Blood Rain

The novel is about a 16 year old girl named Mercy who is training to be the next shaman for her secluded treetop village on the night that blood rains from the sky. During the storm, the enemies of her people, the bat-like beast-men called "Blood Wings" are incited into a blood frenzy during an attack that nearly destroys her tribe. The village chieftain sends her on a mission of honor to find the source of the rain, forcing her to flee the village in the midst of the battle. Her mission takes her from one corner of the continent to the next and Mercy is forced to befriend potential enemies, spies, and even one of the Blood Wings to uncover the truth about the blood rain. As Mercy searches for answers she uncovers secrets from her past, lies that are widely accepted as truths, and a terrifying secret hidden by the beast men themselves. Everything points to a powerful magic which disappeared hundreds of years ago. If magic resurfaces in the world everything will change forever.

Mercy looked at the blood dripping down her hands in small rivulets, trailing lines of red down her pale skin.  She wasn’t sure if it was her own blood, or the rain.  All she knew was that her forehead and her shoulder burned, but not as much as they should have from a wound that was so deep.  It could’ve been the cold that was seeping into her bones, making her feel numb all over that was dulling the pain, but she knew it was far more likely that it was from the venom of the bestial creatures that attacked her.  She also knew that she shouldn’t be that cold; it was the fact that she was slowly bleeding to death that was making her numb.  And, while the thought should have panicked her, she felt like death would at least give her a chance to close her eyes.

The clouds were still the color of a slowly healing bruise, dark purple and pink.  The eerie red haze still hung beneath them, meaning the sky was still bleeding.  The black sand of the beaches was a pleasant contrast to the red earth she saw fleeing from the jungle.  At least here she couldn’t see the blood on the ground.  Still, the lighthouse in front of her, once clearly a vibrant white, was now slicked with a red spattering of blood.  Somehow, she felt that was a bad omen, but was too weary to care.  Off in the distance, she could see Concord, sprawled out along the beach in a tightly packed hodgepodge of different types of buildings.  Still, it hardly seemed to matter, since she knew she didn’t have enough energy to even limp into town.

Even as Mercy stared ahead of her, the two men silhouetted by the mirrored flare from inside of the lighthouse looked red from the crimson seeping down her forehead and into her eyes.  They were pointing at her and began rushing down the stairs.  Their forms became clearer when they opened the door at the base of the lighthouse. 

One was a tall man with a strange complexion.  It might’ve been a trick of the light, but his skin seemed tinted light blue and his hair looked teal.  She wiped her eyes and saw that it must’ve indeed been a trick of the red coating her eyes.  He had brown hair and very pale skin.  He wasn’t heavily muscled either, hinting that he might’ve been a scholar; someone who didn’t spend much time in the sun. 

Still, as Mercy’s eyes locked on the second man, she wished that she had the energy to run away.  Just the sight of him was enough to make her want to bolt, even if it meant that she bled to death on the way.  He was tall, but didn’t look lanky.  His muscle was spindly, hinting at an agile build, but his thin and strong frame wasn’t what worried her.  It was his ashen skin.  His skin was gray like the ash of a volcano, only slightly lighter than the grayish black sand beneath her feet.  His hair was the cherry red of volcanic magma, and his eyes were an eerie shade of blood red.

Mercy thought, miserably, as she felt her legs buckling beneath her, “I’m sorry Father.  I guess I have no choice but to trust one of the Ashen Folk.

Mercy fought against the pull of blissful unconsciousness as she watched the two men running towards her, kicking up sand behind them.  She could feel worry and concern coming from them in waves, which was a good sign, but the Ashen man was fighting against his feelings of suspicion and mistrust about her.  The feeling was mutual on her part as well.   

As her eyes began squinting shut, the one with brown hair said in the common language, in an odd accent that she couldn’t place, “Hold on.  We’ll take you someplace warm.  Don’t give in.  Just hold on a little longer…”

The rest of what he said was lost as she felt as though she was floating away from the conversation, and from the pain and bitter cold that were overtaking her body.

Her last conscious thought was, “I need to remember why I came here.  Please, help me remember…
 


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