Bi-Weekly Post: The Awakener Series: Chad Harper
Chad was almost to the hidden entrance of the Cavern of Souls. He closed his eyes and inhaled the scent of the lofty redwood surrounding him deep into his lungs. He knew this could be the last time he would enjoy any beauty before entering into hell. The scent roused old memories of traveling to Del Norte as a boy with his family. At that time he had no idea how close he truly was to the dark souls.
With clarity, he thought of his family in his current life as Chad Harper. He thought about his parents and younger brother who would continue to grieve his disappearance, never knowing what happened to him, for the rest of their lives. His heart beat faster at the unfairness of it all. Grief reared its dark little head and wrapped his heart like barbwire. His instinct as a young man was to fight against the threat of grief or any emotion, conditioned not to let them show. Yet the instinct as the Elapsed Seer told him not to hold back the grief but to release it thus being able to start anew.
Surrendering to the will of the Creator, Chad lifted his gaze to the forest canopy above. Rays of golden sun kissed the silvery mist of dawn still gliding in between the trees. The Lady fern reached for the light and caressed his skin as he passed. Tears collected and eventually broke past the brim of his eyes. His muscles gave way from the intensity of his grief and he slowly sank to the moist ground. The sunlight warmed his back giving he strength. He allowed the grief to fill him and seep out from his veins. To keep them safe, he would forget them. Pulling in a shaky breath, Chad forced the memory of yet another beautiful family to the wayside. He knew his time with them had been a gift: the knowledge from his father’s love of puzzles, patients due to his brother’s constant annoyance, and his mother’s quiet formidable strength that kept them all functioning together. The council doesn’t value these kinds of gifts. To them people were defined by their abilities. They would underestimate him and this would be their undoing.
A sorrowful smile tugged at the corner of his lips. He would thank the Creator for his time with them but he needed to let go. The memories of his parents and his brother slowly became foggy distant images. The grief left him empty and cold. His thoughts shifted to the struggle between the Advisors and the Council. Stephen was the key to understanding the Council. He had to find a way to get his mentor alone and speak to him.
Climbing through the thick underbrush of ferns, the ferns brushed against his arms and face as if they welcomed him home. He ran his fingers over the small velvety leaves. It had been years since he last made the journey to the Cavern of Souls and it had ended in his death. The painful memory of his previous life lingered in his bones. Embers of a buried rage ignited his bloodheat, this time it would be different. This time he would do whatever was necessary to reclaim his home.