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The Initiation

The Initiation

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The Initiation

ratings:
5/5 (1 rating)
Length:
257 pages
4 hours
Released:
Jan 9, 2014
ISBN:
9781771117432
Format:
Book

Description

Sienna Sinclair thinks she is just another typical teenage girl who is trying hard to fit in with the high school crowds, which she feels alienated by. But when she is contacted by Sabian— a handsome and mysterious member of an ancient secret society, she is led to an unexpected journey where she encounters vile hybrid creatures and mythical beings and is admitted to Astarte Mystery School where she learns to awaken her inner-powers that will prepare her to realize she has a secret and powerful destiny: She is a Starseed.

Released:
Jan 9, 2014
ISBN:
9781771117432
Format:
Book

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The Initiation - Mariela Stewart

BC.

Preface

The trickling sound of rain falling on a lily pad woke me from my slumber. Where am I? Then I remembered. My life slowly flashed before my eyes.

The grueling pain of stab wounds on my legs and abdomen were beginning to vanish, while numbness had overtaken any sensation in my frail body.

How did I get here, you ask? Well…my story was like so many others, although I assure you mine has somewhat of a twist. Since this may be my last day living, I at least need to share my arduous journey, so I do not die in vain. Everyone needs to know the truth. My story starts a little like this.

In a time long ago, ancient demonic predators roamed the earth, searching for weak souls to draw the energy out of their feeble victims. They took their life force until there was no more light pulsating inside them. All virtue ceased to exist within their once pure hearts.

These stories—with roots going back more than 5,000 years—were tales of demons and angels, wizards and sorcerers. The tales of the cosmic fight between good and evil were told repeatedly. I omitted some details, others modified, but the very core never changed. The fight would never cease.

It’s funny to think of these stories now as I lay at my deathbed, life-energy seeping out from my soul into their hands, their demonic hands pulling with determined intent after years of searching, an ill-fated pursuit to find me.

Maybe if I had believed these tales and known the truth behind them, I would not be here now…maybe.

I could now feel the damp earth beneath my limp body and sensed that she would take me back into her arms and swallow me whole, so I could return once again into her fertile womb.

Those eyes—that have pierced deep within my soul—have been my fear, my curse, since my brethren reunited. They knew how much stronger, knowledgeable, and powerful they would become once they were done with me. They would never stop. If only the Council had destroyed them when they had the chance.

My thoughts went back to him. I wanted to be with him at my life’s end, even if it was just in thought, until I died. His memory embraced me. It gave me comfort and, for once, I felt safe. I knew I would see him again, in some other time, some other place…I would be with him once more. This little I knew.

Chapter One

IF THERE BE LIGHT, THAN THERE IS DARKNESS

We are travelers on a cosmic journey, stardust, swirling and dancing in the eddies and whirlpools of infinity. Life is eternal. We have stopped for a moment to encounter each other, to meet, to love, to share. This is a precious moment. It is a little parenthesis in eternity.

—Paulo Coelho, The Alchemist

The rain fell hard on my bedroom window. If only I could go back to sleep. If I keep this up, I will wake up tired for school, and I have such a long day tomorrow. Please, please, go to sleep, Sienna, I said to myself, annoyed.

I knew the reason I could not reconcile to sleep. Their visit had left me unsettled. Who were they? How did they know so much about me? These questions had lingered through my head since our meeting earlier that day.

I looked blankly at the ceiling and tried to clear my mind. I turned over once again to my side and pulled the tendrils of loose hair that had escaped my ponytail. I scooped it behind my ear, and I closed my eyes. I felt my eyes getting heavy and a sigh of relief escaped my mouth. Slumber had begun taking me into its grip.

That night I dreamed of them.

We were in the desert. The blanket of stars above us lit the grimy path as we walked in silence to our meeting ground. The leader of the Council led the group, his head towering above us, and he kept looking back to make sure we were all still following. Ahead of us, I saw a formation of rocks, not sure if Mother Nature had naturally formed them or someone had aligned them in such a manner. We entered the crescent rocky den. It immediately felt a few degrees warmer, and it protected us from the cold of the desert. It was crazy to think that in the midday the temperatures of the El Paso desert heat would be torching in the 110 degrees Fahrenheit.

I stuffed my hands deep inside my jacket pockets, and I tried hard not to think of the cold.

"You have all been summoned here tonight because the dark times are steadfast. You are destined and bound to protect the secret society, and each of you has a critical role that will play out to fulfill the century-old pact," the leader said. His voice slapped us hard with this newfound reality. Wrinkles cut his auburn skin like crinkled leather. His eyes darkened as he looked at each of us as if trying to transfer the feeling of apparent urgency behind his words.

I looked over at the other teenagers and observed each one of the fifteen diligently, and noticed one of the young males in the group was staring straight at me. His glare was deep, and I had to turn away to break free from his penetrating gaze. His eyes were a bright olive. His face with angular features was beautiful. He gave me a slight scornful smile. The desert wind blew his dark tousled hair. It seemed it was a golden brown, and yet, I couldn’t quite tell from the darkness of the night.

A furious luminous light cracked through the sky. It engulfed the group and encapsulated us with its red beams. The Council leaders fought hard to break free from the luminous-force field. Their hands pushed the light, trying hard to protect the initiates. The young group members screamed and huddled closely together behind the Council members, who had become a barrier of protection.

"They have found us!" I heard one of the Council members shriek. Her distressing voice pierced the air. Her eyes were full of terror and met mine, transferring her inner feelings. I knew in that moment that we were doomed.

Morning came fast. I felt I had slept for maybe ten minutes at the most. My mother came in to my bedroom to wake me.

Sienna, sleepy-head, it’s already seven! If you don’t hurry, you will be late for school. My mother smiled at me with her trademark mischievous smile—as if she was hiding some dark secret. We looked similar. We shared the same hair color—dark as night. The only thing I had inherited from my father was his smile. My mother and I shared many traits, and our personalities closely mirrored each other.

I know, Mom. I just didn’t sleep well. Would be nice if I could sleep some more, I answered, hoping she would cut me some slack and let me sleep an extra ten minutes.

You can sleep after school, now, hurry, honey. Dad will have to take you today. I have a meeting, so you have less time this morning.

I jumped out of bed when I realized I only had thirty minutes to get ready if Dad was going to pick me up. Damnof all days!

On the way to school, I could think of nothing else but my dream. I had agreed to meet with the Council on Friday after school, which was only two days away. Still, the dream had disturbed me. What if it’s a warning? They had contacted me a week prior, a truly serendipitous moment. Now, after the dream, I wasn’t so sure.

Sienna, your mom will pick you up after soccer practice, okay? If you need anything, you can reach me at my cell.

Sure, Dad, I answered indifferently.

What’s wrong, kiddo? he asked, his blue eyes looking worried.

He knew me too well. I couldn’t hide anything from this man! He always knew when something was wrong. He never failed. This skill of his was something I truly hated!

Nothing, Dad. Just didn’t get much sleep, I answered matter-of-fact, hoping to underplay my worry and avoid the zillion questions he would ask.

He blinked. All right, kiddo. Have a great day. Love you, he said, with a broad bright smile, his blue eyes beaming.

Phew! It worked. Bye, Dad. Love you, too.

I grabbed my backpack from the floorboard, slung it over my shoulder, and walked swiftly up the steps that lead into El Paso High School. The school was nestled amid the Franklin Mountains and the El Paso desert. The Greco-Roman architecture was the oldest school in El Paso, Texas—a city of about 660,000 people. The city was diverse, rich in culture and folklore that combined Spanish, Mexican, Native American, and English roots. Native tales would linger in the habitant’s daily lives. Their customs and beliefs were strong, transferred from generation to generation. Residents, here, bowed down to their superstitions.

A familiar voice approached me. Hey, Sienna.

Hi, Lucia. I smiled to my cousin and best friend. She towered over me at five foot-nine inches tall. I barely reached five-four. Her golden brown hair fell like a cascade over her tanned shoulders. She wore a pink summer dress that wrapped around her goddess-like figure. At seventeen years old, she looked more like a college girl, and this aspect, she loved! She didn’t care much for high school boys anymore. College guys were already under her radar.

Are you excited? We only have two more weeks before summer break! Before she allowed a word out of me, she interjected, And then—we will be seniors! We will rule the school! she said, her hazel eyes beaming down at me.

You already rule the school, Chia, I mumbled mockingly, calling her by her nick name.

Oh, whatever, Sienna. There is nothing wrong with being a little popular, she said playfully while winking an eye at me.

Lucia carefully applied crimson color lipstick on her fleshy lips that turned into a humorous smile. I wished I were as confident and comfortable in my own skin as Lucia was in hers. I had never considered myself popular. I had always felt somewhat awkward in large crowds, and hadn’t quite fit in with the supers—the popular crew in our school, which of course Lucia was a part of.

I often hung out with them, but normally I would rather sit in a quiet seat at the cafeteria where I could find solace in a good book. When Lucia forced me to sit with them, I hated having to witness their senseless and annoying conversations. I preferred to sit with my less-popular friends, the artsy-brainy kind, and of course, many of my soccer friends who were pretty down to earth—despite Lucia’s scolding.

We walked down the large hall that echoed with voices and laughter of several hundred high school students. Lucia greeted people as we walked. She reminded me of a pageant queen, the way she gracefully waved at each subject, a wide smile exposing her perfect teeth—she was a natural!

So, are you going back with Trevor? He won’t stop bothering me. He doesn’t know what to do to get you back, she said, giving me a daunting look.

I don’t think so. He is not like me. We don’t have the same interests—you know. I tried to sound convincing.

But he’s like the hottest and most popular guy in school and happens to be a great friend. Come on, Sienna, give him a second chance, she pressed.

If I consider it, will you leave me alone about it? I asked humorously.

Yay! Of course, she said clapping her hands together.

I’ll think about it then, I said, hoping she would not ask me again.

Fine. Just don’t take so long. I know how you like to ponder on almost every little thing. Sometimes you just need to do things without all that thought. Your life could be a lot more exciting! Her eyes beamed.

Alright, I need to go to class. See you later, Chia.

You know I am right! She gave me an over the top smile and headed off in the opposite direction, leaving me in the middle of the crowded hall. Man, I love that girl! We couldn’t be any more different, and yet we had been close since we were in kindergarten. She was like a sister to me, and I truly cherished the bond we had, despite our constant clashes on just about everything.

The bell rang fiercely filling the airspace of the school halls, and I rushed to my first period class—Algebra. Yuck! I hoped it went by quickly. I was so tired. I just wanted this day to be over and done.

Ms. Sinclair, will you please honor us with your presence.

Sorry, Mr. Robinson, I quickly wiped the drool that had begun to escape through my lips and sat upright, trying in vain to look composed. Oh, gosh! How embarrassing. Really, Sienna!

I tried to refocus on Mr. Robinson’s discourse. After all, it was literature class—my favorite, but there was too much on my mind and very little sleep that impeded me from enjoying the lecture. There was a hard knock on the classroom door and, to my surprise, the principal entered the classroom, accompanied with the teenage boy from my dream. What? This can’t be!

Ms. Sinclair, could you please come with us. Please take all your belongings, said the principal in a mild voice.

Crap! What did I do? I was usually pretty good. I had only been at the principal’s office once, okay, maybe twice, and that was saying a lot with my almost perfect record. I felt my memory was failing me. I quickly took my things, and I almost tripped on the feet of one of my classmates. Classic, Sienna! It was just what I needed to give a triumphant exit.

Follow us, instructed Principal Lopez. I trailed behind them, not knowing how serious this was. Why was he here?

We entered the principal’s office, and the boy and I sat opposite the principal’s large oak wood desk. The office was very cold. How could she work all day in here with this temperature?

Just sign here, Ms. Sinclair. Your uncle is pulling the car around. You and your cousin Sabian are free to go.

Huh? What the heck just happened! I did as told, and quickly signed whatever form was in front of me, without reading a word. For all I knew, I could have signed off my life to Ms. Lopez. My nerves were not allowing me to function as I usually did, which were now getting the worst of me. I noticed my so-called cousin Sabian was giving me a scornful smile and winking an eye at me. I felt a rush of heat go throughout my body, and my pale face flushed pink.

Thank you, Ms. Lopez. We hope to see you again soon, his voice was soft as silk. He had Ms. Lopez eating out of his hand. Sabian shook her hand curtly and started darting out the door.

Coming? he asked, turning back to look at me. His eyes were blaring.

Yeah. I followed him, stunned.

We walked out of the principal’s office, heading towards the main entrance. Sabian picked up his pace, and I followed. Why am I following him? For all I knew, he could be a kidnapper.

You are doing right by following me, he said blatantly, as if he had just read my mind.

Once outside the vast beige-brown stone building, Sabian grabbed me by an elbow, a shock traveling throughout my body at his touch. What was that?

Follow me, Sienna, he ordered.

He led me to a silver Aston Martin. I had never seen one of these cars in my life, especially here in El Paso. The driver opened the door and a man of about sixty years of age stepped out. His hair was like the silver moon. His thin lips stretched out to form a wide smile. I recognized him. He was the Council leader from my dream. I gasped.

Don’t be afraid, Sienna. We are family.

He extended his hand towards me and shook my hand firmly. His hand was warm, and, for some reason, a wave of calmness traveled throughout me, and I felt more at ease.

Who are you? I asked bluntly.

I think you already know the answer to that question, but if you need clarification, I have no problem explaining to you who I am and why we are here. What is the next question you were going to ask?

I was somber at his reply. How did he know?

Sabian opened the back door of the expensive vehicle, and I jumped in as un-awkwardly as I could muster. He was very handsome. His eyes in the daylight were a deep olive, and his dark brown hair was styled meticulously in a spiked look. His skin was sun-kissed as if he hung around a yacht club all day. After seeing him in this vehicle, the idea didn’t seem so out of whack.

He was dressed in a crisp white button up shirt, charcoal jeans, and expensive sporty shoes. He looked like he had popped out of the cover of a GQ magazine. I had never seen a more beautiful boy in my life. I felt very underdressed in my old jeans, white tank top, and Converse.

His dark eyes found mine, and he gave me a devilish smile. I tried to wipe my head clean from any thoughts, afraid that somehow he could read my mind. Please, Sienna, you’re getting carried away. This had been the craziest two days in my entire existence! I needed to sleep.

We sped onto the road, headed away from the Franklin Mountains and into downtown El Paso. Sabian shared the backseat with me. The Council leader was driving the very fancy—and I assume, very expensive—vehicle. I am no good at determining good cars from bad. All that mattered to me was that they took you from spot A to spot B. Everything else was unimportant. We zipped swiftly down the curved road and the piercing sound of a cell phone broke the awkward silence.

Hello, answered the Council member. Yes, she is here with us. Where do we meet?

They are talking about me! I began to get nervous again. I fiddled in my seat and placed my trembling hands over my legs.

Sienna, please don’t worry. I know all of this might seem a bit bizarre, but you are safe here—with us, Sabian said.

But…when I met the Council member Anima, last week, she never spoke of anyone picking me up, and especially not taking me out of school. Our meeting was set for Friday. It is in two days. I have things to do. I was in school, for God’s sakes.

We are sorry for interrupting your day, but there was a…sudden change of events that have forced us to see you before our set meeting, he said slyly.

Why did I ever agree to this ridiculous meeting? I bit at my lower lip.

The previous week, an elegant, solemn-looking elderly lady had approached me after soccer practice. She had been watching me from the bleachers. She gave me a letter addressed to me, sent by my grandmother, who had passed less than two years prior. She instructed that I meet with a group of people who had been protecting my family and myself. In the letter, she urged I not speak a word to my parents until after my meeting. She was apparently a part of this secret group.

In the meeting I had with her the following day, Ms. Anima revealed to me that my grandmother had been a member of this secret group for almost half her life and that I would receive many letters she had left for me. I didn’t think matters through too thoroughly. My maternal grandmother had always been secretive, so this came as no surprise to me.

She had been an honorable, spiritual woman, full of life. I now wished that I had spent more time with her. Our time together was numbered and became less and less as I grew up. She lived in Santa Fe, New Mexico and although it was not too far from Texas, my parents couldn’t always make the drive to see her. She, on the other hand was always traveling with friends, or so she said. There was never a grandfather in the picture—he had died very young. The reasons were unknown to me.

We are here, Sienna, said the Council leader in a warm tone.

I looked

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