the mountains again. Perhaps it’s evening. I can’t see the sun. I can’t see the moon. Time doesn’t really matter anyway. I’ve forgotten how to measure time. Perhaps that’s best. I regard this new diary again. It’s another leather-bound book with gold edging on the pages. I stop twirling the pen. Black ink. I really must get this written before I forget what I’m going to say next.
They are a big jumble in my head. That’s the effects of doing what I’ve done. As I said, there is no escaping fate. It follows you through death and across Time. It chases me still like a bloody hound from hell.
I wish I had Margie’s phone number. I’d like to know her children’s names. I’d like to know she’s OK. I’d like to ask about Mom…
I can’t get distracted like this. Harshly I scrub away a tear. I must write until I’ve said the rest. Only then can I hope to escape the hound at my heel. I resume…
Come with me. Dear Reader. I will show you a world where the Supernatural crosses freely between its plane and ours, where science and science fiction’s borders blur, and things that go bump in the night don’t stay hidden in the dark.
November 1, Saturday.
Years ago. I think.
The phone didn’t need to ring the next time the grandmotherly ghost appeared. I heard the clink in the kitchen sink, and I bolted up in bed. I rushed down the hall.
“Hello, Jamie Poole.” The grandmotherly ghost regarded me with a bewitching smile over the top of Mom’s favorite cat mug. She wore the same cream-colored gown. What ghost needed an extensive wardrobe? Her gray hair was swept back with wooden combs and shaped into a bun.
“Why are you here?”
“Right down to business, I see.” She nodded with approval, and I pursed my lips. She chuckled, and her bracelets tinkled. One silver. One gold. “It’s OK to ask questions.”
“You’ll just say answers are coming. Like before.”
“I might. Some answers have come.”
“And I have new questions. Like who is Eliyana?”
“Your first question isn’t who am I? That’s why I like you. Looking beyond the obvious. I have no doubt you have more questions.” She took a sip of tea. A very long sip.
She chuckled more. “You have a destiny, my dear. You and Eliyana are remarkable individuals bound by Lumen. The last time I saw you I told you its name. And now I am here to tell you that you and she are permanently and forever bound by that sword.”
“Is that like a curse?” My stomach sank into my slippers.
“Absolutely not. You are a chosen one. Never in the history of Lumen—a very long history I might add—have there been two women chosen to bear the sword at the same time. You from this time. Eliyana from another. I would imagine you have noticed changes in yourself since Eliyana left.”
I nodded. Where to begin? I’d had strange feelings and sensations. Cravings too. I’d wanted chocolate. Not just any chocolate. That brand that comes in red wrappers. I’d had moments of paranoia, confusion, fear. And overwhelming sadness. I’d walked down the halls at school and be struck by an urge to do something weird. I’d had visions. I’d seen a man with very dark skin. I’d never felt an urge to draw a picture of someone I’d never met. This was a real person. Ruben. Rupert. Something like that. I drew a picture of him. I didn’t draw. My picture was remarkably detailed my art teacher said, and I got a good grade. I couldn’t have cared less. This was bizarre. More bizarre still was the idea that I knew one day I’d meet him. He had a nice smile.
I’d resurrected a Druidess, and everything had changed. “Who is she?” I demanded softly. Mom slept. She couldn’t know about this.
“Soon. You will know.”
“She’s gone, if you hadn’t noticed.”
“She won’t stay gone. You are chosen. And you are not alone. In time all will be explained. By the way, it goes without saying don’t tell Eliyana about this conversation. I must speak with her first.”
“Don’t tell her what? You didn’t say anything I could repeat. Besides, she’s gone.” I addressed the empty kitchen. The ghost had done her usual disappearing act, leaving Mom’s mug innocently by the sink. Feeling irritated, I turned back to my room to spend a sleepless night. Again.
The Temple of Osiris
A place of no time.
Clydus ran the schlepista across his cheek, staring into the onyx corner of a cube-shaped room. A flame vented through a chasm in the floor. The glow illuminated the craftsmanship of the schlepista, a bronze sacrificial knife. It curved towards his face as he continued to scrape.
“Why do that?” asked the voice, deep and hollow.
“Do what?” Clydus paused, knife poised an inch from his skin.
“You rub your face as if by doing so it will erase the marks.”
“Cursed marks.” He spat over his shoulder in the direction of the voice.
“Do not be ashamed. Many of your generation had the crippling pox. You survived. Not only did you survive, your limbs are not crippled. Your mind is strong. You always survive.”
“I know.” Only a handful of children his age had reached adulthood with sound body and mind. As a teenager Clydus had earned the nickname “Granite Face” by children mocking his deep-pitted scars. Each had died mysterious
deaths. Despite their deaths, the name endured, evolving into something that filled his enemies with fear—and perhaps—envy. People mocked his marks behind his back. Those he suspected paid with their lives. In the process he dominated most of his village.
He circled the room hidden in a cavernous tunnel system, his black Druid robe swishing in his wake as he stroked his face. As High Druid, he chose black to traditional colors determined by a Druid’s class. Black enhanced his hair and beard which he grew long to hide his scars.
“Why are you here?” the voice crooned.
“Why do you think? I watch for the Emissary.” He faced his speaker—a statue of a man carved of black slate. He scrutinized the eyeless sockets. Naked save a knee-length kilt, it held an iron basin in stiff palms. It perched stiffly on the edge of the chasm, absorbing light into itself.
“You have sought her a long time.”
“Do you think you have a better chance now?”
Clydus examined his schlepista. A slip of blood stained its edge. A thin smile spread through the scars. “You said I survived. I survived because I never gave up. I will not give up searching.”
“I sense her presence,” the statue concurred.
“As do I.” He lifted a brow.
“Will you do a blood reading?”
“Of course. I must know where her spirit resides. Then I
follow. Lumen is mine.”
“Of course, my Lord.” He bowed before the statue.
Clydus ran his thumb along the blade, wiping away the blood. The blade curved gently like a wave. So beautiful, so deadly. He circled a stone path surrounding the chasm. Unless he peered over the side, he couldn’t see the orange flames. No man, not even he, would do that without good reason. The energy of the Otherworld flowed unbridled. He knew to respect it and its stone guardian. By respecting it, he could harness it for his advantage.
When he’d discovered this room as a sick boy, it became a sanctuary in which to do black work. The spirit within the statue instructed and healed him, mind and body. In this temple dedicated to Osiris time did not exist. He resided neither in the Living World nor in the Otherworld. Osiris controlled the boundaries. He hadn’t always known Osiris’s name. In fact, he had not learned it until as a man, he had traveled to Egypt. With the aid of a powerful magician, Osiris had come to him in flesh: Resurrected and in true form. It had been a most powerful moment he would never forget. He had explained why he had healed Clydus. He had groomed him for a specific purpose. Osiris had revealed his full plan for him and for his people. Upon returning to his home, Clydus had renamed this island as part of the greater plan.
A new Egypt was to be born. A conquering people not defeated or weak. Not a vassal to another country. There was one obstacle between him and the fulfillment of his plan. Her. A blood reading would open channels through the Otherworld, allowing him to fix on a soul in the Living World. He had attempted it many times to find her.
“Something has shifted. She is not dead. I will not find her in the Otherworld.”
“And you are certain this time?”
“She has hidden somewhere. I smelled herbs today in the Living World. You know the significance.”
“Someone has crossed between the Otherworld and the Living World.”
Clydus nodded. “Her grandmother. She betrays herself with that unmistakable floral stench.”
“Do a blood reading on the grandmother. She will lead us.”
“Do not play me the fool. A blood reading only works on mortals.”
“And the Emissary remains mortal. You are certain?”
“Aye. She is mortal. She can hide from you since you are bound to the Otherworld. But not from me. Not if she is in the Living World. Where she has hidden I cannot determine. Not yet.”
“Do not forget who is Lord.”
“I am your eyes and ears.” He twirled his robe and bowed, hiding his head deep within the folds.
“Do your reading and get her. I empower you.”
Clydus bared his teeth. Flame illuminated his smile, bristling fangs honed to perfect points. From a secret pocket he withdrew a fistful of powder. This he tossed into Osiris’s basin. Then he drew the schlepista across his gums and spit into the flames, averting his eyes as he did. A pillar of flame hurled upward, consuming the powder within the basin. He grabbed the basin, ignoring the heat. He sniffed the ashes, his eyes closed, ears intent on some distant sound.
“Do you know where she is?” The voice whispered curiously.
Clydus inhaled gently, his nose touching the ashes. “I have found our Emissary.”
And if you have read this far, let me leak one more spoiler, beginning this week, you can purchase all three of my books:
The Isle of Osiris
Resurrection of the Druidess
Tome of Tubal-Cain
at the sale price of CAD$60. Both books can be purchased directly from the author--autographed if you wish--or from these stores:
The helpful staff at either store can assist with book purchase and getting them autographed. Please contact them or contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org to arrange curbside dropoff or shipment. Shipping is extra.