Book 1: The Wish
Fifteen years ago Jack’s father, Tom, narrowly escaped an ancient evil’s hunt for his soul, which houses the gift of knowledge. After years of searching for Tom’s soul, this evil has turned his sights on Jack. Fleeing for his life, fifteen year old Jack enters a magical world in search of a sanctuary inhabited by a powerful group of Wizards. Prophesied as the Son of the Gift Keeper, Jack is named as the rightful bearer to deliver the sacred four-leaf clover to the wizards. Unbeknownst to Jack, he is to fulfill the quests of the sacred clover, carrying out the clovers acts of faith, hope, luck and love, ultimately defeating this evil. In a race against time, Jack must fulfill the clovers first act and get to the sanctuary before this evil finds him. But does Jack have enough faith in himself to defeat the evil that’s in search of him? The fate of two worlds rests on the shoulders of an ordinary boy with an extraordinary secret.
TELL US YOUR DARKEST SECRETS...
Book 2 ~ A teaser
CHAPTER 1 - A SECRET IN COMMON
Alastrine and Jack stood outside Kellen’s door for several minutes, waiting for him to answer.
“It’s not like him Jack. He left in the middle of dinner last night and promised to come back to my room to let me know what O’Maoilriain wanted.”
“Maybe he got back too late and didn’t want to bother ya.” Replied Jack, hoping to put Alastrine’s mind at ease.
Alastrine shook her head and squinted her eyes to the ground as if she was searching for an answer on the cold, hard slab. “No Jack. First, when Kellen says he is going to do something, he does it. So, when he said he’d be back to talk to me and never showed, something had to stop him from coming. Second, even if he didn’t want to bother me last night, he missed breakfast. That just doesn’t happen. For as long as I’ve known Kellen, he never, and I mean never has missed breakfast. Something is wrong, I can feel it.”
Jack watched Alastrine as she turned away from the door, appearing to glide towards a wall, and leaned up against it with her head down. He could tell she was distraught over Kellen and something inside him, maybe Cuchulain, felt something wasn’t right either. Jack turned back to Kellen’s door and knocked. After a few seconds, with no response, he banged his fist on the door.
“Kellen, come on, wake up! Ya missed breakfast and we need to talk. Kellen!”
With no response, Jack walked over to Alastrine.
“I can’t lose him too Jack. He’s the best friend I’ve ever had. If anything has happened to him-” Just then, the door opened and Kellen stood there with both a bewildered and tired look in his eyes.
“What’s all the banging for Jack? I’m up, now what do ya want?” Asked Kellen, unaware that it was almost noon.
Alastrine ran to Kellen and threw her arms around him, pushing him back into his room. Jack followed and closed the door behind him.
“Kellen, why didn’t ya come back last night? Where were ya? What did O’Maoilriain want?” Alastrine asked without taking a breath.
A look of confusion covered Kellen’s face as his eyebrows drew together and his eyes darted from side to side in search of an answer.
Jack figured these were too many questions to ask anyone in the half stupor state Kellen was in. “Alastrine, let him wake up before ya get started in.”
“Come back? When?” Kellen chimed in with the gravel in his voice subsiding.
“Last night Kellen. After ya were summoned to meet with O’Maoilriain. They came with a summons during dinner. Don’t ya remember?”
Kellen turned away from Alastrine with his hands drawn up to his throbbing temples. “Well, I can’t remember much after leaving the dinner hall. But, based on the state my head is in, we must have had a good talk over a very good bottle of Irish whisky.”
Alastrine glanced Kellen over and shook her head. “Are ya sure? Ya don’t remember anything? Why would he summons ya? And ya never came back last night to tell me what he wanted.”
Kellen’s thoughts were interrupted by a knock on the door. Both Alastrine and Jack jumped, which made Kellen throw them both an impatient look.
“What is the matter with the both of ya? Ya’re acting like we’re blackguards.” Kellen parted them as he walked over to answer the door. An apprentice Druid stood on the other side of the threshold.
“Good afternoon. Sir, O’Maoilriain requests yar presence as well as the presence of yar companions in the Great Hall. If ya would, please.” The apprentice made a slight bow and stepped aside with his right arm extended, requesting their company.
Kellen looked back at both Alastrine and Jack who stood their ground. He took a deep breath and walked over to the table to retrieve his shillelagh. He picked it up and exited the room, passing Jack and Alastrine without a word between them.
Kellen turned around, “Well, are ya coming?” he asked, eyebrows raised and an annoyed tone to his voice.
Jack and Alastrine followed with the apprentice trailing behind. It was a quiet walk to the meet O’Maoilriain, but Jack felt the tension in the air as they entered the Great Hall. It was lined with Druids along either side of the entrance with O’Maoilriain standing at the far end, arms drawn together under the sleeves of his robe.
“Good Afternoon Kellen. Restful nights sleep?” O’Maoilriain’s voice echoed off of the hollow room as he greeted them.
Kellen responded with an annoyed undertone. “Actually, yes. Although my head begs to differ. That must have been some strong Irish drink.” Replied Kellen as he rubbed his head, stopping just short of where O’Maoilriain stood.
With a slight nod of his head, O’Maoilriain gave a chuckle in agreement, “My brothers tend to over do it when preparing our drink. But, it is the finest ya will ever have. Now, I’d like to get down to business. Have ya discussed with Jack what we need?”
Kellen’s eyes searched O’Maoiliriain’s for information from their meeting the night before. Kellen’s long pause caused an awkward silence that weighed heavy in the air.
O’Maoilriain broke the silence to review their conversation from the night before. “Kellen, as we discussed, we are in need of an article. ya had agreed that ya could retrieve it. But, like I said, it could be dangerous so I understand if ya’ve had a change of heart.”
“Why would I not want to go? Of course I will.” Replied Kellen.
O’Maoilriain nodded and placed his hand on Kellen’s shoulder. In an instant, Kellen’s brain erupted with a flash of memories of what happened the night before. Everything in regards to Jack needing to fulfill the clovers quest was there, except for one piece. O’Maoilriain made sure to keep out the part of him sacrificing Jack and Cuchulain if the separation process had completed before the clovers quests were fulfilled. Kellen took a step back with a glazed-over look in his eyes.
“Kellen, are ya ok?” Alastrine studied Kellen then looked at O’Maoilriain with questioning eyes.
Kellen blinked back to the present and steadied himself with his shillelagh. “Fine, fine Alastrine.”
Kellen’s stare fell heavy on O’Maoilriain. Feeling the power of the Druids magic was like being hit by a giant’s club. It came fast, hard and left ya temporarily dazed.
“When should I leave?” Asked Kellen, as he straightened himself up and secured his stance.
“Well, like I said, being that ya have to travel so far, and it will be a dangerous road ya travel my friend, I would say . . . immediately.” Replied O’Maoilriain.
Alastrine had a bad feeling in the pit of her stomach. “Kellen, I think I should go with ya. If it’s that dangerous, then ya may need help. What exactly is it we are getting, and where do we have to go?”
O’Maoilriain gave a wave of his hand and the same fog that formed the night before over the stone slab table, formed in mid-air. Waves appeared in the fog, throwing themselves out, and dissipated into thin air. A mountain formed with a glowing light deep in the middle. As instantly as the images formed from the fog, they disappeared.
Jack had a nervous energy he had trouble controlling. “Kellen, I’m going with ya.” Jack proclaimed, expecting to hear an immediate refusal from all parties. All he got it from was Alastrine.
“Jack, ya need to stay here, where it’s safe.” Said Alastrine, sure the others would back her up.
With a smirk on his face, Kellen slapped Jack’s back, “Well, ya do seem to have held yar own up til now. And I’m sure cabin fever has set in for the both of ya.” Remarked Kellen with a smile that grew from ear to ear.
“Kellen, maybe it would be better if ya had Jack accompany ya. We’ve kept him here with no sightings of O’Dorchaie. My sources have, as of recent, informed me that O’Dorchaie is well beyond these lands and poses no immediate threat to Jack.”
Alastrine’s mouth dropped open in disbelief.
Jack’s smile mimicked Kellen’s. “I’ll get my shillelagh and we can leg it!”
Kellen nodded as Jack turned and ducked out of the Great Hall in a near run before there was a change of minds.
Alastrine’s eyes opened wide, matching her mouth. “Kellen, do ya really think it wise that Jack goes? I think he would be safer here. I can go with ya. Please, just tell him to stay. Please Kellen.” Alastrine’s eyes pleaded along with her request.
Kellen took a step closer to her and in a very low, assuring voice he answered, “Alastrine, ya will not lose Cuchulain or Jack. I promise. But, we have to do this. Don’t ask me why, I just have a feeling we don’t have any other choice. Jack must complete the clovers quest if we are to win against O’Dorchaie. There is no other option.”
Kellen’s eyes held the honesty and determination she so admired in him. Nodding her head in agreement, he gave her hand a gentle squeeze. Just then, Jack raced back into the Great Hall, shillelagh in its sheath and skid to a stop just in front of O’Maoilriain.
Breathless and grinning with a familiar twinkle in his eyes, Jack spit out, “So, what’s this article we need to get? What’s it for and where are we going to get it?”
O’Maoilrian took a deep breath, “It is what is needed in order to help us defeat O’Dorchaie, and, help yar father.” He walked past the three, towards the main entrance. With Kellen, Jack and Alastrine trailing, he stopped at the door and turned to them.
“ya must travel to The Isles of the Blest. It is there ya will retrieve what is needed.”
Jack thought the name didn’t sound too intimidating. As he looked over to Alastrine and Kellen, he could tell they both had known of this place and didn’t react in the same manner as he. Alastrine gasped and Kellen took a heavy breath, letting it out slowly.
“It can’t be that bad, especially with a name like that.” Said Jack, in hopes he wasn’t right in his interpretation of their reactions. But neither responded. They both stared at each other and appeared to be making a plan in their heads, but not sharing it with anyone.
Jack felt like a third wheel, “Well, what’s this article we need?”
“Ya will know when ya see it.” Said O’Maoilriain.
“What? How am I, we, supposed to know what it is? I don’t even know where I’m going!”
Kellen dropped his head and laid his hand on Jack’s shoulder. “Jack, we are going to a place that few have visited and even fewer have returned from. Some say it doesn’t even exist, but for those who say they’ve been there, well, let’s just say they didn’t come back the same person they were before they left. But first, we have to find it.”
Jack responded. “Alastrine, ya know the waters better than anyone. Can’t ya find it?”
With brows woven together, Alastrine answered, “Jack there are places in the water that mermaids do not venture. We are forbidden to enter the waters in that area. Besides, no one knows exactly where the Isles are. Those that have returned were never able to tell of their coordinates. It is said to be hidden by a mist, off to the west.”
Kellen broke in to say his good-byes. “O’Maoilriain, thank ya for yar help. We will return with what ya need as soon as possible.”
“I truly hope so Kellen. Remember, there is much at stake. Ya must succeed for all our sakes.” Replied O’Maoilirian, pressing his point with a stare directed towards Jack.
Jack felt Cuchulain stir, which caused an uneasy feeling build in the pit of Jack’s stomach.
A thought entered Jack’s head, “He’s got a secret.”
O’Maoilriain’s demeanor and remark seemed to push Cuchulain’s feelings to the surface, well within Jack’s reach. A sense of distrust in O’Maoilriain overcame Jack and he had a sudden desire he attributed to Cuchulain, to gain insight into O’Maoilriain’s thoughts. Jack stepped in, and with a slight bow of his head, eyes turning a brighter shade of green, he extended his hand to O’Maoilriain. “Thank ya sir for yar kindness and help.”
Without thinking of Cuchulain’s abilities, O’Maoilriain extended his hand and shook long enough for Cuchulain to get a glimpse of what he was hiding. Cuchulain’s power surged through O’Maoiliriain as he pulled his hand away, but not before Cuchulain saw something he wasn’t meant to see. The power of Cuchulain’s reaction to the vision overwhelmed Jack’s senses. He stumbled back with a blank stare in his eyes and Kellen caught him with one arm, easing Jack’s limp body to the ground.
Alastrine dropped to her knees and placed Jack’s head in her hands. Her eyes narrowed as she glared at O’Maoilriain in an accusatory manner. “What did ya do to him?”
O’Maoilriain joined his hand with his other under his sleeves. “He did it to himself.” He turned to Kellen, “yar friend,” gesturing down to Jack, “I don’t think he realizes who he is dealing with.”
Kellen’s eyes moved from Jack and Alastrine to O’Maoilriain.
Alastrine held Jack in her arms, brushing the hair from his face. “Jack. Jack! Kellen, he’s not breathing.” Cried Alastrine.
Having difficulty staying conscious, Jack tried feel back in control of his body. The vision of what he saw was burned into his brain and it was the last thing he remembered before all went black.