Avalon for Free

 

 

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A Gift

 

 

 

 

Avalon, Season Five is humming along for free on the website.  The travelers keep finding new and unusual ways to get in trouble, and there always seem to be new people and creatures following them, or hunting them.

 

 

Now, all for free… that is FREE… The Pilot Episode is available on Smashwords and whatever associate sites (Barnes & Noble, Kobo, Apple, etc) which are willing to make free an option.  Amazon will also match the FREE price, if you complain loud enough that it is already free elsewhere.

 

ALSO… Also… also, The Avalon Prequel, Invasion of Memories, as well as Avalon Seasons One, Two and Three will remain in all outlets at the low price of $1.99 until the new year.  That means a low price for anyone who might enjoy a good e-read for Christmas.

Happy Thanksgiving, and at the risk of setting some people off before the season… Merry Christmas — MGK

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Elect II—8 Thanksgiving Break, part 3 of 3

Emily paced in her room.  It was Saturday evening but she dared not go out again.  Wednesday and Friday had resulted in attempts on her life, and her friends Molly and Cathy were seriously injured.  Clearly someone wanted her out of the way, and she suspected it was someone at the school since the bogyman last summer said as much.  The thing was, she had no idea why.  All she knew was Zoe asked her to find a door on the university side of what?  And she was supposed to solve the goddesses’ immortality mystery.  What did she mean the apples are missing from Avalon?  Emily read all about King Arthur, but it did not help.  As for creatures, now she had met several.  And how was the world going mad, blah, blah, blah.  It did not make any sense.

Cheeky goddess, Emily thought.  But according to Mindy, that was the way the ancient gods and goddesses worked.  They set up the impossible tasks and then sat back and watched the humans stumble.  One thing was certain, Emily now had a greater appreciation for the Odyssey than ever before.

emily-a2The smart thing would be to stay home and maybe transfer to a different school.  But Emily was not going to do the smart thing.  She was going to bank on the fact that the attempts on her life occurred in Columbus and not at the school.  It was like whoever wanted her to leave the school was not going to tip their hand by attacking her on school grounds.

Emily’s little brother Tyler came to her door.  He seemed worried about her.  Emily thought it was a sign that he was growing up, but she would never say that.  He would have been insulted if she had.

“Are you pacing for a reason, or just concerned about Molly and Cathy?” he asked.

Thus far Emily said nothing about the attempts on her life.  She certainly detailed nothing about the bogyman last summer, or mentioned the attempt at the mall.  The news portrayed that as a random act of holiday shopping violence.  The incident at the bowling alley was a bit harder to explain except to say some maniac came in shooting up the place and they don’t know why.

“No reason,” Emily answered.  That was not entirely dishonest.  She was simply repeating the same thoughts she had a hundred times.  A search for alternatives, she imagined, but she did not find any.  Zoe and the others all expected her back at school.  She promised Pierce she would finish her schooling at New Jersey State.  She was just going to have to be careful and keep her eyes and ears open.

There was a loud crack and something scraped Emily’s arm before it lodged into the wall.  Emily threw her brother to the floor and yelled, “Stay down,” as she crawled to the stairs where she rushed down to the front door.  The man in the trench coat was out front near the streetlight.  Emily turned off the lights in the front hall and went out to the darkened porch, hoping she might not be seen.  She heard Marion’s shout.

ac-em-trenchcoat“Police.  Drop your weapon and put your hands up.”

The man turned and started to run in the opposite direction.  He pulled his gun back out as he ran.  He fired once to his rear and once toward Emily’s house when he saw her.  Then at once he arched his back and without a sound he fell to the ground and the gun fell from his hand.  Marion and Emily arrived at about the same time.  The man had an arrow sticking out of his chest.

Emily looked up at the shadows down the street.  There was a figure in the dark, and she called out.  “Elf.  Show yourself.”  The figure slowly moved into the light, and it was unquestionably an elf, and not of this world.  “What brings you here?”

“You, and my wife,” the answer came.  “Boston and I still work for the Lockharts.  I believe you met Katie.”

“Of course, how is the baby?”  Emily hardly knew where that thought came from.

The elf shrugged.  “Human.”

“Of course.  Your wife?”  She had to ask.

“Elfkind, but she was born human.  She presently acts as Liaison between Avalon and the men in black.”

“Men in black?  No, please excuse me?” Marion had her hand up like a school girl.  “Who are you?”

ac-roland-1“Roland.  And I came with information.”

“I thought you came to save her,” Marion said and Emily hushed her.

“It is a message from Avalon.  Several of the golden apples of youth have been stolen from Avalon by the rebel faction.  They made their way to the doorway that leads to your university.  That is all we know except to tell you that the apples are very dangerous in the wrong hands.”

“How so?”  Emily wondered

“One big bite might delete a hundred years of life, and if you are only sixty,” Roland shrugged.

“Younger than your birth?”

“You would cease to exist.”

“And someone at the university has some of these apples?”

Roland nodded.  “Lady Alice, that is Zoe said find that door and close it, and if someone offers you a big bite of a delicious, irresistible golden apple…resist it.”

Blue police lights came roaring up as Roland stepped away.  A hole formed in the air—a hole to another place altogether where the stars were brighter than Marion or Emily had ever seen.  Lieutenant Reese Anthony stepped out of the police car as Roland stepped through the hole, smiled for Emily and waved at Marion.  Then the hole slowly closed until it winked out of existence like it was never there.

Lieutenant Anthony watched the elf disappear.  He looked down at the dead man with an arrow sticking out of his chest.  He shook his head.  “I don’t want to know.”

“One good thing,” Marion said.  “You will find this man’s gun killed the other two men.”

ac-emily-a5Emily nodded, but then had a thought.  She bent down and grabbed the dead man’s trench coat by the sleeve.  She ripped the coat sleeve, suit sleeve and shirt sleeve in one pull.  The man’s arm had a small tattoo—a circle with three squiggly lines.

“What is that?” Marion asked.  “A fastball?”

“No one knows.  A secret society.  Mindy says it has something to do with immortality.”

“The apples of youth,” Marion took Emily by the arm.  “You can’t go back to that school.”

“But that’s the problem.  I have to.”

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Thanksgiving has come and gone for Emily, and far from solving any mysteries, they just keep getting more complicated, and more intense.  Be sure to return on Monday for the Elect II-9 Clues, to see what turns up.

Happy Reading

happy-read-thanks-2

Elect II—8 Thanksgiving Break, part 2 of 3

Back in Columbus, Susan and Emily stopped in the food court so Susan could complain about Emily’s attitude.  “You are so distracted.”

“What?  You don’t like what I am wearing?”  She was in a dress and her long winter woolen coat, a rich burgundy color with big brass buttons.

“No, you look fine, which for you is a bit of a miracle.  But I mean you have money for Christmas presents and you are not anxious to spend it.  Are you feeling all right?”

Emily smiled.  Susan was famous for getting money from her parents to go buy presents for people and accidentally spending it on herself.  “I’m just waiting until I find something for someone else,” Emily said and sat back.  They heard the sound of a firecracker in the distance.  ab-columb-food-courtThe bullet split the table where Emily had been hovering over her burger.  She grabbed Susan and dragged her to the ground over Susan’s very loud protests.  Then Emily scooted from under one table to under another and slowly worked her way in the direction she imagined was the source of the gunfire.

The screaming started in a second, and people began to run as soon as they saw the man with the gun.  As far as the man’s position was concerned, people running away was sort of a dead giveaway.  The man craned his neck and tried to catch sight of Emily, but Emily was already closer than he was looking.  Another moment and the man holstered his gun, having attracted far too much attention.  He started toward the exit at the end of the food court, and Emily cursed softly because she was almost at the point where she could jump him.

The man suddenly doubled over and fell to the floor.  Emily looked with her eyes but did not vacate her safe spot.  There was another man by the exit.  He was mostly hidden by a trench coat so Emily could not quite make out the man’s features, and he left before she could get closer.

Emily was fairly sure what happened, and confirmed her guess when she found the man on the floor soaked in blood.  She turned him over.  He took a bullet in the heart, and it was a perfect shot.

Susan stepped up to her shoulder and commented.  “I see with you the violence has escalated.  Back in high school you just beat people up.”

###

ab-bowling-3The following night, Emily went to her now annual Thanksgiving bowling tournament with Molly and Cathy.  This time Marion, the police woman went along for the ride.  They made her get some funky shoes and pick out a ball.  Marion insisted she had not been bowling since high school herself, but Cathy thought that was a good thing because she might be someone Cathy could beat.

“Roll it this year,” Molly teased.  “Throwing is cheating.”

Cathy explained for Marion.  “Last year she got mad and put her ball through the back wall of the alley.”

Emily shrugged off her embarrassment, and when Cathy went first, Marion spoke quietly.  “No identification on the man, but the guess is he is a drifter.  He opened a bank account yesterday afternoon and five thousand got deposited.”

“Gee,” Emily responded.  “I thought I would be worth more than that.”

“But who do you figure the other is?  We haven’t a guess.  A friend wanting you alive?”

Emily shook her head.  “I was thinking rival gang wanting credit for the kill, like a competitor.”

Marion shrugged just before they heard the rat-ta-tat of a semi-automatic and both hit the ground.  Molly caught a bullet in her shoulder.  Cathy got shot in the leg.  Marion and Emily escaped, and Marion had her gun out, but there was confusion in the alley.  Once again people were screaming and running away.

Emily managed a peek around the corner into the next lane where a man sat, unmoving.  He appeared frozen with fear.  Otherwise, Emily could not see anything.

ac-marionMarion risked rising up.  Her hands sweated on her gun, but she had a clear lane, saw the man with the assault rifle coming close.  She managed a shot.  She hit him somewhere.  His gun went off and two more people fell, bloody to the floor while he backed into the snack bar.  There was a very long second before people rushed out of the snack bar, and both Emily and Marion caught a glimpse of a trench coat, but nothing more.

When the two of them got to the room where the woman behind the bar was cowering in the corner, they found the man with the rifle on the floor, dead.  He had Marion’s bullet in his stomach, but the killer shot the man in the heart.

“Bet the bullet matches the other one,” Emily said.

“No bet, your majesty,” Marion responded.

Elect II—8 Thanksgiving Break, part 1 of 3

Detective Lisa left work worried about what might be happening at the house.  Her husband Josh could not be there all the time for the children, and something was lurking around in the dark and the shadows.  She caught glimpses of the stalker three times now, but all she could say was it was not human.

Josh kept the back outside light on after dark.  He kept the front porch light on, and the one over the garage as well.  He normally kept those two on for Lisa, for when she got home, but now they were doing double duty.  He spied out the windows.

ac-lisa-house-2Megan, their eight-year-old daughter, sat in front of the television again.  Josh considered canceling the cable contract.  For some reason, certain cartoons had taken an unnatural hold on the girl.  It was getting so he could not go through a whole evening without hearing about how she wanted to go to Florida.

“Boys,” he called up the stairs.  He heard shuffling around before he got an answer.

“Yeah?”

“Anything out back?”  More shuffling before the answer came.

“Mister Filbin’s shepherd got loose again.”

Josh jumped when the doorbell rang.  He felt like he was under siege.  Maybe he would talk to Lisa about Florida if she could take the time off.  He opened the front door and shouted again.

“Boys.  Grandma and Grandpa are here.”  He welcomed them and let Megan tackle them while the boys rumbled down the stairs.  Josh went once more to the kitchen window to try and see Mister Filbin’s dog, or whatever might be out there.  He did not know all the details, but he heard about what happened at the university.

###

ac-anna-5Anna Lee woke up to the sound of broken glass.  The men crashed into her rooms and she moved, but as fast and as strong as she was, there were too many of them.  She ended up unconscious, but managed to crawl under the table before she passed out.  That was her salvation.  In the middle of the floor, they would have tripped over her and likely would have made sure the job was done and might have thrown her body out the window.  Under the table, out of the way, they ignored her.  After they found what they wanted no one bothered to crawl under the table to make sure the job was finished.

When Matthew found her, she was still unconscious.  They rushed her to the hospital and got her on a respirator, but the doctors were uncertain if she would recover.  Matthew also noticed the concrete block was removed from the wall and the scroll was taken.  He could not say what was on the scroll, but there were three things he could say.  The scroll was in perfect condition, though Anna said it was over three thousand, six hundred years old.  It was written in a language that Matthew never saw before or since, and he was familiar with the look of just about all of the ancient scripts.  And Anna Lee said it was the most valuable piece of writing in history.  It was secreted away and guarded since the time of Christ and it could bring about the end of the world if it fell into the wrong human hands.

Lieutenant Tomlinson of the New York Police Department knew he was out of his depth.  He called Miriam at the FBI, and she called Lisa.  She thought the scroll might end up at Jersey State in search of a translation.  Jersey State did have some of the most sophisticated translation programs in the world down in the archives room.

Lisa went to the university and knocked on the door to the suite.  Melissa was the one who answered.  Sara was present, helping the girls pack for the Thanksgiving holiday.  When Lisa stepped into the room, she went straight to Emily and hugged her.  Then she told her.  Anna Lee spent most of last Christmas in Columbus Ohio with Emily and her family.  Emily cried.

ac-lisa-a2“She has not regained consciousness, and the doctors are not optimistic, but she is an elect.  Don’t count her out.”

“I need to go to her,” Emily said.

“You need to go home for Thanksgiving and see your family.  Miriam at the FBI has her under twenty-four-hour surveillance.  I will call you if anything changes.  I just thought you should know.”

“What were they after?”  Sara asked.  Everyone stopped and stood around to watch and listen.

“A scroll, ancient.”  Amina spoke first and shook her head to say she could not see any more.

“A scroll,” Lisa repeated with a nod.  “And they found it.  Mindy, there is a good chance it may turn up here.  It seems it was written in some obscure, ancient language.  They will probably need it translated.  We need to watch for it.”

The Elect 7, part 2 of 4: Family

Emily went home for Thanksgiving. She flew out on Wednesday and did not have to be back until Sunday night. That gave her four whole days where she did not have to think about anything. Of course she thought about everything that whole time.

Emily hugged her mother, her father, her younger brother and her mother again. She took her bags upstairs but Mother called up before she could unpack a thing. There were messages and Emily was expected to go back down to listen since Mother was not the type to yell.ac emily house 2

“Susan called and asked if you had beaten up anyone at college yet.”

Susan was from the rich, cheerleader side of town. She was a friend, but had a touch of acid in her personality. “I’ll call her later.”

“Brad called and said he wants to see you.”

Brad was the ex-boyfriend. Emily did not have to think. “No.”

“I agree,” Mother said and crumpled that piece of paper. “Molly called to say hi and welcome home.”

Emily smiled. Molly, her best bud, represented the working class side of town. Most families in town were working class, including hers. “Every corner heard from,” Emily said, and she went happily back upstairs, shut her door, plopped down on her bed and cried.

When Thanksgiving Day arrived, and dinner was on the table, Emily’s father started right in with, “so tell us about school.” She hardly knew where to begin. Her mother was against ROTC and everything military. Her father urged her to study something practical like economics, but conceded ac emily thanksthat nursing would be acceptable. Of course, he said there were good nursing schools close to home.

“But I want to have the full college experience,” Emily said. She smiled at her little brother Tyler who had his ear buds hidden up under his long hair. He smiled back and nodded, or bobbed his head to the music and had no idea what anyone was saying. Sadly, he thought he was getting away with it.

“All fine and well,” her mother said. “Just make sure your studies come first. We would hate to pay all that money for nothing.”   Father looked at her and she could read his mind.

“And for God’s sake, don’t get pregnant and not finish.”

Emily looked at her plate. “I’m getting mostly Bs and Cs. It’s not like high school.” At least she hoped she would get a C in biology. She was not sure.ac emily thanks 2

“Ah?” Mother let out her signature sound. She was not happy to hear that. “My straight A student?”

Emily repeated herself. “It’s not like high school. The competition is a lot stiffer.”

“Honey, you just need to apply yourself.”

True. Emily had not applied herself to her classes. She had not been able to do that what with everything else going on. Right at the moment, she felt like applying herself to her turkey so she could escape before the questions got into details.

Fortunately, her big brother David chose that moment to arrive. He was in a National Guard unit that had deployed overseas. He was the one who got her thinking about ROTC in the first place. His outfit was told they would be home for Thanksgiving, but he told the family not to expect him ac emily bro 1before Saturday.

While everyone shouted and ran for hugs and welcome words, Emily ran upstairs and grabbed the top of her ROTC uniform. She dragged it downstairs to show her brother. Captain Driver had given her corporal stripes for when she was with the sophomore class. They matched her brother’s stripes.

“Ah,” he made the sound mother would have made. “But you are going to be an officer. Do I salute you now or do I have to wait?” He came to attention and so did she. He saluted and she returned his salute as an officer should. Then they laughed and hugged, and noticed that mother had gone back to the table to sit. She wanted no part of that military stuff.