Thanks everyone for voting for the next Merging Worlds series cover! You are all awesome. It was an interesting race. Number 3 started off strong. It sped ahead of the rest. Then, number 1 got its second wind. It started catching up. But number 3 kept the lead. It won! Here’s the cover for The Lost Sciell: Book 3 of The Merging Worlds series.
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Enjoy this excerpt from The Lost Sciell!
A heaviness dropped on the area, worse than before. It felt bloated, slimy like hundreds of worms possessed it. The foul air went inside Bel. It absorbed his energy and his will to do anything. The air raged through his mind and memories. The forest and the town disappeared.
Bel was alone in the forest outside Sovereign’s shield. He’d taken Ian out there to show him the real Bel. Ian was easy to talk to and didn’t care what anyone thought of him. Bel knew if he showed Ian his scales and eyes, his friend, would laugh it off. Bel showed him and Ian stared at him like everyone else, as if he was a monster. Ian shook his head and walked away.
The jealously, anger and hurt from that memory exploded through Bel. It assaulted him. It became him. Stinging pain lived across his skin. His bones weighed him down. Slime grew under his skin.
The fetid air left that memory-door open and moved on.
Bel was in Silhouette, standing opposite Divine in their underground cavern. He was supposed to be helping Divine with his powers. Bel never really trained him. He used the sessions as an excuse to beat Divine. The child’s body contained more power than it deserved. Divine knew he was powerful and never showed much interest in his abilities outside of helping Aliceanna and sometimes Nee. His core and connections were wasted on him. Bel beat him with his weak Miner powers. He made Divine, who towered over everyone, kneel. Then he stopped using his Lifeblood and beat Divine with his fists and feet. He wanted to feel the bones break. If only he could swallow Divine’s core, steal his connections and power.
The air kept opening memories Bel buried. It found the emotions inside the painful moments and bloated them until Bel felt only Darkness. He was falling. He wanted to. He deserved to.
Nee’s voice was soothing when she wasn’t screaming.
Bel couldn’t fall. His family needed him. Bel willed himself out of the Darkness. He opened his eyes. Blood dripped from paper-thin wounds across his body. His clothes weren’t ruined. How did he get cut?
He was on his knees.
Bel couldn’t breathe, again. The air felt loaded with invisible mud. Too thick to offer any relief.
“Stop or I’ll make you,” Nee said.
An angry coldness stole through Bel. It destroyed whatever light was left inside him. Darkness became his ground. It wanted to swallow him whole. Bel didn’t see why that was bad. He focused on Nee instead.
Divine stood slightly bent over her. Nee held his face. Divine’s arms hung like two empty bags. His power dropped out of him like pools of ink. It seeped into the ground, feeding the negative emotions still living in this village.
Nee lifted her hand. Her power climb out of the ground. She pointed her palm forward. Red Darkness raged through the town, devouring every structure.
She stepped back from Divine, keeping her hand lifted.
Bel could breath again. The bad memories stopped assaulting him. His body healed.
She raised her other hand. Her Lifeblood surrounded Divine. It commanded the black inky Lifeblood pouring out of him. Divine straightened. His power joined Nee’s. It stopped attacking everyone.