Children of the Pearl
A Fantasy Mermaid Tale
“Lies are poison, Shaelyn. Casta has poisoned us all.”
The Children of the Pearl are mermaids as enchanting as the living gemstone from which they are born. But like a pearl with a malevolent heart, a legendary murder wrapped in lies has born a sickness that threatens their clan’s future. The task of delving into the mystery and uncovering the truth falls to a young, strong-willed mermaid, Shaelyn, and three courageous mermaid companions. Their search for truth takes them on a journey to Larimar, the fabled undersea blue city. Encountering mysteries, monsters, dangers, and delights along the way, they also battle those who would keep the truth hidden at all costs.
Gliding up through black water, Shaelyn lifted her bright gaze towards the silken ripple of midnight blue that marked the surface of the sea. Already her body was changing; anticipating the instant when she would breach the liquid barrier and enter the Above World.
A song had found her as she slumbered.
She awoke thinking, What? And lying very still, she let the mournful notes wash over her. With dawning certainty, she knew it was the half-remembered summons from her dream the night before. Then, as clear and perfect as a bead of pure water, the certainty dropped into her mind: It is she. The Lost One.
Slipping from her niche, she roused the green glow snails, who shone with a brief but reassuring light before fading back to sleep. Then, fingers trembling, she bound back her hair. As she strapped on her knife, the voice of good sense questioned, Is this wise? Yes! came the less sensible answer. I will see. I will know.
What of Casta? crossed her mind, but already she was in her coral garden, where the notes of the song were stronger. Pausing, she let their music speak to her and wondered, Am I the only one who hears? Then brazenly, she closed her mind to caution and Casta’s curfew, set her face towards the roof of her world, and ascended.
Quest for Gryphon Gold
A Historical Fantasy inspired by the epic 7th century BC poem Arimaspea
“Terrified horses screamed, and Arimaspoi cried out in mortal pain.
And above all was the sound of wings and the enraged voices of the gryphons.”
A disastrous excursion into the mountains of Anatolia has left the renowned adventurer Samir of Babylon scarred and in retreat from the world. Yet, he cannot resist the proposition by a mysterious Athenian to embark on a perilous quest across the wild, uncharted North, into the formidable Rhipaion Mountains. Challenged to trace and discover the fate of the last such expedition, Samir’s reward will be a fabled fortune in gryphon gold—if he can reach and steal it without being slaughtered.
The frenzy of the battle was at full pitch. Across the breadth of the highland, gryphons soared, circled, and plunged with outstretched talons and unsheathed claws to slash at riders or tear them from their mounts, then carry them aloft, rip them asunder, or simply drop them to their deaths. Riders shouted and pounded their heels into the flanks of their steeds, striving to dodge the attacks while lashing out with sword or spear.
Standing on the threshold of the terrible contest, our senses were assailed with madness and noise; with the smell of lathered horses, the rank sweat and fear of the Arimaspoi, the green scent of trampled grass, and the rusty odor of spilled blood. Upon seeing another gryphon fall wounded, my seething anger flared.
With a yell for courage, I threw myself into the fray, my companions at my side.
Horses pounded past in every direction, pelting us with clods of dirt and grass. Earth and air quivered with their thunder. From their flared nostrils, hot breath trailed like white smoke, and I could hear their labored breathing. With kicks and whips, the riders urged them on, many bellowing to the skies their hatred of the gryphons, while overhead those winged adversaries shrieked in defiance. All around us, sword blades whistled, slicing the air, thudding dully when they hit their mark. Terrified horses screamed, and Arimaspoi cried out in mortal pain. And above all was the sound of wings and the enraged voices of the gryphons . . .