The Veiled Descendants – Prologue

The Veiled Descendants was my first attempt at NANOWRIMO. Unfortunately, I never reached my goal and the novel was left mid-completion at 34,463 words. Hopefully, once my dissertation is complete and I’m left in the dark abyss between moving home and graduation, I will have time to go back and finish this story. Enjoy!

Hands twisting in silent incantations, her stained rouge lips miming the phrases as their power slipped through her fingers. Trickles of the enchantment pressed up against the door, threatening to burst it open, but yet the incantations continued. Davin’s piercing blue eyes darkened as the last of her magic left her fingers; the house was secure and they were safe. For now.

            “It’s all set up here,” Malcolm called down from the top floor, his hurried footsteps stampeding across the weak floorboards as he leapt down onto the bottom floor, his sweeping coat barely missing the banister of the aged staircase. Concealed within his gloved hand, a large leaf poked through the gaps within his fingers. Even from the very front of the house, Davin couldn’t miss the shimmering aura ghosting between the gaps.

            “Are you sure they’ll hold?” she asked, blinking away the dark sea that had overcome her usually piercing light eyes. Shrugged over her shoulders was a coat identical to her male companion’s. The only difference between the two being that Malcolm’s was securely tied with a thick belt whilst Davin’s swung around her loosely, the belt no longer able to wrap around her heavily pregnant stomach.

            “As long as we keep the wards up then they won’t be able to track us until we want them to,” Malcolm confirmed, now on his hands and knees, as he pried up a loose floorboard. “We should be secure for a week tops before we have to strengthen them.” Without a care for the loose shards of splintered wood, he slipped the delicate leaf into the concealed slab beneath the board. He then concealed his hidden treasure with shredded newspaper from his coat pocket before securing the board back in place. To be additionally sure, he mumbled a few incantations to keep the board from prying out of its hole again.

            “Even when there’s three to shield?” Malcolm looked up from his incantation to find his fiancée running circles over her bulging stomach. Her hand fell away with each rotation as the infant within stirred at the touch. “We’ve never tried them with more than just us two and I’m not taking any chances this time.” Whatever maternal tone she had taken when interacting with the baby inside her was gone, shadowed by a forceful tone not ready to endanger herself and her child.

            “Do you really think I’d do this if I couldn’t guarantee that baby’s safety?” He was now on his feet, towering above his fiancée as she stood defensively with her hands firmly on her stomach.

            “That baby is your firstborn so you better believe that you’re going to guarantee his or her safety,” Davin snapped, jabbing a gloved finger into Malcolm’s chest. “So answer me again. Will the wards protect all three of us when I give birth?”

Snatching his fiancée’s hand and draping it around his neck, Malcolm lowered his head so that their foreheads touched, lowering his voice so that his promise would be theirs, “I can guarantee, on my life, that our child is protected as much as we are in this house.”

“And you’ll make it so they can’t be tracked when they’re born?”

With a kiss to her forehead, Malcolm promised, “they’ll never find our baby.”

“You better hope you’re right,” Davin teased, no hint of humour present as she snuck the hand on her stomach into his outer coat pocket. Wrapping her slender fingers around the pocket knife, she lunged back and swung the metal weapon at the building’s only exterior door.

The sheer force of the throw only magnified the shriek that the house ward’s let out at the intrusion of the invisible barrier at the house’s entrance. Sparks flew from the pocket knife as it clattered to the exposed floorboards, the metal contraction now charred as it quickly cooled from the impact. By the time that Malcolm had ceased staring in horror at his pocket device, the heavily pregnant woman was already stood by the bay window, staring out at the rough waves attacking the coastline a mere few feet from their front door.

“I’d rather die now than let them take the baby,” she spoke to the waves, arms folded sternly over her chest, Malcolm watching as he carefully handled the scalding knife.

“They wouldn’t dare try and separate a baby and its mother, Davin. You know they only care for teens.”

“What’s the difference?” The scorned mother-to-be bawled, throwing her back towards the ocean that attracted her to this county. “No matter the age of the child, they take them away from their parents before they’ve barely entered the real world. That is not happening to my child. I won’t have them controlling my child to suit their selfish needs. This,” she stabbed a finger towards her stomach, taking care to not actually harm the bump, “isn’t a chess piece in their fight and neither are you or I. I want nothing more to do with that world from here on out.”

“Not even with my parents, your parents or your brother—“

“DON’T!” Davin struck her hand away from her stomach as it began twisting of its own accord, hints of a dark enchantment snaking its way around the leather covering her hands. “Don’t you dare you—“

“Mention our child’s uncle?” Malcolm interrupted, snapping his fingers to distinguish the violent sparks threatening to assault him just as they had his pocket knife. “Just because you want to live in isolation, doesn’t mean our child has to. What are you going to tell them when they’re old enough to realise they’re the only one at school without grandparents? They died? You’ll kill your parents off that easy, Davin?”

“I WILL DO WHAT’S NECESSARY!”

“Selfishly isolating your baby isn’t necessary!”

“STOP IT!”

The glass panels of the bay window vibrated violently, the front door shook in place and the aged floorboards beneath their feet quivered at the ferocious pressure threatening to erupt from the couple, their words alone doing most of the harm. Swinging back and forth in place, the lone light bulb in the entranceway tore free from its weak wire. It hit the ground below with such force that shards of glass split and spread across the bare floor, throwing both Davin and Malcolm backwards to avoid the path of the glass. The shock of their effects on their house ceased all fire between the two, traces of their anger hidden among the building wreckage that they had caused.

“Any more outbursts like this and the wards won’t be able to hold up,” Malcolm forewarned, sweeping aside the glass at his feet with little regard to where they inevitably ended up.

Lowering herself carefully down onto the ledge of the window, leaning back on her hand to control her speed, Davin fell down onto the wood with an exasperated puff; The strain of the move, the run and the argument present in the dark bags beneath her electric blue eyes. “Don’t mention him again. I don’t want his name cursing this house so near to my due date.”

Sighing, Malcolm secured his coat from the disarray of the argument and took his place next to his fiancée. His hand rested upon her bulging stomach, waiting for his baby’s foot to meet his palm as he apologised. “You know I’m only thinking about the baby in the long run.”

“That doesn’t mean—“

“If we don’t want to be detected, we have to come across as the most mundane of families. Homework, parents’ evenings, Sunday roasts, constant trips to the corner shop, visits from relatives…” Davin cocked her head up in shock, eyes narrowing in a silent warning at the hint within Malcolm’s calming voice.

            “We can’t trust him to not give away where we’re living.”

            “Then we’ll only tell my parents. If we plan to stay here as long as possible then we need to root ourselves into the community. Someone will notice something’s awry if we never get visitors or our child never mentions anyone other than us whilst growing up.” Moving his hand from the kicking of his baby to the cheek of his fiancée, Malcolm blossomed a trickling stream of white rose petals to glide down onto the bump, catching on Davin’s shoulders. “They’ll never find us.”

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