Get Nrdly Free Trial Built with Nrdly

The Caged

Vain has heard a beautiful voice all throughout his life, but when its presence turns suddenly ominous, he goes on a search for the source of it.

Book One of the Lost Ones Trilogy

Get a Peak Inside:

Two crosses made of sticks sat in the center of the meadow. Beautiful sunlight illuminated the spot, like nature was telling all who passed that two special people rested there. Before he stepped into the meadow, Vain pulled off his black tunic shirt and draped it over his arm. He closed his eyes, took a deep breath, and willed his body to return to its natural form.

Vain breathed a sigh of relief as his muscles shrank. He shifted their mass into the black, fur-lined wings that sprouted from his back and a cat-like tail from his tailbone. The skin of his bare feet, hands, pointed ears, and wings turned lavender. His dark blue eyes shifted into violet, and the pupils elongated until they resembled a cat’s. Blunted teeth turned sharp, and canines elongated into fangs. Thin scars began at his shoulders and ended at his elbows, and he had dark purple bruises on both sides of his chest.

While clutching the silver cross pendant chained around his neck, Vain approached the stick crosses. He stooped in front of the left one. He had carved words into the sticks. They read:

“Calanthe Selby, beloved mother and wife.”

Vain shuffled to the other grave marker. He had carved words into it as well, and it read:

“Olve Selby, beloved father and husband.”

It was another unsatisfactory inscription, but while Olve had been loving and strong for his family, he had told them little about himself. He had once been a “holy man,” as he had called himself, and he had met Calanthe and Vain while doing his duties. If Vain were to carve a tombstone for him, it would be more difficult to decide what to make, but he would engrave his favorite hymn into it.

The dirt around his grave marker was fresher, patches of grass remained missing from the ground. Blue and purple delphinium flowers were growing around the sticks, but they were small, not yet having enough time to grow beautiful and strong. Like he had done with the tulips, he checked the ground. There were not yet any weeds. He poured water onto them, and then he rested on the ground in between the stick crosses, folding his legs in front of him.

“I’m sorry, Papa, Mama,” Vain said, voice thick, “but I have to leave everyone behind.”

Get a free book from this series!

Sign up to my newsletter for a free short story, a free 3-chapter preview of the first Lost Ones novel, and a free prequel novella when it becomes available. Plus, stay up to date on all my projects!