Mathieu (White Flame Trilogy) - By Paula Flumerfelt


THE body in his arms was broken and shattered, left to decay on the side of the road. It had once been a she; a vibrant, loving, gentle she. But now it was just cold. Cold and dead. Soulless. Empty.

“Erik, we must go. I cannot stay on this land any longer.” The boy laid a small hand on his shoulder, urging him to his feet with a gentle push. “We need to go. If I perish, you are lost as well.”

He stood with the woman’s body cradled in his arms. She was light. Far too light. Her body had become emaciated, her hair lank, dirty and clumped together with blood, its strands cut unevenly as if done by a knife. It contrasted with the memory he had of her: five and a half feet tall, long white hair that fell in a sheet down her back, lean body, soft purple eyes, and ruby red lips that tilted up with good humor. She was only twenty-two years old.


As Erik looked down into her blank face, panic started to claw up his throat, bringing bile with it. Dark red, nearly black eyes, scanned the surrounding area. Mathieu? Mathieu? Where is he?

“Come Erik. We have no more time. We must leave.” The boy was pulling on the hem of his shirt with an iron grip, dragging him slowly forward.

“No.” His voice was choked with barely restrained terror, his heels digging into the cobbled stones as hard as possible. “He’s gone. Mathieu’s gone! You promised he’d be safe!”

The boy’s bangs fell forward, shading his eyes. “He is…safe.”

“He isn’t…he can’t be…”

“Mathieu is very much alive.”

Erik’s grip on Anita tightened, shaking slightly. “Where is my son?” He wasn’t sure if he could hold back his desperate tears any longer.

The boy looked up with big, innocent eyes, mouth tilted down in a frown. “How would I know? This isn’t my territory. I have no sway with the forces.” The look in his eyes changed to deathly serious. “We need to leave. Now.”

Around him, the world began to change. The trees drained of their brilliant color, the air stilled until it suffocated, the ground trembled slightly to the beat of the boy’s heart. The boy’s mousy brown hair crackled with the force of his power.

Damn it. Erik bit the inside of his cheek until his mouth filled with blood. “Fine. I’ll go.”

With a childish smile from the boy, the wind began to blow again and the trees regained their lush hues. “Wonderful. We take our leave. Bring the body with us. I‘ll see to its proper disposal.”

He looked down at the hollow face one more time, tears leaking down his cheeks. Oh Anita…where is our Mathieu…?



“Nearly six thousand years ago, the country of Unith became a predominant world force. Unith was a place of peace, somewhere war had never touched, situated alongside the ocean. It was beautiful: flowers bloomed year round, streams wound longingly through the countryside, people were happy. Primarily, the country was made of smaller, picturesque towns that radiated from the capital of Ateri. Ateri was a colorful, vibrant city; it was the bustling hub of trade and the residence of the royal family...”

“Blah, blah, blah. We’ve heard this story a hundred times. Twins were born into the royal family, the sister that didn’t get picked to take the throne pms-ed and left, taking her minions of doom with her to create Korinth and then there was tentative peace until the sisters died and rising tension and more blah, blah, blah. Get a new story, Rebekah.”

The tall teen gave him a pointed glare, one hand on her hip. “Well, thank you, Mathieu, for that butchered version of our country’s history. You have a way with words.”

“Anything I can do to help.” Mathieu was sitting sideways in an armchair, his hair draped over the edge. He stretched slightly, internally groaning at the pull of his muscles from sitting too long.

“Fine,” Rebekah said, tapping her foot lighting on the carpet, “how about this. Korinth isn’t just a principality; it’s also the haven of this country’s oddities. How is that for a new story?”

Mathieu straightened in his seat. “Oddities?”

She nodded, looking out the window. The setting suns caught her brown hair in a cascade of soft tones. She was pretty, if plain. “Yes. There are some people within the population of Unith that have been the victims of genetic mutations. They’re…different than we are. It’s said that they’re tapped into the Other Side.” Rebekah shrugged. “That’s the rumor, anyway. Supposedly,