War – What’s it Really Good For?

I’ve recently exchanged stories with another great indie author, Pavarti K Tyler. Her serial novel, ‘Two Moons of Sera’, is similar to my work in that it is ‘elemental’ driven. ‘Two Moons of Sera’ is set in a world with water-cultures, earth-cultures, and mountain/lava-cultures all at war with each other. Volumes 1 and 2 are available on Amazon, and volume 3 is expected soon.

Pavarti graciously shared a guest post with me on her ideas of war and its implications in ‘Two Moons of Sera’:

Conflict is at the heart of every good story.  A love triangle, a misunderstanding, an argument, no matter what it is, the conflict is what gives us something to sink our teeth into when we read.  We take sides (Team Jacob!), we feel the tension and fear and desperation of the characters as we read, hoping for resolution.  And what better conflict that a real live, bonifide war?

The Illiad is the most memorable story in history, not because Paris and Helen lived happily ever after behind the fortress wall of Troy but because Ulysses, Agamemnon, Achilles and Menelaus all fought for the honor and reputation of their people.  Hector was respected across the battle lines for his fearless courage in the face of nearly certain death.  Its War that shows what a people are truly made of.  War makes hero and shames the losers.  Who remembers the names of the Trojans?  I bet I’m the only one.  You know why?  They didn’t win.

In my serial novel Two Moons of Sera (Vol 1 is available now on Amazon and Vol 2 will be released in March) the main story is set on a world where the two dominant races are at war.  The Sualwet, a waterborne race which can came on land is battling the earth dominant species, the Erdlanders.

Sualwet and Erdlanders are genetically related but that’s as far as it goes.  It has been a millennia since the two species were close enough to interbreed and as their evolution has continued it has made the specialization of each species pronounced.

The Sualwet live beneath the water.  They have evolved to breath through their skin, absorbing oxygen directly.  With no body hair and webbed feet the Sualwet live in a tight community bound together by responsibility and mutual benefit more than emotion.  Barely recognizable as human, the Sualwet have wide, dilated black eyes and have not had a live birth in 300 years.  Until Sera that is.

The Erdlanders on the other hand are a deeply social species, almost pack driven in their need to have a community and mate.  Despite their social community the Erdlanders are having fewer and fewer children.  In an effort to continue their race The Counsel has set up camps where the young and fertile are kept until they Match and procreate. This has lead to highly specialized jobs, creating a class system where the most fertile and intelligent rule over everyone else.

In their effort to find a solution to the decreasing population the Erdlanders have been experimenting of Sualwet prisoners, attempting to solve the genetic link that allows the Sualwet to breed but not them.  For generations the Erdlanders and Sualwet have fought.  The Sualwet tactics are precise and cruel, leading to the deaths of thousands of Erdlanders.

This is the backgrop for SeraFay’s life.  Ostracized by her mother’s Sualwet family due to her inability to stay below the surface for more than a few hours at a time and the hair growing upon her head, SeraFay and her mother live in a small cove, undiscovered by both species.  The war is a distant thought as Sera grows up, something she reads about in books her mother is able to salvage for her from the sea.  Nothing but bedtime stories her mother tells her, she can’t imagine the kind of devastation war can cause: until it lands on her small beach.

So which are you?  Erdlander or Sualwet? What side of the war will you fight on?

‘Two Moons of Sera’, volumes one and two are now available on Amazon, and volume 3 is expected soon.

About Pavarti:

Pavarti K Tyler is an artist, wife, mother and number cruncher. She graduated Smith College in 1999 with a degree in Theatre. After graduation, she moved to New York, where she worked as a Dramaturge, Assistant Director and Production Manager on productions both on and off Broadway.

Later, Pavarti went to work in the finance industry as a freelance accountant for several international law firms. She now operates her own accounting firm in the Washington DC area, where she lives with her husband, two daughters and two terrible dogs. When not preparing taxes, she is busy penning her next novel.

Author of many short stories, Pavarti spans genres from Horror and Erotica all the way to Fantasy. Currently Pavarti is hard at work preparing for the release of her upcoming novel Shadow on the Wall, a Muslim Superhero Literary Fiction.

Connect with Pavarti:

My blog is all ages: http://www,fightingmonkeypress.com

My tumblr is 18+ only: http://pavartidevi.tumblr.com/

My Fan Page needs your likes: https://www.facebook.com/#!/FMPress

My Twitter likes friends: http://twitter.com/#!/PavartiKTyler

My Google+ is random: https://plus.google.com/?gpinv=JFSVnKSj7Uk:FdjR-3NCJW8#me/posts

Flash Fiction and Giveaway

Hi there everyone!  If you haven’t yet, hop on over to Can’t Put it Down Reviews where I am giving away six sets of the first two books, ‘Water’ and ‘Air’ in the Akasha Series, plus one grand prize winner gets to pick a t-shirt from my store.

I am also giving away the complete set of the Kindred Curse Anthology, not yet released anywhere, in the Follower Love Giveaway Hop. Oh – and did I forget to mention the $25 Amazon Gift Card?

Now on to my newest flash fiction.  This was recently featured on Can’t Put it Down Reviews.  It is some of the  back story on Kaitlyn’s (main character in the Akasha Series) parents.  Enjoy!

Good Luck Charm

Mary leaned forward, looking through the windshield of their small, blue Honda and up into the sky. “Do they know we’re coming?”

The sky was growing darker by the minute, and the wind was picking up.

Cato answered from the back seat, “No one knows.  Well, except Shawn. Boy probably doesn’t even remember, as involved in video games as he was.” Cato stared at the scenery rushing past. Corn fields. Acre after acre of the tall stalks; all leaning to the left with the growing wind.

“Oh, please.  Your son is gifted and you know it.  I’ve seen the spark on more than one occasion.” John smiled at Cato through the rearview mirror. He put his hand over Mary’s, attempting to calm her fears.

She smiled, but her eyes still wrinkled with worry. It began to hail. Small chunks of ice pelted the windshield and road ahead. Mary began rubbing at the charm around her neck.

It was a necklace given to her by their only child. John thought of their daughter Kaitlyn, at home probably working on college applications. She was all they really had, and he would give anything to make it a better world for her.  Which is why they were all here.  With far more confidence than either of his two passengers, he resolutely nodded his head. “Yes.  Everything is going to be –“

“John! Stop!” Mary cut him off with her screams. He slammed on the brakes. About a mile ahead of them, a funnel shot down from the cloud cover. It was already bending the sturdy highway signs with its force. John put the Honda into reverse.

“Don’t want to do that either, John.” Cato pointed out the back window. A thick formation of clouds were already spinning in preparation for another tornado vortex to emerge.

John and Mary locked eyes.  Their communication was almost telepathic.  This was not natural weather.

The corn stalks no longer leaned in one direction. They waved wildly, as if flagging away the trio. But it was too late; they were trapped with twisters blocking each direction of road.

“So now we know – there has to be a traitor with The Seven.” John and Mary each turned to look at Cato.

“Let’s just get through this. Then we can turn to who is responsible. If I don’t make it…” Cato trailed off.

“We’re all going to make it.” John didn’t give Cato a chance to finish. “And we will all go home to our children.”

Cato nodded at his lifelong friend, thankful he was here to help face their enemy. The three exited the car.

Mary’s long, red skirt whipped around her legs. The red was a stark contrast to the dark grey skies. She faced the first of the tornados, opening herself up to the warm, moist air being drawn in from the south.  She used her powers as a water elemental to diffuse the air of moisture. John stood by her side, commanding the cool, dry winds blowing in from Canada. Together they worked, forcing away the conflicting weather and trying to stabilize the atmosphere.

Though Cato could manipulate all of the elements, he concentrated on the wind speed.  He worked to slow it down, preventing any more updrafts. He was significantly stronger than the pair that worked behind him, but he was hindered, having to deal with chunks of road and now farm equipment being tossed at them by the tornado. He moved forward, certain he was the target of the attack. The least he could do was decrease the risk to his friends by angling away, further down the road.

Mary looked back to see their small car in a slow spin, gradually being lifted up. It was as unpredictable as the winds.  “We need to move!”

Without hesitation, she turned to the fields. The sharp, unharvested corn cut that might offer some protection from the wind, bit into her bare legs as she ran. John stayed close on her heels. “Where is Cato!” He called to her. But there was no time to answer.  He lunged forward, tackling Mary to the ground as the roof of a barn whipped by overhead.

Cato remained  on the highway, struggling with the wind patterns.  They were unpredictable.  He detected several threads of power being woven into the storm from two different directions.  There would be more than four elementals attacking – and no time to target them.  Cato had to settle for playing defense. He looked behind me, startled to find John, Mary and the car gone.

He ran back to where he had left them.  Dumbfounded, he looked to the right, at the slightly wavering speed limit sign, still planted in the ground. He peered closer into the fields, thinking he saw a flash of Mary’s skirt.  He took a step towards it, when a spinning, blue mass shot by, missing Cato by mere feet.  He could barely track it with his eyes.  It was their car, now bouncing end over end down the highway, taking the speed limit sign with it. Cato blinked, then turned back to the wind patterns in the sky and could only hope the same fate had not befallen his friends.

Gradually, his energy waned, and he was left only able to maintain a protective circle around himself.  The weather had grown too strong; almost like more elementals had joined in. The corn fields and his friends were on their own. Cato’s whole body shook with exertion until he dropped to his knees. His sphere was allowing the strong gusts to pass through, but it would hold against the more solid objects thrown at him by the storm, and it would keep him firmly planted on the ground.

The two funnels moved closer, then angled in – towards the path his friends took.  Shards of debris littered the air like feathers in a pillow fight.  Cato was still able to discern the funnels, large as they were, merging together. As they did, lightening lit the sky and thunder cracked in the air, barely heard over the freight train noise of the super twister.  It was a triumphant announcement; both sides knew who had won this battle.

Wind gusts did not let up. They grew stronger and stronger, pulling even more debris into the air, until Cato could not see past his protective circle at all. He was sure the large mass was coming for him next.

With a final burst of energy, Cato pushed himself to his feet. He wasn’t going to face death curled up like a coward. It would be full on, shoulders squared and eyes opened. And without his shield.

When the noise was unbearable – and Cato was sure the climax had arrived, he lifted his hands to dissipate his shield. Before he could, the world went silent. Stalks, corn, dirt, and fractured wood from nearby structures all fell to the ground at once. There was no wind. What cornstalks were left in the ground were still. In the skies, clouds moved away revealing a disturbingly peaceful blue sky in their wake.

The last of Cato’s energy fizzled out, and his protective circle vanished. Two loud, sickening thumps came from behind him. Cato swallowed the rising lump in his throat, then turned. Mary and John lay dead on the highway. All of their limbs twisted in unnatural, odd angles, except for one. Mary’s hand still clutched the charm at her neck.

Let me know what you think!  Comments always welcome.