This is an anthology with different angel stories from varying authors.
We here in Talk Supe are pleased to share with you KaSonndra Leigh's story titled Assassin's Rose based on one of the characters from her wonderful novel, When Copper Suns Fall.
The Assassin’s Rose
By KaSonndra Leigh
I am a butterfly. No. I am a toad like the prince in the fairy tales. Maybe tomorrow I’ll decide to be one or the other.
The time for daydreaming comes later. Today, I focus on my initiation ceremony, the scariest and most memorable thing I’ve ever experienced. A Caducean is the most respectable type of warrior, the demon slayers. They’ve been around forever. The elders say that long ago the archangel Gabriel came down and personally blessed the first warrior with his own blood. How I would love to have seen that day. I am fortunate, though. The head alchemist chose me to be among the group’s sacred ranks.
Girls standing along the aisles leading to the stage smile and bat their eyes at me. Beautiful. Total opposites of me with my chopped bronzy-blonde hair held back in a ponytail, and well-toned frame that isn’t super masculine, but not wiry either. Delicate creatures who could never understand all I’ve been through. Only males are allowed to pledge Caducean.
In my land, females attend schools where they either learn the medicinal arts or the sacred dance. The last female who picked up a Caducean’s weapon was exiled and her family banished. A cruel punishment, but it was necessary according to the leaders. I consider it all to be crap. Our anal rulers dictate what they believe is best for us all by keeping the roles of boys and girls separate. They consider themselves to be preserving the old ways.
Too bad their stupid rules didn’t save my parents.
I walk toward the podium on the stage where the leaders wait to bless me. Mabry, the Caducean order’s head alchemist, stands behind the podium on top and waits. His keen eyes bore into me, but he doesn’t smile. He never smiles. My chest swells until I feel as if it’ll burst from pride. Blood surges through my veins, firing up parts of my body I didn’t know existed. I can do this thing that is assigned to me. If not for the one I love who waits back home for me, then at least for the parents I lost to our enemies.
Finally, I reach the stage. “Congratulations, Desmond. The Sons of Gabriel welcome you into our Caducean clan,” headmaster Mabry says. I kneel, hiding my eyes. Father always said the eyes are your soul’s windows. Hide them from everybody except the worthy. Open them too wide and everything you’re thinking about flies out leaving you empty and dry. Close them too tightly and your soul can go dark. Today, I want nothing to spill. My secrets will stay in my house of pain, the place where revenge lives inside me, waiting for its rebirth like a newborn’s soul.
Especially the one secret, the thing that could get me killed.
After I receive my wing medallion, my two bunkmates, Carl and Levy, take turns bumping right shoulders with me. “Alright, Tarrenton. You did it man. You’re one of us now,” Carl says.
“Don’t think you get first dibs on the hottie with the big brown eyes staring me down right now,” Levy says, nodding his head toward someone standing behind me. I glance back and see a girl dressed in a banana yellow dress. I stifle an urge to laugh because this crazy image flashes through my head. I picture Keta peeling off the dress for Levy just before she smacks him for being, well, the jerk I know him to be.
“Her name is Keta,” I say in my deepest voice, hoping it hides the amusement in my tone.
“Keta? There’s a name for you, man,” Carl says to Levy who is practically undressing her with his eyes. “Keta that rhymes with Peeta.” He snorts and laughs. Levy punches his arm.
Keta turns on the brightest smile I’ve ever seen, tilts her head to the side. This attention causes Levy to start swaggering. And he gets too cocky when he points to the space beside him, summoning the girl as if she is a beast in the field.
She stretches her arms over her head. Her movements are graceful and girlish and everything that drives a guy wild. Carl and Levy both start swaying and fidgeting, things guys do when a hot girl is on the radar. The smile she gives them could light a dark room. Still she doesn’t obey Levy. His smile fades a tad and he glances at us. I tuck my lips in and Carl covers his mouth. Levy’s family belongs to a royal celestial line, the Grigorian clan. And he always manages to charm his way into uncompromising positions with all the sacred dancers. But this one stands her ground. Levy grumbles and whirls around to face us.
The sacred dancers keep the peace between the various houses by performing the ritualistic dance of the silver moon once per month. Only Caduceans are allowed to be paired with a dancer and only royals such as the Grigoris and Indrails get first dibs.
Keta shakes her head, ignoring Levy’s caveman summon. He grumbles, picks up the punch bowl on the table beside him, and slams it to the ground. Keta’s hesitation infuriates him. Plus Carl and I pump up the situation with our laughter. Levy’s ego is now on the line. I resist the urge to tell him Keta’s real secret to her Grigorian immunity.
He shoves his arms out to the side and twists his handsomely chiseled face into a smirk. “What the hell is wrong with you, girl. Can’t you see I’m waiting for you to get over here?” Levy turns back to us and scoffs as though he expects us to support his arrogance.
“Hey. You’re the pro, royal one. You don’t need help from the lower subjects standing here,” Carl says.
“Haha. Very funny,” Levy says and turns back to face Keta.
Slowly Keta brings her arms over her head, stretching as if she’s about to either take a nap or start a new dance. She moves her right hand down the side of her face, her neck, her right breast. It is the most erotic thing I’ve ever seen. And then she moves her left hand up to her cheek and gives Levy a fine view of her middle finger. Carl and I don’t even try to hold back the laughter this time. We spit all over each other and Levy whose face is so red I believe it could make a strawberry look pale.
“Yeah, screw you too, witch girl,” Levy says and then turns to me. “She’s probably more your type anyway, Desmond. Real scrawny and short.”
“She ain’t missing no meals,” Carl says, eyeing Keta and then turning back to me, a grin spreading across his lips. I don’t need to be a mind reader to know what he’s thinking.
“All right, man. You can use me to get over the sting from that slap. I understand,” I say.
Carl and I laugh again but Levy wears a murderous look. Not getting his way, and with someone considered to be on a lower level than himself, was definitely not in the plan tonight. Keta grins and walks off to go mingle with the other dancers.
Carl and Levy have stuck by my side the entire time, the fellas, my boys. Through the training that almost killed me. The tattoo ceremony that left the mark of the perfect warrior etched into my shoulder, a star with seven points sitting in a circle. Carl even waited with me outside the barracks while my shower took longer than everyone else’s. And the fire test, that no boy or man has ever gotten through without giving in to his fear. That one was the hardest. I almost didn’t achieve my goal, and I kind of screwed up a few times.
The fire test involved walking along a tight wire erected over the lake of fire. Everybody knew the elders wouldn’t let the initiates fall and burn. But not too many boys were willing to put enough faith in their masters to make it all the way across the wire.
But I made it to the other side. Even though my body was drenched with sweat by the time I finished, I screamed until I was hoarse. The other initiates surrounded me, applauded me, made me into the hero I needed to be.
We are all the same now, my brothers and me. Pledging our lives to the father, the archangel Gabriel was the ultimate goal. And I did it. I made my way into the group, made them love and accept me. I will now fight to protect my land from the fallen ones and their relatives, our enemies—Bernael the angel of darkness and rage.
About the Author:
KaSonndra Leigh lives in the City of Alchemy and Medicine, North Carolina. She likes to write about teens doing fantastical things in magical worlds. Her two sons have made her promise to write a boy book next.
She holds the MFA in creative writing, and loves to play CLUE, Monopoly (the Indiana Jones version), and Pandora’s Box (good writer’s block therapy). She lives in an L-shaped house with a garden dedicated to her grandmother. It has a secret library complete with fairies, Venetian plastered walls, and a desk made out of clear blue glass.
A few of KaSonndra Leigh’s most active online homes:
www.kasonndraleigh.com (My official website)
http://twitter.com/#!/kasonndraleigh (My Twitter site)
www.facebook.com/kasonndraleighbooks (Copper Suns Fanpage)
http://kasonndraleigh.blogspot.com (My Review/Author Spotlight Site)