Authors: Rebecca Lorino Pond
Through the Looking Glass
Rebecca Lorino Pond
No portion of this book may be reproduced in any form without the express permission of the author. All characters, places, and situations are a product of the author's imagination. Any similarity to any person, living or dead, is pure coincidence.
Cover image and design by James of
For my nephew, William. In Heaven you are but will always be in our hearts.
You are your Father’s Guardian Angel
We love you and miss you
November 18, 1998 – November 9, 2013
It has long been told to the people of Aslog that a woman, from far away, would come and bring about the downfall of the tyrant ruling in the south. For decades, the people waited and prayed for this woman to come, but no one ever appeared.
The fairies that lived in Aslog for thousands of years, had foretold of the woman to come. A woman, who would not only bring down the tyrant, but also win the heart of the ruling Lord of the north.
For too long the two halves of Aslog have been at war with each other. Each side trying its hardest to gain control of the entire split kingdom but only one had the hopes of reuniting the two. The other wanted to rule all of Aslog as his kingdom, he wanted to be worshipped as a god by the people he ruled over with such force, that many risked their lives to escape to Northern Aslog.
Lord Jakar, ruler of Northern Aslog, didn’t believe in the foretold story and brushed it aside as pure myth. He fought hard to keep his land and his people safe from the one who wanted it all. He had no time for silly stories, much less the ones that spoke about a woman.
The only thing that Lord Jakar cared about was protecting his land and people. He had no time for a wife or a family. A wife would only get in his way and wanted nothing to do with finding one, even though many threw themselves at his feet. He filled his needs with women who understood he wanted no kind of attachment with them. Maybe, if one day the war settled down, he would find himself a wife only for the sake of having heirs. At thirty years old he was far from old so he knew he had plenty of time to find a wife.
The fairies badgered him day and night with the story of the foreign woman coming to Aslog. Warned him she was soon to come and that he would need to protect her if he had any hopes of ridding the south of its cruel leader. He cast aside the fairy stories and concentrated on winning the battle that was to occur in three days’ time.
Isobel stared out the window of the airplane as she waited for it to takeoff from New Orleans International Airport. There had been a short delay with takeoff because a strong storm was moving through and it was too dangerous to take off in that kind of weather. She bit at her nails nervously while she continuously glanced to the side door of the plane to make sure it wasn’t going to suddenly open. The last few days had been a living nightmare for her because of the one man in the world she thought loved her.
Daniel Meade had asked her to marry him after only six months of dating. She had been head over heels in love with him, at least she thought she was. Every spare moment they spent together doing things that they both loved. Walks in the park, swimming at the beach, walking in the French Quarter were only some of the things that they did every weekend. She had been having the time of her life and enjoying the time the two of them spent together building their relationship. The day Daniel had asked her to marry him had been a complete surprise not only to her but also her parents.
James and Nicole Hyde had been beyond ecstatic knowing that their only child was finally getting married. At twenty-seven years old, Isobel had wanted to wait to get married until she found the right guy and after years of searching she thought she had succeeded in finding her soul mate. Daniel didn’t want to put the wedding off for long and pressured her to have just a small wedding because it really wasn’t a big deal to him, as he put it to her one night. She had been taken aback by his harsh attitude towards something that meant so much to her and had questioned him about it time and time again. She should have realized something was going on but she was too blind in love to recognize the signs.
Daniel had begun to speak to her in tones she had never experienced with him before. One minute he was speaking in a calm voice then the next he was up in her face shouting at her. She chalked it up to the stress he was facing at his job, so she pushed aside the feelings she was having and tried to look to the brighter side of things. She figured things would calm down once they were married and began their life together. But his behavior only seemed to escalate and his temper flared out of control at times.
It was hard for her to believe only a week ago she had been happy about her impending wedding and her life ahead of her, now she was on the run from the one person she wanted to spend her life with. Six nights ago she was sitting at the kitchen table with her mother talking about wedding dresses when her nightmare began. There had been a loud banging on the front door of the house and her father, getting up to answer the door, called out that he was coming. The peacefulness of her home was shattered when she and her mother heard her father scream out, “Daniel! What are you doing?” then the sound of a gunshot echoed through the house causing her ears to ring.
Her mother had immediately rushed to see what was going on while she had been paralyzed with fear and had stayed at the table. She heard her mother speak to Daniel in a tone that she had never heard come out of her before. It was etched with pure fear and horror as she screamed and came running back to the kitchen, shouting for her to get out of the house. She had finally snapped out of her state of mind when she saw her mother’s eyes wide with fear as she came around the corner of the wall that lead into the living room.
“Isobel! Run! Please run!” her mother shouted to her as she moved to step towards the living room. Another gunshot sounded in the house but this time it was much closer to where she was standing.
“Mom?” Her eyes never left her mother’s face as she watched the woman who had given birth to her slowly slide to the ceramic floor of the kitchen. Out the corner of her mother’s mouth, a trail of blood ran down her mother’s chin. “Mom, what’s…” she was cut off by the sound of hysterical laughter coming from the living room and moving toward her.
Her mother struggled to say something with her last breath before she laid her head down on the cold floor and never moved again. Footsteps sounded on the wooden floor of the living room, coming closer and closer. Her fight or flight instincts kicked in at that point and she raced out the back door and through the backyard. She had made it to the corner of the house just as Daniel came out of the backdoor, calling for her.
“Come out, come out Isobel!”
She didn’t stop running until she reached the safety of a neighbor’s house a couple of houses down. Other neighbors must have heard the shots because the sidewalks started to fill with the people who lived on the block she had grown up on. Sirens could be heard in the distance as she banged on the door of an old friend of the family, begging to be let in.
The hours passed by in a blur for her after that. Swarms of police had shown up in record time, sealing off the crime scene while asking her and her neighbors a dozen questions. Who did she think shot her parents? What did he look like? Where does he live? The questions went on and on until she no longer knew who she was talking to or what she was saying. A police officer assured her time and time again that they were in the process of searching for Daniel and claiming he couldn’t have gone very far so quickly. But she knew Daniel better than that. He would be desperate at that point and knew how to be inconspicuous because of his line of work as a detective for Orleans Parish, or so, that’s what he told her he did for a living. She wasn’t so sure she could believe anything now he had told her over the course of their relationship.
Isobel’s only relief that night was when her childhood friend, Elizabeth, showed up at the neighbor’s house. Elizabeth wanted to take her to the apartment on the West bank side of the Mississippi river she had just rented, but the police thought it was a good idea to go to a place that Daniel couldn’t easily find her again.
“How about we go to a hotel? That way he won’t have a clue to where you are?” Elizabeth asked her while looking to the police officer who was standing in front of them.
“I think that would be the best thing to do,” the officer replied. “Give me a number where I can contact you.”
Elizabeth rattled off her cell phone number then gently urged her out of the recliner she had glued herself to. She wasn’t even sure if her legs could carry her out the door and to the car but she had to try. She wanted to get as far away from the area as possible so she forced herself to put one foot in front of the other. Outside the house blue and red lights flashed everywhere, filling the night with eerie colors dancing across the houses. Yellow police tape was strung around the trees in the front yard of her home and were secured to the columns that held up the porch she sat under countless times. She was just about to get into the passenger side of Elizabeth’s yellow Volkswagen when she caught sight of a stretcher coming through the front door. That was when the shock had worn off and she broke down. The scream that had ripped from her startled the people standing in the street watching the movements near her home. She collapsed in the street with heart retching sobs as the crowd gathered around her to try and console her. That was the last she remembered until she was saying goodbye to Elizabeth at the airport a week later.
Elizabeth had made plans for her to so call disappear for a while, at least until Daniel was caught and safely in jail. Elizabeth wouldn’t even tell the police where she was headed for fear that Daniel would be able to find out through one of his supposed friends on the police force. When Daniel wanted something he wouldn’t stop until he got it and she knew he wouldn’t stop looking for her until he either found her or he was caught. The one thing that broke her heart even more than losing her parents in one night, was not knowing the reason behind Daniel’s actions. She never would have thought he was capable of this level of violence in a million years.
Now, as she looked out the window of the plane as it slowly started to move down the runway, she knew was safe from Daniel. He would have to do some serious detective work to find out where she was going and how she was getting there. Elizabeth did her best to cover her tracks but there were things that just couldn’t be hidden forever, like using her real name to leave the country. She had no choice but to do that on such short notice.
The plane picked up speed quickly then lifted into the air, leaving behind the only life she had ever known. The little girl sitting beside her was traveling alone just like her, so she figured she might as well make a friend, at least for a short time.
“What’s your name?” Isobel asked the girl who appeared to be about twelve.
“Mary. What’s yours?”
“Isobel. Glad to meet you Mary,” she said as she smiled at the young girl.
“Where are you going?” Mary asked.
“I’m headed to Scotland. How about you?”
“I’m going to my Grandmother’s house in London. I go there every year. You ever been to London?” Mary asked then popped a couple of the peanuts the stewardess had given her after the plane was air borne.
“No, I haven’t been to London or England for that matter, but I have been to France. I went with a group from the college I went to. It was really a lot of fun. I would like to go to London one day though,” she replied.
“I think you would love it there. There’s so much to see and do. My Grandmother takes me to see Stonehenge every time I go to her house. It’s my favorite place in England.” Mary crumpled up the empty peanut packet and stuffed it in the back pocket of the seat in front of her.
Isobel smiled at the girl and thought about how innocent she was. The girl sitting next to her or anyone else on the plane had no idea that she was running from a killer. Would Mary still be so willing to talk to her if she knew the truth about her life? Would anyone want anything to do with her again knowing someone was after her and who might not ever be caught? Question after question coursed through her head. She was so unsure of where she was going or what she was going to do until Daniel was caught and locked away forever.
The rest of the flight to Scotland for Isobel was spent sleeping. The previous days had been so exhausting that she couldn’t keep her eyes open any longer once the plane was out over the Atlantic Ocean. Mary had pulled out some ear phones and plugged them into her I-pod, so Isobel took advantage of the chance to sleep without fear. She was startle awake when the captain came over the intercom system informing the flight of their approach to Aberdeen Airport, the first of several stops for the international flight. Once the plane landed and taxied to the indicated concourse, she gathered up her meager belongings.
“Well Mary. I guess this where I say goodbye. I’m glad I got the chance to meet you.” She plastered on the best smile she could for the teenager. “I hope you have fun with your grandmother.”
“I am sure I will, Isobel. Have fun in Scotland!” Mary stood up and gave her a quick hug then flopped back down into her seat.
Isobel was surprised by the sudden actions of the young girl but happy at the same time. She returned the hug then headed out of the plane, glad to be back on solid ground again.