Saturday, 16 April 2016

Aveena: The City of Gold by Destiny Hawkins


Title: Aveena: The City of Gold
Author: Destiny Hawkins
Genre: Fantasy / Romance


What’s that light?

On a cold, dark night, Michael saw a light in the sky. At first, he thought it was a shooting star, what he didn’t know was that it was really a princess from another world. Unexpected occurrences left Michael with no memory of the mysterious princess…and in a completely different world, where color didn’t matter and people flew on air boards…Raluza.

King Lavier, King of Raluza, separated his kingdom into four quarters, separating his people by class. By now—five years after he met the princess—Michael was part of an organization of skilled fighters whose objective was to overrun the palace and restore Raluza back to the way it was.

His objective: give his family a new home.

The organization’s order: kill the Princess.





Excerpt

The Kingdom of Raluza

“You won’t catch me Princess!” Aveena’s little brother, Avon, teased. He was only two years younger than her, but at eleven years old he stood a few inches taller and could take much longer strides. Avon stopped at the end of the hall and smiled back at Aveena, who stood hunched over on the other end. He knew that there was no way that she would be able to catch up to him at this point.

Aveena smiled back at Avon with a sparkle in her eyes. She knew that she had lost this game, but the next time she would get him. If it weren’t for the seal on her chest, she would have been able to use her powers to catch up to him in no time. The King and Queen thought that it would be best that she didn’t have any access to her abilities until she was an adult, so she would have to rely on her physical abilities for now.

It was said that the first born of every generation would inherit the power of Ralu, a gift from the Raluzan god that was meant to protect his people. The ruler of Raluza always grew up to be a kind and pure person that wouldn’t use his or her powers against others but instead, to help them. The only time that it was used to harm someone was when it was for the sake of the Kingdom. It was set in stone that Aveena would rule over Raluza in the next nine years, or whenever the King believed her ready.

Aveena stood tall when she saw her father come from around the corner with tired eyes. He had been working a lot lately with word that the North and South Kingdoms were bringing their war here, to the Western Kingdom. The King was against war in every way, but he would make that hard decision of joining if it meant protecting his home.

“Father,” Avon said as he turned around. He admired his father’s tall muscular physique and could only imagine what he would look like when he grew up. At his young age now, the only traits he inherited was his father’s dark skin and brown eyes. He and Aveena both got their curly hair from their mother.

“Avon, Aveena, why are you both out of bed at this hour?” The King asked.

Aveena’s eyes grew wide. She had completely forgotten about the time and was supposed to have gotten into bed by now.

“Oh,” Avon chuckled. “Well, you see, Aveena here wanted to play for a while. I told her it was too late, but—”

“Father, he’s not telling the truth,” Aveena interrupted as she jogged up to them.

The King smiled at both of his children. They were the light when he was in the dark, and he could see things clearer when they were around. They were like their mother in so many ways that he couldn’t believe it. Especially, Aveena.

Avon sighed, “Fine, I just altered the truth a little.”

“Altered? Really? Why not just say that you lied?” Aveena asked, putting her fists on her hips.

“Because!” Avon yelled.

“Because?” Father asked while holding back a laugh.

The King’s brother, Lavier, came from around the corner and stopped next to him. “I knew I would find you over here Xavier.”

The King frowned at the sound of his brother’s voice. Lavier came to try and convince him to jump into the war and take down the North and South Kingdoms. It was very possible since they had the strongest Kingdom in Raluza, but he didn’t want to join unless he absolutely had to.

“I thought that we would discuss this tomorrow morning in your quarters?” The King asked with a frown on his face. He clearly didn’t like that Lavier was on his side of the Palace.

Aveena and Avon looked from their uncle, then to their father, in question. They both knew that the two brothers didn’t get along very well, but they never understood why. The King had always told them to stay away from their uncle, but Avon would go and visit him every now and then.

Aveena never told her father about Avon’s visits because Avon begged her not to. She could feel it rattling her bones whenever Lavier came near, something was off about him. Even though Avon loved his father, the King was never around, so he became attached to his uncle instead, and Aveena didn’t want to take away what made her little brother happy.

After their mother passed away, Avon wouldn’t speak to anyone but his sister—and that was rare. The first adult that he had opened up to was Lavier, and then he started speaking to Xavier again, but they never bonded the way he and his uncle did.

Xavier noticed their relationship, but he didn’t want to upset his fragile son. Avon needed someone to look up to, and he knew that it couldn’t be himself.

“Yes, you did say that, but it needs to be discussed tonight. These are important matters brother,” Lavier said.

King Xavier sighed again, then turned back to his children with a half-hearted smile, “You two get to bed. I’ll be there shortly.”

“Alright. Goodnight uncle Lavier,” Avon said as he turned to walk away.

“Goodnight,” Aveena said softly. She smiled at her father, but her smile slowly faded as her eyes set on Lavier. She completely turned around and walked back to her room down the hall, and right across from Avon’s.

“Goodnight Aveena,” Avon said before entering his room.

Aveena looked back at her younger brother and smiled. She loved him more than anything. “Goodnight little brother.”

They both walked into their rooms and shut their large double doors.

Aveena was happy that the fire was still going in her room, because she didn’t want to come back to the cold. She skipped over to her canopy bed and crawled in, then waited for her father to come and tuck her in.

~*~

Almost an hour had passed before King Xavier came to check on his daughter. He figured that she would be asleep already, but he was wrong. She stayed under the covers and waited for him the entire time. If only he hadn’t been arguing with his brother about the war, then she would be sound asleep by now.

“You made it,” Aveena beamed. “I was afraid that you weren’t coming.”

Xavier quietly shut the door behind him and walked over to her large bed to sit down. “You know I come to say goodnight every night. Even when you’re sleeping and snoring.”

“I don’t snore,” Aveena giggled.

“You do,” Xavier laughed. “I hear you all the way in my room snoring loud as ever.”

Aveena and her father laughed together.

“I do not!”

Xavier slapped his knee as he laughed, “You do, but don’t worry you’re not as loud as your mother was. I was afraid she’d wake up the entire Kingdom.” He laughed a little while longer and then it died down as he thought about his deceased wife.

“Do you miss her?” Aveena asked.

Xavier sighed, “Yes, I miss her a lot. She was a crazy one.”

Aveena chewed on her lower lip, “Sometimes I forget what she looks like.”

Xavier’s smile faded a little. He reached over to rest his hand on his daughter’s cheek. She was the spitting image of her mother, inheriting her milk chocolate brown skin, her grey-hazel eyes, and long silky black hair that curled when wet.

“Well, all you have to do is look in the mirror. You look just like her,” Xavier said.

“Really?” Aveena smiled.

“Yeah. You look just like she did when she was a kid, and you’ll probably grow up looking like her twin,” Xavier chuckled.

Aveena smiled and sunk her head back into her pillow. “I’m glad. She was beautiful.”

“So are you.” Xavier stood up from the bed and leaned in to kiss his little girl on her forehead. “I love you, sweetie.”

“I love you, too, papa,” Aveena yawned. She was on her way into the land of dreams.

Xavier smiled as he watched the younger version of his wife fall asleep. He could see her seal glowing yellow through the covers, as it did every night when she slept. One day that seal would break away and Aveena would be the Queen of Raluza, but until then, it would protect her from any harm that came her way.

King Xavier turned around and walked away. He had no idea that he would never be seeing either of his children ever again.

~*~

Aveena had a nightmare that night. She saw everything that happened.

Lavier and his poison. Her father’s golden drinking cup. Her father drinking from it. His eyes turning red. Him grabbing at his heart. He fell to the floor.

Lavier stood over him…He smiled.



Author Bio

Destiny Hawkins lives in Cleveland, Ohio, and is majoring in Psychology at Kent State University with a minor in Creative Writing. When she isn’t studying she enjoys cooking, running, listening to music, and reading—plus, of course, writing! Her favorite genres to read and work in are fantasy, LGBT, and young adult. She’s been a writer since she was nine years old, but Caged is her very first novel with more to come!!




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