My Christmas present to all of you – I am delighted to bring the first short story of the From Elsewhere collection as a free download in all major e-formats, via Smashwords!
Massive thank you to L K Campbell for her excellent formatting service and to Tatiana Villa for her amazing artwork for this series.
‘Forbidden’ – a short tale taken from the From Elsewhere collection – six short stories of unearthly visitors.
What are the consequences when an angel falls in love with a demon?
The Council Chamber shone as though sculpted from light.
But for the nine male and female Council members it was a place of serenity, order. Lesser beings would shrink in here, shielding their eyes and cowering amidst the magnificence of it all. This was, after all, the Council.
“Call forth the accused.”
As the head of the Council, Saliha was always the first to speak. Tribunals always began with her. Out of the nine Council members seated at the semi-circular conference desk, she was the youngest, though exuded a special gravitas all her own. Each of the blue-clad members was equal in every way, however. Each decision weighed neatly and fairly against those of the others. Saliha was the leader, but the Council of Nine acted as one.
A young woman approached the dais. She was just as striking as Saliha, though in a markedly different way. Slim, sylphlike, with hair so fair as to be almost white. There was a glow about her – brighter than the room itself but not quite as bright as the members of the Council who now bore their eyes deeply into her soul.
The young woman stood upon the dais, chin held high. Despite the vulnerability in her crystalline blue eyes, they fervently declared to the Universe: ‘I have done nothing wrong’.
“Your designation please,” said Saliha.
“Phaedra,” replied the accused.
“And your function.”
A male Council member to the right of Saliha – clearly the oldest of the nine – leaned forward slightly.
“More specific than that, Phaedra…” he said.
“Messenger,” said Phaedra. Then, after a small pause, “In training.”
Saliha kept her gaze riveted to Phaedra’s eyes. “Do you know why you’re here, Phaedra?” she asked.
The young angel messenger did not bat an eyelid. “Yes,” was her cool response. “Because I was caught.”