This novel is limited to 100 free copies due to its part in Inkitt’s Novel Contest.
There is no instinct like that of the heart. – Lord Byron
Five minutes is all it took to shatter my world. Three hundred seconds to learn my uncle, Hugo Tardif, was lying face down in a pool of his own blood. His tongue carved from his mouth. He was the only family I had, and now, he’s dead.
The pungent smell of blood wafts in the air. Heavy footsteps echo, bouncing off the rock walls of the basement. Glancing up, a man dressed in a dark charcoal suit approaches the step I’m sitting on. Drawing my legs up, I hug them to my chest.
“My name is Detective Chase.” His long manicured fingers brush back the lapel of his jacket, exposing a badge clipped to his waist and a holstered firearm. “Ma’am, I understand you drove in from Boston and found your uncle.”
“I’m Sophia Tardif . . . Sophie.” Looking past the detective, my eyes zoom in on my uncle’s cold, motionless body. Sprigs of his curly brown hair fan out over the blood-stained floor. “He wasn’t expecting me until tomorrow morning.” I pause, my voice hollow. “He didn’t like me driving at night. But when my last exam ended, I came home.”
“Where are you going to school?”
“Harvard. My spring classes just ended. I’m out for the summer.”
My heart aches, it’s breaking in two. They didn’t even cover him with a sheet, like they do in the movies. Instead, they’ve worked around him, taking photographs and combing the area for evidence.
Sucking in a ragged breath, my eyes dart around the room. The walls and floor are covered in strange writing. Actually, the markings look more like symbols than words, which is odd. Did my uncle do it . . . or someone else?
Lifting a leg, the detective places the tip of his brown brogue Oxford dress shoe on top of the step above me and leans on the handrail. “Did your uncle have an affiliation with any gangs . . . or dabble in the occult, Ms. Tardif?”
“No.” The donuts and tea I scarfed down on the road shifts, it’s bubbling and sloshing around in my stomach. “My uncle was a quiet man." My eyes drift back to the wall of writing. "He rarely left the bookstore.”
“Do you know why anyone would want to hurt him?”
I shake my head then swallow hard, forcing the bile touching the back of my throat down. “Why would someone do this to him . . . to anyone?” Tears fill my eyes. “I shouldn’t have stopped for a drink.” My voice cracks. “If I’d come home first, he might still be alive.”
The air between us grows thick and heavy. He’s talking, but I only hear every other word. Ribbons of color swirl around him.
Squeezing my eyes shut, I try to refocus my thoughts. But Detective Chase’s words continue to rattle around in my head. Gangs . . . occult . . . words I’d never associated with my uncle before. He was an honest man—a hard worker. He’d have given the shirt off his back if he thought it would help someone else.
The detective kneels in front of me and places a hand on my shoulder. “Is there someone we can call . . . family?”
I force back the tears threatening to breach my lids. “There’s no one else. Hugo was all I had.” Standing, I take hold of the rail. “May I go upstairs?”
The detective nods. “I’ll be in touch, Ms. Tardif.”
He hands me a card with a case number. His name is flat, unassuming against the white background. But the bold words homicide detective jump out at me.
“If you think of anything—anything at all—no matter how insignificant it may seem—don’t hesitate to call.”
His eyes bore through me, but I hold his gaze. After several seconds, he turns. With long strides, he covers the basement floor. Standing next to a uniformed policeman, he examines the main wall of the basement.
A pentagram, three-feet in diameter, is scribed on the wall in blood.
Gulping a breath, I ascend the stairs. The image keeps flashing through my mind.
“What the hell happened?” I ask the question under my breath. “And what the fuck do the symbols mean?”
zoheusher20: What more can I say? The writing style and little details drew me into the book and for the entirety of the story I was Juliet. I felt her turmoil and emotions and every trouble or triumph as they arrived. This story was very different and had quite a few little but unexpected twists that made it...
rihannabkj2: Great story,I can hardly stop reading this novel. it shows that compassion and love can still exist after so many years between two persons. I most say well done to the Author who wrote this book. Others should read this book inorder to know that there can still be LOVE among two persons no matt...
SandraHan1: This story is very descriptive, with vivid scenes from the very beginning, which made for a good scene setting. I love the symbolism in names, such as “Naysayers”, “Hadd”, etc . The story itself is revolutionary, intriguing, emotional and exciting. I was very pleased to see that there is a happy ...
ynez2005: I LOVE THIS BOOK SOOOOO MUCH!!!!Though you really need to make another book,more Princesses!!! Whoooo!!!Girl Power!!!Mabey it could even be Devona's BFF???That would make it even better!!!Plus can you pleeease make Akki come back,together with Thea and Authur amd the whole family is back!Other th...
Alex Rushmer: Chapter One: Not much is happening in this chapter, but I was absolutely fascinated by the depth of your character development. I love how you just sat there with the reader and explored Eddward. Usually, that sort of thing gets boring very fast, but this was actually really cool! He's so unique ...
263Adder: Okay so I adore this story. I only knocked one star off plot for historical inaccuracies because I'm a bit of a stickler for that. The ending broke my heart though, considering you already changed history couldn't you (SPOILER) change it a bit more and have them together!!!! I want an alternative...
deniserudolp: Breath of fresh air.....reading so many story's and wonderful writers. ...A story comes along as this that had me frustrated. ..hurt. ...In love. .and overjoyed all into one book ....wonderful story...that you can read over and over....and nd enjoy every time.
Stephen Warner: To start off, I am thoroughly impressed. The writing style is somewhat unique, and the plot seemed to move at a nice and steady pace. However, I was not expecting this to be a vampire book! I am usually not one for novels about vampires, but I was pleasantly surprised! You wrote with such grace a...
Hudson: Your story was fantastic Erin! The Rising Sun was one of the first stories I read on Inkitt, and I have to say I don't regret the three to four days I spent pouring through the story.Probably the biggest strength I see in your writing is your characterisation of Eliana, Oriens, and the rest of th...
Ruby0h: Overall I thought your story was really good! It drew me in right away and kept me interested as the story progressed. I loved the character of Kayla being inserted into this story, and the way she affected and shaped the life of the original story into something totally new and interesting. I lo...