Mela, feeling a sharp pain, winced beneath the willow tree. Horos, the stalwart stallion, whinnied, he too sensing a great tragedy in the world below. Mela stared into the crystal river flowing from the third level cliffs where only healers lived. She laid her white palms over the surface of the stream and read.
Time alone here in the small hut tucked in serene seclusion beneath the cliffs had conditioned her to feel vibrations. The slightest heartbreak would whistle through the willow, stir the waters, and awaken her heart. Often the other more experienced healers would smell the fear first and rush to respond before Mela could. But her skill at reading vibrations was strengthening and there were times when she was first to know.
This was such a time.
She whistled alerting the healers that lived along the river that she would take this call. With a quick wink she summoned Horos and mounting with a single motion pointed the stallion toward the descent at the base of the cliffs.
Mela clung to his neck her wispy streaked silver hair billowing behind her back that bore the healer’s insignia, the willow branch and three butter lilies. The guardians of the descent motioned her on reading Mela’s eyes and wishing the healer Godspeed.
Let me personally welcome you to the mystical world of The Stallion’s Rag. This trilogy began with a reflective reading of a single text in the New Testament:
Acts 19:11-12–And God wrought special miracles by the hands of Paul: So that from his body were brought unto the sick rags or aprons, and the diseases departed from them, and the evil spirits went out of them.
Mela, a healer from a distant world, feels the vibrations of pain and heartbreak from a dying soul in a faraway place called Earth. She takes the call and the adventure begins. I hope you enjoy the trilogy.
Welcome back to the second book in the Stallion’s Rag series.
Maldar’s Ascent continues the saga of Blackstone and his pursuit of power.
Chapter 1 An Army Gathers
Lorn knelt weeping beside the tiny gravesite. The easterly wind blew in off the bay whipping up a dreadful chill that whipped through the village courtyard where he lived. Tupon, his wife, too numb to comfort him, sat sprawled indecorously beside the tomb wailing and beating her breasts. The other villagers passed by, some herding frail goats barely able to migrate the narrow cobblestone lanes that wove through the village and out toward the heath and the distant bogs. The crops that normally sustained the region had been unproductive this season with the sudden onset of frosty weather.
Fear was widespread. Everyone knew something was different. The shortened growing season, crippled by a great freeze that was settling in over the region, flummoxed the elders who had never seen such climate changes. Illness was becoming more commonplace among the young and the vulnerable older ones. The mutations that had befallen the poor and underprivileged of this world made the populace all the more uneasy…
Welcome back to City Lights, the final volume of the Stallion’s Rag Trilogy. Follow Blackstone as he tries to pick up the pieces of a life shattered by heartbreak and self-destruction.
Chapter 1 The Crimson Streamer
Stone sat on the slat floor huddled in the corner of the little hut, searching. The afternoon sun trickled off the Bow Bridge dripping sadly into the Central Park Lake. She was not here and his heart was broken.
He recalled with meticulous clarity the fleeting image of her face just days earlier as he rowed past the little hut with Melinda in tow. Mela was here, he said to the shadows of the little hut. She will come again. He extended his hand hoping she would respond, hoping her hand would take his as she had done so many times by the river. He smiled as he recalled those memories. A few people passing through the hut stared amused and then strolled on arm in arm dismissing him as another homeless vagrant seeking a handout.
Stone saw them walk away giggling, but he kept his hand out waiting for her. She did not come to him. Nor did she smile and give him hope. Still he would not leave. He touched the amulet that clung to his neck and then bowed his head in worship. But he could not find Bura either.
Perhaps she is close he thought but waits for privacy. Perhaps Neesha lingers near her and she is not free to speak. He clung to this thought and repeated the words of the amulet. And as he did so a tear formed and mocked him. Then he heard the sinister whisper of a spirit hovering near him. “She is dead, fool. She died on the Bridge of Sighs saving you. Forget her. She is gone. Gone!”
Stone, struggling to stand, fought back his fists speaking for him as he throttled the air about him. He circled hunting the Spector, but after a few seconds the words shoved him back down into the corner of the little cabin where he sat shaking, lost and undone. Defeated he watched a few lovers rowing past the hut laughing and finding joy in futures unfolding before them. And then he knew he must say goodbye. It was that or lose his soul just as he had found it again.
He stood and wiped his eyes. Looking up at the heavens he said his farewells. “Goodbye my love. I will never forget you, Mela, but I must move on.” A solemn resignation swept over him and he felt a despondent chill settle deep within. Then he stood to go. Melinda’s face came to him and he smiled.
As he walked slowly away toward the bridge a falcon circled above dropping slowly in concentric circles a crimson streamer floating from his leg. But Stone never saw it.