Chapter One

The forest Lilith was unsettled. Kira felt it. The river Vy, known throughout the region for its ability to generate violent, miniature storms mere feet above its surface felt more dangerous than normal. Lightening continuously hit the surface water creating furious ripples and waves, and a violent, restless energy built that she had not felt in decades.

Kira stepped onto the ledge of her porch, a thick branch of an ancient oak not twenty feet from the roaring river, and stared across brambles and thorns, and oaks and pines. Aside from the roaring waters, Lilith was silent. And the silence unnerved her.

Normally the forest hummed with the chirping of insects, the breath of trees, haunting songs of the elves, and the flutter of pixie and fairy wings. Kira waited to hear the high-pitched quipping of her pixie neighbors Sila and William or the smooth, mellifluous voice of Brand, a young elf who often sat by her tree and studied the magic of Vy. That she heard neither only increased her unease.

She returned home only hours ago after Brand found her and relayed a message from her parents.

Kira, we must speak to you. It’s urgent

And so she waited for their arrival.

A thunderous clap brought her attention to Vy and she watched as a billow of fog turned black then dissipated over the far shore. As the fog dissolved, she noticed a shadow across the water. She thought it were part of the fog until it slid away from the shore. A knot of unease pulled her to the edge of her porch.

“What is that?” she whispered. She heard the trepidation in her voice and gasped when the shadow turned as if responding to her voice. Silver eyes penetrated the fog and met her stare. She backtracked away, wanting to hide in the safety of her home. Even from the distance, the shadow felt wrong, unfriendly, hostile.

She squinted, trying to see past the eyes to determine the shadow’s shape, when several flashes of light left her momentarily blinded.

She stumbled backwards and tried to get her bearings. After several seconds, her vision began to clear and she turned once more to the clearing, to the source of light.

The shadow was gone.