Niobe Catia

Excerpt from Daniel Everhart and the Skylands of Caterra: Guarinot


The ring pulls my arm away from the dolmen. Across the meadow, another red glow moves toward us. A figure emerges from behind the tree trunks.

”We’ve got company.” My ring’s glow intensifies.

Bram extracts his sword and faces the intruder, who’s standing still in the moonlight shadows of the forest canopy.

“Daniel, it’s the girl from the waterfall!” Elaina touches Bram on the shoulder. “It’s okay.”

“Your sword will not be necessary.” The girl moves closer. “I am Niobe Catia of Zhane.”

I move next to Elaina. “Why are you here?”

The girl looks tired. Her dark, silky face holds little expression. “For two years, I’ve been imprisoned by pirates who have used my abilities for gain and plunder.” Her eyes focus on some point beyond any of us as she speaks. “Then, three nights past, a violent storm erupted on the sea. The wind screamed its rage, and I was plucked from the deck and placed in a boat, which moved away on its own. Within a breath, the water was smooth, the wind was gone, and the pirates’ screams for help faded. Then a voice said, ‘Sleep.’ When I awoke, the familiar sound of the Zhane River welcomed me home. I asked myself, how is this possible? And the voice spoke again. ‘You are needed at the dolmens. He has come.’”

I take a step toward Niobe. “Why you?”

“I am the dolmen keeper, like my mother before me. For six thousand years the honor has been passed from matriarch to daughter. It is a blessing . . .” Niobe steps closer. “And a curse.”

I see her face for the first time and remember the veil.

“We are marked from birth by our eyes.” Niobe walks past me to the dolmen, but her eyes seem like they’re seeing beyond this dimension.

Dang. I think she’s blind.

Niobe finished

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