Here’s another little excerpt from the upcoming novel:
“Kaili, we are ready to begin. Sylvia, will you be our Water tonight, please?” The girl’s eyes lit up and she nodded solemnly to Laira. “Very good.”
They walked to one side of the gazebo where a small wooden table stood. A double ring of gold was inscribed on the surface of the table, with four equally spaced smaller circles inside the two rings. Symbols that Jeff didn’t recognize filled the rest of the ring. Four colored candles in short candlesticks were set in the small circles. From each candle, a single line of gold traced its way inward to another circle at the center, which held a white candle. Noticing Jeff’s look, Laira smiled.
“A simple thanksgiving and welcome ceremony,” she said. “It is a small custom, to welcome Kaili home. I hope you don’t mind?” Kaili turned to Jeff with a grin.
“It won’t hurt, I promise. We don’t do the sacrifices until the moon is full.” Jeff glared at her a moment, then spoke to Laira.
“Please, go right ahead. Despite the impression Kaili may give, I am not ignorant of your customs. I am curious to see how the formalities work.”
“The table is inscribed with the Circle,” Laira explained. “It is the physical reflection of the connection of our people to the four Elements, and to the planet itself. It is the balance and harmony of all things. And the focus of our power. What we are doing here is a simple prayer of thanksgiving.”
Laira moved to stand at the yellow candle. The others took their places, as well. Kaili stood at the red candle, with Jessa at the green, and Sylvia at the blue. The girl’s face was wide-eyed and serious, and she was nervously twisting a lock of her dark hair in her fingers. Her mother reached over and tapped her hand, and Sylvia dropped it to her side. Philip stood behind Laira, and Daron stood between his wife and daughter, a few paces back. Jeff positioned himself behind Kaili where he could see the table clearly. When everyone was positioned, Jessa raised her hands, palms up, to waist level.
“We call the Elements to guard and honor us. The Circle reminds us the Elements are perfect, and eternal. The Circle brings us together- now and always.” She let one arm drop to her side again, and covered the top of the green candle in front of her with the palm of the other.
“Earth, which supports all, come into our midst and center our thoughts, that our perceptions may be wise.” Jeff felt a shifting deep beneath his feet. Jessa’s candle now glowed with a deep green flame. Jessa let her hand fall to her side and turned her head toward Laira. Laira placed a hand over her yellow candle.
“Air, which surrounds all, come into our midst and cool our passions, that we may be open to understanding.” There was a stirring in the air around the room, beginning as a gentle whisper and building to a breeze that lifted Jeff’s hair slightly on his neck. When Laira moved her hand, her candle glowed with a clear, yellow flame. She dropped her hand and turned to Kaili. Kaili put her palm over her red candle next.
“Fire, which permeates all, come into our midst and inflame out hearts, that we may always know the pure flame of truth.” Jeff became aware of a wave of heat sweeping around the room, flushing against his face. Kaili withdrew her hand, and her candle flamed red. Sylvia, her hand visibly shaking as she placed it over her blue candle, drew in a deep breath. Her voice faltered slightly as she began.
“Water-“ The girl stopped, biting her lower lip. Her mother frowned at her from her position to Sylvia’s left. Kaili, standing next to Sylvia on the right, caught the girl’s eyes with a tip of her head. She smiled at the girl and nodded slightly. Sylvia gave a small smile in return, closed her eyes for a moment, then, with another deep breath, continued.
“Water, which changes all, come into our midst and cleanse our spirits, that we may know our true selves.” Jeff sensed a slight wet sensation brush the side of his face as Sylvia lifted her hand from the blue flame burning on her candle. She was smiling broadly, and her eyes shone. Jessa gave her daughter a curt nod of approval.
Kaili, Laira, and Jessa put a hand on the necklaces they wore, while Sylvia reached up to touch the blue headband she was wearing. It was patterned with cresting waves. Jessa spoke once again.
“The Circle is connected, center to rim. So may all Elements, all creatures, all spirits be bound in one.” The four placed their right hands, one atop the other over the central white candle. When they moved them, the candle glowed with a golden flame. They stepped back from the table
“Circle Unbroken” will be available in mid-August from Smashwords, Amazon, and most other ebook retailers.
Coming in mid-August, a sci-fi novel, “Circle Unbroken.” More details coming soon.
Available now from Smashwords, Amazon, Barnes and Noble, and most other ebook retailers: