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Authors: Viola Grace

Tags: #Adult, #Romance, #Science Fiction Opera

Knell

BOOK: Knell
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Hearing the future isn’t as useless as Dot thinks, but she finds herself in the arms of a Guardian who wants her here and now.

 

 

Dot has spent nearly half her life in a private home for those who have trouble with reality. Finding out that her talent for hearing the future is actually useful, she agrees to leave her residence to find a place that she has dreamed of. A world where her talent can be put to use.

Loxin has dreamed of the woman his matchmaker told him about but finding her applying to be an Oracle on his base surprises him. No one told him the woman he was destined for could sense the future, but then, no one outside his family and the destiny painter on Yacaro had known about her.

Together, they will fulfill each other’s needs and protect a world constantly under siege…with a little help from the other Guardians.

 

The unauthorized reproduction or distribution of this copyrighted work is illegal. Criminal copyright infringement, including infringement without monetary gain, is investigated by the FBI and is punishable by up to 5 years in federal prison and a fine of $250,000.

 

Please purchase only authorized electronic editions, and do not participate in or encourage the electronic piracy of copyrighted materials. Your support of the author’s rights is appreciated.

 

This book is a work of fiction. Names, characters, places, and incidents either are products of the author’s imagination or are used fictitiously. Any resemblance to actual events or locales or persons, living or dead, is entirely coincidental.

 

Knell

Copyright © 2014 Viola Grace

ISBN: 978-1-77111-922-1

Cover art by Martine Jardin

 

All rights reserved. Except for use in any review, the reproduction or utilization of this work in whole or in part in any form by any electronic, mechanical or other means, now known or hereafter invented, is forbidden without the written permission of the publisher.

 

Published by eXtasy Books

Look for us online at:

www.eXtasybooks.com

 

 

 

 

 

Knell

Terran Times Second Wave

 

 

By

 

 

Viola Grace

 

Chapter One

 

 

Dot McKenna looked toward the road, her senses dulled by her morning medication.

The Farrow Home was off the beaten path and they rarely had visitors. She watched the vehicles wend their way down the gravel path and up to the main house.

She blinked and returned her focus to her painting. The stars she painted weren’t above her but they had been in her mind forever.

“Well done, Dot. You are coming along well.”

She looked at Nurse Wicker with dull eyes.

The nurse flinched. “Aren’t you sleeping, Dot?”

“I hear them. I always hear them.” She turned back to her painting and carefully put white with a touch of yellow on the edge of a star. “They scream.”

“What was it this time, Dot?” Nurse Wicker had a notepad out.

“Lightning, a fire at a community centre. They are trapped behind the stage. They were having sex and got trapped when the fire hit.”

“Good girl, Dot. I will call it in and we will watch for it.”

Dot smiled vacantly and tried to ignore the screams in her mind. It hadn’t happened yet, but her sensitivity span was recorded. Seven hundred kilometres from the point that she was standing in in a wide pool. If there was a death, disaster or panic, she heard it one day before the event.

Dot had been at Farrow Home for twelve years, since her panicked screams and constant reports to local police had become an embarrassment to her family. The McKennas had dropped her off and letters and cards at the holidays were their only contact.

She finished her work on her painting and backed away to the bench, looking at it. A strange and alien sky, always the same one. She had dozens of pictures just like this one and each of them was the same sky though a few had spaceships zipping about.

Dot heard the footsteps behind her, and she turned to see Mrs. Kettle, the administrator, and a guest with fascinatingly silver skin. The guest stepped forward and admired the painting. “It is a fine rendering of the skies above Nixos. I have seen a few of your others and they are all exceptionally accurate. How long have you had this image in your mind?”

She looked him over and could not see anything hostile or peculiar, so she answered, “Forever. Since before the screams started.”

He came over and gestured to the bench. “May I sit?”

She waved her hand and he smiled. That was when she realized he was hiding something. He was hiding teeth. His smile was very careful.

He settled next to her. “Tell me about the screams.”

She cocked her head. “Who are you?”

“Pardon my manners. Representative and Recruiter Norz of the Alliance and one of the coordinators of the Terran Volunteer program.” He inclined his head.

“I am Dorothea McKenna, resident nutcase.”

He gave her a sober look. “You are not insane, but tell me about the screams.”

“I don’t hear them during the day anymore. The drugs keep my mind numb and I only get echoes.” Dot looked into his solid black eyes and continued, “When I was fourteen, I heard screams and couldn’t find the source. I closed my eyes and I could see the busload of people trapped with water coming in. I called the police and tried to tell them but nothing had been reported. The police called my father and told him I was having hysterics. My father considered that an embarrassment, but after a day, the screaming stopped.”

Norz closed his eyes. “When did they find the bodies?”

“Three days later. The police came to visit and questioned me, but they left without an answer they could live with. The screams came more frequently after that. I kept a diary. When they struck during the day, I could pretend everything was normal, but at night, I would scream along with them in my sleep. That is when my family sent me here.”

“I see. Every dream came true?”

She nodded. “Sleeping or waking, it all came true. I kept a journal and reported each one to the nurses. After a while, I was able to make out more details and I shared them.”

Norz smiled. “And the nurses have been calling in tips to the affected areas. You have saved ninety-six lives this year alone, but I have an offer for you where you can live and control the sight that you have been given out where no one will judge you or call you crazy.”

Dot tilted her head. “How can I do that?”

“We have specialists who can help you learn the skills to compartmentalize your mind. You can choose when to open your thoughts to the future and choose when to live in the here and now, but it isn’t something we can do here.”

She turned her head to the painting. “I think I am getting an inkling of where you are suggesting. Will they let me go?”

He smiled. “You were handed over to Farrow Home as a child. By the laws of your country, you were free to leave at any time after you reached your majority. You have never been declared insane; there is no barrier to your departure if you choose to join us.”

She looked to Mrs. Kettle and the administrator nodded. Nurse Wicker was delighted and standing nearby.

Dot looked at Norz and asked, “Will I go there right away?”

He looked at the image and shook his head. “Your mind needs to be stronger before you go to Nixos. Like anything else, it needs to be strengthened through exercises carefully designed to help you move forward.”

Dot got to her feet and stepped away for a moment, and she looked around her at the softly rolling hills and felt the silence of the place in her bones. It was a cruel juxtaposition to the screaming in her mind and she was tired of the contrast.

She turned and walked back to him. “When can we leave?”

He got to his feet. “Excellent. We can take you with us. If you pack your essentials and anything that you would like to keep with you.”

Dot inclined her head slowly; it was all she could manage with her drug load. “I will meet you at the front gate in five minutes.”

“I look forward to following your career, Ms. McKenna.”

She laughed as she walked to the side entrance. “I look forward to having one, Recruiter Norz.”

She heard a peculiar wheezing noise, and when she turned, he was laughing, his shark-like teeth exposed to her gaze.

“You have a lovely smile. You shouldn’t hide it.”

He stared at her in shock, and she laughed herself as she entered her home to collect her changes of clothing and her journal. Nothing else mattered.

She signed out at the front desk and the staff lined up to hug her farewell. She even got a hug from Nurse Hickory. The woman had grown up with her mother and she delighted in telling her mother every incident and disaster that occurred in Dot’s life. She was convinced that Dot was possessed but was forbidden from harassing her if she wanted to keep her job.

It was like hugging an icicle and Dot couldn’t back away fast enough.

She made up for it with a solid hug from Nurse Wicker that warmed her soul. Nurse Wicker had friends and family in the local constabulary and fire departments. She called in the tips and made sure that they were taken seriously. If any lives had been saved, it had been Annabelle Wicker’s persistence in making sure folk listened that had done it. After the first four tips, she didn’t get resistance anymore.

It had taught Dot that if you put the right information in the right hands, you could save lives and that was the reason she was leaving. If control could be gained and the events understood, she could make herself a tool for good.

With Norz next to her, she sat in the car and watched as they pulled away from her home for the last twelve years. Dot idly wondered where she was going next.

 

The medical scans were administered in an office building connected by a guarded tunnel to the Volunteer Centre.

Horror filled the face of the med tech who was administering her full evaluation. “What happened?”

She cleared her throat. “My uncle decided that I was possessed and he tried to beat the demons out. It didn’t work but he did let a lot of blood out.”

Her back was scarred from shoulder to hip. The beating was the final straw for her family and had sent her to the safety of Farrow Home. It had been an effort to keep them from losing more family than just Dot. It was easier to alienate one daughter than all their siblings, nieces and nephews who believed that voices in the night were evil.

“We can remove most of the scars if you like. It would only take an hour or so.”

She smiled. “I would like that. Can we schedule an appointment?”

“I will make a note of it, and if you can’t get back here before you go, they can do it on the base as well.”

He helped her into her shirt and sweats, smiling brightly. His third eye was as kind as the two on either side.

“Aside from the damage, you are perfectly healthy and your mind is wide open and listening. Your temporal lobe is doing what it is described as. It is searching time and therein lies your talent.”

She smiled, thanked him and headed into the outer office.

Norz was sitting and speaking into a small device in a strange language. He saw her and let out a clipped barrage of words before putting the device away.

“You are in good health?”

She nodded. “Aside from some previous damage that does not hinder movement, yes, and I have asked for the scars to be removed so that won’t be a problem much longer.”

He paused but shook off his question. “Your family is at the Volunteer Centre. They are protesting your acceptance of this position and they have dragged a senator with them.”

“I am guessing you want me to speak to them?” She wasn’t in the most authoritarian of clothing but she could manage.

“Please. You will not be alone. We are here to support you.”

She chuckled and started to walk with him to the lift that would take them to the passageway. “I have gotten more support from the staff here in two hours than I have had from my family in twelve years.”

“We know what you are and what you are capable of, and we want to see it happen.”

She laughed. “
There
is the difference.”

The walk was quiet, but she armed herself for whomever had turned up in the office. She was shocked when she realized every aunt, cousin, sister, parent and uncle was in the room.

Standing there and looking at her family, she felt no attachment. No wistful warmth.

Her father came toward her and gripped her arm. “You cannot leave. You are my daughter and I say you cannot leave.”

She grimaced and grabbed his arm, digging her nails in until he let go. “I will not be bullied. I will not be threatened. I will use the talents that God gave me to save lives as it was intended.”

Her uncle Marv snorted. “Those works come from the devil. He is showing you evil.”

Dot crossed her arms and ignored him. “I have saved ninety-six lives this year alone. I want to use what I have been given for the betterment of a society, and if it isn’t here on Earth, I will find somewhere that wants my help.”

BOOK: Knell
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