This piece is part of a round robin story I’m doing with Bannerwing Write Club (my publisher). It started with When and Where, and continued in Gone. I’m picking up there.

“Allen Henry Buell, I command you to rise!” Robin said, surprised that her voice held confidence she didn’t feel. She could sense both Paul and Phoebe on either side of her, felt the wind when they raised their arms up in unison.  Her heart hammered her chest. Beads of sweat formed on her forehead, the back of her neck. The earth shifted subtly under her feet.

“Who dares to wake a Buell from his sleep?” A disembodied, hollow voice filled the cemetery.

“I do!” Robin said, pulling strength from the twins. “I must have answers!”

“Will you pay the price for those answers?”

Cold ran up and down her spine. No one had told her there’d be a price. She fully expected to make him pay, not the other way around. She paused, allowing her memory to decide for her. She drifted away from the cemetery for a moment.

“Why don’t I have a mommy?” Her big, brown, tear-filled eyes searched her father’s from a comforting position on his knee. She wore a lacy pink dress, white tights, and black patent leather mary jane’s. It was her fifth birthday party, and she realized she was the only one without a mother present.

“You do have a mommy,” her father said softly. His index finger gently swiped away her tears. “She’s just not here. I know if she were able to, she would be.” His arms tightened around her shoulders, and he lifted one finger towards the sky.

Robin stuck her lower lip out. “But it’s not fair. Why did mommy have to go away?”

“God needed another angel,” her father said as the memory faded out and into another.

This time she was a teenager and the relationship between her and her father seemed to have run its course.

“If I had a mother, maybe I would have turned out better!” She let her anger lash out on her father. They were arguing over her decision to keep the baby.

“You had a mother!”

“No, I never did. She died, remember?”

“Not by choice. Look, Robin, you can’t keep this baby. It’s not safe. Not for you, not for me, not for the baby.” He pleaded openly with her. “Your mother’s fate will become your own. Trust me!”

“Why should I?” Robin’s foot stomped on the floor.

“Because this is bigger than us. You aren’t supposed to know this yet, but, given your present condition, it has become necessary. I am of the Order of the Tittaren, a very old and ancient line of Watchers. Your mother was of the Order of Ododlig, a very old and ancient line of immortals who steal innocent souls in exchange for youthful appearances. It was her destiny to die, and it could become yours! The blood of both orders runs through you and, while my order never would, your mother’s order may make you choose!” Her father’s words held fear, which made them angry.

“Wait. My mother is immortal? Then she can’t die! You lied to me!” Robin cracked her knuckles loudly, as was her habit when she was upset.

“It’s not that simple. She temporarily gave up her rights to her predestined immortality to become your mother, and then someone killed her before her time. I fear they will do the same to you, and that will put me, the last of the pure blood Tittaren, and your unborn baby at risk. You cannot keep this baby. Giving her away will be our only salvation.”

The same lightning that had run through her body then ran through her now.

“Will you pay the price?!” the disembodied voice demanded, startling her from her reverie.  She could hear the anger within it and realized with sudden clarity what the price was.

Paul was right. She wasn’t ready.

The story will continue next Monday over at Unintentionally Brilliant.


I always love feedback and appreciate it too! I’d love to hear your thoughts in a comment.

Thanks for stopping in!


  1. You pulled all those tiny story strings together for me, explaining the back story and making it so interesting and readable.

    I can’t wait to see what Rox has cooked up next.


  2. I love how you are all making this story flow so smoothly yet each making it their own. I think you did a great job of moving the plot forward and building onto the suspense. I can’t wait to see how it proceeds from here.


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