The Soul Collector - By Tamela Quijas
The Soul Collector
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This book is a work of fiction and any resemblance to persons, living or dead, or places, events or locales is coincidental. The characters are productions of the authors’ imagination.
The Soul Collector© 2013, Tamela Quijas
Previously released as Angel's Fire, Demon's Blood
Cover Art LFD Designs For Authors
Millions of people believe in the world of spirits.
In their hearts, they imagine the past mingles with the present, where ghosts seek unattainable loved ones, and linger in a shadowed realm beyond sight.
Luke Angeles’ weekly television program, Those Among Us, brings those lost souls to the public. In the supernatural world, his crew of adept investigators offers solace, salvation, and redemption for the lingering spirits caught between worlds.
He believes in that realm, more than any skeptic could imagine, and only investigative television reporter Eva Keyes dares to question his sanity.
Her cynicism would disrupt the perfect façade he’s erected over the centuries.
As the depths of all curses are delivered, and the beauty of enchanted tales begins, so does this tale
Once upon a time, there was a distant kingdom.
For those who happened to recall the province, the principality was nestled in the powerful embrace of towering, snow-covered mountains, and the flourishing fields of an exquisite valley. A peaceful land it had been, the rolling hills and lush vales abounding with fruitful harvests, and the laughter of happy peasants.
Leastwise, that was what the starving serfs remembered as they toiled in a now-barren countryside, their buoyant spirits broken.
The unfortunate inhabitants recalled when St. Lorraine’s meadows overflowed with glorious wheat. The golden sheathes had grown tall and strong, willowy blades glistening brilliant amber in the mountain sunlight.
At present, the fields were barren wastelands of bleak dirt. The starving earth refused to produce even the most insignificant blade of tender grass. Instead, as every breeze brushed soothing fingers across the decaying land, bits of St. Lorraine's precious soil blew away. It appeared each solitary grain sought the promise of a more forgiving outside the realm.
In the past, ancient oaks, maples, and elms provided much appreciated shade during the heat of the long summer days. Aside from these trees, thick copses of plentiful foliage shaded the roads, filled with bountiful fruit readily accessible to travelers and peasants alike. Apples, peaches, and plums had hung heavy, their sweetness lauded throughout the civilized world.
In the wealth of sadness claiming the land, the trees refused to bear fruit, or unfurl the tiniest of leaves. The rich abundance of precious woods vanished, replaced by gnarled stumps, and charred remains. Every twisted, knotted, and naked limb mourned the loss of their destroyed brethren. Raised toward the sky, the dark branches pleaded for a reprieve from the injustice destroying the province.
Babbling brooks, once filled with the purest water, dried to a modest trickle. As the stream vanished, no longer did the succulent flesh of silvery fish fill the bellies of the ravenous masses, and cook pots remained empty. The land lay in waste with hunger and thirst growing among the peasants.
The last time St. Lorraine boasted richness was under the rule of a more benevolent sovereign. The former ruler, a kind man, treasured his people and the land. Placing himself as an equal among his loyal subjects and just in his rule, King Alphonse held the welfare of St. Lorraine’s citizens foremost in his mind.
Alas, the first equinox of the preceding year marked the death of the good sovereign. The beloved leader's demise had not been from either advanced age or incurable illness, for he met his unexpected end at the hands of a vile barbarian. Having forsaken his life to protect those he held dear, the old king's lands were pillaged, and his people enslaved. Every acre and person became the property of the evil knight responsible for the murder of the much-loved monarch.
The present royal leader adhered to the rule of the cold taste of steel, the burn