Excerpt “The Dawning of Firebird Alex”
(Lady Firebird chapter 18)
Bring Klara back here you bastard! I screamed in my mind as the portal sealed up behind Dirk. I had to get myself back to Sediin where I could heal—I was bleeding so badly, I was getting really scared I might not make it. I pressed my arm hard against the gushing slash in my right shoulder. My feet were growing numb, and my knees could barely hold up my weight. I lurched forward, but thrust my arm out to catch my fall. My blade clattered to the sidewalk beside me.
I opened my flaming eyes as wide as I could, but it was hard to see anything, the searing pain in my shoulder kept my eyes from focusing. I tried to look at the carnage in front of me. I saw my Mazzikim—powerful, nearly eternal beings that Zaebos had chosen personally for my honor guard—mauled and motionless. It broke my heart.
I felt an even deeper heartbreak when I turned my head to Zaebos—my beloved protector, my guard, and friend. A sob convulsed out of me as I saw his sliced and bleeding body ten feet away from me. Poor Zaebos…
“Damn you!” I shouted.
And then, through my fuzzy haze, I saw a single small rise of his rib cage. He wasn’t dead yet! If I could only get him back to Sediin…
I tried to lean to the right and grab my blade, but every move seemed to push more blood out of my shoulder.
“Hey, um, are you…my buddy called 911…”
I turned my head around. I saw three teenagers: a boy and a girl standing about five feet away from me with extremely concerned, but nervous, expressions, and a boy about ten feet away filming me with his phone.
“My blade,” I groaned. “Please, slice the air next to me with it.”
“Um, the handle started glowing red—is it supposed to do that?” the boy asked anxiously.
I remembered what Zedek, the Greater Sedu who breathed on my blade to infuse it with his flame—the only flame that could burn creatures from Sediin—had told me: that my blade was locked only to me, and those I allowed to hold it.
“I give you permission to wield my blade,” I croaked.
“Okay, it’s stopped glowing,” he said as he picked it up.
“It’ll make a hole in the air?” the girl asked. “Like the ones you guys made?”
“Yes,” I answered, sucking in air to breathe through the pain. “If Zaebos and I get through it, we’ll live.”
“Okay,” the boy said, holding my Sedu blade with both hands. “Here goes.”
school, he picked up guitar and start playing up and down California in a few bands, culminating in his industrial rock band Ember After. During that time, magazines, developers, and corporations began to pay him to write and edit music software related articles, manuals, and books. Since then he has written the urban fantasy novel The Deviant and the science fiction novel Skye Entity before working on his current series of YA novels. He lives in Southern California with his family, pets, collection of sci-fi/fantasy memorabilia, and curiously large stuffed animal collection.