Category Archives: i will repay

the moms of vengeance is mine

I originally planned this post for Mother’s Day, but things got hectic and I’ve been writing too much to concentrate on this blog (even though it’s a writing blog).  But I thought it was still a good idea, so today I’m going to be sharing a little bit about the mothers in Vengeance Is Mine, as well as some snippets.  Each mother is the mom of one of my main characters (although I didn’t plan it that way).  I have roughly four main characters – Aaron, Nathan, Lily, and Dylan – but Dylan’s mom isn’t alive (I don’t think I ever even mention her), so she won’t be on this list.  And now…to the list!

1. Becca

[I don’t have a character casting for this mom, since she just appears in the prologue of book 1]

Rebecca, or Becca as she’s commonly called, is Nathan’s mother.  She only has a part in the first book’s prologue, as I mentioned above, and I can’t even say that she made an impact on her child’s life, since Nathan never knew her.  However, she does drive the plot because, really, if Nathan hadn’t been born, there would’ve been no book, right?  Becca’s words are the first sentence in the trilogy (although, by the time I’m done editing, that might not be the case) and I found her point-of-view very easy to write.  It might have been because I was in the first fervour of NaNoWriMo where everything seemed fresh and new, but I was able to connect with both her fear and her faith on a personal level, and she’s one of my favorite minor characters.  Five pages into book 1, and I was already crying, because page 5 was when Nathan was born and I was completely overwhelmed by the scope this trilogy would take on.  And Becca started it.

Jase’s eyes widened and he nodded. He made as if to duck outside, making sure to check that no one was anywhere near when he did so, but he came back inside. “If you want me to take you back to the city, and your family until the baby comes, I can do that.”
Gratefulness welled up inside her, and even some hope, but she shook her head. “The journey would be too dangerous, and, besides, I want you with me. And they think we’re dead.” She had said and thought such a thing too often for it to have much effect on her anymore, but the thought still hurt her heart, no matter how little. To succeed in their mission, they had given up everything, even more than a normal Existent did. Their home, their families, their very identities. It was only in the privacy of their own little dwelling did they call each other Jase and Becca. To the rest of the world they were Ethan and Jannara.
“Still, we should have someone. A-a midwife, or something.”
“Jase, women have been doing this by themselves since time began,” she said with a faint smile on her face. “As long as I have you with me, I can manage. Truly.”
He hesitated, then gave a quick nod, as if assuring himself of the truth of her statement. “Well, then, I’ll be off.” She raised her hand a little in farewell, and then he left.

Reading over this snippet, I confess that I knew very little about my story world back then.  And I wrote this in a flood of NaNo inspired words, so if it’s garbage, blame the 30 day writing challenge.  It was the only passable snippet concerning her that I could find.

2. Laii

i feel like this could be laii.

Okay, so I figured out that I couldn’t share who Lily’s mother is, because that would be a pretty big spoiler, so I’m going to share with you some things about Nathan’s other mom – Laii.  She isn’t really his mom, of course, but she’s as close to it as anyone could get.  She loves him and scolds him and makes sure he’s safe (no small task).  And she has a mysterious past.  Which isn’t really relevant to this post, but that’s always cool, right?  Laii made some big mistakes when she was younger, and taking care of Nathan and the other boys under her charge in the facility is one way that she tries to atone for those mistakes.  Laii is hard to write at times, because she’s flawed and I still don’t think I have all her motives and dreams down.  She’s both strong and broken, all at the same time.

“Sneakers?” Laii asked, her voice filled with incredulity. “That’s what this was all about?”  He nodded halfheartedly, much as Dylan had done. “Why?” she asked.
“He’s a bully,” Nathan said, and decided to leave it at that. He wouldn’t tell her the details, especially about the time Dylan had sneered at him and said that he didn’t really belong here at the facility. He was afraid that Laii would admit that Dylan was right, and that he would have to go. He had waited all his life for this day, and it would not be spoiled by a fight with Dylan. He wouldn’t allow it.
She nodded slowly, at least that’s what Nathan thought she did. The hood made it difficult to read head motions, and he suddenly wished that she didn’t wear that everlasting hood and cloak so he could read her eyes and facial expressions and body language as he did with the other boys. It would make everything so much easier.
She gave a frustrated sigh. “You’re too angry, Nathan. You let anger wipe away all your good sense far too often. Why?” Her tone of voice showed she genuinely wanted to know, but Nathan wasn’t about to give her what he knew was the reason. It was because at times he felt like he didn’t belong, that he was an outcast, and so he became angry and violent if anyone questioned his position here. Or even if he thought they had. He just shook his head.
She huffed again. “Go and apologize to Dylan right now.”
“What?” Nathan said, all anger and sullenness gone, replaced by amazement. That was all? No punishment, no- Then he realized exactly what she had said. Apologize to Dylan? Impossible. He would rather take a week without food than apologize to that low-down rat. Why wasn’t she giving him a proper punishment?
“Right now.” Her voice was firm, and devoid of emotion once again. “Or you will not go through the ceremony today. You will have to wait another year, and then be behind all the other boys.”

Again, I didn’t really have all that firm of a grasp on my story at this point, but I’ve always liked this little scene, mainly because I had no idea how things were going to play out.  I was just discovering that Nathan wasn’t going to be a perfect hero, struggling against circumstances.  I had no idea how important Dylan would be in the future (although the sympathetic way in which I handled the scene right after this might have told me something), and I knew nothing about Laii’s past.  Of course, I’m still learning things about my characters (I doubt I’ll ever stop) but it’s fun to look back at some of my earlier writings.

3. Callie

Callie is one of my favorite characters ever.  She’s Aaron’s mom, and she’s just plain wonderful.  Besides her great skills as a mom, she always sticks behind her husband, David, through both the good times and the bad (and, believe me, sometimes it gets bad).  She holds the Nonexistent’s community together when David is away (which is often) with the help of Matthew, an old family friend, and she welcomes her wayward son back into the family and their life, despite what he did earlier (*cue dramatic music*).  I’m not done No Greater Love yet (the only book, so far, that she shows up in), but as the story continues, she’s going to be called upon to be even stronger than she has been before.  There’s going to be a lot of stress and strain, but I know she can pull through it.

Monday’s early morning light brought him to the entrance of the community. He stared out across the landscape in front of him, Callie at his side. The ground looked as though it had been chewed up. There were cracks and lines everywhere, all over the ground. Already, he feared for his men’s safety.
“Feeling tired?” Callie asked.
David shook his head.
She put her arm into the crook of his arm and rested her head against his shoulder. “I would’ve thought you’d be exhausted. I don’t think you slept all last night.” She sighed. “It’s been a frightening time for all of us.”
“Looks like the outside got it worse than in here,” David commented, pointing his chin at the scene in front of them. “But we’ll rebuild in there, too. We always have. And the accident seems to be pulling everyone together better than any of my messages ever could.” He closed his eyes for a moment as the sun’s early glare hit him right on. “I should go.”
Her arm slipped out of his gently.
“Be safe,” she said.
He nodded. “I’ll see if we can get some supplies back to here.”
Callie smiled then. “That would be good.”

So there you have it!  The mom’s (some of them, at least) of Vengeance Is Mine.  Do you have any mothers in your book(s)?  What are they like?



it’s all part of the learning process

‘for fun’ cover I made.

I haven’t been doing much writing lately (read: any) and I thought it would be good to write everything out in a blog post and get all my feelings out (I considered having Lily write this post, but decided against it because a) it would’ve been too awkward, especially as she’s not a writer [and thus she wouldn’t really understand my feelings in the right way] and b) it was just another excuse to not write on my part).  I’ve already given myself a stern talking to, but I find that putting things out for The Public Eye to see is a much better way (as long as it’s not too personal) because then you have a sort of obligation to follow through on whatever you write about.  Right?  Of course right.  So, I figure I should list the three reasons for my state of non-writing and then proceed to chastise myself for each one.

  • Critiques from beta readers
  • Friends who write amazingly well
  • Pinterest & Youtube (ahem)

I think the first one is the biggest one in terms of my not writing.  I have no idea why I’ve gotten a tad depressed, writing wise, because I got a few critiques from the beta-readers for I Will Repay.  They were both extremely kind, thoughtful, and articulate (shout out to Patti C. and Amanda W. if either of you are reading this post – I really do appreciate your critiques), but I have this dreadful tendency to read through a critique, gather together all the negative points, and discard the positive.  Then I dwell on that whenever I think about writing and it sucks all my will to write away.  And there’s really no reason for that.  It was a first draft (a NaNoWriMo draft, for that matter), both beta-readers had some great encouragement for me, and I have a zillion drafts I can still do to make the whole thing so much better.

I think the thing that I found the hardest to hear was that my characters are weak.  But even that is not enough reason to write.  My characters are ‘live in living color’.  I just haven’t found a way to fully bring that across on paper (and let’s face it – paper is an extremely weak medium when it comes to taking down one’s thoughts).  Naturally, I want everyone to love my charries as much as I do, and I’m sure that will come after the fifth or sixth draft.  However, since I’m not there yet, I’ll have to forge ahead and actually write things and figure out characterization from there (two notes:  1) characterization is one of my weakest points as a writer 2) the beta-reader who said that did give me some good tips on how to improve said talent).

Second reason: Along with moping about in my writing, I’ve also been beta-reading books for insanely talented friends, and reading one published book by someone who’s also a friend of mine (and has probably become my new favorite book ever).  I don’t really get ‘concerned’, per se, about books I read that are written by authors I don’t know personally, because, hey, I can just imagine that their other-worldly geniuses who have a silver pen and golden talent.  But with friends who write…I actually know them, not just their characters.  I know their writerly quirks (and personal quirks, some of the time), and in some ways, they’re just normal girls who love writing (like me).  But everything that they write, even first drafts, is amazingly inspired (especially this gal).  And then I look at my own ideas/characters/first drafts…let’s just say ‘major let down’ and leave it at that.  I really don’t know how to go about refuting this one, since there’s actually some truth to it, but I suppose I just need to buckle down, write, develop my own unique voice, and let it take me places.

Ugh.  Looking back, this post seems rather angsty.  Anyway…the next reason isn’t really a complaint, although it’s a very real problem (and not just for me – I think a lot of writers suffer from it).  I go on Pinterest to get ‘story inspiration’ (The Procrastination Station is actually a very good place to get inspiration, but it’s also a deadly time waster – hence the name I made up for it) and five hours later, I’m scrolling through the latest stills from Captain America: The Winter Soldier.  Youtube is usually used as an escape when I don’t want to write.  It’s rather astounding how you can go on to watch a short clip from BBC’s Robin Hood and end up watching instructions on how to make a Despicable Me minion out of toothpicks (okay, I’ve never actually seen a video of that, but I’m sure something of that ilk is out there).  Those ‘recommended for you’ video lists are dangerous little things.  All I need is discipline (hehehehe…), and then I’ll be fine.  Hopefully.



Posted by on January 18, 2014 in i will repay, random, vengeance is mine, writing


end snippets

Here are a few snippets from the end (or near the end) of I Will Repay.  I’m quite pleased with how the whole thing turned out, although I won’t be posting the very end since that would be spoilers, right?

Putting Archie into a tight turn that the others followed, he dashed toward the arsenal. The guards stopped, looking confused, wondering why he wasn’t heading out the open gates. He urged Archie on. Any pause could very well be their downfall. As soon as they were near enough, he leaped off his horse and taking the knife out of his boot, hacked away at the lock on the door. He worked away at the innards of the bolts and with a sprong they popped open.
He risked a glance behind him and saw the guards coming up fast. In just a matter of seconds they’d be here. He hoped the horses would slow them down a little, but he couldn’t count on it. He raced into the arsenal, his eyes adjusting to the murky light. What to get? What to get? he asked himself frantically. Guns would be best, of course, but far too heavy. His eyes fell on a pile of bows stacked neatly on a leather bench and he snatched them up, along with a package of what he was sure were arrows.
Shouts came from the outside.
Zero time.
Time to go.
He ran outside, the sunlight momentarily blinding him. But he ran toward Archie anyway, slinging the bows and packet up in front of him and pulling himself up. His shoulder gave a hard twinge and he gasped. Now he could see. The guards were close. So close he could see the little wisps of fuzz on their masks. With a warrior’s cry, he turned Archie around, right on top of them and galloped out. The whole thing had taken less than a minute in his calculation, and he still had time to get out the gate.
And then he saw it being shut.
“No!” he cried out, fury and rage in his voice. He wouldn’t let this happen. He’d escape. He knew he would. After he was out of the Capitol, he had no idea how he’d shake them off, but anything was better than being stuck within the city walls. Archie thrust through the closing gate, and they simply had to stop as the other ten horses galloped along behind. ~Chapter 14

“We don’t have time for stragglers right now.”
“Well, then, when?”
Nathan let out a groan of frustration. “Once we’ve succeeded.”
“And what if we don’t? Did you ever think of that Mr Confidence? There’s a pretty good chance we won’t succeed, and then do you know what will happen to boys like this? They’ll be killed fighting for the queen, just like thousands before them. I’m not letting that happen to my brother. There was a chance to help him escape, so I took it. You’ve got a problem with that?”
Jeremy had made a persuasive argument and Nathan could feel that everyone was siding with him. He would have to do much better if he was to win this battle of words – a battle of just words, so far. “This is no time for sentimentality, or emotion. We have a job to do, and no distractions are allowed.” His words felt weak and selfish coming out of his mouth, and he knew it.
“Listen,” Jeremy spat, coming up close to him. “Just because you’ve never felt a human emotion in your life, doesn’t mean that we don’t. Not all these men have brothers, but all of them have friends, many of them still back there in that facility. We’re not going to forget them just because some boy decides that we can’t waste time in anything other than fighting.” ~Chapter 15

The Acrean facility.
Nathan felt a lump fill his throat and he pushed it back.
Why all this emotion?
He couldn’t think of any reason, except maybe the fact that this facility had been his home for nineteen years. He remembered the boys, the trainers, many of them his friends. There were bad memories locked up in this facility, lots of bad memories, but also some good ones. He’d had fun there, playing games with other boys, learning Defensive Arts from Hunter, molding other boys into exactly what he wanted them to be.
His throat tightened again, and he swallowed. They’d all been so foolish back then. Idealistic. Young. Brave. Ready to die for the queen at any moment. He’d been one of them, but no longer. This time he would lead them all out to freedom, provided they let him. The Acrean facility was far enough away from the Capitol so that they might think they were in no danger from the rebel band.
But this facility was personal.
It was time to rescue his friends. ~Chapter 16

“If revolution is the answer,” Benjamin said quietly, “then you’re asking the wrong question.”
Nathan stopped his ranting, almost shamed by the quiet words. His own angry repartees left him, and he was left with one last, parting shot. “Well, I hope you’re happy. You’ve just condemned several thousand people to death, including my men. And for what? Just so that you can all keep living in comfort, sending others out to do the work for you. If that’s what your religion is, I’m not interested,” he spat out.
Aaron’s father looked like he was about to say something, but Benjamin lay a restraining hand on his arm. He said it anyway. “You have condemned your men to death. You don’t have to fight this anymore than we do.”
Nathan gave a short laugh. “I can’t stop them. They’re too eager. They’ll fight anyway, regardless of whether I lead them or not. But you – you send your young people out on senseless missions that only drag other people into the same kind of bondage I see here. All you’re interested in is controlling people’s lives. I let my men decide for themselves. Several of them have left to join some other group, and I haven’t stopped them. They’re free.” ~Chapter 16

“Do think I’m going to give mercy to you?” he spat, his voice hard and full of loathing.
“You betrayed me. You killed one of my friends. Probably more, but that’s the one I most remember. I was with him when he died. On the battlefield.”
Her hand went to her mouth. “Oh, Nathan, I didn’t-I didn’t think that you-”
“I was there,” he said. “I saw it all. And that boy who died was an Existent. I wonder how many others were. An Existent. He could’ve been the little brother of one of your ‘friends’ back with the Nonexistents. And you killed him.”
Tears slipped down her cheeks, but he kept on going. They didn’t do anything to soften his heart, which he knew was at it should be. “And for what? For some power? Some status?” He shook his head, disgusted. “Is a human life really worth that?”
“No!” she screamed, finally snapping. “I didn’t-”
“Didn’t what?” His voice was scornful. “Didn’t make sure everyone was dead on that battlefield? What a pity. Because now the survivor is coming back for revenge. Never thought that would happen, did you. You were probably too wrapped up in your little bubble of wealth and protection to think such a thing could happen.” Words were pouring out of him and he made no attempt to stop them. “Well, now everyone’s deserted you and you are going to pay for what you did.”
“Don’t say that,” he said, rage filling his whole being. “You lost the right to say anything to me the day you betrayed me.”
“It’s not what you think. Please believe me.” He could hardly understand her for the tears, but raised his bow again, despite her words. It was too late for pleading now. He understood everything, all too well.
“I thought perhaps we could build a life together someday,” he said, his voice choked with anger and perhaps a few tears. “But I can never feel anything for a dirty, double-crossing liar.” He steadied his weapon, readying for his shot. He wanted to do this. To revenge the death of Ethan, and Liam, and all the hurt he had felt ever since he saw her on the battlefield. ~Chapter 17

And there you go – leaving you all on a bit of a cliffhanger…


P.S. Would any of you be interested in another character written post sometime soon like the one Nathan did?  Any questions you’d like a specific character to answer?  Any particular subject you’d like one of them to address?  They’d be more than happy too, and it would give me a break as well *winks*


the end of i will repay


95, 021 words.

17 chapters.

1 and 1/2 months.

And I type The End.

Then sit back and have a good cry.  Why?  It’s not like the ending was particularly sad (nothing compared what books 2 and 3 will be).  It was because I was finished.  I can write the other two books (I started on the next one just this morning).  I can edit book 1 to my heart’s content (even though I hate it editing, so…).  I can send it off to beta-readers and discuss it with them.  But I can’t write it again for the first time.  I can’t discover new things about my characters quite the way I did then.  And that makes me sad.

But also happy.


P.S. Snippets coming soon…


Posted by on December 18, 2013 in i will repay, random, vengeance is mine, writing


future writing goals

20 Inspiring Quotes To Help You Finish Writing Your Book

I Will Repay has been coming along amazingly.  I’ve got about 85K so far, and I think I’m sure I’ll reach my word count goal of 100K, and maybe even go a little farther.  New inspiration and ideas are coming to me almost faster than I can write them down, and Nathan’s whole character is being fleshed out and improved all the time.  I’ve discovered new things about him that really bring out the heart of the story, so I’m really happy about that.  I could go on and on about how amazing the story is and how it’s basically taken over my life, but I’m hear to take about my writing goals for the future, so I won’t.  I’ll save that for another post.  Anyway, here are a few writing goals that I’ll be working on over the next year.

  • Publish I Will Repay – There’s a bit of a story behind this goal.  I was planning on publishing all three books in the trilogy through Createspace, but I’d thought I would write all three books first, edit in a leisurely fashion (especially as I hate editing), and then publish.  However, they’re doing an offer of two free books if you publish before June 2014 (because of NaNo), and I’ve decided to try for it.  After all, I’m almost done the book, I have amazing beta-readers lined up, and I feel that this is right thing to do.  If I got ready for NaNo in just one day, surely I can have I Will Repay edited in several months.  I think the hardest thing will not be the editing, but the formatting.  I’ll have to take that challenge when it comes up, but I’m not looking forward to it.  I’m actually not completely sure about publishing so quickly, but I’m definitely looking into it.  To be honest, the idea freaks me out a little, but since I’ve made it my goal to live more ‘in the moment’, I think I’m up for the challenge.
  • Write while editing – This will only be one of my goals if I decide to publish I Will Repay.  If I do, I don’t want to stall on writing the next two books, especially since I’m so excited about the whole project at the moment.  If I don’t publish for the time being, I’ll just keep writing and not stop to edit, until I’m completely done.
  • Do Camp NaNo – Both of them, if possible.  I fell in love with NaNo after completing it just last month, and I can’t wait for the camps to come up.  I’ll probably set my word goal at 50K again, just because I like a challenge like that.  There’s also other writing challenges not related to NaNo that I’ll be participating in, if at all possible.

Those are my major writing goals.  I have a lot more little ones, but it would take too long to list them all here.  What are some of your writing goals?


1 Comment

Posted by on December 10, 2013 in i will repay, random, vengeance is mine, writing


snippets of ‘i will repay’

I’ve reached 70,000 words (I’m actually up to 74K now – I should get 75K by tomorrow), so I think it’s time for some more snippets.  These come exclusively from the chapters I’ve written since I did the last snippets.  I’m really happy with the way the story’s going so far.  It’s become way more complex than I first thought with plenty of twists and turns and new characters and heartbreaking bits.  Nathan’s finally on the way to striking up his revolution, but it’s going to be a long, hard road that ends in disaster.  I’m so not looking forward to writing the end of this book (because of the sadness, and also because, well, it’s the end – of course, I’ll have two more books to explore everyone’s characters, but the first book is always the most special.  Also, I’m now thinking that there could be more books coming.  I’ll have to wait and see how it works out).  Here are the snippets…

“You can’t stop me from coming,” she said. “I can do what I please and what I want to do is help my family.” Her tone was triumphant and Nathan knew she thought she had him cornered. But he’d taken the precaution of talking to Aaron about how this might come up later and Aaron had said he’d speak to the other men and tell them in vague terms about the the dangerousness of the mission. They wouldn’t physically keep Lily from going, but they’d try their best in other ways.
He said nothing to her triumphant words which obviously put a seed of doubt in her mind. “I’m leaving in a couple days,” he said, “and I don’t want to leave this way.” It was at those words that her angry, icy facade broke down a little. Only a little, but enough to show Nathan that she would care if he never came back. His heart thrilled a little at that, but he didn’t let it show. She was probably just thinking of him as a good friend.
She said nothing and walked away, her fast, hard steps showing she was still angry but would stay. Of that Nathan was confident. ~Chapter 9

The next sound she heard was laughter coming from behind the gauze. It was low, deep, and rich, just like Lord Abbadon’s speaking voice. She didn’t know what scared her more – his laugh, or his silence. There’s was something evil about both, not to mention his normal talking. “You have spirit,” he finally said, “good quality for a queen.” He paused for a moment and when he spoke again, his voice had changed to something dark and ominous. “But don’t cross me again.”
“Yes, Lord Abbadon.” She breathed an inward sigh of relief. It looked as though she’d escaped this time.
“In answer to your little question, I will give you a question of my own. Who do you think rules this world? The whole world.”
“The-the queen?” Lily said. She wasn’t sure of anything, but that was all she could think of.
He gave another laugh. “No. It is I. I hold all the power in my hands. I could strike the queen from her throne at this moment just as easily as I could kill you right now. I control the queen, the continents, and the entire world. No one….no one has as much power as I do.” His voice was full of delight as he spoke, but it sent a chill through Lily. She did want to be queen, more than anything else in the world, but if she accepted his offer, what would she be getting herself into?
“You see,” he continued, “I don’t want to be hidden away anymore. I want a queen I can work with to better the world. Just the two of us. It will be perfect. You will take the throne, I will advise you, and no one will be the wiser. You will accept.” His voice was hard and commanding now. This Lord Abbadon was a force to be reckoned with and Lily knew she would accept. He knew it too.
“Yes,” she whispered. “I will accept.” ~Chapter 9

Cursed wound. It made everything so much more difficult. The women were still far enough away for him to attempt an escape. He was very close to the woods so he thought it would be easy. It wasn’t. The first time he tried to get to his hands and knees for crawling, he nearly passed out from the pain. It was only the thought of safety and treatment and revenge that kept him going. There. He was on his hands and knees. If he kept perfectly still, the broken bone gave him no pain, but couldn’t keep still. He had to move and move fast, probably faster than he ever had in his life if he wanted to survive.
The first crawling step was agony and it got worse as it went along but he gritted his teeth and kept going. If he stopped now, he’d stop forever and that would hardly do. The woods were only a few metres away, but it seemed like miles to cross before he reached their safety. His arms were trembling in with pain and exhaustion and he panted hard as he kept crawling at a near snail’s pace. He could feel blood flowing out of his knees as they were torn up by the slight underbrush that he moved through and dried blood covered almost one half of his face. He could feel it but had no idea where it came from.
At least his neck wasn’t really bleeding and there were no bones sticking out. That was a small relief but he was in such rough shape, he almost gave up then and there as he mentally catalogued his wounds. But he was only a couple of yards away from the beginnings of the woods now so he grimly pressed on.
He made it.
He dragged himself a little bit further and then flopped down on his back and stared up at the trees towering over him. He felt cold and damp seeping into his shirt and chilling his back, but he didn’t move. Let the cold numb him. It would make the next leg of the journey easier, that is, if ‘easy’ had been in his vocabulary at the moment. He decided to sleep for a bit if he could to gain strength and give his broken collarbone a little bit of rest, although it wouldn’t really make much difference. ~Chapter 10

They been going for what seemed like hours and Nathan had started straining his fever glazed eyes for the oasis Helen had tied the horses to before. Dusk was falling and he didn’t want to miss the patch of grass and ride Archie into the sharp stones. And he didn’t even know exactly where he was – all the desert looked alike for miles around. He felt defeated and unexpected tears welled up. He thought of God, the Person Benjamin had talked about. Did he really exist? And if he did, would he care about Nathan’s troubles?
“Oh, God,” his heart cried out, “help me find the oasis before it gets too dark. I need to rest and so does Archie. Please.”
Nothing happened.
He slumped against Archie’s strong neck and let the tears come. It was hopeless. They were going to fail. They wouldn’t be able to rest at the oasis, he wouldn’t be able to see enough to lead Archie through the sharp stones like he planned to. He would die here in the desert, alone except for a horse, forgotten by all who had once known him. Abandoned by the one Person who he thought could have saved him.
That was what hurt the most.
He stayed against Archie’s side, his eyes closed, almost falling off the horse. Only the thought of all the pain that would come if he did so kept him hanging on, and the thought would probably go away soon enough. He didn’t care about anything anymore.
What did it all matter anymore?
Nothing. ~Chapter 10

Aaron turned and saw him. “Dylan,” he said. His voice was calm, and not choked up. “What is it?”
“We need to talk.”
“Okay. Sure. What’s on your mind?”
Dylan fidgeted around and then figured the best way would be to blurt it out right away and get it over with. “Where were you today?”
Aaron didn’t look guilty or even surprised at the question. “I took Nathan to the tunnels. We met with the group – I should’ve told you, but I just…forgot.” He seemed a little embarrassed, and Dylan knew exactly why. Irritation filled him.
“You were afraid I’d tell on you.”
Aaron hesitated for a moment and then nodded.
“Who do you think I am? Some kind of sneak thief?”
“No, no, of course not.” Aaron said the words, but they didn’t ring true.
“Whatever,” Dylan said. This wasn’t going the way he’d thought it would, but he didn’t care. He was too angry to care. He slammed his fist against the hard rock wall and then pulled it back, wincing. That was a foolish, babyish gesture. He should have known better. Aaron watched him mildly, and Dylan struck out at him, instead of the wall. “And why do you keep ignoring me? You’re always going off with-with Nathan.” He spat the word out as if it were a curse.
“I-” Aaron began, but Dylan didn’t give him a chance to continue.
“Don’t try to deny it. That’s what you’ve been doing. What’s so important?” He realized he was shouting and tried to curb his tone, even though it was too late. Everyone was staring at him and Aaron already. A hush had settled over the room. He noticed Benjamin looking at him quietly and felt a hot rush of shame fill him.
Aaron stood up, his eyes full of fire now, although his stance was calm – as was his voice when he spoke. “I haven’t been ignoring you.” Again, his words didn’t ring true.
“That’s exactly what you’ve been doing,” Dylan said, his voice several times louder than Aaron’s had been. He knew he was making a spectacle of himself, but he didn’t care. Let them stare, let Benjamin look on with his quiet dignity, let them sneer if they liked, but he was going to say what needed to be said. “Ever since that Bordage boy came in here, there’s been nothing but trouble among us.”
Aaron said nothing, just stared at him, stoney-eyed. Dylan felt quelled under his gaze, but quickly rallied. Aaron couldn’t make him feel ashamed. He was the one doing wrong, and Dylan believed he knew it. Aaron kept staring at him, and frustration was building inside him, and-
His fist came out and Aaron fell to the floor, his cheek red and bleeding. He got up warily, holding his hand to his injured face. He kept his eyes on Dylan, and he felt anger building inside him. He would’ve hit Aaron again, had not a voice called his name. “Dylan! Stop. Please.” It was Esther. His upraised hand dropped to his side, and once again shame filled him. He had hit his best friend. How on earth could he have done such a thing? ~Chapter 12

Laii felt a flutter go through her. “So you’ve confirmed he’s alive.”
“Of course. He said he stayed in the forest near the battlefield until he was recovered and then came to us, since we were the closest.”
“I see.” Laii could hardly keep the smile of her face. Her boy was all right and he was coming home. And he had survived. That was the most important thing. Of course, there would be punishment for escaping the prison, but since the queen he had attempted to kill was already dead, there would not be too big of a fuss. “You’ll arrange for his return, then?”
“You want him back?”
“Yes,” Laii said, her voice hesitant. Why wouldn’t they want him back?
“He has expressed a desire to stay here. Says there’s no new boys at your facility and he wants to train ours. I said I’d make a call to your facility and see if that would be all right.” The woman’s voice was hard, and it was directed at Laii, not Nathan. “I want him to stay here,” she said. “He seems capable and we’ve had a dearth of good trainers recently which, as I’m sure you know, isn’t good.”
“I see,” Laii repeated.
“You’ll agree to this,” Amelba said. It was a statement, not a question. “I’m sure we need him much more than you do.”
Laii swallowed and then regretted it, hoping it hadn’t been heard and taken for a sign of nervousness. Except she was nervous. “That’s fine,” she finally said, lying through her teeth. It wasn’t fine. It was terribly wrong. She couldn’t understand Nathan. How did he know there were very few boys here and that they had an overflow of trainers at the moment? She said goodbye and set the phone down on her desk.
She held her head in her hands and tried to make sense of it all. ~Chapter 12

Now to escape, and then to the caves.
At that instant, an alarm went off.
The sound sent chills through Nathan. “No,” he muttered. “We don’t have time for this.” Then, out loud. “We’re leaving. NOW!” Everyone took off at a run, following Nathan and trusting him to lead them to safety. Even in the face of danger, he felt outrageously happy that they trusted him. It was one of the best feelings in the world. And then he was running in earnest.
The babies were being joggled around considerably, but then didn’t wake up, much less cry. The shadowy corridor then were running down suddenly flooded with light. Shouts and running feet were heard. They kept going. If they stopped, or even looked back to assess the situation, they’d be captured for sure. If they kept going, they had a chance. Nathan wasn’t sure the facility even knew what was happening. They probably didn’t know someone was trying to break out, they just knew there was a disruption.
Just a little more…a little more…and then they’d be to the facility door. It was always guarded by guard women, but they all had weapons and knew Defensive Arts. It would be difficult with the babies – Nathan’s arm was already tiring – but doable. They had to do it.
They reached the door. Only two guard women were standing there, and surprise was plain on their faces. They had doubtless heard the alarms, but this was beyond their imagination. Nathan knew it looked crazy. Thirty young men running crazily toward them, each carrying a sleeping baby with a duffel bag bouncing on each back. Well, if they wanted crazy, he’d give them crazy. “Charge through!” he shouted.
They charged. The two guard women were helpless under the surge of power coming toward them and they fled. Nathan fumbled with the lock on the door and then the were free, running past the startled guards on the outside, running straight and true. It was the best feeling he had ever had. The wind in his lungs, running hard and fast away from the terrible place of death and destruction and broken dreams.
It was time to make a change in the world and he would be the one to do it. ~Chapter 13

“I guess this is goodbye for a while,” Aaron said.
Nathan nodded. He wanted to tell his friend not to worry, that they’d meet soon again when he had more babies, but he didn’t know if they would meet again. So he said, “Are you sure it’s not too much of a strain on you and your friends to keep coming back and forth?”
“Of course not,” Aaron said. “I’m only using boys from our community, so we don’t have to summon a lot of people from other continents whenever we go out. The elders have given permission – even Ben was for it. And even if it was hard, we’d still do it. Who said rebellion was easy?”
“It’s not,” Nathan said, more to himself than Aaron. “It’s hard. It’s the hardest thing I’ve ever done. I thought I knew exactly how it would work, but it’s not even close. Just the escape…seeing the children’s ward again…it brought up all my old nightmares. I can’t shake those images off. I don’t know why I take it so hard, but I do. It’s wrong. I know it’s wrong and I’m going to stop it.”
“Anything else?” Aaron asked, his voice telling Nathan that he knew there was something else. None of Nathan’s men – or the Existents, for that matter – where especially nearby, so Nathan nodded.
“My men are difficult. Very difficult. With the exception of a couple, they all follow one of their own and look to him for direction. There can’t be two leaders. At least not two leaders that are constantly going against each other.”
Aaron nodded, understanding. Nathan put his head in his hands. “I don’t know what to do. I really don’t. I thought I was ready to lead this rebellion, but if I can’t even sort out the troubles between my own men, how can I fix the world’s?”
“Take it one step at a time,” Aaron said, laying a hand on Nathan’s shoulder. “Fix the problems with your men, no matter how long it takes. Time spent like that isn’t a waste, no matter what you think. And then you can focus on fighting other battles. It’s the only way.”
“You sound so sure,” Nathan said.
“I am. I have the same problems, to a lesser degree.”
Aaron sighed heavily. “It’s hard to explain but, yes, it has to do with him. Hey, I really should get going now. It’s getting late.” ~Chapter 13

“I thought you said we needed to move fast,” Jeremy said, challenge once again in his voice.
“We do. But it’s no use attacking without the proper supplies and a good battle plan.”
“When exactly?” Jeremy pressed. He seemed to want to be in control of the whole situation, so Nathan hesitated before giving him the answer. However, it wouldn’t hurt to have everyone know it so they could prepare themselves mentally as well as physically.
“One week.” It would be tight, but it was all Nathan had. That one week would have to do the duty of a whole month, or maybe even two. Bring the boys together as one smooth working unit, get weapons, horses, and a good amount of supplies.
Difficult, but when had Nathan Bordage ever taken the easy way?
And, as Aaron had said, revolution was hard. ~Chapter 13



fighter, dreamer, rebel, thief


This is Nathan here.  Eva didn’t feel inspired this evening – to write a blog post or to write my story – so here I am.  I’m sitting in my tiny room that the Nonexistents are letting me use, typing away on one of their laptops.  Aaron brought it to me a little while ago and said I should probably learn how to use it, since the government uses computers so knowing how to use one myself will help my revolution (which I’ll be talking about later).  Eva came over just a few minutes ago and logged me in to her wordpress account (why she trusts me with it, I have no idea – she really shouldn’t) and showed me how to write a blog post.  She said it would be a favor from me to her if I’d write about my life so far, or something like that, but I’m going to use this post to talk about my revolution (although I’ll give you a bit of my background, since that’s important too).

I can already tell it’s going to take a long time to write this, just because I have to use my left hand alone to write everything down.  My collar bone’s broken on the right side – by a Warrior Woman – and if I move my right side at all, it hurts like anything (I’d use a more descriptive word than that, but Eva said if I do anything like that, she’ll delete this post and not let me write any more.  And since I have a feeling they’ll be useful to stir up revolutionary spirit…).  So, anyway, enough about where I am and all that, and on to the revolution.  The purpose behind my revolution is to bring down the corrupt government and, more specifically, the queen.  See, the queen is Lily, a girl I thought was my friend, but then she betrayed me.  So I want revenge on her.  I want to see her shamed and brought into the dust and killed.  She doesn’t deserve to live after what she did to me.

I have another reason for the revolution.  I want to rescue the children that are in the facilities – the ones that are in the special wards that I still don’t know the reason for.  Once I infiltrate the facilities, I’ll figure it out.  I discovered the wards on my thirteenth birthday, but then through some diabolical trick on the part of the facility leaders I was never able to find them again.  For a while after I lost Hunter, and found Lily, and then lost Ethan, I wasn’t really thinking of that part of my quest, but now I am.  I don’t have anything else to do with my life besides revolution, so I might as well do that.  And I want to get away from the Nonexistents as quickly as possible.  Aaron is great, even though he has an attitude where Cara (the girl he’s engaged to) is concerned, but the rest of them get on my nerves.  Especially Benjamin with his constant talking about all sorts of things I’m not interested in at all.

Eva says that since she lives in the past, and the post will go up in the past, even though I’m in the present (it’s really complicated – I don’t even understand it myself), so I can share my battle plan with all of you.  Our government won’t know about it, and I’m sure all of you would be interested.  So, what I plan to do once my collar bone heals – which Eva says will take about four months (unbearable, but I can make my story go in a whole new direction for revenge.  She hates that, but she doesn’t really know all that happens to me, so I can change everything just like that) – I’ll leave the Nonexistents.  I might take Aaron with me, but I doubt Benjamin will allow it, so I’m going on the assumption that he’s not coming.  It doesn’t really changes things either way.  After I leave them, I’m going to infiltrate one of the North American facilities (pretty much any one, besides the one I grew up in) as a trainer.

I’ll train my set of boys in Defensive Arts and then we’ll all escape, taking as many children as we can.  Then, the babies/children will be given to the Nonexistents – I’m sure they won’t mind – and I’ll keep training my boys.  We’ll make raids on other facilities, rescue children, build up our forces, and then when we have an army, we’ll march on the Capitol.  And this all has to be done in fourteen months (after I heal up) because in eighteen months, the world leaders will all be meeting in the Capitol, so we can get them all in one shot.  They’ll have Warrior Women, of course, but I’m sure we can pull it off.  Surprise will be one of our biggest weapons and you can be sure I’ll use it to my advantage.  I don’t have any illusions, though. It could end in disaster, which is why I’m not going to get close to anyone.  I’ve already lost Hunter and Ethan because I cared too much, so I’m not going to care anymore.

It’ll be much better that way, I’m sure.  I mind my own business, the boys mind their business and no one gets hurt if/when things happen.  Of course, I can’t stop them from making friendships, but I can stop myself.  Well, it’s supper over here and I’m pretty hungry, so I going to sign off now.  Here comes Eva to put this post in different categories and publish it and share on some facebook writing group that she’s obsessed with.  That’s good.  I want to get the message out to as many people as possible.  So, if you want to join in my revolution, you’re a guy, and you can come forward in time, feel free to join us.  We need as many people for the cause as possible.

Nathan Bordage