Tell us a little about yourself.
“I’m Katriane Dupont. I’m a witch of the Demi-Lune coven. Was . . . was a witch in the Demi-Lune coven.” She shifts in her plush red chair, her fingers pulling on a stray string dangling from the hole in her skinny jeans. Kat’s free hand rubs the tattoo covering her left arm. “They disown me. They – ah – I – let’s not get into that.”
What is your greatest fear?
Kat laughs nervously. “Discovery. Loss. I’ll do anything to keep my secrets hidden. It’s best for everyone that way.”
Who is your hero?
“My hero?” She yanks the string from her jeans. The sound of her jeans ripping fill Kat’s awkward pause. “It used to be Erline, Fee of the Earth Realm. She’s who created us, she’s supposed to be our guardian. That’s what our legends say, anyway. But after everything . . . after what she put me through . . . I can’t say I feel the same anymore.”
If you could have one wish what would it be?
“That’s easy,” Kat mumbles, a smile ghosting her lips. “To be normal. To not have all this burden, the fate of the realms, resting on my shoulders.”
Do you have any special skills or talents?
Kat’s eyebrows dip, her smile fading. “I wouldn’t call them skills or talents. I didn’t ask for this – to be this . . . beast. This isn’t what I wanted. None of this is. Do I have extra abilities? Yes, but they aren’t mine. They’re my price to pay, forced upon me in exchange for saving my coven.”
If you could change one decision in your life what would it be?
Leaning back in her seat, Kat scratches her chin. “Trusting the wrong people.”
“In my experience, it can get you killed.”
What is your favorite weapon?
Kat lifts her hands, turning them this way and that, examining her the lines along her palms. She lifts her eyes to the interviewer, an orange glow spreading across the rims of her iris’. The skin above her cheekbones darken, and her teeth elongate, sharpen. A puff of smoke curls from her nostrils, trickling up her cheek. “I am the weapon.”
Reborn (Rise of the Realms: Book One) Blurb:
“This isn’t a place for beating hearts. This is death, and death is endless.”
Five people. Five crossing fates. One person’s actions change their lives forever.
Making a deal with the Fee has its price. In Katriane Dupont’s case, it comes with scales and an unlimited amount of power. The consequences of her actions unfold with crippling events, shifting the Realms. Shades cross the Death Realm, and an Angel, determined for answers, clips her wings.
Can Kat control what’s within her? Or will it consume her?
“It’s nature, to fight to live, even until your very last breath.”
Erline’s eyes narrow. “I know all about the death disease, my daughter. What makes you think you have the right to summon me? To beg me for a cure?”
I double blink. If she knew all about it, why hasn’t she helped us? Why does she allow it to continue? “The disease will wipe the covens from existence. I thought . . .” I frown and stand up straighter, finding my backbone and steeling my heart. “I thought of all people—beings, whatever—that you’d rather we existed than not. We’re your flesh and blood.”
Her gaze continues to smother me as her jaw ticks with her obvious annoyance. I threw her words back in her face. We’re her daughters, not her creations. She should be helping us. I’m beginning to hold little faith for this woman, this Fee, that stands before me.
Erline’s curled lip lowers, smoothing back to that luminescent and youthful-looking skin, as she reaches some sort of conclusion. “And you’re willing to pay the price?” her voice sings.
Relief fills my heart, chasing away the sense of dread. However, I chew the inside of my lip, the taste of blood hits my tongue, and I consider the possibilities of what this price might be. Making deals with the Fee always comes with its own set of consequences. My heart jumps, skipping beats as my fear skyrockets. Here goes nothing. “Yes.”
A toothy, sweet smile lifts her lips at the corners. Her perfect teeth seem to glow as she takes a graceful step closer. “So be it.”
Without further questions being voiced on my part, she raises a delicate hand. The snow, the dead, sticky, wet leaves, and twigs swirl around me. My body becomes weightless, my feet leave the ground as I’m lifted from it. I panic, feet kicking in the empty air. I want to scream, but the oxygen leaves my lungs in a desperate attempt to escape. White light seeps from my pores, illuminating the night around me and blinding my eyes. My skin feels hot, too hot, as I fight for breath. Each vein smolders, and every pore burns. Pain, unlike any I’ve ever felt, begins in my bones and curls my toes. They crack, reshape, reform. I clutch my hand around my neck as it turns into a claw with pointed talons, trying to fight for much-needed air. Pain blossoms in my head—a dull ache a first before a thousand invisible knives sear through my temples, blooming like a flower.
The wind stops and I drop to the ground. Landing on my feet—or what were once my feet—my lungs fill with blessed oxygen. My chest expands beyond the limit I’m used to, and the sound that leaves my nostrils as I exhale is far too loud, like a horse after a lengthy race.
I lift my head and glance around. Everything is brighter, sharper, even in the pitch-black night. Every detail, every bending line, curve, and spike of each snowflake is detectible as my vision adjusts.
Involuntarily, my eyes flit to Erline. The smile on her face has grown into a genuine one filled with love and adoration. I stare at her skin, my new vision making it possible to see the smaller details. Pores—she has no pores.
Her lips whisper, “Darling?”
As if they’re not my own eyes, they lift to hers. When I try to speak, my lips don’t move. Frustrated, I try again, and nothing happens.
What did you do to me? I shout in my head. At the non-verbal yell, a puff of smoke curls from my nose and a feeling of irritation that’s different from my own can be felt. In my peripheral vision I see a black snout, scaled but sleek.
“No need to shout, Katriane. I can hear you just fine.” She smiles, tilting her head to the side.
I attempt to double blink, though my eyelids don’t move. I seem to be watching her like a child sitting in front of a TV. My body shifts and my head lowers, except it’s not my head . . . or my body.
“Darling,” she coos again, reaching out a hand to place a gentle stroke on my skin. But it’s not my skin. I can feel it, but I know it’s not mine. “Welcome back.”
I frown, but my eyebrows don’t move. What’s going on, I ask quietly, a little frightened to know the answer.
“This is your cure.” Erline laughs. “The price you must pay—to share a body with another.”
She holds out a hand and a shape swirls inside her unlined palm before a vial appears. “Go ahead, darling,” she says to me. I get the feeling she’s not talking to me this time. After all, I have no idea what she wants.
Erline’s eyes roam my form, her words just above a mumble, “I can’t bring back my daughter’s body, but I can bring back her spirit in her second form. A form of fire and scales, reborn to this world.”
I feel my eyes get wetter, beads of dew saturate the rims of my eyelids and a few tears drop from their corners. She holds the vial to my cheek, catching the droplets.
Corking the bottle, she holds it up to her eyes and says, “This is your cure. A drop of the First Born’s tears will cure the incurable.” She glances past the bottle and back into my eyes, hesitating for a moment. “This is not my disease, not of my creation, Katriane. Your blame is misplaced. Now that a price is paid, this wrong can be righted.”
I feel my chest expand for several seconds before the loudest roar leaves my lips, shaking the trees, disrupting the soundless night. A call of freedom, I realize.
What have I done?
D. Fischer is a mother of two very busy boys, a wife to a wonderful and supportive husband, and an owner of two hyper sock-loving dogs and an attention seeking fat cat. Together, they live in a quiet little corner in a state that’s located in the middle of the great USA.
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Amazon Author Page: https://www.amazon.com/D.-Fischer/e/B07253Q5N8/