Sunday Sampler: Incandescence by Angela B. Mortimer
November 29, 2015
In our mission to connect readers, writers, and books, Caleb and Linda Pirtle has launched a new series featuring writing samples from some of the best authors in the marketplace today. Sunday’s Sampler is an excerpt from Incandescence, a visionary space opera by Angela B. Mortimer.
As one reviewer said: Tighten your seatbelts in the war of the worlds where many perish, and where heartbroken Doella doubts her enormous power in a startling race to the exciting conclusion that might be the horribly wrenching death of the cosmos and the heroic survivors we have grown to love.
Doella wonders what she is and looks for the answers she already knows. In this final book we find out, and the truth is not easy for any of us. She meets the Cael, the oldest creature in the universe, and finally learns the truth of her making and the terror of her ending, both of which she has stubbornly refused to admit.
She bears the children the Elder Vrash has foretold, and in doing so unleashes a power as great as her own on the universe – for these are the Discuri, the twins. These two sons of Doella must fight, one for good and one for evil. Evil must destroy all those who value goodness, for it cannot bear the light. Doella must locate the other Guardians if she is to hold this universe for the side of light and for the futures yet to come.
In this final book we share with Doella the truth of her terrible existence and why she must be the “mother of all”.
As soon as she had weaned Pars, who was a Wyan, she left him with Dolar, who still had months to go before the birth of her next child. She said goodbye to her loyal husbands, who were resigned to their strange fate of being the fathers of Doella’s many children, and followed her ever-growing desire to visit the great Cael.
It had become an obsession with her since that time with Screetha, when she had felt the awful pain in her heart. Every dragon knew of The Cael, the oldest; but never before had Doella felt the need to seek her out and speak with her. Wylane was surprised at her request, but he agreed to take her. Screetha accompanied them, wearing her enhancers so she could fly as a dragon. Together they left Astras to find the Old One.
Doella knew where to find her – in a far, cold area of space with few viable suns and even fewer planets. These barren worlds were either covered in ice, or were just bare rocks moving on their seemingly endless journey through space. Even The Cael’s ruined world had little atmosphere; only a dragon could live in such a place.
They landed outside her lair. Doella and Wylane remained in their dragon forms, but Screetha defiantly changed back into her own shape. Respecting their daughters instincts, they said nothing. Cael tried not to wake, but her uncharacteristic impatience to meet Doella forced her to.
So Doella, you have come at last. I have been expecting you.
Yes Cael, I know.
Screetha followed her mother and Wylane took up the rear. In his real form, he possessed strength, power and majesty as well as his own dragon beauty.
The Cael was smaller than they expected, and her once golden, glittering scales had lost their vibrant lustre
Doella, even her telepathic voice was tarnished with antiquity, they say you are frighteningly beautiful, both as a dragon and hominid; but are you hominid or dragon?
As the great Cael knows already, I am both and neither.
I am the oldest creature alive and yes, I know who you are. You are the pivotal force; the one I have been waiting for so I can pass on my vast knowledge before I die.
Both Wylane and Screetha were surprised at her words, but Doella was not. It was you who entered my soul, wasn’t it?
I was there, but I was not alone. Those were memories passed onto me when I was born, ages ago. Your daughter Screetha is blessed with the sight to help you. Your own task is too great for you to have to live with that pain too, but one day you will be forced to assume that role for yourself. And here we have Wylane, always protective. How handsome you are, hybrid. I regret my lost youth.
Great Cael, he said and lowered his head in respect.
I am more than ready for death. I know that the dragon children of Doella and Wylar will replace my race. Again, pain crushed Doella’s heart. Ah, your great love – he was almost lost, but now you have his son. Wylane is like his father, but he is not Wylar. You still seek him, and yet you have found him, although you don’t wish to acknowledge it, for that would mean accepting the fact that he is really lost to this world and can never return. Doella lowered her head and a large tear dropped from each eye and froze into ice before it reached the ground. Doella, your life is just beginning, and as it changes so will you. These changes will make you stronger not diminish you. Your beauty, so necessary to your success, will endure. The Cael gave a mental smile. Now and then another “holiday” will occur, and for a while you will pretend you are a simple Varan girl again, not Mother until time ends. No more guilt; your essence is dragon and you can never be that Varan girl again, except in your imagination. She paused and slowly turned her head and looked at Screetha. Come here, little one. Screetha looked pathetically small beside the three dragons as she moved bravely forward to stand before the Cael. Screetha, you too have a great task to perform. You will be your mothers guide and friend from now on. Dolar has her own path to follow. You must be your mother’s confident and guide; hold her when she sorrows, be happy for her when she is happy. You will know love too, but it will be fleeting and bittersweet. Screetha lowered her eyes, and the Cael turned to Wylane. Wylane, true husband of Doella, you now know your final task. Love and cherish her for as long as you live. And now for your next task, Doella. Zyl is aching for you as he tries to bring the others to the safety of the dragon brood. He has been close to destruction many times, although some of them understand his reasoning. He will sacrifice himself to achieve his goal; until then, be kind to him. Show him what love can be, so that he in turn can show the other wild ones. For love is the greatest force in the universe, and the absence of love is its dark reflection; and they can create or destroy worlds and times and races. Wylane knows he is secure and loved as your dragon husband and he fears no rivals now. She paused. Doella, I am tired and ready to leave this time now.
Wylane, Screetha, please leave us, said Doella softly. They did as she asked, and Doella changed back into her own form.