SAMPLE CHAPTERS & ARTWORK UPDATES

Chapter 5

HEALER
Book Three of Blue Moon Rising Trilogy

 

CHAPTER 5 – unfinished

Jangus spent the better part of his day memorizing Lexington’s layout.

Mark the locations, he said. A cackling chuckle. I’ll do better than that. I’ll taint them! Taking a raven form, the Healer soared over the open streets, angling his tail feathers to bring his rear up. A mix of black and white dropped below. To his amusement, the dropping landed on some unsuspecting forehead. Many others had met the same treatment, and still into the night as the raven continued to scour Lexington for human involvement.

Height was his savior, with the approach of night his camouflage. Even so, humans never seemed to stop moving. Between merchants in the market area, thieves slipping in and out of back alleyways, and close-knit buildings, probably connecting interiors, humans had a wide range of places to be found. Secretly, the Healer hoped this was the most he would encounter in one area, and let loose another one of his liquified droppings in protest.

But think how quickly this whole place could be leveled, he imagined. And I would be more than honored if Chronicles let me do so!

Delighting in those thoughts, the raven turned toward the smell of fresh baked bread wafting in the air. In the realization his stomach felt empty, he lifted into flight to seek out the smell’s location.

A family of five were just sitting down for their evening meal when the raven alighted on the outside windowsill. He peered around the side of the curtain gently ruffling in the open breeze where  he spied a loaf of bread sitting on the table.

How convenient, he thought. No one took notice until he hopped down on the counter and let out a caw.

“Look!” a little girl explained “A bird!”

The mother turned about in her chair, a look of shock displayed upon her face to find it boldly perched so close to the table. “Quick! Don’t let it fly around the house! Shoe it out!”

“Yes, Mama.”

Jangus eyed the young girl’s approach. He ignored her desperate waves to scare him out. Then, when she tried to pick him up stead, he merely pecked at one of her fingers.

“Ow!” she cried. “It bit me!”

“Someone must have kept it as a pet.” The eldest stood and briskly walked over to the countertop. “No bird would be so stubborn.” She peered down at the raven, then drew back in surprise. “Ew! There’s something wrong with its eyes; they’re white!”

“I’ll handle this,” their father said. He proceeded to grab the bird when Jangus launched into a wild flutter of feathers and cawing. The youngest screamed as the bird seemed to leap at their father’s face. Thrown off guard, the tall man swatted at it. Too quick, Jangus merely cackled and dived to avoid being hit with a wooden spoon.

Ha! They couldn’t hit the broad side of a house! He mused over their chaotic reactions. He swept through the room, deciding it more fun to bump into overhanging pots and pans. An upset broom toppled from its lone corner. The Healer felt the wind of their hands slapping at empty air. He was just too fast. Having had enough, the eldest daugher picked up the broom and slung it at him on top of a cubbard. Dishes clattered to the floor instead, years of evading other Healers in play bringing out his evasive skills. He laughed at their performance, then swooped down to grab the loaf of bread. He had just reached the windowsill when the father managed a handful of tail feathers, stopping Jangus from clearing the window.

“Come ‘ere, you!” he snarled, causing Jangus to turn on his captor.

Opal eyes blazed in outrage. A silver-white glow enveloped his form. No one moved while the glow expanded into Jangus’ true form upon the windowsill. When the glow had died, the only thing the man held was the corner of his shirt. Stunned, the man never made a move until the young Healer made a motion to grab the man’s hand.

“Who”s got who?” he asked coldly.

The man’s face paled, and he suddenly jerked his hand back.

While the women matched his fright with screams of “magic-user”, Jangus made a hasty departure. Try explaining that one, he thought, noticing several men dressed in black running swiftly toward the ruckus. They drew their swords as the family darted into the street, but by then Jangus was too far away for pointing fingers to scope out in the night. Out of sight, he savored the still-warm bread in the comfort of an abandoned alley. I wonder if I’ll be easier to spot more human developments tonight….

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