I put the prologue of WORLD OF THE BEASTS on CreateSpace a few weeks ago (click here to see it), but I thought I would post it on here for you guys to read! I hope you enjoy! If you like it, please share it!
Weathered Rock, the new Slave Trader, watches as Speaks Wise Words, the Leader of Raena, pinches his lips and narrows his eyes. He’s watching the television screen in Rock’s office like a cat watches a mouse. With his thumbnail, he scratches his cheek. Rock can tell by the look in Wise’s eyes that his anger must be much deeper than he realized.
On the screen is the famous Sunlight Reflecting off the Moon—Rebel Sunny, as she is commonly called now—and Wise’s very own son, her soul mate, Kindness in His Heart. Rebel Sunny and Prince Kindness.
Rock can’t tell if it’s the fact they’re soul mates and he can’t stop them from loving each other that he hates so much, or if it’s the fact that they’re at a Freedom’s Calling meeting now, where the cameras flock. Rock assumes that it’s the latter, since he knows Wise was blackmailed by Sunny into making Freedom’s Calling a legal organization. But that’s all Rock knows. He wonders what Rebel Sunny has on Wise to make him agree to do something he hates.
“I want you to do something,” Wise says darkly when the cameras focus on Sunlight’s pretty smile. Her scarlet hair falls in perfect curls around her face and down past her shoulders.
“What do you mean?” Rock asks Wise.
Wise tells the television to power off, and it obeys. Then he turns to the Slave Trader. “Do something to put her in her place. Something that will make her hurt.”
Rock’s eyes widen. “But sir, she’ll be your daughter-in-law in less than a week. She’ll be family.”
“She’ll never be part of my family!” he says so harshly that Rock startles. “She blackmailed me! Are you going to let someone like that get away with something as wretched as blackmailing your Leader?”
Rock blinks several times, trying to recover from the shock of Wise’s temper and from what he’s asking him to do. He understands why he should avenge Wise, since Sunny blackmailed him, but a part of him feels that he shouldn’t. What other choice does Rock have?
“What do you suggest?” Rock finally asks.
“Figure something out,” Wise says. “But don’t tell me. She’s a Matured Silver now. She’ll read me easily. Which also means you need to keep away from all Silvers and practiced Browns.” He pauses for a moment and taps his chin with a black pen he took from Rock’s desk. “Have you ever heard of the outlaw called the Man in Black?”
Rock nods once. “Of course I have. Why?”
“Contact him. Offer him a bountiful reward for his service to me.”
Rock’s eyebrows furrow together. “Contact him? How, sir? He’s a fugitive. I have no idea how to get in touch with him.”
Wise reaches in the front pocket of his beige suit. He pulls out a small notepad and flips it open. Taking Rock’s pen, he jots down a few numbers and letters on the paper, rips it out, and hands it to Rock.
“You can find him here.”
Puzzled, Rock glances at the paper. It’s an address in Territory Three. How would Wise know this? And why has he never turned the information in to the authorities? The Man in Black is wanted all over Raena for the disappearances of multiple slaves as well as select witches, whose bodies have never been found. Rock knows this because he studied this particular case a while back. The Man in Black always took witch girls that were shorter than five foot three inches, and they all had the darkest auburn hair witches can possibly have. Hair like Wise and Kindness. But the slaves he abducted never had anything in common. The only similarity he could possibly find was they had complained to Peace Officers of being abused, but they were ignored. Some were-creatures the Man in Black had even saved from the gallows, but then they disappeared, leaving no traces.
“Rock,” Wise says darkly, catching his attention. “The Man in Black has special connections. Find him. He will aid you if you tell him I sent you.”
Rock blinks several times, still in shock. Wise is in contact with an outlaw? Rock can’t believe what’s going on in his own office. Wise not only is in contact with the Man in Black, but he also wants Rock to work with him—to aid him in this job of hurting Sunlight.
“Sir,” he begins to argue, but the look on Wise’s face makes him change his line of thought. Instead, he stammers, “Will he not want something in return?” Wise grins slightly. He reaches in his coat pocket, pulls out an envelope and hands it to Rock. “What is it?” Rock asks.
“A generous check. Give it to the Man in Black for payment.” He starts to leave, but he pauses just before he makes it completely out the door. He says over his shoulder, his voice darker than Rock has ever heard it, “Do you know what awaits you if you shall fail, Slave Trader?”
Rock looks around his office once, unsure what to say. He’s still in shock. He’s positive that what Wise wants him to do is illegal. When he looks back at Wise, he sees that he’s pulled out a clear vile with dark blue grainy sand sealed inside. He tosses it at the Slave Trader and then leaves, not saying another word.
Rock examines the vile for only a few seconds before realizing what it is.
Tanzanite. The only element in the known universe that’s poisonous to witches, that can kill them. It’s what all the weapons are made of on Raena. Bullets, knifes, arrowheads. Rock knows this very well from being Head Peace Officer for over twenty-five years before his recent promotion.
He turns back to the television, rolling the cylinder vile between his fingers and thumb. He watches Sunny embrace her proclaimed best friend Sea-Anna, who is a weretiger slave, and then Tuck, the other weretiger standing by Sea-Anna. He’s Sea-Anna’s husband, according to the media. Kindness had imported a deer for them to hunt together: a tiger’s wedding ceremony. This has shown Raena that Kindness and Sunny care about them deeply.
The vile heats up the more Rock rolls it in his hand. He inhales deeply and exhales, holding the vile up to examine the contents more carefully.
If he doesn’t do enough, if he doesn’t satisfy Wise’s desire to hurt the future Princess, he’ll die; Wise made that painstakingly obvious. If he goes too far, he’ll be haunted for the rest of his life, a guilty conscience following closely behind him forever.
He could not risk being careless.
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