Title: The Journey
Author: Shadahyah Elizabeth
Release Date: 23 March
Renee, Elizabeth and Jasmine’s were three ordinary girls, living a boring life in a small village right outside the great kingdom of Aden. But when a deranged king forces them to leave their village, these three girls embark on an incredible journey that will ultimately lead them to discover who they really are and what their birth means to the world.
~ Except ~
“Don’t touch me!” screamed Elizabeth frantically, as she tried hard to fight off an unknown attacker. She was in the forest with her two best friends when, all of a sudden, they were attacked by a half dozen men, who looked as if they were in the king’s army. “Leave us alone,” Elizabeth ordered. Her voice was shaking, and so were her hands, she was petrified. Her intuition was telling her to run, get as far away from that place as humanly possible, but she couldn’t move, there were too many of them and neither she nor her friends were strong enough to take on all the men and live to tell about it. The men only laughed at her demands, while each one joked about what they would do to them after they had captured the girls.
“Just be good little girls and come with us,” one of the soldiers said. His face was dark; in fact, all of their faces were, and the only thing the girls could make out was their mouths—all up in a Cheshire cat smile, waiting to attack their prey. The men proceeded to put the girls in a carriage.
“NO!” Elizabeth yelled. The moment she did, the scene vanished, and she was sitting in a dark room. The only light came from an open window a few feet away from where she sat as the moon shined brightly inside what seemed like a bedroom. It took a moment for her eyes to adjust to the darkness, and the moment they did, she realized that she was in her room and sitting on top of her bed, with covers over her. She took in a deep breath and sighed. “It was only a dream,” she said as she brought her hand up to her forehead, which she soon discovered was drenched in sweat. What was that dream all about, she wondered as she proceeded to pull the covers back over herself and lay back down, trying to go back sleep. However, after ten minutes of tossing and turning, she decided to get up and go outside—hoping that the night air would help cool her down so she could go back to sleep. Placing one foot on the floor at a time, Elizabeth rose to her feet, and headed for her bedroom door.
The hallway was dimly lit with at least five candles between Elizabeth’s room and the stairs. Ever since she was a little girl, her father John Kimache, would have the servants leave a few candles lit, just in case Elizabeth had a bad dream—and that night wasn’t any different. As she made her way down the long stairway, she made sure not to make any noise for fear of waking up her father, who had just come back to the village after being away for a month on business. John was the wealthiest merchant in all their village, with store fronts in many neighboring and far away villages, so his business kept him gone a lot. At first, Elizabeth would complain about his frequent absence, however, after a while she got used to it and always asked to be brought back a trinket from his trips; this time it was a gold butterfly ring that she hadn’t taken off since he came back.
The moment she opened the front door, Elizabeth felt the warm breeze from the summer night swoop upon her like a thief, stealing her breath and forcing her to close her eyes for fear of what it would take next. Her heart began to calm down as she slowly breathed in the night air. As she opened her eyes, she noticed something very peculiar; the moon was huge and purple. Never in her life had she ever witnessed something so miraculous, and the way it was shining made her feel as if it was shining only on her.
“Are you okay?” She heard a voice call out to her. Turning her head towards the voice, she saw her best friend, Renee Clover, staring back at her with a puzzled expression, and her beautiful hazel eyes sparkling in the moonlight. Renee stood almost a foot taller than Elizabeth, with long, sandy brown hair and beautiful caramel skin. Her figure was full, both in the breast and in the butt, and though Elizabeth had almost the exact same frame, unlike Renee, she felt insecure and looked away. Mostly because when they would walk around town together with their other friend, Jasmine, Elizabeth would normally be in the back and ignored, while her two friends got all of the attention.
Elizabeth shook her head and Renee sighed. “Did you have another bad dream?” she asked as she made her way to her friend. For the past few weeks, Elizabeth had been having bad dreams, some more violent than others, and each time she would end up in front of the house.
“Why are you here?” Elizabeth asked, ignoring Renee’s question. She knew why Renee was there, it was the same reason every year, not to mention the link they all shared that told each of them when the other was in trouble. It was almost like a sixth sense—or a seventh in their case; because they could also talk to each other telepathically. Both skills they discovered when they were young, and had been using ever since.
“You know why I’m here,” Renee replied with a smirk as she gently brushed one of Elizabeth’s curly strands from her face.
“Thanks,” Elizabeth replied softly.
“You’re welcome. Now are you okay?” Renee asked, concerned.
“I’m fine,” Elizabeth softly said, though she didn’t feel fine. In fact, she felt afraid and vulnerable, only she didn’t understand how a dream could get to her so bad.
“You don’t look fine,” they heard another voice say. The two girls looked over and saw Jasmine walking up towards them. Her cat like eyes were nearly engulfed by her wide smile as her honey-bronzed complexion sparked in the moonlight. Her arms were folded perfectly across her breasts. She was just as curvy as her friends and, to some, considered to be extremely short tempered, however, she was still considered to be one of the most beautiful girls in the entire village, much like her friends.
Elizabeth sighed. “What are you doing here?”
“You know why I’m here. I couldn’t sleep either and you needed me. So, are you okay?” Jasmine replied.
Elizabeth sat down on the ground and her friends joined her, she then turned her attention to the huge, purple moon and after a few seconds finally decided to speak. “Don’t you guys think that moon is weird?” she asked completely ignoring their question.
“Yes, it’s weird, we’ll talk about that later. Right now we need you to answer our question,” Jasmine declared, unwilling to let her off so easily.
Elizabeth sighed then looked at her friends. “I’m okay, it was just a bad dream,” she assured them. She wanted to change the subject, anything but reliving that dream would have made her happy.
“What happened in this one?” asked Renee. She was just as determined as Jasmine to find out why their best friend, who always seemed so collected, would be standing in her doorway at almost midnight, looking as if she had almost been run over by a carriage. Elizabeth knew that the only way she could get rid of them was by telling them exactly what they wanted to know, even though it meant they would laugh at her.
Elizabeth took in a deep breath and then closed her eyes, in order to remember her dream and calm her heart, which was still beating a bit too fast. A few second later, she opened her eyes, released her breath, and began to tell her friends about the dream. “We were somewhere in the forest, only I’m not sure where because I’ve never seen anything like that before.”
“What did it look like?” Jasmine asked, interrupting her. She had placed her head on her knees and was looking up at Elizabeth like a child being read a bedtime story by her mother.
“I can’t remember what it looked like. All I know is that there was a river nearby, and it looked like we were about to bathe.” Elizabeth said, shrugging her shoulders as she tried to remember the images from her dream. She recalled that while she was sleeping, everything seemed so vivid. She could smell the water and even feel the warm breeze from the evening sky, however, the moment she tried to remember it, she couldn’t.
“Okay, so the three of us were in this mysterious forest about to bathe. Then what happened?” Renee asked.
Elizabeth looked down. She wasn’t sure if she should tell them what happened next or not, because given their personalities, she knew they would laugh at her and tell her it was stupid. However, she couldn’t shake the feeling that it was more of a dream to her than a nightmare.
“Lizzy?” Renee and Jasmine said, in unison. They said interrupting Elizabeth’s thoughts.
Elizabeth closed her eyes, and then in one breath she said, “We were attacked by some men that looked like soldiers.”
Jasmine frowned, “Why would soldiers attack us?” Her tone told Elizabeth that she wasn’t buying it. That the mere thought of it was unbelievable because in the king’s eyes, they and their village was just another small village in his reach.
“I don’t know.” Elizabeth admitted. “They wanted to take us somewhere, only we didn’t want to go, so they tried to force us into these carriages.” Elizabeth shuddered just thinking about it.
“Then what happened?” Renee asked
Elizabeth shook her head, “Then I woke up and came outside. I can’t remember anything else.” She admitted. “Do you guys think it means anything?” She asked hesitantly. She could already tell that they weren’t taking her dream serious, and instantly regretted telling them about it.
“It sounds like your daydreams are getting to you.” Renee replied with a laugh.
“I agree. You should really stop daydreaming before bedtime, it’s starting to affect your sanity.” Jasmine said.
“Besides Lizzy, why would the soldiers come after three country girls from a small village?” Renee added.
Elizabeth sighed. She knew they wouldn’t take it serious. Who would? Besides, Renee had a point. Why would the king send soldiers to get them, it wasn’t like they had ever met the king; in fact, they had never even been out of their little village, except in their imagination, so the idea itself was preposterous. “You’re right. It must have been my imagination running away from me.” Said Elizabeth, just so they could change the subject. She knew that they wouldn’t be of any help. The idea of the soldiers coming after them was too unreal, however, this wasn’t the first time she had dreamt about running from the king, and something told her that it wouldn’t be the last, either.
Renee put her arm around Elizabeth, and Jasmine did the same. “Of course we are. Just stop daydreaming or reading before bedtime and you’ll be fine.”
“So besides seeing about me, why are you guys here?” Elizabeth asked, as if she already knew the answer. It was pretty much a tradition and it happened every year before the clock struck twelve.
“I told you. I can’t sleep and I am too excited about tomorrow.” Renee informed her. Her hazel eyes staring politely at Elizabeth.
“Oh, our birthday?” Elizabeth asked. Besides being good friends, Renee, Elizabeth and Jasmine shared the same birthday and not just the day, but the year as well. They were all born at the same time and looked so much alike, that many people began to question if they were related, which they would politely reply “no.”
“Right, I can’t believe we are going to be 18 this year.” Jasmine said with a smile.
“It’s just another year, nothing to get too worked up about.” Elizabeth said, nonchalantly.
“It’s not just another year.” Replied Renee, “It’s the year that we have to choose who to marry.”
Elizabeth rolled her eyes. It was tradition in their village that once a girl turned eighteen, she would be married off; which was why it was so important for them to court early in life, so they wouldn’t be stuck with someone no one wanted. “No thank you.” She retorted in a snarling tone.
“Really Lizzy, you mean to tell me that you hadn’t once even thought about it?” Jasmine teased. She, like Renee, knew Elizabeth was lying, and it wasn’t because her head was screaming it—it showed in her face. She always wanted to get married but was too worried about leaving her father alone, and that is why she would deny every guys advances. All of her life, it had just been her and her father. She had no mother to speak of, nor any other family. In fact, Renee and Jasmine were the closet thing she had to sisters, with their parents being more like her family than just her friends’ parents.
“No never.” Elizabeth said so quickly that it made her friends laugh and her face fluster so brightly that she was glad they couldn’t see the rosy coloring of her cheeks.
“Liar.” Said Renee with a tenacious laugh.
“I’m n—” Elizabeth started but she knew there was no use in finishing her sentence, especially since lying to them was pretty much impossible—so was keeping any secret because of their ability to read each other’s minds, however, it was only each other’s. Over the years they had tried to expand that ability by staring intensely at other people—only to come off as weird, so they gave up and decided to only use it on each other. They had gotten so good at controlling the ability, that after a while they found that they could actually sense when the other was in danger or needed any help. So instead of lying Elizabeth just shook her head and said, “Okay, maybe I do, but there is no one here that interests me.”
“Then how about for our birthday we go to the capital?” Jasmine said, excitedly. She had felt the same way as Elizabeth about the men in their little village. No one there sparked her interests either. So she figured that if they left the village for a few hours, maybe they could find someone interesting or at least have an adventure.
Elizabeth shook her head vigorously. “The capital is half a day’s ride from here, if we go we could get into trouble.” She explained. Ever since they could remember, their parents had prohibited them from going anywhere near the capital, even leaving the village was prohibited unless they were with their parents or Jasmine’s older brother Ethan, which never happened.
“Maybe, but you said it yourself, there is no one in this little village that you want to marry,” Jasmine reminded her as a way to get Elizabeth into saying she would come.
“But there might be one in the capital.” Renee added. They both stared intensively at Elizabeth as if to say, you’re going no matter what you say; even if we have to make you. It was always like that with her. She had to always be the responsible one while Renee and Jasmine ran amok and did whatever they wanted.
Elizabeth sighed, she knew she wasn’t going to win this argument, she never did, which was why they always ganged up on her, and besides, what was the harm of going to the capital. So despite the small voice in her head telling her that it was a bad idea she said, “Fine. What time do we leave?”
Her friends let out a small squeal then hugged her.
“Thank you.” Jasmine said whole heartily. She had always wanted to go to the capital. Ever since she was a little girl, she had heard stories about how grand and beautiful the great capital of Aden was, with its many lakes and beautiful gardens. The way the moonlight danced off the river, not to mention the marketplace, so full of life and energy. It was unlike anything they had ever experienced there. In the small town of Cerin, a little village located just on the outskirts of the grand kingdom. It was so small that it went unnoticed by mostly everyone, including the king.
“Don’t thank me just yet.” Elizabeth said with a tiny laugh. “You still haven’t told me the time.”
“After breakfast,” Renee happily replied with a little nod.
“Okay, I have to feed the animals first, but I’m sure I can get away afterwards.” Elizabeth explained. She was just as excited as her friends were, only she didn’t want to show it. They had never set one foot out of the village their entire life, so the idea of leaving even for the day was enough to make her say yes—anything to get away from the boring existence that was that village.
“Great, then after you’re done feeding the animals, meet us at the edge of the forest—and Lizzy, don’t be late!” Renee warned.
“I’m never late, that’s you,” Elizabeth corrected. The girls laughed, then stood up and went back into their respected houses, more excited than ever about the coming day.
~ Video ~
~ Review ~
This was really great! I enjoyed every minute of reading this awesome book. The story sucked me into it right away and I Loved Elizabeth, Renee and Jasmine. They are great characters that you can’t not like. Maybe it will be a bit hard in the beginning, but you’ll get them very soon. And the best past is that during the whole book we have rapid character development. Not all books have that nowadays.
~ About the Author ~
Shadahyah Elizabeth was born and raised in Saint Louis, Missouri. She grew up loving the art of music, acting, photograph, and writing. Nothing else really sparked an interest. She first began writing when she was twelve years old when she and her sisters would make up stories and act them out with each other. In order to come up with new ideas for these stories, they would write them down, and from that, her love of writing began.