Broken Promises – Chapter 1

In everything,
there is a beginning
and an end.
Even great mountains rise and fall
as time continues to roll on.
Within that time,
a delicate balance must be maintained
or all will fall into chaos
and ruin.
The universe is no different.
Among the chaos of creation
there is still a semblance of balance,
or nothing would be able to form,
to grow,
to endure.
But what keeps that balance?
Is it divine force,
or just chance?
Is it strong and sure,
or just holding on by a thread
ready to break at any moment?
Do we have centuries,
or days
before the life we know ends
as suddenly as it began?
Is it as simply as a choice between
good or evil,
right or wrong,
love or hate?
Or is it as simple as choosing to embrace both,
because without one the other
does not exist.


Chapter 1


It had been five years since they released her physically, only one year since the nightmares finally stopped. For eleven years before her release, they had done everything they could to break her. Physical torture, mental abuse, rape. All because of a moment of stupidity. A moment that would completely change her in ways that she was still trying to understand, and even though she was now free, there was a small voice in the back of her mind that kept whispering that freedom would not be forever.

Thirty-eight-year-old Kara Conner was born with a special ability. The ability to make people bend to her will. She could never bring herself to use it on anyone for her own needs. Instead she would see someone bulling someone or another stealing and gently push them into a different direction. The right direction.

In a rush to get home, or was it to school? It seemed so long ago that her nightmare began Kara could not remember, but patience had never been one of her virtues. She was in a hurry so decided to take the shortcut through the woods. One that stories were told about people walking in and never walking out. Of boogeymen and witches. Of vengeful ghosts who were either searching for their lost loves or looking for the one who betrayed them. As far as Kara was concerned it was all hogwash. The woods were not haunted by ghosts or witches or boogeymen because they did not exist.

What she realized too late was that the woods were haunted by something far worse. Something that was looking for her.

Before she knew what was happening, Kara was being dragged kicking and screaming into a reality she did not know existed. A reality where the people came from other worlds far from her home planet, Earth. Who traveled in metal cities called ships from galaxy to galaxy, making allies and conquering enemies, bending those who resist their rule to their will. People who had powers to enter her mind, cause her pain or pleasure with a single thought. Show her that the strange things she had always been able to do did not make her crazy. They made her special. Special enough that there were those hunting her who wished to use her for their own objectives.

In order to survive those eleven years, Kara had done things she would never tell her family. Acts she was not sure her husband who she deeply loved could ever forgive. Acts she never wanted her children to know their mother was capable of. Horrific, vile, degrading acts that even though the nightmares had stopped still haunted her. Acts she would do again if it meant those she loved remained innocent of the evil that marred their universe. Evil that went by the name of Colin Malvado.

Colin was the one who captured Kara in the forest that fateful day. He had technology at his disposal that Kara had only seen in movies and television shows, and his power she thought far outweighed hers. Why he needed her and her paltry magic was beyond Kara, but no matter how much she pointed out that fact, how much she pleaded for him to let her go, he refused. The one time she managed to escape with her now husband, her freedom was short lived. When he caught her, dragging her back into her living nightmare kicking and screaming, she found out just how sadistic Colin could be. The only solace she had was that her husband and child were safely hidden away.

Kara’s only refuge from Colin’s cruelty was his son Anthony. As much as the thought of giving herself to the monster’s son repulsed her, Anthony was the only one in her living nightmare that did not want to hurt her. All he wanted was for Kara to be his and that she never left him. Ever. It was an obsession Kara would learn to regret fostering.

Then new players entered the scene. A powerful sorcerer who called himself Emperor Caius and his apprentice Aden Sahen. A young man who would prove to be not only Kara’s savior, but something much deeper that they could not begin to understand or stop from happening.

When Aden and his master rescued her from Colin, for the first time in a very long time Kara felt safe. The power these new beings held guaranteed Colin and Anthony could never touch her again. She expressed her want to go home, to be with her husband and now three-year-old son. Caius warned her if she did she would only be putting them in danger, for there were others just like Colin who hunted her. Better to stay and learn how to wield her powers, keep the knowledge of her family safely hidden until she was strong enough to protect them. Reluctantly Kara agreed.

During that first year with her new protectors, Kara was taught how hone her powers, control them. She was surprised by how strong she really was. Once Emperor Caius was satisfied with her expertise, he informed her she must now earn her keep. At first she agreed, but soon she began to balk at the things he asked her to do as they became increasingly malevolent.

It was then the pain began.

In all her years with Colin, he never came close to what the emperor did to her when she refused to do as he asked. Colin’s form of persuasion was mental and physical. Part pain, but playing heavily on using her as the ships whore in an attempt to break her. The emperor was able to get into her mind, weave spells around her that set every nerve ending, every muscle, into a pain so excruciating Kara could not even begin to think about breathing.

Aden tried to protect her from the worst of it, but even he with all his power could only do so much. And they had to be careful. If the emperor knew of the strange bond between them, of how being apart from each other was physically painful, he would use it to his advantage. Kara found out rather quickly she could hide nothing from him. Furious at what he called a betrayal he could never forgive, Caius ordered them to break their bond. What Caius did not understand was even if they wanted too; the binding of their souls could not be broken. A binding that also made them stronger.

In order to control them, Caius weaved a web of spells around Kara, making it impossible for either she or Aden to outright attack him. It also made it impossible for Kara to use her magic on any of his men unless she was directly ordered to. Aden had no such restrictions, but if he were to attempt to thwart Caius from punishing Kara, his actions would rebound on her tenfold. This threat did not stop Aden from masking her pain when she lay in his arms sobbing. A kindness Caius could never seem to understand. Kara was a tool, a weapon to use against his enemies. Weapons had no feelings. Weapons had no feelings, and when they disobeyed they were punished. Severely.

When Kara thought she could take no more, Caius suddenly decided to release her. Although release was a relative term.

Promising he would leave her alone to live out the remainder of her life in peace, Caius took her to the planet where her husband Brynn and now ten-year-old son Chris lived. A planet very similar to her Earth with one exception. It was full of magic. A perfect place to hide someone of her extraordinary abilities without drawing attention to what she was. A being that when Caius explained to her what she was even Kara did not believe.

To keep her safe from her enemies, Caius put protective wards around the small county where Brynn, his Uncle and cousins resided. With the wards her enemies would not be able find or hurt her. However, if she wanted to remain free, she could not step outside the boundary of the wards or she would be lost to them.

Knowing the agony it would cause them, as one last punishment Caius ordered Aden to be the one to take Kara down to the planet surface. They materialized outside the farmhouse in the shade of five ancient oak trees.

“Stay with me,” Kara begged clutching Aden’s long coat desperately, the thought of being apart already tearing into her soul.

“You know he will never allow it,” Aden reminded his voice breaking as he held her tightly to him. “We’ve become too strong. He knows what the separation will do to us. That it will weaken us.” He moved back only enough to tip her head so he could look into her eyes. “Brynn is here. He will help you through this.”

Saying the words aloud was almost as painful as the thought of not having Kara at his side. Caius had explained why Kara needed to be here with Brynn. What she needed to do before the next step was taken, but it still did not make sense to Aden. Kara belonged to him, was bound tightly to him, just as he was to her. There would be no other for him, so why did she have to return to Brynn when in her soul she no longer belonged to him? It was as if Caius knew something they did not.

“Brynn?” Kara whispered.

It was as if saying his name gave her soul permission to call to him. The sudden pull made Aden gasp as pain radiated through his chest. What the hell? Then another more persistent, sharper pull sucked the air out of his lungs. Caius was calling him back, and every cell in his body was screaming in protest.

“No!” Kara whimpered holding onto him even tighter. But they both knew Caius would not be denied. Could not be ignored.

“I love you,” Aden whispered just before his lips touched hers.

And then he was gone.

Kara could not breathe. Falling to her hands and knees gasping for air, she struggled to stay conscious. Gods, the pain. Just as she was slipping into oblivion strong arms pulled her into an embrace, a voice she thought she would never hear again called her name frantically. Then his power breathed through her and she was able to suck in precious air.

“Brynn,” she whispered just before she slipped into the welcoming darkness.

For the next five years Kara was able to reconnect with her husband and son, Chris, have another child, a daughter they named Jamie. But the ache in her heart, in her soul, that was the absence of Aden was never far away. Where Brynn’s love and presence did lessen the pain, it did not completely eradicate it. There was always a part of her that reached out searching for her missing piece. Searching for Aden.

When Colin finally found her, the wards kept him physically out of the county Kara lived in, but they could not keep him out of her mind. There were many nights she woke in a cold sweat screaming. Brynn would hold her until she cried herself to sleep. He asked her once what her dreams were about, only once. To know what she had gone through, what they had forced her to do when he was helpless to stop it was more then he could bear to hear. So he held her, loved her, was there for her to try and help her heal. They had two children who desperately needed their mother whole and he would do everything in his power to see that happen.

Vows, even ones made with conviction as strong as steel, can be broken as easily as promises made with a passing breath or with evil intent.


Chapter 2

Copyright © 2018 Heidi Barnes

Suzi’s Holiday Surprise…ish

Sitting in her favorite tree Suzi leans against the bark, overlooking Heidi’s house. “No bodies home” she’s thinking. “Perfect time for setting up her epic Xmas/ New Year’s surprise!!” Sitting forward she runs her chin as she contemplates what to do… all the sudden Suzi jumps to her feet. “Got it!!” she yells, startling the bird on the next branch over. “Oops, sorry.”

Rubbing her hands gleefully she begins her plans.

Looking over the newly manicured lawn, she sees there is not enough space for what she has planned, so grabbing her wand she takes to the sky and circling the yard she systematically removes all the trees and bushes, leaving the entire property bare. “YES!!” She thought… now the fun begins!

Barely being able to hide her excitement Suzi begins to “redecorate” Heidi’s lane for the epic surprise. Wanting to do something completely different, Suzi waves her wand and BAM a volcano appears in the upper left-hand corner of the yard. Next to the volcano 2 big palm trees. Looking at the trees she decided to add coconuts, bananas and 12 monkeys. Then around the volcano and the trees she added pink sand and a large body of water. The moneys were having a wonderful time and Suzi stopped a moment to laugh at their antics.

Looking at the water she Suzi decided a water fountain in the middle would be quite nice, so with I flick of her wrist. Voilà! A big water fountain. Hmmm… that’s a big fountain. Ok… now some lighting. Oh! Tiki torches! Perfect! Again with a flick, 6 torches appear on the edge of the sand.

Looking around, Suzi was almost satisfied with her gift… but something was missing… hmmm… music!!! Thinking for a moment she added a gazebo on the lower right-hand corner of the yard and put in a oom-pa-pa band. Cool! And for an added touch Suzi added a handful of tropical birds, 3 more trees, a lion and his lioness, two adorable, rambunctious cubs, and last but not least three Yorkies.

Waiting until after the sun set, the full moon rose, the stars lit up the sky…the stage was set, almost. With a flick of her wand Suzi lit up the torches and signaled for the band to start. The trombonist hit the first note… ooooh no…

Just then Heidi drove up. Getting out of her car she stops dead in her tracks with her mouth hanging wide open. What the…!!!!

Just as Suzi was fluttering over to greet Heidi, a large shriek rent the night air, following by several more, increasing in volume. Oh lord, the birds were screeching in agitation. Rushing to see what was happening all Suzi could do was stare in silence at the utter chaos around her.

Apparently, the music startled the birds, causing the monkeys to get agitated and in their pancaked state started throwing the coconuts and bananas. One of the coconuts hit the lion and he roared angrily, causing his mate to roar in kind. The cubs thought it was great fun and started chasing the monkeys around. Not wanting to be left out, the Yorkies started yapping at full volume, and in their excitement started to pee all over the side of the house.

Dropped her wand in dismay, one of the monkeys grabbed it and imitating what he saw Suzi do, flicked the wand and caused the volcano to erupt! Just as Heidi was starting to back away, a coconut whizzed by her head, barely missing her, and went through her picture window. Another one flew by and lodged itself in the trombone, causing the band members head to almost explode.

The volcano was now shooting mile high flames and the lava was beginning to run red rivers… right… toward… the … house! Ooooh crap. Calling back her wand, the monkey who stole it looked down in his hands with dismay, let out a loud shriek of disapproval and started throwing bananas. One flew by Suzi, but unfortunately hit Heidi Square in the head.

Suzi had to laugh… the look said it all. So now the animals were running wild all over the neighborhood, the volcano was spewing fire and lava all over the place, and OMG!! The fireworks!! BOOM, Whiz! Shoom!! “Take cover!!” Suzi shouted over the loud din as she flew behind the tree.

The only thing left was the water fountain in the middle of the body of water. Taking out her wand, Suzi got ready to direct the water from the fountain towards the volcano, but a frightened bird hit Suzi’s arm as it flew bye, throwing her flick off course and causing the water to hit the broken window and filling the house with water. Well at least it won’t burn down… Suzi though… “um… I stand corrected.”

Blinking, Heidi tried to figure out why her vision was blurry and what the cacophony around her was. The last thing she remembered was pulling up to her house and feeling as if something was…out of sorts. It was a feeling she had had before, and it sent a sense of dread throughout her body. “Oh, please the power that be, no,” she muttered. Then….

As a what looked eerily like a flaming ball of fire soared over her head it all came back to her. The birds, the band, the VOLCANO! Sitting up, her head spun almost sending her back into the darkness. When the world righted, and she saw what her beautiful backyard had been turned into, she wished she had.

Monkeys were jumping from tree to tree, screaming as below lion cubs tried to catch them when they came to close to the ground. The trees that were not in were on fire. Stampeding past her was a group of four men, two of who were dragging another half-conscious man in between them, eyes wide, skin white, screaming, “Run! Get out of the way!” When she saw what was following them she understood the hurry. A massive male lion was chasing them, and behind him….


Sudden yapping from her left turned her attention to three Yorkies harassing a monkey. Or was the monkey harassing them? Frowning, she shook her head in confusion. What the hell was going on? Suddenly everything went still. As if someone pushed a pause button on a remote. Afraid to look, but unable to help herself, she looked towards the volcano that had suddenly become quiet. Lava still flowed down its sides, catching everything it touched on fire, but the flying boulders of fire had stopped.

“That can’t be good,” she muttered.

Scrambling to her feet, Heidi saw she wasn’t the only one staring at the deadly monstrosity in her backyard. Every animal stood stone still staring at it with wide eyes. No, not good at all. Thank the gods that the nearest neighbor was miles away. As the pressure in the air built, pressing in on her eardrums, even her skin, she frantically scanned the area for the culprit of this newest disaster

“Suzi! I know you are here,” she growled. “You need to come out here and help me clean up this mess before….” That was when she noticed her house, or what was left of it. “SUZI! Get out here NOW!!!”

Fluttering from around the only standing tree, Suzi sheepishly smiled and in the bravest voice she could muster replied. Merry Christmas and happy New Year!

“I’ll just … um… start cleaning up this mess.”

“Yes, that would be nice, but it will take the two of us,” Heidi said as calmly as she could, pulling out her wand. Looking wistfully back at the bonfire that used to be her house, she turned to the wildfire in front of her. “You remember how to make it rain, right?”

“Yes ma’am.” Taking her wand in hand, Suzi aimed toward the sky, but instead of a medium rain a deluge poured down from the sky, drenching everything and everyone in seconds

Standing in mud, completely drenched, her hair hanging heavy down her back, shoulders, and face, Heidi sighed. Reaching up, she pulled her hair back from her face so she could see. “Well, at least the fire is out.” She looked up at the volcano that was reading itself to implode. “For now. We need to stop that volcano before it blows us back to the dark ages. Any ideas?”

Creating a tornado, Suzi directed it over the water that now covered the entire yard, hoping it would collect all the water and she would then aim it into the volcano.

Well…that was the plan, but ya know what they say about the best laid plans….

The ground began to shake. The pressure grew. The animals suddenly came alive and scattered in all directions. Heidi dove out of the way of the lioness and her cubs, landing hard on the now dry dirt.

Now was her chance. Digging into her pocket, Suzi grabbed her magic dust pouch and headed for the volcano. Taking a hand full of dust, she dropped it over the volcano and poof it disappeared from sight. Not really knowing where she sent the volcano, she could only hope it was someplace uninhabited.

Breathing a sigh of relief, Heidi sits up and surveys the damage. Here and there wisps of smoke rose up into the night air. Everything as far as the eye could see in the dark was charred black. Pushing a stray strand of hair from her face the breeze blew, she realized that the sudden absence of moisture left her hair a curly frizzy mess. If only that was the mess to clean up. Looking sideways up at Suzi, who hovered just out of reach, once again looking sheepish, Heidi asked, “Anything else I should know about? Piranha in the Koi pond? Venomous snakes in my….” Heidi glanced behind her at the rubble. “Never mind.” Pushing herself to her feet with a groan, she brushed off her wrinkled slightly tighter clothes, pushed her hair into something that resembled sanity and took a deep breath, squaring her shoulders.

“This is going to take a while to clean up and put right. We better get started.”

Each taking their individual wands, Heidi and Suzi worked their way around the yard and replaced all the grass, the trees and the shrubs. Meeting at the charred remains of what used to be the house, Suzi dropped her head and in a tear strained voice said “I’m so sorry Heidi. I just wanted to make up for the lost holidays.”

Taking a look at the tiny tear streaked, ash covered little fairy, Heidi felt the anger drain out of her.

Lifting up her wand, Suzi wound up what little power she had left and in a brilliant flash of light recreated the original house. Falling out of the sky, she landed on her butt with a tiny thud.

Sitting down heavily next to her in the dirt, Heidi sighed. “I know, and I’m not mad. Nobody was seriously hurt, I think. Hey,” she nudged the fairy. “How about a bath and some dinner. I’ll order from the Thai place in town. They deliver way out here.”

Looking up at Heidi in gratitude, Suzi picked herself up and crawled into Heidi’s outstretched hand. Curling up into a little ball, she sighed in relief and closed her eyes.

Smiling, Heidi carefully got to her feet and walked into the house. In one of the guestrooms she had a specially made fairy alcove for just such an occasion. Although Suzi didn’t know about it because it was a Christmas present. After tucking her in, Heidi took a shower and went to bed, too exhausted to eat, happy to have survived the night in one piece. Tomorrow….well she would see.

Copyright © 2018 Suzanne Carey & Heidi Barnes

I hoped you enjoyed one of many antics of Suzi and her surprises. This is a fun exercise in writing where Suzanne plays Suzi the Fairy and I play myself only as a witch of sorts. Suzanne lives on the east coast and I live on the west coast. We play on Facebook messenger, and usually it’s Suzi the Fairy that starts the well intended mischief. I have other little stories that I thought I posted on this site, but as I look I see I haven’t. I’ll have to find them and put them here and add a link to them as they are written on my page A Little Bit of Fiction. There is very little editing done to these stories. Some punctuation, formatting and spelling. Everything else is as it was written. Thank you for reading. 🙂