Splintered Energy (The Colors Book 1)

BOOK: Splintered Energy (The Colors Book 1)
9.72Mb size Format: txt, pdf, ePub










Splintered Energy




Arlene Webb


Episode One


The Colors





Copyright © 2015 by Arlene Webb

Editor Natisha Kling


All rights reserved. No part of this book may be reproduced or transmitted in any form or by any means, electronic or mechanical, including photocopying, recording, or by any information storage and retrieval system, without permission in writing. The characters and events portrayed in this book are fictitious. Any similarity to real persons, living or dead, events, is coincidental and not intended by the author.


Cover Art © Greg Elsborg


Splintered Energy

The R Word

House of Seven

Under Color




San Diego, California

5:55 AM

Friday, July 8th



I hate the dappled green of the waves. My world should be colorless, bleak, finished

Susan grasped a handful of damp sand and smacked it into the side of the castle. Her little princess would have loved this masterpiece. Tears slid as she pushed herself from soaked knees onto wobbly legs. A low growl tore through her, and she stomped her foot from moat to tower over and over.

A shadow down the beach drew her attention from destroying the Castle of Lost Loved Ones. The small form suggested a child, and she turned to flee.

Bright light streaked. Susan fell, dead before her head hit the sand.



Chapter One



San Diego, California

6 AM

Friday, July 8th



Red—the longest wavelength of light the human eye can detect. The lack of scent bothered Aaron, not the aggressive color. He burrowed his face in the soft fabric and breathed deeply. Nothing. Three hundred and sixty-seven days gone. At least the memory of his wife lounging in his sweatshirt remained as vivid as the clothing he clutched.

Aaron yanked it over his head and grabbed his jeans. The screen door banged, telling him David had left.

He’d watched his son cope with his mother’s death in his own way, willing to let him stray, as long as David didn’t kill the seagulls when he flung the shells. Denial passed, anger had yet to evolve into bargaining, let alone acceptance. In another year, the boy would hit the dreaded teens. Tonight’s beach party, the one he’d forbidden David to attend, gave the kid something new to brood about.

Aaron let the door thump behind him, just as David had.

Shades of sunrise merged into the waves to create a picture perfect day. It’d been a while since they soared through a few cloud wisps. He could grab a rental and fly David someplace without gang beach parties. Avoid the looming battle for one night, use the old “why don’t we get a room and fly back tomorrow” scenario.

Which direction did his co-pilot—
what the

Aaron kicked off his sandals, threw open the gate, and ran. Near the surf’s edge, his son struggled to carry what looked like a woman with flowing green hair.

David halted, collapsing to his knees. A dark emerald dress clung to the motionless form. Shallow saltwater ebbed close to her bare, honest to God, green legs. David gasped, “She’s breathing.”

“Good Lord, son, can’t you find pretty shells like normal people?” Aaron dropped to David’s side.

“She’s cold. She wasn’t completely in the water. But shouldn’t her skin be bluish? Why’s she green?”

“Maybe she’s an actress or something.”

Erotica no less, starring Aphrodite dipped in food coloring
. The flush on Aaron’s face had to match his son’s. Her skin wasn’t Exorcist-vomit pea soup, nor gingerbread-trim lime, but a soft, immature apple—almost the same shade as the shirt David wore. Delicate emerald lashes curled against her cheekbones. Small breasts, flat stomach, and he could see the outline of her ribs through the silky dress.

Deserted beach and home less than a soccer field away. Maybe he should carry her inside and then make that phone call. Aaron scooped the delicate woman into his arms. He lifted her like she was an intangible bundle, and a tremulous sob escaped her lips. When her arm touched his sweatshirt, her moan grew louder, and her thin body arched away.

Aaron faced his son’s dumbfounded gaze. “Yep, she’s alive all right. Let’s get her inside.”

He held her away from his chest and tried to touch her as little as possible as he ran. Her thin face wrenched in pain—not pain, but fear.

“Shh, I won’t hurt you.” His size, morning breath, what? Had she reacted like this when David carried her? Another three yards. She shivered, her eyelids clamped tight. Could he be hurting her? Finally, the gate. Her sobs turned into a hiccupping burst of terror.

Desperate, Aaron turned to his son. “Maybe men frighten her.” He placed the woman in David’s arms. Her cries stopped. She went limp while the boy staggered into the house.

“Put her on the couch. It’ll be okay.” Aaron’s reassurance sounded lame. Yet, what to say? He’d never caused a woman to squawk in terror before. Not even one that dared to look at him. Why hadn’t she opened her eyes?

“Dad? I don’t think she’s human, or all human, or something.” David settled the woman to blend into the forest green couch.

“You’ve been watching too much TV. I’ll call an ambulance.”

Aaron picked up the phone. No dial tone. He glanced—the clock on the TV was out. How convenient was that? A power outage right after carrying ET into his home. The digital phone meant more than electric had been knocked out. Aaron grabbed his cell from the computer desk. Roaming. No signal. Geez, did raining green women screw with satellites? He’d have to drive her to the hospital.

“Um, Dad? Something weird happened before I found her. Not lightning, but the sky flickered with a flash of energy. It hurt my eyes for a second.”

“Spaceship landed?” Aaron stepped to David’s side. “She seems to be breathing okay. Think she’ll howl if I pick her up?”

“Don’t take her yet,” David said. “Wait a few minutes. Maybe she’ll come around.”

“What if your extraterrestrial dies because we don’t get her to a hospital? She might be contagious.”

“We already touched her. A hospital is so…you know. Might be scary if you’re an alien angel or something.”

Aaron’s lips twitched. Along with sci-fi scenarios, David would be thinking about his mother. The smell of disinfectant, indifferent caregivers, and the fear of terminal disease had clung everywhere.

“I never heard anyone cry, I mean, be afraid like that,” David said. “Suppose moving her frightens her again?”

If he ignored the skin color and the terrified sobbing when he’d held her, Aaron could assume exhaustion kept her eyes closed. She had no apparent bruises or broken bones. Malnourished anorexics in sunny California, the land of power outages and starlets who overuse hair dye, couldn’t be that uncommon.

He reached over her to pull down the yellow quilt his wife, Sarah had made. The woman’s delicate features twisted in a snarl. She flung the blanket to the floor and burrowed into the couch.

“Your green ocean goddess doesn’t want a cover.”

“But she looks cold.” David glanced at the rejected quilt and went for Aaron’s jacket on the chair. To their surprise, she clutched the black leather to her chest. A gasp of relief escaped before she quieted.

“Sweet. Can we keep her, Dad? Please?”

Yeah. A stray kitty in need of some tender loving. Clearly, David hoped his flippant remark would distract his father from the seriousness of collecting females found on the beach. When this emerald lady finally opened her eyes, her fear upon seeing them looming over her most likely wouldn’t be soothed with a bowl of warm milk.


* * *



She didn’t have an identity. Unfamiliar emotions churned in a circle of panic. Senses she shouldn’t feel overwhelmed her.

From the moment she found herself trapped, she experienced a suffocating introduction to terror. Huddled under layers of confusion, she’d listened to the sounds closing in. She’d feared to confront whatever had approached. Small, non-threatening, its touch warmed her. She wanted to curl, hide, and disappear into the shelter of its arms.

It struggled to carry her. Its worries enhanced her own, and she made no attempt to surface until the pressure of the external environment changed. The creature had moved her to another corrosive one. The stronger being clasped her with confidence. She hadn’t dared to look, but her distress had burst from her, through lips she shouldn’t have.

What did it want?

Then it gave her this wonderful blanket of dark warmth—it would help her?

Their airflow informed her they stood too close. She clutched the covering with hands she didn’t understand and dared to peek.

Two. Wrong. Menacing.

Her dread of the large elevated one exploded within her. To her horror, it got worse. It bared deadly teeth, barked incomprehensible sounds, and its reach for the smaller creature was violent.


* * *


“David, back away!” Aaron yanked David by the arm. Those beams of pure green light were all the convincing he needed. This woman had been somehow mutated or worse. Stunned, he looked beyond the dazzle of the emerald light pouring from her eyes. Her thin body trembled so violently under his jacket he feared she’d have a stroke.

Aaron stepped back and shoved David behind him. He took a deep breath and whispered, “She’s afraid of us. Unreal.”

“Very afraid. That light. She’s gotta be an angel. We have to show her we won’t hurt her.”

“Yes. Get my gun. Now.”

When he forced David to stumble into the bedroom, the woman sobbed. Her head fell forward, and she hid her face in the jacket, hyperventilating. Aaron’s limbs trembled, every nerve yearning to hold and soothe her. If he approached, she’d certainly have a heart attack. “Stop that. We won’t hurt you. What are you? Please stop crying.” To his relief, she choked back her sob, and that ragged breathing slowed. “Can you tell me what…who you are?”

Perhaps his tones calmed her. She dared to raise her chin and apprehensive eyes of radiant emerald peered at David who hurried toward Aaron.

“Careful.” David handed him the revolver. “We have to help her, not scare her more.”

“Got it.” He targeted her chest.

She hugged the jacket, drew a shaky breath, and responded to David’s puzzled stare with a shiver. She shifted her focus to Aaron—good Lord. Her emotions shone clear as an infant’s. The raw fear on her face chilled him. Not only a creature fallen from a fluffy cloud, but an abused one?

“Back away, Dad. Okay?”

He swallowed hard. Allow David to stand between him and a…what
she? “Don’t you dare move closer.” He took one, two compromising steps back. Had to be an earthly explanation. Drugs? Optical surgery? Swallowed a laser beam?

Her gaze flitted around the room. The floor and the chair didn’t elicit a response. The light filtering through the window caused her to grimace. By the couch, on the floor, lay David’s crumbled beach towel. Those luminous eyes welled up as she glared at the red cloth and turned, pleading at David.

David grabbed the towel and Aaron’s hand clamped on the boy’s shoulder.

Eyes of light overflowed with tears. She cringed at child, towel, and man standing too close to her. Her trembling returned, and another panicked sob burst from her.

Aaron propelled David and himself backward, and David flung the towel out of sight into the bedroom.

Her piteous weeping stopped. The loveliness of her calming features threatened to knock Aaron to his knees. A shuddering breath and her gaze fastened on David. Her demeanor changed when she peeked at Aaron, and she pressed back into the couch as far as she could go. The jitters in his stomach intensified. Six foot four, a solid 220 pounds, but his capable nature usually had women smiling back at him.

Not anymore. He’d take the time to see if he’d sprouted horns, except there was a sobbing beauty to deal with. Granted, he held a weapon on her. What else could a single parent do, when his son carried home a non-human? Jesus, could there be others? Earth invaded by luminous beings?

He had to do something. She was the most frightened seraph he’d ever seen. Not that he’d ever seen an angel before. David pulled his arm, but Aaron refused to shift his aim.

“Dad, I know this sounds crazy…could you take off your sweatshirt?”

“Now you’ve gone wacko, too? Not bad enough we have a green lady in hysterics, you want me to undress?” He gave his son a twisted smile.

“Come on, try it.”

Gun lowered, one handed, Aaron tugged the sweatshirt over his head.

She gasped. Emerald light beams danced up and down his chest. Yes, he did have a lot of curly black hair.
I’m an idiot
. Had he actually made her fear increase? Well, she hadn’t screamed. Yet. He dropped the sweatshirt behind him. David kicked it into the bedroom.

She pulled the jacket down, sat up, and looked at their bewildered faces. A soft smile lifted her lips.

Sweet Jesus. A removal of clothing, and finally, she’s not terrified of him. A more opportunistic male might wonder about unbuckling the jeans. Aaron resisted the urge to smack himself upside the head. He was a cad for even thinking that with the kid right here.

“Dad, hang on. I’m gonna try something.” David ran into the bedroom.

Gulp. Get back here, son

A few seconds later, David tossed a pale green dress shirt at Aaron. Smart kid. More clothes, not less, was the ticket.

He thrust his arms in the shirt without taking sight or aim off her. David buttoned him, fingers trembling with relief. Dread of a sweatshirt was more logical, more acceptable to his excited son, than the fear of a father with a weapon.

“Your ocean goddess doesn’t like red,” Aaron said. “What’s up with that?”

David ignored him, glanced at the leather jacket clutched in her hands, and darted into the kitchen. He rushed back with Aaron’s black sunglasses.

Father and son traded bemused glances as she gasped with joy at the sight of him wearing shades. Jacket on her lap, she took a deep breath and ran her hand up and down her arm, over her breasts and stomach. Her emerald stare raised, she glanced at David’s legs and started to stand. The phone rang, jarring both her and Aaron. Her gaze flinched toward the sound.

When David reached for the white phone, her horror became a blind panic. She threw herself across the room into Aaron’s unopened arms. She grabbed him around the waist, and buried her face in his stomach.

BOOK: Splintered Energy (The Colors Book 1)
9.72Mb size Format: txt, pdf, ePub

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