Christine E. Schulze releases the greatest adventure since The Legend of Zelda, Harry Potter, or The Lord of the Rings.
The Hero Chronicles
"Remember the phoenix feather..."
The Hero of 1000 Years
The Secret Sister and the Silver Knight
The Princess of Destiny and the Princess of the Night
To check them out and buy: http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/se...20E.%20Schulze
The Hero of 1000 Years
Chasmira rushed to the garden, slowing to a walk when she reached it. The garden was so enchantingly beautiful and serene with its many flowers, trees, and sparkling streams that Chasmira had quickly grown to admire it as one of her favorite places on campus. She savored her stroll through the luscious trees as a soft breeze enveloped her.
The garden was once, long ago, as Mrs. Labrier taught them, as the school's Menagerie. In fact, many animals still dwelt there, though few classes were held there now as in the days of old, and students could now come and go as they pleased.
Chasmira found Aaron standing in small clearing surrounded by a circle of trees, staring up into the branches of one particular tree.
"Aaron?" she called softly.
"Sh. Over here," he beckoned quietly.
Chasmira tip-toed over to stand beside him. He pointed upward. High in the branches was a nest full of pure golden phoenix chicks, their mother perching nearby, watching them.
"I love this place," he half thought aloud. "I feel…ever since I came to this garden, I've felt like…like it's going to be a special place for me someday..."
Remembering Chasmira's presence, he turned to her. "Sounds cheesy, I guess."
"No." She scanned the trees thoughtfully as a soft breeze swept across her face. "There's something about this place..."
Suddenly, something fluttered down from the nest to rest at Chasmira's feet. She picked it up—a phoenix feather. It glistened in the sunlight, and tracing her fingers along its edges, she marveled at its soft, delicate touch.Extending it to Aaron, she said quietly, "They say a phoenix feather is a symbol of everlasting friendship."
He took the feather in his hand and smiled.
"I—I still have those striped paper clips you gave me in sixth grade," she continued hesitatingly, glancing away as her cheeks flushed hotly.
Aaron smiled slyly. "You mean the ones you stole from me."
"I didn't steal them. I just never returned them." She glimpsed up hopefully yet with a small, guilty smile, and he laughed softly.She suddenly remembered her reason for coming. "Oh, your coach wants to see you on the Frisbee Field."
"Yeah, Josh came looking for you and Rachel."
"Rachel? She's on the opposite team. Why would he want both of us?"
"Josh said the coaches were quarreling about something—wait. You and Rachel? On opposite teams? You don't—"
"Try to kill each other?" Aaron smirked. "Nah, but she's a pretty aggressive player."
They stood silently admiring the serene clearing for a few moments, soaking up its calm, reverent aura, then Aaron said quietly, "Well, I better get going."
"Sure. See you tonight."
"Okay."Aaron walked off. Chasmira stood awing over the trees for a little while longer before following him out of the garden, casting a final glance at the small clearing. She felt it too—a mysterious specialness about the place.
***Tiffany sidled silently down the corridors. Though most people were gathered at the game, and though no passersby would see her even if she met any, she always took the chance to practice stealth and silence. It was a part of her job, one never knew when your powers might fail you and natural sneakiness became needed...
Finally stopping before one of the identical doors of the shadowy, silent hallway, she knocked, waiting. Her eyes fell upon the misty light streaming through one of the windows. A grayness clung to the deserted place, a deadness that would've seemed eerie if it weren't so sad. Not even the distant, muffled cries of the hoverball game reached all the way up here.The softest footsteps thudded, and then the door opened slowly.
Dristann looked slightly taken aback. "Come in."
She stepped inside and he secured the door behind them. The room itself was filled with empty, mournful shadows created from the glow of the candles scattered about, illuminating the book spread open on the room's solitary bed. Sinking down on the edge and examining the book, she looked up and smiled.
"Reading Loz yet again, are we? Did I successfully get you hooked after all?"
He nodded, casting her a small smile as he joined her on the edge of the bed.
"The guys don't call you a 'girly wuss,' anymore?"
He scowled. "Doesn't bother me. If that's the best insult they come up with...besides, I like Chryselda's story. It's sad, but it ends happily..."
"So can your story," she breathed.He glanced away, sighing deeply. "Can't we endure one visit without mentioning that..?"
"Sorry, it's just...you know I care, that's all. That's why I came to you before Aaron or Chasmira or any other character. Because you drew me in, because I felt compassion for you, wanted to help you, make your story better like theirs..."
"So mine does end badly? You admit it?" he growled, biting his lip.
"You know I can't tell you anything," she whispered, but her eyes glinted with torture. He needed no further reply. "Last month, a friend of mine...she was helping Frodo from Lord of the Rings...she fell in love with him so she warned him of Gollum's treachery, trying to spare him pain...the council whipped her out of there immediately, stripped her of all powers until further notice...perhaps she'll never travel again..."
"Well, at least we don't have top worry about that happening with me," he muttered. Tiffany glanced with a longing hurt in her eyes as his tall, proud shoulders slouched wearily. A great tiredness hung in those dark but beautiful, brooding eyes...
"How are you here anyways?" he asked. "You know how much trouble you could get in for being in the boys' corridor...especially with a boy," he added with a smirk, as if trying feebly to cheer himself up.
"You know I have powers." She tried to smile herself, "or at least you ought to by now. I can make it so that no one can see, hear, taste, smell, or touch me—no one but you..."She glanced up at him hopefully, and for a moment his eyes lingered on hers, searching powerfully.
She looked away. "Besides, I could ask why you're not at the game."
"You should know by now I'm a solitary creature—by necessity and choice. I attend the daily rituals of class, meals, childish recess, but beyond that—"
"More by necessity, I think." Ignoring the comment, he said, "Those hair clips are nice. The suit you."Glimpsing the elegant painting of the huge, black butterfly hanging over his dresser, she said quietly, "I got them more because they suit you…"
"Mm…so why aren't you at the game?"
"I was. But I knew you'd be here, needing company—I don't need a book scene to know everything. Besides, I don't care much for sports."
He sighed, the dark shadows again masking his fair face as he muttered, "You're too nice, Tiffany. Too nice to hang around that Aaron anyways..."
"Aaron is nice," she retorted defensively.
"Aaron is an arrogant pighead," he snarled, glaring at her.
"Well..." She couldn't argue. It was true, at times.
Dristann nodded, satisfied.
"But must you hate him? Must you hate him just because your aunt does?"
"I must hate him because my aunt hates Chasmira, because he associates himself with her, because he is meant to help her..."
"And you are meant to help your aunt."
"But you don't have—"
"Drop it. Please? Can't we just enjoy each other's company like we used to?"
His eyes pleaded her, torment shining beyond their mask of spiteful hardness. She couldn't push him further, not today. Besides, she desired the same thing he seemed to.Nodding, she laid back on the bed, and he did too. For a long time she watched the orangish light and grey shadows dancing upon the canopy of the bed. Something soothing existed in their flowing, fluid movements, something calming though the heavy sadness could not be lifted entirely from her heart. Only he could take away that burden...
After a while, she turned her head towards him. He slept, his face peaceful, the tortured eyes veiled, his mind lost in the sweet nothingness of dreams. With a slight smile, she sat up, kissed his cheek, and stole silently from the room.
Aaron found himself in a hall whose walls were covered from floor to ceiling with mirrors. As a shadow flashed in one of the long stretches of silvery glass, he instantly looked away, remembering Toby's warning.
Trying to keep his gaze focused on the floor, he started slowly down the path which soon curved to the right. He wanted to walk faster, or even run—a strange desire to leave this room as soon as possible gripped him—but he couldn't. It was all he could do to concentrate on not looking at the mirrors as some eerily possessive pull urged him to glimpse just one, tiny peek. He wished Toby had given them some warning about how difficult it would be to resist their temptation, though he wondered how or if the knowing would've helped him. He tried to keep the constant, watching eyes of the mirrors from his mind, but the longer he tread down that silent path with only his echoing footsteps to distract his mind, he began to wonder: what was his deepest, inner-most fear?
Reaching a fork in the path, he veered left, hoping he was going the right way, all the while that single, troubling question repeating itself in his mind: what was his greatest fear? His deepest terror? His secret-most horror? His..?
His feet began to drag like lead, wanting to stop, and his eyes wanted to glance up and catch just a peep of whatever glimmered in those mirrors.
Suddenly, he stood at a dead end. Good, he thought, sighing great relief. I must be at the end of the maze. He tried to walk through the mirror as Toby said. But no matter how he pushed, ran into it, he couldn't get through.
Then he remembered the fork in the path. Perhaps he'd chosen the wrong way and this wasn't the arched doorway. But instead of turning about and going back to try the other pathway, he looked up just to check...
Instantly, his eyes fixed on the mirror before him, and he could not tear away. Shadows, dark shadows, swirled in the mirror, and then a dark tower took form. The scene zoomed in on the tower's window. Inside were the girls and Rorrim who wielded a black staff. He suddenly grabbed Chasmira and threw her against the opposite wall. Aaron could see her fear-stricken, pleading eyes as Rorrim lifted his staff, pointed it straight at her heart; he saw her scream and could almost hear it as jets of black energy surged from Rorrim's staff straight towards Chasmira. Aaron found himself drawing his sword and shouting, "No!" and then everything grew starkly and abruptly black. Then the mirror was just a mirror again.
Aaron was relieved it stopped; it all seemed so real—too real. But now he knew what his greatest fear was. Though he never want to lose any of his friends, most of all he was terrified of losing his closest friend, Chasmira. And Rorrim knew it. He sent the visions to trouble Aaron. He captured Chasmira to use her as bait to bring Aaron to him so he could find a way to take his stone and bring him to his downfall.One, determined thought raced through Aaron's mind—he must get out of here as quickly as possible. He had to get to Chasmira. Rorrim couldn't harm her so long as she had her ring, but what if she tried to get it to them and failed? That was just the sort of thing she'd try to do...
Shadows suddenly stirred in the mirror again. No, in each mirror. The scene was replaying all around him. He tried to look away, but it surrounded him, playing over and over again—there was no where else to turn—each time more quickly culminating to the part where Rorrim aimed his staff at Chasmira...
Aaron clutched his sword tightly. His heart cavorted frantically within him, he was breathing heavily, and beads of sweat began to form thickly on his brow. Chasmira's eyes pleaded to him from all sides, and yet he couldn't get to her, couldn't help her...
The Secret Sister and the Silver Knight
He lay dazed for a moment, but as his vision cleared, he saw her cruel fangs and white, empty eyes towering over, leering at him. Sensation returned to his momentarily numb body, and realizing the sword miraculously still clasped in his hand, he held it tight, rolling aside as she struck with lightning speed and incredible accuracy.
The next few moments were nothing but a blur as he slipped in and out of her coils, nicking her tough skin here and there with the blade, causing her to hiss defiantly, but she moved too swiftly and skillfully for him to get in any good hits. He needed some sort of strategy...At some point—he didn't know when for he was too busy weaving and dodging—she surrounded them, himself, herself, Chasmira, with a ring of flame that reduced the room he had to maneuver, shrunk the fighting rink, shrunk his chances...
A sharp pain surged through his arm, intensifying with each quarter of a second til he felt first ice, then fire, then a tearing, clawing sensation, then all three pains merging together into one, nearly maddening effect. He stumbled, wanting to clutch at that arm, claw the pain away, but the slightest touch made him shout in agony all the more.Gradually, his arm began to grow numb, the pain to lessen, though his body felt itself steadily draining. He still held the sword firm, nearly falling over as he struggled to stand straight, get his bearings…find Chasmira...
The Princess of Destiny and the Princess of the Night
"What is your name?"
The prisoner's eyes rolled up to stare into those of the Dark Lady. As he replied, his voice echoed with the same undecipherable emotion as her own:
"Good. And whom do you serve and swear total allegiance to?"
"You, my Lady, the Dark Lady, the Princess of the Night."
"And who is our enemy?"
Here the prisoner hesitated. The Dark Lady repeated the question more slowly, warning flickering in the flames of her voice."Who is our enemy?"
"Chasmira Eriz, also called the Princess of Destiny Future," the prisoner replied.
"Good. And what is your purpose?"
"To bring her to you...so you may destroy her."
The Dark Lady smirked with cold triumph.
"Good. You've learned well. Now go, and do not fail me."
The prisoner arose, bowed, and left the room, maintaining his emotionless expression, clutching the gem in his pocket which burned into his palm, searing his flesh. As soon as he slipped from her presence, he allowed the hot tears to spring into his eyes.