Authors: B. Kristin McMichael
Book 2 of the Chalcedony Chronicles
The Chalcedony Chronicles, Book Two
Copyright © 201
4 by B. Kristin McMichael
All rights reserved.
June 26, 2014
Lexia Press, LLC
P.O. Box 982
Worthington, OH 43085
Kat’s Eye Editing
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Summary: Mari’s returned to the present, but it isn’t what she expected—both her mother and Seth are not there. Mari must learn more about her abilities to get back the people she loves, and find those she didn’t know about.
Books By This AUTHOR
The Blue Eyes Trilogy
Day Human Trilogy
The Day Human King
For my husband and my kids. I love my family. They make life worthwhile.
Chapter 2- Pieces of My Past
Chapter 3- Time Travel Try
Chapter 4- Deal with the Devil
Chapter 5- Getting Answers
Chapter 6- Changing Plans
Chapter 7- Finding Home
Chapter 8- Finding Mom
Chapter 9- A World I Wanted to Avoid
Chapter 10- Escaping the Past
SNEAK PEEK-BOOK 3
About the Author
The goddess sat
and watched the events unfold. She was eternal and older than time, yet she still did not know how things would turn out. Time was a fluid concept. She could see the future and the past, but everything changed whenever someone like Marcella Navina was born. Mari was special. With the ability to traverse time, Mari could change the fate she was dealt, but the goddess was not sure that she would. Would the world change this time? Could Mari save everyone? Would Mari’s ending stay the same? Would she make the same choices? The goddess hoped not. She hoped this time would lead to a new future. Mankind was depending on Mari, and they didn’t even know it.
The goddess had tended to humans as her own children. She had been around when they were created. She loved them and nurtured them. They were innocent. But before she knew what was going on, man changed. They not only enslaved the earth and animals around them, they enslaved each other. They began wars and killed each other. They lost their respect of nature and all that was granted to them. Not all men deserved the life they were dealt, and many still respected the world around them. The best way she knew how to help the innocent was to cast her body into hundreds of chalcedony—stones of all colors which each held a part of her. Her power would allow those who were selected to travel through time, to right a future that went astray. It was a good solution, and it worked well for a long time. People sought her help to find answers. They would return to their time with knowledge, and better the world around them. But that was until the hardened quartz stones began mysteriously disappearing. Soon, they’d be all gone, and there would be nothing more the goddess could do. Her own body disappeared with her powers, and she was now reduced to just a shell. She could do little but watch and pray for someone to save her humans before they destroyed the world that they depended on. Marcella was her last chance. The goddess knew the heart of the girl was pure and true. She would do what was right. At least the goddess hoped that she would.
Mari was in a cave praying to the goddess. She didn’t know the goddess’ name, yet she called for the old deity alongside the two men with her. Goddess had been called so many names in her life that she wasn’t sure herself what her first name was. The goddess watched and waited. She couldn’t step in and help them now. She had warned Mari there would be costs to changing the past. The goddess had to see to those consequences. Mari was going to have to fight for the future everyone wanted, but the goddess would be cheering for her, no matter what ordeals she would have to overcome. All hope lied in the girl praying for her. Mari was the last child of time.
I got up
early, seeing that I couldn’t sleep anyway. I was too anxious to hear my boyfriend Seth’s voice. I needed to reassure myself that this was all real. We had just returned from traveling to the ancient past, where we had to escape people who were trying to kidnap
, of all people, and what better way to disappear than to head back to the future. Even with all my doubt, we made it. I was in the present, and at home in my own bed. It was only five in the morning, on November twenty-third, Thanksgiving Day. I hadn’t missed a day on my journey to the past and back. It was still hard to believe it was true, but we actually made it.
On top of everything, we learned my mother was from the past as well. She was a princess, of all things. I couldn’t wait to tell her what I knew and what I had seen and to ask her some questions. How did she come from the past? Who was my father? Why did she leave? My little trip back had revealed that my mother had given birth to, and raised me, here in the present, but Seth’s father knew my mother in the past. She was a princess from the Middle East sent off to marry the Pharaoh. While she never talked of her childhood, I could never have imagined that. She had a lot of explaining to do.
I looked at the clock and knew that even at this time my mother would be up baking. It was Thanksgiving Day, and there was always much to be done. I didn’t have to join her until six, but she started earlier. It was our Thanksgiving tradition after all: the whole family dinner with a turkey, stuffing, mashed potatoes, and cranberries. The complete fixings everyone has, all made by my mother. My mother, the woman from the past who came to the future to raise me. My mother, who didn’t have electricity where she had come from, yet could cook a turkey in our electric oven perfectly. My mother, a princess. That would certainly take some getting used to.
With everything changing so fast, I was grateful to be home. Seth was right; as long as we were together, we could do anything. We had found a way in his time to be together, and nothing would stop us now that we were in my time. I don’t doubt the goddess had us meet for one reason—to fall in love. Seth was my other half. Being with him just felt right. I loved him. I regretted not having the chance to tell him that. Now I had to wait until after Thanksgiving to see him, and tell him that I loved him, too, since he returned to his home, and I returned to mine. I didn’t even have a way to contact him until I was back at college.
I dressed quickly, choosing the longest sleeved shirt I could find to cover my arms. When I met the goddess to travel back to find Seth, she had marked my arm with the blessed carnelian stone that hung above my grandfather’s desk. Now I had permanent lines on my left arm, and my grandfather was missing a rare artifact. After talking with Mom, I was going to have to apologize to Grandpa for losing his ancient carnelian necklace. Well, not so much lost, but reformed, into the light brown bands circling my left hand. I wasn’t exactly sure how I was going to pass that one off yet. I needed to get back to college. I was sure Sim, my roommate and expert at keeping things covert from the parents, would be able to give me some good story to use. Right now I was flying solo on the story part, and I didn’t know what I’d say. It was best to just cover it up for now.
I paused on my way out of my room and looked at the bright green stone lying on my dresser. It was another piece blessed by the goddess. I wasn’t sure how many existed, but now I had two. Seth’s friend Dee had given it to me to get me home when he didn’t know about the carnelian I’d have forever in my arm. While made up of the same mineral—chalcedony—the apple green stone was different than the carnelian Seth had. Instead of a round stone, it was more angular, almost triangular. It was flatter and cooler to the touch. If Dee hadn’t given it to me, I don’t even know if I would have looked closer at it. I had looked up all the chalcedony types before my search, for one to go into the past, but I didn’t remember the distinct green stone I had now. I dropped it back onto my dresser and left my room.
I descended the stairs soundlessly and stopped in the darkened kitchen. I had checked my clock enough times to know I had the day right. Something was really off. It was quiet, too quiet for it being Thanksgiving. The counters were bare, and not a dish was being prepared. It wasn’t like my mother just left for a moment--it was like she had never started. Panic was starting to set in. I looked around the kitchen and nothing was there. It was empty. There were no pies being mixed, and no turkey thawing in the sink. What was going on?
Worrying that I had the date wrong, even though I knew I didn’t, I ran down the hallway to my grandfather’s study. He was always up before my mom was, and a light was on and shining under through the cracks. I knocked and pushed the door open before there could be any response. I stopped in the doorway and just stared into the room. Inside my grandfather was sleeping on his couch while someone else sat at his desk. Mr. Sangre stood as I walked in.
“Hello, Marcella,” Mr. Sangre said. I stared at him, unable to respond. Why was the time gatekeeper, and adoptive father to my boyfriend, in my house, and why was he with my grandfather? “Your grandfather just fell asleep. Can we go somewhere where we can talk and not disturb him?”
I nodded and numbly led him back out of the room and into the kitchen. My stomach sank. Something had to be wrong if Mr. Sangre, the time-travelling gatekeeper, who ushered people between times, was in my house. This was the same Mr. Sangre I had met three weeks earlier to tell me that Seth had gone home. He had not yet been a bearer of good news for me. We stopped in the empty kitchen. It hurt to look around and not find my mother cooking. I already guessed that something happened, but the sudden appearance of Mr. Sangre made me dread what I feared was the reason.
“Your mother’s time here was up last night. She was sent home just after midnight, four hours ago. The goddess felt it would be too much to remove all the memories your grandfather had with her in them. I was beside him when it happened. He fell asleep after spending four hours going over everything with me. I told him the truth, and he is grasping as much of it as he can,” Mr. Sangre told me. This was what I dreaded. There was one rule about time travel. The time you’re from is the time you must die in. Everyone had to return to their time at some point.
I stared at him and tried to process what he was saying. My mother disappeared hours ago. She just vanished and was gone. Because she wasn’t of my time, for everyone else, she never existed. No one I knew would even remember her. I sat down in the chair next to me before my legs failed to keep me standing. In this time period, I was now technically an orphan with no father or mother. The shock hit me hard, but no tears came. It didn’t feel real. It couldn’t be real. My mother was gone. That didn’t even sound real. When I finally looked up, Mr. Sangre was waiting for me to say something.
“Four hours,” I repeated. Mr. Sangre nodded. I had just returned four hours ago.
Had this been the goddess’ plan all along? She had warned me my travels through time would affect everything, but I thought she was meaning on a larger scale. If I started a war, then that would change history, and the future. I hadn’t thought that my travels would mean my mother would have to go back. I didn’t do anything associated with her. There was no reason to send Mom back. She had nothing left there. She ran away from that life and spent the last nineteen years here. She had lived more of her life in the present than in the past. My mother belonged here with me and my grandfather. My heart was breaking. What would my grandfather do without her? We were his only family. It was just him and me now, and I wasn’t even sure I’d end up staying in this time, either. Would he be left all alone some day? I couldn’t do that to him. My mother wouldn’t do that to him.
“I told your grandfather I’d stay until he woke,” Mr. Sangre said, still watching me for the breakdown that was bound to come as soon as I could actually get some tears out. “I should go back to watch over him. You can imagine it was quite a shock, and it will take time to process it all.”
I nodded and watched him walk away. The latch on grandfather’s study door clicked shut, and I was alone. I really needed to get back to college and find Seth. Right about now
I needed a hug. Time was moving, and everything around me was changing too fast. I wanted it to slow down. I wanted life to go back to normal. I wanted to keep Seth and my mother both. Why did it feel like I was choosing between them? Why did either of them have to leave? Why couldn’t they just stay in the present with me? Why did it have to be so complicated?
I didn’t even notice the time pass as I stared off out the window to our backyard. There was frost on the ground, but no snow like college. I thought of the snow at college, the light, fluffy stuff falling from the sky carefree. It was a distraction, but only for a moment. Then I was back to my current dilemma. How could my mother be gone? It didn’t seem fair. She belonged here in this time with me and my grandfather. It just couldn’t be possible that she was a princess from another time. It was just too unreal.
When I finally got up from the kitchen stool, I went back to my room and noticed a letter on my desk. I had looked at my dresser as I left and the green stone that was sitting there, but I hadn’t looked at my desk. I sat down on my bed and opened it.
My time here is ending. I have known since you went off to college that my time would end soon. The goddess had promised me to let me stay here until you grew up. I knew that day would come, but I have been dreading
telling you about my past. First, I didn’t think you would believe me, and then I didn’t want to tell you as I was ashamed. The goddess reassured me you would understand, so this is what you need to know.
I grew up as a princess in a time in the past. I don
’t even know where or when I was born, just that my life was one of privilege. As privileged as I was to always have food and a roof over my head, I also had no say in my future. When I turned sixteen, I was given to a man twice my age in a political marriage. My marriage would secure trade routes for both sides. I didn’t know the man. I didn’t love him. It didn’t matter. Before I could ever even meet him, someone tried to kill me. I don’t know if it was from within the palace, or someone outside the palace. All I know is there was another man that had saved me. He protected me from the attack, and stayed beside me as I healed.
When I recovered, I was sent across the
desert to the king I was promised to. By this time, I found out what love was. I loved the man who saved me, and I was pregnant with his child. We didn’t know what to do. We could run away and start over, but it was not that easy back then. The man I loved was a military man. All he had ever known was the military. He had no trade, and I was a princess. I could sing and play board games, but knew nothing of tending a house or cooking a meal. Neither of us were suited to start over. The worst part was that if anyone found out about you, the man would have been killed. Agreeing to the engagement made me the property of the king I was to marry. My love had touched the king’s property. No one could save him, not even his best friend, the young general that ran the military. Paramessu had his own young son to protect; he could not protect his friend or me.