The Man Who Wasn’t There – Part 28

Dellani Oakes

the man who wasnt thereThe storm seemed to be attracted to Marissa. Her father made her a charm, but it came out more like a hex bag. It didn’t cause the storm, but it certainly made it come after her. The teens and Dora head to Brian’s house.

Dora flounced off and Maribelle went to the sidebar in the dining room. The teenagers stared at one another.

“No one has a clue where that came from?” Jordan looked directly at Marissa.

“Maybe? Nothing specific, but when I look back, I do think it was after me. It seemed determined to get at me. If Dora hadn’t arrived when she did, I think it would have.”

“But why you? I don’t think it was just your dad’s hex bag. It didn’t feel powerful enough for that,” Chase said. “I think it would have gone for you regardless.”

“That makes me feel so much better,” Marissa…

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Character Quotes from Heirs of Shakazhan by Dellni

Cereal Authors

Heirs of Shakazhan frontHeirs of Shakazhan is book 6 in the Lone Wolf Series

The stony visage of Lord Sazabo, head of the Grand Tribunal, filled the screen completely. His flint colored eyes and granite gray body were very expressive. He was angry, frustrated and worried.

“I’ve just been talking to Mai,” he began without preamble. “She tells me something strange is going on in the Dreamscape? She’s warned us all not to participate?”

Wil nodded. “Yes, it seemed prudent until we ascertain the situation.”

“Can’t you just say, It’s a good idea until we know what’s going on?” Sazabo was in one of his fractious moods.

Wil chuckled, yawning loudly. “I could….”

Sazabo’s laugh exploded from the screen. It was like rocks hitting a window. He squinted at Wil and frowned deeply. “You don’t look well, Lone Wolf.”

“Thanks, Sazabo. I needed to hear that. Makes me feel all warm and…

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The Man Who Wasn’t There – Part 27

Dellani Oakes

the man who wasnt thereBrian uses his powers to help Noel and Trista, stuck under debris when the shed collapses. He and a couple of other boys help get them out so that the EMTs can transport them to the hospital.

He nodded. Once they were all well clear of the building, he let it settle to the ground. He lost control the last six inches, dropping it. A puff of dust and a soft thud were the only indication that the wall had fallen.

Exhausted, he wandered toward the front of the school. Stumbling over his feet, he went around the building rather than through it. He found Jordan sitting on the front steps next to Chase, Marissa and Mrs. Finley.

When she saw him, Jordan hopped up and ran to him. “What was all that?” she asked, as if he were somehow the odd occurrence expert.

“No idea.”

“It felt very specific,”…

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Notable Narrative from Alton & Velda by Dellani

alton croppedI have to admit a distinct fondness for Alton. He’s confident, self-possessed and not afraid to stand up to protect friends and family. A wood sprite, he’s lived far longer than he looks, but let there be no doubt in anyone’s mind – he’s a formidable opponent. Only the very foolish cross him. It would seem that the tavern keeper of the inn where they spent the night, is one of these. His friend, Revanth, is a man made horse by an evil witch.

“Where’s my horse?” Alton demanded. “I left him here, in your care, last night. Where is he?”

“What sort of horse, good sir?” The groom appeared somewhat touched in the head. His speech was slow and deliberate.

Alton wasn’t sure the man understood him, but he described Revanth in detail.

The groom shook his head. “Warn’t narry sech horse here when I come to work dis mornin’. I check ’em all. I’d o’ remembered a horse that sleek—all black, you say? And a stallion? Rare, that is.”

“Very rare, hence my irritation that my—horse—is—gone! See here, this is his bridle and saddle.”

“Likely run off,” the groom said, scratching his stubbly chin.

“He wouldn’t do that.”

“Why not? All animals like freedom like us folk.”

“Not Revanth. Who’s the law around here?”

“You don’t need the law, young master. . . .”

“The name is Sir Alton of Lyndon Mead. Not young master. I want the sheriff or constable—whoever the authority is here.”

“You be wanting Tom Joyce, t’ Magistrate.”

“That will do. Where is he?”

“Out back. He owns the tavern.”

Alton barely thanked him. He went behind the tavern and found a stout, balding man. His pants and shirt were homespun and grubby from hard work. He was trying to fix a wagon wheel without much success.

When Alton approached the tavern keeper turned toward him, touching his forehead in respect. “What can I do for ye, milord?”

Revanth from Alton and Velda cropped“My horse is missing from your stable. I saw him put up last evening. My traveling companion curried him before bed. His tack is where I left it, but my horse is not.”

Tom Joyce pulled on his forelock. “Well, then. It appears we’ve a problem.”

“Do you think so?” Alton said, surprise in his voice.

The chubby man had enough intelligence to know he was being chastised. He frowned. “No need to be like that.”

“There is, I’m afraid. I have places to go. I need my horse.”

“He’s worth a lot of money, is he?” The older man’s expression changed subtly.

Alton frowned, leaning over the much shorter man. “He’s worth more than your scurvy life, old man. He’s the war horse for a knight of the realm. The mud in his hooves is ten times the cost of this flea ridden tavern. If you know where he is, I’ll have him back. If by your ineptitude, you’re hoping that the thieves will spirit him away, let me assure you.” He took a step closer. “There’s no place he can go where I can’t find him. And when I do, I’ll make it my business to come back here, lay you open from groin to gorge—nice and slow. Am I clear?”

“As crystal.” The taverner gulped, his flabby chins bobbing nervously. “Some lads may have took him,” he mumbled. “Early this morning. They might have walked in and led him out, like.”

“And what direction might they have gone?” Alton played with the hilt of his sword.

“They might—might be taking him to the horse market. Down to West Farland.”

“And how does one get to West Farland?”

“Follow the road for two days—or the faster way is by river, about a day.”

Alton stepped forward, touching the man’s shirt with his fingertips. “You had best hope I find him swiftly and without hurt, or I will be back and I’ll do what I promised.” He stepped back. “Out of curiosity, how often do horses go missing from your stable?”

“Fairly often, my Lord,” the man replied with a leer.

“Then you’ll accustomed to guests who don’t pay,” Alton replied. He turned away once more.

“Now see here!” Tom bellowed, coming hastily after the Wood Sprite.

Putting a hand on Alton’s shoulder, he intended to stop him. He found himself looking at the business end of the Wood Sprite’s dagger mere inches from his eye.

“My horse is worth more than your house and land. It’s only fair that you not only gift us with our night and meals, but guarantee our safe passage. And if my horse or friends come to harm, no place on this Earth will be safe for you—neither land nor water. Are we clear on that?”

The man blinked nervously, not daring to nod for fear he impale himself on Alton’s blade.

They made a hasty departure on foot, following the road to where it crossed the river. Alton knew either he or Velda could pick up Revanth’s trail.

© 2016 Dellani Oakes

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Character Quotes from When Tis Done by Dellani

Cereal Authors

character-quotes-imageWhen Tis Done is Book 3 in my Miracle, Mississippi series.

“I take that you mean the magical tornado at the school, not the Civil War,” Jordan teased. Many of the old ladies in town still referred to the War Between the States as the recent unpleasantness, which she found amusing. A hundred and thirty years wasn’t exactly recent.

“Of course, silly!” Giggling, Marissa swatted at When Tis Done coverJordan’s feet, which perched on the edge of the battered coffee table in the Barrett’s basement. “Sometimes, Jordan, you are just too funny!”

“I’m a riot. It’s part of my charm.”

“Yeah, that’s how I always describe you,” Chase said as he came down the stairs behind her. “You’ll love Jordan, she’s a riot.”

© 2017 Dellani Oakes

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The Man Who Wasn’t There – Part 26

Dellani Oakes

the man who wasnt thereA freak tornado heads right to the school, but hasn’t registered on the weather radar. Brian and Chase make it dissipate, but now there’s the aftermath to deal with. Out by the football field, a small building is partially collapsed. Brian rushes to help.

Slowly, Brian opened the door. It swung toward him, sagging on the hinges, squawking like an angry goose. Brian shown his light in the entrance. He saw the wall with the boy holding it. He looked ready to fall down. A row of roofing nails were embedded in his thigh. Blood had pooled at his feet. It took longer to find the girl. She was partially buried under the wall, pale and afraid, but alert.

“Better not to move her,” Brian told the boys. “But let’s shore up the wall and roof. What’s your name?” he asked the young man.

“Noel and that’s Trista.”

“I’m Brian…

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Among the Shine Clan – Part 3

Cereal Authors

among-the-shine-clan-coverFiddlestix and her platoon are on their way. She’s found herself in charge, and isn’t happy about it. Hoping that things will go well, she’s prepared for the mission to go horribly wrong.

CAUTION STRONG LANGUAGE

“I have the feeling I’ve got cross hairs trained on me,” she mused, not voicing her disquiet to her people.

Her attitude was cocky and confident. She was damned if her troops were going to see her scared. Her gut might be tied in knots, but they wouldn’t know it. She’d learned a long time ago that the leader’s worry could transmit itself to the troops.

Less than five miles into Shine territory, strange things started to happen. Kaz contacted her over her headset. He wasn’t very clear, his signal breaking up.

“Uh, Master Sergeant?”

“Talk to me, Kaz.”

“The point team just disappeared.”

“Do you mean you lost sight of them?”

“No, Master…

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The Man Who Wasn’t There – Part 25

Dellani Oakes

the-man-who-wasnt-thereBrian gets angry because the boy playing Romeo to Jordan’s Juliet, gets fresh. He’s uneasy even after he calms down, which worries Chase and his mother.

“Me too. I thought it was just me.”

“What do you think it is?”

“No idea,” she replied. “But I’ll bet it has something to do with that.” She pointed at a dark cloud low on the horizon. It moved quickly toward them.

Dora Finley pulled out her phone and dialed 9-1-1 reporting a tornado.

“Our emergency system hasn’t registered it,” the dispatcher said.

“Look out the window,” Dora said, leading the boys inside.

“Oh, my God!” the dispatcher said before hanging up.

The town warning siren went off. Students and adults ran for cover. The cloud moved quickly toward the school, specifically toward Brian and Chase. Glad to be inside, they followed Chase’s mother down the hall to her office.

“Go inside and…

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The Man Who Wasn’t There – Part 24

Dellani Oakes

the-man-who-wasnt-thereAt school the next day, Brian waits for Jordan at play practice, nearly losing his cool when Romeo slips Jordan some tongue during rehearsal.

“I have a boyfriend,” Jordan reminded him.

“So?”

“So, he’s here,” she explained, pointing to Brian.

Brian squared his shoulders. He was considerably taller and more muscular than Romeo. His anger made him even more formidable.

Romeo glanced at Brian, face going slightly pale, but he’d come too far to back off. “Big whoop. It’s for the play, Jordan. Get over it.”

“Nowhere in the script does it say, Romeo slipped her some tongue,” Jordan explained. “Don’t do it again or I’ll bite you.”

“She threatened me, Mrs. Faust,” the boy appealed to the teacher.

“I didn’t hear anything,” she replied. “And if you do it again, I’ll replace you. You’ve got an understudy.” She stood with her hands on her hips. “Just because…

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The Man Who Wasn’t There – Part 23

Dellani Oakes

the-man-who-wasnt-thereFeeling better, Brian sits down to dinner with his family, Jordan’s and the Beauchamps’.

“Still got the rest of this week to get through,” Brian said with a sigh.

“Meru wants to talk to you,” Miles said quietly. “Do you feel up to it?”

“Yeah, I guess.”

“I’ll set it up after dinner,” Andre said.

“Thanks.”

Dr. Meru’s smile had dimmed since Brian last spoke to him. He eyed the younger man critically, desperately wanting more nuance. He’d spoken to Andre and Claude, but he wished he could make his own hands on assessment. At least the boy looked well, though he was slightly pale.

“Tell me, in your own words, what you experienced.”

Brian gave him a detailed account. Dr. Meru nodded, making notes as Brian spoke. He asked very pointed questions, clarifying details the way that Jordan and the others had.

“This is fascinating, Brian. You’ve been somewhere…

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