Welcome to another Friday. This week has gone by faster than expected. To start off the weekend right I am featuring Richard H. Stephens’ book Reecah’s Flight. Check out the sneak peek down below and if you love it snatch this book up through Kindle Unlimited.
Reecah screamed as the old crone leaned in close, her breath rank. She remembered trying to escape Grimelda’s mystical shop and then a bright light and then…
She found herself lying on her back atop a black marble slab in the middle of a small, candlelit cavern—its vaulted ceiling spiked with rock formations. She tried to push away from the vile woman but Grimelda’s stick-like hands pinned her to the stone.
“What are you doing?” Reecah asked, frantically looking around and wondering why her ear lobes hurt. She forced an arm between herself and the witch and touched her right ear, shocked to feel a hard stone embedded there. She pulled her hand back—her fingertips red with blood. She checked her other ear and felt another hard stone.
Her frightened gaze met Grimelda’s. “What have you done to me?”
Grimelda’s expression made her shiver.
“Relax child. Grimelda has done what Lizzy neglected.”
Reecah frowned but didn’t want to waste time finding out what the crazy crone meant. She needed to get off the table and escape.
A fount on a matching marble stand stood near her head—perched on the edge of a blood-letting trough surrounding the base of the table.
She swallowed hard. Though not versed in the ways of the occult, Poppa had taught her to read at an early age. She had taken great joy in reading the tomes Poppa kept locked in an old trunk by his and Grammy’s pallet. If she wasn’t mistaken, she lay upon a sacrificial altar.
Using every bit of strength she had, Reecah bucked her hips and arched her back, driving her shoulder blades and head against the table to escape Grimelda’s grasp.
She landed on the floor with bare feet but Grimelda’s iron grip maintained control of her wrists.
“Easy child, you’re going to ruin everything.”
“Get your hands off me, you crazy witch!” Reecah shrieked, jerking her arms free and stepping backward. She bumped into a wooden table covered in crimson cloth. On top of the cloth, sat an array of knives. Some for slicing, some for chopping, one with a serrated edge for sawing, and another with a hooked tip—just like the one Grammy used to skin animals. “Where am I?”
“You’re in Grimelda’s cellar.” Grimelda wiped her blood-stained fingers on her apron.
The witch’s cellar? It looked like a cave devoted to demonic rituals. She swallowed a lump of fear and put the knife table between them, her eyes wildly darting about, searching for her boots and Poppa’s weapons. She reached up with both hands, rolling the stones in her earlobes between her thumb and forefinger. “What have you put in my ears?”
“I have adorned you with your bloodstones.”
“My what?” Her hands were wet and sticky with fresh blood. “Take them out!”
Grimelda shook her head. “That I cannot do. Once the ritual has been performed it would be too dangerous to remove them.”
“Ritual? What did you do?”
“Something Lizzy should have had me do years ago if you wish to become a Windwalker.”
“You’re mad! Leave me alone!” Reecah glanced at the stairs.
“Calm yourself, poppet.”
Poppa’s endearment snapped Reecah’s open-mouthed attention back to the witch.
“Yes, child. Vili’s name for you.”
“You know that because you’re a witch.”
“Grimelda has been called many things.” Grimelda pursed her thin lips, her tone softening. “The people of Fishmonger Bay labelled me as such. At one time I might have been hurt by the name, but the villagers leave me alone so I live with it.”
Reecah noted the witch had started referring to herself in the first person. Her eyes flicked between the woman and various pieces of ornate furniture lining the walls. Pieces that looked as if they belonged in a palace, according to the sketches in Poppa’s tomes.
A sudden burst of flapping wings appeared from the curved doorway marking the flight of stone carved stairs climbing into darkness. The raven landed on the near rim of the fount and turned its head sideways, blinking at her.
“Vili spoke fondly of his little poppet whenever he visited.”
Reecah’s temper rose. “You’re a liar.”
“You’re a liar! You’re a liar!”
Grimelda gave the bird a dirty look. “My sister called you her flower bud. You called her Grammy.”
The pain was too much. Reecah’s eyes misted up. “How do you know all this? Grammy doesn’t have a sister.”
Grimelda stepped toward her but stopped when Reecah’s eyes honed in on the knives before her.
“Lizzy was afraid of what I represent.”
“A witch! A witch!”
“Yes, child, if that helps you understand.”
“Understand what? That if I hadn’t woken up when I did, you were about to send my spirit to your sick gods?”
“Sick gods! Sick gods!”
Grimelda didn’t deny it. Instead she picked up a carving knife and threw it at the raven.
The bird rose in a flurry of feathers and winged its way back up the stairway.
Grimelda shook her head. “Such a pest, that one. I should turn him into a toad.”
Reecah’s eyes grew wider.
“Witch humour. I can’t actually do that.”
Reecah wasn’t so sure. Everything she had heard about Grimelda from the village children as a youngster attested to the fact that the witch was capable of performing many dastardly tricks.
“Why did you put me on that…that sacrificial altar? Where’s my stuff?”
“Your stuff?” Grimelda scratched her head. “Oh, your boots and weapons. I left them in the shop.”
Reecah tried to casually step toward the doorway. “Why?”
“Look at me? You may not consider yourself heavy, but it was all I could do to drag you down here without the extra weight.”
“Even my boots?”
“Well no, but—”
“But nothing.” Reecah took another big step. “What else were you planning on doing to me?” Her eyes went to the knives again.
“You were hurt. I healed you.”
Reecah flexed her muscles and surveyed her outstretched arms. “That’s strange. I feel alright.”
“Of course you do. I healed you after you tried to break my door.”
Reecah swallowed. She backed farther away, not believing a word the old crone said.
Grimelda followed with her eyes. “If you insist on leaving, I won’t stop you, but…” She let the word hang between them.
Reecah stopped and waited for it.
“You may never know if our family gift has passed down to you.”
“What are you talking about?”
“Whether you believe me or not, my child, once I’m gone, you’ll be the last in a line of magic that has been in this world for as long as the sun has risen. You’re the only one who can prevent our legacy from disappearing from the world.”
Reecah adjusted her stance, jutting her hips to one side and leaning her head toward Grimelda. “Huh?”
Grimelda nodded. “It is as I feared. Lizzy never told you, did she?”
Grammy’s death had been hard on her. Reecah had been too heartbroken to remember everything Grammy had told her. Grimelda’s words triggered the painful memory.
Your great-grandmother possessed the gift.
The implication slammed into her. She hadn’t thought of it as anything more than a dying, old lady’s rambling.
Grimelda nodded, a smile lifting the corners of her mouth.
It skipped me, but your great-aunt was touched by it. I’ve been watching for it in you, afraid to see it foster. By keeping you secluded all these years, I have done you a disservice.
Reecah didn’t care that her jaw dropped in disbelief. She stood in a witch’s cave staring at Grammy’s sister! Accepting Grimelda’s words, she noticed the startling resemblance between the sisters—Grimelda was much older in appearance but there could be no mistake—the witch of Fishmonger Bay was Reecah’s only living relative.
An epic fantasy, dragon series.
A young girl dreams of flying. Encouraged by her grandfather to follow her heart, Reecah grows up to form a forbidden relationship with a baby dragon.
Secretly opposing the mandate of her people, Reecah tests the boundaries of unconditional love as she and her enchanting accomplice battle the discriminating laws governing the land.
Together they confront the king’s men in a desperate attempt to save the dragons from extinction.
Richard began writing circa 1974, a bored child looking for something to do. As his reading horizons broadened, so did his writing.
A trip to a local bookstore saw the proprietor introduce him to Terry Brooks and Stephen R. Donaldson. His writing life was forever changed.
He worked in a warehouse for 22 years, supporting his family, before re-attending school to complete his education. Graduating with honours, he joined the local Police Service.
In 2017, he resigned from the Police Service to pursue writing full-time. With the support of his family, he has finally realized his boyhood dream.