Authors: J. E. Plemons
Tags: #Young Adult, #Fantasy, #General
Copyright © 2014 by Jay Plemons
All Rights Reserved.
No part of this book may be reproduced or transmitted in any form or by any means without written permission of the author. Email to
First published by Dog Ear Publishing
4010 W. 86th Street, Ste H
Indianapolis, IN 46268
This book is printed on acid-free paper.
This book is a work of fiction. Places, events, and situations in this book are purely fictional and any resemblance to actual persons, living or dead, is coincidental.
Printed in the United States of America
Library of Congress Cataloging-in-Publications Data
The Covenant / J.E. Plemons. — 1
p. cm. — (Last Light Falling series ; bk 1)
Summary: The prophecy of the end is near and it’s up to Gabriel and Arena to help prepare the world’s demise by the wrath of God. Souls will rest in the providence of these ordinary twins put in an extraordinary situation, but when fate chooses them, they will have to accept their destiny changing their lives forever.
[Fic] — dc22
First edition, December 2013
To Melanie, Gabriel, and Mikaela, my loving family, for their encouraging and unyielding support. Thank you for bearing with my relentless and sometimes intolerable labor over this series.
When the Lamb opened the fourth seal, I heard the voice of the fourth living creature say, “Come!” I looked, and there before me was a pale horse! Its rider was named Death, and Hades was following close behind him. They were given power over a fourth of the earth to kill by sword, famine and plague, and by the wild beasts of the earth.
— Revelation 6:7-8
I wake up startled yet again, sweating and horrified by the recurring nightmare that haunts me in my sleep. I’ve suffered too long to accept this, and unless God Himself reaches down with His hand and changes my fortunes, I’m afraid the nightmares are here to stay.
My bedroom door slowly cracks open, and before I can fix my squinting eyes on it, the sunlight creeps through the dusty curtains and blinds me.
“Wake up, Arena,” says a tired but anxiously optimistic voice. “I believe someone has a special day to enjoy.”
“Thank you, Myra,” I gratefully respond, still half-asleep. “Is Gabe awake?”
“I think he’s still in the bathroom. He’s been in there for quite some time now,” she says. My brother has been spending an inordinate amount of time in the bathroom lately for reasons I would rather not know.
Yes, this is a special day, because it’s my fifteenth birthday, but I don’t really feel all that special. Not only is my birthday shared with my twin brother, Gabriel, but it’s also the same day as the accident— another year, another reminder.
“I made something very special for you this morning. Also, don’t forget that you and your brother will be spending the day with Daniel,” Myra says enthusiastically.
“Great,” I say desperately, trying to be excited about the idea. If it were legal for me to drive, I would, but since I’m only fifteen, I guess being chauffeured around is better than the alternative.
I was born Arena Danielle Power, and to my mother’s delight she was graced by the presence of my twin brother, Gabriel William Power, four minutes later. Technically I’m older since I was introduced to this world before my brother, though I don’t think he finds it to be too amusing whenever I mention it. I wouldn’t trade Gabe in for anybody in the world. He’s all the family I have left, and I love him dearly.
Myra and Daniel Merryman are our foster parents. Even though they can be annoyingly protective sometimes, I really do believe they
care for us, and I truly respect them for taking us in. They feed, clothe, and love us. What more can you ask for from what some may call “strangers”? Biological or not, they are loving parents. The two-story house we live in is modest at best, and their financial resources are quite limited, but for the last three years, they have provided us with more than what we had growing up.
Every birthday that comes and goes leaves me more depressed and bitter. I can’t tell if it’s the idea of living one more year without our parents, or that I start high school in two days. The idea makes me break out in hives. My fifteenth birthday, a milestone in a young woman’s life, is the one day I should be excited about, but all I can think about is how I’m going to cope with another school year filled with half-witted socialites.
I slowly get out of bed and dawdle my way to the bathroom, knowing my twin brother is still in there. I delay as much as I possibly can before I knock. There are just some things I don’t want to know about boys, especially my brother. I’m sure there is a good explanation as to why he stays in the bathroom for so long. Whether or not it’s my obligation to restrain myself from the curiosity as a sister, I can no longer stand here waiting to relieve my bladder.
Enough is enough. I turn the doorknob just enough to feel whether it’s locked. Surprisingly, it’s not, which leads me to believe nothing shameful is going on in there.
As I open the door, I’m shocked. My brother is standing in front of the mirror, vainly staring at his reflection, making sure every gel-soaked piece of hair has been evenly placed, as if he were doing surgery on a Rogaine client. Gabe is not one to groom himself in the hopes that someone will notice him. He spends more time observing others than worrying about himself, which is why I respect my brother’s astute behavior.
Gabe engulfs himself in advanced encryption algorithms, mathematical principles, laws, and theories. Wow, I’m bored just saying that. But if anything, it’s the mundane observations and normal teenage experiences that really keep my brother’s brain under duress. If there’s a problem, then he’ll surely find a solution, but not without the common hormonal stress that comes with being a teenage boy. He’s never had a girlfriend, unless you count the imaginary Anime characters in the books he frequently drools over at night. Let’s face it, my brother is a geek, but I love him just the same. He is family, and I would protect him at all costs.
Gabe is extremely smart, caring, sincere, giving, and selfless. He always wants to do the right thing and would sacrifice his own agenda
to help others. I, on the other hand, couldn’t be any more the opposite. I’m moody, blunt, selfish, and have no fear. Gabe turns the other cheek when someone knocks him on his ass, whereas I will put my foot up theirs, but I’m slowly trying hard to be more like him.
“Gabe,” I say, “what are you doing?”
Gabe looks at me, startled, responding rather shakily, “I … uh, just thought I would do something different since, you know, I’m one year closer to manhood.”
“Manhood?” I snicker. “Judging by the nicks on your face, I see a careless boy with a razor he shouldn’t be using yet.” I could have saved him the trouble by plucking that rogue chin hair with my tweezers, but I can see now why he nicked himself—he’s using my razor, the one I run up and down my hairy legs every two weeks. If it weren’t so socially unpopular I would never shave my legs.
“Deride if you must, but when it comes time, I’ll be the one playing the field while you wallow in sadness with your boyish looks.”
“Wow, did you really just say
playing the field?”
I say with a churlish eye roll. Gabe knows no more about the playing field than he knows how to be a player. I pinch his arm.
“Ow! What did you do that for?”
“Just making sure you’re real and not some android pretending to be my brother.”
There must be something in the air causing these delusions of his, because I’ve never known my brother to go to such great lengths to groom for the opposite sex. He’s a shy wee lad with the girls, but I guess I should be happy that he’s making a concerted effort to change that, even though I’m not too delighted about the
comment. Big deal, so I don’t paint my face up like a clown, masking the truth underneath. Who am I hiding from, anyway?
After I wait patiently for Gabe to leave his vain state of mind, I take advantage of the little hot water he so kindly left for me. I quickly bathe the important parts before the cold water forces me to scamper from the shower and into a warm T-shirt and a pair of shorts—my normal attire. I’m not much for fashion, nor do I usually wear makeup—unless it’s a special occasion, of course. Although today may be special, it’s too damn early in the morning to get all dolled-up.
When I head to my room to brush my hair, I gaze upon a small locket lying on top of a wooden music box. I pick it up and open it as I often do, staring sadly at the picture of my mother inside. As I look at myself in the mirror, I notice some of the same traits I share with her. I sigh. It’s all I can do to keep the tears from rolling down my cheeks.
My hair is the color of midnight, and my milky-white skin has turned a light olive from the summer sun. I have my mother’s pouty bottom lip and hazel eyes that soften under dim lighting in a continuous spectrum of caramel and green shades. The only feature I don’t share with my mother are my thick, dark eyebrows. I really get tired of plucking these hairy caterpillars. I would pluck them for hours, as tears roll down my face from the pain, just so I would fit in with the other girls—but they grow back so fast, it just wasn’t worth the pain. I figure it makes me unique, at least that’s what I often tell myself. Some days it just doesn’t seem too convincing.
I place the locket around my neck and hurry downstairs to meet the other family members. I call them
even though we are not related in any way. Our foster parents really have done a lot for us. Since no one has yet adopted us, I feel as though this has been our chosen home.
When I reach the living room, I’m surprised to see Niki sitting at the table. She is Myra and Daniel’s biological daughter, who has been a special comfort to me. I’m so excited to see her, especially since we’ve shared a close bond over the last couple of years. I love my brother, but I really needed a big sister in my life to help me through my awkward pre-teen years. I usually hang out with her when she is home, but she is five years older, and work and college have taken much of her time away from the family. Maybe things would be different if she still lived at home.