Title: The Lost Link
Author: Michelle Bryan
Genre: Magical Fantasy
I die every night in my dreams.
Add to that the hallucinations of people I've never met and creatures that don't exist, and you can see why I don’t let anyone in. People don't take well to weirdos that can't tell reality from illusion.
That all changed the day a dragon attacked. Yup, that’s right. A real-life, smoke-breathing dragon hunted me down in the middle of a school day. I only escaped because a Faerie forced me to jump through a fire portal into a realm of magic. Normal, right?
Just when I thought things couldn't get any weirder, I met him. The Fae prince. Eyes of jade, ebony hair, and a smile that made my knees weak. Too bad he was my mortal enemy sent to finish what the dragon started.
Now, faced with parallel worlds, a daring escape plan, and an evil queen bent on taking over the universe, only one thing is for certain. I’m in way over my head.
“It’s getting worse, Bish. The hallucinations. Today was the worst I’ve ever experienced. It’s not just people I’m seeing now. It’s animals. No, not animals. Creatures. Dragon creatures to be precise. I saw a freakin’ dragon in the sky today. How messed up is that?”
I waited for Bishop’s snort of disbelief. Maybe even words of comfort to let me know that I wasn’t totally insane. I was prepared for either.
What I wasn’t prepared for was the look of concern…nope, fright that puckered his normally placid face. “A dragon? Are you sure? What sort of dragon?”
“Huh? Oh geez, Bish, let me think. It was a female blue scale from the Scottish Highlands.” My words dripped with sarcasm. “How the heck do I know what sort of dragon it was? It’s not like I’m a dragon expert. You’re missing the point here. I saw something that doesn’t exist, yet to me it was so real I thought I was going to die. That’s not normal.”
“What sort of dragon?” Bishop asked again, ignoring my sarcastic remark and placing his cup on the table with deliberate intent as his eyes stared into mine. “Think, Jette girl. What did it look like? Describe it to me.”
I stared back in confusion. “Why? What does that have to do with anything?”
“Describe it.” He didn’t yell. He didn’t even raise his voice, but the steel in his tone couldn’t completely cover the fear, and my skin pebbled with my own goosebumps of dread.
The tinge of sarcasm evaporated as I answered him. “It was…it was big. Well, it looked big, but I think it was more because of the gigantic wings. It was dark and scaly, with yellow eyes and…it’s face looked weird. Dragonish, yes, but also kinda like it had wolf features. Does that make any sense? Have I completely lost my mind?”
I waited for him to answer me, but all he did was snap his mouth shut and get up from the table. I watched him walk away in puzzlement before yelling at his back. “Hey, I could use a little encouragement here. Maybe something like ‘No, Jette. You are not a certiﬁable, bound for the looney bin. A lot of people see dragons in the sky.’ Bish?” No answer. “Bishop?”
He shufﬂed back into the room with his trademark silence and carrying a book in his hands. The book was bound in leather and tied together with a dark blue ribbon. It kind of reminded me of the book I watched Moe read last night before she was attacked by the same creature I’d seen in the sky today. He threw the book on the table and untied the ribbon, not giving me a word of explanation.
“Ummm, you think now’s the time to read me a story?”
He ignored me as he ﬂipped through the pages at a rapid pace. There was weird writing in the book and drawings of creatures I’d never laid eyes on. I tried not to look too closely since my odd mind could conjure up enough strangeness on its own; it didn’t need fuel to add to the ﬁre. Finally, he stopped on a page and pushed the book toward me with his ﬁnger. “Is this it?”
The drawing was not as dark as the original creature. It was shaded a light blue, so you could see the distinct features clearly. Although it wasn’t as dark as the scaly monster that had dive-bombed me today, there was no mistaking the two. They were one and the same. I stared at the picture; my mouth bone dry. To admit the dragon-wolf was a hallucination was one thing. To see it so accurately depicted in a drawing that I had no hand in? That was creepy as hell. My tongue stuck to the roof of my mouth, and I tried to work up enough saliva to swallow the lump in my throat.
“Who drew this?” I whispered, raising my eyes to meet his. Bish didn’t seem to hear me. His gaze swept my face, and he knew from my reaction that my answer to his question was a resounding yes.
“This is not good,” he said to himself, closing the book with a thud.
“What does that mean?”
“This is not good.”
“I heard you the ﬁrst time,” I growled, fear tightening my chest. “What do you mean? Do you know what it is, Bishop?”
He nodded. A curt nod, like he really didn’t want to answer me at all. “Morqual.”
The name struck dread in my heart. Morqual. The creatures from my dream. But how did Bish know that word? I’d never told him about my dream. The hallucinations, yes, but not the dream. That was more private. More personal. How did he know any of this?
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I wish I could say I've climbed Mt. Everest or ridden in a hot air balloon around the world, but alas I lead a very quiet life in Nova Scotia, Canada. The only adventures I go on are in my books. But what adventures they are!
When I'm not reading or writing I have a day job as a chocolate shop manager. So yes, I work with both books and chocolate! Living the dream.
The rest of my time is spent with my three favourite guys; my hubby, my son and my crazy fur baby. We are a family of geeks, fans of Game of Thrones and The Walking Dead, lovers of books and players of video games. I wouldn't have it any other way.
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