Series: The Ferryman + The Flame #2
By: Rhiannon Paille
Published: April 2nd, 2013
How far would you go to destroy yourself?
Krishani always knew he would have to go to the Lands of Men, but he never thought it would be like this. Enemies everywhere, an ancestor he can't respect, elders he can't trust, a curse he can't stop and friends he can't help but hate. Desperate to end the pain, he sets out on a quest to find the other Flames and face the enemy that took everything from him.
Dark figures moved through the fields with precision and grace. The four of them stretched across the land like an impenetrable wall of riders against thousands. Hooves hit the ground, leaving marks with spiked horseshoes. Nostrils flared, smoke billowing out, rising into the sky. They hit the trees and forged a path of ashes through it, trees catching fire. The riders had no souls; they were remorseless creatures traipsing through unconsecrated lands, destroying everything they came into contact with. Their faces were covered in darkness, hidden beneath long flowing cloaks draped over the backs of the giant beasts. Their hands were covered with shiny armor concealing their flesh. One of them gripped the reins and made a sharp right. The others followed in succession as they found the east shore. There were thriving lands across the channel. The riders wanted to bring nightmares to their children, burn their houses, hear the cries of women as they devoured the towns in haste.
Their minds were full of nothing but blind hatred and hunger for blood. There was no sense in reasoning with them. Death came swiftly by their hands, and when it came, so did the Vultures, and when they came, the souls were silenced.
The Horsemen thrived on silence.
It was far better than the screeching noises filling their ears. No matter how far they traveled, it wouldn’t stop. The constant agonizing sounds followed them, and when the souls were devoured, the screeching ceased. It remained quiet until the beating hearts of souls in the distance caused it to start again.
And then they hunted them.
To silence them.
Their horses were beast-like, with sharp teeth, red eyes, scales. Their armor covered what little bristles of prickly hair they had. Their hooves were covered with sharp spikes. They breathed fire. Only their riders could control them, because there were no words for what these beasts were.
Krishani watched in horror as they hit the shores and led the beasts into the foamy waters of the ocean. He watched until their forms disappeared under the waves, and shuddered as one of them turned back and glanced at him. Krishani averted his gaze and saw a little girl. She had beautiful midnight black hair that fell to her ankles. Her skin tinged blue, her lips bruised purple. She had coal colored eyes, full of hatred. But she was under four feet fall. A pale blue nightgown fell to her bare feet. She pointed at the sand and he followed her gaze. Blood lapped up against the shore, covering his boots in a thick red paste.
The sight of the blood made him jolt. He wrenched out of the cot, a fierce ringing in his ears. He clenched his fists to the sides of his head and tried to quiet his urge to scream. He was alone in the hut, on the west shores of an island on Terra. He closed his eyes, but the image of the girl clouded his vision, a little girl, one that called the Horsemen to do her bidding.
She was one of the Valtanyana.
Rhiannon is an up and coming Indie Author that writes Young Adult Fantasy books and some non fiction. She has a PhD in Metaphysical Science and Parapsychology. When she’s not writing books she’s reading minds, singing karaoke, burning dinner and sipping iced cappuccino despite her allergy to coffee. Some day she’d like to own a unicorn—as long as it doesn’t eat her. She's sold over 25,000 copies of her books worldwide.