Fate Knows Best:Kindred of Arkadia 1

By: Alanea Alder

Prologue




“Why are we here?” The voice of the high-pitched hyena grated on his nerves. If only there was another way. The gentleman sighed. No. His kind weren’t permitted in Arkadia, and this group had access.

“You are here because I require something from you,” he said quietly.

“Who the fuck are you?” the hyena asked arrogantly. The gentleman moved faster than he knew the shifter could track and appeared behind the man. He straightened his fingers and plunged his hand into the hyena’s back, wrapping his fingers around the spine. The hyena’s screams filled the room. The gentleman sighed happily.

“Shush or I will kill you,” he said softly. The hyena quieted down but kept whimpering.

“I bought the debt you incurred when you lost the last shipment meant for your associates. I work with them from time to time as well. They were most eager to take my money. So you see, that makes you my little puppet,” he said, shaking the hand that was still fisted around the hyena’s spine. The hyena’s body jerked from side to side.

“Now, what I need is very simple. Totally within your capabilities to get. I almost feel like it’s too easy for you. What I want is Arkadion blood,” the gentleman said, savoring the name Arkadion on his tongue as if it were a fine wine.

“How do we get it?” the hyena gasped.

“I don’t care. Find a way. Bring me the Arkadion blood or come back and face me,” the gentleman said, ripping his hand out of the hyena. He brought his hand to his mouth and began to slowly lick his fingers.

“Face me or face the Arkadion. Now go,” the gentleman said and then nodded to the large shadow in the corner.

The figure grabbed one hyena in each hand and took them from the room.

“Thank you, Payne,” the gentleman said.





Chapter 1:


Arkadia



“Made a wrong turn, once or twice. Dug my way out, blood and fire.” Rebecca sang along to P!nk as her bright-blue Smart car made its way down the dark mountain highway. She had ignored the small clanking sound she heard from her tiny car all the way through South Carolina, and it was now making itself known.

“Just get me to the closest city and I promise to get you the works. I’m talking new belts and detailing, just please don’t leave me stranded in the middle of nowhere in the North Carolina mountains.” Rebecca pleaded with her car. She glanced down and realized she was almost out of gas as well.

Afraid to pull over in case her car decided to cut off on her, she was holding up her phone’s GPS app trying to see where the nearest town was when a deer and then a fairly large animal darted into the middle of the road. She slammed on her brakes and her phone went flying. When her car came to a complete stop she looked around, both animals were nowhere to be seen.

Breathing heavily and with shaking hands she picked up her phone from under the gas pedal just in time to see the battery die.

“Oh come on, please!” She shook the phone as if that would breathe new life into the battery.

Looking out the window, she tried to recall what was close by. It wasn’t hard to do. There wasn’t much ahead. It was about a hundred miles until the next city or another thirty miles to the next rest stop. She sighed as she saw one snowflake then another hit her windshield. She glanced to her left and blinked. Was that road there a second ago? She looked closer and she could clearly see a well-kept paved road. On the horizon beyond the trees she saw a faint glow of lights. She was still trying to decide if she should go down the unknown road when her car began to sputter. She quickly put it in gear and decided to take her chances with a nearby unknown rather than an impossible-to-reach certainty.

She drove down the dark road and was just about to turn around when she came upon an open archway. Hanging from the center of the arch was a sign that just read “Arkadia.” She frowned, I don’t remember an Arkadia on the map. She shrugged and drove the car forward. The snow was really coming down now. To her right she passed what looked to be the town’s city hall. It was a beautiful white stone building with unexpected touches of Gothic architecture. Small alcoves and gargoyles graced the top of the building. She smiled. She loved older buildings. As she drove by she read the sign. “Courthouse–Mon-Fri, 8am-5pm, First Floor. Utilities–Mon-Fri, 8am-5pm, Second Floor. Townhall–Friday, 6pm-10pm, First Floor. Church Services–Sat-Sun, Second Floor.”

Now that makes sense and is a perfect use of space. She kept driving. On her immediate left was a fifties-style diner complete with a jukebox in the window. The sign simply read “Ma’s Diner.”

I bet they have amazing food, she made a mental note to go back there for dinner.

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